Vaucheria (Vaucheriaceae, Chrysophyta) in Connecticut

 
Vaucheria aversa Hassal

Chris Lane T’99, C.W. Schneider


Species Lists and Keys for Connecticut:


Cultivation techniques:


Research Projects with Trinity College Undergraduates, a.k.a. the “Mud Squad:”

My lab, fondly known as the “Mud Squad” (see photos below), is interested in systematic/ecological investigations of an important mud-stabilizing yellow-green alga, Vaucheria,involving collections and observations in various Connecticut freshwater wetlands and salt-marshes. After collecting muds containing various Vaucheriaspecies from ponds, rivers, streams, marshes, drainage ditches, and catchments throughout the state, and we culture them in the lab for the purpose of isolating unialgal or clonal populations (see above link). Most of the 40-50 known species in this genus are broadly distributed cosmopolitans, especially in temperate and subtropical environments. Most species are also broadly euryhalinic, which means that, unlike most other living organisms, they can acclimate from freshwater to full strength sea water or even greater salinity, and vice versa (Schneider et al.1993). Some of the study areas of interest to my lab, aside from basic taxonomy and distribution of local populations (Schneider et al.1999, Schneider & Lane 2000b), include comparisons of reproductive behavior and growth of Vaucheria under a variety of temperature, photoperiod, salinity, and nutrient conditions (Schneider et al.1996), the ability of the propagules (oospores, spores, cysts) of species isolated from Connecticut habitats to survive desiccation (Dunphy et al. 2001), hypoxia (Schneider et al. 2008), repeated cycles of freezing and thawing (McDevit & Schneider, 2002), and enteric passage through worms (Schneider & McDevit, 2002), as well as investigations of the chemical constituencies of the various species that reside sympatrically in riparian habitats.

Publication Abstracts from the Lab:

*Trinity undergraduate coauthors

 


 

Mud Squad III, 2002

 

Left to right: Caitlyn Hunt, Ravin Ratan, and Craig Schneider.  

 

 

Mud Squad II, 2001

 

Standing left to right: “Disco” Dan McDevit, Jon “Iguana” Stein,
Justin Lafrenierre, and Becky Thibault. Seated, Craig Schneider.

 

 

Mud Squad I, 1999

 

Left to right: Craig Schneider, Jennifer Baptiste, Chris Lane, Megan Dunphy, and Jon “Petey” Stein