M J Larkin Biological Sciences. The Queen’s University of Belfast.
Microorganisms in the environment; Challenging conventional views of life.
Sagan and Margulis (1998) “Garden of Microbial Delights”.
“ALL of the elements crucial to global life- oxygen, nitrogen,phosphorus, sulfur, carbon- return to a usable form through the intervention of microbes… Ecology is based on the restorative decomposition of microbes and molds, acting on plants and animals after they have died to return their valuable chemical nutrients to the total living system of life on earth”
Gould (1996) “Life’s Grandeur” The Power of the Modal Bacter.
The first multicellular organisms do not enter the fossil record until about 580 million years ago - this is after about five sixths of life’s history have passed. Bacteria have been the stayers and keepers of life’s history.