Pssst … pass the algae: Succession in lichen soil crustsAuthor(s): Heather T. Root; Erich Kyle Dodson
Source: Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment. 14(2): 451-452.
Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
Station: Rocky Mountain Research Station
PDF: Download Publication (1.0 MB)
Recovery of ecological communities following disturbance is a central theme of ecology and may be mediated by priority effects, in which the species or individuals that first arrive at a site alter the biotic or abiotic environment in ways that affect the establishment and growth of species or individuals that arrive at a later time. Priority effects are common, influencing species distributions and how ecosystems function (Connell and Slatyer 1977; Werner et al. 2016). Ubiquitous in arid and semi-arid regions worldwide, biological soil crusts (Figure 1) contribute to a large number of ecosystem functions including reducing erosion, increasing water infiltration into the soil, cycling nutrients, and influencing vascular plant establishment (Bowker et al. 2011). Lichens within these soil crusts also provide habitat for rich microbial communities (Wedin et al. 2015), as do species of parasitic fungi and others that live off dead or decaying material (Honegger 2012). Biological soil crusts are sensitive to disturbance, but the recovery of complex lichen-dominated crusts is poorly understood (Belnap and Eldridge 2003; Read et al. 2016). To date, research into how priority effects influence the post-disturbance recovery of soil crust communities has been very limited, despite their ubiquity and importance in numerous ecosystem processes.
- You may send email to firstname.lastname@example.org to request a hard copy of this publication.
- (Please specify exactly which publication you are requesting and your mailing address.)
- We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
- This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.
CitationRoot, Heather T.; Dodson, Erich Kyle. 2016. Pssst … pass the algae: Succession in lichen soil crusts. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment. 14(2): 451-452.
Keywordsecosystems, soil crusts, lichens
- Biological soil crusts [Chapter 3.4]
- Don’t bust the biological soil crust: Preserving and restoring an important desert resource
- Role of biological soil crusts in desert hydrology and geomorphology: Implications for military training operations
XML: View XML