Biodiversity & Conservation

, Volume 1, Issue 4, pp 342–345 | Cite as

Biodiversity amongst microorganisms and its relevance

  • R. R. Colwell
Concluding Remarks


Concluding remarks from the joint IUBS/IUMS workshop on Biodiversity amongst microorganisms and its relevance held in Amsterdam on 7–8 September 1991. An international microbial ecology programme can be justified in its own right now that appropriate investigative tools have been developed. Microorganisms influence global change, and indicate global health and environmental quality. At the same time, an inventory of the world's microbial species and their properties is required, together with associated culture collections and genomes. Sampling methods need to be standardized, both for species and functions. Extreme environments are a particularly rich source of microbial genomes, and endangered habitats should be sampled as a matter of priority. Cataloguing and conserving the world's microbial biodiversity is justifiable and scientifically important.


microorganisms ecosystem function biotechnology culture collections 


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  1. Liesack, W. and Stackebrandt, E. (1992) Unculturable microbes detected by molecular sequences and probes. Biodiv. Conserv.1, 221–6.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Chapman & Hall 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. R. Colwell
    • 1
  1. 1.Maryland Biotechnology InstituteCollege ParkUSA

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