About this Research Topic
The microbiology of water (hydrosphere) and the earth (lithosphere) have been reasonably well characterised, conversely the microbiology of the atmosphere is a relatively new area for research. Research in this field, which we refer to as “aero-microbiology” (another term, aerobiology, refers to all airborne biota), holds exciting opportunities for improved understanding of the connectivity between microbial habitats, diversity and processes. We restrict our focus here to natural outdoor environments, since the microbiology of the built environment has been well studied due to public health implications.
We identify six key themes that warrant particular focus in this Research Topic:
1. Biodiversity of airborne propagules
2. The atmosphere as a microbial habitat
3. Role of microorganisms in atmospheric processes
4. Aerial-aquatic interactions in aero-microbiology
5. High altitude aero-microbiology and the limits of life
6. Methodological development in aero-microbiology research
It is hoped that this collection of articles will form the basis for a more holistic understanding of how microorganisms interact with the atmosphere, and highlight the importance of this area of microbiology to other topics such as atmospheric chemistry, biogeochemistry and ecology.
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.