(1) State Key Laboratory of Freshwater Ecology and Biotechnology, Institute of Hydrobiology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Wuhan, 430072, China; (2) Graduate School of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, 100039, China; (3) Department of Biological Science and Biotechnology, Wuhan University of Technology, Wuhan, 430070, China
In order to investigate succession of biological soil crusts (BSCs) and their microstructure variability, we conducted this work in Shapotou revegetation region at the southeast edge of Tengger Deser. The results showed that BSCs generally succeeded as a pathway of "Algae crusts, algae-lichen crusts, lichen crusts, lichen-moss crusts and moss crusts". Occasionally mosses directly occurred on algae crusts, and BSCs succeeded from algae crusts to moss crusts. Crust vertical stratification was a common phenomenon, from top to bottom an inorganic layer, algae-dense layer and algae-sparse layer were divided in algae crusts; a thallus layer, rhizoid layer and sub-rhizoid layer in lichen crusts; a "stem-leaf" layer, rhizoid layer and sub-rhizoid layer in moss crusts, respectively. The main crust binding organisms varied from filamental cyanobacteria (dominated by Microcoleus) in algae crusts to lichen rhizoids, free-living cyanobacterial filaments and fungal hyphaes in lichen crusts, and to moss rhizoids and fungal hyphaes in moss crusts. The dominant phototrophic organisms varied from Microcoleus (algae) in algae crusts to Collema (lichens) in lichen crusts, and to Bryum (or Didymodon and Tortula; mosses) in moss crusts. Total phototrophic biomass increased while the free-living algal biomass decreased with the succession of BSCs. In addition, exopolysaccharides and fine particles accumulated in the course of development and succession of BSCs, all of which lead to a gradual increase in crust thickness and porosity, while decrease in the bulk density.
Lan, Shubin (1); Wu, Li (1); Zhang, Delu (1); Hu, Chunxiang (1) .Successional stages of biological soil crusts and their microstructure variability in Shapotou region (China),Environmental Earth Sciences,2011,():40555