This interdisciplinary project integrates research from genomic, organismal, population, and community levels of organization in order to build a robust understanding of past and present dimensions of biodiversity in Syntrichia.  The research examines tradeoffs between asexual and sexual reproduction, and between phenotypic plasticity and canalization into specialized genotypes, by examining the mechanisms underlying traits (including phenotypic plasticity) that drive diversification, reproduction, habitat selection, and physiological trait evolution in environments with varying degrees of water stress.  The project promotes training, teaching, and learning via: (1) formal education through field and laboratory research; (2) informal education involving a classroom module, short-film series featuring mosses and biocrusts transitioning from desiccation dormancy, a citizen science program “Citizens of the Crust,” and a series of free public workshops.

Dimensions of Biodiversity Award: 1/1/2017 – 12/31/2019

NSF Grant No.         Primary Investigator & Institution
1638943                     Lloyd Stark, University of Nevada, Las Vegas
1638956                     Brent D. Mishler, University of California, Berkeley
1638996                     Kirsten Fisher, California State University-Los Angeles
1638955                     Kirsten K. Deane-Coe, St. Mary’s College of Maryland
1638966                     Matthew Bowker, Northern Arizona University
1638972                     Melvin J. Oliver, University of Missouri, Columbia


Project Scope

Field Work

Lab Work