Cuatro Ciénegas Ecology, Natural History and Microbiology

  • Valeria Souza
  • Gabriela Olmedo-Álvarez
  • Luis E. Eguiarte

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xiv
  2. Valeria Souza, Luis E. Eguiarte, James J. Elser, Michael Travisano, Gabriela Olmedo-Álvarez
    Pages 1-20
  3. Cristina Montiel-González, Francisco Bautista, Carmen Delgado, Felipe García-Oliva
    Pages 35-42
  4. P. Isa, B. Taboada, A. L. Gutiérrez, P. Chávez, R. M. del Ángel, J. E. Ludert et al.
    Pages 43-55
  5. Zulema Gomez-Lunar, Mirna Vázquez-Rosas-Landa, Gabriel Yaxal Ponce-Soto, Alejandra Moreno-Letelier, Gabriela Olmedo-Álvarez, Luis E. Eguiarte et al.
    Pages 57-71
  6. Patricia Vélez, Laura Espinosa-Asuar, Michael Travisano, Luis E. Eguiarte, Valeria Souza
    Pages 73-82
  7. Nguyen E. López-Lozano, Silvia Pajares, Ana E. Escalante, Luis E. Eguiarte, Valeria Souza, Gabriela Olmedo-Álvarez
    Pages 83-102
  8. Maria Dolores Rodriguez Torres, Luis David Alcaraz, Valeria Souza, Gabriela Olmedo-Álvarez
    Pages 103-112
  9. Héctor Arocha-Garza, Hamlet Avilés-Arnaut, Nahui Olin Medina-Chávez, Mario Figueroa, Valeria Souza, Susana De la Torre-Zavala
    Pages 113-127
  10. Back Matter
    Pages 129-134

About this book


The aim of this first book is to introduce the readers of the series to why Cuatro Ciénegas Basin (CCB) is so unique, starting with the reason why astrobiologists became interested in this oasis in the first place; namely, the high diversity and abundance of stromatolites and microbial mats in continental waters to be found in the desert oasis. As NASA has long since discovered, the basin may offer the best analog of early Earth. In essence, CCB is a time machine that can take us far back and forth in time. 
In the respective chapters, the contributing authors explain the extraordinary microbial diversity of Cuatro Ciénegas Basin from various perspectives. In order to do so, they explain their journey as well as the different tools used to unravel the basin’s mysteries, such as: Why are there so many species in a place without food? How has life there survived the enormity of tectonic shifts through the ages, maintaining its ancient marine heritage?


Astrobiology Microbial diversity Conservation policy Stromatolites and Microbial Mats Desert oasis

Editors and affiliations

  • Valeria Souza
    • 1
  • Gabriela Olmedo-Álvarez
    • 2
  • Luis E. Eguiarte
    • 3
  1. 1.Ecology InstituteUniversidad Nacional Autónoma de MéxicoMexico CityMexico
  2. 2.Laboratorio de Bacteriología Molecular, Departamento de Ingeniería GenéticaCINVESTAV – Unidad IrapuatoIrapuatoMexico
  3. 3.Ecology InstituteUniversidad Nacional Autónoma de MéxicoMexico CityMexico

Bibliographic information