This volume deals with the Synurophyceae, a group of silica scaled chrysophyte algae. Taxonomy within this class is based on the ultrastructure of the silica scales and bristles, and electron microscopy is in most cases necessary for the identification. Even though the 128 taxa occurring in Europe are emphasized and details of their distribution are given, the volume includes all taxa described worldwide. Thus it is possible to identify all 212 taxa with a high degree of certainty (i.e., 180 taxa of Mallomonas, 30 taxa of Synura, plus the single species of Chrysodidymus and Tessellaria). The importance of this book lies in four main fields:
- It can be used for the identification of synurophycean taxa in all parts of the world.
- It will be of particular significance in phytoplankton investigations on diversity and ecology of lakes and ponds.
- Many species can serve as ecological indicators, and the species-specific silica scales and cysts preserved in sediments can be useful paleobiological indicators for reconstructing a wide variety of human influences on aquatic ecosystems, including acidification, eutrophication and climate change.
- Last but not least, the book gives a solid basis for further taxonomical studies based on gene sequences.
This is the first modern world-comprehensive book on the subject. It will be indispensable for phycologists, but should also find its way to general botanical libraries.