Synthesis on Biological Soil Crust Research
In this closing chapter, we summarize the advances in biological soil crust (biocrust) research made during the last 1.5 decades. In the first part of the chapter, we discuss how in some research fields, such as the microbial diversity of fungi, bacteria, and microfauna, the interaction between biocrusts and vascular plants, and in the rehabilitation of biocrusts, particularly large achievements have been made. We also review the corroboration and refinement of previously established knowledge in other research areas, e.g., in the fields of soil stabilization and disturbance effects.
In the second part of the chapter, we outline the research gaps and challenges foreseen by us. We identify multiple knowledge gaps, including many understudied geographic regions, the largely missing link between genetic and morphological species identification data, and the answers to some mechanistic questions, such as the overall role of biocrusts in hydrology and nutrient cycles. With some ideas on promising new research questions and approaches, we close this chapter and the overall book.
KeywordsBiological Soil Crust Eukaryotic Alga Bryophyte Diversity Climate Change Report Microcoleus Vaginatus
We would like to thank Emilio Rodríguez-Caballero for preparing and providing Fig. 25.1. BW gratefully acknowledges support by the Max Planck Society (Nobel Laureate Fellowship) and the German Research Foundation (projects WE2393/2-1 and WE2393/2-2). JB thanks the US Geological Survey’s Ecosystems and Climate and Land Use programs for support. BB acknowledges grants (BU666/11 to 19) by the German Research foundation (DFG). Any use of trade, firm, or product names is for descriptive purposes only and does not imply endorsement by the US government.
- Ciais P, Sabine C, Bala G, Bopp L, Brovkin V, Canadell J et al (2013) Carbon and other biogeochemical cycles. In: Stocker TF, Qin D, Plattner G-K, Tignor M, Allen SK, Boschung J, Nauels A, Xia Y, Bex V, Midgley PM (eds) Climate change 2013: the physical science basis. Contribution of Working Group I to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
- Delaux P-M, Radhakrishnan GV, Jayaraman D, Cheema J, Malbreil M, Volkening JD, Sekimoto H, Nishiyama T, Melkonian M, Pokorny L, Rothfels CJ, Winter Sederoff H, Stevenson DW, Surek B, Zhang Y, Sussman MR, Dunand C, Morris RJ, Roux C, Wong GK-S, Oldoyd GED, Ané J-M (2015) Algal ancestor of land plants was preadapted for symbiosis. PNAS 112(48):13390–13395CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
- Linné C (1774) Systema vegetabilium - secundum - classes ordines - genera species - cum characteribus et differentiis. Adornata Murray JA. Io. Crist, Dieterich, Gottingae, GothaeGoogle Scholar
- Pallas PS (1776) Reise durch verschiedene Provinzen des Russischen Reiches in einem ausführlichen Auszuge. Johann Georg Fleischer, FrankfurtGoogle Scholar
- Smith JMB (2015) Savanna. Encyclopedia Britannica Online (http://wwwbritanica.com/science/savanna)
- Weber B, Wu D, Tamm A, Ruckteschler N, Meusel H, Rodriguez-Caballero E, Steinkamp J, Sörgel M, Behrendt T, Cheng Y, Crutzen P, Su H, Pöschl U (2015) Biological soil crusts accelerate the nitrogen cycle through large NO and HONO emissions in drylands. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 112(50):15384–15389. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1515818112 CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar