, Volume 93, Issue 3, pp 285-298

A green alga of the genus Coelastrum Naegeli from the sediments of the Tertiary Lake Messel

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Abstract

A chlorococcal alga of the genus Coelastrum is firstly described from the sediments of the Eocene Lake Messel on the basis of morphological characters and fluorescence microscopy. The great abundance of this alga in massive parts of the stratigraphic section shows its significance for the Messel ecosystem in Eocene times, besides other known algae from this locality. The very favourable conditions of fossilisation allow the identification of various generational stages of this alga. Interestingly, the best preserved specimens were found in small fish coprolites (although we interpret Coelastrum sp. as by-catch and not an important source of food for fish).