Southwest Biological Science Center

Filter Total Items: 19
The Needles District, Canyonlands National Park
June 2008 (approx.)

The Needles District, Canyonlands National Park

Photo of an active oil and gas pad on Bureau of Land Management lands near Canyonlands National Park, Utah.
November 2014 (approx.)

Active oil and gas pad on Bureau of Land Management lands near Canyonlands National Park, Utah.

Photo of USGS soil scientist Travis Nauman records vegetation data on decommissioned well pad.
August 2015 (approx.)

USGS soil scientist Travis Nauman records vegetation data on decommissioned well pad.

Photo of USGS scientist Jessica Mikenas collects surface soil pH data on decommissioned well pad.
August 2015 (approx.)

USGS scientist Jessica Mikenas collects surface soil pH data on decommissioned well pad.

Photo of USGS soil scientist Travis Nauman records vegetation data on decommissioned well pad.
August 2015 (approx.)

USGS soil scientist Travis Nauman records vegetation data on decommissioned well pad.

Photo of USGS soil scientist Travis Nauman examines biological soil crust communities near an abandoned well pad during field wo
August 2015 (approx.)

USGS soil scientist Travis Nauman examines biological soil crust communities near an abandoned well pad during field work.

Aerial view showing greenup of restoration plots in the lower Colorado River Delta following the 2014 Minute 319 pulse flow.
October 2015 (approx.)

Aerial view showing the intense greenup of restoration plots in the lower Colorado River Delta following the 2014 Minute 319 pulse flow.

La Sal Mountain Range
January 13, 2016

Snow-capped peaks of the La Sal Mountain Range as seen from the Island in the Sky District of Canyonlands National Park. This is one area in the Southwest where biocrust plays an important role. 

Photo of outdoor testing plots where biocrusts were exposed to different warming and precipitation factors over time.
September 26, 2016

USGS scientists created outdoor testing plots where large squares of biocrusts were exposed to different warming and precipitation factors over time. Researchers not only looked at how the biocrusts responded, but also measured the amount of energy that the different biocrust communities reflected back into the atmosphere relative to how much energy came in from the sun.

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 USGS study. 

Photo of USGS scientist Sasha Reed studying outdoor biocrust testing sites
September 26, 2016

USGS scientist Sasha Reed studies sites where different climate conditions are being mimicked to determine effect on biocrusts.

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 USGS study. 

Photo of biocrusts providing soil stability in the desert
September 26, 2016

Biocrusts provide soil stability and prevent erosion. Soil is the foundation where plants live; if soil is not stable, native plants can have difficulty growing.

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 USGS study. 

Photo of Biocrust outdoor testing plots
September 26, 2016

USGS scientists created outdoor testing plots where large squares of biocrusts were exposed to different warming and precipitation factors over time. Researchers not only looked at how the biocrusts responded, but also measured the amount of energy that the different biocrust communities reflected back into the atmosphere relative to how much energy came in from the sun.

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 USGS study. 

Photo of biocrust outdoor testing plots.
September 26, 2016

USGS scientists created outdoor testing plots where large squares of biocrusts were exposed to different warming and precipitation factors over time. Researchers not only looked at how the biocrusts responded, but also measured the amount of energy that the different biocrust communities reflected back into the atmosphere relative to how much energy came in from the sun.

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 USGS study. 

Photo of mature, dark-colored biocrust
September 29, 2016

On the Colorado Plateau, mature biocrusts are bumpy and dark-colored due to the presence of lichens, mosses, and high densities of cyanobacteria and other organisms. These organisms perform critical functions, such as fertilizing soils and increasing soil stability, therefore reducing dust.

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 USGS study. 

View from Canyonlands Research Center
September 29, 2016

View from Canyonlands Research Center. 

Photo of biocrust
September 29, 2016

On the Colorado Plateau, mature biocrusts are bumpy and dark-colored due to the presence of lichens, mosses, and high densities of cyanobacteria and other organisms. Disturbed biocrusts are lighter in color, looking more like the underlying sand than undisturbed ones, and are less capable of stabilizing soils or providing soil fertility.

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 USGS study. 

Photo of USGS scientist Jayne Belnap examining instrumentation to measure photosynthetic rates of biocrusts.
September 29, 2016

USGS scientist Jayne Belnap examines instrumentation to measure photosynthetic rates of biocrusts.

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 USGS study. 

Photo of footprint damage to biocrusts.
September 29, 2016

Many human activities can be unintentionally harmful to biological crusts. The biocrusts are no match for the compressional stress caused by footprints of livestock or people or tracks from vehicles.

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 USGS study.