Leading the Way in Life Science Technologies

GEN Exclusives

More »

Best of the Web

More »
November 15, 2008 (Vol. 28, No. 20)

Biological Soil Crusts

  • Informative
  • Not for everyone
When was the last time you gave much thought to the soil crust? If you’re like me, it has probably been at least a week or two. Frequently found in semiarid and arid environments, biological soil crusts are prominent features of the American West. Crusts are typically found in the very upper regions of soil (1–4 mm) and they affect soil stability, erosion, nitrogen fixation, seed germination, and plant growth. Crusts mostly contain cyanobacteria, though microclimate actually determines the organism dominating the crust. At the Biological Soil Crust website, you can learn about soil crust, view a gallery of TIFFs depicting soil crusts, and download extensive reference lists. There’s even a section on the site that provides corrections to textbook information about soil crusts. Clearly there’s something for everyone here.
  • Key:
  • Strong Points
  • Weak Points
  • Ratings:
  • Excellent
  • Very Good
  • Good