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Microbial Life of Cave Systems


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<p>The earth's subsurface contains abundant and active microbial biomass, living in water, occupying pore space, and colonizing mineral and rock surfaces. Caves are one type of subsurface habitat, being natural, solutionally- or collapse-enlarged openings in rock. Within the past 30 years, there has been an increase in the number of microbiology studies from cave environments to understand cave ecology, cave geology, and even the origins of life. By emphasizing the microbial life of caves, and the ecological processes and geological consequences attributed to microbes, this book provides the first authoritative and comprehensive account of the microbial life of caves for students, professionals, and general readers.</p>
<p>The series publishes topical volumes in the rapidly growing field of microbial life in extreme environments. This includes all habitats at the edge of survivability ranging from equatorial to polar regions, from marine to terrestrial environments and from surface to deep ecosystems. Environmental niches that are for instance characterized by extraordinarily hot, cold, acidic, alkaline or dry conditions, or which are subjected to high salinity, radiation or pressure, are inhabited by extremophilic microorganisms. The vast majority of these extremophiles, representing numerous and diverse lineages from across the three domains of life: Bacteria, Archaea and Eukarya.<br>Special emphasis is placed on the understanding of the structure and function of microbial communities in extreme environments, their life strategies and adaptation mechanisms as well as their reaction to changing environmental conditions. This book series will be a useful reference for advancing our understanding of the origin of life and for exploring the biotechnology potential of these fascinating microorganisms.<br></p>
<p><strong>Annette Summers Engel,</strong> University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Tennessee, USA</p>

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