08 Apr 2008 · Press release · Sections

Micrasterias immortal but in the Red Data Book for endangered species

Micrasterias furcata has a diameter of only 0.2 millimeters and occurs in boggy areas. It is classified as ‘endangered’ according to the Red Data Book of 2008. Since it was first discovered and described by scientists it has been observed only in three locations in Germany. The species is classified as ‘near threatened’ in Austria. (Image: Dr. Monika Engels, desmid algal collection, University of Hamburg)

Algal researchers of the Phycology Section of the German Botanical Society have chosen the desmid Micrasterias as ‘Alga of the Year 2008’. Micrasterias, the name derived from Greek meaning ‘little star’, is a highly threatened, but species-rich and morphologically extremely diverse, genus of green algae. They entirely depend on the presence of unspoilt freshwater bodies for their existence.

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