The Carbon Cycle affects all life on Earth. Elemental carbon is neither created or destroyed, so the recycling of carbon-containing compounds in the environment is essential to the continuation of life. Recently there has been increased interest in the Carbon Cycle becuase of our awareness of how atmospheric levels of CO2 affect global climate change. Microbes play impartant roles in all aspects of the Carbon Cycle, and are a very important consideration when analyzing climate change. Many produce CO2 through respiration,and some fix atmospheric carbon, sequestering it in the soil. Some produce methane and nitrous oxide, which are potent greenhouse gasses, while others degrade toxic and environmentally harmful compounds.
Describe briefly the process you will address and the significance of soil microorganisms in the process (what functions do they perform?).
The Carbon Cycle
Describe the process, using as many sections/subsections as you require. Look at the list of other topics. Which involve processes similar to yours? Create links where relevant.
Decomposition of Organic Matter
Sugars and Proteins
Aromatics, Aliphatics, and Lipids
Formation of Humic Substances
Key Classes of Microorganisms in the Carbon Cycle
An important step of the carbon cycle is the fixation of atmospheric CO2 and the subsequent production of organic molecules. Organisms that can convert CO2 into organic molecules are called autotrophs, and include plants, algae, some bacteria, and some archaea. Some bacteria specifically involved in carbon fixation are Cyanobacteria (such as Chroococcus, Nostoc, and Spirulina) and some species of Aquifex,such as Aquifex aeolicus. Cyanobacteria are also important Nitrogen fixers in the Nitrogen cycle including GHG
Another important step in the Carbon Cycle is the decomposition of complex organic matter to produce CO2 (essentially the reverse of carbon fixation). Organisms important in decomposition are bacteria (such as Streptomyces and Clostridium thermocellum), fungi of all kinds, and protists such as Paramecium.
Identify and describe some microorganisms involved. Do they already have their own microbewiki pages? Add links. Create at least one page for a microbe relevant to your topic. Template will appear soon.
Atmospheric Changes Relating to the Carbon Cycle
Enter summaries of recent research here--at least three required
[Sample reference] Takai, K., Sugai, A., Itoh, T., and Horikoshi, K. "Palaeococcus ferrophilus gen. nov., sp. nov., a barophilic, hyperthermophilic archaeon from a deep-sea hydrothermal vent chimney". International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology. 2000. Volume 50. p. 489-500.
Edited by student of Kate Scow