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interesting photos of lichen and rock weathering

  • 24 Nov 2021 8:09 AM
    Message # 12146385

    check out these photos -

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/deepchi/51378793433/

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/deepchi/51377796992/in/photostream/


    I looked online for similar photos without success. Papers related to rock weathering with characteristic patterns of exfoliation in Antarctica seemed promising, but were not accessible to me.


    I found this interesting -
    “Two species of snail, Euchondrus albulus and Euchondrus desertorum, eat endolithic lichens growing under the surface of limestone rocks in the Negev Desert, Israel. This unusual type of herbivory has the unexpected and major impact of weathering this rocky desert at a rate of 0.7 to 1.1 metric tons per hectare per year. The biotic weathering contributes to the process of soil formation at a rate that is similar to windborne dust deposition. These findings demonstrate that herbivores can have a significant regulatory impact on ecosystem processes, even in cases where the total amount of primary production consumed is small.” - https://www.researchgate.net/publication/235234658_Herbivory_in_Rocks_and_the_Weathering_of_a_Desert

  • 26 Nov 2021 11:09 AM
    Reply # 12149159 on 12146385

    I saw similar effects of lichens protecting (stabilizing) soil and soft rock on San Miguel Island in the Channel Islands in CA years ago. My collections from that are at Berkeley.Unfortunately the photos from that trip aren't digital.


    We also see the protection effect a lot by soil crusts on the east side of WA and OR. you probably have good photos of that!


    But the snail effect is quite wonderful! Do we have snails doing that here? I'd bet we do!

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