Biological Soil Crust Rehabilitation in Theory and Practice: An Underexploited Opportunity

Bowker, M.A.

Publication Date:

The purposes of this review were to examine the ecological roles BSCs play in succession models, the backbone of restoration theory, and to discuss the practical aspects of rehabilitating BSCs to disturbed ecosystems. Most evidence indicates that BSCs facilitate succession to later seres, suggesting that assisted recovery of BSCs could speed up succession. Because BSCs are ecosystem engineers in high abiotic stress systems, loss of BSCs may be synonymous with crossing degradation thresholds. However, assisted recovery of BSCs may allow a transition from a degraded steady state to a more desired alternative steady state. In practice, BSC rehabilitation has three major components: (1) establishment of goals; (2) selection and implementation of rehabilitation techniques; and (3) monitoring.

Resource Type:
Peer-reviewed Article

Restoration Ecology