Articles | Volume 14, issue 24
Research article
22 Dec 2017
Research article |  | 22 Dec 2017

Bryophyte-dominated biological soil crusts mitigate soil erosion in an early successional Chinese subtropical forest

Steffen Seitz, Martin Nebel, Philipp Goebes, Kathrin Käppeler, Karsten Schmidt, Xuezheng Shi, Zhengshan Song, Carla L. Webber, Bettina Weber, and Thomas Scholten

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Cited articles

Allen, C. D.: Biogeomorphology and biological soil crusts: a symbiotic research relationship, Geomorphologie, 16, 347–358,, 2010.
Barnes, B. V. and Spurr, S. H.: Forest Ecology, 4th ed., Wiley, New York, 774 pp., 1998.
Beck, E., Hartig, K., Roos, K., Preußig, M., and Nebel, M.: Permanent removal of the forest: construction of roads and power supply lines, in: Gradients in a Tropical Mountain Ecosystem of Ecuador, edited by: Beck, E., Ecological Studies, vol. 198, Springer, Berlin, 361–370, 2008.
Behrens, T., Schmidt, K., and Scholten, T.: An approach to removing uncertainities in nominal environmental covariates and soil class maps, in: Digital Soil Mapping with Limited Data, edited by: Hartemink, A. E., McBratney, A. B., Mendonça-Santos, Maria de Lourdes, Springer, Dordrecht, London, 213–224, 2008.
Belnap, J.: The potential roles of biological soil crusts in dryland hydrologic cycles, Hydrol. Process., 20, 3159–3178,, 2006.
Short summary
This study investigated biological soil crusts (biocrusts, e.g. cyanobacteria and mosses) within an early-stage mesic subtropical forest in China, where they were particularly abundant. Biocrust covers significantly decreased soil erosion and were more effective in erosion reduction than stone cover. Hence, they play an important role in mitigating soil erosion under forest and are of particular interest for erosion control in forest plantations.
Final-revised paper