12 Baylis Mews, Amyand Park Road, Twickenham, Middlesex, TW1 3HQ, United Kingdom.

Tel: +44 (0)20 8891 6600
Fax: +44 (0)20 8891 6599
Email: info@minersoc.org

Registered Charity No. 233706
VAT Reg. No. GB 238 7676 17

Photo Gallery

Click on a photo to enlarge and for more information.

Mycogenic biomineral

EMU Notes in Mineralogy - volume 13

Environmental Mineralogy II
(D.J. Vaughan and R.A. Wogelius, editors)  

Chapter 5: Microbial controls on the mineralogy of the environment
Susan A. Welch and Jillian F. Banfield

Microbes have a dramatic impact on the mineralogy of the environment as a result of their metabolic processes. Microorganisms can control both acidity and redox chemistry as a result of respiration, photosynthesis, chemoautotrophy or anaerobic respiration. The net impact of these biogeochemical reactions can result in formation of minerals that have distinctive ‘bulk’ and surface chemical characteristics, morphology and trace element or isotopic composition that is distinct from those produced abiotically. This chapter describes several examples of both direct and indirect biomineralization including the role of neutrophilic and acidophilic iron oxidizers on the biogeochemistry of Fe minerals in two mine sites, the role of microbial metabolic processes on mineral weathering and nutrient cycling, and the enhanced mobility and enrichment of economically important trace elements such as zinc, gold and the rare earth elements.

Go to the table of contents for this book  

Go to the Mineralogical Society's online shop to buy a copy of the book from which this chapter is taken