Study weighs deep-sea mining's impact on microbes


Hydrothermal vents on the seafloor support a rich diversity of life, and they contain deposits of valuable metals used in the manufacture of lithium-ion batteries. A new research paper looks at what is known about the vital microscopic life in these locations to evaluate the possible impacts of mining these and other deep-sea locations. Credit: Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

The essential roles that microbes play in deep-sea ecosystems are at risk from the potential environmental impacts of mining, a new paper in Limnology and Oceanography reports. The study reviews what is known about microbes in these environments and assesses how mining could impact their important environmental roles.

“The push for deep-sea mining has really accelerated in the last few years, and it is crucial that policy makers and the industry understand these microbes and the services they…



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