Diatoms and lichens

I came across this paper on diatoms found in lichens for the first time in 2004 (http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.0022-3646.2004.02-205.x/pdf).  Those of you who are interested in viewing lichens with your Foldscope, you might be able to find diatoms as well.  Try taking a small piece of the lichen thallus and soaking it with distilled or spring water in a very small bowl or cup.  (Don’t use too much water or you will have to make many, many slides to view).  Allow the water to stand undisturbed for about an hour.  Use an eye dropper or pipette and withdraw water from the very bottom of the bowl or cup. You will probably see some debris, but that’s OK–hopefully there will be some diatoms attached.  You can make a number of slides with this single water sample.  Once the water is disturbed in the bowl or cup, though, let it settle again before withdrawing another sample.  I don’t know that you will find diatoms, but if you do, this would be a great find!

2 Comments Add yours

  1. laksiyer says:

    Wow!! got to try this in addition to finding tardigrades and basidiomycete partners in lichens.. Its a fantastic ecosystem out there.

    1. jlpappas says:

      Here’s a paper on diatoms on bryophytes: http://www.jstor.org/stable/pdf/25599321.pdf. Another possibility for locating ephiphytic diatoms. Soaking a piece of a bryophyte in distilled or spring water may work here as well–worth a try!

Leave a Reply