05-19-15 Biocrust, Lichen, and Moss Field Note

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05-19-15 Biocrust, Lichen, and Moss Field Note

May 19, 2015

Rebecca Durham's field note shows spring blooms, insects, and soil crust research.

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An ant gives scale to the orange fruiting bodies of jewel lichen (Caloplaca sp.).

NAU researchers Matt Bowker and Anita Antoninka spent the week at MPG as we initiated a collaborative biocrust research project. Bruce McCune, lichenologist from Oregon State University, visited to give a seminar and helped us to identify cryptic crust species.

Although most bitterroots retract leaves from buds, this individual on a hot rocky hill drops petals from its first flower (Lewisia rediviva).

When we put our eyes to the earth, we find the space between vascular plants textured and diverse.

Copious rain coaxed spring splendor (Lithophragma parviflorum).

Driving on ranch roads, we found this bull snake sunning itself. We shooed it to safety, and it eyed us from the sage.

This white-grey moth made a conspicuous stop on bright balsamroot.

We visited various microsites and looked at lichen and moss species diversity. We increased our biocrust lichen and moss species lists and refined the sampling protocol for quantitative biocrust surveys. Anita and I will survey a subset of grid points this summer and fall.

Some early spring bloomers still linger (Claytonia lanceolata).

Bruce, Anita, Matt, and I looked at the biocrust restoration project in the exclosure and discussed growing material in a greenhouse environment vs. a field setting.

Matt scours the slopes looking for one of the collection moss species, Ceratodon purpureus.

When nosing around for lichens and moss, we encounter nature’s minutia.


Next Field Note

04-06-17 Field Note