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By T. Fenchel, G.M. King and T.H. Blackburn (Auth.)

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Also, microbes may need to seek out better environments and avoid adverse conditions. Constraints of physical transport, swimming velocities and the efficiency of motile chemosensory and photosensory behaviour limit the rate of biological processes, and determine the spatial organization of microbial communities. Bacteria live on a small scale. This has substantial and in part counterintuitive consequences for physical transport mechanisms and cell motility. , a filter-feeding animal pumps water currents through some sort of filter in order to sieve out food particles; fish pump water across their gills or swim with an open mouth in order to flush their gills with oxygenated water; predatory animals search actively to increase the probability of encountering prey.

41 V for H2O/H2. 4 kJ, which shows that the reaction is impossible. However, if we assume instead that pH2 is 104 atm (Q  104) we find that ΔGo’  ~ 5. Thus at an ambient pH2  104 the process is feasible. In natural systems, maintenance of such a low pH2 requires the presence of H2-consuming bacteria. 3). In Fig. 5 Bioenergetics of Microbial Metabolism 29 the dependency of pH2 of two such fermentations is shown. Also shown is the dependency of two types of H2 consumers (sulfate reducers and methanogens) on pH2; obviously they are favoured by a high H2 pressure.

We will consider here only the O2 gradient in the surface layer of sediments; the general principles can then be applied to other gradients as exemplified in the context of particular types of habitats. 5 shows a schematic representation of an O2 concentration gradient immediately above and below the surface of aquatic sediments; for a productive, shallow sediment, the entire vertical axis of the figure will cover 2–4 mm. The bulk of the water column is mixed and has a constant O2 tension typically in equilibrium with atmospheric pO2.

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