dan_wrench's picture

Biofilm

Observed: 8th August 2008 By: dan_wrench
Natural Shropshire - Biodiversity Partnership
IMG 1579
IMG 1574a
IMG 1577
Description:

A biofilm covers a small water filled hollow on a recently pine cleared lowland raised bog. Wind and bubbles emphasise this. Perhaps a sulphate reducing bacteria?

Identifications

No identification made yet.

Species interactions

No interactions present.

Comments

anonymous spotter's picture

Biofilm

Whatever it is, it's an excellent observation. Could natural turpentine residues be partly responsible, I wonder?

wek6's picture

Biofilm

What a strange looking object, it looks like something from Dr.Who!

dan_wrench's picture

biofilm

I'd not thought about turpentine. Would that have to come from burnt pine?

Dan Wrench
Biodiversity Officer - Shropshire
dan.wrench@shropshire.gov.uk
www.NaturalShropshire.org.uk
http://twitter.com/#!/ShropshireBAP

dshubble's picture

turpentine

I think it could come directly from tree resin which I believe used to be tapped a bit like latex to obtain it, maybe also from the wood, though I think it doesn't extract so easily but maybe decay or chemical processes would release it - not sure.

anonymous spotter's picture

Turpentine

It's a natural anti-freeze and wound sealant in some conifers. dshubble is right that it isn't readily extracted, but I'm thinking the felling would have released some. There would also be chainsaw lubricating oil (usually a polymer - nowadays often rapeseed based)around. There would also be the usual soup of decaying organics you find in a bog.
There's also the pH effect - bogs are usually quite acidic - this can cause natural emulsions to "split".
Whatever aided the process, it's almost certainly bacterial/fungal in origin, I'd say.

dshubble's picture

biofilm

I agree with RogerR here i.e. that it's something bacterial and/or fungal/algal with biofilms often caused by multiple species (though sometimes just one). In my opinion, Wikipedia has a pretty good page on this, at least as an introduction: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biofilm