Micromorphological characterization and lithification of microbial mats from the Ebro Delta (Spain)
Berlanga Herranz, Mercedes
Ascaso Ciria, María del Carmen
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The structural organization of microbial mats from the Ebro Delta (Spain) and their accretion and partial lithification processes were explored using scanning electron microscopy in back-scattered electron mode and low-temperature scanning electron microscopy. Two differentiated zones were distinguished in a transverse section of a fragment taken from the mat at a depth of 2.5 mm. The first consisted of an upper layer in which the dominant microorganisms, Microcoleus spp., actively grew in an embedded slack matrix of exopolysaccharides. Microcoleus filaments were oriented parallel to the surface and to each other, with filaments below arranged perpendicularly to one another but without crossing. Most of the minerals present were allochthonous grains of calcium phosphate biocorroded by cyanobacteria. The second zone was below a depth of 1 mm and made up of accretion layers with large deposits of calcium carbonate and smaller amounts of calcium phosphate of biological origin. The predominance of a particular type of mineral precipitation with a characteristic external shape and/or texture within a zone, e.g., sponge-like deposits of calcium phosphate, appears to depend on the taxa of the prevailing microorganisms
Is part ofInternational Microbiology, 2006, vol. 9, núm. 4, p. 289-296
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