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Biological soil crusts, consisting of cyanobacteria, green algae, lichens, and mosses, are important in stabilizing soils in semi-arid and arid lands. Integrity of these crusts is compromised by compressional disturbances such as foot, vehicle, or livestock traffic. Using a portable wind tunnel, we found threshold friction velocities (TFVs) of undisturbed crusts well above wind forces experienced at these sites; consequently, these soils are not vulnerable to wind erosion. However, recently disturbed soils or soils with less well-developed crusts frequently experience wind speeds that exceed the stability thresholds of the crusts. Crustal biomass is concentrated in the top 3 mm of soils. Sandblasting by wind can...
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Fifteen fires from the Chronosequence dataset (see Knutson et al. 2014) were visited in 2012 and 2013 and surveyed for cover of lichens and mosses. Fires were selected to cover the range of average precipitation for each of three water years following fire, fire severity, time since fire, season of ignition, total acres burned and grazing intensity. Cattle grazing was characterized by distance from water sources for cattle, cow dung density counts and Animal Unit Months from the Rangeland Administration System of the Bureau of Land Management. Fire was characterized by whether or not a site burned, time since fire, the area burned, and an estimated amount of shrub cover consumed by the fire as compared to seemingly...
Seven exclosures that were part of the original 28 Taylor Grazing Act exclosures across northern Nevada were surveyed for cover of biological soil crusts in May 2018. Surveys consisted of 15 quadrats both inside and outside of the exclosures. Quadrats were used to measure biocrust cover via point-intercept at 39 vertices within each quadrat. Cattle grazing outside of the exclosures was characterized by distance from the closest water source as well as permitted, suspended and active Animal Unit Months from the Rangeland Administration System. Abundance of cyanobacteria in the soils was assessed with the moistened soil method.
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The data reflect surveys from 10-year sampling frames established as part of the Sagebrush Steppe Treatment Evaluation Project. The project tests fuel reduction treatments on the lichen and moss components of biocrusts across the sagebrush steppe.
1. At the heart of the body of research on biodiversity effects on ecosystem function is the debate over whether different species tend to be functionally singular or redundant. When we consider ecosystem multi-function, the provision of multiple ecosystem functions simultaneously, we may find that seemingly redundant species may in fact play unique roles in ecosystems. 2. Over the last few decades, the significance of biological soil crusts (BSCs) as ecological boundaries and ecosystem engineers, and their multi-functional nature, has become increasingly well documented. We compiled ‘functional profiles’ of the organisms in this understudied community, to determine whether functional singularity emerges when...


map background search result map search result map Disturbance characteristics, vegetation and biocrust cover from the northern Great Basin (USA) 2012-2013 Biological soil crust cover from the Taylor Grazing Act exclosures Ten-year data for biocrust cover after fire management treatments on sagebrush-cheatgrass sites Biological soil crust cover from the Taylor Grazing Act exclosures Disturbance characteristics, vegetation and biocrust cover from the northern Great Basin (USA) 2012-2013 Ten-year data for biocrust cover after fire management treatments on sagebrush-cheatgrass sites