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Cover photograph (Copyright © 2010, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.): Laminated sediments representing ~102 years of history of the Salton Sea, California, a large (980-km2), moderately hypersaline lake. Dramatic geochemical gradients found within the sediments are formed by salt deposits dissolving within deeper layers (gray-colored sediment). Merged onto this image is a similarity dendrogram showing large shifts in bacterial community structure with depth. In contrast, the archaeal community showed little change along the depth-related gradients. This suggests that Archaea may be better adapted than Bacteria to geochemical changes within energetically stressful environments. Length of sediment core, ~45 cm. Photo courtesy of Kristen M. Reifel and Brandon K. Swan. (See related article on page 757.)

Appl Environ Microbiol. 2010 February; 76(3): Cover