Role of Cyanobacteria in the Ecology of Polar Environments

Marc W. Van Goethem, Don A. Cowan

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

10 Scopus citations


Cyanobacteria are the dominant living features of Antarctic terrestrial environments. They have the capacity to directly influence components of the cryosphere including nutrient acquisition, soil stabilisation and driving soil community structure. This book chapter incorporates recent literature to discuss how gradients of cyanobacterial abundance and diversity across Antarctic soil and lithic biotopes influence local biogeochemical cycling regimes, drive community structure and enhance primary productivity. Most recent studies have gleaned novel insights into the ecological importance of Antarctic cyanobacteria by applying so-called multi-‘omics’ technologies. While these breakthroughs have undoubtedly improved our understanding of metabolic potential in polar niches; cultivation-based analyses of cyanobacteria should be leveraged to gain perspectives into actual physiological attributes and morphological variation within Antarctica. Combined, these studies show that members of the cyanobacteria are critical carbon and nitrogen regulators and are essential for making nutrients available to associated community members.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationSpringer Polar Sciences
PublisherSpringer Nature
Number of pages21
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Generated from Scopus record by KAUST IRTS on 2023-10-23


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