Biocrusts are formed by living organisms and their by-products, creating a top-soil layer of inorganic particles bound together by organic materials. Along with other microorganisms such as heterotrophic bacteria, archaea and fungi, as well as with macroscopic lichens and bryophytes, cyanobacteria and algae represent the most important phototrophic component of biocrusts. On a global scale, biocrusts form the most productive microbial biomass of the Earth Critical Zone. These communities are almost unstudied in South America. The aim of the EarthShape priority program, where I do my PhD, is to challenge the Geoscience paradigm that Earth surface processes are controlled primarily by climate and tectonic forces and to demonstrate and quantify the massive influence of biota which shape the terrestrial Earth surface. The common study area is along the western coast of semarid and arid Chile, an ideal, but almost unstudied natural laboratory. Our focus is the upper few centimetres of the soil/rock surface where the presence of biological soil crusts is striking.
Seminars & Lectures
Botanical Excursions (Arten- und Vegetationskundliche Exkursionen, BIO-PÖS-18-W-9) – field course
Plant Ecology (FP Pflanzenökologie II, BIO-PÖS-12-L-7) – field course, lectures and seminar
Plant Ecology I (Aufbau-/ Vertiefungspraktikum Pflanzenökologie 1 Grundlagen, BIO-PÖS-02-L-7) - field course, lectures and seminar
Talks at Meetings
Williams, L., Jung, P., Büdel, B. (2016) Biological Soil Crusts and associated Cyanobacteria of Arctic, Alpine & Antarctic Regions. - BIOCRUST 3 - Third International Workshop on Biological Soil Crusts. Moab, Utah, USA.
Publications (peer reviewed)
Hopefully to be filled soon 🙂