Articles | Volume 18, issue 11
Biogeosciences, 18, 3331–3342, 2021
https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-18-3331-2021
Biogeosciences, 18, 3331–3342, 2021
https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-18-3331-2021
Research article
 | Highlight paper
04 Jun 2021
Research article  | Highlight paper | 04 Jun 2021

Microbial and geo-archaeological records reveal the growth rate, origin and composition of desert rock surface communities

Nimrod Wieler et al.

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Short summary
Biological rock crusts (BRCs) are common microbial-based assemblages covering rocks in drylands. BRCs play a crucial role in arid environments because of the limited activity of plants and soil. Nevertheless, BRC development rates have never been dated. Here we integrated archaeological, microbiological and geological methods to provide a first estimation of the growth rate of BRCs under natural conditions. This can serve as an affordable dating tool in archaeological sites in arid regions.
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