Ecological boost for military lands

Some arid lands in the American West degraded by military exercises that date back to General George Patton’s Word War II maneuvers in the Mojave Desert should get a boost from an innovative research project led by CU-Boulder Assistant Professor Nichole Barger. The research team is focused on developing methods to restore biological soil crusts -- microbial communities primarily concentrated on soil surfaces critical to decreasing erosion and increasing water retention and soil fertility.  Such biological soil crusts, known as “biocrusts,” can cover up to 70 percent of the ground in some arid ecosystems and are dominated by cyanobacteria, lichens, mosses, fungi and bacteria, she said.

Give FeedbackSee More Photos View Photo