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It is a complex benthic microbial community that forms a cohesive layer and is typically dominated by cyanobacteria or other photosynthetic prokaryotes and occasionally micro-algae. Microbial mats are found in the regions where the environmental stress tends to exclude or reduce the number of metazoans, e.g., in intertidal and hypersaline regions, in hot springs and around hydrothermal vents. The microorganisms occurring in microbial mats include the species of Lyngbya and Macrocoleus, various purple photosynthetic bacteria Chloroflexus and certain aerobic and anaerobic chemotrophs as sulphur reducing bacteria.

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