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By Don A. Cowan

This publication brings jointly a number of the world’s best specialists within the fields of Antarctic terrestrial soil ecology, supplying a finished and fully updated research of the prestige of Antarctic soil microbiology.

Antarctic terrestrial soils symbolize some of the most severe environments in the world. as soon as considered mostly sterile, it truly is referred to now that those diversified and sometimes really good severe habitats harbor a truly wide selection of other microorganisms.

Antarctic soil groups are really easy, yet no longer unsophisticated. fresh phylogenetic and microscopic reviews have verified that those groups have good demonstrated trophic structuring and play an important function in nutrient biking in those chilly and sometimes dry wilderness ecosystems. they're strangely aware of swap and probably delicate to climatic perturbation.

Antarctic terrestrial soils additionally harbor really expert ‘refuge’habitats, the place microbial groups strengthen below (and inside) translucent rocks. those cryptic habitats provide certain types for realizing the actual and organic ‘drivers’ of group improvement, functionality and evolution.

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Extra info for Antarctic Terrestrial Microbiology: Physical and Biological Properties of Antarctic Soils

Example text

Given several recent studies showing the local and regional uniqueness of soil microbial communities (Lee et al. 2012; Chong et al. 2012), the transfer of soil bacteria between regions of the continent may be of paramount immediate concern to the biosecurity of the ecosystem as repercussions of such transfers are not yet fully understood (Hughes et al. 2010; Cowan et al. 2011). Shifts in bacterial communities in response to hydrocarbon contamination have been reported in several Antarctic soils (Aislabie et al.

1997) and Ma et al. (2000) described detection and characterization of fungi trapped in glacial ice from Greenland, and the oldest glacial ice from which viable organisms have been recovered was 750,000 years old from Western China (Christner et al. 2003). This work has been extended to fungal recovery in Antarctic ice ranging in age from less than 500 to approximately 200,000 years old, demonstrating that most of the fungi recovered were similar to contemporary fungi, and revealing a higher number of ascomycetes than basidiomycetes (Patel 2006).

This is particularly problematic for Antarctic fungi, which very rarely form macroscopic fruiting structures. An exception is shown in Fig. 1, a fruiting body of Galerina autumnalis. Mushrooms and other macroscopic fruiting bodies of fungi are not common in Antarctica but they can be found infrequently on the Peninsula. 2. Occurrence correlations with appropriate environmental variables such as organic matter. Examples are frequently isolated species from highly specialized substrata, such as the keratinophilic Geomyces pannorum, which Vishniac (1996) described as ‘‘probably indigenous’’.

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