Algal Mat

An algal mat is a layer of usually filamentous algae on marine or fresh water soft bottoms. It may be considered one of many types of microbial mats. Algae and cyanobacteria are ubiquitous, often forming within the water column and settling to the bottom. In shallow environments, they are often dessiccated and revived with the next introduction of water and sunlight. Stromatolites can form in this way (see Shark Bay for a modern example). Any puddle of water can start the process - sunlight initiates the process and photosynthesis soon creates a green layer within the puddle. The puddle can dry up and leave a thin layer of 'algal' mat and even leave mudcracks behind. Cyclicity involves the repeated process of wetting (rain), algal production, and redrying of the new deposit. This results in layer upon layer of algal mats and intervening thin layers of mud.

In the fossil record, many examples have been uncovered including sediments with the mudcracks preserved and even raindrop impressions preserved. If some animal enters the process, even simply a fly, it has a chance of being preserved within the deposited sequence. It may be more likely, however, to find something with a more easily preserved shell, for example a snail.

About plankton
  • Algal bloom
  • CLAW hypothesis
  • High lipid content microalgae
  • Holoplankton
  • Meroplankton
  • Milky seas effect
  • Paradox of the plankton
  • Planktology
  • Red tide
  • Spring bloom
  • Thin layers
  • More...
By size
  • Eukaryotic picoplankton
  • Heterotrophic picoplankton
  • Microphyte (microalgae)
  • Nanophytoplankton
  • Photosynthetic picoplankton
  • Picobiliphyte
  • Picoeukaryote
  • Picoplankton
  • Bacteriastrum
  • Aeromonas salmonicida
  • Cyanobacteria
  • Cyanobiont
  • Cyanotoxin
  • Enteric redmouth disease
  • Flavobacterium
  • Flavobacterium columnare
  • Pelagibacter ubique
  • Marine bacteriophage
  • SAR11 clade
  • Streptococcus iniae
  • Auxospore
  • Axodine
  • Chaetoceros
  • Chaetocerotaceae
  • Coccolithophore
  • Emiliania huxleyi
  • Eustigmatophyte
  • Frustule
  • Heterokont
  • Nannochloropsis
  • Navicula
  • Prasinophyceae
  • Raphidophyte
  • Thalassiosira pseudonana
Diatom orders
  • Centrales
  • Pennales
  • (Classes: Coscinodiscophyceae
  • Fragilariophyceae
  • Bacillariophyceae)
  • Brevetoxin
  • Choanoflagellates
  • Dinoflagellates
  • Flagellum
  • Pfiesteria piscicida
  • Saxitoxin
  • Symbiodinium
  • Velvet (fish disease)
  • Chaetognatha
  • Ciguatera
  • Ctenophora
  • Gelatinous zooplankton
  • Hunting copepods
  • Ichthyoplankton
  • Jellyfish
  • Marine larvae
  • Crustacean larvae
  • Salmon louse
  • Sea louse
Copepod orders
  • Calanoida
  • Cyclopoida
  • Harpacticoida
  • Monstrilloida
  • Poecilostomatoida
  • Siphonostomatoida
  • More...
Related topics
  • Aeroplankton
  • Algaculture
  • Algal mat
  • Algal nutrient solutions
  • Artificial seawater
  • Autotrophs
  • Biological pump
  • Diel vertical migration
  • Dimethylsulfoniopropionate
  • f-ratio
  • Fish diseases and parasites
  • Heterotroph
  • HNLC
  • Macroalgae
  • Manta trawl
  • Marine mucilage
  • Microbial mat
  • Ocean acidification
  • Primary production
  • Stromatolite
  • Tychoplankton
  • Zoid
  • C-MORE
  • CPR
  • AusCPR
  • SCAR

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Famous quotes containing the word mat:

    Or on the Mat devoutly kneeling
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    For neighb’ring Beaux to see it bare.
    Jonathan Swift (1667–1745)