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Algal and fungal diversity on various dimension stone substrata in the Saale/Unstrut region

Kirchhoff, N., Hoppert, M., Hallmann, C.
Environmental earth sciences 2018 v.77 no.17 pp. 609
Ascomycota, Tardigrada, Triassic period, algae, cultural landscape, fungi, historic sites, lichens, limestone, microbial communities, monuments, mosses and liverworts, sandstone, soil biota, species diversity, weathering
Physical, chemical and biogenic weathering considerably threatens all historic stone monuments. Microorganisms, though inconspicuous, are key players of stone surface colonization and penetration. This study highlights eukaryotic microbial communities on dimension stone surfaces from two representative monuments of the “cultural landscape corridor” in the Saale–Unstrut area. The historical buildings were erected from local Triassic limestone and sandstone and are prone to various deteriorative mechanisms. Generally, trebouxiophyceaen algae and ascomycete fungi dominate among the latter dematiaceous fungi and lichen fungi are abundant. Inside the stone substratum, ascomycetes, mosses and even large soil organisms (tardigrades) are present. This may be taken as a hint for the formation of pores with large radii, which are “risk indicators” for progressive weathering and degradation of the rock matrix.