Weather data
A large number of automatic weather stations has been implemented in the frame of the BIOTA AFRICA project by the Namibian National Botanical Research Institute (NBRI) and the Group "Biodiversity, Evolution and Ecology" (BEE) of the University of Hamburg. The website offers hourly updates of data and graphs of a large number of weather parameters.



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Subproject S05

Prof. Dr. Burkhard Buedel, Universitaet Kaiserslautern, Fachbereich Biologie, Erwin-Schroedinger-Strasse, 67663 Kaiserslautern

Biological soil crusts of terrestrial ecosystems: modes of pattern formation and their modelling concerning their diversity, their structure and their function in cryptogamic communities

Cyanobacteria, often associated with algae, lichens and fungi form biological soil crusts. In this subproject, the diversity, structure and function of those crusts will be examined. Their community structure as the result of pattern formation shall be analysed in detail. The importance of large- and small-scale abiotic and biotic factors for pattern formation, i.e. macro-, meso- and microclimate, substrate, inter- and intraspecific competition, phycobiont selection and fungus-lichen interactions will be examined. In co-operation with the other subprojects, the effects of biological soil crusts on the diversity of other groups of organisms will be studied. Another main focus of this project will be to analyse the effects of biological crusts on the carbon-cycle. Since up to now the sink of c. 25% of the annual CO2 production is unknown, it is expected, that biological crusts on soil and rock, which cover wide areas in arid and semiarid ecosystems, will fill a major part of this knowledge gap.