Surveying for biotic soil crust lichens of shrub steppe habitats in the Columbia Basin

Heather T. Root, Bruce McCune

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Arid lands of eastern Oregon and Washington support a great diversity of biotic soil crust organisms that are often overlooked in biotic inventories. Land managers are increasingly interested in incorporating these species in their surveys so that they can protect unique habitats and prevent uncommon species from becoming threatened. Current monitoring guidelines for rangeland health sometimes take into account the percent cover by soil crusts; however, there is very little guidance for surveying for uncommon species. Furthermore, because soil crust species and habitats are unfamiliar to most botanists, finding these species presents special challenges. We outline suggestions for future surveys with these goals.


biotic soil crust; lichens; bryophytes; surveys; calcareous soils; sagebrush; Texosporium



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