Biological Soil Crusts

Moss-soil lichens crust at reclaimed post-mining site, Brandenburg, GermanyMoss-soil lichens crust covering inland dunes, Lieberoser Heide, BrandenburgBiocrusts on reclaimed post-mining site, Lower Lausatia, GermanySoil lichens crust, Karoo, South AfricaNDVI images of biocrusts with a modified consumer cameraSpatial analysis of photosynthesis using Imaging-Chlorophyll FluoresenceDevelopment of biocrusts and their application in restoration ecologyBiocrust wetness sensorsInitial green-algae soil crust on temperate sand dunes, Brandenburg, GermanyCyanobacterial biocrust on desert dunes, Succulent Karoo, South Africa

In many ecosystems of the world biological soil crusts play an important role for ecosystem processes. These biological crusts (biocrusts) are assemblages of cyanobacteria, green algae, mosses, fungi and soil lichens. The understanding of pattern formations and interactions with biogeochemical and biotic processes are important for ecological theory and for applications in restoration ecology. Biocrusts influencing the ecosysten processes: they decrease infiltration rates and, thus, run-off could be observed even in a sandy area when covered by a biological crust. In addition to the influence on the ecohydrological conditions, the biological crust also stabilises the topsoil, reduces soil erosion, and enhances the nitrogen pools by nitrogen fixation. The ecologcail function and development of various biocrusts types were studied in the Negev desert and in China
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  • Development of biocrusts on temperate sand dunes and post-mining sites and their application in restoration ecology

Currently, we investigate the spatial and temporal variance of biocrust formations and their impact for photosynthesis and carbon accumulation on temperate sand dunes. Carbon fluxes and crust activity will be linked to the formation of different crust types.  Spatial and temperal variance of photosynthesis of biocrusts from the temperate zone using chlorophyll fuorescence and NDVI measurements are related to biocrusts pattern and micoroclimatic conditions. Field experiments are carried out on the Research Platform Chicken Creek / Quellberg Hühnerwasser and at the inland sand dunes of Lieberose (Brandenburg).

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