Biotic Crust Project
Microscopic wonder of the desert world.
Welcome to the Biotic Crust Project
What are Biotic Crusts?
Microbiotic soil crusts are communities of cyanobacteria, eukaryotic algae, fungi, lichens, and bryophytes that occur in many semiarid and arid sites world-wide. Crust communities are most conspicuous in undisturbed soils of semi-arid regions, but they occur in hot deserts as well. Microbiotic crusts are considered to be essential components of healthy desert ecosystems.
What is the goal of this web site?
This web site presents information on the organisms of microbiotic crusts resulting from the Biodiversity Surveys and Inventories Project on sites in Western North America, and other related projects.
What can I learn?
Use the links in the left hand menu under "Projects" to get detailed information about the projects associated with this web site. The links under "Sites" lead to information on the localities sampled, with associated images of these sites and soil chemistry data. Use the links under "Taxa" to view information associated with different crust organisms. The link "Green algae" shows all of the (400+) isolates of green algae that we have found from desert crust communities. We have included images of the algae, morphological descriptions, and links to any DNA sequence data that have been collected for the organisms. There is also some limited information on other taxa.
Please be patient -- this is a work in progress!
Contact L.A. Lewis (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you have any suggestions.