Antarctic Terrestrial Microbiology

Physical and Biological Properties of Antarctic Soils

  • Don A. Cowan

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-vi
  2. Don A. Cowan
    Pages 1-8
  3. Eric M. Bottos, Joshua W. Scarrow, Stephen D. J. Archer, Ian R. McDonald, S. Craig Cary
    Pages 9-33
  4. Brett E. Arenz, Robert A. Blanchette, Roberta L. Farrell
    Pages 35-53
  5. Ian D. Hogg, Mark I. Stevens, Diana H. Wall
    Pages 55-78
  6. D. W. Hopkins, M. M. Swanson, M. E. Taliansky
    Pages 79-90
  7. Jackie M. Aislabie, Phil M. Novis, Belinda Ferrari
    Pages 91-113
  8. Etienne Yergeau
    Pages 115-129
  9. Burkhard Büdel, Claudia Colesie
    Pages 131-161
  10. Thulani P. Makhalanyane, Stephen B. Pointing, Don A. Cowan
    Pages 163-179
  11. Craig W. Herbold, Ian R. McDonald, S. Craig Cary
    Pages 181-215
  12. Jacqueline Goordial, Lyle Whyte
    Pages 217-232
  13. D. W. Hopkins, K. K. Newsham, J. A. J. Dungait
    Pages 233-248
  14. Etienne Yergeau
    Pages 249-261
  15. Kevin A. Hughes
    Pages 263-277
  16. Peyman Zawar-Reza, Marwan Katurji
    Pages 279-292
  17. J. G. Bockheim
    Pages 293-315
  18. Bryan C. Storey
    Pages 317-328

About this book


This book brings together many of the world’s leading experts in the fields of Antarctic terrestrial soil ecology, providing a comprehensive and completely up-to-date analysis of the status of Antarctic soil microbiology.

Antarctic terrestrial soils represent one of the most extreme environments on Earth.  Once thought to be largely sterile, it is now known that these diverse and often specialized extreme habitats harbor a very wide range of different microorganisms.

Antarctic soil communities are relatively simple, but not unsophisticated.  Recent phylogenetic and microscopic studies have demonstrated that these communities have well established trophic structuring, and play a significant role in nutrient cycling in these cold, and often dry desert ecosystems. They are surprisingly responsive to change, and potentially sensitive to climatic perturbation.

Antarctic terrestrial soils also harbor specialized ‘refuge’habitats, where microbial communities develop under (and within) translucent rocks. These cryptic habitats offer unique models for understanding the physical and biological ‘drivers’ of community development, function and evolution.


Antarctic extremophiles microbial ecology psychrotolerant soil trophic structure

Editors and affiliations

  • Don A. Cowan
    • 1
  1. 1.University of PretoriaPretoriaSouth Africa

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