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Diatom of the month - December 2017: Water Quality Monitoring Challenges

by Luca Marazzi*
Although water quality monitoring programmes extensively use diatoms in North America and Europe, this is not the case (yet) in emerging and developing countries. Dalu and Froneman (2016) reviewed diatom-based monitoring in sub-Saharan Africa, concluding that (i) much more training of new experts and financial resources to buy microscopes and identification guides are required to make the most of the ecological indicator properties of these algae; (ii) a stronger focus should be placed on multidisciplinary projects to quantify diatom species tolerances and ecological requirements and (iii) the extensive taxonomic literature (see Fig. 1) needs to be made more widely available, for example online.

Fig. 1. Reprints and publications on diatom ecology and taxonomy of the South African Diatom Collection at the South African Institute for Aquatic Biodiversity National Diatom Collection at North-West University, South Africa (Source: Harding et al., 2004).
More robust biomonitor…

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