BIOTA S-B2: Establishment of a long-term monitoring system for analysing diversity shifts of soil-inhabiting lichens in Southern Africa, based on the ecologically indicative values of lichen morphological groups


From 02/2007 to 12/2009

Principal Investigator: Gerhard Rambold
Staff: Luciana Zedda

Soil-inhabiting are an important component of arid to semi-arid ecosystems. They form biological soil crusts together with other organism groups (e.g., cyanobacteria and bryophytes), which occur in all hot, cool, cold arid and semi-arid regions of the world, and play a very important role in these ecosystems, since they are able to retain soil moisture, to reduce wind and water erosion of the soil, fix atmospheric nitrogen (cyanolichens), and to contribute to soil organic matter and nutrient richness. Lichens are among the most important ecological indicators and can be used to monitor different kinds of environmental impacts. Main objectives of our work are the assessment of lichen diversity and of its shifts along climatic and vegetation gradients (especially of lichens forming biological soil crusts), the investigation of relationships among lichen diversity and abiotic and biotic factors, the identification of the indicator value of lichen taxa and of lichen characters. In BIOTA phase III our workpackage aims to develop a simplified long-term monitoring strategy, using lichen morphological groups as indicators of climate changes, soil type and land use intensity. The diversity and cover degree of soil-inhabiting lichens and of their morphological groups is assessed using digital images gathered during BIOTA phases I and II. Data on lichens are related to abiotic and biotic factors in cooperation with other workpackages. Special emphasis is also given to the presentation of geo-referenced (collection and observation) data, descriptive (morphological, chemical and functional) data, taxonomic data, as well as literature references, in digital and printed form. For this purpose, descriptive data on all lichens occurring in Southern Africa are stored in the LIAS light database, and identification tools are provided, i. e. an interactive key to be accessed via Internet, as well as online information with taxon description and images.


List of publications of this Project

Schultz, M; Zedda, L; Rambold, G: New records of lichen taxa from Namibia and South Africa, Bibliotheca Lichenologica, 99, 315–334 (2009) -- Details
Zedda, L; Rambold, G: Diversity and ecology of soil lichens in the Knersvlakte (South Africa), The Bryologist, 112(1), 19–29 (2009) -- Details
Zedda, L; Rambold, G: Lichens and their importance for the monitoring of envrionmental changes in Southern Africa (Brochure), , 25 pp. (2008), doi: [Link] -- Details
Triebel, D; Peršoh, D; Nash, TH III; Zedda, L; Rambold, G: Chapter 8 Lias - An interactive database system for structured descriptive data of Ascomycetes. In Currey, G.B. & Humphries, C.J. (eds.), Biodiversity databases. Techniques, politics, and applications. The Systematics Association Special, , 73, 99–110 (2007)
Zedda, L; Neubacher, D; Rambold, G: Monitoring lichen diversity in Southern Africa and development of an integrated management and analysis system for georeferenced lichenological data, Anonymous (ed.) BIOLOG Biodiversity and Global Change Status Report 2005, 99-100 (2005)
Zedda, L; Rambold, G: Diversity change of soil-growing lichens along a climate gradient in Southern Africa. in Döbbeler, P. & Rambold, G., eds.: Contributions to Lichenology. Festschrift in Honour of Hannes Hertel, Bibliotheca Lichenologica, 88, 701-714 (2004)
Büdel, B; Deutschewitz, K; Dojani, S; Hörsch, B; Loris, K; Rambold, G; Reisser, W; Salisch, M; Schultz, C; Weber, B; Wirth, V; Zedda, L: Biodiversity and ecology of biological soil crusts (BSCs): from the micro-scale to the ecosystem scale in Beck, E., Berendsohn, W.G., Boutros, M., Denich, M., Henle, K., Jürgens, N., Kirk, M. & Wolters, V., eds.: Sustainable use and conservation of biological diversity - a challenge for society, 142-144 (2004)
Triebel, D; Peršoh, D; Nash, TH III; Zedda, L; Rambold, G: LIAS - an online database system for descriptive data of ascomycetes in Randlane, T. & Saag, A., eds. : IAL 5 Book of Abstracts: Lichens in Focus. Tartu., 38 (2004)
Kantvilas, G; Zedda, L; Elix, JA: A remarkable new species of Siphula (lichenized fungi) from South Africa, Herzogia , 16, 21-25 (2003)
Rambold, G; Zedda, L: Monitoring lichen diversity in Southern Africa and development of an integrated management and analysis system for georeferenced lichenological data in Anonymous, ed. : Sustainable use and conservation of biological diversity. A challenge for society. Symposium Report Part A, 142–143 (2003)
Zedda, L; Rambold, G: Diversity of soil-growing lichen communities in the quartz fields of the Knersvlakte (RSA), Verhandlungen der Gesellschaft für Ökologie, 33, 344 (2003)
Weber, B; Siber, R; Zedda, L; Büdel, B; Rambold, G: Datenhaltung, Analyse und Darstellung der Biodiversität und Verbreitungsmuster biologischer Bodenkrusten anhand GIS in Strobl, J., Blaschke, T. & Griesebner, G: Angewandte Geographische Informationsverarbeitung XIV, XIV, 595-600 (2002)
Zedda, L; Büdel, B; Feuerer, T; Rambold, G: Biological soil crusts and lichen diversity in south-western Africa: developments of the BIOTA subproject S05, Verhandlungen der Gesellschaft für Ökologie, 31, 300 (2001)
Zedda, L; Büdel, B; Feuerer, T; Rambold, G: Croste biologiche e diversità lichenica nel' Africa sud-occidentale: il progetto BIOTA S05, (2001)
Zedda, L: Publications containing records of lichens and lichenicolous fungi of South Africa. Version 1. January 2001, , (2001)
Büdel, B; Loris, K; Wirth, V; Zedda, L; Dojani, S; Feuerer, T; Küppers, M; Lücking, R; Ott, S; Reisser, W; Salisch, M; Rambold, G: Biological soil crusts of terrestrial ecosystems: modes of pattern formation and their modelling concerning diversity structure and function in cryptogamic communities in Anonymous, ed. : BIOLOG Status Report 2001, 108-109 (2001)
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