The relationship between soil surface cryptogamic crusts and seed banks was investigated in the shrubsteppe in the Lower Columbia Basin. Seventy-four percent of the seeds in a disturbed bunchgrass community were found in crevices bordering cryptogamic crust polygons. In a sagebrush/bunchgrass community, 89% of the seeds were found in crevices. In a disturbed bunchgrass community, Bromus tectorum seeds were found in both the seed bank and aboveground vegetation communities. Bromus tectorum seeds were located in the seed bank of a sagebrush/bunchgrass community, although it had a minor presence in the aboveground community. Seeds of Artemisia tridentata Nutt. were not found in either the bunchgrass or sagebrush/bunchgrass communities. The high number of seeds found in crevices bordering the cryptogamic crust suggests that crevices play a role in determining the small-scale distributional pattern of shrub-steppe plants at the Fitzner-Eberhardt Arid Lands Ecology Reserve.
Boudell, Jere A.; Link, Steven O.; and Johansen, Jeffrey R.
"Effect of soil microtopography on seed bank distribution in the shrub-steppe,"
Western North American Naturalist: Vol. 62
, Article 2.
Available at: http://scholarsarchive.byu.edu/wnan/vol62/iss1/2