A soil crust is a layer of soil whose particles cohere because of organic material including live organisms and what they produce. Soil crusts develop most commonly in arid and semi-arid environments by biological organisms from diverse lineages binding together inorganic and organic portions of the soils. Organisms may include eukaryotic algae and fungi and prokaryotic bacteria including Crinalium epipsammum, a species of cyanobacteria that works with green algae to form crusts on coastal dunes.
- crust101.htm Introduction to Biological Soil Crusts, Canyonlands Research Station
- de Winder, B.; Stal, L. J.; Mur, L. R. (1 August 1990). "Crinalium epipsammum sp. nov.: a filamentous cyanobacterium with trichomes composed of elliptical cells and containing poly- -(1,4) glucar (cellulose)". Journal of General Microbiology 136 (8): 1645–1653. doi:10.1099/00221287-136-8-1645.
- Vázquez, G. (2007). "The Role of Algal Mats on Community Succession in Dunes and Dune Slacks". In M. L.Martínez, N. P. Psuty. Coastal Dunes : Ecology and Conservation. Berlin: Springer. pp. 189–203. ISBN 978-3-540-74001-8.
- Cryptobiotic soils by the USGS
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Belnap, Jayne, et al. 2001. Biological Soil Crusts: Ecology and Management. U. S. Department of Interior, Bureau of Land Management and U. S. Geological Survey. Technical Reference 1730-2. 118p.