Siliceous Protozoan Plates and Scales

  • Marianne S. V. Douglas
  • John P. Smol
Part of the Developments in Paleoenvironmental Research book series (DPER, volume 3)


Siliceous protozoan plates and scales are commonly observed on diatom and chrysophyte microscopic slide preparations, however they are rarely included in paleolimnological interpretations. A major deterrent to their full exploitation is that plates can rarely be identified to the species level, and at times even generic-level identifications are tentative. This relatively coarse taxonomic resolution discourages detailed paleoeoenvironmental interpretations. Hopefully, further research on disassociated plates, as well as continued ecological studies, may fine-tune these interpretations. However, even at these relative coarse levels of data presentation and analysis, valuable paleolimnological information can still be inferred (e.g., the succession and development of bog formation in and around the lake). In samples where preservation of siliceous microfossils is poor, the use of protozoan plates becomes more important as they are often more resistant to dissolution than other siliceous proxies. A major advantage of using siliceous protozoan plates and scales is that no additional preparation procedures are needed if, for example, diatoms are already being considered in the study.


protozoan plates Rhizopoda siliceous testate amoeba thecamoebians heliozoans peat Sphagnum 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marianne S. V. Douglas
    • 1
  • John P. Smol
    • 2
  1. 1.Paleoecological Assessment Laboratory (PAL) Department GeologyUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada
  2. 2.Paleoecological Environmental Assessment and Research Lab (PEARL) Department BiologyQueen’s UniversityKingstonCanada

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