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 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 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.