Stephanodiscus alpinus

Hustedt in Huber-Pestalozzi 1942      Category: Centric
BASIONYM: Stephanodiscus alpinus Hustedt in Huber-Pestalozzi 1942

Staurosirella rhomboides


Stephanodiscus niagarae

LM scalebar = 10 µm = 80 pixels.


Contributor: Loren Bahls - December 2013
Diameter: 13.8-30.8 µm
Rows of areolae in 10 µm: 12-14 fascicles


Valves cylindrical with strong concentric undulation. Central area either convex or concave with disorganized areolae. Fascicles number 12-14 in 10 µm. Striae uniseriate near the central area, becoming biseriate near the valve margin. Areolae are relatively coarse. Each interfascicle, or costa, has a spine positioned at the valve margin.

Scanning electron micrograph images and descriptions have been published by Håkansson (2002), Håkansson and Kling (1989), and Krammer and Lange-Bertalot (1991).

Original Description

Basionym: Stephanodiscus alpinus
Author: Hustedt in Huber-Pestalozzi 1942
Diameter: µm
Rows of areolae in 10 µm:

Original Description

Original Images

Cite This Page:
Bahls, L. (2013). Stephanodiscus alpinus. In Diatoms of the United States. Retrieved October 25, 2016, from

Species: Stephanodiscus alpinus

Contributor: Loren Bahls

Reviewer: Kalina Manoylov


Håkansson, H. and Kling, H. (1989). A light and electron microscope study of previously described and new Stephanodiscus species (Bacillariophyceae) from central and western Canadian lakes, with ecological notes on the species. Diatom Research 4 (2): 269-288.

Huber-Pestalozzi, G. (1942). Das Phytoplankton des Susswasers. Systematik und Biologie. In Die Binnengewasser, A. Thienemann (ed.) 16: 367-549. E Schweizerbart'sche Verlag. Stuttgart, Germany.

Krammer, K. and Lange-Bertalot, H. (1991). Bacillariophyceae. 3. Teil: Centrales, Fragilariaceae, Eunotiaceae. In Ettl, H., Gerloff, J., Heynig, H. & Mollenhauer, D. (Eds.). Süsswasserflora von Mitteleuropa. 2(3): 1-576. Gustav Fisher Verlag, Stuttgart, Germany.

Simonsen, R. (1987). Atlas and Catalogue of the Diatom Types of Friedrich Hustedt. J. Cramer, Berlin & Stuttgart 1: 525 pp.

Stoermer, E.F. and Ladewski, T.B. (1976). Apparent optimal temperatures for the occurrence of some common phytoplankton species in southern Lake Michigan. Great Lakes Research Division, Publication 18. 49 pp.

Theriot, E. and Stoermer, E F. (1982). Observations of North American populations of Stephanodiscus (Bacillariophyceae) species attributed to Friedrich Hustedt. Transactions of the American Microscopical Society, 101: 368-374.

Theriot, E., Håkansson, H. and Stoermer, E.F. (1988). Morphometric analysis of Stephanodiscus alpinus (Bacillariophyceae) and its morphology as an indicator of lake trophic status. Phycologia 27 (4): 485-493.

Links & ID's

Index Nominum Algarum (INA)

Original INA

California Academy of Sciences (CAS)

Stephanodiscus alpinus CAS

North American Diatom Ecological Database (NADED)

NADED ID: 64017

Autecology Discussion

Stephanodiscus alpinus was described from Grundlsee in Austria (Hustedt in Huber-Pestalozzi 1942). Krammer and Lange-Bertalot (1991) report it as common in the eastern Alps and that it requires oligotrophic waters with low temperatures. Håkansson and Kling (1989) report S. alpinus from Canadian lakes and Stoermer and Ladewski (1976) report it from the Laurentian Great Lakes, where it prefers water temperatures less than 2 degrees C. The specimens shown here are from two alpine lakes and a stream in the Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park, Alberta and Montana. Here pH measured 7.2 to 8.5 and specific conductance measured 92 to 122 µS/cm.


Cameron Lake at the International Border, Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park, Alberta & Montana: home of Stephanodiscus alpinus.

Credit/Source: Loren Bahls

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

Stephanodiscus alpinus

EMAP Response Plots

Stephanodiscus alpinus

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.