Acid streamer

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Mixed communities of acidophilic prokaryotes embedded in an exopolymer matrix. Very different communities at different mines possibly depending on variety in pH and content of dissolved metal.

"Acid streamers, which are composed of micro-organisms embedded in an extracellular polymeric matrix, have been found in a number of extremely acidic, metal-rich environments, such as the Rio Tinto (Spain) and Iron Mountain (California). Previous studies have shown that acid streamers communities may include eukaryotic microorganisms, such as flagellates, ciliates, rotifers and fungi, but that prokaryotes dominate. The most extensive acid streamer growths (estimated at >100 m3) reported are found within a former pyrite mine in north Wales, which has been abandoned since 1918, and which contains a drainage stream and pools of pH <2.6. The microbial composition of streamers and water samples within this mine was elucidated to determine how diverse they were from each other, and from those reported elsewhere in the world."

Source: Barrie D. Johnson, Sakurako Kimura and Kevin B. Hallberg, Biodiversity of microbial populations in macroscopic “acid streamer” growths at an abandoned pyrite mine, as revealed by a combination of cultivation-based and cultivation-independent techniques, Extremophiles 2006, Book of Abstracts the 6 International Congress on Extremophiles Quartz Congress Hall, September 17 - 21, 2006 Brest France, http://www.extremophiles2006.org


"Acid streamers" within abandoned mine sites
Acid streamers in the Cae Coch pyrite mine in Wales. Macroscopic scale. By courtesy of Barrie Johnson
Acid streamers in the Cae Coch pyrite mine in Wales. Macroscopic scale. By courtesy of Barrie Johnson
Acid streamers in the Cae Coch pyrite mine in Wales. Macroscopic scale. By courtesy of Barrie Johnson
Acid streamers in the Cae Coch pyrite mine in Wales. Macroscopic scale. By courtesy of Barrie Johnson
Acid streamers in the Cae Coch pyrite mine in Wales. Microscopic scale By courtesy of Barrie Johnson
Acid streamers in the Cae Coch pyrite mine in Wales. Microscopic scale By courtesy of Barrie Johnson
Acid streamers in the Cae Coch pyrite mine in Wales. Microscopic scale. By courtesy of Barrie Johnson
Acid streamers in the Cae Coch pyrite mine in Wales. Microscopic scale. By courtesy of Barrie Johnson
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