Microbially mediated nitrogen cycling / Hans Paerl -- Microbes of the sulfur cycle / Don R. Kelly and Ann P. Wood -- Isolation, cultivation and characterization of iron- and manganese-reducing bacteria / Joel Kostka and Kenneth H. Nealson -- The aerobic, hydrogen-oxidizing (knallgas) bacteria / Michael Aragno -- Methanogens / Stephen H. Zinder -- Ecology of methylotrophic bacteria / Richard S. Hanson -- Terrestrial fungal communities / Alan D.N. Rayner and Lynne Boddy -- Rapid techniques for the identification of free-living protozoa / G.F. Esteban, K.J. Clarke and B.J. Finlay -- Methods for enumeration and characterization of bacteriophages from environmental samples / Robert V. Miller -- Sampling and enumeration techniques / J.K. Fredrickson and D.L. Balkwill -- Signature lipid biomarker analysis / David C. White and David B. Ringelberg -- Isolation of nucleic acids from environmental samples / Andrew Ogram -- Molecular techniques / Robert S. Burlage -- Laboratory studies of bacterial biofilms / M.W. Mittelman -- Theoretical and applied aspects of bioremediation: the influence of microbiological processes on organic contaminant compounds in field sites / Eugene L. Madsen -- Mathematical modeling and statistical analysis / J.I. Prosser -- Numerical Classification methods / Estelle Russek-Cohen and Rita R. Colwell. Microbial ecology is one of the fastest growing fields of microbiology. This practical volume is the bench and field scientist's guide to well-established and reliable techniques for investigating microbial communities. Both for biologists just entering the field and for experienced researchers wishing to explore new areas, this book provides the theoretical background, detailed protocols, and tips from experts essential for working in this field. Chapters on bacteria with interesting metabolic traits are augmented with chapters on molecular techniques, lipid analysis, and appropriate sampling techniques. The final section includes up-to-date information on biofilm development and study, the science and practice of bioremediation, modeling of biological systems (including the most useful statistical parameters), and the study of phylogenetics.