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Biological Crusts

Citation

Jayne Belnap, Biological Crusts: .

Summary

Desert soil surfaces are generally covered with biological soil crusts, a group of organisms dominated by cyanobacteria, lichens, and mosses. Despite their unassuming appearance, these tiny organisms are surprisingly critical to many processes in past and present desert ecosystems and are vital in creating and maintaining fertility of desert soils. They fix both carbon and nitrogen, much of which is leaked to the soils below. They stabilize soils, capture nutrient-rich dust, and can stimulate plant growth. These organisms must tolerate extreme temperatures, drought, and solar radiation, despite having relatively few wet hours for metabolic activity. Under most circumstances, they are extremely vulnerable to climate change and disturbances [...]

Contacts

Author :
Jayne Belnap

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Communities

  • Upper Colorado River Basin

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Provenance

From Source - Mendeley RIS export <br> On - Tue May 10 11:48:27 CDT 2011

Additional Information

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Type Scheme Key
Title Citation Biological Crusts

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