River of Vitriol

Luis Miguel Ariza, Scientific American

This article offers a general overview of the microbiology of Spain’s Rio Tinto. It introduces the history of the Rio Tinto, briefly describes some of the organisms that live there, and examines a few implications of the biological diversity for evolutionary studies. The article also explains that the acidic condition of the water may not be entirely due to mining activities, rather to the presence of specialized bacteria. It includes images of the Rio Tinto and diatoms.

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Subject: Biology:Ecology:Metabolism, Biology:Microbiology, Geoscience:Hydrology
Resource Type: Pedagogic Resources:Overview/Summary
Grade Level: General Public
Extreme Environments: Acidic
Theme: Teach the Earth:Teaching Topics:Water, Teach the Earth:Course Topics:Hydrology/HydrogeologyKeywords: Thibacillus ferrooxidans, Leptospirillum ferrooxidans