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Why are there



Phototrophic bacteria &

snow algae

Like plants, some bacteria and algae can get their energy from sunlight. They all have certain preferences for the color of light, some like blue, others red light. They take on the color and therefore you can see red glaciers. And that’s why they have different color-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 color 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 a colorful projection on the surfaces which stimulates the growth of different bacteria / algae species. Presentation of Engelmann’s bacterial experiment for the photosynthesis of algae-filaments.


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