There is no author summary for this article yet. Authors can add summaries to their articles on ScienceOpen to make them more accessible to a non-specialist audience.
Diverse microbial communities and numerous energy-yielding activities occur in deeply
buried sediments of the eastern Pacific Ocean. Distributions of metabolic activities
often deviate from the standard model. Rates of activities, cell concentrations, and
populations of cultured bacteria vary consistently from one subseafloor environment
to another. Net rates of major activities principally rely on electron acceptors and
electron donors from the photosynthetic surface world. At open-ocean sites, nitrate
and oxygen are supplied to the deepest sedimentary communities through the underlying
basaltic aquifer. In turn, these sedimentary communities may supply dissolved electron
donors and nutrients to the underlying crustal biosphere.