The role of microbial mats in the production of reduced gases on the early Earth

  title={The role of microbial mats in the production of reduced gases on the early Earth},
  author={Tori M. Hoehler and Brad M. Bebout and David J. Des Marais},
The advent of oxygenic photosynthesis on Earth may have increased global biological productivity by a factor of 100–1,000 (ref. 1), profoundly affecting both geochemical and biological evolution. Much of this new productivity probably occurred in microbial mats, which incorporate a range of photosynthetic and anaerobic microorganisms in extremely close physical proximity. The potential contribution of these systems to global biogeochemical change would have depended on the nature of the… Expand
Biogeochemistry of Carbon Cycling in Hypersaline Mats: Linking the Present to the Past through Biosignatures
Prokaryotes are capable of using a wide variety of reduction–oxidation (redox) reactions to fulfill their biochemical energy needs (Nealson and Stahl, 1997; Visscher and Stolz, 2005). This metabolicExpand
Hydrogen production in photosynthetic microbial mats in the Elkhorn Slough estuary, Monterey Bay
Combined biogeochemical and molecular studies of microbial mats collected from Elkhorn Slough, Monterey Bay, California, characterized the mechanisms of H2 production and identified a dominant hydrogenogen. Expand
Long-term manipulations of intact microbial mat communities in a greenhouse collaboratory: simulating earth's present and past field environments.
Photosynthetic microbial mat communities were obtained from marine hypersaline saltern ponds, maintained in a greenhouse facility, and examined for the effects of salinity variations, finding changes in the community that strongly resemble those observed in the field. Expand
Processes of carbonate precipitation in modern microbial mats
The specific role of microbes and the EPS matrix in various mineralization processes are reviewed and examples of modern aquatic (freshwater, marine and hypersaline) and terrestrial microbialites are discussed. Expand
Phototrophic Microbial Mats
In illuminated environments photoautotrophic organisms are the driving force and these mats are subject of this chapter. Expand
Cyanobacterial Mats and Stromatolites
  • L. Stal
  • Environmental Science, Biology
  • 2000
A hypothesis has been developed which conceives a role for extracellular polysaccharides in calcification in cyanobacterial mats, which is often produced as the result of unbalanced growth caused by nitrogen deficiency. Expand
Methane production by microbial mats under low sulphate concentrations
Cyanobacterial mats collected in hypersaline salterns were incubated in a greenhouse under low sulphate concentrations ([ ]) and examined for their primary productivity and emissions of methane andExpand
Molecular Investigations and Experimental Manipulations of Microbial Mats: A View to Paleomicrobial Ecosystems
Four decades of research into the biogeochemistry of microbial mats has revealed miniature ecosystems, as complex as any on Earth, with an astounding diversity of microbial life. Microbial mats fromExpand
Fermentation couples Chloroflexi and sulfate-reducing bacteria to Cyanobacteria in hypersaline microbial mats
Past studies of hydrogen cycling in hypersaline microbial mats have shown an active nighttime cycle, with production largely from Cyanobacteria and consumption from sulfate-reducing bacteria (SRB).Expand
Hydrogen export from intertidal cyanobacterial mats: sources, fluxes and the influence of community composition.
Analyses of community composition by pyrosequencing of 16S rRNA and hoxH genes indicate that filamentous non-heterocystous cyanobacteria were important in the process of H2 export, as was the relatively low abundance and activity of methanogens and sulfate reducers. Expand


Biogeochemical cycles of carbon, sulfur, and free oxygen in a microbial mat
Complete budgets for carbon and oxygen have been constructed for cyanobacterial mats dominated by Microcoleus chthonoplastes from the evaporating ponds of a salt works located in Guerrero Negro, Baja California Sur, Mexico, to infer the various sinks for O2, as well as the sources of carbon for primary production. Expand
Archaean metabolic evolution of microbial mats
  • E. Nisbet, C. Fowler
  • Biology
  • Proceedings of the Royal Society of London. Series B: Biological Sciences
  • 1999
Microbial mat structure may reflect this evolutionary development in broad terms, with anaerobic lower levels occupied by archaeal and bacterial respirers, fermenters and green bacteria, while the higher levels contain aerobic purple bacteria and are dominated by cyanobacteria. Expand
Fermentation in cyanobacteria
Calculations show that the yield of ATP during fermentation, although it is low relative to aerobic respiration, exceeds the amount that is likely to be required for maintenance, which appears to be very low in these cyanobacteria. Expand
Biogeochemistry and ecophysiology of atmospheric CO and H2
Hydrogen and carbon monoxide are just trace constituents in our environment, but their cycles are nevertheless of great importance for life on earth. Two different cycles may be distinguished, theExpand
The biogeochemistry of hypersaline microbial mats.
Microbial mats are structurally coherent macroscopic accumulations of microorganisms. Photosynthetic mats offer an opportunity to examine the dynamics of a complete microbial ecosystem. MicrobialExpand
Biology of anaerobic microorganisms
The Principles and Limits of Anaerobic Degradation: Environmental and Technological Aspects (B. Vogels, et al.) are published. Expand
Evolution of the atmosphere.
  • J. Nunn
  • Geology, Medicine
  • Proceedings of the Geologists' Association. Geologists' Association
  • 1998
Planetary atmospheres depend fundamentally upon their geochemical inventory, temperature and the ability of their gravitational field to retain gases. In the case of Earth and other inner planets,Expand
Oxygen relations of nitrogen fixation in cyanobacteria.
  • P. Fay
  • Medicine
  • Microbiological reviews
  • 1992
Genetic studies indicate that the controls of heterocyst development and nitrogenase synthesis are closely interrelated and that the expression of N2 fixation (nif) genes is regulated by pO2. Expand
Nitrogen cycling in microbial mat communities: The quantitative importance of N-fixation and other sources of N for primary productivity
Although N-fixation has been assumed to contribute substantially to the overall N requirements of primary production in benthic microbial mat communities, few quantitative studies have beenExpand
Primary production of the biosphere: integrating terrestrial and oceanic components
Integrating conceptually similar models of the growth of marine and terrestrial primary producers yielded an estimated global net primary production (NPP) of 104.9 petagrams of carbon per year, withExpand