cyanobacteria http://knau.org en Earth Notes: The Desert’s Crusty Nursery http://knau.org/post/earth-notes-desert%E2%80%99s-crusty-nursery <p>Many parts of the Colorado Plateau are covered with <a href="http://www.soilcrust.org.">distinctive soil crusts</a>. Scientists are learning more about&nbsp;how they aid ecosystems&mdash;especially by providing good places for plants to grow.</p><p>Soil crusts rely on tiny organisms called cyanobacteria that are good at colonizing bare soil. In cold regions, frost heaving can give a dark, pinnacled appearance to soil covered with cyanobacteria. And that complicated micro-topography is key to what comes next.</p> Wed, 21 Mar 2012 11:00:00 +0000 Cecile LeBlanc 10658 at http://knau.org Earth Notes: The Desert’s Crusty Nursery