The challenge of restoring the desert’s delicate biocrust

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The challenge of restoring the desert’s delicate biocrust

Without cover of living microorganisms, desert is eroding
Cliff dwellings at Bandelier National Monument, N.M. Since the time when ancestral Puebloans made their homes in the cliffs, soil erosion has significantly increased.
Since ancestral Puebloans made their homes in the cliffs of what is now Bandelier National Monument, soil erosion has drastically increased. Erosion threatens the integrity of these historical structures.
The cyanboacterial filaments that make up biocrust latch onto soil particles, holding the surface together and preventing erosion.
Kristina Young examines a lab-grown biocrust reintroduction plot. Biocrust can take decades to grow in the wild.

The challenge of restoring the desert’s delicate biocrust

Cliff dwellings at Bandelier National Monument, N.M. Since the time when ancestral Puebloans made their homes in the cliffs, soil erosion has significantly increased.
Since ancestral Puebloans made their homes in the cliffs of what is now Bandelier National Monument, soil erosion has drastically increased. Erosion threatens the integrity of these historical structures.
The cyanboacterial filaments that make up biocrust latch onto soil particles, holding the surface together and preventing erosion.
Kristina Young examines a lab-grown biocrust reintroduction plot. Biocrust can take decades to grow in the wild.
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