Diatoms are microscopic, single-celled algae that have intricate glass-like outer cell walls partially composed of silicon. Different species of diatoms can be identified based upon the structure of these walls. Diatoms live in water, or even in moist habitats or soils. Many diatom species are planktonic, suspended in water moving at the mercy of its currents, others remain attached to submerged surfaces.
Diatoms reproduce both asexually and sexually. In many species sexual reproduction has never been observed, and the environmental factors that trigger sexual reproduction in diatoms are not well understood.
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