(Article of periodic en Anglais - 2011)

Document title

Differential hydrological response of biological topsoil crusts along a rainfall gradient in a sandy arid area: Northern Negev desert, Israel

Authors(s) and Affiliation(s)

YAIR A. (1) ; ALMOG R. (1) ; VESTE M. (2) ;
(1) Dep. of Geography, The Hebrew Univ., Jerusalem, ISRAEL
(2) Inst. of Botany, Univ., Hohenheim, ALLEMAGNE


Data on rainfall, runoff and soil moisture regime were collected at 5 monitoring sites in a sandy area, along a rainfall gradient from 86 to 160 mm. Despite the uniform sandy substratum the frequency and magnitude of runoff declined with increasing annual rainfall. Under wetter conditions a thick topsoil biological crust develops. This crust is able to absorb and retain large rain amounts, limiting the depth to which water can penetrate, and therefore water availability for the perennial vegetation. In the drier area, the thin crust can absorb only limited rain amounts, resulting in surface runoff and deeper water infiltration at run-on areas. These findings demonstrate the important role played by different types of biological soil crusts along the rainfall gradient considered, and question the generally held belief that higher rainfall necessarily leads to deeper water infiltration in sandy arid areas; and higher water availability for the perennial vegetation


Article of periodic

published at : Catena / ISSN 0341-8162

Editor : Catena, Cremlingen-Destedt - ALLEMAGNE (1973)

Millesime : 2011, vol. 87, no3 [pp. 326-333]

Bibliographic references : 19 ref.

Collation : 9 fig., 2 tabl.



INIST-CNRS, Cote INIST : 16767

Digital Object Identifier

Go to electronic document thanks to its DOI : doi:10.1016/j.catena.2011.06.015

Tous droits réservés © Prodig - Bibliographie Géographique Internationale (BGI), 2011
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