December 2014 Moss and Biocrust Project Update

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December 2014 Moss and Biocrust Project Update

February 2, 2015

Rebecca Durham and Mandy Slate provide an update on inoculated plots that exhibit copious moss growth.

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A moist and mild weather system created ideal conditions for Mandy and I to assess moss growth in the exclosure experiment. In the spring, we will photograph each plot and begin to quantify results. Already we can detect trends.

Syntrichia ruralis carpets the ground where we applied a slurry of moss fragments to bare soil. Moss reduces erosion, enhances nutrient cycling, and increases water holding capacity. A healthy moss and biocrust community can create a positive restoration trajectory.

Plugs of S. ruralis established with or without jute.

Lichen appears in plots inoculated with biocrust (red arrows).