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Biological Soil Crusts and Water Relations in Australian Deserts

Biological Soil Crusts and Water Relations in Australian Deserts,10.1007/978-3-642-56475-8_23,D. J. Eldridge

Biological Soil Crusts and Water Relations in Australian Deserts   (Citations: 10)
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In Australian rangelands, crusts comprise an assortment of lichens, bryophytes (mosses and liverworts), algae, cyanobacteria, and assorted bacteria and fungi (see Chap. 10). Whilst biological crusts in Australia are rather thin and occur often in association with physically or chemically crusted surfaces (Eldridge et al. 1995), they influence the flow of water through, and the movement of sediments over, the soil surface. Because of the marked differences in crust type and morphology at even small spatial scales, large differences in water flow through biological crusts often occur. It is these differences which make it difficult to generalize about the role of crusts in water flow in deserts.
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    • ... reduce wind and water erosion (Shtina and Gollerbakh 1976; West 1990; Rahmonov 1999), increase the nitrogen available to ecosystems through fixation and carbon dynamics (Belnap et al. 1994; Evans and Lange 2003; Evans and Belnap 1999; Belnap 2003) inhibit or promote seed germination depending on the circumstances (Zaady et al. 1997; Rahmonov 2007), and stabilize soil moisture and water relations influenced by soil crusts (Yair 2003; Eldridge ...

    J. Cabalaet al. Soil Algal Colonization and Its Ecological Role in an Environment Poll...

    • ...Little is known on the role of bryophytes in these environments; however, these organisms may enhance water infiltration (Eldridge, 2001; Warren, 2001), germination, and plant establishment (Belnap et al., 2001)...

    Juan de Dios Mirandaet al. Response of a Mediterranean semiarid community to changing patterns of...

    • ...This has the disadvantage that the soil surface immediately under vegetation is destroyed, and changes in infiltration can only be ascribed to a combination of removal of vegetation and disturbance of the soil surface (Eldridge 2003)...

    L’ubomír Lichneret al. Field measurement of soil water repellency and its impact on water flo...

    • ...Data suggest that porosity at the soil surface decreases as cyanobacterial biomass and lichen/moss cover increase (Figure 6), especially once lichen and moss cover exceeds a critical threshold (Eldridge, 2003)...
    • ...These micropore channels are also stabilized by crust organisms when soils are exposed to rainfall or overland flow (McIntyre, 1958; Bond and Harris, 1964; Rogers, 1989; Eldridge et al., 2001; Eldridge, 2003)...
    • ...Biological crusts are often associated with varying degrees of physical crusting, which is known to restrict infiltration and increase runoff (Romkens et al., 1990; Eldridge, 2003; Warren, 2003a)...
    • ...Unfortunately, in addition to the removal of biological crusts, such applied disturbances result in many changes to the structure of surface and sub-surface soils (Eldridge, 2003; Warren, 2003a)...

    Jayne Belnap. The potential roles of biological soil crusts in dryland hydrologic cy...

    • ...Thus the crust patches act as resource-shedding zones, redistributing water and nutrients to resource-rich vegetated patches (Eldridge, 2001b)...

    David J. Eldridgeet al. Diversity and Abundance of Biological Soil Crust Taxa in Relation to F...

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