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Title Assessment and spatial pattern analysis of soil lichens along the BIOTA Southern Africa transect

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Short title Monitoring soil lichens

Author(s) Zedda, L.(1,2); Kong, S.-M.(1); Rambold, G.(1)

Presenting author Zedda, L.

Institution(s) (1) Lehrstuhl für Pflanzensystematik, Universität Bayreuth; (2) INRES, Abt. Geobotanik und Naturschutz, Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität, Bonn

Keywords Southern Africa; BIOTA observatories; lichen diversity; digital photography; digital morphogroups

Abstract The diversity of lichens forming biological soil crusts has been assessed at 28 observatories located along the BIOTA Southern Africa transects, by identifying lichen taxa and taking small scale digital imagery of the soil surface. Easily identifiable lichen morphogroups (DMGs) were determined among the recorded taxa, by statistical analysis of main morphological characters and of colour values, in order to facilitate an automated image classification. The distribution and cover amount of lichen morphogroups were subsequently analysed. Results from 18 observatories of Namibia are presented. The developed approach appears suitable to facilitate long-term monitoring of soil lichen diversity and may facilitate routine field work by specifically trained non-scientists.

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Ref. No. 534