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Paper: Planetary Habitability Under Dynamic Temperatures
Volume: 420, Bioastronomy 2007: Molecules, Microbes and Extraterrestrial Life
Page: 239
Authors: Méndez, A.
Abstract: One of the main environmental factors affecting the viability, growth and distribution of microbial life is temperature. Microorganisms are generally exposed to extreme diurnal temperature variations in the surface layer of planetary bodies where temperature is mostly in phase with solar radiation. This is epecially the case of bare soils in terrestrial deserts and the surface of Mars where potential microbial life might not only have to survive low nutrients and water levels but also to dynamic temperatures. Although there is extensive research about microbial growth kinetics at constant temperatures, there is little knowledge about microbial growth kinetics at dynamic temperatures, especially those associated with natural environments. Therefore, this work presents a new dynamic growth kinetics model based on a thermal habitability function. The model is being use in understanding the growth, distribution and potential habitats for microbial life in planetary bodies with extreme surface temperature fluctuations.
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