Article révisé par les pairs
Résumé : Abstract Rock weathering is a key process in global elemental cycling. Life participates in this process with tangible consequences observed from the mineral interface to the planetary scale. Multiple lines of evidence show that microorganisms may play a pivotal—yet overlooked—role in weathering. This topic is reviewed here with an emphasis on the following questions that remain unanswered: What is the quantitative contribution of bacteria and fungi to weathering? What are the associated mechanisms and do they leave characteristic imprints on mineral surfaces or in the geological record? Does biogenic weathering fulfill an ecological function, or does it occur as a side effect of unrelated metabolic functions and biological processes? An overview of efforts to integrate the contribution of living organisms into reactive transport models is provided. We also highlight prospective opportunities to harness microbial weathering in order to support sustainable agroforestry practices and mining activities, soil remediation, and carbon sequestration.