Document Type

Article

Journal/Book Title

Global Ecology and Conservation

Publication Date

11-5-2018

Publisher

Elsevier

Volume

16

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Abstract

We report field tests of an instrument using multi-wavelength excitation and detection of fluorescence capable of detection and discrimination of viable cells, non-viable cells (not metabolically active but not decomposed), and spores in extreme arid environments where low microbial abundances are expected. These new results are presented for cold and dry volcanic habitats worldwide, e.g., the arid core of the Atacama Desert, Mt. Kilimanjaro glacier and Kibo area, Pali Aike caldera, and the western US volcanic and desert soils in Utah, Idaho, Nevada, and California. Our results are comparable to previous studies reported in the literature for the same environments. We find these extreme environments there have a base level of ∼103 - 104 cells/g. This is the lower limit of detectable life on terrestrial soils, as we did not observe any quantities less than this, even though the described instrumentation is capable of such measurements. Samples from more conventional environments show much higher microbial cell densities, ca. 108 cells/g or higher, with this same instrument. This base level of microbial life is nearly equal in all the measurements from the extreme environments both hot and cold, and is likely controlled primarily by the sparse nutrients rather than temperature.

First Page

1

Last Page

16

Included in

Biology Commons

Share

COinS
 
 

To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.