Extreme Environments

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

3 Scopus citations


Extreme environments are important to environmental microbiologists because they potentially harbor unique microorganisms with activities and metabolic strategies that are not only of scientific interest, but also have commercial potential. Examples of such commercial applications include potentially novel enzymes adapted to temperature or pH extremes. Here are described six different extreme environments. These are: the low temperature environment of the McMurdo Dry Valleys in Antarctica; the high temperature environment of the geothermal hot springs in Yellowstone National Park; the Atacama Desert in Chile characterized by aridity and UV stress; and three environments where low levels of organic matter and the absence of photosynthesis have resulted in ecosystems dominated by chemoautotrophic microorganisms. These latter are: marine deep-sea hydrothermal vents; an acid mine drainage system; and a carbonate cave located in the Sonora Desert.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationEnvironmental Microbiology
Subtitle of host publicationThird Edition
PublisherElsevier Inc.
Number of pages15
ISBN (Print)9780123946263
StatePublished - 2015


  • Acid mine drainage
  • Antarctica
  • Atacama Desert
  • Extreme environments
  • Geothermal hot springs
  • Kartchner Caverns
  • Marine deep-sea hydrothermal vents
  • McMurdo Dry Valleys

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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