Max Mallen-Cooper

PhD Candidate

Range limit dynamics in biocrusts

Biocrusts (biological soil crusts) are communities of non-vascular plants and microbes that form a living carpet in many of the world’s driest places. Confronted by a changing climate, biocrust species have four options: adapt, acclimate, move or die. My research focuses on option three. By identifying the climate variables that limit their current ranges, we can predict the movements of species as they attempt to track their optimum climate.



Livestock grazing and aridity reduce the functional diversity of biocrusts. Plant and Soil, 2017

Laboratory-based techniques for assessing the functional traits of biocrusts. Plant and Soil, 406(1), 131-143. 2016

Biological soil crust morphogroups: Function follows form. Australasian Plant Conservation: Journal of the Australian Network for Plant Conservation24(3), 16. 2015

Areas of Expertise

Areas of Expertise

Range limits, biocrusts, functional traits, biopedturbation