The first stand-alone textbook for at least ten years on this increasingly hot topic in times of global climate change and sustainability in ecosystems.
Ecological biochemistry refers to the interaction of organisms with their abiotic environment and other organisms by chemical means. Biotic and abiotic factors determine the biochemical flexibility of organisms, which otherwise easily adapt to environmental changes by altering their metabolism. Sessile plants, in particular, have evolved intricate biochemical response mechanisms to fit into a changing environment. Ecological Biochemistry covers the chemistry behind these interactions, bottom up from the atomic to the system level.
An introductory part explains the physico-chemical basis and biochemical roots of living cells, leading to secondary metabolites as crucial bridges between organisms and the respective ecosystem. The focus then shifts to the biochemical interactions of plants, fungi and bacteria within terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems with the aim of linking biochemical insights to ecological research, also in human-influenced habitats. A section is devoted to methodology, which allows network-based analyses of molecular processes underlying systems phenomena.
PART I : BASICS OF LIFE
Basic biochemical roots (D.H. Nies)
Specialized plant metabolites: diversity and biosynthesis (A. Tissier, J. Ziegler, T. Vogt)
Evolution of secondary metabolism in plants (M. Wink)
PART II : ECOLOGICAL SIGNATURES OF LIFE
Systematics of life, its early evolution, and diversity of its ecological function (D.H. Nies)
Communities and ecosystem functioning (H. Rennenberg)
Food chains and nutrient cycles (F. Bärlocher, H. Rennenberg)
PART III : BIOCHEMICAL RESPONSE TO PHYSICOCHEMICAL STRESS (ABIOTIC STRESS)
Information processing and survival strategies (I. Heilmann)
Oxygen (K.-J. Dietz)
Light (T. Kretsch)
Water (W. Zschiesche, K. Humbeck)
Mineral requirement and insufficiencies (E. Peiter)
Mineral deficiencies: Carnivorous plants and fungi (G.-J. Krauss, G. Krauss)
Excess of metals (D.H. Nies, E. Freisinger, G.-J. Krauss)
Xenobiotics from human impacts (M. Solé, D. Schlosser)
PART IV: ORGANISMAL INTERACTIONS (BIOTIC STRESS)
The biofilm mode of life (H.-C. Flemming)
Rhizosphere interactions (S. Schrey, A. Hartmann, R. Hampp)
Plant animal dialogues ( S. Preiß, J. Degenhardt, J. Gershenzon )
PART V: THE METHODOLOGICAL PLATFORM
Sensing of pollutant effects and bioremediation (G.-J. Krauss, D. Schlosser)
The -omics tool box (D. Schaumlöffel)
Microscope techniques and single cell analysis (B. Hause, G. Hause)
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Gerd-Joachim Krauss and Dietrich H. Nies are both full professors at the University of Halle. Gerd-Joachim Krauss is working on Ecological and Plant Biochemistry, Dietrich H. Nies work on Molecular Microbiology. They are supported by a team of 26 other scientists and lecturers from Germany, Canada and France.