This volume provides a comprehensive coverage of the principal extreme soil ecosystems of natural and anthropogenic origin. Extreme soils oppose chemical or physical limits to colonization by most soil organisms and present the microbiologist with exciting opportunities.
Described here are fascinating environments, such as permafrost, saline, arid and geothermal soils, peatlands, subsurface geomaterial rich in sulfidic ore, Martian soils, hydrocarbon-contaminated hot desert and Antarctic soils, as well as fire-impacted, heavy-metal and radionuclide contaminated soils. Those environments lend themselves both to timely descriptions of colonizing organisms and their activities, and to thoughtful examination of community structure and microbial evolution.
Extreme soils provide invaluable examples of microbial adaptations in coping with hostile habitats. Being home to a remarkable diversity, they are ideal models for scientific exploration and propose solutions to biotechnology and bioremediation challenges.
The chapters have been presented clearly, so as to trigger curiosity and stimulate the imagination. It is hoped that the reader will find the volume to fulfill their expectations in regard to a topic as thrilling as microbiology of extreme soils. [...] one will therefore find much to admire in this impressive work of erudition and collaborative scholarship and dedicated research. [...] a tremendously readable and engaging book, eminently suitable for researchers and advanced students in microbiology, soil biology, environmental protection and biotechnology and bioremediation.
- Current Engineering Practice, 2008
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