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Figure S1. Map of the aridity index (precipitation/potential evapotranspiration) in central-southeastern Spain, showing the location (and partial views) of the two study sites.

Figure S2. Detailed view of an experimental plot with an open top chamber (OTC), and of plot with an OTC and a rainfall shelter.

Figure S3. Relationship between biocrust cover values obtained from digital images and those gathered directly in the field at the Aranjuez experimental site.

Figure S4. Air temperature in the control treatment throughout the duration of the experiment at Aranjuez and Sorbas, and effects of the experimental treatments on this variable.

Figure S5. Soil temperature (0–2 cm depth) in the control treatment throughout the duration of the experiment at Aranjuez and Sorbas, and effects of the experimental treatments on this variable.

Figure S6. Precipitation (blue bars) registered during the experiment at Aranjuez and Sorbas, and soil moisture (0–5 cm depth) measured by automated sensors on high biocrust cover plots at both study sites.

Figure S7. Number of minutes per day when air relative humidity (RH) was 100% in the control treatment at Aranjuez (a) and Sorbas (b), and effects of the experimental treatments on this variable.

Figure S8. Fungi, bacteria and fungal: bacterial ratios at the beginning of the experiment and 46 months later in the Aranjuez experimental site.

Figure S9. Examples of the changes in the cover of the biocrust community occurred with warming.

Figure S10. Soil organic carbon content (0–1 cm depth) at the beginning of the experiment.

Figure S11. Examples of dryland ecosystems where biocrusts dominated by lichens are a prevalent biotic community and occupy large portions of the land surface.

Table S1. Raw data of soil pH and different C variables measured in Aranjuez at the beginning of the experiment and 46 months later.

Table S2. Checklist of the moss and lichen species present at our study sites.

Table S3. Summary results of two-way anovas conducted with net CO2 exchange data in the high biocrust cover plots.

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