Extremophiles in Antarctica: Life at Low Temperatures

Pearce, David (2017) Extremophiles in Antarctica: Life at Low Temperatures. In: Adaption of Microbial Life to Environmental Extremes [2nd ed.]. Springer, pp. 99-131. ISBN 978-3-319-48325-2

Full text not available from this repository.
Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-48327-6_5


In this chapter we will explore the different adaptations of extremophiles to life in the extreme cold. We generally forget that the Earth is mostly cold and that most ecosystems are exposed to temperatures that are permanently below 5 °C. Such low mean temperatures mainly arise from the fact that ~70 % of the Earth’s surface is covered by oceans that have a constant temperature of 4–5 °C (below a depth of 1,000 m), irrespective of the latitude. The polar regions account for another 15 % of the surface, to which the glacier and alpine regions must also be added. Here, we will take an illustrated look in particular at the Antarctic environment, as it is by far the coldest environment on Earth – the lowest temperature on the surface of the Earth (−89.2 °C) was recorded at the Russian Vostok Station, at the centre of the East Antarctic ice sheet. Antarctica is a place where organisms are often subjected to combined stresses including desiccation, limited nutrient availability, high salinity, adverse solar radiation and low biochemical activity. The incredibly harsh environment of the Antarctic continent precludes life in most of its forms, and the microorganisms are therefore dominant.

Item Type: Book Section
Subjects: C500 Microbiology
Department: Faculties > Health and Life Sciences > Applied Sciences
Depositing User: Becky Skoyles
Date Deposited: 05 Jul 2018 09:27
Last Modified: 11 Oct 2019 20:00
URI: http://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/34820

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