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Microbial consortia of composite biofilms, grown in surface water of acidic mining lakes near Lauchhammer, Germany, were investigated. The red-brown colored lake water was acidic (pH 2.5), had high concentrations of Fe(III), Al(III), and sulphate and low concentrations of dissolved organic matter. As a result the abundance of bacteria in the lake is with 104 cells mL−1 rather low. One input of organic material into the lake are autumnal leaves from trees, growing in the lakeside area. From aliquots of unfixed birch leave biofilms the 16S rRNA genes were amplified by PCR and community fingerprints were determined by single-strand conformation polymorphism (SSCP) analysis. Specific bands within the fingerprints were extracted from SSCP gels and sequenced for the taxonomical affiliation.These results were compared with those from the second type of biofilms which were grown on sterile substrata, floating submersed in surface waters of the lakes. By excising the bands from the gel and sequencing the individual bands bacterial taxa, common to both types of biofilms, were found but also some, which were only present in one type of biofilm. Ultrathin sectioned biofilms often showed bacteria associated with electron dense particles as main inorganic constituents. Elemental microanalysis by energy dispersive X-ray analysis (EDX) revealed them to contain iron, sulfur and oxygen as main elemental fractions and electron diffraction ring pattern analysis classified them to be schwertmannite. These bacteria and their interactions with each other as well as with the inorganic minerals formed in this lake generally is of great interest, in order to use these results for bioremediation applications.