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Sample records for arid environments relevant

  1. PRESERVATION OF ARCHAEOLOGICAL MATERIALS IN ARID ENVIRONMENTS RELEVANT TO YUCCA MOUNTAIN

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    N. Chapman, A. Dansie, C. McCombie

    2006-02-24

    The objective of this study was to evaluate archaeological materials from underground openings or shallow burial in arid environments relevant to Yucca Mountain and to draw conclusions about how their state and their environment of preservation could be of relevance to design and operational aspects of the high-level waste repository. The study has evaluated materials from cultures in the arid regions of the ancient Middle East and compared them with the preservation of ancient materials in dry cave sites in the Great Basin desert area of Nevada. The emphasis has been on materials found in undisturbed underground openings such as caves and un-backfilled tombs. Long-term preservation of such materials in underground openings and the stability of the openings themselves provide useful analogue information that serves as a reference point for considering the operation and evolution of the Yucca Mountain repository. Being able to shed light, by close physical and environmental analogy, on what happens in underground openings over many thousands of years provides valuable underpinning to illustrations of expected system performance and offers pointers towards optimizing repository system and operational design.

  2. Aridity and hominin environments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blumenthal, Scott A.; Levin, Naomi E.; Brown, Francis H.; Brugal, Jean-Philip; Chritz, Kendra L.; Harris, John M.; Jehle, Glynis E.; Cerling, Thure E.

    2017-07-01

    Aridification is often considered a major driver of long-term ecological change and hominin evolution in eastern Africa during the Plio-Pleistocene; however, this hypothesis remains inadequately tested owing to difficulties in reconstructing terrestrial paleoclimate. We present a revised aridity index for quantifying water deficit (WD) in terrestrial environments using tooth enamel δ18O values, and use this approach to address paleoaridity over the past 4.4 million years in eastern Africa. We find no long-term trend in WD, consistent with other terrestrial climate indicators in the Omo-Turkana Basin, and no relationship between paleoaridity and herbivore paleodiet structure among fossil collections meeting the criteria for WD estimation. Thus, we suggest that changes in the abundance of C4 grass and grazing herbivores in eastern Africa during the Pliocene and Pleistocene may have been decoupled from aridity. As in modern African ecosystems, other factors, such as rainfall seasonality or ecological interactions among plants and mammals, may be important for understanding the evolution of C4 grass- and grazer-dominated biomes.

  3. Population Aggregation in Ancient Arid Environments

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marco A. Janssen

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available Human societies have adapted to spatial and temporal variability, such as that found in the prehistoric American Southwest. A question remains as to what the implications are of different social adaptations to long-term vulnerability of small-scale human societies. A stylized agent-based model is presented that captures small-group decision making on movements and resource use in ancient arid environments. The impact of various assumptions concerning storage, exchange, sharing, and migration on indicators of aggregation and sustainability are explored. Climate variability is found to increase the resilience of population levels at the system level. Variability reduces the time a population stays in one location and can degrade the soils. In addition to climate variability, the long-term population dynamics is mainly driven by the level of storage and the decision rules governing when to migrate and with whom to exchange.

  4. Nebkha patterns in semi-arid environments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nield, J. M.; Gillies, J. A.; Nickling, W. G.

    2014-12-01

    In semi-arid supply-limited, environments, nehbka dunes typically form through ecogeomorphic feedbacks. The size, shape and orientation of these dunes are controlled by the interactions between vegetation growth and aeolian sedimentations processes. Once established, these dune patterns modify sediment transport and often form streets of bare surfaces between dune corridors. We examine typical dune and vegetation patterns that form with varying amounts of sediment availability and nebkha maturity at Jornada in the Chihuahuan Desert, New Mexico, USA using terrestrial laser scanning (TLS) to separate the plant and sand elements. Manual and automated TLS shrub height extractions compare well at all sites (p = 0.48-0.94) enabling the quantification of both solid and plant roughness element components in three dimensions. We find that there is a switch in orientation of the dune elements with respect to dominant wind direction from perpendicular to parallel as the landscape develops from an incipient to mature configuration and mesquite-nebkha streets are enhanced. As the nebkha dunes develop the surface coverage of bare sand increases and dune surfaces exceed the size of their companion shrubs. Roughness density also increases at the mature dune site. Individual shrub orientations remain similar at each site, but nebkhas typically host multiple shrub crowns at the mature site. Over a two year period up to 20 cm of erosion was measured on the upwind faces of the mature nebkha dunes, in agreement with the dominant annual wind direction. However, deposition patterns were more diffuse and influenced by the vegetation patterns. This study highlights the importance of ecogeomorphic interactions in shaping nebkha landscape patterns.

  5. Functionally relevant climate variables for arid lands: Aclimatic water deficit approach for modelling desert shrub distributions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomas E. Dilts; Peter J. Weisberg; Camie M. Dencker; Jeanne C. Chambers

    2015-01-01

    We have three goals. (1) To develop a suite of functionally relevant climate variables for modelling vegetation distribution on arid and semi-arid landscapes of the Great Basin, USA. (2) To compare the predictive power of vegetation distribution models based on mechanistically proximate factors (water deficit variables) and factors that are more mechanistically removed...

  6. Improved climate risk simulations for rice in arid environments

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Oort, van P.A.J.; Vries, de M.; Yoshida, H.; Saito, K.

    2015-01-01

    We integrated recent research on cardinal temperatures for phenology and early leaf growth, spikelet formation, early morning flowering, transpirational cooling, and heat- and cold-induced sterility into an existing to crop growth model ORYZA2000. We compared for an arid environment observed potenti

  7. Clinicopathologic and prognostic relevance of ARID1A protein loss in colorectal cancer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wei, Xiao-Li; Wang, De-Shen; Xi, Shao-Yan; Wu, Wen-Jing; Chen, Dong-Liang; Zeng, Zhao-Lei; Wang, Rui-Yu; Huang, Ya-Xin; Jin, Ying; Wang, Feng; Qiu, Miao-Zhen; Luo, Hui-Yan; Zhang, Dong-Sheng; Xu, Rui-Hua

    2014-12-28

    To explore the association between AT-rich interactive domain 1A (ARID1A) protein loss by immunohistochemistry and both clinicopathologic characteristics and prognosis in patients with colorectal cancer. We retrospectively collected clinicopathologic data and archived paraffin-embedded primary colorectal cancer samples from 209 patients, including 111 patients with colon cancer and 98 patients with rectal cancer. The tumor stage ranged from stage I to stage IV according to the 7(th) edition of the American Joint Committee on Cancer tumor-node-metastasis (TNM) staging system. All patients underwent resection of primary colorectal tumors. The expression of ARID1A protein in primary colorectal cancer tissues was examined by immunohistochemical staining. The clinicopathologic association and survival relevance of ARID1A protein loss in colorectal cancer were analyzed. ARID1A loss by immunohistochemistry was not rare in primary colorectal cancer tumors (25.8%). There were 7.4%, 24.1%, 22.2% and 46.3% of patients with ARID1A loss staged at TNM stage I, II, III and IV, respectively, compared with 20.0%, 22.6%, 27.7% and 29.7% of patients without ARID1A loss staged at TNM stage I, II, III and IV, respectively. In patients with ARID1A loss, the distant metastasis rate was 46.3%. However, only 29.7% of patients without ARID1A loss were found to have distant metastasis. In terms of pathologic differentiation, there were 25.9%, 66.7% and 7.4% with poorly, moderately and well differentiated tumors in patients with ARID1A loss, and 14.2%, 72.3% and 13.5% with poorly, moderately and well differentiated tumors in patients without ARID1A loss, respectively. ARID1A loss was associated with late TNM stage (P = 0.020), distant metastasis (P = 0.026), and poor pathological classification (P = 0.035). However, patients with positive ARID1A had worse overall survival compared to those with negative ARID1A in stage IV colorectal cancer (HR = 2.49, 95%CI: 1.13-5.51). ARID1A protein loss is

  8. On coordinated development of oasis and environment in arid area

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2001-01-01

    Based upon the formation and evolution of oasis and the factors restricting the coordinated development of oasis economy and environment, this paper presents a goal of the development in coordination. It suggests that the sustainable survival and development of oasis could be ensured only if the oasis-desert and water source ecology are managed in a combined way to form a macro system. In light with the above mentioned, the approach to the development of economy and environment of oasis in arid area should depend upon the establishment of an oasis ecological and economic system, which suits the arid environment and promotes the efficiency of resource configuration, stabilizes economic increment and benefits ecological development.

  9. Seed germination, seedling traits, and seed bank of the tree Moringa peregrina (Moringaceae) in a hyper-arid environment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gomaa, Nasr H; Picó, F Xavier

    2011-06-01

    Water-limited hot environments are good examples of hyper-aridity. Trees are scarce in these environments but some manage to survive, such as the tree Moringa peregrina. Understanding how trees maintain viable populations in extremely arid environments may provide insight into the adaptive mechanisms by which trees cope with extremely arid weather conditions. This understanding is relevant to the current increasing aridity in several regions of the world. Seed germination experiments were conducted to assess variation in seed mass, seed germination, and seedling traits of Moringa peregrina plants and the correlations among these traits. A seed burial experiment was also designed to study the fate of M. peregrina seeds buried at two depths in the soil for two time periods. On average, seeds germinated in three days and seedling shoots grew 0.7 cm per day over three weeks. Larger seeds decreased germination time and increased seedling growth rates relative to smaller seeds. Seeds remained quiescent in the soil and germination was very high at both depths and burial times. The after-ripening time of Moringa peregrina seeds is short and seeds germinate quickly after imbibition. Plants of M. peregrina may increase in hyper-arid environments from seeds with larger mass, shorter germination times, and faster seedling growth rates. The results also illustrate the adjustment in allocation to seed biomass and correlations among seed and seedling traits that allows M. peregrina to be successful in coping with aridity in its environment.

  10. Improved climate risk simulations for rice in arid environments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Oort, Pepijn A J; de Vries, Michiel E; Yoshida, Hiroe; Saito, Kazuki

    2015-01-01

    We integrated recent research on cardinal temperatures for phenology and early leaf growth, spikelet formation, early morning flowering, transpirational cooling, and heat- and cold-induced sterility into an existing to crop growth model ORYZA2000. We compared for an arid environment observed potential yields with yields simulated with default ORYZA2000, with modified subversions of ORYZA2000 and with ORYZA_S, a model developed for the region of interest in the 1990s. Rice variety 'IR64' was sown monthly 15-times in a row in two locations in Senegal. The Senegal River Valley is located in the Sahel, near the Sahara desert with extreme temperatures during day and night. The existing subroutines underestimated cold stress and overestimated heat stress. Forcing the model to use observed spikelet number and phenology and replacing the existing heat and cold subroutines improved accuracy of yield simulation from EF = -0.32 to EF =0.70 (EF is modelling efficiency). The main causes of improved accuracy were that the new model subversions take into account transpirational cooling (which is high in arid environments) and early morning flowering for heat sterility, and minimum rather than average temperature for cold sterility. Simulations were less accurate when also spikelet number and phenology were simulated. Model efficiency was 0.14 with new heat and cold routines and improved to 0.48 when using new cardinal temperatures for phenology and early leaf growth. The new adapted subversion of ORYZA2000 offers a powerful analytic tool for climate change impact assessment and cropping calendar optimisation in arid regions.

  11. Improved climate risk simulations for rice in arid environments.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pepijn A J van Oort

    Full Text Available We integrated recent research on cardinal temperatures for phenology and early leaf growth, spikelet formation, early morning flowering, transpirational cooling, and heat- and cold-induced sterility into an existing to crop growth model ORYZA2000. We compared for an arid environment observed potential yields with yields simulated with default ORYZA2000, with modified subversions of ORYZA2000 and with ORYZA_S, a model developed for the region of interest in the 1990s. Rice variety 'IR64' was sown monthly 15-times in a row in two locations in Senegal. The Senegal River Valley is located in the Sahel, near the Sahara desert with extreme temperatures during day and night. The existing subroutines underestimated cold stress and overestimated heat stress. Forcing the model to use observed spikelet number and phenology and replacing the existing heat and cold subroutines improved accuracy of yield simulation from EF = -0.32 to EF =0.70 (EF is modelling efficiency. The main causes of improved accuracy were that the new model subversions take into account transpirational cooling (which is high in arid environments and early morning flowering for heat sterility, and minimum rather than average temperature for cold sterility. Simulations were less accurate when also spikelet number and phenology were simulated. Model efficiency was 0.14 with new heat and cold routines and improved to 0.48 when using new cardinal temperatures for phenology and early leaf growth. The new adapted subversion of ORYZA2000 offers a powerful analytic tool for climate change impact assessment and cropping calendar optimisation in arid regions.

  12. Archaelogy of Arid Environment Points to Management Options for Yucca Mountain

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    N. Chapman; A. Dansie; C. McCombie

    2006-08-29

    As with all planned repositories for spent fuel, the critical period over which Yucca Mountain needs to provide isolation is the first hundreds to thousands of years after the fuel is emplaced, when it is at its most hazardous. Both the original and the proposed new EPA standards highlight the central importance of this performance period by focusing on repository behavior during the first 10,000 years. Archaeology has a lot to tell us about the behavior of materials and structures over this time period. There have been numerous studies of archaeological artifacts in conditions relevant to the groundwater saturated environments that are a feature of most international geological disposal concepts, but relatively few in arid environments like that of the Nevada desert. However, there is much information to be gleaned, not only from classic archaeological areas in the Middle East and around the Mediterranean but also, perhaps surprisingly to some, from Nevada itself. Our recent study evaluated archaeological materials from underground openings and shallow burial in arid environments relevant to Yucca Mountain, drawing conclusions about how their state and their environment of preservation could help to assess design and operational options for the high-level waste repository.

  13. Book Review: Late Cenozoic Climate Change in Asia: Loess, Monsoon and Monsoon-arid Environment Evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clemens, Steven C.

    2015-01-01

    Loess-Paleosol deposits drape >500,000 km2 of eastern China, spanning environments from the humid, monsoon-influenced regions near the coast to the arid, westerlies-dominated regions inland. Sections, up to hundreds of meters thick, are exposed in deeply incised river valleys and can be accessed as well by drilling. Combined, the high sedimentation rates and extensive geographic coverage make these sections unique among global terrestrial sediment archives. The Chinese loess-paleosol sequences, and the arid interior regions to the northwest, record diverse aspects of geologic and environmental change ranging from the tectonic evolution of the Tibetan Plateau (106 year time scale) through glacial-interglacial scale changes in global ice volume and greenhouse gasses (105 year time scale) on down through the orbital (104 years) to millennial and centennial scale events (103-102 year) relevant to the underpinnings of human interactions with changing environmental pressures. 'Late Cenozoic Climate Chang in Asia: Loess, Monsoon and Monsoon-arid Environment Evolution' is a timely contribution that synthesizes findings derived from the extensive work in these areas, places the findings in the broader context of global climate change and helps to define avenues for future research.

  14. Agave: a biofuel feedstock for arid and semi-arid environments

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gross, Stephen; Martin, Jeffrey; Simpson, June; Wang, Zhong; Visel, Axel

    2011-05-31

    Efficient production of plant-based, lignocellulosic biofuels relies upon continued improvement of existing biofuel feedstock species, as well as the introduction of newfeedstocks capable of growing on marginal lands to avoid conflicts with existing food production and minimize use of water and nitrogen resources. To this end, specieswithin the plant genus Agave have recently been proposed as new biofuel feedstocks. Many Agave species are adapted to hot and arid environments generally unsuitable forfood production, yet have biomass productivity rates comparable to other second-generation biofuel feedstocks such as switchgrass and Miscanthus. Agavesachieve remarkable heat tolerance and water use efficiency in part through a Crassulacean Acid Metabolism (CAM) mode of photosynthesis, but the genes andregulatory pathways enabling CAM and thermotolerance in agaves remain poorly understood. We seek to accelerate the development of agave as a new biofuelfeedstock through genomic approaches using massively-parallel sequencing technologies. First, we plan to sequence the transcriptome of A. tequilana to provide adatabase of protein-coding genes to the agave research community. Second, we will compare transcriptome-wide gene expression of agaves under different environmentalconditions in order to understand genetic pathways controlling CAM, water use efficiency, and thermotolerance. Finally, we aim to compare the transcriptome of A.tequilana with that of other Agave species to gain further insight into molecular mechanisms underlying traits desirable for biofuel feedstocks. These genomicapproaches will provide sequence and gene expression information critical to the breeding and domestication of Agave species suitable for biofuel production.

  15. Adaptation to drought in arid and semi-arid environments: Case of the Zambezi Valley, Zimbabwe

    OpenAIRE

    Emmanuel Mavhura; Desmond Manatsa; Terence Mushore

    2015-01-01

    Small-scale rain-fed agriculture is the main livelihood in arid to semi-arid regions of subSaharan Africa. The area is characterised by erratic rainfall and frequent droughts, making the capacity for coping with temporal water shortages essential for smallholder farmers. Focusing on the Zambezi Valley, Zimbabwe, this study investigates the impact of drought on food security and the strategies used by smallholder farmers to cope with drought. We used meteorological data and interviews to exami...

  16. Mining the Agave Microbiome for adaptions to arid environments

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Coleman-Derr, Devin; Wojke, Tanja; North, Gretchen; Partida-Martinez, Laila; DeAngeli, Kristen; Clingenpeel, Scott; Gross, Stephen; Tringe, Susannah; Visel, Axel

    2013-03-25

    A major challenge facing the biofuels industry is the identification of high-yield plant feedstocks that can be cultivated with minimal resource inputs without competing for land and water supplies with existing food crops. Recent research has demonstrated that the Agave plant, cultivated in Mexico and Southwestern United States for the production of fiber and alcohol, meets these criteria1. Agaves grow on non-arable rocky soils in regions characterized by prolonged drought and extreme temperatures, due in part to physiological adaptions that prevent excess water-loss in arid environments2. Plant-microbial symbioses can play a role in helping plants adapt to heat and drought stress, increasing the accessibility of soil nutrients, or compete with plant pathogens3. Whether agaves have similar beneficial microbe interactions in their native environment is unknown. We aim to provide a comprehensive characterization of the Agave microbiome, with the goal of identifying specific community members that may contribute to Agave biotic and abiotic stress tolerance

  17. Polarimetric differential SAR interferometry in an arid natural environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mullissa, Adugna G.; Tolpekin, Valentyn; Stein, Alfred; Perissin, Daniele

    2017-07-01

    Ground deformation measurements have contributed to a better understanding of the processes and mechanisms involved in natural hazards. Those include landslides, subsidence, earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. Spaceborne Differential Interferometric Synthetic Aperture RADAR (DInSAR) is a well studied technique for measuring ground deformation. Quality of deformation measurements, however, is often degraded by decorrelation. With the advent of fully polarimetric SAR satellite sensors, polarimetric optimization techniques exploiting polarimetric diversity improve the phase quality of interferograms. In this paper, we analyzed three polarimetric optimization methods to determine the optimal one for application in an arid natural environment. We considered coherence decomposition in single and double phase center scenarios. Coherence estimation bias associated with each optimization method has been analyzed. We compared the derived displacement values with terrestrial GPS measurements. The study shows that polarimetric optimization increases the number of coherent pixels by upto 6.89% as compared with a single polarization channel. The study concludes that polarimetric optimization coupled with DInSAR analysis yields more reliable deformation results in a low coherence region.

  18. Global patterns and environmental controls of perchlorate and nitrate co-occurrence in arid and semi-arid environments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jackson, W. Andrew; Böhlke, J. K.; Andraski, Brian J.; Fahlquist, Lynne; Bexfield, Laura; Eckardt, Frank D.; Gates, John B.; Davila, Alfonso F.; McKay, Christopher P.; Rao, Balaji; Sevanthi, Ritesh; Rajagopalan, Srinath; Estrada, Nubia; Sturchio, Neil; Hatzinger, Paul B.; Anderson, Todd A.; Orris, Greta; Betancourt, Julio; Stonestrom, David; Latorre, Claudio; Li, Yanhe; Harvey, Gregory J.

    2015-09-01

    Natural perchlorate (ClO4-) is of increasing interest due to its wide-spread occurrence on Earth and Mars, yet little information exists on the relative abundance of ClO4- compared to other major anions, its stability, or long-term variations in production that may impact the observed distributions. Our objectives were to evaluate the occurrence and fate of ClO4- in groundwater and soils/caliche in arid and semi-arid environments (southwestern United States, southern Africa, United Arab Emirates, China, Antarctica, and Chile) and the relationship of ClO4- to the more well-studied atmospherically deposited anions NO3- and Cl- as a means to understand the prevalent processes that affect the accumulation of these species over various time scales. ClO4- is globally distributed in soil and groundwater in arid and semi-arid regions on Earth at concentrations ranging from 10-1 to 106 μg/kg. Generally, the ClO4- concentration in these regions increases with aridity index, but also depends on the duration of arid conditions. In many arid and semi-arid areas, NO3- and ClO4- co-occur at molar ratios (NO3-/ClO4-) that vary between ∼104 and 105. We hypothesize that atmospheric deposition ratios are largely preserved in hyper-arid areas that support little or no biological activity (e.g. plants or bacteria), but can be altered in areas with more active biological processes including N2 fixation, N mineralization, nitrification, denitrification, and microbial ClO4- reduction, as indicated in part by NO3- isotope data. In contrast, much larger ranges of Cl-/ClO4- and Cl-/NO3- ratios indicate Cl- varies independently from both ClO4- and NO3-. The general lack of correlation between Cl- and ClO4- or NO3- implies that Cl- is not a good indicator of co-deposition and should be used with care when interpreting oxyanion cycling in arid systems. The Atacama Desert appears to be unique compared to all other terrestrial locations having a NO3-/ClO4- molar ratio ∼103. The relative

  19. Adaptation to drought in arid and semi-arid environments: Case of the Zambezi Valley, Zimbabwe

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emmanuel Mavhura

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available Small-scale rain-fed agriculture is the main livelihood in arid to semi-arid regions of subSaharan Africa. The area is characterised by erratic rainfall and frequent droughts, making the capacity for coping with temporal water shortages essential for smallholder farmers. Focusing on the Zambezi Valley, Zimbabwe, this study investigates the impact of drought on food security and the strategies used by smallholder farmers to cope with drought. We used meteorological data and interviews to examine the rainfall variability in the study area and the drought-coping mechanisms employed by smallholder famers respectively. The results show that there are various strategies used by smallholder farmers to cope with the impact of drought. These strategies include drought-tolerant crop production, crop variety diversification, purchasing cereals through asset sales, non-governmental organisations’ food aid and gathering wild fruit. However, consecutive droughts have resulted in high food insecurity and depletion of household assets during droughts. Smallholder farmers in the valley have also resorted to a number of measures taken before, during and after the drought. Still, these strategies are not robust enough to cope with this uncertainty

  20. Estimation of soil moisture-thermal infrared emissivity relation in arid and semi-arid environments using satellite observations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grazia Blasi, Maria; Masiello, Guido; Serio, Carmine; Venafra, Sara; Liuzzi, Giuliano; Dini, Luigi

    2016-04-01

    The retrieval of surface parameters is very important for various aspects concerning the climatological and meteorological context. At this purpose surface emissivity represents one of the most important parameters useful for different applications such as the estimation of climate changes and land cover features. It is known that thermal infrared (TIR) emissivity is affected by soil moisture, but there are very few works in literature on this issue. This study is aimed to analyze and find a relation between satellite soil moisture data and TIR emissivity focusing on arid and semi-arid environments. These two parameters, together with the land surface temperature, are fundamental for a better understanding of the physical phenomena implied in the soil-atmosphere interactions and the surface energy balance. They are also important in several fields of study, such as climatology, meteorology, hydrology and agriculture. In particular, there are several studies stating a correlation between soil moisture and the emissivity at 8-9 μm in desertic soils, which corresponds to the quartz Reststrahlen, a feature which is typical of sandy soils. We investigated several areas characterized by arid or semi-arid environments, focusing our attention on the Dahra desert (Senegal), and on the Negev desert (Israel). For the Dahra desert we considered both in situ, provided by the International Soil Moisture Network, and satellite soil moisture data, from ASCAT and AMSR-E sensors, for the whole year 2011. In the case of the Negev desert soil moisture data are derived from ASCAT observations and we computed a soil moisture index from a temporal series of SAR data acquired by the Cosmo-SkyMed constellation covering a period of six months, from June 2015 to November 2015. For both cases soil moisture data were related to the retrieved TIR emissivity from the geostationary satellite SEVIRI in three different spectral channels, at 8.7 μm, 10.8 μm and 12 μm. A Kalman filter physical

  1. Genomic dissection of genotype x environment interactions conferring adaptation of cotton to arid conditions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saranga, Y; Menz, M; Jiang, C X; Wright, R J; Yakir, D; Paterson, A H

    2001-12-01

    The interaction of genotype with environment is of primary importance in many aspects of genomic research and is a special priority in the study of major crops grown in a wide range of environments. Water deficit, the major factor limiting plant growth and crop productivity worldwide, is expected to increase with the spread of arid lands. In genetically equivalent cotton populations grown under well-watered and water-limited conditions (the latter is responsible for yield reduction of approximately 50% relative to well-watered conditions), productivity and quality were shown to be partly accounted for by different quantitative trait loci (QTLs), indicating that adaptation to both arid and favorable conditions can be combined in the same genotype. QTL mapping was also used to test the association between productivity and quality under water deficit with a suite of traits often found to differ between genotypes adapted to arid versus well-watered conditions. In this study, only reduced plant osmotic potential was clearly implicated in improved cotton productivity under arid conditions. Genomic tools and approaches may expedite breeding of genotypes that respond favorably to specific environments, help test roles of additional physiological factors, and guide the isolation of genes that protect crop performance under arid conditions toward improved adaptation of crops to arid cultivation.

  2. Energetics of the green iguana (Iguana iguana) in a semi-arid environment

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Marken Lichtenbelt, Wouter David

    1991-01-01

    Energy budgets in the herbivorous green iguana (Iguana Iguana) were studied from April 1985-October 1988 in a strongly seasonal environment on the semi-arid island Curacao (Netherlands Antilles) under the auspices of the CARMABI Foundation in cooperation with the State University of Groningen (The N

  3. Acclimation of Pistacia integerrima trees to frost in semi-arid environments depends on autumn's drought.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sperling, Or; Secchi, Francesca; Godfrey, Jessie; Zwieniecki, Maciej A

    2017-03-01

    Main conclusion Cold acclimation is revealed through induced stem respiration during pre-winter frost of native Pistacia integerrima trees in continental semi-arid environments. Semi-arid environments challenge vegetation by simultaneous abiotic stresses. In this study, we examine the combined effects of water stress and frost on the physiology of Pistacia integerrima stems. This species is native to semi-arid environments where drought and frost frequently co-occur. We quantified carbohydrates and proline in P. integerrima stems responding to frost and experiencing water potentials between -0.2 and -1.8 MPa. We report that dehydrated trees (i.e., Ψstem <=-1 MPa) had more soluble sugars and proline than the well-watered trees (-0.2 MPa). The dehydrated trees also froze at lower temperatures and were less damaged by freezing. Interestingly, we observed a significant increase in stem CO2 efflux at near-freezing temperatures that could be linked to frost protection. This novel finding challenges current paradigm of plant respiration-kinetics which predicts, according to Arrhenius equation, lower respiration rates during frost. Our results support the notion that drought and frost are analogous stresses that can independently activate corresponding physiological processes in trees and amplify protection. This inevitable stress response 'collaboration' may be the key to understanding how non-dormant perennial plants survive the highly variable weather patterns of early winters in semi-arid environments.

  4. The challenges of rehabilitating denuded patches of a semi-arid environment in Kenya

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mganga, K.Z.; Nyangito, M.M.; Musimba, N.K.R.; Nyariki, D.M.; Mwangombe, A.W.; Ekaya, W.N.; Muiri, W.M.; Clavel, D.; Francis, J.; Kaufmann, Von R.; Verhagen, J.

    2010-01-01

    Land degradation is a major problem in the semi-arid environments of Sub-Saharan Africa. Fighting land degradation is essential to ensure the sustainable and long-term productivity of the habited semiarid lands. In Kenya, grass reseeding technology has been used to combat land degradation. However,

  5. Runoff controlling factors in various sized catchments in a semi-arid Mediterranean environment in Spain

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wit, A.M.W. de

    2001-01-01

    Understanding land degradation in a semi-arid Mediterranean environment is very difficult because of the contributing factors: precipitation, infiltration vegetation cover and discontinuity of flow and the temporal and spatial levels of resolution at which these factors are acting. Therefore it is s

  6. Oviposition-site selection by Phyllomedusa sauvagii (Anura: Hylidae): An arboreal nester inhabiting arid environments

    Science.gov (United States)

    García, Cecilia G.; Lescano, Julián N.; Leynaud, Gerardo C.

    2013-08-01

    Breeding biology in Phyllomedusa sauvagii is related to vegetation since the species encloses its eggs in leaves above water. Considering that arid environments may represent high risks of death by desiccation for amphibians with this reproductive mode, we evaluated plant characteristics associated with sites used for oviposition in semi-permanent ponds in the Arid Chaco region of Argentina. Plant characteristics were used to fit a statistical habitat selection model that allows the prediction of nest presence. Our results show that P. sauvagii needs substrate with specific features for oviposition that would help to reduce the probability of eggs and tadpoles desiccation.

  7. Adaptive wetland management in an uncertain and changing arid environment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rebekah Downard

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Wetlands in the arid western United States provide rare and critical migratory bird habitat and constitute a critical nexus within larger social-ecological systems (SES where multiple changing land-use and water-use patterns meet. The Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge in Utah, USA, presents a case study of the ways that wetland managers have created adaptive management strategies that are responsive to the social and hydrological conditions of the agriculture-dominated SES within which they are located. Managers have acquired water rights and constructed infrastructure while cultivating collaborative relationships with other water users to increase the adaptive capacity of the region and decrease conflict. Historically, water management involved diversion and impoundment of water within wetland units timed around patterns of agricultural water needs. In the last 20 years, managers have learned from flood and drought events and developed a long-term adaptive management plan that specifies alternative management actions managers can choose each year based on habitat needs and projected water supply. Each alternative includes habitat goals and target wetland water depth. However, wetland management adapted to agricultural return-flow availability may prove insufficient as population growth and climate change alter patterns of land and water use. Future management will likely depend more on negotiation, collaboration, and learning from social developments within the SES than strictly focusing on water management within refuge boundaries. To face this problem, managers have worked to be included in negotiations with regional water users, a strategy that may prove instructive for other wetland managers in agriculture-dominated watersheds.

  8. An Overview of Biodegradation of LNAPLs in Coastal (Semi)-arid Environment.

    KAUST Repository

    Yadav, Brijesh Kumar

    2011-02-22

    Contamination of soil and water due to the release of light non-aqueous phase liquids (LNAPLs) is a ubiquitous problem. The problem is more severe in arid and semi-arid coastal regions where most of the petroleum production and related refinery industries are located. Biological treatment of these organic contaminated resources is receiving increasing interests and where applicable, can serve as a cost-effective remediation alternative. The success of bioremediation greatly depends on the prevailing environmental variables, and their remediation favoring customization requires a sound understanding of their integrated behavior on fate and transport of LNAPLs under site-specific conditions. The arid and semi-arid coastal sites are characterized by specific environmental extremes; primarily, varying low and high temperatures, high salinity, water table dynamics, and fluctuating soil moisture content. An understanding of the behavior of these environmental variables on biological interactions with LNAPLs would be helpful in customizing the bioremediation for restoring problematic sites in these regions. Therefore, this paper reviews the microbial degradation of LNAPLs in soil-water, considering the influences of prevailing environmental parameters of arid and semi-arid coastal regions. First, the mechanism of biodegradation of LNAPLs is discussed briefly, followed by a summary of popular kinetic models used by researchers for describing the degradation rate of these hydrocarbons. Next, the impact of soil moisture content, water table dynamics, and soil-water temperature on the fate and transport of LNAPLs are discussed, including an overview of the studies conducted so far. Finally, based on the reviewed information, a general conclusion is presented with recommendations for future research subjects on optimizing the bioremediation technique in the field under the aforesaid environmental conditions. The present review will be useful to better understand the

  9. Ecological adaptation of Reaumuria soongorica root system architecture to arid environments

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    LiShan Shan; Yi Li; DongMei Geng; QiuLian Dong

    2014-01-01

    The architectural parameters of Reaumuria soongorica root system in different habitats of Gansu Province, China were analyzed to examine its ecological adaptability to arid environments. Results show that:(1) Topological indices of R. Soongorica root sys-tem are small in all habitats, and root branching pattern tends to be dichotomous. Also, the indices gradually increase in the Min-qin windblown sand region and the Zhangye Gobi region in Hexi Corridor, which indicates that drought tends to produce her-ringbone-like root branching patterns. (2) Fractal dimension values of R. Soongorica root system are small and not obvious in the Minqin windblown sand region and the Zhangye Gobi region in Hexi Corridor, with values of 1.1778 and 1.1169, respectively. Fractal dimension values are relatively large in Jiuzhoutai semi-arid hilly and gully region of the Loess Plateau, which indicates that the R. Soongorica root system has better fractal characteristics in this region than in the other regions. (3) Total branching ra-tios of the R. Soongorica root system in arid regions of Hexi Corridor are smaller than that in the Jiuzhoutai semi-arid hilly and gully region of the Loess Plateau. This shows that root branching ability in the semi-arid region is stronger, and it decreases to some degree with increased drought. (4) The root connection lengths of R. soongorica root system are long in all habitats, but there are significant length differences between the different habitats. The root connection length at the Minqin windblown sand region is the longest. It is concluded that R. soongorica adapts to arid environments by decreasing root branching, decreasing root overlap and increasing root connection length, which makes its root branching pattern tend to be herringbone-like to reduce com-petition in root internal environment for nutrients and to enhance root absorption rate of nutrients, and ensure effective nutrition space. Thus the roots can absorb enough water and nutrients

  10. Physiological adjustments to arid and mesic environments in larks (Alaudidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tieleman, B Irene; Williams, Joseph B; Buschur, Michael E

    2002-01-01

    Because deserts are characterized by low food availability, high ambient temperature extremes, and absence of drinking water, one might expect that birds that live in these conditions exhibit a lower basal metabolic rate (BMR), reduced total evaporative water loss (TEWL), and greater ability to cope with high air temperatures than their mesic counterparts. To minimize confounding effects of phylogeny, we compared the physiological performance of four species of larks at ambient temperatures (T(a)'s) ranging from 0 degrees to 50 degrees C: hoopoe larks (Alaemon alaudipes) and Dunn's larks (Eremalauda dunni) live in hot and dry deserts, whereas skylarks (Alauda arvensis) and woodlarks (Lullula arborea) occur in temperate mesic areas. Mass-adjusted BMR and TEWL were indistinguishable between hoopoe lark and Dunn's lark and between skylark and woodlark. When grouping the data of the two desert larks in one set and the data of the two mesic larks in another, desert larks are shown to have 43% lower BMR levels and 27% lower TEWL values than the mesic species. Their body temperatures (T(b)'s) were 1.1 degrees C lower, and the minimal dry heat transfer coefficients (h) were 26% below values for the mesic larks. When T(a) exceeded T(b), the h of hoopoe larks and Dunn's larks was high and indistinguishable from h at 40 degrees C, in contrast to the prediction that h should be decreased to minimize heat gain through conductance, convection, or radiation from the environment when T(a) exceeds T(b).

  11. Effect of high ambient temperature on behavior of sheep under semi-arid tropical environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    De, Kalyan; Kumar, Davendra; Saxena, Vijay Kumar; Thirumurugan, Palanisamy; Naqvi, Syed Mohammed Khursheed

    2017-07-01

    High environmental temperature is a major constraint in sheep production under semi-arid tropical environment. Behavior is the earliest indicator of animal's adaptation and responses to the environmental alteration. Therefore, the objective of this study was to assess the effects of high ambient temperature on the behavior of sheep under a semi-arid tropical environment. The experiment was conducted for 6 weeks on 16 Malpura cross (Garole × Malpura × Malpura (GMM)) rams. The rams were divided equally into two groups, designated as C and T. The rams of C were kept in comfortable environmental conditions served as control. The rams of T were exposed to a different temperature at different hours of the day in a climatic chamber, to simulate a high environmental temperature of summer in semi-arid tropic. The behavioral observations were taken by direct instantaneous observation at 15-min intervals for each animal individually. The feeding, ruminating, standing, and lying behaviors were recorded twice a week from morning (0800 hours) to afternoon (1700 hours) for 6 weeks. Exposure of rams to high temperature (T) significantly ( P animals of T spent significantly ( P behavior of sheep which is directed to circumvent the effect of the stressor.

  12. Evaporation from Bare Soil in Extremely Arid Environment in Southern Israel

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    WANGXUEFENG; XUFUAN; 等

    1996-01-01

    Microlysimeters of different sizes(5cm 10cm and 15cm in length) were used extensively in the present study of the measurements of soil evaporation in situ in an extremely arid area in southern Israel,All of the data obtained from the microlysimeters were used to evaluate two conventional evaporation models developed by Black et al.and Ritchie,respectively.Our results indicated that the models could overestimate total cumulative evaporation by about 30% in the extremely arid environment.Reducing the power factor of the conventional model by a factor of 0.1 produced good agreement between the measured and simulated cumulative evaporation.Microlysimeter method proved to be a simple and accurate approach for the evaluation of soil evaporation.

  13. A new method to determine eroded areas in arid environment using Landsat satellite imagery

    Science.gov (United States)

    A, Aydda; Ah, Algouti; Ab, Algouti; M, Essemani; Y, Taghya

    2014-06-01

    Erosion (by water or wind) is an increasing problem for many local authorities and government agencies throughout the world. The identification of eroded areas in arid and humid regions can be very useful for environmental planning and can help reduce soil and sediment degradation in these regions. In this work we present a new method to determine eroded areas in arid environment. In this method were explored lithological data to determine eroded areas. These data were collected in the field using GPS (Global Positioning System) checkpoints and geological maps. For that, two lithological maps of the study areas were analysed to determine lithological data change. Those two maps were obtained from the classification algorithm by applying the maximum likelihood on two Landsat satellite images. After images classification and validation a change detection technique was adopted to determine eroded areas. This method was applied in northern part of Atlantic Sahara desert to confirm their potentiality.

  14. Influences on the stable oxygen and carbon isotopes in gerbillid rodent teeth in semi-arid and arid environments: Implications for past climate and environmental reconstruction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jeffrey, Amy; Denys, Christiane; Stoetzel, Emmanuelle; Lee-Thorp, Julia A.

    2015-10-01

    The stable isotope composition of small mammal tissues has the potential to provide detailed information about terrestrial palaeoclimate and environments, because their remains are abundant in palaeontological and archaeological sites, and they have restricted home ranges. Applications to the Quaternary record, however, have been sparse and limited by an acute lack of understanding of small mammal isotope ecology, particularly in arid and semi-arid environments. Here we document the oxygen and carbon isotope composition of Gerbillinae (gerbil) tooth apatite across a rainfall gradient in northwestern Africa, in order to test the relative influences of the 18O/16O in precipitation or moisture availability on gerbil teeth values, the sensitivity of tooth apatite 13C/12C to plant responses to moisture availability, and the influence of developmental period on the isotopic composition of gerbil molars and incisors. The results show that the isotopic composition of molars and incisors from the same individuals differs consistent with the different temporal periods reflected by the teeth; molar teeth are permanently rooted and form around the time of birth, whereas incisors grow continuously. The results indicate that tooth choice is an important consideration for applications as proxy Quaternary records, but also highlights a new potential means to distinguish seasonal contexts. The oxygen isotope composition of gerbil tooth apatite is strongly correlated with mean annual precipitation (MAP) below 600 mm, but above 600 mm the teeth reflect the oxygen isotope composition of local meteoric water instead. Predictably, the carbon isotope composition of the gerbil teeth reflected C3 and C4 dietary inputs, however arid and mesic sites could not be distinguished because of the high variability displayed in the carbon isotope composition of the teeth due to the microhabitat and short temporal period reflected by the gerbil. We show that the oxygen isotope composition of small

  15. Assessment of desertification risk in semi-arid Mediterranean environments: the case study of Apulia region (Southern Italy)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ladisa, Gaetano; Todorovic, Mladen; Trisorio Liuzzi, Giuliana

    2010-05-01

    This work focuses on the risk assessment of the areas threatened with desertification in the semi-arid Mediterranean environments. The presented approach uses as a reference the ESAs model (Environmental Sensitive Areas to Desertification; Kosmas et al., 1999) which is modified through a set of new indicators which take into account the region-specific environmental characteristics as well as identifiable parameters relevant for planning control measures. These supplementary indicators, comprehending socio-economic and environmental factors, are integrated in the ESAs model and, by using a GIS, applied to Apulia region (Southern Italy). This area represents a typical Mediterranean landscape affected by land degradation and desertification risks. The analyses include the elaboration of the whole set of indices on both the regional and the administrative scales which constitute the principal territorial units for the management of natural resources. The results have demonstrated that the introduction of the new indices has improved substantially the overall evaluation of the desertification risk in the Apulia region. The proposed approach permits not only the identification and refinement of different degrees of sensibility of an area to land degradation, but also the analyses of the factors affecting desertification and their evaluation in terms of spatial and temporal distribution. Moreover, the presented method is conceptually very simple and easy to implement from local to regional and national scale, and can be proposed as a methodology for the definition of priorities in adoption of strategies to mitigate desertification in the semi-arid Mediterranean environments. Key words: desertification risk, sensitivity areas, Apulia region, Mediterranean environment.

  16. Human Thermal Comfort and Heat Stress in an Outdoor Urban Arid Environment: A Case Study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. M. Abdel-Ghany

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available To protect humans from heat stress risks, thermal comfort and heat stress potential were evaluated under arid environment, which had never been made for such climate. The thermal indices THI, WBGT, PET, and UTCI were used to evaluate thermal comfort and heat stress. RayMan software model was used to estimate the PET, and the UTCI calculator was used for UTCI. Dry and wet bulb temperatures (Td, Tw, natural wet bulb temperature (Tnw, and globe temperature (Tg were measured in a summer day to be used in the calculation. The results showed the following. (i The thermal sensation and heat stress levels can be evaluated by either the PET or UTCI scales, and both are valid for extremely high temperature in the arid environment. (ii In the comfort zone, around 75% of individuals would be satisfied with the surrounding environment and feel comfortable during the whole day. (iii Persons are exposed to strong heat stress and would feel uncomfortable most of the daytime in summer. (iv Heat fatigue is expected with prolonged exposure to sun light and activity. (v During the daytime, humans should schedule their activities according to the highest permissible values of the WBGT to avoid thermal shock.

  17. Forecasting the Depletion of Transboundary Groundwater Resources in Hyper-Arid Environments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mazzoni, A.; Heggy, E.

    2014-12-01

    The increase in awareness about the overexploitation of transboundary groundwater resources in hyper-arid environments that occurred in the last decades has highlighted the need to better map, monitor and manage these resources. Climate change, economic and population growth are driving forces that put more pressure on these fragile but fundamental resources. The aim of our approach is to address the question of whether or not groundwater resources, especially non-renewable, could serve as "backstop" water resource during water shortage periods that would probably affect the drylands in the upcoming 100 years. The high dependence of arid regions on these resources requires prudent management to be able to preserve their fossil aquifers and exploit them in a more sustainable way. We use the NetLogo environment with the FAO Aquastat Database to evaluate if the actual trends of extraction, consumption and use of non-renewable groundwater resources would remain feasible with the future climate change impacts and the population growth scenarios. The case studies selected are three: the Nubian Sandstone Aquifer System, shared between Egypt, Libya, Sudan and Chad; the North Western Sahara Aquifer System, with Algeria, Tunisia and Libya and the Umm Radhuma Dammam Aquifer, in its central part, shared between Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Bahrain. The reason these three fossil aquifers were selected are manifold. First, they represent properly transboundary non-renewable groundwater resources, with all the implications that derive from this, i.e. the necessity of scientific and socio-political cooperation among riparians, the importance of monitoring the status of shared resources and the need to elaborate a shared management policy. Furthermore, each country is characterized by hyper-arid climatic conditions, which will be exacerbated in the next century by climate change and lead to probable severe water shortage periods. Together with climate change, the rate of population

  18. Soil salinity mapping and hydrological drought indices assessment in arid environments based on remote sensing techniques

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elhag, Mohamed; Bahrawi, Jarbou A.

    2017-03-01

    Vegetation indices are mostly described as crop water derivatives. The normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) is one of the oldest remote sensing applications that is widely used to evaluate crop vigor directly and crop water relationships indirectly. Recently, several NDVI derivatives were exclusively used to assess crop water relationships. Four hydrological drought indices are examined in the current research study. The water supply vegetation index (WSVI), the soil-adjusted vegetation index (SAVI), the moisture stress index (MSI) and the normalized difference infrared index (NDII) are implemented in the current study as an indirect tool to map the effect of different soil salinity levels on crop water stress in arid environments. In arid environments, such as Saudi Arabia, water resources are under pressure, especially groundwater levels. Groundwater wells are rapidly depleted due to the heavy abstraction of the reserved water. Heavy abstractions of groundwater, which exceed crop water requirements in most of the cases, are powered by high evaporation rates in the designated study area because of the long days of extremely hot summer. Landsat 8 OLI data were extensively used in the current research to obtain several vegetation indices in response to soil salinity in Wadi ad-Dawasir. Principal component analyses (PCA) and artificial neural network (ANN) analyses are complementary tools used to understand the regression pattern of the hydrological drought indices in the designated study area.

  19. A spatial pattern analysis of the halophytic species distribution in an arid coastal environment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Badreldin, Nasem; Uria-Diez, J; Mateu, J; Youssef, Ali; Stal, Cornelis; El-Bana, Magdy; Magdy, Ahmed; Goossens, Rudi

    2015-05-01

    Obtaining information about the spatial distribution of desert plants is considered as a serious challenge for ecologists and environmental modeling due to the required intensive field work and infrastructures in harsh and remote arid environments. A new method was applied for assessing the spatial distribution of the halophytic species (HS) in an arid coastal environment. This method was based on the object-based image analysis for a high-resolution Google Earth satellite image. The integration of the image processing techniques and field work provided accurate information about the spatial distribution of HS. The extracted objects were based on assumptions that explained the plant-pixel relationship. Three different types of digital image processing techniques were implemented and validated to obtain an accurate HS spatial distribution. A total of 2703 individuals of the HS community were found in the case study, and approximately 82% were located above an elevation of 2 m. The micro-topography exhibited a significant negative relationship with pH and EC (r = -0.79 and -0.81, respectively, p < 0.001). The spatial structure was modeled using stochastic point processes, in particular a hybrid family of Gibbs processes. A new model is proposed that uses a hard-core structure at very short distances, together with a cluster structure in short-to-medium distances and a Poisson structure for larger distances. This model was found to fit the data perfectly well.

  20. Waste Burial in Arid Environments--Application of Information From a Field Laboratory in the Mojave Desert, Southern Nevada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andraski, B.J.; Prudic, David E.; Nichols, William D.

    1995-01-01

    Because of the potentially harmful effect of improper waste disposal on water resources in the arid West, comprehensive laboratory and field studies are critical to identifying likely contaminant-release pathways and the potential for waste migration at arid sites. However, the quandary for those charged with assessment of the suitability of potential disposal sites is that site characterization and evaluation must be accomplished in a relatively short period of time-only 1 to 2 years. Data collection at the Mojave Desert field laboratory provides the needed long-term benchmark against which short-term data from proposed arid sites can be compared. The data base and monitoring facilities developed at the field laboratory also provide an excellent foundation upon which to build collaborative efforts with universities and local, State, and other Federal agencies to further the study and understanding of hydrologic processes in an arid environment.

  1. Evolution of rapid development in spadefoot toads is unrelated to arid environments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zeng, Cen; Gomez-Mestre, Ivan; Wiens, John J

    2014-01-01

    The extent to which species' life histories evolve to match climatic conditions is a critical question in evolutionary biology and ecology and as human activities rapidly modify global climate. GIS-based climatic data offer new opportunities to rigorously test this question. Superficially, the spadefoot toads of North America (Scaphiopodidae) seem to offer a classic example of adaptive life-history evolution: some species occur in extremely dry deserts and have evolved the shortest aquatic larval periods known among anurans. However, the relationships between the climatic conditions where spadefoots occur and the relevant life-history traits have not been explicitly tested. Here, we analyzed these relationships using GIS-based climatic data, published life-history data, and a time-calibrated phylogeny for pelobatoid frogs. Surprisingly, we find no significant relationships between life-history variables and precipitation or aridity levels where these species occur. Instead, rapid development in pelobatoids is strongly related to their small genome sizes and to phylogeny.

  2. Investigation of the Interactive, Intimidating Relation Between Urbanization and the Environment in an Arid Area Based on Grey System Theory

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    QIAO Biao; FANG Chuang-lin; BAN Mao-sheng

    2006-01-01

    Taking the Hexi Corridor in western China as an example, this paper studies the interactive intimate i relation between urbanization and the environment in arid areas based on the grey system theory. The results show that the grey relational degree between urbanization and the environment is low in the agriculture-oriented cities, modest in the tourism-oriented cities and great in the industry-oriented cities. The changing trend of coupling degree between urbanization and the environment does not entirely agree with that of urbanization or the environment. It showed fluctuating trends, which reflects the compactness and properties of the different stages of the coupling states between urbanization and the environment. In order to achieve a harmonious development with the environment in arid areas, traditional development ideas about urbanization should be revised and more attention should be paid to the effect of restriction of water resources and the ecological environment on the development of the economy and society.

  3. Road detection in arid environments using uniformly distributed random based features

    Science.gov (United States)

    Plodpradista, P.; Keller, J. M.; Popescu, M.

    2016-05-01

    The capability of detecting an unpaved road in arid environments can greatly enhance an explosive hazard detection system. One approach is to segment out the off-road area and the area above the horizon, which is considered to be irrelevant for the task in hand. Segmenting out irrelevant areas, such as the region above the horizon, allows the explosive hazard detection system to process a smaller region in a scene, enabling a more computationally complex approach. In this paper, we propose a novel approach for speeding up the detection algorithms based on random projection and random selection. Both methods have a low computational cost and reduce the dimensionality of the data while approximately preserving, with a certain probability, the pair-wise point distances. Dimensionality reduction allows any classifier employed in our proposed algorithm to consume fewer computational resources. Furthermore, by applying the random projections directly to image intensity patches, there is no feature extraction needed. The data used in our proposed algorithms are obtained from sensors on board a U.S. Army countermine vehicle. We tested our proposed algorithms on data obtained from several runs on an arid climate road. In our experiments we compare our algorithms based on random projection and random selection to Principal Component Analysis (PCA), a popular dimensionality reduction method.

  4. Potential of Waste Water Use for Jatropha Cultivation in Arid Environments

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Folkard Asch

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available Water is crucial for socio-economic development and healthy ecosystems. With the actual population growth and in view of future water scarcity, development calls for improved sectorial allocation of groundwater and surface water for domestic, agricultural and industrial use. Instead of intensifying the pressure on water resources, leading to conflicts among users and excessive pressure on the environment, sewage effluents, after pre-treatment, provide an alternative nutrient-rich water source for agriculture in the vicinity of cities. Water scarcity often occurs in arid and semiarid regions affected by droughts and large climate variability and where the choice of crop to be grown is limited by the environmental factors. Jatropha has been introduced as a potential renewable energy resource since it is claimed to be drought resistant and can be grown on marginal sites. Sewage effluents provide a source for water and nutrients for cultivating jatropha, a combined plant production/effluent treatment system. Nevertheless, use of sewage effluents for irrigation in arid climates carries the risk of salinization. Thus, potential irrigation with sewage effluents needs to consider both the water requirement of the crop and those needed for controlling salinity build-up in the top soil. Using data from a case study in Southern Morocco, irrigation requirements were calculated using CROPWAT 8.0. We present here crop evapotranspiration during the growing period, required irrigation, the resulting nutrient input and the related risk of salinization from the irrigation of jatropha with sewage effluent.

  5. Observations of cloud and rainfall enhancement over irrigated agriculture in an arid environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garcia-Carreras, Luis; Marsham, John H.; Spracklen, Dominick V.

    2017-04-01

    The impact of irrigated agriculture on clouds and rainfall remains uncertain, particularly in less studied arid regions. Irrigated crops account for 20% of global cropland area, and non-renewable groundwater accounts for 20% of global irrigation water demand. Quantifying the feedbacks between agriculture and the atmosphere are therefore not only necessary to better understand the climate impacts of land-use change, but are also crucial for predicting long-term water use in water-scarce regions. Here we use high spatial-resolution satellite data to show the impact of irrigated crops in the arid environment of northern Saudi Arabia on cloud cover and rainfall patterns. Land surface temperatures over the crops are 5-10 K lower than their surroundings, linked to evapotranspiration rates of up to 20 mm/ month. Daytime cloud cover is up to 30% higher over the cropland compared to its immediate surroundings, and this enhancement is highly correlated with the seasonal variability in leaf area index. The cloud enhancement is associated with a much more rapid cloud cloud development during the morning. Afternoon rainfall is 85% higher over, and just downwind, of the cropland during the growing season, although rainfall remains very low in absolute terms. The feedback sign we find is the opposite to what has been observed in tropical and semiarid regions, where temperature gradients promote convergence and clouds on the warmer side of land-surface type discontinuities. This suggests that different processes are responsible for the land-atmosphere feedback in very dry environments, where lack of moisture may be a stronger constraint. Increased cloud and rainfall, and associated increases in diffuse radiation and reductions in temperature, can affect vegetation growth thus producing an internal feedback. These effects will therefore need to be taken into account to properly assess the impact of climate change on crop productivity and water use, as well as how global land

  6. Contribution of dust storms to PM10 levels in an urban arid environment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krasnov, Helena; Katra, Itzhak; Koutrakis, Petros; Friger, Michael D

    2014-01-01

    Quantitative information on the contribution of dust storms to atmospheric PM10 (particulate matter with an aerodynamic diameter storms to PM10 concentrations in a desert urban center, the city of Beer-Sheva, Negev, Israel, during the period of 2001-2012. Toward this end, a background value based on the "dust-free" season was used as a threshold value to identify potentially "dust days." Subsequently, the net contribution of dust storms to PM10 was assessed. During the study period, daily PM10 concentrations ranged from 6 to over 2000 microg/m3. In each year, over 10% of the daily concentrations exceeded the calculated threshold (BVt) of 71 microg/m3. An average daily net contribution of dust to PM10 of 122 microg/m3 was calculated for the entire study period based on this background value. Furthermore, a dust storm intensity parameter (Ai) was used to analyze several storms with very high PM10 contributions (hourly averages of 1000-5197 microg/m3). This analysis revealed that the strongest storms occurred mainly in the last 3 yr of the study. Finally, these findings indicate that this arid urban environment experiences high PM10 levels whose origin lies in both local and regional dust events. The findings indicate that over time, the urban arid environment experiences high PM10 levels whose origin lies in local and regional dust events. It was noticed that the strongest storms have occurred mainly in the last 3 yr. It is believed that environmental changes such as global warming and desertification may lead to an increased air pollution and risk exposure to human health.

  7. Cutaneous and respiratory water loss in larks from arid and mesic environments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tieleman, B Irene; Williams, Joseph B

    2002-01-01

    Birds from deserts generally have lower total evaporative water loss (TEWL), the sum of cutaneous (CWL) and respiratory water loss (RWL), than species from mesic areas. We investigated the role of CWL and RWL as a function of air temperature (T(a)) in hoopoe larks (Alaemon alaudipes) and Dunn's larks (Eremalauda dunni) from the Arabian Desert and skylarks (Alauda arvensis) and woodlarks (Lullula arborea) from temperate mesic grasslands. The proportional contribution of CWL to TEWL in all larks at moderate T(a) ranged from 50% to 70%. At high T(a) (40 degrees -45 degrees C), larks enhanced CWL by only 45%-78% and relied on an increase in RWL by 676%-2,733% for evaporative cooling. Surface-specific CWL at 25 degrees C was 29% lower in the arid-zone species than in the mesic larks. When acclimated to constant T(a), 15 degrees C-acclimated hoopoe larks increased CWL by 22% compared with 35 degrees C-acclimated birds, but the other species did not change CWL. This study is consistent with the hypothesis that larks from deserts have a reduced CWL at moderate and low T(a) but provided no support for the hypothesis that at high T(a) larks from arid regions rely more on CWL than larks from mesic environments. Interspecific differences in CWL cannot be attributed to acclimation to environmental temperature and are possibly the result of genetic differences due to natural selection or of phenotypically plastic responses to divergent environments during ontogeny.

  8. Toward Understanding Prevalence of Airborne Microorganisms in a Hot-Arid Environment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Abdel Hameed A.A.

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available This study aims to determine prevalence of microorganisms in the air state and those associated particulate matter (PM in a hot arid environment (Makkah city, Saudi Arabia in relation to time of the day, PM concentration and meteorological conditions during the period between July and September 2014. PM and black smoke samples were collected on cellulose nitrate membrane filters during the daytime (8.00 am - 20.00 pm and the nighttime (20.00 pm - 8.00 am. PMs, filters were eluted in buffer phosphate and aliquots were spread plated onto the surfaces of trypticase soya agar, malt extract agar, and starch casein agar media for counting bacteria, fungi and actinomycetes associated PM, respectively. Airborne microorganisms were collected using an Andersen two stage impactor sampler equipped with Petri plates containing the previously mentioned agar media. The Andersen two-stage viable cascade impactor sampler separates particles into coarse (≥8 µm and fine (≤8 µm size fractions. Airborne microorganisms were taken at three day time-scales: in the morning (8 am - 10 am, at the afternoon (13.00 pm - 16.00 pm and in the evening (22.00 pm - 1.00 am. The average concentrations of PM (149.5 µg/m3 and smoke (57.03 µg/m3 were higher in the daytime and nighttime, respectively. The greatest concentrations of microorganisms associated PM were found in the daytime, however the peak concentration of airborne microorganisms was found in the evening time. Fine microbial fraction constituted ~60% - 75.9% of the total microbial concentrations. Positive correlations were found between bacteria with PM concentration in the daytime and meteorological conditions at the nighttime. Temperature and relative humidity positively affected survivability of microorganisms associated PM at the nighttime and airborne fungi as well. This study helps understand distribution pattern of microorganisms in the atmosphere of a hot-arid environment.

  9. Tree ecophysiological traits related to tree drought mortality are linked to the aridity of the environment in eucalypts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arndt, S. K.; Sanders, G.; Hirsch, M.

    2013-12-01

    Increases in tree drought mortality are observed in forest ecosystems in all continents but the actual mechanisms how trees succumb to drought are still controversial. Physiological traits and thresholds have often be proposed as possible tools to predict tree drought mortality but these traits and thresholds have only been studied in a few tree species in detail. We investigated the vulnerability to hydraulic cavitation in leaves (P50leaf), turgor loss point (TLP) and osmotic potential at full turgor (OPFT) in 16 different eucalypts species that occur in environments of differing aridity in south-eastern Australia (gradient from 300mm to 1500 mm of precipitation per year). The species were grown from seed, planted in an arboretum in Melbourne and measured under well-watered conditions as two-year old saplings. We observed strong correlations between all measured ecophysiological traits and the aridity of the environment of the origin of the species. P50leaf and TLP were more negative in the eucalypts from more arid environments and more positive in eucalypts from more mesic environments, indicating that eucalypts in arid environments lose turgor at lower water potentials and have a lower vulnerability to hydraulic cavitation in leaves. Eucalypts from arid environments also had a much more negative osmotic potential at full turgor than eucalypts from mesic environments and more rigid cell walls. The measured plants all grew in the same environmental conditions and were well watered at the time of measurement. The results therefore indicate a strong genetic control over these physiological traits in eucalypts - trees from more arid environments lose turgor and hydraulic conductivity at lower water potentials and achieve these lower water potentials by having more osmotically active substances, even if they are not drought stressed. This is the first time these strong correlations between physiological traits and aridity of the origin of the species have been

  10. Non-stationarity of "Nature's Limit" - Implications for Agriculture in Semi-arid Environments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tozer, C.; Kiem, A.; Verdon-Kidd, D.

    2014-12-01

    "Rain follows the plow" was a theory that encouraged agricultural settlement in dryland areas in both the United States of America and Australia during the mid-1800s. Supporters of the theory believed that humans could master nature and alter the climate through cultivation of the soil. An opponent of this theory was George W. Goyder, who used vegetation in South Australia as an indicator to mark out the extent of the area's severe 1865 drought, effectively establishing "nature's limit" to reliable agriculture in South Australia. This limit became known as Goyder's Line and demarked the boundary between land suitable for agricultural pursuits (i.e. cropping) to the south and land only suitable for grazing in the State's arid north. Current cropping areas however extend north beyond this line, suggesting that either a) the line is not well defined, b) cropping is occurring on land considered 'non-viable' according to Goyder's Line or c) the line distinguishing where cropping is and is not viable varies on interannual to multidecadal timescales. In this study, the 220 mm growing season (April to October) rainfall isohyet is used as a proxy for Goyder's Line in order to assess its temporal and spatial variability. Using indices of the El Niño/Southern Oscillation, Indian Ocean variability, Southern Annular Mode and the Subtropical Ridge, it is shown that climate state significantly influences the location of the 220 mm growing season rainfall isohyet. This implies that the boundary between viable and non-viable cropping areas (i.e. Goyder's Line or "nature's limit") is non-stationary. These results also indicate the key influences on South Australia's climate and have important implications globally for agricultural practices operating in or bordering semi-arid environments.

  11. Rocks, climate and the survival of human societies in hyper-arid and arid environments - Are the human civilization in deserts at a permanent risk of collapse?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yoav, Avni; Noa, Avriel-Avni

    2017-04-01

    The great challenges of living in the arid and hyper arid regions worldwide are the shortage of water, limited resources and the permanent uncertainty of the desert climate. These challenges are known as the main weaknesses of desert societies that are prone, according to the existing paradigm, to a permanent risk of collapse. However, in the Middle East deserts, human societies are known since prehistoric times and during the entire hyper-dry Holocene. This hints that the simple paradigm of desert societies' high vulnerability to harsh desert environments needs to be better examined. In this context we examine three case studies: 1. The Southern Sinai region in Egypt: In this region, the annual precipitation fluctuates between 20-50 mm/y. However, in this highly mountainous area, desert agriculture plots including orchards were constructed, located mainly around the byzantine monastery of Santa Katerina. During the last 1500 years, much of the water supply needed for humans and agriculture was generated from runoff developed on exposed granite rocks. 2. The southern Jordan region south of Petra: Much of this wide area connecting the deserts of the Arabian Peninsula and southern Jordan receive only 20-30 mm/y. However, the main caravan route established by the Arabian tribes during the first millennia BC managed to cross this land, supplying the water needs of many camels. Most of this water was stored in large cisterns dug into the sandstone rock formations exposed along the route, especially within the Disi Formation. 3. The Negev Highlands of southern Israel: This region is divided between the hyper arid region to the south, receiving 70-80 mm/y, and the arid region to the north receiving 90-130 mm/y. During the last two millennia, the hyper arid area was used for camel grazing and goats herds, while the northern sector was used for the construction of agriculture plots, agriculture farms and even desert towns. All these activities were sustained by runoff

  12. An overview of biodegradation of LNAPLs in coastal (semi)-arid environment

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Yadav, B.K.; Hassanizadeh, S.M.

    2011-01-01

    Contamination of soil and water due to the release of light non-aqueous phase liquids (LNAPLs) is a ubiquitous problem. The problem is more severe in arid and semi-arid coastal regions where most of the petroleum production and related refinery industries are located. Biological treatment of

  13. An overview of biodegradation of LNAPLs in coastal (semi)-arid environment

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Yadav, B.K.; Hassanizadeh, S.M.

    2011-01-01

    Contamination of soil and water due to the release of light non-aqueous phase liquids (LNAPLs) is a ubiquitous problem. The problem is more severe in arid and semi-arid coastal regions where most of the petroleum production and related refinery industries are located. Biological treatment of these o

  14. Arid Zone Hydrology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arid zone hydrology encompasses a wide range of topics and hydro-meteorological and ecological characteristics. Although arid and semi-arid watersheds perform the same functions as those in humid environments, their hydrology and sediment transport characteristics cannot be readily predicted by inf...

  15. Farming system context drives the value of deep wheat roots in semi-arid environments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lilley, Julianne M; Kirkegaard, John A

    2016-06-01

    The capture of subsoil water by wheat roots can make a valuable contribution to grain yield on deep soils. More extensive root systems can capture more water, but leave the soil in a drier state, potentially limiting water availability to subsequent crops. To evaluate the importance of these legacy effects, a long-term simulation analysis at eight sites in the semi-arid environment of Australia compared the yield of standard wheat cultivars with cultivars that were (i) modified to have root systems which extract more water at depth and/or (ii) sown earlier to increase the duration of the vegetative period and hence rooting depth. We compared simulations with and without annual resetting of soil water to investigate the legacy effects of drier subsoils related to modified root systems. Simulated mean yield benefits from modified root systems declined from 0.1-0.6 t ha(-1) when annually reset, to 0-0.2 t ha(-1) in the continuous simulation due to a legacy of drier soils (mean 0-32mm) at subsequent crop sowing. For continuous simulations, predicted yield benefits of >0.2 t ha(-1) from more extensive root systems were rare (3-10% of years) at sites with shallow soils (extensively has implications for the farming system productivity, and the crop sequence must be managed tactically to optimize overall system benefits.

  16. Underground Corrosion of Activated Metals in an Arid Vadose Zone Environment

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Adler Flitton, Mariana Kay; Mizia, Ronald Eugene; Bishop, Carolyn Wagoner

    2002-04-01

    The subsurface radioactive disposal site located at the Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory contains neutron-activated metals from nonfuel nuclear-reactor- core components. A long-term corrosion test is being conducted to obtain site-specific corrosion rates to support efforts to more accurately estimate the transfer of activated elements in an arid vadose zone environment. The tests use nonradioactive metal coupons representing the prominent neutron-activated material buried at the disposal location, namely, Type 304L stainless steel, Type 315L stainless steel, nickel-chromium alloy (UNS NO7718), beryllium, aluminum 6061-T6, and a zirconium alloy, (UNS R60804). In addition, carbon steel (the material presently used in the cask disposal liners and other disposal containers) and a duplex stainless steel (UNS S32550) (the proposed material for the high- integrity disposal containers) are also included in the test program. This paper briefly describes the test program and presents the early corrosion rate results after 1 year and 3 years of underground exposure.

  17. Underground Corrosion of Activated Metals in an Arid Vadose Zone Environment

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Adler Flitton, M.K; Mizia, R.E.; Bishop, C.W.

    2001-10-24

    The subsurface radioactive disposal site located at the Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory contains neutron-activated metals from nonfuel nuclear-reactor- core components. A long-term corrosion test is being conducted to obtain site-specific corrosion rates to support efforts to more accurately estimate the transfer of activated elements in an arid vadose zone environment. The tests use nonradioactive metal coupons representing the prominent neutron-activated material buried at the disposal location, namely, Type 304L stainless steel, Type 315L stainless steel, nickel-chromium alloy (UNS NO7718), beryllium, aluminum 6061-T6, and a zirconium alloy, (UNS R60804). In addition, carbon steel (the material presently used in the cask disposal liners and other disposal containers) and a duplex stainless steel (UNS S32550) (the proposed material for the high- integrity disposal containers) are also included in the test program. This paper briefly describes the test program and presents the early corrosion rate results after 1 year and 3 years of underground exposure.

  18. Should we plant trees to offset greenhouse gas emissions in semi-arid environments?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pataki, D. E.; Pincetl, S.; Gillespie, T. W.; Li, W.; McCarthy, H. R.; Saatchi, S.; Saphores, J.

    2008-12-01

    Urban tree planting programs have been gaining popularity in the United States. Urban trees have been associated with a variety of environmental benefits, including improvements in air quality, mitigation of urban heat island effects, reductions in stormwater runoff, and more recently, carbon sequestration. There are also other potential aesthetic and economic benefits of urban forests, which have been shown to affect real estate values. However, there may also be significant economic and environmental costs of planting and maintaining trees in urban areas, particularly in semi-arid environments where trees are not native and require irrigation and fertilization. We are conducting an analysis of the Million Tree Initiative in the city of Los Angeles, which has committed to a major tree planting program. Los Angeles currently has a low tree canopy cover relative to other cities, particularly in its low income neighborhoods. We are evaluating the decision-making processes associated with the new tree planting program, its perceived benefits, and its actual benefits based on measurements of plant and ecosystem processes such as transpiration, photosynthesis, and water use efficiency; remote sensing analyses of tree cover and surface temperature; and economic analyses. We have found great variability in the interpretation of the program by its various participants, but also significant institutional learning as the program has evolved. Our datasets have challenged some of the common assumptions of the program, for example, the assumption that native species use less water than imported species and are therefore more environmentally beneficial in terms of water resources. We have also found significant impacts of the urban forest on air temperature, which may reduce energy use during the summer due to reductions in air conditioning. This is likely to be a larger effect of urban trees on greenhouse gas emissions than direct carbon sequestration alone, which is a very

  19. Estimation of reference evapotranspiration using multivariate fractional polynomial, Bayesian regression, and robust regression models in three arid environments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khoshravesh, Mojtaba; Sefidkouhi, Mohammad Ali Gholami; Valipour, Mohammad

    2017-07-01

    The proper evaluation of evapotranspiration is essential in food security investigation, farm management, pollution detection, irrigation scheduling, nutrient flows, carbon balance as well as hydrologic modeling, especially in arid environments. To achieve sustainable development and to ensure water supply, especially in arid environments, irrigation experts need tools to estimate reference evapotranspiration on a large scale. In this study, the monthly reference evapotranspiration was estimated by three different regression models including the multivariate fractional polynomial (MFP), robust regression, and Bayesian regression in Ardestan, Esfahan, and Kashan. The results were compared with Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)-Penman-Monteith (FAO-PM) to select the best model. The results show that at a monthly scale, all models provided a closer agreement with the calculated values for FAO-PM ( R 2 > 0.95 and RMSE < 12.07 mm month-1). However, the MFP model gives better estimates than the other two models for estimating reference evapotranspiration at all stations.

  20. Lake Evaporation in a Hyper-Arid Environment, Northwest of China—Measurement and Estimation

    OpenAIRE

    Xiao Liu; Jingjie Yu; Ping Wang; Yichi Zhang; Chaoyang Du

    2016-01-01

    Lake evaporation is a critical component of the hydrological cycle. Quantifying lake evaporation in hyper-arid regions by measurement and estimation can both provide reliable potential evaporation (ET0) reference and promote a deeper understanding of the regional hydrological process and its response towards changing climate. We placed a floating E601 evaporation pan on East Juyan Lake, which is representative of arid regions’ terminal lakes, to measure daily evaporation and conducted simulta...

  1. C:N:P Stoichiometry and Leaf Traits of Halophytes in an Arid Saline Environment, Northwest China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Lilong; Zhao, Guanxiang; Li, Meng; Zhang, Mingting; Zhang, Lifang; Zhang, Xinfang; An, Lizhe; Xu, Shijian

    2015-01-01

    Salinization is an important and increasingly prevalent issue which has broad and profound effects on plant survival and distribution pattern. To understand the patterns and potential drivers of leaf traits in saline environments, we determined the soil properties, leaf morphological traits (specific leaf area, SLA, and leaf dry matter content, LDMC), leaf chemical traits (leaf carbon, C, nitrogen, N, and phosphorus, P, stoichiometry) based on 142 observations collected from 23 sites in an arid saline environment, which is a vulnerable ecosystem in northwest China. We also explored the relationships among leaf traits, the responses of leaf traits, and plant functional groups (herb, woody, and succulent woody) to various saline environments. The arid desert halophytes were characterized by lower leaf C and SLA levels, higher N, but stable P and N:P. The leaf morphological traits were correlated significantly with the C, N, and P contents across all observations, but they differed within each functional group. Succulent woody plants had the lowest leaf C and highest leaf N levels among the three functional groups. The growth of halophytes might be more limited by N rather than P in the study area. GLM analysis demonstrated that the soil available nutrients and plant functional groups, but not salinity, were potential drivers of leaf C:N:P stoichiometry in halophytes, whereas species differences accounted for the largest contributions to leaf morphological variations. Our study provides baseline information to facilitate the management and restoration of arid saline desert ecosystem. PMID:25798853

  2. C:N:P stoichiometry and leaf traits of halophytes in an arid saline environment, northwest China.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lilong Wang

    Full Text Available Salinization is an important and increasingly prevalent issue which has broad and profound effects on plant survival and distribution pattern. To understand the patterns and potential drivers of leaf traits in saline environments, we determined the soil properties, leaf morphological traits (specific leaf area, SLA, and leaf dry matter content, LDMC, leaf chemical traits (leaf carbon, C, nitrogen, N, and phosphorus, P, stoichiometry based on 142 observations collected from 23 sites in an arid saline environment, which is a vulnerable ecosystem in northwest China. We also explored the relationships among leaf traits, the responses of leaf traits, and plant functional groups (herb, woody, and succulent woody to various saline environments. The arid desert halophytes were characterized by lower leaf C and SLA levels, higher N, but stable P and N:P. The leaf morphological traits were correlated significantly with the C, N, and P contents across all observations, but they differed within each functional group. Succulent woody plants had the lowest leaf C and highest leaf N levels among the three functional groups. The growth of halophytes might be more limited by N rather than P in the study area. GLM analysis demonstrated that the soil available nutrients and plant functional groups, but not salinity, were potential drivers of leaf C:N:P stoichiometry in halophytes, whereas species differences accounted for the largest contributions to leaf morphological variations. Our study provides baseline information to facilitate the management and restoration of arid saline desert ecosystem.

  3. C:N:P stoichiometry and leaf traits of halophytes in an arid saline environment, northwest China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Lilong; Zhao, Guanxiang; Li, Meng; Zhang, Mingting; Zhang, Lifang; Zhang, Xinfang; An, Lizhe; Xu, Shijian

    2015-01-01

    Salinization is an important and increasingly prevalent issue which has broad and profound effects on plant survival and distribution pattern. To understand the patterns and potential drivers of leaf traits in saline environments, we determined the soil properties, leaf morphological traits (specific leaf area, SLA, and leaf dry matter content, LDMC), leaf chemical traits (leaf carbon, C, nitrogen, N, and phosphorus, P, stoichiometry) based on 142 observations collected from 23 sites in an arid saline environment, which is a vulnerable ecosystem in northwest China. We also explored the relationships among leaf traits, the responses of leaf traits, and plant functional groups (herb, woody, and succulent woody) to various saline environments. The arid desert halophytes were characterized by lower leaf C and SLA levels, higher N, but stable P and N:P. The leaf morphological traits were correlated significantly with the C, N, and P contents across all observations, but they differed within each functional group. Succulent woody plants had the lowest leaf C and highest leaf N levels among the three functional groups. The growth of halophytes might be more limited by N rather than P in the study area. GLM analysis demonstrated that the soil available nutrients and plant functional groups, but not salinity, were potential drivers of leaf C:N:P stoichiometry in halophytes, whereas species differences accounted for the largest contributions to leaf morphological variations. Our study provides baseline information to facilitate the management and restoration of arid saline desert ecosystem.

  4. Making microbiology of the built environment relevant to design.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, G Z; Kline, Jeff; Mhuireach, Gwynne; Northcutt, Dale; Stenson, Jason

    2016-02-16

    Architects are enthusiastic about "bioinformed design" as occupant well-being is a primary measure of architectural success. However, architects are also under mounting pressure to create more sustainable buildings. Scientists have a critical opportunity to make the emerging field of microbiology of the built environment more relevant and applicable to real-world design problems by addressing health and sustainability in tandem. Practice-based research, which complements evidence-based design, represents a promising approach to advancing knowledge of the indoor microbiome and translating it to architectural practice.

  5. Analysis of Vegetative on Six Different Landfill Cover Profiles in an Arid Environment.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Dwyer, Stephen F.; McClellan, Yvonne; Reavis, Bruce A.; Dwyer, Brian P.; Newman, Gretchen; Wolters, Gale

    2005-05-01

    A large-scale field demonstration comparing final landfill cover designs was constructed and monitored at Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Two conventional designs (a RCRA Subtitle 'D' Soil Cover and a RCRA Subtitle 'C' Compacted Clay Cover) were constructed side-by-side with four alternative cover test plots designed for arid environments. The demonstration was intended to evaluate the various cover designs based on their respective water balance performance, ease and reliability of construction, and cost. A portion of this project involves the characterization of vegetation establishment and growth on the landfill covers. The various prototype landfill covers were expected to have varying flux rates (Dwyer et al 2000). The landfill covers were further expected to influence vegetation establishment and growth, which may impact site erosion potential and long-term site integrity. Objectives of this phase were to quantify the types of plants occupying each site, the percentage of ground covered by these plants, the density (number of plants per unit area) of plants, and the plant biomass production. The results of this vegetation analysis are presented in this report.3 DRAFT07/06/14AcknowledgementsWe would like to thank all technical and support staff from Sandia and the USDA Forest Service's Rocky Mountain Station not included in the authors' list of this document for their valuable contributions to this research. We would also like to acknowledge the Department of Energy's Subsurface Contaminants Focus Area for funding this work.4

  6. Vapor Flow Resistance of Dry Soil Layer to Soil Water Evaporation in Arid Environment: An Overview

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xixi Wang

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available Evaporation from bare sandy soils is the core component of the hydrologic cycle in arid environments, where vertical water movement dominates. Although extensive measurement and modeling studies have been conducted and reported in existing literature, the physics of dry soil and its function in evaporation is still a challenging topic with significant remaining issues. Thus, an overview of the previous findings will be very beneficial for identifying further research needs that aim to advance our understanding of the vapor flow resistance (VFR effect on soil water evaporation as influenced by characteristics of the dry soil layer (DSL and evaporation zone (EZ. In this regard, six measurement and four modeling studies were overviewed. The results of these overviewed studies, along with the others, affirm the conceptual dynamics of DSL and EZ during drying or wetting processes (but not both within dry sandy soils. The VFR effect tends to linearly increase with DSL thickness (δ when δ < 5 cm and is likely to increase as a logarithmic function of δ when δ ≥ 5 cm. The vaporization-condensation-movement (VCM dynamics in a DSL depend on soil textures: sandy soils can form a thick (10 to 20 cm DSL while sandy clay soils may or may not have a clear DSL; regardless, a DSL can function as a transient EZ, a vapor condensation zone, and/or a vapor transport medium. Based on the overview, further studies will need to generate long-term continuous field data, develop hydraulic functions for very dry soils, and establish an approach to quantify the dynamics and VFR effects of DSLs during wetting-drying cycles as well as take into account such effects  when using conventional (e.g., Penman-Monteith evaporation models.

  7. Modeling Multiple Stresses Placed Upon A Groundwater System In A Semi-Arid Brackish Environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Toll, M.; Salameh, E.; Sauter, M.

    2008-12-01

    In semi-arid areas groundwater systems are frequently not sufficiently characterized hydrogeologically and long term data records are generally not available. Long-term time series are necessary, however to design future groundwater abstraction scenarios or to predict the influence of future climate change effects on groundwater resources. To overcome these problems an integrated approach for the provision of a reliable database based on sparse and fuzzy data is proposed. This integrated approach is demonstrated in the lowermost area of the Jordan Valley. The Jordan Valley is part of the Jordan Dead Sea Wadi Araba Rift Valley, which extends from the Red Sea to lake Tiberias and beyond with a major 107 km sinistral strike-slip fault between the Arabian plate to the east and the northeastern part of the African plate to the west. Due to extensional forces a topographic depression was formed. As a result of an arid environment it is filled with evaporites, lacustrine sediments, and clastic fluvial components. A subtropical climate with hot, dry summers and mild humid winters with low amounts of rainfall provide excellent farming conditions. Therefore the Jordan Valley is considered as the food basket of Jordan and is used intensively for agriculture. As a result hundreds of shallow wells were drilled and large amounts of groundwater were abstracted since groundwater is the major source for irrigation. Consequently groundwater quality decreased rapidly since the sixties and signs of overpumping and an increase in soil salinity could clearly be seen. In order to achieve a sustainable state of water resources and to quantify the impact of climate change on water resources a proper assessment of the groundwater resources as well as their quality is a prerequisite. In order to sufficiently describe the complex hydrogeologic flow system an integrated approach, combining geological, geophysical, hydrogeological, historical, and chemical methods was chosen. The aquifer

  8. Developing an Understanding of Vegetation Change and Fluvial Carbon Fluxes in Semi-Arid Environments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Puttock, A.; Brazier, R. E.; Dungait, J. A. J.; Bol, R.; Macleod, C. J. A.

    2012-04-01

    Dryland environments are estimated to cover around 40% of the global land surface (Okin et al, 2009) and are home to approximately 2.5 billion people (Reynolds et al. 2007). Many of these areas have recently experienced extensive land degradation. One such area and the focus of this project is the semi-arid US Southwest, where degradation over the past 150 years has been characterised by the invasion of woody vegetation into grasslands. Transition from grass to woody vegetation results in a change in ecosystem structure and function (Turnbull et al, 2008). Structural change is typically characterised by an increased heterogeneity of soil and vegetation resources, associated with reduced vegetation coverage and an increased vulnerability to soil erosion and the potential loss of key nutrients to adjacent fluvial systems. Such loss of resources may impact heavily upon the amount of carbon that is sequestered by these environments and the amount of carbon that is lost as the land becomes more degraded. Therefore, understanding these vegetation transitions is significant for sustainable land use and global biogeochemical cycling. This project uses an ecohydrological approach, monitoring natural rainfall-runoff events over six bounded plots with different vegetation coverage. The experiment takes advantage of a natural abundance stable 13C isotope shift from C3 piñon-juniper (Pinus edulis-Juniperus monosperma) mixed stand through a C4 pure-grass (Bouteloua eriopoda) to C3 shrub (Larrea tridentata). Data collected quantify fluvial fluxes of sediment and associated soil organic matter and carbon that is lost from across the grass-to-shrub and grass-to-woodland transition (where change in space is taken to indicate a similar change through time). Results collected during the 2010 and 2011 monsoon seasons will be presented, illustrating that soil and carbon losses are greater as the ecosystem becomes more dominated by woody plants. Additionally this project utilises novel

  9. Plant functional traits and phylogenetic relatedness explain variation in associations with root fungal endophytes in an extreme arid environment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lugo, Mónica A; Reinhart, Kurt O; Menoyo, Eugenia; Crespo, Esteban M; Urcelay, Carlos

    2015-02-01

    Since root endophytes may ameliorate drought stress, understanding which plants associate with endophytes is important, especially in arid ecosystems. Here, the root endophytes were characterized of 42 plants from an arid region of Argentina. Colonization by arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) and dark septate endophytes (DSEs) was related to plant functional type (PFT), family, and phylogenetic relatedness. Overall, three main findings were observed. Firstly, only moderate levels of endophyte associations were found across all taxa (e.g., most Poaceae were not colonized by endophytes despite numerous accounts of colonization by AMF and DSEs). We determined 69% of plant taxa associated with some form of root endophyte but levels were lower than other regional studies. Secondly, comparisons by PFT and phylogeny were often qualitatively similar (e.g., succulents and Portulacineae consistently lacked AMF; variation occurred among terrestrial vs. epiphytic bromeliads) and often differed from comparisons based on plant family. Thirdly, comparisons by plant family often failed to account for important variation either within families (e.g., Bromeliaceae and Poaceae) or trait conservatism among related families (i.e., Rosidae consistently lacked DSEs and Portulacineae lacked AMF). This study indicates the value of comparing numerous taxa based on PFTs and phylogenetic similarity. Overall, the results suggest an uncertain benefit of endophytes in extremely arid environments where plant traits like succulence may obviate the need to establish associations.

  10. Stem Biomass Production of Paulownia elongata × P. fortunei under Low Irrigation in a Semi-Arid Environment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Francisco Antonio García-Morote

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available In semi-arid regions, afforestation with fast-growing species cultured with low irrigation can be an effective approach for environmental protection. An experiment was conducted to evaluate the stem biomass production of Paulownia in a semi-arid climate and clay soils under contrasting low-irrigation and fertilization treatments. The stem biomass at the stand level was estimated by applying allometric equations fitted in sample resprouts and inventory data. The results show that biomass production improved when either irrigation or fertilizer was added, but the combination of a higher dose of irrigation and fertilization did not lead to the highest biomass production; thus water availability was the main factor controlling biomass production. Under the higher dose of irrigation, the absence of a fertilizer effect would be due in part to the fertile soil, which could supply sufficient nutrients for Paulownia growth at the higher level of soil moisture. The stem biomass estimated ranged from 2.14 to 4.50 t×ha−1 (lower irrigation dose without fertilization, and higher irrigation with fertilization. The greater production was similar to other studies in the Mediterranean area receiving more irrigation. Thus, this study permitted us to understand the potential of Paulownia to provide biomass in semi-arid environments with low irrigation due to water use restrictions.

  11. Evolution of leaf anatomy in arid environments - A case study in southern African Tetraena and Roepera (Zygophyllaceae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lauterbach, Maximilian; van der Merwe, Pieter de Wet; Keßler, Lisa; Pirie, Michael D; Bellstedt, Dirk U; Kadereit, Gudrun

    2016-04-01

    The dry biomes of southern Africa (Desert, Nama Karoo and Succulent Karoo) are home to a rich and diverse xerophytic flora. This flora includes two morphologically diverse clades of Zygophyllaceae, Tetraena and Roepera (Zygophylloideae), which inhabit some of the most arid habitats in the region. Using a plastid phylogeny of Zygophylloideae we assess whether the evolution of putatively adaptive traits (leaf shape, vasculature, mode of water storage and photosynthetic type: C3 versus C4) coincides with the successful colonisation of environments with different drought regimes within southern Africa. Our results show general niche conservatism within arid habitats in Tetraena, but niche shifts from arid to more mesic biomes with longer and/or cooler growing season (Fynbos and Thicket) in Roepera. However, these distinct broad-scale biogeographical patterns are not reflected in leaf anatomy, which seems to vary at more local scales. We observed considerable variability and multiple convergences to similar leaf anatomies in both genera, including shifts between "all cell succulence" leaf types and leaf types with distinct chlorenchyma and hydrenchyma. Our survey of C4 photosynthesis in the Zygophylloideae showed that the C4 pathway is restricted to Tetraena simplex, which also having an annual life history and a widespread distribution, is rather atypical for this group.

  12. Soil carbon dynamics during secondary succession in a semi-arid Mediterranean environment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Novara

    2011-11-01

    Full Text Available Clarifying which factors cause an increase or decrease in soil organic carbon (SOC after agricultural abandonment requires integration of data on the temporal dynamics of the plant community and SOC. A chronosequence of abandoned vineyards was studied on a volcanic island (Pantelleria, Italy. Vegetation in the abandoned fields was initially dominated by annual and perennial herbs, then by Hyparrhenia hirta (L. Stapf, and finally by woody communities. As a consequence, the dominant photosynthetic pathway changed from C3 to C4 and then back to C3.

    Conversion of a plant community dominated by one photosynthetic pathway to another changes the 13C/12C ratio of inputs to soil organic carbon (SOC. Using the time since abandonment and the shift in belowground δ13C of SOC relative to the aboveground δ13C plant community, we estimated SOC turnover rate.

    SOC content (g kg−1 increased linearly (R2 = 0.79 and 0.73 for 0–15 and 15–30 cm soil depth with the age of abandonment, increasing from 12 g kg−1 in cultivated vineyards to as high as 26 g kg−1 in the last stage of the succession.

    δ13C increased in the bulk soil and its three fractions during succession, but only for soil fractions the effects of soil depth and its interaction with succession age were significant. Polynomial curves described the change in δ13C over the chronosequence for both depths. δ13C in the bulk soil had increased from −28 to −24‰ by 30 yr after abandonment for both depths but then decreased to −26‰ at 60 yr after abandonment (corresponding with maturity of the woody plant community. Overall, the results indicate that abandoned vineyards on volcanic soil in a semi-arid environment are C sinks and that C storage in these soils is closely related to plant succession.

  13. VNIR-SWIR-TIR hyperspectral airborne campaign for soil and sediment mapping in semi-arid south african environments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Milewski, Robert; Chabrillat, Sabine; Eisele, Andreas

    2016-04-01

    Airborne hyperspectral remote sensing techniques has been proven to offer efficient procedures for soil and sediment mineralogical mapping in arid areas on larger scales. Optical methods based on traditional remote sensing windows using the solar reflective spectral wavelength range from the visible-near infrared (VNIR: 0.4-1.1 μm) to the short-wave infrared region (SWIR: 1.1-2.5 μm) allow mapping of common soil properties such as iron oxides, textural characteristics and organic carbon. However, soil mapping in semi-arid environments using VNIR-SWIR is currently limited due to specific spectral characteristics. Challenges appear in such environments due to the common presence of sandy soils (coarse textured) which grain size distribution is driven by the dominant mineral, quartz (SiO2), and which lacks any distinctive Si-O bond related spectral features within the VNIR-SWIR. Furthermore, another challenge is represented by the common presence of other specific spectral features due to different salts (gypsum, halite) or coatings of different forms (cyanobacteria, iron-oxides and/or -oxyhydroxides) for which few studies exists or that oft prevent detection of any other potential spectral feature of e.g. soil organics. In this context, more methodological developments are needed to overcome current limitations of hyperspectral remote sensing for arid areas, and to extent its scope using the thermal infrared (TIR) wavelength region within the atmospheric window between 8 and 14 μm (longwave infrared). In 2015 an extensive VNIR-SWIR-TIR airborne hyperspectral dataset consisting of HySpex-VNIR, HySpex-SWIR (NEO) and Hyper-Cam (TELOPS) data has been acquired in various Namibian and South African landscapes part of the Dimap/GFZ campaign in the frame of the BMBF-SPACES Geoarchive project. Research goals are 1) to demonstrate the capabilities to extract information from such a dataset and 2) to demonstrate the potential of advanced hyperspectral remote sensing

  14. Water resource monitoring in semi-arid environment through the synergic use of SAR data and hydrological models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amitrano, Donato; Di Martino, Gerardo; Iodice, Antonio; Mitidieri, Francesco; Papa, Maria Nicolina; Riccio, Daniele; Ruello, Giuseppe

    2016-10-01

    In semi-arid regions, small reservoirs are widely employed for facing seasonal in water availability due to the alternation of a short rainy season and of a very long dry season. Therefore, their monitoring is fundamental for local rural communities wellness. In this paper, we present a novel framework for water resources management exploiting the synergy of synthetic aperture radar (SAR) data and hydrological models. The pilot project was implemented in Burkina Faso, showing good potentialities for cheap and continuous monitoring of the environment through the exploitation of a multi-disciplinary framework.

  15. Preliminary criteria for shallow-land storage/disposal of low-level radioactive solid waste in an arid environment

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Shord, A. L.

    1979-09-01

    Preliminary criteria for shallow land storage/disposal of low level radioactive solid waste in an arid environment were developed. Criteria which address the establishment and operation of a storage/disposal facility for low-level radioactive solid wastes are discussed. These were developed from the following sources: (1) a literature review of solid waste burial; (2) a review of the regulations, standards, and codes pertinent to the burial of radioactive wastes; (3) on site experience; and (4) evaluation of existing burial grounds and practices. (DMC)

  16. Coupled flow and salinity transport modelling in semi-arid environments

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bauer-Gottwein, Peter; Held, R.J.; Zimmermann, S.

    2006-01-01

    Numerical groundwater modelling is used as the base for sound aquifer system analysis and water resources assessment. In many cases, particularly in semi-arid and arid regions, groundwater flow is intricately linked to salinity transport. A case in point is the Shashe River Valley in Botswana....... A freshwater aquifer located around an ephemeral stream is depleted by the combined effect of transpiration and pumping. Quantitative system analysis reveals that the amount of water taken by transpiration is far more than the quantities pumped for water supply. Furthermore, the salinity distribution...... in and around Shashe River Valley as well as its temporal dynamics can be satisfactorily reproduced if the transpiration is modelled as a function of groundwater salinity. The location and dynamics of the saltwater–freshwater interface are highly sensitive to the parameterization of evaporative...

  17. Understanding cropping systems in the semi-arid environments of Zimbabwe: options for soil fertility management

    OpenAIRE

    Ncube, B.

    2007-01-01

    African smallholder farmers face perennial food shortages due to low crop yields. The major cause of poor crop yields is soil fertility decline. The diversity of sites and soils between African farming systems isgreat,therefore strategies to solve soil fertility problems should suit the opportunities and problems encountered in the different climatic regions. This thesis characterizes the semi-arid regions of south-western Zimbabwe and explores some of the strategies that can be used to provi...

  18. Optimizing irrigation and nitrogen for wheat through empirical modeling under semi-arid environment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saeed, Umer; Wajid, Syed Aftab; Khaliq, Tasneem; Zahir, Zahir Ahmad

    2017-04-01

    I240 mm during 2012-2013 and 2013-2014 did not reduce crop yield significantly (P irrigation. It is concluded from study that irrigation and nitrogen relationship can be used for efficient management of irrigation and nitrogen and to reduce nitrogen losses. The empirical equations developed in this study can help farmers of semi-arid environment to calculate optimum level of irrigation and nitrogen for maximum economic return from wheat.

  19. Influence of season and sex on hemato-biochemical traits in adult turkeys under arid tropical environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gattani, Anil; Pathak, Arti; Kumar, Ajeet; Mishra, Vaibhav; Bhatia, Jitendra Singh

    2016-01-01

    Aim: The objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of season and sex on hemato-biochemical parameters of turkey (Meleagris gallopavo) in the arid tropical environment. Materials and Methods: The experiment was conducted on 20-week old turkeys consisting of 20 males and 20 females. Blood was collected from all turkeys during January and May. Hemoglobin (Hb), red blood cell (RBC), packed cell volume (PCV), mean corpuscular volume (MCV), mean corpuscular hemoglobin (MCH), and mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentration (MCHC) were estimated in whole blood and glucose, protein, albumin, globulin, A/G ratio, calcium, phosphorus, alanine aminotransferase (ALT), and aspartate aminotransferase (AST) in serum. Result: Season has significant (p<0.05) effect on Hb concentration, RBC, and PCV in both male and female. Male has significantly higher (p<0.05) Hb concentration, RBC, and PCV. There is no significant effect of sex, and season was observed on MCV, MCH, and MCHC. Glucose, protein, albumin, globulin, and A/G ratio were significantly (p<0.05) affected by season and sex. AST and ALT were significantly (p<0.05) affected by season in both sexes. There is no significant difference was recorded on calcium, phosphorus due to season and sex. Conclusion: Under arid tropical environment, turkey hemato-biochemical parameters are influenced by both sex and season. PMID:27284232

  20. Influence of season and sex on hemato-biochemical traits in adult turkeys under arid tropical environment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anil Gattani

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available Aim: The objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of season and sex on hemato-biochemical parameters of turkey (Meleagris gallopavo in the arid tropical environment. Materials and Methods: The experiment was conducted on 20-week old turkeys consisting of 20 males and 20 females. Blood was collected from all turkeys during January and May. Hemoglobin (Hb, red blood cell (RBC, packed cell volume (PCV, mean corpuscular volume (MCV, mean corpuscular hemoglobin (MCH, and mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentration (MCHC were estimated in whole blood and glucose, protein, albumin, globulin, A/G ratio, calcium, phosphorus, alanine aminotransferase (ALT, and aspartate aminotransferase (AST in serum. Result: Season has significant (p<0.05 effect on Hb concentration, RBC, and PCV in both male and female. Male has significantly higher (p<0.05 Hb concentration, RBC, and PCV. There is no significant effect of sex, and season was observed on MCV, MCH, and MCHC. Glucose, protein, albumin, globulin, and A/G ratio were significantly (p<0.05 affected by season and sex. AST and ALT were significantly (p<0.05 affected by season in both sexes. There is no significant difference was recorded on calcium, phosphorus due to season and sex. Conclusion: Under arid tropical environment, turkey hemato-biochemical parameters are influenced by both sex and season.

  1. Being there with others : How people make environments norm-relevant

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Stapel, Diederik A.; Lindenberg, Siegwart M.; Joly, Janneke F.

    2010-01-01

    In two studies we show that people make environments norm-relevant and this increases the likelihood that environments influence norm-relevant judgments. When people see environments without having people on their mind, this effect does not occur. Specifically, when exposed to an environment (a libr

  2. Water Resources Management in an Arid Environment: The Case of Israel

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    ZHOU Gang-yan

    2007-01-01

    Israel is a semi-arid country, and a significant increase in population combined with sustained economic growth now place enormous pressure on the countrys scarce water resources. To date, the Israeli government, however, has been successful in addressing this problem. Rigorous enforcement of policy, institutional and legal measures has been very effective, and in many aspects the country is a worldwide leader in water resources management. This paper therefore reviews Israels efforts in this area in order to identify lessons that may provide useful insights for developing countries-such as China-whose future economic growth is also threatened by water scarcity.

  3. Landscape eco-environment risk assessment of highway in arid area of Xinjiang,China

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2010-01-01

    With the aid of analyses to landscape ecology in the highway region of the arid area in Xinjiang of China, vegetation type, soil type and land-use type were ascertained as environmental factors of highway landscape ecosystem fragility, and seasonal flood, blown-wind sand and alkali-salinization as disaster factors of highway engineering. All items of these factors constitute an objective hierarchy of evaluating landscape ecosystem risk of the highway region in the arid area. The weighted values of the items were determined according to the number of occupied area or length by them against each unit. The area or length was interpreted with the aids of GIS technology and gained by measuring in the highway reconnaissance. The results of the eco-environmental risk assessment of G315 Yitunbulake-Qiemo section in Xinjiang shows that eight units of landscape ecology can be sorted into four categories according to the differences of the fragility indices (Σxiwi) and the disaster indices (Σyiwj).

  4. Mangrove health in an arid environment encroached by urban development--a case study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holguin, Gina; Gonzalez-Zamorano, Patricia; de-Bashan, Luz E; Mendoza, Renato; Amador, Edgar; Bashan, Yoav

    2006-06-15

    Urban development will soon encroach upon several protected and largely unspoiled arid climate mangroves ecosystems located along the lagoon called Ensenada de La Paz in Baja California Sur, Mexico. Many of these mangroves are located on a large sandbar that separates the lagoon on the south side from Bahía de La Paz to the north. A general evaluation of the current status of these mangroves was conducted to establish biological and physicochemical indicators of the health of these mangroves to serve as a natural or predevelopment baseline in future management. The following parameters were measured in the feeding channels of the mangroves and at the mouth of the channels: vegetation coverage, species and health, and levels of dissolved oxygen, pH, salinity, total nitrogen, ammonium, nitrates and nitrites, phosphorus ions, and organic matter in sediments and seawater. The microbiological elements that were studied included aerobic bacteria, N2-fixing bacteria, inorganic phosphate solubilizers, coliform, and phytoplankton diversity. Bird populations were counted, with special attention to migratory and resident birds and protected and endangered species. A comprehensive analysis of all the elements indicated that the health of the sandbar mangrove populations is good despite the proximity of a modest urban center. It also demonstrated that several biological and physicochemical parameters used in this study, including the birds, can serve as indicators of mangrove health and as a baseline for future management of mangroves in regions with arid climates.

  5. Coupled flow and salinity transport modelling in semi-arid environments: The Shashe River Valley, Botswana

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bauer, Peter; Held, Rudolf J.; Zimmermann, Stephanie; Linn, Flenner; Kinzelbach, Wolfgang

    2006-01-01

    Numerical groundwater modelling is used as the base for sound aquifer system analysis and water resources assessment. In many cases, particularly in semi-arid and arid regions, groundwater flow is intricately linked to salinity transport. A case in point is the Shashe River Valley in Botswana. A freshwater aquifer located around an ephemeral stream is depleted by the combined effect of transpiration and pumping. Quantitative system analysis reveals that the amount of water taken by transpiration is far more than the quantities pumped for water supply. Furthermore, the salinity distribution in and around Shashe River Valley as well as its temporal dynamics can be satisfactorily reproduced if the transpiration is modelled as a function of groundwater salinity. The location and dynamics of the saltwater-freshwater interface are highly sensitive to the parameterization of evaporative and transpirative salt enrichment. An existing numerical code for coupled flow/transport simulations (SEAWAT) was adapted to this situation. Model results were checked against a large set of field data including water levels, water chemistry, isotope data and ground and airborne geophysical data. The resulting groundwater model was able to reproduce the long-term development of the freshwater lens located in Shashe River Valley as well as the decline in piezometric heads observed over the last decade. Furthermore, the old age of the saline water surrounding the central freshwater lens could be explained.

  6. Vulnerability and policy relevance to drought in the semi-arid tropics of Asia – A retrospective analysis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Naveen P. Singh

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Of all the natural hazards, drought affects the maximum number of people globally causing devastating impacts. It is a reality that drought results in sets of socio-economic impacts starting with crop-yield failure, unemployment, erosion of assets, income decrease, poor nutrition and decreasing risk absorptive capacity, thereby increasing the vulnerability of the community. This paper gives a brief of the existing approaches that focus on vulnerability and impact assessment aid to characterize and identify regions, sectors and communities which are at risk for drought currently and in the future. It also discusses the limitation, constraints and pre-requisites in these approaches and highlights the importance of micro-level information to have a more realistic understanding of impact and vulnerability through illustration, with reference to the recent study conducted by the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT. This exercise will provide a guiding framework for devising action plans to improve adaptive capacity among vulnerable populations.

  7. Necrophagous beetles associated with carcasses in a semi-arid environment in northeastern Brazil: implications for forensic entomology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mayer, Ana C G; Vasconcelos, Simão D

    2013-03-10

    Data on the ecology and bionomics of necrophagous beetles are scarce in tropical countries despite their relevance in forensic investigations. We performed a survey on the diversity and temporal pattern of colonization of beetles on pig carcasses in a fragment of dry forest in northeastern Brazil. We collected 1550 adults of diverse feeding habits from 12 families, of which 96% had necrophagous and/or copro-necrophagous habits and belonged to four families: Dermestidae, Scarabaeidae, Cleridae and Trogidae. Three species, Dermestes maculatus, Necrobia rufipes and Omorgus suberosus are reported for the first time with an expanded geographical distribution that includes the semi-arid region in Brazil. Adult beetles were collected as early as 24h after death. One endemic species, Deltochilum verruciferum, stood out in terms of numerical dominance and temporal occurrence during different stages of decomposition. Its intimate association with carrion emphasizes their potential role in forensic entomology in the region.

  8. Earth observing data and methods for advancing water harvesting technologies in the semi-arid rain-fed environments of India

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sharma, C.; Thenkabail, P.; Sharma, R. R.

    2011-01-01

    The paper develops approaches and methods of modeling and mapping land and water productivity of rain-fed crops in semi-arid environments of India using hyperspectral, hyperspatial, and advanced multispectral remote sensing data and linking the same to field-plot data and climate station data. The overarching goal is to provide information to advance water harvesting technologies in the agricultural croplands of the semi-arid environments of India by conducting research in a representative pilot site in Jodhpur, Rajasthan, India. ?? 2011 IEEE.

  9. Baccharis Salicifolia development in the presence of high concentrations of uranium in the arid environment of San Marcos, Chihuahua

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Luna P, M. Y.; Alarcon H, M. T.; Silva S, M.; Renteria V, M; Rodriguez V, M. A.; Herrera P, E.; Reyes C, M.; Montero C, M. E., E-mail: elena.montero@cimav.edu.m [Centro de Investigacion en Materiales Avanzados, S. C., Miguel de Cervantes 120, Complejo Industrial Chihuahua, 31109 Chihuahua (Mexico)

    2011-02-15

    In humid zones and marine environments the bio indicator contaminants by trace elements are well established. However, in arid zones it is more difficult to find these tools because there is less biodiversity. The objective of this paper was to analyze the behavior of the Baccharis salicifolia plant in areas with high uranium concentration in arid zones, to determine the characteristics of tolerance and possible use as a bio monitor for the presence of such contaminants. For this project a uraniferous zone was selected in San Marcos, located northwest of the City of Chihuahua. A total of 8 sampling points of the plant and soil were located here. Each sample was divided into the root and the stem and leaves to determine the specific activity of the uranium in both parts of the plant and its sediments. The determination of the specific activities of the total uranium in the samples was obtained by liquid scintillation with alpha-beta separation. The results indicate a tendency for the plant to accumulate the uranium in its different parts, and to trans locate it to its stem and leaves. The plant is resistant to high concentrations of uranium, not showing any specific changes in relation to non contaminated areas that might indicate the presence of the contaminant. Therefore, its use as a bio monitor species is limited. (Author)

  10. Using remote sensing and spatial analysis of trees characteristics for long-term monitoring in arid environments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Isaacson, Sivan; Blumberg, Dan G.; Rachmilevitch, Shimon; Ephrath, Jhonathan E.; Maman, Shimrit

    2016-04-01

    Trees play a significant role in the desert ecosystem by moderating the extreme environmental conditions including radiation, temperature, low humidity and small amount of precipitation. Trees In arid environments such an Acacia are considered to be `keystone species', because they have major influence over both plants and animal species. Long term monitoring of acacia tree population in those areas is thus essential tool to estimate the overall ecosystem condition. We suggest a new remote sensing data analysis technique that can be integrated with field long term monitoring of trees in arid environments and improve our understanding of the spatial and temporal changes of these populations. In this work we have studied the contribution of remote sensing methods to long term monitoring of acacia trees in hyper arid environments. In order to expand the time scope of the acacia population field survey, we implemented two different approaches: (1) Trees individual based change detection using Corona satellite images and (2) Spatial analysis of trees population, converting spatial data into temporal data. A map of individual acacia trees that was extracted from a color infra-red (CIR) aerial photographs taken at 2010 allowed us to examine the distribution pattern of the trees size and foliage health status (NDVI). Comparison of the tree sizes distribution and NDVI values distribution enabled us to differentiate between long-term (decades) and short-term (months to few years) processes that brought the population to its present state. The spatial analysis revealed that both tree size and NDVI distribution patterns were significantly clustered, suggesting that the processes responsible for tree size and tree health status (i.e., flash-floods spatial spreading) have a spatial expression. The distribution of the trees in the Wadi (ephemeral river) was divided into three distinct parts: large trees with high NDVI values, large trees with low NDVI values and small trees with

  11. Modeled Impacts of Chronic Wasting Disease on White-Tailed Deer in a Semi-Arid Environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hewitt, David G.; DeYoung, Charles A.; DeYoung, Randy W.; Schnupp, Matthew J.

    2016-01-01

    White-tailed deer are a culturally and economically important game species in North America, especially in South Texas. The recent discovery of chronic wasting disease (CWD) in captive deer facilities in Texas has increased concern about the potential emergence of CWD in free-ranging deer. The concern is exacerbated because much of the South Texas region is a semi-arid environment with variable rainfall, where precipitation is strongly correlated with fawn recruitment. Further, the marginally productive rangelands, in combination with erratic fawn recruitment, results in populations that are frequently density-independent, and thus sensitive to additive mortality. It is unknown how a deer population in semi-arid regions would respond to the presence of CWD. We used long-term empirical datasets from a lightly harvested (2% annual harvest) population in conjunction with 3 prevalence growth rates from CWD afflicted areas (0.26%, 0.83%, and 2.3% increases per year) via a multi-stage partially deterministic model to simulate a deer population for 25 years under four scenarios: 1) without CWD and without harvest, 2) with CWD and without harvest, 3) with CWD and male harvest only, and 4) with CWD and harvest of both sexes. The modeled populations without CWD and without harvest averaged a 1.43% annual increase over 25 years; incorporation of 2% annual harvest of both sexes resulted in a stable population. The model with slowest CWD prevalence rate growth (0.26% annually) without harvest resulted in stable populations but the addition of 1% harvest resulted in population declines. Further, the male age structure in CWD models became skewed to younger age classes. We incorporated fawn:doe ratios from three CWD afflicted areas in Wisconsin and Wyoming into the model with 0.26% annual increase in prevalence and populations did not begin to decline until ~10%, ~16%, and ~26% of deer were harvested annually. Deer populations in variable environments rely on high adult

  12. Estimating sagebrush cover in semi-arid environments using Landsat Thematic Mapper data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sivanpillai, Ramesh; Prager, Steven D.; Storey, Thomas O.

    2009-04-01

    Sagebrush ecosystems of the western US provide important habitat for several ungulate and vertebrate species. As a consequence of energy development, these ecosystems in Wyoming have been subjected to a variety of anthropogenic disturbances. Land managers require methodology that will allow them to consistently catalog sagebrush ecosystems and evaluate potential impact of proposed anthropogenic activities. This study addresses the utility of remotely sensed and ancillary geospatial data to estimate sagebrush cover using ordinal logistic regression. We demonstrate statistically significant prediction of ordinal sagebrush cover categories using spectral ( χ2 = 113; p < 0.0001) and transformed indices ( χ2 = 117; p < 0.0001). Both Landsat spectral bands ( c-value = 0.88) and transformed indices ( c-value = 0.89) can distinguish sites with closed, moderate and open cover sagebrush cover categories from no cover. The techniques described in this study can be used for estimating categories of sagebrush cover in arid ecosystems.

  13. WIRE project- Soil water repellence in biodiverse semi arid environments: new insights and implications for ecological restoration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muñoz-Rojas, Miriam; Jiménez-Morillo, Nicasio T.; Jordan, Antonio; Zavala, Lorena M.; Stevens, Jason; González-Pérez, Jose Antonio

    2017-04-01

    Background Soil water repellency (SWR) can have a critical effect on the restoration of disturbed ecosystems causing poor plant establishment and promoting erosion processes. Although SWR has been reported in most continents of the world for different soil types, climate conditions and land uses, there are still many research gaps in the knowledge of its causes and controlling factors (Doerr et al.,2000; Jordan et al., 2013), particularly in Mediterranean arid semi arid environments which are largely affected by this phenomenon. The WIRE project aims to investigate SWR in soils under different vegetation types of dominant biodiverse ecosystems of Western Australia (WA), e.g. hummock grasslands and Banksia woodlands, as well as characterizing organic compounds that induce hydrophobicity in these soils. Banksia woodlands (BW) are of particular interest in this project. These are iconic ecosystems of WA composed by an overstorey dominated by Proteaceae that are threatened by sand mining activities and urban expansion. Conservation and restoration of these woodlands are critical but despite considerable efforts to restore these areas, the success of current rehabilitation programs is poor due to the high sensitivity of the ecosystem to drought stress and the disruption of water dynamics in mature BW soils that result in low seedling survival rates (5-30%). The main objectives of this collaborative research are: i) to identify SWR intensity and severity under different vegetation types and evaluate controlling factors in both hummock grasslands and BW (ii) to characterize hydrophobic compounds in soils using analytical pyrolysis techniques and iii) to investigate the impact of SWR on water economy in relation with soil functioning and plant strategies for water uptake in pristine BW. Methods In a series of field trials and experimental studies, we measured SWR of soil samples under lab conditions in oven-dry samples (48 h, 105 °C) that were previously collected under

  14. Assessment of Trace Metals in Soil, Vegetation and Rodents in Relation to Metal Mining Activities in an Arid Environment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Méndez-Rodríguez, Lia C; Alvarez-Castañeda, Sergio Ticul

    2016-07-01

    Areas where abandoned metal-extraction mines are located contain large quantities of mineral wastes derived from environmentally unsafe mining practices. These wastes contain many pollutants, such as heavy metals, which could be released to the environment through weathering and leaching, hence becoming an important source of environmental metal pollution. This study evaluates differences in the levels of lead, iron, nickel, manganese, copper and cadmium in rodents sharing the same type of diet under different microhabitat use in arid areas with past mining activities. Samples of soil, roots, branches and seeds of Palo Adán (Fouquieria diguetii) and specimens of two rodent species (Chaetodipus arenarius and C. spinatus) were collected in areas with impact from past metal mining activities as well as from areas with no mining impact. Both rodent species mirrored nickel and iron levels in soil and seeds, as well as lead levels in soil; however, C. arenarius accumulated higher levels of manganese, copper and cadmium.

  15. Assessment of {sup 7}Be content in precipitation in a South American semi-arid environment

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Juri Ayub, J., E-mail: jjuri@unsl.edu.ar [Grupo de Estudios Ambientales, Instituto de Matematica Aplicada San Luis, Universidad Nacional de San Luis/CCT-San Luis-CONICET, San Luis (Argentina); LARA, Laboratorio de Radioecologia, Instituto de Fisica, Universidade Federal Fluminense, Niteroi, RJ (Brazil); Lohaiza, F.; Velasco, H.; Rizzotto, M. [Grupo de Estudios Ambientales, Instituto de Matematica Aplicada San Luis, Universidad Nacional de San Luis/CCT-San Luis-CONICET, San Luis (Argentina); Di Gregorio, D.; Huck, H. [Departamento de Fisica, Comision Nacional de Energia Atomica, Buenos Aires (Argentina); Escuela de Ciencia y Tecnologia, Universidad Nacional de San Martin, Buenos Aires (Argentina)

    2012-12-15

    There are two naturally occurring radiogenic isotopes of beryllium, {sup 7}Be and {sup 10}Be. These are produced when cosmic radiation interacts with oxygen and nitrogen in the atmosphere. After production, these radionuclides are input to ecosystems through wet and dry deposition. In recent years {sup 7}Be and {sup 10}Be have proved to be powerful tools for studying dynamic processes that occur on the surface of the earth. We measured the {sup 7}Be content in precipitation at a semiarid location in central Argentina. From November 2006 to March 2009, 68 precipitation events were collected. Measured {sup 7}Be content ranged from 0.7 {+-} 0.4 Bq L{sup -1} to 3.2 {+-} 0.7 Bq L{sup -1}, with a mean of 1.7 Bq L{sup -1} {+-} 0.6 Bq L{sup -1}. Beryllium-7 content of rainfall did not show clear relationships with amount of rainfall (mm), mean intensity (mm h{sup -1}) or duration (h{sup -1}), or elapsed time between events (day). The general results indicate that for the typical range of precipitation there was no atmospheric washout and that the reload of the atmosphere is not a relevant factor, but when the amount of precipitation is very high washout may occur. On the other hand, when the {sup 7}Be content was measured during single rain events, a high content of this radionuclide was found to be associated with very low rainfall intensity ( Almost-Equal-To 3 mm h{sup -1}), this suggests that rain intensity could affect the {sup 7}Be content. Using all data, a good linear relationship between {sup 7}Be deposition and rain magnitude was obtained (r{sup 2} = 0.82, p < 0.0001). Because of this, the slope of this linear regression equation may be applied as a tool for tracing environmental processes that affect the surface of the earth. We can do this by directly estimating erosion/sedimentation processes using {sup 7}Be or by estimating the input of {sup 10}Be in the environment with the aim to evaluate land degradation phenomena. -- Highlights: Black

  16. Nestedness patterns of sand fly (Diptera: Psychodidae) species in a neotropical semi-arid environment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chaves, Luis Fernando; Añez, Nestor

    2016-01-01

    A common pattern in neotropical Leishmania spp. transmission is the co-occurrence of several sand fly (SF) species at endemic foci. We collected 13 SF spp. by direct aspiration in natural resting places (NRP) and 10 SF spp. with Shannon traps (ST), totaling 15 spp. with both methods, at 6 locations within a semi-arid region with endemic visceral leishmaniasis transmission in Falcón State, Northwestern Venezuela. We used null model testing of species co-occurrence and nestedness metrics estimated with our field data to ask whether SF species composition was segregated/aggregated, and if aggregated whether there was nestedness, i.e., whether species composition across sampling locations could be described by ordered subsets of species from the most species rich location in a landscape. Results showed that SF species were aggregated (Pspecies were present in species rich locations. Similarly, SF species were significantly nested (Pspecies nestedness might be partially shaped by dispersal limitation. Our data showed that three species of medical importance were common across the sampling locations: Lutzomyia gomezi, Lutzomyia panamensis and Lutzomyia evansi, suporting that vector species do not turnover in the studied setting.

  17. Human and environmental factors affecting Aedes aegypti distribution in an arid urban environment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walker, Kathleen R; Joy, Teresa K; Ellers-Kirk, Christa; Ramberg, Frank B

    2011-06-01

    Aedes aegypti has reappeared in urban communities in the southwestern U.S.A. in the 1990s after a 40-year absence. In 2003 and 2004, a systematic survey was conducted throughout metropolitan Tucson, AZ, to identify human and environmental factors associated with Ae. aegypti distribution within an arid urban area. Aedes aegypti presence and abundance were measured monthly using the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention enhanced oviposition traps at sampling sites established in a grid at 3- to 4-km intervals across the city. Sampling occurred in the summer rainy season (July through September), the peak of mosquito activity in the region. Multiple regression analyses were conducted to determine relationships between mosquito density and factors that could influence mosquito distribution. House age was the only factor that showed a consistent significant association with Ae. aegypti abundance in both years: older houses had more mosquito eggs. This is the 1st study of Ae. aegypti distribution at a local level to identify house age as an explanatory factor independent of other human demographic factors. Further research into the reasons why mosquitoes were more abundant around older homes may help inform and refine future vector surveillance and control efforts in the event of a dengue outbreak in the region.

  18. Evaluating pasture and soil allowance of manganese for Kajli rams grazing in semi-arid environment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khan, Zafar Iqbal; Ahmad, Kafeel; Ashraf, Muhammad; Naqvi, Syed Ali Hassan; Seidavi, Alireza; Akram, Nudrat Aisha; Laudadio, Vito; Tufarelli, Vincenzo

    2015-03-01

    The current research on the manganese (Mn) transfer from soil to plant as well as to grazing Kajli rams in the form of sampling periods was carried out under semi-arid environmental conditions. Forage, soil and blood plasma samples were collected during 4 months of the year after a 1-month interval, and Mn concentrations were assessed after wet digestion using an atomic absorption spectrophotometer. Results showed that Mn concentration in soil ranged from 48.28 to 59.44 mg/kg, with incoherent augment and decline across sampling periods, and effect of sampling period on soil Mn was also found to be significant (P crop requirement. The Mn concentration in forage ranged between 24.8 and 37.2 mg/kg, resulting deficient based on the requirement allowance of Mn for livestock grazing animals, therein with almost unchanged forage Mn concentration. The Mn values in blood plasma of rams varied from 0.066 to 0.089 mg/l, with a consistent increase based on sampling period, and the effect of sampling periods on plasma Mn was found to be highly significant (P crop residues and mixed pasture and a pronounced seasonal supply of Mn at the four sampling period of grazing land of diverse botanical composition.

  19. Being there with others: how people make environments norm-relevant.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stapel, Diederik A; Joly, Janneke F; Lindenberg, Siegwart M

    2010-03-01

    In two studies we show that people make environments norm-relevant and this increases the likelihood that environments influence norm-relevant judgments. When people see environments without having people on their mind, this effect does not occur. Specifically, when exposed to an environment (a library), people's perceived importance of environment-relevant norms (be silent in libraries) increases, when the concept of 'people' is primed compared to when this is not the case. The impact on normative judgments of priming significant others (Study 1) is stronger than priming people in general (Study 2). Additional effects on conformism and public self-consciousness are discussed, as well as implications for future studies.

  20. Linking the spatial patterns of organisms and abiotic factors to ecosystem function and management: insights from semi-arid environments

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    F. T. Maestre

    2006-12-01

    Full Text Available Numerous theoretical and modeling studies have demonstrated the ecological significance of the spatial patterning of organisms on ecosystem functioning and dynamics. However, there is a paucity of empirical evidence that quantitatively shows how changes in the spatial patterns of the organisms forming biotic communities are directly related to ecosystem structure and functioning. In this article, I review a series of experiments and observational studies conducted in semi-arid environments from Spain (degraded calcareous shrubland, steppes dominated by Stipa tenacissima, and gypsum shrublands to: 1 evaluate whether the spatial patterns of the dominant biotic elements in the community are linked to ecosystem structure and functioning, and 2 test if these patterns, and those of abiotic factors, can be used to improve ecosystem restoration. In the semiarid steppes we found a significant positive relationship between the spatial pattern of the perennial plant community and: i the water status of S. tenacissima and ii perennial species richness and diversity. Experimental plantings conducted in these steppes showed that S. tenacissima facilitated the establishment of shrub seedlings, albeit the magnitude and direction of this effect was dependent on rainfall conditions during the first yr after planting. In the gypsum shrubland, a significant, direct relationship between the spatial pattern of the biological soil crusts and surrogates of ecosystem functioning (soil bulk density and respiration was found. In a degraded shrubland with very low vegetation cover, the survival of an introduced population of the shrub Pistacia lentiscus showed marked spatial patterns, which were related to the spatial patterns of soil properties such as soil compaction and sand content. These results provide empirical evidence on the importance of spatial patterns for maintaining ecosystem structure and functioning in semi-arid ecosystems

  1. Phylogenetic and Functional Substrate Specificity for Endolithic Microbial Communities in Hyper-Arid Environments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crits-Christoph, Alexander; Robinson, Courtney K; Ma, Bing; Ravel, Jacques; Wierzchos, Jacek; Ascaso, Carmen; Artieda, Octavio; Souza-Egipsy, Virginia; Casero, M Cristina; DiRuggiero, Jocelyne

    2016-01-01

    Under extreme water deficit, endolithic (inside rock) microbial ecosystems are considered environmental refuges for life in cold and hot deserts, yet their diversity and functional adaptations remain vastly unexplored. The metagenomic analyses of the communities from two rock substrates, calcite and ignimbrite, revealed that they were dominated by Cyanobacteria, Actinobacteria, and Chloroflexi. The relative distribution of major phyla was significantly different between the two substrates and biodiversity estimates, from 16S rRNA gene sequences and from the metagenomic data, all pointed to a higher taxonomic diversity in the calcite community. While both endolithic communities showed adaptations to extreme aridity and to the rock habitat, their functional capabilities revealed significant differences. ABC transporters and pathways for osmoregulation were more diverse in the calcite chasmoendolithic community. In contrast, the ignimbrite cryptoendolithic community was enriched in pathways for secondary metabolites, such as non-ribosomal peptides (NRP) and polyketides (PK). Assemblies of the metagenome data produced population genomes for the major phyla found in both communities and revealed a greater diversity of Cyanobacteria population genomes for the calcite substrate. Draft genomes of the dominant Cyanobacteria in each community were constructed with more than 93% estimated completeness. The two annotated proteomes shared 64% amino acid identity and a significantly higher number of genes involved in iron update, and NRPS gene clusters, were found in the draft genomes from the ignimbrite. Both the community-wide and genome-specific differences may be related to higher water availability and the colonization of large fissures and cracks in the calcite in contrast to a harsh competition for colonization space and nutrient resources in the narrow pores of the ignimbrite. Together, these results indicated that the habitable architecture of both lithic substrates

  2. Changes in zinc speciation with mine tailings acidification in a semi-arid weathering environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hayes, Sarah M.; O’Day, Peggy A.; Webb, Sam M.; Maier, Raina M.; Chorover, Jon

    2011-01-01

    High concentrations of residual metal contaminants in mine tailings can be transported easily by wind and water, particularly when tailings remain unvegetated for decades following mining cessation, as is the case in semi-arid landscapes. Understanding the speciation and mobility of contaminant metal(loid)s, particularly in surficial tailings, is essential to controlling their phytotoxicities and to revegetating impacted sites. In prior work, we showed that surficial tailings samples from the Klondyke State Superfund Site (AZ, USA), ranging in pH from 5.4 to 2.6, represent a weathering series, with acidification resulting from sulfide mineral oxidation, long-term Fe hydrolysis, and a concurrent decrease in total (6,000 to 450 mg kg−1) and plant-available (590 to 75 mg kg−1) Zn due to leaching losses and changes in Zn speciation. Here, we used bulk and micro-focused Zn K-edge X-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAS) data and a six-step sequential extraction procedure to determine tailings solid phase Zn speciation. Bulk sample spectra were fit by linear combination using three references: Zn-rich phyllosilicate (Zn0.8talc), Zn sorbed to ferrihydrite (ZnadsFeOx), and zinc sulfate (ZnSO4·7H2O). Analyses indicate that Zn sorbed in tetrahedral coordination to poorly-crystalline Fe and Mn (oxyhydr)oxides decreases with acidification in the weathering sequence, whereas octahedral zinc in sulfate minerals and crystalline Fe oxides undergoes a relative accumulation. Micro-scale analyses identified hetaerolite (ZnMn2O4), hemimorphite (Zn4Si2O7(OH)2·H2O) and sphalerite (ZnS) as minor phases. Bulk and micro-focused spectroscopy complement the chemical extraction results and highlight the importance of using a multi-method approach to interrogate complex tailings systems. PMID:21761897

  3. Phylogenetic and Functional Substrate Specificity for Endolithic Microbial Communities in hyper-arid environments

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexander eCrits-Christoph

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Under extreme water deficit, endolithic (inside rock microbial ecosystems are considered environmental refuges for life in cold and hot deserts, yet their diversity and functional adaptations remain vastly unexplored. The metagenomic analyses of the communities from two rock substrates, calcite and ignimbrite, revealed that they were dominated by Cyanobacteria, Actinobacteria, and Chloroflexi. The relative distribution of major phyla was significantly different between the two substrates and biodiversity estimates, from 16S rRNA gene sequences and from the metagenomic data, all pointed to a higher taxonomic diversity in the calcite community. While both endolithic communities showed adaptations to extreme aridity and to the rock habitat, their functional capabilities revealed significant differences. ABC transporters and pathways for osmoregulation were more diverse in the calcite chasmoendolithic community. In contrast, the ignimbrite cryptoendolithic community was enriched in pathways for secondary metabolites, such as non-ribosomal peptides (NRP and polyketides (PK. Assemblies of the metagenome data produced population genomes for the major phyla found in both communities and revealed a greater diversity of Cyanobacteria population genomes for the calcite substrate. Draft genomes of the dominant Cyanobacteria in each community were constructed with more than 93% estimated completeness. The two annotated proteomes shared 64% amino acid identity and a significantly higher number of genes involved in iron update, and NRPS gene clusters, were found in the draft genomes from the ignimbrite. Both the community-wide and genome-specific differences may be related to higher water availability and the colonization of large fissures and cracks in the calcite in contrast to a harsh competition for colonization space and nutrient resources in the narrow pores of the ignimbrite. Together, these results indicated that the habitable architecture of both

  4. Soil Compressibility under Irrigated Perennial and Annual Crops in a Semi-Arid Environment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rafaela Watanabe

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT In irrigated soils, a continuous state of high moisture reduces resistance of the soil to applied external forces, favouring compaction. The aim of this study was to evaluate the susceptibility to compaction of developed calcareous soils in irrigated annual and perennial cropping systems of the Apodi Plateau, located in the Brazilian semi-arid region. Four areas of irrigated crops were evaluated: banana after two (B2 and 15 (B15 years cultivation, pasture (P, and a corn and beans succession (MB, as well as the reference areas for soil quality and corresponding natural vegetation (NVB2, NVB15, NVP and NVMB. Samples were collected at layers of 0.00-0.10 and 0.20-0.30 m; and for B2 and B15, samples were collected in the row and inter-row spaces. The following properties were determined: degree of compactness (DC, preconsolidation pressure (σp, compression index (Cc, maximum density (ρmax, critical water content (WCcrit, total organic carbon (TOC and carbon of light organic matter (Clom. Mean values were compared by the t-test at 5, 10, 15 and 20 % probability. An increase was seen in DC at a layer of 0.20-0.30 m in MB (p<0.15, showing the deleterious effects of preparing the soil by ploughing and chiselling, together with the cumulative traffic of heavy machinery. The TOC had a greater influence on ρmax than the stocks of Clom. Irrigation caused a reduction in Cc, and there was no effect on σp at field capacity. The planting rows showed different behaviour for Cc, ρmax, and WCcrit,, and in general the physical properties displayed better conditions than the inter-row spaces. Values for σp and Cc showed that agricultural soils display greater load-bearing capacity and are less susceptible to compaction in relation to soils under natural vegetation.

  5. Effects of climate change on long-term population growth of pronghorn in an arid environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gedir, Jay V.; Cain, James W.; Harris, Grant; Turnbull, Trey T.

    2015-01-01

    inhospitable to pronghorn persistence. This realization informs and steers conservation and management decisions for pronghorn in North America, while exemplifying how similar research can aid ungulates inhabiting arid regions and confronting similar circumstances elsewhere.

  6. Principal coordinate analysis of genotype × environment interaction for grain yield of bread wheat in the semi-arid regions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sabaghnia Naser

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Multi-environmental trials have significant main effects and significant multiplicative genotype × environment (GE interaction effect. Principal coordinate analysis (PCOA offers a more appropriate statistical analysis to deal with such situations, compared to traditional statistical methods. Eighteen bread wheat genotypes were grown in four semi-arid regions over three year seasons to study the GE interaction and yield stability and obtained data on grain yield were analyzed using PCOA. Combined analysis of variance indicated that all of the studied effects including the main effects of genotype and environments as well as the GE interaction were highly significant. According to grand means and total mean yield, test environments were grouped to two main groups as high mean yield (H and low mean yield (L. There were five H test environments and six L test environments which analyzed in the sequential cycles. For each cycle, both scatter point diagram and minimum spanning tree plot were drawn. The identified most stable genotypes with dynamic stability concept and based on the minimum spanning tree plots and centroid distances were G1 (3310.2 kg ha-1 and G5 (3065.6 kg ha-1, and therefore could be recommended for unfavorable or poor conditions. Also, genotypes G7 (3047.2 kg ha-1 and G16 (3132.3 kg ha-1 were located several times in the vertex positions of high cycles according to the principal coordinates analysis. The principal coordinates analysis provided useful and interesting ways of investigating GE interaction of barley genotypes. Finally, the results of principal coordinates analysis in general confirmed the breeding value of the genotypes, obtained on the basis of the yield stability evaluation.

  7. Alluvial groundwater recharge estimation in semi-arid environment using remotely sensed data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coelho, Victor Hugo R.; Montenegro, Suzana; Almeida, Cristiano N.; Silva, Bernardo B.; Oliveira, Leidjane M.; Gusmão, Ana Cláudia V.; Freitas, Emerson S.; Montenegro, Abelardo A. A.

    2017-05-01

    Data limitations on groundwater (GW) recharge over large areas are still a challenge for efficient water resource management, especially in semi-arid regions. Thus, this study seeks to integrate hydrological cycle variables from satellite imagery to estimate the spatial distribution of GW recharge in the Ipanema river basin (IRB), which is located in the State of Pernambuco in Northeast Brazil. Remote sensing data, including monthly maps (2011-2012) of rainfall, runoff and evapotranspiration, are used as input for the water balance method within Geographic Information Systems (GIS). Rainfall data are derived from the TRMM Multi-satellite Precipitation Analysis (TMPA) Version 7 (3B43V7) product and present the same monthly average temporal distributions from 15 rain gauges that are distributed over the study area (r = 0.93 and MAE = 12.7 mm), with annual average estimates of 894.3 (2011) and 300.7 mm (2012). The runoff from the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) method, which is based on regional soil information and Thematic Mapper (TM) sensor image, represents 29% of the TMPA rainfall that was observed across two years of study. Actual evapotranspiration data, which were provided by the SEBAL application of MODIS images, present annual averages of 1213 (2011) and 1067 (2012) mm. The water balance results reveal a large inter-annual difference in the IRB GW recharge, which is characterized by different rainfall regimes, with averages of 30.4 (2011) and 4.7 (2012) mm year-1. These recharges were mainly observed between January and July in regions with alluvial sediments and highly permeable soils. The GW recharge approach with remote sensing is compared to the WTF (Water Table Fluctuation) method, which is used in an area of alluvium in the IRB. The estimates from these two methods exhibit reliable annual agreement, with average values of 154.6 (WTF) and 124.6 (water balance) mm in 2011. These values correspond to 14.89 and 13.53% of the rainfall that was

  8. Integrated double mulching practices optimizes soil temperature and improves soil water utilization in arid environments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yin, Wen; Feng, Fuxue; Zhao, Cai; Yu, Aizhong; Hu, Falong; Chai, Qiang; Gan, Yantai; Guo, Yao

    2016-09-01

    Water shortage threatens agricultural sustainability in many arid and semiarid areas of the world. It is unknown whether improved water conservation practices can be developed to alleviate this issue while increasing crop productivity. In this study, we developed a "double mulching" system, i.e., plastic film coupled with straw mulch, integrated together with intensified strip intercropping. We determined (i) the responses of soil evaporation and moisture conservation to the integrated double mulching system and (ii) the change of soil temperature during key plant growth stages under the integrated systems. Experiments were carried out in northwest China in 2009 to 2011. Results show that wheat-maize strip intercropping in combination with plastic film and straw covering on the soil surface increased soil moisture (mm) by an average of 3.8 % before sowing, 5.3 % during the wheat and maize co-growth period, 4.4 % after wheat harvest, and 4.9 % after maize harvest, compared to conventional practice (control). The double mulching decreased total evapotranspiration of the two intercrops by an average of 4.6 % ( P < 0.05), compared to control. An added feature was that the double mulching system decreased soil temperature in the top 10-cm depth by 1.26 to 1.31 °C in the strips of the cool-season wheat, and by 1.31 to 1.51 °C in the strips of the warm-season maize through the 2 years. Soil temperature of maize strips higher as 1.25 to 1.94 °C than that of wheat strips in the top 10-cm soil depth under intercropping with the double mulching system; especially higher as 1.58 to 2.11 °C under intercropping with the conventional tillage; this allows the two intercrops to grow in a well "collaborative" status under the double mulching system during their co-growth period. The improvement of soil moisture and the optimization of soil temperature for the two intercrops allow us to conclude that wheat-maize intensification with the double mulching system can be used as an

  9. Trichothecenes in the environment: relevance to human health.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sudakin, Daniel L

    2003-07-20

    Trichothecenes are agriculturally important mycotoxins of relevance to human health. Fungi capable of producing trichothecenes can be found throughout the world, and include certain species of Fusarium, Myrothecium, and Stachybotrys. The production of mycotoxins by these toxigenic species is determined by genetic factors and the environmental conditions of their growth. The environmental fate of trichothecenes may be affected by other microorganisms that can detoxify them. Deoxynivalenol and T-2 toxin are examples of trichothecenes that are detectable as natural and unavoidable contaminants of certain agricultural commodities as well as commercial foods. Current estimates of dietary exposure to deoxynivalenol and T-2 toxin are below thresholds for adverse effects that have been reported in experimental animal studies, although historical epidemics of human illness have rarely been described in association with consumption of food derived from heavily contaminated grains. The toxicodynamic properties of trichothecenes include inhibition of protein synthesis and immunomodulatory effects. Very little information is available relating to their toxicokinetics and toxicodynamics in humans. While there is general agreement that the diet represents an important source of human exposure to trichothecenes, risk assessment from non-dietary routes of exposure is complicated by the limited epidemiological data that are currently available.

  10. Vegetation mapping from high-resolution satellite images in the heterogeneous arid environments of Socotra Island (Yemen)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Malatesta, Luca; Attorre, Fabio; Altobelli, Alfredo; Adeeb, Ahmed; De Sanctis, Michele; Taleb, Nadim M.; Scholte, Paul T.; Vitale, Marcello

    2013-01-01

    Socotra Island (Yemen), a global biodiversity hotspot, is characterized by high geomorphological and biological diversity. In this study, we present a high-resolution vegetation map of the island based on combining vegetation analysis and classification with remote sensing. Two different image classification approaches were tested to assess the most accurate one in mapping the vegetation mosaic of Socotra. Spectral signatures of the vegetation classes were obtained through a Gaussian mixture distribution model, and a sequential maximum a posteriori (SMAP) classification was applied to account for the heterogeneity and the complex spatial pattern of the arid vegetation. This approach was compared to the traditional maximum likelihood (ML) classification. Satellite data were represented by a RapidEye image with 5 m pixel resolution and five spectral bands. Classified vegetation relevés were used to obtain the training and evaluation sets for the main plant communities. Postclassification sorting was performed to adjust the classification through various rule-based operations. Twenty-eight classes were mapped, and SMAP, with an accuracy of 87%, proved to be more effective than ML (accuracy: 66%). The resulting map will represent an important instrument for the elaboration of conservation strategies and the sustainable use of natural resources in the island.

  11. Recovery of microbial community structure and functioning after wildfire in semi-arid environments: optimising methods for monitoring and assessment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muñoz-Rojas, Miriam; Martini, Dylan; Erickson, Todd; Merritt, David; Dixon, Kingsley

    2015-04-01

    Introduction In semi-arid areas such as northern Western Australia, wildfires are a natural part of the environment and many ecosystems in these landscapes have evolved and developed a strong relationship with fire. Soil microbial communities play a crucial role in ecosystem processes by regulating the cycling of nutrients via decomposition, mineralization, and immobilization processes. Thus, the structure (e.g. soil microbial biomass) and functioning (e.g. soil microbial activity) of microbial communities, as well as their changes after ecosystem disturbance, can be useful indicators of soil quality and health recovery. In this research, we assess the impacts of fire on soil microbial communities and their recovery in a biodiverse semi-arid environment of Western Australia (Pilbara region). New methods for determining soil microbial respiration as an indicator of microbial activity and soil health are also tested. Methodology Soil samples were collected from 10 similar ecosystems in the Pilbara with analogous native vegetation, but differing levels of post-fire disturbance (i.e. 3 months, 1 year, 5, 7 and 14 years after wildfire). Soil microbial activity was measured with the Solvita test which determines soil microbial respiration rate based on the measurement of the CO2 burst of a dry soil after it is moistened. Soils were dried and re-wetted and a CO2 probe was inserted before incubation at constant conditions of 25°C during 24 h. Measurements were taken with a digital mini spectrometer. Microbial (bacteria and fungi) biomass and community composition were measured by phospholipid fatty acid analysis (PLFA). Results Immediately after the fire (i.e. 3 months), soil microbial activity and microbial biomass are similar to 14 years 'undisturbed' levels (53.18±3.68 ppm CO2-CO and 14.07±0.65 mg kg-1, respectively). However, after the first year post-fire, with larger plant productivity, microbial biomass and microbial activity increase rapidly, peaking after 5

  12. The effect of nutrients shortage on plant's efficiency to capture solar radiations under semi-arid environments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hammad, Hafiz Mohkum; Abbas, Farhat; Ahmad, Ashfaq; Fahad, Shah; Laghari, Khalifa Qasim; Alharby, Hesham; Farhad, Wajid

    2016-10-01

    Radiation use efficiency (RUE) is considered critical for calculation of crop yield. The crop productivity can be improved by increasing the interception of solar radiation and maintaining higher RUE for plants. Irrigation water and nitrogen (N) supply are the main limiting factors for RUE in maize (Zea mays L.) across the semi-arid environments. Field experiments were conducted during two consecutive growing seasons (2009-2010) to optimize RUE in relation to N application timings and rates with varying irrigation water management practices. In experiment 1, three N application timings were made, while in experiment 2, three possible water management practices were used. In both experiments, five N rates (100, 150, 200, 250, and 300 kg N ha(-1)) were applied to evaluate the effects of irrigation water and N on cumulative photosynthetic active radiation (PARi), dry matter RUE (RUEDM), and grain yield RUE (RUEGY). The results demonstrated that cumulative PARi and RUEs were not constant during the plant growth under varying the nutrients. The water and N significantly influenced cumulative PARi and RUEs during the both growing seasons. In experiment 1, the maximum cumulative PARi was observed by application of 250 kg N ha(-1) in three splits (1/3 N at V2, 1/3 N at V16, and 1/3 N at R1 stage), and the highest RUEDM was achieved by the application of 300 kg N ha(-1). However, the highest RUEGY was observed by application of 250 kg N ha(-1). In experiment 2, the maximum cumulative PARi was attained at normal irrigation regime with 250 kg N ha(-1), while the highest RUEDM and RUEGY were recorded at normal irrigation regime with the application of 300 kg N ha(-1). The regression analysis showed significant and positive correlation of RUEGY with grain yield. Therefore, optimum water and N doses are important for attaining higher RUE, which may enhance maize grain yield semi-arid environment; this may be considered in formulating good agricultural practices

  13. Jet fuel from 18 cool-season oilseed feedstocks in a semi-arid environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allen, Brett; Jabro, Jay

    2017-04-01

    . carinata showed the greatest potential. Seed yield, excluding the five winter types that succumbed every year to winter kill, ranged from about 200 to 2000 kg/ha, with B. napus hybrids (1900 kg/ha), winter and spring camelina (1700 kg/ha), and B. carinata (1300 kg/ha) showing the greatest feedstock potential. Other measurements taken, but not reported included crop phenology, canopy spectral reflectance, leaf area, leaf area index, canopy temperature, soil water use, crop biomass, yield components, seed oil%, seed fatty acid composition, and drought resistance. Overall, camelina was the only winter type in addition to spring types of B. napus, B. carinata, and camelina that showed good potential for jet fuel feedstocks in the semi-arid northern Great Plains, USA.

  14. Importance of Biological Loess Crusts for Loess Formation in Semi-Arid Environments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Svirčev, Z.; Marković, S. B.; Stevens, T.; Smalley, I. J.; Hambach, U.; Obreht, I.; Lukić, T.; Vasiljević, Dj. A.

    2012-04-01

    polysaccharide production by cyanobacteria, serving to as protecting molecules from water stress. In the presence of water during a moist phase, polysacharides produced in the transition from wet to dry phases and accumulated during dry phases become a new sticky layer for dust accumulation and initiate a new cycle of loessification. This model suggests that loess formation is intimately tied to BLC and cyanobacterial activity preferably combined with dry and wet environmental shifts. This scenario requires further detailed study in order to add it to the list of potential significant loess forming mechanisms that might describe not only particle generation, entrainment, transport and deposition, but also might shed light on loess granulometry, thickness, permeability, geographical zonality, adaption to the landscape and its changeability under human influence. Since BLC can be highly influenced by local changes of mineral and organic compounds, as well as moisture and temperature, this observation also raises questions about the importance of local environmental conditions for loess deposition. Given that BLC is common on current loess surfaces that form the first stages of vegetation succession and also plays a key role in preventing wind and water erosion on disturbed soil, the proposed scenario about BLC dependent loessification should thus be seriously considered as one of the fundamental requirements for loess formation in semi-arid areas.

  15. Soil salinity under deficit drip irrigation of potato and millet in in an arid environment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kamel Nagaz

    2017-06-01

    received rainfall. For millet experiments, salinity was lowest under emitters and highest midway to the margin of wetted bands and higher soil salinity was maintained in the root zone with deficit irrigation treatments than full irrigation. Millet and potato yields were highest under Full treatment. Yields decreased almost linearly when applied water was reduced. However, reduction in quality was significantly important for DI60 and DI40. The analysis outcome of the crops sensitivity to salt indicated respectively for autumn, winter and spring potato and millet crops that thresholds are close to the value calculated from published salt tolerance data (1.9, 1.55, 1.85 vs. 1.7 dS/m for potato and 3.46 vs. 3.65 dS/m for millet but the slopes are considerably steeper (34, 54, 47 vs. 12%; 17 vs. 6.7%, apparently because of the combined effect of salinity and water stresses. The results provide information’s to farmers for formulating improved planning regarding irrigation management practices. The results support the practicality of using the full irrigation (100% of ETc methodology to optimize irrigation with saline water for potato and millet production and to control soil salinity. Under situations of water shortage, the deficit irrigation strategy (DI80 and DI60 is recommended as a tool to schedule irrigation of potato and millet crops in arid regions of Tunisia.

  16. The Brazilian semi-arid environment influences the physiological responses of goats

    OpenAIRE

    Laylson da Silva Borges; Amauri Felipe Evangelista; Cicero Pereira Barros Junior; Ângela Lopes da Silva; Tiago Vieira de Andrade

    2015-01-01

    In this review, we compile information about the physiologic responses of goats to north-eastern Brazil’s semiarid environment and suggest some strategies to avoid the thermal discomfort of these small ruminants. Due to recent weather changes, the number of studies seeking to improve animal welfare has intensified to minimize the economic losses on animal production in the tropics. Among the climatic variables, the high room temperature, air humidity, and direct solar radiation are the main c...

  17. Increased photosynthesis offsets costs of allocation to sapwood in an arid environment

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Carey, E.V.; DeLucia, E.H. [Univ. of Illinois, Urbana, IL (United States). Dept. of Plant Biology; Callaway, R.M. [Univ. of Montana, Missoula, MT (United States). Div. of Biological Sciences

    1998-10-01

    The authors assessed the effect that varying patterns of biomass allocation had on growth of ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa) growing in the desert climate of the Great Basin and the montane climate of the eastern Sierra Nevada. Prior work established that desert trees have lower leaf:sapwood area ratios than montane trees and proportionally greater stem respiration. Sapwood:leaf mass ratios are also greater and increase more as a function stem diameter in desert than in montane trees. The authors hypothesized that this increased allocation of carbon to stem sapwood and stem respiration in large trees could decrease growth rates in the desert compared to the montane environment, in addition to any growth reduction imposed by drought on physiology and growth processes. Trees of all diameters (dbh) in the desert environment had lower relative growth rates (RGRs) than montane trees. However, growth rates of desert and montane trees declined similarly with increasing dbh and did not reflect diverging sapwood:leaf mass ratios. Alternatively, the authors hypothesized that desert trees may increase rates of photosynthetic carbon accumulation with diameter, thereby compensating for increased sapwood respiration. Leaf nitrogen (N) concentration and stable-carbon isotope composition ({delta}{sup 13}C) were measured to examine size-dependent and seasonally integrated photosynthetic capacity within desert and montane environments. Nitrogen concentration was correlated with photosynthetic capacity.

  18. Impact of Reforestation on Local Climate and Environment in a Semi-arid Urban Valley, Northwestern China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xia, D.; Yu, Y.; He, J.

    2015-12-01

    Since 1999 Chinese government has invested more than 800 million Yuan to reforest the southern and the northern mountains surrounding urban Lanzhou - a typical semi-arid city located in a river valley, Northwestern China. Until 2009 obvious land use change occurred, with 69.2% of the reforested area been changed from grasslands, croplands, barren or sparsely vegetated land to closed shrublands and 20.6% been changed from closed shrublands, grasslands, and croplands to forests. This study assesses the impact of these changes on local climate and environment in winter using WRF (Weather Research & Forecasting) model incorporated with high-resolution remotely sensed land cover data for 1999 and 2009 and the FLEXible PARTicle (FLEXPART) dispersion model. Results indicate that the changes in albedo, surface exchange coefficient and surface soil heat conductivity related to the reforestation led to the changes in surface net radiation and the surface energy partitioning, which in turn affected the meteorology fields and enhanced the mountain-valley wind circulation. The amount of air exchanged between the valley and the outside increased after reforestation during the day, with the largest increase of 10 %, while it changed little during the night on winter sunny day with no snow cover. The sensitivity analysis using FLEXPART-WRF model indicates that the reforestation affected the spatial distribution of pollutants and slightly improved the urban air quality in winter. And the greening program of Lanzhou has special reference to other valley urbans.

  19. Characterization of Insecticidal Genes of Bacillus thuringiensis Strains Isolated from Arid Environments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abulreesh, Hussein H; Osman, Gamal E H; Assaeedi, Abdulrahman S A

    2012-09-01

    This study aimed at characterizing the insecticidal genes of eight Bacillus thuringiensis isolates that were recovered from the local environment of western Saudi Arabia. The screening for the presence of lepidopteran-specific cry1A family and vip3A genes, dipteran-specific cry4 family and coleopteran-specific cry3A, vip1A and vip2A genes, was carried out by PCR. All eight isolates produced PCR products that confirmed the presence of cry1Aa, cry1Ab, cry1Ac, cry4A, cry4B genes, but not cry3A, vip1A and vip2A genes. However, three isolates only were found to carry vip3A genes as revealed by PCR. The observation of cry1 and cry4 genes suggests that these eight isolates may have dual activity against Lepidoptera and Diptera species, while three isolates possessed vip3 genes in addition to cry1 and cry4 which suggests that these three isolates have toxic crystals and vegetative proteins. The results of this study are interesting in the sense that they may help developing new strategies for controlling insects of economic and medical importance in Saudi Arabia, using B. thuringiensis strains that naturally exist in the local environment instead of the current control strategies that are based solely on chemical insecticides.

  20. The Brazilian semi-arid environment influences the physiological responses of goats

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laylson da Silva Borges

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available In this review, we compile information about the physiologic responses of goats to north-eastern Brazil’s semiarid environment and suggest some strategies to avoid the thermal discomfort of these small ruminants. Due to recent weather changes, the number of studies seeking to improve animal welfare has intensified to minimize the economic losses on animal production in the tropics. Among the climatic variables, the high room temperature, air humidity, and direct solar radiation are the main causes of physiological discomfort in animals that decrease their productivity. Therefore, it is very important to study the components that interact in the thermoregulation process, the consequences of disequilibrium in this process, and ways to ease these effects, aiming to provide thermal comfort to and seek the animal welfare of the animals. Therefore, it is essential to know the interaction between animals and the environment and the adaptability of the species and breeds that are exploited to make decisions about farming systems and management strategies to maximize productivity.

  1. Movement of leopard tortoises in response to environmental and climatic variables in a semi-arid environment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drabik-Hamshare, Martyn; Downs, Colleen T

    2017-01-01

    Tortoises (Testudinidae) occur in a wide range of environments, providing important ecosystem functions, such as seed dispersal and refuge in the form of burrows. Tortoise movement has previously been shown to be related to resource availability, reproductive status and local environmental conditions. However, understanding of the variables that drive their movement remains comparatively low. We investigated aspects of movement in leopard tortoises Stigmochelys pardalis-the largest and most abundant tortoise species in sub-Saharan Africa-in response to environmental, climatic and individual variables in the semi-arid Karoo, South Africa. We used GPS telemetry to calculate bihourly and daily movement and used generalized linear mixed models (GLMMs) to ascertain important predictor variables. Temperature, distance from water sources, and month were important variables for predicting both bihourly and daily movement. Our results showed that movement increased when individuals were close to known water sources, indicating that individuals close to water resources make regular long distance movements. Movement showed a positive relationship for temperature in both models, whilst rainfall was an important predictor for bihourly movement. Our results displayed aspects of seasonality, with movement highest in spring months, likely related to reproductive activities, although no sex differences were observed. We identified temporal and spatial conditions in which leopard tortoise movement increased. Our results further support the relationship between water as a resource and movement in leopard tortoises. Individuals used one of two basic movement behaviours in relation to water in this water scarce environment. Either an individual's home range and movements included permanent water resources allowing internal water storage replenishment, or excluded these with reliance on food resources (such as grasses, forbs, and succulents) for water.

  2. Effects of personal relevance and simulated darkness on the affective appraisal of a virtual environment

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Toet, A.; Houtkamp, J.M.; Vreugdenhil, P.E.

    2016-01-01

    This study investigated whether personal relevance influences the affective appraisal of a desktop virtual environment (VE) in simulated darkness. In the real world, darkness often evokes thoughts of vulnerability, threat, and danger, and may automatically precipitate emotional responses consonant w

  3. Effects of personal relevance and simulated darkness on the affective appraisal of a virtual environment

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Toet, A.; Houtkamp, J.M.; Vreugdenhil, P.E.

    2016-01-01

    This study investigated whether personal relevance influences the affective appraisal of a desktop virtual environment (VE) in simulated darkness. In the real world, darkness often evokes thoughts of vulnerability, threat, and danger, and may automatically precipitate emotional responses consonant w

  4. Effects of personal relevance and simulated darkness on the affective appraisal of a virtual environment

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Toet, A.; Houtkamp, J.M.; Vreugdenhil, P.E.

    2016-01-01

    This study investigated whether personal relevance influences the affective appraisal of a desktop virtual environment (VE) in simulated darkness. In the real world, darkness often evokes thoughts of vulnerability, threat, and danger, and may automatically precipitate emotional responses consonant

  5. Quantifying the effects of stream channels on storm water quality in a semi-arid urban environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gallo, Erika L.; Lohse, Kathleen A.; Brooks, Paul D.; McIntosh, Jennifer C.; Meixner, Thomas; McLain, Jean E. T.

    2012-11-01

    SummaryStormwater drainage systems can have a large effect on urban runoff quality, but it is unclear how ephemeral urban streams alter runoff hydrochemistry. This problem is particularly relevant in semi-arid regions, where urban storm runoff is considered a renewable water resource. Here we address the question: how do stream channels alter urban runoff hydrochemistry? We collected synoptic stormwater samples during three rainfall-runoff events from nine ephemeral streams reaches (three concrete or metal, three grass, three gravel) in Tucson, Arizona. We identified patterns of temporal and spatial (longitudinal) variability in concentrations of conservative (chloride and isotopes of water) and reactive solutes (inorganic-N, soluble reactive phosphorous, sulfate-S, dissolved organic carbon (DOC) and nitrogen, and fecal indicator bacteria). Water isotopes and chloride (Cl) concentrations indicate that solute flushing and evapoconcentration alter temporal patterns in runoff hydrochemistry, but not spatial hydrochemical responses. Solute concentrations and stream channel solute sourcing and retention during runoff were significantly more variable at the grass reaches (CV = 2.3 - 144%) than at the concrete or metal (CV = 1.6 - 107%) or gravel reaches (CV = 1.9 - 60%), which functioned like flow-through systems. Stream channel soil Cl and DOC decreased following a runoff event (Cl: 12.1-7.3 μg g-1 soil; DOC: 87.7-30.1 μg g-1 soil), while soil fecal indicator bacteria counts increased (55-215 CFU g-1 soil). Finding from this study suggest that the characteristics of the ephemeral stream channel substrate control biogeochemical reactions between runoff events, which alter stream channel soil solute stores and the hydrochemistry of subsequent runoff events.

  6. Elevated atmospheric [CO2 ] can dramatically increase wheat yields in semi-arid environments and buffer against heat waves.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fitzgerald, Glenn J; Tausz, Michael; O'Leary, Garry; Mollah, Mahabubur R; Tausz-Posch, Sabine; Seneweera, Saman; Mock, Ivan; Löw, Markus; Partington, Debra L; McNeil, David; Norton, Robert M

    2016-06-01

    Wheat production will be impacted by increasing concentration of atmospheric CO2 [CO2 ], which is expected to rise from about 400 μmol mol(-1) in 2015 to 550 μmol mol(-1) by 2050. Changes to plant physiology and crop responses from elevated [CO2 ] (e[CO2 ]) are well documented for some environments, but field-level responses in dryland Mediterranean environments with terminal drought and heat waves are scarce. The Australian Grains Free Air CO2 Enrichment facility was established to compare wheat (Triticum aestivum) growth and yield under ambient (~370 μmol(-1) in 2007) and e[CO2 ] (550 μmol(-1) ) in semi-arid environments. Experiments were undertaken at two dryland sites (Horsham and Walpeup) across three years with two cultivars, two sowing times and two irrigation treatments. Mean yield stimulation due to e[CO2 ] was 24% at Horsham and 53% at Walpeup, with some treatment responses greater than 70%, depending on environment. Under supplemental irrigation, e[CO2 ] stimulated yields at Horsham by 37% compared to 13% under rainfed conditions, showing that water limited growth and yield response to e[CO2 ]. Heat wave effects were ameliorated under e[CO2 ] as shown by reductions of 31% and 54% in screenings and 10% and 12% larger kernels (Horsham and Walpeup). Greatest yield stimulations occurred in the e[CO2 ] late sowing and heat stressed treatments, when supplied with more water. There were no clear differences in cultivar response due to e[CO2 ]. Multiple regression showed that yield response to e[CO2 ] depended on temperatures and water availability before and after anthesis. Thus, timing of temperature and water and the crop's ability to translocate carbohydrates to the grain postanthesis were all important in determining the e[CO2 ] response. The large responses to e[CO2 ] under dryland conditions have not been previously reported and underscore the need for field level research to provide mechanistic understanding for adapting crops to a changing

  7. Reliability of on-site greywater treatment systems in Mediterranean and arid environments - a case study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alfiya, Y; Gross, A; Sklarz, M; Friedler, E

    2013-01-01

    On-site greywater (GW) treatment and reuse is gaining popularity. However, a main point of concern is that inadequate treatment of such water may lead to negative environmental and health effects. Maintenance of single-family home GW systems is usually performed by home owners with limited professional support. Therefore, unless GW systems are reliable, environmental and public health might be compromised. This study is aimed at investigating the reliability of on-site recirculated vertical flow constructed wetlands (RVFCW) in 20 single-family homes. In order to ensure reliability, the failure-tree approach was adopted during the design and construction of the systems. The performance of the systems was monitored for 1.5 years, by evaluating treated GW flow and quality, and by recording all malfunctions and maintenance work. Only 39 failures occurred during this period, of which four caused irrigation with impaired quality GW, while the rest led to no irrigation. The mean time between failures (MTBF) was 305 days; two out of the 20 systems suffered from seven malfunctions (each), while nine systems did not fail at all. Thus, it can be postulated that if on-site GW treatment systems are designed with the right controls, and if scheduled (basic and relatively infrequent) maintenance is performed, GW reuse can be safe to the environment and human health.

  8. Analysis of a Multi-Well Tracer Test at a Bank Filtration Site in an Arid Environment of El Paso, Texas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abdel-Fattah, A. N.; Langford, R.; Schulze-Makuch, D.; Sheng, Z.

    2005-12-01

    River bank filtered water is an important component of the drinking water production in many areas of the world. In riverbank filtration, the removal of pathogens is an important task for the production of good quality drinking water. The hydrogeological factors and spatial changes in the water's microbiology during the transport from the river to the aquifer have important implications on the quality of the produced water. The goal of this study was to investigate riverbank infiltration effectiveness in arid environments such as that of El Paso, Texas. The hydrostratigraphic units and hydrogeologic conditions were characterized with lithologic samples obtained from all boreholes collected during the construction of twelve observation wells and one production well in the site, which were constructed near the artificial stream to provide geologic and hydrologic information. The shallow aquifer is composed of three unites: high hydraulic conductivity layers on the top and bottom, and low conductivity layer in the middle. In this study advective transport of microspheres was compared with a conservative tracer such as bromide. Bromide was injected into an observation well at the channel margin. Simultaneously, 1, 6 and 10 micron-diameter fluorescent microspheres equivalent to Giardia, Cryptosporidium, and bacteria sizes were injected into the stream bottom and two observation wells to assess the suitability of microspheres as abiotic analogs in future investigations involving the physical aspects of bacteria and protozoa transport behavior. The 17.8 day-tracer test provided valuable results that are relevant to the transport of pathogens through the subsurface under riverbank filtration conditions. The 1 micron-size microspheres were abundant in the pumping and observation wells and showed multiple peaks similar to the bromide results. Microspheres from the three injection sites had distinctly different transport paths and rates. The 6 and 10 micron-size microspheres

  9. Chemical weathering in response to tectonic uplift and denudation rate in a semi-arid environment, southeast Spain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ameijeiras-Mariño, Yolanda; Opfergelt, Sophie; Schoonejans, Jérôme; Vanacker, Veerle; Sonnet, Philippe; Delmelle, Pierre

    2014-05-01

    Soil thickness reflects the balance between soil production and denudation by chemical weathering and physical erosion. At topographic steady state, the soil weathering intensity is expected to be higher at low denudation rate (transport-limited) than at high denudation rate (weathering-limited). We tested this hypothesis for the first time in a semi-arid environment where chemical weathering processes are generally slow. The study site is the Internal Zone of the Betic Cordillera in Southeast Spain, Almeria province. The lithology is mainly mica-schist and quartzite with local presence of phyllite. Three catchments (EST, FIL, CAB) were selected upstream local faults along a gradient of increasing uplift rates (10-170 mm/kyr) and increasing denudation rates (20-250 mm/kyr), following the sequence ESTReserve in Bases (TRB = [Ca2+] + [Na+] + [K+] + [Mg2+]); the soil Fed/Fet ratio that reflects the formation of secondary Fe-oxides, and the Cation Exchange Capacity (CEC) that varies with the amount of secondary clay minerals and organic matter. The difference in TRB between the soil and the bedrock (ΔTRB = TRB soil - TRB bedrock) should be more negative as weathering increases, whereas the Fed/Fet ratio is expected to augment with the intensity of weathering. Since these soils have low organic carbon content, the CEC should increase with weathering degree. Our results indicate that the ΔTRB (cmolc.kg-1) is -8±14 (n=8), -79±2 (n=8) and -51±38 (n=9) for CAB, FIL and EST, respectively. The Fed/Fet ratio for CAB, FIL and EST is 0.20±0.05 (n=8), 0.20±0.03 (n=8) and 0.29±0.05 (n=9), respectively. The CEC (cmolc.kg-1) increases from 3.3±1.7 (n=8) to 8.2±1.3 (n=8) and 10.4±3.0 (n=9) from CAB to FIL and EST. Based on the CEC, and to a lesser extent the ΔTRB values, the soils from the CAB catchment appear less weathered than those from the two other catchments. However, using the Fed/Fet ratio, both CAB and FIL soils seem less weathered than EST. Overall, the

  10. Regional differences in the surface temperature of Naked Neck laying hens in a semi-arid environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Souza, João Batista Freire; de Arruda, Alex Martins Varela; Domingos, Hérica Girlane Tertulino; de Macedo Costa, Leonardo Lelis

    2013-05-01

    The aim of this study was to evaluate the regional differences in the surface temperature of Naked Neck hens that were subjected to different temperatures in a semi-arid environment. The surface temperature was measured in four body regions (face, neck, legs and feathered area) of 60 Naked Neck hens. The following environmental variables were measured at the center of the shed: the black globe temperature ( T G ), air temperature ( T A ), wind speed ( U) and relative humidity ( R H ). The T A was divided into three classes: 1 (24.0-26.0 °C), 2 (26.1-28.9 °C) and 3 (29.0-31.0 °C). An analysis of variance was performed by the least squares method and a comparison of the means by the Tukey-Kramer test. The results showed a significant effect of T A class, the body region and the interaction between these two effects on the surface temperature. There was no significant difference between the T A classes for the face and neck. The legs and feathered area showed significant differences between the T A classes. Regarding the effect of body regions within each T A class, there was a significant difference among all regions in the three T A classes. In all T A classes the neck had the highest average followed by the face and legs. The feathered area showed the lowest average of the different T A classes. In conclusion, this study showed that there are regional differences in the surface temperature of Naked Neck hens, with the legs acting as thermal windows.

  11. Active and legacy mining in an arid urban environment: challenges and perspectives for Copiapó, Northern Chile.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carkovic, Athena B; Calcagni, Magdalena S; Vega, Alejandra S; Coquery, Marina; Moya, Pablo M; Bonilla, Carlos A; Pastén, Pablo A

    2016-08-01

    Urban expansion in areas of active and legacy mining imposes a sustainability challenge, especially in arid environments where cities compete for resources with agriculture and industry. The city of Copiapó, with 150,000 inhabitants in the Atacama Desert, reflects this challenge. More than 30 abandoned tailings from legacy mining are scattered throughout its urban and peri-urban area, which include an active copper smelter. Despite the public concern generated by the mining-related pollution, no geochemical information is currently available for Copiapó, particularly for metal concentration in environmental solid phases. A geochemical screening of soils (n = 42), street dusts (n = 71) and tailings (n = 68) was conducted in November 2014 and April 2015. Organic matter, pH and elemental composition measurements were taken. Notably, copper in soils (60-2120 mg/kg) and street dusts (110-10,200 mg/kg) consistently exceeded international guidelines for residential and industrial use, while a lower proportion of samples exceeded international guidelines for arsenic, zinc and lead. Metal enrichment occurred in residential, industrial and agricultural areas near tailings and the copper smelter. This first screening of metal contamination sets the basis for future risk assessments toward defining knowledge-based policies and urban planning. Challenges include developing: (1) adequate intervention guideline values; (2) appropriate geochemical background levels for key metals; (3) urban planning that considers contaminated areas; (4) cost-effective control strategies for abandoned tailings in water-scarce areas; and (5) scenarios and technologies for tailings reprocessing. Assessing urban geochemical risks is a critical endeavor for areas where extreme events triggered by climate change are likely, as the mud flooding that impacted Copiapó in late March 2015.

  12. Effects of personal relevance and simulated darkness on the affective appraisal of a virtual environment

    OpenAIRE

    Alexander Toet; Houtkamp, Joske M.; Vreugdenhil, Paul E.

    2016-01-01

    This study investigated whether personal relevance influences the affective appraisal of a desktop virtual environment (VE) in simulated darkness. In the real world, darkness often evokes thoughts of vulnerability, threat, and danger, and may automatically precipitate emotional responses consonant with those thoughts (fear of darkness). This influences the affective appraisal of a given environment after dark and the way humans behave in that environment in conditions of low lighting. Desktop...

  13. Effects of personal relevance and simulated darkness on the affective appraisal of a virtual environment

    OpenAIRE

    Alexander Toet; Houtkamp, Joske M.; Vreugdenhil, Paul E.

    2016-01-01

    This study investigated whether personal relevance influences the affective appraisal of a desktop virtual environment (VE) in simulated darkness. In the real world, darkness often evokes thoughts of vulnerability, threat, and danger, and may automatically precipitate emotional responses consonant with those thoughts (fear of darkness). This influences the affective appraisal of a given environment after dark and the way humans behave in that environment in conditions of low lighting. Desktop...

  14. Re-use of wastewater for a sustainable forest production and climate change mitigation under arid environments

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maria Cristina Monteverdi

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available 800x600 Over the last decades biotic and abiotic constrains together with human actions are determining a substantial environmental pressure, particularly in dry lands as the south of the Mediterranean region. From very long time, indeed, simultaneous drivers such as demographic growth, climate change and socio-economic factors are weakening the previous homeostasis between human needs and natural resources on the regional scale.Resulting pressures are determining environmental degradation and increase of desertification risk for the arid and semiarid lands. Water quality and availability are both crucial points limiting people well-being and livelihoods in the same context. Scarcity of fresh water and heavy and mismanaged production of wastewater are the main factors affecting water resources. Increasing pollution of soil and ground waters reduces the possibility of sustainable development of local communities with relevant social consequences. The FAO's supporting program in north Africa aims to: a develop new and cheaper phytotechnologies (e.g. constructed wetland system; innovative treatment system for reuse of waste water for fertigation; b treat wastewater for water quality protection; c promote land recovery by means of sustainable multipurpose forestry; d adopt bioengineering interventions to stop slopes erosion and protect urban, and semi-urban infrastructures; e create pilot demonstrative areas to test multi-purpose sustainable agroforestry systems. Within this frame, an integrated approach was designed to promote innovative sustainable water management and multipurpose forestry, in order to mitigate the effects of climate change, promote land recovery, and improve the livelihoods of local population. The present paper aims to provide an overview of the FAO project GCP/RAB/013/ITA. Particularly, two pilot studies are shown and discussed. Normal 0 14 false false false IT X-NONE X-NONE MicrosoftInternetExplorer4 /* Style Definitions

  15. The Role of Moisture in the Successful Rehabilitation of Denuded Patches of a Semi-Arid Environment in Kenya

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mganga, K.Z.; Musimba, N.; Nyangito, M.M.; Musimba, N.K.R.; Mwangombe, A.W.; Ekaya, W.N.; Muiri, W.M.; Clavel, D.; Francis, J.; Kaufman, Von R.; Verhagen, A.

    2011-01-01

    This study investigated the role of moisture in the successful rehabilitation of denuded patches in semi-arid lands of Kenya and the primary productivity of three perennial rangelands grasses namely Cenchrus ciliaris (African foxtail), Enteropogon macrostachyus (Bush rye) and Eragrostis superba (Maa

  16. The impact of unconfined mine tailings in residential areas from a mining town in a semi-arid environment: Nacozari, Sonora, Mexico.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meza-Figueroa, Diana; Maier, Raina M; de la O-Villanueva, Margarita; Gómez-Alvarez, Agustín; Moreno-Zazueta, Alan; Rivera, Jacinto; Campillo, Alberto; Grandlic, Christopher J; Anaya, Ricardo; Palafox-Reyes, Juan

    2009-09-01

    Past mining activities in northern Mexico left a legacy of delerict landscapes devoid of vegetation and seasonal formation of salt efflorescence. Metal content was measured in mine tailings, efflorescent salts, soils, road dust, and residential soils to investigate contamination. Climatic effects such as heavy wind and rainfall events can have great impact on the dispersion of metals in semi-arid areas, since soils are typically sparsely vegetated. Geochemical analysis of this site revealed that even though total metal content in mine tailings was relatively low (e.g. Cu= 1000 mg kg(-1)), metals including Mn, Ba, Zn, and Cu were all found at significantly higher levels in efflorescence salts formed by evaporation on the tailings impoundment surface following the rainy season (e.g. Cu= 68,000 mg kg(-1)). Such efflorescent fine-grained salts are susceptible to wind erosion resulting in increased metal spread to nearby residential soils. Our results highlight the importance of seasonally dependent salt-formation and wind erosion in determining risk levels associated with potential inhalation or ingestion of airborne particulates originating from contaminated sites such as tailings impoundments. In low metal-content mine tailings located in arid and semi-arid environments, efflorescence salts could represent a human health risk and a challenge for plant establishment in mine tailings.

  17. Response of water vapour D-excess to land–atmosphere interactions in a semi-arid environment

    KAUST Repository

    Parkes, Stephen D.

    2017-01-27

    The stable isotopic composition of water vapour provides information about moisture sources and processes difficult to obtain with traditional measurement techniques. Recently, it has been proposed that the D-excess of water vapour (d =δH-8× δO) can provide a diagnostic tracer of continental moisture recycling. However, D-excess exhibits a diurnal cycle that has been observed across a variety of ecosystems and may be influenced by a range of processes beyond regional-scale moisture recycling, including local evaporation (ET) fluxes. There is a lack of measurements of D-excess in evaporation (ET) fluxes, which has made it difficult to assess how ET fluxes modify the Dexcess in water vapour (d). With this in mind, we employed a chamber-based approach to directly measure D-excess in ET (d) fluxes. We show that ET fluxes imposed a negative forcing on the ambient vapour and could not explain the higher daytime d values. The low d observed here was sourced from a soil water pool that had undergone an extended drying period, leading to low D-excess in the soil moisture pool. A strong correlation between daytime d and locally measured relative humidity was consistent with an oceanic moisture source, suggesting that remote hydrological processes were the major contributor to daytime d variability. During the early evening, ET fluxes into a shallow nocturnal inversion layer caused a lowering of d values near the surface. In addition, transient mixing of vapour with a higher D-excess from above the nocturnal inversion modified these values, causing large variability during the night. These results indicate d can generally be expected to show large spatial and temporal variability and to depend on the soil moisture state. For long periods between rain events, common in semi-arid environments, ET would be expected to impose negative forcing on the surface d. Spatial and temporal variability of D-excess in ET fluxes therefore needs to be considered when using d to study

  18. Incorporating Relevance and Rigor in a Game Environment: Barracuda Cove Investment Game

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hall, Susan E.

    2014-01-01

    Achieving student learning outcomes in a "gamelike" environment allows students to connect real-world activities to marketing and business concepts presented in a relevant and authentic manner. The innovative game, Barracuda Cove Investment Game, can be incorporated into any marketing-related course that would require a marketing or…

  19. Water balance modelling in a semi-arid environment with limited in-situ data: remote sensing coupled with satellite gravimetry, Lake Manyara, East African Rift, Tanzania

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    D. Deus

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available Accurate and up to date information on the status and trends of water balance is needed to develop strategies for conservation and the sustainable management of water resources. The purpose of this research is to estimate water balance in a semi-arid environment with limited in-situ data by using a remote sensing approach. We focus on the Lake Manyara catchment, located within the East African Rift of northern Tanzania. We use remote sensing and a semi-distributed hydrological model to study the spatial and temporal variability of water balance parameters within Manyara catchment. Satellite gravimetry GRACE data is used to verify the trend of the water balance result. The results show high spatial and temporal variations and characteristics of a semi-arid climate with high evaporation and low rainfall. We observe that the Lake Manyara water balance and GRACE equivalent water depth show comparable trends a decrease after 2002 followed by a sharp increase in 2006–2007. Despite the small size of Lake Manyara, GRACE data are useful and show great potential for hydrological research on smaller un-gauged lakes and catchments in semi-arid environments. Our modelling confirms the importance of the 2006–2007 Indian Ocean Dipole fluctuation in replenishing the groundwater reservoirs of East Africa. The water balance information can be used for further analysis of lake variations in relation to soil erosion, climate and land cover/land use change as well as different lake management and conservation scenarios. We demonstrate that water balance modelling can be performed accurately using remote sensing data even in complex climatic settings.

  20. Review of Antimicrobial Resistance in the Environment and its Relevance to Environmental Regulators

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrew C Singer

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available The environment is increasingly being recognised for the role it might play in the global spread of clinically-relevant antibiotic resistance. Environmental regulators monitor and control many of the pathways responsible for the release of resistance-driving chemicals into the environment (e.g., antimicrobials, metals, biocides. Hence, environmental regulators should be contributing significantly to the development of global and national antimicrobial resistance (AMR action plans. It is argued that the lack of environment-facing mitigation actions included in existing AMR action plans is likely a function of our poor fundamental understanding of many of the key issues. Here, we aim to present the problem with AMR in the environment through the lens of an environmental regulator, using the Environment Agency (England’s regulator as an example from which parallels can be drawn globally. The issues that are pertinent to environmental regulators are drawn out to answer: What are the drivers and pathways of AMR? How do these relate to the normal work, powers and duties of environmental regulators? What are the knowledge gaps that hinder the delivery of environmental protection from AMR? We offer several thought experiments for how different mitigation strategies might proceed. We conclude that: 1 AMR Action Plans do not tackle all the potentially relevant pathways and drivers of AMR in the environment; and 2 AMR Action Plans are deficient, in part, because the science to inform policy is lacking and this needs to be addressed.

  1. Groundwater Recharge Rates and Surface Runoff Response to Land Use and Land Cover Changes in Semi-arid Environments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Owuor, Steven; Butterbach-Bahl, Klaus; Guzha, Alphonce; Rufino, Mariana; Pelster, David; Díaz-Pinés, Eugenio; Breuer, Lutz; Merbold, Lutz

    2017-04-01

    Conclusive evidence and understanding of the effects of land use and land cover (LULC) on both groundwater recharge and surface runoff is critical for effective management of water resources in semi-arid region as those heavily depend on groundwater resources. However, there is limited quantitative evidence on how changes to LULC in semi-arid tropical and subtropical regions affect the subsurface components of the hydrologic cycle, particularly groundwater recharge. In this study, we reviewed a total of 27 studies (2 modelling and 25 experimental), which reported on pre- and post-land use change groundwater recharge or surface runoff magnitude, and thus allowed to quantify the response of groundwater recharge rates and runoff to LULC. Restoration of bare land induces a decrease in groundwater recharge from 42 % of precipitation to between 6 and 12 % depending on the final LULC. If forests are cleared for rangelands, groundwater recharge increases by 7.8 ± 12.6 %, while conversion to cropland or grassland results in increases of 3.4 ± 2.5 and 4.4 ± 3.3 %, respectively. Rehabilitation of bare land to cropland results in surface runoff reductions of between 5.2 and 7.3 %. The conversion of forest vegetation to managed LULC shows an increase in surface runoff from 1 to 14.1 % depending on the final LULC. Surface runoff is reduced from 2.5 to 1.1 % when grassland is converted to forest vegetation. While there is general consistency in the results from the selected case studies, we conclude that there are few experimental studies that have been conducted in tropical and subtropical semi-arid regions, despite that many people rely heavily on groundwater for their livelihoods. Therefore, there is an urgent need to increase the body of quantitative evidence given the pressure of growing human population and climate change on water resources in the region.

  2. Study of higher excited states of some polyatomic molecules relevant for plasma physics and environment

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Marinkovic, B P, E-mail: bratislav.marinkovic@phy.bg.ac.y [Institute of Physics, Belgrade 11080, Pregrevica 118 (Serbia) and College for Electrical Engineering and Computing, Belgrade 11010, Vojvode Stepe 283 (Serbia)

    2009-04-01

    Studies of higher excited states of some polyatomic molecules relevant for plasma physics and environment have been presented. Spectra of chlorofluorocarbons are discussed together with their influence on ozone layer depletion and global warming. Tetrahydrofuran molecule was studied by photoabsorption and electron energy loss spectroscopy while the states are assigned following extensive ab initio calculations. Nitrous oxide and hydrogen sulphide spectra are discussed in terms of identifying valence and Rydberg character of excited states.

  3. Where does blue water go in the semi-arid area of northern China under changing environments?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ren, L.; Yuan, F.; Yong, B.; Jiang, S.; Yang, X.; Gong, L.; Ma, M.; Liu, Y.; Shen, H.

    2014-09-01

    River flow regimes in the semi-arid region of northern China show a decreasing trend in terms of quantity. River runoff (i.e. blue water) reduction within the Laohahe catchment, the source area of the Liaohe River basin, manifests the aridity that exists widely in northern China. According to the water balance equation, during the past half-century, observed streamflow records in the Laohahe catchment show that blue water was re-directed to green water flow (i.e. evapotranspiration) over annual and decadal time scales, whereas precipitation did not vary much. Human activities and land-use/land-cover changes are the fundamental reasons for such runoff change. In the studied catchment, extensive land reclamation for agriculture, water withdrawal from streams, and abstraction from aquifers for irrigation are the direct and main causes leading to the decrease in observed blue water. These factors further demonstrate that a land-use decision is also a decision about water. Therefore, there is a need for an integrated modelling framework to intrinsically link climate, hydrological, and agricultural models with social and economic analyses.

  4. Where does blue water go in the semi-arid area of northern China under changing environments?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    L. Ren

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available River flow regimes in the semi-arid region of northern China show a decreasing trend in terms of quantity. River runoff (i.e. blue water reduction within the Laohahe catchment, the source area of the Liaohe River basin, manifests the aridity that exists widely in northern China. According to the water balance equation, during the past half-century, observed streamflow records in the Laohahe catchment show that blue water was re-directed to green water flow (i.e. evapotranspiration over annual and decadal time scales, whereas precipitation did not vary much. Human activities and land-use/land-cover changes are the fundamental reasons for such runoff change. In the studied catchment, extensive land reclamation for agriculture, water withdrawal from streams, and abstraction from aquifers for irrigation are the direct and main causes leading to the decrease in observed blue water. These factors further demonstrate that a land-use decision is also a decision about water. Therefore, there is a need for an integrated modelling framework to intrinsically link climate, hydrological, and agricultural models with social and economic analyses.

  5. Mapping Prosopis spp. with Landsat 8 data in arid environments: Evaluating effectiveness of different methods and temporal imagery selection for Hargeisa, Somaliland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ng, Wai-Tim; Meroni, Michele; Immitzer, Markus; Böck, Sebastian; Leonardi, Ugo; Rembold, Felix; Gadain, Hussein; Atzberger, Clement

    2016-12-01

    Prosopis spp. is a fast and aggressive invader threatening many arid and semi-arid areas globally. The species is native to the American dry zones and was introduced in Somaliland for dune stabilization and fuel wood production in the 1970⿿s and 1980⿿s. Its deep rooting system is capable of tapping into the groundwater table thereby reducing its reliance on infrequent rainfalls and near-surface water. The competitive advantage of Prosopis is further fuelled by the hybridization of the many introduced subspecies that made the plant capable of adapting to the new environment and replacing endemic species. This study aimed to test the mapping accuracy achievable with Landsat 8 data acquired during the wet and the dry seasons within a Random Forest (RF) classifier, using both pixel- and object-based approaches. Maps are produced for the Hargeisa area (Somaliland), where reference data was collected during the dry season of 2015. Results were assessed through a 10-fold cross-validation procedure. In our study, the highest overall accuracy (74%) was achieved when applying a pixel-based classification using a combination of the wet and dry season Earth observation data. Object-based mapping were less reliable due to the limitations in spatial resolution of the Landsat data (15⿿30 m) and problems in finding an appropriate segmentation scale.

  6. Soil water effect on crop growth, leaf gas exchange, water and radiation use efficiency of Saccharum spontaneum L. ssp. aegyptiacum (Willd. Hackel in semi-arid Mediterranean environment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Danilo Scordia

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Great effort has been placed to identify the most suited bioenergy crop under different environments and management practices, however, there is still need to find new genetic resources for constrained areas. For instance, South Mediterranean area is strongly affected by prolonged drought, high vapour pressure deficit (VPD and extremely high temperatures during summertime. In the present work we investigated the soil water effect on crop growth and leaf gas exchange of Saccharum spontaneum L. ssp. aegyptiacum (Willd. Hackel, a perennial, rhizomatous, herbaceous grass. Furthermore, the net increase of biomass production per unit light intercepted [radiation use efficiency (RUE] and per unit water transpired [water use efficiency (WUE] was also studied. To this end a field trial was carried out imposing three levels of soil water availability (I100, I50 and I0, corresponding to 100%, 50% and 0% of ETm restutition under a semi-arid Mediterranean environment. Leaf area index (LAI, stem height, biomass dry matter yield, CO2 assimilation rate, and transpiration rate resulted significantly affected by measurement time and irrigation treatment, with the highest values in I100 and the lowest in I0. RUE was the highest in I100 followed by I50 and I0; on the other hand, WUE was higher in I0 than I50 and I100. At LAI values greater than 2.0, 85% photosynthetically active radiation was intercepted by the Saccharum stand, irrespective of the irrigation treatment. Saccharum spontaneum spp. aegyptiacum is a potential species for biomass production in environment characterized by drought stress, high temperatures and high VPD, as those of Southern Europe and similar semi-arid areas.

  7. Acacia trees pattern distribution as an indicator for changes in flow spatial distributions in a hyper-arid environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Isaacson, Sivan; Ephrath, Jhonathan E.; Rachmilevitch, Shimon; Maman, Shimrit; Blumberg, Dan G.

    2017-04-01

    Arid regions are characterized by high spatial and temporal variability of precipitation, resulting in high spatial and temporal variation of vegetation cover. Because of low rainfall, the acacia trees in southern Israel are usually restricted to ephemeral stream (Wadi) beds, which possess higher soil moisture content than the surrounding landscape. Spatial analyses of tree distribution at the drainage basin scale contributes to a better understanding of the geo-hydrologic regime because water is the main limiting factor in such areas. That is, the spatial distribution of trees and their characteristics within the Wadi may reflect the spatial variance of water availability within different segments of the Wadi. The main objective of this study was to use the spatial distribution of different parameters of acacia trees as an indicator of past and present hydrological regimes within different segments of the Wadi. Tree size distribution was used as an indicator of long-term (decades) geo-hydrologic spatial processes affecting the acacia population. The tree health (NDVI) distribution was used as an indicator of short-term (months to a few years) geo-hydrologic spatial processes, such as the paths of recent flashfloods events. The distribution of the trees in the Wadi (ephemeral river) was divided into three distinct categories: (1) large trees with high NDVI values, (2) large trees with low NDVI values and (3) small trees with medium NDVI values. Using the resulting classification, we divided the Wadi into three sections, each representing a unique combination of long- and short-term geo-hydrologic processes affecting the acacia trees. We suggest that the lack of spatial correlation between tree size and health status is a result of spatio-temporal changes in the water supply. Our main conclusion is that past and current alterations of the runoff path can be detected by the spatial analysis of trees in hyper-arid regions

  8. Assessing conservation relevance of organism-environment relations using predicted changes in response variables

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gutzwiller, Kevin J.; Barrow, Wylie C.; White, Joseph D.; Johnson-Randall, Lori; Cade, Brian S.; Zygo, Lisa M.

    2010-01-01

    1. Organism–environment models are used widely in conservation. The degree to which they are useful for informing conservation decisions – the conservation relevance of these relations – is important because lack of relevance may lead to misapplication of scarce conservation resources or failure to resolve important conservation dilemmas. Even when models perform well based on model fit and predictive ability, conservation relevance of associations may not be clear without also knowing the magnitude and variability of predicted changes in response variables. 2. We introduce a method for evaluating the conservation relevance of organism–environment relations that employs confidence intervals for predicted changes in response variables. The confidence intervals are compared to a preselected magnitude of change that marks a threshold (trigger) for conservation action. To demonstrate the approach, we used a case study from the Chihuahuan Desert involving relations between avian richness and broad-scale patterns of shrubland. We considered relations for three winters and two spatial extents (1- and 2-km-radius areas) and compared predicted changes in richness to three thresholds (10%, 20% and 30% change). For each threshold, we examined 48 relations. 3. The method identified seven, four and zero conservation-relevant changes in mean richness for the 10%, 20% and 30% thresholds respectively. These changes were associated with major (20%) changes in shrubland cover, mean patch size, the coefficient of variation for patch size, or edge density but not with major changes in shrubland patch density. The relative rarity of conservation-relevant changes indicated that, overall, the relations had little practical value for informing conservation decisions about avian richness. 4. The approach we illustrate is appropriate for various response and predictor variables measured at any temporal or spatial scale. The method is broadly applicable across ecological

  9. Robotic Visual Tracking of Relevant Cues in Underwater Environments with Poor Visibility Conditions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alejandro Maldonado-Ramírez

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Using visual sensors for detecting regions of interest in underwater environments is fundamental for many robotic applications. Particularly, for an autonomous exploration task, an underwater vehicle must be guided towards features that are of interest. If the relevant features can be seen from the distance, then smooth control movements of the vehicle are feasible in order to position itself close enough with the final goal of gathering visual quality images. However, it is a challenging task for a robotic system to achieve stable tracking of the same regions since marine environments are unstructured and highly dynamic and usually have poor visibility. In this paper, a framework that robustly detects and tracks regions of interest in real time is presented. We use the chromatic channels of a perceptual uniform color space to detect relevant regions and adapt a visual attention scheme to underwater scenes. For the tracking, we associate with each relevant point superpixel descriptors which are invariant to changes in illumination and shape. The field experiment results have demonstrated that our approach is robust when tested on different visibility conditions and depths in underwater explorations.

  10. Integrated assessment of policy interventions for promoting sustainable irrigation in semi-arid environments: a hydro-economic modeling approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blanco-Gutiérrez, Irene; Varela-Ortega, Consuelo; Purkey, David R

    2013-10-15

    Sustaining irrigated agriculture to meet food production needs while maintaining aquatic ecosystems is at the heart of many policy debates in various parts of the world, especially in arid and semi-arid areas. Researchers and practitioners are increasingly calling for integrated approaches, and policy-makers are progressively supporting the inclusion of ecological and social aspects in water management programs. This paper contributes to this policy debate by providing an integrated economic-hydrologic modeling framework that captures the socio-economic and environmental effects of various policy initiatives and climate variability. This modeling integration includes a risk-based economic optimization model and a hydrologic water management simulation model that have been specified for the Middle Guadiana basin, a vulnerable drought-prone agro-ecological area with highly regulated river systems in southwest Spain. Namely, two key water policy interventions were investigated: the implementation of minimum environmental flows (supported by the European Water Framework Directive, EU WFD), and a reduction in the legal amount of water delivered for irrigation (planned measure included in the new Guadiana River Basin Management Plan, GRBMP, still under discussion). Results indicate that current patterns of excessive water use for irrigation in the basin may put environmental flow demands at risk, jeopardizing the WFD's goal of restoring the 'good ecological status' of water bodies by 2015. Conflicts between environmental and agricultural water uses will be stressed during prolonged dry episodes, and particularly in summer low-flow periods, when there is an important increase of crop irrigation water requirements. Securing minimum stream flows would entail a substantial reduction in irrigation water use for rice cultivation, which might affect the profitability and economic viability of small rice-growing farms located upstream in the river. The new GRBMP could contribute

  11. A Dynamic, Multivariate Sustainability Measure for Robust Analysis of Water Management under Climate and Demand Uncertainty in an Arid Environment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christian Hunter

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Considering water resource scarcity and uncertainty in climate and demand futures, decision-makers require techniques for sustainability analysis in resource management. Through unclear definitions of “sustainability”, however, traditional indices for resource evaluation propose options of limited flexibility by adopting static climate and demand scenarios, limiting analysis variables to a particular water-use group and time. This work proposes a robust, multivariate, dynamic sustainability evaluation technique and corresponding performance indicator called Measure of Sustainability (MoS for resource management that is more adapted to withstand future parameter variation. The range of potential future climate and demand scenarios is simulated through a calibrated hydrological model of Copiapó, Chile, a case study example of an arid watershed under extreme natural and anthropogenic water stresses. Comparing MoS and cost rankings of proposed water management schemes, this paper determines that the traditional evaluation method not only underestimates future water deficits, but also espouses solutions without considering uncertainties in supply and demand. Given the uncertainty of the future and the dependence of resources upon climate and market trajectories, the MoS methodology proposes solutions that, while perhaps are not the most optimal, are robust to variations in future parameter values and are thus the best water management options in a stochastic natural world.

  12. An application of log-Gabor filter on road detection in arid environments for forward looking buried object detection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Plodpradista, P.; Keller, J. M.; Popescu, M.

    2015-05-01

    For road implanted explosive hazard detection, detecting the road at distance is critical for the classification algorithms and for sensor positioning to maintain road view during turns. In this paper, we propose the use of the Log-Gabor Filter (LGF) to enhance our road detection system. The LGF can be used to suppress the road-like pixels in the image. By filtering the unpaved road images with varying scales and orientations of the LGF and a combination of basic image processing techniques, evidence images of the road are created. Each evidence image is a binary image where value one at any pixel represents evidence of the road at that pixel. Otherwise the value will be zero. However, the maximum distance for generating evidence of the road varies for each image. Therefore, additionally, a road model is utilized. Using the least squares algorithm, the road model is optimized to fit the support of the road presented in each image. By specifying the length of the road on the optimized model, the distance of road detection can also be specified. Thus, utilizing the LGF and the road model allows our system to detect poorly defined dirt roads as far as forty meters as shown for a winding road at an arid U.S. Army test site.

  13. Effects of personal relevance and simulated darkness on the affective appraisal of a virtual environment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Toet, Alexander; Houtkamp, Joske M; Vreugdenhil, Paul E

    2016-01-01

    This study investigated whether personal relevance influences the affective appraisal of a desktop virtual environment (VE) in simulated darkness. In the real world, darkness often evokes thoughts of vulnerability, threat, and danger, and may automatically precipitate emotional responses consonant with those thoughts (fear of darkness). This influences the affective appraisal of a given environment after dark and the way humans behave in that environment in conditions of low lighting. Desktop VEs are increasingly deployed to study the effects of environmental qualities and (architectural or lighting) interventions on human behaviour and feelings of safety. Their (ecological) validity for these purposes depends critically on their ability to correctly address the user's cognitive and affective experience. Previous studies with desktop (i.e., non-immersive) VEs found that simulated darkness only slightly affects the user's behavioral and emotional responses to the represented environment, in contrast to the responses observed for immersive VEs. We hypothesize that the desktop VE scenarios used in previous studies less effectively induced emotional and behavioral responses because they lacked personal relevance. In addition, factors like signs of social presence and relatively high levels of ambient lighting may also have limited these responses. In this study, young female volunteers explored either a daytime or a night-time (low ambient light level) version of a desktop VE representing a deserted (no social presence) prototypical Dutch polder landscape. To enhance the personal relevance of the simulation, a fraction of the participants were led to believe that the virtual exploration tour would prepare them for a follow-up tour through the real world counterpart of the VE. The affective appraisal of the VE and the emotional response of the participants were measured through self-report. The results show that the VE was appraised as slightly less pleasant and more

  14. Effects of personal relevance and simulated darkness on the affective appraisal of a virtual environment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexander Toet

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available This study investigated whether personal relevance influences the affective appraisal of a desktop virtual environment (VE in simulated darkness. In the real world, darkness often evokes thoughts of vulnerability, threat, and danger, and may automatically precipitate emotional responses consonant with those thoughts (fear of darkness. This influences the affective appraisal of a given environment after dark and the way humans behave in that environment in conditions of low lighting. Desktop VEs are increasingly deployed to study the effects of environmental qualities and (architectural or lighting interventions on human behaviour and feelings of safety. Their (ecological validity for these purposes depends critically on their ability to correctly address the user’s cognitive and affective experience. Previous studies with desktop (i.e., non-immersive VEs found that simulated darkness only slightly affects the user’s behavioral and emotional responses to the represented environment, in contrast to the responses observed for immersive VEs. We hypothesize that the desktop VE scenarios used in previous studies less effectively induced emotional and behavioral responses because they lacked personal relevance. In addition, factors like signs of social presence and relatively high levels of ambient lighting may also have limited these responses. In this study, young female volunteers explored either a daytime or a night-time (low ambient light level version of a desktop VE representing a deserted (no social presence prototypical Dutch polder landscape. To enhance the personal relevance of the simulation, a fraction of the participants were led to believe that the virtual exploration tour would prepare them for a follow-up tour through the real world counterpart of the VE. The affective appraisal of the VE and the emotional response of the participants were measured through self-report. The results show that the VE was appraised as slightly less

  15. Effects of habitat composition on the use of resources by the red fox in a semi arid environment of North Africa

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dell'Arte, Graziella L.; Leonardi, Giovanni

    2005-09-01

    The red fox Vulpes vulpes is considered an opportunistic predator able to avoid prey shortages by exploiting a wide range of available food resources. However, as predicted by the Resources Dispersion Hypothesis (RDH), the distribution of other key resources such as suitable areas for dens can affect fox populations. Furthermore, in insularity conditions, resources are spatially limited and their availability is greatly influenced by territory sizes and the feeding habits of predators. In this paper we report the spatial use and foraging habits of foxes in three habitats (grassland, cultivation and suburban) of a sub-arid island off north Africa in relation to habitat composition and food availability. We found that diet composition in a gross sense did not differ significantly among habitats, with insects comprising > 48% and fruits 25% of the total prey items. Grasslands offered temporary clumped food resources (e.g. birds) that induced foxes to increase their territory sizes and to enlarge their diet range during prey shortages. Inversely, in cultivated and suburban areas, the main prey (insects) were more evenly distributed, especially in olive groves which constitute the most extensive form of cultivation on the island. In large areas covered by olive trees, the high availability of Coleoptera spp. significantly reduced core areas used by foxes and also distances among dens. Palm groves were patchy on the island but contained high densities of Orthoptera spp. and date fruits which represent alternative food sources. Thus, these patches are attractive foraging places, but a modification of the perimeter of fox territories was necessary for their exploitation. Our study confirmed that in this arid environment, habitat composition per se affected a generalist predator less than the dispersion of its main prey. In addition, the patchy distribution of resources can assume a role in the spacing and feeding behaviours of foxes only in relation to clumped alternative

  16. 红砂根系构型对干旱的生态适应%Ecological Adaptation of Reaumuria Soongorica Root System Architecture to Arid Environment

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    单立山; 李毅; 董秋莲; 耿东梅

    2012-01-01

    对西北干旱、半干旱区不同生境条件下红砂(Reaumuriasoongorica)根系构型参数进行了分析,以探讨红砂根系构型对干旱的生态适应性。结果表明:①不同生境条件下红砂根系的拓扑指数均较小,根系分支模式接近叉状分支模式,但在干旱的河西走廊风沙区和戈壁区红砂根系拓扑指数均逐渐增加,表明干旱有使红砂根系分支向鱼尾分支模式发展。②干旱的河西走廊风沙区和戈壁区红砂根系分形维数均较小,分别为1.1778、1.1169,分形特征不是很明显;而半干旱的黄土丘陵沟壑区分形维数较大,根系具有很好的分形特征。③干旱的河西走廊红砂根系总分支率均比半干旱的黄土丘陵沟壑区要小,表明在半干旱的黄土丘陵沟壑区红砂根系分支能力相对较强,随着干旱的增加其分支能力有所减弱。④不同生境条件下红砂根系的连接长度都较大,但不同生境却表现出明显差异,其中干旱风沙区根系平均连接长度最长。红砂为适应干旱的环境通过减少根系次级分支和根系的重叠、增加根系连接长度,使其根系的分支模式向鱼尾分支模式发展以降低根系内部对营养物质的竞争,提高根系对营养物质的吸收效率,保证植物有效的营养空间,从而在资源贫瘠的环境中吸收足够的水分和营养来保证其正常生理需求。%The architecture parameters of Reaumuria soongorica root system at different habitats in Gansu Province, China were analyzed to examine its ecological adaptability to arid environment. Results show that: (1) Topological indices of R. soongorica root system are small at all the habitats, and root branching pattern tends to be dichotomous. The topological indices of R. soongorica root system gradually increase in the Minqin windblown sand region and the Zhangye gobi region in Hexi Corridor, which indicates that drought makes

  17. Changes in soil carbon eight years after the death of mesquite, Prosopis velutina, in an arid environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    DeMarco, J.; Filley, T. R.; Throop, H. L.

    2012-12-01

    Encroachment of woody plants into grasslands is one of the major global land cover changes of the past century. Woody encroachment in semi-arid and arid ecosystems ("drylands") is of particular concern because these systems cover almost half of the global land surface and account for 30-35% of terrestrial net primary production. Understanding how C cycling is altered with shrub encroachment in drylands is therefore essential for understanding whether these systems will be a source or sink to regional or global C cycling. Little is known about how shrub encroachment influences the input source and stability of C in the soil. Shrub encroachment could lead to a shift in the source of aboveground litter and/or belowground inputs that can vary in their chemistry. These changes in inputs may influence the stability of soil C in the system. We used a chronosequence of shrub removal treatments and compared them to live shrubs and grass plots to assess changes in soil C sources and stability with time since shrub death. Our objectives were to 1) quantify whether soil C concentrations change with shrub encroachment, 2) quantify how woody encroachment alters the source and stability of soil C, and 3) to investigate how the source and stability of soil C changes with shrub death. We assessed changes in soil C following shrub encroachment and death in the Sonoran Desert by comparing soil from grassy areas, under live velvet mesquite (Prosopis velutina) canopies, and under mesquite skeletons that died 8 years prior to the study. Soils were collected at two depths (0-5 cm and 5-20 cm) and were measured for total organic C and total N. The lignin and cutin composition of the soils and the dominant plants in this system were also analyzed to assess the relative source and stability of C in these soils. The composition of lignin and cutin in plants are characteristic of major plant groups (grasses versus woody plants) and are preserved in the soil allowing assessment of the relative

  18. Decoding Metal Associations in an Arid Urban Environment with Active and Legacy Mining: the Case of Copiapó, Chile

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pasten, P.; Moya, P.; Coquery, M.; Bonilla, C. A.; Vega, A.; Carkovic, A.; Calcagni, M.

    2015-12-01

    The urban and periurban area of Copiapó in the arid Atacama desert has more than 30 abandoned mine tailings, one active copper smelter, and 150,000 inhabitants. Fast development of the mining industry during the 19th century and unplanned growth has led to public concern about the presence of metals in soils and street dust. Recent floods and mud currents in the Copiapó watershed have introduced new solid material in about 40% of the urban area. We conducted a geochemical screening before and after the disaster in March 2015. We found concentrations as high as 1000 mg/kg of copper and 180 mg/kg of arsenic in urban soils. Since effective control measures require connecting sites of metal enrichment with the possible sources, we have performed a statistical analysis of metal association and complemented it with other analyses like x-ray diffraction. Cluster analyses of elemental compositions suggest that mud and tailing have different origins from the rest of the matrices, while soils and street dust have a similar one. Some clusters have a mix of matrices that suggest anthropogenic enrichment of some areas of Copiapó. Our initial results indicate that a correlation between observed enrichment and the copper smelter can be hypothesized for Cu, Pb, and Zn. Further spatial, statistical, and chemical analyses are needed to further confirm such findings, complemented with a thorough analysis of the baseline values that could be considered representative of the area. Future work include Principal Component Analysis (PCA) and Positive matrix factorization (PMF) to test the link contaminant sources and metal occurrence, while scanning electron microscopy can be used to identify the presence of smelter-related particles. The information generated by this research will be a necessary input for defining urban planning strategies and land use guidelines, defining health risk assessment studies, and for future evaluation of intervention priorities. Acknowledgements: Proyecto

  19. Gene and environment interaction: Is the differential susceptibility hypothesis relevant for obesity?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dalle Molle, Roberta; Fatemi, Hajar; Dagher, Alain; Levitan, Robert D; Silveira, Patricia P; Dubé, Laurette

    2017-02-01

    The differential susceptibility model states that a given genetic variant is associated with an increased risk of pathology in negative environments but greater than average resilience in enriched ones. While this theory was first implemented in psychiatric-genetic research, it may also help us to unravel the complex ways that genes and environments interact to influence feeding behavior and obesity. We reviewed evidence on gene vs. environment interactions that influence obesity development, aiming to support the applicability of the differential susceptibility model for this condition, and propose that various environmental "layers" relevant for human development should be considered when bearing the differential susceptibility model in mind. Mother-child relationship, socioeconomic status and individual's response are important modifiers of BMI and food intake when interacting with gene variants, "for better and for worse". While only a few studies to date have investigated obesity outcomes using this approach, we propose that the differential susceptibility hypothesis is in fact highly applicable to the study of genetic and environmental influences on feeding behavior and obesity risk.

  20. Attractive toxic sugar bait (ATSB methods decimate populations of Anopheles malaria vectors in arid environments regardless of the local availability of favoured sugar-source blossoms

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Beier John C

    2012-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Attractive toxic sugar bait (ATSB methods are a new and promising "attract and kill" strategy for mosquito control. Sugar-feeding female and male mosquitoes attracted to ATSB solutions, either sprayed on plants or in bait stations, ingest an incorporated low-risk toxin such as boric acid and are killed. This field study in the arid malaria-free oasis environment of Israel compares how the availability of a primary natural sugar source for Anopheles sergentii mosquitoes: flowering Acacia raddiana trees, affects the efficacy of ATSB methods for mosquito control. Methods A 47-day field trial was conducted to compare impacts of a single application of ATSB treatment on mosquito densities and age structure in isolated uninhabited sugar-rich and sugar-poor oases relative to an untreated sugar-rich oasis that served as a control. Results ATSB spraying on patches of non-flowering vegetation around freshwater springs reduced densities of female An. sergentii by 95.2% in the sugar-rich oasis and 98.6% in the sugar-poor oasis; males in both oases were practically eliminated. It reduced daily survival rates of female An. sergentii from 0.77 to 0.35 in the sugar-poor oasis and from 0.85 to 0.51 in the sugar-rich oasis. ATSB treatment reduced the proportion of older more epidemiologically dangerous mosquitoes (three or more gonotrophic cycles by 100% and 96.7%, respectively, in the sugar-poor and sugar-rich oases. Overall, malaria vectorial capacity was reduced from 11.2 to 0.0 in the sugar-poor oasis and from 79.0 to 0.03 in the sugar-rich oasis. Reduction in vector capacity to negligible levels days after ATSB application in the sugar-poor oasis, but not until after 2 weeks in the sugar-rich oasis, show that natural sugar sources compete with the applied ATSB solutions. Conclusion While readily available natural sugar sources delay ATSB impact, they do not affect overall outcomes because the high frequency of sugar feeding by mosquitoes

  1. Effect of multiple stress factors (thermal, nutritional and pregnancy type) on adaptive capability of native ewes under semi-arid environment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dias E Silva, Tairon Pannunzio; Costa Torreão, Jacira Neves da; Torreão Marques, Carlo Aldrovandi; de Araújo, Marcos Jácome; Bezerra, Leílson Rocha; Kumar Dhanasekaran, Dinesh; Sejian, Veerasamy

    2016-07-01

    This study was conducted to evaluate the effect of multiple stress factors (thermal, nutritional and pregnancy type) on two different native track breeds of ewes as reflected by their adaptive capability under semi-arid environment. The multiple stressor experiment was conducted in twenty-four ewes (12 Santa Inês and 12 Morada Nova ewes). Both heat stress and pregnancy stress was common to all four groups. However, the animals were divided into further two groups within each breed on the basis of nutrition regimen. According the groupings were: Group 1 (Six Santa Ines ewes; heat stress; nutrition at 0.5% of BW; single pregnancy); Group 2 (Six Santa Ines ewes; heat stress; nutrition at 1.5% BW; twin pregnancy); groups Group 3 (Six Morada Nova ewes; heat stress; nutrition at 0.5% of BW; single pregnancy); Group 4 (Six Morada Nova ewes; heat stress; nutrition at 1.5% BW; twin pregnancy). All the animals in the experiment were pregnant. Heat stress was induced by exposing all animals to summer heat stress in outside environment while the nutritional regimen followed was at 0.5% and 1.5% level of body weight (BW) respectively in each breed. The experiment was conducted in a completely randomized design with two breeds, two nutritional treatments and two pregnancy types, 10 repetitions for physiological parameters and six for blood parameters, with repeated measures over time. Physiological parameters (respiratory rate, pulse rate and rectal temperature) were measured with the animals at rest in the morning and afternoon, 0600-0700 and 1300-1400h, respectively, every seven days. Blood samples were collected every 14d for determination of serum glucose, triglycerides, cholesterol, urea and creatinine. We found interaction effect between breed and pregnancy type on respiratory rate and rectal temperature with greater values in Santa Inês ewes than Morada Nova ewes. However, there was no significant fixed effect of pregnancy type and supplementation level on physiological

  2. Applicability of toxicity bioassays to ecological risk assessment in arid and semiarid ecosystems.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Markwiese, J. T.; Ryti, R. T.; Hooten, M. M.; Michael, D. I.; Hlohowskyj, I.; Environmental Assessment; Neptune and Company, Inc.

    2001-01-01

    Substantial tracts of land in the southwestern and western U.S. are undergoing or will require ERA. Toxicity bioassays employed in baseline ERAs are, for the most part. representative of mesic systems, and highly standardized test species (e.g., lettuce, earthworm) are generally not relevant to arid system toxicity testing. Conversely, relevant test species are often poorly characterized with regard to toxicant sensitivity and culture conditions. The applicability of toxicity bioassays to ecological risk assessment in arid and semiarid ecosystems was reviewed for bacteria and fungi, plants, terrestrial invertebrates, and terrestrial vertebrates. Bacteria and fungi are critical to soil processes, and understanding their ecology is important to understanding the ecological relevance of bioassays targeting either group. Terrestrial bacteria require a water film around soil particles to be active, while soil fungi can remain active in extremely dry soils. It is therefore expected that fungi will be of greater importance to arid and semiarid systems (Whitford 1989). If microbial processes are to be measured in soils of arid environments, it is recommended that bioassays target fungi. Regardless of the taxa studied, problems are associated with the standardization and interpretability of microbial tests, and regulatory acceptance may hinder widespread incorporation of microbial toxicity bioassays in arid system risk assessments. Plant toxicity bioassays are gaining recognition as sensitive indicators of soil conditions because they can provide a cost-effective and relatively rapid assessment of soil quality for both pre- and postremediation efforts. Although the choices of suitable plant species for assessing mesic system soils are numerous, the choices for arid system soils are limited. Guidance is provided for evaluating plant species with regard to their suitability for serving as representative arid system flora. Terrestrial invertebrates can survive and flourish in

  3. Tectonic uplift and denudation rate influence soil chemical weathering intensity in a semi-arid environment, southeast Spain: physico-chemical and mineralogical evidence

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ameijeiras-Mariño, Yolanda; Opfergelt, Sophie; Schoonejans, Jérôme; Vanacker, Veerle; Sonnet, Philippe; Delmelle, Pierre

    2015-04-01

    Tectonic uplift is known to influence denudation rates. Denudation, including chemical weathering and physical erosion, affects soil production rates and weathering intensities. At topographic steady state, weathering can be transport- or weathering-limited. In the transport-limited regime, low denudation rates should lead to comparatively high weathering intensities, while in the weathering-limited case high denudation rates are associated with lower weathering intensities. Here, we test if this relationship applies to semi-arid environments where chemical weathering is generally slow. Three catchments (EST, FIL and CAB) were studied in the Internal Zone of the Betic Cordillera in southeast Spain, spanning a range of increasing uplift rates (10-170 mm/kyr) and increasing denudation rates (20-250 mm/kyr) from EST to CAB. In each catchment, two ridgetop soil profiles were sampled down to the bedrock. The three catchments have similar vegetation and climatic conditions, with precipitation of 250- 315 mm/yr and mean annual temperature of 15-17 °C. The mineralogy of the bedrock, as determined by XRD, is similar across the three catchments and is characterized by the presence of quartz, muscovite, clinochlore, biotite and plagioclase. This primary mineral assemblage is also found in the catchment soils, indicating that the soils studied derive from the same parent material. The soil clay-size fraction is dominated by kaolinite, vermiculite and illite. However, the proportions of the soil primary and secondary minerals vary between the catchment sites. The abundance of biotite decreases from CAB (14%) to EST (4%), whereas the quartz and clay contents show an opposite tendency (from 30 to 69% and 9.9 to 14.3%, respectively). Further, the abundance of vermiculite increases from CAB to EST. The results are interpreted in terms of increasing weathering intensity from CAB to EST by weathering of biotite into vermiculite and enrichment of soils on more weathering resistant

  4. Spectral Differences Between Palagonite Tuffs Formed in Sub-Glacial Versus Liquid Water Environments: Relevance to Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farrand, W. H.; Lane, M. D.

    2002-01-01

    The reflectance and emissivity spectra of palagonite tuffs formed in sub-glacial environments are compared with those formed in liquid water environments. The relevance to palagonites produced by water-magma interactions on Mars is discussed. Additional information is contained in the original extended abstract.

  5. Screening biological traits and fluoride contents of native vegetations in arid environments to select efficiently fluoride-tolerant native plant species for in-situ phytoremediation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boukhris, Asma; Laffont-Schwob, Isabelle; Mezghani, Imed; El Kadri, Lefi; Prudent, Pascale; Pricop, Anca; Tatoni, Thierry; Chaieb, Mohamed

    2015-01-01

    High fluoride pollution has been detected in the surrounding soils of the coastal superphosphate industries in the Gulf of Gabes (Southeast of Tunisia). A study was conducted in vicinity of factories analysing plant functional traits combined with plant fluoride accumulation and soil metal concentrations aiming to screen more efficiently native plant species tolerant to this pollution. Aerial parts of 18 plant species out of the 10 most abundant species per site were harvested on two polluted sites of Gabes and Skhira at the vicinity of the factories and on the less polluted site of Smara. Native plant species accumulated fluoride following the gradient of soil pollution. Fluoride contents of plant aerial parts ranged from 37 mg kg(-1) to 360 mg kg(-1) and five plant species were only found in the most polluted site. However these latter had low biomass and soil cover. Crossing biological traits and fluoride contents, a selection grid for potentially restorative plant species enabled the selection of three native perennials i.e. Rhanterium suaveolens, Atractylis serratuloides and, Erodium glaucophyllum as potential candidates for an in-situ phytoremediation program on arid fluoride-polluted sites. This approach may be used in other fluoride-polluted Mediterranean environments.

  6. Effects of Benomyl and Drought on the Mycorrhizal Development and Daily Net CO2 Uptake of a Wild Platyopuntia in a Rocky Semi‐arid Environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    PIMIENTA‐BARRIOS, EULOGIO; GONZALEZ DEL CASTILLO‐ARANDA, MARIA EUGENIA; MUÑOZ‐URIAS, ALEJANDRO; NOBEL, PARK S.

    2003-01-01

    The effects of drought and the fungicide benomyl on a wild platyopuntia, Opuntia robusta Wendl., growing in a rocky semi‐arid environment were assessed. Cladode phosphorus content, cladode water potential and daily net CO2 uptake were measured monthly in 2000 and 2001 before, during and after the summer rainy period. During 2000, the formation of new roots and new cladodes was severely suppressed in response to a prolonged drought, impairing the development of the symbiotic relationship between the arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi and the roots. Hence no effect of benomyl application was observed on daily carbon assimilation by this Crassulacean acid metabolism plant. During 2001, drought was interrupted, and new cladodes and roots were formed in response to rainfall. Benomyl was highly effective in suppressing root colonization by AM‐fungi; however, daily C assimilation was reduced by benomyl application only in October. Thus, the inhibition of AM‐fungal colonization by benomyl did not affect photosynthesis, water uptake and P uptake under prolonged drought. PMID:12814956

  7. 引发雷州半岛地区干旱的典型生态环境%The Typical Ecological Environment Resulted in Leizhou Peninsula Arid

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    揭江

    2014-01-01

    以气象、地质、水文、地貌及植被等调查和观测数据为基础,提出引发雷州半岛地区干旱的五个方面的生态环境因素,分析各种因素对引发干旱的作用,针对引发雷州半岛地区干旱的综合因素提出相应的对策,可为解决区内干旱问题提供科学依据和有效途径。%The article is based on the investigation of meteorological,hydrological,geological,geomorphic and vegeta-tion and observation data and put forwards the ecological environment five aspects of factors causing drought in Leizhou Pen-insula.It analyzes the various factors leading to the role of drought,for the purpose of the situation,it provides some related countermeasures so that we cam tale effective ways to solve the problems in the arid area.

  8. Are mangroves in arid environments isolated systems? Life-history and evidence of dietary contribution from inwelling in a mangrove-resident shrimp species

    Science.gov (United States)

    Al-Maslamani, I.; Walton, M. E. M.; Kennedy, H. A.; Al-Mohannadi, M.; Le Vay, L.

    2013-06-01

    The Arabian Gulf represents one of the more northerly extremes of mangrove distribution in the Indo-Pacific, and is populated only by Avicennia marina, due to its tolerance of high salinity and wide temperature extremes. Recent studies suggest that in the arid coastal environment of the western Arabian Gulf, export of carbon and nitrogen from mangroves to adjacent habitats may be limited, though it is not clear if this is due to low productivity or physical factors such as the lack of freshwater flow and the tidal regime. Although seagrass and macroalgal habitats are relatively much more dominant by area, with only small pockets of mangrove around the edges of embayments, it is not evident if inwelling from these habitats support mangrove fauna. Year-round sampling in mangroves at Al-Khor, Qatar, indicates that Palaemon khori, an endemic shrimp species, is strongly associated with mangroves throughout its post-settlement life cycle, from recruitment as small 9-10 mm juveniles through to mating and egg production. Rapid post-recruitment growth (k = 1.8, L∞ = 42 mm for females, k = 1.5, L∞ = 35 mm for male) means that most individuals reached adult size in the first few months after settlement, with reproduction occurring in the following spring. As might be expected from year-round residence in the mangrove, dual 13C and 15N isotope analysis indicated a strong contribution of mangroves to shrimp tissue growth (Mean and 95% confidence range, 37% and 27-48%), but with a weaker significant contribution from particulate organic matter (20% and 1-37%), mangrove epiphytes (16% and 2-33%) and seagrasses (9% and 0.2-18%). Other primary producers contribute the remaining 18% to shrimp nutrition but the 95% confidence ranges include zero, suggesting possibly non-significant roles in supporting the shrimp population. This dietary information supports the view that fauna resident within arid mangrove systems are mainly dependent on localised retention and cycling of

  9. Germination of Spores of Astrobiologically Relevant Bacillus Species in High-Salinity Environments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nagler, Katja; Julius, Christina; Moeller, Ralf

    2016-07-01

    In times of increasing space exploration and search for extraterrestrial life, new questions and challenges for planetary protection, aiming to avoid forward contamination of different planets or moons with terrestrial life, are emerging. Spore-forming bacteria such as Bacillus species have a high contamination potential due to their spores' extreme resistance, enabling them to withstand space conditions. Spores require liquid water for their conversion into a growing cell (i.e., spore germination and subsequent growth). If present, water on extraterrestrial planets or moons is likely to be closely associated with salts (e.g., in salty oceans or brines), thus constituting high-salinity environments. Spores of Bacillus subtilis can germinate despite very high salt concentrations, although salt stress does exert negative effects on this process. In this study, germination and metabolic reactivation ("outgrowth") of spores of five astrobiologically relevant Bacillus species (B. megaterium, B. pumilus SAFR-032, B. nealsonii, B. mojavensis, and B. vallismortis) in high salinity (≤3.6 M NaCl) were investigated. Spores of different species exhibited different germination and outgrowth capabilities in high salinity, which strongly depended on germination conditions, especially the exact composition of the medium. In this context, a new "universal" germination trigger for Bacillus spores, named KAGE (KCl, L-alanine, D-glucose, ectoine), was identified, which will be very useful for future comparative germination and outgrowth studies on different Bacillus species. Overall, this study yielded interesting new insights on salt stress effects on spore germination and points out the difficulty of predicting the potential of spores to contaminate salty environments on extraterrestrial celestial bodies.

  10. Stability measures in arid ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nosshi, M. I.; Brunsell, N. A.; Koerner, S.

    2015-12-01

    Stability, the capacity of ecosystems to persist in the face of change, has proven its relevance as a fundamental component of ecological theory. Here, we would like to explore meaningful and quantifiable metrics to define stability, with a focus on highly variable arid and semi-arid savanna ecosystems. Recognizing the importance of a characteristic timescale to any definition of stability, our metrics will be focused scales from annual to multi-annual, capturing different aspects of stability. Our three measures of stability, in increasing order of temporal scale, are: (1) Ecosystem resistance, quantified as the degree to which the system maintains its mean state in response to a perturbation (drought), based on inter-annual variability in Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI). (2) An optimization approach, relevant to arid systems with pulse dynamics, that models vegetation structure and function based on a trade off between the ability to respond to resource availability and avoid stress. (3) Community resilience, measured as species turnover rate (β diversity). Understanding the nature of stability in structurally-diverse arid ecosystems, which are highly variable, yields theoretical insight which has practical implications.

  11. The origin of terrestrial pisoliths and pisolitic iron ore deposits: Raindrops and sheetwash in a semi-arid environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lascelles, Desmond F.

    2016-07-01

    Ooliths evidently form by chemical precipitation in limnic, paralic, fluvial and marine environments, pisoliths, however, appear to be restricted to terrestrial environments. Typically composed of iron, aluminium and manganese sesquioxides with minor admixtures of quartz and kaolinite, they are widely distributed in tropical to subtropical regions overlying deeply weathered soil profiles. Although iron-, aluminium- and manganese-rich end members are important sources of these metals, their genesis is still enigmatic; their formation has never been observed or produced experimentally and current models for their origin are little more than guesses. A new model is presented based on a unique personal observation in which pisoliths are formed by the action of charged raindrops during thunderstorms impacting on dry deeply weathered powdery soils. The pisoliths are transported across pediments by sheetwash, accumulating as thick deposits in the valley floors. Pisolites are characteristically unfossiliferous and typically clearly pedogenic. The absence of fine depositional layering, fossil seeds, leaves and pollen in pisolites is explained by bioturbation and the action of soil organisms during extended pedogenesis while the major coarse bedding features derive from erosional and depositional events in the evolution of the pediment. Pisolitic iron ores (aka channel iron deposits, CID) are a special case of transported pisolitic ferricrust that form an important resource of medium grade iron ore (57-60 wt% Fe) in the Pilbara Region of Western Australia. Apart from minor deposits in the northern Yilgarn Province of Western Australia, they have not been found elsewhere. They differ from normal transported ferricrust and terrestrial pisolites not only in the exceptionally high iron and low alumina and silica content but also in containing abundant fossilised wood particles.

  12. The evaluation on interaction between structures and succession of vegetation/ecosystems and arid land environment in western China: a case study on Fukang, Xinjiang

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pan, Xiaoling; Gao, Wei; Gu, Fengxue; Li, Weiqing; Chang, Shunli; Zhang, Yuandong; Ye, Qian; Anabiek, Subai

    2003-07-01

    This article discusses the relationship between desert ecosystem structures, succession and environment factors which include soil moisture, salt content and pH values in Fukang of Xinjiang. Some preliminary conclusions have been drawn as following: (1) In the study area the niche breadth of typical species in desert vegetation/ecosystem is closely related to environment factors, such as soil moisture, soil pH and salinity. The biggest niche breadth species are Haloxylon ammodendron (1.412) and Reaumuria soongorrica (1.399), which are dominant species in climax communities of the region, and they have very strong adaptability to the arid desert environment. The niche breadths of Nitraria rovorowskii, Kalidium foliatum and Suaeda acuminata range from 0.8 to 1.2. The smallest niche breadth species are Tamarix spp. and Anabasis spp., ranging from 0.4 to 0.8, and both of them show sensitivity to drought and salinity. (2) Low species diversity in desert vegetation/ecosystem of Fukang was found. In general, the grade of community diversity from high to low is defined as: Tamarix soongorica community, Kalidium foliatum community, Suaeda physophora community, Halocnemum strobilaceum community, Haloxylon ammodendron community, Salsola passerina community, Reaumuria soongorica community, Bassia spp. community and Suaeda acuminate community. The most important factors that influence the species diversity of communities are soil salinity and pH values. Because of saline-sodic environment desert vegetation has developed a saline-sodic endurance ecological type. The main effects of salinity on vegetation are observed in the change of dominant and constructive species in communities, and halophyte becomes the dominant species gradually. (3) The limit factor on secondary succession in regional ecosystem is soil salinization. The trend and phase of community succession are in accordance with soil salinization development. There are three soil types: non-salinity, saline soil, and

  13. Disentangling above- and below-ground facilitation drivers in arid environments: the role of soil microorganisms, soil properties and microhabitat.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lozano, Yudi M; Armas, Cristina; Hortal, Sara; Casanoves, Fernando; Pugnaire, Francisco I

    2017-03-06

    Nurse plants promote establishment of other plant species by buffering climate extremes and improving soil properties. Soil biota plays an important role, but an analysis to disentangle the effects of soil microorganisms, soil properties and microclimate on facilitation is lacking. In three microhabitats (gaps, small and large Retama shrubs), we placed six microcosms with sterilized soil, two per soil origin (i.e. from each microhabitat). One in every pair received an alive, and the other a sterile, inoculum from its own soil. Seeds of annual plants were sown into the microcosms. Germination, survival and biomass were monitored. Soil bacterial communities were characterized by pyrosequencing. Germination in living Retama inoculum was nearly double that of germination in sterile inoculum. Germination was greater under Retama canopies than in gaps. Biomass was up to three times higher in nurse than in gap soils. Soil microorganisms, soil properties and microclimate showed a range of positive to negative effects on understory plants depending on species identity and life stage. Nurse soil microorganisms promoted germination, but the effect was smaller than the positive effects of soil properties and microclimate under nurses. Nurse below-ground environment (soil properties and microorganisms) promoted plant growth and survival more than nurse microhabitat. © 2017 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2017 New Phytologist Trust.

  14. Response of cotton, alfalfa, and cantaloupe to foliar-deposited salt in an arid environment. [Gossypium hirsumtum L. ; Medicago sativa L. ; Cucumis melo L

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hofmann, W.C.; Karpiscak, M.M.; Bartels, P.G.

    The cooling towers at the Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station (PVNGS), located 80 km west of Phoenix, AZ, will release as estimated 2.1 Mg/d of particulates (primarily salts) into the atmosphere when the station is in full operation. The saline drift will disperse and settle onto agricultural fields surrounding the station. Field studies were conducted in 1983 to investigate the influence of foliar-applied saline aerosol on crop growth, foliar injury, and tissue elemental concentration on cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.), alfalfa (medicago sativa L.), and cantaloupe (Cucumis melo L.) in an arid environment. The treatment aerosol solutions simulated treated wastewater effluent and included all essential plant nutrients and other elements, including trace concentrations of heavy metals. The treatments included unsprayed plots, and plots sprayed with salt solutions at 0 (distilled water), 8, 83, and 415 kg/(ha yr). The alfalfa received an additional 829 kg/(ha yr) treatment. The species were evaluated in separate experiments on Mohave clay loam and Sonoita sandy loam soils (Typic Haplargid) near Marana, AZ. Cotton treated with 415 kg/(ha yr) had significantly less chlorosis and tended to be slightly taller than the cotton in the unsprayed plots. The alfalfa treated at a rate of 829 kg/(ha yr) showed significantly more leaf margin necrosis than did the unsprayed alfalfa. In the cantaloupe, there were no visually apparent differences among salt treatments. Hand-harvested cotton plots had a significant reduction is seed cotton yield at the 415 kg/(ha yr) treatment. A similar though nonsignificant, trend towards reduced yield with increased salt treatment was observed in machine-harvested cotton plots.

  15. Effect of walking stress on growth, physiological adaptability and endocrine responses in Malpura ewes in a semi-arid tropical environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sejian, Veerasamy; Maurya, Vijai P.; Naqvi, Syed M. K.

    2012-03-01

    Sheep in hot semi-arid environments are mostly reared using extensive systems. In addition to thermal stress and feed scarcity, the animals need to walk long distances for grazing in this ecological zone. A study was conducted to assess the effect of long-distance walking on adaptive capability in terms of physiological, biochemical and endocrine responses in Malpura ewes. Fourteen adult Malpura non-pregnant ewes weighing between 33 and 35 kg were used in the study. The ewes were randomly allocated into two groups of seven animals each: GI ( n = 7; Control), and GII ( n = 7; walking stress). The animals were stall-fed with a diet consisting of 70% roughage and 30% concentrate. Both GI and GII ewes had uniform access to feed and water. The walking stress group (GII) ewes were made to walk 14 km in two spans between 0900 and 1500 hours with 1 h 30 min for each span (7 km) of walking. The ewes subjected to walking stress (GII) were prevented from grazing by applying a face mask made of cotton thread. The study was conducted for a period of two estrous cycles (35 days) during the autumn season (October-November). Physiological responses were recorded twice daily at 0800 and 1400 hours at weekly intervals. Blood samples were collected from the jugular vein at weekly intervals to study the effects of walking stress on blood biochemical and endocrine parameters. The results indicate that walking stress had significant ( P stress did not influence the reproductive hormone levels. The significant changes in RR, RT, plasma cortisol, T3 and T4 show that Malpura ewes have the capability to adapt to long-distance walking, and that adrenal and thyroid gland hormones play a significant role in such adaptation.

  16. Effect of walking stress on growth, physiological adaptability and endocrine responses in Malpura ewes in a semi-arid tropical environment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sejian, Veerasamy; Maurya, Vijai P; Naqvi, Syed M K

    2012-03-01

    Sheep in hot semi-arid environments are mostly reared using extensive systems. In addition to thermal stress and feed scarcity, the animals need to walk long distances for grazing in this ecological zone. A study was conducted to assess the effect of long-distance walking on adaptive capability in terms of physiological, biochemical and endocrine responses in Malpura ewes. Fourteen adult Malpura non-pregnant ewes weighing between 33 and 35 kg were used in the study. The ewes were randomly allocated into two groups of seven animals each: GI (n = 7; Control), and GII (n = 7; walking stress). The animals were stall-fed with a diet consisting of 70% roughage and 30% concentrate. Both GI and GII ewes had uniform access to feed and water. The walking stress group (GII) ewes were made to walk 14 km in two spans between 0900 and 1500 hours with 1 h 30 min for each span (7 km) of walking. The ewes subjected to walking stress (GII) were prevented from grazing by applying a face mask made of cotton thread. The study was conducted for a period of two estrous cycles (35 days) during the autumn season (October-November). Physiological responses were recorded twice daily at 0800 and 1400 hours at weekly intervals. Blood samples were collected from the jugular vein at weekly intervals to study the effects of walking stress on blood biochemical and endocrine parameters. The results indicate that walking stress had significant (P stress did not influence the reproductive hormone levels. The significant changes in RR, RT, plasma cortisol, T(3) and T(4) show that Malpura ewes have the capability to adapt to long-distance walking, and that adrenal and thyroid gland hormones play a significant role in such adaptation.

  17. The Context of Military Environments: An Agenda for Basic Research on Social and Organizational Factors Relevant to Small Units

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-06-01

    currently in play ( Samuelson and Zeckhauser, 1988). A related notion is regret avoidance: since people experience greater regret for action than for...for Basic Research on Social and Organizational Factors Relevant to Small Units 56 THE CONTEXT OF MILITARY ENVIRONMENTS Samuelson , W., and R. Zeckhauser

  18. Effects of maquis clearing on the properties of the soil and on the near-surface hydrological processes in a semi-arid Mediterranean environment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mario Pirastru

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Many hillslopes covered with maquis in the semi-arid Mediterranean environment have been cleared in recent decades. There is little information on what effect this has on the hydrology of the soil. We compared the hydraulic properties of the soil and the subsurface hydrological dynamics on two adjacent sites on a hillslope. One site was covered with maquis, the other with grass. The grass started to grow some 10 years ago, after the maquis had been cleared and the soil had been ploughed. Our study found that the hydraulic properties and the hydrological dynamics of the maquis and the grassed soil differed greatly. The grassed soil had less organic matter and higher apparent density than did the soil covered in maquis. Moreover, the maquis soil retained more water than the grassed soil in the tension range from saturation to 50 cm of water. Infiltration tests performed in summer and in winter indicated that the field saturated hydraulic conductivity (Kfs of the maquis soil was higher than that of the grassy soil. However the data showed that the Kfs of the two soils changed with the season. In the maquis soil the Kfs increased from summer to winter. This was assumed to be due to water flowing more efficiently through wet soil. By contrast, in the grassy soil the Kfs decreased from summer to winter. This was because the desiccation cracks closed in the wet soil. As result, the influence of the land use change was clear from the Kfs measurements in winter, but less so from those in the summer. Changes in land use altered the dynamics of the infiltration, subsurface drainage and soil water storage of the soil. The maquis soil profile never saturated completely, and only short-lived, event based perched water tables were observed. By contrast, soil saturation and a shallow water table were observed in the grass covered site throughout the wet season. The differences were assumed to be due to the high canopy interception of the maquis cover, and to

  19. Investigation of Pressurized Entrained-Flow Kraft Black Liquor Gasification in an Industrially Relevant Environment

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kevin Whitty

    2008-06-30

    The University of Utah's project 'Investigation of Pressurized Entrained-Flow Kraft Black Liquor Gasification in an Industrially Relevant Environment' (U.S. DOE Cooperative Agreement DE-FC26-04NT42261) was a response to U.S. DOE/NETL solicitation DE-PS36-04GO94002, 'Biomass Research and Development Initiative' Topical Area 4-Kraft Black Liquor Gasification. The project began September 30, 2004. The objective of the project was to improve the understanding of black liquor conversion in high pressure, high temperature reactors that gasify liquor through partial oxidation with either air or oxygen. The physical and chemical characteristics of both the gas and condensed phase were to be studied over the entire range of liquor conversion, and the rates and mechanisms of processes responsible for converting the liquor to its final smelt and syngas products were to be investigated. This would be accomplished by combining fundamental, lab-scale experiments with measurements taken using a new semi-pilot scale pressurized entrained-flow gasifier. As a result of insufficient availability of funds and changes in priority within the Office of Biomass Programs of the U.S. Department of Energy, the research program was terminated in its second year. In total, only half of the budgeted funding was made available for the program, and most of this was used during the first year for construction of the experimental systems to be used in the program. This had a severe impact on the program. As a consequence, most of the planned research was unable to be performed. Only studies that relied on computational modeling or existing experimental facilities started early enough to deliver useful results by the time to program was terminated Over the course of the program, small scale (approx. 1 ton/day) entrained-flow gasifier was designed and installed at the University of Utah's off-campus Industrial Combustion and Gasification Research Facility. The system is

  20. Water relations and the effects of clearing invasive Prosopis trees on groundwater in an arid environment in the Northern Cape, South Africa

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Dzikiti, Sebinasi

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available Prosopis trees. The trees were growing on deep sandy soils in the floodplain of an episodic river in the arid Northern Cape Province of South Africa. Data were collected on tree water uptake, evapotranspiration and water table depth over different seasons...

  1. SCIENCES IN COLD AND ARID REGIONS

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2008-01-01

    Aims and Scope Sciences in Cold and Arid Regions, an international Engiish-language journal, is devoted to publishing the latest research achievements on the process and the pattern of Earth surface system in cold and arid regions. Researches in cold regions 1) emphasize particularly on the cold-region-characterized physical, chemical and biological processes and their interactions, and on the response of Cryosphere to Global change and Human activities as well as its effect to environment and the acclimatizable

  2. Non-timber forest product (NTFP) extraction in arid environments: Land-use change, frankincense production and the sustainability of Boswellia sacra in Dhofar (Oman)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farah, Mohamud Haji

    Frankincense, a much revered non-timber forest product (NTFP) known as luban in Oman, is a gum-resin extracted from Boswellia sacra (meqerot). In Oman, B. sacra is endemic to ecological zones in and around Dhofar's southern mountain ranges of Jabal Samhan, Jabal Qamar and Jabal Qara. Hojar (Samhan Nejd), Nejd (Qara Nejd), Shazr (Qamar Nejd) and Sha'b are the four B. sacra ecological zones. A suffix (i) after the name (i.e. Hojari or Samhan Nejdi) is indicative of the luban produced in or associated with the respective zone. Traditional Omani B. sacra ownership, management, organization, and frankincense extraction are based on a land parcel system known as menzela. The 1970's oil boom attracted rural labor to urban and oil operation centers in Dhofar and other provinces, thus creating a labor shortage that had a profound transformative impact on frankincense production. This transformation caused frankincense extraction to evolve from an Omani-controlled system to a Somali-dominated hybrid system. Migrant Somali harvesters predominantly control the production and processing of frankincense in the field. Similarly, wholesalers occupy the next rung up the production ladder are the most powerful players in the frankincense industry. Dhofar has a long history of non-timber forest product (NTFP) extraction. From April to mid-June 1999, luban production in the Hojari/Nejdi zone of the study area was estimated at 8,710 kg with a seasonal projection of 24,840kg-30,360kg. B. sacra, a single or multiple stem shrub restricted to wadis in arid environments in or around the Dhofar Mountains, can be found at elevations from 60m above sea level in Wadi Adonib on the coastal plains to 1,770m above sea level in Wadi Kharish (a branch of Wadi Qobyr) in jabal Samhan). Land-use and landcover changes in Dhofar are threatening the fragile stability of B. sacra habitats. Frankincense trees on easily accessible flat or gently sloping terrain are susceptible to stress and mortality from

  3. Evolution of chemical and isotopic composition of inorganic carbon in a complex semi-arid zone environment: Consequences for groundwater dating using radiocarbon

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meredith, K. T.; Han, L. F.; Hollins, S. E.; Cendón, D. I.; Jacobsen, G. E.; Baker, A.

    2016-09-01

    Estimating groundwater age is important for any groundwater resource assessment and radiocarbon (14C) dating of dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) can provide this information. In semi-arid zone (i.e. water-limited environments), there are a multitude of reasons why 14C dating of groundwater and traditional correction models may not be directly transferable. Some include; (1) the complex hydrological responses of these systems that lead to a mixture of different ages in the aquifer(s), (2) the varied sources, origins and ages of organic matter in the unsaturated zone and (3) high evaporation rates. These all influence the evolution of DIC and are not easily accounted for in traditional correction models. In this study, we determined carbon isotope data for; DIC in water, carbonate minerals in the sediments, sediment organic matter, soil gas CO2 from the unsaturated zone, and vegetation samples. The samples were collected after an extended drought, and again after a flood event, to capture the evolution of DIC after varying hydrological regimes. A graphical method (Han et al., 2012) was applied for interpretation of the carbon geochemical and isotopic data. Simple forward mass-balance modelling was carried out on key geochemical processes involving carbon and agreed well with observed data. High values of DIC and δ13CDIC, and low 14CDIC could not be explained by a simple carbonate mineral-CO2 gas dissolution process. Instead it is suggested that during extended drought, water-sediment interaction leads to ion exchange processes within the top ∼10-20 m of the aquifer which promotes greater calcite dissolution in saline groundwater. This process was found to contribute more than half of the DIC, which is from a mostly 'dead' carbon source. DIC is also influenced by carbon exchange between DIC in water and carbonate minerals found in the top 2 m of the unsaturated zone. This process occurs because of repeated dissolution/precipitation of carbonate that is dependent on

  4. The Relative Roles of Soil, Land Cover, and Precipitation Uncertainty for Watershed-scale Soil Moisture Prediction in a Semi-arid Environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mocko, D. M.; Peters-Lidard, C. D.; Tischler, M. A.; Wu, Y.; Garcia, M. E.; Santanello, J. A.

    2006-05-01

    Soil moisture is one of the basic links between the water and energy cycles of land surfaces through its regulation of infiltration, runoff, transpiration, and thermal capacity. In this study, soil moisture was evaluated at the watershed scale using the community NOAH land-surface model (LSM) as included in the Land Information System (LIS) framework. NOAH simulates profiles of soil moisture (both liquid and frozen) and soil temperature, skin temperature, snowpack depth, snowpack water equivalent (and hence snowpack density), canopy water content, and surface water and energy fluxes, including runoff, infiltration, and evapotranspiration. The NOAH-LIS system was tested using soil moisture data from the Monsoon '90 experiment, carried out at the Walnut Gulch Experimental Watershed (WGEW), near Tombstone, Arizona over a 18-day period during July and August 1990. The primary evaluation criterion was surface soil moisture retrieved from the NASA PushBroom Microwave Radiometer (PBMR). The effect of using global-to-continental scale boundary-condition information for soil and vegetation properties was evaluated in the system against more fine-scale property information for the watershed, which is not typically available. Also, the effect of using forcing precipitation from a high-density rain gauge network in the watershed was evaluated against precipitation from a single- gauge, from a mean of the gauge network, and from a global-to-continental scale reanalysis. Changes to the vegetation property information in this watershed, from land cover type to the prescribed albedo and greenness, had virtually no effect on the top-layer simulated soil moisture. Although differences were found in the sensible and latent heat fluxes when modifying the vegetation properties, the runoff ratio remained nearly the same between the simulations. This result indicates that a tiling approach based on vegetation type may not be appropriate in a semi-arid environment. Changes to the soil

  5. The Environment for Professional Interaction and Relevant Practical Experience in AACSB-Accredited Accounting Programs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arlinghaus, Barry P.

    2002-01-01

    Responses from 276 of 1,128 faculty at Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business-accredited schools indicated that 231 were certified; only 96 served in professional associations; large numbers received financial support for professional activities, but only small numbers felt involvement or relevant experience (which are required for…

  6. 新疆干旱区绿洲特征分析及生态保护对策研究%Ecological environment protection study and analysis on feature of arid area of oasis in Xinjiang

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    王岩

    2014-01-01

    Based on the analysis of the resource characteristics of oasis in arid areas in Xinjiang , using the methods of literature and statistical analysis ,for different ecological problems existing in different categories of the arid area of Xinjiang oasis , we should suit one's measures to local conditions and put forward the corresponding countermeasures to strengthen the protection of natural resources and ecological environment of oasis in arid area . At the time of giving full play to the advantages of Xinjiang oasis resources characteristic , we must pay great attention to the ecological environment of the vulnerability of the effective protection .This is the basic requirement for the development of Xinjiang economy and protection of ecological environment , and is also the transformation of economic growth from extensive to intensive management mode in the meaning of the title .%在对新疆干旱区绿洲资源特征进行归纳分析的基础上,运用文献资料法和统计分析法,针对新疆干旱区不同类别的绿洲资源在利用过程中存在的不同生态问题,因地制宜提出相应的对策以便加强对干旱区绿洲资源生态环境的保护。在充分发挥新疆绿洲资源优势特色的同时,要十分注意对具有脆弱性的生态环境进行有效的保护,这是发展新疆经济与保护生态环境的基本要求,也是经济发展由粗放经营向集约经营方式转变的题中之意。

  7. Environment

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Valentini, Chiara

    2017-01-01

    The term environment refers to the internal and external context in which organizations operate. For some scholars, environment is defined as an arrangement of political, economic, social and cultural factors existing in a given context that have an impact on organizational processes and structures....... For others, environment is a generic term describing a large variety of stakeholders and how these interact and act upon organizations. Organizations and their environment are mutually interdependent and organizational communications are highly affected by the environment. This entry examines the origin...... and development of organization-environment interdependence, the nature of the concept of environment and its relevance for communication scholarships and activities....

  8. Proton-exchanged LiNbO(3) waveguides: relevance of atmospheric environment during annealing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loni, A; De La Rue, R M

    1992-08-20

    The relevance of the type of atmosphere used during the annealing of proton-exchanged LiNbO(3) planar waveguides is discussed. The experimental evidence, based on a comparison of the refractive-index profiles of waveguides annealed under wet O(2), dry O(2), or ambient atmospheres, with various gas flow rates, suggests that the atmosphere type does not influence the properties of the resulting waveguide.

  9. Annual plants in arid and semi-arid desert regions

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Xuehua LI; Xiaolan LI; Deming JIANG; Zhimin LIU; Qinghe YU

    2008-01-01

    Annual plants are the main vegetation in arid and semi-arid desert regions.Because of their unique traits,they are the optimal experimental subjects for eco-logical studies.In this article,we summarize annual plants' seed germination strategies,seedling adaptability mechanism to environments,seed dispersal,and soil seed banks.We also discuss the biotic and abiotic factors affecting the composition and dynamics of annual plant populations and communities.Because annual plants have important ecological functions in desert vegetation systems,this study on annual plants will be of great bene-fit to the conservation and restoration of desert ecosys-tems,the rational utilization of resources,and the sustainable development of desert regions.

  10. The impact of unconfined mine tailings in residential areas from a mining town in a semi-arid environment: Nacozari, Sonora, Mexico

    OpenAIRE

    2009-01-01

    Past mining activities in northern Mexico left a legacy of delerict landscapes devoid of vegetation and seasonal formation of salt efflorescence. Metal content was measured in mine tailings, efflorescent salts, soils, road dust and residential soils to investigate contamination. Climatic effects such as heavy wind and rainfall events can have great impact on the dispersion of metals in semi-arid areas, since soils are typically sparsely vegetated. Geochemical analysis of this site revealed th...

  11. Corrosion-fatigue study of a Zr-based bulk-metallic glass in a physiologically relevant environment

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Huang, Lu [Key Laboratory of Aerospace Materials and Performance (Ministry of Education), School of Materials Science and Engineering, Beijing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics, XueYuan Road No. 37, HaiDian District, Beijing 100191 (China); Department of Materials Science and Engineering, The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN 37996-2200 (United States); Wang, Gongyao; Qiao, Dongchun; Liaw, Peter K. [Department of Materials Science and Engineering, The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN 37996-2200 (United States); Pang, Shujie; Wang, Jianfeng [Key Laboratory of Aerospace Materials and Performance (Ministry of Education), School of Materials Science and Engineering, Beijing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics, XueYuan Road No. 37, HaiDian District, Beijing 100191 (China); Zhang, Tao, E-mail: zhangtao@buaa.edu.c [Key Laboratory of Aerospace Materials and Performance (Ministry of Education), School of Materials Science and Engineering, Beijing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics, XueYuan Road No. 37, HaiDian District, Beijing 100191 (China)

    2010-08-15

    Four-point-bend corrosion-fatigue experiments were conducted in a physiologically relevant environment to study the environmental effects on the fatigue behavior of (Zr{sub 0.55}Al{sub 0.10}Ni{sub 0.05}Cu{sub 0.30}){sub 99}Y{sub 1} (at.%) bulk-metallic glasses (BMGs), and the results were compared with those obtained in air at room temperature. At high stress ranges, the corrosive environment did not significantly affect the fatigue lifetime; while at low stress ranges, the corrosive environment exhibited a detrimental effect on the fatigue resistance. The fatigue strength was decreased by 40% in the physiologically relevant environment. Fracture morphologies after fatigue tests were studied by the scanning electron microscopy. The mechanism for the environmental effects on the fatigue life of the (Zr{sub 0.55}Al{sub 0.10}Ni{sub 0.05}Cu{sub 0.30}){sub 99}Y{sub 1} BMG was determined to be anodic dissolution.

  12. Hydrochemistry and 222Rn Concentrations in Spring Waters in the Arid Zone El Granero, Chihuahua, Mexico

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Marusia Rentería-Villalobos; Alejandro Covarrubias-Muños; Alfredo Pinedo-alvarez; Guillermo Manjon-Collado

    2017-01-01

    Water in arid and semi-arid environments is characterized by the presentation of complex interactions, where dissolved chemical species in high concentrations have negative effects on the water quality...

  13. Staying Relevant and Current with Online Learning in an Increasingly Global and Competitive Environment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Grace Lynch

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available This paper outlines the success of online learning in the workplace with corporate partners through Open Universities Australia (OUA. OUA is recognized as the national leader in online higher education in Australia with over 200,000 students studying with OUA since 1993. The corporate program helps employees formalize or extend their current skills, reach the next level in their organization or pursue relevant interests through tertiary studies. The business sector sees OUA as a highly attractive solution to fostering a culture of professional development, engagement and inclusiveness.

  14. Experimental Characterization of a Composite Morphing Radiator Prototype in a Relevant Thermal Environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bertagne, Christopher L.; Chong, Jorge B.; Whitcomb, John D.; Hartl, Darren J.; Erickson, Lisa R.

    2017-01-01

    For future long duration space missions, crewed vehicles will require advanced thermal control systems to maintain a desired internal environment temperature in spite of a large range of internal and external heat loads. Current radiators are only able to achieve turndown ratios (i.e. the ratio between the radiator's maximum and minimum heat rejection rates) of approximately 3:1. Upcoming missions will require radiators capable of 12:1 turndown ratios. A radiator with the ability to alter shape could significantly increase turndown capacity. Shape memory alloys (SMAs) offer promising qualities for this endeavor, namely their temperature-dependent phase change and capacity for work. In 2015, the first ever morphing radiator prototype was constructed in which SMA actuators passively altered the radiator shape in response to a thermal load. This work describes a follow-on endeavor to demonstrate a similar concept using highly thermally conductive composite materials. Numerous versions of this new concept were tested in a thermal vacuum environment and successfully demonstrated morphing behavior and variable heat rejection, achieving a turndown ratio of 4.84:1. A summary of these thermal experiments and their results are provided herein.

  15. Study on Relevance between Social Economic Environment and Resistance to Disasters

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luo Ji

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available Social, life and belongings lost in natural disasters are caused by the disaster itself and the ability of resistance to it. The loss extent caused by the same disaster is obviously different in different social economic environment. Based on data of 1991-2010, relationship between social economic environment and resistance to natural disasters is studied by panel data regression models. Furthermore, the social economic environmental factors which are likely to influence loss extent of natural disasters are analyzed. It is empirically shown that increase of Real GDP per capita, rural per capita net income, population of tertiary industry in GDP and number of doctors per thousand people all can decrease loss extent of natural disasters notably. However, increase of social fixed asset investment and increment speed of GDP cannot influence the loss extent prominently. Increase of disposable income decreases the death toll and the number of people affected by the disasters but enhances direct economic losses. Therefore, the influence of disposable income on the loss is not certain.

  16. Time-Domain Simulations of Transient Species in Experimentally Relevant Environments

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ueltschi, Tyler W.; Fischer, Sean A.; Apra, Edoardo; Tarnovsky, Alexander N.; Govind, Niranjan; El-Khoury, Patrick Z.; Hess, Wayne P.

    2016-02-04

    Simulating the spectroscopic properties of short-lived thermal and photochemical reaction intermediates and products is a challenging task, as these species often feature atypical molecular and electronic structures. The complex environments in which such species typically reside in practice add further complexity to the problem. Herein, we tackle this problem in silico using ab initio molecular dynamics (AIMD) simulations, employing iso-CHBr3, namely H(Br)C-Br-Br, as a prototypical system. This species was chosen because it features both a non-conventional C-Br-Br bonding pattern, as well as a strong dependence of its spectral features on the local environment in which it resides, as illustrated in recent experimental reports. The spectroscopic properties of iso-CHBr3 were measured by several groups that captured this transient intermediate in the photochemistry of CHBr3 in the gas phase, in rare gas matrices at 5K, and in solution under ambient laboratory conditions. We simulate the UV-Vis and IR spectra of iso-CHBr3 in all three media, including a Ne cluster (64 atoms) and a methylcyclohexane cage (14 solvent molecules) representative of the matrix isolated and solvated species. We exclusively perform fully quantum mechanical static and dynamic simulations. By comparing our condensed phase simulations to their experimental analogues, we stress the importance of (i) conformational sampling, even at cryogenic temperatures, and (ii) using a fully quantum mechanical description of both solute and bath to properly account for the experimental observables.

  17. Hydrologic and geochemical controls on the transport of radionuclides in natural undisturbed arid environments as determined by accelerator mass spectrometry measurements

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Nimz, G; Caffee, M W; McAninch, J

    2000-04-01

    AMS {sup 99}Tc measurements of contaminated waters; extraction of {sup 99}Tc from silicate soils is difficult, but can be done using the extended methods we have developed; (5 ) Most of the bomb-pulse {sup 99}Tc observed in the soil profile at the EMSP research site was confined to the upper 50 cm; however, there is some indication that a fraction of the {sup 99}Tc could move to the same extent as bomb-pulse {sup 36}Cl; and (6) The observed AMS sensitivity for {sup 90}Sr was {sup 90}Sr/Sr=10{sup -12}, corresponding to about 20-200 mBq per sample, similar to the sensitivity of traditional decay counting; further work should improve the sensitivity by at least a factor of 10, but even now the AMS ability for sensitive, high throughput, fast turnaround, robust measurements using simple chemistry is an improvement over decay counting methods. Although our results regarding the migration of these radionuclides in arid soils increase the scientific understand of contaminant migration in that environment, we believe the primary benefit of our EMSP research is the development of AMS analytical techniques for low-level radionuclide measurement. The advantages of this include: (1) the ability to conduct migration studies in locations most like those of concern to public health, e.g., a ''far-field'' environment; (2) sites of multiple contamination, e.g., by VOC's, can be avoided; (3) it becomes unnecessary to collect research samples that are themselves radioactive waste and are therefore difficult to handle and dispose of in the laboratory; and (4) since the nuclides are globally distributed, migration research can be conducted in any chosen environment. Our research is therefore designed to make the study of radionuclide migration simpler to do, simpler to interpret, and easier to apply to specific DOE sites. This will lead to a better understanding of the migration potential and ultimate fate of radionuclides, creating much less uncertainty regarding

  18. The Relevance of People’s Attitudes Towards Freedom of Expression in a Changing Media Environment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Teresa K. NAAB

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available The article outlines arguments for the relevance of people’s attitudes towards freedom of expression: It is a fundamental principle of democracy that if a virtue does not receive support from the population, it will not be anchored in law and its foundation is endangered in the medium term. People’s support for free speech is becoming even more influential because authoritative control of internet communication is faced with difficulties. Furthermore, with the development of social media users gain new opportunities to publicly express their opinions attaching even more importance to normative self-regulation. As a matter of fact, these increased opportunities of self-regulation may either enhance or decrease the exercise of expression rights. Thus, citizen’s endorsement of free expression is a valuable indicator of the status of freedom of expression in a country. To approach to the subject empirically, the paper systematizes findings on people’s attitudes towards free speech: Most people believe in freedom of expression in the abstract. Willingness to apply the right to opposing groups, however, is lower. Perceived threats, confidence in democratic principles, mode of communication, and personality variables influence tolerance of expressions. Finally, a research agenda is put forward to examine appreciation of free expression, its antecedence, and implications.

  19. Multi-proxy evidence for late Pleistocene-Holocene environ-mental change in arid Central Asia: An overview of the RACHAD 2001 symposium

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    CHEN Fahu; J. A. Holmes

    2003-01-01

    @@ This special issue of Chinese Science Bulletin arose from a symposium entitled "Abrupt Environmental Changes in Arid Asia--History and Mechanisms" (RACHAD 2001) held at Lanzhou University in October 2001. This international event was attended by over 70 scientists from Australia, China, Germany, India, Mongolia, Russia, the UK and the USA. More than fifty papers were given over a three-dayperiod on all aspects of the mechanisms and history of environmental change in Asia's drylands. Most of the papers presented in the symposium are the preliminary results of the INQUA working group called "Rapid Climatic Changes in the Central-Asia's Drylands" (RACHAD).

  20. Do genes and environment meet to regulate cerebrospinal fluid dynamics? Relevance for schizophrenia.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joana A Palha

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available Schizophrenia is a neurodevelopment disorder in which the interplay of genes and environment contributes to disease onset and establishment. The most consistent pathological feature in schizophrenic patients is an enlargement of the brain ventricles. Yet, so far, no study has related this finding with dysfunction of the choroid plexus, the epithelial cell monolayer located within the brain ventricles that is responsible for the production of most of the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF. Enlarged brain ventricles are already present at the time of disease onset (young adulthood and, of notice, isolated mild ventriculomegaly detected in utero is associated with subsequent mild neurodevelopmental abnormalities similar to those observed in children at high risk of developing schizophrenia. Here we propose that an altered choroid plexus/CSF dynamics during neurodevelopment may be considered as a risk, causative and/or participating-key factor for development of schizophrenia.

  1. Constraints on the Early Terrestrial Surface UV Environment Relevant to Prebiotic Chemistry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ranjan, Sukrit; Sasselov, Dimitar D.

    2017-03-01

    The UV environment is a key boundary condition to abiogenesis. However, considerable uncertainty exists as to planetary conditions and hence surface UV at abiogenesis. Here, we present two-stream multilayer clear-sky calculations of the UV surface radiance on Earth at 3.9 Ga to constrain the UV surface fluence as a function of albedo, solar zenith angle (SZA), and atmospheric composition. Variation in albedo and latitude (through SZA) can affect maximum photoreaction rates by a factor of >10.4; for the same atmosphere, photoreactions can proceed an order of magnitude faster at the equator of a snowball Earth than at the poles of a warmer world. Hence, surface conditions are important considerations when computing prebiotic UV fluences. For climatically reasonable levels of CO2, fluence shortward of 189 nm is screened out, meaning that prebiotic chemistry is robustly shielded from variations in UV fluence due to solar flares or variability. Strong shielding from CO2 also means that the UV surface fluence is insensitive to plausible levels of CH4, O2, and O3. At scattering wavelengths, UV fluence drops off comparatively slowly with increasing CO2 levels. However, if SO2 and/or H2S can build up to the ≥1-100 ppm level as hypothesized by some workers, then they can dramatically suppress surface fluence and hence prebiotic photoprocesses. H2O is a robust UV shield for λ atmospheric gases, fluence ≲198 nm is only available for cold, dry atmospheres, meaning sources with emission ≲198 (e.g., ArF excimer lasers) can only be used in simulations of cold environments with low abundance of volcanogenic gases. On the other hand, fluence at 254 nm is unshielded by H2O and is available across a broad range of NCO2, meaning that mercury lamps are suitable for initial studies regardless of the uncertainty in primordial H2O and CO2 levels.

  2. Aridity increases below-ground niche breadth in grass communities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Butterfield, Bradley J.; Bradford, John B.; Munson, Seth M.; Gremer, Jennifer R.

    2017-01-01

    Aridity is an important environmental filter in the assembly of plant communities worldwide. The extent to which root traits mediate responses to aridity, and how they are coordinated with leaf traits, remains unclear. Here, we measured variation in root tissue density (RTD), specific root length (SRL), specific leaf area (SLA), and seed size within and among thirty perennial grass communities distributed along an aridity gradient spanning 190–540 mm of climatic water deficit (potential minus actual evapotranspiration). We tested the hypotheses that traits exhibited coordinated variation (1) among species, as well as (2) among communities varying in aridity, and (3) functional diversity within communities declines with increasing aridity, consistent with the “stress-dominance” hypothesis. Across communities, SLA and RTD exhibited a coordinated response to aridity, shifting toward more conservative (lower SLA, higher RTD) functional strategies with increasing aridity. The response of SRL to aridity was more idiosyncratic and was independent of variation in SLA and RTD. Contrary to the stress-dominance hypothesis, the diversity of SRL values within communities increased with aridity, while none of the other traits exhibited significant diversity responses. These results are consistent with other studies that have found SRL to be independent of an SLA–RTD axis of functional variation and suggest that the dynamic nature of soil moisture in arid environments may facilitate a wider array of resource capture strategies associated with variation in SRL.

  3. Monitoring the condition of the Canadian forest environment: The relevance of the concept of 'ecological indicators'.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kimmins, J P

    1990-11-01

    The Canadian forest environment is characterized by high spatial and temporal variability, especially in the west. Our forests vary according to climate, landform, and surficial geology, and according to the type, intensity, extent of, and the time since the last disturbance. Most Canadian forests have had a history of repeated acute, episodic disturbance from fire, insects, wind, diseases and/or logging, with a frequency of disturbance varying from a few decades to many centuries. These sources of variability have resulted in a complex and continually changing mosaic of forest conditions and stages of successional development.Monitoring the 'quality' of this dynamic forested landscape mosaic is extremely difficult, and in most cases the concept of a relatively simple index of forest ecosystem quality or condition (i.e. an 'ecological indicator') is probably inappropriate. Such ecological indicators are better suited for monitoring chronic anthropogenically induced disturbances that are continuous in their effect (e.g. 'acid rain', heavy metal pollution, air pollution, and the 'greenhouse effect') in ecosystems that, in the absence of such chronic disturbance, exhibit very slow directional change (e.g. lakes, higher order streams and rivers). Monitoring the effects of a chronic anthropogenic disturbance to forest ecosystems to determine if it is resulting in a sustained, directional alteration of environmental 'quality' will require a definition of the expected pattern of episodic disturbance and recovery therefrom (i.e. patterns of secondary succession in the absence of the chronic disturbance). Only when we have such a 'temporal fingerprint' of forest ecosystem condition for 'normal' patterns of disturbance and recovery can we determine if the ecosystem condition is being degraded by chronic human-induced alteration of the environment. Thus, degradation is assessed in terms of deviations from the expected temporal pattern of conditions rather than in terms of an

  4. Relative Efficacy of On-Farm Weeds as Soil-Amendement for Managing Dry Root Rot of Clusterbean in an Arid Environment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R. Mawar

    2006-12-01

    Full Text Available The effectiveness of certain on-farm weeds as soil amendments was ascertained against Macrophomina phaseolina, a soil-borne pathogen causing dry root rot of crops grown under rainfed conditions in arid regions. Population changes in M. phaseolina were determined in soils amended separately with residues (1%, w:w of Aerva persica, Celosia argentea, Corchorus depressus, Euphorbia hirta, Heliotropium subulatum and Polycarpaea corymbosa, for a period of 90 days. Significant reductions by 90.4–100% in the population of M. phaseolina were achieved with all the weed residues except P. corymbosa. Celosia and Euphorbia residues completely eradicated viable propagules of M. phaseolina. A strong increase (44–61% in the population of antagonistic actinomycetes was also found in soil amended with Corchorus and Euphorbia. In field tests, soil amended (50 g m2 with Euphorbia, Aerva and Celosia residues significantly reduced dry root rot incidence on clusterbean and also reduced M. phaseolina propagules in the soil. However, dry root rot incidence in Polycarpaea-amended soil (5.8–24.6% was not significantly different from that in non-amended soil (4.3–25.3% in both years of the experiment. P. corymbosa also increased the number of propagules of M. phaseolina in the soil. The results demonstrate that dry root rot of rainfed-cultivated annual crops in arid land can be managed with certain weeds as a soil amendment.

  5. The influence of tillage on field scale water fluxes and maize yields in semi-arid environments: A case study of Potshini catchment, South Africa

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kosgei, J. R.; Jewitt, G. P. W.; Kongo, V. M.; Lorentz, S. A.

    Water is a limiting resource to crop production in arid and semi-arid lands (ASALs) and is responsible for substantial yield losses annually. These lands are often occupied by resource poor smallholder rainfed farmers who have little capacity to establish conventional irrigation infrastructure to mitigate recurrent droughts and dry spells. In situ water harvesting techniques in the form of conservation agriculture practices have been identified and promoted as measures that can improve soil water availability and thus enhance crop yields. Land use practices e.g. tillage influences mechanisms of lateral flow, infiltration, storage, redistribution and residence times of water at field scale. Such alterations in flow paths have not been adequately studied in ASALs where small perturbations at field scale upstream of a catchment may have significant effects downstream. Quantifying these fluxes enables better understanding of productive and non-productive water transition processes and thus to evaluate cropping and management systems. On this study the effects of tillage on water fluxes, soil physical properties and maize ( Zea mays L.) yields were examined at three sites in the Potshini catchment, South Africa. Measurements were made on plots under no-till ( NT) and conventional till ( CT) practices. Seasonal analysis indicated that nearly twice as much runoff was generated from CT treatments when compared to NT plots. However, this was not the case at the beginning of the season. The moisture content in the root zone was significantly higher in NT treatments. Maize yield was also higher in NT compared to CT plots.

  6. Susceptibility of Alloy 22 to Environmentally Assisted Cracking in Yucca Mountain Relevant Environments

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Estill, J C; King, K J; Fix, D V; Spurlock, D G; Hust, G A; Gordon, S R; McCright, R D; Rebak, R B; Gordon, G M

    2002-01-30

    In its current design, the high level nuclear waste containers will include an external layer of Alloy 22 (Ni-22Cr-13Mo-3W-3Fe). Since over their life-time the containers may be exposed to multi-ionic aqueous environments, a potential degradation mode of the outer layer could be environmental assisted cracking (EAC). The objective of the current research work was to quantify the susceptibility of Alloy 22 to EAC in a several environmental conditions including solution composition, temperature and electrochemical potential. The susceptibility to EAC was evaluated using the constant deformation technique, the compact specimen--low cycle fatigue method and the slow strain rate test (SSRT). The alloy was tested in the wrought mill annealed (MA) and in the as-welded conditions. Results show that Alloy 22 was extremely resistant to EAC in a wide range of environmental conditions. Using SSRT, Alloy 22 was found susceptible to EAC in one electrolyte at one temperature and at one electrochemical potential.

  7. Constraints on the Early Terrestrial Surface UV Environment Relevant to Prebiotic Chemistry

    CERN Document Server

    Ranjan, Sukrit

    2016-01-01

    The UV environment is a key boundary condition for the origin of life. However, considerable uncertainty exists as to planetary conditions and hence surface UV at abiogenesis. Here, we present two-stream multi-layer clear-sky calculations of the UV surface radiance on Earth at 3.9 Ga to constrain the UV surface fluence as a function of albedo, solar zenith angle (SZA), and atmospheric composition. Variation in albedo and latitude (through SZA) can affect maximum photoreaction rates by a factor of >10.4; for the same atmosphere, photoreactions can proceed an order of magnitude faster at the equator of a snowball Earth than at the poles of a warmer world. Surface conditions are important considerations when computing prebiotic UV fluences. For climatically reasonable levels of CO2, fluence shortward of 189 nm is screened out, meaning that prebiotic chemistry is robustly shielded from variations in UV fluence due to solar flares or variability. Strong shielding from CO2 also means that the UV surface fluence is ...

  8. Degradation of TBC Systems in Environments Relevant to Advanced Gas Turbines for IGCC Systems

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gleeson, Brian [Univ. of Pittsburgh, PA (United States)

    2014-09-30

    Air plasma sprayed (APS) thermal barrier coatings (TBCs) are used to provide thermal insulation for the hottest components in gas turbines. Zirconia stabilized with 7wt% yttria (7YSZ) is the most common ceramic top coat used for turbine blades. The 7YSZ coating can be degraded from the buildup of fly-ash deposits created in the power-generation process. Fly ash from an integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCC) system can result from coal-based syngas. TBCs are also exposed to harsh gas environments containing CO2, SO2, and steam. Degradation from the combined effects of fly ash and harsh gas atmospheres has the potential to severely limit TBC lifetimes. The main objective of this study was to use lab-scale testing to systematically elucidate the interplay between prototypical deposit chemistries (i.e., ash and its constituents, K2SO4, and FeS) and environmental oxidants (i.e., O2, H2O and CO2) on the degradation behavior of advanced TBC systems. Several mechanisms of early TBC failure were identified, as were the specific fly-ash constituents responsible for degradation. The reactivity of MCrAlY bondcoats used in TBC systems was also investigated. The specific roles of oxide and sulfate components were assessed, together with the complex interplay between gas composition, deposit chemistry and alloy reactivity. Bondcoat composition design strategies to mitigate corrosion were established, particularly with regard to controlling phase constitution and the amount of reactive elements the bondcoat contains in order to achieve optimal corrosion resistance.

  9. Modelling fate and effects of toxicologically relevant hydrocarbon fractions following hypothetical oil spills in a marine environment

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    St-Amand, A.; Mazzocco, P.; Stephenson, M. [Stantec Consulting Ltd., Fredericton, NB (Canada)

    2009-07-01

    Numerical oil spill models have generally focused on the transport and fate of oil following a spill through processes such as advection, evaporation, spreading dissolution, dispersion, emulsification, biodegradation and sedimentation. These models provide information regarding the trajectory, location and size of the oil slick, as well as the location where the slick will touch shorelines. The models normally treat the spilled hydrocarbon as a single product or group of representative compounds which is not very useful in evaluating toxicological risks to aquatic biota. For that reason, Stantec developed a model that simultaneously evaluates the likely fate and co-toxicity of toxicologically relevant hydrocarbon compounds and fractions in water following an oil spill in a marine environment. Compounds currently considered in the model include polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, volatile organic compounds, BTEX compounds, (benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, xylenes) and the Canada-Wide Standard hydrocarbon fractions. The fate of these hydrocarbons in the marine environment was simulated using a mass-balance compartment approach in which specific states of the oil and relevant environmental media were considered. At each time step following the hydrocarbon release, the model updated physical properties such as the density and viscosity of the spilled mixtures. When predicting the fate of the mixture, environmental conditions such as wind speed and wave height were taken into account to determine whether droplets of the spilled product remained entrained in the water column or if they resurfaced and possibly emulsified. Two hypothetical spill scenarios were investigated based on assumed spill volumes, assumed product compositions representing a distilled product and crude oil, and assumed environmental and meteorological conditions. The key outputs of the model were the dissolved concentrations of toxicologically relevant hydrocarbon compounds and fractions in the water

  10. Age structure of a population of Barbarophryne brongersmai (Hoogmoed 1972 (Anura, Bufonidae inhabiting an arid environment in the Central Jbilets (West-Morocco

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Abderrazzak Fattah

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available We estimated age structure and some life-history traits in a population of Barbarophryne brongersmai at the northern border of the distribution area of this species by using skeletochronology to establish individual age and age at sexual maturity. Maturity was reached at 2-4 years in males and 3-5 years in females, which was late relatively to small body size. Longevity was estimated to be 12 and 8 years for males and females, respectively, whereas mean body size is 45.6 mm in both sexes. However, this estimate suffers from small sample size in females. We did not detect a positive relationship between age and size, suggesting that adult individuals cease growing after maturity. Conversely, body size varied within an age class, suggesting great variability of growth rate among individuals during the juvenile stage. Collectively, these traits characterize a life history strategy that could be an evolutionary response to habitat unpredictability in arid regions.

  11. Remote sensing monitoring of land restoration interventions in semi-arid environments with a before-after control-impact statistical design

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meroni, Michele; Schucknecht, Anne; Fasbender, Dominique; Rembold, Felix; Fava, Francesco; Mauclaire, Margaux; Goffner, Deborah; Di Lucchio, Luisa M.; Leonardi, Ugo

    2017-07-01

    Restoration interventions to combat land degradation are carried out in arid and semi-arid areas to improve vegetation cover and land productivity. Evaluating the success of an intervention over time is challenging due to various constraints (e.g. difficult-to-access areas, lack of long-term records) and the lack of standardised and affordable methodologies. We propose a semi-automatic methodology that uses remote sensing data to provide a rapid, standardised and objective assessment of the biophysical impact, in terms of vegetation cover, of restoration interventions. The Normalised Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) is used as a proxy for vegetation cover. Recognising that changes in vegetation cover are naturally due to environmental factors such as seasonality and inter-annual climate variability, conclusions about the success of the intervention cannot be drawn by focussing on the intervention area only. We therefore use a comparative method that analyses the temporal variations (before and after the intervention) of the NDVI of the intervention area with respect to multiple control sites that are automatically and randomly selected from a set of candidates that are similar to the intervention area. Similarity is defined in terms of class composition as derived from an ISODATA classification of the imagery before the intervention. The method provides an estimate of the magnitude and significance of the difference in greenness change between the intervention area and control areas. As a case study, the methodology is applied to 15 restoration interventions carried out in Senegal. The impact of the interventions is analysed using 250-m MODIS and 30-m Landsat data. Results show that a significant improvement in vegetation cover was detectable only in one third of the analysed interventions, which is consistent with independent qualitative assessments based on field observations and visual analysis of high resolution imagery. Rural development agencies may

  12. Seedling survival of Handroanthus impetiginosus (Mart ex DC) Mattos in a semi-arid environment through modified germination speed and post-germination desiccation tolerance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martins, J R; Edvaldo, A A S; Alvarenga, A A; Rodrigues, A C; Ribeiro, D E; Toorop, P E

    2015-11-01

    Uniform rapid seed germination generally forms a great risk for the plant population if subsequent intermittent precipitation causes desiccation and seedling death. Handroanthus impetiginosus can be found commonly in a wide range of biomes within Brazil including those that are semi-arid. Germination and early growth was studied to understand how germinated seeds survive under these stringent conditions. Accessions were sampled from four seasonally dry biomes in Brazil. Precipitation at the start of the rainy season in the Caatinga, a semi-arid biome, is less predictable and the number of successive dry days per dry interval in the first four months of the rainy season was higher than in the other studied biomes. Plants from the Caatinga produced thicker seeds and this trait concurred with slow germination and stronger osmotic inhibition of germination across the accessions, forming a stress avoidance mechanism in the Caatinga. Post-germination desiccation tolerance was high in the Caatinga accession, could be re-induced in accessions from biomes with more regular precipitation (Cerrado and transition zone), but remained poor in the Cerradão accession; thus forming a stress tolerance mechanism. Production of adventitious roots ascertained survival of all tested individuals from all four locations, even if protruded radicles did not survive desiccation, forming an additional stress tolerance mechanism. A sequence of stress avoidance and stress tolerance mechanisms in seeds and germinated seeds was associated with precipitation patterns in different biomes. These mechanisms purportedly allow rapid seedling establishment when conditions are suitable and enable survival of the young seedling when conditions are adverse.

  13. Seedling survival of Handroanthus impetiginosus (Mart ex DC Mattos in a semi-arid environment through modified germination speed and post-germination desiccation tolerance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. R. Martins

    Full Text Available Abstract Uniform rapid seed germination generally forms a great risk for the plant population if subsequent intermittent precipitation causes desiccation and seedling death. Handroanthus impetiginosus can be found commonly in a wide range of biomes within Brazil including those that are semi-arid. Germination and early growth was studied to understand how germinated seeds survive under these stringent conditions. Accessions were sampled from four seasonally dry biomes in Brazil. Precipitation at the start of the rainy season in the Caatinga, a semi-arid biome, is less predictable and the number of successive dry days per dry interval in the first four months of the rainy season was higher than in the other studied biomes. Plants from the Caatinga produced thicker seeds and this trait concurred with slow germination and stronger osmotic inhibition of germination across the accessions, forming a stress avoidance mechanism in the Caatinga. Post-germination desiccation tolerance was high in the Caatinga accession, could be re-induced in accessions from biomes with more regular precipitation (Cerrado and transition zone, but remained poor in the Cerradão accession; thus forming a stress tolerance mechanism. Production of adventitious roots ascertained survival of all tested individuals from all four locations, even if protruded radicles did not survive desiccation, forming an additional stress tolerance mechanism. A sequence of stress avoidance and stress tolerance mechanisms in seeds and germinated seeds was associated with precipitation patterns in different biomes. These mechanisms purportedly allow rapid seedling establishment when conditions are suitable and enable survival of the young seedling when conditions are adverse.

  14. The key role of meteorites in the formation of relevant prebiotic molecules in a formamide/water environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rotelli, Luca; Trigo-Rodríguez, Josep M.; Moyano-Cambero, Carles E.; Carota, Eleonora; Botta, Lorenzo; di Mauro, Ernesto; Saladino, Raffaele

    2016-12-01

    We show that carbonaceous chondrite meteorites actively and selectively catalyze the formation of relevant prebiotic molecules from formamide in aqueous media. Specific catalytic behaviours are observed, depending on the origin and composition of the chondrites and on the type of water present in the system (activity: thermal > seawater > pure). We report the one-pot synthesis of all the natural nucleobases, of aminoacids and of eight carboxylic acids (forming, from pyruvic acid to citric acid, a continuous series encompassing a large part of the extant Krebs cycle). These data shape a general prebiotic scenario consisting of carbonaceous meteorites acting as catalysts and of a volcanic-like environment providing heat, thermal waters and formamide. This scenario also applies to the other solar system locations that experienced rich delivery of carbonaceous materials, and whose physical-chemical conditions could have allowed chemical evolution.

  15. The key role of meteorites in the formation of relevant prebiotic molecules in a formamide/water environment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rotelli, Luca; Trigo-Rodríguez, Josep M; Moyano-Cambero, Carles E; Carota, Eleonora; Botta, Lorenzo; Di Mauro, Ernesto; Saladino, Raffaele

    2016-12-13

    We show that carbonaceous chondrite meteorites actively and selectively catalyze the formation of relevant prebiotic molecules from formamide in aqueous media. Specific catalytic behaviours are observed, depending on the origin and composition of the chondrites and on the type of water present in the system (activity: thermal > seawater > pure). We report the one-pot synthesis of all the natural nucleobases, of aminoacids and of eight carboxylic acids (forming, from pyruvic acid to citric acid, a continuous series encompassing a large part of the extant Krebs cycle). These data shape a general prebiotic scenario consisting of carbonaceous meteorites acting as catalysts and of a volcanic-like environment providing heat, thermal waters and formamide. This scenario also applies to the other solar system locations that experienced rich delivery of carbonaceous materials, and whose physical-chemical conditions could have allowed chemical evolution.

  16. Climate change scenarios of herbaceous production along an aridity gradient: vulnerability increases with aridity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Golodets, Carly; Sternberg, Marcelo; Kigel, Jaime; Boeken, Bertrand; Henkin, Zalmen; Seligman, No'am G; Ungar, Eugene D

    2015-04-01

    Climate change is expected to reduce annual precipitation by 20% and increase its standard deviation by 20% in the eastern Mediterranean. We have examined how these changes may affect herbaceous aboveground net primary production (ANPP) and its inter-annual coefficient of variation (CV) in natural rangelands along a desert-Mediterranean precipitation gradient, at five sites representing arid, semi-arid, and Mediterranean-type ecosystems, respectively, all showing positive linear relationships between herbaceous ANPP and annual precipitation. Scenarios of reduced annual precipitation and increased inter-annual precipitation variability were defined by manipulating mean annual precipitation (MAP) and its standard deviation. We simulated precipitation and calculated ANPP using current ANPP-precipitation relationships. Our model predicts that reduced precipitation will strongly reduce ANPP in arid and semi-arid sites. Moreover, the effect of reduced precipitation on the CV of ANPP along the entire gradient may be modified by changes in inter-annual variability in MAP. Reduced precipitation combined with increased precipitation variability was the scenario most relevant to the wet end of the gradient, due to the increased likelihood for both dry and rainy years. In contrast, the scenario most relevant to the arid end of the gradient combined reduced precipitation with decreased precipitation variability, due to the strong effect on mean ANPP. All scenarios increased variability of ANPP along the entire gradient. However, the higher sensitivity of vegetation at arid and semi-arid sites (i.e., lower forage production) to future changes in the precipitation regime emphasizes the need to adapt grazing management in these ecosystems to secure their long-term viability as sustainable rangelands.

  17. Reverse ion exchange as a major process controlling the groundwater chemistry in an arid environment: a case study from northwestern Saudi Arabia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zaidi, Faisal K; Nazzal, Yousef; Jafri, Muhammad Kamran; Naeem, Muhammad; Ahmed, Izrar

    2015-10-01

    Assessment of groundwater quality is of utmost significance in arid regions like Saudi Arabia where the lack of present-day recharge and high evaporation rates coupled with increasing groundwater withdrawal may restrict its usage for domestic or agricultural purposes. In the present study, groundwater samples collected from agricultural farms in Hail (15 samples), Al Jawf (15 samples), and Tabuk (30 samples) regions were analyzed for their major ion concentration. The objective of the study was to determine the groundwater facies, the main hydrochemical process governing the groundwater chemistry, the saturation index with respect to the principal mineral phases, and the suitability of the groundwater for irrigational use. The groundwater samples fall within the Ca-Cl type, mixed Ca-Mg-Cl type, and Na-Cl type. Evaporation and reverse ion exchange appear to be the major processes controlling the groundwater chemistry though reverse ion exchange process is the more dominating factor. The various ionic relationships confirmed the reverse ion exchange process where the Ca and Mg in the aquifer matrix have been replaced by Na at favorable exchange sites. This phenomenon has accounted for the dominance of Ca and Mg ions over Na ion at all the sites. The process of reverse ion exchange was further substantiated by the use of modified Piper diagram (Chadha's classification) and the chloro-alkaline indices. Evaporation as a result of extreme aridity has resulted in the groundwater being oversaturated with aragonite/calcite and dolomite as revealed by the saturation indices. The groundwater samples were classified as safe (less than 10) in terms of sodium adsorption ratio (SAR) values, good (less than 1.25) in terms of residual sodium carbonate (RSC) values, and safe to moderate (between 0 and 3) in terms of Mg hazard for irrigation purposes. Though the high salinity groundwater in the three regions coupled with low SAR values are good for the soil structure, it can have a

  18. Waste biorefinery in arid/semi-arid regions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bastidas-Oyanedel, Juan-Rodrigo; Fang, Chuanji; Almardeai, Saleha; Javid, Usama; Yousuf, Ahasa; Schmidt, Jens Ejbye

    2016-09-01

    The utilization of waste biorefineries in arid/semi-arid regions is advisable due to the reduced sustainable resources in arid/semi-arid regions, e.g. fresh water and biomass. This review focuses on biomass residues available in arid/semi-arid regions, palm trees residues, seawater biomass based residues (coastal arid/semi-arid regions), and the organic fraction of municipal solid waste. The present review aims to describe and discuss the availability of these waste biomasses, their conversion to value chemicals by waste biorefinery processes. For the case of seawater biomass based residues it was reviewed and advise the use of seawater in the biorefinery processes, in order to decrease the use of fresh water. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. Nature's patchwork: How water sources and soil salinity determine the distribution and structure of halophytic plant communities in arid environments of the Eastern Pamir

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mętrak, Monika; Chachulski, Łukasz; Navruzshoev, Dovutsho; Pawlikowski, Paweł; Rojan, Elżbieta; Sulwiński, Marcin; Suska-Malawska, Małgorzata

    2017-01-01

    The eastern part of the Pamir Mountains, located in Central Asia, is characterized by great climatic continentality and aridity. Wetlands developed in this hostile region are restricted to spring areas, terraces of shallow lakes or floodplains along rivers, and provide diversified ecosystem services e.g. as water reservoirs, refugia for rare species and pastures for domestic cattle. These ecosystems are particularly susceptible to climate changes, that in the Pamir Mountains result in increased temperatures, intense permafrost/glacial melt and alterations of precipitation patterns. Climatic changes affect pasture management in the mountains, causing overutilization of sites located at lower elevations. Thus, both climate and man-induced disturbances may violate the existing ecological equilibrium in high-mountain wetlands of the Eastern Pamir, posing a serious risk to their biodiversity and to food security of the local population. In this context, we sought to assess how environmental drivers (with special focus on soil features and potential water sources) shape the distribution and diversity of halophytic plant communities developed in valleys in the Eastern Pamir. This task was completed by means of a vegetation survey and comprehensive analyses of habitat conditions. The lake terraces and floodplains studied were covered by a repetitive mosaic of plant communities determined by differences in soil moisture and salinity. On lower, wetter sites, this patchwork was formed by Blysmus rufus dominated salt marshes, saline small sedge meadows and saline meadows with Kobresia royleana and Primula pamirica; and on drier, elevated sites, by endemic grasslands with Hordeum brevisubulatum and Puccinellia species and patches of xerohalophytic vegetation. Continuous instability of water sources and summer droughts occurring in the Pamir Mountains may lead to significant structural and functional transformations of described wetland ecosystems. Species more tolerant to

  20. Effects of nitrogen and phosphorus fertilizer on crop yields in a field pea-spring wheat-potato rotation system with calcareous soil in semi-arid environments

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Liu, C.A.; Zhang, S.; Hua, S.; Rao, X.

    2016-11-01

    The object of the present study was to investigate the yield-affecting mechanisms influenced by N and P applications in rainfed areas with calcareous soil. The experimental treatments were as follows: NF (no fertilizer), N (nitrogen), P (phosphorus), and NP (nitrogen plus phosphorus) in a field pea-spring wheat-potato cropping system. This study was conducted over six years (2003-2008) on China’s semi-arid Loess Plateau. The fertilizer treatments were found to decrease the soil water content more than the NF treatment in each of the growing seasons. The annual average yields of the field pea crops during the entire experimental period were 635, 677, 858, and 1117 kg/ha for the NF, N, P, and NP treatments, respectively. The annual average yields were 673, 547, 966, and 1056 kg/ha for the spring wheat crops for the NF, N, P, and NP treatments, respectively. Also, the annual average yields were 1476, 2120, 1480, and 2424 kg/ha for the potato crops for the NF, N, P, and NP treatments, respectively. In the second cycle of the three-year rotation, the pea and spring wheat yields in the P treatment were 1.2 and 2.8 times higher than that in the N treatment, respectively. Meanwhile, the potato crop yield in the N treatment was 3.1 times higher than that in the P treatment. In conclusion, the P fertilizer was found to increase the yields of the field pea and wheat crops, and the N fertilizer increased the potato crop yield in rainfed areas with calcareous soil. (Author)

  1. The impact of atmospheric dust deposition and trace elements levels on the villages surrounding the former mining areas in a semi-arid environment (SE Spain)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sánchez Bisquert, David; Matías Peñas Castejón, José; García Fernández, Gregorio

    2017-03-01

    It is understood that particulate matter in the atmosphere from metallic mining waste has adverse health effects on populations living nearby. Atmospheric deposition is a process connecting the mining wasteswith nearby ecosystems. Unfortunately, very limited information is available about atmospheric deposition surrounding rural metallic mining areas. This article will focus on the deposition from mining areas, combined with its impact on nearby rural built areas and populations. Particle samples were collected between June 2011 and March 2013. They were collected according to Spanish legislation in ten specialised dust collectors. They were located near populations close to a former Mediterranean mining area, plus a control, to assess the impact of mining waste on these villages. This article and its results have been made through an analysis of atmospheric deposition of these trace elements (Mn, Zn, As, Cd and Pb). It also includes an analysis of total dust flux. Within this analysis it has considered the spatial variations of atmospheric deposition flux in these locations. The average annual level of total bulk deposition registered was 42.0 g m-2 per year. This was higher than most of the areas affected by a Mediterranean climate or in semi-arid conditions around the world. Regarding the overall analysis of trace elements, the annual bulk deposition fluxes of total Zn far exceeded the values of other areas. While Mn, Cd and Pb showed similar or lower values, and in part much lower than those described in other Mediterranean mining areas. This study confirmed some spatial variability of dust and trace elements, contained within the atmospheric deposition. From both an environmental and a public health perspective, environmental managers must take into account the cumulative effect of the deposition of trace elements on the soil and air quality around and within the villages surrounding metallic mining areas.

  2. Larger antelopes are sensitive to heat stress throughout all seasons but smaller antelopes only during summer in an African semi-arid environment

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Shrestha, A.K.; Wieren, van S.E.; Langevelde, van F.; Fuller, A.; Hetem, R.S.; Meyer, L.; Bie, de S.; Prins, H.H.T.

    2014-01-01

    Heat stress can limit the activity time budget of ungulates due to hyperthermia, which is relevant for African antelopes in ecosystems where temperature routinely increases above 40 °C. Body size influences this thermal sensitivity as large bodied ungulates have a lower surface area to volume ratio

  3. The role of surface water redistribution in an area of patterned vegetation in a semi-arid environment, south-west Niger

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bromley, J.; Brouwer, J.; Barker, A. P.; Gaze, S. R.; Valentine, C.

    1997-11-01

    The surface hydrology of a semi-arid area of patterned vegetation in south-west Niger is described. In this region alternating bands of vegetation and bare ground aligned along the contours of a gently sloping terrain give rise to a phenomenon known as `brousse tigrée' (tiger bush). At the selected study site the vegetation bands are 10-30 m wide, separated by 50-100-m-wide bands of bare ground. Five species of shrub dominate, Guiera senegalensis, Combretum micranthum, C. nigricans, Acacia ataxacantha and A. macrostachya. Herbaceous vegetation is generally limited to the upslope edges of vegetation bands. A comprehensive field programme was undertaken to investigate the hydrology. Topographic, vegetation and surface feature surveys were carried out in conjunction with the measurement of rainfall, surface and subsurface hydraulic conductivity, particle size and soil moisture content. Four types of vegetation class are recognised, each tending to occupy a constant position relative to the others and to the regional slope. In a downslope direction the classes are: bare ground, grassy open bush, closed bush, bare open bush, bare ground etc. The nature of the ground surface is closely linked to the vegetation class. Over the bare, bare open and grassy open classes various types of surface crust are present with each type of crust tending to occupy a constant position on the regional slope relative to the vegetation class and other crust types. Below closed bush crusts are generally absent. The typical downslope sequence from the downslope boundary of a vegetation band is: structural (sieving) crust→erosion crust→(gravel crust)→sedimentation crust→microphytic sedimentation crust→no crust→sieving crust, etc. It is also shown that these crust types are dynamic and evolve from one to the other as hydrological conditions change. Hydraulic conductivities of surface crusts are low, typically falling within the range 10 -6-10 -7 m s -1. The presence of large

  4. Determination of soil degradation in argentine semi-arid environments from remote sensors: case department of patagones, province of buenos aires

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pezzola, Alejandro; Cacella, Alejandra; Enrique, Mario; Winschel, Cristina

    2017-04-01

    The continental territory of the Argentine Republic owns 75% of its surface under arid and semiarid conditions to the west of the meridian of 64°. Wind erosion is the main physical cause of desertification. In the Pampena area, studies showed that the sandy loam soils were more pronounced than the sandy loam with significant losses of organic matter, decreases in the cation exchange capacity and modification of the mineral composition of the very fine sand fraction (From 73 to 100 μm), with increases in the proportion of heavy minerals (magnetite) relative to light (quartz). In the Patagones department, Buenos Aires province, the soils with a sandy-loamy texture, which are transported by wind and deposited on calcium carbonate (tosca), with little moisture retention and susceptible to wind erosion. In the 1980s and 1990s, increases in rainfall above the historical average led to a shift of the isohytes towards the southwest, leading to agricultural intensification that caused greater pressure on the soil and native vegetation. This advance on the native vegetation within the Patagones produced a reduction between 1975 and 2009 of 432,280 ha, leaving only 31% of the area covered by native forest - shrub xerophyte today. Between 2005-2009, the call "agricultural drought" caused losses in crops, wheat - oats and natural pastures associated with the native forest, causing a significant deterioration of the soil, exposing them to wind erosion. Remote sensors represent a very valuable technology for the mapping and evaluation of soil erosion. The availability of multispectral images allows the mapping and monitoring of changes in the dynamics of the erosion process. The objective of this work was to make an expeditious diagnosis of the surface affected by wind erosion and to evaluate the degree to which the soils destined for agriculture and livestock were affected. For this purpose, Terra's MODIS (Moderate-Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer) sensor information was

  5. Improving wheat simulation capabilities in Australia from a cropping systems perspective: Water and nitrogen effects on spring wheat in a semi-arid environment.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Meinke, H.; Hammer, G.L.; Keulen, van H.; Rabbinge, R.; Keating, B.A.

    1997-01-01

    Systems approaches can help to evaluate and improve the agronomic and economic viability of nitrogen application in the frequently water-limited environments. This requires a sound understanding of crop physiological processes and well tested simulation models. Thus, this experiment on spring wheat

  6. Soil erosion and runoff response in almond orchards under two shrub cover-crops strips in a high slope in semi-arid environment

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Carceles-Rodriguez, B.; Francia-Martinez, J. R.; Martinez-Raya, A.; Duran-Zuazo, V. H.; Rodriguez-Pleguezuelo, C. R.; Casado-Mateos, J. P.

    2009-07-01

    Soil erosion is one of the main physical processes of land degradation in Spain. Several studies in the Mediterranean environment have demonstrated the positive effect of vegetation covers on the reduction of water erosion and their indirect improvement of the soil physical and chemical properties, essentially by the incorporation of organic matter. (Author)

  7. Dingxi Prefecture of Gansu Province’s Development of Rainwater Collection and Water-Saving Irrigation to Combat the Arid Environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    2005-07-25

    c,Suocheng Donga, Haiying Wanga, Guihuan Liua Shuang Lia,b, a Institute of Geographical Sciences and Natural Resources Research Chinese Academy of...Sciences Beijing 100101, China b College of Environment and Planning, Henan University, Kaifeng, Henan 475001, China c. YenChing Real Estate...engineering system, technological system and social economic systems, and etc), the composite mode of rainwater collection and utilization in

  8. Human health and the environment: Predicting plasma protein binding and metabolic clearance rates of environmentally relevant chemicals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    In silico methods provide a rapid, inexpensive means of screening a wide array of environmentally relevant pollutants, pesticides, fungicides and consumer products for further toxicity testing. Physiologically based pharmacokinetic (PBPK) models bridge the gap between in vitro as...

  9. Evaluation of the physiological variables in Santa Inês sheep influence by the Piauí semi-arid environment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ângela Lopes da Silva

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available In this study we aimed to evaluate the physiological variables of sheep under the influence of Piauí semiarid environment. We used ten Santa Ines rams with black coat. The study was conducted at the small ruminants sector of the Federal University of Piauí, Campus Professora Cinobelina Elvas. Respiratory and cardiac frequencies, rectal temperature and sweating rate were measured.  Temperature, air relative humidity and globe temperature and humidity index were recorded at the Campus weather station. There was a significant difference for all the meteorological variables so that the highest values were observed for the afternoon shift, except for air relative humidity (33.52%. For physiological variables significant effect was observed for respiratory and cardiac frequencies and higher values of these variables were found in the morning shift, with 49,50 breath/min and 89,52 beats/min, respectively. For rectal temperature, significant effect was observed, with the highest values for the afternoon shift (39,92°C. We can notice that the animals needed to activate their physiological variables to keep their bodies in thermoneutral zone.

  10. A GIS-based decision support tool for renewable energy management and planning in semi-arid rural environments of northeast of Brazil

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Tiba, C.; Fraidenraich, N.; Barbosa, E.M. de S. [Departamento de Energia Nuclear da Universidade Federal de Pernambuco, Av. Prof. Luiz Freire, 1000 - CDU, CEP 50.740-540, Recife, Pernambuco (Brazil); Candeias, A.L.B. [Departamento de Engenharia Cartografica da Universidade Federal de Pernambuco, Av. Academico Helio Ramos, s/n - CDU, Recife, Pernambuco (Brazil); de Carvalho Neto, P.B.; de Melo Filho, J.B. [Companhia Hidro Eletrica do Sao Francisco -DTG- CHESF, Recife, Pernambuco (Brazil)

    2010-12-15

    This work describes the development of a management and planning system on a GIS (Geographic Information System) platform destined to decision makers that is, administrators, planners or consultants in renewable energies. It was conceived to deal with the management and planning of solar systems, biomass and aeolics in rural regions of Brazil. The prototype of the GIS tool covers an area of 183, 500 km{sup 2} and is made up of three blocks: management of installed renewable systems, inclusion (planning) of new systems and updating of the data banks. The GISA SOL 1.0 (Geographic Information System Applied to Solar Energy) has a total of 80 layers of information that permit the realization of spatial analyses on management and planning of renewable sources of energy at macro-spatial (state) and local (municipality) levels. A description and the methodology used for its development and a description of the functionalities will be made here. The system was developed mainly for PV systems as a support tool for management and planning of the Energy Development Program for States and Municipalities (PRODEEM), a program for inclusion in large scale of solar photovoltaic energy in the rural environment, conducted by the Ministry of Mines and Energy of Brazil. (author)

  11. Seasonal detection of atrazine and atzA in man-made waterways receiving agricultural runoff in a subtropical, semi-arid environment (Hidalgo County, Texas, USA).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cortez, Ibdanelo; Vitek, Christopher J; Persans, Michael W; Lowe, Kristine L

    2017-02-01

    Atrazine is a widely-used herbicide that can impact non-target organisms in the environment but can be biologically degraded by several types of microorganisms. In this study, the gene atzA, which encodes for the initial step in bacterially-mediated atrazine degradation, was used as an indicator of atrazine pollution in agricultural canals located in Hidalgo County, Texas, USA. The concentration of atrazine and atzA were monitored once per month for 12 months during 2010-2011. Atrazine was measured using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay; atzA abundance was monitored using Quantitative Polymerase Chain Reaction (Q-PCR) analyses. Abundance of atrazine and atzA were compared with rainy versus dry months and during planting versus non-planting months. Results showed that atrazine levels varied from below detection to 0.43 ppb and were not influenced by precipitation or planting season. Concentrations of the gene atzA were significantly different in rainy versus dry months; during planting versus non-planting times of the year; and in the interaction of precipitation and planting season. The highest concentration of atzA, approx. 4.57 × 10(8) gene copies ml(-1), was detected in July 2010-a rainy, planting month in Hidalgo County, South Texas. However, atrazine was below detection during that month. We conclude that Q-PCR using atzA as an indicator gene is a potential method for monitoring low levels of atrazine pollution in environmental samples.

  12. Numerical simulation of the impact of reforestation on winter meteorology and environment in a semi-arid urban valley, Northwestern China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, Ye; He, Jianjun; Zhao, Suping; Liu, Na; Chen, Jinbei; Mao, Hongjun; Wu, Lin

    2016-11-01

    Since 1999 Chinese government has made great effort to reforest the south and north mountains surrounding urban Lanzhou - a city located in a river valley, Northwestern China. Until 2009 obvious land use change occurred, with 69.2% of the reforested area been changed from grasslands, croplands, barren or sparsely vegetated land to closed shrublands and 20.6% from closed shrublands, grasslands, and croplands to forests. Reforestation changes land-surface properties, with possible impact on the evolution of atmospheric variables. To understand to what extent the local meteorology and environment could be affected by reforestation in winter, and through what processes, two sets of simulations were conducted using the Weather Research and Forecasting model (WRF) and the FLEXible PARTicle (FLEXPART) dispersion model for a control case with high-resolution remotely sensed land cover data for 2009 and a scenario assuming no reforestation since 1999. Results suggested that the changes in albedo, surface exchange coefficient and surface soil heat conductivity related to reforestation led to the changes in surface net radiation and surface energy partitioning, which in turn affected the meteorological fields and enhanced the mountain-valley wind circulation. Replacement of shrublands and grassland with forest in the south mountain through reforestation play a dominant role in the enhancement of mountain-valley wind circulation. Reforestation increased the amount of air exchanged between the valley and the outside during the day, with the largest hourly increase of 10% on calm weather days and a monthly mean hourly increase of 2% for the study period (Dec. 2009). Reforestation affected the spatial distribution of pollutants and slightly improved the urban air quality, especially in the eastern valley. Results from this study provide useful information for future urban air quality management and reforestation plan, and some experience for cities with similar situations in the

  13. Evaluation of resource-environment base in arid area:a case of Xinjiang%干旱区发展的资源环境基础评价:以新疆为例

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    张雷; 杨波; 程晓凌

    2011-01-01

    Owned an area of 1.66x106 km , Xinjiang is the largest province in China, and more than a half of its territorial is desert or gobi. With a rapid growth in economy and a great change in both cultural and education, more and more concerns on local environment and ecology have occurred since the Western Development Strategy announced in 1999. Meanwhile, during the last twenty years the population growth rate in Xinjiang was significantly higher than that of the national average. All these changes made Xinjiang had to face a greater challenge in the development of man - land relationship. Nature resources and environment play an irreplaceable role in the course of development of human society. As an arid area with a harsh environment and fragile ecology, regional development of Xinjiang in both social and economic is strongly obedient to the local resource - environment base. As the key area and a major energy base of West China, a sustainable development in Xinjiang is highly significant for the process of West China and the whole country. Our paper shows, in terms of the calculation analysis of value of regional resource - environment base (RREB) , that Xinjiang has a fragile resource - environment base with an unstable factor's composition and an uneven spatial combination. The population gravity center and economic gravity center of Xinjiang diverge from the geometric center. Furthermore, local ecological system still faces serious problems such as the shortage of forest resources and arable land, uneven distribution of grassland and arable land, and the continuous deterioration of the ecological environment. Therefore, the most essential task for the sustainable development of Xinjiang in the future is to maintain the stability of the resource - environment base and correctly understand the function orientation of Northern, Southern and Eastern Xinjiang. In these three regions, Northern and Southern Xinjiang are the heartland of human activities, and Eastern

  14. A GIS-based decision support tool for renewable energy management and planning in semi-arid rural environments of northeast of Brazil-general description and methodology

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Tiba, Chigueru; Fraidenraich, Naum; Souza Barbosa, Elielza Moura de [Dept. de Energia Nuclear da Univ. Federal de Pernambuco Recife, Pernambuco (Brazil); Bezerra Candeias, Ana Lucia [Dept. de Engenharia Cartografica da Univ. Federal de Pernambuco Recife, Pernambuco (Brazil); Carvalho Neto, Pedro Bezerra de; Melo Filho, Jose Bione de [Companhia Hidro Electrica do Sao Francisco -DTG- CHESF Recife, Pernambuco (Brazil)

    2008-07-01

    This work describes the development of a system of management and planning elaborated on a GIS platform (Geographic Information System) and is directed to decision makers, be they administrators, planners or consultants in renewable energy. It was conceived to deal with the management and planning of photovoltaic solar systems, biomass and aeolic energy in rural regions of the Northeast of Brazil. The prototype of the GIS tool covers an area of 183,500 km{sup 2} (in a second phase it will be extended to 1,561,178 km{sup 2}) and it is made up of two main blocks: management of installed renewable energy systems and planning of insertion of new renewable energy systems. The system was mainly developed for PV systems as a possible tool of support for the management and planning of the Program of Energetic Development of the States and Municipalities (PRODEEM), a program of insertion of large scale photovoltaic solar energy (thousands of systems), in the rural environment, directed by the Ministry of Mines and Energy of Brazil. The tool for the management of the photovoltaic systems permits the execution of the technical analyses that are involved in the different combinations of the following layers of information: PV systems installed for the purpose of application (energetic, water pumping and others), identification of systems components, identification of component failures, maintenance and training posts, map of monthly mean solar irradiation, infrastructure access, electric transmission lines and distance from a given municipality to the nearest maintenance post. All the maps above can be combined in such a way that information at state or municipal level can be obtained. Additionally, in all the circumstances above, resulting thematic maps as well as issue reports can be printed. The tool for planning the insertion of new photovoltaic systems permits the execution of the technical analyses that are involved in the different combinations of the following layers

  15. Field Sandbur (Cenchrus pauciflorus) Seeds in the Same Bur Respond Differently to Temperature and Water Potential in Relation to Germination in a Semi-Arid Environment, China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Zhixin; Tian, Xun; Bai, Yuguang; Liu, Huifang; Niu, Xueli; Wang, Zhiwei; Wang, Qian

    2016-01-01

    The success of a biological invasion relies on the environment and is closely linked to factors such as water and temperature. Invasive plant species display different seed characteristics, including shape. Field sandbur (Cenchrus pauciflorus) is a globally widespread invasive species capable of adapting to broad environmental conditions. However, its germination response to water and temperature still remains unclear. C. pauciflorus contains two seeds in the same bur that differ in size: big seeds (M) and small seeds (P). Separate greenhouse experiments were conducted under different temperature regimes (0/10°C, 5/15°C, 10/20°C, 15/25°C, 18/28°C, 20/30°C and 25/35°C) and water potentials (-1.50Mpa, -1.00Mpa, -0.75Mpa, -0.50Mpa, -0.25Mpa and 0Mpa) for M and P seeds. The results support the hypothesis that germination of C. pauciflorus is significantly influenced by seed type, temperature and water potential. M and P seeds responded differently to varied alternative temperatures and water potentials. However, M and P seeds were more sensitive to water potential than to temperature. Optimal conditions for M and P seed germination were measured at 25/35°C (night temperature/day temperature) and 20/30°C, respectively. In contrast, the highest germination rate was observed for the 0Mpa of the water potential treatment. Additionally, base temperature (Tbase) and base water potential (Wbase) were lower for M (7.7°C, -1.11Mpa at 10/20°C, and -1.07Mpa at 20/30°C) than for P (9.4°C, -0.92Mpa at 10/20°C, and -0.52Mpa at 20/30°C). These different germination strategies of M and P seeds with respect to temperature and water potential increased overall plant propagation. These results indicate that tropical and subtropical regions water potentials beyond -0.50Mpa (10/20°C) or -1.00Mpa (20/30°C) face a potential risk of C. pauciflorus invasion.

  16. Time-driven activity-based costing in an outpatient clinic environment: development, relevance and managerial impact.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Demeere, Nathalie; Stouthuysen, Kristof; Roodhooft, Filip

    2009-10-01

    Healthcare managers are continuously urged to provide better patient services at a lower cost. To cope with these cost pressures, healthcare management needs to improve its understanding of the relevant cost drivers. Through a case study, we show how to perform a time-driven activity-based costing of five outpatient clinic's departments and provide evidence of the benefits of such an analysis.

  17. Setting up an atmospheric-hydrologic model for seasonal forecasts of water flow into dams in a mountainous semi-arid environment (Cyprus)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Camera, Corrado; Bruggeman, Adriana; Zittis, Georgios; Hadjinicolaou, Panos

    2017-04-01

    partitioning of deep percolation between losses and baseflow contribution (LOSS_BASE), water retention depth (RETDEPRTFAC), overland roughness (OVROUGHRTFAC), and channel manning coefficients (MANN). The calibrated WRF-Hydro shows a good ability to reproduce annual total streamflow (-19% error) and total peak discharge volumes (+3% error), although very high values of MANN were used to match the timing of the peak and get positive values of Nash-Sutcliffe efficiency coefficient (0.13). The two most sensitive parameters for the modeled seasonal flow were REFKDT and LOSS_BASE. Simulations of the calibrated WRF-Hydro with WRF modelled atmospheric forcing showed high errors in comparison with those forced with observations, which can be corrected only by modifying the most sensitive parameters by at least one order of magnitude. This study has received funding from the EU H2020 BINGO Project (GA 641739). Camera C., Bruggeman A., Hadjinicolaou P., Pashiardis S., Lange M.A., 2016. Evaluation of interpolation techniques for the creation of gridded daily precipitation (1 × 1 km2); Cyprus, 1980-2010. J Geophys Res Atmos 119, 693-712, DOI:10.1002/2013JD020611 Camera C., Bruggeman A., Hadjinicolaou P., Michaelides S., Lange M.A., 2016. Evaluation of a spatial rainfall generator for generating high resolution precipitation projections over orographically complex terrain. Stoch Environ Res Risk Assess, DOI 10.1007/s00477-016-1239-1

  18. Evolutionary shifts in habitat aridity predict evaporative water loss across squamate reptiles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cox, Christian L; Cox, Robert M

    2015-09-01

    Aridity is an important determinant of species distributions, shaping both ecological and evolutionary diversity. Lizards and snakes are often abundant in deserts, suggesting a high potential for adaptation or acclimation to arid habitats. However, phylogenetic evidence indicates that squamate diversity in deserts may be more strongly tied to speciation within arid habitats than to convergent evolution following repeated colonization from mesic habitats. To assess the frequency of evolutionary transitions in habitat aridity while simultaneously testing for associated changes in water-balance physiology, we analyzed estimates of total evaporative water loss (EWL) for 120 squamate species inhabiting arid, semiarid, or mesic habitats. Phylogenetic reconstructions revealed that evolutionary transitions to and from semiarid habitats were much more common than those between arid and mesic extremes. Species from mesic habitats exhibited significantly higher EWL than those from arid habitats, while species from semiarid habitats had intermediate EWL. Phylogenetic comparative methods confirmed this association between habitat aridity and EWL despite phylogenetic signal in each. Thus, the historical colonization of arid habitats by squamates is repeatedly associated with adaptive changes in EWL. This physiological convergence, which may reflect both phenotypic plasticity and genetic adaptation, has likely contributed to the success of squamates in arid environments.

  19. Resource flows, crops and soil fertility management in smallholder farming systems in semi-arid Zimbabwe

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ncube, B.; Twomlow, S.J.; Dimes, J.P.; Wijk, van M.T.; Giller, K.E.

    2009-01-01

    Poor soil fertility and erratic rains are major constraints to crop production in semi-arid environments. In the smallholder farming systems of sub-Saharan Africa, these constraints are manifested in frequent crop failures and endemic food insecurity. We characterized a semi-arid smallholder farming

  20. Analysis and evaluation of tillage on an alfisol ina semi-arid tropical region of India

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Klaij, M.C.

    1983-01-01

    Tillage field experiments were conducted on Alfisols in a semi-arid tropical environment in India. The research was conducted within the framework of the Farming Systems Research Program of the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT).To put the experiments into per

  1. Comparative analyses of built environment exposures relevant to health of greenhouse gas emissions reduction strategies in Serbia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stefanović Sandra P.

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Paper presents comparative analysis of residential indoor air pollutant concentration change over future specified time horizon, implementing building physical and thermal retrofit measures, thus creating pollution mitigation scenarios for existing Belgrade and Nis housing stock followed by greenhouse gas emission reduction scenarios up to 2050. Regarding specified mitigation scenarios, the set of typical housing unit models has been generated which define existing housing stock of Belgrade and Nis. Extensive monitoring of physical and thermal parameters as well as detailed socio-technical survey of selected households was performed and used as an initial modeling input. Relationship between environment pollution and building performances was investigated, with respect to indooroutdoor sources of pollution, thermal and physical properties of the stock samples and occupant’s behavior. As a final output, indoor pollutant concentrations for each of the modelled cases was obtained and validated against the available data. This housing modelling framework has been created in order to develop an assessment of present and future exposure and health impact quantity regarding single/multiple scenario interventions introduced to the housing stock. This paper provides each strategy guidelines for taking measures towards achieving the healthier indoor environments. [FP7-ENV-2010: PURGE-Public health impacts in urban environments of greenhouse gas emissions reduction strategies, Project number: 265325, financed by the European Commission

  2. Application of hyper spectral imagings techniques to study soil degradation in arid environments. (Los Monegros, Spain); Aplicacion de tecnicas hiperespectrales de imagen al estudio de la degradacion de suelos en ambientes aridos (Los Monegros, Espana)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gumuzzio Such, A.; Palacios Orueta, A.; Schmid, T.; Dominguez, J. A.; Gumuzzio, J.

    2009-07-01

    The aim of this work is to identify characteristics associated to soils affected by degradation within and arid area of Spain using optical hyper spectral airborne data. The methodological approach was developed to determine the spatial distribution of selected soils affected by degradation processes. A satisfactory spatial distribution is obtained where the corresponding soil characteristics are closely related to degradation processes. (Author) 2 refs.

  3. Factory-discharged pharmaceuticals could be a relevant source of aquatic environment contamination: review of evidence and need for knowledge.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cardoso, Olivier; Porcher, Jean-Marc; Sanchez, Wilfried

    2014-11-01

    Human and veterinary active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) are involved in contamination of surface water, ground water, effluents, sediments and biota. Effluents of waste water treatment plants and hospitals are considered as major sources of such contamination. However, recent evidences reveal high concentrations of a large number of APIs in effluents from pharmaceutical factories and in receiving aquatic ecosystems. Moreover, laboratory exposures to these effluents and field experiments reveal various physiological disturbances in exposed aquatic organisms. Also, it seems to be relevant to increase knowledge on this route of contamination but also to develop specific approaches for further environmental monitoring campaigns. The present study summarizes available data related to the impact of pharmaceutical factory discharges on aquatic ecosystem contaminations and presents associated challenges for scientists and environmental managers.

  4. Palaeopathology and its relevance to understanding health and disease today: the impact of the environment on health, past and present

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Roberts Charlotte Ann

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available This paper considers the discipline of palaeopathology, how it has developed, how it is studied, and what limitations present challenges to analysis. The study of disease has a long history and has probably most rapidly developed over the last 40-50 years with the development of methods, and particularly ancient pathogen DNA analysis. While emphasizing that palaeopathology has close synergies to evolutionary medicine, it focuses then on three ‘case studies’ that illustrate the close interaction people have had with their environments and how that has impacted their health. Upper and lower respiratory tract disease has affected sinuses and ribs, particularly in urban contexts, and tuberculosis in particular has been an ever present disease throughout thousands of years of our existence. Ancient DNA methods are now allowing us to explore how strains of the bacteria causing TB have changed through time. Vitamin D deficiency and ‘phossy jaw’ are also described, both potentially related to polluted environments, and possibly to working conditions in the industrial period. Access to UV light is emphasized as a preventative factor for rickets and where a person lives is important (latitude. The painful stigmatizing ‘phossy jaw’ appears to be a condition related to the match making industries. Finally, thoughts for the future are outlined, and two key concerns: a close consideration of ethical issues and human remains, especially with destructive analyses, and thinking more about how palaeopathological research can impact people beyond academia.

  5. Facies-architecture of fossil arid siliciclastic depositional systems as outcrop analogue for Rotliegend reservoirs. Literature study; Faziesarchitektur fossiler arid-klastischer Ablagerungsraeume als Rotliegend-Reservoiranalog. Literaturstudie

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Irmen, A.

    1999-08-01

    In this project a literature-based study was carried out in order to document the facies-architecture of siliciclastic sediments from arid environments and to investigate their suitability as outcrop-analogues for the strata of the Southern Permian Basin. The report resulting from this investigation presents possible analogues and case-studies. Three Formations (Flechtingen Sandstone, Corrie Sandstone and Cedar Mesa Sandstone of the Cutler Group) are especially well suited to serve as outcrop analogue for the 'Rotliegend' Sediments of the Southern Permian Basin. Possible analogues are documented at various scales, ranging from bed-scale to formation scale. Also, special attention was paid to general trends and what factors control them. To make a comparison of Formations from different settings possible, criteria were elaborated to qualify the relevant controlling factors. The catalog itself is preceded by a comprehensive preface, that introduces to the subject and points out the connection between the primary sediment fabric and its petrophysical properties. (orig.) [German] Im Rahmen dieses DGMK Forschungsvorhabens wurde eine Literaturstudie durchgefuehrt, welche die Faziesarchitektur fossiler arid-klastischer Sedimente darstellt und auf ihre Eignung als Rotliegend-Reservoiranalog untersucht. Die vorliegende Dokumentation stellt verschiedene moegliche Analoge und Fallbeispiele dar, wobei drei Abfolgen als besonders geeignet erscheinen. Es wurden Kriterien erarbeitet, die relevante Kontrollfaktoren qualifizieren, um einen Vergleich verschiedener arid-klastischer Sedimentationsraeume zu ermoeglichen. Die Bandbreite der Darstellung moeglicher Analoge umfasst das gesamte Spektrum vom Gefuegemassstab bis hin zu genetischen Einheiten und beleuchtet die jeweiligen Steuerungsfaktoren der Ablagerung. Der eigentlichen Dokumentation wurde eine umfassende Einleitung vorangestellt, welche in die Thematik einfuehrt und Zusammenhaenge zwischen primaerem

  6. Enriched environment decreases microglia and brain macrophages inflammatory phenotypes through adiponectin-dependent mechanisms: Relevance to depressive-like behavior.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chabry, Joëlle; Nicolas, Sarah; Cazareth, Julie; Murris, Emilie; Guyon, Alice; Glaichenhaus, Nicolas; Heurteaux, Catherine; Petit-Paitel, Agnès

    2015-11-01

    Regulation of neuroinflammation by glial cells plays a major role in the pathophysiology of major depression. While astrocyte involvement has been well described, the role of microglia is still elusive. Recently, we have shown that Adiponectin (ApN) plays a crucial role in the anxiolytic/antidepressant neurogenesis-independent effects of enriched environment (EE) in mice; however its mechanisms of action within the brain remain unknown. Here, we show that in a murine model of depression induced by chronic corticosterone administration, the hippocampus and the hypothalamus display increased levels of inflammatory cytokines mRNA, which is reversed by EE housing. By combining flow cytometry, cell sorting and q-PCR, we show that microglia from depressive-like mice adopt a pro-inflammatory phenotype characterized by higher expression levels of IL-1β, IL-6, TNF-α and IκB-α mRNAs. EE housing blocks pro-inflammatory cytokine gene induction and promotes arginase 1 mRNA expression in brain-sorted microglia, indicating that EE favors an anti-inflammatory activation state. We show that microglia and brain-macrophages from corticosterone-treated mice adopt differential expression profiles for CCR2, MHC class II and IL-4recα surface markers depending on whether the mice are kept in standard environment or EE. Interestingly, the effects of EE were abolished when cells are isolated from ApN knock-out mouse brains. When injected intra-cerebroventricularly, ApN, whose level is specifically increased in cerebrospinal fluid of depressive mice raised in EE, rescues microglia phenotype, reduces pro-inflammatory cytokine production by microglia and blocks depressive-like behavior in corticosterone-treated mice. Our data suggest that EE-induced ApN increase within the brain regulates microglia and brain macrophages phenotype and activation state, thus reducing neuroinflammation and depressive-like behaviors in mice.

  7. Organic textile waste as a resource for sustainable agriculture in arid and semi-arid areas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eriksson, Bo G

    2017-03-01

    New vegetation in barren areas offers possibilities for sequestering carbon in the soil. Arid and semi-arid areas (ASAs) are candidates for new vegetation. The possibility of agriculture in ASAs is reviewed, revealing the potential for cultivation by covering the surface with a layer of organic fibres. This layer collects more water from humidity in the air than does the uncovered mineral surface, and creates a humid environment that promotes microbial life. One possibility is to use large amounts of organic fibres for soil enhancement in ASAs. In the context of the European Commission Waste Framework Directive, the possibility of using textile waste from Sweden is explored. The costs for using Swedish textile waste are high, but possible gains are the sale of agricultural products and increased land prices as well as environmental mitigation. The findings suggest that field research on such agriculture in ASAs should start as soon as possible.

  8. Influence of copper ions on the viability and cytotoxicity of Pseudomonas aeruginosa under conditions relevant to drinking water environments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dwidjosiswojo, Zenyta; Richard, Jessica; Moritz, Miriam M; Dopp, Elke; Flemming, Hans-Curt; Wingender, Jost

    2011-11-01

    Copper plumbing materials can be the source of copper ions in drinking water supplies. The aim of the current study was to investigate the influence of copper ions on the viability and cytotoxicity of the potential pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa that presents a health hazard when occurring in building plumbing systems. In batch experiments, exposure of P. aeruginosa (10(6)cells/mL) for 24h at 20°C to copper-containing drinking water from domestic plumbing systems resulted in a loss of culturability, while total cell numbers determined microscopically did not decrease. Addition of the chelator diethyldithiocarbamate (DDTC) to copper-containing water prevented the loss of culturability. When suspended in deionized water with added copper sulfate (10 μM), the culturability of P. aeruginosa decreased by more than 6 log units, while total cell counts, the concentration of cells with intact cytoplasmic membranes, determined with the LIVE/DEAD BacLight kit, and the number of cells with intact 16S ribosomal RNA, determined by fluorescent in situ hybridization, remained unchanged. When the chelator DDTC was added to copper-stressed bacteria, complete restoration of culturability was observed to occur within 14 d. Copper-stressed bacteria were not cytotoxic towards Chinese hamster ovary (CHO-9) cells, while untreated and resuscitated bacteria caused an almost complete decrease of the concentration of viable CHO-9 cells within 24 h. Thus, copper ions in concentrations relevant to drinking water in plumbing systems seem to induce a viable but non-culturable (VBNC) state in P. aeruginosa accompanied by a loss of culturability and cytotoxicity, and VBNC cells can regain both culturability and cytotoxicity, when copper stress is abolished.

  9. Insight into the Local Solvent Environment of Biologically Relevant Iron-nitroysl Systems through Two-Dimensional Infrared Spectroscopy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brookes, Jennifer Faith

    Iron-nitrosyl systems, particularly in the form of heme proteins, with their iron metal active sites play an important role in biological systems. Heme proteins act as storage, transporters, and receptors for nitric oxide (NO), a signaling molecule that is important in immune, nervous, and cardiovascular systems of mammals. By better understanding the local environment of the active site of NO binding heme proteins we can gain insight into disease in which the NO pathways have been implicated. This is an important step to being able to develop pharmaceuticals targeting NO pathways in humans. Sodium nitroprusside ((SNP, Na2[Fe(CN)5is NO]·2H 2O) investigated as a model system for the active site of nitric oxide binding heme proteins. Using two-dimensional infrared spectroscopy (2D IR) to obtain dephasing dynamics of the nitrosyl stretch (nuNO) in a series of solvents we are able to better understand the local environment of the more complicated metalloproteins. Rigorous line shape analysis is performed by using nonlinear response theory to simulate 2D IR spectra which are then fit to experimental data in an iterative process to extract frequency-frequency correlation functions (FFCFs). The time scales obtained are then correlated to empirical solvent polarity parameters. The analysis of the 2D IR lineshapes reveal that the spectral diffusion timescale of the nuNO in SNP varies from 0.8 -- 4 ps and is negatively correlated with the empirical solvent polarity scales. We continue to investigate NO binding of metalloproteins through 2D IR experiments on nitrophorin 4 (NP4). NP4 is a pH-sensitive NO transporter protein present in the salivary gland of the blood sucking insect Rhodius prolixus which undergoes a pH sensitive structural change between a closed and open conformation allowing for the storage and delivery of NO. The two structures are observed spectroscopically as two distinct pH-dependent nu NO frequencies at ~1904 and ~1917 cm-1. We obtain FFCFs by globally

  10. Precision Viticulture : is it relevant to manage the vineyard according to the within field spatial variability of the environment ?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tisseyre, Bruno

    2015-04-01

    For more than 15 years, research projects are conducted in the precision viticulture (PV) area around the world. These research projects have provided new insights into the within-field variability in viticulture. Indeed, access to high spatial resolution data (remote sensing, embedded sensors, etc.) changes the knowledge we have of the fields in viticulture. In particular, the field which was until now considered as a homogeneous management unit, presents actually a high spatial variability in terms of yield, vigour an quality. This knowledge will lead (and is already causing) changes on how to manage the vineyard and the quality of the harvest at the within field scale. From the experimental results obtained in various countries of the world, the goal of the presentation is to provide figures on: - the spatial variability of the main parameters (yield, vigor, quality), and how this variability is organized spatially, - the temporal stability of the observed spatial variability and the potential link with environmental parameters like soil, topography, soil water availability, etc. - information sources available at a high spatial resolution conventionally used in precision agriculture likely to highlight this spatial variability (multi-spectral images, soil electrical conductivity, etc.) and the limitations that these information sources are likely to present in viticulture. Several strategies are currently being developed to take into account the within field variability in viticulture. They are based on the development of specific equipments, sensors, actuators and site specific strategies with the aim of adapting the vineyard operations at the within-field level. These strategies will be presented briefly in two ways : - Site specific operations (fertilization, pruning, thinning, irrigation, etc.) in order to counteract the effects of the environment and to obtain a final product with a controlled and consistent wine quality, - Differential harvesting with the

  11. Observations on the biology, epidemiology and economic relevance of rumen flukes (Paramphistomidae) in cattle kept in a temperate environment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sargison, Neil; Francis, Emily; Davison, Chloe; Bronsvoort, Barend M deC; Handel, Ian; Mazeri, Stella

    2016-03-30

    There is concern about the probable recent introduction, increased prevalence and potential economic impact of rumen fluke infection of United Kingdom cattle. A study of 339 cattle slaughtered in a Scottish red meat abattoir was undertaken with the aims of describing the prevalence and geographical distribution of rumen fluke infection, estimating its effect on production, and evaluating faecal egg counts (FECs) as a tool to diagnose infection in live animals and study the epidemiology of the disease. The overall proportion of cattle consigned to the abattoir from northern United Kingdom with rumen fluke infection in the forestomachs was 0.29. Rumen flukes were distributed predominantly in the cranial sac of the rumen and adjacent to the reticular groove. Overall, a mean of 213 and median of 44 rumen flukes was identified in the forestomachs of rumen fluke-positive cattle. The mean and median FECs of animals were 26.01 and 5.20 eggs per gram (epg), respectively. There was a significant difference between the mean FECs per rumen fluke of 0.08 and 0.13 epg during summer/autumn and winter sampling periods, respectively. The overall correlation between rumen fluke FECs and the number of flukes in the forestomach was high, albeit lower in the summer/autumn than in the winter period. The sensitivities of rumen fluke FECs for the identification of flukes in the forestomach during the summer/autumn and winter sampling periods were 0.65 and 0.85, respectively. These results will aid in the interpretation of rumen fluke FECs when monitoring cattle health and production and studying the parasite's epidemiology in a temperate environment, thereby informing rational, precise and sustainable disease control.

  12. 全球变暖背景下的干旱气候环境探讨--干旱气候变化与可持续发展国际学术研讨会报道%Understanding causes of arid environment under global warming: A summary of International Symposium on Arid Climate Change and Sustainable Development (ISACS)

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    赵歆

    2005-01-01

    @@ The International Symposium on Arid Climate Change and Sustainable Development (ISACS) was held on May 23-24, 2005 in Lanzhou, Northwest China. It was co-sponsored by China Meteorological Administration (C MA), People's Government of Gansu Province of China,National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC) and some other related organizations from Canada, USA and Australia. A total of some 200 scholars from China and across the world participated in this event. About 170 oral and poster presentations were presented and discussed during this symposium.

  13. Can environmental conditions affect smallholders' climate change perception? Evidence from an aridity gradient in the Gobi desert.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rueff, Henri

    2016-04-01

    There is a growing interest in smallholders' climate change perception (CCP). Understanding what people perceive in relation to the climate they endure supports national climate change adaptation policy especially relevant to uncertain and resource-scarce environments. Most research so far focused on the accuracy of CCP compared to observed climatic data. However, the potential effect of factors influencing peoples' perceptions remains largely unstudied. This research tests two hypotheses in a desert environment; first, that CCP varies along an aridity gradient, and, second, that respondents are more consistent (answers less far apart) in their CCP when facing more climate shocks, which supports the first hypothesis. A semi-structured survey was conducted among nomadic (Mongolia) (n=180) and semi-nomadic (Inner Mongolia-China) (n=180) herders, to analyse perception along an aridity gradient (proxied by Normalised Difference Vegetation Index) covering an array of climate change issues in the Gobi. Results suggests that environmental conditions have a significant effect on CCP but only in terms of experienced climate shocks. The CCP for other climatic variables (rain, season length) is more diffused and can poorly be predicted by the surrounding environment smallholders live in. Institutional contrasts between China and Mongolia explain marginally differences of perception. Further research is needed to validate these results among smallholders on other environmental gradient types, for examples along altitudinal biome stratification in mountain environments.

  14. Aridity modulates N availability in arid and semiarid Mediterranean grasslands.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Manuel Delgado-Baquerizo

    Full Text Available While much is known about the factors that control each component of the terrestrial nitrogen (N cycle, it is less clear how these factors affect total N availability, the sum of organic and inorganic forms potentially available to microorganisms and plants. This is particularly true for N-poor ecosystems such as drylands, which are highly sensitive to climate change and desertification processes that can lead to the loss of soil nutrients such as N. We evaluated how different climatic, abiotic, plant and nutrient related factors correlate with N availability in semiarid Stipa tenacissima grasslands along a broad aridity gradient from Spain to Tunisia. Aridity had the strongest relationship with N availability, suggesting the importance of abiotic controls on the N cycle in drylands. Aridity appeared to modulate the effects of pH, plant cover and organic C (OC on N availability. Our results suggest that N transformation rates, which are largely driven by variations in soil moisture, are not the direct drivers of N availability in the studied grasslands. Rather, the strong relationship between aridity and N availability could be driven by indirect effects that operate over long time scales (decades to millennia, including both biotic (e.g. plant cover and abiotic (e.g. soil OC and pH. If these factors are in fact more important than short-term effects of precipitation on N transformation rates, then we might expect to observe a lagged decrease in N availability in response to increasing aridity. Nevertheless, our results suggest that the increase in aridity predicted with ongoing climate change will reduce N availability in the Mediterranean basin, impacting plant nutrient uptake and net primary production in semiarid grasslands throughout this region.

  15. Passive diffusion sampling of sulfur dioxide in India: Impact assessment on arid areas

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    S. Kumar; M. Mohan; R. Datta

    2002-01-01

    Environmental constraints have drastically limited options of sustainable developmentand have severely offset many developmental schemes. In this paper, possibilities of acidic depo-sition, as a counter measure of desertification, are analyzed. Seasonal data of ambient sulfur di-oxide, pH of rain water and soil acidity are collected for over an year and analyzed. Arid environ-ment of surrounding areas of Delhi is considered and analyzed. Though ambient sulfur depositionis well below critical level, it might not be truly indicative of plant survival in arid areas. Results maybe useful in arid area afforestation, and polluting industries relocation, which holds tremendouspotential vis-a-vis sustainable development.

  16. New crops for arid lands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hinman, C W

    1984-09-28

    Five plants are described that could be grown commercially under arid conditions. Once the most valuable component has been obtained from each plant (rubber from guayule; seed oil from jojoba, buffalo gourd, and bladderpod; and resin from gumweed), the remaining material holds potential for useful products as well as fuel. It is difficult to realize the full potential of arid land plants, however, because of the complexities of developing the necessary agricultural and industrial infrastructure simultaneously. To do so, multicompany efforts or cooperative efforts between government and the private sector will be required.

  17. Spectral mixture analysis (SMA and change vector analysis (CVA methods for monitoring and mapping land degradation/desertification in arid and semiarid areas (Sudan, using Landsat imagery

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Abdelrahim A.M. Salih

    2017-04-01

    Full Text Available The severe Sahel catastrophe in 1968–1974 as well as repeated famines and food shortage that have hit many African countries during the 1970s have highlighted the need for further research concerning land degradation and environmental monitoring in arid and semi-arid areas. Land degradation, and desertification processes in arid and semi-arid environment were increased in the last four decades, especially in the developing countries like Sudan. To test to what extent remote sensing and geographical information science (GIS methodologies and techniques could be used for monitoring changes in arid and semi-arid regions and environment, these methodologies have long been suggested as a time and cost-efficient method. In this frame, spectral Mixture Analysis (SMA, Object-based oriented classification (Segmentation, and Change Vector Analysis are recently much recommended as a most suitable method for monitoring and mapping land cover changes in arid and semi-arid environment. Therefor the aim of this study is to use these methods and techniques for environmental monitoring with emphasis on desertification and to find model that can describe and map the status and rate of desertification processes and land cover changes in semi-arid areas in White Nile State (Sudan by using multi-temporal imagery of the Landsat satellite TM (1987, TM (2000, and ETM+ (2014 respectively. The paper also discusses and evaluates the efficiency of the adapted methodologies in monitoring the land degradation processes and changes in the arid and semi-arid regions.

  18. Analysis and evaluation of tillage on an alfisol in a semi-arid tropical region of India

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Klaij, M.C.

    1983-01-01

    Tillage field experiments were conducted on Alfisols in a semi-arid tropical environment in India. The research was conducted within the framework of the Farming Systems Research Program of the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT).

    To put the

  19. Crossed beam investigation of elementary reactions relevant to the formation of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH)-like molecules in extraterrestrial environments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaiser, R. I.; Asvany, O.; Lee, Y. T.

    2000-04-01

    The reactions of ground state carbon atoms, C( 3P j), with benzene, C 6H 6, and phenyl radicals, C 6H 5, with methylacetylene, CH 3CCH, were investigated in crossed beam experiments at collision energies of 21.8 and 140 kJ mol -1 to investigate elementary reactions relevant to the formation and chemistry of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in extraterrestrial environments. The C( 3P j) reaction proceeds via complex formation and gives a cyclic, seven-membered C 7H 5 doublet radical plus atomic hydrogen. This pathway has neither an entrance nor exit barrier, and is exothermic. Together with the experimental verification of the carbon versus hydrogen exchange under single collision conditions, the findings have an important impact on the chemistry of aromatic molecules in interstellar clouds and outflow of carbon stars. Even in the coldest molecular clouds ( T=10 K), the benzene molecule can be destroyed upon reaction with carbon atoms, whereas they are resistant toward an attack of oxygen and nitrogen atoms. Since the aromatic benzene unit is ubiquitous in extraterrestrial, PAH-like material, our results suggest that PAHs might react with carbon atoms as well. On the other side, the reaction of C 6H 5 radicals with methylacetylene to form phenylmethylacetylene is direct. Since an entrance barrier inhibits the reaction in cold molecular clouds and in the atmospheres of hydrocarbon rich planets like Jupiter and Saturn and satellites such as Titan, this reaction is expected to play a role in PAH synthesis only in high temperature interstellar environments, such as circumstellar outflows of carbon stars.

  20. Tropical Warm Semi-Arid Regions Expanding Over Temperate Latitudes In The Projected 21st Century

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rajaud, A.; de Noblet, N. I.

    2015-12-01

    Two billion people today live in drylands, where extreme climatic conditions prevail, and natural resources are limited. Drylands are expected to expand under several scenarios of climatic change. However, relevant adaptation strategies need to account for the aridity level: it conditions the equilibrium tree-cover density, ranging from deserts (hyper-arid) to dense savannas (sub-humid). Here we focus on the evolution of climatically defined warm semi-arid areas, where low-tree density covers can be maintained. We study the global repartition of these regions in the future and the bioclimatic shifts involved. We adopted a bioclimatological approach based on the Köppen climate classification. The warm semi-arid class is characterized by mean annual temperatures over 18°C and a rainfall-limitation criterion. A multi-model ensemble of CMIP5 projections for three representative concentration pathways was selected to analyze future conditions. The classification was first applied to the start, middle and end of the 20th and 21st centuries, in order to localize past and future warm semi-arid regions. Then, time-series for the classification were built to characterize trends and variability in the evolution of those regions. According to the CRU datasets, global expansion of the warm semi-arid area has already started (~+13%), following the global warming trend since the 1900s. This will continue according to all projections, most significantly so outside the tropical belt. Under the "business as usual" scenario, the global warm semi-arid area will increase by 30% and expand 12° poleward in the Northern Hemisphere, according to the multi-model mean. Drying drives the conversion from equatorial sub-humid conditions. Beyond 30° of latitude, cold semi-arid conditions become warm semi-arid through warming, and temperate conditions through combined warming and drying processes. Those various transitions may have drastic but also very distinct ecological and sociological

  1. Molecular and phenetic characterization of the bacterial assemblage of Hot Lake, WA, an environment with high concentrations of magnesium sulphate, and its relevance to Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kilmer, Brian R.; Eberl, Timothy C.; Cunderla, Brent; Chen, Fei; Clark, Benton C.; Schneegurt, Mark A.

    2014-01-01

    Hot Lake (Oroville, WA) is an athalassohaline epsomite lake that can have precipitating concentrations of MgSO4 salts, mainly epsomite. Little biotic study has been done on epsomite lakes and it was unclear whether microbes isolated from epsomite lakes and their margins would fall within recognized halotolerant genera, common soil genera or novel phyla. Our initial study cultivated and characterized epsotolerant bacteria from the lake and its margins. Approximately 100 aerobic heterotrophic microbial isolates were obtained by repetitive streak-plating in high-salt media including either 10% NaCl or 2 M MgSO4. The collected isolates were all bacteria, nearly evenly divided between Gram-positive and Gram-negative clades, the most abundant genera being Halomonas, Idiomarina, Marinobacter, Marinococcus, Nesterenkonia, Nocardiopsis and Planococcus. Bacillus, Corynebacterium, Exiguobacterium, Kocuria and Staphylococcus also were cultured. This initial study included culture-independent community analysis of direct DNA extracts of lake margin soil using PCR-based clone libraries and 16S rRNA gene phylogeny. Clones assigned to Gram-positive bacterial clades (70% of total clones) were dominated by sequences related to uncultured actinobacteria. There were abundant Deltaproteobacteria clones related to bacterial sulphur metabolisms and clones of Legionella and Coxiella. These epsomite lake microbial communities seem to be divided between bacteria primarily associated with hyperhaline environments rich in NaCl and salinotolerant relatives of common soil organisms. Archaea appear to be in low abundance and none were isolated, despite near-saturated salinities. Growth of microbes at very high concentrations of magnesium and other sulphates has relevance to planetary protection and life-detection missions to Mars, where scant liquid water may form as deliquescent brines and appear as eutectic liquids.

  2. ELECTRON-CAPTURE AND β-DECAY RATES FOR sd-SHELL NUCLEI IN STELLAR ENVIRONMENTS RELEVANT TO HIGH-DENSITY O–NE–MG CORES

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Suzuki, Toshio [Department of Physics and Graduate School of Integrated Basic Sciences, College of Humanities and Sciences, Nihon University Sakurajosui 3-25-40, Setagaya-ku, Tokyo 156-8550 (Japan); Toki, Hiroshi [Research Center for Nuclear Physics (RCNP), Osaka University, Ibaraki, Osaka 567-0047 (Japan); Nomoto, Ken’ichi, E-mail: suzuki@phys.chs.nihon-u.ac.jp [Kavli Institute for the Physics and Mathematics of the Universe (WPI), The University of Tokyo, Kashiwa, Chiba 277-8583 (Japan)

    2016-02-01

    Electron-capture and β-decay rates for nuclear pairs in the sd-shell are evaluated at high densities and high temperatures relevant to the final evolution of electron-degenerate O–Ne–Mg cores of stars with initial masses of 8–10 M{sub ⊙}. Electron capture induces a rapid contraction of the electron-degenerate O–Ne–Mg core. The outcome of rapid contraction depends on the evolutionary changes in the central density and temperature, which are determined by the competing processes of contraction, cooling, and heating. The fate of the stars is determined by these competitions, whether they end up with electron-capture supernovae or Fe core-collapse supernovae. Since the competing processes are induced by electron capture and β-decay, the accurate weak rates are crucially important. The rates are obtained for pairs with A = 20, 23, 24, 25, and 27 by shell-model calculations in the sd-shell with the USDB Hamiltonian. Effects of Coulomb corrections on the rates are evaluated. The rates for pairs with A = 23 and 25 are important for nuclear Urca processes that determine the cooling rate of the O–Ne–Mg core, while those for pairs with A = 20 and 24 are important for the core contraction and heat generation rates in the core. We provide these nuclear rates at stellar environments in tables with fine enough meshes at various densities and temperatures for studies of astrophysical processes sensitive to the rates. In particular, the accurate rate tables are crucially important for the final fates of not only O–Ne–Mg cores but also a wider range of stars, such as C–O cores of lower-mass stars.

  3. Perceptions of document relevance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peter eBruza

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available This article presents a study of how humans perceive the relevance of documents.Humans are adept at making reasonably robust and quick decisions about what information is relevant to them, despite the ever increasing complexity and volume of their surrounding information environment. The literature on document relevance has identified various dimensions of relevance (e.g., topicality, novelty, etc., however little is understood about how these dimensions may interact.We performed a crowdsourced study of how human subjects judge two relevance dimensions in relation to document snippets retrieved from an internet search engine.The order of the judgement was controlled.For those judgements exhibiting an order effect, a q-test was performed to determine whether the order effects can be explained by a quantum decision model based on incompatible decision perspectives.Some evidence of incompatibility was found which suggests incompatible decision perspectives is appropriate for explaining interacting dimensions of relevance.

  4. Biological spectrum and dispersal syndromes in an area of the semi-arid region of north-eastern Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elimar Alves de Lima

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available The biological spectrum and diaspores dispersal syndromes of the species recorded in a stretch of vegetation in a semi-arid region within the Cariri Environment Protection Area, Boa Vista, Paraíba State (northeast Brazil, are described. Collections were made from fertile specimens, preferentially bearing fruit, over a 15-month period. Life forms and syndromes were determined by field observations using specialized literature. One hundred and sixty-six species, distributed into 123 genera and 41 families, were reported. Abiotic syndromes (autochory and anemochory represented 69.7% of all syndromes identified, whilst 30.3% of the species were classified as zoochory. In the life form spectrum therophytes represented 27.7% of species, followed by small- and medium-sized phanerophytes (23.5% and chamaephytes (22.3%. The occurrence of hemicryptophytes (9%, cryptophytes (0.6% and species that could not be classified according to their life forms was also recorded (16.9%. Results showed that the biological spectrum and the dispersal syndromes are highly relevant to understand the structure and function of this phytocenose, with subsidies for the development of other studies in the semi-arid areas of northeastern Brazil.

  5. A Wavelet-Based Robust Relevance Vector Machine Based on Sensor Data Scheduling Control for Modeling Mine Gas Gushing Forecasting on Virtual Environment

    OpenAIRE

    Wang Ting; Cai Lin-qin; Fu Yao; Zhu Tingcheng

    2013-01-01

    It is wellknown that mine gas gushing forecasting is very significant to ensure the safety of mining. A wavelet-based robust relevance vector machine based on sensor data scheduling control for modeling mine gas gushing forecasting is presented in the paper. Morlet wavelet function can be used as the kernel function of robust relevance vector machine. Mean percentage error has been used to measure the performance of the proposed method in this study. As the mean prediction error of mine gas g...

  6. Deposition, Accumulation, and Alteration of Cl(-), NO3(-), ClO4(-) and ClO3(-) Salts in a Hyper-Arid Polar Environment: Mass Balance and Isotopic Constraints

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jackson, Andrew; Davila, Alfonso F.; Boehlke, J. K.; Sturchio, Neil C.; Sevanthi, Ritesh; Estrada, Nubia; Brundrette, Megan; Lacell, Denis; McKay, Christopher P.; Poghosyan, Armen; text-decoration: none; " href="javascript:void(0); " onClick="displayelement('author_20160009066'); toggleEditAbsImage('author_20160009066_show'); toggleEditAbsImage('author_20160009066_hide'); "> hide

    2016-01-01

    The salt fraction in permafrost soils/sediments of the McMurdo Dry Valleys (MDV) of Antarctica can be used as a proxy for cold desert geochemical processes and paleoclimate reconstruction. Previous analyses of the salt fraction in MDV permafrost soils have largely been conducted in coastal regions where permafrost soils are variably affected by aqueous processes and mixed inputs from marine and stratospheric sources. We expand upon this work by evaluating permafrost soil/sediments in University Valley, located in the ultraxerous zone where both liquid water transport and marine influences are minimal. We determined the abundances of Cl(-), NO3(-, ClO4(-)and ClO3(-)in dry and ice-cemented soil/sediments, snow and glacier ice, and also characterized Cl(-) and NO3(-) isotopically. The data are not consistent with salt deposition in a sublimation till, nor with nuclear weapon testing fall-out, and instead point to a dominantly stratospheric source and to varying degrees of post depositional transformation depending on the substrate, from minimal alteration in bare soils to significant alteration (photodegradation and/or volatilization) in snow and glacier ice. Ionic abundances in the dry permafrost layer indicate limited vertical transport under the current climate conditions, likely due to percolation of snowmelt. Subtle changes in ClO4(-)/NO3(-) ratios and NO3(-) isotopic composition with depth and location may reflect both transport related fractionation and depositional history. Low molar ratios of ClO3(-)/ClO4(-) in surface soils compared to deposition and other arid systems suggest significant post depositional loss of ClO3(-), possibly due to reduction by iron minerals, which may have important implications for oxy-chlorine species on Mars. Salt accumulation varies with distance along the valley and apparent accumulation times based on multiple methods range from approximately 10 to 30 kyr near the glacier to 70-200 kyr near the valley mouth. The relatively

  7. Deposition, accumulation, and alteration of Cl−, NO3−, ClO4− and ClO3− salts in a hyper-arid polar environment: Mass balance and isotopic constraints

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jackson, Andrew; Davila, Alfonso F.; Böhlke, John Karl; Sturchio, Neil C.; Sevanthi, Ritesh; Estrada, Nubia; Brundrett, Maeghan; Lacelle, Denis; McKay, Christopher P.; Poghosyan, Armen; Pollard, Wayne; Zacny, Kris

    2016-01-01

    The salt fraction in permafrost soils/sediments of the McMurdo Dry Valleys (MDV) of Antarctica can be used as a proxy for cold desert geochemical processes and paleoclimate reconstruction. Previous analyses of the salt fraction in MDV permafrost soils have largely been conducted in coastal regions where permafrost soils are variably affected by aqueous processes and mixed inputs from marine and stratospheric sources. We expand upon this work by evaluating permafrost soil/sediments in University Valley, located in the ultraxerous zone where both liquid water transport and marine influences are minimal. We determined the abundances of Cl−, NO3−, ClO4− and ClO3− in dry and ice-cemented soil/sediments, snow and glacier ice, and also characterized Cl− and NO3−isotopically. The data are not consistent with salt deposition in a sublimation till, nor with nuclear weapon testing fall-out, and instead point to a dominantly stratospheric source and to varying degrees of post depositional transformation depending on the substrate, from minimal alteration in bare soils to significant alteration (photodegradation and/or volatilization) in snow and glacier ice. Ionic abundances in the dry permafrost layer indicate limited vertical transport under the current climate conditions, likely due to percolation of snowmelt. Subtle changes in ClO4−/NO3− ratios and NO3− isotopic composition with depth and location may reflect both transport related fractionation and depositional history. Low molar ratios of ClO3−/ClO4− in surface soils compared to deposition and other arid systems suggest significant post depositional loss of ClO3−, possibly due to reduction by iron minerals, which may have important implications for oxy-chlorine species on Mars. Salt accumulation varies with distance along the valley and apparent accumulation times based on multiple methods range from ∼10 to 30 kyr near the glacier to 70–200 kyr near the valley mouth. The relatively young age

  8. Elaboração de um sistema de classificação da capacidade de suporte em ambiente semi-árido Elaboration of a classification system of support capacity in the semi-arid environment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Márcio R. Francelino

    2005-03-01

    Full Text Available Esta pesquisa foi realizada com o objetivo de identificar a relação de colonos assentados em projetos de reforma agrária no Rio Grande do Norte, com os recursos naturais das suas respectivas áreas e, posteriormente, elaborar um sistema de classificação de suporte do meio físico. Para isto, foram selecionados dez projetos de assentamento na região oeste do estado, caracterizada por regime de semi-aridez, abrangendo uma área de cerca de 30.000 ha, em que se buscou identificar parâmetros qualitativos e quantitativos dos recursos edáficos, florestais e hídricos de cada área, sempre os relacionando com o seu tipo de uso. Verificou-se que todos os assentamentos apresentaram número de colonos superior ao limite que o ambiente poderia suportar, demonstrando a necessidade de se reavaliar o tamanho do módulo agrícola adotado para essas áreas, como também a necessidade da oferta satisfatória de água, que propicia melhor exploração do potencial agrícola dos solos da região, diminuindo a pressão sobre os recursos florestais.This work aimed as general objective, to identify the farmers of the Settlement Projects of Agricultural Reform in the State of Rio Grande do Norte, with the natural resources of their respective areas and later to elaborate a system of classification of support capacity of the ambient. For the purpose, ten Settlement Projects were selected in the western part of the state, characterized by semi-arid regime in an area of 30.000 ha where qualitative and quantitative parameters of the soil where edalfo, forest and water resources were identified. It was verified that all Settlement Projects presented number of settlers more than the ambient could support, demonstrating the need to reevaluate the size of the agricultural module adopted in these areas, as well as the satisfactory offer of water which allows better exploration of the agricultural potential of the soils of the area, thereby decreasing the pressure on

  9. Deposition, accumulation, and alteration of Cl-, NO3-, ClO4- and ClO3- salts in a hyper-arid polar environment: Mass balance and isotopic constraints

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jackson, Andrew; Davila, Alfonso F.; Böhlke, John Karl; Sturchio, Neil C.; Sevanthi, Ritesh; Estrada, Nubia; Brundrett, Maeghan; Lacelle, Denis; McKay, Christopher P.; Poghosyan, Armen; Pollard, Wayne; Zacny, Kris

    2016-06-01

    The salt fraction in permafrost soils/sediments of the McMurdo Dry Valleys (MDV) of Antarctica can be used as a proxy for cold desert geochemical processes and paleoclimate reconstruction. Previous analyses of the salt fraction in MDV permafrost soils have largely been conducted in coastal regions where permafrost soils are variably affected by aqueous processes and mixed inputs from marine and stratospheric sources. We expand upon this work by evaluating permafrost soil/sediments in University Valley, located in the ultraxerous zone where both liquid water transport and marine influences are minimal. We determined the abundances of Cl-, NO3-, ClO4- and ClO3- in dry and ice-cemented soil/sediments, snow and glacier ice, and also characterized Cl- and NO3- isotopically. The data are not consistent with salt deposition in a sublimation till, nor with nuclear weapon testing fall-out, and instead point to a dominantly stratospheric source and to varying degrees of post depositional transformation depending on the substrate, from minimal alteration in bare soils to significant alteration (photodegradation and/or volatilization) in snow and glacier ice. Ionic abundances in the dry permafrost layer indicate limited vertical transport under the current climate conditions, likely due to percolation of snowmelt. Subtle changes in ClO4-/NO3- ratios and NO3- isotopic composition with depth and location may reflect both transport related fractionation and depositional history. Low molar ratios of ClO3-/ClO4- in surface soils compared to deposition and other arid systems suggest significant post depositional loss of ClO3-, possibly due to reduction by iron minerals, which may have important implications for oxy-chlorine species on Mars. Salt accumulation varies with distance along the valley and apparent accumulation times based on multiple methods range from ∼10 to 30 kyr near the glacier to 70-200 kyr near the valley mouth. The relatively young age of the salts and

  10. Palaeoclimate and human occupation in southeastern arid Australia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hughes, Philip J.; Sullivan, Marjorie E.; Hiscock, Peter

    2017-05-01

    This review focuses on the relationships between palaeoenvironmental change and prehistoric occupation in the driest part of the Australian arid zone. Palaeoclimatic evidence from the last ∼60 ka identified fluctuating periods of wet and dry conditions during the late Pleistocene and Holocene. For most of this period conditions were arid, including during the Holocene, and maximum aridity occurred at the LGM which peaked at ∼21 ka. Maximum wetness occurred before ∼45 ka, at ∼33-31 ka and episodically during the deglaciation between ∼18 and 11 ka. The pre-LGM archaeological record is extremely sparse but records from the LGM through to the mid Holocene show people occupied the dunefields and stony plains during prolonged wet periods in the deglaciation and largely abandoned them during drier phases, retreating to better-watered refuges. Human occupation in dunefields from the LGM through to the mid Holocene can be used as a proxy for past climates. From the late Holocene changes in settlement patterns were made possible by the social, economic and technological adaptations which allowed people to occupy what became an increasingly harsh environment. These reconstructions were facilitated by discoveries in the Roxby dunefield of buried stratified layers of stone artefacts in dune sands, dated by single-grain luminescence analyses. These discoveries indicate the possibility that hitherto unreported cultural sequences, potentially dating back to >50 ka, may be present in many Australian dunefields.

  11. Apparent over-investment in leaf venation relaxes leaf morphological constraints on photosynthesis in arid habitats

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Boer, Hugo; Drake, Paul; Veneklaas, Erik

    2017-04-01

    The close relationship between leaf water status and stomatal conductance implies that the hydraulic architecture of leaves poses an important constraint on transpiration, specifically in arid environments with high evaporative demands. However, it remains uncertain how morphological, hydraulic and photosynthetic traits are coordinated to achieve optimal leaf functioning in arid environments. Critical is that leaf veins supply the mesophyll with water that evaporates when stomata are open to allow CO2 uptake for photosynthesis. Theoretical analyses suggest that water is optimally distributed in the mesophyll when the lateral distance between veins (dx) is equal to the distance from these veins to the epidermis (dy), expressed as dx:dy≈1. Although this theory is supported by observations on many derived angiosperms, we hypothesize that plants in arid environments may reduce dx:dy below unity owing to climate-specific functional adaptations of increased leaf thickness and increased vein density. To test our hypothesis we assembled leaf hydraulic, morphological and photosynthetic traits of 68 species from the Eucalyptus and Corymbia genera (termed eucalypts) along an aridity gradient in southwestern Australia. We inferred the potential gas exchange advantage of reducing dx beyond dy using a model that links leaf morphology and hydraulics to photosynthesis. Our observations reveal that eucalypts in arid environments have thick amphistomatous leaves with high vein densities, resulting in dx:dy ratios that range from 1.6 to 0.15 along the aridity gradient. Our model suggests that as leaves become thicker, the effect of reducing dx beyond dy is to offset the reduction in leaf gas exchange that would result from maintaining dx:dy at unity. This apparent over-investment in leaf venation may be explained from the selective pressure of aridity, under which traits associated with long leaf lifespan, high hydraulic and thermal capacitances, and high potential rates of leaf

  12. Discussion groups with parents of children with cerebral palsy in Europe designed to assist development of a relevant measure of environment

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    McManus, V; Michelsen, S I; Parkinson, K

    2006-01-01

    BACKGROUND: An instrument to measure environmental factors relevant to physically impaired children is being developed in a European context. Preliminary work in England had identified some potentially important themes. Further inquiry was needed to identify issues important in other European...... has been developed based on these findings. The environmental questionnaire is in use in a study in nine European centres....

  13. Relevance of a Healthy Change Process and Psychosocial Work Environment Factors in Predicting Stress, Health Complaints, and Commitment Among Employees in a Ghanaian Bank

    OpenAIRE

    Quaye, Emmanuel

    2010-01-01

    This thesis was intended to examine the effect of the healthiness of change process and psychosocial work environment factors in predicting job stress, health complaints and commitment among employees in a Ghanaian bank (N=132), undergoing organizational change. The change process was measured in terms of dimensions from the Healthy Change Process Index (HCPI) and the psychosocial work environment was measured by the Demands-Control-Support (DCS) model. Hierarchical regression analyses reveal...

  14. A Wavelet-Based Robust Relevance Vector Machine Based on Sensor Data Scheduling Control for Modeling Mine Gas Gushing Forecasting on Virtual Environment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wang Ting

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available It is wellknown that mine gas gushing forecasting is very significant to ensure the safety of mining. A wavelet-based robust relevance vector machine based on sensor data scheduling control for modeling mine gas gushing forecasting is presented in the paper. Morlet wavelet function can be used as the kernel function of robust relevance vector machine. Mean percentage error has been used to measure the performance of the proposed method in this study. As the mean prediction error of mine gas gushing of the WRRVM model is less than 1.5%, and the mean prediction error of mine gas gushing of the RVM model is more than 2.5%, it can be seen that the prediction accuracy for mine gas gushing of the WRRVM model is better than that of the RVM model.

  15. The challenges of rehabilitating denuded patches of a semi-arid ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Administrator

    Accepted 28 April, 2010. Land degradation is a major problem in the semi-arid environments of Sub-Saharan Africa. .... private/market, civil/community sectors and civil strife). .... of the grasses were sown along the created micro-catchments as.

  16. Influence of biological soil crusts at different successional stages in the implantation of biogeochemical cycles in arid and semiarid zones

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gil-Sotres, F.; Miralles, I.; Canton-Castilla, Y.; Domingo, F.; Leiros, M. C.; Trasar-Cepeda, C.

    2012-04-01

    Influence of biological soil crusts at different successional stages in the implantation of biogeochemical cycles in arid and semiarid zones I. Miralles1, F. Gil-Sotres2, Y. Cantón-Castilla3, F. Domingo1, M.C. Leirós2, C. Trasar-Cepeda4 1 Experimental Estation of Arid Zones (CSIC), E-04230 La Cañada de San Urbano, Almería, Spain. 2 Departamento Edafología y Química Agrícola, Grupo de Evaluación de la Calidad del Suelo, Unidad Asociada CSIC, Facultad de Farmacia, Universidad de Santiago de Compostela, E-15782 Santiago de Compostela, Spain. 3 University of Almería, Departamento de Edafología y Química Agrícola, E-04230-La Cañada de San Urbano, Almería, Spain. 4 Departamento Bioquímica del Suelo, IIAG-CSIC, Apartado 122, E-15708 Santiago de Compostela, Spain. Crusts (BSCs) are formed by a close association between soil particles and cyanobacteria, algae, lichens, bryophytes and microfungi in varying proportions. Their habitat is within or immediately on top of the uppermost millimetres of the soil and are the predominant surface cover in arid and semiarid zones. Among the diverse functions developed by BSCs in the ecosystem (hydrology, erosion, soil properties, etc.), one of the most important is its role in nutrient cycling. Within arid and semiarid environments, BSCs have been termed 'mantles of fertility' being considered hotspots of biogeochemical inputs, fixing C, N and P above- and below-ground. However, there are differences in N and C fixation rates between BSCs types. Early successional BSCs, dominated by cyanobacterial species, fix lower quantities of C and N than mature BSCs dominated by lichens. Although the positive effects of BSCs on biogeochemical soil cycles are widely accepted, no previous studies have evaluated the activities of the enzymes involved in C, N and P cycles of BSCs and how they are affected by the successional stage of the BSC. In this work, performed in the Tabernas desert (SE Spain), we studied the hydrolase enzymes

  17. Evaluating rainwater harvesting systems in arid and semi-arid regions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ammar, Adham Ali

    2017-01-01

    Rainwater harvesting (RWH) is an ancient traditional technology practised in many parts of the world, especially in arid and semi-arid regions (ASARs). ASARs represent 40% of the earth’s land surface and are characterised by low average annual rainfall and uneven temporal and spatial distribut

  18. Rainwater harvesting in arid and semi-arid zones (repr. 1997)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Boers, Th.M.

    1994-01-01

    In arid and semi-arid regions, the scarcity of water can be alleviated by rainwater harvesting, which is defined as a method of inducing, collecting, storing, and conserving local surface runoff for agriculture. Rainwater harvesting can be applied with different systems, and this dissertation deals

  19. Beekeeping technology adoption in arid and semi-arid lands of ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Beekeeping technology adoption in arid and semi-arid lands of southern Kenya. ... on the effect of these technologies on the production levels of hive products and on the farmers' social and ... Of the adopters, 75.6% were found to be using traditional technology while the rest were using modern technology. ... Article Metrics.

  20. Evaluating rainwater harvesting systems in arid and semi-arid regions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ammar, Adham Ali

    2017-01-01

    Rainwater harvesting (RWH) is an ancient traditional technology practised in many parts of the world, especially in arid and semi-arid regions (ASARs). ASARs represent 40% of the earth’s land surface and are characterised by low average annual rainfall and uneven temporal and spatial

  1. APPLICATION RESEARCH ON BIG DATA ANALYSIS OF RESOURCES RELEVANCE IN THE AGRICULTURAL ECOLOGICAL ENVIRONMENT PROTECTION%资源关联性大数据分析在农业生态环境保护中的应用

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    蔺旭东; 周军锋; 刘佳

    2016-01-01

    People can predict important things of social economy through the analysis of the big data in big data era. Big data is further applied in the field of agricultural ecological environment monitoring and management. Our country demand to basic implement complete coverage of environment quality and major pollution sources, and to share the monitoring data of various levels system interconnection, to build ecological environment monitoring data platform, and then to develop big data relevance analysis in 2020. The article studied and discussed the application of agricultural ecological environment protection in big data relevance analysis, and analyzed the relevance of agri-cultural environment and resources. It put forward that soil, water and atmosphere has certain relevance, and big data and cloud computing based on resources of correlation analysis of the agricultural ecological environment have the feasibility. Based on analyzing the current situation of agricultural ecological environment monitoring, the author refer to that although some departments, such as environmental protection, science and technology, integration of agriculture and the Chinese academy of sciences ,collected a large amount of data, and using meteorology, remote sensing and statistical model to of monitor the ecological environment, these data and model were relatively inde-pendent, and didn't get the most effective integration, the results of monitoring data was still lack of unified analy-sis, comparison and evaluation. The article prospects that the big data analysis in the application of agricultural ec-ological environment. And it put forward that in the era of big data, decision will more depend on the support of da-ta and analysis, people have to find out the causality between data and inevitability using big data relevance analy-sis on the different information, and guarantee for the decision of ecological environment protection scientifically.%大数据时代,通过对海量数据

  2. Spatial and temporal variations of aridity indices in Iraq

    Science.gov (United States)

    Şarlak, Nermin; Mahmood Agha, Omar M. A.

    2017-06-01

    This study investigates the spatial and temporal variations of the aridity indices to reveal the desertification vulnerability of Iraq region. Relying on temperature and precipitation data taken from 28 meteorological stations for 31 years, the study aims to determine (1) dry land types and their delineating boundaries and (2) temporal change in aridity conditions in Iraq. Lang's aridity (Im), De Martonne's aridity (Am), United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP) aridity (AIu), and Erinç aridity (IE) indices were selected in this study because of the scarcity of the observed data. The analysis of the spatial variation of aridity indices exhibited that the arid and semi-arid regions cover about 97% of the country's areas. As for temporal variations, it was observed that the aridity indices tend to decrease (statistically significant or not) for all stations. The cumulative sum charts (CUSUMs) were applied to detect the year on which the climate pattern of aridity indices had changed from one pattern to another. The abrupt change point was detected around year 1997 for the majority of the stations. Thus, the spatial and temporal aridity characteristics in Iraq were examined for the two periods 1980-1997 and 1998-2011 (before and after the change-point year) to observe the influence of abrupt change point on aridity phenomena. The spatial variation after 1997 was observed from semi-arid (dry sub humid) to arid (semi-arid) especially at the stations located in northern Iraq, while hyper-arid and arid climatic conditions were still dominant over southern and central Iraq. Besides, the negative temporal variations of the two periods 1980-1997 and 1998-2011 were obtained for almost every station. As a result, it was emphasized that Iraq region, like other Middle East regions, has become drier after 1997. The observed reduction in precipitation and increase in temperature for this region seem to make the situation worse in future.

  3. Groundwater and unsaturated zone evaporation and transpiration in a semi-arid open woodland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Balugani, E.; Lubczynski, M. W.; Reyes-Acosta, L.; van der Tol, C.; Francés, A. P.; Metselaar, K.

    2017-04-01

    Studies on evapotranspiration partitioning under eddy covariance (EC) towers rarely address the separate effects of transpiration and evaporation on groundwater resources. Such partitioning is important to accurately assess groundwater resources, especially in arid and semi-arid areas. The main objective of this study was to partition (evaluate separately) the evaporation and transpiration components of evapotranspiration, originated either from saturated or unsaturated zone, and estimate their contributions in a semi-arid area characterized by relatively shallow groundwater Table (0-10 m deep). Evapotranspiration, tree transpiration and subsurface evaporation were estimated with EC tower, using sap flow methods and HYDRUS1D model, respectively. To set up the HYDRUS1D model, soil material properties, soil moisture, soil temperature, soil matric potential and water table depth were measured in the area. The tree transpiration was sourced into groundwater and unsaturated zone components (∼0.017 mm d-1 for both) and accounted for only ∼6% of the evapotranspiration measured by the EC tower (∼0.565 mm d-1), due to the low canopy coverage in the study area (7%). The subsurface evaporation fluxes were also sourced into groundwater and unsaturated zone components using the SOURCE package, and their relative relevance in total evapotranspiration was assessed. Subsurface evaporation was the main flux year-round (∼0.526 mm d-1). During late autumn, winter and early spring time, the unsaturated zone evaporation was dominant, while in dry summer the relevance of groundwater evaporation increased, reaching one third of evapotranspiration, although errors in the water balance closure point still at its possible underestimation. The results show that, in arid and semi-arid areas with sparse vegetation, the often neglected groundwater evaporation is a relevant contribution to evapotranspiration, and that water vapor flow should be taken into account in the calculation of

  4. Large-scale hydrological modelling in the semi-arid north-east of Brazil

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Guentner, A.

    2002-09-01

    Semi-arid areas are characterized by small water resources. An increasing water demand due to population growth and economic development as well as a possible decreasing water availability in the course of climate change may aggravate water scarcity in future in these areas. The quantitative assessment of the water resources is a prerequisite for the development of sustainable measures of water management. For this task, hydrological models within a dynamic integrated framework are indispensable tools. The main objective of this study is to develop a hydrological model for the quantification of water availability over a large geographic domain of semi-arid environments. The study area is the Federal State of Ceara in the semi-arid north-east of Brazil. Surface water from reservoirs provides the largest part of water supply. The area has recurrently been affected by droughts which caused serious economic losses and social impacts like migration from the rural regions. (orig.)

  5. Recommended Species for Vegetative Stabilization of Training Lands in Arid and Semi-Arid Environments

    Science.gov (United States)

    1985-09-01

    semibacata Awnless bush sunflower Helianthus sp. Bahia grass Paspalum notatum Barley Hordeum vulgare Basin wildrye Elymus cinereus Bearded wheatgrass...Boer lovegrass Eragrostis curvuLa *Brittlebush Encelia farinosa *Brome grasses Bromus spp. Buckwheat s Eriogonum spp. Buffalograss Buchloe dactyloides...mexicana *Millets Panicum spp. Mountain brome Bromus montanum Mountain mahogany Gercocarpus montanus *Mountain penstenion Penstemon montanus *Muhly grasses

  6. Theoretical critical value curve and driving force formation of ecological migration in the arid land

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    ZHU Zi'an; ZHANG Xiaolei

    2006-01-01

    The features of the fragile eco-environment of the arid land decide that its capacity of disturbance-resistance is lower. The natural desert oases in the arid land are in mosaic patches distributed in a wide Gobi desert. The population distribution is greatly dependent on water resources. The population is characterized with dispersed distribution, simple production and living style, and poverty and remoteness. The reason why the ecological migrations are carried out lies in the ecological problems. "Ecological degradation" is the main driving force of the ecological migration. Then, the strength of the driving force depends on the degree of ecological degradation. Hence, whether to carry out ecological migration depends on the extent of ecological degradation.Theoretically, the critical value curve for calculating ecological migration in the arid land is put forward through comprehensive research of relative problems of ecology, economics etc., combined with the ecological migration experience in the arid land, and based on the features of the arid environment. In this article, with this curve, the theoretical research and some practice of the ecological migration have been done from the perspective of natural behavior and governmental behavior of the driving force formation of ecological migration. It analyses the active driving force (factors) and negative forces (factors), and points out the timing and steps of implementing the ecological migration in the arid land. The theoretical curve embodies certain originality and applicability,which provides a quantitative method for evaluating 196the degree of ecological degradation and the theoretical base for implementing ecological migration projects.

  7. Aspectos docentes sobre medio ambiente urbano y sustentabilidad: su importancia actual. /Educational aspects of the urban environment and sustainability: its relevance today.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fadda,Giulietta

    1999-12-01

    Full Text Available Se refiere por qué Chile no se puede incluir entre los países con mayor tradición ambientalista y cómo el modelo económico que le ha valido prestigiosas consideraciones internacionales ha representado un alto costo ambiental y ha provocado daños irreparables al medio ambiente./ It argues the need for a training course at university level in the field of environment and sustainability, and attempts a definition of the components of the course.

  8. Concentrations of polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) in central air-conditioner filter dust and relevance of non-dietary exposure in occupational indoor environments in Greece.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Besis, Athanasios; Katsoyiannis, Athanasios; Botsaropoulou, Elisavet; Samara, Constantini

    2014-05-01

    Polybrominated Diphenyl Ethers (PBDEs) are ubiquitous in the indoor environment owing to their use in consumer products and various studies around the world have found higher concentrations indoors than outdoors. Central air conditioner (A/C) systems have been widely used in many workplaces, therefore, studying of PBDEs in central A/C filter dust is useful to better understand the occurrences and health implications of PBDEs in indoor environments. The present study examined the occurrence of PBDEs in central A/C filter dust collected from various workplaces (n = 20) in Thessaloniki, Greece. The sum concentrations of 21 target congeners (∑21PBDE) in A/C dust ranged between 84 and 4062 ng g(-1) with a median value of 1092 ng g(-1), while BDE-209 was found to be the most abundant BDE congener. The daily intake via dust ingestion of PBDEs estimated for the employees of the occupational settings ranged from 3 to 45 ng day(-1) (median 12 ng day(-1)).

  9. Electron capture and beta-decay rates for sd-shell nuclei in stellar environments relevant to high density O-Ne-Mg cores

    CERN Document Server

    Suzuki, Toshio; Nomoto, Ken'ichi

    2015-01-01

    Electron capture and beta-decay rates for nuclear pairs in sd-shell are evaluated at high densities and high temperatures relevant to the final evolution of electron-degenerate O-Ne-Mg cores of stars with the initial masses of 8-10 solar mass. Electron capture induces a rapid contraction of the electron-degenerate O-Ne-Mg core. The outcome of rapid contraction depends on the evolutionary changes in the central density and temperature, which are determined by the competing processes of contraction, cooling, and heating. The fate of the stars are determined by these competitions, whether they end up with electron-capture supernovae or Fe core-collapse supernovae. Since the competing processes are induced by electron capture and beta-decay, the accurate weak rates are crucially important. The rates are obtained for pairs with A=20, 23, 24, 25 and 27 by shell-model calculations in sd-shell with the USDB Hamiltonian. Effects of Coulomb corrections on the rates are evaluated. The rates for pairs with A=23 and 25 ar...

  10. Development of eukaryotic zoospores within polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH)-polluted environments: a set of behaviors that are relevant for bioremediation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sungthong, Rungroch; van West, Pieter; Cantos, Manuel; Ortega-Calvo, Jose Julio

    2015-04-01

    In this study, we assessed the development (formation, taxis and settlement) of eukaryotic zoospores under different regimes of exposure to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), which imitated environmental scenarios of pollution and bioremediation. With this aim, we used an oomycete, Pythium aphanidermatum, as a source of zoospores and two PAH-degrading bacteria (Mycobacterium gilvum VM552 and Pseudomonas putida G7). The oomycete and both bacteria were not antagonistic, and zoospore formation was diminished only in the presence of the highest bacterial cell density (10(8)-10(10) colony-forming units mL(-1)). A negative influence of PAHs on zoospore formation and taxis was observed when PAHs were exposed in combination with organic solutions and polar solvents. Co-exposure of PAHs with non-polar solvents [hexadecane (HD) and 2,2,4,4,6,8,8-heptamethylnonane (HMN)] did not affect zoospore settlement at the interfaces of the organic solvents and water. However, zoospores settled and created mycelial networks only at HD-water interfaces. Both bacteria diminished the toxic influence of PAHs on zoospore formation and taxis, and they did not interrupt zoospore settlement. The results suggest that zoospore development could be applicable for toxicity assessment of PAHs and enhancement of their bioavailability. Microbial interactions during both swimming modes and community formation at pollutant interfaces were revealed as major factors that have potential relevance to bioremediation.

  11. Mitigating Climate Change in the Arid Lands of Namibia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schneider, Martin B.; Sorensen, Marten

    2014-05-01

    Mitigating Climate Change in the Arid Lands of Namibia Namibia is the most arid country south of the Sahara, with scarce rainfall and perennial rivers only at its borders, > 80% of the area relies solely on groundwater. This has had devastating economic effects limiting opportunities for sustainable rural livelihoods that keep the population majority living below the World Bank poverty line (IFAD, 2013). A primary example of climatic variability which affects agrarian productivity is increased bush encroachment of Namibia's arid grazing land. The result has been a severe biodiversity loss, increased desertification and diminished water-use efficiency and underground water tables. Given these factors, Namibia's arid lands provide a unique opportunity to assess and test innovative / appropriate adaptation and mitigation strategies. Working toward sustainable management, restoration, and maintenance of balanced, resilient arid ecosystems in Namibia will also be a means to support and expand economic sectors incl. opportunities for job creation and potentially provide a model for similar arid regions. Main vegetation zones are: desert (46%), savannah (37%), and dry woodlands and forests (17%), i.e. gender dimensions of management strategies within stakeholder groups using participatory approaches. 3. Determine science-based alternatives for adaptive land management strategies and test their acceptability to local communities and within the current policy framework. 4. Integrate identified indigenous knowledge with appropriate science and new emerging technologies to develop a training toolkit of effective strategies relevant to all stakeholders. 5. Utilize training sessions, education workshops, curriculum revisions, and appropriate information and communication technologies (ICTs) including social media outlets to disseminate the toolkit strategies. 6. Apply a modified logic model approach within a value chain analysis process to evaluate program effectiveness and

  12. Density functional theory estimation of isotope fractionation of Fe, Ni, Cu, and Zn among species relevant to geochemical and biological environments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fujii, Toshiyuki; Moynier, Frédéric; Blichert-Toft, Janne; Albarède, Francis

    2014-09-01

    This paper reports the values of reduced partition function ratios (as 1000 ln β) for Fe, Ni, Cu, and Zn bound to a number of inorganic and organic ligands. We used Density Functional Techniques to update the existing data and calculate ln β for new ligands. This work allows for the mass-dependent isotope fractionation to be predicted for various inorganic (hydrated cation, hydroxide, chloride, sulfate, sulfide, phosphate) and organic (citrate, amino acid) complexes of Fe, Ni, Cu, and Zn. Isotope fractionation among coexisting complexes of these metals was evaluated from the ln β values in a variety of geochemical and biological environments. The results provide a framework for interpretation of isotope fractionation observed in seawater and chemical sediments, in the roots and aerial parts of plants, and among the organs and body fluids of mammals.

  13. Cluster and field elliptical galaxies at z~1.3. The marginal role of the environment and the relevance of the galaxy central regions

    CERN Document Server

    Saracco, P; Ciocca, F; Marchesini, D

    2016-01-01

    We compared the properties of 56 elliptical galaxies selected from three clusters at 1.2 2x10^{11} Msun) and large (Re > 4-5 kpc) ellipticals with respect to the cluster. Nonetheless, at M*m_t}_{1.07\\ environment. The central stellar mass density, Sigma_1kpc, besides to be correlated with the mass, is correlated to the age of the stellar population: the higher the central stellar mass density, the higher the mass, the older the age of the stellar population. [Abridged

  14. development of hardy sorghum cultivars for the arid and

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    DEVELOPMENT OF HARDY SORGHUM CULTIVARS FOR THE ARID AND. SEMI ARID REGIONS .... media and presence or absence ofin vitro selective agents (Amzallag et ...... diversity in India Mustard (Brassica Juncea) and its relationship ...

  15. Performance evaluation of constructed wetlands: A review of arid ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Administrator

    and on the effect of biological processes on the elements of the water cycle. It is actually the ... for wastewater treatment in arid and semi-arid areas. Key words: Arid ... industries, organic and inorganic contaminants from municipalities and brown ... more, in the last three decades, scientists in Europe and. America mimicked ...

  16. Lipid accumulation in prokaryotic microorganisms from arid habitats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hauschild, Philippa; Röttig, Annika; Madkour, Mohamed H; Al-Ansari, Ahmed M; Almakishah, Naief H; Steinbüchel, Alexander

    2017-03-01

    This review shall provide support for the suitability of arid environments as preferred location to search for unknown lipid-accumulative bacteria. Bacterial lipids are attracting more and more attention as sustainable replacement for mineral oil in fuel and plastic production. The development of prokaryotic microorganisms in arid desert habitats is affected by its harsh living conditions. Drought, nutrient limitation, strong radiation, and extreme temperatures necessitate effective adaption mechanisms. Accumulation of storage lipids as energy reserve and source of metabolic water represents a common adaption in desert animals and presumably in desert bacteria and archaea as well. Comparison of corresponding literature resulted in several bacterial species from desert habitats, which had already been described as lipid-accumulative elsewhere. Based on the gathered information, literature on microbial communities in hot desert, cold desert, and humid soil were analyzed on its content of lipid-accumulative bacteria. With more than 50% of the total community size in single studies, hot deserts appear to be more favorable for lipid-accumulative species then humid soil (≤20%) and cold deserts (≤17%). Low bacterial lipid accumulation in cold deserts is assumed to result from the influence of low temperatures on fatty acids and the increased necessity of permanent adaption methods.

  17. Conservation and restoration of degraded ecosystems in arid and semi-arid areas of northwest China

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2000-01-01

    In "West Development" of China, one of the most important activities is the Natural Forest Protection Program, designed to swiftly convert the focus of management and utilization of the natural forests from a timber orientation towards forest conservation, sustainable management and environmental protection. The project covered almost all the arid and semi-arid regions in Northwest region. Accompanying this great campaign this paper studied the conservation and restoration model of degraded ecosystems in arid and semi-arid lands in Northwest China. The past practices have resulted in considerably natural forest degradation and loss through land conversion (primarily for agriculture), over-harvesting, inadequate reforestation and lack of protection. The consequences have been the loss of soil and water resources, diminished timber production capacity on a sustainable basis, and environmental losses. This paper applied Aronson's restoration model and proposed the conservation, restoration, re-allocation and preservation program for the implementation of environmental improvement and natural forest conservation.

  18. Applying animal behavior to arid rangeland mangement

    Science.gov (United States)

    Livestock production is one of many demands placed on today’s arid rangelands. Therefore, understanding plant and animal biology and their effects on biotic and abiotic landscape components is fundamental if rangelands are to remain ecologically sustainable. One limiting factor to accomplishing posi...

  19. Qualitative soil moisture assessment in semi-arid Africa: the role of experience and training on inter-rater reliability

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Rinderer

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available Soil and water management is particularly relevant in semi-arid regions to enhance agricultural productivity. During periods of water scarcity soil moisture differences are important indicators of the soil water deficit and are traditionally used for allocating water resources among farmers of a village community. Here we present a simple, inexpensive soil wetness classification scheme based on qualitative indicators which one can see or touch on the soil surface. It incorporates the local farmers' knowledge on the best soil moisture conditions for seeding and brick making in the semi-arid environment of the study site near Arusha, Tanzania. The scheme was tested twice in 2014 with farmers, students and experts (April: 40 persons, June: 25 persons for inter-rater reliability, bias of individuals and functional relation between qualitative and quantitative soil moisture values. During the test in April farmers assigned the same wetness class in 46% of all cases while students and experts agreed in about 60% of all cases. Students who had been trained in how to apply the method gained higher inter-rater reliability than their colleagues with only a basic introduction. When repeating the test in June, participants were given improved instructions, organized in small sub-groups, which resulted in a higher inter-rater reliability among farmers. In 66% of all classifications farmers assigned the same wetness class and the spread of class assignments was smaller. This study demonstrates that a wetness classification scheme based on qualitative indicators is a robust tool and can be applied successfully regardless of experience in crop growing and education level when an in-depth introduction and training is provided. The use of a simple and clear layout of the assessment form is important for reliable wetness class assignments.

  20. Qualitative soil moisture assessment in semi-arid Africa - the role of experience and training on inter-rater reliability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rinderer, M.; Komakech, H. C.; Müller, D.; Wiesenberg, G. L. B.; Seibert, J.

    2015-08-01

    Soil and water management is particularly relevant in semi-arid regions to enhance agricultural productivity. During periods of water scarcity, soil moisture differences are important indicators of the soil water deficit and are traditionally used for allocating water resources among farmers of a village community. Here we present a simple, inexpensive soil wetness classification scheme based on qualitative indicators which one can see or touch on the soil surface. It incorporates the local farmers' knowledge on the best soil moisture conditions for seeding and brick making in the semi-arid environment of the study site near Arusha, Tanzania. The scheme was tested twice in 2014 with farmers, students and experts (April: 40 persons, June: 25 persons) for inter-rater reliability, bias of individuals and functional relation between qualitative and quantitative soil moisture values. During the test in April farmers assigned the same wetness class in 46 % of all cases, while students and experts agreed on about 60 % of all cases. Students who had been trained in how to apply the method gained higher inter-rater reliability than their colleagues with only a basic introduction. When repeating the test in June, participants were given improved instructions, organized in small subgroups, which resulted in a higher inter-rater reliability among farmers. In 66 % of all classifications, farmers assigned the same wetness class and the spread of class assignments was smaller. This study demonstrates that a wetness classification scheme based on qualitative indicators is a robust tool and can be applied successfully regardless of experience in crop growing and education level when an in-depth introduction and training is provided. The use of a simple and clear layout of the assessment form is important for reliable wetness class assignments.

  1. Qualitative soil moisture assessment in semi-arid Africa: the role of experience and training on inter-rater reliability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rinderer, M.; Komakech, H.; Müller, D.; Seibert, J.

    2015-03-01

    Soil and water management is particularly relevant in semi-arid regions to enhance agricultural productivity. During periods of water scarcity soil moisture differences are important indicators of the soil water deficit and are traditionally used for allocating water resources among farmers of a village community. Here we present a simple, inexpensive soil wetness classification scheme based on qualitative indicators which one can see or touch on the soil surface. It incorporates the local farmers' knowledge on the best soil moisture conditions for seeding and brick making in the semi-arid environment of the study site near Arusha, Tanzania. The scheme was tested twice in 2014 with farmers, students and experts (April: 40 persons, June: 25 persons) for inter-rater reliability, bias of individuals and functional relation between qualitative and quantitative soil moisture values. During the test in April farmers assigned the same wetness class in 46% of all cases while students and experts agreed in about 60% of all cases. Students who had been trained in how to apply the method gained higher inter-rater reliability than their colleagues with only a basic introduction. When repeating the test in June, participants were given improved instructions, organized in small sub-groups, which resulted in a higher inter-rater reliability among farmers. In 66% of all classifications farmers assigned the same wetness class and the spread of class assignments was smaller. This study demonstrates that a wetness classification scheme based on qualitative indicators is a robust tool and can be applied successfully regardless of experience in crop growing and education level when an in-depth introduction and training is provided. The use of a simple and clear layout of the assessment form is important for reliable wetness class assignments.

  2. The International Workshop on Environmental Changes and Sustainable Development in Arid and Semi-arid Regions

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Xiaoping Yang; Arthur Conacher

    2007-01-01

    @@ Arid regions,dominated by deserts,are characterized by a severe shortage of moisture,and a lack of perennial and integrated systems of drainage.Distributed over a very large range of temperatures,from the very hot to the very cold zones,arid regions cover about one third of the world's land surface and occur in every continent,including Antarctica.

  3. Aridity and decomposition processes in complex landscapes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ossola, Alessandro; Nyman, Petter

    2015-04-01

    Decomposition of organic matter is a key biogeochemical process contributing to nutrient cycles, carbon fluxes and soil development. The activity of decomposers depends on microclimate, with temperature and rainfall being major drivers. In complex terrain the fine-scale variation in microclimate (and hence water availability) as a result of slope orientation is caused by differences in incoming radiation and surface temperature. Aridity, measured as the long-term balance between net radiation and rainfall, is a metric that can be used to represent variations in water availability within the landscape. Since aridity metrics can be obtained at fine spatial scales, they could theoretically be used to investigate how decomposition processes vary across complex landscapes. In this study, four research sites were selected in tall open sclerophyll forest along a aridity gradient (Budyko dryness index ranging from 1.56 -2.22) where microclimate, litter moisture and soil moisture were monitored continuously for one year. Litter bags were packed to estimate decomposition rates (k) using leaves of a tree species not present in the study area (Eucalyptus globulus) in order to avoid home-field advantage effects. Litter mass loss was measured to assess the activity of macro-decomposers (6mm litter bag mesh size), meso-decomposers (1 mm mesh), microbes above-ground (0.2 mm mesh) and microbes below-ground (2 cm depth, 0.2 mm mesh). Four replicates for each set of bags were installed at each site and bags were collected at 1, 2, 4, 7 and 12 months since installation. We first tested whether differences in microclimate due to slope orientation have significant effects on decomposition processes. Then the dryness index was related to decomposition rates to evaluate if small-scale variation in decomposition can be predicted using readily available information on rainfall and radiation. Decomposition rates (k), calculated fitting single pool negative exponential models, generally

  4. Isolation of microalgae species from arid environments and ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    sunny t

    2015-05-06

    May 6, 2015 ... made from sugar, starch, vegetable oil or animal fats using conventional technology .... Acid value conversion factors for lauric and palmitic were 2.81 and ..... fatty acid profiles of photoautotrophic and heterotrophic Chlorella.

  5. Physiological adjustments to arid and mesic environments in larks (Alaudidae)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Tieleman, BI; Williams, JB; Buschur, ME

    2002-01-01

    Because deserts are characterized by low food availability, high ambient temperature extremes, and absence of drinking water, one might expect that birds that live in these conditions exhibit a lower basal metabolic rate ( BMR), reduced total evaporative water loss (TEWL), and greater ability to cop

  6. Aridity under conditions of increased CO2

    Science.gov (United States)

    Greve, Peter; Roderick, Micheal L.; Seneviratne, Sonia I.

    2016-04-01

    A string of recent of studies led to the wide-held assumption that aridity will increase under conditions of increasing atmospheric CO2 concentrations and associated global warming. Such results generally build upon analyses of changes in the 'aridity index' (the ratio of potential evaporation to precipitation) and can be described as a direct thermodynamic effect on atmospheric water demand due to increasing temperatures. However, there is widespread evidence that contradicts the 'warmer is more arid' interpretation, leading to the 'global aridity paradox' (Roderick et al. 2015, WRR). Here we provide a comprehensive assessment of modeled changes in a broad set of dryness metrics (primarily based on a range of measures of water availability) over a large range of realistic atmospheric CO2 concentrations. We use an ensemble of simulations from of state-of-the-art climate models to analyse both equilibrium climate experiments and transient historical simulations and future projections. Our results show that dryness is, under conditions of increasing atmospheric CO2 concentrations and related global warming, generally decreasing at global scales. At regional scales we do, however, identify areas that undergo changes towards drier conditions, located primarily in subtropical climate regions and the Amazon Basin. Nonetheless, the majority of regions, especially in tropical and mid- to northern high latitudes areas, display wetting conditions in a warming world. Our results contradict previous findings and highlight the need to comprehensively assess all aspects of changes in hydroclimatological conditions at the land surface. Roderick, M. L., P. Greve, and G. D. Farquhar (2015), On the assessment of aridity with changes in atmospheric CO2, Water Resour. Res., 51, 5450-5463

  7. CHARACTERISTICS OF ARIDITY CONDITIONS IN SOUTH DOBRUDJA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. TISCOVSCHI

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available Characteristics of Aridity Conditions in South Dobrudja. For most people, the arid and semi-arid lands are those where precipitation is low (less than 200 mm per year, and yet enough for supplying streams capable of temporarily carrying the debris resulted from weathering, but insufficient for encouraging the development of a vegetal cover meant to protect the soil blanket against eroding agents. The drought is a major and permanent climatic risk for the Dobrudja territory as a whole and for South Dobrudja in particular, a territory where hydrographic network is underdeveloped, streams are ephemeral, and semi-endorheic areas are well developed. When the period of moisture deficiency lasts longer, it can bring about a significant water imbalance, which results in crop losses or restrictions in water consumption, thus leading to a number of economic problems. Under the circumstances, the risk of aridity expansion is significant, this being the reason why a better water management system in Romania is urgently needed. In the last decades, the numerous specialty studies undertaken in the area have emphasized an intensification of the process of dryness, because atmospheric and pedological droughts have become more and more serious. Romania is a member of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO. It actively participates within the drought management network and the Drought Management Center for Southeastern Europe, which comprises 11 countries. The scope is to work together and exchange experience with the neighboring countries that have recorded positive results and acquired a rich experience in terms of drought management. The employment of appropriate pluvial indices in identifying the areas prone to aridity may prove to be convenient tool for finding practical solutions meant to mitigate the impact of this phenomenon on the local communities living in South Dobrudja.

  8. Analysis list: Arid1a [Chip-atlas[Archive

    Lifescience Database Archive (English)

    Full Text Available Arid1a Adipocyte + mm9 http://dbarchive.biosciencedbc.jp/kyushu-u/mm9/target/Arid1a....1.tsv http://dbarchive.biosciencedbc.jp/kyushu-u/mm9/target/Arid1a.5.tsv http://dbarchive.biosciencedbc.jp/...kyushu-u/mm9/target/Arid1a.10.tsv http://dbarchive.biosciencedbc.jp/kyushu-u/mm9/colo/Arid1a.Adipocyte.tsv http://dbarchive.biosciencedbc.jp/kyushu-u/mm9/colo/Adipocyte.gml ...

  9. Comment on: Shukla, M.K. et al., 2006: Physical and chemical properties of soils under some pinon-juniper-oak canopies in a semi-arid ecosystem in New Mexico

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mollerup, Mikkel; Jensen, Jens Raunsø

    2008-01-01

    The paper by Shukla et al. [2006. Physical and chemical properties of soils under some pinon-juniper-oak canopies in an semi-arid ecosystem in New Mexico. Journal of Arid Environment 66, 673-685] treats interesting topics of sustainability of different ecosystems and their water availability...

  10. Anual variation of morphologic traits and hair coat surface temperature of Holstein cows in semi-arid environment Variação anual de características morfológicas e da temperatura de superfície do pelame de vacas da raça Holandesa em ambiente semiárido

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Débora Andréa Evangelista Façanha

    2010-04-01

    Full Text Available This work aimed to study the annual variation of temperature of the coat surface and other traits of coat in Holstein cows managed in a tropical environment by separately considering black coat and white coat. It was measured the coat thickness (mm characteristic, hair length (mm, hair number (hair/cm² and coat surface temperature on 191 crossbred cows with 7/8 and 31/32 Holstein composition distributed in 3 herds in a semi-arid environment. Less dense coats with shorter, flattened hair occurred predominantly in March, a time coinciding to high levels of solar radiation. This type of coat shows low resistance to the flux of latent and sensitive heat through the skin, thus favoring heat loss. The black coat surface temperature was on average 4ºC higher than that of the white one during all the year and its variation followed that of the mean radiant temperature. The models developed to predict the effective thermal conductivity of the coat must take these differences into account because the thermal gradient parallel to the skin surface is not negligible for Holstein cows under the sun in a tropical environment, as well as the other traits.O objetivo neste trabalho foi estudar a variação anual da temperatura superficial e outras características do pelame de vacas holandesas em ambiente tropical, considerando separadamente as malhas negras e brancas. Foram medidas as características espessura da capa (mm, comprimento dos pelos (mm, número de pelos (pelos/cm² e temperatura da superfície do pelame em 191 vacas mestiças com alta proporção de sangue holandês (7/8 e 31/32, respectivamente, distribuídas em três rebanhos em ambiente semiárido. O pelame menos denso, com pelos mais curtos e assentados, que ocorreu predominantemente no mês de março, coincidiu com altos níveis de radiação solar. Esse tipo de pelame apresenta menor resistência ao fluxo de calor latente e sensível através da capa, favorecendo a termólise. A temperatura

  11. Land cover change drives climate extremes and aridity in non-Amazonian South America

    Science.gov (United States)

    Larsen, J.; Salazar, A.; Mcalpine, C. A.; Syktus, J.; Katzfey, J.

    2015-12-01

    Increasing evidence is showing the relevance of land cover change on the regional mean climate. However, the mechanisms that explain these interactions remain a challenge in land - atmosphere interactions science. This challenge is particularly significant in understanding the role of vegetation change on climate extremes and aridity, which has been barely addressed by the literature. In this paper we focus on this gap by investigating the effects of land use and land cover change on selected climate extremes indices and aridity in non-Amazonian South America over an area of about 3 million km2. We run a 3 ensemble climate model nudged with the ERA-Interim reanalysis and stretched to 25 km resolution for present (year 2005) land cover relative to realistic historic vegetation distribution. The most important results of this experiment are that the degree of change in vegetation structure determines whether extreme daytime temperatures will increase or decrease, particularly during the dry season. This is because a large change in surface roughness promotes increased wind speeds and heat advection, whereas a small change in surface roughness does not increase wind and can increase heat build-up in the atmosphere since the sensible heat flux also increases. We also put these results in a wider context of land surface - atmospheric feedbacks by looking at the corresponding change in aridity (precipitation / potential evapotranspiration). This shows the processes that drive the changes in temperature extremes also determine whether significant changes in aridity occur, since all the change in aridity can be prescribed to changes in potential evaporation, or atmospheric water demand. We propose a conceptual model of the mechanisms that explain these alterations which is an advance in understanding land-atmosphere interactions and provides evidence of the main mechanisms responsible of changes in the feedbacks because of changes in natural vegetation.

  12. Rainfall Characterization In An Arid Area

    OpenAIRE

    Bazaraa, A. S.; Ahmed, Shamim

    1991-01-01

    The objective of this work is to characterize the rainfall in Doha which lies in an arid region. The rainfall data included daily rainfall depth since 1962 and the hyetographs of the individual storms since 1976. The rainfall is characterized by high variability and severe thunderstorms which are of limited geographical extent. Four probability distributions were used to fit the maximum rainfall in 24 hours and the annual rainfall depth. The extreme value distribution was found to have the be...

  13. VOCs in Arid soils: Technology summary

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    1994-02-01

    The Volatile Organic Compounds In Arid Soils Integrated Demonstration (VOC-Arid ID) focuses on technologies to clean up volatile organic compounds and associated contaminants in soil and groundwater at arid sites. The initial host site is the 200 West Area at DOE`s Hanford site in southeastern Washington state. The primary VOC contaminant is carbon tetrachloride, in association with heavy metals and radionuclides. An estimated 580--920 metric tons of carbon tetrachloride were disposed of between 1955 and 1973, resulting in extensive soil and groundwater contamination. The VOC-Arid ID schedule has been divided into three phases of implementation. The phased approach provides for: rapid transfer of technologies to the Environmental Restoration (EM-40) programs once demonstrated; logical progression in the complexity of demonstrations based on improved understanding of the VOC problem; and leveraging of the host site EM-40 activities to reduce the overall cost of the demonstrations. During FY92 and FY93, the primary technology demonstrations within the ID were leveraged with an ongoing expedited response action at the Hanford 200 West Area, which is directed at vapor extraction of VOCs from the vadose (unsaturated) zone. Demonstration efforts are underway in the areas of subsurface characterization including: drilling and access improvements, off-gas and borehole monitoring of vadose zone VOC concentrations to aid in soil vapor extraction performance evaluation, and treatment of VOC-contaminated off-gas. These current demonstration efforts constitute Phase 1 of the ID and, because of the ongoing vadose zone ERA, can result in immediate transfer of successful technologies to EM-40.

  14. Study on Land Surface Characteristics and Its Relationship with Land Surface Thermal Environment of Typical City in Arid Region%干旱区典型城市下垫面特征及其与地表热环境的关系研究

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    买买提江·买提尼亚孜; 阿里木江·卡斯木

    2015-01-01

    Landsat TM images of August 11th, 2011 were used to acquire the abundance of impervious surface Area (ISA) and vegetation fraction (FV) information of Urumqi city’s build-up area based on Linear Spectral. Unmixing Model, and land surface temperature (LST) was retrieved using Mono-Window Algorithm of that area as well, then spatial distribution characteristics of these factors were analyzed based on hierarchical method. On basis of this, the correlation relationship between abundance of ISA, FV and LST was analyzed respectively. The results show that: (1)Linear Spectral Unmixing Model is proved to be a method with low cost and high precision in extracting ISA when using medium resolution remote sensing image in this case (RMS is 0.003, much smaller than the threshold value 0.02), and it has advantages of distinguishing urban construction land and bare soil which have similar spectral characteristics; (2) Abundance of ISA is positively correlated with LST with R square of 0.69, and FV is negatively correlated with LST with R square of 0.74; (3) Bare soil has significant influence on the formation of heat island and the surface thermal environment of cities in arid region because of extremely high LST, so reducing and changing bare soil of cities in arid region is very helpful to mitigate urban heat island effect and improve the thermal environment of the whole city.%基于2011年8月11日Landsat TM遥感影像,利用混合光谱线性分解模型提取乌鲁木齐市建成区下垫面不透水面丰度和植被覆盖度信息,利用单窗算法定量反演建成区地表温度,并通过分级方法分析两个要素的空间分布特征;在此基础上,利用回归模型对乌鲁木齐市建成区不透水面丰度、植被覆盖度与地表热环境之间的关系进行相关性分析。结果表明:(1)利用混合光谱线性分解方法,基于中等分辨率TM影像提取干旱区城市乌鲁木齐建成区不透水面,成本低,精度高

  15. Modeling water scarcity and droughts for policy adaptation to climate change in arid and semiarid regions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kahil, Mohamed Taher; Dinar, Ariel; Albiac, Jose

    2015-03-01

    Growing water extractions combined with emerging demands for environment protection increase competition for scarce water resources worldwide, especially in arid and semiarid regions. In those regions, climate change is projected to exacerbate water scarcity and increase the recurrence and intensity of droughts. These circumstances call for methodologies that can support the design of sustainable water management. This paper presents a hydro-economic model that links a reduced form hydrological component, with economic and environmental components. The model is applied to an arid and semiarid basin in Southeastern Spain to analyze the effects of droughts and to assess alternative adaptation policies. Results indicate that drought events have large impacts on social welfare, with the main adjustments sustained by irrigation and the environment. The water market policy seems to be a suitable option to overcome the negative economic effects of droughts, although the environmental effects may weaken its advantages for society. The environmental water market policy, where water is acquired for the environment, is an appealing policy to reap the private benefits of markets while protecting ecosystems. The current water management approach in Spain, based on stakeholders' cooperation, achieves almost the same economic outcomes and better environmental outcomes compared to a pure water market. These findings call for a reconsideration of the current management in arid and semiarid basins around the world. The paper illustrates the potential of hydro-economic modeling for integrating the multiple dimensions of water resources, becoming a valuable tool in the advancement of sustainable water management policies.

  16. Effects of fishing technique on assessing species composition in aquatic systems in semi-arid Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    ESF Medeiros

    Full Text Available In most ecological field research, appropriate sampling is critical for the understanding of processes underlying fish populations and communities, and is even more important in heterogeneous environments such as the aquatic systems of the semi-arid region of Brazil. This study intends to make a contribution to the development of sampling programs and gear selection in aquatic systems of semi-arid Brazil by evaluating the effects of different fishing techniques on the assessment of richness and composition of the fish fauna in selected aquatic environments. Six sites were selected to represent typical artificial (reservoirs and natural (intermittent streams environments and four different types of sampling gear were applied to each site during four occasions. The present study shows that when selecting sampling techniques to be used in aquatic systems in semi-arid Brazil, one must consider the objectives of the study, e.g. ecological or taxonomic, in order to decide on inclusion of rare species in the sampling population. Also, the effect of the sampling gear on natural abundances of fish must be considered given that some sampling techniques are highly detrimental to fish population numbers.

  17. Arid sites stakeholder participation in evaluating innovative technologies: VOC-Arid Site Integrated Demonstration

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Peterson, T.S.; McCabe, G.H.; Brockbank, B.R. [and others

    1995-05-01

    Developing and deploying innovative environmental cleanup technologies is an important goal for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), which faces challenging remediation problems at contaminated sites throughout the United States. Achieving meaningful, constructive stakeholder involvement in cleanup programs, with the aim of ultimate acceptance of remediation decisions, is critical to meeting those challenges. DOE`s Office of Technology Development sponsors research and demonstration of new technologies, including, in the past, the Volatile Organic Compounds Arid Site Integrated Demonstration (VOC-Arid ID), hosted at the Hanford Site in Washington State. The purpose of the VOC-Arid ID has been to develop and demonstrate new technologies for remediating carbon tetrachloride and other VOC contamination in soils and ground water. In October 1994 the VOC-Arid ID became a part of the Contaminant Plume Containment and Remediation Focus Area (Plume Focus Area). The VOC Arid ID`s purpose of involving stakeholders in evaluating innovative technologies will now be carried on in the Plume Focus Area in cooperation with Site Technology Coordination Groups and Site Specific Advisory Boards. DOE`s goal is to demonstrate promising technologies once and deploy those that are successful across the DOE complex. Achieving that goal requires that the technologies be acceptable to the groups and individuals with a stake in DOE facility cleanup. Such stakeholders include groups and individuals with an interest in cleanup, including regulatory agencies, Native American tribes, environmental and civic interest groups, public officials, environmental technology users, and private citizens. This report documents the results of the stakeholder involvement program, which is an integral part of the VOC-Arid ID.

  18. Analysis list: ARID3A [Chip-atlas[Archive

    Lifescience Database Archive (English)

    Full Text Available ARID3A Blood,Liver + hg19 http://dbarchive.biosciencedbc.jp/kyushu-u/hg19/target/ARID3A.1.tsv http:...//dbarchive.biosciencedbc.jp/kyushu-u/hg19/target/ARID3A.5.tsv http://dbarchive.biosciencedb...c.jp/kyushu-u/hg19/target/ARID3A.10.tsv http://dbarchive.biosciencedbc.jp/kyushu-u/hg19/colo/ARID3A.Blood.tsv,http:...//dbarchive.biosciencedbc.jp/kyushu-u/hg19/colo/ARID3A.Liver.tsv http://db...archive.biosciencedbc.jp/kyushu-u/hg19/colo/Blood.gml,http://dbarchive.biosciencedbc.jp/kyushu-u/hg19/colo/Liver.gml ...

  19. Global and continental changes of arid areas using the FAO Aridity Index over the periods 1951-1980 and 1981-2010

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spinoni, Jonathan; Micale, Fabio; Carrao, Hugo; Naumann, Gustavo; Barbosa, Paulo; Vogt, Jürgen

    2013-04-01

    An increase in arid areas and progressing land degradation are two of the main consequences of global climate change. In the 2nd edition of the World Atlas of Desertification (WAD), published by the United Nation Environment Program (UNEP) in 1997, a global aridity map was presented. This map was based on the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Aridity Index (AI) that takes into account the annual ratio between precipitation (RR) and Potential Evapo-Transpiration (PET). According to the long-term mean value of this ratio, climate is therefore classified in hyper-arid (0.65); a special case are cold climates, which occur if the mean annual PET is below 400 mm. In the framework of the 3rd edition of the WAD, we computed new global aridity maps to improve and update the old version that was based on a single dataset (CRU dataset, Climate Research Unit of University of East Anglia) related to the 1951-80 period only. We computed the AI on two different time intervals (1951-80 and 1981-2010) in order to account for shifts in classes between the two periods and we used two different datasets: PET from CRU (version 3.2), and precipitation from the global 0.5˚x0.5˚ gridded monthly precipitation of the Global Precipitation Climatology Center (GPCC) of the Deutscher Wetterdienst (DWD). We used the GPCC Full Data Reanalysis Version 6.0, which showed a high reliability during many quality checks and is based on more stations than the CRU's precipitation counterpart. The results show that the "arid areas" (i.e. AI Spain, the Southern Sahara and North-Eastern Kalahari deserts, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh (India), Mongolia, the Yang-Tze Basin (China), and the North-Eastern and South-Western Australian coasts. On the other hand, Central U.S., Paraguay and Northern Argentina, Scandinavia, Northern Australia, and Western China moved to a wetter climate in the last period. Due to the low data availability, we assumed that no changes took place in Antarctica, which is meant to

  20. Increasing aridity reduces soil microbial diversity and abundance in global drylands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maestre, Fernando T; Delgado-Baquerizo, Manuel; Jeffries, Thomas C; Eldridge, David J; Ochoa, Victoria; Gozalo, Beatriz; Quero, José Luis; García-Gómez, Miguel; Gallardo, Antonio; Ulrich, Werner; Bowker, Matthew A; Arredondo, Tulio; Barraza-Zepeda, Claudia; Bran, Donaldo; Florentino, Adriana; Gaitán, Juan; Gutiérrez, Julio R; Huber-Sannwald, Elisabeth; Jankju, Mohammad; Mau, Rebecca L; Miriti, Maria; Naseri, Kamal; Ospina, Abelardo; Stavi, Ilan; Wang, Deli; Woods, Natasha N; Yuan, Xia; Zaady, Eli; Singh, Brajesh K

    2015-12-22

    Soil bacteria and fungi play key roles in the functioning of terrestrial ecosystems, yet our understanding of their responses to climate change lags significantly behind that of other organisms. This gap in our understanding is particularly true for drylands, which occupy ∼41% of Earth´s surface, because no global, systematic assessments of the joint diversity of soil bacteria and fungi have been conducted in these environments to date. Here we present results from a study conducted across 80 dryland sites from all continents, except Antarctica, to assess how changes in aridity affect the composition, abundance, and diversity of soil bacteria and fungi. The diversity and abundance of soil bacteria and fungi was reduced as aridity increased. These results were largely driven by the negative impacts of aridity on soil organic carbon content, which positively affected the abundance and diversity of both bacteria and fungi. Aridity promoted shifts in the composition of soil bacteria, with increases in the relative abundance of Chloroflexi and α-Proteobacteria and decreases in Acidobacteria and Verrucomicrobia. Contrary to what has been reported by previous continental and global-scale studies, soil pH was not a major driver of bacterial diversity, and fungal communities were dominated by Ascomycota. Our results fill a critical gap in our understanding of soil microbial communities in terrestrial ecosystems. They suggest that changes in aridity, such as those predicted by climate-change models, may reduce microbial abundance and diversity, a response that will likely impact the provision of key ecosystem services by global drylands.

  1. Spatial distribution and health risk assessment for groundwater contamination from intensive pesticide use in arid areas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    El Alfy, Mohamed; Faraj, Turki

    2017-02-01

    Arid and semiarid areas face major challenges in the management of scarce groundwater. This valuable resource is under pressures of population, economic expansion, contamination and over-exploitation. This research investigates groundwater vulnerability to pesticide contamination in the Al-Kharj area of Saudi Arabia. It explores the spatial distribution of pesticide concentrations in groundwater and other relevant factors. Thin permeable soils, permeable aquifers and shallow water tables, which are prevalent in the area, are especially vulnerable to pesticides. Analyses of 40 groundwater samples were performed using a gas chromatograph mass spectrometer coupled with a quadrupole mass spectrometer with a GC column. The analysis was conducted to detect 32 pesticides from different chemical families, and a total of 22 pesticides were detected. All 40 water samples were positive for at least one of the pesticides studied. In total, 21 compounds were above the quantification limit and 10 of them exceeded the legal limit. Total pesticide levels ranged from 0.18 to 2.21 μg/L, and 68 % of the analyzed samples exceeded the maximum allowable pesticide concentrations established by the European Community. Comparison of the daily intake peak (DIP) and daily intake mean (DIM) relative to the acceptable daily intake (ADI) shows that groundwater contamination with pesticides is a serious problem. Prolonged exposure to pesticides can cause adverse effects to human health and the ecosystem. Spatial distribution maps of groundwater contamination were developed using GIS. These maps will help risk managers identify vulnerable sources and provide a relative assessment of pesticide hazards to human health and the environment.

  2. Goal relevance as a quantitative model of human task relevance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tanner, James; Itti, Laurent

    2017-03-01

    The concept of relevance is used ubiquitously in everyday life. However, a general quantitative definition of relevance has been lacking, especially as pertains to quantifying the relevance of sensory observations to one's goals. We propose a theoretical definition for the information value of data observations with respect to a goal, which we call "goal relevance." We consider the probability distribution of an agent's subjective beliefs over how a goal can be achieved. When new data are observed, its goal relevance is measured as the Kullback-Leibler divergence between belief distributions before and after the observation. Theoretical predictions about the relevance of different obstacles in simulated environments agreed with the majority response of 38 human participants in 83.5% of trials, beating multiple machine-learning models. Our new definition of goal relevance is general, quantitative, explicit, and allows one to put a number onto the previously elusive notion of relevance of observations to a goal. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved).

  3. Aerosols of Mongolian arid area

    Science.gov (United States)

    Golobokova, L.; Marinayte, I.; Zhamsueva, G.

    2012-04-01

    Sampling was performed in July-August 2005-2010 at Station Sain Shand (44°54'N, 110°07'E) in the Gobi desert (1000 m a.s.l.), West Mongolia. Aerosol samples were collected with a high volume sampler PM 10 (Andersen Instruments Inc., USA) onto Whatman-41 filters. The substance was extracted from the filters by de-ionized water. The solution was screened through an acetate-cellulose filter with 0.2 micron pore size. Ions of ammonium, sodium, potassium, magnesium, and calcium, as well as sulphate ions, nitrate ions, hydrocarbonate, chloride ions were determined in the filtrate by means of an atomic adsorption spectrometer Carl Zeiss Jena (Germany), a high performance liquid chromatographer «Milichrome A-02» (Russia), and an ionic chromatographer ICS-3000 (Dionex, USA). The PAH fraction was separated from aerosol samples using hexane extraction at room temperature under UV environment. The extract was concentrated to 0.1-0.2 ml and analysed by a mass-spectrometer "Agilent, GC 6890, MSD 5973 Network". Analysis of concentrations of aerosols components, their correlation ratios, and meteorological modeling show that the main factor affecting chemical composition of aerosols is a flow of contaminants transferred by air masses to the sampling area mainly from the south and south-east, as well as wind conditions of the area, dust storms in particular. Sulphate, nitrate, and ammonium are major ions in aerosol particles at Station Sain Shand. Dust-borne aerosol is known to be a sorbent for both mineral and organic admixtures. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) being among superecotoxicants play an important role among resistant organic substances. PAH concentrations were determined in the samples collected in 2010. All aerosol samples contained dominant PAHs with 5-6 benzene rings ( (benze(k)fluoranthen, benze(b)flouranthen, benze(a)pyren, benze(?)pyren, perylene, benze(g,h,i)perylene, and indene(1,2,3-c,d)pyrene). Their total quantity varied between 42 and 90

  4. Analysis list: Arid3a [Chip-atlas[Archive

    Lifescience Database Archive (English)

    Full Text Available Arid3a Pluripotent stem cell + mm9 http://dbarchive.biosciencedbc.jp/kyushu-u/mm9/target/Ari...d3a.1.tsv http://dbarchive.biosciencedbc.jp/kyushu-u/mm9/target/Arid3a.5.tsv http://dbarchive.biosc...iencedbc.jp/kyushu-u/mm9/target/Arid3a.10.tsv http://dbarchive.biosciencedbc.jp/kyushu-u/mm9/colo/Arid3a.Pluri...potent_stem_cell.tsv http://dbarchive.biosciencedbc.jp/kyushu-u/mm9/colo/Pluripotent_stem_cell.gml ...

  5. Remote sensing of threshold conditions in an arid ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steele, C. M.; Bestelmeyer, B. T.; Rango, A.; Smith, P. L.; Laliberte, A. S.

    2007-12-01

    Land management in the arid southwestern USA increasingly addresses thresholds in response to recent concepts adopted by private and public lands agencies and conservation organizations. Vegetation in arid rangelands typically presents as distinctive mosaics of vegetation patches, which persist in dynamic equilibrium with the abiotic environment and facilitative-competitive interactions between organisms. Theory and observation suggest that as an area approaches a threshold in response to disturbance, there is a concomitant change in the spatial arrangement of vegetation patches. This change is readily identifiable on fine spatial resolution aerial photography or satellite sensor imagery. We propose a classification method for identifying threshold-inducing change in vegetation pattern. To illustrate this method, we have applied an object-oriented, supervised classification to subsets of Quickbird imagery (70 cm ground resolution) over the Jornada basin in southern New Mexico. The imagery covers several land management regimes (private, public, federal) and provides spatial variation in ecosystem conditions. Imagery was first segmented to create fine and coarse resolution image objects. Fine resolution image objects are defined as having within-object spectral homogeneity at the scale of the shrub or single patch of grass or soil. Coarse resolution image objects are defined as containing spectral homogeneity at the scale of the vegetation stand. A classification tree was used to classify coarse resolution image objects to high risk of a threshold, low risk of a threshold, or post-threshold according to the content and spatial arrangement of shrub, grass and soil patches within them. Ground-based monitoring to detect localized threshold conditions across broad management areas is intractable so the use of remote sensing is essential to successful prevention of threshold development.

  6. Relationship Between Job Burnout and Neuroendocrine Indicators in Soldiers in the Xinjiang Arid Desert: A Cross-Sectional Study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ning Tao

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available The purpose of this study was to explore the relationship between job burnout and neuroendocrine indicators in soldiers living in a harsh environment. Three hundred soldiers stationed in the arid desert and 600 in an urban area were recruited. They filled in the Chinese Maslach Burnout Inventory questionnaire. One hundred soldiers were randomly selected from each group to measure their levels of noradrenaline, serotonin, heat shock protein (HSP-70, adrenocorticotropic hormone, and serum cortisol. Job burnout was more common in soldiers from urban areas than those from rural areas. Job burnout was significantly higher among soldiers stationed in the arid desert than those in urban areas. For soldiers in the arid desert, the levels of HSP-70, serum cortisol, and adrenocorticotropic hormone were significantly higher than in soldiers in urban areas. Correlation analyses showed that the degree of job burnout was weakly negatively correlated with the level of HSP-70. Being an only child, HSP-70 levels, cortisol levels, and ACTH levels were independently associated with job burnout in soldiers stationed in the arid desert. A higher level of job burnout in soldiers stationed in arid desert and a corresponding change in neuroendocrine indicators indicated a correlation between occupational stress and neurotransmitters.

  7. Relationship Between Job Burnout and Neuroendocrine Indicators in Soldiers in the Xinjiang Arid Desert: A Cross-Sectional Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tao, Ning; Zhang, Jianjiang; Song, Zhixin; Tang, Jinhua; Liu, Jiwen

    2015-12-01

    The purpose of this study was to explore the relationship between job burnout and neuroendocrine indicators in soldiers living in a harsh environment. Three hundred soldiers stationed in the arid desert and 600 in an urban area were recruited. They filled in the Chinese Maslach Burnout Inventory questionnaire. One hundred soldiers were randomly selected from each group to measure their levels of noradrenaline, serotonin, heat shock protein (HSP)-70, adrenocorticotropic hormone, and serum cortisol. Job burnout was more common in soldiers from urban areas than those from rural areas. Job burnout was significantly higher among soldiers stationed in the arid desert than those in urban areas. For soldiers in the arid desert, the levels of HSP-70, serum cortisol, and adrenocorticotropic hormone were significantly higher than in soldiers in urban areas. Correlation analyses showed that the degree of job burnout was weakly negatively correlated with the level of HSP-70. Being an only child, HSP-70 levels, cortisol levels, and ACTH levels were independently associated with job burnout in soldiers stationed in the arid desert. A higher level of job burnout in soldiers stationed in arid desert and a corresponding change in neuroendocrine indicators indicated a correlation between occupational stress and neurotransmitters.

  8. Drought-tolerant Streptomyces pactum Act12 assist phytoremediation of cadmium-contaminated soil by Amaranthus hypochondriacus: great potential application in arid/semi-arid areas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cao, Shumiao; Wang, Wenke; Wang, Fei; Zhang, Jun; Wang, Zhoufeng; Yang, Shenke; Xue, Quanhong

    2016-08-01

    Microbe-assisted phytoremediation provides an effective approach to clean up heavy metal-contaminated soils. However, severe drought may affect the function of microbes in arid/semi-arid areas. Streptomyces pactum Act12 is a drought-tolerant soil actinomycete strain isolated from an extreme environment on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, China. In this study, pot experiments were conducted to assess the effect of Act12 on Cd tolerance, uptake, and accumulation in amaranth (Amaranthus hypochondriacus) under water deficit. Inoculated plants had higher Cd concentrations (root 8.7-33.9 %; shoot 53.2-102.1 %) and uptake (root 19.9-95.3 %; shoot 110.6-170.1 %) than non-inoculated controls in Cd-treated soil. The translocation factor of Cd from roots to shoots was increased by 14.2-75 % in inoculated plants, while the bioconcentration factor of Cd in roots and shoots was increased by 10.2-64.4 and 53.9-114.8 %, respectively. Moreover, inoculation with Act12 increased plant height, root length, and shoot biomass of amaranth in Cd-treated soil compared to non-inoculated controls. Physiochemical analysis revealed that Act12 enhanced Cd tolerance in the plants by increasing glutathione, elevating superoxide dismutase and catalase activities, as well as reducing malondialdehyde content in the leaves. The drought-tolerant actinomycete strain Act12 can enhance the phytoremediation efficiency of amaranth for Cd-contaminated soils under water deficit, exhibiting potential for application in arid and semi-arid areas.

  9. Remote Sensing Parameterization of Land Surface Heat Fluxes over Arid and Semi-arid Areas

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    马耀明; 王介民; 黄荣辉; 卫国安; MassimoMENENTI; 苏中波; 胡泽勇; 高峰; 文军

    2003-01-01

    Dealing with the regional land surfaces heat fluxes over inhomogeneous land surfaces in arid and semi-arid areas is an important but not an easy issue. In this study, one parameterization method based on satellite remote sensing and field observations is proposed and tested for deriving the regional land surface heat fluxes over inhomogeneous landscapes. As a case study, the method is applied to the Dunhuang experimental area and the HEIFE (Heihe River Field Experiment, 1988-1994) area. The Dunhuang area is selected as a basic experimental area for the Chinese National Key Programme for Developing Basic Sciences: Research on the Formation Mecbanism and Prediction Theory of Severe Climate Disaster in China (G1998040900, 1999-2003). The four scenes of Landsat TM data used in this study are 3 June 2000,22 August 2000, and 29 January 2001 for the Dunhuang area and 9 July 1991 for the HEIFE area. The regional distributions of land surface variables, vegetation variables, and heat fluxes over inhomogeneous landscapes in arid and semi-arid areas are obtained in this study.

  10. Realization of daily evapotranspiration in arid ecosystems based on remote sensing techniques

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elhag, Mohamed; Bahrawi, Jarbou A.

    2017-03-01

    Daily evapotranspiration is a major component of water resources management plans. In arid ecosystems, the quest for an efficient water budget is always hard to achieve due to insufficient irrigational water and high evapotranspiration rates. Therefore, monitoring of daily evapotranspiration is a key practice for sustainable water resources management, especially in arid environments. Remote sensing techniques offered a great help to estimate the daily evapotranspiration on a regional scale. Existing open-source algorithms proved to estimate daily evapotranspiration comprehensively in arid environments. The only deficiency of these algorithms is the course scale of the used remote sensing data. Consequently, the adequate downscaling algorithm is a compulsory step to rationalize an effective water resources management plan. Daily evapotranspiration was estimated fairly well using an Advance Along-Track Scanner Radiometer (AATSR) in conjunction with (MEdium Resolution Imaging Spectrometer) MERIS data acquired in July 2013 with 1 km spatial resolution and 3 days of temporal resolution under a surface energy balance system (SEBS) model. Results were validated against reference evapotranspiration ground truth values using standardized Penman-Monteith method with R2 of 0.879. The findings of the current research successfully monitor turbulent heat fluxes values estimated from AATSR and MERIS data with a temporal resolution of 3 days only in conjunction with reliable meteorological data. Research verdicts are necessary inputs for a well-informed decision-making processes regarding sustainable water resource management.

  11. Aridity induces super-optimal investment in leaf venation by Eucalyptus and Corymbia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drake, Paul L.; de Boer, Hugo J.; Price, Charles A.; Veneklaas, Erik J.

    2016-04-01

    The close relationship between leaf water status and stomatal conductance implies that the hydraulic architecture of leaves poses an important constraint on carbon uptake, specifically in arid environments with high evaporative demands. However, it remains uncertain how morphological, hydraulic and photosynthetic traits are coordinated to achieve optimal leaf functioning in arid environments. Zwieniecki and Boyce (2014) proposed a generic framework on the hydraulic architecture of leaves based on the argument that water is optimally distributed when the lateral distance between neighboring water transport veins (dx) is approximately equal to the distance from these veins to the epidermis (dy), expressed as dx:dy ≈1. Many derived angiosperms realize this optimal hydraulic architecture by closely coordinating leaf vein density with leaf thickness and the lateral position of veins inside the leaf. Zwieniecki and Boyce (2014) further suggested that over-investment in veins (dx:dy photosynthetic traits of 65 species (401 individuals) within the widely distributed and closely related genera Eucalyptus and Corymbia along a 2000-km-long aridity gradient in Western Australia (see Schulze et al., 2006). We inferred the potential functional benefit of reducing dx beyond dy using a semi-empirical model that links leaf morphology and hydraulics to photosynthesis. Our results reveal that Eucalyptus and Corymbia evolved extremely high vein densities in addition to thick amphistomatous leaf morphologies along the natural aridity gradient resulting in dx:dy ratios ranging between 0.8 and 0.08. We propose that as the thickness of amphistomatous leaves increases, the effect of reducing dx beyond dy is to offset the reduction in photosynthesis that would result from the theoretical optimal architecture of dx:dy ≈1. Our model quantified the resulting relative gain in photosynthesis at 10% to 15%, which could provide a crucial gas exchange advantage. We conclude that aridity

  12. Feeding behavior and physiological responses of sheep grazing in the semi-arid

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carolyny Batista Lima

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Sheep farming is an important social and economic support for the population living in semi-arid zones. These climatic conditions in these regions - a high radiant heat load, especially - may require adjustments in physiology and behavior of the animal to enable their survival. The increased respiratory rate and rectal temperature, with seeking behavioral patterns reduced grazing time and increased idle time are recurrent in the literature as the main physiological and behavioral responses of sheep grazing in high radiant heat load environments. The presence of shadow, natural or artificial, can encourage and facilitate thermolysis physiological adjustments sheep without harm, predominantly, your metabolism. Thus, the objective of compiling information on the main patterns of behavior, as well as major physiological responses of sheep grazing in semi-arid zones.

  13. Hydraulic integration and shrub growth form linked across continental aridity gradients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schenk, H Jochen; Espino, Susana; Goedhart, Christine M; Nordenstahl, Marisa; Cabrera, Hugo I Martinez; Jones, Cynthia S

    2008-08-12

    Both engineered hydraulic systems and plant hydraulic systems are protected against failure by resistance, reparability, and redundancy. A basic rule of reliability engineering is that the level of independent redundancy should increase with increasing risk of fatal system failure. Here we show that hydraulic systems of plants function as predicted by this engineering rule. Hydraulic systems of shrubs sampled along two transcontinental aridity gradients changed with increasing aridity from highly integrated to independently redundant modular designs. Shrubs in humid environments tend to be hydraulically integrated, with single, round basal stems, whereas dryland shrubs typically have modular hydraulic systems and multiple, segmented basal stems. Modularity is achieved anatomically at the vessel-network scale or developmentally at the whole-plant scale through asymmetric secondary growth, which results in a semiclonal or clonal shrub growth form that appears to be ubiquitous in global deserts.

  14. Why relevance theory is relevant for lexicography

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bothma, Theo; Tarp, Sven

    2014-01-01

    , socio-cognitive and affective relevance. It then shows, at the hand of examples, why relevance is important from a user perspective in the extra-lexicographical pre- and post-consultation phases and in the intra-lexicographical consultation phase. It defines an additional type of subjective relevance...... that is very important for lexicography as well as for information science, viz. functional relevance. Since all lexicographic work is ultimately aimed at satisfying users’ information needs, the article then discusses why the lexicographer should take note of all these types of relevance when planning a new...... dictionary project, identifying new tasks and responsibilities of the modern lexicographer. The article furthermore discusses how relevance theory impacts on teaching dictionary culture and reference skills. By integrating insights from lexicography and information science, the article contributes to new...

  15. Assessment of the performance of water harvesting systems in semi-arid regions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lasage, Ralph

    2016-04-01

    Water harvesting is widely practiced and has the potential to improve water availability for domestic and agricultural use in semi-arid regions. New funds are becoming available to stimulate the implementation of water harvesting projects, for meeting the Sustainable Development Goals and to help communities to adapt to climate change. For this, it is important to understand which factors determine the success of water harvesting techniques under different conditions. For this, we review the literature, including information on the crop yield impacts of water harvesting projects in semi-arid Africa and Asia. Results show that large water harvesting structures (> 500 m3) are less expensive than small structures, when taking into account investment costs, storage capacity and lifetimes. We also find that water harvesting improves crop yields significantly, and that the relative impact of water harvesting on crop yields is largest in low rainfall years. We also see that the governance, technical knowledge and initial investment are more demanding for the larger structures than for smaller structures, which may affect their spontaneous adoption and long term sustainability when managed by local communities. To support the selection of appropriate techniques, we present a decision framework based on case specific characteristics. This framework can also be used when reporting and evaluating the performance of water harvesting techniques, which is up to now quite limited in peer reviewed literature. Based on Bouma, J., Hegde, S.E., Lasage, R., (2016). Assessing the returns to water harvesting: A meta-analysis. Agricultural Water Management 163, 100-109. Lasage, R., Verburg P.H., (2015). Evaluation of small scale water harvesting techniques for semi-arid environments. Journal of Arid Environments 118, 48-57.

  16. Uses of tree legumes in semi-arid regions

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Felker, P.

    1980-01-01

    Uses of tree legumes in semi-arid and arid regions are reviewed. This review is divided into sections according to the following general use categories: fuels; human food; livestock food; to increase yields of crops grown beneath their canopies;and control of desertification. (MHR)

  17. International Arid Lands Consortium: A synopsis of accomplishments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peter F. Ffolliott; Jeffrey O. Dawson; James T. Fisher; Itshack Moshe; Timothy E. Fulbright; W. Carter Johnson; Paul Verburg; Muhammad Shatanawi; Jim P. M. Chamie

    2003-01-01

    The International Arid Lands Consortium (IALC) was established in 1990 to promote research, education, and training activities related to the development, management, and reclamation of arid and semiarid lands in the Southwestern United States, the Middle East, and elsewhere in the world. The Consortium supports the ecological sustainability and environmentally sound...

  18. CHARACTERISTICS AND CONSTRUCTION OF LANDSCAPE???ECOLOGY IN ARID REGIONS

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2000-01-01

    This paper analyzes the characteristics of the landscape structures and landacape ecological processes in arid regions of China. Landscape structure is simplicity and homogeneity with the pattern of desert-oasis-river and canal corridor. The spatial distribution of landscape heterogeneity mosaics is relatively dependent on water resources. In arid regions,the landscape changes rapidly and extensively because of the sensitive landscape ecosystems and fragile regional ecosystems.For the sustainable development of arid regions, the theories and methods for the eco-environmental construction and the strategies of ecological construction in the arid regions were proposed in the view of landscape ecology. Keynote subjects of landscape ecology were also discussed. The paper points out that protecting and increasing landscape diversity and heterogeneity are critical to control ecological safety in arid regions.

  19. Water harvesting techniques for small communities in arid areas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yuen, E; Anda, M; Mathew, K; Ho, G

    2001-01-01

    Limited water resources exist in numerous remote indigenous settlements around Australia. Indigenous people in these communities are still living in rudimentary conditions while their urban counterparts have full amenities, large scale water supplies and behavioral practices which may not be appropriate for an arid continent but are supported by extensive infrastructure in higher rainfall coastal areas. As remote indigenous communities continue to develop, their water use will increase, and in some cases, costly solutions may have to be implemented to augment supplies. Water harvesting techniques have been applied in settlements on a small scale for domestic and municipal purposes, and in the large, broadacre farm setting for productive use of the water. The techniques discussed include swales, infiltration basins, infiltration trenches and "sand dam" basins. This paper reviews the applications of water harvesting relevant to small communities for land rehabilitation, landscaping and flood control. Landscaping is important in these communities as it provides shelter from the sun and wind, reduces soil erosion and hence reduced airborne dust, and in some cases provides food and nutrition. Case studies of water harvesting systems applied in the Pilbara Region, Western Australia for landscaping around single dwellings in Jigalong and Cheeditha, in a permaculture garden in Wittenoon and at a college and carpark in Karratha are described.

  20. The current bioenergy production potential of semi-arid and arid regions in sub-Saharan Africa

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wicke, B.; Smeets, E.M.W.; Watson, H.; Faaij, A.P.C.

    2011-01-01

    This article assesses the current technical and economic potential of three bioenergy production systems (cassava ethanol, jatropha oil and fuelwood) in semi-arid and arid regions of eight sub-Saharan African countries. The results indicate that the availability of land for energy production ranges

  1. Assessment of the desertification vulnerability of the Cappadocian district (Central Anatolia, Turkey based on aridity and climate-process system

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Murat Türkeş

    2011-03-01

    Full Text Available The present study discusses climate of the Cappadocian district in Turkey on the basis of Thornthwaite’s climate classification and water budget, Erinç’s aridity index and United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD aridity index, along with the spatial and inter-seasonal variations of precipitation and air temperatures. Vulnerability of the Cappadocia to desertification processes was also investigated with respect to the aridity, lithology dominated by tuffs and climate-process system and present land-use features of the district. The data analysis revealed that coefficients of variation (CV of the mean and maximum temperatures are the greatest in summer and the smallest in winter. Nevşehir and Kayseri environs are the most continental parts of the Cappadocia with a high inter-annual variability and low temperatures. Cappadocia is characterized with a continental rainfall regime having a maximum precipitation in spring. Variability of summer precipitation totals is greater than that of other seasons, varying from 65.7% to 78%. The CVs of the annual precipitation totals are about 18% at north and about 20% at south. Semi-arid and dry sub-humid or semi-humid climate types prevail over Cappadocia according to Thornthwaite’s moisture and Erinç’s aridity indices. Steppe is the dominant vegetation formation with sparse dry forests. The Cappadocia is vulnerable to the desertification processes due to both natural factors (e.g. degree of aridity, climate-process system, weathering of tuffs, erosion, climate change, etc. and human-involvement (e.g. land degradation and intensive tourism, etc.. In order to mitigate desertification and to preserve the historical and cultural heritages in Cappadocia, sustainable land-use management and tourism planning applications are urgently needed.

  2. Assessment of the desertification vulnerability of the Cappadocian district (Central Anatolia, Turkey based on aridity and climate-process system

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Murat Türkeş

    2011-03-01

    Full Text Available The present study discusses climate of the Cappadocian district in Turkey on the basis of Thornthwaite’s climate classification and water budget, Erinç’s aridity index and United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD aridity index, along with the spatial and inter-seasonal variations of precipitation and air temperatures. Vulnerability of the Cappadocia to desertification processes was also investigated with respect to the aridity, lithology dominated by tuffs and climate-process system and present land-use features of the district. The data analysis revealed that coefficients of variation (CV of the mean and maximum temperatures are the greatest in summer and the smallest in winter. Nevşehir and Kayseri environs are the most continental parts of the Cappadocia with a high inter-annual variability and low temperatures. Cappadocia is characterized with a continental rainfall regime having a maximum precipitation in spring. Variability of summer precipitation totals is greater than that of other seasons, varying from 65.7% to 78%. The CVs of the annual precipitation totals are about 18% at north and about 20% at south. Semi-arid and dry sub-humid or semi-humid climate types prevail over Cappadocia according to Thornthwaite’s moisture and Erinç’s aridity indices. Steppe is the dominant vegetation formation with sparse dry trees. The Cappadocia is vulnerable to the desertification processes due to both natural factors (e.g. degree of aridity, climate-process system, weathering of tuffs, erosion, climate change, etc. and human-involvement (e.g. land degradation and intensive tourism, etc.. In order to mitigate desertification and to preserve the historical and cultural heritages in Cappadocia, sustainable land-use management and tourism planning applications are urgently needed.

  3. Determine the optimum spectral reflectance of juniper and pistachio in arid and semi-arid region

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fadaei, Hadi; Suzuki, Rikie

    2012-11-01

    Arid and semi-arid areas of northeast Iran cover about 3.4 million ha are populated by two main tree species, the broadleaf Pistacia vera. L (pistachio) and the conifer Juniperus excelsa ssp. polycarpos (Persian juniper). Natural stands of pistachio in Iran are not only environmentally important but genetically essential as seed sources for pistachio production in orchards. In this study, we estimated the optimum spectral reflectance of juniper forests and natural pistachio stands using remote sensing to help in the sustainable management and production of pistachio in Iran. In this research spectral reflectance are able to specify of multispectral from Advanced Land Observing Satellite (ALOS) that provided by JAXA. These data included PRISM is a panchromatic radiometer with a 2.5 m spatial resolution at nadir, has one band with a wavelength of 0.52-0.77 μm and AVNIR-2 is a visible and near infrared radiometer for observing land and coastal zones with a 10 m spatial resolution at nadir, has four multispectral bands: blue (0.42-0.50 μm), green (0.52-0.60 μm), red (0.61-0.69 μm), and near infrared (0.76-0.89 μm). Total ratio vegetation index (TRVI) of optimum spectral reflectance of juniper and pistachio have been evaluated. The result of TRVI for Pistachio and juniper were (R2= 0.71 and 0.55). I hope this research can provide decision of managers to helping sustainable management for arid and semi-arid regions in Iran.

  4. Phytostabilization of Mine Tailings in Arid and Semiarid Environments—An Emerging Remediation Technology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mendez, Monica O.; Maier, Raina M.

    2008-01-01

    Objective Unreclaimed mine tailings sites are a worldwide problem, with thousands of unvegetated, exposed tailings piles presenting a source of contamination for nearby communities. Tailings disposal sites in arid and semiarid environments are especially subject to eolian dispersion and water erosion. Phytostabilization, the use of plants for in situ stabilization of tailings and metal contaminants, is a feasible alternative to costly remediation practices. In this review we emphasize considerations for phytostabilization of mine tailings in arid and semiarid environments, as well as issues impeding its long-term success. Data sources We reviewed literature addressing mine closures and revegetation of mine tailings, along with publications evaluating plant ecology, microbial ecology, and soil properties of mine tailings. Data extraction Data were extracted from peer-reviewed articles and books identified in Web of Science and Agricola databases, and publications available through the U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and the United Nations Environment Programme. Data synthesis Harsh climatic conditions in arid and semiarid environments along with the innate properties of mine tailings require specific considerations. Plants suitable for phytostabilization must be native, be drought-, salt-, and metal-tolerant, and should limit shoot metal accumulation. Factors for evaluating metal accumulation and toxicity issues are presented. Also reviewed are aspects of implementing phytostabilization, including plant growth stage, amendments, irrigation, and evaluation. Conclusions Phytostabilization of mine tailings is a promising remedial technology but requires further research to identify factors affecting its long-term success by expanding knowledge of suitable plant species and mine tailings chemistry in ongoing field trials. PMID:18335091

  5. A study on environmental aridity over northern and southern to Qinling Mountains under climate warming

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2001-01-01

    Based on the data up to 1999 from hydroclimatological departments, this paper analyzes the climatic divide implications of the Qinling Mountains in regional response to the process of climate warming, due to which the grades of dryness/wetness (GDW) in 100 years show that the northern region has entered a drought period, while the southern is a humid period. In a course of ten years, the D-value of annual average air temperature over southern Shaanxi (the Hanjiang Valley) and the Central Shaanxi Plain (the Guanzhong Plain) has narrowed, i.e., the former with a slight change and the latter with rapid increase in temperature. Both regions were arid with the decrease in precipitation D-value, namely the plain became warmer while the south was drier. The Qinling Mountains play a pronounced role in the climatic divide. The runoff coefficient (RC) of the Weihe River decreases synchronously with that of the Hanjiang due to climate warming. The RC of Weihe dropped from 0.2 in the 1950s to less than 0.1 in the 1990s. The Weihe Valley (the Guanzhong Plain) is practically an arid area due to shortage of water. The successive 0.5, 1.0℃ temperature anomaly over China marks, perhaps, the important transition period in which the environment becomes more vulnerable than before.The study shows the obvious trend of environmental aridity, which is of help to the understanding of regional response to global climate change.

  6. Rodent middens, a new method for Quaternary research in arid zones of South America

    Science.gov (United States)

    Betancourt, J.L.; Saavedra, B.

    2002-01-01

    In arid and semi-arid regions of South America, historical evidence for climate and vegetation change is scarce despite its importance for determining reference conditions and rates of natural variability in areas susceptible to modern desertification. Normal lines of evidence, such as pollen stratigraphies from lakes, are either rare or unobtainable in deserts; studies of late Quaternary vegetation history are few and generally inconclusive. This gap in knowledge may be corrected with discovery and development of fossil rodent middens in rocky environments throughout arid South America. These middens, mostly the work of Lagidium, Phyllotis, Abrocoma and Octodontomys, are rich in readily identifiable plant macrofossils, cuticles and pollen, as well as vertebrate and insect remains. In the North American deserts, more than 2,500 woodrat (Neotoma) middens analyzed since 1960 have yielded a detailed history of environmental change during the past 40,000 years. Preliminary work in the pre-puna, Monte and Patagonian Deserts of western Argentina, the Atacama Desert of northern Chile/southern Peru, the Mediterranean matorral of central Chile, and the Puna of the Andean altiplano suggest a similar potential for rodent middens in South America. Here we borrow from the North American experience to synthesize methodologies and approaches, summarize preliminary work, and explore the potential of rodent midden research in South America.

  7. Greywater reuse through a bioretention system prototype in the arid region.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chowdhury, Rezaul K

    2015-01-01

    The concept of a greywater-fed bioretention system in arid regions was investigated in this study. Bioretention systems are conventionally used as a source control mechanism for urban runoff. Nevertheless, in arid regions, where rain and urban runoff are not an abundant water resource, their application is limited. Greywater (residential wastewater without toilet and kitchen sources) is comparatively less polluted and has the potential for reuse in irrigation and non-potable water uses. However, selection of an appropriate treatment is a challenge. A prototype bioretention system was made and its ability to improve greywater quality was monitored for more than 10 consecutive days. A vegetative and non-vegetative system were monitored separately. After 24 hours of retention in both systems, greywater quality was improved significantly. Both systems performed almost equally well; however, the vegetative system (with canary reed grass, Phalaris arundinacea) was found to be more effective in reducing the sodium and chemical oxygen demand contents. The study revealed that the concept of the greywater-fed bioretention system has the potential to add multi-functional benefits (greywater treatment, water conservation, landscape aesthetic and biodiversity) to the arid regions' urban environment.

  8. Degradation of High Voltage Polymeric Insulators in Arid Desert's Simulated Environmental Conditions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yasin Khan

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available Problem statement: High Voltage (HV polymeric insulators are replacing ceramic insulator commonly used for HV outdoor networks due to their ease of handling, reliability and cost. However, their long term performance and reliability are major concerns to power utilities. Approach: To investigate their performance in arid desert's conditions, two types of HV composite insulators were aged as per International Electrochemical Commission (IEC standard-61109. Additional test samples were subjected to accelerated aging conditions simulating the actual Ultraviolet (UV radiation intensity and temperature in the inland desert. Results: This study described the experimental results of the effects of thermo electric stress and UV radiations on the polymeric insulators aged under two conditions i.e., as per IEC standard and modified IEC standard that simulates the inland arid desert. The tests results after the artificial accelerated aging indicated that the dielectric response of thermoplastic insulators under the tested thermo-electric cum UV-irradiations outperforms Silicone rubber insulators.Conclusion: From the obtained results it will be easy to assess the performance and suitability of composite insulators for their applications in arid desert environments.

  9. Geomorphological mapping in arid regions supported by the analysis of shrub patterns

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hikel, H.; Jarmer, T.; Schwanghart, W.; Kuhn, N. J.; Yair, Y.; Shoshani, M.

    2012-04-01

    Arid and semi-arid areas are often covered by sparse and patchy vegetation with spatial patterns being related to water scarcity. The patterns are governed to a high degree by topography and substrate that in turn reflect prevalent geomorphological and hydrological processes. We hypothesize that this relation can be utilized to support geomorphological mapping in dryland areas. The aim of this study is to develop an approach towards automated geomorphological mapping in drylands at the hillslope scale. Geomorphological mapping was carried out at the experimental catchment site nearby Sede Boqer, Israel, along two hillslope transects. Twenty rectangular plots were surveyed to determine the percent vegetation cover. A ground based hyperspectral camera was used to image the transects with a spatial resolution of 0.05 cm. Plant canopy was obtained using a supervised classification. In addition, an aerial photo with a spatial resolution of 0.5 m was utilize to map plants at a larger spatial extent. Both datasets were used to calculate spatial pattern indices such as vegetation density, lacunarity, bare area fragmentation index and patch upslope side length/area ratio. All indices were investigated regarding their scale invariance with respect to the differently resolved datasets. Indices with a high degree of explanatory power and scale invariance were then used as variables in a decision tree model for automated geomorphological mapping. Preliminary results indicate that the spatial pattern indices can be used as an identification tool of geomorphological units and ecohydrological environments. The result suggests that geomorphological mapping in arid and semi-arid areas can be supported by vegetation detection using remote sensing and digital image processing.

  10. Geochemical Weathering Increases Lead Bioaccessibility in Semi-Arid Mine Tailings

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hayes, Sarah M.; Webb, Sam M.; Bargar, John R.; O'Day, Peggy A.; Maier, Raina M.; Chorover, Jon

    2012-01-01

    Mine tailings can host elevated concentrations of toxic metal(loid)s that represent a significant hazard to surrounding communities and ecosystems. Eolian transport, capable of translocating small (micrometer-sized) particles, can be the dominant mechanism of toxic metal dispersion in arid or semi-arid landscapes. Human exposure to metals can then occur via direct inhalation or ingestion of particulates. The fact that measured doses of total lead (Pb) in geomedia correlate poorly with blood Pb levels highlights a need to better resolve the precise distribution of molecularly-speciated metal-bearing phases in the complex particle mixtures. Species distribution controls bioaccessibility, thereby directly impacting health risk. This study seeks to correlate Pb-containing particle size and mineral composition with lability and bioaccessibility in mine tailings subjected to weathering in a semi-arid environment. We employed X-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAS) and X-ray fluorescence (XRF), coupled with sequential chemical extractions, to study Pb speciation in tailings from the semi-arid Arizona Klondyke State Superfund Site. Representative samples ranging in pH from 2.6 to 5.4 were selected for in-depth study of Pb solid-phase speciation. The principle lead-bearing phase was plumbojarosite (PbFe6(SO4)4(OH)12), but anglesite (PbSO4) and iron oxide-sorbed Pb were also observed. Anglesite, the most bioavailable mineral species of lead identified in this study, was enriched in surficial tailings samples, where Pb concentrations in the clay size fraction were 2–3 times higher by mass relative to bulk. A mobile and bioaccessible Pb phase accumulates in surficial tailings, with a corresponding increase in risk of human exposure to atmospheric particles. PMID:22553941

  11. Controls on the D/H ratios of plant leaf waxes in an arid ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feakins, Sarah J.; Sessions, Alex L.

    2010-04-01

    The extent to which leaf water D-enrichment (transpiration) and soil water D-enrichment (evaporation) affect the D/H ratio of plant leaf waxes remains a contentious issue, with important implications for paleohydrologic reconstructions. In this study we measure δD values of precipitation ( δD p), groundwater ( δD gw), plant xylem water ( δD xw) and leaf water ( δD lw) to understand their impact on the δD values of plant leaf wax n-alkanes ( δD wax) in an arid ecosystem. Our survey includes multiple species at four sites across an aridity gradient (80-30% relative humidity) in southern California. We find that many species take up groundwater or precipitation without significant fractionation. D-enriched soil water is a minor source even in species known to perform and utilize waters from hydraulic lift, such as Larrea tridentata (+10‰). Measurements of leaf water isotopic composition demonstrate that transpiration is an important mechanism for D-enrichment of leaf waters (+74 ± 20‰, 1 σ), resulting in the smallest net fractionation yet reported between source water and leaf waxes ( L. tridentata -41‰; multi-species mean value is -94 ± 21‰, 1 σ). We find little change in leaf water D-enrichment or net fractionation across the climatic gradient sampled by our study, suggesting that a net fractionation of ca. -90‰ may be appropriate for paleohydrologic reconstructions in semi-arid to arid environments. Large interspecies offsets in net fractionations (1 σ = 21‰) are potentially troublesome, given the observed floristic diversity and the likelihood of species assemblage changes with climate shifts.

  12. Impact of climate change on acid mine drainage generation and contaminant transport in water ecosystems of semi-arid and arid mining areas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anawar, Hossain Md.

    Disposal of untreated and treated mining wastes and tailings exerts a significant threat and hazard for environmental contamination including groundwater, surface water, wetlands, land, food chain and animals. In order to facilitate remediation techniques, it is important to understand the oxidation of sulfidic minerals, and the hydrolysis of the oxidation products that result in production of acid mine drainage (AMD), toxic metals, low pH, SO42- and Fe. This review has summarized the impacts of climate change on geochemical reactions, AMD generation, and water quality in semi-arid/arid mining environments. Besides this, the study included the effects of hydrological, seasonal and climate change on composition of AMD, contaminant transport in watersheds and restoration of mining sites. Different models have different types of limitations and benefits that control their adaptability and suitability of application in various mining environments. This review has made a comparative discussion of a few most potential and widely used reactive transport models that can be applied to simulate the effect of climate change on sulfide oxidation and AMD production from mining waste, and contaminant transport in surface and groundwater systems.

  13. Long-term aridity changes in the western United States.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cook, Edward R; Woodhouse, Connie A; Eakin, C Mark; Meko, David M; Stahle, David W

    2004-11-01

    The western United States is experiencing a severe multiyear drought that is unprecedented in some hydroclimatic records. Using gridded drought reconstructions that cover most of the western United States over the past 1200 years, we show that this drought pales in comparison to an earlier period of elevated aridity and epic drought in AD 900 to 1300, an interval broadly consistent with the Medieval Warm Period. If elevated aridity in the western United States is a natural response to climate warming, then any trend toward warmer temperatures in the future could lead to a serious long-term increase in aridity over western North America.

  14. Towards Building Reliable, High-Accuracy Solar Irradiance Database For Arid Climates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Munawwar, S.; Ghedira, H.

    2012-12-01

    Middle East's growing interest in renewable energy has led to increased activity in solar technology development with the recent commissioning of several utility-scale solar power projects and many other commercial installations across the Arabian Peninsula. The region, lying in a virtually rainless sunny belt with a typical daily average solar radiation exceeding 6 kWh/m2, is also one of the most promising candidates for solar energy deployment. However, it is not the availability of resource, but its characterization and reasonably accurate assessment that determines the application potential. Solar irradiance, magnitude and variability inclusive, is the key input in assessing the economic feasibility of a solar system. The accuracy of such data is of critical importance for realistic on-site performance estimates. This contribution aims to identify the key stages in developing a robust solar database for desert climate by focusing on the challenges that an arid environment presents to parameterization of solar irradiance attenuating factors. Adjustments are proposed based on the currently available resource assessment tools to produce high quality data for assessing bankability. Establishing and maintaining ground solar irradiance measurements is an expensive affair and fairly limited in time (recently operational) and space (fewer sites) in the Gulf region. Developers within solar technology industry, therefore, rely on solar radiation models and satellite-derived data for prompt resource assessment needs. It is imperative that such estimation tools are as accurate as possible. While purely empirical models have been widely researched and validated in the Arabian Peninsula's solar modeling history, they are known to be intrinsically site-specific. A primal step to modeling is an in-depth understanding of the region's climate, identifying the key players attenuating radiation and their appropriate characterization to determine solar irradiance. Physical approach

  15. DRIFT-ARID: Application of a method for environmental water ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    DRIFT-ARID: Application of a method for environmental water requirements ... of water required (EWR) to sustain ecosystem services in non-perennial rivers need ... river types, especially episodic rivers where data are scarce or non-existent.

  16. Assessment of microbial diversity under arid plants by culture ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Dr. R. K. Jain

    2013-10-02

    Oct 2, 2013 ... Both culture- dependent and culture-independent methods indicated that in arid crops, ... on analysis of DNA allow investigation of this potential. .... Addition of anionic detergent, SDS along with CTAB yielded maximum DNA.

  17. 社会经济环境与自然灾害抗御能力关联性研究%Study on Relevance between Social Economic Environment and Resistance to Natural Disasters

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    罗洎

    2013-01-01

    Based on the data of 1991-2010 in each province, relevance between social economic environment and resistance to natural disasters is studied by panel data regression models. It is empirically shown that increase of real GDP per capita and rural per capita net income and population of tertiary industry in GDP as well as the number of doctors per thousand people all can significantly enhance the resistance to natural disasters notably. However, increase of social fixed asset investment and increment speed of GDP cannot enhance the resistance prominently. Increase of disposable income decreases the death toll and the number of people affected by the disasters but enhances direct economic losses. Therefore, the influence of disposable income on the resistance is uncertainty.%根据中国1991~2010年各省的数据,使用面板数据模型研究了中国区域社会经济环境与自然灾害抗御能力间的内在联系.实证结果表明:人均生产总值的增加、农村居民人均纯收入的提高、第三产业产值占GDP比重和公共教育经费占GDP比重的增加以及每千人医生数的增加可以显著的提高区域灾害抗御能力;增加全社会固定资产投资、提高GDP增速对区域灾害抗御能力的影响不显著.增加城市居民可支配收入可减少因灾死亡人数和受灾人口数,但会加大因灾直接经济损失,因而对区域灾害抗御能力的最终影响不能确定.

  18. Biomimicry as an approach for sustainable architecture case of arid regions with hot and dry climate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bouabdallah, Nabila; M'sellem, Houda; Alkama, Djamel

    2016-07-01

    This paper aims to study the problem of thermal comfort inside buildings located in hot and arid climates. The principal idea behind this research is using concepts based on the potential of nature as an instrument that helps creating appropriate facades with the environment "building skin". The biomimetic architecture imitates nature through the study of form, function, behaviour and ecosystems of biological organisms. This research aims to clarify the possibilities that can be offered by biomimicry architecture to develop architectural bio-inspired building's design that can help to enhance indoor thermal ambiance in buildings located in hot and dry climate which helps to achieve thermal comfort for users.

  19. Discussion on an Eco-Agriculture Model in the Semi-Arid Region of China

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    ZhangPeidong

    2005-01-01

    The semi-arid region of China covers an area of 2.2×106kin2. Water shortage in this region is the core but not the only one factor for the sustainable development of agriculture. Effective application of the energy and all kinds of resources and overall maintenance of the balance of ecological environment must be emphasized for sustainable development of the agriculture in the region. The extensive development of rural yard-economy is the only way to realize the intensive agricultural development there. A model is developed on the basis of our studies in recent years.

  20. On the relationship between environmental aridization of the Loess Plateau and soil water in loess

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    杨文治; 邵明安; 彭新德; 夏卫生

    1999-01-01

    The similarity between loess palaeo-environment and geographic distribution of modern bioclimatic zones is taken as a starting point; the relationship between the environmental aridization and soil water in loess is discussed from the point view of the soil water energy status and their soil water physical characteristics of modern loessial soils on the Loess Plateau. The soil water content becomes less and less from southeast to northwest, which not only provides favorable conditions for dust production by wind of loess origin, but also reveals that there is obviously a directional change in the environmental drought intensity of the Loess Plateau.

  1. Deep learning relevance

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lioma, Christina; Larsen, Birger; Petersen, Casper

    2016-01-01

    train a Recurrent Neural Network (RNN) on existing relevant information to that query. We then use the RNN to "deep learn" a single, synthetic, and we assume, relevant document for that query. We design a crowdsourcing experiment to assess how relevant the "deep learned" document is, compared......What if Information Retrieval (IR) systems did not just retrieve relevant information that is stored in their indices, but could also "understand" it and synthesise it into a single document? We present a preliminary study that makes a first step towards answering this question. Given a query, we...... to existing relevant documents. Users are shown a query and four wordclouds (of three existing relevant documents and our deep learned synthetic document). The synthetic document is ranked on average most relevant of all....

  2. Impacts of Climate Anomalies on the Vegetation Patterns in the Arid and Semi-Arid Zones of Uzbekistan

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dildora, Aralova; Toderich, Kristina; Dilshod, Gafurov

    2016-08-01

    Steadily rising temperature anomalies in last decades are causing changes in vegetation patterns for sensitive to climate change in arid and semi-arid dryland ecosystems. After desiccation of the Aral Sea, Uzbekistan has been left with the challenge to develop drought and heat stress monitoring system and tools (e.g., to monitor vegetation status and/crop pattern dynamics) with using remote sensing technologies in broad scale. This study examines several climate parameters, NDVI and drought indexes within geostatistical method to predict further vegetation status in arid and semi-arid zones of landscapes. This approaches aimed to extract and utilize certain variable environmental data (temperature and precipitation) for assessment and inter-linkages of vegetation cover dynamics, specifically related to predict degraded and recovered zones or desertification process in the drylands due to scarcity of water resources and high risks of climate anomalies in fragile ecosystem of Uzbekistan.

  3. Late glacial aridity in southern Rocky Mountains

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Davis, O.K.; Pitblado, B.L. [Univ. of Arizona, Tucson, AZ (United States)

    1995-09-01

    While the slopes of the present-day Colorado Rocky Mountains are characterized by large stands of subalpine and montane conifers, the Rockies of the late glacial looked dramatically different. Specifically, pollen records suggest that during the late glacial, Artemisia and Gramineae predominated throughout the mountains of Colorado. At some point between 11,000 and 10,000 B.P., however, both Artemisia and grasses underwent a dramatic decline, which can be identified in virtually every pollen diagram produced for Colorado mountain sites, including Como Lake (Sangre de Cristo Mountains), Copley Lake and Splains; Gulch (near Crested Butte), Molas Lake (San Juan Mountains), and Redrock Lake (Boulder County). Moreover, the same pattern seems to hold for pollen spectra derived for areas adjacent to Colorado, including at sites in the Chuska Mountains of New Mexico and in eastern Wyoming. The implications of this consistent finding are compelling. The closest modem analogues to the Artemisia- and Gramineae-dominated late-glacial Colorado Rockies are found in the relatively arid northern Great Basin, which suggests that annual precipitation was much lower in the late-glacial southern Rocky Mountains than it was throughout the Holocene.

  4. Development and implementation of a monitoring and information system to increase water use efficiency in arid and semi-arid areas in Limarí, Central Chile (WEIN)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berger, Erich; Balmert, David; Richter, Jürgen

    2016-10-01

    The project WEIN was funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF | Berlin, Germany) in the framework of the high-tech strategy of Germany's program "KMU-Innovativ". The project started in 2012 and was completed in 2014. In the scope of the project, an integrated system for analysis, monitoring and information at river basin level was developed, which provides relevant information for all stakeholders that are concerned with water resource issues. The main objective of the project was to improve water use efficiency and hence ensure the agricultural production in the region. The pilot region, in which this system was implemented, is the semi-arid Limarí basin in Northern Central Chile. One of the main parts of the project was the development and implementation of a web- and app-based irrigation water ordering and accounting system for local farmers.

  5. Entomological studies for surveillance and prevention of dengue in arid and semi-arid districts of Rajasthan, India

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anil Purohit

    2008-05-01

    Full Text Available Background & objectives: Rajasthan is one of the dengue endemic states of India. Very few studies have been published on entomological aspects of dengue in this state. Owing to water scarcity, inhabitants in desert areas overstore domestic water which leads to the persistence of dengue vectors within the domestic premises. Area specific knowledge on breeding, key containers and seasonal rhythms of vector population is essential for preparing an effective prevention plan against dengue. Present paper reports results of entomological investigations on dengue vectors in arid and semi-arid districts of Rajasthan. Methods: Longitudinal studies were undertaken during 2004–06 in one arid and two semi-arid dengue endemic districts of Rajasthan. Adult and larval Aedes were collected from the randomly selected houses in representative towns and villages with associated details of container types and water storage practices of inhabitants. Results: In urban areas during all the seasons adult house index (AHI of Aedes aegypti was maximum in desert zone (25 and least in semi-arid area with saline river III (1. The difference of AHI during three seasons was statistically significant (c2 = 16.1, p <0.01 for urban; and c2 = 50.71, p < 0.001 for rural. Breeding of Ae. aegypti among urban settings was maximum in desert zone. During all the seasons cement tanks were the key breeding habitats for Ae. aegypti in desert as well as semi-arid areas. Interpretation & conclusion: Water storage habits during summer season emerged to be the risk factor of vector abundance in urban areas of arid and semi-arid settings. A carefully designed study of key containers targeting cement tanks as the primary habitats of mosquito control may lead to commendable results for dengue prevention.

  6. Keeping Sediment and Nutrients out of Streams in Arid/Semi-Arid Regions: Application of Low Impact Development/Green Infrastructure Practices

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yongping, Yuan

    2015-04-01

    Climatic and hydrological characteristics in the arid/semi-arid areas create unique challenges to soil, water and biodiversity conservation. These areas are environmentally sensitive, but very valuable for the ecosystems services they provide to society. Some of these areas are experiencing the fastest urbanization and now face multiple water resource challenges. Low Impact Development (LID)/Green Infrastructure (GI) practices are increasingly popular for reducing stormwater and nonpoint source pollution in many regions around the world. However, streamflow in the arid/semi-arid regions is largely dependent on seasonal, short term, and high intensity rainfall events. LID has not been very common in the arid/semi-arid regions due to a lack of performance evaluation, as well as the perception that LID may not be very useful for regions with little annual precipitation. This study focused on investigating the hydrologic and pollutant removal performance of LID/GI systems in arid/semi-arid climates. Ten types of practices were found in use in the Western/Southwestern U.S.: rainwater harvest systems, detention ponds, retention ponds, bioretention, media filters, porous pavements, vegetated swales/buffer/strips, green roofs, infiltration trenches, and integrated LIDs. This study compared the performance of these practices in terms of their effectiveness at pollutant removal and cost-effectiveness. This analysis provides insight into the future implementation of LID/GI in the arid/semi-arid areas. Key words: LID/GI, arid/semi-arid, effectiveness of pollutant removal, cost-effectiveness analysis

  7. SNP Discovery and Genetic Variation of Candidate Genes Relevant to Heat Tolerance and Agronomic Traits in Natural Populations of Sand Rice (Agriophyllum squarrosum).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Pengshan; Zhang, Jiwei; Qian, Chaoju; Zhou, Qin; Zhao, Xin; Chen, Guoxiong; Ma, Xiao-Fei

    2017-01-01

    The extreme stress tolerance and high nutritional value of sand rice (Agriophyllum squarrosum) make it attractive for use as an alternative crop in response to concerns about ongoing climate change and future food security. However, a lack of genetic information hinders understanding of the mechanisms underpinning the morphological and physiological adaptations of sand rice. In the present study, we sequenced and analyzed the transcriptomes of two individuals representing semi-arid [Naiman (NM)] and arid [Shapotou (SPT)] sand rice genotypes. A total of 105,868 pairwise single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) distributed in 24,712 Unigenes were identified among SPT and NM samples; the average SNP frequency was 0.3% (one SNP per 333 base pair). Characterization of gene annotation demonstrated that variations in genes involved in DNA recombination were associated with the survival of the NM population in the semi-arid environment. A set of genes predicted to be relevant to heat stress response and agronomic traits was functionally annotated using the accumulated knowledge from Arabidopsis and several crop plants, including rice, barley, maize, and sorghum. Four candidate genes related to heat tolerance (heat-shock transcription factor, HsfA1d), seed size (DA1-Related, DAR1), and flowering (early flowering 3, ELF3 and late elongated hypocotyl, LHY) were subjected to analysis of the genetic diversity in 10 natural populations, representing the core germplasm resource across the area of sand rice distribution in China. Only one SNP was detected in each of HsfA1d and DAR1, among 60 genotypes, with two in ELF3 and four in LHY. Nucleotide diversity ranged from 0.00032 to 0.00118. Haplotype analysis indicated that the NM population carried a specific allele for all four genes, suggesting that divergence has occurred between NM and other populations. These four genes could be further analyzed to determine whether they are associated with phenotype variation and identify

  8. Animal foraging as a mechanism for sediment movement and soil nutrient development: Evidence from the semi-arid Australian woodlands and the Chihuahuan Desert

    Science.gov (United States)

    An emerging area of interest in geomorphology over the past two decades has been the effects of biota on ecosystem processes. We examined the roles of a range of vertebrates on soil disturbance in two markedly different environments, the semi-arid woodland of eastern Australia and a Chihuahuan Deser...

  9. Diagnosis of GLDAS LSM based aridity index and dryland identification.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ghazanfari, Sadegh; Pande, Saket; Hashemy, Mehdy; Sonneveld, Ben

    2013-04-15

    The identification of dryland areas is crucial for guiding policy aimed at intervening in water-stressed areas and addressing the perennial livelihood or food insecurity of these areas. However, the prevailing aridity indices (such as UNEP aridity index) have methodological limitations that restrict their use in delineating drylands and may be insufficient for decision-making frameworks. In this study, we propose a new aridity index based on based on 3 decades of soil moisture time series by accounting for site-specific soil and vegetation that partitions precipitation into the competing demands of evaporation and runoff. Our proposed aridity index is the frequency at which the dominant soil moisture value at a location is not exceeded by the dominant soil moisture values in all of the other locations. To represent the dominant spatial template of the soil moisture conditions, we extract the first eigenfunction from the empirical orthogonal function (EOF) analysis from 3 GLDAS land surface models (LSMs): VIC, MOSAIC and NOAH at 1 × 1 degree spatial resolution. The EOF analysis reveals that the first eigenfunction explains 33%, 43% and 47% of the VIC, NOAH and MOSAIC models, respectively. We compare each LSM aridity indices with the UNEP aridity index, which is created based on LSM data forcings. The VIC aridity index displays a pattern most closely resembling that of UNEP, although all of the LSM-based indices accurately isolate the dominant dryland areas. The UNEP classification identifies portions of south-central Africa, southeastern United States and eastern India as drier than predicted by all of the LSMs. The NOAH and MOSAIC LSMs categorize portions of southwestern Africa as drier than the other two classifications, while all of the LSMs classify portions of central India as wetter than the UNEP classification. We compare all aridity maps with the long-term average NDVI values. Results show that vegetation cover in areas that the UNEP index classifies as

  10. Developing User-Driven Climate Information Services to Build Resilience Amongst Groups at Risk of Drought and Flood in Arid and Semi-Arid Land Counties in Kenya

    Science.gov (United States)

    Githungo, W. N.; Shaka, A.; Kniveton, D.; Muithya, L.; Powell, R.; Visman, E. L.

    2014-12-01

    The Arid and Semi-Arid Land (ASAL) counties of Kitui and Makueni in Kenya are experiencing increasing climate variability in seasonal rainfall, including changes in the onset, cessation and distribution of the two principal rains upon which the majority of the population's small-holder farmers and livestock keepers depend. Food insecurity is prevalent with significant numbers also affected by flooding during periods of intense rainfall. As part of a multi-partner Adaptation Consortium, Kenya Meteorological Services (KMS) are developing Climate Information Services (CIS) which can better support decision making amongst the counties' principal livelihoods groups and across County Government ministries. Building on earlier pilots and stakeholder discussion, the system combines the production of climate information tailored for transmission via regional and local radio stations with the establishment of a new SMS service. SMS are provided through a network of CIS intermediaries drawn from across key government ministries, religious networks, non-governmental and community groups, aiming to achieve one SMS recipient per 3-500 people. It also introduces a demand-led, premium-rate SMS weather information service which is designed to be self-financing in the long term. Supporting the ongoing process of devolution, KMS is downscaling national forecasts for each county, and providing seasonal, monthly, weekly and daily forecasts, as well as warnings of weather-related hazards. Through collaboration with relevant ministries, government bodies and research institutions, including livestock, agriculture, drought management and health, technical advisories are developed to provide guidance on application of the climate information. The system seeks to provide timely, relevant information which can enable people to use weather and climate information to support decisions which protect life and property and build resilience to ongoing climate variability and future change.

  11. Fuzziness and Relevance Theory

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Grace Qiao Zhang

    2005-01-01

    This paper investigates how the phenomenon of fuzzy language, such as `many' in `Mary has many friends', can be explained by Relevance Theory. It is concluded that fuzzy language use conforms with optimal relevance in that it can achieve the greatest positive effect with the least processing effort. It is the communicators themselves who decide whether or not optimal relevance is achieved, rather than the language form (fuzzy or non-fuzzy) used. People can skillfully adjust the deployment of different language forms or choose appropriate interpretations to suit different situations and communication needs. However, there are two challenges to RT: a. to extend its theory from individual relevance to group relevance; b. to embrace cultural considerations (because when relevance principles and cultural protocols are in conflict, the latter tends to prevail).

  12. Relevance Theory in Translation

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Shao Jun; Jiang Min

    2008-01-01

    In perspective of relevance theory, translation is regarded as communication. According to relevance theory, communication not only requires encoding, transfer and decoding processes, but also involves inference in addition. As communication, translation decision-making is also based on the human beings' inferential mental faculty. Concentrating on relevance theory, this paper tries to analyze and explain some translation phenomena in two English versions of Cai Gen Tan-My Crude Philosophy of Life.

  13. Identification and functional characterization of a novel bipartite nuclear localization sequence in ARID1A

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bateman, Nicholas W. [Women' s Health Integrated Research Center at Inova Health System, Gynecologic Cancer Center of Excellence, Annandale 22003, VA (United States); The John P. Murtha Cancer Center, Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, 8901 Wisconsin Avenue, Bethesda 20889, MD (United States); Shoji, Yutaka [Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Biology, Michigan State University, Grand Rapids 49503, MI (United States); Conrads, Kelly A.; Stroop, Kevin D. [Women' s Health Integrated Research Center at Inova Health System, Gynecologic Cancer Center of Excellence, Annandale 22003, VA (United States); Hamilton, Chad A. [Women' s Health Integrated Research Center at Inova Health System, Gynecologic Cancer Center of Excellence, Annandale 22003, VA (United States); The John P. Murtha Cancer Center, Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, 8901 Wisconsin Avenue, Bethesda 20889, MD (United States); Gynecologic Oncology Service, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, 8901 Wisconsin Ave, MD, Bethesda, 20889 (United States); Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Bethesda 20814, MD (United States); Darcy, Kathleen M. [Women' s Health Integrated Research Center at Inova Health System, Gynecologic Cancer Center of Excellence, Annandale 22003, VA (United States); The John P. Murtha Cancer Center, Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, 8901 Wisconsin Avenue, Bethesda 20889, MD (United States); Maxwell, George L. [Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Inova Fairfax Hospital, Falls Church, VA 22042 (United States); Risinger, John I. [Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Biology, Michigan State University, Grand Rapids 49503, MI (United States); and others

    2016-01-01

    AT-rich interactive domain-containing protein 1A (ARID1A) is a recently identified nuclear tumor suppressor frequently altered in solid tumor malignancies. We have identified a bipartite-like nuclear localization sequence (NLS) that contributes to nuclear import of ARID1A not previously described. We functionally confirm activity using GFP constructs fused with wild-type or mutant NLS sequences. We further show that cyto-nuclear localized, bipartite NLS mutant ARID1A exhibits greater stability than nuclear-localized, wild-type ARID1A. Identification of this undescribed functional NLS within ARID1A contributes vital insights to rationalize the impact of ARID1A missense mutations observed in patient tumors. - Highlights: • We have identified a bipartite nuclear localization sequence (NLS) in ARID1A. • Confirmation of the NLS was performed using GFP constructs. • NLS mutant ARID1A exhibits greater stability than wild-type ARID1A.

  14. Predictability and prediction of summer rainfall in the arid and semi-arid regions of China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xing, Wen; Wang, Bin

    2016-09-01

    Northwest China (NWC) is an arid and semi-arid region where climate variability and environmental changes are sensitive to precipitation. The present study explores sources and limits of predictability of summer precipitation over NWC using the predictable mode analysis (PMA) of percentage of rainfall anomaly data. Two major modes of NWC summer rainfall variability are identified which are tied to Eurasian continental scale precipitation variations. The first mode features wet northern China corresponding to dry central Siberia and wet Mongolia, which is mainly driven by tropical Pacific sea surface temperature anomalies (SSTA). The second mode features wet western China reflecting wet Central Asia and dry Ural-western Siberia, which strongly links to Indian Ocean SSTA. Anomalous land warming over Eurasia also provides important precursors for the two modes. The cross-validated hindcast results demonstrate these modes can be predicted with significant correlation skills, suggesting that they may be considered as predictable modes. The domain averaged temporal correlation coefficient (TCC) skill during 1979 to 2015 using 0-month (1-month) lead models is 0.39 (0.35), which is considerably higher than dynamical models' multi-model ensemble mean skill (-0.02). Maximum potential attainable prediction skills are also estimated and discussed. The result illustrates advantage of PMA in predicting rainfall over dry land areas and large room for dynamical model improvement. However, secular changes of predictors need to be detected continuously in order to make practical useful prediction.

  15. Hourly Wind Speed Interval Prediction in Arid Regions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chaouch, M.; Ouarda, T.

    2013-12-01

    The long and extended warm and dry summers, the low rate of rain and humidity are the main factors that explain the increase of electricity consumption in hot arid regions. In such regions, the ventilating and air-conditioning installations, that are typically the most energy-intensive among energy consumption activities, are essential for securing healthy, safe and suitable indoor thermal conditions for building occupants and stored materials. The use of renewable energy resources such as solar and wind represents one of the most relevant solutions to overcome the increase of the electricity demand challenge. In the recent years, wind energy is gaining more importance among the researchers worldwide. Wind energy is intermittent in nature and hence the power system scheduling and dynamic control of wind turbine requires an estimate of wind energy. Accurate forecast of wind speed is a challenging task for the wind energy research field. In fact, due to the large variability of wind speed caused by the unpredictable and dynamic nature of the earth's atmosphere, there are many fluctuations in wind power production. This inherent variability of wind speed is the main cause of the uncertainty observed in wind power generation. Furthermore, producing wind power forecasts might be obtained indirectly by modeling the wind speed series and then transforming the forecasts through a power curve. Wind speed forecasting techniques have received substantial attention recently and several models have been developed. Basically two main approaches have been proposed in the literature: (1) physical models such as Numerical Weather Forecast and (2) statistical models such as Autoregressive integrated moving average (ARIMA) models, Neural Networks. While the initial focus in the literature has been on point forecasts, the need to quantify forecast uncertainty and communicate the risk of extreme ramp events has led to an interest in producing probabilistic forecasts. In short term

  16. Endemic shrubs in temperate arid and semiarid regions of northern China and their potentials for rangeland restoration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chu, Jianmin; Yang, Hongxiao; Lu, Qi; Zhang, Xiaoyan

    2015-06-03

    Some endemic shrubs in arid and semiarid ecosystems are in danger of extinction, and yet they can play useful roles in maintaining or restoring these ecosystems, thus practical efforts are needed to conserve them. The shrubs Amygdalus pedunculata Pall., Amygdalus mongolica (Maxim.) Ricker and Ammopiptanthus mongolicus (Maxim. ex Kom.) Cheng f. are endemic species in arid and semiarid regions of northern China, where rangeland desertification is pronounced due to chronic overgrazing. In this study, we tested the hypothesis that these endemic shrubs have developed adaptations to arid and semiarid environments and could play critical roles as nurse species to initiate the process of rangeland recovery. Based on careful vegetation surveys, we analysed the niches of these species in relation to precipitation, temperature and habitats. All sampling plots were categorized by these endemics and sorted by the non-metric multidimensional scaling method. Species ratios of each life form and species co-occurrence rates with the endemics were also evaluated. Annual average temperature and annual precipitation were found to be the key factors determining vegetation diversity and distributions. Amygdalus pedunculata prefers low hills and sandy land in temperate semiarid regions. Amygdalus mongolica prefers gravel deserts of temperate semiarid regions. Ammopiptanthus mongolicus prefers sandy land of temperate arid regions. Communities of A. pedunculata have the highest diversity and the largest ratios of long-lived grass species, whereas those of A. mongolicus have the lowest diversity but the largest ratios of shrub species. Communities of A. mongolica are a transition between the first two community types. These findings demonstrate that our focal endemic shrubs have evolved adaptations to arid and semiarid conditions, thus they can be nurse plants to stabilize sand ground for vegetation restoration. We suggest that land managers begin using these shrub species to restore

  17. An Overview of Potential Methods for Maintaining Training Area Environments in Arid and Semi-Arid Climates

    Science.gov (United States)

    1983-04-01

    leaseholds. Noxious weeds present include musk thistle , field bindwood, and Johnson grass. The leaseholders also control invading woody species, such as...finish revegetating each watershed. Fort Hunter Li2ett Hunter Liggett’s major problem is invasion of star thistle . Control of the star thistle by...mourning dove, cottontail rabbit, Abert’s squirrel, black bear, and the black-footed ferret. A conceptual habitat identification and mapping procedure

  18. Making Science Relevant

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eick, Charles; Deutsch, Bill; Fuller, Jennifer; Scott, Fletcher

    2008-01-01

    Science teachers are always looking for ways to demonstrate the relevance of science to students. By connecting science learning to important societal issues, teachers can motivate students to both enjoy and engage in relevant science (Bennet, Lubben, and Hogarth 2007). To develop that connection, teachers can help students take an active role in…

  19. New Technologies to Reclaim Arid Lands User's Manual

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    W. K. Ostler

    2002-10-01

    Approximately 70 percent of all U.S. military training lands are located in arid and semi-arid areas. Training activities in such areas frequently adversely affect vegetation, damaging plants and reducing the resilience of vegetation to recover once disturbed. Fugitive dust resulting from a loss of vegetation creates additional problems for human health, increasing accidents due to decreased visibility, and increasing maintenance costs for roads, vehicles, and equipment. Under conventional technologies to mitigate these impacts, it is estimated that up to 35 percent of revegetation projects in arid areas will fail due to unpredictable natural environmental conditions, such as drought, and reclamation techniques that were inadequate to restore vegetative cover in a timely and cost-effective manner. New reclamation and restoration techniques are needed in desert ranges to help mitigate the adverse effects of military training and other activities to arid-land environments. In 1999, a cooperative effort between the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), the US. Department of Defense (DoD), and selected university scientists was undertaken to focus on mitigating military impacts in arid lands. As arid lands are impacted due to DoD and DOE activities, biological and soil resources are gradually lost and the habitat is altered. A conceptual model of that change in habitat quality is described for varying levels of disturbance in the Mojave Desert. As the habitat quality degrades and more biological and physical resources are lost from training areas, greater costs are required to return the land to sustainable levels. The purpose of this manual is to assist land managers in recognizing thresholds associated with habitat degradation and provide reclamation planning and techniques that can reduce the costs of mitigation for these impacted lands to ensure sustainable use of these lands. The importance of reclamation planning is described in this manual with suggestions about

  20. Analyzing Landscape Trends on Agriculture, Introduced Exotic Grasslands and Riparian Ecosystems in Arid Regions of Mexico

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Romeo Mendez-Estrella

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Riparian Zones are considered biodiversity and ecosystem services hotspots. In arid environments, these ecosystems represent key habitats, since water availability makes them unique in terms of fauna, flora and ecological processes. Simple yet powerful remote sensing techniques were used to assess how spatial and temporal land cover dynamics, and water depth reflect distribution of key land cover types in riparian areas. Our study area includes the San Miguel and Zanjon rivers in Northwest Mexico. We used a supervised classification and regression tree (CART algorithm to produce thematic classifications (with accuracies higher than 78% for 1993, 2002 and 2011 using Landsat TM scenes. Our results suggest a decline in agriculture (32.5% area decrease and cultivated grasslands (21.1% area decrease from 1993 to 2011 in the study area. We found constant fluctuation between adjacent land cover classes and riparian habitat. We also found that water depth restricts Riparian Vegetation distribution but not agricultural lands or induced grasslands. Using remote sensing combined with spatial analysis, we were able to reach a better understanding of how riparian habitats are being modified in arid environments and how they have changed through time.

  1. The fate of seeds in the soil: a review of the influence of overland flow on seed removal and its consequences for the vegetation of arid and semiarid patchy ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bochet, E.

    2015-01-01

    Since seeds are the principle means by which plants move across the landscape, the final fate of seeds plays a fundamental role in the assemblage, functioning and dynamics of plant communities. Once seeds land on the soil surface after being dispersed from the parent plant, they can be moved horizontally by surface runoff. In arid and semiarid patchy ecosystems, where seeds are scattered into a very heterogeneous environment and intense rainfalls occur, the transport of seeds by runoff to new sites may be an opportunity for seeds to reach more favourable sites for seed germination and seedling survival. Although seed transport by runoff may be of vital importance for the recruitment of plants in these ecosystems, it has received little attention in the scientific literature, especially among soil scientists. The main goals of this review paper are (1) to offer an updated conceptual model of seed fate with a focus on seed destiny in and on the soil; (2) to review studies on seed fate in overland flow and the ecological implications seed transport by runoff has for the origin, spatial patterning and maintenance of patches in arid and semiarid patchy ecosystems; and finally (3) to point out directions for future research. This review shows that seed fate in overland flow may result either in the export of seeds from the system (seed loss) or in the spatial redistribution of seeds within the system through short-distance seed movements (seed displacement). Seed transport by runoff depends on rainfall, slope and soil characteristics. Susceptibility of seed removal varies highly between species and is mainly related to seed traits, including seed size, seed shape, presence of appendages, and ability of a seed to secrete mucilage. Although initially considered as a risk of seed loss, seed removal by runoff has recently been described as an ecological driver that shapes plant composition from the first phases of the plant life by favouring species with seeds able to resist

  2. Sorghum grain as human food in Africa: relevance of content of starch and amylase activities

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Dicko, M.H.; Gruppen, H.; Traore, A.S.; Voragen, A.G.J.; Berkel, van W.J.H.

    2006-01-01

    Sorghum is a staple food grain in many semi-arid and tropic areas of the world, notably in Sub-Saharan Africa because of its good adaptation to hard environments and its good yield of production. Among important biochemical components for sorghum processing are levels of starch (amylose and

  3. Sorghum grain as human food in Africa: relevance of content of starch and amylase activities

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Dicko, M.H.; Gruppen, H.; Traore, A.S.; Voragen, A.G.J.; Berkel, van W.J.H.

    2006-01-01

    Sorghum is a staple food grain in many semi-arid and tropic areas of the world, notably in Sub-Saharan Africa because of its good adaptation to hard environments and its good yield of production. Among important biochemical components for sorghum processing are levels of starch (amylose and amylopec

  4. Do Red Edge and Texture Attributes from High-Resolution Satellite Data Improve Wood Volume Estimation in a Semi-Arid Mountainous Region?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Schumacher, Paul; Mislimshoeva, Bunafsha; Brenning, Alexander;

    2016-01-01

    Remote sensing-based woody biomass quantification in sparsely-vegetated areas is often limited when using only common broadband vegetation indices as input data for correlation with ground-based measured biomass information. Red edge indices and texture attributes are often suggested as a means...... to overcome this issue. However, clear recommendations on the suitability of specific proxies to provide accurate biomass information in semi-arid to arid environments are still lacking. This study contributes to the understanding of using multispectral high-resolution satellite data (RapidEye), specifically...... red edge and texture attributes, to estimate wood volume in semi-arid ecosystems characterized by scarce vegetation. LASSO (Least Absolute Shrinkage and Selection Operator) and random forest were used as predictive models relating in situ-measured aboveground standing wood volume to satellite data...

  5. Tracer-based studies of soil water movement in semi-arid forests of New Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Newman, Brent D.; Campbell, Andrew R.; Wilcox, Bradford P.

    1997-09-01

    The related issues of water movement and contaminant transport in arid and semi-arid environments have generated considerable interest and concern in the last few decades. Essential to understanding these issues is knowledge of how water moves through the soils that form the uppermost part of the vadose zone. The use of tracers, both natural and artificially introduced, is proving to be an effective method for gaining such knowledge in dry regions, where investigation by other means is difficult. In this study, natural stable-isotope and chloride tracers were used to investigate water movement in the soils of a piñon-juniper woodland and of a ponderosa pine forest on the Pajarito Plateau in northern New Mexico. The objectives were to (1) estimate and compare near-surface flux rates and evaluate the importance of evaporation in the two communities, and (2) determine to what extent differences in flux rates and evaporation are due to differences in plant cover and/or soil hydraulic properties. The results of this study will aid in evaluating the potential for contaminant mobility in semi-arid systems such as the Pajarito Plateau and, in addition, will increase understanding of nutrient distributions and plant water use in semi-arid environments. The stable-isotope data indicate a similarity between the piñon-juniper and ponderosa communities with respect to evaporation: in both, it is restricted mainly to the upper 10 cm of soil. Chloride profiles from the two communities, on the other hand, show a distinct difference with respect to downward fluxes: in the ponderosa pine forest, these fluxes (≈0.02 cm year -1) are an order of magnitude lower than those in the piñon-juniper woodland (≈0.2 cm year -1), even though total precipitation is about 4 cm year -1 higher in the ponderosa pine forest. This difference, however, appears to be related not to plant cover, but to differences in soil hydraulic properties. The soils of the ponderosa pine forest contain clay

  6. Isolation of mosquitocidal bacteria (Bacillus thuringiensis, B.sphaericus and B. cereus) from excreta of arid birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poopathi, Subbiah; Thirugnanasambantham, K; Mani, C; Ragul, K; Sundarapandian, S M

    2014-07-01

    Mosquitocidal bacteria are environmentally friendly alternatives to chemical insecticides for controlling mosquitoes and therefore, there have been tremendous world-wide efforts to identify novel mosquitocidal bacteria from natural environment. In the present study, excreta from arid-birds were analyzed for identifying mosquitocidal bacteria. The selection of sample for bacterial screening is significant, because, arid-birds are the unique living species and gathering the foods from variety of sources from environment. Out of 1000 samples examined, twelve bacterial strains were identified as mosquitocidal and the 16S rRNA gene sequence alignment depicted that these isolates belonged to Bacillus species (Bacillus thuringiensis, B.sphaericus and B. cereus). Toxicity assay against mosquito vectors have shown that these isolates are potential. The B. sphaericus VCRC-B547 (NCBI: JN377789) has shown a higher toxicity against Cx. quinquefasciatus, An. stephensi, and Aed. aegypti. Result from SDS-PAGE has shown that there was considerable difference in the protein profiles among the new bacterial isolates. Phylogenetic tree with branch length 0.05 revealed three distinct groups with homology among the closely related Bacillus strains. This study therefore throws considerable interest on the diversity of microbial organisms from arid birds and its application in mosquito control.

  7. Morphology and life cycle of a new species of Didymium (Myxomycetes) from arid areas of Mexico.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wrigley de Basanta, D; Lado, C; Estrada-Torres, A

    2008-01-01

    A new species of myxomycete, Didymium umbilicatum, isolated from the bark of Agavaceae, is described from arid zones of Mexico. This species was obtained from moist chamber cultures of Yucca spp. bark, collected in four different years from two states (Puebla and Querétaro) in central Mexico and found in the field from Hidalgo, Oaxaca and Puebla on the dead remains of Agave sp. The new species has small, flat, white sporocarps or short plasmodiocarps, 0.2-1.3 mm diam, and 0.15-0.4 mm tall. They are sessile on a reduced base or have a short, calcareous pale stalk and warted spores, warts fused in an irregular subreticulum by SEM. It is the sixth species of Didymium recently described from arid areas. The stability of the taxonomic characters of the species was confirmed by spore-to-spore culture on agar. Life cycle events are described from germination to sporulation. The morphology of the myxomycete specimens was examined with scanning electron microscopy and light microscopy, and micrographs of relevant details are included.

  8. The use of soil quality indicators to assess soil functionality in restored semi-arid ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muñoz-Rojas, Miriam; Erickson, Todd E.; Dixon, Kingsley W.; Merritt, David J.

    2016-04-01

    Keywords: Pilbara, 1-day CO2 test, microbial activity, mine restoration, soil health, ecosystem services. Introduction Semi-arid and arid environments are highly vulnerable to land degradation and their restoration has commonly showed low rates of success (James et al., 2013). A systematic knowledge of soil functionality is critical to successful restoration of degraded ecosystems since approximately 80% of ecosystem services can be connected to soil functions. The assessment of soil functionality generally involves the evaluation of soil properties and processes as they relate to the ability of soil to function effectively as a component of a healthy ecosystem (Costantini et al., 2015) Using soil quality indicators may be a valuable approach to assess functionality of topsoil and novel substrates used in restoration (Muñoz-Rojas et al., 2014; 2015). A key soil chemical indicator is soil organic C, that has been widely used as an attribute of soil quality because of the many functions that it provides and supports (Willaarts et al., 2015). However, microbial indicators can be more sensitive to disturbances and could be a valuable addition in soil assessment studies in restoration programs. Here, we propose a set of soil quality indicators to assess the soil status in restored soils (topsoil and waste material) of semi-arid environments. The study was conducted during March 2015 in the Pilbara biogeographical region (northwestern Australia) at an iron ore mine site rehabilitated in 2011. Methods Soil samples were collected from two sub-areas with different soil materials used as growth media: topsoil retrieved from nearby stockpiles and a lateritic waste material utilised for its erosive stability and physical competence. An undisturbed natural shrub-grassland ecosystem dominated by Triodia spp. and Acacia spp. representative of the restored area was selected as the analogue reference site. Soil physicochemical analysis were undertaken according to standard methods

  9. Quantification of the Aridity Process in South-Western Romania

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniel Peptenatu

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available The report released by the Intergovernmental Committee for Climate Change indicates that Romania ranks among the top seven countries in Europe that would be strongly impacted by aridity in the next few years, with climate changes consisting in a rise of average annual temperatures by as much as 5°C. The research work was conducted in the South of the Oltenia South-Western Development Region, where more than 700,000 hectares of farmland is impacted by aridification, more than 100,000 hectares among them impacted by aridity. Research methodology encompassed the analysis of average annual temperatures over the time span data was available for, at three weather stations, an analysis of average annual precipitations, an analysis of the piezometric data, the evolution of land use as a result of the expansion of the aridity process. The assessment of the aridity process also involved taking into consideration the state of the vegetation by means of the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI, used to assess the quality of the vegetal stratum, an important element in the complex analysis of the territory. The aridity process is an effect of global warming, and, based on the results of this study, the post-1990 escalation of its effects was brought about by socio-economic factors. The destruction of the irrigation systems and protective forest belts because of the uncertain situation of land ownership are the main factors that contributed to amplification of the effects of aridity on the efficiency of agricultural systems that nowadays are exposed to very high risks.

  10. Actinobacteria from arid and desert habitats: diversity and biological activity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joachim eWink

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract The lack of new antibiotics in the pharmaceutical pipeline guides more and more researchers to leave the classical isolation procedures and to look in special niches and ecosystems. Bioprospecting of extremophilic Actinobacteria through mining untapped strains and avoiding resiolation of known biomolecules is among the most promising strategies for this purpose. With this approach, members of acidtolerant, alkalitolerant, psychrotolerant, thermotolerant, halotolerant and xerotolerant Actinobacteria have been obtained from respective habitats. Among these, little survey exists on the diversity of Actinobacteria in arid areas, which are often adapted to relatively high temperatures, salt concentrations, and radiation. Therefore, arid and desert habitats are special ecosystems which can be recruited for the isolation of uncommon Actinobacteria with new metabolic capability.At the time of this writing, members of Streptomyces, Micromonospora, Saccharothrix, Streptosporangium, Cellulomonas, Amycolatopsis, Geodermatophilus, Lechevalieria, Nocardia and Actinomadura are reported from arid habitats. However, metagenomic data present dominant members of the communities in desiccating condition of areas with limited water availability that are not yet isolated. Furthermore, significant diverse types of polyketide synthase (PKS and nonribosomal peptide synthetase (NRPS genes are detected in xerophilic and xerotolerant Actinobacteria and some bioactive compounds are reported from them. Rather than pharmaceutically active metabolites, molecules with protection activity against drying such as Ectoin and Hydroxyectoin with potential application in industry and agriculture have also been identified from xerophilic Actinobacteria. In addition, numerous biologically active small molecules are expected to be discovered from arid adapted Actinobacteria in the future. In the current survey, the diversity and biotechnological potential of Actinobacteria

  11. Criticisms of Relevance Theory

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    尚静; 孟晔; 焦丽芳

    2006-01-01

    This paper briefly introduces first the notion of Sperber and Wilson's Relevance Theory. Then, the motivation of S & W putting forward their RT is also mentioned. Secondly, the paper gives some details about the methodology of RT, in which ostensive-inferential communication, context and optimal relevance are highlighted. Thirdly, the paper focuses on the criticisms of RT from different areas of research on human language and communication. Finally, the paper draws a conclusion on the great importance of RT in pragmatics.

  12. Impacts of future climate and land cover changes on threatened mammals in the semi-arid Chinese Altai Mountains.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ye, Xinping; Yu, Xiaoping; Yu, Changqing; Tayibazhaer, Aletai; Xu, Fujun; Skidmore, Andrew K; Wang, Tiejun

    2017-08-31

    Dryland biodiversity plays important roles in the fight against desertification and poverty, but is highly vulnerable to the impacts of environmental change. However, little research has been conducted on dual pressure from climate and land cover changes on biodiversity in arid and semi-arid environments. Concequntly, it is crutial to understand the potential impacts of future climate and land cover changes on dryland biodiversity. Here, using the Chinese Altai Mountains as a case study area, we predicted the future spatial distributions and local assemblages of nine threatened mammal species under projected climate and land cover change scenarios for the period 2010-2050. The results show that remarkable declines in mammal species richness as well as high rates of species turnover are seen to occur across large areas in the Chinese Altai Mountains, highlighting an urgent need for developing protection strategies for areas outside of current nature reserve network. The selected mammals are predicted to lose more than 50% of their current ranges on average, which is much higher than species' range gains (around 15%) under future climate and land cover changes. Most of the species are predicted to contract their ranges while moving eastwards and to higher altitudes, raising the need for establishing cross-border migration pathways for species. Furthermore, the inclusion of land cover changes had notable effects on projected range shifts of individual species under climate changes, demonstrating that land cover changes should be incorporated into the assessment of future climate impacts to facilitate biodiversity conservation in arid and semi-arid environments. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  13. Workshop on environmental changes of arid regions convenes in Inner Mongolia

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2008-01-01

    @@ Hosted by the CAS Institute of Geology and Geophysics and the local government, the International Workshop on Environmental Changes and Sustainable Development in Arid and Semi-arid Regions was held recently in Alashan Left Banner, Inner Mongolia.

  14. Mediterranean semi-arid systems-sensitivity and adaptation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lavee, H.; Sarah, P.

    2009-07-01

    The semi-arid areas of the Mediterranean are sensitive to climate change as they are located. In many cases, between two different systems, the arid system and the Mediterranean sub-humid system. A number of quick response ecogeomorphological variables were monitored along a climatic transect in Israel, running from west to east, covering an annual rainfall range of 700-100mm. The relationships of climatic conditions-available water soil properties overland flow erosion, were investigates. Soil samples were taken from open areas between shrubs and overland flow was monitored in posts of 7, 14 and 21 m in length (3m width). (Author)

  15. New crops for arid lands. [Jojoba; Buffalo gourd; Bladderpod; Gumweed

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hinman, C.W.

    1984-09-28

    Five plants are described that could be grown commercially under arid conditions. Once the most valuable component has been obtained from each plant (rubber from guayule; seed oil from jojoba, buffalo gourd, and bladderpod; and resin from gumweed), the remaining material holds potential for useful products as well as fuel. It is difficult to realize the full potential of arid land plants, however, because of the complexities of developing the necessary agricultural and industrial infrastructure simultaneously. To do so, multicompany efforts or cooperative efforts between government and the private sector will be required.

  16. Potential of arid zone vegetation as a source of substrates

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bassham, J.A.

    1977-11-01

    Three aspects of the potential of vegetation in arid zones as a source of substrates are discussed. The first includes the limitations on efficiency of conversion of solar energy to the stored chemical energy of biomass in green plants, and the subsequent biochemical pathways of carbon dioxide fixation and biosynthesis. Second is the potential of plants endogenous to arid zones. Finally, the use of covered agriculture or controlled environmental agriculture (CEA) is considered both in its present form and in terms of possible extenion to the large scale production of stable crops. (JGB)

  17. A PROPOSED NEW VEGETATION INDEX, THE TOTAL RATIO VEGETATION INDEX (TRVI, FOR ARID AND SEMI-ARID REGIONS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    H. Fadaei

    2012-07-01

    Full Text Available Vegetation indices that provide important key to predict amount vegetation in forest such as percentage vegetation cover, aboveground biomass, and leaf-area index. Arid and semi-arid areas are not exempt of this rule. Arid and semi-arid areas of northeast Iran cover about 3.4 million ha and are populated by two main tree species, the broadleaf Pistacia vera (pistachio and the conifer Juniperus excelsa ssp. polycarpos (Persian juniper. Natural stands of pistachio in Iran are not only environmentally important but also genetically essential as seed sources for pistachio production in orchards. We investigated the relationships between tree density and vegetation indices in the arid and semi-arid regions in the northeast of Iran by analysing Advanced Land Observing Satellite (ALOS data PRISM is a panchromatic radiometer with a 2.5 m spatial resolution at nadir, and has one band with a wavelength of 0.52–0.77 μm (JAXA EORC. AVNIR-2 is a visible and near infrared radiometer for observing land and coastal zones with a 10 m spatial resolution at nadir, and has four multispectral bands: blue (0.42–0.50 μm, green (0.52–0.60 μm, red (0.61–0.69 μm, and near infrared (0.76–0.89 μm (JAXA EORC. In this study, we estimated various vegetation indices using maximum filtering algorithm (5×5 and examined. This study carried out of juniper forests and natural pistachio stand using Advanced Land Observing Satellite (ALOS and field inventories. Have been compared linear regression model of vegetation indices and proposed new vegetation index for arid and semi-arid regions. Also, we estimated the densities of juniper forests and natural pistachio stands using remote sensing to help in the sustainable management and production of pistachio in Iran. We present a new vegetation index for arid and semi-arid regions with sparse forest cover, the Total Ratio Vegetation Index (TRVI, and we investigate the relationship of the new index to tree density by

  18. Licea eremophila, a new myxomycete from arid areas of South America.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wrigley de Basanta, D; Lado, C; Estrada-Torres, A

    2010-01-01

    A new stipitate species of myxomycete of the genus Licea is described based on material from arid areas in Argentina and Chile. It was isolated from moist chamber cultures and found fruiting on field collections, usually on the same substrate, Puya sp. (Bromeliaceae). It differs from all described species in the genus in that it has stipitate sporocarps with dehiscence by defined preformed platelets and a smooth inner peridial surface. The new species has polyhedral, yellow spores with a uniform thick spore wall and dense warts except on irregularly dispersed raised bands with fewer warts, visible by SEM, an ornamentation not previously observed in the genus. Life-cycle events are described and illustrated, from germination to sporulation, based on moist chamber and agar cultures. The morphology of the myxomycete specimens was examined with scanning electron microscopy and light microscopy, and both light and SEM micrographs of relevant details are included.

  19. Effects of environmental conditions on soil salinity and arid region in Tunisia

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ben Ahmed, C.; Ben Rouina, B.; Boukhris, M.

    2009-07-01

    The shortage of water resources of good water quality is becoming an issue in the arid and semi arid regions. for this reason, the use of water resources of marginal quality such as treated wastewater and saline groundwater has become and important consideration, particularly in arid region in Tunisia, where large quantities of saline water are used for irrigation. (Author)

  20. File list: Oth.ALL.10.Arid3a.AllCell [Chip-atlas[Archive

    Lifescience Database Archive (English)

    Full Text Available Oth.ALL.10.Arid3a.AllCell mm9 TFs and others Arid3a All cell types SRX520224,SRX520...225 http://dbarchive.biosciencedbc.jp/kyushu-u/mm9/assembled/Oth.ALL.10.Arid3a.AllCell.bed ...

  1. File list: Oth.PSC.50.Arid3a.AllCell [Chip-atlas[Archive

    Lifescience Database Archive (English)

    Full Text Available Oth.PSC.50.Arid3a.AllCell mm9 TFs and others Arid3a Pluripotent stem cell SRX520224...,SRX520225 http://dbarchive.biosciencedbc.jp/kyushu-u/mm9/assembled/Oth.PSC.50.Arid3a.AllCell.bed ...

  2. File list: Oth.ALL.50.Arid1a.AllCell [Chip-atlas[Archive

    Lifescience Database Archive (English)

    Full Text Available Oth.ALL.50.Arid1a.AllCell mm9 TFs and others Arid1a All cell types SRX978689,SRX978...688 http://dbarchive.biosciencedbc.jp/kyushu-u/mm9/assembled/Oth.ALL.50.Arid1a.AllCell.bed ...

  3. File list: Oth.PSC.20.Arid3a.AllCell [Chip-atlas[Archive

    Lifescience Database Archive (English)

    Full Text Available Oth.PSC.20.Arid3a.AllCell mm9 TFs and others Arid3a Pluripotent stem cell SRX520224...,SRX520225 http://dbarchive.biosciencedbc.jp/kyushu-u/mm9/assembled/Oth.PSC.20.Arid3a.AllCell.bed ...

  4. File list: Oth.ALL.05.Arid3a.AllCell [Chip-atlas[Archive

    Lifescience Database Archive (English)

    Full Text Available Oth.ALL.05.Arid3a.AllCell mm9 TFs and others Arid3a All cell types SRX520224,SRX520...225 http://dbarchive.biosciencedbc.jp/kyushu-u/mm9/assembled/Oth.ALL.05.Arid3a.AllCell.bed ...

  5. File list: Oth.ALL.20.Arid1a.AllCell [Chip-atlas[Archive

    Lifescience Database Archive (English)

    Full Text Available Oth.ALL.20.Arid1a.AllCell mm9 TFs and others Arid1a All cell types SRX978688,SRX978...689 http://dbarchive.biosciencedbc.jp/kyushu-u/mm9/assembled/Oth.ALL.20.Arid1a.AllCell.bed ...

  6. File list: Oth.PSC.05.Arid3a.AllCell [Chip-atlas[Archive

    Lifescience Database Archive (English)

    Full Text Available Oth.PSC.05.Arid3a.AllCell mm9 TFs and others Arid3a Pluripotent stem cell SRX520224...,SRX520225 http://dbarchive.biosciencedbc.jp/kyushu-u/mm9/assembled/Oth.PSC.05.Arid3a.AllCell.bed ...

  7. Myxomycetes associated with Cactaceae in sub-humid (agreste and semi-arid (sertão regions of Pernambuco, Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Inaldo do Nascimento Ferreira

    2011-06-01

    Full Text Available Studies that indicate the presence of Myxomycetes in arid and semi-arid regions of the planet have revealed new taxons and high species diversity. In those environments, the Myxomycetes occupy special microhabitats like those offered by succulent plants. Aiming to expand the knowledge of species that occur in semi-arid environments we investigated the occurrence of Myxomycetes on Cereus jamacaru (mandacaru, Melocactus bahiensis (coroa de frade, Opuntia ficus-indica (palma forrageira and Pilocereus gounellei (xique-xique – cacti that compose the natural landscape of the sub-humid (agreste and semi-arid (sertão regions of Pernambuco, Brazil. We obtained 158 specimens of Myxomycetes (106 field collections; 52 in moist chamber cultures, representing 16 species distributed in nine genera, with high taxonomic diversity (S/G= 0.63-1.5. All of the identified species are new records for the municipalities studied. Comatricha pulchella, Didymium nigripes and Physarum bogoriense are mentioned for the first time in Caatinga areas in the state of Pernambuco, and Didymium squamulosum and Physarum echinosporum are new records for this biome. Physarum compressum and Badhamia melanospora were the most abundant and frequent species, characterized as constant in the studied myxobiota.

  8. On the potential for regolith control of fluvial terrace formation in semi-arid escarpments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Norton, K. P.; Schlunegger, F.; Litty, C.

    2016-02-01

    Cut-fill terraces occur throughout the western Andes, where they have been associated with pluvial episodes on the Altiplano. The mechanism relating increased rainfall to sedimentation is, however, not well understood. Here, we apply a hillslope sediment model and reported cosmogenic nuclide concentrations in terraces to examine terrace formation in semi-arid escarpment environments. We focus on the Pisco river system in western Peru in order to determine probable hillslope processes and sediment transport conditions during phases of terrace formation. Specifically, we model steady-state and transient hillslope responses to increased precipitation rates. The measured terrace distribution and sediment agree with the transient predictions, suggesting strong climatic control on the cut-fill sequences in western Peru primarily through large variations in sediment load. Our model suggests that the ultimate control for these terraces is the availability of sediment on the hillslopes, with hillslope stripping supplying large sediment loads early in wet periods. At the Pisco river, this is manifest as an approximately 4-fold increase in erosion rates during pluvial periods. We suggest that this mechanism may also control terrace occurrence other semi-arid escarpment settings.

  9. Evaluation of Different Soil Salinity Mapping Using Remote Sensing Techniques in Arid Ecosystems, Saudi Arabia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mohamed Elhag

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Land covers in Saudi Arabia are generally described as salty soils with sand dunes and sand sheets. Waterlogging and higher soil salinity are major challenges to sustaining agricultural practices in Saudi Arabia principally within closed drainage basins. Agricultural practices in Saudi Arabia were flourishing in the last two decades. The newly reclaimed lands were added annually and distributed all over the country. Irrigation techniques are mostly modernized to fulfill water saving strategies. Nevertheless, water resources in Saudi Arabia are under stress and groundwater levels are depleted rapidly due to heavy abstraction that may exceed crop water requirements in most of the cases due to high evaporation rates. The excess use of irrigational water leads to severe soil salinity problems. Applications of remote sensing technique in agricultural practices became widely distinctive and cover multidisciplinary principal interests on both local and regional levels. The most important remote sensing applications in agricultural practices are vegetation indices which are related to vegetation and water especially in an arid environment. Soil salinity mapping in an arid ecosystem using remote sensing data is a demanding task. Several soil salinity indices were implemented and evaluated to detect soil salinity effectively and quantitatively. Thematic maps of soil salinity were satisfactorily produced and assessed.

  10. Response of arid ecosystems to the Holocene climate variability along west and central Mediterranean gradients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jaouadi, Sahbi; Combourieu Nebout, Nathalie; Azuara, Julien; Lebreton, Vincent

    2017-04-01

    Decadal to millennial climate variability is a common feature recorded by environmental series. However interconnections between climate forcing (i.e. insolation, thermohaline circulation) and large atmospheric circulation patterns (i.e. North Atlantic Oscillation, Mediterranean Oscillation, Monsoon) still remain poorly understood considering their respective impacts on the global climate mechanisms. In the Mediterranean area, joint climatic influences from high temperate and low subtropical latitudes result in a high sensitivity of ecosystems to climate changes and especially to extreme events. Several vegetation records illustrate millennial changes in Mediterranean. Nevertheless notable discrepancies in the environmental response arise between Mediterranean edges (east vs west, north vs south). The new paleoenvironmental record from Sebkha Boujmel (33°N, southern Tunisia) covers the last 8kyr and exhibits eight humid/arid fluctuations with cyclic expansion of the desert, related to Middle and Late Holocene rapid climate changes (RCC) occurring at a centennial scale. Sebkha Boujmel record is replaced in the wider context of west Mediterranean and northern hemisphere. Asynchronies and disparity of the Mediterranean RCC occurrence documents north-south and west-east climate gradients in the west Mediterranean and pinpoint Sebkha Boujmel as the single vegetation record tracing as many climate events during the last 8kyr. Indeed the high sensitivity of arid environments triggers the prompt reaction of the southern Tunisian vegetation to Holocene RCC however tenuous. Pattern of RCC geographical occurrence in west and central Mediterranean is interpreted in the light of climate forcings involved for the Holocene centennial variability.

  11. Modeling analysis of the benefits of Crassulacean acid metabolism (CAM) for sustainable agriculture in arid regions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bartlett, M. S.; Vico, G.; Porporato, A. M.

    2012-12-01

    In view of the pressing needs to sustainably manage water and soil resources, especially in arid and semi-arid regions, here we propose a new carbon assimilation model that couples a simple yet mechanistic description of Crassulacean acid metabolism (CAM) photosynthesis to the soil-plant-atmosphere continuum. The model captures the full coupling of the CAM photosynthetic pathway with fluctuations in environmental conditions (cycles of light availability and air humidity, changes in soil moisture as driven by plant transpiration and rainfall occurrence). As such, the model is capable of reproducing the different phases of CAM, including daytime stomatal closure and photosynthesis from malic acid, afternoon stomatal opening for direct carbon assimilation, and nighttime stomatal opening for CO2 uptake and malic acid synthesis. Thanks to its versatility, our model allows us to relate CAM productivity, for both obligate and facultative CAM plants, to various soil moisture conditions including hydroclimatic scenarios of rainfall frequency and intensity as well as different night-time conditions of temperature, wind speed, and humidity. Our analyses show the potential productive benefits of CAM cultivation in dryland environments as feedstock and possible biofuel source, in terms of sustainable water use and economic benefits. In particular, the model is used to explore conditions where CAM plant resiliency to water stress makes these plants a more sustainable alternative to C3 and C4 species for potential deficit irrigation.

  12. Evidence of a universal scaling relationship for leaf CO2 drawdown along an aridity gradient.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prentice, I Colin; Meng, Tingting; Wang, Han; Harrison, Sandy P; Ni, Jian; Wang, Guohong

    2011-04-01

    The leaf carbon isotope ratio (δ(13) C) of C3 plants is inversely related to the drawdown of CO2 concentration during photosynthesis, which increases towards drier environments. We aimed to discriminate between the hypothesis of universal scaling, which predicts between-species responses of δ(13) C to aridity similar to within-species responses, and biotic homoeostasis, which predicts offsets in the δ(13) C of species occupying adjacent ranges. The Northeast China Transect spans 130-900 mm annual precipitation within a narrow latitude and temperature range. Leaves of 171 species were sampled at 33 sites along the transect (18 at ≥ 5 sites) for dry matter, carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) content, specific leaf area (SLA) and δ(13) C. The δ(13) C of species generally followed a common relationship with the climatic moisture index (MI). Offsets between adjacent species were not observed. Trees and forbs diverged slightly at high MI. In C3 plants, δ(13) C predicted N per unit leaf area (Narea) better than MI. The δ(13) C of C4 plants was invariant with MI. SLA declined and Narea increased towards low MI in both C3 and C4 plants. The data are consistent with optimal stomatal regulation with respect to atmospheric dryness. They provide evidence for universal scaling of CO2 drawdown with aridity in C3 plants.

  13. The Limits to Relevance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Averill, M.; Briggle, A.

    2006-12-01

    Science policy and knowledge production lately have taken a pragmatic turn. Funding agencies increasingly are requiring scientists to explain the relevance of their work to society. This stems in part from mounting critiques of the "linear model" of knowledge production in which scientists operating according to their own interests or disciplinary standards are presumed to automatically produce knowledge that is of relevance outside of their narrow communities. Many contend that funded scientific research should be linked more directly to societal goals, which implies a shift in the kind of research that will be funded. While both authors support the concept of useful science, we question the exact meaning of "relevance" and the wisdom of allowing it to control research agendas. We hope to contribute to the conversation by thinking more critically about the meaning and limits of the term "relevance" and the trade-offs implicit in a narrow utilitarian approach. The paper will consider which interests tend to be privileged by an emphasis on relevance and address issues such as whose goals ought to be pursued and why, and who gets to decide. We will consider how relevance, narrowly construed, may actually limit the ultimate utility of scientific research. The paper also will reflect on the worthiness of research goals themselves and their relationship to a broader view of what it means to be human and to live in society. Just as there is more to being human than the pragmatic demands of daily life, there is more at issue with knowledge production than finding the most efficient ways to satisfy consumer preferences or fix near-term policy problems. We will conclude by calling for a balanced approach to funding research that addresses society's most pressing needs but also supports innovative research with less immediately apparent application.

  14. Simulation of water use and herbage growth in arid regions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Keulen, van H.

    1975-01-01

    The and and semi-arid regions of the world, totalling about 30% of the land surface of the earth, are predominantly used for extensive grazing, as low and erratic rainfall presents too high a risk for arable farming. The population that can be sustained by the animal products -meat, milk or wool- is

  15. Interspecific facilitation and critical transitions in arid ecosystems

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Verwijmeren, Mart; Rietkerk, Max; Wassen, Martin J.; Smit, Christian

    2013-01-01

    Climate change and intensified land-use impose severe stress on arid ecosystems, resulting in relatively rapid degradation which is difficult to reverse. To prevent such critical transitions it is crucial to detect early warning signals. Increased patchiness' smaller and fewer vegetated patches is t

  16. Trends and responses to global change of China's arid regions

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Weixi YANG

    2009-01-01

    Ⅰ analyzed and elaborated the trends in and responses to global change in arid regions of China, from the perspective of nine variables, i.e., temperature, precipitation, river runoff, melting glaciers, water level of lakes, wind power and evaporation, vegetation, oases, and desertification. The climate and hydrology data Ⅰ citedrepresent many years of observations. Ⅰ conclude that, since the 1980s, the climate in arid regions of China has clearly changed with rising temperatures and precipitation in most areas. Wind power and the number of galestorm days have continuously decreased, which resulted in an improvement of humid conditions and increases in river discharge and water levels of lakes. Simultaneously, vegetation also has improved and the process of deserti-fication has essentially been arrested. Although there are some unfavorable developments, such as decreased river flows or flow interruptions and downstream oases have suffered from degradation, these incidental cases should not distract our attention from the generally favorable trends during the middle and late 20th century. These discordant phenomena are not consequences of climate change but rather of unsuitable human activities. Despitea substantial increase in precipitation, the level of the original precipitation was so small that any increase in precipitation was still small. As a result, none of the fundamental conditions such as a scarcity of water resources and precipitation nor the landscape of drought-ridden deserts in the arid regions will change. The vulnerability of the eco-environmental system in the arid regions will not change fundamentally either in the near future.

  17. Local facilitation, bistability and transitions in arid ecosystems

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kéfi, S.; Rietkerk, M.G.; Baalen, M. van; Loreau, M.

    2007-01-01

    Arid ecosystems are liable to undergo sudden discontinuous transitions from a vegetated to a desert state as a result of human pressure and climate change. A predictive framework about the conditions under which such transitions occur is lacking. Here, we derive and analyze a general model describin

  18. On dew and micrometeorology in an arid coastal ecosystem

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Heusinkveld, B.G.

    2008-01-01

    This study investigated intriguing aspects of dew within a sandy arid ecosystem situated in the NW Negev desert, Israel. The goal was to quantify dew formation and evaporation processes through sensor design, field measurements and modelling. To do this, two new sensors were developed. The first sen

  19. optimization of water resources allocation in semi-arid region

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Eng Obi Ibeje

    engineeribeje@yahoo.com,. 2Department of ... This study is aimed at achieving optimal water resources allocation in the semi-arid areas using Dadin-Nkowa dam in Gombe State as a case study. .... China applied this methodology in solving.

  20. Agave Lechuguilla as a Potential Biomass Source in Arid Areas

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ahmad Houri

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Biomass productivity presents a challenging problem in arid and semi-arid areas.  Despite a large need for energy in the form of solid biomass, liquid fuel or needs for animal feed, these regions remain largely unproductive.  A convenient way to overcome this challenge is to utilize plants with high water-use efficiency.  Agave lechuguilla is an example of a highly productive (3.8 tons ha-1 yr-1 desert plant that holds the potential for producing biomass with minimal water resources.  For this purpose, a global suitability map has been developed showing areas where this plant can be planted, and its productivity was assessed.  A Maxent model was used and was further refined by excluding protected areas and used lands (urban, agriculture, etc...  Productivity assessment provides a good way forward for prioritizing the regional utilization of this plant.   This study provides an initial analysis for the use of arid and semi-arid regions for biomass production.  Results indicate the potential generation of 93.8 million tons per year of dry biomass if the suitable areas were fully utilized.  The analytical method can be readily applied to other potential plant species to optimize the use of certain areas.

  1. On dew and micrometeorology in an arid coastal ecosystem

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Heusinkveld, B.G.

    2008-01-01

    This study investigated intriguing aspects of dew within a sandy arid ecosystem situated in the NW Negev desert, Israel. The goal was to quantify dew formation and evaporation processes through sensor design, field measurements and modelling. To do this, two new sensors were developed. The first

  2. Estimation of vegetation fraction in arid areas using ALOS imagery

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Matkan, A.A.; Darvishzadeh, R.; Hosseiniasl, A.; Ebrahimi, M.

    2010-01-01

    Fraction of vegetation (Fv) plays an important role in ecosystems. Estimation of Fv is essential for drought monitoring, natural resources studies, estimation of soil erosion volume etc. The aim of this study is to estimate Fv in an arid area in Iran using ALOS Imagery (June 2008). In order to find

  3. Evaporation as the transport mechanism of metals in arid regions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lima, Ana T; Safar, Zeinab; Loch, J P Gustav

    2014-09-01

    Soils of arid regions are exposed to drought and drastic temperature oscillations throughout the year. Transport mechanisms in these soils are therefore very different from the ones in temperate regions, where rain dictates the fate of most elements in soils. Due to the low rainfall and high evaporation rates in arid regions, groundwater quality is not threatened and all soil contamination issues tend to be overlooked. But if soil contamination happens, where do contaminants go? This study tests the hypothesis of upward metal movement in soils when evaporation is the main transport mechanism. Laboratory evaporation tests were carried out with heavy metal spiked Saudi soil, using circulation of air as the driving force (Fig. 1). Main results show that loamy soil retains heavy metals quite well while evaporation drives heavy metals to the surface of a sandy soil. Evaporation transports heavy metals upward in sandy soils of arid regions, making them accumulate at the soil surface. Sand being the dominating type of soil in arid regions, soils can then be a potential source of contaminated aerosols and atmospheric pollution - a transboundary problem. Some other repercussions for this problem are foreseen, such as the public ingestion or inhalation of dust.

  4. Extreme climatic events shape arid and semiarid ecosystems

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Holmgren, M.; Stapp, P.; Dickman, C.; Gracia, C.; Graham, S.

    2006-01-01

    Climatic changes associated with the El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO) can have a dramatic impact on terrestrial ecosystems worldwide, but especially on arid and semiarid systems, where productivity is strongly limited by precipitation. Nearly two decades of research, including both short-term exp

  5. Reflexive Water Management in Arid Regions: The Case of Iran

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Balali, M.R.; Keulartz, F.W.J.; Korthals, M.

    2009-01-01

    To illuminate the problems and perspectives of water management in Iran and comparable (semi-) arid Middle East and North Africa (MENA) countries, three paradigms can be distinguished: the traditional, the industrial and the reflexive paradigm. Each paradigm is characterised by its key technical sys

  6. Evaporation as the transport mechanism of metals in arid regions

    KAUST Repository

    Lima, Ana T.

    2014-09-01

    Soils of arid regions are exposed to drought and drastic temperature oscillations throughout the year. Transport mechanisms in these soils are therefore very different from the ones in temperate regions, where rain dictates the fate of most elements in soils. Due to the low rainfall and high evaporation rates in arid regions, groundwater quality is not threatened and all soil contamination issues tend to be overlooked. But if soil contamination happens, where do contaminants go? This study tests the hypothesis of upward metal movement in soils when evaporation is the main transport mechanism. Laboratory evaporation tests were carried out with heavy metal spiked Saudi soil, using circulation of air as the driving force (Fig. 1). Main results show that loamy soil retains heavy metals quite well while evaporation drives heavy metals to the surface of a sandy soil. Evaporation transports heavy metals upward in sandy soils of arid regions, making them accumulate at the soil surface. Sand being the dominating type of soil in arid regions, soils can then be a potential source of contaminated aerosols and atmospheric pollution - a transboundary problem. Some other repercussions for this problem are foreseen, such as the public ingestion or inhalation of dust. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.

  7. 半干旱地区3种植物叶片水平的抗旱耐旱特性分析--两个气孔导度模型的应用和比较%LEAF-SCALE DROUGHT RESISTANCE AND TOLERANCE OF THREE PLANT SPECIES IN A SEMI-ARID ENVIRONMENT: APPLICATION AND COMPARISON OF TWO STOMATAL CONDUCTANCE MODELS

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    刘颖慧; 高琼; 贾海坤

    2006-01-01

    We measured diurnal gas exchange properties of three major species in a semi-arid site, and two stomatal conductance models were then applied to the data. The result indicated that the BBL model and the Gao model could explain on average 77.6 % and 59.3 % of variation in the observed stomatal conductance, respectively. Sensitivity analysis of the models indicated that the BBL model tended to give higher predictions of stomatal conductance than the Gao model. Both models showed similar responses to changes in vapor pressure.The sharp contrast between the two models, however, was that the Gao model responded to changes in soil water stress to different extents. The BBL model coupled with the TJ photosynthesis model was indifferent to increases of soil water stresses, which contradicts concurrent understanding and observations about plant physiology in arid and semiarid regions. Thus the BBL model, even though it provided better explanations of the variations in field stomata data, may not be appropriate for experimental data analysis and ecosystem simulation applications. The analysis using the Gao model indicated that Populus simonii was the least tolerant and resistant to water stresses among the three species studied. Pinus tabulaeformis had both high tolerance and resistance,but stomatal conductance of the pine tree was the least insensitive to changes in soil water stresses. Hence this pine tree may not be good for water conservation under extremely dry conditions. Caragana intermedia, however, had both larger drought tolerance and larger sensitivity to incremental soil water stresses, and thus can provide large stomatal conductance for photosynthesis when soil water stress was low, but reduce water consumption under severe water stresses by decreasing stomatal conductance with increasing soil water stress.%在对半干旱区3种植物进行生理生态特性测定的基础上,应用两种气孔导度模型进行参数的非线性

  8. Dynamic Responses of Root, Mycorrhizal and Soil Heterotrophic Respiration to Temperature Increases in an Arid System of Southeast Spain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Estruch, C.; Pugnaire, F. I.

    2014-12-01

    Mycorrhizal and heterotrophic respiration may represent up to 80% of total soil respiration in temperate environments; however little is known about arid environments where the dynamics of carbon cycling is less known. To improve models of CO2 efflux to the atmosphere in these environments it is necessary to quantify the contribution of soil components (roots, mycorrhizas and heterotrophic respiration) to soil respiration and their response to temperature increases. We settled up a soil partitioning experiment in December 2013 to address this topic. Using a mesh-collar design we quantified soil respiration of the tree main components (roots, mycorrhiza and heterotrophic respiration) in a Mediterranean arid location dominated by the shrub Rethama sphaerocarpa under two temperature regimes, an increased air temperature using open-top chambers (OTC) and a control. For the firths 6 months of measurements, we recorded a decrease in annual species cover with increased temperature; total soil respiration varied between treatments, being higher in the control treatment while, contrary to our expectations, mycorrhizal and soil heterotrophic respiration did not vary between treatments. When looking at the relative contribution of the different soil components, the treatment enclosing both mycorrhizal and soil heterotrophic respiration represented more than half the total soil respiration. These results show that temperature affects total soil respiration and that, in our case, mycorrhizal and soil heterotrophic community were not major drivers of soil respiration responses to temperature. However, these data correspond to an abnormal dry period and data to be collected during the wet season would help us to better understand the contribution of the different soil components to temperature increases in arid environments.

  9. Causes of early Holocene desertification in arid central Asia

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jin, Liya [Lanzhou University, Key Laboratory of Western China' s Environmental System, Lanzhou, Gansu (China); University of Kiel, Institute of Geosciences, Kiel (Germany); Chen, Fahu [Lanzhou University, Key Laboratory of Western China' s Environmental System, Lanzhou, Gansu (China); Morrill, Carrie [University of Colorado, Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences, Boulder, CO (United States); NOAA' s National Climatic Data Center, Paleoclimatology Branch, Boulder, CO (United States); Otto-Bliesner, Bette L.; Rosenbloom, Nan [National Center for Atmospheric Research, Climate and Global Dynamics Division, Boulder, CO (United States)

    2012-04-15

    Paleoclimate records of effective moisture (precipitation minus evaporation, or P-E) show a dry (low effective moisture) period in mid-latitude arid/semi-arid central Asia during the early Holocene (11,000-8,000 years ago) relative to the middle and late Holocene, in contrast to evidence for greater-than-present precipitation at the same time in the south and east Asian monsoonal areas. To investigate the spatial differences in climate response over mid-latitude central Asia and monsoonal Asia we conducted a series of simulations with the Community Climate System Model version 3 coupled climate model for the early, middle and late Holocene. The simulations test the climatic impact of all important forcings for the early Holocene, including changes in orbital parameters, the presence of the remnant Laurentide ice sheet and deglacial freshening of the North Atlantic. Model results clearly show the early Holocene patterns indicated by proxy records, including both the decreased effective moisture in arid central Asia, which occurs in the model primarily during the winter months, and the increase in summer monsoon precipitation in south and east Asia. The model results suggest that dry conditions in the early Holocene in central Asia are closely related to decreased water vapor advection due to reduced westerly wind speed and less evaporation upstream from the Mediterranean, Black, and Caspian Seas in boreal winter. As an extra forcing to the early Holocene climate system, the Laurentide ice sheet and meltwater fluxes have a substantial cooling effect over high latitudes, especially just over and downstream of the ice sheets, but contribute only to a small degree to the early Holocene aridity in central Asia. Instead, most of the effective moisture signal can be explained by orbital forcing decreasing the early Holocene latitudinal temperature gradient and wintertime surface temperature. We find little evidence for regional subsidence related to a stronger summer Asian

  10. Plant communities of the Soutpansberg Arid Northern Bushveld

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Theo H.C. Mostert

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available The Soutpansberg Arid Northern Bushveld is one of eight major vegetation types (MVT described for the Soutpansberg-Blouberg region. The plant communities of this MVT are described in detail. Main ecological drivers of the vegetation structure and species composition of these communities are discussed and some conservation recommendations are made. Phytosociological data from a subset of 72 Braun-Blanquet sample plots collected in the Soutpansberg Arid Northern Bushveld were classified using Two-way Indicator Species Analysis (TWINSPAN and ordinated using a Detrended Correspondence Analysis (DECORANA. The resulting classification was further refined with table-sorting procedures based on the Braun-Blanquet floristic-sociological approach to vegetation classification using the computer software MEGATAB and JUICE. Eight plant communities were identified and described as Commiphora tenuipetiolata-Adansonia digitata short open woodland, Ledebouria ovatifolia-Commiphora mollis short bushland, Phyllanthus reticulatus-Acacia nigrescens short bushland, Tinnea rhodesiana-Combretum apiculatum short bushland, Dichrostachys cinerea subsp. africana-Spirostachys africana low thickets, Themeda triandra-Pterocarpus rotundifolius short closed grassland on steep basaltic slopes, Cyperus albostriatus-Syzygium cordatum sandveld wetlands, and Sesamothamnus lugardii-Catophractes alexandri tall sparse shrubland. These plant communities are event-driven ecosystems, predominantly infl uenced by frequent droughts, exposure to desiccation and unpredictable rainfall events. The complex topography of the Soutpansberg further contributes to the aridity of these ecosystems. The classifi cation and ordination analyses show similar groupings in the vegetation of the Soutpansberg Arid Mountain Bushveld. This confi rms the usefulness of complimentary analysis, using both classifi cation and ordination methods on a single data set in order to examine patterns and to search for

  11. The Relevance of Literature.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dunham, L. L.

    1971-01-01

    The "legacy" of the humanities is discussed in terms of relevance, involvement, and other philosophical considerations. Reasons for studying foreign literature in language classes are developed in the article. Comment is also made on attitudes and ideas culled from the writings of Clifton Fadiman, Jean Paul Sartre, and James Baldwin. (RL)

  12. Relevant Subspace Clustering

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Müller, Emmanuel; Assent, Ira; Günnemann, Stephan

    2009-01-01

    . We prove that computation of this model is NP-hard. For RESCU, we propose an approximative solution that shows high accuracy with respect to our relevance model. Thorough experiments on synthetic and real world data show that RESCU successfully reduces the result to manageable sizes. It reliably...... achieves top clustering quality while competing approaches show greatly varying performance....

  13. Is Information Still Relevant?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ma, Lia

    2013-01-01

    Introduction: The term "information" in information science does not share the characteristics of those of a nomenclature: it does not bear a generally accepted definition and it does not serve as the bases and assumptions for research studies. As the data deluge has arrived, is the concept of information still relevant for information…

  14. Relevant Subspace Clustering

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Müller, Emmanuel; Assent, Ira; Günnemann, Stephan;

    2009-01-01

    Subspace clustering aims at detecting clusters in any subspace projection of a high dimensional space. As the number of possible subspace projections is exponential in the number of dimensions, the result is often tremendously large. Recent approaches fail to reduce results to relevant subspace c...

  15. Nitrogen Uptake Preferences by Plants in Arid and Semiarid Ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Macko, S.; Wang, L.; D'Odorico, P.

    2005-12-01

    In arid and semiarid ecosystems like African savannas, nutrient availability varies spatially and temporally and nutrients are considered to be a major limiting factor for growth in addition to water availability. Preference for different nitrogen forms presumably enhances the survivorship and fitness of plants since the relative abundances of nitrate and ammonium varies between drier and wetter areas. To test the hypothesis that species developing in dry areas will prefer nitrate whereas species growing in wet areas will prefer ammonium, a controlled experiment using a greenhouse was undertaken. Six native African grass species from different precipitation regimes were used in this study. Two species were from relatively wet areas (Pandamatenga, Botswana, precipitation = 698 mm/year), two were from relatively dry areas (Tshane, Botswana, precipitation = 232 mm/year) and other two were from intermediate environments (Ghanzi, Botswana, precipitation = 400 mm/year). The grass seeds were collected in the field during the dry season of 2004 and using germination pans, were grown in a greenhouse. When individuals were mature, they were transferred into plastic pots (one individual per pot) containing commercial sand. After one week period of adjustment, a 15N labeled fertilizer (NH4NO3) was applied. The total N applied as fertilizer was comparable to the mineralized field N based on a calculated rate for the top 15 cm of soil. A pair of individual plants was treated as an experimental unit. Each plant received the same amount of total N fertilizer, but one was 15NO3 labeled and another was 15NH4 labeled. Nutrient uptake preference was determined by the 15N difference between pairs. The preliminary results with three species shows that, the individuals from dry area ( Enneapogon cenchroides from Tshane) has significantly higher foliar 15N signatures in the 15NO3 labeling treatment (p = 0.0103) and no difference in root 15N signatures. Whereas individuals from the wet

  16. Interaction of water components in the semi-arid Huasco and Limarí river basins, North Central Chile

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    G. Strauch

    2009-10-01

    Full Text Available For sustainable water resource management in semi-arid regions, sound information is required about interactions between the different components of the water system: rain/snow precipitation, surface/subsurface run-off, groundwater recharge. Exemplarily, the Huasco and Limarí river basins as water stressed river catchments have been studied by isotope and hydrochemical methods for (i the origin of water, (ii water quality, (iii relations of surface and groundwater.

    Applying the complex multi-isotopic and hydrochemical methodology to the water components of the Huasco and Limarí basins, a differentiation of water components concerning subsurface flow and river water along the catchment area and by anthropogenic impacts are detected. Sulphate and nitrate concentrations indicate remarkable input from mining and agricultural activities along the river catchment.

    The 2H-18O relations of river water and groundwater of both catchments point to the behaviour of river waters originated in an arid to semi-arid environment.

    Consequently, the groundwater from several production wells in the lower parts of the catchments is related to the rivers where the wells located, however, it can be distinguished from the river water. Using the hydrological water balance and the isotope mixing model, the interaction between surface and subsurface flows and river flow is estimated.

  17. The affect and importance of the Lichens in the Arid zone conservation and protection of water resource

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    WANG Yu-liang; ZHANG Yuan-ming; Adil Abdulla; Anwar Tumur; Abdulla Abbas

    2004-01-01

    Desertification has already become the global social problem. On the Arid zone it has closer relation with the frail ecotope. The system of the arid zone mountain belongs to crisscross between the farming ,forestry and husbandry . The frailty of the ecosystem manifests on the internal frailty, depends on the plant ,intensity of the contradictory between the landscape transitional and natural reservation area,physical weathering strong,the development of the soil surface is slowly but the erode of the rain ,soil erosion very grave. Lichens not only rein force the intensity and depth of the weathering of rocks and formation ,accelerate of the mineral weathering making and accumulating the organic compound, at the same time lichens have strongly water protection abilities and inestimable role in the prevent soil erosion. In this paper we were according to on-the-spot investigation and analysis of the laboratory from 1985 to now on the middle and west of the Mt . Tianshan and Mt. Altay kanas where mainly probe into the significance of the protection water and conservation water resources of the Arid zone. This research works will be provide scientific basis and reference of the government for put into effect ,improving environment of the mountain region ,major construction oasis ecotope and make great efforts for protection desert ecotope.

  18. Arid land plants: promising new tools for economic development and basic research

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Felker, P.

    1980-01-01

    An overview is presented of arid land plant development stressing products and plant physiological and ecological concepts unique to arid land plants. Integration of new arid land crops into polyculture management systems is suggested utilizing specialized plant functions, e.g., drought resistance, resistance to salinity, ability to fix nitrogen, frost tolerance and capability to produce a cash crop. Impacts on arid land plant productivity on political systems of developing countries are discussed and recommendations are presented for overcoming institutional constraints facing arid land plant development. (MHR)

  19. Validation of humidex in evaluating heat stress in the outdoor jobs in arid and semi-arid climates of Iran

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hamid Reza Heidari

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Introduction: Regarding development of several thermal indices and limitations of each, in this research applicability and validity of temperature- humidity index (Humidex were examined against the standard heat index, Wet Bulb Globe Temperature -WBGT, as well as tympanic temperature of subjects. Material and Method:  This cross-sectional study was done on 163 subjects at spring and summer (2013 in outdoor jobs of arid and semi-arid climates of Iran. Environmental parameters as well as tympanic temperature of subjects were measured simultaneously and then heat indices were determined. Data were analyzed using linear correlation charts and Kappa coefficient of agreement by means of SPSS software version 20. Results: A strong correlation was obtained between WBGT and Humidex in both arid and semi-arid regions (r>0.98, while the correlation between Humidex and tympanic temperature was moderate (r=0.5-0.8. Based on the obtained Kappa value, the agreement coefficient between Humidex and WBGT was 0.878. This value was obtained equal to 0.226 for the Humidex and tympanic temperature. Conclusion: The results of this study showed that Humidex can be applied as an appropriate substitute for the WBGT index. However, if evaluation of environmental condition with low air temperature or very hot situation is considered, relying only on the Humidex results will not provide a realistic estimation of thermal strain imposed to individuals.

  20. Spatial pattern of nitrogen isotopes as an indicator of ecosystem responses to rainfall in semi-arid and arid grasslands

    Science.gov (United States)

    WANG, C.; Bai, E.; Liu, D.; Fang, T. Y.; Jiang, P.; Han, G. X.

    2013-12-01

    Nitrogen (N) is an essential element for plant growth, however, whether it is a limiting factor of plant growth in water-limited areas is still not clear. Here we examined spatial variations of plant and soil stable N isotopes along a 3200 km precipitation gradient and proposed a conceptual model to explain ecosystem responses to increasing precipitation in arid and semi-arid grasslands in China. Soil δ15N increased with increasing MAP in areas with MAP areas with 200 mm 200 mm. In areas with MAP nutrient cycling in arid and semi-arid areas. If future climate change leads to drier climate in dryland, the uncoupled plant and microbial response may cause more N losses and higher ecosystem vulnerability. 3 Soil organic carbon (Soil C, a), total nitrogen (Soil N, b), C/N (c) and δ15N (d) of study sites along a MAP gradient. Relationship between MAP and foliar δ15N (a) and root δ15N (b).

  1. Impacts of climate change on nutrient cycling in semi-arid and arid ecosystems

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Belnap, J. [National Biological Survey, Moab, UT (United States)

    1995-09-01

    Effective precipitation is a major factor in determining nutrient pathways in different ecosystems. Soil flora and fauna play a critical role in nutrient cycles of all ecosystems. Temperature, timing, and amounts of precipitation affect population composition, activity levels, biomass, and recovery rates from disturbance. Changes in these variables can result in very different inputs and outputs for different nutrients. As a result, areas with less effective precipitation have very different nutrient cycles than more mesic zones. Climate change, therefore, can profoundly affect the nutrient cycles of ecosystems. Nitrogen cycles may be especially sensitive to changes in temperature and to timing and amounts of precipitation. Rainfall contains varying amounts of nitrogen compounds. Changes in amounts of rainfall will change amounts of nitrogen available to these systems. Because rainfall is limited in semi-arid and regions, these systems tend to be more dependent on microbial populations for nitrogen input. Consequently, understanding the effects of climate change on these organisms is critical in understanding the overall effect on ecosystems.

  2. Satellite-Based Monitoring of Decadal Soil Salinization and Climate Effects in a Semi-arid Region of China

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    WANG Hesong; JIA Gensuo

    2012-01-01

    Soil salinization is a common phenomenon that affects both the environment and the socio-economy in arid and semi-arid regions; it is also an important aspect of land cover change.In this study,we integrated multi-sensor remote sensing data with a field survey to analyze processes of soil salinization in a semi-arid area in China from 1979 to 2009. Generally,the area of salt-affected soils increased by 0.28% per year with remarkable acceleration from 1999 to 2009 (0.42% increase per year).In contrast,the area of surface water bodies showed a decreasing trend (-0.08% per year) in the same period.Decreases in precipitation and increases in aridity due to annual (especially summer) warming provided a favorable condition for soil salinization. The relatively flat terrain favored waterlogging at the surface,and continuous drought facilitated upward movement of soil water and accumulation of surface saline and calcium. Meanwhile,land-use practices also played a crucial role in accelerating soil salinization.The conversion to cropland from natural vegetation greatly increased the demand for groundwater irrigation and aggravated the process of soil salinization.Furthermore,there are potential feedbacks of soil salinization to regional climate.The salinization of soils can limit the efficiency of plant water use as well as photosynthesis; therefore,it reduces the amount of carbon sequestrated by terrestrial ecosystem.Soil salinization also reduces the absorbed solar radiation by increasing land surface albedo.Such conversions of land cover significantly change the energy and water balance between land and atmosphere.

  3. Changes of Sand Fly Populations and Leishmania infantum Infection Rates in an Irrigated Village Located in Arid Central Tunisia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barhoumi, Walid; Fares, Wasfi; Cherni, Saifedine; Derbali, Mohamed; Dachraoui, Khalil; Chelbi, Ifhem; Ramalho-Ortigao, Marcelo; Beier, John C; Zhioua, Elyes

    2016-03-16

    The current spread of zoonotic visceral leishmaniasis (ZVL) throughout arid areas of Central Tunisia is a major public health concern. The main objective of this study is to investigate whether the development of irrigation in arid bio-geographical areas in Central Tunisia have led to the establishment of a stable cycle involving sand flies of the subgenus Larroussius and Leishmania infantum, and subsequently to the emergence of ZVL. Sand flies were collected from the village of Saddaguia, a highly irrigated zone located within an arid bio-geographical area of Central Tunisia by using modified Centers for Diseases Control (CDC) light traps. Morphological keys were used to identify sand flies. Collected sand flies were pooled with up to 30 specimens per pool according to date and tested by nested Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) DNA sequencing from positive pools was used to identify Leishmania spp. A total of 4915 sand flies (2422 females and 2493 males) were collected from Saddaguia in September and in October 2014. Morphological identification confirmed sand flies of the subgenus Larroussius to be predominant. PCR analysis followed by DNA sequencing indicated that 15 pools were infected with L. infantum yielding an overall infection rate of 0.6%. The majority of the infected pools were of sand fly species belonging to subgenus Larroussius. Intense irrigation applied to the arid bio-geographical areas in Central Tunisia is at the origin of the development of an environment capable of sustaining important populations of sand flies of the subgenus Larroussius. This has led to the establishment of stable transmission cycles of L. infantum and subsequently to the emergence of ZVL.

  4. 网络环境下外语焦虑感的特点及对策%On Characteristics of Foreign Language Anxiety in Web-based Environment and Relevant Countermeasures

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    张伶俐; 刘敏

    2012-01-01

    外语焦虑感是阻碍外语习得的重要情感因素之一。本文通过对网络环境下外语焦虑感的实证研究,发现网络环境总体上能有效地缓解外语焦虑感。一方面,计算机网络的个性化服务、网络资源的多维立体输入等因素缓解了网络环境下的外语焦虑感;另一方面,缺乏合理的自主学习目标、缺少网络自主学习策略以及学生自控能力的个体差异等因素加剧了网络环境下的外语焦虑感。最后,针对网络环境下外语焦虑感的新特点,从教学的角度提出了缓解外语焦虑感的策略。%Foreign language anxiety is an important part of affective factors in second language acquisition.This empirical research mainly focuses on how the web-based environment influences the students′ foreign language anxiety.The result indicates that the foreign language anxiety is alleviated on the whole through the web-based autonomous English learning.Factors such as the customized services provided by computer network and the multi-dimensional input of online resources have alleviated language anxiety in web-based environment.On the other hand,other factors such as the lack of appropriate autonomous learning objectives and strategies as well as individual differences in students′selfcontrol abilities hold chances to intensify language anxiety in web-based environment.Based on the analysis of the characteristics of foreign language anxiety in web-based environment,five countermeasures of alleviating foreign language anxiety are also discussed in the paper.

  5. Phosphorus transformations along a large-scale climosequence in arid and semiarid grasslands of northern China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feng, Jiao; Turner, Benjamin L.; Lü, Xiaotao; Chen, Zhenhua; Wei, Kai; Tian, Jihui; Wang, Chao; Luo, Wentao; Chen, Lijun

    2016-09-01

    The Walker and Syers model of phosphorus (P) transformations during long-term soil development has been verified along many chronosequences but has rarely been examined along climosequences, particularly in arid regions. We hypothesized that decreasing aridity would have similar effects on soil P transformations as time by increasing the rate of pedogenesis. To assess this, we examined P fractions in arid and semiarid grassland soils (0-10 cm) along a 3700 km aridity gradient in northern China (aridity between 0.43 and 0.97, calculated as 1 - [mean annual precipitation/potential evapotranspiration]). Primary mineral P declined as aridity decreased, although it still accounted for about 30% of the total P in the wettest sites. In contrast, the proportions of organic and occluded P increased as aridity decreased. These changes in soil P composition occurred in parallel with marked shifts in soil nutrient stoichiometry, with organic carbon:organic P and nitrogen:organic P ratios increasing with decreasing aridity. These results indicate increasing abundance of P relative to carbon or nitrogen along the climosequence. Overall, our results indicate a broad shift from abiotic to biotic control on P cycling at an aridity value of approximately 0.7 (corresponding to about 250 mm mean annual rainfall). We conclude that the Walker and Syers model can be extended to climosequences in arid and semiarid ecosystems and that the apparent decoupling of nutrient cycles in arid soils is a consequence of their pedogenic immaturity.

  6. Genomic and proteomic characterization of ARID1A chromatin remodeller in ampullary tumors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nastase, Anca; Teo, Jin Yao; Heng, Hong Lee; Ng, Cedric Chuan Young; Myint, Swe Swe; Rajasegaran, Vikneswari; Loh, Jia Liang; Lee, Ser Yee; Ooi, London Lucien; Chung, Alexander Yaw Fui; Chow, Pierce Kah Hoe; Cheow, Peng Chung; Wan, Wei Keat; Azhar, Rafy; Khoo, Avery; Xiu, Sam Xin; Alkaff, Syed Muhammad Fahmy; Cutcutache, Ioana; Lim, Jing Quan; Ong, Choon Kiat; Herlea, Vlad; Dima, Simona; Duda, Dan G; Teh, Bin Tean; Popescu, Irinel; Lim, Tony Kiat Hon

    2017-01-01

    AT rich interactive domain 1A (ARID1A) is one of the most commonly mutated genes in a broad variety of tumors. The mechanisms that involve ARID1A in ampullary cancer progression remains elusive. Here, we evaluated the frequency of ARID1A and KRAS mutations in ampullary adenomas and adenocarcinomas and in duodenal adenocarcinomas from two cohorts of patients from Singapore and Romania, correlated with clinical and pathological tumor features, and assessed the functional role of ARID1A. In the ampullary adenocarcinomas, the frequency of KRAS and ARID1A mutations was 34.7% and 8.2% respectively, with a loss or reduction of ARID1A protein in 17.2% of the cases. ARID1A mutational status was significantly correlated with ARID1A protein expression level (P=0.023). There was a significant difference in frequency of ARID1A mutation between Romania and Singapore (2.7% versus 25%, P=0.04), suggestive of different etiologies. One somatic mutation was detected in the ampullary adenoma group. In vitro studies indicated the tumor suppressive role of ARID1A. Our results warrant further investigation of this chromatin remodeller as a potential early biomarker of the disease, as well as identification of therapeutic targets in ARID1A mutated ampullary cancers.

  7. Modeling the Surface Water-Groundwater Interaction in Arid and Semi-Arid Regions Impacted by Agricultural Activities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tian, Y.; Wu, B.; Zheng, Y.

    2013-12-01

    In many semi-arid and arid regions, interaction between surface water and groundwater plays an important role in the eco-hydrological system. The interaction is often complicated by agricultural activities such as surface water diversion, groundwater pumping, and irrigation. In existing surface water-groundwater integrated models, simulation of the interaction is often simplified, which could introduce significant simulation uncertainty under certain circumstance. In this study, GSFLOW, a USGS model coupling PRMS and MODFLOW, was improved to better characterize the surface water-groundwater interaction. The practices of water diversion from rivers, groundwater pumping and irrigation are explicitly simulated. In addition, the original kinematic wave routing method was replaced by a dynamic wave routing method. The improved model was then applied in Zhangye Basin (the midstream part of Heihe River Baisn), China, where the famous 'Silk Road' came through. It is a typical semi-arid region of the western China, with extensive agriculture in its oasis. The model was established and calibrated using the data in 2000-2008. A series of numerical experiments were conducted to evaluate the effect of those improvements. It has been demonstrated that with the improvements, the observed streamflow and groundwater level were better reproduced by the model. The improvements have a significant impact on the simulation of multiple fluxes associated with the interaction, such as groundwater discharge, riverbed seepage, infiltration, etc. Human activities were proved to be key elements of the water cycle in the study area. The study results have important implications to the water resources modeling and management in semi-arid and arid basins.

  8. Clinical Relevance of Adipokines

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthias Blüher

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available The incidence of obesity has increased dramatically during recent decades. Obesity increases the risk for metabolic and cardiovascular diseases and may therefore contribute to premature death. With increasing fat mass, secretion of adipose tissue derived bioactive molecules (adipokines changes towards a pro-inflammatory, diabetogenic and atherogenic pattern. Adipokines are involved in the regulation of appetite and satiety, energy expenditure, activity, endothelial function, hemostasis, blood pressure, insulin sensitivity, energy metabolism in insulin sensitive tissues, adipogenesis, fat distribution and insulin secretion in pancreatic β-cells. Therefore, adipokines are clinically relevant as biomarkers for fat distribution, adipose tissue function, liver fat content, insulin sensitivity, chronic inflammation and have the potential for future pharmacological treatment strategies for obesity and its related diseases. This review focuses on the clinical relevance of selected adipokines as markers or predictors of obesity related diseases and as potential therapeutic tools or targets in metabolic and cardiovascular diseases.

  9. Korrek, volledig, relevant

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bergenholtz, Henning; Gouws, Rufus

    2007-01-01

    as detrimental to the status of a dictionary as a container of linguistic knowledge. This paper shows that, from a lexicographic perspective, such a distinction is not relevant. What is important is that definitions should contain information that is relevant to and needed by the target users of that specific......In explanatory dictionaries, both general language dictionaries and dictionaries dealing with languages for special purposes, the lexicographic definition is an important item to present the meaning of a given lemma. Due to a strong linguistic bias, resulting from an approach prevalent in the early...... phases of the development of theoretical lexicography, a distinction is often made between encyclopaedic information and semantic information in dictionary definitions, and dictionaries had often been criticized when their definitions were dominated by an encyclopaedic approach. This used to be seen...

  10. 低年资护士结构性授权与工作环境的关系%The relevant study between structural empowerment and professioal nursing environment on junior nurses

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    陈晓莉; 袁芳; 程波; 郑桂蓉; 魏大琼

    2014-01-01

    目的:探讨低年资护士结构性授权与工作环境的状况及两者之间的相关性。方法采用工作效能条件量表(CWEQ-Ⅱ)、专业护理工作环境问卷对重庆三峡中心医院600名低年资护士进行调查。结果结构性授权总分为(45.48±2.39)分,4个因子得分分别为机会权力(12.60±3.55)分,支持权力(10.28±3.38)分,信息权力(12.41±3.46)分,资源权力(12.67±3.61)分;工作环境总分为(67.89±2.65)分,5个因子得分分别为参与医院事务(13.21±0.47)分,医护关系(13.26±0.35)分,充足的资源配备(13.34±0.37)分,护士长的能力、领导方式和对护士的支持(13.32±0.31)分以及高质量护理的基础(15.40±0.54)分。低年资护士结构性授权与工作环境呈正相关(P<0.05)。结论低年资护士结构性授权水平和护理工作环境水平均不高,管理者应采取相应措施创造良好的专业护理环境,提高低年资护士授权水平,增强低年资护士的工作积极性和自主性,以促进护理队伍持续健康发展,提高医院护理质量。%Objective To discuss the structural empowerment and work environment of junior nurses status and the correlation between the structural empowerment and work environment. Methods Conditions of work effectiveness questionnaire-II (CWEQ-II) and professional nursing work environment questionnaire were used to investigate the 600 junior nurses in the Central Hospital of Chongqing Three Gorges. Results The total score of structural empowerent was (45.48±2.39) scores. 4 factors for opportunity were that, power was (12.60±3.55) scores, support power was (10.28±3.38) scores, information power was (12.41±3.46) scores, resource power was (12.67±3.61) scores, respectively. The total score of work environment was (67.89±2.65) scores. 5 factors for participate were that, affairs was (13.21±0.47) scores, doctor-nurse relationship was (13.26±0.35) scores, equipped with adequate resources

  11. Information Needs/Relevance

    OpenAIRE

    Wildemuth, Barbara M.

    2009-01-01

    A user's interaction with a DL is often initiated as the result of the user experiencing an information need of some kind. Aspects of that experience and how it might affect the user's interactions with the DL are discussed in this module. In addition, users continuously make decisions about and evaluations of the materials retrieved from a DL, relative to their information needs. Relevance judgments, and their relationship to the user's information needs, are discussed in this module. Draft

  12. Causes of habitat divergence in two species of agamid lizards in arid central Australia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daly, Benjamin G; Dickman, Chris R; Crowther, Mathew S

    2008-01-01

    The deserts of central Australia contain richer communities of lizards than any other arid regions, with the highest diversity occurring in sand dune habitats dominated by hummock-forming spinifex grasses. To investigate the mechanisms that permit coexistence, we studied two species of coexisting agamid lizards that exhibit striking divergence in their use of habitat in the Simpson Desert of central Australia. Here, the military dragon Ctenophorus isolepis is restricted primarily to sites providing > 30% cover of hard spinifex Triodia basedowii, whereas the central netted dragon C. nuchalis occurs in areas with much sparser (thermal environments or different prey types and that each selects the habitats that maximize access to them. Both were supported. C. isolepis preferred lower temperatures when active and specialized in eating ants ecological interactions, allowing lizard species to partition biotic and abiotic resources and achieve the extraordinarily high levels of local diversity that are observed.

  13. Climate Warming Threatens Semi-arid Forests in Inner Asia

    Science.gov (United States)

    WU, X.; Liu, H.; Qi, Z.; Li, X.

    2014-12-01

    A line of evidences reveal an increasing tree growth decline and tree mortality mainly attributable to climate warming and the warming-mediated changes in drought and other processes (such as fire and insect dynamics) in many parts of world tropical, temperate and boreal forests. However, the growth responses to climate change of the widely distributed semi-arid forests are unclear. Here, we synthetically investigate the tree growth patterns during past decades and its interannual response to climate variations in Inner Asia combining the ground truth field survey and samplings, remote sensing observations and climate data. We identified a pervasive tree growth decline since mid-1990s in semi-arid forests in Inner Asia. The widely observed tree growth decline is dominantly attributable to warming-induced water stress during pre- and early growing season. Tree growth of semi-arid forests in Inner Asia is particularly susceptible to spring warming and has been suffering a prolonged growth limitation in recent decades due to spring warming-mediated water conditions. Additionally, we identified a much slower growth rate in younger trees and a lack of tree regeneration in these semi-arid forests. The widely observed forest growth reduction and lack of tree regeneration over semi-arid forests in Inner Asia could predictably exert great effects on forest structure, regionally/globally biophysical and biochemical processes and the feedbacks between biosphere and atmosphere. Notably, further increases in forest stress and tree mortality could be reasonably expected, especially in context of the increase frequency and severity of high temperature and heat waves and changes in forest disturbances, potentially driving the eventual regional loss of current semi-arid forests. Given the potential risks of climate induced forest dieback, increased management attention to adaptation options for enhancing forest resistance and resilience to projected climate stress can be expected

  14. Climate warming threatens semi-arid forests in Inner Asia

    Science.gov (United States)

    WU, X.

    2015-12-01

    A line of evidences reveal an increasing tree growth decline and tree mortality mainly attributable to climate warming and the warming-mediated changes in drought and other processes in many parts of world tropical, temperate and boreal forests. However, the growth responses to climate change of the widely distributed semi-arid forests are unclear. Here, we synthetically investigate the tree growth patterns during past decades and its interannual response to climate variations in Inner Asia combining the ground truth field survey and samplings, remote sensing observations and climate data. We identified a pervasive tree growth decline since mid-1990s in semi-arid forests in Inner Asia. The widely observed tree growth decline is dominantly attributable to warming-induced water stress during pre- and early growing season. Tree growth of semi-arid forests in Inner Asia is particularly susceptible to spring warming and has been suffering a prolonged growth limitation in recent decades due to spring warming-mediated water conditions. Additionally, we identified a much slower growth rate in younger trees and a lack of tree regeneration in these semi-arid forests. The widely observed forest growth reduction and lack of tree regeneration over semi-arid forests in Inner Asia could predictably exert great effects on forest structure, regionally/globally biophysical and biochemical processes and the feedbacks between biosphere and atmosphere. Notably, further increases in forest stress and tree mortality could be reasonably expected, especially in context of the increase frequency and severity of high temperature and heat waves and changes in forest disturbances, potentially driving the eventual regional loss of current semi-arid forests. Given the potential risks of climate induced forest dieback, increased management attention to adaptation options for enhancing forest resistance and resilience to projected climate stress can be expected. However, the functionally realistic

  15. Simulation of water-limited growth of the forage shrub saltbush (Atriplex nummularia Lindl.) in a low-rainfall environment of southern Australia

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Descheemaeker, K.K.E.; Smith, A.P.; Robertson, M.J.; Whitbread, A.; Huth, N.I.; Davoren, W.; Emms, J.; Llewellyn, R.

    2014-01-01

    Old man saltbush (Atriplex nummularia Lindl.) is a useful forage shrub for livestock in the low-rainfall areas of the world, and particularly in Australia. In these semi-arid and arid environments, saltbush is valuable for increasing the production from otherwise marginal areas of the farm and durin

  16. Patterns of population structure and environmental associations to aridity across the range of loblolly pine (Pinus taeda L., Pinaceae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eckert, Andrew J; van Heerwaarden, Joost; Wegrzyn, Jill L; Nelson, C Dana; Ross-Ibarra, Jeffrey; González-Martínez, Santíago C; Neale, David B

    2010-07-01

    Natural populations of forest trees exhibit striking phenotypic adaptations to diverse environmental gradients, thereby making them appealing subjects for the study of genes underlying ecologically relevant phenotypes. Here, we use a genome-wide data set of single nucleotide polymorphisms genotyped across 3059 functional genes to study patterns of population structure and identify loci associated with aridity across the natural range of loblolly pine (Pinus taeda L.). Overall patterns of population structure, as inferred using principal components and Bayesian cluster analyses, were consistent with three genetic clusters likely resulting from expansions out of Pleistocene refugia located in Mexico and Florida. A novel application of association analysis, which removes the confounding effects of shared ancestry on correlations between genetic and environmental variation, identified five loci correlated with aridity. These loci were primarily involved with abiotic stress response to temperature and drought. A unique set of 24 loci was identified as F(ST) outliers on the basis of the genetic clusters identified previously and after accounting for expansions out of Pleistocene refugia. These loci were involved with a diversity of physiological processes. Identification of nonoverlapping sets of loci highlights the fundamental differences implicit in the use of either method and suggests a pluralistic, yet complementary, approach to the identification of genes underlying ecologically relevant phenotypes.

  17. Development and use of bioenergy feedstocks for semi-arid and arid lands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cushman, John C; Davis, Sarah C; Yang, Xiaohan; Borland, Anne M

    2015-07-01

    Global climate change is predicted to increase heat, drought, and soil-drying conditions, and thereby increase crop sensitivity to water vapour pressure deficit, resulting in productivity losses. Increasing competition between agricultural freshwater use and municipal or industrial uses suggest that crops with greater heat and drought durability and greater water-use efficiency will be crucial for sustainable biomass production systems in the future. Agave (Agavaceae) and Opuntia (Cactaceae) represent highly water-use efficient bioenergy crops that could diversify bioenergy feedstock supply yet preserve or expand feedstock production into semi-arid, abandoned, or degraded agricultural lands, and reclaim drylands. Agave and Opuntia are crassulacean acid metabolism species that can achieve high water-use efficiencies and grow in water-limited areas with insufficient precipitation to support traditional C3 or C4 bioenergy crops. Both Agave and Opuntia have the potential to produce above-ground biomass rivalling that of C3 and C4 crops under optimal growing conditions. The low lignin and high amorphous cellulose contents of Agave and Opuntia lignocellulosic biomass will be less recalcitrant to deconstruction than traditional feedstocks, as confirmed by pretreatments that improve saccharification of Agave. Refined environmental productivity indices and geographical information systems modelling have provided estimates of Agave and Opuntia biomass productivity and terrestrial sequestration of atmospheric CO2; however, the accuracy of such modelling efforts can be improved through the expansion of field trials in diverse geographical settings. Lastly, life cycle analysis indicates that Agave would have productivity, life cycle energy, and greenhouse gas balances comparable or superior to those of traditional bioenergy feedstocks, but would be far more water-use efficient.

  18. Using stable isotopes (δ^{18}O and δ$D) of gypsum hydration water to unravel the mode of gypsum speleothem formation in semi-arid caves

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gázquez, Fernando; Calaforra, Jose Maria; Evans, Nicholas P.; Hodell, David A.

    2016-04-01

    Subaerial gypsum speleothems form during the evaporation of calcium-sulfate-rich solutions in caves. The evaporation of infiltration water is the widely accepted mechanism to explain precipitation of gypsum speleothems; i.e., the dissolution of gypsum host-rock (e.g. Messinian marine gypsum) supplies Ca2+ and SO42- ions to cave waters and subsequent evaporation leads to gypsum saturation. However, water condensation actively occurs in caves of semi-arid regions and plays a key role in subaerial cave speleogenesis and recharge of aquifers in low-rainfall environments. To date, water condensation in karstic environments has not been considered as an important factor in gypsum speleothem formation. We collected speleothem samples from the upper passages of Covadura Cave in the gypsum karst of Sorbas (Almeria, SE Spain). This cave is located in a temperate (annual mean temperature of 19.5oC), semi-arid region (

  19. Arid lands plants as feedstocks for fuels and chemicals

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hoffmann, J.J.

    1983-01-01

    The purpose of this paper is to review the recent research on arid-adapted plants that have potential as producers of fuels or chemicals. The major focus will be on plant species that appear to have commercial value. Research on guayule (Parthenium argentatum) and jojoba (Simmondsia chinensis) will be mentioned only briefly, since these plants have been discussed extensively in the literature, and excellent reviews are already in existence. In this review the literature on arid-adapted plants that have potential uses for solid fuels, liquid fuels, and chemical feedstocks is summarized, followed by an overview of the research directions and types of development that are needed in order for bio-energy production systems to reach the commercial stage. 127 references.

  20. How Sustainable are Engineered Rivers in Arid Lands?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jurgen Schmandt

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available Engineered rivers in arid lands play an important role in feeding the world’s growing population. Each continent has rivers that carry water from distant mountain sources to fertile soil downstream where rainfall is scarce. Over the course of the last century most rivers in arid lands have been equipped with large engineering structures that generate electric power and store water for agriculture and cities. This has changed the hydrology of the rivers. In this paper we discuss how climate variation, climate change, reservoir siltation, changes in land use and population growth will challenge the sustainability of engineered river systems over the course of the next few decades. We use the Rio Grande in North America, where we have worked with Mexican and American colleagues, to describe our methodology and results. Similar work is needed to study future water supply and demand in engineered rivers around the world.

  1. Uranium isotopes in carbonate aquifers of arid region setting

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Alshamsi, Dalal M.; Murad, Ahmed A.; Aldahan, Ala

    2013-01-01

    Groundwater in arid and semiarid regions is vital resource for many uses and therefore information about concentrations of uranium isotopes among other chemical parameters are necessary. In the study presented here, distribution of 238U and 235U in groundwater of four selected locations in the so......Groundwater in arid and semiarid regions is vital resource for many uses and therefore information about concentrations of uranium isotopes among other chemical parameters are necessary. In the study presented here, distribution of 238U and 235U in groundwater of four selected locations...... in the southern Arabian peninsula, namely at two locations within the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and two locations in Oman are discussed. The analyses of the uranium isotopes were performed using ICP-MS and the results indicated a range of concentrations for 235U and 238 U at 3–39 ng L-1 (average: 18 ng L-1...

  2. Pollen transport in the Shiyang River drainage, arid China

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    ZHU Yan; XIE Yaowen; CHENG Bo; CHEN Fahu; ZHANG Jiawu

    2003-01-01

    In order to assess the contribution of the pollen transported by wind and fluvial flows to the pollen spectra in Shiyang River drainage, a typical small endorheic drainage in arid lands of northwest China, preliminary studies on modern pollen rain along two transects with 91 surface soil samples, 8 atmospheric samples, 30 modern fluvial flow samples and 50 riverbed mud samples, were carried out. Results show that dispersal agents (air, flowing water) have dissimilareffects on transport of pollen and the structure of pollen spectra. Fluvial flow has a stronger capacity than wind to transport large quantities of pollen overlong distances. Pollen transported by fluvial flow makes a large contribution to the pollen spectra of riverbed alluvial sediments. Paleoenvironmental reconstructions undertaken using pollen spectra from fluvial sediments in arid lands arestrongly influenced by pollen transport. Therefore, the sources, the transportation agents and the depositional condition of pollen should be systematically investigated before pollen assemblages are used to derive the environmental significance in such settings.

  3. Domesticated proboscidea parviflora: a potential oilseed crop for arid lands

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Berry, J.; Bretting, P.K.; Nabhan, G.P.; Weber, C.

    1981-01-01

    Wild and domesticated Proboscidea parviflora were evaluated as oilseed crops for arid lands through chemical and biological analyses. Domesticated plants grown in the Sonoran desert bore seed containing 35-40 per cent oil and 23-27 per cent protein. Yield per hectare was estimated at 1000 kg of oil and 675 kg of protein, quantities which compare favourably with other crops. An ephemeral life cycle and certain characteristics of the fruit and seed allow this plant to grow in xeric habitats unsuitable for many other plants. Several Proboscidea species hybridize with P. parviflora and could be used in future crop breeding. Rapid germination and higher oil and protein content of seed make the domesticated P. parviflora superior to the wild form as a crop. Domesticated P. parviflora thus shows promise as an oilseed crop for the Sonoran Desert and possibly for other arid regions. (Refs. 22).

  4. Drain for gain: making water management worth its salt: Subsurface drainage practices in irrigated agriculture in semi-arid and arid regions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ritzema, H.P.

    2009-01-01

    In this dissertation, the role of subsurface drainage to reduce waterlogging and salinity problems in irrigated agriculture in arid and semi-arid regions has been analysed and recommendations on how to improve subsurface drainage practices have been formulated. The study contains a synthesis based o

  5. Representing Green Infrastructure Management Techniques in Arid and Semi-arid Regions: Software Implementation and Demonstration using the AGWA/KINEROS2 Watershed Model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Increasing urban development in the arid and semi-arid regions of the southwestern United States has led to greater demand for water from a region of limited water resources which has fundamentally altered the hydrologic response of developed watersheds. Green Infrastructure (GI)...

  6. Green Infrastructure Management Techniques in Arid and Semi-arid Regions: Software Implementation and Demonstration using the AGWA/KINEROS2 Watershed Model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Increasing urban development in the arid and semi-arid regions of the southwestern United States has led to greater demand for water in a region with limited water resources and has fundamentally altered the hydrologic response of developed watersheds. Green Infrastructure (GI) p...

  7. Spatial vegetation patterns and imminent desertification in Mediterranean arid ecosystems

    OpenAIRE

    2007-01-01

    Humans and climate affect ecosystems and their services, which may involve continuous and discontinuous transitions from one stable state to another. Discontinuous transitions are abrupt, irreversible and among the most catastrophic changes of ecosystems identified1. For terrestrial ecosystems, it has been hypothesized that vegetation patchiness could be used as a signature of imminent transitions. Here, we analyse how vegetation patchiness changes in arid ecosystems with different grazing pr...

  8. Contribution of semi-arid ecosystems to interannual variability of the global carbon cycle.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poulter, Benjamin; Frank, David; Ciais, Philippe; Myneni, Ranga B; Andela, Niels; Bi, Jian; Broquet, Gregoire; Canadell, Josep G; Chevallier, Frederic; Liu, Yi Y; Running, Steven W; Sitch, Stephen; van der Werf, Guido R

    2014-05-29

    The land and ocean act as a sink for fossil-fuel emissions, thereby slowing the rise of atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations. Although the uptake of carbon by oceanic and terrestrial processes has kept pace with accelerating carbon dioxide emissions until now, atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations exhibit a large variability on interannual timescales, considered to be driven primarily by terrestrial ecosystem processes dominated by tropical rainforests. We use a terrestrial biogeochemical model, atmospheric carbon dioxide inversion and global carbon budget accounting methods to investigate the evolution of the terrestrial carbon sink over the past 30 years, with a focus on the underlying mechanisms responsible for the exceptionally large land carbon sink reported in 2011 (ref. 2). Here we show that our three terrestrial carbon sink estimates are in good agreement and support the finding of a 2011 record land carbon sink. Surprisingly, we find that the global carbon sink anomaly was driven by growth of semi-arid vegetation in the Southern Hemisphere, with almost 60 per cent of carbon uptake attributed to Australian ecosystems, where prevalent La Niña conditions caused up to six consecutive seasons of increased precipitation. In addition, since 1981, a six per cent expansion of vegetation cover over Australia was associated with a fourfold increase in the sensitivity of continental net carbon uptake to precipitation. Our findings suggest that the higher turnover rates of carbon pools in semi-arid biomes are an increasingly important driver of global carbon cycle inter-annual variability and that tropical rainforests may become less relevant drivers in the future. More research is needed to identify to what extent the carbon stocks accumulated during wet years are vulnerable to rapid decomposition or loss through fire in subsequent years.

  9. Environmental gradients across wetland vegetation groups in the arid slopes of Western Alborz Mountains, N. Iran

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Asghar Kamrani

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Mountain wetlands are unique ecosystems in the arid southern slopes of Alborz range, the second largest range in Iran. The spatial distribution characteristics of wetland vegetation in the arid region of the Alborz and the main factors affecting their distributional patterns were studied. A classification of vegetation and ecological characteristics were carried out using data extracted from 430 relevés in 90 wetland sites. The data were analyzed using Two Way Indicator Species Analysis (TWINSPAN and detrended correspondence analysis (DCA. The wetland vegetation of Alborz Mountain was classified into four large groups. The first vegetation group was calcareous rich vegetation, mainly distributed in the river banks and characterized by helophytes such as Bolboschoenus affinis as indicator species. The second group was saline transitional vegetation, distributed in the ecotone areas and dominated by Phragmites australis. The third vegetation group is wet meadow vegetation which mainly consists of geophytes, endemic and Irano-Turanian species, distributed in the higher altitudes. This vegetation is mainly characterized by indicator species such as Carex orbicularis, high level concentration of Fe2+ and percentage of organic matter in the soil. The fourth vegetation group is aquatic vegetation, distributed in the lakeshores. The aquatic group species are mainly hydrophytic such as Batrachium trichophyllum. The TWINSPAN vegetation groups could be also recognized in the DCA graphs and ecologically differentiated by ANOVA of studied variables. Four vegetation groups can be differentiated on two first axes of indirect ordination. There is a gradient of pH, EC and organic matter associated with altitude on the DCA diagram. Correlation analysis between the axes of DCA and environmental factors shows that altitude, soil texture and other dependant environmental variables (e.g. pH are the main environmental factors affecting the distribution of wetland

  10. Study on the Suitability Evaluation of the Human Settlements Environment in Arid Inland River Basin——A Case Study on the Shiyang River Basin%干旱内陆河流域人居环境适宜性评价——以石羊河流域为例

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    魏伟; 石培基; 冯海春; 王旭峰

    2012-01-01

    The paper selects slope,aspect,relief degree of land surface,vegetation index,hydrology,transportation and climate as evaluation indexes and sets up the Human Settlements Environment Index(HEI) model to evaluate the environment suitability for human settlements in Shiyang River Basin.Through using spatial analysis technique of GIS such as spatial overlay analysis,buffer analysis and density analysis to establish the spatial situation of nature suitability and spatial pattern for human settlement.The results showed that: the index of nature suitability for human settlement in the Shiyang River Basin was between 17.13 and 84.32.In general,nature suitability for human settlement decreased from southwest to northeast.Considering area,the suitable region was mainly distributed in Minqin oasis,Wuwei oasis and Changning basin,which accounted for about 1080.01 km2,2.59% of the total area.Comparatively suitable region was mainly distributed around the county in Gulang,Yongchang and north of Tianzhu County,which accounted for about 1100.30 km2.The common suitable region was mainly distributed outside of the county in Yongchang,Jinchuan and most part of Minqin county,which accounted for about 23328.04 km2,56.08% of the total area.The non-suitable region was mainly distributed upstream and north of the river,which accounted for about 9937.60 km2,23.89% of the total area.Meanwhile,the most non-suitable region was distributed around the Qilian Mountain which covered by snow and cold desert and the intersecting area between Tengger Desert and Badain Jaran Desert.The total area was about 6154.05 km2,which accounted for 14.79% of the total area.Suitable regions for human inhabitance were distributed mainly around rivers in the form of ribbons and batches,while others are scattered.Their distribution was identical with the residential spatial pattern.There was a clear logarithm correlation between situation of residential environment and population,that is,the coefficient of

  11. Désertification des parcours arides au Maroc

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mahyou, H.

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Desertification of Arid Rangelands in Morocco. Rangeland or natural arid pastures of Morocco are ecosystems where there is a natural or seminatural vegetation composed of steppes, shrubs and grassland. They cover about 82% of the Moroccan arid lands. These areas represent livelihoods for thousands of people and protect the country from desertification. Despite the importance of the rangelands and the threat of desertification, it is surprising that up to date there is no comprehensive assessment of their condition and their evolution, hindering any plan for desertification alleviation. However, the available information on selected pilot areas shows that these rangelands are threatened by desertification. It's associated with biodiversity loss and contributes to climate change. The leading causes of land degradation are the human actions combined with climate. The establishment of a comprehensive surveillance system based on remote sensing, biophysics and socio-economic data must be envisaged to provide policymakers with an operational tool adapted to the spatio-temporal monitoring of desertification.

  12. Saline dust storms and their ecological impacts in arid regions

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Jilili; Abuduwaili

    2010-01-01

    In many arid and semiarid regions,saline playas represent a significant source of unconsoli-dated sediments available for aeolian transport,and severe saline dust storms occur frequently due to human disturbance.In this study,saline dust storms are reviewed systematically from the aspects of con-cept,general characteristics,conditions of occurrence,distribution and ecological impact.Our researches showed that saline dust storms are a kind of chemical dust storm originating in dry lake beds in arid and semiarid regions;large areas of unconsolidated saline playa sediments and frequent strong winds are the basic factors to saline dust storm occurrence;there are differentiation characteristics in deposition flux and chemical composition with wind-blown distance during saline dust storm diffusion;and saline dust storm diffusion to some extent increases glacier melt and results in soil salinization in arid regions.An under-standing of saline dust storms is important to guide disaster prevention and ecological rehabilitation.

  13. Leaf protein concentrate as food supplement from arid zone plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rathore, Mala

    2010-06-01

    In arid and semi-arid areas where prevalence of droughts and famines is a recurring feature, forest cover can in general make valuable contributions to food security and provide income to the rural poor. Protein and calorie malnutrition is widespread in these areas leading to high child mortality rate. Plant species can play an important role in overcoming this by being used as a source of leaf protein concentrate (LPC), a highly nutritious food. LPC should be considered seriously as it can serve as an additional protein source in the case of non-ruminants and man, especially in drought prone areas. The use of LPC in developing countries as an alternative protein source to fishmeal in broiler diet holds tremendous promise as it can substantially lower high cost of fishmeal and eventually the acute shortage of animal protein supply. Potential tropical plants for LPC production have been evaluated and selected for further research by United States Department of Agriculture. The present study was aimed to determine the potential of arid zone plants for preparation of LPC. Extraction characteristics of the several plant species have been studied and the quality of LPC prepared from them was investigated. Different fractions, chloroplastic and cytoplasmic proteins, were analyzed for their crude protein contents. Analysis of LPC shows considerable differences in their protein contents, which was found to range from 13.7 to 88.9%. Based on this, Achyranthes aspera and Tephrosia purpurea were found to be the best suited plants for LPC preparation.

  14. Changes in aridity in response to the global warming hiatus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guan, Xiaodan; Huang, Jianping; Guo, Ruixia

    2017-02-01

    The global warming slowdown or warming hiatus, began around the year 2000 and has persisted for nearly 15 years. Most studies have focused on the interpretation of the hiatus in temperature. In this study, changes in a global aridity index (AI) were analyzed by using a newly developed dynamical adjustment method that can successfully identify and separate dynamically induced and radiatively forced aridity changes in the raw data. The AI and Palmer Drought Severity Index produced a wetting zone over the mid-to-high latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere in recent decades. The dynamical adjustment analysis suggested that this wetting zone occurred in response to the global warming hiatus. The dynamically induced AI (DAI) played a major role in the AI changes during the hiatus period, and its relationships with the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO), Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO), and Atlantic Multi-decadal Oscillation (AMO) also indicated that different phases of the NAO, PDO, and AMO contributed to different performances of the DAI over the Northern Hemisphere. Although the aridity wetting over the mid-to-high latitudes may relieve long-term drying in certain regions, the hiatus is temporary, and so is the relief. Accelerated global warming will return when the NAO, PDO, and AMO revert to their opposite phases in the future, and the wetting zone is likely to disappear.

  15. Land use change and carbon cycle in arid and semi-arid lands of East and Central Asia

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2002-01-01

    Dramatic changes in land use have occurred in arid and semi-arid landsof Asia during the 20th century. Grassland conversion into croplands and ecosystem degradation is widespread due to the high growth rate of human population and political reforms of pastoral systems. Rangeland degradation made many parts of this region vulnerable to environmental and political changes. The collapse of the livestock sector in some states of central Asia, expansion of livestock inChina and intensive degradation of grasslands in China are examples of the responses of pastoral systems to these changes over the past decades. Carbon dynamics in this region is highly variable in space and time. Land use/cover changes with widespread reduction of forest and grasslands increased carbon emission from the region.

  16. Analysis and environmental diagnosis of rural habitat in arid zones of the Province of San Juan, Argentina

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    María Guillermina Re

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available This paper presents the environmental analysis on rural communities on arid zones of the province of San Juan. The objective of this research is to perform a diagnosis and to develop proposals for future improvements on this region. The analysis was carried out at two different scales: one on the natural environment (macro scale, and another one, on the humanized environment (micro scale, represented by the productive farms, considered as the core of the rural domestic and productive habitat. This research allowed a characterization of the environment and an understanding of the rules that structure the rural habitat in San Juan, and also to perform an evaluation and diagnosis of this type of rural habitat.

  17. Robust environmental flow release strategies in arid and semi-arid regions to rehabilitate endangered saline lakes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fazel, Nasim; Torabi Haghighi, Ali; Kløve, Bjørn

    2017-04-01

    Saline lakes despite their extreme importance for critical habitat, are often threatened by desiccation due to irrigation and land development. For many closed lakes, the lake's level and salinity is highly controlled by hydrology of the basin and the balance between inflows and evaporation. In arid and semi-arid regions overexploitation of water for agricultural use in upstream has imbalance the natural inflow to the lake and the evaporation from surface. Due to the high irrigation water demand in these regions, environmental flow release has led to greater water withdrawals in irrigation seasons. Considering farmers attitude in irrigation along with hydrological and climatic condition, could be an important criteria to design proper environmental flow release plan to maximise lakes' inflow. This study employs a new methodology to define environmental flow strategy in arid and semi-arid regions with intensive agricultural lands adjacent to a terminal lake. The method analyzes farmers' water-use behaviour and natural flow regime in the upstream to design the environmental flow release strategy from a reservoir. We have applied the methodology to water resources systems in Lake Urmia Basin, a highly endangered saline lake in Iran. The spatial analysis show that the lake basin's hydrology is controlled by many upstream reservoirs and intensive agricultural water demand in downstream. Cropland has increased rapidly in the lake basin during last decades through construction of dams and diversion. The released environmental flow was exploited by farmers in lowlands and inflow to the lake in some rivers has been decreased even by 80%. The new environmental flow release has showed water should be released in the shortest possible time (according to reservoir outlet capacity) during the lowest irrigation demand period.

  18. Use of High Spatial Resolution Remote Sensing for Hydro-Geomorphologic Analysis of Medium-sized Arid Basins

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sadeh, Yuval; Blumberg, Dan G.; Cohen, Hai; Morin, Efrat; Maman, Shimrit

    2016-04-01

    Arid environments are often remote, expansive, difficult to access and especially vulnerable to flash flood hazards due to the poor understanding of the phenomenon and the lack of meteorological, geomorphological, and hydrological data. For many years, catchment characteristics have been observed using point-based measurements such as rain gauges and soil sample analysis; on the other hand, use of remote sensing technologies can provide spatially continuous hydrological parameters and variables. The advances in remote sensing technologies can provide new geo-spatial data using high spatial and temporal resolution for basin-scale geomorphological analysis and hydrological models. This study used high spatial resolution remote sensing for hydro-geomorphologic analysis of the arid medium size Rahaf watershed (76 km2), located in the Judean Desert, Israel. During the research a high resolution geomorphological map of Rahaf basin was created using WorldView-2 multispectral satellite imageries; surface roughness was estimated using SIR-C and COSMO-SkyMed Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) spaceborne sensors; and rainstorm characteristics were extracted using ground-based meteorological radar. The geomorphological mapping of Rahaf into 17 classes with good accuracy. The surface roughness extraction using SAR over the basin showed that the correlation between the COSMO-SkyMed backscatter coefficient and the surface roughness was very strong with an R2 of 0.97. This study showed that using x-band spaceborne sensors with high spatial resolution, such as COSMO-SkyMed, are more suitable for surface roughness evaluation in flat arid environments and should be in favor with longer wavelength operating sensors such as the SIR-C. The current study presents an innovative method to evaluate Manning's hydraulic roughness coefficient (n) in arid environments using radar backscattering. The weather radar rainfall data was calibrated using rain gauges located in the watershed. The

  19. Chronobiology: relevance for tuberculosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Santos, Lígia Gabrielle; Pires, Gabriel Natan; Azeredo Bittencourt, Lia Rita; Tufik, Sergio; Andersen, Monica Levy

    2012-07-01

    Despite the knowledge concerning the pathogenesis of tuberculosis, this disease remains one of the most important causes of mortality worldwide. Several risk factors are well-known, such poverty, HIV infection, and poor nutrition, among others. However, some issues that may influence tuberculosis warrant further investigation. In particular, the chronobiological aspects related to tuberculosis have garnered limited attention. In general, the interface between tuberculosis and chronobiology is manifested in four ways: variations in vitamin D bioavailability, winter conditions, associated infections, and circannual oscillations of lymphocytes activity. Moreover, tuberculosis is related to the following chronobiological factors: seasonality, latitude, photoperiod and radiation. Despite the relevance of these topics, the relationship between them has been weakly reviewed. This review aims to synthesize the studies regarding the association between tuberculosis and chronobiology, as well as urge critical discussion and highlight its applicability to health policies for tuberculosis.

  20. Fluvial transport and surface enrichment of arsenic in semi-arid mining regions: examples from the Mojave Desert, California.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Christopher S; Stack, David H; Rytuba, James J

    2012-07-01

    As a result of extensive gold and silver mining in the Mojave Desert, southern California, mine wastes and tailings containing highly elevated arsenic (As) concentrations remain exposed at a number of former mining sites. Decades of weathering and erosion have contributed to the mobilization of As-enriched tailings, which now contaminate surrounding communities. Fluvial transport plays an intermittent yet important and relatively undocumented role in the migration and dispersal of As-contaminated mine wastes in semi-arid climates. Assessing the contribution of fluvial systems to tailings mobilization is critical in order to assess the distribution and long-term exposure potential of tailings in a mining-impacted environment. Extensive sampling, chemical analysis, and geospatial mapping of dry streambed (wash) sediments, tailings piles, alluvial fans, and rainwater runoff at multiple mine sites have aided the development of a conceptual model to explain the fluvial migration of mine wastes in semi-arid climates. Intense and episodic precipitation events mobilize mine wastes downstream and downslope as a series of discrete pulses, causing dispersion both down and lateral to washes with exponential decay behavior as distance from the source increases. Accordingly a quantitative model of arsenic concentrations in wash sediments, represented as a series of overlapping exponential power-law decay curves, results in the acceptable reproducibility of observed arsenic concentration patterns. Such a model can be transferable to other abandoned mine lands as a predictive tool for monitoring the fate and transport of arsenic and related contaminants in similar settings. Effective remediation of contaminated mine