Cryptobiotic soil is a biological soil crust composed of living cyanobacteria, green algae, brown algae, fungi, lichens, and/or mosses. Commonly found in arid regions around the world, cryptobiotic soils go by many names, including cryptogamic, microbiotic, or microphytic soils or crusts. Soil crusts are important members of desert ecosystems and contribute to the well-being of other plants by stabilizing sand and dirt, promoting moisture retention, and fixing atmospheric nitrogen.
near Owachomo Bridge
Natural Bridges National Monument