Articles | Volume 8, issue 2
Original research article
07 Dec 2022
Original research article |  | 07 Dec 2022

Biocrust-linked changes in soil aggregate stability along a climatic gradient in the Chilean Coastal Range

Nicolás Riveras-Muñoz, Steffen Seitz, Kristina Witzgall, Victoria Rodríguez, Peter Kühn, Carsten W. Mueller, Rómulo Oses, Oscar Seguel, Dirk Wagner, and Thomas Scholten


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Short summary
Biological soil crusts (biocrusts) stabilize the soil surface mainly in arid regions but are also present in Mediterranean and humid climates. We studied this stabilizing effect through wet and dry sieving along a large climatic gradient in Chile and found that the stabilization of soil aggregates persists in all climates, but their role is masked and reserved for a limited number of size fractions under humid conditions by higher vegetation and organic matter contents in the topsoil.