Number of cells of bacteria and archaea estimated to inhabit Earth

Range ~10^30 cells
Organism Biosphere
Reference Locey KJ, Lennon JT. Scaling laws predict global microbial diversity. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2016 May 24 113(21):5970-5. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1521291113 p.5970 left column 2nd paragraph & right columnPubMed ID27140646
Primary Source [6] Kallmeyer J, Pockalny R, Adhikari RR, Smith DC, D’Hondt S (2012) Global distribution of microbial abundance and biomass in subseafloor sediment. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 109(40):16213–16216 doi: 10.1073/pnas.1203849109 [7] Whitman WB, Coleman DC, Wiebe WJ (1998) Prokaryotes: the unseen majority. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 95: 6578–6583.PubMed ID22927371, 9618454
Comments P.5970 left column 2nd paragraph: "The understanding of microbial biodiversity has rapidly transformed over the past decade. High-throughput sequencing and bioinformatics have expanded the catalog of microbial taxa by orders of magnitude, whereas the unearthing of new phyla is reshaping the tree of life (refs 1–3). At the same time, discoveries of novel forms of metabolism have provided insight into how microbes persist in virtually all aquatic, terrestrial, engineered, and host-associated ecosystems (refs 4, 5). However, this period of discovery has uncovered few, if any, general rules for predicting microbial biodiversity at scales of abundance that characterize, for example, the ∼10^14 cells of bacteria that inhabit a single human or the ∼10^30 cells of bacteria and archaea estimated to inhabit Earth (primary sources). Such findings would aid the estimation of global species richness and reveal whether theories of biodiversity hold across all scales of abundance and whether so-called law-like patterns of biodiversity span the tree of life." P.5970 right column: "Often referred to as total abundance, N can range from less than 10 individuals in a given area to the nearly 10^30 cells of bacteria and archaea on Earth (primary sources).This expanse outstrips the 22 orders of magnitude that separate the mass of a Prochlorococcus cell (3×10^−16 kg) from a blue whale (1.9×10^5 kg) and the 26 orders of magnitude that result from measuring Earth’s surface area at a spatial grain equivalent to bacteria (5.1×10^26μm^2)." See BNID 104960
Entered by Uri M
ID 113931