Desmid microalgae from lakes in the Andean highland paramo ecosystem of Colombia (South America)


Luz E de-Bashan

Deparment of Soil and Agrifood Engineering, Faculty of Agriculture and Food Science, Laval University, Quebec, Canada and

Deparment of Boilogy, Pontificia Universidad Javeriana, Bogota, Colombia

John C. Donato

Deparment of Biology, National University of Colombia, Bogota, Colombia


Rio Bogota

Paramo de la Calavera, Headwater of Rio Bogota, Colombia


Microalgae from 17 tropical mountain lakes in the paramo zone (alpine meadow) of the central and western Andean range in Colombia were sampled for desmids (Chlorophyceae). Desmid are highly diverse unicellular green algae that are primary producers in freshwater ecosystems, are consumed by microfauna and can serve as biological indicators of biological health of fresh water bodies. Of 100 desmid taxa colleted, 43 are new recorded for Colombia. This study showed that all species have a cosmopolitan distribution. This taxonomic registry study describes all desmids species (in tables, artworks and photos) detected in these lakes and presents a key for identification of genera, species, and subspecies in this ecosystem. A full text containing a literature listed is included.



This study is dedicated to the memory of the late Dr. Luis E. Mora-Osejo of the National University of Colombia in Bogota, Colombia.

Key words: Alpine meadows, Andean tropical highland lakes, Columbian alpine ecology, desmids, microalgae, paramo, taxonomy.


Comments about these pages:

cDr. Luz Gonzalez de-Bashan Luz gonzalez de-Bashan

Dr. John Donato John Donato



Designing: Juan Pablo Hernandez

Version: October 2005

Bashan Fuondation