The Diatom WorkgroupDiatoms are algae with a silica structure. They grow in nearly all aquatic environments and preserve well in most sediments, typically in large numbers. There are thousands of taxa and because their distributions are correlated with many environmental characteristics they are widely used as ecological indicators. Proportions of individual taxa, metrics and inference models can be used to quantify changes in salinity, pH, lake depth, nutrients and many other characteristics and address issues such as climate change, acidic deposition, and eutrophication, among others.
Immediate goals are to add data in the Diatom Paleolimnology Data Cooperative (DPDC) to Neotoma and then to add as many new datasets as possible. Both stratigraphic and calibration datasets will be included. Diatom counts, lake chemistry and physical characteristics, chronologies and other core information will be added - the same basic types of data that are in the DPDC. There are no specific priorities regarding region, time scales, sites or environmental issues.