My research interests are highly interdisciplinary and involve studies at the interface of ecology with microbiology, soil science and global change biology. I am particularly interested in the variety of responses organisms make to environmental variation at the soil-plant interface and the influence of climate change on ecosystem processes.
One of my current projects involve the study of the determinants of beta diversity, including distance decay and environmental (e.g. climate) and edaphic (e.g. soil nutrients) factors.
I’m also interested in characterising biological soil crust communities in Fynbos soils.
Publications: Scientific articles
- Hernández-Valencia, I. & Mager, D. (2004). Use of Panicum maximum and Brachiaria brizantha to phytoremediate polluted soils with light crude oil. BioAgro, 15(3): 149-155.
- Mager, D. (2010). Carbohydrates in cyanobacterial soil crusts as a source of Carbon in the southwest Kalahari, Botswana. Soil Biology & Biochemistry, 42: 313-318
- Mager, D. Kalahari soil crusts: A fundamental component of resilience. Environmental Research Journal (in press).
- Mills, A. J.; Rogers, K. H.; Gillson, L.; Edward, T. F.; Witkowski, E. T. F.; Milewski, A.; Fey, M. V.; Gröngröft, A.; Petersen, A.; Stalmans, M.; Steyn, D. & Mager, D. Woody cover in savannas and shrublands is most constrained on soils with extremes of nutrient content in western southern Africa. Ecology (submitted).
- Mager, D. & Thomas, A. D. Extracellular polysaccharides from cyanobacterial soil crusts: A review of their role in dryland soil processes. Journal of Arid Environments (submitted)
- Mager, D.; Hui, C.; Mills, A. Distance, climate or soil? An evaluation of the determinants of ß-diversity at large scale. Ecology (in preparation – final stages).
- Mager, D.; Hui, C.; Agenbag, L. & Esler, K.J. Patterns of beta-diversity along a Succulent Karoo-Fynbos gradient. Oikos (in preparation – final stages).
- Mager, D. & Thomas, A.D. The effect of biological soil crusts on encroaching woody plant species. South African Journal of Botany (in preparation – final stages).
Publications: Book chapters
- Mager, D. (2010). Cyanobacterial Soil Crusts: Analysing Resilience in Kalahari Sand Soils. In: Semi-Arid Environments: Agriculture, Water Supply and Vegetation (Degenovine, K. M). Nova Science Publishers, Inc. ISBN: 978-1-61761-215-2.
- Gröngröft, A.; Mager, D.; Medinski, T.; Mills, A.; Petersen, A. & Eschenbach, A. Evaluation of the soil degradation state along fence-line contrasts. In: Biodiversity in Southern Africa: Patterns & processes at regional scale, Vol II (in press).
- Wisch, U.; Petersen, A.; Gröngröft, A. & Mager, D. The BIOTA Africa observation system in Southern Africa: Soil characteristics. In: Haarmeyer et al. (Eds) Biodiversity in Southern Africa: Patterns in space & time at local scale – The BIOTA Observatories, Vol I (in press).
- Reviewer and lingual editor of some articles and sections in:
– Biodiversity in Southern Africa: Patterns in space & time at local scale, Vol I (in press).
– Biodiversity in Southern Africa: Patterns & processes at regional scale, Vol II (in press).