__ mat

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Possible Answers: PLACE.

Last seen on: LA Times Crossword 27 May 2018, Sunday

Random information on the term “__ mat”:

Algal mat is one of many types of microbial mat formed on the water surface or on the surface of rocks. It is made out of blue-green cyanobacteria and sediments. It is formed by having alteration layers between the blue-green bacteria and sediments, creating dark-laminated layers. Stromatolites are prime examples of algal mat. Algal mats played an important role in the Great Oxidation Event on Earth some 2.3 billion years ago. Overpopulation of algal mat may be an ecological problem, when mats disrupt the other underwater marine life by blocking the sunlight.

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Cyanobacteria found in sedimentary rocks shows that the bacteria started life on Earth during the Pre-Cambrian age. Fossilized cyanobacteria are commonly found in rocks that date back to Mesoproterozoic. Cyanobacteria are photoautotroph in nature; meaning they convert carbon dioxide and absorbed sunlight into food and energy via photosynthesis. They are also able to fix atmospheric nitrogen and convert it into the biologically-usable form (Paerl, Pinkney and Steppe, 2000). This gives them competitive advantage over other organisms that may be limited by the shortage of biologically available nitrogen. The cyanobacteria colonies contain two types of cells, the regular cells with chlorophyll carrying out the photosynthesis, and heterocysts which fix nitrogen. Heterocysts have thick walls and lack chlorophyll, both of which limits the exposure of heterocysts to oxygen which presence inhibits nitrogen fixation. For the same reason nitrogen fixation may be limited to night time when with the shutdown of photosynthesis in the photosynthetic cells, oxygen is no longer produced and therefore does not interfere with nitrogen fixation.

__ mat on Wikipedia