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!).

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Degraded military lands to get ecological boost from CU-led effort

New crust restoration project, starting next year. We'll be doing our first reconnaissance trip next week.

Degraded military lands to get ecological boost from CU-led effort


  1. Interesting article and something viable to be sure. Finally they are working on some productivity projects to grow these commercially. A major concern is that this proposed use of polyacrylamide which is the major component to Hydrogels. These products break down and become toxic and they release potassium acrylate and acrylamide.

    Acrylamide is a lethal neurotoxin and has been found to cause cancer in laboratory animals. It readily passes through the skin and can be inhaled as dust. Unfortunately, the chemical data sheets on hydrogels do not mention the fact that within a few years they will be composed entirely of these acrylamide units. Polyacrylamide is defined as “not readily biodegradable”

    Fortunately I don't believe the landscape industry really utilizes these much anymore, but I may be wrong. I remember when some locations actually required their usage if you were establishing a lawn.

    Oh well, just a thought

  2. Hi Timeless,

    personally I don't think the PAM will be very effective in assisting biocrust establishment, judging from my past research. But, in this project we want to combine and cross many possible proposed biocrust delivery methods (with/without PAM, with/without shade, different levels of inoculation with crust organisms, etc.), because no study has done so.

    I'd be interested in any references you know of on the ill effects of PAM.

    Since this is only a research project, not a full scale field application, the area treated will only be small sub-meter plots.- Matt