Skip to main content
Advanced Search

Filters: Tags: cryptogamic crusts (X)

6 results (36ms)   

View Results as: JSON ATOM CSV
Recovery rates of cyanobacterial-lichen soil crusts from disturbance were examined. Plots were either undisturbed or scalped, and scalped plots were either inoculated with surrounding biological crust material or left to recover naturally. Natural recovery rates were found to be very slow. Inoculation significantly hastened recovery for the cyanobacterial/green algal component, lichen cover, lichen species richness, and moss cover. Even with inoculation, however, lichen and moss recovery was minimal. Traditional techniques of assessing recovery visually were found to underestimate time for total recovery. Other techniques, such as extraction of chlorophyll a from surface soil and measurement of sheath material accumulation,...
The role of the cyanobacterium Microcoleus vaginatlls in cold-desert soil crusts is investigated using scanning electron microscopy. Crusts from sandstone-, limestone-, and gypsum-derived soils are examined. When dry, polysaccharide sheath material from this cyanobacterium can be seen winding through and across all three types of soil surfaces, attaching to and binding soil particles together. When wet, sheaths and living filaments can be seen absorbing water, swelling and covering soil surfaces even more extensively. Addition of negatively charged material, found both as sheath material and attached clay particles, may affect cation exchange capacity of these soils as well. As a result of these observations, we...
In both field and greenhouse studies, cyanobacterial and cyanolichens of cold-temperature deserts often enhance growth and essential uptake by associated herbs. That effect is associated with better seedling establishment and larger seedlings. The following are possible mechanisms for these effects: (1) the microbiota concentrate essential elements in available forms in soil surface layers, (2) the microbial surface covers are usually darker colored than the soil itself and produce warmer soils during cool seasons when soil water is most available, (3) the gelatinous sheaths of several cyanobacterial genera common on alkaline deserts contain chelating compounds, and (4) conditions that favor persistent microbial...
Biological soil crusts of arid and semiarid lands contribute significantly to ecosystem stability by means of soil stabilization, nitrogen fixation, and improved growth and establishment of vascular plant species. In this study, we examined growth and nutrient content of Bromus tectorum, Elymus elymoides, Gaillardia pulchella, and Sphaeralcea munroana grown in soil amended with one of three levels of biological soil crust material: (1) a low-fertility sand collected near Moab, Utah; (2) sand amended with a 1-cm top layer of excised soil crust; and (3) crushed crust material. In addition, all plants were inoculated with spores of the arbuscular mycorrhizal fungus, Glomus intraradices. Plants were harvested after...
Cryptobiotic soil crusts are an important component of semiarid and arid ecosystems. An important role of these crusts is the contribution of fixed nitrogen to cold-desert ecosystems. This study examines the residual effects of various intensities and combinations of different surface disturbances (raking, scalping, and tracked vehicles) on nitrogenase activity, chlorophyll content, and chlorophyll degradation in these soil crusts. Nine months after disturbance chlorophyll content of disturbed soils was not statistically different from undisturbed controls, except in the scalped treatments, indicating recovery of this characteristic is fairly quick unless surface material is removed. Differences in chlorophyll degradation...
Anthropogenic activity is causing dramatic changes in the nitrogen (N) cycle in many ecosystems. Most research has focused on the increase in N input caused by atmospheric deposition and invasion of N-fixing species, and on their effects on resource availability and species composition. However, in contrast to many ecosystems experiencing large increases in N input, many arid ecosystems are experiencing loss of nutrients due to land-use change. An important component of many arid ecosystems on a worldwide basis is the microbiotic crust, a biological soil crust composed of lichens, cyanobacteria, mosses, and algae. Nitrogen fixation by lichens and cyanobacteria comprising the crust is the primary source of N input...