This post is also available in: deDeutsch

Why are there

red

glaciers?

Phototrophic bacteria &

snow algae

Like plants, some bacteria and algae can get their energy from sunlight. They all have certain preferences for the colour of light, some like blue, others red light. They take over the colour and therefor you can also see red glaciers. And that’s why they have different dye-particles (pigments), which can be seen in the microscope.  

Pictures: Red snow in the alps during the summer. The species is called „Chlamydomonas nivalis“, a green alga. Field picture in Küthai, 2000 m.
„Ancylonema“, this alga only grows on glacial ice. They colour the ice surface light grey.
Audience microscope

Phototrophic bacteria &

snow algae

Project description

Phototrophic bacteria and algae occur in alpine lakes, as well as on glacier surfaces. Their preferences for light of different wavelengths expresses in different pigmentations. One idea is to use a prism to create colourful projection surfaces that stimulate growth of different bacteria / algae species. Presentation of Engelmann’s bacterial experiment for the photosynthesis of algae filaments.

Idea/Organization

Institute of Botany (Kranner), Institute of Microbiology (Wagner)