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Environments examined include: snow and ice; benthic marine; sea ice; lakes and streams; marginal ice; soil; the open ocean; rock. In the more extreme habitats of this region microscopic life forms constitute the entire biology of the habitat, but in all antarctic environments the microbial communities play a major and often dominant role in the transfer of carbon, nutrients and energy throughout the ecosystem. The book examines the major features of the chemical and physical environment in each habitat, and the influence of these features on the population structure and dynamics of their microbiota.
...important for all who are interested in the effects of global climate change on the Earth's biota...highly recommended for anyone interested in polar regions, microbial ecology, or ecosystem dynamics. --Bioscience "...the limited data are so well organized and skillfully presented that the book will both summarize existing knowledge for many biologists and serve as a guide and primer for the vital microbial ecology yet to be done." American Scientist
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