Ruprecht et al. (2014) studied the genetic diversity of green algal partners (photobionts, Saracatinib in vitro chlorobionts) in the biocrust-forming lichen P. decipiens along four European sites of the SCIN project. Using phylogenetic analyses based on molecular data, they found a high chlorobiont diversity within P. decipiens, which was associated with several different species of Trebouxia and Asterochloris. Most of the chlorobiont species appeared to be cosmopolitan,
but five clades were unevenly distributed between the sampling sites. The wide range of chlorobiont species observed might contribute to the observed abundance of P. decipiens in areas widely differing in their environmental conditions and geographical location, such as a semi-arid shrubland in Spain and an alpine site in the Austrian Alps. The impacts of climate change on biocrust
constituents and the ecological processes associated with them are being increasingly studied (Escolar et al. 2012; Maphangwa et al. 2012; Zelikova et al. 2012; Reed et al. 2012; Maestre et al. 2010, 2013). Ladrón de Guevara et al. (2014) adds to this growing, but still scarce, body of literature. These authors report results from a manipulative full factorial experiment conducted in central (Aranjuez) and southeastern (Sorbas) Spain aiming to evaluate how precipitation, temperature, and biocrust cover, this website affect the assimilation and net C balance of biocrusts. They found that warming reduced the fixation of atmospheric C in biocrust-dominated microsites
throughout the year in Sorbas. In Aranjuez, there was an interaction AZD2014 Benzatropine between the three factors: during winter, net photosynthesis was significantly greater in high biocrust cover plots under natural conditions than in the rainfall exclusion treatment. The authors also noted the importance of rainfall and non-rainfall water inputs (NRWI) on responses to the climate change treatments they employed. This work suggests that changes in NRWI regimes as consequence of global warming could have a greater impact on the carbon balance of biocrusts than changes in rainfall amounts. They also indicate that climate change may reduce the photosynthetic ability of lichens, with a consequent possible reduction of their dominance in biocrust communities in the mid- to long term. Raggio et al. (2014) also evaluated results from the simultaneous monitoring of gas exchange, chlorophyll fluorescence, and microclimatic variables, of the most abundant biocrust constituents (the lichens Squamarina cartilaginea, Diploschistes diacapsis, Toninia albilabra and P. decipiens, and the moss Didymodon rigidulus) in the Tabernas badlands (Almeria, SE Spain). Measurements during typical activity days in the field over 1 year showed a similar physiological performance of the different biocrust constituent types studied.