Cyanobacteria and Algae of Biological Soil Crusts

  • Burkhard BüdelEmail author
  • Tamara Dulić
  • Tatyana Darienko
  • Nataliya Rybalka
  • Thomas Friedl
Part of the Ecological Studies book series (ECOLSTUD, volume 226)


Filamentous cyanobacteria are the key organisms in biological soil crust formation in all biomes of the world. However, especially in temperate, arctic, and high alpine regions, as well as in few dry Savannah ecosystems, filamentous green algae may act in a similar role. Here, we give an overview on the role, diversity, and biogeography of cyanobacteria and eukaryotic algae in biocrusts from all climatic regions and continents of the Earth. We refer to the species level wherever this is possible. Currently, there have been 320 species of cyanobacteria and more than 350 species of eukaryotic algae described from biocrusts. Despite this high diversity, only a minority of the cyanobacterial and algal species found is responsible for the bulk of biocrust formation. Others likely are opportunistic, utilizing the habitat created by biocrusts in the harsh regions of the Earth where habitable space is rare. We also discuss methods for the sampling and identification of biocrust algae and cyanobacteria.


Supplementary Online Material Soil Crust Biological Soil Crust Crust Formation Eukaryotic Alga 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Burkhard Büdel
    • 1
    Email author
  • Tamara Dulić
    • 2
  • Tatyana Darienko
    • 3
    • 4
  • Nataliya Rybalka
    • 4
    • 5
  • Thomas Friedl
    • 4
  1. 1.Plant Ecology and Systematics, Department of BiologyUniversity of KaiserslauternKaiserslauternGermany
  2. 2.Faculty of Sciences, Department for Biology and EcologyUniversity of Novi SadNovi SadSerbia
  3. 3.MG Kholodny Institute of BotanyNational Academy Science of UkraineKyivUkraine
  4. 4.Georg-August-Universität Göttingen, Experimentelle Phykologie und Sammlung von Algenkulturen (SAG)GöttingenGermany
  5. 5.Genomische und Angewandte MikrobiologieGöttingenGermany

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