Aquatic Environments

Virginia I. Rich, Raina M. Maier

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

16 Scopus citations


Major aquatic environments include: oceans; groundwater; glaciers and ice caps; snow and ice; and lakes and rivers, all of which contain diverse microbial populations. In this chapter we first define the main microbial habitat types including: planktonic (freely suspended); benthic (sediment associated); and biofilms and mats (surface associated). Following this, we examine the microbial lifestyles within these habitats including primary (photoautotrophy and chemoautotrophy) and secondary (chemoheterotrophy and photoheterotrophy) production. Subsequently, we describe general microbial characteristics of marine and freshwater systems including marine viruses. Finally, other notable aquatic environments are discussed including brackish, hypersaline and subterranean waters.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationEnvironmental Microbiology
Subtitle of host publicationThird Edition
PublisherElsevier Inc.
Number of pages28
ISBN (Print)9780123946263
StatePublished - 2015


  • Benthic microbes
  • Biofilms and mats
  • Marine viruses
  • Microbial aquatic environments
  • Photoautotrophy
  • Photoheterotrophy
  • Planktonic microbes
  • The microbial loop

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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