Encyclopedia of Geobiology

2011 Edition
| Editors: Joachim Reitner, Volker Thiel


Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4020-9212-1_236

Silicoflagellates are planktonic, microscopic algae with siliceous skeletons, characterized by their simple geometries and remarkable variability. Taxonomically, they belong to different classes of the Stramenopiles and possess complex plastids derived from secondary endosymbiosis (see entry  Symbiosis). Silicoflagellate skeletons may have considerable potential as environmental indicators and are common in fossil deposits, dating back to the middle Cretaceous (ca. 120 Ma), with species diversity reaching a peak in the Miocene (ca. 23–25 Ma). Today, only a single genus Dictyocha with approximately five recognized species exists. For more details, please refer to entry “Algae (Eukaryotic)).”

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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011