Life in extreme environments

A new book in our Ecological Reviews series explores extreme environments and their extraordinary inhabitants.

From deep ocean trenches and the geographical poles to outer space, organisms can be found living in remarkably extreme conditions. Life in Extreme Environments: Insights in Biological Capability provides a captivating account of these systems and their extraordinary inhabitants, ‘extremophiles’.

A diverse, multidisciplinary group of experts discuss responses and adaptations to change; biodiversity, bioenergetic processes, and biotic and abiotic interactions; polar environments; and life and habitability, including searching for biosignatures in the extraterrestrial environment.

The editors emphasize that understanding these systems is important for increasing our knowledge and utilizing their potential, but this remains an understudied area. Given the threat to these environments and their biota caused by climate change and human impact, this timely book also addresses the urgency to document these systems.

Life in Extreme Environments will help graduate students and researchers in conservation, marine biology, evolutionary biology, environmental change and astrobiology better understand how life exists in these environments and their susceptibility or resilience to change.

The book is dedicated to lead editor Guido di Prisco (1937-2019). Guido di Prisco was one of the initiators of the EU FP7 Coordination Action for Research on Life in Extreme Environments (CAREX, 2008–2010), on which this book is based. CAREX brought together scientists from all over Europe and beyond to discuss the various challenges for organisms living in extreme environments such as polar, desert, deep sea, anoxic, mine spoil and extra-terrestrial environments.

Life in Extreme Environments: Insights in Biological Capability, edited by Guido di Prisco (National Research Council of Italy), Howell G. M. Edwards (University of Bradford), Josef Elster (University of South Bohemia, Czech Republic), Ad H. L. Huiskes (Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research). £39.99, ISBN 9781108724203.

Ecological Reviews is published by the British Ecological Society and Cambridge University press. BES members get 25% off all titles in the series.