Microphytic soil crusts and desert ecosystems essay

Open spaces are usually covered by biological soil crusts, a highly specialized community of cyanobacteria, mosses, and lichens Figure 1. Biological soil crusts are commonly found in semiarid and arid environments throughout the world. Crusts are also found in agricultural areas, native prairies, and Alaska Figure 2.

Microphytic soil crusts and desert ecosystems essay

We investigated the effects of alpha grass Stipa tenacissima L. The microphytic crust composition differed between the upslope of S. The surface soil compaction was higher in the open microsite.

Our results reinforce the idea that open microsites act as sources of water for S. This study helps to understand the interactions between microphytic crusts and vascular plants in semi-arid environments. In these steppes, the open areas are sup- diversity Schlesinger et al.

Desert Soils Desert Soils Joseph R.
Soil Formation Biogeochemical cycling[ edit ] Carbon cycling Biological soil crusts contribute to the carbon cycle through respiration and photosynthesis of crust microorganisms which are active only when wet. Respiration can begin in as little as 3 minutes after wetting whereas photosynthesis reaches full activity after 30 minutes.

To understand West, This crust plays a major role in the redistribu- more about the interaction between the microphytic crusts tion of water Eldridge et al. Microphytic crusts in and exude mucilaginous sheaths directly onto the soil alpha grass steppes often show complex spatial patterns that surface.

This mucilage binds the soil surface particles are related to the distribution of vascular plants, but there is no information on the role of these microphytic crusts on favouring surface runoff.

S 7 02 F. We used the amount of water collected The study site is a S. Dif- Soil Survey Staff, In each partial dominated by two perennial sprouting grasses, S.

In the case of penetration resistance, we used the dispersed shrubs, such as Globularia alypum L. All statistical analyses were performed with SPSS 9. After wetting the soil surface, one circu- Crust composition showed strong differences between the lar sample of the topsoil layer 8.


In the tussock microsites, micro- was collected at each sampling point. In the immediate phytic crusts were dominated by mosses, mainly Weissia sp. Due to the high spatial variability of this vari- mainly Psora crenata Th. Microphytic crusts were transferred effect Table 2.

Ltd, Japan for 3 d at constant late was longer in the open microsite. In addition, reduction Acknowledgements of radiation and soil temperatures under the canopy of tussocks Maestre et al. This work was supported by a fellow- mosses. We in the same site F.

Mosses are able to absorb large amounts Alicante, for granting a scholarship for supporting E. Thus, it may be possible that mosses developing under the canopy of S.

Microphytic soil crusts and desert ecosystems essay

Patch structure, dynamics and implications for the functioning of arid ecosystems. Aggregation of soil par- The formation, maintenance and dynamics of vegetated ticles by algae. The effect of patchy distribution of Stipa tenacissima L.

Thus, microphytic crust that dominated the open sacharide production by a unicellular cyanobacterium isolated from a microsites could play an important role in the generation hypersaline habitat.Vulnerability of desert biological soil crusts to wind erosion: the influences of crust development, N.E.

WestStructure and function of soil microphytic crusts in wildland ecosystems of arid and semi-arid regions.

Biological soil crust - Wikipedia

Advances in Ecological Research, 20 (), pp. Microphytic Soil Crusts and Desert Ecosystems Essay - Microphytic Soil Crusts and Desert Ecosystems Communities of micro-organisms create crusts on soils throughout semi-arid and arid regions of the world.

Biological Soil Crusts: Ecology & Management This publication was jointly funded by the USDI, BLM, and USGS Forest and Rangeland Ecosystem Science Center. The Negev Desert in Israel is a mosaic of macrophytic patches, consisting of shrubs and annual plants growing in a soil mound, and microphytic patches, consisting of algae, cyanobacteria, bacteria, mosses, and lichens growing on a soil crust.

Introduction to Biological Soil Crusts

Biological soil crusts are important microphytic communities and significantly influence both structure and processes within the ecosystem.

They are built up from cyanobacteria, green algae, fungi, mosses and lichens. Various crust types could be found, depending on dune slope aspect and dewfall. Microphytic Soil Crusts and Desert Ecosystems Communities of micro-organisms create crusts on soils throughout semi-arid and arid regions of the world.

These microphytic (also called cryptogamic) crusts are formed when all or some of a diverse array of photosynthetic cyanobacteria (blue-green algae), fungi, bacteria, lichens and mosses, bind.