Key to the Algal Flora of the South-Western Cape, South Africa

3 January 2011

Micrasterias radians (Desmidaceae)

There will shortly be a new addition to the DHEC website.  Over the past 20-odd years I have amassed data on the algae occurring in the dams, rivers and vleis of the south-western Cape.  A lot of this material is pre-digital age (slides and prints) and I have scanned-in several hundred images of my work from the early 1990s.

The phytoplankton, in particular, of the waters of the Western Cape are poorly-described and this dataset, together with its physico-chemical data, provides a comprehensive photomicrographic record of the microalgae from this region.  The underlying research work is currently being prepared for a publication on the applicability of Colin Reynolds functional classification of the freshwater phytoplankton.

Phacus sp. (Euglenophyta)

The key includes material from all of the Cape Flats vleis, the principal reservoirs (including those on Table Mountain) and various other localities.  Many of the sites that I sampled are no longer in the condition they were then, being now much degraded.  It is therefore doubtful that many of the rarer species that I found still occur in these waters.

The key will be expanded on as new material becomes available, now much easier with modern photomicrographic techniques.  In addition, a second resource, dealing with the aquatic macrophytes of the Western Cape, will be added to the website in the not-too-distant future.

Pediastrum simplex var echinulatum (Chlorophyta)

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