Journal article

Biocrust morphogroups provide an effective and rapid assessment tool for drylands

Cassia F Read, David H Duncan, Peter A Vesk, Jane Elith, Shiqiang Wan

Journal of applied ecology. | Published : 2014


Biological soil crusts (biocrusts) occur across most of the world's drylands and are sensitive indicators of dryland degradation. Accounting for shifts in biocrust composition is important for quantifying integrity of arid and semi‐arid ecosystems, but the best methods for assessing biocrusts are uncertain. We investigate the utility of surveying biocrust morphogroups, a reduced set of biotic classes, compared to species data, for detecting shifts in biocrust composition and making inference about dryland degradation. We used multivariate regression tree (MRT) analyses to model morphogroup abundance, species abundance and species occurrence data from two independent studies in semi‐arid open..

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