Now in the Swiss Alps: Snow Algae

Now is the season to see the Snow Algae in the Swiss Mountains! 

This picture has been taken by Esther Belser, our Head of Marketing, during a hiking trip in Pontresina.

Snow algae are single-cell algae with the unique ability to actively live at a temperature of approximately 0 °C. In contrast, most other plants either reduce their metabolic activities or are simply unable to survive at this temperature.

Snow algae grow in areas where there is either an Alpine or polar climate in which there is snow all year round (permanent snow). Therefore, these extremophile algae have the ability to thrive in freezing water with very low nutrient levels.

The algae adapt to their environment by modifying their pigmentation: At the beginning of winter, the snow algae enter into a dormant phase, resting in the form of red spores under the snow. In fact, the algae turn red as they produce considerably more carotenoid pigments than chlorophyll ones in order to protect against UV rays.

Find out more about our product Snow Algae here.

schnee alge
Christine Meier
Written by

Christine Meier