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Identify the variety of microalgae that inhabit the sources of the Alhambra and the Generalife

A workforce of researchers from the College of Granada, led by the professor of the Division of Portray Fernando Bolívar, works on the identification of microalgae that proliferate, above all, in monumental fountains of the Alhambra and the Generalife.

These microorganisms are colonizers that develop in stone constructions inflicting bodily, aesthetic and chemical alterations. Microalgae stain the stone of the monumental fountains, they preserve water that deteriorates the substrate and its extreme progress can hinder the passage of the water itself.

“They even favor the formation of different organisms that are extra dangerous to the monumental fountains like fungi or mosses ”, explains the researcher Fernando Bolivar.

Identification of microalgae

The monumental complicated of the Alhambra and the Generalife, a UNESCO World Heritage Web site since 1984, comprises numerous fountains, swimming pools or canals that are subjected to colonization by microalgae regardless of the bodily and chemical strategies used in opposition to them. .

They even favor the formation of different organisms extra dangerous to monumental sources corresponding to fungi or mosses.

Fernando Bolivar

From the level of view of heritage conservation, it is rather helpful to know the construction and functioning of the biofilms or tapestries of micro organism that kind the microalgae on the stone.

Scientists examine which species make up these biofilms, that are the most resistant and dangerous and which situations favor their progress. On this manner, environment friendly strategies will be designed to cease their proliferation.

“With our work we intend to make an replace of the most typical sorts of algae that are at present present in the sources of the Alhambra and the Generalife and additionally start the creation of a financial institution of algae from crops of these species ”, Bolívar particulars. The derived cultures can be utilized in subsequent research on new remedies in opposition to biodeterioration.

Scope of the examine

The examine was carried out with 120 samples of algae of 21 totally different fountains of the Alhambra and the Generalife. Most of the photographs have been obtained in the Nasrid Palaces, because of their nice cultural significance, however sources from different areas have additionally been chosen to make a basic analysis of the most typical microalgae in the total monumental complicated.

The scheduled seasonal samplings have made it doable to acquire photographs of the surfaces of the chosen sources, of environments submerged in water, aerial or in areas with intermittent presence of water, corresponding to splashes. From these samples, the sorts of microalgae have been recognized and the cultures made.

The algal communities in the samples are complicated and are made up of totally different species

The algae current in the Alhambra correspond essentially to 3 giant teams: inexperienced algae, cyanobacteria and diatoms, the final group being the least frequent.

Normally, the algal communities in the samples are complicated and made up of totally different species. In instances the place the biofilms hooked up to the sources are composed of a single kind of algae, that is normally a single-celled inexperienced algae.

Field work and sampling.  / UGR

Discipline work and sampling. / UGR

“This may very well be indicating that this kind of algae are extra immune to the remedies at present utilized in the sources, corresponding to chlorine and algaecides, or additionally that they’re the first stone settlers”, The researchers clarify.

No particular genera of algae have been noticed in a given atmosphere, nor nice adjustments in the most frequent genera between totally different seasons of the yr. The composition of the communities is maintained over time, though with some variations, and the genders are normally the identical.

Evaluating the outcomes of this examine with analysis carried out beforehand in the Alhambra, it’s noticed how a big quantity of species had already been registered beforehand, so there have been no main adjustments over time.

“Nevertheless, it appears that in the previous there have been a higher quantity of microalgae in the Alhambra, which will be justified by the consideration at present paid to those organisms and as a result of the sources are extra strictly maintained”, clarifies the researcher from the UGR Fernando Bolívar.

The cultures will likely be used to hold out a number of trials in the future, corresponding to the improvement of new remedies to fight the proliferation of microalgae.

The genres current in the Alhambra are additionally present in different sources studied in Spain and Italy and on different sorts of stone monuments round the world. Due to this fact, the species of the Granada monument are cosmopolitan, with a large distribution, and frequent in stone monuments on the whole.

Laboratory work to fight colonization by microalgae

Together with the identification of the genera, scientists have developed cultures in the laboratory to acquire unyalgal samples, that is, made up of a single species of algae. These cultures are carried out in Petri dishes on solidified agar and stored in chambers at a sure temperature and with a light-dark cycle appropriate for progress.

The cultures will serve to hold out a number of checks in the future, corresponding to the improvement of new remedies to fight the proliferation of microalgae or the examine of these organisms as a supply of pigments and different substances relevant to artwork. Actually, the analysis group at the College of Granada participates in varied initiatives with these aims. Up to now they’ve managed to isolate themselves 10 genera of inexperienced algae and 13 of cyanobacteria.


Bolívar-Galiano F, Abad-Ruiz C, Sánchez-Castillo P, Toscano M, Romero-Noguera J. Frequent Microalgae in the Fountains of the Alhambra and Generalife: Identification and Creation of a Tradition Assortment. Utilized Sciences.

Fountain: SINC

Rights: Artistic Commons.

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Donna Miller

Donna is one of the oldest contributors of Gruntstuff and she has a unique perspective with regards to Science which makes her write news from the Science field. She aims to empower the readers with the delivery of apt factual analysis of various news pieces from Science. Donna has 3.5 years of experience in news-based content creation, and she is now an expert at it. She loves journalism, and that is the reason, she moved from a web content writer to a News writer, and she is loving it. She is a fun-loving woman who has very good connections with every team member. She makes the working environment cheerful which improves the team’s work productivity.

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