Subsurface Microorganisms Work Together for Common Good

Sun beams reaching the surface of Earth not only warm our planet but also provide ample energy to living organisms.  Photosynthetic organisms capture efficiently the light energy to fix carbon and grow, which feed the rest of the food web such as animals, birds and heterotrophic bacteria.  In the deep subsurface, separated from the photosphere by kilometers of rock, chemolithotrophic microorganisms mine energy from geologically produced minerals and gases, a far more difficult existence compared to their photosynthetic comrades on the surface.