Many chrysophyte algae produce morphologically distinctive, siliceous, microscopic cysts during a resting stage of their life cycles; these cysts are often preserved in sediments. Scanning electron microscopy and Nomarski optics permit much more detailed observation of these cysts than was heretofore possible. Many cyst types are found only in specific habitats, such as montane lakes, wet meadows, ephemeral ponds, and Sphagnum bogs. In the samples studied, cysts seem to be most common in fluctuating fresh-water habitats of low to moderate pH and some winter freezing. Chrysophyte cysts have the potential to be a useful tool for modern environmental assessments and paleoecological studies of Cenozoic fresh-water lacustrine deposits. -from Authors
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Chrysophyte cysts as potential environmental indicators.