Microbial Ecosystems, Protection of

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Synonyms Conservation of microbial diversity and ecosystem functions provided by microbes; Preservation of microbial diversity and ecosystem functions provided by microbes Definition The use, management, and conservation of ecosystems in order to preserve microbial diversity and functioning. Introduction Ecosystems collectively determine biogeochemical processes that regulate the Earth system. Loss of biodiversity is generally regarded as detrimental to ecosystems and ecosystem functioning and therefore has been a central issue for environmental scientists during the last decades (Hooper et al. 2012). Microorganisms (i.e., bacteria, archaea, protozoa, and fungi) comprise a major part of the total biomass of organisms inhabiting on Earth and represent the largest source of biodiversity. They play critical roles in biogeochemical processes and ecosystem functioning and are fundamental to many ecosystem services (e.g., soil health, wastewater treatment, nutrient recycling, human health, carbon
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEncyclopedia of Metagenomics
EditorsK.E. Nelson
Place of PublicationHeidelberg
Number of pages9
ISBN (Print)978-1-4614-6418-1
Publication statusPublished - 2014


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