Logo Logo
Switch Language to German
Orsi, William D. (2018): Ecology and evolution of seafloor and subseafloor microbial communities. In: Nature Reviews Microbiology, Vol. 16, No. 11: pp. 671-683
Full text not available from 'Open Access LMU'.


Vast regions of the dark ocean have ultra-slow rates of organic matter sedimentation, and their sediments are oxygenated to great depths yet have low levels of organic matter and cells. Primary production in the oxic seabed is supported by ammonia-oxidizing archaea, whereas in anoxic sediments, novel, uncultivated groups have the potential to produce H-2 and CH4, which fuel anaerobic carbon fixation. Subseafloor bacteria have very low mutation rates, and their evolution is likely dominated by selection of different pre-adapted subseafloor taxa under oxic and anoxic conditions. In addition, the abundance and activity of viruses indicate that they affect the size, structure and selection of subseafloor communities. This Review highlights how microbial communities survive in the unique, nutrient-poor and energy-starved environment of the seabed, where they have the potential to influence global biochemical cycles.