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A dormant state induced by unfavorable environmental conditions such as high or low temperature, reduced oxygen, or drought, in which an organism's metabolic activity is reduced to an imperceptible level.

cryp′to·bi·ot′ic (-ŏt′ĭk) adj.
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Adj.1.cryptobiotic - of or related to the state of cryptobiosis
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References in periodicals archive ?
Cattle have had a profound effect on desert scrub communities, including the depletion of native grasses, introduction of nonnative plants, destruction of cryptobiotic crusts, and compaction of soils.
I've seen four-wheelers grind their way up desert rock formations near Moab, Utah, where century-old cryptobiotic crust, made up of soil lichens, green algae, bacteria, and mosses, is as easily damaged and difficult to restore as alpine tundra.
196) A crucial component of the desert ecosystem is the cryptobiotic crust made up of mosses, fungi, and lichens.
Crowe (1974) discusses several types of latent states among tardi grades including anhydrobiosis, the cryptobiotic state induced by desiccation, the state that most limno-terrestrial tardigrades must survive.
These rock particles, together with the moisture-retaining lichens, form a cryptobiotic mat, the first thin layer of soil that desert plants need to grow.
Cryptobiotic soil crust, the collection of cyanobacteria, lichens, and mosses that holds the loose, sandy soft in place, is invisible to the naked eye until it reaches maturity, when it resembles crushed Oreo cookies.
Off-trail driving and related recreational activities disturb the fragile cryptobiotic soils that hold the desert ecosystem together, creating serious erosion problems.
We continue on the trail, as Davies points out buffaloberry getting ready to bloom and clumps of fragile cryptobiotic soil, a building block for desert plants.
The desert surface surrounding the course includes delicate cryptobiotic crust, which can take decades to recover from trampling feet.
And over there--indicating the dark, almost burned-looking ground--is cryptobiotic soil, or literally, "hidden life.