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!).

Friday, October 25, 2013

Biocrusts of Northern Arizona National Monuments Post 5: Sunset Crater National Monument

Typical conditions in Sunset Crater National Monument. a) Landscape view, showing open ponderosa pine forest and cinder-covered interspaces. b) A patch of the moss Ceratodon purpureus associated with organic matter. c) A typical cinder-covered interspace with little soil development.n

Sunset Crater-Soil development at Sunset Crater is rather minimal due to the recent geological origin of the parent materials. Areas with particle size distributions less than 2mm can be found, but are quite rare. Therefore, we did not extend our models to Sunset Crater due to the paucity of biocrust habitat. Survey crews did occasionally observe patches of moss cover, mostly Ceratodon purpureus, often associated with organic matter enrichment (Figure 9b). There was no observation of any cyanobacterial development on these sites, and only very minimal cover of the soil lichen Cladonia (note: rock lichens are quite abundant however). Interestingly, extensive moss cover was observed adjacent to the road possibly due to a N-sloping roadcut.

This is the latest in a series, see here for a lichen key, here for a moss key, here for a description of Walnut Canyon biocrust, here for a description of Wupatki biocrust.

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