Recovery of Cryptogamic Soil Crusts from Grazing on Utah Winter Ranges
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CitationAnderson, D. C., Harper, K. T., & Rushforth, S. R. (1982). Recovery of cryptogamic soil crusts from grazing on Utah winter ranges. Journal of Range Management, 35(3), 355-359.
PublisherSociety for Range Management
JournalJournal of Range Management
AbstractRange exclosures located throughout Utah in cool desert shrub communities were analyzed to determine, (1) the response of cryptogamic crusts to grazing, (2) soil variables that influence the development of cryptogamic crusts and (3) the time needed for reestablishment of cryptogamic communities after disturbance. The amount of lichen, moss and algal cover was found to be considerably reduced by domestic grazing. Sites with moderate to high as opposed to light cryptogamic cover were characterized by significantly heavier textured soils and greater salinity. Cryptogamic cover increased from 4% to 15% during the first 14-18 years of exclusion from grazing, but increased only 1% during the next 20 years. Reestablishment of a cryptogamic crust occurs in at least 14-18 years and possibly sooner.