Cyanoprokaryotes (also known as cyanobacteria or blue-green algae) can form a significant component of benthic, periphytic and floating microphytic assemblages across a diverse range of habitats. They contribute to the productivity of aquatic ecosystems and, in some cases, provide the major carbon source that sustains aquatic food webs. Various members of the Oscillatoriales are known to have caused animal deaths and adversely affected human health. They are also recognised as being an important contributor to and consequence of ecosystem degradation. Their ubiquity in lakes, streams and rivers throughout much of the world, and their ability to form blooms or nuisance growths rapidly are of particular interest to scientists and water managers. Despite their importance, there are very few comprehensive regional accounts of cyanoprokaryote biodiversity in the scientific literature.
This volume provides the first detailed account of the freshwater Oscillatoriales of north-eastern Australia. It includes keys, morphological and ecological data for 6 families, 27 genera and 122 species, and photomicrographs and original illustrations to enable the accurate identification of natural populations based on stable and recognisable characters observable with the aid of light microscopy. Distributional data are based on the extensive surveys carried out by the author at 253 localities near lakes, reservoirs, streams and rivers in Queensland and the Northern Territory as well as a review of the Australian phycological literature. Three species are newly described from the genera Leptolyngbya and Trichocoleus.