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Academic & Professional Books  Ecology  Behavioural Ecology

Life in Extreme Environments Insights in Biological Capability

By: Guido di Prisco(Editor), Howell GM Edwards(Editor), Josef Elster(Editor), Ad HL Huiskes(Editor)
380 pages, 16 plates with colour photos and colour illustrations; b/w photos, b/w illustrations, tables
Life in Extreme Environments
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  • Life in Extreme Environments ISBN: 9781108724203 Paperback Oct 2020 In stock
  • Life in Extreme Environments ISBN: 9781108498562 Hardback Oct 2020 Not in stock: Usually dispatched within 6 days
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About this book Contents Customer reviews Biography Related titles

About this book

From deep ocean trenches and the geographical poles to outer space, organisms can be found living in remarkably extreme conditions. Life in Extreme Environments provides a captivating account of these systems and their extraordinary inhabitants, 'extremophiles'. A diverse, multidisciplinary group of experts discuss responses and adaptations to change; biodiversity, bioenergetic processes, and biotic and abiotic interactions; polar environments; and life and habitability, including searching for biosignatures in the extraterrestrial environment. The editors emphasize that understanding these systems is important for increasing our knowledge and utilizing their potential, but this remains an understudied area. Given the threat to these environments and their biota caused by climate change and human impact, this timely book also addresses the urgency to document these systems. It will help graduate students and researchers in conservation, marine biology, evolutionary biology, environmental change and astrobiology better understand how life exists in these environments and their susceptibility or resilience to change.


Life in extreme environments: insights in biological capability
Introduction / Guido di Prisco, Ad Huiskes, Josef Elster and Howell Edwards

Part I. Extreme Environments: Responses and Adaptation to Change
1. Physiological traits of the Greenland shark Somniosus microcephalus obtained during the TUNU-expeditions to northeast Greenland / Guido di Prisco, Nicoletta Ademollo, Stefania Ancora, Jørgen S. Christiansen, Daniela Coppola, Simonetta Corsolini, Sara Ferrando, Laura Ghigliotti, Daniela Giordano, Arve Lynghammar, Julius Nielsen, Eva Pisano, Roberta Russo, John F. Steffensen and Cinzia Verde
2. Metazoan adaptation to deep-sea hydrothermal vents / Stéphane Hourdez and Didier Jollivet
3. Extremophiles populating a high level natural radiation area (HLNRA) in northern Iran / Fatemeh Heidari, Hossein Riahi and Zeinab Shariatmadari

Part II. Biodiversity, Bioenergetic Processes, and Biotic and Abiotic Interactions
4. Metazoan life in anoxic marine sediments / Roberto Danovaro, Cinzia Corinaldesi, Antonio Dell'Anno, Cristina Gambi, Antonio Pusceddu and Michael Tangherlini
5. How to survive winter? Adaptation and acclimation strategies of eukaryotic algae in polar terrestrial ecosystems / Martina Pichrtová, Eva Hejduková, Linda Nedbalová and Josef Elster
6. Viral infections of vertebrates including humans in the polar areas / Jirí Cerný, Jana Elsterová, Daniel Ružek and Libor Grubhoffer

Part III. Life in Extreme Environments and the Responses to Change: The Example of Polar Environments
7. Life in the extreme environments of our planet under pressure: climate-induced threats and exploitation opportunities / Melody S. Clark, Cinzia Verde, Silvia Fineschi, Francesco Loreto, Lloyd S. Peck and Guido di Prisco
8. The ecophysiology of responding to change in polar marine benthos / Lloyd S. Peck
9. The Southern Ocean: an extreme environment or just home of unique ecosystems? / Julian Gutt and Gerhard Dieckmann
10. Microorganisms in cryoturbated organic matter of arctic permafrost soils / Jirí Bárta
11. Chemical ecology in the Southern Ocean / Carlos Angulo-Preckler, Paula de Castro-Fernandez, Rafael Martín-Martín, Blanca Figuerola and Conxita Avila
12. Metabolic and taxonomic diversity in Antarctic subglacial environments / Trista J. Vick-Majors, Amanda M. Achberger, Alexander B. Michaud and John C. Priscu

Part IV. Life and Habitability: Introduction
13. Analytical astrobiology: the search for life signatures and the remote detection of biomarkers through their Raman spectral interrogation / Howell G. M. Edwards and Jan Jehlicka
14. Adaptation/acclimatization mechanisms of oxyphototrophic microorganisms and their relevance to astrobiology / Jana Kviderova
15. Life at the extremes / Steven Chown

Customer Reviews


Guido di Prisco was Professor of Biochemistry and CNR (National Research Council) Research Associate, Institute of Biosciences and Bioresources, Naples, Italy. He was the CNR Research Director up until his retirement in 2004. He took part in numerous expeditions in both the Antarctic and Arctic. On September 29 2019, Guido passed away after a serious illness.

Howell Edwards is Emeritus Professor of Molecular Spectroscopy, Faculty of Life Sciences, University of Bradford. He is a member of the International Science Team on the RLS Raman instrument for the ExoMars 2020 mission. He has published over 1300 papers on Raman spectroscopy and its applications.

Josef Elster is Professor in the Centre for Polar Ecology, Faculty of Science, University of South Bohemia, Ceské Budejovice, and senior scientist, Phycology Centre, Institute of Botany, Academy of Science of the Czech Republic, Trebon, Czech Republic. His expertise is in the field and laboratory study of polar cyanobacteria and microalgae. He has led or been a member of many polar research expeditions and was founder of the Czech Arctic Research Infrastructure 'Josef Svoboda Station', Svalbard.

Ad H. L. Huiskes is a guest scientist at the Netherlands Institute of Sea Research (NIOZ), Yerseke, Netherlands. He led the Unit of Polar Ecology at the Netherlands Institute of Ecology, Yerseke, was acting Director of the Centre of Estuarine and Marine Ecology (now a division of NIOZ), and subsequently acting Director of the Yerseke branch of NIOZ. In addition, he was Vice President of the Scientific Committee for Antarctic Research (SCAR, 2008–2012) and Lecturer of Polar Ecology at the University of Groningen.

- Guido di Prisco
- Ad Huiskes
- Josef Elster
- Howell Edwards
- Nicoletta Ademollo
- Stefania Ancora
- Jørgen S. Christiansen
- Daniela Coppola
- Simonetta Corsolini
- Sara Ferrando
- Laura Ghigliotti
- Daniela Giordano
- Arve Lynghammar
- Julius Nielsen
- Eva Pisano
- Roberta Russo
- John F. Steffensen
- Cinzia Verde
- Stéphane Hourdez
- Didier Jollivet
- Fatemeh Heidari
- Hossein Riahi
- Zeinab Shariatmadari
- Roberto Danovaro
- Cinzia Corinaldesi
- Antonio Dell'Anno
- Cristina Gambi
- Antonio Pusceddu
- Michael Tangherlini
- Martina Pichrtová
- Eva Hejduková
- Linda Nedbalová
- Jirí Cerný
- Jana Elsterová
- Daniel Ružek
- Libor Grubhoffer
- Melody S. Clark
- Silvia Fineschi
- Francesco Loreto
- Lloyd S. Peck
- Julian Gutt
- Gerhard Dieckmann
- Carlos Angulo-Preckler
- Paula de Castro-Fernandez
- Rafael Martín-Martín
- Blanca Figuerola
- Conxita Avila
- Trista J. Vick-Majors
- Amanda M. Achberger
- Alexander B. Michaud
- John C. Priscu
- Howell G. M. Edwards
- Jan Jehlicka
- Jana Kviderova
- Steven Chown

By: Guido di Prisco(Editor), Howell GM Edwards(Editor), Josef Elster(Editor), Ad HL Huiskes(Editor)
380 pages, 16 plates with colour photos and colour illustrations; b/w photos, b/w illustrations, tables
Media reviews

"I was initially drawn towards this book because of my interest in the limits to life [...] In that regard I rather misjudged the content of the book, which – probably rather obviously on reflection – is actually about environments characterised by extreme levels of certain limiting conditions (like salinity, acidity, or heat or cold). [...] The value of the volume is to be found in bringing together such a wide range of perspectives on what constitutes an extreme and how organisms cope with those. For the specialist in extreme environments, this book will offer much at the cutting edge of the discipline; for the generalist ecologist, however, I suspect that this will be a book to dip into, rather than one to read from cover to cover."
– Phil Stephens, The Niche 53(4), winter 2022

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