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Can organisms other than vascular plants establish and develop on road slopes? Yes, biological soil crusts (or biocrusts) can. Here, we found that lichen biocrusts are common and relatively abundant in road slopes after ~20 years of construction with no assistance needed. These findings are of critical importance for dryland restoration because biocrusts can speed up ecosystem recovery by stabilizing soil surface, improving soil fertility and facilitating vascular plant establishment.
WE | Articles | Volume 19, issue 1
Web Ecol., 19, 39–51, 2019
https://doi.org/10.5194/we-19-39-2019

Special issue: Biological soil crusts

Web Ecol., 19, 39–51, 2019
https://doi.org/10.5194/we-19-39-2019

Standard article 06 Jun 2019

Standard article | 06 Jun 2019

Unassisted establishment of biological soil crusts on dryland road slopes

Laura Concostrina-Zubiri et al.

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Short summary
Can organisms other than vascular plants establish and develop on road slopes? Yes, biological soil crusts (or biocrusts) can. Here, we found that lichen biocrusts are common and relatively abundant in road slopes after ~20 years of construction with no assistance needed. These findings are of critical importance for dryland restoration because biocrusts can speed up ecosystem recovery by stabilizing soil surface, improving soil fertility and facilitating vascular plant establishment.
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