A song of ice and fire in Deception Island (Antarctica): microbial biomarkers in the geothermal band of Cerro Caliente

Antarctic geothermal sites are “oases” of heat and liquid water availability compared to the surrounding cold and dry environment. Cerro Caliente hill in Deception Island (active volcano in the South Shetland Islands) is affected by ascending hydrothermal fluids that form a band of warm substrates where microbial communities grow. We investigated microbial communities thriving on this polar geothermal site with possible counterparts on early Mars.