Contact: Lynn Yarris
DOE/Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Caption: This looks like ordinary dirt but it is a biological soil crust (BSC), a living mantle of soil particles bound together by microbes and their by-products. BSCs are common to the arid and semiarid lands that make up about 40-percent of Earth's total land mass.
Credit: (Photo from Ferran Garcia-Pichel, Arizona State University)
Usage Restrictions: with permission of Ferran Garcia-Pichel, Arizona State University
Related news release: Berkeley Lab team uncovers secrets of biological soil crusts