The Early Diagenesis of Organic Matter: Bacterial Activity

  • Jody W. Deming
  • John A. Baross
Part of the Topics in Geobiology book series (TGBI, volume 11)


Bacteria are the primary agents of the early diagenesis of organic matter (OM) in marine sediments. The reasons for their predominant roles are straightforward: (1) they occur abundantly and universally throughout all marine sediments; (2) they can respire, reproduce, and, therefore, use OM more rapidly than any other organisms; (3) they possess enzymes and enzyme systems (in many cases, unique to the prokaryotic kingdom) that make them extraordinarily versatile in their nutritional requirements and abilities to alter a wide variety of particulate and dissolved organic (and inorganic) materials; and (4) they readily enter into complex associations with each other and with higher organisms in ways that produce powerful degradative capabilities beyond those of a single organism in isolation.


Total Organic Carbon Marine Sediment Sediment Trap Bacterial Activity Abyssal Plain 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jody W. Deming
    • 1
  • John A. Baross
    • 1
  1. 1.School of OceanographyUniversity of WashingtonSeattleUSA

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