Soil surface temperature, an important driver of terrestrial biogeochemical processes, depends strongly on soil albedo, which can be significantly modified by factors such as plant cover. In sparsely vegetated lands, the soil surface can be colonized by photosynthetic microbes that build biocrust communities.

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    Couradeau, E., Karaoz, U., Lim, H. C., Rocha, U. N., Northen, T., Brodie, E., & Garcia-Pichel, F. (2016). Bacteria increase arid-land soil surface temperature through the production of sunscreens. Nature Communications, 7, 10373. doi:10.1038/ncomms10373

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