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Jayne Belnap

Jayne Belnap

Research Ecologist, Southwest Biological Science Center, U.S. Geological Survey

Southwest Biological Science Center
U.S. Geological Survey
2290 S. West Resource Blvd
Moab, UT 84532


  • Research Ecologist, Southwest Biological Science Center, U.S. Geological Survey


  • PhD, Botany, Brigham Young University, 1991
  • MS, Ecology, Stanford University, 1983
  • BA, Biology, University of California-Santa Cruz, 1980
  • BA, Natural History, University of California-Santa Cruz, 1980

External Links

Journal Articles

In Press

Faist, A. M., A. J. Antoninka, J. Belnap, M. A. Bowker, M. C. Duniway, F. Garcia-Pichel, C. Nelson, S. C. Reed, A. Giraldo-Silva, S. Velasco-Ayuso and N. N. Barger. Inoculation and habitat amelioration efforts in biological soil crust recovery vary by desert and soil texture. Restoration Ecology DOI: 10.1111/rec.13087. (link )


Chandler, D. G., N. Day, M. D. Madsen and J. Belnap. 2019. Amendments fail to hasten biocrust recovery or soil stability at a disturbed dryland sandy site. Restoration Ecology 27(2):289-297. DOI: 10.1111/rec.12870. (link )

Chock, T., A. Antoninka, A. M. Faist, M. A. Bowker, J. C. Belnap and N. N. Barger. 2019. Responses of biological soil crusts to rehabilitation strategies. Journal of Arid Environments 163(Apr):77-89. DOI: 10.1016/j.jaridenv.2018.10.007. (link )

Clark, C. M., S. M. Simkin, E. B. Allen, W. D. Bowman, J. C. Belnap, M. L. Brooks, S. L. Collins, L. H. Geiser, F. S. Gilliam, S. E. Jovan, L. H. Pardo, B. K. Schulz, C. J. Stevens, K. N. Suding, H. L. Throop and D. M. Waller. 2019. Potential vulnerability of 348 herbaceous species to atmospheric deposition of nitrogen and sulfur in the United States. Nature Plants 5:697-705. DOI: 10.1038/s41477-019-0442-8. (link )


Alfaro, F. D., M. Manzano, S. Abades, N. Trefault, R. D. Iglesia, A. Gaxiola, P. Marquet, J. R. Gutierrez, P. L. Meserve, D. A. Kelt, J. Belnap and J. J. Armesto. 2018. Exclusion of small mammals and lagomorphs invasion interact with human-trampling to drive changes in topsoil microbial community structure and function in semiarid Chile. Soil Biology and Biochemistry 124(Sep):1-10. DOI: 10.1016/j.soilbio.2018.05.019. (link )

Antoninka, A., R. W. Bowker, P. Chuckran, N. N. Barger, S. C. Reed and J. C. Belnap. 2018. Maximizing establishment and survivorship of field-collected and greenhouse-cultivated biocrusts in a semi-cold desert. Plant and Soil 429(1-2):213-225. DOI: 10.1007/s11104-017-3300-3. DOI: 1573-5036. (link )

Darrouzet-Nardi, A., S. C. Reed, E. E. Grote and J. C. Belnap. 2018. Patterns of longer-term climate change effects on CO2 efflux from biocrusted soils differ from those observed in the short term. Biogeosciences 15(14):4561-4573. DOI: 10.5194/bg-15-4561-2018. (link )

Duniway, M. C., E. L. Geiger, T. J. Minnick, S. L. Phillips and J. C. Belnap. 2018. Insights from long-term ungrazed and grazed watersheds in a salt desert Colorado Plateau ecosystem. Rangeland Ecology & Management 71(4):492-505. DOI: 10.1016/j.rama.2018.02.007. (link )

Koyama, A., B. Harlow, J. C. Belnap and R. D. Evans. 2018. Plant and microbial biomarkers suggest mechanisms of soil organic carbon accumulation in a Mojave Desert ecosystem under elevated CO2. Soil Biology and Biochemistry 120:48-57. DOI: 10.1016/j.soilbio.2018.01.033. (link )

Rodriguez Caballero, E., J. C. Belnap, B. Budel, P. Crutzen, M. O. Andreae, U. Poschl and B. Weber. 2018. Dryland photoautotrophic soil surface communities endangered by global change. Nature Geoscience 11:185-189. DOI: 10.1038/s41561-018-0072-1. (link )

Rudgers, J. A., E. D. Robinson, J. Belnap, L. E. Green, R. L. Sinsabaugh, K. E. Young, C. E. Cort and A. Darrouzet-Nardi. 2018. Are fungal networks key to dryland primary production?. American Journal of Botany 105(11):1783-1787. DOI: 10.1002/ajb2.1184. (link )

Steven, B., J. Belnap and C. R. Kuske. 2018. Chronic physical disturbance substantially alters the response of biological soil crusts to a wetting pulse, as characterized by metatranscriptomic sequencing. Frontiers in Microbiology 9:2382. DOI: 10.3389/fmicb.2018.02382. (link )

Winkler, D. E., D. Backer, J. C. Belnap, J. B. Bradford, B. Butterfield, S. M. Copeland, M. C. Duniway, A. M. Faist, S. E. Fick, S. L. Jensen, A. T. Kramer, R. Mann, R. T. Massatti, M. L. McCormick, S. M. Munson, P. Olwell, S. D. Parr, A. A. Pfennigwerth, A. M. Pilmanis, B. A. Richardson, E. Samuel, K. See, K. E. Young and S. C. Reed. 2018. Beyond traditional ecological restoration on the Colorado Plateau. Restoration Ecology 26(6):1055-1060. DOI: 10.1111/rec.12876. (link )


Faist, A. M., J. E. Herrick, J. C. Belnap, J. W. Van Zee and N. N. Barger. 2017. Biological soil crust and disturbance controls on surface hydrology in a semi-arid ecosystem. Ecosphere 8(3):e01691. DOI: 10.1002/ecs2.1691. (link )

Hoover, D. L., M. C. Duniway and J. Belnap. 2017. Testing the apparent resistance of three dominant plants to chronic drought on the Colorado Plateau. Journal of Ecology 105(1):152-162. DOI: 10.1111/1365-2745.12647. (link )

Kimiti, D. W., C. Riginos and J. Belnap. 2017. Low‐cost grass restoration using erosion barriers in a degraded African rangeland. Restoration Ecology 25(3):376-384. DOI: 10.1111/rec.12426. (link )

Rutherford, W. A., T. H. Painter, S. Ferrenberg, J. Belnap, G. S. Okin, C. Flagg and S. C. Reed. 2017. Albedo feedbacks to future climate via climate change impacts on dryland biocrusts. Scientific Reports 7:Art. 44188. DOI: 10.1038/srep44188. (link )

Tucker, C. L., T. A. McHugh, A. Howell, R. Gill, B. Weber, J. C. Belnap, E. Grote and S. C. Reed. 2017. The concurrent use of novel soil surface microclimate measurements to evaluate CO2 pulses in biocrusted interspaces in a cool desert ecosystem. Biogeochemistry 135(3):239-249. DOI: 10.1007/s10533-017-0372-3. (link )

Wertin, T. M., J. Belnap and S. C. Reed. 2017. Experimental warming in a dryland community reduced plant photosynthesis and soil CO2 efflux although the relationship between the fluxes remained unchanged. Functional Ecology 31(2):297-305. DOI: 10.1111/1365-2435.12708. (link )

Whitney, K. M., E. R. Vivoni, M. C. Duniway, J. B. Bradford, S. C. Reed and J. C. Belnap. 2017. Ecohydrological role of biological soil crusts across a gradient in levels of development. Ecohydrology 10(7):e1875. DOI: 10.1002/eco.1875. (link )

Young, M. H., L. F. Fenstermaker and J. Belnap. 2017. Monitoring water content dynamics of biological soil crusts. Journal of Arid Environments 142(Jul):41-49. DOI: 10.1016/j.jaridenv.2017.03.004. (link )


Simkin, S. M., E. B. Allen, W. D. Bowman, C. M. Clark, J. Belnap, M. L. Brooks, B. S. Cade, S. L. Collins, L. H. Geiser, F. S. Gilliam, S. E. Jovan, L. H. Pardo, B. K. Schulz, C. J. Stevens, K. N. Suding, H. L. Throop and D. M. Waller. 2016. Conditional vulnerability of plant diversity to atmospheric nitrogen deposition across the United States. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 113(15):4086-4091. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1515241113. (link )


Collins, S. L., J. Belnap, N. B. Grimm, J. A. Rudgers, C. N. Dahm, P. D'Odorico, M. E. Litvak, D. O. Natvig, D. C. Peters, W. T. Pockman, R. L. Sinsabaugh and B. O. Wolf. 2014. A multiscale, hierarchical model of pulse dynamics in arid-land ecosystems. Annual Review of Ecology, Evolution and Systematics 45:397-419. DOI: 10.1146/annurev-ecolsys-120213-091650. (link )


Belnap, J., J. R. Welter, N. B. Grimm, N. Barger and J. Ludwig. 2005. Linkages between microbial and hydrologic processes in arid and semi-arid watersheds. Ecology 86:298-307.

Book Chapters


Bustamante, M., E. H. Helmer, S. Schill, J. C. Belnap, L. K. Brown, E. Brugnoili, J. E. Compton, R. H. Coupe, M. Hernandez-Blanco, F. Isbell, J. L. Lockwood, J. P. Lozoya-Ascarate, D. McGuire, A. Pauchard, R. Pichs-Madruga, R. Rodriguez, G. A. Sanchez-Azoeifa, A. Soutullo, A. Suarez, E. Troutt and L. Thompson. 2018. Chapter 4: Direct and indirect drivers of change in biodiversity and nature’s contributions to people. Pp. 335-509 In: Rice, J., C. S. Seixas, M. E. Zaccagnini, M. Bedoya-Gaitan and N. Valderrama eds., Secretariat of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services. Bonn, Germany. (link )


Belnap, J. and O. L. Lange. 2017. Chapter 10. Lichen and microfungi in biological soil crusts: Structure and function now and in the future. Pp. 137-158 In: Dighton, J. and J. F. White eds., The Fungal Community: Its Organization and Role in the Ecosystem. CRC Press. ISBN: 978-1498706650. (link )


Belnap, J. 2016. Biological crusts. Pp. 216-219 In: Lal, R. ed., Encyclopedia of Soil Science. CRC Press. ISBN: 9781498738903.



Whitney, K. M., E. R. Vivoni, M. C. Duniway, J. B. Bradford, S. C. Reed and J. C. Belnap. 2015. Role of biological soil crusts in hydrologic modeling of western high-desert ecosystems.. Poster presented at the Third Annual Arizona Geological Society Doug Shakel Memorial Student Poster Event, Tempe, AZ.



Whitney, K. M., E. R. Vivoni, M. C. Duniway, J. B. Bradford, S. C. Reed and J. C. Belnap. 2015. Role of biological soil crusts in hydrologic modeling of western high-desert ecosystems. Presentation at the American Meteorological Society Annual Meeting, Phoenix, AZ.