Conclusion

Here we have attempted to provide an overview of microbially mediated ecological processes that occur at aerobic-anaerobic interfaces in waters, sediments, and soils. Having reached the end of this article, it should be abundantly clear to the reader that there is not just one interface governed by the presence of molecular oxygen. Instead a large number of interfaces are governed by gradients of many final electron acceptors (O2, NO^, Mn4+, Fe3+, SO2~, CO2) and many electron donors (both organic and inorganic). The constantly shifting dynamics between oxidized and reduced forms of biosphere compounds as they change positions between aerobic and anaerobic habitats drives microbially mediated biogeochemical reactions. Understanding the detailed aerobic and anaerobic microbiological processes allows ecologists to anticipate the consequences of environmental change. Knowing the ecological, physiological, and biochemical rules and relationships of aerobic and anaerobic processes can contribute to our abilities to maintain and manage ecosystems.

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