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.
Production of greenhouse-grown biocrust mosses and associated cyanobacteria to rehabilitate dryland soil function
Mosses are an often-overlooked component of dryland ecosystems, yet they are common members of biological soil crust communities (biocrusts) and provide key ecosystem services, including soil stabilization, water retention, carbon fixation, and housing of N2 fixing cyanobacteria. Mosses are able to survive long dry periods, respond rapidly to precipitation, and reproduce vegetatively. With these...Antoninka, Anita; Bowker, Matthew A.; Reed, Sasha C.; Doherty, Kyle
Climate change and physical disturbance cause similar community shifts in biological soil crusts
Biological soil crusts (biocrusts)—communities of mosses, lichens, cyanobacteria, and heterotrophs living at the soil surface—are fundamental components of drylands worldwide, and destruction of biocrusts dramatically alters biogeochemical processes, hydrology, surface energy balance, and vegetation cover. While there has been long-standing concern over impacts of 5 physical disturbances on...Ferrenberg, Scott; Reed, Sasha C.; Belnap, Jayne
Changes to dryland rainfall result in rapid moss mortality and altered soil fertilityReed, Sasha C.; Coe, Kirsten K.; Sparks, Jed P.; Housman, David C.; Zelikova, Tamara J.; Belnap, Jayne
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.