Stress Ecology pp 131-159 | Cite as

Heavy Metals: Defense and Ecological Utilization

  • Christian E. W. Steinberg


In its present form with its high diversity of aerobic pro- and eukaryotic organisms, life on earth only developed after the majority of heavy metals had been buried below the surface and after the majority of reduced iron had been oxidized to banded iron formations and, in turn, molecular oxygen could escape into the atmosphere (Schlesinger 1997; Krämer 2010). This separation of organisms from heavy metal deposits implies that the concurrence of both organisms and metals bears potential conflicts, forces organisms to handle such chemically stressful situations, and requires organisms to develop strategies to survive and evolve further and eventually to pass on the adverse challenge to competitors or predators.


Heavy Metal Band Iron Formation Metal Homeostasis Hyperaccumulating Plant Natural Resistance Associate Macrophage Protein 
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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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Biology Laboratory of Freshwater and Stress EcologyHumboldt-Universität zu BerlinBerlinGermany

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