Journal of Applied Phycology

, Volume 14, Issue 5, pp 423–429 | Cite as

Distribution and ecology of the edible cyanobacterium Ge-Xian-Mi (Nostoc) in rice fields of Hefeng County in China

  • Baosheng Qiu
  • Jiyong Liu
  • Zhili Liu
  • Shengxiang Liu


Ge-Xian-Mi (an edible species of Nostoc) grows insome mountain paddy fields in China during winter and forms macroscopicallyvisible subspherical colonies. The geology and climate at one of its locations,Hefeng County, were investigated, and the present-day situation of Ge-Xian-Miwas assessed in order to raise awareness that it may be endangered. There wereformerly 796 ha of rice fields suited to its growth in HefengCounty and the maximum annual yield ever reached was 25 t. Theannual mean temperature is about 12.2 °C, and the annualrainfall is 1934 mm with mean relative humidity of 78–87%.The distribution of Ge-Xian-Mi was found to be associated with the source ofwater and the pH values of water suited to its growth were 6.2–6.3. Soilsin its habitats were enriched with phosphorus and contained more microbes thanthose without its distribution. With changing agricultural techniques most ofthe habitats are endangered or already extinct. The widespread use ofherbicides, pesticides and fertilizers containing chlorine had been suggestedtobe an important factor limiting its distribution. The taxonomic identity ofGe-Xian-Mi is discussed.

Cyanobacterium Ecology Ge-Xian-Mi Nostoc commune Nostoc sphaeroides Rice fields 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Baosheng Qiu
    • 1
  • Jiyong Liu
    • 2
  • Zhili Liu
    • 1
  • Shengxiang Liu
    • 2
  1. 1.College of Life SciencesNanjing UniversityNanjingP.R. China
  2. 2.College of Life SciencesCentral China Normal UniversityWuhanP.R. China

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