Previous: Why Can Mosquitoes Transmit Zika, But Not the Flu?
Next: How Can We Clean Up the Oceans?



View count:119,617
Last sync:2017-03-18 06:00
Welcome back to Scishow TalkShow! In this episode Hank learns more about Biocrust explained by Rebecca Durham. Jessi Knudsen CastaƱeda also brings a ball python named Puzzle.

Hosted by: Hank Green
Support SciShow by becoming a patron on Patreon:
Dooblydoo thanks go to the following Patreon supporters -- we couldn't make SciShow without them! Shout out to Justin Ove, Andreas Heydeck, Justin Lentz, Will and Sonja Marple, Benny, Chris Peters, Tim Curwick, Philippe von Bergen, Patrick, Fatima Iqbal, Lucy McGlasson, Mark Terrio-Cameron, Accalia Elementia, Kathy & Tim Philip, charles george, Kevin Bealer, Thomas J., and Patrick D. Ashmore.
Like SciShow? Want to help support us, and also get things to put on your walls, cover your torso and hold your liquids? Check out our awesome products over at DFTBA Records:
Looking for SciShow elsewhere on the internet?

  (00:00) to (02:00)

*scishow intro*

H: Hello and welcome to the Scishow talk show - that day on Scishow where we talk to interesting people about interesting stuff. Today our interesting person is Rebecca Durham, a botanist who studies plants, and also fungi, and also algae, and

R: Lichens?

H: Lichens. Well what is a lichen?

R: A lichen is a symbiosis between a fungi and an algae and/or cyanobacteria.

H: Ok. So - but - ok. I feel like I got close enough!

R: That was good.

H: So you are - right now your active area of study is biocrusts.

R: That's right.

H: Living soil matrix things...that I do not understand. And they look like they came from another planet, and they're like these tiny little forests that tiny fairies live in, and I think they're beautiful... Are these from around here?

R: They are. Yes. They're from just -

H: Oh wow I didn't even know we had such things!

R: Yeah! Biological soil crusts are really important all around the world in arid and semiarid environments. These are about, y'know, from 20 miles south of Missoula and y'know a lot of the grassland and sage steppe areas...the biological soil crust plays a really big component in the ecosystem. 

R: So ours are a little - most people are only aware of biocrusts in the southwest like in Canyonlands and in that area, because of all the signage and things like that. 

R: Here they are just as important. They're probably a little bit less fragile here than they are down there, because down there you can have just, just a thin layer of biocrust species and then like dirt and sand and it's like kind of humped up. And if you step on it, it shatters.

R: Now here are crusts - you know obviously - are - they've evolved with larger ungulates and things like that, that you know, the elk can walk on some of these crusts and they won't just, you know, fall apart.

  (02:00) to (04:00)

  (04:00) to (06:00)

  (06:00) to (08:00)

  (08:00) to (10:00)

  (10:00) to (12:00)

  (12:00) to (14:00)

  (14:00) to (16:00)

  (16:00) to (18:00)

  (18:00) to (19:51)

Website Security Test