Pinnularia brebissonii

(Kütz.) Rabenh. 1864      Category: Symmetrical biraphid
BASIONYM: Navicula brebissonii Kütz. 1844

REPORTED AS: Pinnularia microstauron var. brebissonii (Krammer and Lange-Bertalot 1986, p. 426, fig. 191: 7-9) 

Pinnularia borealis var. lanceolata


Pinnularia divergentissima

LM scalebar = 10 µm = 40 pixels.


Contributor: Loren Bahls - March 2014
Length Range: 20-57 µm
Width Range: 7.3-10.9 µm
Striae in 10 µm: 10-13


Valves are fusiform to nearly elliptic , with parallel margins in larger specimens. The apices are broadly apiculate. The axial area is narrow near the apices, becoming wider toward the central area. The central area is a broad, rhombic fascia. The raphe is weakly lateral and straight. Proximal raphe ends are distinctly inflated and laterally deflected. Terminal raphe fissures are deflected to the primary valve side and are shaped like question marks. Striae are strongly radiate near the central area, becoming parallel, then convergent near the apices.

Pinnularia brebissonii is part of a large species complex, including a number of varieties (Krammer 2000). The specimens here conform to the nominate variety.

Original Description

Basionym: Navicula brebissonii
Author: Kütz. 1844
Length Range: µm
Striae in 10 µm:

Original Description

Original Images

Cite This Page:
Bahls, L. (2014). Pinnularia brebissonii. In Diatoms of the United States. Retrieved April 26, 2018, from

Species: Pinnularia brebissonii

Contributor: Loren Bahls

Reviewer: Marina Potapova


Krammer, K. (1992). Die Gattung Pinnularia in Bayern. Hoppea 52: 1-308.

Krammer, K. (2000). The genus Pinnularia. The Diatoms of Europe. Diatoms of Inland Waters and Comparable Habitats 1: 1-703.

Krammer, K. and Lange-Bertalot, H. (1986). Bacillariophyceae. 1. Teil: Naviculaceae. In: Ettl, H., J. Gerloff, H. Heynig and D. Mollenhauer (eds.) Süsswasserflora von Mitteleuropa, Band 2/1. Gustav Fisher Verlag, Jena. 876 pp.

Kützing, F.T. (1844). Die kieselschaligen Bacillarien oder Diatomeen. Nordhausen. 152 pp., 30 pls.

Patrick, R.M. and Reimer, C.W. (1966). The Diatoms of the United States exclusive of Alaska and Hawaii, V. 1. Monographs of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia 13.

Rabenhorst, L.G. (1864). Flora Europaea Algarum aquae dulcis et submarinae. Sectio I. Algas diatomaceas complectens, cum figuris generum omnium xylographice impressis. Eduardum Kummerum, Lipsiae 359 pp.

Links & ID's

Index Nominum Algarum (INA)

Transfer INA

California Academy of Sciences (CAS)

Pinnularia brebissonii CAS

NCBI Genbank Taxonomy

Pinnularia brebissonii NCBI

North American Diatom Ecological Database (NADED)

NADED ID: 52018

Autecology Discussion

The cosmopolitan species Pinnularia brebissonii comprises a large infraspecific complex of varieties, each with rather narrow autecological preferences (Krammer 2000). Specimens of P. brebissonii pictured here are from a shallow alkaline lake in Glacier National Park (photo below) and a cattail marsh adjacent to Interstate 90 in Butte, Montana. The lake, Hidden Meadow Lake, had a pH of 7.82 and a specific conductance of 332 µS/cm.


Hidden Meadow Lake, Glacier National Park, Montana: home of Pinnularia brebissonii.


EMAP Assessment

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) western Environmental Monitoring and Assessment Program (EMAP) study was completed during the years 2000-2004 (see citations at bottom of this page). Over 1200 streams and rivers in 12 western states (Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington and Wyoming) were selected for sampling based on a stratified randomized design. This type of design insures that ecological resources are sampled in proportion to their actual geographical presence. Stratified randomized design also allows for estimates of stream length with a known confidence in several “condition classes” (good or least-disturbed, intermediately-disturbed, and poor or most-disturbed) for biotic condition, chemistry and habitat.

EMAP Distribution

Pinnularia brebissonii

EMAP Response Plots

Pinnularia brebissonii

EMAP citations

Results are published in:

Johnson, T., Hermann, K., Spaulding, S., Beyea, B., Theel, C., Sada, R., Bollman, W., Bowman, J., Larsen, A., Vining, K., Ostermiller, J., Petersen, D. Hargett, E. and Zumberge, J. (2009). An ecological assessment of USEPA Region 8 streams and rivers. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 8 Report, 178 p.

Stoddard, J. L., Peck, D. V., Olsen, A. R., Larsen, D. P., Van Sickle, J., Hawkins, C. P., Hughes, R. M., Whittier, T. R., Lomnicky, G. A., Herlihy, A. T., Kaufman, P. R., Peterson, S. A., Ringold, P. L., Paulsen, S. G., and Blair, R. (2005). Environmental Monitoring and Assessment Program (EMAP) western streams and rivers statistical summary. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Report 620/R-05/006, 1,762 p.

Stoddard, J. L., Peck, D. V., Paulsen, S. G., Van Sickle, J., Hawkins, C. P., Herlihy, A. T., Hughes, R. M., Kaufman, P. R., Larsen, D. P., Lomnicky, G. A., Olsen, A. R., Peterson, S. A., Ringold, P. L., and Whittier, T. R. (2005). An ecological assessment of western streams and rivers. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Report 620/R-05/005, 49 p.