Microbial Life > Extreme Environments > Types of Extreme Environments

Extreme Environments

Alkaline Black Lake
The serene landscape of Black Lake, located in the Eastern Sierras, masks its identity as an extreme environment. Crystallized alkaline deposits (white) cover the surface and marginal areas of the lake. Details

Types of Extreme Environments

Examples of Extreme Environments

Mono Lake: Mono Lake, located in California's Eastern Sierra, is both alkaline and hypersaline. In addition to its unusual array of alkaliphilic, halophilic, and anaerobic inhabitants, it has a remarkarble preservation success story.

Octopus Spring: Octopus Spring is a partially alkaline, low-carbonate, low-sulfur hot spring located in the Lower Geyser Basin of Yellowstone National Park. It is home to a variety of thermophiles, as well as a colorful array of microbial mat communities.

Rio Tinto: The Rio Tinto is an extremely acidic river in southern Spain. Enduring over 5000 years of mining activity, the river is full of heavy metals. Surprisingly, phylogenetic studies show the diversity of eukaryotes to be much greater than that of prokaryotes.

Yellowstone National Park: Yellowstone National Park has over 10,000 unique geothermal features, which contain a wide and varied range of temperature, pH, and geochemical profiles. The sheer magnitude of this diversity lends itself to scientific discovery.

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