Here I share an incredible source of microscopic biodiversity; which others in the Foldscope community will find fruitful to explore as well. I am often looking for ponds and lakes to sample single cell Protozoa I can find. I truly enjoy watching these “little machines” and the pleasure of finding new ones is immense.
So what if I told you that you don’t have to go anywhere to find these little animacules. What if this biodiversity actually flew around the world and landed on your dinner table – for you to explore.
On Mother’s Day, I received some flowers. I put them in a vase (with water) and forgot about them. Two/three weeks later I noticed surface bacteria film on water.
In the series of posts; I will describe everything I could find – but suffice to say, I am thrilled with what I found. Here I share just one video to give you a feel for density and diversity of what’s present.
For me to even think about the fact that I had this diversity of ciliate biology sitting on my dinner table for days and days; is mind boggling. As @Matt often says – we live in a jungle of its own kind; if we care to look. I found my jungle in my flower vase.
Just like me – you are wondering where these things came from. Firstly; you only need one – since in the right condition -most single celled organisms replicate like mad. If you think about the trajectory flowers take to come to your home; it’s quiet varied. It might have been plucked in Florida, packaged in Arizona; washed with lake water in Colorado and sold in California. Thus it experience and collects biodiversity from all kind of places; and many spore stages for these organisms will remain inactive – and when you add water; they come to life.
Read one summary for where “American” flowers actually come from?
Quote from this link:
Today some 78 percent of the 4 billion cut flower stems purchased in the U.S. — including the roses bought on Valentine’s Day — come from Colombia and Ecuador, where they are grown in large production greenhouses, then harvested, sorted and shipped out around the world. Roses are the most important traded product of the cutflower industry and play a key role in the $20 billion U.S. floral industry.
Another link on flower trade worth reading:
So since I got roses for Mother’s Day – I am probably exploring Colombian micro-biodiversity. What a world we live in.
Next time I get flowers; I will always wait a couple weeks and look closer. Who knows what is hitch hiking the flowers?
Ps: I will add individual posts on species I found in this flower vase (so far). If you can identify any of the ciliates in the video above; please add comments. I would love to hear from you.