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Two new species of plankton found in Lake Biwa
Wednesday, February 28, 2001

Kippo News, Volume 7, No. 319

Akihiro Tsuji, a special researcher at the Shiga Prefectural Lake Biwa Museum, has found two new species of phytoplanktons living in Japan's largest lake and named them as Stephano-discus suzuki and Stephano-discus pseudosuzuki. The two planktons thus far prove to be unique to the lake.

The two planktons have been thought to be Stephano-discus carconensis and Stephano-discus carconensis var. pusilla, both found in California. But Tsuji, jointly with Patrick Kociolek, executive director of the California Academy of Sciences, has compared the Lake Biwa planktons with the California planktons in detail and confirmed that the Lake Biwa planktons are new species.

The Lake Biwa planktons, used to be observed in the northern part of the lake in winter, are now considered to be ones originally evolved in and peculiar to the lake. The new species of planktons have been named after Norio Suzuki, the late professor emeritus at the Education Faculty at Shiga University who tackled environmental problems at the lake for many years.


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