Science Explorer

Exploring: Biological Soil Crusts

Southwest Biological Science Center

https://www.usgs.gov/centers/sbsc/science-topics/biological-soil-crusts (HTML Document 53.26 KB)

December 29, 2016

A Field Guide to Biological Soil Crusts of Western U.S. Drylands

https://www.usgs.gov/media/files/a-field-guide-biological-soil-crusts-western-us-drylands (HTML Document 41.43 KB)

Date Taken: December 29, 2016   ()

Biological soil crusts as an integral component of desert environments

Modified 2013-11-01
https://pubs.er.usgs.gov/publication/70048104 (HTML Document 15.80 KB)

Biological soil crusts as an integral component of desert environments Ecological Processes Biological soil crusts as an integral component of desert environments Series title: Ecological Processes ...

A Field Guide to Biological Soil Crusts of Western U.S. Drylands

https://www.usgs.gov/centers/sbsc/science/a-field-guide-biological-soil-crusts-western-us-drylands (HTML Document 59.54 KB)

Science Center Objects Contacts   Healthy dryland vegetation and biocrusts in Utah. The biocrusts are the darker colored patches between the bunches of grasses and cacti. (Credit: Hilda Smith, USGS. Public domain.) Topics

Don't Bust the Crust

https://www.usgs.gov/media/images/dont-bust-crust (HTML Document 43.39 KB)

To examine the influence of biological soil crusts in ecosystems (soil food webs, soil stability, soil nutrient cycles, and plant communities), Hilda ... Smith, biological technician, prepares to resample paired experimental plots where biological soil crusts were removed annually since 1995 or left intact at Arches NP.

Nitrogen fixation in biological soil crusts from southeast Utah, USA

Modified 2012-03-12
https://pubs.er.usgs.gov/publication/70024021 (HTML Document 20.71 KB)

Nitrogen fixation in biological soil crusts from southeast Utah, USA Biology and Fertility of Soils By: Abstract Biological soil crusts can be the ... Nitrogen fixation in biological soil crusts from southeast Utah, USA Series title: DOI: 10.1007/s00374-002-0452-x Volume: 35 Issue: 2 First page: ... dominant source of N for arid land ecosystems. We measured potential N fixation rates biweekly for 2 years, using three types of soil crusts: (1) crusts ... directly counted cells represented by Nostoc commune and Scytonema myochrous (dark crusts); and (3) the soil lichen Collema sp. At all observation times ...

The potential roles of biological soil crusts in dryland hydrologic cycles

Modified 2012-03-12
https://pubs.er.usgs.gov/publication/70028986 (HTML Document 20.93 KB)

The potential roles of biological soil crusts in dryland hydrologic cycles Hydrological Processes Abstract Biological soil crusts (BSCs) are the ... soil porosity, absorptivity, roughness, aggregate stability, texture, pore formation, and water retention. The influence of biological soil crusts on ... different types of biological soil crusts, discusses how crust type likely influences various aspects of the hydrologic cycle, and reviews what is known ... world. Most studies examining the effect of biological soil crusts on local hydrology are done by comparing undisturbed sites with those recently ...

A Field Guide to Biological Soil Crusts of Western U.S. Drylands

https://www.usgs.gov/centers/sbsc/science/a-field-guide-biological-soil-crusts-western-us-drylands?qt-science_center_objects=1 (HTML Document 59.54 KB)

Science Center Objects Contacts   Healthy dryland vegetation and biocrusts in Utah. The biocrusts are the darker colored patches between the bunches of grasses and cacti. (Credit: Hilda Smith, USGS. Public domain.) Topics

A Field Guide to Biological Soil Crusts of Western U.S. Drylands

https://www.usgs.gov/centers/sbsc/science/a-field-guide-biological-soil-crusts-western-us-drylands?qt-science_center_objects=0 (HTML Document 59.54 KB)

Science Center Objects Contacts   Healthy dryland vegetation and biocrusts in Utah. The biocrusts are the darker colored patches between the bunches of grasses and cacti. (Credit: Hilda Smith, USGS. Public domain.) Topics

A Field Guide to Biological Soil Crusts of Western U.S. Drylands

https://www.usgs.gov/centers/sbsc/science/a-field-guide-biological-soil-crusts-western-us-drylands?qt-science_center_objects=9 (HTML Document 59.54 KB)

Science Center Objects Contacts   Healthy dryland vegetation and biocrusts in Utah. The biocrusts are the darker colored patches between the bunches of grasses and cacti. (Credit: Hilda Smith, USGS. Public domain.) Topics

Vulnerability of desert biological soil crusts to wind erosion: The influences of crust development, soil texture, and disturbance

Modified 2012-03-12
https://pubs.er.usgs.gov/publication/70020351 (HTML Document 18.13 KB)

Vulnerability of desert biological soil crusts to wind erosion: The influences of crust development, soil texture, and disturbance By: Abstract ... Biological soil crusts, consisting of cyanobacteria, green algae, lichens, and mosses, are important in stabilizing soils in semi-arid and arid lands ... publication details Title: Vulnerability of desert biological soil crusts to wind erosion: The influences of crust development, soil texture, and disturbance DOI: 10.1006/jare.1998.0388 Volume: 39 Issue: 2 ... . Integrity of these crusts is compromised by compressional disturbances such as foot, vehicle, or livestock traffic. Using a portable wind tunnel, we found ...

Soil nematode communities are ecologically more mature beneath late- than early-successional stage biological soil crusts

Modified 2012-03-12
https://pubs.er.usgs.gov/publication/70033181 (HTML Document 20.35 KB)

Soil nematode communities are ecologically more mature beneath late- than early-successional stage biological soil crusts Applied Soil Ecology ... Abstract Biological soil crusts are key mediators of carbon and nitrogen inputs for arid land soils and often represent a dominant portion of the soil ... mechanism of this aboveground-belowground link between biological soil crusts and nematode community composition is likely the increased food, habitat ... Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved. Additional publication details Soil nematode communities are ecologically more mature beneath late- than early-successional stage biological soil crusts Series title: ...

Follow the Leader

https://www.usgs.gov/media/images/follow-leader (HTML Document 43.20 KB)

Dr. Jayne Belnap follows a narrow foot path through a diverse patch of biological soil crusts in an isolated area of Canyonlands NP that has never ... been exposed to grazing. Dr. Belnap has been studying biological soil crusts for more than 30 years.

A Field Guide to Biological Soil Crusts of Western U.S. Drylands

https://www.usgs.gov/atom/23419 (HTML Document 41.43 KB)

Date Taken: December 29, 2016   ()

Impact of biological soil crusts and desert plants on soil microfaunal community composition

Modified 2012-03-12
https://pubs.er.usgs.gov/publication/70035520 (HTML Document 19.66 KB)

Impact of biological soil crusts and desert plants on soil microfaunal community composition Plant and Soil Abstract Carbon and nitrogen are supplied ... vascular plants and biological soil crusts on desert soil nematode and protozoan abundance and community composition. In the first experiment, biological ... (such as the stress-tolerant Acromoldavicus). We propose that the impact of biological soil crusts and desert plants on soil microfauna, as reflected ... . ?? Springer Science + Business Media B.V. 2009. Additional publication details Title: Impact of biological soil crusts and desert plants on soil microfaunal community composition Series title: ...

Evaporative losses from soils covered by physical and different types of biological soil crusts

Modified 2013-05-14
https://pubs.er.usgs.gov/publication/70042353 (HTML Document 20.87 KB)

Evaporative losses from soils covered by physical and different types of biological soil crusts Hydrological Processes By: S. Chamizo, Y. Cantón, F ... availability in semiarid ecosystems. Biological soil crusts, which are widely distributed ground cover in these ecosystems, play a recognized role on water ... underlying them. On Day 2, when soil moisture was moderately low (11%), evaporation was slightly higher in well-developed biological soil crusts than in ... physical or poorly developed biological soil crusts. However, crust removal did not cause significant changes in evaporation compared with the respective ...

The influence of biological soil crusts on mineral uptake by associated vascular plants

Modified 2012-02-02
https://pubs.er.usgs.gov/publication/1016193 (HTML Document 18.93 KB)

The influence of biological soil crusts on mineral uptake by associated vascular plants Journal of Arid Environments The Publications Warehouse does ... cyanolichens (such as Collema sp.) are widespread in deserts of the world. The influence of these biological soil crusts on the uptake of bioessential ... influence of biological soil crusts on mineral uptake of associated vascular plants is known. These new case studies, and others previously published ... in the presence of the biological soil crusts. Soil crusts are generally negatively associated with Fe and P levels in associated seed plant tissue ...

Carbon and nitrogen fixation differ between successional stages of biological soil crusts in the Colorado Plateau and Chihuahuan Desert

Modified 2012-03-12
https://pubs.er.usgs.gov/publication/70028451 (HTML Document 20.14 KB)

Carbon and nitrogen fixation differ between successional stages of biological soil crusts in the Colorado Plateau and Chihuahuan Desert Journal of ... Arid Environments Abstract Biological soil crusts (cyanobacteria, mosses and lichens collectively) perform essential ecosystem services, including ... rates in different biological soil crusts. We classified plots on the Colorado Plateau (Canyonlands) and Chihuahuan Desert (Jornada) as early ... successional stages of biological soil crusts in the Colorado Plateau and Chihuahuan Desert Series title: ...

Impacts of biological soil crust disturbance and composition on C and N loss from water erosion

Modified 2012-03-12
https://pubs.er.usgs.gov/publication/70030852 (HTML Document 21.34 KB)

cyanobacterial crusts. ?? Springer 2006. Additional publication details Title: Impacts of biological soil crust disturbance and composition on C and N loss from water erosion Series title: ... Impacts of biological soil crust disturbance and composition on C and N loss from water erosion Biogeochemistry By: N.N. Barger, J.E. Herrick, J. Van ... examine the role of biological soil crust disturbance and composition on dissolved and sediment C and N losses. We compared runoff and sediment C and N ... concentration in the first minutes after runoff from light crusts was 3-fold higher than the percent N of the top 1 cm of soil, suggesting that even ...

Spatial modeling of biological soil crusts to support rangeland assessment and monitoring

Modified 2012-03-12
https://pubs.er.usgs.gov/publication/70028131 (HTML Document 20.87 KB)

Spatial modeling of biological soil crusts to support rangeland assessment and monitoring Rangeland Ecology and Management Abstract Biological soil ... potential cover and composition of biological soil crusts. We sampled low disturbance sites in Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument (Utah, USA ... ) to determine the feasibility of modeling the potential cover and composition of biological soil crusts in a large area. We used classification and ... between the actual cover and composition of biological soil crusts at a given site and their potential cover and composition condition so that sites ...