Bacterial Biogeochemistry, 3rd Edition

The Ecophysiology of Mineral Cycling

Bacterial Biogeochemistry, 3rd Edition,Tom Fenchel,Henry Blackburn,Gary King,ISBN9780124159747

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Academic Press



A current, accurate and lucid review of bacterial biogeochemistry, presenting the fundamentals of microbial processes in a way that allows for easy extrapolation to applied problems, including environmental concerns

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Key Features

  • Provides up-to-date coverage with an enlarged scope, a new historical perspective, and coverage in greater depth of topics of special interest
  • Covers interactions between microbial processes, atmospheric composition and the earth's greenhouse properties
  • Completely rewritten to incorporate all the advances and discoveries of the last 20 years such as applications in the exploration for ore deposits and oil and in remediation of environmental pollution


Bacterial Biogeochemistry, Third Edition focuses on bacterial metabolism and its relevance to the environment, including the decomposition of soil, food chains, nitrogen fixation, assimilation and reduction of carbon nitrogen and sulfur, and microbial symbiosis. The scope of the new edition has broadened to provide a historical perspective, and covers in greater depth topics such as bioenergetic processes, characteristics of microbial communities, spatial heterogeneity, transport mechanisms, microbial biofilms, extreme environments and evolution of biogeochemical cycles.


Graduate students and researchers in microbiology, ecology and limnology, particularly soil and sediments, geochemists, those interested in plant nutrition, marine microbiology, micobial metabolism, and the global change research community.

Tom Fenchel

In 1986, Tom Fenchel was the recipient of the Ecology Institute Prize and the Huntsman Medal for Excellency in Oceanography. He is an honorary member of the Society for General Microbiology and is a Professor of Marine Biology and the Director of the Marine Biological Laboratory at the University of Copenhagen in Denmark. He has authored and co-authored several books and has published about 120 original and review papers on microbial ecology, marine biology and population biology. He holds a Ph.D and a Dr.Sc. from the University of Copenhagen and is a member of the Danish Royal Academy of Sciences and of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.

Affiliations and Expertise

University of Copenhagen, Denmark

Henry Blackburn

Affiliations and Expertise

University of Aarhus, Denmark

Gary King

Gary M. King has received the Distinguished Service Award from the Natural Council of Maine, the President's Creative Achievement Award from the University of Maine, and the Graduate Research and Teaching Award from the College of Science at the University of Maine. He was a Fulbright research fellow in Denmark from 1988-1990 and was the Chief Scientist/Aquanaut Team Leader for the "Aquarius" missions 88-2 and 89-2 and Hydolab 84-5. He received his Ph.D with honors from the University of Georgia, is a professor of Microbiology and Oceanography at the University of Maine, and has published more than 80 papers in refereed scientific journals.

Affiliations and Expertise

University of Maine, Walpole, U.S.A.

Bacterial Biogeochemistry, 3rd Edition



Chapter 1. Bacterial Metabolism

1.1 General Considerations: Functional Properties of Bacteria

1.2 Bacterial Metabolism

1.3 Dissimilatory Metabolism

1.4 Assimilatory Metabolism

1.5 Bioenergetics of Microbial Metabolism

Chapter 2. Transport Mechanisms

2.1 Physical Transport Mechanisms

2.2 Bacterial Motility and Sensory Motile Behaviour

Chapter 3. Degradation of Organic Polymers and Hydrocarbons

3.1 Substrates and the Efficiency of Degradation

3.2 Hydrolytic Enzymes

3.3 Mineral Nutrients and Decomposition Rates of Plant Derived Detritus

3.4 Humic Material and Hydrocarbons

Chapter 4. Comparison of Element Cycles

Chapter 5. The Water Column

5.1 The Composition of Planktonic Prokaryote Communities

5.2 Organic Matter: Composition, Origin and Turnover

5.3 Suspended Particles: Formation and Coupling Between Plankton and Sediments

5.4 Bacteria and Cycling of N and P

5.5 The Fate of Bacterial Cells

5.6 Motile Chemosensory Behaviour

5.7 Stratified Water Columns

Chapter 6. Biogeochemical Cycling in Soils

6.1 Soil Water as a Master Variable for Biogeochemical Cycling

6.2 Water Stress Physiology

6.3 Responses to Plant Organic Matter

6.4 Responses of Soil Biogeochemistry to Disturbance and Change

Chapter 7. Aquatic Sediments

7.1 Vertical Zonation, Vertical Transport, and Mixing

7.2 Element Cycling in Sediments

7.3 Sediments in the Light

7.4 Microbial Mats

Chapter 8. Microbial Biogeochemistry and Extreme Environments

8.1 Microbial Biology and Extreme Environments: An Overview

8.2 Biogeochemistry and Extreme Environments

8.3 Hypersaline Microbial Mats as Model Extreme Environments

8.4 Sub-Surface Environments as Extreme Systems

8.5 Thermophiles and Hyperthermophiles in Extreme Environments

8.6 Additional Considerations

Chapter 9. Symbiotic Systems

9.1 Symbiotic Polymer Degradation

9.2 Symbiotic N2 Fixation

9.3 Autotrophic Bacteria as Symbionts

Chapter 10. Microbial Biogeochemical Cycling and the Atmosphere

10.1 The Atmosphere as an Elemental Reservoir

10.2 Atmospheric Structure and Evolution

10.3 Synopsis of Trace Gas Biogeochemistry and Linkages to Climate Change

10.4 Trace Gas Dynamics and Climate Change: An Analysis of Methane Production and Consumption

Chapter 11. Origins and Evolution of Biogeochemical Cycles

11.1 Biogeochemical Cycles and Thermodynamics

11.2 Pre-Biotic Earth and Mineral Cycles

11.3 The Earliest Life and its Origin

11.4 Precambrian Life and Precambrian Biogeochemical Cycling

APPENDIX 1. Thermodynamics and Calculation of Energy Yields of Metabolic Processes

APPENDIX 2. Phylogeny and Function in Biogeochemical Cycles


Quotes and reviews

@qu:"The authors of this book have succeeded with such a synthesis by creating a current, accurate and lucid review of bacterial biogeochemistry. The 10 chapters of this book describe, in logical order, the myriad of biogeochemical reactions in soils, aqueous systems and the atmosphere that are mediated by prokaryotic organisms. Throughout each chapter the fundamentals of microbial processes are presented in a way that allows for easy extrapolation to applied problems, including environmental concerns. This book would serve as a valuable resource for all those, students to professionals, who require an accurate, current, yet broadly based review of this rapidly evolving discipline."
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