To paraphrase Forrest Gump: “Diatom samples are like a field of goodies. You by no means know what you’re gonna get.”
Researchers within the Botany part on the Canadian Museum of Nature lately found 5 new Canadian diatom species. 4 had been from a stream within the VanDusen Botanical Backyard (VDBG), an attractive inexperienced house positioned in central Vancouver, British Columbia. The fifth was from Gibson Lake in Renfrew County, Ontario, simply north of Algonquin Provincial Park.
Diatoms are microscopic, photosynthetic algae with particular shells product of silica, often known as frustules. Present in freshwater and marine environments, in addition to soil, they’re utilized by biologists to check water high quality and local weather change.
Senior Analysis Assistant Paul Hamilton runs a diatom analysis program on the Museum. He assists college students and scientists by sharing his experience and offering entry to tools and collections.I work with Paul as a volunteer and so-called citizen scientist, serving to him with fieldwork, processing, microscope images and evaluation.
In December 2016, I visited my daughter in Vancouver, accumulating 17 samples from close by rivers and lakes. Again within the lab, and after “trying inside” the samples, we noticed 4 doubtlessly new species from the VanDusen Botanical Backyard. Paul took extra gentle microscopy pictures and scanning electron microscopy pictures. A number of months later, the botanical backyard despatched a reside pattern for DNA extraction. After additional analyses, Paul co-authored a paper describing the brand new species, which you’ll be able to learn right here.
The brand new species all belonged to the genus Neidium and had been named: 1) N. vandusenense, for the VanDusen Botanical Backyard; 2) N. collare, from the Latin for “neck band”; 3) N. lavoieanum, honouring scientist Dr. Isabelle Lavoie; and 4) N. beatyi, honouring the Beaty Basis, beneficiant supporters of the Museum.
Lastly, a fifth species was lately found from Gibson Lake in northwestern Renfrew County, Ontario by Andréanne Bouchard, a graduate pupil on the College of Ottawa. After intensive verification, she co-authored a paper with Paul, describing the brand new species as Frustulia gibsonea.
Discovering a number of new species in a single pattern is thrilling and uncommon. As diatom researchers proceed to gather recent and marine water samples from throughout Canada and all over the world, new diatom species will little doubt be found.