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Carbon and nitrogen are supplied by a variety of sources in the desert food web; both vascular and non-vascular plants and cyanobacteria supply carbon, and cyanobacteria and plant-associated rhizosphere bacteria are sources of biological nitrogen fixation. The objective of this study was to compare the relative influence of vascular plants and biological soil crusts on desert soil nematode and protozoan abundance and community composition. In the first experiment, biological soil crusts were removed by physical trampling. Treatments with crust removed had fewer nematodes and a greater relative ratio of bacterivores to microphytophages than treatments with intact crust. However, protozoa composition was similar with...
Despite being recognized as essential to soil health, soil fauna often are afforded inadequate protection. In this paper, we discuss interpretations of this problem from a traditional economic perspective. We argue that the traditional economic framework can provide adequate soil fauna protection if market failures are corrected, and in particular, all relevant costs and benefits to society are accounted for. In turn, we describe some of the techniques economists use to value changes in natural resource services and environmental quality that are not otherwise valued in markets. We identify some of the challenges in applying these methods, their limitations, and provide examples relevant to soil faunal services....