LTER Road Trip – How Soil Crusts Impact the Landscape

Sevilleta LTER

Blue grama grass, golden stems meeting dead undergrowth beneath, completely surrounded Dr. Jen Rudgers in the Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge (NWR). The meadow stretched as far as the eye could see, eventually meeting a dense slope of creosote shrubland, surrounded by bronze mountains in central New Mexico. The cool of early morning had already given way to the warmer sunshine, and she sported a thin jacket over dark field pants, her curly blond hair matching perfectly with the blue grama. From afar, or to an untrained eye, she looked like she was in the middle of performing a dance, shuffling her feet in the dirt between grass clumps as she turned in a slow circle.

In reality, I had asked her to showcase the methodology of the unique ‘Stomp’ experiment.

Read the entire blog on the LTER Network website!

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