Plant Ecology and Evolution 152(3): 539-545, doi: 10.5091/plecevo.2019.1600
Microcostatus elisabethianus, a new limnoterrestrial diatom species (Bacillariophyta) from the sub-Antarctic region
expand article infoBart Van de Vijver, Luc Ector§
‡ Botanic Garden Meise, Meise, Belgium§ Environmental Research & Innovation (ERIN) Department, Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology (LIST), 4422 Belvaux, Luxembourg
Open Access

Background and aims – During a survey of the soil diatom flora of the sub-Antarctic islands in the southern Indian Ocean, an unknown small-celled naviculoid taxon was discovered living in small cracks in cliffs bordering the ocean. The taxon showed a set of morphological features only found in the genus Microcostatus. However, the unknown taxon could not be identified using the currently available literature.

Methods – Using both light microscopical and scanning electron microscopical techniques, the morphology of the unknown Microcostatus taxon was documented. The new taxon is described, illustrated and compared with all other similar Microcostatus taxa worldwide.

Key resultsMicrocostatus elisabethianus possesses a unique combination of morphological features that excludes conspecificity with all other members of the genus. It is characterized by a lanceolate valve outline with protracted, elongate apices, a very large, porous conopeum reaching the valve margins and uniseriate striae composed of only one macroareola and mantle areolae restricted to the valve apices. The morphological features of the genus Microcostatus are evaluated and discussed. Notes on the occurrence and ecology of the new taxon are added.

diatoms, sub-Antarctic region, Crozet archipelago, Microcostatus, new species, morphology


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