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The aim of the present project is to investigate the structural and functional biodiversity of the microorganisms present in arsenic-contaminated ecosystems and the effect of spatially evolving environmental factors on microbial populations. The questions it proposes to study include the description of microbial communities, the functions they perform and how these relate to environmental factors (physico-chemical parameters, other species,...). A particular attention will be paid on novel, rare and uncultured microorganisms, the so-called “dark matter”.