Biological soil crust diversity and composition in southwest Idaho

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Biological soil crusts (BSCs) were sampled by habitat types within and adjacent to the Orchard Combat Training Center (OCTC) in southwest Idaho. We focused on five native vascular plant-dominated current habitat types within the OCTC, including: 1) Wyoming sagebrush, 2) saltbush, 3) rabbitbrush, 4) winterfat, and 5) Sandberg bluegrass. We describe how BSC cover and species richness varied with habitat types in the study area. We recorded the relative abundance of BSCs and vascular plant species and collected voucher specimens for each BSC. The biodiversity of each BSC in these arid habitat types was much greater than many ecologists have assumed.

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