GERD GUENTHER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY GERD GUENTHER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Light microscope footage of a single diatom cell genus Surirella, sowing the plasma circulation inside the big cell, focused from the nucleus layer to the cell border. Diatom cells are enclosed within a rigged lidded box, called frustule or theca, which is composed of amorphous opaline silica with organic coatings. Diatoms seen from the top or bottom are in valve view, whereas diatoms seen from their sides when in girdle view. The same diatom frustule often has a different appearance when viewed from the valve side compared to the girdle view. This Surirella frustule shows girdle view. In early spring diatom reproduction reaches a first annual maximum, easily visible by the fawn brown layers on the bottom of ponds, brooks or other freshwater habitats. Diatoms are very abundant and are important primary producers, responsible for about 20% of carbon fixation. Microscopic contrast method used : differential interference contrast. Captured field width : 0,23mm.
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