Scientists Discover How Didymo Blooms in Nutrient-Poor Rivers

In an effort to understand how didymo (“rock snot”) is different from other algae in its preference for nutrient-poor streams and rivers, scientists have discovered that the species can concentrate phosphorus from the surrounding water.  The new study, funded by the National Science Foundation, should help conservationist and water managers identify rivers that are most at-risk.

“It has uncovered the fascinating mechanism by which Didymo ‘scrubs’ phosphorus from a stream or river,” says [NSF program director Tim] Kratz, “then creates a microenvironment that allows microbes to make this nutrient available for Didymo’s growth.”  Reported in ScienceDaily.

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