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Life 2015, 5(1), 332-347;

Portrait of a Geothermal Spring, Hunter’s Hot Springs, Oregon

Institute of Ecology and Evolution, University of Oregon, Eugene, OR 97403, USA
Academic Editors: John C. Meeks and Robert Haselkorn
Received: 9 December 2014 / Revised: 7 January 2015 / Accepted: 21 January 2015 / Published: 27 January 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cyanobacteria: Ecology, Physiology and Genetics)
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Although alkaline Hunter’s Hot Springs in southeastern Oregon has been studied extensively for over 40 years, most of these studies and the subsequent publications were before the advent of molecular methods. However, there are many field observations and laboratory experiments that reveal the major aspects of the phototrophic species composition within various physical and chemical gradients of these springs. Relatively constant temperature boundaries demark the upper boundary of the unicellular cyanobacterium, Synechococcus at 73–74 °C (the world-wide upper limit for photosynthesis), and 68–70 °C the upper limit for Chloroflexus. The upper limit for the cover of the filamentous cyanobacterium, Geitlerinema (Oscillatoria) is at 54–55 °C, and the in situ lower limit at 47–48 °C for all three of these phototrophs due to the upper temperature limit for the grazing ostracod, Thermopsis. The in situ upper limit for the cyanobacteria Pleurocapsa and Calothrix is at ~47–48 °C, which are more grazer-resistant and grazer dependent. All of these demarcations are easily visible in the field. In addition, there is a biosulfide production in some sections of the springs that have a large impact on the microbiology. Most of the temperature and chemical limits have been explained by field and laboratory experiments. View Full-Text
Keywords: hot springs; cyanobacteria; chloroflexi; ostracods; thermophiles; photosynthesis; eastern Oregon hot springs; cyanobacteria; chloroflexi; ostracods; thermophiles; photosynthesis; eastern Oregon

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Castenholz, R.W. Portrait of a Geothermal Spring, Hunter’s Hot Springs, Oregon. Life 2015, 5, 332-347.

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