Biological soil crusts: their history, diversity, and functional roles
|Convener: Bettina Weber | Co-Conveners: Ferran Garcia-Pichel , Burkhard Büdel , Sonia Chamizo|
Biological soil crusts (biocrusts), which consist of cyanobacteria, algae, lichens, and bryophytes with heterotrophic bacteria, archaea and fungi in varying proportions have already been a relevant part of Precambrian ecosystems and today form a key element in drylands throughout the world.
In this session, contributions on the diversity and distribution patterns of biocrusts, as well as their functional roles from local to global scales are presented. Also studies on biocrusts in former times as well as their response upon today’s threats, as land use and climate change, are included in this session.