Biological soil crusts (BSCs) are complex consortia of microorganisms able to modify soil physical, chemical, and hydrological characteristics and influence soil erosion resistance. Given their importance, this paper analyses the current knowledge about BSCs reporting the findings of 163 papers about different BSC aspects published from 1990 to 2023. At first, a review of the BSC main detection methods (visual inspection, remote sensing, and morphological characterization) is presented as they represent valuable tools in BSC identification and mapping, revealing some issues related to the adopted classification criteria and the BSC microbial composition. Then, the literature results about their influence on soil characteristics, hydrology, and erosion processes are reported. Although their positive effects on soil characteristics (e.g., stability and fertility) and resistance to soil erosion are widely recognized, conflicting results are reported on their influence on soil hydrology. The analysis of the available literature allowed for providing indications about the choice of which microorganisms are the most suitable to form BSCs, following the required objectives (soil physic-chemical improvements, soil hydrology, erosion processes resistance, cost, and time to produce their effects). In particular, the results showed that i) the BSC effects on the soil physic-chemical characteristics improve along their successional series; ii) bacteria and cyanobacteria can be considered the most valuable BSC in limiting and degraded conditions (sediment concentration in the runoff reduced by 87% in comparison to bare soils, cost of 350 USD ha−1, and a recovery time of 5–10 years); iii) the intrinsic heterogeneity of BSCs does not allow for explaining the divergence of the literature results on soil hydrology; and iv) mosses are the best BSC anti-erosive type as they produce the most similar effects as compared to vegetation. Finally, the main steps required to obtain microbial inoculums, the effects of their application to induce BSC formation, and future prospects of research are reported.

Guida G., Nicosia A., Settanni L., Ferro V. (2023). A review on effects of biological soil crusts on hydrological processes. EARTH-SCIENCE REVIEWS, 243 [10.1016/j.earscirev.2023.104516].

A review on effects of biological soil crusts on hydrological processes

Guida G.
Primo
Membro del Collaboration Group
;
Nicosia A.
Membro del Collaboration Group
;
Settanni L.
Membro del Collaboration Group
;
Ferro V.
Ultimo
Membro del Collaboration Group
2023-07-28

Abstract

Biological soil crusts (BSCs) are complex consortia of microorganisms able to modify soil physical, chemical, and hydrological characteristics and influence soil erosion resistance. Given their importance, this paper analyses the current knowledge about BSCs reporting the findings of 163 papers about different BSC aspects published from 1990 to 2023. At first, a review of the BSC main detection methods (visual inspection, remote sensing, and morphological characterization) is presented as they represent valuable tools in BSC identification and mapping, revealing some issues related to the adopted classification criteria and the BSC microbial composition. Then, the literature results about their influence on soil characteristics, hydrology, and erosion processes are reported. Although their positive effects on soil characteristics (e.g., stability and fertility) and resistance to soil erosion are widely recognized, conflicting results are reported on their influence on soil hydrology. The analysis of the available literature allowed for providing indications about the choice of which microorganisms are the most suitable to form BSCs, following the required objectives (soil physic-chemical improvements, soil hydrology, erosion processes resistance, cost, and time to produce their effects). In particular, the results showed that i) the BSC effects on the soil physic-chemical characteristics improve along their successional series; ii) bacteria and cyanobacteria can be considered the most valuable BSC in limiting and degraded conditions (sediment concentration in the runoff reduced by 87% in comparison to bare soils, cost of 350 USD ha−1, and a recovery time of 5–10 years); iii) the intrinsic heterogeneity of BSCs does not allow for explaining the divergence of the literature results on soil hydrology; and iv) mosses are the best BSC anti-erosive type as they produce the most similar effects as compared to vegetation. Finally, the main steps required to obtain microbial inoculums, the effects of their application to induce BSC formation, and future prospects of research are reported.
28-lug-2023
Settore AGR/08 - Idraulica Agraria E Sistemazioni Idraulico-Forestali
Guida G., Nicosia A., Settanni L., Ferro V. (2023). A review on effects of biological soil crusts on hydrological processes. EARTH-SCIENCE REVIEWS, 243 [10.1016/j.earscirev.2023.104516].
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/10447/606879
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