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, Microbial Life of Cave Systems provides the first authoritative and comprehensive account of the microbial life of caves for students, professionals, and general readers.
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