How many microbes ?

K N and P J Harris ecoli at cix.compulink.co.uk
Sun Apr 28 03:56:26 EST 1996

How many microbes

Apart from the obvious statement of "enough to be going on with"

I did a back of envelope job for soil and came up with somewhere near 
the same as the marine count i.e. 1 to 10exp29
This is not so surprising as there is something like a million times 
more volume of water than soil on the planet and this will compensate 
for the lowish cell concentration of the seawater.
What struck me whilst doing this was the difficulty of calculating the 
total intestinal flora of the planet. Globally that is a REALLY big heap 
of **** !

Peter Harris,
Department of Soil Science, 
The University of Reading,

AKA P.J.Harris at reading.ac.uk

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