Biological Soil Crusts and Water Relations in Australian Deserts

  • D. J. Eldridge
Part of the Ecological Studies book series (ECOLSTUD, volume 150)


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.


Water Erosion Soil Crust Biological Soil Crust Raindrop Impact Splash Erosion 
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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2001

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  • D. J. Eldridge

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