Tufa springs: The role of algae for bio-calcification

Tufa springs: The role of algae for bio-calcification (2006-2012)

Research questions

Limestone-depositing springs are mostly characterized by ground waters oversaturated in CO2 and calcium carbonate / hydro-carbonate fractions what leads to precipitation of calcite, or more rarely of aragonite and magnesian calcite. We hypothesize that these environments are unfavourable for the majority of benthic organisms except a few taxa from variable evolutionary affiliations which have developed strategies to cope with this situation. It remains unclear to which extent biotic interaction by algae influences the quality of the deposited calcification product and which specific adaptive strategies are effective for individual organisms. Within the actual approach the details of the specific morphological and ultrastructural characters of biocalcifiers are studied including temporal and spatial variability of the organisms. The focus is on limestone-tufa springs and related spring-streams of the Alps. The specific character of “cool” (non-thermal) limestone-depositing springs is supplemented by comparative studies of calcifying biota of thermal springs.

Funding
LBV (Landesbund für Vogelschutz, Bayern)
Natural Science Museum Trento (Italy)

Personal involved
Rott Eugen
Gesierich Doris
Holzinger Andreas
Kofler Werner

Cooperations
Sanders D. (Institute for Geology and Paleontology, Univ. Innsbruck)
Cantonati, M. (Natural History Museum, Trento)
Hotzy, R. (LBV)