The diversity, distribution and ecology of diatoms from Antarctic inland waters
Diatoms are abundant and diverse in many Antarctic freshwaters, with a general trend of decreasing diversity moving southwards. They form an important component of many benthic algal communities in streams and standing waters but are generally less common in the phytoplankton. Diatoms are excellent ecological indicator species and, because their remains are preserved in many sedimentary environments, there appears to be a great potential for palaeoenvironmental reconstruction and the examination of past diversity. A lack of taxonomic precision and consistency, coupled with the insufficient collection from some geographical areas, makes the estimation of the number of Antarctic diatom species problematic.
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