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Terra Incognita: microbial life in the terrestrial cryosphere

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About this Research Topic

Compared with the rest of the world, relatively little is known about microorganisms in the ecosystems that make up the terrestrial cryosphere, although these ecosystems cover large areas of Earth and microorganisms (Bacteria, Archaea, Eukaryotes and viruses) are the dominating life forms therein. In this ...

Compared with the rest of the world, relatively little is known about microorganisms in the ecosystems that make up the terrestrial cryosphere, although these ecosystems cover large areas of Earth and microorganisms (Bacteria, Archaea, Eukaryotes and viruses) are the dominating life forms therein. In this special research topic hosted by Frontiers in Terrestrial Microbiology and Frontiers in Extreme Microbiology, studies from different cryosphere compartments such as glaciers and snow, permafrost soils, lakes (sub-glacial and thermokarst) and atmosphere are compiled to illustrate the progress in our understanding of the resident microbiota and their critical role in ecosytem functioning.
The scope covers many scales ranging from psychrophilic species and their adaptations to extreme conditions to complex communities, their diversity and function and their interactions with the environment. This is a crucial time to bring together knowledge about the microbial ecology of these rapidly changing ecosystems particularly vulnerable to climate change and anthropogenic impacts.


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