, Volume 23, Issue 4, pp 367–376 | Cite as

Eukaryotic organisms of continental hydrothermal systems

  • Sabrina R. BrownEmail author
  • Sherilyn C. Fritz


Continental hydrothermal systems are a dynamic component of global thermal and geochemical cycles, exerting a pronounced impact on water chemistry and heat storage. As such, these environments are commonly classified by temperature, thermal fluid ionic concentration, and pH. Terrestrial hydrothermal systems are a refuge for extremophilic organisms, as extremes in temperature, metal concentration, and pH profoundly impact microorganism assemblage composition. While numerous studies focus on Bacteria and Archaea in these environments, few focus on Eukarya—likely due to lower temperature tolerances and because they are not model organisms for understanding the evolution of early life. However, where present, eukaryotic organisms are significant members of continental hydrothermal microorganism communities. Thus, this manuscript focuses on the eukaryotic occupants of terrestrial hydrothermal systems and provides a review of the current status of research, including microbe–eukaryote interactions and suggestions for future directions.


Eukaryotes Thermophiles Acidophiles Alkaliphiles Geothermal 



The authors thank the anonymous reviewer for providing valuable feedback for improving the breadth of this manuscript.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Japan KK, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Earth and Atmospheric SciencesUniversity of Nebraska-LincolnLincolnUSA
  2. 2.School of Biological SciencesUniversity of Nebraska-LincolnLincolnUSA

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