NWU introduces first guide on algae
POTCHEFSTROOM. – The Potchefstroom Campus of the North-West University boasts another first after members of the subject group Botany recently launched South Africa' first comprehensive guide on algae.
The book, Easy Identification of the Most Common Freshwater Algae – a guide for the identification of microscopic algae in South African freshwaters, is the brain child of Drs Sanet Janse van Vuuren and Jonathan Taylor. It is a practical book that can be used to identify the most common freshwater algae.
A total of 78 algae genera, with full-colour photographs and extensive descriptions of each are included in the book.
Dr Van Vuuren, a lecturer in Botany who specialises in algae, says that the idea originated in 1988, when she first became aware of the wonderful world of algae.
Last year se realised that even undergraduate and postgraduate students who have to identify algae for projects and consultation work need a guide.
Dr Taylor, who is currently busy with his post-doctorate studies and who is the curator of the diatom collection at the Potchefstroom Campus, agreed to assist her with the diatoms – one of the algae groups.
Making this work even more remarkable is that, even though most of the algae cannot even be observed with the naked eye, these organisms affect all people. Few people realise for instance that algae supply oxygen to water and that they play as important a role in oxygen provision as trees and grass.
The guide will in particular be helpful for persons conducting water research, but also for members of public who would like to acquaint themselves with these fascinating organisms.
Drs Sanet J van Vuuren and Jonathan Taylor, authors of the algae guide.
Experts from the Potchefstroom Campus of the NWU recently launched South Africa's first comprehensive guide on algae.