Encyclopedia of Metagenomics

Living Edition
| Editors: Karen E. Nelson

Cloud and Atmosphere Metagenomics

  • Tina Santl-Temkiv
  • Kai Finster
  • Ulrich Gosewinkel Karlson
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-6418-1_98-4



Previously only considered a dispersal route for microorganisms, the atmosphere has recently been added to a long list of environments on Earth that could serve as bacterial habitats. Diverse bacterial communities are present in the atmosphere up to high altitudes as well as in cloud and fog droplets. By entering the droplets, airborne bacteria gain access to a liquid environment and diverse organic compounds and potentially affect atmospheric chemistry and physics.


The atmosphere is the most important conduit for bacterial dispersal. The mean global emissions from terrestrial surfaces amount to between 2.0*1016 and 5.6*1016 CFU per second (Burrows et al. 2009b). Emissions from marine surfaces are considered significantly lower. Marine bacteria get aerosolized through bubble bursting, whereas wind and temperature are proposed to be the main factors influencing uplift of bacteria from terrestrial surfaces...


Bacterial Community Cloud Water Cloud Droplet Airborne Bacterium Biogenic Volatile Organic Compound 
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 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tina Santl-Temkiv
    • 1
    • 2
  • Kai Finster
    • 2
  • Ulrich Gosewinkel Karlson
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Physics and AstronomyAarhus UniversityAarhus CDenmark
  2. 2.Department of Bioscience, Microbiology SectionAarhus UniversityAarhusDenmark
  3. 3.Department of Environmental ScienceAarhus UniversityRoskildeDenmark