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We examined the content and isotopic composition of nitrogen within soils of a juniper woodland and found that a cryptobiotic crust composed of cyanobacteria, lichens, and mosses was the predominant source of nitrogen for this ecosystem. Disturbance of the crust has resulted in considerable spatial variability in soil nitrogen content and isotopic composition; intercanopy soils were significantly depleted in nitrogen and had greater abundance of 15N compared to intra-canopy soils. Variations in the 15N\14N ratio for inter- and intracanopy locations followed similar Rayleigh distillation curves, indicating that the greater 15N/14N ratios for inter-canopy soils were due to relatively greater net nitrogen loss. Coverage...


map background search result map search result map A Break in the Nitrogen Cycle in Aridlands? Evidence from δ 15N of Soils A Break in the Nitrogen Cycle in Aridlands? Evidence from δ 15N of Soils