Frequently Asked Questions


Have a question not answered below?
the Project Leader; they will try to get back to you within a few days.

Q What are the browser requirements for this site?
  To function well, this site requires modern browsers such as Mozilla, Firefox, Safari, Opera 6+, Navigator 6+, and Internet Explorer 6+.


Q Can other people contribute diatom images and observations to this site?
  We welcome contributions of new taxa to the Antarctic Freshwater Diatom website. We request that you provide information that conforms to the website (images, original descriptions, detailed location data). Your name will be listed as the contributor. Please contact the team leader to make a submission.


Q What about diatom species that occur in other regions of Antarctica?
  The site focusses on the McMurdo Dry Valleys, but we would like to include records from other regions as we learn of them.


Q I think that a species is misidentified on the Antarctic Freshwater Diatom website. Should I contact you?
  We expect that species will be misidentified, and the website is designed to accomodate advancement in knowledge about Antarctic diatoms. Please contact us if you can provide original literature that shows the correct assignment of a name. When we make a correction in identification (stating that a set of images conforms to an original type description). Note that the Taxon ID number will remain the same and will always be tied to that set of images.


Q I like the Antarctic Freshwater Diatom website. Can I obtain the database structure and code to set up my own web site for my region of the world?
  For now, we might be able to assist you but only on a contract basis as our schedule allows. The current code is fairly customized and not easily shared with others. In the future, we hope that our code will mature to make it easier to transfer to others. Please contact us with inquires.


Q At what resolution were the diatom images taken?
  Most of the light microscope (LM) images were taken with a 100x oil immersion objective. The scale bars represent 10 microns. The scanning electron microscope (SEM) images were taken at the California Academy of Sciences, and they are scaled as indicated.


Q How can I tell where a particular diatom has been found?
  If the diatom has been counted, the waterbodies are listed at the bottom left of the taxon page. Additionally, you can click on the "see samples w/ this taxon" which will take you to the counts page. From there, you can tell at what abundance the diatom has been seen in the samples where it's present.


Q What is the importance of the "Taxon ID" number?
  This number has been assigned to a particular morphology and size series of a population of diatoms. We intend to keep the Taxon ID number tied to that particulary morphological entitiy, even if there are changes in identification or nomenclature.


Q What does it mean if there is no "Original Type Description" on the taxon page?
  This taxon has not yet been validly published according to the International Code of Botanical Nomenclature. The "observations" section is a description of the forms that have been observed to date. The people that have made these observations are listed at the top.