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updated: April 24, 2006

Technical Reference

Our understanding of the biology, ecology and physiology of biological soil crusts has increased greatly in the past 10 years. Studies have been concentrated in Australia, Israel and the United States, but we have at least some information from sites around the world. There are now over 1,600 published studies on soil crusts.

The attached PDF file is a 90-page report that summarizes our current state of knowledge about biological soil crusts, with emphasis on crusts found in the western United States. This report discusses distribution, biology, and the physiological functioning of crusts, as well as techniques for monitoring and managing this resource.

This file requires Adobe Acrobat Reader for viewing. This free application can be used as an internet browser plug-in or as a stand-alone program. Follow Adobe Systems' downloading instructions and program documentation to properly install Acrobat Reader on your system. To view a PDF in your browser window, click on the file link and the Acrobat Reader plug-in will automatically load and display the file.

Tip: saving to your hard drive
PDF files can take a long time to download, especially on older systems or over slow internet connections. To significantly quicken viewing time, save the PDF files to your hard drive and use the stand-alone application to view them. This will also keep the file handy for future use.

To save a PDF to your hard drive
1. Click and hold on the link to the file. (Use the right mouse button on Win95/NT PCs.)
2. Choose the "save file as", "save link as", or "save target as" option from the drop-down menu. You will be prompted for a destination for the PDF (Win95/NT users should save the file with a .pdf extension).
3. After saving the file, launch Acrobat Reader and open the PDF for viewing.

Download Technical Reference (6 MB PDF File)

USGS Canyonlands Research Station
Southwest Biological Science Center
2290 S West Resource Blvd
Moab, UT 84532