The Great Smoky Mountains National Park (North Carolina and Tennessee, USA) generally is considered to harbor an extraordinarily diverse flora and fauna. Since 1997, a large number of biologists have investigated biodiversity in the park as part of the All Taxa Biodiversity Inventory (ATBI). Within the ATBI, algae of the park have been studied since 1999. Many desmid species occur in various aquatic and subaerial habitats throughout the park and their diversity is summarized in the present study. A total of 125 desmid taxa have been found in the park since the first study published in 1944.
The present study expands the most recent published species list (Johansen et al. 2004) by 106 additional taxa, which are listed, described and depicted on plates. In addition to new records for the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, one new species, Mesotaenium testaceovaginatum, is described.
Material and Methods 9
Family Desmidiaceae 11
Family Closteriaceae 26
Family Peniaceae 29
Family Gonatozygaceae 29
Family Mesotaeniaceae 29
"The book represents the Desmidiales study from the Great Smoky Mountains National Park (GSMNP), which is the largest contiguous preserved natural area East of the Rocky Mountains. This place is notable especially diverse flora caused by topographical and geological diversity. This variety is charcteristic of a group of Chlorophyta, namely the order Desmidiales. Therefore, the waters in GSMNP, with their generally low pH, as well as oligotrophic conditions in freshwater habitats and most of the substrata, represent a great potential with regard to desmid diversity. However, the most characteristic desmid habitat (peat bogs) is not very well represented in the park.
Many various habitats were studies by authors, aquatic and subaerial habitats (rock surface, waterfalls, drip walls, soil, ponds) and several sampling methods were used to collect these algae. The treatise gives an overview about the taxa published from that area. Total of 125 desmid taxa were found in the GSMNP, which are listed in Table 1. The finder and the date of finding are presented in that table too, and the taxa are showed as a new record, which is found in the present study for the first time or found previously but not published so far. In addition to new records for the area, one species (Mesotaenium testaceovaginatum) is described as new one.
The study gives description about all the 125 taxa with the specification of the habitats. The illustrations of the presented species are shown in 6 plates, and 3 photos are published about the new taxon. I can recommend this book, which gives a comprehensive representation of the Desmidiales flora found on the studies area. This useful book gives description and illustration of the presented taxa, which has a great importance at a hardly determinable group of algae."
– G. Fehér, Acta Botanica Hungarica 51(1-2) (2009)