Climate dependence of physiological activity and small-scale development of biological soil crusts in Brandenburg
Type of project: research project with a duration from January 2018 to December 2020
Lead: Dr. Maik Veste, Brandenburg University of Technology Cottbus-Senftenberg and University of Hohenheim
Coorporation partners: M.Sc. Stella Gypser, (BTU) and Dr. Werner B. Herppich, Leibniz Institute for Agricultural Engineering and Bioeconomy, Potsdam-Bornim
About the project
Nutrient-poor raw soils are extreme locations. The topmost millimetres of these soils are colonised by stress-tolerant, alternately moist organisms that are adapted to drought and nutrient-poor conditions. These so-called biological soil crusts stick together the soil particles through their filaments and excreted exopolysaccharides. These complex biotic communities consist of a large number of different cyanobacteria, green algae, liverwort, mosses, fungi, bacteria and lichens, and with their complex interactions represent an “ecosystem en miniature”. They promote further soil development through the input of carbon and nutrients and influence processes at the ecosystem level. In Brandenburg, especially the dry grasslands on sand dunes, but also the post-mining landscapes are ecologically interesting locations for studies on the development of biological soil crusts. In addition, the habitats also have a high value for the landscape from a nature conservation point of view, so that studying the function of the bio-crust can provide new aspects for the ecology of these habitats.