Cylindrotheca closterium

General Close


(diatoms) A type of diatom that has longitudinal symmetry with valves that are linear or oval shaped. Some pennate diatoms possess a raphe, which allows them to be motile.

Shape Close


Lance-shaped. Having a wider rounded base and tapering towards the tip.

with long, thin ends
Size Length 25 - 400 μm, width 2.5 - 8 μm
Colour Yellow-brown
Connection None (solitary)
Covering Silica Close


In diatoms, the hard and porous silica cell wall (Horner 2002).



(plural: flagella) A tail-like projection that sticks out from the cell body and enables movement.



An organelle in the cell that contains the cell pigments (Horner 2002). This is where photosynthesis occurs. A chloroplast is a specialized chromatophore.

Two, central
Lifestyle Close


The chemical process by which light energy, water and carbon dioxide are combined to produce oxygen and organic compounds. Photoautotrophic organisms (plants and algae) use this reaction to produce their own food.

. Sexual/asexual.


A rapid increase or accumulation of algal populations in an aquatic system. This will likely involve one or a few dominant phytoplankton species. This follows seasonal patterns (i.e., spring, summer or fall bloom) with dominant species being those that are best adapted to the environmental conditions of that time period. Discolouration of the water may be observed because of the algae's pigmentation. Blooms are often green but may be yellow-brown or red depending on the species present.

Information not available
Harmful effects Produces mucilage and Close


Describing a condition where the growth of one organism is inhibited by the release of chemicals by another organism into the shared environment.

Habitat Close


Describing the part of an ocean, river, or lake that is close to the shore. This can also refer to the organisms that live there. The littoral zone includes everything from the high water mark to near-shore areas that are permanently underwater. There is no fixed distance from shore or water depth that defines the end of the littoral zone. See also Neritic, which is directly below littoral.

, Close


Organisms that drift at the mercy of the currents.

, and Close


Growing on mud (Spaulding et al. 2010).

Geographic Close


Widely distributed; occurring in many parts in the world.

Seasonal More abundant in spring and summer in Northern European seas
Growth Conditions


The dissolved ion content of a body of water. Can be measured in the following units: parts per thousand (PPT or ‰), practical salinity units (PSU), and absolute salinity (g/kg). PPT is measured by weight, denoting the number of parts salt per thousand total parts or a value of 10-3. PSU measures the conductivity of saltwater and compares it in a ratio to a standard KCl solution (because this is a ratio, salinity measured in this way can also be written without units). The newest unit of salinity is absolute salinity, which uses the mass fraction of salt in seawater (g salt per kg seawater) rather than its conductivity (TEOS-20 2010).

11 - 22 (optimal)
Temperature 10 - 25 °C (optimal)


Nitzschiella tenuirostris Mereschkowsky 1901 Close


A difference in type. In naming species, a heterotypic synonym is one that comes into being when a taxon becomes part of a different taxon. Compare to homotypic.

Nitzschia closterium (Ehrenberg) W. Smith 1853 (heterotypic)
Ceratoneis closterium Ehrenberg 1839 Close


Expressing the same fundamental type or structure; may or may not be symmetrical (e.g., the two valves of a diatom, where they are the same shape and appearance, but one is bigger than the other). In naming species, a homotypic synonym is one that comes into being when a taxon gets a new name (without being added to an already existing taxon).



The original name for an organism. In botany, the original published nomenclature from which a new binomial nomenclature is derived for a particular group of organisms (Tindall 1999).

(Guiry and Guiry 2011)


Empire Eukaryota
Kingdom Chromista
Subkingdom Harosa
Infrakingdom Heterokonta
Phylum Ochrophyta
Subphylum Khakista
Class Bacillariophyceae
Order Bacillariales
Family Bacillariaceae
Genus Cylindrotheca
Species C. closterium (Ehrenberg) Reimann and Lewin 1964

(Guiry and Guiry 2011)


Photosynthetic. Reproduces sexually and asexually (Guiry 2011).


Cells are solitary and motile. The cell centre is lanceolate, with two long, thin, flexible ends. Cells may be slightly curved or Close



. The Close


(plural: nuclei) In eukaryotic cells, a membrane-bound organelle that contains the cell's genetic information; the nucleus controls the activities of the cell by controlling gene expression.

and two chloroplasts are in the central region of the cell (Cupp 1943). Cells are yellow-brown in colour (Guiry 2011).
"Frustules in the Close


Torpedo-shaped. Shaped like a small boat when viewed from above.

part not twisted, in the rostra not or only slightly twisted about the Close


(axis, spine) The region of the apex or point. Refers to the most anterior point or region of the cell (HPP 2003).

axis. Close


In diatoms, the structurally distinct halves of the cell wall (Becker 1996).

face weakly Close


Describing the character (i.e., white, shimmery) or chemical presence silicon dioxide (SiO2) as a component of phytoplankton cell covering.

, almost imperforate, transversed by more or less transapical silicified thickenings. Close


"In some pennate diatoms, one or two longitudinal slits along the [long] axis or around the valve margins" (Horner 2002). Secretion of mucilage allows a pennate diatom to attach itself to or glide on a substrate (Regents of the University of California 2006).

transversed by a series of fibulae, joined directly to the valve face. One of the edges of the valve bordering the fissure minutely serrate. Fissure interrupted at the centre" (Reimann and Lewin 1964, cited in Hasle and Syvertsen 1997).


Total Length (apical axis): 25 - 400 μm
Centre Length: 6 - 50 μm
Width Close

Transapical axis

In diatoms, the longitudinal axis of the valve.

(transapical axis
): 2.5 - 8 μm
Height Close

Pervalvar axis

The axis through the centre point of the two valves of a frustule. This axis is perpendicular to the valve face.

(pervalvar axis
): 2.5 - 8 μm
Fibulae: 10 - 12 in 10 μm


(referring to pores in diatoms) In diatoms, a striation or row of pores on the valve face. "In centric diatoms, striae may be radial, running from the centre of the valve to the margin ... In pennate diatoms, striae may be parallel to the median line of the valve or raphe" (Horner 2002).

: 70 - 100 in 10 μm (observed in Close


(transmission electron microscope) A high-resolution microscope that works by passing a beam of electrons through a very thin specimen (CMRA 1995).

(Cupp 1943, Hasle 1964, Hasle and Syvertsen 1997 and Kraberg et al. 2010)

Similar species

None, C. closterium is very unique for the plankton in British Columbia.

Harmful effects

May produce mucilage (Kraberg et al. 2010). Produces allelopathic chemicals that suppress growth of other species (e.g., Heterosigma akashiwo; Hiromi et al. 1995).


Littoral and planktonic (Cupp 1943). Epipelic (mud-dwelling; Smith and Underwood 1998).


Cosmopolitan (Horner 2002).
Present throughout the year, but moderately more abundant in spring and summer in Northern European seas (Kraberg et al. 2010).
Present throughout the year in small numbers, being more abundant during late spring, summer, and early fall.

Growth conditions

Optimal growth occurs during temperatures of 10 - 25 °C, pH level of 7.3 - 9.0, light intensity of 2000 Close


(abbreviated 'lx') Units for measuring light intensity in a given surface area.

and above, and salinity of 20 - 40 (Ohgai et al. 1986). Upper temperature limit of ∼33 °C (Harford et al. 2011).
May form mucilaginous aggregates under high salinity conditions (Najdek et al. 2005) or when the concentration of N or P is low (Staats et al. 2000). Growth mainly limited by nitrogen rather than by phosphorous (Alcoverro et al. 2000).

Environmental Ranges

Depth range (m): 0 - 1000
Temperature range (°C): -2.058 - 29.468
Nitrate (μmol L-1): 0.053 - 34.037
Salinity (PSU): 17.940 - 37.775
Oxygen (mL L-1): 4.139 - 9.116
Phosphate (μmol L-1): 0.046 - 2.358

Silicic acid

A general term to describe chemical compounds containing silicon, oxygen and hydrogen with a general formula of [SiOx(OH)4-2x]n. Diatoms polymerize silicic acid into biogenic silica to form their frustules (Azam and Chisholm 1976).

(μmol L-1): 0.687 - 92.735
(OBIS 2011, cited in EOL 2011)

Bloom characteristics

Information not available.


Alcoverro, T., Conte, E. and Mazzella, L. 2005. Production of mucilage by the Adriatic epipelic diatom Cylindrotheca closterium (Bacillariophyceae) under nutrient limitation. Journal of Phycology. 36(6): 1087-1095.

Cupp, E. E. 1943. Marine Plankton Diatoms of the West Coast of North America. University of California Press. Berkeley, California. 238.

Encyclopedia of Life (EOL). 2011. Cylindrotheca closterium. Accessed 02 Nov 2011.

Guiry, M. D. 2011. Cylindrotheca closterium (Ehrenberg) Reimann and Lewin, 1964. Accessed 02 Nov 2011.

Guiry, M. D. and Guiry, G. M. 2011. Cylindrotheca closterium (Ehrenberg) Reiman and J. C. Lewin. Accessed 02 Nov 2011.

Harford, A. J., Hogan, A. C., Tsang, J. J., Parry, D. L., Negri, A. P., Adams, M. S., Stauber, J. L. and van Dam, R. A. 2011. Effects of alumina refinery wastewater and signature metal constituents at the upper thermal tolerance of: 1. The tropical diatom Nitzschia closterium. Marine Pollution Bulletin. 62(3): 466-473.

Hasle, G. R. 1964. Nitzschia and Fragilariopsis species studied in the light and electron microscopes. I. Some marine species of the groups Nitzschiella and Lanceolatae. Skrifter utgitt av Det Norske Videnskaps-Akademi I Oslo. I. Matematisk-Naturvidenskapelig Klasse. Ny Serie. 16: 1-48.

Hasle, G. R. and Syvertsen, E. E. 1997. Marine diatoms. In: Tomas, C. R. (ed.) Identifying marine Phytoplankton. Academic Press, Inc., San Diego. 5-385.

Hiromi, J., Imanishi, D. and Kadota, S. 1995. Effect of Cylindrotheca closterium (Bacillariophyceae) on the growth of red-tide raphidophycean flagellate Heterosigma akashiwo. Bulletin of the College of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine, Nihon University. 52: 122-125.

Horner, R. A. 2002. A Taxonomic Guide To Some Common Phytoplankton. Biopress Limited, Dorset Press, Dorchester, UK. 200.

Kraberg, A., Baumann, M. and Durselen, C. D. 2010. Coastal Phytoplankton: Photo Guide for Northern European Seas. Verlag Dr. Friedrich Pfeil, Munchen, Germany. 204.

Najdek, M., Blažina, M., Djakovac, T. and Kraus, R. 2005. The role of the diatom Cylindrotheca closterium in a mucilage event in the northern Adriatic Sea: coupling with high salinity water intrusions. Journal of Plankton Research. 27(9): 851-862.

Ocean Biogeographic Information System (OBIS). 2011. Cylindrotheca closterium. Accessed 02 Nov 2011.

Ohgai, M., Iwano, H. and Hoshijima, M. 1986. The effect of the environmental factors on the growth of diatom Cylindrotheca closterium (Ehrenberg) Reimann et Lewin. Nippon Suisan Gakkaishi. 52(9): 1635-1640.

Reimann, B. E. F. and Lewin, J. C. 1964. The diatom genus Cylindrotheca Rabenhorst. Journal of the Royal Microscopical Society. 83: 283-296.

Staats, N., Stal, L. J. and Mur, L. R. 2000. Exopolysaccharide production by the epipelic diatom Cylindrotheca closterium: effects of nutrient conditions. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology. 249(1): 13-27.

Smith, D. J. and Underwood, G. J. C. 1998. Exopolymer production by intertidal epipelic diatoms. Limnology and Oceanography. 43(7): 1578-1591.

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