Life in the earth’s interior as productive as in some ocean waters

Microorganisms in aquifers deep below the earth’s surface produce similar amounts of biomass as those in some marine waters. This is the finding of researchers led by the Friedrich Schiller University Jena and the German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv), both Germany. Applying a unique, ultra-sensitive measurement method using radioactive carbon, they were able to demonstrate for the first time that these biotic communities in absolute darkness do not depend on sunlight. Instead, they can obtain energy autonomously from rock oxidation or from compounds transported into the deep. The study has been published in “Nature Geoscience”.

Quelle: IDW Informationsdienst Wissenschaft