A Remote Reservoir of Microbial Extremophiles in Central Andean Wetlands

Interesting paper by Argentinian scientists on ecosystems of High-Altitude Andean Lakes.


“High-Altitude Andean Lakes” (HAAL) are pristine and have been exposed to little human influence. HAAL proved to be a rich source of microbes showing interesting adaptations to life in extreme settings such as alkalinity, high concentrations of arsenic and dissolved salts, intense dryness, large daily ambient thermal amplitude, and extreme solarradiation levels. This work reviews HAAL microbiodiversity, taking into account different microbial niches, such as plankton, benthos, microbial mats and microbialites. The modern stromatolites and other microbialites discovered recently at HAAL are highlighted, as they provide unique modern—though quite imperfect—analogs of environments proxy for an earlier time in Earth’s history.”