The major focus od the Phycology section is investigation of the Diatom flora (Bacillariophyceae) of mountain aquatic environments (lakes, rivers, streams and bogs) in Macedonia.

Diatoms are microscopic algae, best known for their beautifully ornamented silica cell walls. They are the most species rich group of algae and among the most important primary producers in marine and fresh waters. Besides their significance in the global carbon cycling and oxygen production, the excellent preservation of their silica cell walls in the fossil record makes them a perfect tool for reconstructing past environments and climatic changes. They are also among the most common organisms used as bio-indicators in studies on water quality.

Investigations within the BSRS start in the field, where we collect algae from all available substrates in various aquatic habitats. Next, we observe the algae (mostly diatoms) in their live state before permanent slides are made by cleaning the cell walls from organic matter and mounting them in highly refractive resin. Microscopic analysis proceed to determine the content of diatom communities and their relative abundances as indicators of algal diversity. The main goal of the section is assessing the diatom diversity in mountain regions and comparative analysis between types habitats, altitudes and between mountain regions.

Collected material id kept at the diatom collection at the Institute od Biology (DCIBS) at the Faculty of Natural Sciences. Results from our investigations are published in the Bulletin of the Biological students research society.

Section coordinator :

Doc. D-r Zlatko Levkov