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  Biological soil crusts of the Succulent Karoo: a review

Weber, B., Tamm, A., Maier, S., & Rodriguez-Caballero, E. (2018). Biological soil crusts of the Succulent Karoo: a review. African journal of range & forage science / Grassland Society of Southern Africa, 35(3/4), 335-350. doi:10.2989/10220119.2018.1527782.

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 Creators:
Weber, Bettina1, Author              
Tamm, Alexandra1, Author              
Maier, Stephanie1, Author              
Rodriguez-Caballero, Emilio1, Author              
Affiliations:
1Multiphase Chemistry, Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, Max Planck Society, ou_1826290              

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 Abstract: The Succulent Karoo is characterised by a dense coverage of biological soil crusts (biocrusts) belonging to different types and successional stages. Whereas the Soebatsfontein region hosts cyanobacteria-dominated and minor amounts of lichen- and bryophyte-dominated biocrusts, the Knersvlakte comprises a rich cover of hypolithic crusts growing on the sides and undersides of quartz pebbles. Apart from dominating photosynthesizers used to classify biocrusts, each crust type hosts a rich and specific fungal and bacterial community and also diverse protists. In a remote-sensing mapping approach, soil-inhabiting biocrusts of the Soebatsfontein region covered ∼27% of the surface area, whereas in the Knersvlakte soil-inhabiting biocrusts covered ∼16% and hypolithic biocrusts ∼42% of the region. Combining these data with biomass contents, results suggested that the Knersvlakte, despite somewhat harsher environmental conditions, harboured about 65% more biocrust biomass per surface area. In physiological measurements we observed that biocrusts emit the reactive nitrogen compounds nitric oxide and nitrous acid, showing water pulse-dependent emission patterns. In addition, CO2 gas fixation showed characteristic type-specific patterns depending on climatic conditions. Long-term microclimate measurements along a gradient revealed that forecasted climate and land-use change may be detrimental for biocrusts with potentially adverse effects on soil stability and overall fertility of the Succulent Karoo.

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Language(s): eng - English
 Dates: 2018
 Publication Status: Published in print
 Pages: -
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 Table of Contents: -
 Rev. Type: -
 Identifiers: DOI: 10.2989/10220119.2018.1527782
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Title: African journal of range & forage science / Grassland Society of Southern Africa
  Abbreviation : Afr. J. Range For. Sci.
Source Genre: Journal
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Publ. Info: Abingdon, Oxon : Taylor & Francis
Pages: - Volume / Issue: 35 (3/4) Sequence Number: - Start / End Page: 335 - 350 Identifier: ISSN: 1022-0119
CoNE: https://pure.mpg.de/cone/journals/resource/1022-0119