Methods for Study of Microbe – Mineral Interactions
Microorganisms are implicated in a wide array of geochemical processes of importance to the clay sciences; a point that is highlighted in special issues of journals such as Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta (2004, Vol. 68, no. 15) and Clays and Clay Minerals (2005, Vol. 53, no 6). Life and geochemistry often overlap at the micron scale; i.e., that of a clay mineral, as organisms seek energy and substrates on which to exist and grow. Organisms can only work within the realm of thermodynamic reality. However, as is becoming increasingly evident, the ability of microorganisms to affect fundamental parameters such as pH and redox potential and to strongly affect reaction kinetics can be tied to ecological factors, most likely involving complex feedback.
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