If you’ve ever gone for a hike in the arid landscape of New Mexico, Arizona or other arid, Southwestern states, you may have noticed dark patches of soil resembling mold or algae, resting atop the sandy soil. Those strange patches are called “#biocrusts,” and they provide valuable services to the ecosystem and contribute to the global #carboncycle. They are also a fragile system, easily disrupted by shifting environmental conditions or disturbances like trampling.
Click below to read more about how a multidisciplinary team of biologists, geneticists and computational scientists at Los Alamos, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and National Park Service are helping us better understand these fragile crusts of “hidden life” so we can better protect them now and in the future.
Read More at: http://www.santafenewmexican.com/news/health_and_science/science-on-the-hill-fragile-life-underfoot-has-big-impact/article_67585a0e-3f83-5c07-8a29-e5872230baf9.html#.V169sTseOu0.facebook