Tuesday, June 7, 2016

A book on river algae

If I had $30 to spare, I might purchase a chapter in a book called "River Algae." The specific chapter is "Biogeography of River Algae" by Morgan L. Vis, professor and department chair of the Department of Environment and Plant Biology at Ohio University. Given what happened last summer on the Ohio, reading up on river algae in general might be interesting if I could follow the scholarly text here.

The entire book looks interesting, even if it is $99 for the ebook and $129 for the printed version, both of which are out of my price range right now.

After the overview comes a 30-page chapter on cyanobacteria, the type that caused last summer's bloom. If you read the excerpt, you see that these algae are responsible for most of the oxygen and nitrogen in the Earth's atmosphere. I guess I could cruise on over to Wikipedia for some of this information, but getting it from a scholarly book such as this feels better.

From the official description of the book:

The content is focused on benthic communities showing how they play an in important role in the river ecosystems. Provides also information on taxonomy of river-inhabiting algal groups, including phylogeny, distribution, collection, preservation and description of the most representative genera of algae in river benthic algal communities.  

The book also approaches the ecology of river algae not to mention the ecological factors influencing abundance, distribution and diversity of river benthic algal communities and their use as bio-indicators, providing an up-to-date information on taxonomy, ecology, methodology and uses, and a great source of research to everyone interested in freshwater algae, limnology, water quality assessment and biodiversity in river ecosystems.

I didn't mean to write so much on a technical book on algae, but some things just get me carried away.

Shell says it will build ethane cracker near Pittsburgh

This is big.

From the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:

Shell Chemicals Appalachia’s long-awaited decision on a multibillion-dollar ethane cracker arrived early this morning and it’s a go. The company plans to build the petrochemical complex on site of the former Horsehead zinc smelter in Potter and Center townships, Beaver County.

The site is along the Ohio River.

Government officials in Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia have wooed such developments from petrochemical companies. Of the three, it looks like West Virginia will be the odd man out.