Biologists mapping the vegetation in Icelandic lakes have found marimo, or lake balls, in two locations in Iceland this summer, other than Lake Mývatn in Northeast Iceland where the rapid disappearance of marimo has caused concern.
However, the marimo is much smaller than in Mývatn and considered unlikely to spread. The special ball-shaped growth of green algae is considered to thrive in few locations in the world, mainly in Mývatn and Lake Akan in Japan, ruv.is reports.
“Then there are some lakes that have small balls about four centimeters in diameter,” stated Árni Einarsson, a biologist at the Nature Research Station by Mývatn.
Small marimo has earlier been found in the lakes Kringluvatn, Miklavatn and Snjóholtsvötn in Northeast and East Iceland. This summer the phenomenon was also discovered in Vatnshlíðarvatn in Northwest Iceland and Selvallavatn in the west.
Árni finds it unlikely that the marimo in these lakes will spread and become as large as the lake balls in Mývatn, from where the phenomenon is rapidly disappearing, puzzling biologists.
“We have to study these lakes more closely and are planning to do so next summer. We don’t know enough about the living conditions [of the marimo] in these lakes yet so it’s maybe too early to tell [whether it will spread] but it’s unlikely,” Árni concluded.
He wouldn’t rule out the possibility of the phenomenon being discovered in further lakes.