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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle

Living Dendrolitic Microbial Mats in Hamelin Pool, Shark Bay, Western Australia

1
Department of Mineralogy, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC 20560, USA
2
Bush Heritage Australia, Melbourne, VIC 3000, Australia
3
Department of Earth Science, University of California, Santa Barbara, CA 93106, USA
4
Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, University of Miami, Miami, FL 33149, USA
5
Department of Biological Sciences, Duquesne University, Pittsburgh, PA 15282, USA
6
Department of Mines, Industrial Regulations and Safety, Geological Survey of Western Australia, East Perth, WA 6076, Australia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Geosciences 2018, 8(6), 212; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences8060212
Received: 24 April 2018 / Revised: 18 May 2018 / Accepted: 5 June 2018 / Published: 11 June 2018
Hamelin Pool, Shark Bay, Western Australia, is home to the largest and most diverse assemblage of living marine stromatolites, with shapes and sizes comparable to ancient structures. A recent field-intensive program revealed seasonally ephemeral occurrences of modern dendrolitic microbial mats forming in intertidal, low energy settings. Dominated by filamentous cyanobacteria, dendrolitic microbial mats are formed when filaments provide a supporting framework as a result of gliding mobility, to build a shrubby morphology. Dendrolites, known throughout the rock record, refer to macroscopic microbialites with mesostuctures composed of unlaminated arborescent structures called shrubs. In these modern examples, thick filaments of Lyngbya aestuarii form the “trunk” of the bush, with finer filaments of Lyngbya fragilis, Phormidium sp. and Schizothrix sp. forming the “branches” These biologically-influenced dendrolitic structures provide insight into the complex interplay of microbial communities and the environment, broadening our understanding of shrub and dendrolite formation throughout the rock record. View Full-Text
Keywords: dendrolite; shrubs; microbialites; Hamelin Pool; non-lithifying microbial mats; Lyngbya; cyanobacteria dendrolite; shrubs; microbialites; Hamelin Pool; non-lithifying microbial mats; Lyngbya; cyanobacteria
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Suosaari, E.P.; Awramik, S.M.; Reid, R.P.; Stolz, J.F.; Grey, K. Living Dendrolitic Microbial Mats in Hamelin Pool, Shark Bay, Western Australia. Geosciences 2018, 8, 212.

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