Today is #WorldSoilDay. Good soils are vital to the global population: for the plants that grow and the food we eat. Here in the high desert, biological soil crusts are the foundation for plants and the animals that depend on them. Soil crusts are a network of cyanobacteria, fungi, algae, and bacteria. They hold soil, sand and rock particles in place, reducing erosion. They also trap water and nutrients that plants, like this tiny cactus, use to grow. You can help protect these soil crusts by hiking on trails, bare rock, and sandy washes. (cw)
Arches National Park,

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