90 Billion Tons of Microbial Organisms Live in Deep Marine Subsurface

Monday, July 21, 2008 - 10:28 in Earth & Climate

Analysis of deep sea sediment cores has led to new data about the deep biosphere: 90 billion tons of microbial organisms live in the deep biosphere, a carbon mass that corresponds to about one-tenth of the carbon stored globally in tropical rainforests. Evidence from the sediment samples also shows that about 87 percent of the deep biosphere consists of Archaea, in stark contrast to previous reports that suggested that Bacteria dominate the subseafloor ecosystem.

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