GS Paper - 3 (Environment)

A group of researchers from Pune has discovered three new species of diatoms from the northern Western Ghats region. The three diatom species identified under genus Stauroneis Ehrenberg are —Stauroneis datarii, Stauroneis bahlsii and Stauroneis hamiltonii.

What

  1. Stauroneis is one of the largest freshwater genera of diatoms. With single-cell walls made of silica, diatoms, or simply algae, are one of the major oxygen-generating microbes.
  2. They are most commonly found in almost all kinds of water bodies, including rivers and lakes.
  3. Researchers from Agharkar Research Institute (ARI), Savitribai Phule Pune University (SPPU) and University of Colorado, USA, jointly collected the samples alongside two mountain passes located close to Kaas plateau and Varandha Ghat.
  4. Stauroneis datarii and Stauroneis bahlsii were collected from a waterfall site near Varandha ghat whereas Stauroneis hamiltonii was found from a water pool near Kaas.
  5. The floral biodiversity along Western Ghats is constantly under stress with greater threat to some species that could be on the brink of extinction even before they are discovered.
  6. In addition, several past studies focused mainly on larger organisms completely, leaving unexplored micro or single-celled microbes in such a biodiversity-rich environment like the Western Ghats.