Advertisement

Natural Recovery of Biological Soil Crusts After Disturbance

  • Bettina WeberEmail author
  • Matt Bowker
  • Yuanming Zhang
  • Jayne Belnap
Chapter
Part of the Ecological Studies book series (ECOLSTUD, volume 226)

Abstract

Natural recovery of biological soil crusts (biocrusts) is influenced by a number of different parameters, such as climate, soil conditions, the severity of disturbance, and the timing of disturbance relative to the climatic conditions. In recent studies, it has been shown that recovery is often not linear, but a highly dynamic process directly influenced by nonlinear external parameters as extraordinary climatic conditions (e.g., particularly dry or wet year). Natural recovery often follows a general succession pattern, starting out with cyanobacteria and algae, which is then followed by lichens and bryophytes at a later stage. However, this general sequence can be altered by parameters like dust deposition, fire effects, and special climatic conditions as in fog deserts and under mesic climates. Recent studies have proposed that under favorable, stable soil conditions, the initial soil-stabilizing cyanobacteria-dominated succession stages may be omitted and moss-dominated biocrusts can develop in the initial phases of biocrust development. During natural recovery of biocrusts, soil properties change, e.g., soil nutrient and organic matter contents increase. Also, silt and clay contents of encrusted soils increase with biocrust maturity, which may be caused by two mechanisms, i.e., entrapment of fine soil particles by biocrusts and the new formation of smaller particles by weathering of the existing substrate.

Keywords

Biological Soil Crust Filamentous Cyanobacterium Natural Recovery Tengger Desert Successional Trajectory 
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.

Notes

Acknowledgments

MAB gratefully acknowledges the support of the Bureau of Land Management. BW was supported by the Max Planck Society (Nobel Laureate Fellowship) and the German Research Foundation (projects WE2393/2-1 and WE2393/2-2). JB was supported by US Geological Survey’s Ecosystem program. Any use of trade, firm, or product names is for descriptive purposes only and does not imply endorsement by the US government.

References

  1. Aanderud ZT, Blair JR (2013) Evaluating post-fire recovery of biocrusts and desert ecosystem services. In: 12th Biennial conference for research on the Colorado Plateau, Flagstaff, AZGoogle Scholar
  2. Anderson DC, Harper KT, Rushforth SR (1982) Recovery of cryptogamic soil crusts from grazing on Utah Winter ranges. J Range Manage 35:355–359CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Belnap J (1993) Recovery rates of cryptobiotic crusts - inoculant use and assessment methods. Great Basin Nat 53:89–95Google Scholar
  4. Belnap J, Eldridge D (2003) Disturbance and recovery of biological soil crusts. In: Belnap J, Lange OL (eds) Biological soil crusts: structure, function, and management. Springer, Berlin, pp 364–383CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Belnap J, Lange OL (2003) Biological soil crusts: structure, function, and management, vol 150. Springer, HeidelbergCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Belnap J, Warren SD (1998) Measuring restoration success: a lesson from Patton’s tank tracks. Ecol Bull 79:33Google Scholar
  7. Belnap J, Warren SD (2002) Patton’s tracks in the Mojave Desert, USA: an ecological legacy. Arid Land Res Manage 16:245–258CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Belnap J, Phillips SL, Troxler T (2006) Soil lichen and moss cover and species richness can be highly dynamic: the effects of invasion by the annual exotic grass Bromus tectorum, precipitation, and temperature on biological soil crusts in SE Utah. Appl Soil Ecol 32:63–76CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Belnap J, Phillips SL, Smith SD (2007) Dynamics of cover, UV-protective pigments, and quantum yield in biological soil crust communities of an undisturbed Mojave Desert shrubland. Flora 202:674–686CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Belnap J, Phillips SL, Witwicki DL, Miller ME (2008) Visually assessing the level of development and soil surface stability of cyanobacterially dominated biological soil crusts. J Arid Environ 72(7):1257–1264CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Bowker MA, Belnap J, Rosentreter R, Graham B (2004) Wildfire-resistant biological soil crusts and fire-induced loss of soil stability in Palouse prairies, USA. Appl Soil Ecol 26:41–52CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Bowker MA, Johnson NC, Belnap J, Koch GW (2008) Short term measurement of change in aridland lichen cover using repeat photography and fatty acids. J Arid Environ 72:869–878CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Briggs AL, Morgan JW (2012) Post-cultivation recovery of biological soil crusts in semi-arid native grasslands, southern Australia. J Arid Environ 77:84–89CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Büdel B, Darienko T, Deutschewitz K, Dojani S, Friedl T, Mohr K, Salisch M, Reisser W, Weber B (2009) Southern African biological soil crusts are ubiquitous and highly diverse in drylands, being restricted by rainfall frequency. Microb Ecol 57(2):229–247CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. Büdel B, Colesie C, Green TGA, Grube M, Lázaro Suau R, Loewen-Schneider K, Maier S, Peer T, Pintado A, Raggio J, Ruprecht U, Sancho L, Schroeter B, Türk R, Weber B, Wedin M, Westberg M, Williams L, Zheng L (2014) Improved appreciation of the functioning and importance of biological soil crusts in Europe – the Soil Crust International project (SCIN). Biodivers Conserv 23:1639–1658CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  16. Callison DM, Brotherson JD, Bowns JE (1985) The effects of fire on the blackbrush (Coleogyne ramosissima) community of Southwestern Utah. J Range Manage 38:535–538CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Castillo-Monroy AP, Maestre FT (2011) Biological soil crusts: recent advances in our knowledge of their structure and ecological function. Rev Chil Hist Nat 84:1–21CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Castoldi E, Quintana JR, Mata RG, Molina JA (2013) Early post-fire plant succession in slash-pile prescribed burns of a sub-Mediterranean managed forest. Plant Ecol Evol 146:272–278CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Chen R, Zhang Y, Li Y, Wei W, Zhang J, Wu N (2009) The variation of morphological features and mineralogical components of biological soil crusts in the Gurbantunggut Desert of Northwestern China. Environ Geol 57(5):1135–1143CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Cole DN (1990) Trampling disturbance and recovery of cryptogamic soil crusts in Grand Canyon National Park. Great Basin Nat 50:321–325Google Scholar
  21. Concostrina-Zubiri L, Huber-Sannwald E, Martínez I, Flores Flores JL, Reyes-Agüero JA, Escudero A, Belnap J (2014) Biological soil crusts along disturbance-recovery scenarios: effect of grazing regime on community dynamics. Ecol Appl 24:1863–1877CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Darby BJ, Neher DA, Belnap J (2007) Soil nematode communities are ecologically more mature beneath late- than early-successional stage biological soil crusts. Appl Soil Ecol 35:203–212CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Dojani S, Büdel B, Deutschewitz K, Weber B (2011) Rapid succession of biological soil crusts after experimental disturbance in the Succulent Karoo, South Africa. Appl Soil Ecol 48:263–269CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Drahorad S, Felix-Henningsen P, Eckhardt KU, Leinweber P (2013) Spatial carbon and nitrogen distribution and organic matter characteristics of biological soil crusts in the Negev desert (Israel) along a rainfall gradient. J Arid Environ 94:18–26CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Eldridge DJ, Ferris JM (1999) Recovery of populations of the soil lichen Psora crenata after disturbance in arid South Australia. Range J 21:194–198CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Fischer T, Veste M, Wiehe W, Lange P (2010) Water repellency and pore clogging at early successional stages of microbiotic crusts on inland dunes, Brandenburg, NE Germany. Catena 80:47–52CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Gomez DA, Aranibar JN, Tabeni S, Villagra PE, Garibotti IA, Atencio A (2012) Biological soil crust recovery after long-term grazing exclusion in the Monte Desert (Argentina). Changes in coverage, spatial distribution, and soil nitrogen. Acta Oecol 38:33–40CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Guo YR, Zhao HL, Zuo XA, Drak S, Zhao XY (2008) Biological soil crust development and its topsoil properties in the process of dune stabilization, Inner Mongolia, China. Environ Geol 54(3):653–662CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Hardman A, McCune B (2010) Bryoid layer response to soil disturbance by fuel reduction treatments in a dry conifer forest. Bryologist 113:235–245CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Hawkes CV, Flechtner VR (2002) Biological soil crusts in a xeric Florida shrubland : composition, abundance, and spatial heterogeneity of crusts with different disturbance histories. Microb Ecol 43:1–12CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  31. Hilty JH, Eldridge DJ, Rosentreter R, Marcia C, Pellant M, Wicklow-Howard MC (2004) Recovery of biological soil crusts following wildfire in Idaho Recovery of biological soil crusts following wildfire in Idaho. Rangeland Ecol Manage 57:89–96CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Hu C, Liu Y (2003) Primary succession of algal community structure in desert soil. Acta Bot Sin 45:917–924Google Scholar
  33. Jeffries DL, Klopatek JM (1987) Effects of grazing on the vegetation of the blackbrush association. J Range Manage 40:390–392CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Jia BQ, Zhang HQ, Zhang ZQ, Ci LJ (2003) The study on the physical and chemical characteristics of sand soil crust in the Minqin County, Gansu Province. Acta Ecol Sin 23:1442–1448Google Scholar
  35. Jia RL, Li XR, Liu LC, Gao YH, Li XJ (2008) Responses of biological soil crusts to sand burial in a revegetated area of the Tengger Desert, Northern China. Soil Biol Biochem 40:2827–2834CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Johansen JR (2003) Impacts of fire on biological soil crusts. In: Belnap J, Lange OL (eds) Biological soil crusts: structure, function and management. Springer, Berlin, pp 385–397Google Scholar
  37. Johansen JR, St. Clair LL (1986) Cryptogamic soil crusts: recovery from grazing near Camp Floyd State Park, Utah, USA. Great Basin Nat 46:632–640Google Scholar
  38. Johansen JR, St. Clair LL, Webb BL, Nebeker GT (1984) Recovery patterns of cryptogamic soil crusts in desert rangelands following fire disturbance. Bryologist 87:238–243CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Johansen JR, Ashley J, Rayburn WR (1993) Effects of rangefire on soil algal crusts in semiarid shrub-steppe of the lower Columbia Basin and their subsequent recovery. Great Basin Nat 53(1):73–88Google Scholar
  40. Kade A, Warren SJ (2002) Soil and plant recovery after historic military disturbances in the Sonoran Desert, USA. Arid Land Res Manage 16:231–243CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Karnieli A, Gabai A, Ichoku C, Zaady E, Shachak M (2002) Temporal dynamics of soil and vegetation spectral responses in a semi-arid environment. Int J Remote Sens 23(19):4073–4087CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Kaštovská K, Elster J, Stibal M, Šantrůčková H (2005) Microbial assemblages in soil microbial succession after glacial retreat in Svalbard (High Arctic). Microb Ecol 50:396–407CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  43. Kidron GJ, Vonshak A, Abeliovich A (2008) Recovery rates of microbiotic custs within a dune ecosystem in the Negev desert. Geomorphology 100:444–452CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Kidron GJ, Vonshak A, Dor I, Barinova S, Abeliovich A (2010) Properties and spatial distribution of microbiotic crusts in the Negev Desert, Israel. Catena 82:92–101CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Knelman JE, Schmidt SK, Lynch RC, Darcy JL, Castle SC, Cleveland CC, Nemergut DR (2014) Nutrient addition dramatically accelerates microbial community succession. Plos One 9(7):e102609CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  46. Lalley JS, Viles HA (2008) Recovery of lichen-dominated soil crusts in a hyper-arid desert. Biodivers Conserv 17:1–20CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Lan S, Wu L, Zhang D, Hu C (2012) Successional stages of biological soil crusts and their microstructure variability in Shapotou region (China). Environ Earth Sci 65:77–88CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Langhans TM, Storm C, Schwabe A (2009) Community assembly of biological soil crusts of different successional stages in a temperate sand ecosystem, as assessed by direct determination and enrichment techniques. Microb Ecol 58:394–407CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  49. Langhans TM, Storm C, Schwabe A (2010) Regeneration processes of biological soil crusts, macro-cryptogams and vascular plant species after fine-scale disturbance in a temperate region: recolonization or successional replacement? Flora 205:46–60CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Lázaro R, Cantón Y, Solé-Benet A, Bevan J, Alexander R, Sancho LG, Puigdefábregas J (2008) The influence of competition between lichen colonization and erosion on the evolution of soil surfaces in the Tabernas badlands (SE Spain) and its landscape effects. Geomorphology 102:252–266CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Li XR, Zhou HY, Wang XP, Zhu YG, O’Conner PJ (2003) The effects of sand stabilization and revegetation on cryptogam species diversity and soil fertility in the Tengger Desert, Northern China. Plant Soil 251:237–245CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Li X, Xiao H, Zhang J, Wang X (2004) Long-term ecosystem effects of sand-binding vegetation in the Tengger Desert, Northern China. Restor Ecol 12:376–390CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Li XR, Kong DS, Tan HJ, Wang XP (2007) Changes in soil and vegetation following stabilisation of dunes in the southeastern fringe of the Tengger Desert, China. Plant Soil 300:221–231CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Li XJ, Li XR, Song WM, Gao YP, Zheng JG, Jia RL (2008) Effects of crust and shrub patches on runoff, sedimentation, and related nutrient (C, N) redistribution in the desertified steppe zone of the Tengger Desert, Northern China. Geomorphology 96:221–232CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Liu LC, Li SZ, Duan ZH, Wang T, Zhang ZS, Li XR (2006) Effects of microbiotic crusts on dew deposition in the restored vegetation area at Shapotou, Northwest China. J Hydrol 328:331–337CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Lynn RI, Cameron RE (1973) Role of algae in crust formation and nitrogen cycling in desert soils. US/IBM Desert Biome Res. Memo 73-40, Utah State University, Logan, Utah, pp 1–26Google Scholar
  57. Miralles I, Trasar-Cepeda C, Leiros MC, Gil-Sotres F (2013) Labile carbon in biological soil crusts in the Tabernas desert, SE Spain. Soil Biol Biochem 58:1–8CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Pan YX, Wang XP, Zhang YF (2010) Dew formation characteristics in a revegetation-stabilized desert ecosystem in Shapotou area, Northern China. J Hydrol 387:265–272CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Pan YX, Wang XP, Zhang YF, Hu R (2014) Influence of topography on formation characteristics of hygroscopic and condensate water in Shapotou, Ningxia. Chin J Desert Res 34:118–124Google Scholar
  60. Paus SM (1997) Die Erdflechtenvegetation Nordwestdeutschlands und einiger Randgebiete. Bibliotheca Lichenologica 66:1–222Google Scholar
  61. Pietrasiak N, Regus JU, Johansen JR, Lam D, Sachs JL, Santiago LS (2013) Biological soil crust community types differ in key ecological functions. Soil Biol Biochem 65:168–171CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Read CF, Duncan DH, Vesk PA, Elith J (2011) Surprisingly fast recovery of biological soil crusts following livestock removal in southern Australia. J Veg Sci 22:905–916CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Read CF, Elith J, Vesk PA (2016) Testing a model of biological soil crust succession. J Veg Sci 27:176–186. doi: 10.1111/jvs.12332 Google Scholar
  64. Rychert RC (2002) Assessment of cryptobiotic crust recovery. West N Am Nat 62:223–227Google Scholar
  65. Thomas AD, Dougill AJ (2006) Spatial and temporal distribution of cyanobacterial soil crusts in the Kalahari: implications for soil surface properties. Geomorphology 85:17–29CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Tian GQ, Bai XL, Xu J, Wang XD (2005) Experimental studies on natural regeneration and artificial cultures of moss crusts on fixed dunes in the Tengger Desert. Acta Phytoecol Sin 29:164–169Google Scholar
  67. Tian G, Bai X, Xu J, Wang X (2006) Experimental studies on the natural restoration and the artificial culture of the moss crusts on fixed dunes in the Tengger Desert, China. Front Biol China 1:13–17CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. Veluci RM, Neher DA, Weicht TR (2006) Nitrogen fixation and leaching of biological soil crust communities in mesic temperate soils. Microb Ecol 51:189–196CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  69. Wang XP, Young MH, Yu Z, Li XR, Zhang ZS (2007) Long-term effects of restoration on soil hydraulic properties in revegetation-stabilized desert ecosystems. Geophys Res Lett 34(24)Google Scholar
  70. Williams WJ, Eldridge DJ (2011) Deposition of sand over a cyanobacterial soil crust increases nitrogen bioavailability in a semi-arid woodland. Appl Soil Ecol 49:26–31CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  71. Williams AJ, Buck BJ, Beyene MA (2012) Biological soil crusts in the Mojave Desert, USA: micromorphology and pedogenesis. Soil Sci Soc Am J 76(5):1685–1695CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  72. Xiao B, Zhao YG, Wang HF, Wu JY (2014) Natural recovery of moss-dominated biological soil crusts after surface soil removal and their long-term effects on soil water conditions in a semi-arid environment. Catena 120:1–11CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  73. Yair A, Verrecchia E (2002) The role of the mineral component in surface stabilization processes of a disturbed desert sandy surface. Land Degrad Devel 13:293–306Google Scholar
  74. Yeager CM, Kornosky JL, Housman DC, Grote EE, Belnap J, Kuske CR (2004) Diazotrophic community structure and function in two successional stages of biological soil crusts from the Colorado Plateau and Chihuahuan Desert. Appl Environ Microbiol 70:973–983CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  75. Zaady E, Karnieli A, Shachack M (2007) Applying a field spectroscopy technique for assessing successional trends of biological soil crusts in a semi-arid environment. J Arid Environ 70:463–477CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  76. Zhang Y (2005) The microstructure and formation of biological soil crusts in their early developmental stage. Chin Sci Bull 50:117–121Google Scholar
  77. Zhang YM, Chen J, Wang L, Wang XQ, Gu ZH (2007) The spatial distribution patterns of biological soil crusts in the Gurbantunggut Desert, Northern Xinjiang, China. J Arid Environ 68:599–610CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  78. Zhang J, Zhang YM, Downing A, Cheng JH, Zhou XB, Zhang BC (2009) The influence of biological soil crusts on dew deposition in Gurbantunggut Desert, Northwestern China. J Hydrol 379:220–228CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  79. Zhao HL, Guo YR, Zhou RL, Drake S (2010) Biological soil crust and surface soil properties in different vegetation types of Horqin Sand Land, China. Catena 82(2):70–76CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  80. Zhao HL, Guo YR, Zhou RL, Drake S (2011) The effects of plantation development on biological soil crust and topsoil properties in a desert in northern China. Geoderma 160(3–4):367–372CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bettina Weber
    • 1
    Email author
  • Matt Bowker
    • 2
  • Yuanming Zhang
    • 3
  • Jayne Belnap
    • 4
  1. 1.Multiphase Chemistry DepartmentMax Planck Institute for ChemistryMainzGermany
  2. 2.School of ForestryNorthern Arizona UniversityFlagstaffUSA
  3. 3.Department of Biogeography and BioresourceXinjiang Institute of Ecology and Geography, Chinese Academy of SciencesUrumqi CityChina
  4. 4.U.S. Geological SurveySouthwest Biological Science CenterMoabUSA

Personalised recommendations