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From Biocrust, With Love | The Radavist

Author(s): The Radavist
Video Release Date: April 30, 2024
Video Source: YouTube

Deserts have a reputation for being lifeless. Nothing is further from the truth. Dry places are full of life; you just have to know where to look for it… One of the most interesting places to look is right at the soil surface.  In the desert surrounding Moab, Utah, the soil surface is alive with vibrant, charismatic organisms known as biocrusts (also referred to as cryptogamic or biological soil crusts). These living communities of lichens, mosses, cyanobacteria, and other soil-dwelling creatures, thrive in the open spaces between plants, anchoring the desert sands in place. This film project embarks on an exploration of this underappreciated desert ecosystem, exploring the consequences of disturbing the delicate biocrust through unsustainable recreation. Join John Watson and dryland ecologist Dr. Kristina Young as they bike around the remote landscapes surrounding Moab, encountering biocrusts in nearly every corner, while also witnessing the disturbances that jeopardize the resilience of this beloved desert region. Amidst the stunning vistas and expansive biodiversity, desert-drunk friendships forged between John, Dr. Young, and director Sinuhe Xavier, resulting in a cinematic ode to biocrusts and the vital role they play in preserving the desert’s fragile equilibrium.

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