Earth is home to what are known as subsurface lithotrophic
microbial ecosystems -- SliMEs for short.
As Compared to lithotrophic
bacterial leaching, this technique has advantage of being operated at mildly acidic conditions that minimize the loss of sediments properties, eventual foaming and H2S evolution phenomena that result from a sudden addition of strong mineral acids.
Some are able to use light or organic matter to harvest energy and fix carbon, while others utilise chemo- or lithotrophic
modes which use the redox potential of molecules found in their particular environment to harness energy for their survival.
Phylogeny of microorganisms populating a thick, subaerial, predominantly lithotrophic
biofilm at an extreme acid mine drainage site.
This indicates a highly oxygenated system and also points towards the successful colonization of the columns by lithotrophic
bacteria, which oxidize ferrous iron to the ferric state.
This includes lithotrophic
organisms that get their energy from oxidizing inorganic compounds rather than organic carbon.
Autotrophic Nutrition--Also known as lithotrophic
nutrition; the ability of an organism to manufacture its own food from inorganic sources, using C[O.sub.2] as the sole carbon source.
At the other end of the size scale, the studies of the symbiotic bacteria at the base of the food chain in vent environments have highlighted a new kind of thinking about the possible importance of chemoautotrophy in general, and about the significance of similar lithotrophic
symbioses in many other environments on the surface of the planet.