Two Promising Tackifiers may Enhance Moss Growth for Biocrust Restoration

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Establishing mosses could be valuable in restoring biological soil crusts following disturbance, yet a good method for delivering and establishing moss propagules is lacking.

Tackifiers are often used for soil stabilization and hydroseeding, and may help dryland mosses adhere to exposed soil. To investigate tackifier effects on moss establishment, Oregon State University and USGS researchers studied the sensitivity of two field-collected mosses - Bryum argenteum and Syntrichia ruralis - to three common tackifiers - guar, psyllium, and polyacrylamide – in various concentrations. Psyllium and polyacrylamide yielded promising results as potential agents of dispersal and adherence of dryland mosses. Guar tended to decrease growth, psyllium tended to increase growth, and polyacrylamide’s effects were generally neutral to positive. This is the first study to examine moss growth with different tackifier types and concentrations. The study aim was to inform future field studies on the restoration of mosses and other biocrusts.


Blankenship, W.D., Condon, L.A., Pyke, D.A., 2019, Hydroseeding tackifiers and dryland moss restoration potential: Restoration Ecology,

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Date published: November 28, 2017
Status: Active

Restoration and Ecology of Arid Lands Team (FRESC)

The focus of our research is on the restoration and monitoring of the plants and soils of the Intermountain West. Our lab is part of the Snake River Field Station, but is located in Corvallis, Oregon. Research topics include fire rehabilitation effects and effectiveness, indicators of rangeland health, invasive species ecology, and restoration of shrub steppe ecosystems.

Contacts: David A Pyke