Diversity of carbonate-boring algae: Morphology and molecules
Bansbach, Lauren M.
O’Kelly, Charley J.
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Despite the name, carbonate-boring algae are in fact quite interesting. Contributing equivalent to 20% of CO2 to the biosphere as human activities through their CaCO3 dissolution, these algae have broad ecological impacts. Morphological analysis of five genera of carbonate-boring algae found at Argyle Lagoon, San Juan Island, WA, as well as analysis of 3-dimensional resin casts of the bore holes, showed that using morphology to study diversity tells an incomplete story. Phylogenetic analysis of laboratory algal cultures of cool-temperate carbonate borers revealed a strong genetic difference between subtidal and intertidal species studied, indicating that these algae possess at least some degree of tidal height zonation.