An electronic micropenetrometer (EMP) for field measurements of biological soil crust stability

Authors

  • Sylvie Laureen Drahorad,

    Corresponding author
    1. Institute of Soil Science and Soil Conservation, Research Centre for Biosystems, Land Use and Nutrition (IFZ), Justus Liebig University, 35392 Gießen, Germany
    • Institute of Soil Science and Soil Conservation, Research Centre for Biosystems, Land Use and Nutrition (IFZ), Justus Liebig University, 35392 Gießen, Germany
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  • Peter Felix-Henningsen

    1. Institute of Soil Science and Soil Conservation, Research Centre for Biosystems, Land Use and Nutrition (IFZ), Justus Liebig University, 35392 Gießen, Germany
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  • Paper based on a poster presentation, Annual Congress of the German Soil Science Society (DBG), September 3–9, 2011, Berlin

Abstract

Despite the importance of biological soil crusts (BSC) for ecosystem functions in arid and semiarid areas, little information on their mechanical stability is available. Goal of this study was to develop a micropenetrometer (EMP) that allows to determine BSC stability at high spatial resolutions. First results show that differences in BSC stability at 39 μm resolution can be detected and that cyanobacterial BSC has an average penetration resistance of 0.75 MPa.

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