Microbial communities and primary succession in high altitude mountain environments
MetadataShow full item record
In high mountain environments, microbial communities are key players of soil formation and pioneer plant colonization and growth. In the last 10 years, many researches have been carried out to highlight their contribution. Bacteria, fungi, archaea, and algae are normal inhabitants of the most common habitats of high altitude mountains, such as glacier surfaces, rock wall surfaces, boulders, glacier waters, streams, and mineral soils. Here, microbial communities are the first colonizers, acting as keystone players in elemental transformation, carbon and nitrogen fixation, and promoting the mineral soil fertility and pioneer plant growth. Especially in high mountain environments, these processes are fundamental to assessing pedogenetic processes in order to better understand the consequences of rapid glacier melting and climate change. This review highlights the most important researches on the field, with a particular view on mountain environments, from glaciers to pioneer plant growth.