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National Science Foundation (USA) 2006

Can Enrichment of Micronutrients Help Restore Biological Soil Crusts to Desertified Landscapes ?

Micronutrients Soil Crusts

NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION

Titre : Can Enrichment of Micronutrients Help Restore Biological Soil Crusts to Desertified Landscapes ?

Organismes NSF : Division Of Environmental Biology (DEB)

Durée : June 15, 2006 — May 31, 2008

Description
In the dry regions of the world, the soil surface is covered by biological soil crusts which prevent erosion, create and maintain soil fertility, and influence where water moves and is retained on the landscape. Biological soil crusts can be thought of as a large ’package’ of ecosystem function that is easily lost due to widespread surface disturbances. Previous studies indicate that greater availability of micronutrients in the soils may promote recovery of degraded soil crusts. To test this hypothesis, two experiments will be conducted : one focusing on a key crust lichen species grown in a greenhouse, the other focusing on the whole crust community in the field. Response of crust organisms will be monitored following various fertilizer additions, including manipulations of the micronutrients Zn and Mn. A new biochemical technique involving fatty acids will be developed to measure the status of biological soil crusts. Finally, five existing large-scale datasets will be examined using a statistical modeling approach to test the hypothesis that micronutrients limit biological soil crusts in multiple arid regions of North America.
Desertification adversely impacts 20% of the Earth’s population, and new tools to combat it are desperately needed. Healthy soils are the foundation of terrestrial ecosystems. It is hoped that by finding ways to promote recovery of biological soil crusts, we can restore function to degraded arid ecosystems and find ways to slow desertification.

Partenaires : Nancy Johnson Nancy.Johnson NAU.edu (Principal Investigator)

Financement : $11,197.00

Présentation (National Science Foundation)

Page publiée le 15 juillet 2017, mise à jour le 3 novembre 2017