Climate change tweaks biocrust colors
The Arizona Daily Sun published an article about a recently published paper that investigated the consequences of altered temperature and moisture regimes on biological soil crusts and the resultant effects on soil surface albedo
William “Austin” Rutherford (lead author, now at University of Arizona), Scott Ferrenberg, Jayne Belnap, and Sasha Reed are Southwest Biological Science Center (SBSC) authors of the paper titled, “Albedo feedbacks to future climate via climate change impacts on dryland biocrusts”. The other authors of the paper are Thomas Painter, Gregory Okin (both from University of California), and Cody Flagg (National Ecological Observatory Network). In addition to highlighting the newly published paper and quoting Austin, Matt Bowker from Northern Arizona University and collaborator with SBSC biocrust researchers was also quoted in the piece.
Here is the link to the Arizona Daily Sun article: http://azdailysun.com/news/climate-change-tweaks-biocrust-colors/article_98c86688-45bd-55aa-abc7-1e63936fcbb6.html.
Here is the link to the paper the article focused on: http://www.nature.com/articles/srep44188.
Biological soil crusts (biocrusts) are commonly found on the soil surface in arid and semi-arid ecosystems (collectively called drylands). Biocrusts can consist of mosses, cyanobacteria, lichens, algae, and microfungi, and they strongly interact with the soil. These organisms or consortium of disparate organisms, depending on the specific biocrust, are important to the functioning of ecosystems and to the organization of plant and soil communities. To download a copy of “A Field Guide to Biological Soil Crusts of Western U.S. Drylands: Common Lichens and Bryophytes”, click on the adjacent Science tab.
Arid and semiarid ecosystems are expected to experience significant changes in temperature and precipitation patterns, which may affect soil organisms in ways that cause surfaces to become lighter in color and thus reflect more sunlight, according to a new U.S. Geological Survey study.