New Fact Sheet: Biological Soil Crusts and Fire in Utah’s West Desert

Aanderud_thumbIf you’ve spent much time in the desert, you’ve probably seen the signs; “Don’t Bust the Crust!” These warnings for biological soil crusts refer to a specialized community of mosses, lichens and cyanobacteria that prevent dust erosion and capture nitrogen from the air for plant communities to use. Fire in deserts are changing these communities … killing the cyanobacteria, and allowing another, less useful bacteria to establish — Firmicutes. See fact sheet here.

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