Bacterial Biogeochemistry

The Ecophysiology of Mineral Cycling


  • Tom Fenchel, University of Copenhagen, Denmark
  • Henry Blackburn, University of Aarhus, Denmark
  • Gary King, University of Maine, Walpole, U.S.A.

Bacterial Biogeochemistry, Third Edition focuses on bacterial metabolism and its relevance to the environment, including the decomposition of soil, food chains, nitrogen fixation, assimilation and reduction of carbon nitrogen and sulfur, and microbial symbiosis. The scope of the new edition has broadened to provide a historical perspective, and covers in greater depth topics such as bioenergetic processes, characteristics of microbial communities, spatial heterogeneity, transport mechanisms, microbial biofilms, extreme environments and evolution of biogeochemical cycles.
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Graduate students and researchers in microbiology, ecology and limnology, particularly soil and sediments, geochemists, those interested in plant nutrition, marine microbiology, micobial metabolism, and the global change research community.


Book information

  • Published: July 2012
  • ISBN: 978-0-12-415836-8


"The authors of this book have succeeded with such a synthesis by creating a current, accurate and lucid review of bacterial biogeochemistry. The 10 chapters of this book describe, in logical order, the myriad of biogeochemical reactions in soils, aqueous systems and the atmosphere that are mediated by prokaryotic organisms. Throughout each chapter the fundamentals of microbial processes are presented in a way that allows for easy extrapolation to applied problems, including environmental concerns. This book would serve as a valuable resource for all those, students to professionals, who require an accurate, current, yet broadly based review of this rapidly evolving discipline."

Table of Contents

Preface.Introduction.General Considerations:Bacterial Metabolism.Bioenergetics of Microbial Metabolism.Transport Mechanisms and Structure of Microbial Communities.Mineral Cycles:Hydrolysis of Organic Polymers.Comparison of Element Cycles.The Water Column:Prokaryotic Primary Producers.Water Column Bacteria and Mineralisation.Biogeochemical Cycling in Soils:Soil Water as a Master Variable.Responses to Plant Organic Matter.Responses of Soil Biogeochemistry to Disturbance and Change.Aquatic Sediments:Comparison of Freshwater and Marine Sediments.The Carbon Cycle.The Nitrogen Cycle.The Phosphorus Cycle.Manganese and Iron.Microbial Mats and Stratified Water Columns:Mats Based on Colourless Sulfur Bacteria.Cyanobacterial Mats.Other Types of Mats.Stratified Water Columns.Symbiotic Systems:The Role of Symbiosis in the Biosphere.Symbiotic Polymer Degradation.Symbiotic Nitrogen Fixation.Autotrophic Bacteria as Symbionts.Biogeochemistry and Extreme Environments.Microbial Biogeochemical Cycling and the Atmosphere:The Atmosphere as an Elemental Reservoir.Atmospheric Structure and Evolution.Synopsis of Trace Gas Biogeochemistry and Linkages to Climate Change.Trace Gas Dynamics and Climate Change:An Analysis of Methane Production and Consumption. Summary and Conclusion.Origins and Evolution of Biogeochemical Cycles:Biogeochemical Cycles and Thermodynamics.Pre-Biotic Earth and Mineral Cycles.Theoretical Perspectives on the Origin of Life.Evolution of Biogeochemical Cycles.Appendix:Thermodynamics and Calculation of Energy Yields of Metabolic Processes.