NS3977 : Cyanobacteria - Nostoc pruniforme

taken 13 years ago, near to Renton, West Dunbartonshire, Great Britain

Cyanobacteria - Nostoc pruniforme
Cyanobacteria - Nostoc pruniforme
These rounded structures were present in abundance in some puddles; the area where the puddles occurred corresponds to the snow-covered foreground area of the following photo: NS3977 : Former site of walled garden of Strathleven House.

The blobs in this photo clearly show some variation in size, but the largest are about a centimetre across. They are colonies of cyanobacteria (which used to be referred to as "blue-green algae"); unusually for bacteria, cyanobacteria perform photosynthesis, although the structures involved are not bound within chloroplasts as they are in plant cells.

The species shown here is Nostoc pruniforme, and the blobs are sometimes referred to as Mare's Eggs. NS4377 : Cyanobacteria - Nostoc pruniforme shows some less typical-looking colonies, but provides more details on this species, and on Nostoc in general.

Of interest is the fact that the derelict area where the present photo was taken is rich in fragments of concrete, while the alternative photograph (link just cited) shows colonies growing on limestone, suggesting that these cyanobacteria prefer a lime-rich habitat; this is indeed the case. The concrete fragments here provide an environment that resembles natural limestone sufficiently closely to allow the colonies to flourish.

Although this species was abundant in puddles in this area, the ground nearby was covered in an even greater abundance of another Nostoc species: NS3977 : Cyanobacteria - Nostoc commune.
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NS3977, 336 images   (more nearby search)
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Date Taken
Friday, 28 August, 2009   (more nearby)
Wednesday, 2 September, 2009
Geographical Context
Derelict, Disused 
Place (from Tags)
Vale of Leven Industrial Estate 
Image Buckets ?
Life  Closeup 
Algae   (more nearby)
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! NS 3942 7794 [10m precision]
WGS84: 55:58.0518N 4:34.4636W
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! NS 3942 7794
View Direction
South-southeast (about 157 degrees)
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Other Tags
Bacteria  Cyanobacteria  Nostoc 

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