The green algal underground : evolutionary secrets of desert cells
Cardon, Zoe G.
Gray, Dennis W.
Lewis, Louise A.
MetadataShow full item record
Microscopic, unicellular, free-living green algae are found in desert microbiotic crusts worldwide. Although morphologically simple, green algae in desert crusts have recently been found to be extraordinarily diverse, with membership spanning five green algal classes and encompassing many taxa new to science. This overview explores this remarkable diversity and its potential to lead to new perspectives on the diversity and evolution of green plants. Molecular systematic and physiological data gathered from desert taxa demonstrate that these algae are long-term members of desert communities, not transient visitors from aquatic habitats. Variations in desiccation tolerance and photophysiology among these algae include diverse evolutionary innovations that developed under selective pressures in the desert. Combined with the single embryophyte lineage to which more familiar terrestrial green plants belong, multiple desert green algal lineages provide independent evolutionary units that may enhance understanding of the evolution and ecology of eukaryotic photosynthetic life on land.
Author Posting. © American Institute of Biological Sciences, 2008. This article is posted here by permission of American Institute of Biological Sciences for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in BioScience 58 (2008): 114-122, doi:10.1641/B580206.
Showing items related by title, author, creator and subject.
Phyllosphere microbial communities of a salt-excreting desert tree : geographical location determines population structure Finkel, Omri M.; Burch, Adrien Y.; Lindow, Steven E.; Post, Anton F.; Belkin, Shimshon (2011-09)The leaf surfaces of Tamarix, a salt secreting desert tree, harbor a diverse community of microbial epiphytes. This ecosystem presents a unique set of ecological characteristics and imposes a set of extreme stress conditions. ...
Carbon, water, and energy fluxes in a semiarid cold desert grassland during and following multiyear drought Bowling, D. R.; Bethers-Marchetti, S.; Lunch, Claire K.; Grote, E. E.; Belnap, J. (American Geophysical Union, 2010-11-18)The net exchanges of carbon dioxide, water vapor, and energy were examined in a perennial Colorado Plateau grassland for 5 years. The study began within a multiyear drought and continued as the drought ended. The grassland ...
Mahowald, Natalie M.; Kloster, S.; Engelstaedter, S.; Moore, J. Keith; Mukhopadhyay, S.; McConnell, Joseph R.; Albani, S.; Doney, Scott C.; Bhattacharya, A.; Curran, M. A. J.; Flanner, M. G.; Hoffman, Forrest M.; Lawrence, David M.; Lindsay, Keith; Mayewski, P. A.; Neff, Jason C.; Rothenberg, D.; Thomas, E.; Thornton, Peter E.; Zender, Charles S. (Copernicus Publications on behalf of the European Geosciences Union, 2010-11-19)Desert dust perturbs climate by directly and indirectly interacting with incoming solar and outgoing long wave radiation, thereby changing precipitation and temperature, in addition to modifying ocean and land biogeochemistry. ...