A networking resource devoted to biological soil crusts and the researchers who study them. We will provide a means for international scientists to communicate, share their research, share important news and announcements, ask questions and find collaborators. We will also provide a space for informal writing on research, opinion, and ideas (now seeking posters!).

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Wallflowers of the Earth system

Science Daily's article about the Elbert et al. paper I wrote about recently.

Wallflowers of the Earth system


  1. I liked your other article and this above as well. Over here in Sweden ALL of things various small organisms (which I refuse to call primitive because I have to much respect for them) grow on every surface imaginable outside. During the summers when we have very heavy downpours during a lightning storm event, the downspouts from all building are loaded with chucks of mosses/lichens which pile up on the sidewalks. Such treasure troves of biological material could quite easily be gathered , collected and accumulated to mix with garden soils.

    The ironic thing is that the average IGNORANT Swede here hates these lifeforms on their roofs walls etc and spends a lot of Swedish Kronor in purchasing science-based chemical products to kill and loosen these materials from their roofs and other surfaces so that they don't breakdown the clay or concrete tiles into earth once again, to where they would eventually have to replace these with newer tiles.

    The sad thing is that these stupid chemicals are used in the first place to kill these valuable lifeforms, but also once they are removed, they are scraped up and thrown away in the rubbish bin. A good water ONLY pressure wash would be more effective just as the Thunderstorms prove. Plus anyone with half a brain would at least deposit these organics in their landscape to enhance the health of the garden.

    I saw this commercial last night on Swedish TV. There is a product called ( Tak GTI™ ) being sold at a chain named Nelson Garden Center here.


  2. Hi Timeless, as always thanks for checking in. It always annoys me when people call cryptogams lower plants as if they are inferior. Smaller yes, inferior....not really. i think desiccation tolerance is a pretty awesome trick that most "higher" plants have not mastered.

    Bummer about the war on mosses going on in Sweden. I love the aesthetic of a bryophyte covered building. The obsession with a moss free roof in Sweden is reminiscent of the obsession with a dandelion-free lawn in the US. Seems like a better roof saving solution would be to chnage roof tile material, for example recycled wood chips can be impregnated with recycled plastic to make synthetic lumber.