Nature 14/01/20 Why in the mountains the snow is red
the Phenomenon, called “blooming snow”, you can really find in the mountains of Northern Urals and the Caucasus, Antarctica and Siberia, where cold enough. And is this feature teploobmenu plants, which cause “blooming snow”.
Plants with teploobmenu
according to Vladimir Pasechnik, the author of the book “Biology. Bacteria, fungi, plants”, a phenomenon that is called “blossom of snow”, is found in many parts of the world. In our country it can be observed in the Caucasus, in the Northern Urals, in parts of Siberia and in Antarctica. This feature stems from the fact that for the successful development of lower plants, which cause “blooming snow”, must at the same time a large amount of light, and cold enough weather.
And indeed, according to Boris Sergeev in his book “popular physiology,” the kind of single-celled green algae Chlamydomonas snow (Chlamydomonas nivalis), the snow stained red, and is killed at a temperature of +4 C, and in a literal sense “the heat”. Sergeyev suggests that organisms with stronger teploobmenu than hlamidomonada, most likely, does not exist.
due to what turns the snow?
Teploobmenu due to the short duration of the “blossom of snow”. Valeria Kuchmenko, Irina Ponomarev and Olga Kornilova, on the pages of your publication “Biology”, reported that “flowering” is observed only with the thawing of the upper layers of the snowpack. Under the influence of sunlight Chlamydomonas snow, which cells contain a red pigment, begins to proliferate actively, forming a spot of color.
according to Professor Vladimir Pasechnik, the size of color spots formed by hlamidomonada, can reach sizes of several square kilometers. And the color of snow varies depending on the amount of algae, from pale pink to dark purple. However, red is not the only color, which “can” be painted the snow in the mountains and Antarctica.
According to Valerie Kuchmenko, Irina Ponomareva, Olga Kornilova, the color of snow depends on the type, prevailing among the snow algae. If you believe the monograph “Applied aspects of the use of microalgae in agrocenosis” Vyacheslav Lukyanov, Anatoly Stafeeva, a red pigment is contained only in the cells mentioned above Chlamydomonas nivalis. However, Chlamydomonas flavor-virens in the process of reproduction makes the snow yellow-green. But Chlamydomonas pascher, who also lives in the snow layer refers to the blue-green algae. That is why snow in the cooler latitudes may be not only red, but green and blue and brown and yellow, and even black.
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