WorldWideScience

Sample records for basin semi-arid woodland

  1. Holocene semi-arid oak woodlands in the Irano-Anatolian region of Southwest Asia: natural or anthropogenic?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Asouti, Eleni; Kabukcu, Ceren

    2014-04-01

    It is commonly accepted that, following the end of the Pleistocene, semi-arid deciduous oak woodlands did not spread in the Irano-Anatolian region of Southwest Asia as quickly as they did in the Levantine Mediterranean littoral, despite the fact that climatic improvement occurred broadly at the same time in both regions. Prehistoric impacts on woodland vegetation (such as woodcutting, burning and clearance for cultivation), the harsh continental climate of inland Southwest Asia and its distance from late Pleistocene arboreal refugia have all been discussed in the literature as likely causes of the delay. In this paper we argue that semi-arid deciduous oak woodlands should not be viewed as part of the “natural” vegetation of the Irano-Anatolian region that has been progressively destroyed by millennia of human activities since the Neolithic. They represent instead one of the earliest anthropogenic vegetation types in Southwest Asia, one that owes its very existence to prehistoric landscape practices other scholars commonly label as “destructive”. Drawing on anthracological, pollen and modern vegetation data from central Anatolia we describe how the post-Pleistocene species-rich and structurally diverse temperate semi-arid savanna grasslands were gradually substituted by low-diversity, even-aged Quercus-dominated parklands and wood pastures in the course of the early Holocene. Economic strategies that encouraged the establishment and spread of deciduous oaks included sheep herding that impacted on grass and forb vegetation, the controlling of competing arboreal vegetation through woodcutting, and woodland management practices such as coppicing, pollarding and shredding that enhanced Quercus vegetative propagation, crown and stem growth. Understanding the origin and evolution of the Irano-Anatolian semi-arid oak woodlands of Southwest Asia is of critical importance for reconstructing the changing ecologies and geographical distributions of the progenitors of

  2. Population ecology of vervet monkeys in a high latitude, semi-arid riparian woodland

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Graham Pasternak

    2013-02-01

    Full Text Available Narrow riparian woodlands along non-perennial streams have made it possible for vervet monkeys to penetrate the semi-arid karoo ecosystem of South Africa, whilst artificial water points have more recently allowed these populations to colonize much more marginal habitat away from natural water sources. In order to better understand the sequelae of life in these narrow, linear woodlands for historically ‘natural’ populations and to test the prediction that they are ecologically stressed, we determined the size of troops in relation to their reliance on natural and artificial water sources and collected detailed data from two river-centred troops on activity, diet and ranging behaviour over an annual cycle. In comparison to other populations, our data indicate that river-centred troops in the karoo were distinctive primarily both for their large group sizes and, consequently, their large adult cohorts, and in the extent of home range overlap in what is regarded as a territorial species. Whilst large group size carried the corollary of increased day journey length and longer estimated interbirth intervals, there was little other indication of the effects of ecological stress on factors such as body weight and foraging effort. We argue that this was a consequence of the high density of Acacia karroo, which accounted for a third of annual foraging effort in what was a relatively depauperate floristic habitat. We ascribed the large group size and home range overlap to constraints on group fission.Conservation implications: The distribution of group sizes, sampled appropriately across habitats within a conservation area, will be of more relevance to management than average values, which may be nothing more than a statistical artefact, especially when troop sizes are bimodally distributed.

  3. High spatial resolution remote sensing imagery improves GPP predictions in disturbed, semi-arid woodlands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krofcheck, D. J.; Eitel, J.; Vierling, L. A.; Schulthess, U.; Litvak, M. E.

    2012-12-01

    Climate across the globe is changing and consequently the productivity of terrestrial vegetation is changing with it. Gross primary productivity (GPP) is an integral part of the carbon cycle, yet challenging to measure everywhere, all the time. Efforts to estimate GPP in the context of climate change are becoming continually more salient of the need for models sensitive to the heterogeneous nature of drought and pest induced disturbance. Given the increased availability of high spatial resolution remotely sensed imagery, their use in ecosystem scale GPP estimation is becoming increasingly viable. We used a simple linear model with inputs derived from RapidEye time series data (5 meter spatial resolution) as compared to MODIS inputs (250 meter spatial resolution) to estimate GPP in intact and girdled PJ woodland to simulate drought and pest induced disturbance. An area equal to the MODIS pixels measured was aggregated using RapidEye data centered on the flux towers for comparison purposes. We generated four model runs, two using only MODIS or RapidEye spectral vegetation indices (VIs) and two using MODIS and RapidEye VIs combined at both the control and disturbed tower site. Our results suggest that for undisturbed regions, MODIS derived VIs perform better than the higher spatial resolution RapidEye VIs when a moisture sensitive index is incorporated into the model (RMSE of 17.51for MODIS vs. 22.71 for RapidEye). Modeling GPP in disturbed regions however benefits from the inclusion of high spatial resolution data (RMSE of 14.83 for MODIS vs. 14.70 for RapidEye). This discrepancy may have to do with the disparate scale of a MODIS pixel and the size of the tower fetch. Our results suggest that the best source of VI's for the modeling GPP in semi-arid woodlands depends on the level of disturbance in the landscape. Given that the rate and extent of drought and insect induced mortality events in terrestrial forests are projected to increase with our changing climate

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2017-01-01

    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

  5. Understanding hydrological variability for improved water management in the Semi-Arid Karkheh basin, Iran

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Masih, I.

    2011-01-01

    This study provides a hydrology based assessment of (surface) water resources and its continuum of variability and change at different spatio-temporal scales in the semi-arid Karkheh Basin, Iran, where water is scarce, competition among users is high and massive water resources development is under

  6. Land Cover Change and Woodland Degradation in a Charcoal Producing Semi-Arid Area in Kenya

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kiruki, H.M.; van der Zanden, E.H.; Malek, Z.; Verburg, P.H.

    2016-01-01

    Woodlands in Kenya are undergoing land cover change and degradation leading to loss of livelihoods. Uncontrolled charcoal production, although a livelihood source for communities living in woodland areas of Kenya, leads to woodland degradation. We used Landsat imagery, field plot data and household

  7. 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

  8. Land Cover Change in Northern Botswana: The Influence of Climate, Fire, and Elephants on Semi-Arid Savanna Woodlands

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    John Tyler Fox

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Complex couplings and feedback among climate, fire, and herbivory drive short- and long-term patterns of land cover change (LCC in savanna ecosystems. However, understanding of spatial and temporal LCC patterns in these environments is limited, particularly for semi-arid regions transitional between arid and more mesic climates. Here, we use post-classification analysis of Landsat TM (1990, ETM+ (2003, and OLI (2013 satellite imagery to classify and assess net and gross LCC for the Chobe District, a 21,000 km2 area encompassing urban, peri-urban, rural, communally-managed (Chobe Enclave, and protected land (Chobe National Park, CNP, and six protected forest reserves. We then evaluate spatiotemporal patterns of LCC in relation to precipitation, fire detections (MCD14M, 2001–2013 from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS, and dry season elephant (Loxodonta africana aerial survey data (2003, 2006, 2012, 2013. Woodland cover declined over the study period by 1514 km2 (16.2% of initial class total, accompanied by expansion of shrubland (1305 km2, 15.7% and grassland (265 km2, 20.3%. Net LCC differed importantly in protected areas, with higher woodland losses observed in forest reserves compared to the CNP. Loss of woodland was also higher in communally-managed land for the study period, despite gains from 2003–2013. Gross (class changes were characterized by extensive exchange between woodland and shrubland during both time steps, and a large expansion of shrubland into grassland and bare ground from 2003–2013. MODIS active fire detections were highly variable from year to year and among the different protected areas, ranging from 1.8 fires*year−1/km2 in the Chobe Forest Reserve to 7.1 fires*year−1/km2 in the Kasane Forest Reserve Extension. Clustering and timing of dry season fires suggests that ignitions were predominately from anthropogenic sources. Annual fire count was significantly related to total annual rainfall

  9. Hydrological modeling of the semi-arid Andarax river basin in southern Spain

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Andersen, Flemming Hauge; Jensen, Karsten Høgh; Sandholt, Inge

    availability in the delta region. Due to the high evapotranspiration in semi-arid or arid regions groundwater recharge can be as low as 1 % of the precipitation. Thus it is essential to accurately predict the seasonal and regional distribution of actual evapotranspiration (ET) within the river catchment......  The 2,265 km2 Andarax river basin located in Southern Spain is one of the most arid regions in Europe with a mean annual precipitation of 250-350 mm, which mainly falls (70%) in autumn and winter. The terrain changes from sea level at the coast to more than 2,500 m in the Sierra Nevada Mountains....... Most of the precipitation falling in the mountainous areas, where the unit Triassic schists dominates, is converted into overland flow, which runs directly to the rivers. In areas with limestone most of the precipitation infiltrates and is subsequently routed through fractures before discharging...

  10. Evaluation of soil and water conservation measures in a semi-arid river basin in Tunisia using SWAT

    Science.gov (United States)

    The Merguellil catchment (Central Tunisia) is a typical Mediterranean semi-arid basin which suffers from regular water shortage aggravated by current droughts. During the recent decades the continuous construction of small and large dams and Soil and Water Conservation Works (i.e. Contour ridges) ha...

  11. Water-scarcity patterns : spatiotemporal interdependencies between water use and water availability in a semi-arid river basin

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Oel, P.R.

    2009-01-01

    This thesis addresses the interdependencies between water use and water availability and describes a model that has been developed to improve understanding of the processes that drive changes and variations in the spatial and temporal distribution of water resources in a semi-arid river basin. These

  12. Hydrologic control of the oxygen isotope ratio of ecosystem respiration in a semi-arid woodland

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. H. Shim

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available We conducted high frequency measurements of the δ18O value of atmospheric CO2 from a juniper (Juniperus monosperma woodland in New Mexico, USA, over a four-year period to investigate climatic and physiological regulation of the δ18O value of ecosystem respiration (δR. Rain pulses reset δR with the dominant water source isotope composition, followed by progressive enrichment of δR. Transpiration (ET was significantly related to post-pulse δR enrichment because the leaf water δ18O value showed strong enrichment with increasing vapor pressure deficit that occurs following rain. Post-pulse δR enrichment was correlated with both ET and the ratio of ET to soil evaporation (ET/ES. In contrast, the soil water δ18O value was relatively stable and δR enrichment was not correlated with ES. Model simulations captured the large post-pulse δR enrichments only when the offset between xylem and leaf water δ18O value was modeled explicitly and when a gross flux model for CO2 retro-diffusion was included. Drought impacts δR through the balance between evaporative demand, which enriches δR, and low soil moisture availability, which attenuates δR enrichment through reduced ET. The net result, observed throughout all four years of our study, was a negative correlation of post-precipitation δR enrichment with increasing drought.

  13. A model analysis of climate and CO2 controls on tree growth in a semi-arid woodland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, G.; Harrison, S. P.; Prentice, I. C.

    2015-03-01

    We used a light-use efficiency model of photosynthesis coupled with a dynamic carbon allocation and tree-growth model to simulate annual growth of the gymnosperm Callitris columellaris in the semi-arid Great Western Woodlands, Western Australia, over the past 100 years. Parameter values were derived from independent observations except for sapwood specific respiration rate, fine-root turnover time, fine-root specific respiration rate and the ratio of fine-root mass to foliage area, which were estimated by Bayesian optimization. The model reproduced the general pattern of interannual variability in radial growth (tree-ring width), including the response to the shift in precipitation regimes that occurred in the 1960s. Simulated and observed responses to climate were consistent. Both showed a significant positive response of tree-ring width to total photosynthetically active radiation received and to the ratio of modeled actual to equilibrium evapotranspiration, and a significant negative response to vapour pressure deficit. However, the simulations showed an enhancement of radial growth in response to increasing atmospheric CO2 concentration (ppm) ([CO2]) during recent decades that is not present in the observations. The discrepancy disappeared when the model was recalibrated on successive 30-year windows. Then the ratio of fine-root mass to foliage area increases by 14% (from 0.127 to 0.144 kg C m-2) as [CO2] increased while the other three estimated parameters remained constant. The absence of a signal of increasing [CO2] has been noted in many tree-ring records, despite the enhancement of photosynthetic rates and water-use efficiency resulting from increasing [CO2]. Our simulations suggest that this behaviour could be explained as a consequence of a shift towards below-ground carbon allocation.

  14. Observing Semi-Arid Ecoclimates across Mountain Gradients in the Great Basin, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Strachan, Scotty

    Observation of climate and ecohydrological variables in mountain systems is a necessary (if challenging) endeavor for modern society. Water resources are often intimately tied to mountains, and high elevation environments are frequently home to unique landscapes and biota with limited geographical distributions. This is especially true in the temperate and semi-arid mountains of the western United States, and specifically the Great Basin. Stark contrasts in annual water balance and ecological populations are visible across steep elevational gradients in the region; and yet the bulk of our historical knowledge of climate and related processes comes from lowland observations. Interpolative models that strive to estimate conditions in mountains using existing datasets are often found to be inaccurate, making future projections of mountain climate and ecosystem response suspect. This study details the results of high-resolution topographically-diverse ecohydrological monitoring, and describes the character and seasonality of basic climatic variables such as temperature and precipitation as well as their impact on soil moisture and vegetation during the 2012-2015 drought sequence. Relationships of topography (elevation/aspect) to daily and seasonal temperatures are shown. Tests of the PRISM temperature model are performed at the large watershed scale, revealing magnitudes, modes, and potential sources of bias that could dramatically affect derivative scientific conclusions. A new method of precipitation phase partitioning to detect and quantify frozen precipitation on a sub-daily basis is described. Character of precipitation from sub-daily to annual scales is quantified across all major Great Basin vegetation/elevation zones, and the relationship of elevation to precipitation phase, intensity, and amount is explored. Water-stress responses of Great Basin conifers including Pinus flexilis, Pinus longaeva, and Pinus ponderosa are directly observed, showing potential

  15. Sediment transport analysis at event scale in a semi-arid basin of Southern-Italy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bisantino, T.; Gentile, F.; Milillo, F.; Romano, G.; Trisorio Liuzzi, G.

    2009-04-01

    Erosion at basin scale is a main issue in nowadays research since it plays a role of first level in sustainable management of natural resources (land and water). In particular, in arid and semi-arid regions natural vegetative cover is sparse and runoff events cause high rates of sediment transport, while long periods of drought can be observed. Several types of erosion phenomena affect the torrents in the north-western area of the Puglia Region (Southern-Italy) where flood events are characterised by a considerable amount of suspended solids. In this area the solid load was monitored until 1989 by the National Hydrographic Service using manual sampling. To accurately estimate the sediment transport during flood events and in order to improve the methodologies to assess and predict soil erosion, a watershed representative of the area (Carapelle torrent) was selected, where an experimental station was set up for the continuous measuring of suspended solids. The station is equipped with a dual function infrared sensor (turbidity/suspended solids), a remote data acquisition system, an electromechanical and an ultrasound stage meter. A laboratory test of the turbidity sensor was preliminary performed to evaluate the dual functionality of the instrument (turbidity and suspended sediment concentration) in relation to the variations of sediment concentration and grain size distribution. Successively a field calibration was carried out to determine the relationship between optical and gravimetric data and to check the housing device. Afterwards, the high temporal resolution data collected over a 3-years period (2007-2009) were used to analyze the sediment transport dynamics. The aim of the study is to investigate the relationships in unsteady flows between the sediment concentration and the discharge, and to analyze the relationships at event scale between the sediment budget and some hydrological variables, in order to select the model that best represents the local

  16. The hydrochemistry of a semi-arid pan basin case study: Sua Pan, Makgadikgadi, Botswana

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Eckardt, Frank D.; Bryant, Robert G.; McCulloch, Graham; Spiro, Baruch; Wood, Warren W.

    2008-01-01

    This study presents results on the fluid and salt chemistry for the Makgadikgadi, a substantial continental basin in the semi-arid Kalahari. The aims of the study are to improve understanding of the hydrology of such a system and to identify the sources of the solutes and the controls on their cycling within pans. Sampling took place against the backdrop of unusually severe flooding as well as significant anthropogenic extraction of subsurface brines. This paper examines in particular the relationship between the chemistry of soil leachates, fresh stream water, salty lake water, surface salts and subsurface brines at Sua Pan, Botswana with the aim of improving the understanding of the system's hydrology. Occasionally during the short wet season (December-March) surface water enters the saline environment and precipitates mostly calcite and halite, as well as dolomite and traces of other salts associated with the desiccation of the lake. The hypersaline subsurface brine (up to TDS 190,000 mg/L) is homogenous with minor variations due to pumping by BotAsh mine (Botswana Ash (Pty) Ltd.), which extracts 2400 m 3 of brine/h from a depth of 38 m. Notable is the decrease in TDS as the pumping rate increases which may be indicative of subsurface recharge by less saline water. Isotope chemistry for Sr ( 87 Sr/ 86 Sr average 0.722087) and S (δ 34 S average 34.35) suggests subsurface brines have been subject to a lithological contribution of undetermined origin. Recharge of the subsurface brine from surface water including the Nata River appears to be negligible

  17. Concerns about irrigation efficiency as an adaptation measure to cope with droughts and climate change in semi-arid basins

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vicuna, S.; Henriquez, L.; Melo, O.

    2016-12-01

    As expected in the late 1960s, the Paloma reservoir was built in the Limari basin in the semi-arid region in central Chile with the premise that climate conditions of the past, including the recurrence of dry and wet periods, were going to repeat in the future. That was in fact the case for almost 30 years after the reservoir was built. During this period water supplies from the reservoir were reliable and irrigation efficiency was improved with the result of irrigated land in the basin increasing four times especially with high value-permanent-water-consumption crops (fruits, orchards). Since 2003, during a mega-drought that has affected large proportions of central Chile, inflows to the Paloma reservoir have never again equaled or surpassed average historic flows. The refill of the reservoir, an event that happened every 3-4 years has not occurred in the last 13 years. And the capacity of the basin to accommodate to such a drastic reduction in water availability is no longer present because of the already large "efficient" and permanent use of water. The results in terms of agriculture losses and runoff at the outlet of the basin have been dramatic. Some 400 kms. south of the Limari basin, with higher precipitation levels but still in the semi-arid region in Chile is located the Maipo basin home to the 6 million people city of Santiago and around 250,000 has of irrigated land. Irrigation efficiency is also improving in this basin with savings being used mostly to supply drinking water supply shortages via transfer of water rights. Considering costly infrastructure alternatives, adaptation to climate change projections in this basin will likely extend the improvements in irrigation efficiency most likely affecting downstream environmental uses and reducing overall resilience of the basin to cope with droughts.

  18. Mapping ecological processes and ecosystem services for prioritizing restoration efforts in a semi-arid Mediterranean river basin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trabucchi, Mattia; O'Farrell, Patrick J; Notivol, Eduardo; Comín, Francisco A

    2014-06-01

    Semi-arid Mediterranean regions are highly susceptible to desertification processes which can reduce the benefits that people obtain from healthy ecosystems and thus threaten human wellbeing. The European Union Biodiversity Strategy to 2020 recognizes the need to incorporate ecosystem services into land-use management, conservation, and restoration actions. The inclusion of ecosystem services into restoration actions and plans is an emerging area of research, and there are few documented approaches and guidelines on how to undertake such an exercise. This paper responds to this need, and we demonstrate an approach for identifying both key ecosystem services provisioning areas and the spatial relationship between ecological processes and services. A degraded semi-arid Mediterranean river basin in north east Spain was used as a case study area. We show that the quantification and mapping of services are the first step required for both optimizing and targeting of specific local areas for restoration. Additionally, we provide guidelines for restoration planning at a watershed scale; establishing priorities for improving the delivery of ecosystem services at this scale; and prioritizing the sub-watersheds for restoration based on their potential for delivering a combination of key ecosystem services for the entire basin.

  19. 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.

  20. Determining the Impact of Forest Mortality in Semi-Arid Woodlands on Local and Regional Carbon Dynamics

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Litvak, Marcy [University of New Mexico

    2018-04-09

    We received funds in July 2012, and with supplemental funds, this funding ended in July 2017. Our overall project goals were to quantify the consequences of pinon mortality for carbon, water and energy exchange in pinon-juniper woodlands. To do this, we have been continuously measuring carbon, water and energy exchange using eddy covariance, over two pinon-juniper woodlands in central New Mexico. In one site, we girdled 1632 trees in the 4 ha surrounding the tower in Sept 2009. The other site, only 5 km away on the same plateau, was left intact, to serve as a control. We used this paired tower approach so we could directly evaluate the differences between how fluxes from disturbed and intact woodlands respond to the exact same climate conditions. In addition to eddy covariance measured fluxes from the two woodlands, we also made sap flux measurements, biomass, gas exchange, and soil respiration fluxes simultaneously in the two sites. The overall objective of this proposal is to measure the carbon and climate forcing consequences of widespread coniferous mortality events in the Southwestern US. We will incorporate these findings into a land surface model to understand the long term carbon dynamics of these mortality events and use remote sensing maps of mortality in PJ woodlands in NM to scale the implications of these events to regional carbon dynamics and atmospheric CO2. In 2013, our control PJ woodland experienced a natural pinon mortality event as bark beetles invaded the area. We received supplemental funds to quantify the extent of the mortality and how it progresses, and to add remotely sensed imagery to aid in this and estimate the loss of biomass at the site due to mortality. Finally, we have been exploring the use of both CLM and SIPNET to analyze how well these models to in representing how these woodlands change following pinon mortality. Here, I present the results of what we have learned in these areas: 1) how carbon, water and energy fluxes, have

  1. Historical Causes and Future Projections of Hydrological Drought Change over a Semi-arid Watershed in the Yellow River Basin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiao, Y.; Yuan, X.; Yang, D.

    2017-12-01

    During the past five decades, significant decreasing trends in streamflow records were observed at many hydrological gauges within the middle reaches of the Yellow River basin, China, leading to an intensified water resource shortage and a rising hydrological drought risk. This phenomenon is generally considered as a consequence of climate changes and human interventions, such as greenhouse gas emissions, regional land use/cover changes, dam and reservoir constructions and direct water withdrawals. There are many studies on the attribution of streamflow decline and hydrological drought change in this region, while a consolidated conclusion is missing.In this study, we focus on historical and future hydrological drought characteristics over a semi-arid watershed located in the middle reaches of the Yellow River basin. Daily climate simulations from several IPCC CMIP5 models were collected to drive a newly developed eco-hydrological model CLM-GBHM with detailed description of river network and sub-basin topological relationship, to simulate streamflow series under different forcings and scenarios. The standard streamflow index was calculated and used to figure out the characteristics (e.g., frequency, duration and severity) of both historical and future hydrological droughts. The causes and contributions in terms of natural and anthropogenic influences will be investigated based on an optimal fingerprinting method, and the relative importance of internal variability, model and scenario uncertainties for future projections will also be estimated using a separation method. This study will facilitate the implementation of adaptation strategies for hydrological drought over the semi-arid watershed in a changing environment.

  2. Feedback mechanisms between water availability and water use in a semi-arid river basin: a geographically explicit multi-agent simulation approach

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Oel, P.R.; Krol, Martinus S.; Hoekstra, Arjen Ysbert; Taddei, Renzo R.

    2010-01-01

    Understanding the processes responsible for the distribution of water availability over space and time is of great importance to spatial planning in a semi-arid river basin. In this study the usefulness of a multi-agent simulation (MAS) approach for representing these processes is discussed. A MAS

  3. Aboveground and belowground biomass allocation in native Prosopis caldenia Burkart secondaries woodlands in the semi-arid Argentinean pampas

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Risio, Lucia; Herrero, Celia; Bogino, Stella M.; Bravo, Felipe

    2014-01-01

    The woodlands in the south-west of the Argentinean pampas are dominated by Prosopis Caldenia Burkart (calden). The current deforestation rate of this woodlands is 0.82% per year. Different compensation initiatives have begun that recognize the role of forests as environmental service providers. The financial incentives they offer make it necessary to quantify the amount of carbon stored in the forest biomass. A model for estimating calden biomass was developed. Thirty-eight trees were selected, felled and divided into sections. An equation system was fitted using joint generalized regression to ensure the additivity property. A weighted regression was used to avoid heteroscedasticity. In these woodlands fire is the main disturbance and it can modify tree allometry, due this all models included the area of the base of the stem and tree height as independent variables since it indirectly collects this variability. Total biomass and the stem fraction had the highest R2 A dj. values (0.75), while branches with a diameter less than 7 cm had the lowest (0.58). Tree biomass was also analyzed by partitioning into the basic fractions of stem, crown, roots, and the root/shoot ratio. Biomass allocation was greatest in the crown fraction and the mean root/shoot ratio was 0.58. The carbon stock of the caldenales considering only calden tree biomass is 20.2 Mg ha −1 . While the overall carbon balance of the region is negative (deforestation and biomass burning, the remnant forested area has increased their calden density and in an indirect way his carbon sequestration capacity could also be increased. - Highlights: • A model for estimating aboveground and belowground Prosopis caldenia biomass was developed. • Biomass allocation into the tree and the root/shoot ratio were analyzed. • The equation systems presented had made it possible to more accurately estimate the biomass stored in calden woodlands

  4. Spatial Distribution of Aboveground Carbon Stock of the Arboreal Vegetation in Brazilian Biomes of Savanna, Atlantic Forest and Semi-Arid Woodland.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scolforo, Henrique Ferraco; Scolforo, Jose Roberto Soares; Mello, Carlos Rogerio; Mello, Jose Marcio; Ferraz Filho, Antonio Carlos

    2015-01-01

    The objective of this study was to map the spatial distribution of aboveground carbon stock (using Regression-kriging) of arboreal plants in the Atlantic Forest, Semi-arid woodland, and Savanna Biomes in Minas Gerais State, southeastern Brazil. The database used in this study was obtained from 163 forest fragments, totaling 4,146 plots of 1,000 m2 distributed in these Biomes. A geographical model for carbon stock estimation was parameterized as a function of Biome, latitude and altitude. This model was applied over the samples and the residuals generated were mapped based on geostatistical procedures, selecting the exponential semivariogram theoretical model for conducting ordinary Kriging. The aboveground carbon stock was found to have a greater concentration in the north of the State, where the largest contingent of native vegetation is located, mainly the Savanna Biome, with Wooded Savanna and Shrub Savanna phytophysiognomes. The largest weighted averages of carbon stock per hectare were found in the south-center region (48.6 Mg/ha) and in the southern part of the eastern region (48.4 Mg/ha) of Minas Gerais State, due to the greatest predominance of Atlantic Forest Biome forest fragments. The smallest weighted averages per hectare were found in the central (21.2 Mg/ha), northern (20.4 Mg/ha), and northwestern (20.7 Mg/ha) regions of Minas Gerais State, where Savanna Biome fragments are predominant, in the phytophysiognomes Wooded Savanna and Shrub Savanna.

  5. Integrated surface water-groundwater modeling for interpreting ecohydrological processes in large arid and semi-arid river basins

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tian, Yong; Zheng, Yi; Zheng, Chunmiao; Wu, Bin; Wu, Xin

    2015-04-01

    Ecohydrological processes in arid and semi-arid environments are sensitive to both climate conditions and human activities, but the response mechanisms have been rarely explored for large river basins via an integrated modeling approach. In this study, GSFLOW, a USGS model coupling PRMS and MODFLOW, was improved to explicitly simulate flow diversion, groundwater pumping and agricultural irrigation. The improved GSFLOW was then applied in the Heihe River Basin (HRB), the second largest inland river basin in China, to characterize ecohydrological processes at different spatial and temporal scales. The integrated model is grid-based for both its surface and subsurface domains. It assimilated multiple types of data including classic hydrological observations and remote sensing-based evapotranspiration (ET) and leaf area index (LAI) products, and eventually produced a coherent understanding on the regional water cycle at different spatial and temporal scales. Complicated multi-scale features of both ET and vegetation growth processes in the study area were unraveled, and insights on tackling the existing water conflicts were achieved.

  6. Terminal Fluvial Systems in a Semi-arid Endorheic Basin, Salar de Uyuni (Bolivia)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Li, J.

    2014-01-01

    Many ancient sedimentary basins are interpreted as endorheic basins, internally drained basins with no direct hydrological connection to the marine environment. Some of these endorheic basins are economically important because of the abundance of hydrocarbon resources. To date, many studies have

  7. Achieving Sustainability in a Semi-Arid Basin in Northwest Mexico through an Integrated Hydrologic-Economic-Institutional Model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Munoz-Hernandez, A.; Mayer, A. S.

    2008-12-01

    The hydrologic systems in Northwest Mexico are at risk of over exploitation due to poor management of the water resources and adverse climatic conditions. The purpose of this work is to create and Integrated Hydrologic-Economic-Institutional Model to support future development in the Yaqui River basin, well known by its agricultural productivity, by directing the water management practices toward sustainability. The Yaqui River basin is a semi-arid basin with an area of 72,000 square kilometers and an average precipitation of 527 mm per year. The primary user of water is agriculture followed by domestic use and industry. The water to meet user demands comes from three reservoirs constructed, in series, along the river. The main objective of the integrated simulation-optimization model is to maximize the economic benefit within the basin, subject to physical and environmental constraints. Decision variables include the water allocation to major users and reservoirs as well as aquifer releases. Economic and hydrologic (including the interaction of the surface water and groundwater) simulation models were both included in the integrated model. The surface water model refers to a rainfall-runoff model created, calibrated, and incorporated into a MATLAB code that estimates the monthly storage in the main reservoirs by solving a water balance. The rainfall-runoff model was coupled with a groundwater model of the Yaqui Valley which was previously developed (Addams, 2004). This model includes flow in the main canals and infiltration to the aquifer. The economic benefit of water for some activities such as agricultural use, domestic use, hydropower generation, and environmental value was determined. Sensitivity analysis was explored for those parameters that are not certain such as price elasticities or population growth. Different water allocation schemes were created based on climate change, climate variability, and socio-economic scenarios. Addams L. 2004. Water resource

  8. Research Note:Determination of soil hydraulic properties using pedotransfer functions in a semi-arid basin, Turkey

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Tombul

    2004-01-01

    Full Text Available Spatial and temporal variations in soil hydraulic properties such as soil moisture q(h and hydraulic conductivity K(q or K(h, may affect the performance of hydrological models. Moreover, the cost of determining soil hydraulic properties by field or laboratory methods makes alternative indirect methods desirable. In this paper, various pedotransfer functions (PTFs are used to estimate soil hydraulic properties for a small semi-arid basin (Kurukavak in the north-west of Turkey. The field measurements were a good fit with the retention curve derived using Rosetta SSC-BD for a loamy soil. To predict parameters to describe soil hydraulic characteristics, continuous PTFs such as Rosetta SSC-BD (Model H3 and SSC-BD-q33q1500 (Model H5 have been applied. Using soil hydraulic properties that vary in time and space, the characteristic curves for three soil types, loam, sandy clay loam and sandy loam have been developed. Spatial and temporal variations in soil moisture have been demonstrated on a plot and catchment scale for loamy soil. It is concluded that accurate site-specific measurements of the soil hydraulic characteristics are the only and probably the most promising method to progress in the future. Keywords: soil hydraulic properties, soil characteristic curves, PTFs

  9. Evaluation and identification of significant quality parameters for the bodies of water in bahia's semi-arid region. Case study: salitre river hydrographic basin

    OpenAIRE

    Oliveira, Clélia Nobre de; Campos, Vânia P.; Medeiros, Yvonilde Dantas Pinto

    2010-01-01

    Objective of this work was identifying superficial water quality parameters, significant to semi-arid hydrographic basins, minimizing costs of water monitoring. The Salitre river basin, an important sub-basin of the São Francisco river, was used as a case study. STD, Cl-, DO, BOD, pH, NO3-, PO4(3-), Al, Cu, Fe, Mn, Ni and Pb were considered the most significant parameters, with concentration levels found in some stretches of the basin not compliant with the current legislation. Some of the Sa...

  10. Hydrological modeling of the semi-arid Andarax river basin in southern Spain

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Andersen, Flemming Hauge; Jensen, Karsten Høgh; Sandholt, Inge

      The 2,265 km2 Andarax river basin located in Southern Spain is one of the most arid regions in Europe with a mean annual precipitation of 250-350 mm, which mainly falls (70%) in autumn and winter. The terrain changes from sea level at the coast to more than 2,500 m in the Sierra Nevada Mountains...... into the Andarax river. When the river reaches the medium and lower-laying areas most of the water infiltrates into the highly permeable Detritic aquifer. River discharge into the Mediterranean Sea only occurs at rare occasions and for high rainfalls. The total recharge within the catchment determines the water....... Most of the precipitation falling in the mountainous areas, where the unit Triassic schists dominates, is converted into overland flow, which runs directly to the rivers. In areas with limestone most of the precipitation infiltrates and is subsequently routed through fractures before discharging...

  11. Hydrological modeling of the semi-arid Andarax river basin in Southern Spain

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Andersen, Flemming Hauge; Jensen, Karsten Høgh; Sandholt, Inge

      The 2,265 km2 Andarax river basin located in Southern Spain is one of the most arid regions in Europe with a mean annual precipitation of 250-350 mm, which mainly falls (70%) in autumn and winter. The terrain changes from sea level at the coast to more than 2,500 m in the Sierra Nevada Mountains....... Most of the precipitation falling in the mountainous areas, where the unit Triassic schists dominates, is converted into overland flow, which runs directly to the rivers. In areas with limestone most of the precipitation infiltrates and is subsequently routed through fractures before discharging...... into the Andarax river. When the river reaches the medium and lower-laying areas most of the water infiltrates into the highly permeable Detritic aquifer. River discharge into the Mediterranean Sea only occurs at rare occasions and for high rainfalls. The total recharge within the catchment determines the water...

  12. Stable isotope and hydrochemical evolution of groundwater in the semi-arid Hamersley Basin of subtropical northwest Australia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dogramaci, Shawan; Skrzypek, Grzegorz; Dodson, Wade; Grierson, Pauline F.

    2012-12-01

    SummaryThe Hamersley Basin, in the semi-arid Pilbara region of northwest Australia, is currently subject to increasing pressure from altered hydrology associated with mining activities as well as water abstraction for regional development. Sustainable water management across the region must be underpinned by an understanding of the factors that constrain water supply in arid zones. We measured the amount and isotopic signature of individual rainfall events over three consecutive years (2009-2011) to determine the likely processes that control surface water pools in streams and groundwater recharge across the Hamersley Basin. We also measured concentrations of ions (in particular bromide and chloride) to define and quantify sources of major recharge. Stable isotope composition of precipitation across the basin forms a Local Meteoric Water Line (LMWL) defined by the equation: δ2H = 7.03 ± 0.17 × δ18O + 4.78 ± 1.45. Thus, the slope of the LMWL was similar to the Global Meteoric Water Line (GMWL). However, the intercept of the LMWL was significantly different to the GMWL, which is attributable to the amount or "rainout" effect. The stable isotope composition of rainfall events was highly variable and dependent on event size. However, the δ2H and δ18O values of fresh groundwater from the alluvium and fractured aquifers were similar and characterised by a very narrow range (alluvium aquifer δ18O -8.02 ± 0.83‰, δ2H -55.6 ± 6.0‰, n = 65; fractured aquifer δ18O -8.22 ± 0.70‰, δ2H -56.9 ± 5.0‰, n = 207). Our findings suggest that intense rainfall events of >20 mm with limited evaporation prior to infiltration contribute most to recharge. In contrast, the δ2H and δ18O values and chemical composition of the relatively saline groundwater in the terminal Fortescue Marsh suggest a combination of evaporation and cyclic drying and wetting of the marsh surface prior to recharge. Saline groundwater samples were more 18O enriched than fresh groundwater; δ2H

  13. Toward structural assessment of semi-arid African savannahs and woodlands: The potential of multitemporal polarimetric RADARSAT-2 fine beam images

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Mathieu, R

    2013-11-01

    Full Text Available variables but for all three seasons. The C-band SAR data thus provided encouraging results in open, semi-arid savannahs and hint at larger area structural assessments than is possible with LiDAR sensors alone. The combined use of C-band and L-band (ALOS...

  14. Hydrological effects of cropland and climatic changes in arid and semi-arid river basins: A case study from the Yellow River basin, China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Huazhen; Zhang, Qiang; Singh, Vijay P.; Shi, Peijun; Sun, Peng

    2017-06-01

    The Yellow River basin is a typical semi-arid river basin in northern China. Serious water shortages have negative impacts on regional socioeconomic development. Recent years have witnessed changes in streamflow processes due to increasing human activities, such as agricultural activities and construction of dams and water reservoirs, and climatic changes, e.g. precipitation and temperature. This study attempts to investigate factors potentially driving changes in different streamflow components defined by different quantiles. The data used were daily streamflow data for the 1959-2005 period from 5 hydrological stations, daily precipitation and temperature data from 77 meteorological stations and data pertaining to cropland and large reservoirs. Results indicate a general decrease in streamflow across the Yellow River basin. Moreover significant decreasing streamflow has been observed in the middle and lower Yellow River basin with change points during the mid-1980s till the mid-1990s. The changes of cropland affect the streamflow components and also the cumulative effects on streamflow variations. Recent years have witnessed moderate cropland variations which result in moderate streamflow changes. Further, precipitation also plays a critical role in changes of streamflow components and human activities, i.e. cropland changes, temperature changes and building of water reservoirs, tend to have increasing impacts on hydrological processes across the Yellow River basin. This study provides a theoretical framework for the study of the hydrological effects of human activities and climatic changes on basins over the globe.

  15. Estimation of groundwater recharge via deuterium labelling in the semi-arid Cuvelai-Etosha Basin, Namibia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beyer, Matthias; Gaj, Marcel; Hamutoko, Josefina Tulimeveva; Koeniger, Paul; Wanke, Heike; Himmelsbach, Thomas

    2015-01-01

    The stable water isotope deuterium ((2)H) was applied as an artificial tracer ((2)H2O) in order to estimate groundwater recharge through the unsaturated zone and describe soil water movement in a semi-arid region of northern central Namibia. A particular focus of this study was to assess the spatiotemporal persistence of the tracer when applied in the field on a small scale under extreme climatic conditions and to propose a method to obtain estimates of recharge in data-scarce regions. At two natural sites that differ in vegetation cover, soil and geology, 500 ml of a 70% (2)H2O solution was irrigated onto water saturated plots. The displacement of the (2)H peak was analyzed 1 and 10 days after an artificial rain event of 20 mm as well as after the rainy season. Results show that it is possible to apply the peak displacement method for the estimation of groundwater recharge rates in semi-arid environments via deuterium labelling. Potential recharge for the rainy season 2013/2014 was calculated as 45 mm a(-1) at 5.6 m depth and 40 mm a(-1) at 0.9 m depth at the two studied sites, respectively. Under saturated conditions, the artificial rain events moved 2.1 and 0.5 m downwards, respectively. The tracer at the deep sand site (site 1) was found after the rainy season at 5.6 m depth, corresponding to a displacement of 3.2 m. This equals in an average travel velocity of 2.8 cm d(-1) during the rainy season at the first site. At the second location, the tracer peak was discovered at 0.9 m depth; displacement was found to be only 0.4 m equalling an average movement of 0.2 cm d(-1) through the unsaturated zone due to an underlying calcrete formation. Tracer recovery after one rainy season was found to be as low as 3.6% at site 1 and 1.9% at site 2. With an in situ measuring technique, a three-dimensional distribution of (2)H after the rainy season could be measured and visualized. This study comprises the first application of the peak displacement method using a

  16. Impact of herbaceous understory vegetation to ecosystem water cycle, productivity and infiltration in a semi arid oak woodland assessed by stable oxygen isotopes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dubbert, Maren; Piayda, Arndt; Silva, Filipe Costa e.; Correia, Alexandra C.; Pereira, Joao S.; Cuntz, Matthias; Werner, Christiane

    2015-04-01

    vegetation strongly increased rain infiltration, specifically during strong rain events. In conclusion, beneficial understory vegetation effects were dominant. However, the observed vulnerability of the understory vegetation to drought and competition for water with trees suggests, that increased drought and altered precipitation pattern as predicted in future climate change scenarios for the Mediterranean basin not only threaten understory development. They also very likely decrease rain infiltration and ground water recharge by decreasing understory vegetation cover and increasing amount of heavy precipitation events with high run-off from sealed bare soils. This in turn can severely diminish cork-oak productivity and hence the resilience of the ecosystem toward drought (Costa e Silva et al., in rev.). Dubbert, M; Cuntz, M; Piayda, A; Maguas, C; Werner, C: Partitioning evapotranspiration - Testing the Craig and Gordon model with field measurements of oxygen isotope ratios of evaporative fluxes. J Hydrol (2013) Dubbert, M; Piayda, A; Cuntz, M; Correia, AC; Costa e Silva, F; Pereira, JS; Werner, C: Stable oxygen isotope and flux partitioning demonstrates understory of an oak savanna contributes up to half of ecosystem carbon and water exchange, Frontiers in Plant Science (2014a) Dubbert, M; Mosena, A; Piayda, A; Cuntz, M; Correia, AC; Pereira, JS; Werner, C: Influence of tree cover on herbaceous layer development and carbon and water fluxes in a Portuguese cork oak woodland., Acta Oecologica

  17. Stop and smell the flowers: Herbaceous understory significantly contributes to woodland carbon and water fluxes in a semi-arid ecosystem 2025

    Science.gov (United States)

    Changes in vegetation structure in pulse-driven, water-limited systems can have important and non-linear affects on ecosystem function and biogeochemical cycling. Conversion of grasslands to woodlands in these systems through woody plant encroachment also results in greater patch heterogeneity, and ...

  18. Combining SAR with LANDSAT for Change Detection of Riparian Buffer Zone in a Semi-arid River Basin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chang, N.

    2006-12-01

    A combination of RADARSAT-1 and Landsat 5 TM satellite images linking the soil moisture variation with Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) measurements were used to accomplish remotely sensed change detection of riparian buffer zone in the Choke Canyon Reservoir Watershed (CCRW), South Texas. The CCRW was selected as the study area contributing to the reservoir, which is mostly agricultural and range land in a semi-arid coastal environment. This makes the study significant due to the interception capability of non-point source impact within the riparian buffer zone and the maintenance of ecosystem integrity region wide. First of all, an estimation of soil moisture using RADARSAT-1 Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) satellite imagery was conducted. With its all-weather capability, the RADARSAT-1 is a promising tool for measuring the surface soil moisture over seasons. The time constraint is almost negligible since the RADARSAT-1 is able to capture surface soil moisture over a large area in a matter of seconds, if the area is within its swath. RADARSAT-1 images presented at here were captured in two acquisitions, including April and September 2004. With the aid of five corner reflectors deployed by Alaska Satellite Facility (ASF), essential radiometric and geometric calibrations were performed to improve the accuracy of the SAR imagery. The horizontal errors were reduced from initially 560 meter down to less than 5 meter at the best try. Then two Landsat 5 TM satellite images were summarized based on its NDVI. The combination of and NDVI and SAR data obviously show that soil moisture and vegetation biomass wholly varies in space and time in the CCRW leading to identify the riparian buffer zone evolution over seasons. It is found that the seasonal soil moisture variation is highly tied with the NDVI values and the change detection of buffer zone is technically feasible. It will contribute to develop more effective management strategies for non-point source

  19. The problems of overexploitation of aquifers in semi-arid areas: the Murcia Region and the Segura Basin (South-east Spain) case

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodríguez-Estrella, T.

    2012-05-01

    A general analysis of the problems arising from aquifer exploitation in semi-arid areas such as the Autonomous Region of Murcia, which belongs to the Segura Basin is presented, with particular reference to the Ascoy-Sopalmo aquifer, which is the most overexploited aquifer in Spain. It has suffered intense overabstraction over the last forty years, given renewable water resources of 2 Mm3 yr-1 and abstractions amounting to as much as 55 Mm3 yr-1. This has resulted in the drying of springs, continuous drawdown of water levels (5 m yr-1); piezometric drops (over 30 m in one year, as a consequence of it being a karstic aquifer); increase in pumping costs (elevating water from more than 320 m depth); abandoning of wells (45 reduced to 20), diminishing groundwater reserves, and deteriorating water quality (progressing from a mixed sodium bicarbonate-chloride facies to a sodium chloride one). This is a prime example of poor management with disastrous consequences. In this sense, a series of internal measures is proposed to alleviate the overexploitation of this aquifer and of the Segura Basin, with the aim of contributing to a sustainable future.

  20. Identification of spatiotemporal patterns of biophysical droughts in semi-arid region - a case study of the Karkheh river basin in Iran

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kamali, B.; Abbaspour, K. C.; Lehmann, A.; Wehrli, B.; Yang, H.

    2015-06-01

    This study aims at identifying historical patterns of meteorological, hydrological, and agricultural (inclusively biophysical) droughts in the Karkheh River Basin (KRB), one of the nine benchmark watersheds of the CGIAR Challenge Program on Water and Food. Standardized precipitation index (SPI), standardized runoff index (SRI), and soil moisture deficit index (SMDI) were used to represent the above three types of droughts, respectively. The three drought indices were compared across temporal and spatial dimensions. Variables required for calculating the indices were obtained from the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) constructed for the region. The model was calibrated based on monthly runoff and yearly wheat yield using the Sequential Uncertainty Fitting (SUFI-2) algorithm. Five meteorological drought events were identified in the studied period (1980-2004), of which four corresponded with the hydrological droughts with 1-3 month lag. The meteorological droughts corresponded well with the agricultural droughts during dry months (May-August), while the latter lasted for a longer period of time. Analysis of drought patterns showed that southern parts of the catchment were more prone to agricultural drought, while less influenced by hydrological drought. Our analyses highlighted the necessity for monitoring all three aspects of drought for a more effective watershed management. The analysis on different types of droughts in this study provides a framework for assessing their possible impacts under future climate change in semi-arid areas.

  1. Modern sediment yield compared to geologic rates of sediment production in a semi-arid basin, New Mexico: Assessing the human impact

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gellis, A.C.; Pavich, M.J.; Bierman, P.R.; Clapp, E.M.; Ellevein, A.; Aby, S.

    2004-01-01

    In the semi-arid Arroyo Chavez basin of New Mexico, a 2.28 km2 sub-basin of the Rio Puerco, we contrasted short-term rates (3 years) of sediment yield measured with sediment traps and dams with long-term, geologic rates (???10 000 years) of sediment production measured using 10Be. Examination of erosion rates at different time-scales provides the opportunity to contrast the human impact on erosion with background or geologic rates of sediment production. Arroyo Chavez is grazed and we were interested in whether differences in erosion rates observed at the two time-scales are due to grazing. The geologic rate of sediment production, 0-27 kg m-2 a -1 is similar to the modern sediment yields measured for geomorphic surfaces including colluvial slopes, gently sloping hillslopes, and the mesa top which ranged from 0.12 to 1.03 kg m -2 a-1. The differences between modern sediment yield and geologic rates of sediment production were most noticeable for the alluvial valley floor, which had modern sediment yields as high as 3.35 kg m-2 a-1. The hydraulic state of the arroyo determines whether the alluvial valley floor is aggrading or degrading. Arroyo Chavez is incised and the alluvial valley floor is gullied and piped and is a source of sediment. The alluvial valley floor is also the portion of the basin most modified by human disturbance including grazing and gas pipeline activity, both of which serve to increase erosion rates. ?? 2004 John Wiley and Sons, Ltd.

  2. Impact of vegetation dynamics on hydrological processes in a semi-arid basin by using a land surface-hydrology coupled model

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jiao, Yang; Lei, Huimin; Yang, Dawen; Huang, Maoyi; Liu, Dengfeng; Yuan, Xing

    2017-08-01

    Land surface models (LSMs) are widely used to understand the interactions between hydrological processes and vegetation dynamics, which is important for the attribution and prediction of regional hydrological variations. However, most LSMs have large uncertainties in their representations of ecohydrological processes due to deficiencies in hydrological parameterizations. In this study, the Community Land Model version 4 (CLM4) LSM was modified with an advanced runoff generation and flow routing scheme, resulting in a new land surface-hydrology coupled model, CLM-GBHM. Both models were implemented in the Wudinghe River Basin (WRB), which is a semi-arid basin located in the middle reaches of the Yellow River, China. Compared with CLM, CLM-GBHM increased the Nash Sutcliffe efficiency for daily river discharge simulation (1965–1969) from 0.03 to 0.23 and reduced the relative bias in water table depth simulations (2010–2012) from 32.4% to 13.4%. The CLM-GBHM simulations with static, remotely sensed and model-predicted vegetation conditions showed that the vegetation in the WRB began to recover in the 2000s due to the Grain for Green Program but had not reached the same level of vegetation cover as regions in natural eco-hydrological equilibrium. Compared with a simulation using remotely sensed vegetation cover, the simulation with a dynamic vegetation model that considers only climate-induced change showed a 10.3% increase in evapotranspiration, a 47.8% decrease in runoff, and a 62.7% and 71.3% deceleration in changing trend of the outlet river discharge before and after the year 2000, respectively. This result suggests that both natural and anthropogenic factors should be incorporated in dynamic vegetation models to better simulate the eco-hydrological cycle.

  3. Erosion processes acting in semi-arid climate zone of the Ebro Basin (Bardenas Reales, NE of Spain)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Marin, C.; Desir, G.

    2009-01-01

    Bardenas Reales is an erosive depression located in the central-western part of the Ebro Depression. May different erosion processes act on this zone: gullying, piping, mud slides and armoured mud balls among others that contribute to export great quantity of material outside the basin. Depending on lithology and physico-chemical properties erosion acting processes differ. The knowledge of that processes help us to understand the great amount of soil loss that take place on the studied zone, bigger than those recommended. (Author) 8 refs.

  4. Woodlands Grazing Issues in Mediterranean Basin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Campos, P.

    2009-04-01

    In Mediterranean basin, woodlands grazing still continue to be important commercial owners' benefits. These owners manage woodlands vegetations as if they were not at risk of degradation and declining. Frequently, no temporally grazing set-aside is taken into account to avoid overgrazing of annual and perennial vegetations. Although less common, in the northern shore of Mediterranean basin undergrazing might increase the frequency and the number of catastrophic forest fires. This under/over grazing regime occurs in the Mediterranean basin woodlands with contrasted differences on land property rights, local economies and government livestock policy incentives. Spain and Tunisia are examples of these Mediterranean livestock contrasts. Most of Spanish Mediterranean woodlands and livestock herds are large private ownerships and owners could maintain their lands and livestock herds properties on the basis of moderate cash-income compensation against land revaluation and exclusive amenity self-consumption. The later is less tangible benefit and it could include family land legacy, nature enjoyment, country stile of life development, social status and so on. In public woodlands, social and environmental goals -as they are cultural heritage, biodiversity loss mitigation, soil conservation and employment- could maintain market unprofitable woodlands operations. Last three decades Spanish Mediterranean woodlands owners have increased the livestock herds incentivized by government subsidies. As result, grazing rent is pending on the level of European Union and Spanish government livestock subsidies. In this context, Spanish Mediterranean woodlands maintain a high extensive livestock stoking population, which economy could be called fragile and environmentally unsustainable because forest degradation and over/under grazing practices. Tunisian Mediterranean woodlands are state properties and livestock grazing is practice as a free private regimen. Livestock herds are small herd

  5. Effects of permafrost degradation on alpine grassland in a semi-arid basin on the Qinghai–Tibetan Plateau

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yi Shuhua; Zhou Zhaoye; Ren Shilong; Xu Ming; Qin Yu; Chen Shengyun; Ye Baisheng

    2011-01-01

    Permafrost on the Qinghai–Tibetan Plateau (QTP) has degraded over the last few decades. Its ecological effects have attracted great concern. Previous studies focused mostly at plot scale, and hypothesized that degradation of permafrost would cause lowering of the water table and drying of shallow soil and then degradation of alpine grassland. However, none has been done to test the hypothesis at basin scale. In this study, for the first time, we investigated the relationships between land surface temperature (LST) and fractional vegetation cover (FVC) in different types of permafrost zone to infer the limiting condition (water or energy) of grassland growth on the source region of Shule River Basin, which is located in the north-eastern edge of the QTP. LST was obtained from MODIS Aqua products at 1 km resolution, while FVC was upscaled from quadrat (50 cm) to the same resolution as LST, using 30 m resolution NDVI data of the Chinese HJ satellite. FVC at quadrat scale was estimated by analyzing pictures taken with a multi-spectral camera. Results showed that (1) retrieval of FVC at quadrat scale using a multi-spectral camera was both more accurate and more efficient than conventional methods and (2) the limiting factor of vegetation growth transitioned from energy in the extreme stable permafrost zone to water in the seasonal frost zone. Our study suggested that alpine grassland would respond differently to permafrost degradation in different types of permafrost zone. Future studies should consider overall effects of permafrost degradation, and avoid the shortcomings of existing studies, which focus too much on the adverse effects.

  6. Seasonal effects of irrigation on land-atmosphere latent heat, sensible heat and carbon fluxes in semi-arid basin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xie, Zhenghui; Zeng, Yujin

    2017-04-01

    Irrigation, which constitutes 70% of the total amount of fresh water consumed by the human population, is significantly impacting the land-atmosphere fluxes. In this study, using the improved Community Land Model version 4.5 (CLM 4.5) with an active crop model, two high resolution ( 1 km) simulations investigating the effects of irrigation on Latent Heat (LH), Sensible Heat (SH) and Carbon Fluxes (or net ecosystem exchange, NEE) from land to atmosphere on the Heihe River Basin in northwestern China were conducted using a high-quality irrigation dataset compiled from 1981 to 2013. The model output and measurements from remote sensing demonstrated the capacity and viability of the developed models to reproduce ecological and hydrological processes. The results revealed the effects of irrigation on LH and SH are strongest during summer with a LH increase of 100 W/m2 and a SH decrease of 60 W/m2 over intensely irrigated areas. However, the reactions are much weaker during spring and autumn when there is much less irrigation. When the irrigation rate below 5 mm/day, the LH generally increases, whereas the SH decreases with growing irrigation rates. However, when the irrigation threshold is in excess of 5 mm/day, there is no accrued effect of irrigation on the LH and SH. Irrigation produces opposite effects to the NEE during spring and summer. During the spring, irrigation yields more discharged carbon from the land to the atmosphere, increasing the NEE value by 0.4-0.8 gC/m2/day, while the summer irrigation favors crop fixing of carbon from atmospheric CO2, decreasing the NEE value by 0.8 gC/m2/day. The repercussions of irrigation on land-atmosphere fluxes are not solely linked to the irrigation amount, and other parameters (especially the temperature) also control the effects of irrigation on LH, SH and NEE. The study indicates that how a land surface model with high spatial resolution can represent crop growing and its effects over basin scale.

  7. Risk-assessment of post-wildfire hydrological response in semi-arid basins: The effects of varying rainfall representations in the KINEROS2/AGWA model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Representation of precipitation is one of the most difficult aspects of modeling post-fire runoff and erosion and also one of the most sensitive input parameters to rainfall-runoff models. The impact of post-fire convective rainstorms, especially in semi-arid watersheds, depends on the overlap betwe...

  8. Using cosmogenic nuclides to contrast rates of erosion and sediment yield in a semi-arid, arroyo-dominated landscape, Rio Puerco Basin, New Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bierman, P.R.; Reuter, J.M.; Pavich, M.; Gellis, A.C.; Caffee, M.W.; Larsen, J.

    2005-01-01

    Analysis of in-situ-produced 10Be and 26Al in 52 fluvial sediment samples shows that millennial-scale rates of erosion vary widely (7 to 366 m Ma-1) through the lithologically and topographically complex Rio Puerco Basin of northern New Mexico. Using isotopic analysis of both headwater and downstream samples, we determined that the semi-arid, Rio Puerco Basin is eroding, on average, about 100 m Ma-1. This rapid rate of erosion is consistent with estimates made using other techniques and is likely to result from a combination of easily eroded lithologies, sparse vegetation, and monsoon-dominated rainfall. Data from 331 stream water samples collected by the US Geological Survey between 1960 and 1995 are consistent with basin-wide, average chemical denudation rates of only about 1??4 m Ma-1; thus, the erosion rates we calculate may be considered rates of sediment generation because physical weathering accounts for almost 99 per cent of mass loss. The isotopic data reveal that sediment is generally well mixed downstream with the area-weighted average sediment generation rate for 16 headwater samples (234 ton km-2 a-1 for basin area 170 to 1169 km2) matching well that estimated from a single sample collected far downstream (238 ton km-2 a-1, basin area = 14 225 km2). A series of 15 samples, collected from an arroyo wall and representing deposition through the late Holocene, indicates that 10Be concentration in sediment delivered by the fluvial system has not changed appreciably over the last 1200 years despite at least two cycles of arroyo cutting and filling. Other samples (n = 21) were collected along the drainage network. Rio Puerco erosion rates scale directly with a variety of metrics describing vegetation, precipitation, and rock erodibility. Using the headwater basins for calibration, the erosion rates for both the downstream samples and also the data set as a whole, are best modelled by considering a combination of relief and vegetation metrics, both of which co

  9. A river basin as a commom-pool resource: a case study fot the Jaguaribe basin in the semi-arid Northeast of Brazil

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Oel, P.R.; Krol, Martinus S.; Hoekstra, Arjen Ysbert

    2009-01-01

    This paper applies 'common-pool resource' concepts to analyse to which extent the physical characteristics of a river basin facilitate or impede good management of water in different parts of a river basin. In addition, we compare the apparent manageability of water in the different parts of the

  10. Spatial and temporal analysis of the drought vulnerability and risks over eight decades in a semi-arid region (Tensift basin: Morocco)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fniguire, Fatima; Laftouhi, Nour-Eddine; Saidi, Mohamed Elmehdi; Zamrane, Zineb; El Himer, Hicham; Khalil, Nourddine

    2017-10-01

    In the last few decades, drought has become a chronic phenomenon in Morocco. It began at the end of the 1970s and continued to the late 2000s. In the present study, hydrometeorological data sets, Standardized Precipitation Index method, and non-parametric tests were used to recognize the frequency and the severity of drought events during the period between 1929 and 2010. The Standardized Precipitation Index showed significant inter-annual fluctuation and evolution of rainfall amounts representing wet cycles (i.e., before 1975) followed by a long period of drought between 1975 and 2004. The inter-annual variability of rainfall is accompanied by shifts of stationarity in the rainfall series. The statistical test of Pettitt, Bayesian method of Lee and Heghinian, Buishand procedure, and Hubert test revealed shifts around the mid 70s. After this period, a deficit of rainfall (with a maximum value of -30 %) was registered. The probabilities of monthly Standardized Precipitation Index values were normal to below normal during the last 40 years. In fact, the increase of drought risk may be resulted from the increase of frequency and severity of meteorological drought. The proposed Standardized Precipitation Index method and non-parametric tests yielded reasonable and satisfactory results for Morocco. Therefore, this approach could be successfully applied to other semi-arid, dry, sub-humid, or semi-humid regions worldwide, where rainfall series are showing high seasonality and year-to-year variability.

  11. Shah-Kan-Daw: Anthropogenic simplification of semi-arid vegetation structure

    Science.gov (United States)

    David A. Charlet

    2008-01-01

    Semi-arid shrublands and woodlands of Nevada are changing in the face of many daunting challenges. I compare Nevada to Iran to understand these challenges better, because Iran and Nevada have similar climate, geology, physiography, and latitude. Floristically, Iran and Nevada share many dominant genera, and many of Nevada?s troubling invasive species are native to Iran...

  12. Salinization mechanisms in semi-arid regions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Santiago, M.M.F.

    1984-01-01

    During a period of three years the basins of the Pereira de Miranda and Caxitore dams, located in the crystalline rock area of Ceara, Brazil, were studied in order to determine the mechanisms of salinization of their waters. Isotope methods ( 18 O/ 16 O) and hidrochemistry (determination of the of the maior ions) were applied to surface, underground and rain water in this study. An isotope model was designed and applied to the determination of evaporation and percolation of dams in semi-arid zones during the dry season. The results are compared to those from a conventional chemical model. As causes of salinization of the water in the dams, the contributions of the rain itself and the lixiviation of the soil are quantified. An interaction between the dams and the underground water is imperceptible. The salinization of the underground water is attributed to recharge of the aquifer with rain water from the surface runoff followed by evaporation of the water rising, due to capilarity, in a one-directional flow to the surface. (Author) [pt

  13. Impact and sustainability of low-head drip irrigation kits, in the semi-arid Gwanda and Beitbridge Districts, Mzingwane Catchment, Limpopo Basin, Zimbabwe

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moyo, Richard; Love, David; Mul, Marloes; Mupangwa, Walter; Twomlow, Steve

    Resource-poor smallholder farmers in the semi-arid Gwanda and Beitbridge districts face food insecurity on an annual basis due to a combination of poor and erratic rainfall (average 500 mm/a and 345 mm/a, respectively, for the period 1970-2003) and technologies inappropriate to their resource status. This impacts on both household livelihoods and food security. In an attempt to improve food security in the catchment a number of drip kit distribution programmes have been initiated since 2003 as part of an on-going global initiative aimed at 2 million poor households per year. A number of recent studies have assessed the technical performance of the drip kits in-lab and in-field. In early 2005 a study was undertaken to assess the impacts and sustainability of the drip kit programme. Representatives of the NGOs, local government, traditional leadership and agricultural extension officers were interviewed. Focus group discussions with beneficiaries and other villagers were held at village level. A survey of 114 households was then conducted in two districts, using a questionnaire developed from the output of the interviews and focus group discussions. The results from the study showed that the NGOs did not specifically target the distribution of the drip kits to poor members of the community (defined for the purpose of the study as those not owning cattle). Poor households made up 54% of the beneficiaries. This poor targeting of vulnerable households could have been a result of conditions set by some implementing NGOs that beneficiaries must have an assured water source. On the other hand, only 2% of the beneficiaries had used the kit to produce the expected 5 harvests over the 2 years, owing to problems related to water shortage, access to water and also pests and diseases. About 51% of the respondents had produced at least 3 harvests and 86% produced at least 2 harvests. Due to water shortages during the dry season 61% of production with the drip kit occurred during

  14. Impacts of Rainfall and Land Use on Sediment Regime in a Semi-Arid Region: Case Study of the Wuqi Catchment in the Upper Beiluo River Basin, China

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Zhu, J.; Gao, P.; Geissen, V.; Maroulis, J.; Ritsema, C.J.; Mu, X.; Zhao, G.

    2015-01-01

    The middle reaches of the Yellow River Basin transport the vast majority of sediment (>85% of the basin's total available sediment load), which has had profound effects on the characteristics of the middle and lower reaches of the Yellow River. With recent land use and land cover change, the

  15. Application of multi-agent simulation to evaluate the influence of reservoir operation strategies on the distribution of water availability in the semi-arid Jaguaribe basin, Brazil

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Oel, P.R.; Krol, Martinus S.; Hoekstra, Arjen Ysbert

    2012-01-01

    Studying the processes responsible for the distribution of water resources in a river basin over space and time is of great importance for spatial planning. In this study a multi-agent simulation approach is applied for exploring the influence of alternative reservoir operation strategies on water

  16. Non-Vegetated Playa Morphodynamics Using Multi-Temporal Landsat Imagery in a Semi-Arid Endorheic Basin : Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Li, J.; Menenti, M.; Mousivand, A.; Luthi, S.M.

    2014-01-01

    Playas in endorheic basins are of environmental value and highly scientific because of their natural habitats of a wide variety of species and indicators for climatic changes and tectonic activities within continents. Remote sensing, due to its capability of acquiring repetitive data with synoptic

  17. Simulation of Sediment Yield in a Semi-Arid River Basin under Changing Land Use: An Integrated Approach of Hydrologic Modelling and Principal Component Analysis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Charles Gyamfi

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Intensified human activities over the past decades have culminated in the prevalence of dire environmental consequences of sediment yield resulting mainly from land use changes. Understanding the role that land use changes play in the dynamics of sediment yield would greatly enhance decision-making processes related to land use and water resources management. In this study, we investigated the impacts of land use and cover changes on sediment yield dynamics through an integrated approach of hydrologic modelling and principal component analysis (PCA. A three-phase land use scenario (2000, 2007 and 2013 employing the “fix-changing” method was used to simulate the sediment yield of the Olifants Basin. Contributions in the changes in individual land uses to sediment yield were assessed using the component and pattern matrixes of PCA. Our results indicate that sediment yield dynamics in the study area is significantly attributed to the changes in agriculture, urban and forested lands. Changes in agriculture and urban lands were directly proportional to sediment yield dynamics of the Olifants Basin. On the contrary, forested areas had a negative relationship with sediment yield indicating less sediment yield from these areas. The output of this research work provides a simplistic approach of evaluating the impacts of land use changes on sediment yield. The tools and methods used are relevant for policy directions on land and water resources planning and management.

  18. Landscape-based discretization for modeling of hydrological processes in the semi-arid Andes Cordillera: a case study in Morales Basin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Videla Giering, Y. A., III; McPhee, J. P.; Pomeroy, J. W.

    2017-12-01

    Improved understanding of cryosphere processes in the Subtropical Andes is essencial to secure water supply in Central Chile. An ongoing challenge is to identify the main controls on snow accumulation and ablation at multiple scales. In this study, we use the Cold Regions hydrological model (CRHM) to simulate the evolution of seasonal snow cover in the basin of the Estero Morales between the period 2000-2016. The model was forced with radiation, temperature, humidity, wind and precipitation data obtained from downscaled Era-Interim outputs. The basin was disaggregated spatially through representative hydrological processes and and geomorphological into HRU's. 22% of snow in the basin is subject to reallocation by topographic effects, while net short wave radiation would explain major changes in snowmelt. 80% of summer runoff comes from glacial melting, while temperature and soil properties are key factors controlling infiltration and contribution to the runoff at all times of the year. The model results indicate that 78.2% of precipitation corresponds to snow while 21.8% to rain. The flow rates of snowmelting are the main component in the water balance, accounting for approximately 62.8% of the total rainfall. It is important to point out that during the total period of modeling (2010-2016), it was noted that the 23.08% of the total annual flow corresponds to glacial melting, however for the period 2010 - 2015 this percentage increases to 45.3%, in spite of this were not observed variations in the volume of subsurface and groundwater flow. This suggests first: that systems such as analyzed in this article, have a great importance because they are fragile in terms of response and the ground due to its topographic features (such as slope and conductivity) is not able to store large percentages of resources until the end of the summer season; and second, to understand that mountain systems with presence of glaciers, naturally are regulated compared to sudden changes

  19. Avulsion processes at the terminus of low-gradient semi-arid fluvial systems: Lessons from the Río Colorado, Altiplano endorheic basin, Bolivia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Donselaar, M. E.; Cuevas Gozalo, M. C.; Moyano, S.

    2013-01-01

    The Río Colorado dryland river system in the southeast of the endorheic Altiplano Basin (Bolivia) terminates on a very flat coastal plain at the edge of the Salar de Uyuni, the world's largest salt pan with an area of ca. 12,500 km2. Since the Pleistocene the basin has experienced several lake expansion and contraction cycles in response to wetter and drier climate periods, respectively. At present the basin is in a dry climate period which results in a lake level lowstand and progradation of fluvial systems such as the Río Colorado onto the former lake bottom. The present field study of the terminus of the Río Colorado shows that the river experiences a gradual downstream decrease of bankfull width and depth. This bankfull decrease is caused by the combined effects of: (1) extremely low gradient of the lake bottom and, hence, loss of flow energy, and (2) downstream transmission losses due to high evaporation potential and river water percolation through the channel floor. Peak water discharge in seasonal, short-duration rain periods causes massive overbank flooding and floodplain inundation. On satellite images the morphology of the river terminus has a divergent pattern and resembles a network of coeval sinuous distributary channels. However, field observations show that only one channel is active at low flow stage, and at high-flow stage an abandoned, partially infilled channel may be active as well. The active channel at its termination splits into narrow and shallow anastomosing streams before its demise on the lacustrine coastal plain. The rest of the channels which form the divergent network are older sediment-filled abandoned sinuous river courses with multiple random avulsion points. These channel deposits, together with extensive amalgamated crevasse-splay deposits, form an intricate network of fluvial sand deposits. Successive stages of progressively deeper crevasse-channel incision into the floodplain are the result of waning-stage return flow of

  20. Multilevel Drought Hazard Assessment under Climate Change Scenarios in Semi-Arid Regions—A Case Study of the Karkheh River Basin in Iran

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bahareh Kamali

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available Studies using Drought Hazard Indices (DHIs have been performed at various scales, but few studies associated DHIs of different drought types with climate change scenarios. To highlight the regional differences in droughts at meteorological, hydrological, and agricultural levels, we utilized historic and future DHIs derived from the Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI, Standardized Runoff Index (SRI, and Standardized Soil Water Index (SSWI, respectively. To calculate SPI, SRI, and SSWI, we used a calibrated Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT for the Karkheh River Basin (KRB in Iran. Five bias-corrected Global Circulation Models (GCMs under two Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC scenarios projected future climate. For each drought type, we aggregated drought severity and occurrence probability rate of each index into a unique DHI. Five historic droughts were identified with different characteristics in each type. Future projections indicated a higher probability of severe and extreme drought intensities for all three types. The duration and frequency of droughts were predicted to decrease in precipitation-based SPI. However, due to the impact of rising temperature, the duration and frequency of SRI and SSWI were predicted to intensify. The DHI maps of KRB illustrated the highest agricultural drought exposures. Our analyses provide a comprehensive way to monitor multilevel droughts complementing the existing approaches.

  1. Effects of tillage on runoff from a bare clayey soil on a semi-arid ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Effects of tillage on runoff from a bare clayey soil on a semi-arid ecotope in the Limpopo Province of South Africa. ... IRWH is a special type of no-till (NT) crop production practice that promotes runoff from a crusted runoff strip into basins where the water infiltrates beyond evaporation but is available for crop use. Runoff was ...

  2. Quantifying macropore recharge: Examples from a semi-arid area

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wood, W.W.; Rainwater, Ken A.; Thompson, D.B.

    1997-01-01

    The purpose of this paper is to illustrate the significantly increased resolution of determining macropore recharge by combining physical, chemical, and isotopic methods of analysis. Techniques for quantifying macropore recharge were developed for both small-scale (1 to 10 km2) and regional-scale areas in and semi-arid areas. The Southern High Plains region of Texas and New Mexico was used as a representative field site to test these methods. Macropore recharge in small-scale areas is considered to be the difference between total recharge through floors of topographically dosed basins and interstitial recharge through the same area. On the regional scale, macropore recharge was considered to be the difference between regional average annual recharge and interstitial recharge measured in the unsaturated zone. Stable isotopic composition of ground water and precipitation was used us an independent estimate of macropore recharge on the regional scale. Results of this analysis suggest that in the Southern High Plains recharge flux through macropores is between 60 and 80 percent of the total 11 mm/y. Between 15 and 35 percent of the recharge occurs by interstitial recharge through the basin floors. Approximately 5 percent of the total recharge occurs as either interstitial or matrix recharge between the basin floors, representing approximately 95 percent of the area. The approach is applicable to other arid and semi-arid areas that focus rainfall into depressions or valleys.The purpose of this paper is to illustrate the significantly increased resolution of determining macropore recharge by combining physical, chemical, and isotopic methods of analysis. Techniques for quantifying macropore recharge were developed for both small-scale (1 to 10 km2) and regional-scale areas in arid and semi-arid areas. The Southern High Plains region of Texas and New Mexico was used as a representative field site to test these methods. Macropore recharge in small-scale areas is considered

  3. Cereals for the semi-arid tropics

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    De Wet, J.M.J.

    1989-01-01

    The region of semi-arid tropics is the most famine prone area of the world. This region with nearly one billion people extends across some 20 million square kilometres. Major domesticated cereals adapted to semi-arid regions are sorghum (Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench), foxtail millet (Setaria italica (L.) P. Beauv.) and pearl millet (Pennisetum glaucum (L.) R. Br.). Several minor cereals are grown as speciality crops, or harvested in the wild in times of severe drought and scarcity. Important in the African Sahel are the fonios Digitaria iburua Stapf, D. exilis (Kapist) Stapf and Brachiaria deflexa (Schumach). C.E. Hubbard. These species are aggressive colonizers and are commonly encouraged as weeds in cultivated fields. Sown genotypes differ from their close wild relatives primarily in the lack of efficient natural seed dispersal. The fonios lend themselves to rapid domestication. Several wild cereals extend well beyond the limits of agriculture into the Sahara. Commonly harvested are the perennial Stipagrostis pungens and Panicum turgidum, and the annual Cenchrus biflorus (kram-kram). Kram-kram yields well under extreme heat and drought stress, and holds promise as a domesticated cereal. Sauwi millet (Panicum sonorum) is promising cereal in arid northwestern Mexico. (author). 31 refs

  4. Vegetation pattern formation in semi-arid grazing systems

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    HillerisLambers, R.; Rietkerk, M.G.; Bosch, F. van den; Prins, H.H.T.; Kroon, H. de

    2001-01-01

    Hypotheses about the origin of vegetation pattern formation in semi-arid areas around the world almost all include a common feature of semi-arid areas: the presence of a positive feedback between plant density and water infiltration. We investigate whether this positive feedback and the spatial

  5. Preface paper to the Semi-Arid Land-Surface-Atmosphere (SALSA) Program special issue

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goodrich, D.C.; Chehbouni, A.; Goff, B.; MacNish, B.; Maddock, T.; Moran, S.; Shuttleworth, W.J.; Williams, D.G.; Watts, C.; Hipps, L.H.; Cooper, D.I.; Schieldge, J.; Kerr, Y.H.; Arias, H.; Kirkland, M.; Carlos, R.; Cayrol, P.; Kepner, W.; Jones, B.; Avissar, R.; Begue, A.; Bonnefond, J.-M.; Boulet, G.; Branan, B.; Brunel, J.P.; Chen, L.C.; Clarke, T.; Davis, M.R.; DeBruin, H.; Dedieu, G.; Elguero, E.; Eichinger, W.E.; Everitt, J.; Garatuza-Payan, J.; Gempko, V.L.; Gupta, H.; Harlow, C.; Hartogensis, O.; Helfert, M.; Holifield, C.; Hymer, D.; Kahle, A.; Keefer, T.; Krishnamoorthy, S.; Lhomme, J.-P.; Lagouarde, J.-P.; Lo, Seen D.; Luquet, D.; Marsett, R.; Monteny, B.; Ni, W.; Nouvellon, Y.; Pinker, R.; Peters, C.; Pool, D.; Qi, J.; Rambal, S.; Rodriguez, J.; Santiago, F.; Sano, E.; Schaeffer, S.M.; Schulte, M.; Scott, R.; Shao, X.; Snyder, K.A.; Sorooshian, S.; Unkrich, C.L.; Whitaker, M.; Yucel, I.

    2000-01-01

    The Semi-Arid Land-Surface-Atmosphere Program (SALSA) is a multi-agency, multi-national research effort that seeks to evaluate the consequences of natural and human-induced environmental change in semi-arid regions. The ultimate goal of SALSA is to advance scientific understanding of the semi-arid portion of the hydrosphere-biosphere interface in order to provide reliable information for environmental decision making. SALSA approaches this goal through a program of long-term, integrated observations, process research, modeling, assessment, and information management that is sustained by cooperation among scientists and information users. In this preface to the SALSA special issue, general program background information and the critical nature of semi-arid regions is presented. A brief description of the Upper San Pedro River Basin, the initial location for focused SALSA research follows. Several overarching research objectives under which much of the interdisciplinary research contained in the special issue was undertaken are discussed. Principal methods, primary research sites and data collection used by numerous investigators during 1997-1999 are then presented. Scientists from about 20 US, five European (four French and one Dutch), and three Mexican agencies and institutions have collaborated closely to make the research leading to this special issue a reality. The SALSA Program has served as a model of interagency cooperation by breaking new ground in the approach to large scale interdisciplinary science with relatively limited resources.

  6. Is annual recharge coefficient a valid concept in arid and semi-arid regions?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Y. Cheng

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Deep soil recharge (DSR (at depth greater than 200 cm is an important part of water circulation in arid and semi-arid regions. Quantitative monitoring of DSR is of great importance to assess water resources and to study water balance in arid and semi-arid regions. This study used a typical bare land on the eastern margin of Mu Us Sandy Land in the Ordos Basin of China as an example to illustrate a new lysimeter method of measuring DSR to examine if the annual recharge coefficient is valid or not in the study site, where the annual recharge efficient is the ratio of annual DSR over annual total precipitation. Positioning monitoring was done on precipitation and DSR measurements underneath mobile sand dunes from 2013 to 2015 in the study area. Results showed that use of an annual recharge coefficient for estimating DSR in bare sand land in arid and semi-arid regions is questionable and could lead to considerable errors. It appeared that DSR in those regions was influenced by precipitation pattern and was closely correlated with spontaneous strong precipitation events (with precipitation greater than 10 mm other than the total precipitation. This study showed that as much as 42 % of precipitation in a single strong precipitation event can be transformed into DSR. During the observation period, the maximum annual DSR could make up 24.33 % of the annual precipitation. This study provided a reliable method of estimating DSR in sandy areas of arid and semi-arid regions, which is valuable for managing groundwater resources and ecological restoration in those regions. It also provided strong evidence that the annual recharge coefficient was invalid for calculating DSR in arid and semi-arid regions. This study shows that DSR is closely related to the strong precipitation events, rather than to the average annual precipitation, as well as the precipitation patterns.

  7. Patchiness in semi-arid dwarf shrublands: evidence from satellite ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    ... Plants; Remote sensing; Rhigozum obovatum Burch; Satellite-derived vegetation indices; Woody species; patchiness; semi-arid; dwarf shrubland; shrublands; co2; assimilation; karoo; south africa; ndvi; satellite imagery; geochemical mound; rhigozum obovatum; eriocephalus ericoides; pentzia incana; vegetation; botany

  8. Pathways to Resilience in Semi-Arid Economies (PRISE)

    International Development Research Centre (IDRC) Digital Library (Canada)

    rlarbey

    . Support the emergence of a new cadre of policy-oriented researchers working on climate resilient development, engaged with key Southern institutions. ... Inception Phase (Year 1) brings macro-level analysis of global semi-arid lands.

  9. Time Profile of Three Semi-Arid Ecosystems in Africa

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anyamba, A.; Damoah, R.; Small, J. L.; Tucker, C. J.

    2015-12-01

    We examine the spatio-temporal variability of rainfall and satellite derived-vegetation index of three endorheic semi-arid ecosystems in Africa: Lake Chad (in the Sahel region), Okavango and Etosha (Southern Africa) to infer the nature and trends of the variability during the satellite data instrumental record. We utilize African Rainfall Climatology Precipitation Estimates (1983-2014) and Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) derived from the Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR: 1981-2014) and Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS: 2001:2014) to examine the aspects of the annual cycle and interannual variability using both time series plots and time-space diagrams. With respect to Lake Chad region, the first two decades of the series (1981-2000) show predominantly dryer than long-term average conditions with the periods 1989, 1992 and 1996/1997 as the signature drought periods coinciding with the desiccation of the Sahel region during the 1980s to early 1990s decades. The period 2000 to present is dominated by above average rainfall and NDVI with 2003, 2007 and 2012 being the most pronounced wet/greener years. The southern African ecosystems (Okavango and Etosha) show more or less a similar temporal pattern to that of Lake Chad basin, however, the wet periods are more amplified and persistent especially 2000, 2006, 2010 and 2014, with corresponding above average NDVI departures. The amplified nature of wet and dry periods present in the southern African ecosystem time series are consistent with the El Niño Southern Oscillation teleconnection patterns. Overall these three ecosystems serve as detectable fingerprints of changing climate conditions and ecosystems in these arid regions.

  10. Hypogeous fungi from Southern Spanish semi-arid lands

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Honrubia, M.; Cano, A.; Molina-Niñirola, C.

    1992-01-01

    Six hypogeous fungi of Ascomycotina and Basidiomycotina have been studied from semiarid zones in Southern Spain. Melanogaster variegatus (Vitt.) Tul. is recorded for the first time from Spain. Picoa juniperi Vitt. and Terfezia claveryi Chat. are revealed as the most frequent species in semi-arid

  11. optimization of water resources allocation in semi-arid region

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Eng Obi Ibeje

    ABSTRACT. The uncertainty of water availability and lack of sustainability even when available has challenged the wit of researchers to arrest this menace characteristic of the semi-arid regions. Thus, the best practice globally is to make optimal use of the little but precarious amount of water found in these areas. This study ...

  12. 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)

  13. Determining Dry Matter Degradability of Some Semi-Arid Browse ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    acer

    proved to be efficient in determining the nutritive value of feeds containing anti- nutritive ... Njidda; Determining Dry Matter Degradability of Some Semi-Arid Browse Species of North-Eastern. Nigeria Using the In Vitro Technique. 161 .... carbohydrates (Demeyer and Van Nevel, 1975;. Blummel and Becker, 1997). The in vitro ...

  14. Paclobutrazol biodegradation in unsaturated soil in the Semi-Arid ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Paclobutrazol (PBZ) is a plant growth regulator, increasing flowe ring and yield that is widely used in mango cultivation in the semi-arid northeastern Brazil. PBZ remains active in the soil for several years. However, it can severely affect the growth and development of subsequent crops, mainly by reducing vegetative vigor.

  15. Mixed livestock grazing in diverse temperate and semi-arid ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    ... and continuity and for animal welfare will increasingly drive production processes. In this paper, the potential of mixed grazing for higher output of quality animal products, within these constraints, is assessed under both temperate and semi-arid conditions. Complementary behavioural patterns between domestic livestock ...

  16. Rainwater harvesting in arid and semi-arid zones

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Boers, T.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

  17. Implications of deep drainage through saline clay for groundwater recharge and sustainable cropping in a semi-arid catchment, Australia

    OpenAIRE

    W. A. Timms; R. R. Young; N. Huth

    2011-01-01

    The magnitude and timing of deep drainage and salt leaching through clay soils is a critical issue for dryland agriculture in semi-arid regions (<500 mm yr−1 rainfall), such as parts of Australia's Murray-Darling Basin (MDB). In this unique study, hydrogeological measurements and estimations of the historic water balance of crops grown on overlying Grey Vertosols were combined to estimate the contribution of deep drainage below crop roots to recharge and salinization...

  18. Implications of deep drainage through saline clay for groundwater recharge and sustainable cropping in a semi-arid catchment, Australia

    OpenAIRE

    W. A. Timms; R. R. Young; N. Huth

    2012-01-01

    The magnitude and timing of deep drainage and salt leaching through clay soils is a critical issue for dryland agriculture in semi-arid regions (<500 mm yr−1 rainfall, potential evapotranspiration >2000 mm yr−1) such as parts of Australia's Murray-Darling Basin (MDB). In this rare study, hydrogeological measurements and estimations of the historic water balance of crops grown on overlying Grey Vertosols were combined to estimate the contribu...

  19. Semi-arid aquifer responses to forest restoration treatments and climate change.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wyatt, Clinton J W; O'Donnell, Frances C; Springer, Abraham E

    2015-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to develop an interpretive groundwater-flow model to assess the impacts that planned forest restoration treatments and anticipated climate change will have on large regional, deep (>400 m), semi-arid aquifers. Simulations were conducted to examine how tree basal area reductions impact groundwater recharge from historic conditions to 2099. Novel spatial analyses were conducted to determine areas and rates of potential increases in groundwater recharge. Changes in recharge were applied to the model by identifying zones of basal area reduction from planned forest restoration treatments and applying recharge-change factors to these zones. Over a 10-year period of forest restoration treatment, a 2.8% increase in recharge to one adjacent groundwater basin (the Verde Valley sub-basin) was estimated, compared to conditions that existed from 2000 to 2005. However, this increase in recharge was assumed to quickly decline after treatment due to regrowth of vegetation and forest underbrush and their associated increased evapotranspiration. Furthermore, simulated increases in groundwater recharge were masked by decreases in water levels, stream baseflow, and groundwater storage resulting from surface water diversions and groundwater pumping. These results indicate that there is an imbalance between water supply and demand in this regional, semi-arid aquifer. Current water management practices may not be sustainable into the far future and comprehensive action should be taken to minimize this water budget imbalance. © 2014, National Ground Water Association.

  20. A geochemical and isotopic approach to recharge evaluation in semi-arid zones. Past and present

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Edmunds, W.M.; Walton, N.R.G.

    1980-01-01

    The magnitude of any recharge to aquifers in semi-arid and arid zones is the principal uncertainty in estimating a water balance. Recent studies in Cyprus and Libyan Arab Jamahiriya are currently being used to demonstrate the application of geochemical and isotopic techniques, to the determination of both current and palaeo-recharge. In Cyprus, solute profiles of the unsaturated zone have been interpreted to provide estimates of the direct recharge component using a steady-state, mass-balance approach; results from the chloride profiles compare well with recharge estimates using tritium. In addition, it is found that some solute peaks, notably for specific electrical conductance, give a reasonably accurate record of the rainfall history during the period 1950-1975. The solute profile method is relatively unsophisticated and could be more widely applied to recharge estimation in other semi-arid areas of the world. In Libya, a clear distinction can be made using the combined isotopic, hydrological and geochemical results between regional groundwaters recharged to the upper, unconfined aquifer of the Sirte Basin before 13,000 years BP and younger waters recharged locally during the period 5000-7800 years BP. A well-defined fresh-water channel, superimposed upon the regional water quality pattern, can be traced within the aquifer for some 130 km and represents direct evidence of recharge during the Holocene. Some shallow groundwaters of similar composition to the fresh-water channel are also considered to represent recent, if intermittent, recharge which took place during historical times. It is concluded that geochemical and isotopic studies of both the unsaturated zone and of shallow groundwaters in semi-arid regions, can be used to determine not only the present-day direct recharge component, but also a recharge chronology of immediate historic times, which may be important in the estimation of long-term water resources. (author)

  1. Erosion processes acting in semi-arid climate zone of the Ebro Basin (Bardenas Reales, NE of Spain); Procesos de erosion actuantes en una zona de clima semiarido de la Depresion del Ebro (Bardenas Reales, NE de Espana)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Marin, C.; Desir, G.

    2009-07-01

    Bardenas Reales is an erosive depression located in the central-western part of the Ebro Depression. May different erosion processes act on this zone: gullying, piping, mud slides and armoured mud balls among others that contribute to export great quantity of material outside the basin. Depending on lithology and physico-chemical properties erosion acting processes differ. The knowledge of that processes help us to understand the great amount of soil loss that take place on the studied zone, bigger than those recommended. (Author) 8 refs.

  2. Biological soil crust response to late season prescribed fire in a Great Basin juniper woodland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steven D. Warren; Larry L. St.Clair; Jeffrey R. Johansen; Paul Kugrens; L. Scott Baggett; Benjamin J. Bird

    2015-01-01

    Expansion of juniper on U.S. rangelands is a significant environmental concern. Prescribed fire is often recommended to control juniper. To that end, a prescribed burn was conducted in a Great Basin juniper woodland. Conditions were suboptimal; fire did not encroach into mid- or late-seral stages and was patchy in the early-seral stage. This study evaluated the effects...

  3. Application of a statistical model for the assessment of environmental quality in neotropical semi-arid reservoirs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Lira Azevêdo, Evaldo; de Lucena Barbosa, José Etham; Viana, Leandro Gomes; Anacleto, Maria José Pinheiro; Callisto, Marcos; Molozzi, Joseline

    2017-02-01

    The aim of this study was to develop a statistical model to assess the environmental quality of reservoirs located in semi-arid region using metrics of anthropogenic disturbance, water quality variables, and benthic macroinvertebrate communities as indicators. The proposed model was applied to 60 sites located in three reservoirs in the Paraíba river basin, Brazilian semi-arid region. Collections were made in December 2011. In each site, we collected one sample of benthic macroinvertebrates and one water sample for the determination of physical and chemical parameters. Characterization of the landscape was made through application of 10 physical habitat protocols on each site for the collected information on disturbance and subsequent calculation of disturbance metrics. The results showed the formation of two groups: group 1, consisting of 16 minimally altered sites, and group 2, with 44 severely altered sites. The proposed statistical model was sensitive enough to detect changes. In the minimally altered group, the Chironomids Aedokritus and Fissimentum were dominant, indicating a higher environmental quality, while Coelotanypus and Chironomus were abundant in severely altered sites with lower environmental quality. The conservation and management of reservoirs in semi-arid regions should be intensified in view of the need to maintain the environmental quality of these ecosystems.

  4. Sustainable Small-Scale Agriculture in Semi-Arid Environments

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Katherine A. Spielmann

    2011-03-01

    Full Text Available For at least the past 8000 years, small-scale farmers in semi-arid environments have had to mitigate shortfalls in crop production due to variation in precipitation and stream flow. To reduce their vulnerability to a shortfall in their food supply, small-scale farmers developed short-term strategies, including storage and community-scale sharing, to mitigate inter-annual variation in crop production, and long-term strategies, such as migration, to mitigate the effects of sustained droughts. We use the archaeological and paleoclimatic records from A.D. 900-1600 in two regions of the American Southwest to explore the nature of variation in the availability of water for crops, and the strategies that enhanced the resilience of prehistoric agricultural production to climatic variation. Drawing on information concerning contemporary small-scale farming in semi-arid environments, we then suggest that the risk coping and mitigation strategies that have endured for millennia are relevant to enhancing the resilience of contemporary farmers' livelihoods to environmental and economic perturbations.

  5. Water volume reduction increases eutrophication risk in tropical semi-arid reservoirs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carlos Alberto Nascimento da Rocha Junior

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Aim Global patterns of temperature and precipitation have significantly changed over the last century and nearly all predictions point to even greater changes by the end of 2100. Long periods of drought in semi-arid regions generally reduce reservoirs and lakes water level, increasing the nutrients concentrations in the water. Our principal hypothesis is that water volume reduction, driven by prolonged droughts, will increase reservoirs susceptibility to eutrophication and accordingly an increase in trophic state. To test this hypothesis, we used a comparative analysis of ecosystems in a space-for-time substitution approach, in a Brazilian semi-arid region, to predict the consequences of reservoirs water volume reduction on key limnological variables. Methods We sampled 16 reservoirs located in two sub-basins with contrasting rainfall regimes, inserted on Piranhas-Açu watershed. The Seridó River basin (SB is dry and the Piancó River basin (SB is humid, with annual mean precipitation of 500 and 700 mm, respectively. Linear regressions analyzes were performed to assess whether the percentage of maximum volume stored (%MVS is a good predictor for total phosphorus (TP, total nitrogen (TN and chlorophyll-a (CHLA. In addition, a two factorial analysis of variance (two-way ANOVA was performed to test for period (dry, very dry and extremely dry, basin (SB and PB and their interactions effects on TP, TN, CHLA, conductivity, turbidity, and Secchi depth. Results The results showed a reduction in the reservoirs %MVS both for PB and SB regions. At the extremely dry period, all reservoirs were classified as eutrophic, but TP concentrations reached much higher values in SB than in PB. The linear regressions analyses showed that the TP and TN were negatively related to %MVS during all periods sampled. The two-way ANOVA showed that there were significant basin and period effects on TP, TN, Secchi depth and turbidity, whereas for CHLA and conductivity

  6. Water Use by Urban Landscapes in Semi-Arid Environments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Litvak, E.; Pataki, D. E.

    2017-12-01

    Water use by urban trees and lawns constitutes a significant yet uncertain portion of urban water budgets. Reducing this uncertainty is essential for developing effective water conservation strategies that are critically needed in dry regions. Landscape water use is particularly difficult to estimate in semi-arid cities with diverse plant compositions and large proportions of non-native species sustained by irrigation. We developed an empirical model of urban evapotranspiration based on in situ measurements of 11 lawns and 108 trees that we previously collected in the greater Los Angeles area. The model in its current state considers urban landscapes as two-component systems comprised of lawns and trees, which have contrasting patterns of water use. Turfgrass lawns consume large amounts of irrigation water (up to 10 mm/d) that may be effectively reduced by the shade from trees. Trees consume much smaller amounts of water at common urban planting densities (0.1-2.6 mm/d), and provide shade over lawns. We estimated water use by irrigated landscapes in Los Angeles by combining this model with remotely sensed estimates of vegetation cover and ground-based vegetation surveys and weather data. According to our estimates, water use by Los Angeles landscapes was close to potential evapotranspiration ( 1,100 mm/yr), with turfgrass responsible for 64-84% of total water use. Landscape water use linearly increased with median household income across Los Angeles, where wealthier parts of the city were consistently more vegetated than less affluent parts. Our results indicate extremely high water use by urban landscapes in semi-arid environments, largely owing to high spatial coverage of excessively irrigated lawns. These results have important implications for constraining municipal water budgets and developing water-saving landscaping practices.

  7. Analysis of Water Use and Water Scarcity in Arid and Semi-arid Regions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Samayoa, S. D.

    2017-12-01

    Analysis of Water Use and Water Scarcity in Arid and Semi-arid Regions Susana Samayoa , Muhammed A. G. Chowdhury, Tushar Sinha Department of Environmental Engineering, Texas A & M University - Kingsville Freshwater sustainability in arid and semi-arid regions is highly uncertain under increasing demands due to population growth and urban development as well as limited water supply. In particular, six largest cities by population among the top twenty U.S. cities are located in Texas (TX), which also experience high variability in water availability due to frequent droughts and floods. Similarly, several regions in Arizona (AZ) are rapidly growing (e.g. Phoenix and Tucson) despite receiving scanty rainfall. Thus, the goal of this study is to analyze water use and water scarcity in watersheds within TX and AZ between 1985 and 2010. The water use data from U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) is analyzed by Hydrological Unit Code (HUC) - 8 within TX and AZ. Total freshwater use by county during 1985 and 2010 were converted into water use by HUC-8 using geospatial analysis. Water availability will be estimated by using a large scale Variable Infiltration Capacity (VIC) hydrologic model. The VIC model will be calibrated and validated for multiple basins located in Texas and Arizona. The VIC model simulated total streamflow will be aggregated across the 1/8 degree grids that are within each HUC-8 to estimate water supply. The excess water for upstream HUC-8s (= local supply minus demands) will be routed, in addition to locally generated streamflow, to estimate water availability in downstream HUC-8s. Water Scarcity Index, defined as the ratio of total freshwater demand to supply, will be estimated during 1985 and 2010 to evaluate the effects of water availability and demands on scarcity. Finally, water scarcity and use will be analyzed by HUC-8s within TX and AZ. Such information could be useful in water resources management and planning. Keywords: Water scarcity, water use

  8. Conservation tillage of rainfed maize in semi-arid Zimbabwe: A review

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Nyakudya, I.W.; Stroosnijder, L.

    2015-01-01

    Food security in Sub-Saharan Africa, particularly in semi-arid tropics (41% of the region; 6 months of dry season) is threatened by droughts, dry spells and infertile soils. In Zimbabwe, 74% of smallholder farming areas are located in semi-arid areas mostly in areas with soils of low fertility and

  9. Pathways to Resilience in Semi-Arid Economies | CRDI - Centre de ...

    International Development Research Centre (IDRC) Digital Library (Canada)

    Pathways to Resilience in Semi-Arid Economies. How can populations become resilient to climate change while pursuing economic growth? This question is at the heart of a research project designed to support climate-resilient economic development in semi-arid lands. It will do so by addressing the conditions for ...

  10. 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.

  11. Effectiveness of conservation agriculture practices on soil erosion processes in semi-arid areas of Zimbabwe

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chikwari, Emmanuel; Mhaka, Luke; Gwandu, Tariro; Chipangura, Tafadzwa; Misi Manyanga, Amos; Sabastian Matsenyengwa, Nyasha; Rabesiranana, Naivo; Mabit, Lionel

    2016-04-01

    - The application of fallout radionuclides (FRNs) in soil erosion and redistribution studies has gained popularity since the late 1980s. In Zimbabwe, soil erosion research was mostly based on conventional methods which included the use of erosion plots for quantitative measurements and erosion models for predicting soil losses. Only limited investigation to explore the possibility of using Caesium-137 (Cs-137) has been reported in the early 1990s for undisturbed and cultivated lands in Zimbabwe. In this study, the Cs-137 technique was applied to assess the impact of soil conservation practices on soil losses and to develop strategies and support effective policies that help farmers in Zimbabwe for sustainable land management. The study was carried out at the Makoholi research station 30 km north of the Masvingo region which is located 260 km south of Harare. The area is semi-arid and the study site comprises coarse loamy sands, gleyic lixisols. The conservation agriculture (CA) practices used within the area since 1988 include (i) direct seeding (DS) with mulch, (ii) CA basins with mulch, and (iii) 18 years direct seeding, left fallow for seven years and turned into conventional tillage since 2012 (DS/F/C). The Cs-137 reference inventory was established at 214 ± 16 Bq/m2. The mean inventories for DS, CA basins and DS/F/C were 195, 190 and 214 Bq/m2 respectively. Using the conversion Mass Balance Model 2 on the Cs-137 data obtained along transects for each of the practices, gross erosion rates were found to be 7.5, 7.3 and 2.6 t/ha/yr for direct seeding, CA basins and the DS/F/C while the net erosion rates were found to be 3.8, 4.6 and 0 t/ha/yr respectively. Sediment delivery ratios were 50%, 63% and 2% in the respective order. These preliminary results showed the effectiveness of DS over CA basins in erosion control. The efficiency of fallowing in controlling excessive soil loss was significant in the plot that started as DS for 18 years but left fallow for 7

  12. Bridging structure and function in semi-arid ecosystems by integrating remote sensing and ground based measurements

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krofcheck, Dan J.

    The Southwestern US is projected to continue to experience a significant warming trend, with increased variability in the timing and magnitude of rainfall events. The effects of theses changes in climate are already manifesting in the form of expansive, prolonged 'megadroughts', which have resulted in the widespread mortality of woody vegetation across the region.Therefore the need to monitor and model forest mortality and carbon dynamics at the landscape and regional scale is an essential component of regional and global climate mitigation strategies, and critical if we are to understand how the imminent state transitions taking place in forests globally will affect climate forcing and feedbacks. Remote sensing offers the only solution to multitemporal regional observation, yet many challenges exist with employing modern remote sensing solutions in highly stressed vegetation characteristic of semi-arid biomes, making one of the most expansive biomes on the globe also one of the most difficult to accurately monitor and model. The goal of this research was to investigate how changes in the structure of semi-arid woodlands following forest mortality impacts ecosystem function, and address this question in the context of remote sensing data sets, thereby contributing to the remote sensing community's ability to interact with these challenging ecosystems. We first focused on pinus edulis and juniperous monosperma (pinon-juniper) woodlands, as they comprise a model semi-arid biome. We tested the ability of high resolution remote sensing data to mechanistically describe the patterns in overstory mortality and understory green-up, and were able to observe the heterogeneous response of the understory as a function of cover type. We also investigated the relationship between changes in soil water content and the greenness of the canopy, noting that in these stress ecosystems there is often a decoupling of the canopy as measured remotely (e.g., via vegetation indices, VI

  13. Influence of Vegetation Cover on Rain Pulse Responses in Semi-Arid Savannas in Central Texas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Litvak, M.; Heilman, J.; McInnes, K.; Thijs, A.; Kjelgaard, J.

    2007-12-01

    Savannas in central Texas are dominated by live oak (Quercus virginiana) and Ashe juniper (Juniperus asheii) underlain by perennial, C3/C4 grasslands, and are increasingly becoming juniper and mesquite dominated due to overgrazing and suppression of wildfires. Since 2004, we have been investigating how carbon, water and energy exchange in these rain-limited savannas respond to rainfall variability and this observed vegetation change. In semi-arid regions, rainfall pulses provide inputs of soil moisture and trigger biotic activity in the form of plant gas exchange and microbial metabolism as well as water dependent physical processes in the soil. Each of these components has a different characteristic response curve to soil moisture and integrates soil water content over a different range of depths. Here we focus on examining how the observed increase of woody species in central Texas savannas alters the response of net ecosystem exchange and its components, ecosystem respiration and gross ecosystem exchange, to rain pulses. Using data we have collected over the last three years from three Ameriflux tower sites at Freeman Ranch near San Marcos, TX (C3/C4 grassland, juniper/mesquite savanna with 50 percent woody cover, and oak/juniper woodland), we quantify the responses of both ecosystem respiration and daily carbon uptake to rainfall pulses throughout the year. Specifically, we look at the enhancement and persistence of ecosystem respiration and carbon uptake responses following a pulse, and isolate the main controlling factors on the observed response: seasonality, antecedent soil moisture and temperature, or previous pulses. In all three land covers, the general response to precipitation pulses is a respiration pulse followed by an increase in total carbon uptake. Differences in pulse responses observed at the savanna site compared to the grassland and woodland sites can be explained, in part, by the observed differences in rooting structure and photosynthetic

  14. Establishment of a planted field with Mediterranean shrubs in Sardinia and its evaluation for climate mitigation and to combat desertification in semi-arid regions

    OpenAIRE

    De Dato GD; Loperfido L; De Angelis P; Valentini R

    2009-01-01

    Forested areas are important in arid and semi-arid regions primarily to combat desertification, but also to increase carbon sinks. To reverse the land degradation processes, restoration in the Mediterranean Basin had been frequently obtained by planting indigenous and exotic conifers, but it has been demonstrated that shrubs are nurse species for tree seedlings. Furthermore, planting indigenous shrubs is more efficient than allochthonous in restoring degraded soils. The aims of this work were...

  15. Using NDVI to measure precipitation in semi-arid landscapes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Birtwhistle, Amy N.; Laituri, Melinda; Bledsoe, Brian; Friedman, Jonathan M.

    2016-01-01

    Measuring precipitation in semi-arid landscapes is important for understanding the processes related to rainfall and run-off; however, measuring precipitation accurately can often be challenging especially within remote regions where precipitation instruments are scarce. Typically, rain-gauges are sparsely distributed and research comparing rain-gauge and RADAR precipitation estimates reveal that RADAR data are often misleading, especially for monsoon season convective storms. This study investigates an alternative way to map the spatial and temporal variation of precipitation inputs along ephemeral stream channels using Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) derived from Landsat Thematic Mapper imagery. NDVI values from 26 years of pre- and post-monsoon season Landsat imagery were derived across Yuma Proving Ground (YPG), a region covering 3,367 km2 of semiarid landscapes in southwestern Arizona, USA. The change in NDVI from a pre-to post-monsoon season image along ephemeral stream channels explained 73% of the variance in annual monsoonal precipitation totals from a nearby rain-gauge. In addition, large seasonal changes in NDVI along channels were useful in determining when and where flow events have occurred.

  16. Groundwater-surface water interactions in a large semi-arid floodplain: implications for salinity management

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lamontagne, Sébastien; Leaney, Fred W.; Herczeg, Andrew L.

    2005-10-01

    Flow regulation and water diversion for irrigation have considerably impacted the exchange of surface water between the Murray River and its floodplains. However, the way in which river regulation has impacted groundwater-surface water interactions is not completely understood, especially in regards to the salinization and accompanying vegetation dieback currently occurring in many of the floodplains. Groundwater-surface water interactions were studied over a 2 year period in the riparian area of a large floodplain (Hattah-Kulkyne, Victoria) using a combination of piezometric surface monitoring and environmental tracers (Cl-, 2H, and 18O). Despite being located in a local and regional groundwater discharge zone, the Murray River is a losing stream under low flow conditions at Hattah-Kulkyne. The discharge zone for local groundwater, regional groundwater and bank recharge is in the floodplain within 1 km of the river and is probably driven by high rates of transpiration by the riparian Eucalyptus camaldulensis woodland. Environmental tracers data suggest that the origin of groundwater is principally bank recharge in the riparian zone and a combination of diffuse rainfall recharge and localized floodwater recharge elsewhere in the floodplain. Although the Murray River was losing under low flows, bank discharge occurred during some flood recession periods. The way in which the water table responded to changes in river level was a function of the type of stream bank present, with point bars providing a better connection to the alluvial aquifer than the more common clay-lined banks. Understanding the spatial variability in the hydraulic connection with the river channel and in vertical recharge following inundations will be critical to design effective salinity remediation strategies for large semi-arid floodplains.

  17. Karst characterization in a semi-arid region using gravity, seismic, and resistivity geophysical techniques.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Barnhart, Kevin Scott

    2013-10-01

    We proposed to customize emerging in situ geophysical monitoring technology to generate time-series data during sporadic rain events in a semi-arid region. Electrodes were to be connected to wireless \

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Administrator

    Saharan Africa. Fighting land degradation is essential to ensure the sustainable and long-term productivity of the habited semi- arid lands. In Kenya, grass reseeding technology has been used to combat land degradation. However, despite the use ...

  19. Recovery of rangelands : the functioning of soil seed banks in a semi-arid African savanna

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Tessema, Z.K.

    2011-01-01

      Rangelands in Africa provide important forage resources for herbivores; particularly perennial grasses provide grazing for domestic and wild herbivores. However, semi-arid African rangelands experience severe vegetation and soil degradation due to heavy grazing, causing negative impacts on

  20. Soil carbon sequestration and climate change in semi-arid Sudan

    OpenAIRE

    Ardö, Jonas

    2015-01-01

    Climate change poses risk for natural and human systems in Africa. Increasing temperatures and changes in precipitation patterns is likely to affect agriculture, pastoralism and forestry. Mitigation of increasing atmospheric concentration of CO2 through soil carbon sequestration in semi-arid ecosystems may be beneficial to soil properties and cultivation. This paper describes and discusses soil carbon sequestration in relation to climate change in semi-arid regions, with special attention to ...

  1. Strategies for cooler cities? Ecophysiological responses of semi-arid street trees to storm water harvesting

    Science.gov (United States)

    DeMets, C. M.; Pavao-zuckerman, M.; Barron-Gafford, G.

    2013-12-01

    peak conductance rates (179 +/-22 mmol/(m2*s)) than non-basin trees (126 +/-9 mmol/(m2*s)). Perhaps more importantly, basin mesquite conductance remained elevated for an extended period of time into the afternoon as compared to non-basin mesquites. While this difference was negligible before the monsoon, it was significant during the monsoon. The day immediately after a medium rainfall event, non-basin mesquites shut down around 13:00, while basin mesquites never shut down completely before the end of the measurement period around 17:30. Soil moisture levels were elevated in the rain basins relative to the non-basin soils, suggesting that basins impact plant functioning through enhanced soil water availability. These preliminary results demonstrate that basins are an effective means of capturing water and irrigating plants. Here we have demonstrated how an appreciation of wildland plant ecophysiology can be applied to an urban setting in support of a suite of ecosystem services. Notably, there is a potential for enhanced urban heat island mitigation in semi-arid cities through the application of water-sensitive urban design features such as rain basins, due to their supporting a longer duration of latent heat flux cooling (i.e., transpiration) into the afternoon.

  2. Carbon-cycle implications of asymmetry in response of semi-arid ecosystem phenology and productivity to rainfall

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Benjamin; Haverd, Vanessa; Ahlström, Anders; Canadell, Josep

    2017-04-01

    by semi-arid savannah and shrubland, robustly exhibits positive asymmetry of GPP and NEP, with both extrinsic forcing and intrinsic response contributing importantly to the overall asymmetry. Mesic ecosystems (woodlands and forests) characteristic of the Australian eastern seaboard and south-east, lacking drought-adapted species, did not show an intrinsic asymmetric response. Implications for the semi-arid biome under future climate and CO2 are discussed.

  3. Rapid warming accelerates tree growth decline in semi-arid forests of Inner Asia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Hongyan; Park Williams, A; Allen, Craig D; Guo, Dali; Wu, Xiuchen; Anenkhonov, Oleg A; Liang, Eryuan; Sandanov, Denis V; Yin, Yi; Qi, Zhaohuan; Badmaeva, Natalya K

    2013-08-01

    Forests around the world are subject to risk of high rates of tree growth decline and increased tree mortality from combinations of climate warming and drought, notably in semi-arid settings. Here, we assess how climate warming has affected tree growth in one of the world's most extensive zones of semi-arid forests, in Inner Asia, a region where lack of data limits our understanding of how climate change may impact forests. We show that pervasive tree growth declines since 1994 in Inner Asia have been confined to semi-arid forests, where growing season water stress has been rising due to warming-induced increases in atmospheric moisture demand. A causal link between increasing drought and declining growth at semi-arid sites is corroborated by correlation analyses comparing annual climate data to records of tree-ring widths. These ring-width records tend to be substantially more sensitive to drought variability at semi-arid sites than at semi-humid sites. Fire occurrence and insect/pathogen attacks have increased in tandem with the most recent (2007-2009) documented episode of tree mortality. If warming in Inner Asia continues, further increases in forest stress and tree mortality could be expected, potentially driving the eventual regional loss of current semi-arid forests. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  4. Hydric soils and the relationship to plant diversity within reclaimed stream channels in semi-arid environments

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Schladweiler, B.K.; Rexroat, S.; Benson, S.

    1999-01-01

    Wetlands are especially important in semi-arid environments, such as the Powder River Basin of northeastern Wyoming, where water is a limiting factor for living organisms. Within this coal mining region of northeastern Wyoming, jurisdictional wetlands are mapped according to the US Army Corps of Engineers 1987 delineation procedure. Within the coal mining region of northeastern Wyoming, little or no full-scale mitigation or reconstruction attempts of jurisdictional wetland areas have been made until recently. Based on the importance of wetlands in a semi-arid environment and lack of information on existing or reconstructed areas, the specific objectives of the 1998 fieldwork were: (1) To define the pre-disturbance ecological state of hydric soils within jurisdictional sections of stream channels on two coal permit areas in northeastern Wyoming, and (2) To determine the effect that hydric soil parameters have on plant community distribution and composition within the two coal permit areas. Undisturbed sections of stream channels and disturbed sections of reconstructed or modified stream channels at the Rawhide Mine and Buckskin Mine, located north of Gillette, Wyoming, were selected for the study. Soils field and laboratory information and field vegetation cover were collected during 1998 within native stream channels and disturbed stream channels that had been reclaimed at each mine. Soils laboratory information is currently preliminary and included pH, electrical conductivity and sodium adsorption ratio. Results and statistical comparisons between soils and vegetation data will be presented

  5. Groundwater recharge estimation under semi arid climate: Case of Northern Gafsa watershed, Tunisia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Melki, Achraf; Abdollahi, Khodayar; Fatahi, Rouhallah; Abida, Habib

    2017-08-01

    Natural groundwater recharge under semi arid climate, like rainfall, is subjected to large variations in both time and space and is therefore very difficult to predict. Nevertheless, in order to set up any strategy for water resources management in such regions, understanding the groundwater recharge variability is essential. This work is interested in examining the impact of rainfall on the aquifer system recharge in the Northern Gafsa Plain in Tunisia. The study is composed of two main parts. The first is interested in the analysis of rainfall spatial and temporal variability in the study basin while the second is devoted to the simulation of groundwater recharge. Rainfall analysis was performed based on annual precipitation data recorded in 6 rainfall stations over a period of 56 years (1960-2015). Potential evapotranspiration data were also collected from 1960 to 2011 (52 years). The hydrologic distributed model WetSpass was used for the estimation of groundwater recharge. Model calibration was performed based on an assessment of the agreement between the sum of recharge and runoff values estimated by the WetSpass hydrological model and those obtained by the climatic method. This latter is based on the difference calculated between rainfall and potential evapotranspiration recorded at each rainy day. Groundwater recharge estimation, on monthly scale, showed that average annual precipitation (183.3 mm/year) was partitioned to 5, 15.3, 36.8, and 42.8% for interception, runoff, actual evapotranspiration and recharge respectively.

  6. Declining agricultural production in rapidly urbanizing semi-arid regions: policy tradeoffs and sustainability indicators

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dozier, André Q.; Arabi, Mazdak; Wostoupal, Benjamin C.; Goemans, Christopher G.; Zhang, Yao; Paustian, Keith

    2017-08-01

    In rapidly urbanizing semi-arid regions, increasing amounts of historically irrigated cropland lies permanently fallowed due to water court policies as agricultural water rights are voluntarily being sold to growing cities. This study develops an integrative framework for assessing the effects of population growth and land use change on agricultural production and evaluating viability of alternative management strategies, including alternative agricultural transfer methods, regional water ownership restrictions, and urban conservation. A partial equilibrium model of a spatially-diverse regional water rights market is built in application of the framework to an exemplary basin. The model represents agricultural producers as profit-maximizing suppliers and municipalities as cost-minimizing consumers of water rights. Results indicate that selling an agricultural water right today is worth up to two times more than 40 years of continued production. All alternative policies that sustain agricultural cropland and crop production decrease total agricultural profitability by diminishing water rights sales revenue, but in doing so, they also decrease municipal water acquisition costs. Defining good indicators and incorporating adequate spatial and temporal detail are critical to properly analyzing policy impacts. To best improve agricultural profit from production and sale of crops, short-term solutions include alternative agricultural transfer methods while long-term solutions incorporate urban conservation.

  7. The influence of a semi-arid sub-catchment on suspended sediments in the Mara River, Kenya.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dutton, Christopher L; Subalusky, Amanda L; Anisfeld, Shimon C; Njoroge, Laban; Rosi, Emma J; Post, David M

    2018-01-01

    The Mara River Basin in East Africa is a trans-boundary basin of international significance experiencing excessive levels of sediment loads. Sediment levels in this river are extremely high (turbidities as high as 6,000 NTU) and appear to be increasing over time. Large wildlife populations, unregulated livestock grazing, and agricultural land conversion are all potential factors increasing sediment loads in the semi-arid portion of the basin. The basin is well-known for its annual wildebeest (Connochaetes taurinus) migration of approximately 1.3 million individuals, but it also has a growing population of hippopotami (Hippopotamus amphibius), which reside within the river and may contribute to the flux of suspended sediments. We used in situ pressure transducers and turbidity sensors to quantify the sediment flux at two sites for the Mara River and investigate the origin of riverine suspended sediment. We found that the combined Middle Mara-Talek catchment, a relatively flat but semi-arid region with large populations of wildlife and domestic cattle, is responsible for 2/3 of the sediment flux. The sediment yield from the combined Middle Mara-Talek catchment is approximately the same as the headwaters, despite receiving less rainfall. There was high monthly variability in suspended sediment fluxes. Although hippopotamus pools are not a major source of suspended sediments under baseflow, they do contribute to short-term variability in suspended sediments. This research identified sources of suspended sediments in the Mara River and important regions of the catchment to target for conservation, and suggests hippopotami may influence riverine sediment dynamics.

  8. Population ecology of vervet monkeys in a high latitude, semi-arid riparian woodland

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Graham Pasternak

    2013-02-01

    Conservation implications: The distribution of group sizes, sampled appropriately across habitats within a conservation area, will be of more relevance to management than average values, which may be nothing more than a statistical artefact, especially when troop sizes are bimodally distributed.

  9. 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

  10. Enhancements to the WRF-Hydro Hydrologic Model Structure for Semi-arid Environments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lahmers, T. M.; Gupta, H.; Hazenberg, P.; Castro, C. L.; Gochis, D.; Yates, D. N.; Dugger, A. L.; Goodrich, D. C.

    2017-12-01

    The NOAA National Water Center (NWC) implemented an operational National Water Model (NWM) in August 2016 to simulate and forecast streamflow and soil moisture throughout the Contiguous US (CONUS). The NWM is based on the WRF-Hydro hydrologic model architecture, with a 1-km resolution Noah-MP LSM grid and a 250m routing grid. The operational NWM does not currently resolve infiltration of water from the beds of ephemeral channels, which is an important component of the water balance in semi-arid environments common in many portions of the western US. This work demonstrates the benefit of a conceptual channel infiltration function in the WRF-Hydro model architecture following calibration. The updated model structure and parameters for the NWM architecture, when implemented operationally, will permit its use in flow simulation and forecasting in the southwest US, particularly for flash floods in basins with smaller drainage areas. Our channel infiltration function is based on that of the KINEROS2 semi-distributed hydrologic model, which has been tested throughout the southwest CONUS for flash flood forecasts. Model calibration utilizes the Dynamically Dimensioned Search (DDS) algorithm, and the model is calibrated using NLDAS-2 atmospheric forcing and NCEP Stage-IV precipitation. Our results show that adding channel infiltration to WRF-Hydro can produce a physically consistent hydrologic response with a high-resolution gauge based precipitation forcing dataset in the USDA-ARS Walnut Gulch Experimental Watershed. NWM WRF-Hydro is also tested for the Babocomari River, Beaver Creek, and Sycamore Creek catchments in southern and central Arizona. In these basins, model skill is degraded due to uncertainties in the NCEP Stage-IV precipitation forcing dataset.

  11. 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.)

  12. 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

  13. Dryland salinity: threatening water resources in the semi-arid Western Cape

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Bugan, Richard DH

    2010-11-01

    Full Text Available in the soil and vadose zone of a 16 hectare small scale catchment, exhibiting evidence of dryland salinity and representative of semi-arid conditions in the Berg River catchment. At this site, salt sources and storage were studied and also groundwater...: THREATENING WATER RESOURCES IN THE SEMI-ARID WESTERN CAPE Increased dryland salinity in the Swartland and Overberg regions poses a threat to the bread basket of the Western Cape, water resources in an already water-stressed area, water supply...

  14. First record of Chantransia macrospora Wood, 1887 (Batrachospermales, Rhodophyta in semi-arid northeastern Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Janiele França Vasconcelos

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available This study presents the first record of Chantransia macrospora in the state of Rio Grande do Norte, in the semi-arid region of northeastern Brazil. Analyses of periphytic algae revealed C. macrospora individuals associated in particular with shells of Melanoides tuberculatus, a non-native species, suggesting that C. macrospora have been introduced into systems associated with the gastropods. In this context, new records of C. macrospora are still expected for the Brazilian semi-arid region in the next years.

  15. First record of Chantransia macrospora Wood, 1887 (Batrachospermales, Rhodophyta in semi-arid northeastern Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Janiele França Vasconcelos

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available http://dx.doi.org/10.5007/2175-7925.2014v27n4p129 This study presents the first record of Chantransia macrospora in the state of Rio Grande do Norte, in the semi-arid region of northeastern Brazil. Analyses of periphytic algae revealed C. macrospora individuals associated in particular with shells of Melanoides tuberculatus, a non-native species, suggesting that C. macrospora have been introduced into systems associated with the gastropods. In this context, new records of C. macrospora are still expected for the Brazilian semi-arid region in the next years.

  16. Advancements in Hydrology and Erosion Process Understanding and Post-Fire Hydrologic and Erosion Model Development for Semi-Arid Landscapes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, C. Jason; Pierson, Frederick B.; Al-Hamdan, Osama Z.; Robichaud, Peter R.; Nearing, Mark A.; Hernandez, Mariano; Weltz, Mark A.; Spaeth, Kenneth E.; Goodrich, David C.

    2017-04-01

    Fire activity continues to increase in semi-arid regions around the globe. Private and governmental land management entities are challenged with predicting and mitigating post-fire hydrologic and erosion responses on these landscapes. For more than a decade, a team of scientists with the US Department of Agriculture has collaborated on extensive post-fire hydrologic field research and the application of field research to development of post-fire hydrology and erosion predictive technologies. Experiments funded through this research investigated the impacts of fire on vegetation and soils and the effects of these fire-induced changes on infiltration, runoff generation, erodibility, and soil erosion processes. The distribution of study sites spans diverse topography across grassland, shrubland, and woodland landscapes throughout the western United States. Knowledge gleaned from the extensive field experiments was applied to develop and enhance physically-based models for hillslope- to watershed-scale runoff and erosion prediction. Our field research and subsequent data syntheses have identified key knowledge gaps and challenges regarding post-fire hydrology and erosion modeling. Our presentation details some consistent trends across a diverse domain and varying landscape conditions based on our extensive field campaigns. We demonstrate how field data have advanced our understanding of post-fire hydrology and erosion for semi-arid landscapes and highlight remaining key knowledge gaps. Lastly, we briefly show how our well-replicated experimental methodologies have contributed to advancements in hydrologic and erosion model development for the post-fire environment.

  17. Coevolution of hydrodynamics, vegetation and channel evolution in wetlands of a semi-arid floodplain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seoane, Manuel; Rodriguez, Jose Fernando; Rojas, Steven Sandi; Saco, Patricia Mabel; Riccardi, Gerardo; Saintilan, Neil; Wen, Li

    2015-04-01

    The Macquarie Marshes are located in the semi-arid region in north western NSW, Australia, and constitute part of the northern Murray-Darling Basin. The Marshes are comprised of a system of permanent and semi-permanent marshes, swamps and lagoons interconnected by braided channels. The wetland complex serves as nesting place and habitat for many species of water birds, fish, frogs and crustaceans, and portions of the Marshes was listed as internationally important under the Ramsar Convention. Some of the wetlands have undergone degradation over the last four decades, which has been attributed to changes in flow management upstream of the marshes. Among the many characteristics that make this wetland system unique is the occurrence of channel breakdown and channel avulsion, which are associated with decline of river flow in the downstream direction typical of dryland streams. Decrease in river flow can lead to sediment deposition, decrease in channel capacity, vegetative invasion of the channel, overbank flows, and ultimately result in channel breakdown and changes in marsh formation. A similar process on established marshes may also lead to channel avulsion and marsh abandonment, with the subsequent invasion of terrestrial vegetation. All the previous geomorphological evolution processes have an effect on the established ecosystem, which will produce feedbacks on the hydrodynamics of the system and affect the geomorphology in return. In order to simulate the complex dynamics of the marshes we have developed an ecogeomorphological modelling framework that combines hydrodynamic, vegetation and channel evolution modules and in this presentation we provide an update on the status of the model. The hydrodynamic simulation provides spatially distributed values of inundation extent, duration, depth and recurrence to drive a vegetation model based on species preference to hydraulic conditions. It also provides velocities and shear stresses to assess geomorphological

  18. Determinants of seasonal changes in availability of food patches for elephants (Loxodonta africana in a semi-arid African savanna

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bruce W. Clegg

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Loss of biodiversity caused by impact of elephants (Loxodonta africana on African woodlands may require a management response, but any action should be based on an understanding of why elephants choose to utilise trees destructively. Comprehension of elephant feeding behaviour requires consideration of the relative value of the plant groups they may potentially consume. Profitability of available food is partly determined by the time to locate a food patch and, therefore, as a foundation for understanding the influence of food availability on diet selection, key controls on the density of grass, forb, and browse patches were investigated across space and time in a semi-arid African savanna. Density of food patches changed seasonally because plant life-forms required different volumes of soil water to produce green forage; and woody plants and forbs responded to long-term changes in soil moisture, while grasses responded to short-term moisture pulses. Soil texture, structure of woody vegetation and fire added further complexity by altering the soil water thresholds required for production of green forage. Interpolating between regularly-timed, ground-based measurements of food density by using modelled soil water as the predictor in regression equations may be a feasible method of quantifying food available to elephants in complex savanna environments.

  19. Investigating transport capacity equations in sediment yield modelling for the Cariri semi-arid region of Paraiba-PB/Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E. E. De Figueiredo

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available In the semi arid Cariri region of the state of Paraiba, Brazil, runoff is of the Hortonian type generated by excess of rainfall over infiltration capacity, and soil erosion is governed by rainfall intensity and sediment size. However, the governing sediment transport mechanism is not well understood. Sediment transport generally depends on the load of sediment provided by soil erosion and on the transport capacity of the flow. The latter is mainly governed by mechanisms such as water shear stress, or stream power. Accordingly, the load of sediment transported by the flow may vary depending on the mechanism involved in the equation of estimation. Investigation of the sediment transport capacity of the flow via a distributed physically-based model is an important and necessary task, but quite rare in semi-arid climates, and particularly in the Cariri region of the state of Paraíba/Brazil. In this study, the equations of Yalin, Engelund & Hansen, Laursen, DuBoys and Bagnold have been coupled with the MOSEE distributed physically based model aiming at identifying the mechanisms leading to the best model simulations when compared with data observed at various basin scales and land uses in the study region. The results obtained with the investigated methods were quite similar and satisfactory suggesting the feasibility of the mechanisms involved, but the observed values were better represented with Bagnold’s equation, which is physically grounded on the stream power, and we recommend it for simulations of similar climate, runoff generation mechanisms and sediment characteristics as in the study region.

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. Climate-smart crop production in semi-arid areas through increased knowledge of varieties, environment and management factors

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Murungweni, C.; Wijk, van M.T.; Smaling, E.M.A.; Giller, K.E.

    2016-01-01

    In large regions of sub-Saharan Africa, semi-arid conditions are likely to increase with climate change, yet these regions are becoming more important to feed production zones due to increasing population pressure. A production system in the semi-arid south eastern Zimbabwe was studied to assess

  3. Spatiotemporal modelling of groundwater extraction in semi-arid central Queensland, Australia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keir, Greg; Bulovic, Nevenka; McIntyre, Neil

    2016-04-01

    The semi-arid Surat Basin in central Queensland, Australia, forms part of the Great Artesian Basin, a groundwater resource of national significance. While this area relies heavily on groundwater supply bores to sustain agricultural industries and rural life in general, measurement of groundwater extraction rates is very limited. Consequently, regional groundwater extraction rates are not well known, which may have implications for regional numerical groundwater modelling. However, flows from a small number of bores are metered, and less precise anecdotal estimates of extraction are increasingly available. There is also an increasing number of other spatiotemporal datasets which may help predict extraction rates (e.g. rainfall, temperature, soils, stocking rates etc.). These can be used to construct spatial multivariate regression models to estimate extraction. The data exhibit complicated statistical features, such as zero-valued observations, non-Gaussianity, and non-stationarity, which limit the use of many classical estimation techniques, such as kriging. As well, water extraction histories may exhibit temporal autocorrelation. To account for these features, we employ a separable space-time model to predict bore extraction rates using the R-INLA package for computationally efficient Bayesian inference. A joint approach is used to model both the probability (using a binomial likelihood) and magnitude (using a gamma likelihood) of extraction. The correlation between extraction rates in space and time is modelled using a Gaussian Markov Random Field (GMRF) with a Matérn spatial covariance function which can evolve over time according to an autoregressive model. To reduce computational burden, we allow the GMRF to be evaluated at a relatively coarse temporal resolution, while still allowing predictions to be made at arbitrarily small time scales. We describe the process of model selection and inference using an information criterion approach, and present some

  4. Where Does the River Run? Lessons from a Semi-Arid River

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meixner, T.; Soto, C. D.; Richter, H.; Uhlman, K.

    2009-12-01

    Spatial data sets to assess the nature of stream groundwater interactions and the resulting power law/fractal structure of travel time distributions are rare. Spatial data sets can be collected using high technology or by use of a large number of field assistants. The labor intensive way is expensive unless the public can be enlisted as citizen scientists to gather large, robust, spatial data sets robustly and cheaply. Such an effort requires public interest and the ability of a few to organize such an effort at a basin if not regional scale. The San Pedro basin offers such an opportunity for citizen science due to the water resource restrictions of the basins semi-arid climate. Since 1999 The Nature Conservancy, in cooperation with the Upper San Pedro Partnership, the public at large and various university and federal science agency participants, has been mapping where the San Pedro River has water present versus where it is dry. This mapping has used an army of volunteers armed with GPS units, clipboards and their eyes to make the determination if a given 10m reach of the river is wet or dry. These wet/dry mapping data now exist for 11 different annual surveys. These data are unique and enable an investigation of the hydrologic connectedness of flowing waters within this system. Analysis of these data reveals several important findings. The total river area that is wet is strongly correlated with stream flow as observed at three USGS gauges. The correlation is strongest however for 90 day and 1 year average flows rather than more local in time observations such as the daily, 7 day or monthly mean flow at the gauges. This result indicates that where the river is flowing depends on long term hydrologic conditions. The length of river reach that is mapped as wet or dry is indicative of the travel distance and thus time that water travels in the surface (wet) and subsurface (dry) of the river system. The reach length that is mapped as wet follows a power law function

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Güntner, Andreas

    2002-07-01

    Semi-arid areas are, due to their climatic setting, characterized by small water resources. An increasing water demand as a consequence of population growth and economic development as well as a decreasing water availability in the course of possible climate change may aggravate water scarcity in future, which often exists already for present-day conditions in these areas. Understanding the mechanisms and feedbacks of complex natural and human systems, together with the quantitative assessment of future changes in volume, timing and quality of water resources are a prerequisite for the development of sustainable measures of water management to enhance the adaptive capacity of these regions. For this task, dynamic integrated models, containing a hydrological model as one component, are indispensable tools. The main objective of this study is to develop a hydrological model for the quantification of water availability in view of environmental change over a large geographic domain of semi-arid environments. The study area is the Federal State of Ceará (150 000 km2) in the semi-arid north-east of Brazil. Mean annual precipitation in this area is 850 mm, falling in a rainy season with duration of about five months. Being mainly characterized by crystalline bedrock and shallow soils, surface water provides the largest part of the water supply. The area has recurrently been affected by droughts which caused serious economic losses and social impacts like migration from the rural regions. The hydrological model Wasa (Model of Water Availability in Semi-Arid Environments) developed in this study is a deterministic, spatially distributed model being composed of conceptual, process-based approaches. Water availability (river discharge, storage volumes in reservoirs, soil moisture) is determined with daily resolution. Sub-basins, grid cells or administrative units (municipalities) can be chosen as spatial target units. The administrative units enable the coupling of Wasa in

  6. Energy Balance and Heat Storage of Small Shallow Water Bodies in Semi-arid Areas

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Abbasi, A.

    2016-01-01

    This research aims at developing a flexible and efficient (numerical) approach for estimating energy balance and heat storage of small shallow lakes in arid and semi-arid regions. To reach to this aim, some numerical methods and improvements in conventional methods were done. Optimizing the methods

  7. Determinants of tillage frequency among smallholder farmers in two semi-arid areas in Ethiopia

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Temesgen, M.; Rockstrom, J.; Savenije, H.H.G.; Hoogmoed, W.B.; Alemu, D.

    2008-01-01

    Traditional tillage systems practiced by farmers in semi-arid regions of Ethiopia are characterized by repeated and cross plowing with an indigenous plow called Maresha. Repeated and cross plowing have led to land degradation. Conservation tillage systems that advocate minimum soil disturbance can

  8. Woody plants in agro-ecosystems of semi-arid regions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Breman, H.; Kessler, J.J.

    1995-01-01

    A quantitative analysis of the role of woody plants in semi-arid regions, focusing on the Sahel and Sudan zones in West-Africa, is given for the assessment of their benefits in agro-sylvopastoral land-use systems with productive and sustainability objectives.

  9. Precision farming for increased land and labour productivity in semi-arid West Africa. A review

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Aune, Jens B.; Coulibaly, Adama; Giller, Ken E.

    2017-01-01

    Farmers in the semi-arid regions of West Africa face challenges related to poor crop establishment, variable rainfall, low soil fertility and a shortage of labour at times of peak demand. Farmers are generally low on resources. Given these conditions, it is important to develop farming practices

  10. 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

  11. Effects of 22 years of re-vegetation on soil quality in the semi-arid ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    long-term re-vegetation on soil properties, which is essential to reveal corresponding changes in soil quality. Therefore, this study was conducted to evaluate the influence of 22 years of re-vegetation on soil quality in a semi-arid area. Soil samples were collected from a bare slope, a re-vegetated northern slope and a ...

  12. Contour hedgerows and grass strips in erosion and runoff control in semi-arid Kenya

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kinama, J.M.; Stigter, C.J.; Ong, C.K.; Ng'ang'a, J.K.; Gichuki, F.N.

    2007-01-01

    Most early alley cropping studies in semi-arid Kenya were on fairly flat land while there is an increase in cultivated sloping land. The effectiveness of aging contour hedgerows and grass strips for erosion control on an about 15% slope of an Alfisol was compared. The five treatments were Senna

  13. Spatio-Temporal Analysis of Droughts in Semi-Arid Regions by Using Meteorological Drought Indices

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Shahabfar, A.; Eitzinger, Josef

    2013-01-01

    Roč. 4, č. 2 (2013), s. 94-112 ISSN 2073-4433 Institutional support: RVO:67179843 Keywords : drought monitoring * drought index * standardized precipitation index * semi-arid region * Iran Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour Impact factor: 1.048, year: 2013

  14. A spatial assessment of riverine ecosystems and water supply in a semi-arid environment

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Smith-Adao, LB

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available A spatial assessment was conducted in the semi-arid area of South Africa, to: (1) identify priority areas for the conservation of river and groundwater ecosystems; (2) examine surface and groundwater quality for human consumption and (3) investigate...

  15. Erosion and terrace failure due to agricultural land abandonment in a semi-arid environment

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lesschen, J.P.; Cammeraat, L.H.; Nieman, T.

    2008-01-01

    Agricultural land abandonment is currently widely spread in Mediterranean countries and a further increase is expected. Previous research has shown that abandoned fields in semi-arid areas are more vulnerable to gully erosion. The absence of ploughing and slow vegetation recovery cause the formation

  16. Tillage and farmyard manure efects on crusting and compacting soils at Katumani, Semi-arid Kenya

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Biamah, E.K.; Sterk, G.; Stroosnijder, L.

    2008-01-01

    In semi-arid Kenya, the most dominatn soil types are of limited agricultural productivity due to crusting and compaction. The occurence of soil crusting and compaction is attributed to seasonal rainfall characteristics, physical soil properties and bad tillage practices. Soil crusting and compaction

  17. Hazard Analysis of Arid and Semi-Arid (ASAL) Regions of Kenya ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The leading hazards affecting the Arid and semi-arid lands are mainly natural and include among others drought, floods, and landslides. Other hazards of ... The sectors where respondents were sourced from were Agriculture, Health, local Government, and Provincial Administration, Environment and NGO. The members ...

  18. Agroforestry parkland species diversity : uses and management in semi-arid West-Africa (Burkina Faso)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Nikiema, A.

    2005-01-01

    Agroforestry parkland in semi-arid West Africa is a rural land use system, which allows farmers to grow annual crops in combination with useful trees. In addition to cereals, tree products such as vegetables, fruits, vegetable oil, firewood, fodder, and medicines are obtained from the parklands.

  19. Catchment management in semi-arid area of central South Africa ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    This accentuates the need for wise decisions by catchment management agencies (CMAs), especially in water-scarce semi-arid areas. ... A financial analysis also showed that gross margin of option, expressed as R/ m3 of rainwater utilised, was estimated to be between 0.0234 to 0.0254 under Option 1 and 0.0354 for ...

  20. New and improved method of bamboo cultivation in semi arid areas ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Bamboo (Dendrocalamus strictus Roxb.) is widely utilized in construction, pulp and paper, furniture, food and medicine, fuel and handicrafts for a long time. Due to its wider application, a field experiment was carried out to check its cultivation requirements besides its success rate in semi arid area of Indian Thar desert.

  1. Phosphorus status of some semi-arid agricultural soils of northern ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Phosphorus status of some semi-arid agricultural soils of northern Ghana. E. Owusu-Bennoah, J. G. Ampofo, D. K. Acquay. Abstract. (Ghana Journal of Agricultural Science, 1995-96, 28-29: 29-36). Full Text: EMAIL FULL TEXT EMAIL FULL TEXT · DOWNLOAD FULL TEXT DOWNLOAD FULL TEXT.

  2. Conservation tillage systems and water productivity implications for smallholder farmers in semi-arid Ethiopia

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Temesgen, M.L.

    2007-01-01

    Conservation tillage systems have been adopted by farmers in many countries to solve the problem of land degradation and declining water productivity. However, direct application of such tillage systems was not possible among resource poor smallholder farmers in semi arid areas of Ethiopia. Problems

  3. Conservation tillage systems and water productivity implications for smallholder farmers in semi-arid Ethiopia

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Temesgen, M.

    2007-01-01

    This book describes the unique problems faced by smallholder farmers in semi arid regions of Ethiopia. It is the result of years of on-farm research that involved farmers and incorporated their indigenous knowledge to develop appropriate tillage systems and implements. It describes tillage

  4. The Soil-Land use System in a Sand Spit Area in the Semi-Arid ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The Soil-Land use System in a Sand Spit Area in the Semi-Arid Coastal Savanna Region of Ghana – Development, Sustainability and Threats. ... The investigation comprises soil profile descriptions and analyses on the dominant soil type on the sand spit, measurement of electrical conductivity of well water and in the soil, ...

  5. Rainfall variability and animal production in the semi-arid savanna ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Keywords: animal production; botanical composition; botany; drought; ecological systems; growth parameters; herbaceous layer; intake; land use; livestock; maximum production; model; models; plant cover; plant growth; production; rainfall; rainfall variability; semi-arid savanna; soil water; southern africa; stress; variability; ...

  6. Soil and water conservation in semi-arid areas of Tanzania: national ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    On the basis of agricultural potential, it is estimated that more than 50% of the land in Tanzania is semi-arid or arid due to three main factors; namely: low amount of rainfall, high evapotranspiration rates and erratic temporal and spatial distribution of rainfall. The objective of this paper is to assess the extent to which different ...

  7. Techniques for simultaneous quantification of wind and water erosion in semi-arid regions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Visser, S.M.; Sterk, G.; Ribolzi, O.

    2004-01-01

    Wind and water erosion are usually studied as two separate processes. However, in semi-arid zones both processes contribute significantly to soil degradation. Whereas for water erosion the direction of sediment transport is controlled by topography, in wind erosion the direction of transport is

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

    OpenAIRE

    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 Netherlands). ... Zie: Summary

  9. 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

  10. Herbivore regulation and irreversible vegetation change in semi-arid grazing systems

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Van de Koppel, J.; Rietkerk, M.

    2000-01-01

    Models made to explain sudden and irreversible vegetation shifts in semi-arid grasslands typically assume that herbivore density is independent of the state of the vegetation, e.g., under the control of humans. We relax this assumption and investigate the mathematical implications of

  11. Extensive Green Roof Species and Soilless Media Evaluations in Semi-arid Colorado

    Science.gov (United States)

    In the high elevation, semi-arid climate of Colorado, green roofs have not been scientifically tested. This research examined alternative plant species, soilless media blends and plant interactions on an existing, modular-extensive (shallow, 10 cm deep) green roof in Denver, Colo...

  12. Spatial and Temporal Uncertainty of Rainfall in Arid and Semi-Arid ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The aim of this study was to assess rainfall uncertainty and trends in the arid and semi-arid areas of Ethiopia by using rainfall data records from the thirteen stations over the period of 1952-2012. In this study annual and seasonal rainfalls were analyzed for trends, least square regression was used to quantify the trends and ...

  13. Vegetation monitoring on semi-arid grasslands unglazed by domestic livestock

    Science.gov (United States)

    Linda Kennedy; Dan Robinett

    2013-01-01

    The Research Ranch is an 8000-acre sanctuary and research facility in the semi-arid grasslands of southeastern Arizona, USA. Cattle were removed from the property in 1968 to provide a reference area by which various land uses, such as grazing and exurbanization, could be evaluated. Vegetation transects were established in 2000 and 2003 on several ecological sites in...

  14. Fire and the dynamics of semi-arid grassland: influence on plant ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    There is a lack of knowledge concerning the effect of fire behaviour on the vegetation dynamics of semi-arid climates. Arising from this, an investigation was initiated to characterise the behaviour of fires burning with the wind (head fire) and against the wind (back fire). The behaviour of these fires was related to the response ...

  15. Farmer perceptions on climate change and variability in semi-arid ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Farmers in semi-arid Zimbabwe prioritise climate variability as their major agricultural productivity-reducing problem. This paper raises the importance of considering local farmers' perceptions on climate risk, as this greatly influences on-farm investments and decision-making in agricultural management and production in ...

  16. Adaptation of agriculture to climate change in semi-arid Borena, Ethiopia

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ng'ang'a, Stanley; Wijk, van Mark T.; Rufino, Mariana C.; Giller, Ken E.

    2016-01-01

    Livestock production is very risky due to climate variability in semi-arid Sub-Saharan Africa. Using data collected from 400 households in the Borena zone of the Oromia Region, we explored what drives adoption of agricultural practices that can decrease the vulnerability of agro-pastoralists to

  17. Polyacrylamide molecular weight and phosphogypsum effects on infiltration and erosion in semi-arid soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seal formation at the surface of semi-arid soils during rainstorms reduces soil infiltration rate (IR) and causes runoff and erosion. Surface application of dry anionic polyacrylamide (PAM) with high molecular weight (MW) has been found to be effective in stabilizing soil aggregates, and decreasing ...

  18. Evaluation of methods for delineating riparian zones in a semi-arid montane watershed

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jessica A. Salo; David M. Theobald; Thomas C. Brown

    2016-01-01

    Riparian zones in semi-arid, mountainous regions provide a disproportionate amount of the available wildlife habitat and ecosystem services. Despite their importance, there is little guidance on the best way to map riparian zones for broad spatial extents (e.g., large watersheds) when detailed maps from field data or high-resolution imagery and terrain data...

  19. Integrated modelling of water availability and water use in the semi-arid Northeast of Brazil

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bronstert, A.; Jaeger, A.; Guntner, A.; Hauschild, M.; Doell, P.; Krol, Martinus S.

    2000-01-01

    Scarcity of water resources is a. major constraint for development in the semi-arid Northeast of Brazil. Quantification of natural water availability and of water use are key issues within a comprehensive Brazilian-German research project. This paper gives an overview of the integrated hydrological

  20. Spatiotemporal soil and saprolite moisture dynamics across a semi-arid woody plant gradient

    Science.gov (United States)

    Woody plant cover has increased 10-fold over the last 140+ years in many parts of the semi-arid western USA. Woody plant cover can alter the timing and amount of plant available moisture in the soil and saprolite. To assess spatiotemporal subsurface moisture dynamics over two water years in a snow-d...

  1. Determining soil erosion rates on semi-arid watersheds using radioisotope-derived sedimentation chronology 2327

    Science.gov (United States)

    This study investigates erosion dynamics of the past 90 years on three small semi-arid watersheds with histories of grazing and vegetation change. Activity of 137Cs and excess 210Pb from 18 cores collected from sedimentation ponds were measured using a gamma spectrometer. The sediment was dated usi...

  2. Agricultural management affects earthworm and termite diversity across humid to semi-arid tropical zones

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ayuke, F.O.; Pulleman, M.M.; Vanlauwe, B.; Goede, de R.G.M.; Six, J.; Csuzdi, C.; Brussaard, L.

    2011-01-01

    Earthworm and termite diversity were studied in 12 long-term agricultural field trials across the sub-humid to semi-arid tropical zones of Eastern and Western Africa. In each trial, treatments with high and low soil organic C were chosen to represent contrasts in long-term soil management effects,

  3. A new species of Australopericoma Vaillant (Diptera, Psychodidae) from the Brazilian semi-arid region

    OpenAIRE

    Bravo, Freddy

    2007-01-01

    A new species of Australopericoma Vaillant from Brazil is described and illustrated. It is the first record of Australopericoma from the semi-arid region of northeastern Brazil. Uma nova espécie de Australopericoma Vaillant do Brasil é descrita. Este trabalho apresenta o primeiro registro de Australopericoma do semi-árido do nordeste brasileiro.

  4. Climate smart crops for food and nutritional security for semi-arid ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Climate smart crops for food and nutritional security for semi-arid zones of Zimbabwe. ... smallholder farmers increase diversity of crops that can be grown in changed climates. Trials were conducted to test a basket of ... nut (Vigna subterranea), groundnut (Arachis hypogaea) and pigeon pea (Cajanus cajan. A second ...

  5. Evaluation of small scale water harvesting techniques for semi-arid environments

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lasage, R.; Verburg, P.H.

    2015-01-01

    Water harvesting is widely practiced and is expected 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. We review the literature to gain insight regarding characteristics

  6. Reproductive biology in Balanites aegyptiaca (L.) Del., a semi-arid ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Balanites aegyptiaca (L.) is an important tree in the semi-arid ecosystem with beneficial attributes. However, very little information is available in its reproductive biology. In order to better control the reproduction system of B. aegyptiaca, three experimental approaches are used: floral morpholgy, fluorochromatic procedure ...

  7. Hydrologic Connectivity: a Framework to Understand Threshold Behaviour in Semi-Arid Landscapes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saco, Patricia; Rodriguez, Jose; Keesstra, Saskia; Moreno-de las Heras, Mariano; Sandi, Steven; Baartman, Jantiene; Cerdà, Artemi

    2017-04-01

    Anthropogenic activities and climate change are imposing an unprecedented pressure on arid and semi-arid ecosystems, where shortage of water can trigger shifts in landscapes' structures and function leading to degradation and desertification. Hydrological connectivity is a useful framework for understanding water redistribution and scaling issues associated to runoff and sediment production, since human and/or natural disturbances alter the surface water availability and pathways increasing/decreasing connectivity. In this presentation, we illustrate the use of the connectivity framework for several examples of dryland systems that are analysed at a variety of spatial and temporal scales. In doing so, we draw particular attention to the analysis of co-evolution of system structures and function, and how they drive threshold behaviour leading to desertification and degradation. We first analyse the case of semi-arid rangelands, where feedbacks between decline in vegetation density and landscape erosion reinforces degradation processes driven by changes in connectivity until a threshold is crossed above which the return to a functional system is unlikely. We then focus on semi-arid wetlands, where decreases in water volumes promotes dryland vegetation encroachment that changes drainage conditions and connectivity potentially reinforcing redistribution of flow paths to other wetland areas. The examples presented highlight the need to incorporate a co-evolutionary framework for the analysis of changing connectivity patterns and the emergence of thresholds in arid and semi-arid systems.

  8. Semi-arid Northeast Brazil: integrated modelling of regional development and global change impacts

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Krol, Martinus S.; Fuhr, Dagmar; Döring, Andreas; Unruh, Jon D.; Krol, Maarten S.; Kliot, Nurit

    2004-01-01

    Societies in semi-arid areas in developing regions are amongst those most vulnerable to climate variability and potentially most vulnerable to climate change. The vulnerability to climate variability emerges from a combination of the level of availability of natural resources and the human

  9. Integrated Scenarios of Regional Development in Two Semi-Arid States of North-Eastern Brazil

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Döll, Petra; Krol, Martinus S.

    2002-01-01

    Scenario analysis of the future is an important tool for supporting sustainability-oriented regional planning. To assist regional planning in two federal states in semi-arid North-eastern Brazil, Ceará and Piauí, we developed integrated qualitative¿quantitative scenarios that show potential

  10. Prospects of hydroponics and protected cultivation in semi-arid regions piloted in Algeria

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Os, Van E.A.; Bruins, M.A.; Ruijs, M.N.A.; Sapounas, A.; Speetjens, B.

    2017-01-01

    Algeria is used as an example for exploring and analysing the prospects of hydroponics and protected cultivation within the horticultural sector in a semi-arid climate. First step is to analyse the present horticultural situation (protected and open field cultivation, technology and knowledge level)

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The challenges of rehabilitating denuded patches of a semi-arid environment in Kenya. ... In Kenya, grass reseeding technology has been used to combat land degradation. However ... A questionnaire was administered to capture farmer perceptions on failures on rangeland rehabilitation using grass reseeding technology.

  12. Gastrointestinal parasite infections of sheep and goats in a semi-arid ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    INFECTION DES MOUTONS ET DES CHEVRES PAR DES PARASITES GASTROINTESTINAUX DANS UNE ZONE SEMI-ARIDE DU DISTRICT DE MACHAKOS AU KENYA Résumé Une enquête sur les infections des petits ruminants par des parasites gastro-intestinaux et des douves du foie a été menée pendant 18 mois ...

  13. Characterisation of rainfall at a semi-arid ecotope in the Limpopo ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Detailed knowledge of rainfall regime is an important prerequisite for agricultural planning. Despite the importance of rain-fed agriculture to food security in the semi-arid regions of South Africa, studies to understand the spatial and temporal variability of rainfall are not widely documented. Twenty-three years (1983 to 2005) ...

  14. Problems and Prospects of SWAT Model Application on an Arid/Semi-arid Watershed in Arizona

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hydrological characteristics in the semi-arid southwest create unique challenges to watershed modelers. Streamflow in these regions is largely dependent on seasonal, short term, and high intensity rainfall events. The objectives of this study are: 1) to analyze the unique hydrolo...

  15. Winter grazing decreases wildfire risk, severity, and behavior in semi-arid sagebrush rangelands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wildfires are an ecological and economic risk for many semi-arid rangelands which has resulted in increased pressure for pre-suppression management of fuels. In rangelands, fuel management treatment options are limited by costs. We evaluated winter grazing as a tool to manage fuels and alter fire ...

  16. Site-specific properties and irreversible vegetation changes in semi-arid grazing systems

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rietkerk, M; vandenBosch, F; vandeKoppel, J

    1997-01-01

    There is an urgent need to develop a mechanistic understanding of how site-specific properties can lead to irreversible vegetation changes. We show, by means of a bifurcation analysis of two mathematical models, how site-specific properties determine the resilience of vegetation changes in semi-arid

  17. Fire and the dynamics of a semi-arid grassland: influence on soil ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The short-term impact of fire burning with the wind (head fire) and against the wind (back fire) on soil characteristics (soil-water content, soil compaction, soil temperature, organic matter, pH, exchangeable Ca, Mg, K, Na and extractable P) were determined in a semi-arid grassland. This study was conducted over two ...

  18. 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

  19. Effect of an isolated semi-arid pine forest on the boundary layer height

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brugger, Peter; Banerjee, Tirtha; Kröniger, Konstantin; Preisler, Yakir; Rotenberg, Eyal; Tatarinov, Fedor; Yakir, Dan; Mauder, Matthias

    2017-04-01

    Forests play an important role for earth's climate by influencing the surface energy balance and CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere. Semi-arid forests and their effects on the local and regional climate are studied within the CliFF project (Climate Feedbacks and benefits of semi-arid Forests). This requires understanding of the atmospheric boundary layer over semi-arid forests, because it links the surface and the free atmosphere and determines the exchange of momentum, heat and trace gases. Our study site, Yatir, is a semi-arid isolated pine forest in the Negev desert in Israel. Higher roughness and lower albedo compared to the surrounding shrubland make it interesting to study the influences of the semi-arid Yatir forest on the boundary layer. Previous studies of the forest focused on the energy balance and secondary circulations. This study focuses on the boundary layer structure above the forest, in particular the boundary layer height. The boundary layer height is an essential parameter for many applications (e.g. construction of convective scaling parameters or air pollution modeling). We measured the boundary layer height upwind, over and downwind of the forest. In addition we measured at two sites wind profiles within the boundary layer and turbulent fluxes at the surface. This allows us to quantify the effects of the forest on boundary layer compared to the surrounding shrubland. Results show that the forest increases the boundary layer height in absence of a strong boundary layer top inversion. A model of the boundary layer height based on eddy-covariance data shows some agreement to the measurements, but fails during anticyclonic conditions and the transition to the nocturnal boundary layer. More complex models accounting for large scale influences are investigated. Further influences of the forest and surrounding shrubland on the turbulent transport of energy are discussed in a companion presentation (EGU2017-2219).

  20. 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

  1. Do invasive riparian Tamarix alter hydrology of riparian areas of arid and semi-arid regions under climate change scenarios?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bhattarai, M. P.; Acharya, K.; Chen, L.

    2012-12-01

    Competitiveness of riparian invasive species, Tamarix, in arid and semi-arid riparian areas of the southwestern United States under climate change scenario (SRES A2) was investigated. Tamarix has been replacing native vegetation along the riparian corridors of these areas for the past several decades and is thought to alter water balance. Changes in depth to groundwater, soil moisture distribution and flood frequency are critical in survival and growth of a facultative phreatophyte such as Tamarix. In this study, a fully coupled 2d surface flow and 3d subsurface flow hydrologic model, HydroGeoSphere, was used to simulate surface-subsurface hydrology of the lower Virgin River basin (4500 sq. km), located in Nevada, Utah and Arizona. The hydrologic model results, depth to groundwater and soil saturation, were then applied to the species distribution model, Maxent, along with other bioclimatic parameters to asses future Tamarix distribution probability. Simulations were made for the climate scenarios of the end of 21st centry conditions. Depth to groundwater is found to be the most important predictor variable to the Maxent model. Future Tamarix distribution range is not uniform across the basin. It is likely to decrease at lower elevations and increase in some higher elevation areas.

  2. Water balance of two earthen landfill caps in a semi-arid climate

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Khire, M.V.; Benson, C.H.; Bosscher, P.J.

    1997-01-01

    Water balance data are presented that were obtained from two earthen cap test sections located in a semi-arid region. The test sections were constructed on a municipal solid waste landfill in East Wenatchee, Washington, USA. One test section represents a traditional resistive barrier, and is constructed with a compacted silty clay barrier 60 cm thick and a vegetated silty clay surface layer 15 cm thick. The other test section represents a capillary barrier and has a sand layer 75 cm thick overlain by a 15-cm-thick vegetated surface layer of silt. Extensive hydrological and meteorological data have been collected since November 1992. Unsaturated hydraulic properties of soils, hydrologic parameters, and vegetation have been extensively characterized. Results of the study show that capillary barriers can be effective caps in semi-arid and arid regions. They are also cheaper to construct and can perform better than traditional resistive barriers

  3. Isotope and radiation techniques for efficient water and fertilizer use in semi-arid regions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1986-04-01

    The Joint FAO/IAEA Division carried out a coordinated research programme, which was concerned with the efficiency of water and fertilizer uses in semi-arid farming systems. The present publication is a summary of the individual contributions from Belgium, Chile, Ivory Coast, Cyprus, France, India, Israel, Romania, Senegal, Sri Lanka and the United States of America, over the period 1978-1984. Water and fertilizer uptake by crops are dynamic processes affected by several factors of the soil-plant-atmosphere system. The neutron moisture meters were used not only to measure soil water contents but also to understand water dynamics under field conditions. Nitrogen is the most limiting nutrient in many semi-arid regions, and as its absorption is very much related to water dynamics in the soil, experiments using N-15 labelled fertilizer were carried out, which are presented in this report

  4. Dynamics in carbon exchange fluxes for a grazed semi-arid savanna ecosystem in West Africa

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Tagesson, Torbern; Fensholt, Rasmus; Cropley, Ford

    2015-01-01

    The main aim of this paper is to study land-atmosphere exchange of carbon dioxide (CO2) for semi-arid savanna ecosystems of the Sahel region and its response to climatic and environmental change. A subsidiary aim is to study and quantify the seasonal dynamics in light use efficiency (ε) being a key...... variable in scaling carbon fluxes from ground observations using earth observation data. The net ecosystem exchange of carbon dioxide (NEE) 2010-2013 was measured using the eddy covariance technique at a grazed semi-arid savanna site in Senegal, West Africa. Night-time NEE was not related to temperature...... (C) MJ-1 for the dry season and 2.27gCMJ-1 for the peak of the rainy season, and its seasonal dynamics was governed by vegetation phenology, photosynthetically active radiation, soil moisture and vapor pressure deficit (VPD). The CO2 exchange fluxes were very high in comparison to other semi...

  5. Hill lakes : innovative approach for sustainable rural management in the semi-arid areas in Tunisia

    OpenAIRE

    Boufaroua, M.; Slimani, M.; Oweis, T.; Albergel, Jean

    2013-01-01

    In Tunisian semi-arid regions, where water is a rare commodity and the large dams cannot be justified considering the very limited water contributions and the very high evapotranspiration, innovative techniques of harvesting water have been adopted. Tunisia has initiated a policy of small dam construction aiming to combine land and water management with socioeconomic development. They also target erosion control and protection of downstream infrastructure. Integrated rural development is achi...

  6. Competing effects of groundwater withdrawals and climate change on water availability in semi-arid India

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sishodia, R. P.; Shukla, S.

    2017-12-01

    India, a global leader in groundwater use (250 km3/yr), is experiencing groundwater depletion. There has been a 130-fold increase in number of irrigation wells since 1960. Anticipated future increase in groundwater demand is likely to exacerbate the water availability in the semi-arid regions of India. Depending on the direction of change, future climate change may either worsen or enhance the water availability. This study uses an integrated hydrologic modeling approach (MIKE SHE MIKE 11) to compare and combine the effects of future (2040-2069) increased groundwater withdrawals and climate change on surface and groundwater flows and availability for an agricultural watershed in semi-arid south India. Modeling results showed that increased groundwater withdrawals in the future resulted in reduced surface flows (25%) and increased frequency and duration (90 days/yr) of well drying. In contrast, projected future increase in rainfall (7-43%) under the changed climate showed increased groundwater recharge (15-67%) and surface flows (9-155%). Modeling results suggest that the positive effects of climate change may enhance the water availability in this semi-arid region of India. However, in combination with increased withdrawals, climate change was shown to increase the well drying and reduce the water availability especially during dry years. A combination of management options such as flood to drip conversion, energy subsidy reductions and water storage can support increased groundwater irrigated area in the future while mitigating the well drying. A cost-benefit analysis showed that dispersed water storage and flood to drip conversion can be highly cost-effective in this semi-arid region. The study results suggest that the government and management policies need to be focused towards an integrated management of demand and supply to create a sustainable food-water-energy nexus in the region.

  7. Agroforestry parkland species diversity : uses and management in semi-arid West-Africa (Burkina Faso)

    OpenAIRE

    Nikiema, A.

    2005-01-01

    Agroforestry parkland in semi-arid West Africa is a rural land use system, which allows farmers to grow annual crops in combination with useful trees. In addition to cereals, tree products such as vegetables, fruits, vegetable oil, firewood, fodder, and medicines are obtained from the parklands. However the multiple function of the parkland system can only be fulfilled if parkland species diversity is adequately managed.This thesis is focused on assessing the woody species diversity in the pa...

  8. New species and records of Paliphora from the Brazilian semi-arid region.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gusmão, Luis Fernando Pascholati; Leão-Ferreira, Sheila Miranda; Marques, Marcos Fabio Oliveira; de Almeida, Davi Augusto Carneiro

    2008-01-01

    In the course of studies about conidial fungi that grow on plant debris in the semi-arid region of Brazil, four species of Paliphora were found on unidentified dicotyledonous plants. Paliphora intermedia and P. porosa are recorded for the first time for South America and the neotropics respectively. Paliphora inflata and P. multiseptata are proposed as new species. A key and synoptic table of characters of the five known species of Paliphora are provided.

  9. L'économie de la gestion des risques en zone semi-aride

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Dijk, van J.W.M.; Tielekes, E.; Schlecht, E.; Hiernaux, P.

    2001-01-01

    Toute forme de gestion ou d'aménagement des ressources fourragères pour les éleveurs dans la zone semi-aride au Sahel commence obligatoirement par l'appréciation d'un certain nombre de variables et notamment leur variabilité dans l'espace et dans le temps. Cette variabilité est la source d'une vaste

  10. Semi-arid savanna of the Potlake Nature Reserve and surrounding areas in Sekhukhuneland, South Africa

    OpenAIRE

    S.J. Siebert; M. Matthee; A.E. van Wyk

    2003-01-01

    A hierarchical classification, description, and ecological and floristic interpretations are presented on the vegetation types of the semi-arid northern savanna of the Sekhukhuneland Centre of Plant Endemism. Relevés were compiled in 47 stratified random plots. A TWINSPAN classification, refined by Braun-Blanquet procedures, revealed eight plant communities, classified as four associations, one of which is subdivided into five sub-associations. For each plant community, the floristic richness...

  11. 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.

  12. Coprophilous Mucorales (ex Zygomycota) from three areas in the semi-arid of Pernambuco, Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Souza, Carlos Alberto Fragoso de; Lima, Diogo Xavier; Gurgel, Luciana M S; Santiago, André Luiz Cabral Monteiro de Azevedo

    Mucorales comprises fungi commonly isolated as saprobes from soil, dung, stored grains and plants. Although these fungi have been studied in several countries, there are relatively a few reports of them in semi-arid areas. Therefore, the aims of the present study were to assess and compare the Mucorales communities in dung from different species and breeds of herbivores in the semi-arid of Pernambuco, based on the frequency of occurrence and species richness of these fungi. Samples of dung collected in the cities of Arcoverde, Serra Talhada and Sertânia were incubated in moist chambers in triplicate. Altogether, 24 taxa of Mucorales distributed in the genera Absidia, Circinella, Cunninghamella, Lichtheimia, Mucor, Pilobolus, Rhizopus and Syncephalastrum were identified. The highest species richness was found in sheep excrement. Mucor circinelloides f. griseo-cyanus was the most common taxon, followed by M. ramosissimus. The similarity of the composition of Mucorales species was greatest between the excrements of Guzerá and Sindi breeds (bovine). All mucoralean species isolated are being cited for the first time from animal dung found in Caatinga and a new species of Mucor was recorded. An identification key for species of Mucorales from dung in the semi-arid region of Brazil is provided. Copyright © 2016 Sociedade Brasileira de Microbiologia. Published by Elsevier Editora Ltda. All rights reserved.

  13. Agroecological and Social Transformations for Coexistence with Semi-Aridity in Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aldrin M. Pérez-Marin

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available This article explores whether a shift in development paradigm resulted in coexistence with semi-aridity for residents of the Semi-Arid region of Brazil (SAB. If so, which strategies contributed and which conditions facilitated it? We conducted a comparative analysis of the transformations that occurred in 10 territories of the SAB during two time periods: PI (1973–2001 when “development” policies almost exclusively aimed to “combat drought and its effects”; and PII (2002–2016 when a concept of coexistence with semi-aridity informed policy making. Our study from the 10 territories of the SAB show significant changes between PI and PII. On average, there was a substantial improvement in Access to Water Infrastructure (+33%∆, Diversification of Production Systems (Animals +36%∆; Crops +61%∆, Management of Common Pool Resources (+45%∆, Involvement in Spaces of Political Organizing (+24%∆, and Access to Public Programs (+29%∆. As such, “coexistence” went from concept to action as a consequence of structural, agroecological, social, and management transformations in combination with a strengthening of mechanisms for community reciprocity. These were characterized by (a the creation of resource reserves for use during times of drought; (b the efficient use of available natural resources; and (c enhanced articulation between diverse actors.

  14. Coprophilous Mucorales (ex Zygomycota from three areas in the semi-arid of Pernambuco, Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carlos Alberto Fragoso de Souza

    Full Text Available Abstract Mucorales comprises fungi commonly isolated as saprobes from soil, dung, stored grains and plants. Although these fungi have been studied in several countries, there are relatively a few reports of them in semi-arid areas. Therefore, the aims of the present study were to assess and compare the Mucorales communities in dung from different species and breeds of herbivores in the semi-arid of Pernambuco, based on the frequency of occurrence and species richness of these fungi. Samples of dung collected in the cities of Arcoverde, Serra Talhada and Sertânia were incubated in moist chambers in triplicate. Altogether, 24 taxa of Mucorales distributed in the genera Absidia, Circinella, Cunninghamella, Lichtheimia, Mucor, Pilobolus, Rhizopus and Syncephalastrum were identified. The highest species richness was found in sheep excrement. Mucor circinelloides f. griseo-cyanus was the most common taxon, followed by M. ramosissimus. The similarity of the composition of Mucorales species was greatest between the excrements of Guzerá and Sindi breeds (bovine. All mucoralean species isolated are being cited for the first time from animal dung found in Caatinga and a new species of Mucor was recorded. An identification key for species of Mucorales from dung in the semi-arid region of Brazil is provided.

  15. Remediation of metalliferous mines, revegetation challenges and emerging prospects in semi-arid and arid conditions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nirola, Ramkrishna; Megharaj, Mallavarapu; Beecham, Simon; Aryal, Rupak; Thavamani, Palanisami; Vankateswarlu, Kadiyala; Saint, Christopher

    2016-10-01

    Understanding plant behaviour in polluted soils is critical for the sustainable remediation of metal-polluted sites including abandoned mines. Post-operational and abandoned metal mines particularly in semi-arid and arid zones are one of the major sources of pollution by soil erosion or plant hyperaccumulation bringing ecological impacts. We have selected from the literature 157 species belonging to 50 families to present a global overview of 'plants under action' against heavy metal pollution. Generally, all species of plants that are drought, salt and metal tolerant are candidates of interest to deal with harsh environmental conditions, particularly at semi-arid and arid mine sites. Pioneer metallophytes namely Atriplex nummularia, Atriplex semibaccata, Salsola kali, Phragmites australis and Medicago sativa, representing the taxonomic orders Caryophyllales, Poales and Fabales are evaluated in terms of phytoremediation in this review. Phytoremediation processes, microbial and algal bioremediation, the use and implication of tissue culture and biotechnology are critically examined. Overall, an integration of available remediation plant-based technologies, referred to here as 'integrated remediation technology,' is proposed to be one of the possible ways ahead to effectively address problems of toxic heavy metal pollution. Graphical abstract Integrated remediation technology (IRT) in metal-contaminated semi-arid and arid conditions. The hexagonal red line represents an IRT concept based on remediation decisions by combination of plants and microbial processes.

  16. Effect of irrigation systems on temporal distribution of malaria vectors in semi-arid regions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ohta, Shunji; Kaga, Takumi

    2014-04-01

    Previous research models have used climate data to explain habitat conditions of Anopheles mosquitoes transmitting malaria parasites. Although they can estimate mosquito populations with sufficient accuracy in many areas, observational data show that there is a tendency to underestimate the active growth and reproduction period of mosquitoes in semi-arid agricultural regions. In this study, a new, modified model that includes irrigation as a factor was developed to predict the active growing period of mosquitoes more precisely than the base model for ecophysiological and climatological distribution of mosquito generations (ECD-mg). Five sites with complete sets of observational data were selected in semi-arid regions of India for the comparison. The active growing period of mosquitoes determined from the modified ECD-mg model that incorporated the irrigation factor was in agreement with the observational data, whereas the active growing period was underestimated by the previous ECD-mg model that did not incorporate irrigation. This suggests that anthropogenic changes in the water supply due to extensive irrigation can encourage the growth of Anopheles mosquitoes through the alteration of the natural water balance in their habitat. In addition, it was found that the irrigation systems not only enable the active growth of mosquitoes in dry seasons but also play an important role in stabilizing the growth in rainy seasons. Consequently, the irrigation systems could lengthen the annual growing period of Anopheles mosquitoes and increase the maximum generation number of mosquitoes in semi-arid subtropical regions.

  17. 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 sheep to high ambient temperature severely modulates the behavior of sheep which is directed to circumvent the effect of the stressor.

  18. The Dynamics of a Semi-Arid Region in Response to Climate and Water - Use Policy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mustard, John F.; Hamburg, Steve; Grant, John A.; Manning, Sara J.; Steinwand, Aaron; Howard, Chris

    2000-01-01

    The objectives of this project were to determine the response of semi-arid ecosystems to the combined forcings of climate variability and anthropogenic stress. Arid and semi-arid systems encompass close to 40% of the worlds land surface. The ecology of these regions are principally limited by water, and as the water resources wax and wane, so should the health and vigor of the ecosystems. Water, however, is a necessary and critical resource for humans living in these same regions. Thus for many and and semi-arid regions the natural systems and human systems are in direct competition for a limited resource. Increasing competition through development of and and semi-arid regions, export of water resources, as well as potential persistent changes in weather patterns are likely to lead to fundamental changes in carrying capacity, resilience, and ecology of these regions. A detailed understanding of these systems respond to forcing on a regional and local scale is required in order to better prepare for and manage future changes in the availability of water. In the Owens Valley CA, decadal changes in rainfall and increased use of groundwater resources by Los Angles (which derives 60-70% of its water from this region) have resulted in a large-scale experiment on the impacts of these changes in semi-arid ecosystems. This project works directly with the Inyo County Water Department (local water authority) and the Los Angles Department of Water and Power (regional demand on water resources) to understand changes, their causes, and impacts. Very detailed records have been kept for a number of selected sites in the valley which provide essential ground truth. These results are then scaled up through remote sensed data to regions scale to assess large scale patterns and link them to the fundamental decisions regarding the water resources of this region. A fundamental goal is to understand how resilient the native ecosystems are to large changes in water resources. Are they are

  19. 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.

  20. Recharge in karst and dune elements of a semi-arid landscape as indicated by natural isotopes and chloride

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allison, G. B.; Stone, W. J.; Hughes, M. W.

    1985-01-01

    The rates and mechanisms of local recharge in a semi-arid environment have been investigated beneath two major landscape settings in the Murray Basin in South Australia; these were calcrete flats with sinkholes and sand dunes in adjacent landscape settings. Five minor settings were investigated and identified as undisturbed calcrete, primary (older) sinkholes, secondary (younger) sinkholes, sand dunes with native vegetation and sand dunes with introduced pasture. Data from a limited series of boreholes were interpreted to suggest that recharge varied from in excess of 100 mm yr. -1 for secondary sinkholes to less than 0.1 mm yr. -1 beneath sand dunes with native vegetation. The data suggest that recharge under sand dunes has increased by more than two orders of magnitude following clearing of the native vegetation ˜ 50 yr. ago. As ˜ 90% of an area of 10,000 km 2 has been cleared, this clearing has ensured that inflow of saline groundwater to the adjacent River Murray will increase and, in view of the amount of salt stored in both the unsaturated and saturated zones, will continue for a very long time. At sites where the inferred recharge is lowest, profiles of the chloride concentration of soil water are consistent with the hypothesis that there is in excess of 50,000-yr. recharge stored in the thick unsaturated zone. Some evidence for changes in recharge rate over this time scale is seen.

  1. Development of an Evapotranspiration Data Assimilation Technique for Streamflow Estimates: A Case Study in a Semi-Arid Region

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ying Zhang

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Streamflow estimates are substantially important as fresh water shortages increase in arid and semi-arid regions where evapotranspiration (ET is a significant contribution to the water balance. In this regard, evapotranspiration data can be assimilated into a distributed hydrological model (SWAT, Soil and Water Assessment Tool for improving streamflow estimates. The SWAT model has been widely used for streamflow estimations, but the applications combining SWAT and ET products were rare. Thus, this study aims to develop a SWAT-based evapotranspiration data assimilation system. In particular, SWAT is gridded at Hydrologic Response Unit (HRU level to incorporate gridded ET products acquired from the remote sensing-based ETMonitor model. In the modeling case, Gridded SWAT (GSWAT shows a good agreement of streamflow modeling with the original SWAT. Such a scant margin between them is due to the modeling domain mismatch caused by different HRU delineations. In the ET assimilation case, we carry out a synthetic data experiment to illustrate the state augmentation Direct Insertion (DI method and a real data experiment for the upper Heihe River Basin. The results demonstrate the benefits of the ET assimilation for improving hydrologic processes representations. In the future, more remotely sensed data can be assimilated into the data assimilation system to provide more reliable hydrological predictions.

  2. Spatial and temporal distribution of free-living protozoa in aquatic environments of a Brazilian semi-arid region

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maria Luisa Quinino de Medeiros

    2013-08-01

    Full Text Available Free-living protozoa organisms are distributed in aquatic environments and vary widely in both qualitative and quantitative terms. The unique ecological functions they exhibit in their habitats help to maintain the dynamic balance of these environments. Despite their wide range and abundance, studies on geographical distribution and ecology, when compared to other groups, are still scarce. This study aimed to identify and record the occurrence of free-living protozoa at three points in Piancó-Piranhas-Açu basin, in a semi-arid area of Rio Grande do Norte (RN state, and to relate the occurrence of taxa with variations in chlorophyll a, pH and temperature in the environments. Samples were collected in the Armando Ribeiro Gonçalves Dam, from two lentic environments upstream and a lotic ecosystem downstream. Sixty-five taxa of free-living protozoa were found. The Student's t-test showed significant inter-variable differences (p <0.05. Similar protozoan species were recorded under different degrees of trophic status according to chlorophyll a concentrations, suggesting the organisms identified are not ideal for indicating trophic level. We hypothesize that food availability, the influence of lentic and lotic systems and the presence of aquatic macrophytes influenced protozoan dynamics during the study period.

  3. When good practices by water committees are not relevant: Sustainability of small water infrastructures in semi-arid mozambique

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ducrot, Raphaëlle

    2017-12-01

    This paper explores the contradiction between the need for large scale interventions in rural water supplies and the need for flexibility when providing support for community institutions, by investigating the implementation of the Mozambique - National Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Program in a semi-arid district of the Limpopo Basin. Our results showed that coordinated leadership by key committee members, and the level of village governance was more important for borehole sustainability than the normative functioning of the committee. In a context in which the centrality of leadership prevails over collective action the sustainability of rural water infrastructure derives from the ability of leaders to motivate the community to provide supplementary funding. This, in turn, depends on the added value to the community of the water points and on village politics. Any interventions that increased community conflicts, for example because of lack of transparency or unequitable access to the benefit of the intervention, weakened the coordination and the collective action capacity of the community and hence the sustainability of the infrastructures even if the intervention was not directly related to water access. These results stress the importance of the project/program implementation pathway.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. Changes in semi-arid plant species associations along a livestock grazing gradient.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hugo Saiz

    Full Text Available In semi-arid ecosystems, vegetation is heterogeneously distributed, with plant species often associating in patches. These associations between species are not constant, but depend on the particular response of each species to environmental factors. Here, we investigated how plant species associations change in response to livestock grazing in a semi-arid ecosystem, Cabo de Gata-Níjar Natural Park in South East Spain. We established linear point-intercept transects at four sites with different grazing intensity, and recorded all species at each point. We investigated plant associations by comparing the number of times that each pair of species occurred at the same spatial point (co-occurrences, with the expected number of times based on species abundances. We also assessed associations for each shrub and grass species by considering all their pairs of associations and for the whole plant community by considering all pairs of associations on each site. At all sites, the plant community had a negative pattern of association, with fewer co-occurrences than expected. Negative association in the plant community increased at maximum grazing intensity. Most species associated as expected, particularly grass species, and positive associations were most important at intermediate grazing intensities. No species changed its type of association along the grazing gradient. We conclude that in the present plant community, grazing-resistant species compete among themselves and segregate in space. Some shrub species act as refuges for grazing-sensitive species that benefit from being spatially associated with shrub species, particularly at intermediate grazing intensities where positive associations were highest. At high grazing intensity, these shrubs can no longer persist and positive associations decrease due to the disappearance of refuges. Spatial associations between plant species and their response to grazing help identify the factors that organize

  7. Carbon cycle responses of semi-arid ecosystems to positive asymmetry in rainfall.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haverd, Vanessa; Ahlström, Anders; Smith, Benjamin; Canadell, Josep G

    2017-02-01

    Recent evidence shows that warm semi-arid ecosystems are playing a disproportionate role in the interannual variability and greening trend of the global carbon cycle given their mean lower productivity when compared with other biomes (Ahlström et al. 2015 Science, 348, 895). Using multiple observations (land-atmosphere fluxes, biomass, streamflow and remotely sensed vegetation cover) and two state-of-the-art biospheric models, we show that climate variability and extremes lead to positive or negative responses in the biosphere, depending on vegetation type. We find Australia to be a global hot spot for variability, with semi-arid ecosystems in that country exhibiting increased carbon uptake due to both asymmetry in the interannual distribution of rainfall (extrinsic forcing), and asymmetry in the response of gross primary production (GPP) to rainfall change (intrinsic response). The latter is attributable to the pulse-response behaviour of the drought-adapted biota of these systems, a response that is estimated to be as much as half of that from the CO 2 fertilization effect during 1990-2013. Mesic ecosystems, lacking drought-adapted species, did not show an intrinsic asymmetric response. Our findings suggest that a future more variable climate will induce large but contrasting ecosystem responses, differing among biomes globally, independent of changes in mean precipitation alone. The most significant changes are occurring in the extensive arid and semi-arid regions, and we suggest that the reported increased carbon uptake in response to asymmetric responses might be contributing to the observed greening trends there. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  8. Mapping Soil hydrologic features in a semi-arid irrigated area in Spain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiménez-Aguirre, M.° Teresa; Isidoro, Daniel; Usón, Asunción

    2016-04-01

    The lack of soil information is a managerial problem in irrigated areas in Spain. The Violada Irrigation District (VID; 5234 ha) is a gypsic, semi-arid region in the Middle Ebro River Basin, northeast Spain. VID is under irrigation since the 1940's. The implementation of the flood irrigation system gave rise to waterlogging problems, solved along the years with the installation of an artificial drainage network. Aggregated water balances have been performed in VID since the early 1980's considering average soil properties and aggregated irrigation data for the calculations (crop evapotranspiration, canal seepage, and soil drainage). In 2008-2009, 91% of the VID was modernized to sprinkler irrigation. This new system provides detailed irrigation management information that together with detailed soil information would allow for disaggregated water balances for a better understanding of the system. Our goal was to draw a semi-detailed soil map of VID presenting the main soil characteristics related to irrigation management. A second step of the work was to set up pedotransfer functions (PTF) to estimate the water content and saturated hydraulic conductivity (Ks) from easily measurable parameters. Thirty four pits were opened, described and sampled for chemical and physical properties. Thirty three additional auger holes were sampled for water holding capacity (WHC; down to 60 cm), helping to draw the soil units boundaries. And 15 Ks tests (inverse auger hole method) were made. The WHC was determined as the difference between the field capacity (FC) and wilting point (WP) measured in samples dried at 40°C during 5 days. The comparison with old values dried at 105°C for 2 days highlighted the importance of the method when gypsum is present in order to avoid water removal from gypsum molecules. The soil map was drawn down to family level. Thirteen soil units were defined by the combination of five subgroups [Typic Calcixerept (A), Petrocalcic Calcixerept (B), Gypsic

  9. Using GNSS observations to investigate variations of Pluviometry in the Semi-Arid Brazilian region

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silva, Mario; Fernandes, Rui; Nascimento, Aderson; Petta, Reinaldo; Matschullat, Jörg; Monico, João; Bos, Machiel; Sá, Andre; Barbosa, Marx

    2014-05-01

    The Semi-Arid Brazilian region is the most densely populated, semi-arid region in the world. It is located in the Northeastern part of Brazil and corresponds to approximately 982,563 square kilometers (about 11% of the total Brazilian territory). The temperatures remain nearly uniform throughout the year and are typically tropical, often extremely hot with little interannual variability, exert a strong effect on the potential evapotranspiration, which in turn determine the annual water deficit leading to extensive droughts in some years. The annual rainfall averages between 500 and 800 millimeters and have great climatic variability and an irregular distribution in space and time. Most of the year the region is strongly influenced by the inter-tropical convergence zone which remains in the northern hemisphere near the equator most of the year due to the cold waters of the Atlantic Ocean. The GNSS technique has been established as a valid tool to sense the amount of PWV in the atmosphere. The direct estimated product is the ZTD (Zenith Troposphere Delay) that can be transformed to PWV by knowing the Pressure and Temperature at the station position. However, such values are not always collected together with the GNSS observations, which can force us to limit the analysis to the ZTD directly. In this work we have used data of the existing continuous GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite Systems) stations in the Semi-Arid Brazil to investigate the variability of precipitable water vapor (PWV) in the region. We firstly analysis the accuracy of using global models of pressure and temperature fields to calculate the PWV at the GNSS station locations in the Northeast of Brazil. To do such, we have estimated and compared values of PWV using both global models and local measurements at Natal city, Brazil. The differences provide us a reliable estimate of the error associated with the use of global models to compute the PWV from ZTD measurements for Northeastern Brazil. Secondly

  10. Efficiency of water and fertilizer use in semi-arid regions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1976-01-01

    The proceedings contain 14 papers considering problems on soil and soil water, irrigation, and the use of fertilizers in semi-arid zones. Research projects in these fields are discussed and results obtained so far are reported (tables and diagrams on the behaviour of water and fertilizers in soils). The use of radioisotope techniques is mentioned briefly. Finally, some future ''first priority'' research areas are identified and recommendations for further research programs are given. These programs aim at reducing the hazards of crop failure and at increasing production under dry farming conditions

  11. Mashhad Wise Water Forum: a path to sustainable water resources management in a semi-arid region of Iran

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tabatabaee, Seyyed Alireza; Neyshaboori, Shahnaz; Basirat, Ali; Tavakoli Aminiyan, Samaneh; Mirbehrooziyan, Ahmad; Sakhdari, Hossein; Shafiei, Mojtaba; Davary, Kamran

    2016-04-01

    Water is key to sustainable development especially in semi-arid regions in which the main source of water provision is groundwater. Water has value from a social, economic and environmental perspective and is required to be managed within a sound, integrated socio-economic and environmental framework. Mashhad, the second big city in Iran, has been faced with rapid growth rates of population and economic activities. The groundwater in Mashhad basin has been overexploited to meet the increasing trend of water demand during the past 20 years. Consequently, the region has faced with water scarcity and water quality problems which originates from inefficient use and poor management. To tackle the water issue on a durable basis, within the economic, ecological, and political constraints (i.e. the integrated water resources management, IWRM concept), a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO), named as Mashhad Wise Water Forum (MWWF), has been established in 2013 that encompasses contribution of experts from academia, industry, and governmental policy-makers. The MWWF considers the UN-Water IWRM spiral conceptual model (which contains four stages: Recognizing and identifying; Conceptualizing; Coordinating and planning; Implementing, Monitoring and Evaluating) by implicating participatory water management (water users' involvement) methods in Mashhad basin. Furthermore, the MWWF has planned to look at all dimensions of water crisis (i.e. physical, economic, policy and institutional) particularly institutional dimension by gathering all stockholders, beneficiaries and experts in different parts of water policy making in Mashhad basin. The MWWF vision for Mashhad basin is achieving to sustainable equilibrium of water resources and consumptions in the basin by the prospect to 2040 year. So far, the MWWF has tried to understand and deal with regional diversity in legal systems as well as conflicts between private interests and public welfare in water allocation and management. At

  12. A Methodology to Assess and Evaluate Rainwater Harvesting Techniques in (Semi- Arid Regions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ammar Adham

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available Arid and semi-arid regions around the world face water scarcity problems due to lack of precipitation and unpredictable rainfall patterns. For thousands of years, rainwater harvesting (RWH techniques have been applied to cope with water scarcity. Researchers have used many different methodologies for determining suitable sites and techniques for RWH. However, limited attention has been given to the evaluation of RWH structure performance. The aim of this research was to design a scientifically-based, generally applicable methodology to better evaluate the performance of existing RWH techniques in (semi- arid regions. The methodology integrates engineering, biophysical and socio-economic criteria using the Analytical Hierarchy Process (AHP supported by the Geographic Information System (GIS. Jessour/Tabias are the most traditional RWH techniques in the Oum Zessar watershed in south-eastern Tunisia, which were used to test this evaluation tool. Fifty-eight RWH locations (14 jessr and 44 tabia in three main sub-catchments of the watershed were assessed and evaluated. Based on the criteria selected, more than 95% of the assessed sites received low or moderate suitability scores, with only two sites receiving high suitability scores. This integrated methodology, which is highly flexible, saves time and costs, is easy to adapt to different regions and can support designers and decision makers aiming to improve the performance of existing and new RWH sites.

  13. C4 grasses prosper as carbon dioxide eliminates desiccation in warmed semi-arid grassland.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morgan, Jack A; LeCain, Daniel R; Pendall, Elise; Blumenthal, Dana M; Kimball, Bruce A; Carrillo, Yolima; Williams, David G; Heisler-White, Jana; Dijkstra, Feike A; West, Mark

    2011-08-03

    Global warming is predicted to induce desiccation in many world regions through increases in evaporative demand. Rising CO(2) may counter that trend by improving plant water-use efficiency. However, it is not clear how important this CO(2)-enhanced water use efficiency might be in offsetting warming-induced desiccation because higher CO(2) also leads to higher plant biomass, and therefore greater transpirational surface. Furthermore, although warming is predicted to favour warm-season, C(4) grasses, rising CO(2) should favour C(3), or cool-season plants. Here we show in a semi-arid grassland that elevated CO(2) can completely reverse the desiccating effects of moderate warming. Although enrichment of air to 600 p.p.m.v. CO(2) increased soil water content (SWC), 1.5/3.0 °C day/night warming resulted in desiccation, such that combined CO(2) enrichment and warming had no effect on SWC relative to control plots. As predicted, elevated CO(2) favoured C(3) grasses and enhanced stand productivity, whereas warming favoured C(4) grasses. Combined warming and CO(2) enrichment stimulated above-ground growth of C(4) grasses in 2 of 3 years when soil moisture most limited plant productivity. The results indicate that in a warmer, CO(2)-enriched world, both SWC and productivity in semi-arid grasslands may be higher than previously expected.

  14. Effects of rainfall on bird reproduction in a semi-arid Neotropical region

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Liana Monique Paiva Cavalcanti

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT In semi-arid ecosystems, birds commonly use rainfall as a reliable environmental cue to adjust the timing and strength of their reproductive activity. Here we evaluate this hypothesis for a community of birds in the Caatinga (the semi-arid region of northeastern Brazil, using brood patch information and nest abundance. Sampling occurred every 14 days between September 2012 and August 2013 (brood patch, and every three or four days during the reproductive period (nests. Abundance of brood patches and nests were correlated, and all brood patches were recorded between March and July (4.5 to 5.0 months. We recorded three peaks of brood patch abundance: the first 28 days after the first rains, the second 14 days after the second rainfall peak, and the third synchronously with the third rainy period. These results indicate that intra-annual variation in local rainfall has the potential to account for variations in the timing and intensity of reproduction in the studied birds.

  15. Determining erosion and sedimentation chronology on semi-arid catchments using radioisotopes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Polyakov, Viktor; Nichols, Mary; Nearing, Mark

    2015-04-01

    Semi-arid environment is defined by high magnitude, low frequency rainfalls that produce highly variable soil erosion rates. This study attempted to establish erosion dynamic of past 70 years on three small semi-arid catchments with history of grazing and vegetation change. Activity of Cs-137 and excess Pb-210 from 18 cores collected from sedimentation ponds were measured using gamma spectrometer. The sediment was dated using constant initial concentration (CIC) and constant rate of supply (CRS) models. These estimates were compared with direct measurement of aggradation from historic topographic surveys. Sedimentation in the ponds ranged between 3.1 and 5.4 cm/year and the long term average erosion rates on catchments varied between 0.8 and 1.4 t/ha/year. The distribution of excess Pb-210 in the cores was better described by CRS model. Estimated erosion rates were in agreement with those established by other methods for similar catchments in the region. Past variation in sedimentation rates were identified and correlated with recorded history of grazing, vegetation management, and anthropogenic disturbance. Cs-137 and Pb-210 methods are suitable for use in arid environment and can complement each other to increase reliability of sedimentation rate estimates under highly variable hydrologic regimes.

  16. Climate change mitigation by carbon stock - the case of semi-arid West Africa

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lykke, A. M.; Barfod, A. S.; Tinggaard Svendsen, G.; Greve, M.; Svenning, J.-C.

    2009-11-01

    Semi-arid West Africa has not been integrated into the afforestation/reforestation (AR) carbon market. Most projects implemented under the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) have focused on carbon emission reductions from industry and energy consumption, whereas only few (only one in West Africa) have been certified for AR carbon sequestration. A proposed mechanism, Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD) to be discussed under COP15 aims to reduce emissions by conserving already existing forests. REDD has high potential for carbon stocking at low costs, but focuses primarily on rain forest countries and excludes semi-arid West Africa from the preliminary setup. African savannas have potential to store carbon in the present situation with degrading ecosystems and relatively low revenues from crops and cattle, especially if it is possible to combine carbon stocking with promotion of secondary crops such as food resources and traditional medicines harvested on a sustainable basis. Methods for modelling and mapping of potential carbon biomass are being developed, but are still in a preliminary state. Although economic benefits from the sale of carbon credits are likely to be limited, carbon stocking is an interesting option if additional benefits are considered such as improved food security and protection of biodiversity.

  17. Ecophysiological leaf traits of native and exotic palm tree species under semi-arid conditions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Deborah Oliveira

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT The main goal of this study was to evaluate the performance of two palm species under semi-arid conditions during the rainy and dry periods: the semi-arid native Syagrus coronata and a native to tropical America, Acrocomia aculeata. The leaf water potential, gas exchange, leaf soluble sugars, starch, free amino acids, total soluble protein content and morphological traits were measured. The highest leaf water potential and CO2 assimilation values in both species were achieved during the rainy period. In response to the low soil moisture content during the dry period, gas exchange decreased 72 and 92% in S. coronata and A. aculeata, respectively, when compared with values from rainy period. As evergreen plants, both species maintained intact leaf photosynthetic pigment contents during the rainy and dry periods. Other important traits for drought tolerance are larger adaxial surface hypoderm and cuticle found in both species with higher stomatal density on the abaxial leaf surface. When comparing the species, S. coronata exhibited lower sensitivity to low water availability, showing higher CO2assimilation and water use efficiency.

  18. Ecology and functional roles of biological soil crusts in semi-arid ecosystems of Spain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maestre, Fernando T.; Bowker, Matthew A.; Cantón, Yolanda; Castillo-Monroy, Andrea P.; Cortina, Jordi; Escolar, Cristina; Escudero, Adrián; Lázaro, Roberto; Martínez, Isabel

    2015-01-01

    Biological soil crusts (BSCs), composed of lichens, cyanobacteria, mosses, liverworts and microorganisms, are key biotic components of arid and semi-arid ecosystems worldwide. Despite they are widespread in Spain, these organisms have been historically understudied in this country. This trend is beginning to change as a recent wave of research has been identifying BSCs as a model ecological system. Many studies and research projects carried out in Spain have explored the role of BSCs on water, carbon and nitrogen fluxes, the interactions between BSCs and vascular plants, their dynamics after disturbances, and their response to global change, among other topics. In this article we review the growing body of research on BSCs available from semi-arid areas of Spain, highlighting its importance for increasing our knowledge on this group of organisms. We also discuss how it is breaking new ground in emerging research areas on the ecology of BSCs, and how it can be use to guide management and restoration efforts. Finally, we provide directions for future research on the ecology of BSCs in Spain and abroad. PMID:25908884

  19. Impacts of inundation and drought on eukaryote biodiversity in semi-arid floodplain soils.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baldwin, Darren S; Colloff, Matthew J; Rees, Gavin N; Chariton, Anthony A; Watson, Garth O; Court, Leon N; Hartley, Diana M; Morgan, Matthew J; King, Andrew J; Wilson, Jessica S; Hodda, Michael; Hardy, Christopher M

    2013-03-01

    Floodplain ecosystems are characterized by alternating wet and dry phases and periodic inundation defines their ecological character. Climate change, river regulation and the construction of levees have substantially altered natural flooding and drying regimes worldwide with uncertain effects on key biotic groups. In southern Australia, we hypothesized that soil eukaryotic communities in climate change affected areas of a semi-arid floodplain would transition towards comprising mainly dry-soil specialist species with increasing drought severity. Here, we used 18S rRNA amplicon pyrosequencing to measure the eukaryote community composition in soils that had been depleted of water to varying degrees to confirm that reproducible transitional changes occur in eukaryotic biodiversity on this floodplain. Interflood community structures (3 years post-flood) were dominated by persistent rather than either aquatic or dry-specialist organisms. Only 2% of taxa were unique to dry locations by 8 years post-flood, and 10% were restricted to wet locations (inundated a year to 2 weeks post-flood). Almost half (48%) of the total soil biota were detected in both these environments. The discovery of a large suite of organisms able to survive nearly a decade of drought, and up to a year submerged supports the concept of inherent resilience of Australian semi-arid floodplain soil communities under increasing pressure from climatic induced changes in water availability. © 2013 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  20. Groundwater Diffuse Recharge and its Response to Climate Changes in Semi-Arid Northwestern China

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lin Deng

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Understanding the processes and rates of groundwater recharge in arid and semi-arid areas is crucial for utilizing and managing groundwater resources sustainably. We obtained three chloride profiles of the unsaturated-zone in the desert/loess transition zone of northwestern China and reconstructed the groundwater recharge variations over the last 11, 21, and 37 years, respectively, using the generalized chloride mass balance (GCMB method. The average recharge rates were 43.7, 43.5, and 45.1 mm yr-1, respectively, which are similar to those evaluated by the chloride mass balance (CMB or GCMB methods in other semi-arid regions. The results indicate that the annual recharge rates were not in complete linear proportion to the corresponding annual precipitations, although both exhibited descending tendencies on the whole. Comparisons between the daily precipitation aggregate at different intensity and recharge rates reveal that the occurrence of relatively heavy daily precipitation per year may contribute to such nonlinearity between annual precipitation and recharge. The possible influences of vegetation cover alterations following precipitation change cannot be excluded as well. The approximately negative correlation between the average annual recharge and temperature suggests that changes in temperature have had significant influences on recharge.

  1. Evaluation of Solar Chimney Power Plant in Semi-Arid Region of Nigeria

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    G. M. Ngala

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available Solar chimney power plant (SCPP is a renewable energy facility that converts the potential energy in the Sun into kinetic energy and subsequently into electrical energy. The problem of global warming and electricity generation/distribution in Nigeria cannot be over emphasized; however with the vast land in the semi arid region and the potentials of the above technology, high prospects exist for solar chimney as it is a decentralized form of power generation. The aim of this paper was to theoretically evaluate the performance of the solar chimney power plant in semi-arid region of Nigeria, and estimate the amount of electrical energy that can possibly be generated. A mathematical model was used to estimate the amount of power generated, and determine the relationship between various meteorological and physical factors to the power produced. A solar chimney power plant with collector diameter of 700 m and chimney height of 700 m can produce up to 3000 MW of electricity.

  2. 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

  3. Seasonal Solute Cycling by Evapotranspiration and Flooding in a Semi-Arid Delta: The Okavango Delta, Botswana

    Science.gov (United States)

    Atekwana, E. A.; Molwalefhe, L.

    2012-12-01

    The Okavango River in semi-arid northwestern Botswana flows into an endorheic basin where its distributaries are developed on a large alluvial fan to form the dispersal system of the Okavango Delta. The river and its distributaries support a large pristine wetland complex which they inundate annually for 4 to 6 months. The semi-arid climate subjects the river and tributaries to high rates of evapotranspiration causing about 96% of the inflow into Botswana to be lost within the Delta. As an endorheic basin, it is one of the few river systems for which solutes are cycled entirely within the terrestrial system. We hypothesized that the seasonal flood pulse initiated by discharge from tropical Angola and the dense vegetation and hot climate cause variable response to influx, the temporal and spatial distribution and the recycling of solutes. Over a period of two years, we made hourly measurements of water levels, water temperature and electrical conductivity at four select locations distributed spatially across the Okavango Delta. We used SolonistTM level, temperature and conductivity loggers to record the readings. One of our objective was to document changes in water level that reflect flooding and non flooding conditions, water temperature which reflect seasonality and electrical conductivity which approximated the aqueous solute behavior. A second objective was to assess the timing and behavior of the aqueous solutes on a seasonal and short term (daily) basis in order to elucidate the effects of flooding and vegetation on the solute behavior. The flood pulse which enters the delta in February-March is highly attenuated by the redistribution in the distributaries and flooding of the wetlands. Discharge decreases from upstream to downstream due to this and the effects of evapotranspiration. The seasons are clearly observed in the water temperatures with higher water temperatures in the wet summer season and lower temperatures in the dry winter season. Overall, the

  4. 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

  5. A GIS based watershed information system for water resources management and planning in semi-arid areas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tzabiras, John; Spiliotopoulos, Marios; Kokkinos, Kostantinos; Fafoutis, Chrysostomos; Sidiropoulos, Pantelis; Vasiliades, Lampros; Papaioannou, George; Loukas, Athanasios; Mylopoulos, Nikitas

    2015-04-01

    The overall objective of this work is the development of an Information System which could be used by stakeholders for the purposes of water management as well as for planning and strategic decision-making in semi-arid areas. An integrated modeling system has been developed and applied to evaluate the sustainability of water resources management strategies in Lake Karla watershed, Greece. The modeling system, developed in the framework of "HYDROMENTOR" research project, is based on a GIS modelling approach which uses remote sensing data and includes coupled models for the simulation of surface water and groundwater resources, the operation of hydrotechnical projects (reservoir operation and irrigation works) and the estimation of water demands at several spatial scales. Lake Karla basin was the region where the system was tested but the methodology may be the basis for future analysis elsewhere. Τwo (2) base and three (3) management scenarios were investigated. In total, eight (8) water management scenarios were evaluated: i) Base scenario without operation of the reservoir and the designed Lake Karla district irrigation network (actual situation) • Reduction of channel losses • Alteration of irrigation methods • Introduction of greenhouse cultivation ii) Base scenario including the operation of the reservoir and the Lake Karla district irrigation network • Reduction of channel losses • Alteration of irrigation methods • Introduction of greenhouse cultivation The results show that, under the existing water resources management, the water deficit of Lake Karla watershed is very large. However, the operation of the reservoir and the cooperative Lake Karla district irrigation network coupled with water demand management measures, like reduction of water distribution system losses and alteration of irrigation methods, could alleviate the problem and lead to sustainable and ecological use of water resources in the study area. Acknowledgements: This study

  6. Effect of complementary irrigation on yield components and alternate bearing of a traditional olive orchard in semi-arid conditions

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lodolini, E.M.; Polverigiani, S.; Ali, S.; Mutawea, M.; Qutub, M.; Pierini, F.; Neri, D.

    2016-11-01

    Traditional olive orchards are usually not irrigated in the Mediterranean basin, but at those latitudes, the yearly rainfall is frequently insufficient to support equilibrated vegetative growth and high fruit and oil production. This three-year field study investigated the effect of complementary irrigation on olive tree vegetative growth, fruit and oil yield during a biennial alternate bearing cycle in a traditional grove under semi-arid conditions. Adult olive trees (Olea europaea L. cv. Nabali Baladi) were subjected to complementary irrigation in 2011 and 2012 ('on' and 'off' years, respectively) with 6, 10, 15 or 20 m3 of water per tree per season, which corresponded to 14.2%, 23.8%, 35.7% and 47.6% of the whole seasonal evapotranspiration (42 m3 of water per year), respectively. Rain-fed trees were used as control. In 2013, no complementary irrigation was supplied, and any residual effects on the yield components were determined. Results showed that none of the irrigation regimes affected vegetative growth, or olive fruit size (mesocarp and endocarp), as fresh and dry weights. The fruit and oil yield per tree increased compared to the rain-fed conditions only when the threshold of 15 m3 was exceeded, thus inducing a higher crop load compared to the rain-fed control during the 'off' and even further during the 'on' year. No residual effects were registered in 2013. The study showed that complementary irrigation of at least 35% of the seasonal water requirement can produce remarkable positive effects on fruit yield especially during 'on' bearing years. (Author)

  7. Joint meteorological and hydrological drought model: a management tool for proactive water resources planning of semi-arid regions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Modaresi Rad, Arash; Ahmadi Ardakani, Samira; Ghahremani, Zahra; Ghahreman, Bijan; Khalili, Davar

    2016-04-01

    Conventionally drought analysis has been limited to single drought category. Utilization of models incorporating multiple drought categories, can relax this limitation. A copula-based model is proposed, which uses meteorological and hydrological drought indices to assess drought events for ultimate management of water resources, at small scales, i.e., sub-watersheds. The study area is a sub basin located at Karkheh watershed (western Iran), utilizing 41-year data of 4 raingauge stations and one hydrometric station located upstream and at the outlet respectively. Prior to drought analysis, time series of precipitation and streamflow records are investigated for possible dependency/significant trend. Considering the semi-arid nature of the study area, boxplots are utilized to graphically capture the rainy months, which used to evaluate the degree of correlation between streamflow and precipitation records via nonparametric correlations and bivariate tail dependence. Time scales of 3- and 12-month are considered, which are used to study vulnerability of early vegetation establishment and long-term ecosystem resilience, respectively. Among four common goodness of fit tests, the Cramér-von-Mises is found preferable for defining copula distribution functions through Akaike & Bayesian information criteria and coefficient of determination. Furthermore the uncertainty associated with different copula models is measured using the concept of entropy. A new bivariate drought modeling approach is proposed through copulas. The proposed index, named standardized precipitation-streamflow index (SPSI) is compared with two separate indices of streamflow drought index (SDI) and standardized precipitation index (SPI). According to results, the SPSI could detect onset of droughts dominated by precipitation as is similarly indicated by SPI index. It also captures discordant case of normal period precipitation with dry period streamflow and vice versa. Finally, combination of severity

  8. Combination of lumped hydrological and remote-sensing models to evaluate water resources in a semi-arid high altitude ungauged watershed of Sierra Nevada (Southern Spain).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jódar, J; Carpintero, E; Martos-Rosillo, S; Ruiz-Constán, A; Marín-Lechado, C; Cabrera-Arrabal, J A; Navarrete-Mazariegos, E; González-Ramón, A; Lambán, L J; Herrera, C; González-Dugo, M P

    2018-06-01

    Assessing water resources in high mountain semi-arid zones is essential to be able to manage and plan the use of these resources downstream where they are used. However, it is not easy to manage an unknown resource, a situation that is common in the vast majority of high mountain hydrological basins. In the present work, the discharge flow in an ungauged basin is estimated using the hydrological parameters of an HBV (Hydrologiska Byråns Vattenbalansavdelning) model calibrated in a "neighboring gauged basin". The results of the hydrological simulation obtained in terms of average annual discharge are validated using the VI-ETo model. This model relates a simple hydrological balance to the discharge of the basin with the evaporation of the vegetal cover of the soil, and this to the SAVI index, which is obtained remotely by means of satellite images. The results of the modeling for both basins underscore the role of the underground discharge in the total discharge of the hydrological system. This is the result of the deglaciation process suffered by the high mountain areas of the Mediterranean arc. This process increases the infiltration capacity of the terrain, the recharge and therefore the discharge of the aquifers that make up the glacial and periglacial sediments that remain exposed on the surface as witnesses of what was the last glaciation. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  9. Hydrologic feasibility of artificial forestation in the semi-arid Loess Plateau of China

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    T. T. Jin

    2011-08-01

    Full Text Available Hydrologic viability, in terms of moisture availability, is fundamental to ecosystem sustainability in arid and semi-arid regions. In this study, we examine the spatial distribution and after-planting variations of soil moisture content (SMC in black locust tree (Robinia pseudoacacia L. plantings in the Loess Plateau of China at a regional scale. Thirty sites (5 to 45 yr old were selected, spanning an area of 300 km by 190 km in the northern region of the Shaanxi Province. The SMC was measured to a depth of 100 cm at intervals of 10 cm. Geographical, topographic and vegetation information was recorded, and soil organic matter was evaluated. The results show that, at the regional scale, SMC spatial variability was most highly correlated with rainfall. The negative relationship between the SMC at a depth of 20–50 cm and the stand age was stronger than at other depths, although this relationship was not significant at a 5 % level. Watershed analysis shows that the after-planting SMC variation differed depending upon precipitation. The SMC of plantings in areas receiving sufficient precipitation (e.g., mean annual precipitation (MAP of 617 mm may increase with stand age due to improvements in soil water-holding capacity and water-retention abilities after planting. For areas experiencing water shortages (e.g., MAP = 509 mm, evapotranspiration may cause planting soils to dry within the first 20 yr of growth. It is expected that, as arid and semi-arid plantings age, evapotranspiration will decrease, and the soil profile may gradually recover. In extremely dry areas (e.g., MAP = 352 mm, the variation in after-planting SMC with stand age was found to be negligible. The MAP can be used as an index to divide the study area into different ecological regions. Afforestation may sequentially exert positive, negative and negligible effects on SMCs with a decrease in the MAP. Therefore, future restoration measures should correspond to the local climate

  10. Estimation of Spatial Trends in LAI in Heterogeneous Semi-arid Ecosystems using Full Waveform Lidar

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glenn, N. F.; Ilangakoon, N.; Spaete, L.; Dashti, H.

    2017-12-01

    Leaf area index (LAI) is a key structural trait that is defined by the plant functional type (PFT) and controlled by prevailing climate- and human-driven ecosystem stresses. Estimates of LAI using remote sensing techniques are limited by the uncertainties of vegetation inter and intra-gap fraction estimates; this is especially the case in sparse, low stature vegetated ecosystems. Small footprint full waveform lidar digitizes the total amount of return energy with the direction information as a near continuous waveform at a high vertical resolution (1 ns). Thus waveform lidar provides additional data matrices to capture vegetation gaps as well as PFTs that can be used to constrain the uncertainties of LAI estimates. In this study, we calculated a radiometrically calibrated full waveform parameter called backscatter cross section, along with other data matrices from the waveform to estimate vegetation gaps across plots (10 m x 10 m) in a semi-arid ecosystem in the western US. The LAI was then estimated using empirical relationships with directional gap fraction. Full waveform-derived gap fraction based LAI showed a high correlation with field observed shrub LAI (R2 = 0.66, RMSE = 0.24) compared to discrete return lidar based LAI (R2 = 0.01, RMSE = 0.5). The data matrices derived from full waveform lidar classified a number of deciduous and evergreen tree species, shrub species, and bare ground with an overall accuracy of 89% at 10 m. A similar analysis was performed at 1m with overall accuracy of 80%. The next step is to use these relationships to map the PFTs LAI at 10 m spatial scale across the larger study regions. The results show the exciting potential of full waveform lidar to identify plant functional types and LAI in low-stature vegetation dominated semi-arid ecosystems, an ecosystem in which many other remote sensing techniques fail. These results can be used to assess ecosystem state, habitat suitability as well as to constrain model uncertainties in

  11. Hazard analysis of Arid and semi-Arid (ASAL) regions of Kenya.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tabu, J S; Otwelo, J A; Koskei, P; Makokha, P

    2013-06-01

    This paper describes a situationanalysis on hazards in the Arid and semi-Arid lands of Kenya. The leading hazards affecting the Arid and semi-arid lands are mainly natural and include among others drought, floods, and landslides. Other hazards of importance were found to be war and conflict, HIV/AIDS and fires. Over 80% of these are weather related. The overall objective of this study was to prioritize hazards in the ASAL region. Specifically, the study identified the top ten hazards in the ASAL Districts of Kenya, determined Probability of occurrence; Analyzed the potential impact of the hazard and utilizing multiplier effect prioritized the Hazards using a hypothetical model. This was a descriptive study conducted in over half of the Kenya's ASAL Districts in four regions of Lower and Upper Eastern, North Eastern and part of the Coast region. Six Districts were purposively selected per region with six officers from each District all totaling one hundred and forty four. The sectors where respondents were sourced from were Agriculture, Health, local Government, and Provincial Administration, Environment and NGO. The members through a consensus process analyzed hazards in groups of their respective districts using a tool that had been developed and respondents trained on its use. One hundred and forty four (144) officers from Twenty four Districts in the four regions were recruited. One hundred twenty seven (81%) were male and only 27 (19% ) were female The representation of participants per sector was Governance 25% followed by Civil society organizations 21%, Health 16%, Agriculture and arid lands 15%, Research and scientific institutions 13%. The top Priority Hazards identified using the mean score were Drought and famine (5.4) Epidemics and epizootics (3.8), HIV/AIDS (3.6), War and conflict (2.5), Floods (2.5) CONCLUSIONS: The exercise confirmed the priority hazards in the Arid and semi-arid regions of Kenya and described vulnerability factors that included

  12. Season mediates herbivore effects on litter and soil microbial abundance and activity in a semi-arid woodland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aimee T. Classen; Steven T. Overby; Stephen C. Hart; George W. Koch; Thomas G. Whitham

    2007-01-01

    Herbivores can directly impact ecosystem function by altering litter quality of an ecosystem or indirectly by shifting the composition of microbial communities that mediate nutrient processes. We examined the effects of tree susceptibility and resistance to herbivory on litter microarthropod and soil microbial communities to test the general hypothesis that herbivore...

  13. Isotope techniques in water resource investigations in arid and semi-arid regions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    2001-03-01

    The Co-ordinated Research Project (CRP) on the Use of Isotope Techniques in Water Resources Investigations in Arid and Semi-arid Regions was initiated with the aim od contributing to the assessment of groundwater resources in arid areas through the use of environmental isotope techniques, and thereby to help in better management of these valuable fresh groundwater resources. The main emphases identified were in three key areas: (i) the evaluation of water balance components such as recharge rate estimation and recharge and discharge cycles at different spatial scales, (ii) paleohydrology and hydroclimatic change and, (iii) anthropogenic impacts and the assessment of the vulnerability of arid zone ground waters to salinisation and pollution impacts. This publication presents individual projects carried out within the frameworks of the CRP. Each paper has been indexed separately

  14. Transfer of 137Cs in Zea mays and Phaseolus vulgaris in a semi-arid ecosystem

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cervantes, M.L.; Segovia, N.; Gaso P, M.I.; Palacios, J.C.

    1999-01-01

    With the objective to analyse the transference of 137 Cs from soil to plants, it is realized a study in maize and bean plants in the Radioactive Waste Storage Center (CADER). This site is located in a semi-arid region with a characteristic vegetation of a sub humid temperature zone. So those plants maize and beans were cultivated in four zones near CADER during a four years period. The obtained results for 1991 to 1994 for 137 Cs in soil samples for those zones showed an evident contamination in zone 1, due to a rupture of an industrial source. In 1994 the effect of decontamination was evident since the values of specific activity found in roots were around magnitude lesser than found in 1992. In spite of exhaustive studies have been reported about the transference factors for 137 Cs in different agricultural foods, relatively few of them have paid attention to the interactions between cereals and leguminous associated in semiarid ecosystems. (Author)

  15. IMPACT OF ZOOTECHNICAL PARAMETERS ON CELL QUALITY OF CATTLE MILK (SEMI-ARID COSTAL TUNISIA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R. HAJ MBAREK

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available The work was realized on a sample of 50 cattle herds, conducted in aboveground, in a coastal area of the semi-arid Tunisia, by using investigation related to cows and their breeding and milking conditions as well as despoliation in milk control data. Analysis of the data relating to the parameters of udder conformation and cow cleanliness revealed that “Udder depth” settings “Udder cleanliness” have been shown to affect the ICC and are considered factors risk of bovine mastitis. The study of breeding and milking conditions highlight some significant factors on changes on the variation of cell counts and the probability of the spread of mastitis, especially the "No disinfection of teat." The level of housing, the analysis revealed that the use of a litter reduced to half the average of ICC which proved highly related to the cleanliness of both the sleeping area as the udder.

  16. THE EFFECTS OF CLIMATE CHANGE ON ARID AND SEMI-ARID AREAS OF COLOMBIA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniel Pabón-Caicedo José

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available With annual average air temperature and annual precipitation data for the 1971–2000 period and scenarios for the 2011–2040 and 2070–2100 period, in 900 meters of spatial resolution, an aridity index was calculated and the arid and semiarid areas were identified for Colombian territory. By comparing the spatial distributions of the aridity index in different periods, the modification of the coverage of the arid and semiarid areas caused by the climate change were established. It was obtained that climate change will expand the arid and semi-arid areas of the country especially in the Caribbean region, valley of the Magdalena river, the Orinoco and the Amazon, as well as some areas in the Pacific and inter-Andean Nariño and Cauca Valley (Yotoco and Dagua.

  17. Recharge estimation in semi-arid karst catchments: Central West Bank, Palestine

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jebreen, Hassan; Wohnlich, Stefan; Wisotzky, Frank; Banning, Andre; Niedermayr, Andrea; Ghanem, Marwan

    2018-03-01

    Knowledge of groundwater recharge constitutes a valuable tool for sustainable management in karst systems. In this respect, a quantitative evaluation of groundwater recharge can be considered a pre-requisite for the optimal operation of groundwater resources systems, particular for semi-arid areas. This paper demonstrates the processes affecting recharge in Palestine aquifers. The Central Western Catchment is one of the main water supply sources in the West Bank. Quantification of potential recharge rates are estimated using chloride mass balance (CMB) and empirical recharge equations over the catchment. The results showing the spatialized recharge rate, which ranges from 111-216 mm/year, representing 19-37% of the long-term mean annual rainfall. Using Water Balance models and climatological data (e. g. solar radiation, monthly temperature, average monthly relative humidity and precipitation), actual evapotranspiration (AET) is estimated. The mean annual actual evapotranspiration was about 66-70% of precipitation.

  18. 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.

  19. GROWTH OF Mimosa caesalpiniifolia Benth., UNDER SHADE IN THE NORTHEAST SEMI-ARID REGION OF BRAZIL

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    JOSÉ RIVANILDO DE SOUZA PINTO

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Seedling production for reforestation aims to achieve the best plant growth in a minimal amount of time, to provide good survival and growth levels after transplantation. During cultivation, it is necessary to know the shading levels that lead to the best growth. The objective of this study was to assess the growth of young Mimosa caesalpiniifolia Benth. plants provided with various amounts of shade in the northeast semi-arid region of Brazil. Four types of shade cloth were tested (0, 30, 50 and 70%. Shoot length, stem diameter, stem dry matter, leaf dry matter, total dry matter and leaf area were assessed. Leaf area ratio, specific leaf area, absolute growth rate, relative growth rate and net assimilation rate were also calculated. The different shading levels affected M. caesalpinifolia growth, with the best growth indicators observed in plants grown under 50% shade, with increases in plant height, leaf area and total dry matter observed compared to the full sun condition.

  20. Semi-arid savanna of the Potlake Nature Reserve and surrounding areas in Sekhukhuneland, South Africa

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S.J. Siebert

    2003-12-01

    Full Text Available A hierarchical classification, description, and ecological and floristic interpretations are presented on the vegetation types of the semi-arid northern savanna of the Sekhukhuneland Centre of Plant Endemism. Relevés were compiled in 47 stratified random plots. A TWINSPAN classification, refined by Braun-Blanquet procedures, revealed eight plant communities, classified as four associations, one of which is subdivided into five sub-associations. For each plant community, the floristic richness, endemism and conservation status was determined. Much of the plant community distribution can be ascribed to environmental factors and anthropogenic disturbance. An ordination (DECORANA, based on floristic data, showed environmental gradients that possibly exist between plant communities and associated habitats. The floristic information, proposed classification, general description and vegetation key, can be used for the identification and monitoring of protected areas, land-use planning, and further conservation research.

  1. Determinants of tillage frequency among smallholder farmers in two semi-arid areas in Ethiopia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Temesgen, Melesse; Rockstrom, J.; Savenije, H. H. G.; Hoogmoed, W. B.; Alemu, Dawit

    Traditional tillage systems practiced by farmers in semi-arid regions of Ethiopia are characterized by repeated and cross plowing with an indigenous plow called Maresha. Repeated and cross plowing have led to land degradation. Conservation tillage systems that advocate minimum soil disturbance can alleviate land degradation problems. However, before introducing reduced tillage systems, it was found necessary to study why farmers undertake repeated plowing. The study was undertaken in two semi-arid areas called Melkawoba and Wulinchity located in the central rift valley of Ethiopia and on two major crops; Tef ( Eragrostis Tef (Zucc.)) and maize ( Zea mays XX). Fifty farmers from each area were randomly selected and interviewed using a structured questionnaire. The results showed that farmers in the study area plow repeatedly in order to completely disturb unplowed strips of land left between adjacent furrows. Unplowed strips are the results of the V-shaped furrows created by the Maresha plow. Farmers generally do not plow before the soil is wetted by rainfall. Wetting and drying cycles due to dry spells occurring between rainfall events force farmers to plow frequently to avoid moisture losses through surface runoff, evaporation and weed transpiration. Tef fields are plowed 4-5 times while maize fields are plowed 3-4 times. Tillage frequency increased with the education level and experience of farmers; with their perception about the purpose of tillage such as moisture conservation, weed control and soil warming; and with resource availability such as area of land and family labor. Tillage frequency was higher for Tef than for maize and in heavy soils than in light soils.

  2. Climate change in semi-arid Malawi: Perceptions, adaptation strategies and water governance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Miriam K. Joshua

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available Climate change and variability are a threat to sustainable agricultural production in semi-arid areas of Malawi. Overdependence on subsistence rain-fed agriculture in these areas calls for the identification of sustainable adaptation strategies. A study was therefore conducted in Chikwawa, a semi-arid district in southern Malawi, to: (1 assess community’s perception of a changing climate against empirical evidence, (2 determine their local adaptive measures, (3 evaluate the potential of irrigated agriculture as an adaptive measure in household food security and (4 challenges over access to available water resources. The study employed focus group discussions and key informant interviews to assess people’s perceptions of climate change and variability and their desired interventions. To validate the people’s perceptions, rainfall and temperature data for the period 1960–2010 were analysed. A participatory complete randomised experimental design in both rain-fed and dry season–irrigated conditions was conducted to assess a maize cropping system that would improve adaptation. The study established persistent declining yields from rain-fed production in part because of perennial rainfall failure. In response, the community has shifted its focus to irrigation as an adaptation strategy, which has in turn triggered water conflicts in the community over the control of the resource. Water legislation however fails to adequately provide for rules governing sharing of water resources between various stakeholders. This article therefore recommends development of an appropriate institutional framework that forms a strong basis for equitable distribution of water for irrigation in areas most vulnerable to extreme climate events – including droughts and floods. Keywords: Food Security; Climate Change and Variability; Rainfall Variability; Irrigation; Water Resources; Governance Crisis

  3. Sediment delivery ratio in a small semi-arid watershed under conditions of low connectivity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Julio Cesar Neves dos Santos

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT The semi-arid region in the northeast of Brazil is characterised by rains of high intensity and short duration, with the processes of erosion being aggravated by an inappropriate land-use model. In this region, the lack of measured data for runoff and sediment yield increases the need to apply hydro-sedimentological models in estimating erosion, requiring knowledge of the actual sediment delivery ratio for the region. The aim of this study therefore, was to map soil erosion, making use of the Universal Soil Loss Equation (USLE, in the Iguatu Experimental Watershed (IEW. The mean annual sediment delivery ratio (SDR, and the SDR for individual events, was calculated from hydro-sedimentological measurements, contributing to an understanding of the processes of sediment propagation in the Brazilian semi-arid region, allowing identification of areas susceptible to water erosion. The IEW has an area of 16.74 km2 and is equipped with sensors for the continuous measurement of rainfall, flow and sediment yield. The mean annual SDR for the IEW was 0.37%. The SDR for individual rainfall events ranged from 0.08 to 1.67%, with an average of 0.68%. Among the main variables that influence the SDR for individual events is the magnitude of rainfall depth and antecedent soil moisture that can be better represented by the total antecedent precipitation of the previous 15 days. According to maps of soil loss, only 6.27% of the watershed presented losses beyond tolerable limits.

  4. Spatial variations of shallow and deep soil moisture in the semi-arid Loess Plateau, China

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    L. Yang

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available Soil moisture in deep soil layers is an important relatively stable water resource for vegetation growth in the semi-arid Loess Plateau of China. Characterizing the spatial variations of deep soil moisture with respect to the topographic conditions has significant importance for vegetation restoration. In this study, we focused on analyzing the spatial variations and factors influencing soil moisture content (SMC in shallow (0–2 m and deep (2–8 m soil layers, based on soil moisture observations in the Longtan watershed, Dingxi, Gansu province. The vegetation type of each sampling site for each comparison is same and varies by different positions, gradients, or aspects. The following discoveries were captured: (1 in comparison with shallow SMC, slope position and slope aspect may affect shallow soil moisture more than deep layers, while slope gradient affects both shallow and deep soil moisture significantly. This indicates that a great difference in deep soil hydrological processes between shallow and deep soil moisture remains that can be attributed to the introduced vegetation and topography. (2 A clear negative relationship exists between vegetation growth condition and deep soil moisture, which indicates that plants under different growing conditions may differ in consuming soil moisture, thus causing higher spatial variations in deep soil moisture. (3 The dynamic role of slope position and slope aspect on deep soil moisture has been changed due to large-scale plantation in semi-arid environment. Consequently, vegetation growth conditions and slope gradients may become the key factors dominating the spatial variations in deep soil moisture.

  5. Improving satellite-based post-fire evapotranspiration estimates in semi-arid regions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poon, P.; Kinoshita, A. M.

    2017-12-01

    Climate change and anthropogenic factors contribute to the increased frequency, duration, and size of wildfires, which can alter ecosystem and hydrological processes. The loss of vegetation canopy and ground cover reduces interception and alters evapotranspiration (ET) dynamics in riparian areas, which can impact rainfall-runoff partitioning. Previous research evaluated the spatial and temporal trends of ET based on burn severity and observed an annual decrease of 120 mm on average for three years after fire. Building upon these results, this research focuses on the Coyote Fire in San Diego, California (USA), which burned a total of 76 km2 in 2003 to calibrate and improve satellite-based ET estimates in semi-arid regions affected by wildfire. The current work utilizes satellite-based products and techniques such as the Google Earth Engine Application programming interface (API). Various ET models (ie. Operational Simplified Surface Energy Balance Model (SSEBop)) are compared to the latent heat flux from two AmeriFlux eddy covariance towers, Sky Oaks Young (US-SO3), and Old Stand (US-SO2), from 2000 - 2015. The Old Stand tower has a low burn severity and the Young Stand tower has a moderate to high burn severity. Both towers are used to validate spatial ET estimates. Furthermore, variables and indices, such as Enhanced Vegetation Index (EVI), Normalized Difference Moisture Index (NDMI), and the Normalized Burn Ratio (NBR) are utilized to evaluate satellite-based ET through a multivariate statistical analysis at both sites. This point-scale study will able to improve ET estimates in spatially diverse regions. Results from this research will contribute to the development of a post-wildfire ET model for semi-arid regions. Accurate estimates of post-fire ET will provide a better representation of vegetation and hydrologic recovery, which can be used to improve hydrologic models and predictions.

  6. [Effect of Biochar on Soil Greenhouse Gas Emissions in Semi-arid Region].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guo, Yan-liang; Wang, Dan-dan; Zheng, Ji-yong; Zhao, Shi-wei; Zhang, Xing-chang

    2015-09-01

    This study aimed to investigate the effects of biochar addition on the emission of greenhouse gases from farmland soil in semi-arid region. Through an in-situ experiments, the influence of sawdust biochar(J) and locust tree skin biochar (H) at three doses (1%, 3%, and 5% of quality percentage) on C2, CH4 and N2O emissions were studied within the six months in the south of Ningxiaprovince. The results indicated that soil CO2 emission flux was slightly increased with the addition doses for both biochars, and the averaged CO2 emission flux for sawdust and locust tree skin biochar was enhanced by 1. 89% and 3. 34% compared to the control, but the difference between treatments was not statistically significant. The soil CH4 emission was decreased with the increasing of biochar doses, by 1. 17%, 2. 55%, 4. 32% for J1, J3, J5 and 2. 35%, 5. 83%, 7. 32% for H1, H3, H5, respectively. However, the difference was statistically significant only for J5, H3 and H5 treatments (P effect on soil N2O emission. Our study indicated that the biochar has no significant influence on soil CO2 and N2O emissions within six months in semi-arid region and can significantly influence soil CH4 emissions (P < 0. 05). As for biochar type, the locust tree skin biochar is significantly better than the sawdust biochar in terms of restraining CH4 emission(P = 0. 048).

  7. Antiproliferative activity, antioxidant capacity and tannin content in plants of semi-arid northeastern Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gomes de Melo, Joabe; de Sousa Araújo, Thiago Antônio; Thijan Nobre de Almeida e Castro, Valérium; Lyra de Vasconcelos Cabral, Daniela; do Desterro Rodrigues, Maria; Carneiro do Nascimento, Silene; Cavalcanti de Amorim, Elba Lúcia; de Albuquerque, Ulysses Paulino

    2010-11-24

    The objective of this study was to evaluate antiproliferative activity, antioxidant capacity and tannin content in plants from semi-arid northeastern Brazil (Caatinga). For this study, we selected 14 species and we assayed the methanol extracts for antiproliferative activity against the HEp-2 (laryngeal cancer) and NCI-H292 (lung cancer) cell lines using the (3-[4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl]-2,5-diphenyltetrazole) (MTT) method. In addition, the antioxidant activity was evaluated with the DPPH (2,2-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl) assay, and the tannin content was determined by the radial diffusion method. Plants with better antioxidant activity (expressed in a dose able to decrease the initial DPPH concentration by 50%, or IC50) and with higher levels of tannins were: Poincianella pyramidalis (42.95±1.77 µg/mL IC50 and 8.17±0.64 tannin content), Jatropha mollissima (54.09±4.36µg/mL IC50 and 2.35±0.08 tannin content) and Anadenanthera colubrina (73.24±1.47 µg/mL IC50 and 4.41±0.47 tannin content). Plants with enhanced antiproliferative activity (% living cells) were Annona muricata (24.94±0.74 in NCI-H292), Lantana camara (25.8±0.19 in NCI-H292), Handroanthus impetiginosus (41.8±0.47 in NCI-H292) and Mentzelia aspera (45.61±1.94 in HEp-2). For species with better antioxidant and antiproliferative activities, we suggest future in vitro and in vivo comparative studies with other pharmacological models, and to start a process of purification and identification of the possible molecule(s) responsible for the observed pharmacological activity. We believe that the flora of Brazilian semi-arid areas can be a valuable source of plants rich in tannins, cytotoxic compounds and antioxidant agents.

  8. Systematic revision of the marbled velvet geckos (Oedura marmorata species complex, Diplodactylidae) from the Australian arid and semi-arid zones.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oliver, Paul M; Doughty, Paul

    2016-03-08

    Lizards restricted to rocky habitats often comprise numerous deeply divergent lineages, reflecting the disjunct nature of their preferred habitat and the capacity of rocky habitats to function as evolutionary refugia. Here we review the systematics and diversity of the predominantly saxicoline Australian marbled velvet geckos (genus Oedura) in the Australian arid and semi-arid zones using newly-gathered morphological data and previously published genetic data. Earlier work showed that four largely allopatric and genetically divergent lineages are present: Western (Pilbara and Gascoyne regions), Gulf (west and south of the Gulf of Carpentaria), Central (central ranges) and Eastern (Cooper and Darling Basins). None of these four populations are conspecific with true O. marmorata, a seperate species complex that is restricted to the Top End region of the Northern Territory. Top End forms share a short, bulbous tail whereas the other four lineages treated here possess a long, tapering tail. Morphological differences among the arid and semi-arid lineages include smaller body size, tapering lamellae and a shorter tail for the Gulf population, and a partially divided rostral scale in the Western population compared to the Central and Eastern populations. Accordingly, we resurrect O. cincta de Vis from synonymy for the Central and Eastern lineages, and regard this species as being comprised of two evolutionary significant units. We also describe the Gulf and Western lineages as new species: Oedura bella sp. nov. and O. fimbria sp. nov., respectively. We note that a predominantly arboreal lineage (the Eastern lineage of O. cincta) is more widely distributed than the other lineages and is phylogenetically nested within a saxicoline clade, but tends to have a deeper head and shorter limbs, consistent with morphological variation observed in other lizard radiations including both saxicoline and arboreal taxa.

  9. A spatio-temporal evaluation of the WRF physical parameterisations for numerical rainfall simulation in semi-humid and semi-arid catchments of Northern China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tian, Jiyang; Liu, Jia; Wang, Jianhua; Li, Chuanzhe; Yu, Fuliang; Chu, Zhigang

    2017-07-01

    Mesoscale Numerical Weather Prediction systems can provide rainfall products at high resolutions in space and time, playing an increasingly more important role in water management and flood forecasting. The Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model is one of the most popular mesoscale systems and has been extensively used in research and practice. However, for hydrologists, an unsolved question must be addressed before each model application in a different target area. That is, how are the most appropriate combinations of physical parameterisations from the vast WRF library selected to provide the best downscaled rainfall? In this study, the WRF model was applied with 12 designed parameterisation schemes with different combinations of physical parameterisations, including microphysics, radiation, planetary boundary layer (PBL), land-surface model (LSM) and cumulus parameterisations. The selected study areas are two semi-humid and semi-arid catchments located in the Daqinghe River basin, Northern China. The performance of WRF with different parameterisation schemes is tested for simulating eight typical 24-h storm events with different evenness in space and time. In addition to the cumulative rainfall amount, the spatial and temporal patterns of the simulated rainfall are evaluated based on a two-dimensional composed verification statistic. Among the 12 parameterisation schemes, Scheme 4 outperforms the other schemes with the best average performance in simulating rainfall totals and temporal patterns; in contrast, Scheme 6 is generally a good choice for simulations of spatial rainfall distributions. Regarding the individual parameterisations, Single-Moment 6 (WSM6), Yonsei University (YSU), Kain-Fritsch (KF) and Grell-Devenyi (GD) are better choices for microphysics, planetary boundary layers (PBL) and cumulus parameterisations, respectively, in the study area. These findings provide helpful information for WRF rainfall downscaling in semi-humid and semi-arid

  10. Burning crop residues under no-till in semi-arid land, Northern Spain - effects on soil organic matter, aggregation, and earthwor populations.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Virto, I.; Imaz, M.J.; Enrique, A.; Hoogmoed, W.B.; Bescansa, P.

    2007-01-01

    Stubble burning has traditionally been used in semi-arid land for pest and weed control, and to remove the excess of crop residues before seeding in no-tillage systems. We compared differences in soil properties in a long-term (10 years) tillage trial on a carbonated soil in semi-arid north-east

  11. Genetic characterization of Kyrgyzstan fine-leaved Festuca valesiaca germplasm for use in semi-arid low-maintenance turf applications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fine-leaved Festuca valesiaca Shleidcher ex. Gaudin (2n = 2x-4x) is native to heavily grazed, cold, semi-arid, Asian rangelands. However, its potential for low-maintenance turf applications in the semi-arid western United States and its relatedness to other agriculturally important Festuca species ...

  12. Harvesting water for living with drought: Insights from the Brazilian human coexistence with semi-aridity approach towards achieving the sustainable development goals

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lindoso, D.P.; Eiró de Oliveira, F.H.; Bursztyn, M.; Rodrigues-Filho, S.; Nasuti, S.

    2018-01-01

    The Semi-Arid region of Brazil (SAB) has been periodically affected by moderate to extreme droughts, jeopardizing livelihoods and severely impacting the life standards of millions of family farmers. In the early 1990s the Human Coexistence with Semi-Aridity (HCSA) emerged as a development approach.

  13. Soil moisture and soil loss study under different cover densities in Ultisolsin Pernambuco State semi-arid (Brazil)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borges, T. K. S.; Montenegro, A. A. A.; Santos, T. E. M.; Silva Junior, V. P.; Siqueira, G. M.

    2012-04-01

    Throughout Brazil occurs a large loss of soil and water runoff due to soil erosion especially in rural areas. The soil moisture monitoringhas been a practice increasingly important in agriculture, especially in regions where water scarcity is high and rainfed cropping is adopted. The soil cover is one of the factors that minimize these effects of degradation arising from agricultural land use. To monitor the water content in the soil profile, point measurements were performed using an FDR equipment, which is a capacitance probe, Diviner 2000 ® model, the Sentek Pty Ltd, Australia. The objective of this study was to investigate the dynamics of soil water content under different types of ground cover, using a probe and the Diviner soil loss in the semi-arid Pernambuco. The study was carried out in the Municipality of Pesqueira-PE, located in the State of Pernambuco, in the Alto Ipanema Representative Basin, with average annual rainfall of 730 mm and average annual potential evapotranspiration of 1683 mm. The soil of the study areas is classified as Eutrophic Yellow Ultisol abruptly (Area A) and typical Eutrophic Yellow Ultisol (Area B). For this, study three experimental plots were installed in two different areas, totalling six plots, bounded by brick, with 4.5 m wide and 11 m long in the direction of the slope, under three soil cover conditions. The treatments involved in this study are: bare soil (SD); with cactus (P) and natural cover (CN). The water content in soil was evaluated at 0.10, 0.20 and 0.30 m at the soil profile and sediment sampling were carried out fortnightly between April and July 2011 (rainy season). In this work we used cumulative precipitation for seven and fourteen days before the readings with the Divinerprobe. The highest rainfall is concentrated during the months of May and July of 2011, and May is the month with the highest cumulative rainfall. April received the lowest rainfall, considered the driest. The water content in the soil

  14. Using ISBA model for partitioning evapotranspiration into soil evaporation and plant transpiration of irrigated crops under semi-arid climate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aouade, Ghizlane; Jarlan, Lionel; Ezzahar, Jamal; Er-raki, Salah; Napoly, Adrien; Benkaddour, Abdelfettah; Khabba, Said; Boulet, Gilles; Chehbouni, Abdelghani; Boone, Aaron

    2016-04-01

    The Haouz region, typical of southern Mediterranean basins, is characterized by a semi-arid climate, with average annual rainfall of 250, whilst evaporative demand is about 1600 mm per year. Under these conditions, crop irrigation is inevitable for growth and development. Irrigated agriculture currently consumes the majority of total available water (up to 85%), making it critical for more efficient water use. Flood irrigation is widely practiced by the majority of the farmers (more than 85 %) with an efficiency which does not exceed 50%. In this context, a good knowledge of the partitioning of evapotranspiration (ET) into soil evaporation and plant transpiration is of crucial need for improving the irrigation scheduling and thus water use efficiency. In this study, the ISBA (Interactions Soil-Biosphere-Atmosphere) model was used for estimating ET and its partition over an olive orchard and a wheat field located near to the Marrakech City (Centre of Morocco). Two versions were evaluated: standard version which simulates a single energy balance for the soil and vegetation and the recently developed multiple energy balance (MEB) version which solves a separate energy balance for each of the two sources. Eddy covariance system, which provides the sensible and latent heat fluxes and meteorological instruments were operated during years 2003-2004 for the Olive Orchard and during years 2013 for wheat. The transpiration component was measured using a Sap flow system during summer over the wheat crop and stable isotope samples were gathered over wheat. The comparison between ET estimated by ISBA model and that measured by the Eddy covariance system showed that MEB version yielded a remarkable improvement compared to the standard version. The root mean square error (RMSE) and the correlation coefficient (R²) were about 45wm-2 and 0.8 for MEB version. By contrast, for the standard version, the RMSE and R² were about 60wm-2 and 0.7, respectively. The result also showed that

  15. Rainfed agriculture in a semi-arid tropical climate : aspects of land- and watermanagement for red soils in India

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Huibers, F.P.

    1985-01-01

    Rainfed agriculture is defined as the production of field crops that completely depend on the local precipitation for their water supply. Although in the semi-arid tropics the mean annual precipitation might seem to be sufficient to grow (adapted) crops, its variability over the years and

  16. Overlap in nitrogen sources and redistribution of nitrogen between trees and grasses in a semi-arid savanna

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Priyadarshini, K.V.R.; Prins, H.H.T.; Bie, de S.; Heitkonig, I.M.A.; Woodborne, S.; Gort, G.; Kirkman, K.; Fry, B.; Kroon, de H.

    2014-01-01

    A key question in savanna ecology is how trees and grasses coexist under N limitation. We used N stable isotopes and N content to study N source partitioning across seasons from trees and associated grasses in a semi-arid savanna. We also used 15N tracer additions to investigate possible

  17. Biophysical controls on canopy transpiration in a black locust ( Robinia pseudoacacia ) plantation on the semi-arid Loess Plateau, China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lei Jiao; Nan Lu; Ge Sun; Eric J. Ward; Bojie Fu

    2015-01-01

    In the semi-arid Loess Plateau of China, black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia) was widely planted for soil conservation and afforestation purposes during the past three decades. Investigating biophysical controls on canopy transpiration (Ec) of the plantations is essential to understanding the effects of afforestation on watershed hydrology and regional water resources....

  18. Simply obtained global radiation, soil temperature and soil moisture in an alley cropping system in semi-arid Kenya

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mungai, D.N.; Stigter, C.J.; Coulson, C.L.; Ng'ang'a, J.K.

    2000-01-01

    Global radiation, soil temperature and soil moisture data were obtained from a 4-6 year old Cassia siamea/maize (CM) alley cropping (or hedgerow intercropping) system, at a semi-arid site at Machakos, Kenya, in the late eighties. With the growing need to explore and manage variations in

  19. 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

  20. Agroforestry enables high efficiency of light capture, photosynthesis and dry matter production in a semi-arid climate

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Zhang, Dongsheng; Du, Guijuan; Sun, Zhanxiang; Bai, Wei; Wang, Qi; Feng, Liangshan; Zheng, Jiaming; Zhang, Zhe; Liu, Yang; Yang, Shu; Yang, Ning; Feng, Chen; Cai, Qian; Evers, Jochem B.; Werf, van der Wopke; Zhang, Lizhen

    2018-01-01

    Agroforestry systems, which combine annual crops with trees, are used widely in semi-arid regions to reduce wind erosion and improve resource (e.g. water) use efficiency. Limited knowledge is available on optimizing such systems by the choice of crop species with specific physiological traits (i.e.

  1. Soil tillage and water infiltration in semi-arid Morocco: the role fo surface and sub-surface soil conditions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Dimanche, P.H.; Hoogmoed, W.B.

    2002-01-01

    Production of cereals in a dryland farming system forms an important part of agricultural production in Morocco. Yield levels on the Saïs Plateau between Meknès and Fez in the semi-arid zone, however, remain low possibly because of sub-optimum water use due to inefficient tillage systems. A study

  2. Development of spatial heterogeneity in vegetation and soil properties after land abandonment in a semi-arid ecosystem

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lesschen, J.P.; Cammeraat, L.H.; Kooijman, A.M.; van Wesemael, B.

    2008-01-01

    To mitigate erosion on abandoned fields in semi-arid ecosystems, it is important to understand how vegetation and soil properties and patterns develop after land abandonment. Our objective was to investigate the development of spatial heterogeneity in vegetation and soil properties after land

  3. Soil nutrient and sediment loss as affected by erosion barriers and nutrient source in semi-arid Burkina Faso

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Zougmore, R.; Mando, A.; Stroosnijder, L.

    2009-01-01

    In semi-arid Sahel, soil erosion by water is one major factor accounting for negative nutrient balances in agricultural systems. A field experiment was conducted on a Ferric Lixisol in Burkina Faso to assess the effects of soil and water conservation barriers (stone rows or grass strips of

  4. On the methods of studying of paragenetic complexes of semi-arid landscapes of Terek-and-Kuma lowland

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available Researches, undertaken on the agro-amelioration polygon of the semi-arid landscape in the Tersco-Kumskaye lowland of the Northern Daghestan prove that paragenetik complexes present correlative dynamic system, aspiring in connections destruction to their initial state.

  5. Effects of feral free-roaming horses on semi-arid rangeland ecosystems: an example from the sagebrush steppe

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feral horses (Equus caballus) are viewed as a symbol of freedom and power; however, they are also a largely unmanaged, non-native grazer in North America, South America, and Australia. Information on their influence on vegetation and soil characteristics in semi-arid rangelands has been limited by ...

  6. Drivers of inter-annual variability in Net Ecosystem Exchange in a semi-arid savanna ecosystem, South Africa

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Archibald, SA

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available and filling gaps in eddy-covariance data in semi-arid systems were developed. Net ecosystem exchange (NEE) in these systems occurs as pulses associated with rainfall events, a pattern not well-represented in current standard gap-filling procedures developed...

  7. Tailoring conservation agriculture technologies to West Africa semi-arid zones: Building on traditional local practices for soil restoration

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lahmar, R.; Bationo, B.A.; Lamso, N.D.; Guéro, Y.; Tittonell, P.A.

    2012-01-01

    Low inherent fertility of tropical soils and degradation, nutrient deficiency and water stress are the key factors that hamper rainfed agriculture in semi-arid West Africa. Conservation Agriculture (CA) is currently promoted in the region as a technology to reduce soil degradation, mitigate the

  8. The role of reproductive plant traits and biotic interactions in the dynamics of semi-arid plant communities

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Pueyo, Y.; Kefi, S.; Diaz-Sierra, R.; Alados, C.L. y; Rietkerk, M.G.

    2010-01-01

    The dynamics of semi-arid plant communities are determined by the interplay between competition and facilitation among plants. The sign and strength of these biotic interactions depend on plant traits. However, the relationships between plant traits and biotic interactions, and the consequences for

  9. Small-Scale Farming in Semi-Arid Areas: Livelihood Dynamics between 1997 and 2010 in Laikipia, Kenya

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ulrich, Anne; Speranza, Chinwe Ifejika; Roden, Paul; Kiteme, Boniface; Wiesmann, Urs; Nusser, Marcus

    2012-01-01

    The rural population of semi-arid lands in Kenya face multiple challenges that result from population growth, poor markets, land use and climatic changes. In particular, subsistence oriented farmers face various risks and opportunities in their attempt to secure their livelihoods. This paper presents an analysis on how livelihood assets and…

  10. Modeling gross primary production in semi-arid Inner Mongolia using MODIS imagery and eddy covariance data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ranjeet John; Jiquan Chen; Asko Noormets; Xiangming Xiao; Jianye Xu; Nan Lu; Shiping Chen

    2013-01-01

    We evaluate the modelling of carbon fluxes from eddy covariance (EC) tower observations in different water-limited land-cover/land-use (LCLU) and biome types in semi-arid Inner Mongolia, China. The vegetation photosynthesis model (VPM) and modified VPM (MVPM), driven by the enhanced vegetation index (EVI) and land-surface water index (LSWI), which were derived from the...

  11. Productivity and residual benefits of grain legumes to sorghum under semi-arid conditions in southwestern Zimbabwe

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2007-01-01

    The productivity and residual benefits of four grain legumes to sorghum (Sorghum bicolor) grown in rotation were measured under semi-arid conditions over three cropping seasons. Two varieties of each of the grain legumes; cowpea (Vigna unguiculata); groundnut (Arachis hypogaea); pigeon pea (Cajanus

  12. Regional integrated modelling of climate change impacts on natural resources and resource usage in semi-arid Norhteast Brazil

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Krol, Martinus S.; Bronstert, Axel

    2007-01-01

    Semi-arid regions are characterised by a high vulnerability of natural resources to climate change, pronounced climatic variability and often by water scarcity and related social stress. The analysis of the dynamics of natural conditions and the assessment of possible strategies to cope with

  13. Approaches of Integrated Watershed Management Project: Experiences of the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mula, Rosana P.; Wani, Suhas P.; Dar, William D.

    2008-01-01

    The process of innovation-development to scaling is varied and complex. Various actors are involved in every stage of the process. In scaling the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT)-led integrated watershed management projects in India and South Asia, three drivers were identified--islanding approach,…

  14. Predicting germination in semi-arid wildland seedbeds II. Field validation of wet thermal-time models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jennifer K. Rawlins; Bruce A. Roundy; Dennis Eggett; Nathan. Cline

    2011-01-01

    Accurate prediction of germination for species used for semi-arid land revegetation would support selection of plant materials for specific climatic conditions and sites. Wet thermal-time models predict germination time by summing progress toward germination subpopulation percentages as a function of temperature across intermittent wet periods or within singular wet...

  15. Off-farm income, risk, and agricultural production: a case study of smallholders in India's semi-arid tropics

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Berg, van den M.M.

    2001-01-01

    The purpose of the current study was to determine to what extent development of the nonfarm sector stimulates crop production and agricultural employment in India's semi-arid tropics (SAT). Two characteristics of India's SAT agriculture formed the basis for the study: i) that the major

  16. A study of the effectiveness and application of environmental tritium as a ground water tracer in a semi-arid region in Botswana

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Verhagen, B.T.; Sellschop, J.P.F.; Jennings, C.M.H.

    1974-11-01

    This report describes a long-term investigation of ground water with environmental tritium in a semi-arid area in the southern Hemisphere. The objectives of the investigation were to evaluate the effectiveness of tritium as a tracer at very low levels and to apply it to the study of some ground water systems. The laboratory and field methods employed are briefly described and some interpretational methods (models) discussed. Infiltration measurements by tritium in soil moisture from two different sites are discussed. The hydrological situation of Lobatse is described and the 'classical' parameters for the different ground-water basins given. Tritium results for the different basins are discussed and certain qualitative and quantitative deductions made. A complete model for the behavior of the Lobatse Western basin is assembled. Analysis of the Eastern and Lobatse Estates Southern basins shows that substantial sub-surface recharge is taking place in both cases. Applying the Western basin model to Lobatse Estates Central basin accounts for the whole water inventory of that basin. Radiocarbon and stable isotope data are presented that mostly corroborate the findings from the tritium survey. The Serowe aquifer is described and its incomplete state of hydrological analysis. The recharge to the sandstone aquifer as traced by tritium and water chemistry is described in some detail showing that the infiltration of rain is occurring over a much wider area than previously believed. Applying a tritium balance argument a storage per unit area is calculated which lies within the range calculated from laboratory determined porosities. The conclusions from the different sections of the report are drawn together and discussed in a final chapter. The overall conclusion is that environmental tritium is a unique tool in evaluating hydrological parameters in relatively small basins in a southern Hemisphere environment

  17. Food resources used by three species of fish in the semi-arid region of Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Márcio J. da Silva

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Temporary and semi-permanent aquatic habitats in semi-arid Brazil have been reported as important sites supporting a diverse fish fauna. As such, they must be able to trophically sustain fish species that feed at different trophic levels. This study aims to describe the diets of Astyanax aff. bimaculatus, Hoplias malabaricus and Prochilodus brevis in aquatic systems in semi-arid Brazil, providing evidence of the importance of these habitats as supporters of large consumers like fish. The diet of the three species studied was diverse, feeding on a range of food items, from microalgae to fish. Despite that, a few items were more important to each of the study species. These results and the relatively high rates of stomach fullness indicate that a diverse and abundant food range is available in the study sites, but species seem to select some food resources. The present study provides evidence that despite being highly variable, intermittent and semi-permanent aquatic systems in semi-arid Brazil are able to trophically sustain large consumers.Os ambientes aquáticos temporários e semi-permanentes do semiárido brasileiro tem sido mostrados como importantes sítios que possuem uma diversa fauna de peixes. Desta forma, esses ambientes devem ser capazes de sustentar, do ponto de vista trófico, populações de peixes que se alimentam em diversos níveis tróficos. O presente estudo tem como objetivo descrever o hábito alimentar de Astyanax aff. bimaculatus, Hoplias malabaricus e Prochilodus brevis em ambientes aquáticos do semiárido brasileiro, fornecendo evidências da importância desses habitats para manutenção da diversidade de consumidores como os peixes. A composição da dieta das espécies estudadas foi diversificada, já que alimentaram-se de uma variedade de classes de itens, desde microalgas até peixes. Apesar disso, alguns itens foram mais importantes para cada uma das três espécies. Estes resultados, e as altas taxas de reple

  18. Management of water for irrigation agriculture in semi-arid areas: Problems and prospects

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mvungi, A.; Mashauri, D.; Madulu, N. F.

    Most of the Mwanga district is classified as semi-arid with a rainfall range of 300 and 600 mm. Rainfall patterns in the district are unpredictable and are subject to great fluctuations. Like other semi-arid areas, the district is characterized with land degradation, unreliable rainfall, repeated water shortage, periodic famine, overgrazing, dry land cultivation in the marginal areas and heavy competition for limited biomass between farmers and cattle. Vulnerability here is high due to unreliability of weather. The people of Mwanga are dependent on agriculture for their livelihood. However agriculture is difficult in the area due to inadequate rainfall. For a very long time the people have been dependent on irrigation agriculture to ensure food security. Of late the traditional irrigation system is on the decline threatening food security in the area. This paper examines the state and status of the irrigation canal system in Mwanga district with the view of recommending ways in which it can be improved. The study used participatory, survey and in-depth interviews to obtain both quantitative and qualitative data. The major findings are that social, political, environmental and demographic bases that supported the traditional irrigation system have changed drastically. As a corollary to this, the cultural and religious belief systems that supported and guided the traditional canal system management have been replaced by mistrust and corruption in water allocation. In addition the ownership and management system of the water resources that was vested in the initiator clans has changed and now water user groups own the canals/furrows but they do not own the water sources. This has rendered the control of the water sources difficult if not impossible. Currently the system is faced by a number of problems including shortage of water and poor management as demand for water increases and this has led to serious conflicts among and between crop producers and pastoralists

  19. Hydrodynamic influence on reservoir sustainability in semi-arid climate: A physicochemical and environmental isotopic study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ammar, Rawaa; Kazpard, Véronique; El Samrani, Antoine G; Amacha, Nabil; Saad, Zeinab; Chou, Lei

    2017-07-15

    Water scarcity and increasing water demand require the development of water management plans such as establishing artificial lakes and dams. Plans to meet water needs are faced by uprising challenges to improve water quality and to ensure the sustainability of hydro-projects. Environmental isotopes coupled to water physicochemical characteristics were investigated over a biennial cycle to assess both geomorphological and environmental impacts on the water quality of a reservoir situated in an intensively used agricultural watershed under a Mediterranean semi-arid climate. The particularity of the semi-arid climate and the diverse topography generate a continental and orographic rain effect on the isotopic composition of precipitation and the water recharged sources. The studied reservoir responds quickly to land-use activities and climatic changes as reflected by temporal and spatial variations of water chemistry and isotopic composition. Increasing changes in precipitation rate and dry periods significantly modified the water isotopic composition in the reservoir. During the first year, hydrogen (δD) and oxygen (δ 18 O) isotopes are depleted by 6 and 2‰ between dry and wet season, respectively. While a shift of -2‰ for δD and -1‰ for δ 18 O was detected during the second annual cycle. Environmental isotopic compositions demonstrate for the first time the occurrence of groundwater inflow to the central (Cz) and dam (Dz) zones of the Qaraaoun reservoir. The Cz and Dz can be considered as open water bodies subjected to dilution by groundwater inflow, which induces vertical mixing and reverse isotopic stratification of the water column. In the contrary, the river mouth zone acts as a closed system without groundwater intrusion, where heavy water accumulates and may act as a sink for contaminants during dry season. Groundwater influx acts as a dilution factor that renews the hypolimnion, and minimizes the perturbations induced by both internal

  20. Semi-arid vegetation response to antecedent climate and water balance windows

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thoma, David P.; Munson, Seth M.; Irvine, Kathryn M.; Witwicki, Dana L.; Bunting, Erin

    2016-01-01

    Questions Can we improve understanding of vegetation response to water availability on monthly time scales in semi-arid environments using remote sensing methods? What climatic or water balance variables and antecedent windows of time associated with these variables best relate to the condition of vegetation? Can we develop credible near-term forecasts from climate data that can be used to prepare for future climate change effects on vegetation? Location Semi-arid grasslands in Capitol Reef National Park, Utah, USA. Methods We built vegetation response models by relating the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) from MODIS imagery in Mar–Nov 2000–2013 to antecedent climate and water balance variables preceding the monthly NDVI observations. We compared how climate and water balance variables explained vegetation greenness and then used a multi-model ensemble of climate and water balance models to forecast monthly NDVI for three holdout years. Results Water balance variables explained vegetation greenness to a greater degree than climate variables for most growing season months. Seasonally important variables included measures of antecedent water input and storage in spring, switching to indicators of drought, input or use in summer, followed by antecedent moisture availability in autumn. In spite of similar climates, there was evidence the grazed grassland showed a response to drying conditions 1 mo sooner than the ungrazed grassland. Lead times were generally short early in the growing season and antecedent window durations increased from 3 mo early in the growing season to 1 yr or more as the growing season progressed. Forecast accuracy for three holdout years using a multi-model ensemble of climate and water balance variables outperformed forecasts made with a naïve NDVI climatology. Conclusions We determined the influence of climate and water balance on vegetation at a fine temporal scale, which presents an opportunity to forecast vegetation

  1. The role of the perch effect on the nucleation process in Mediterranean semi-arid oldfields

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pausas, Juli G.; Bonet, Andreu; Maestre, Fernando T.; Climent, Anna

    2006-05-01

    Oldfield succession in Mediterranean ecosystems has been studied extensively in mesic conditions. However, this phenomenon is still poorly understood in semi-arid Mediterranean areas, where reduced plant cover, the importance of facilitation processes and the role of abiotic factors make these environments distinct. We first test whether the carob tree ( Ceratonia siliqua) generates nucleation patterns in semi-arid oldfields, and to what extent such patterns change with abandonment age. Then we test to what extent nucleation can be explained by the perch effect. And finally, we test whether the nucleated pattern around carob trees is a source of diversity in the oldfields studied. To answer these questions we located oldfields abandoned 25 and 50 years ago (20 in each case) in the Alacant Province (SE Spain, Iberian Peninsula) on the basis of aerial photographs and personal interviews with local landowners and managers. In each oldfield woody plant density and richness were sampled on two microsites: under the carob tree and in the open field. Analysis was performed on all woody plants and by separating the species in two functional groups: fleshy-fruited (with fleshy mesocarp) and non-fleshy-fruited species. The results suggest that woody vegetation colonising abandoned C. siliqua fields in SE Spain is not randomly distributed but follows a nucleation pattern with higher plant density under the trees. However, the nucleation pattern is only significant for fleshy-fruited species, suggesting that facilitative interactions alone cannot explain the nucleation pattern and that the perch effect plays an important role. The results also show that the nucleation pattern (total plant density and density of non-fleshy-fruited plants) did not increase with abandonment age, while the perch effect (density of fleshy-fruited plants) did increase significantly. Furthermore, the results also show that the nucleation pattern is not only a loci of high plant density but also a

  2. Antiproliferative Activity, Antioxidant Capacity and Tannin Content in Plants of Semi-Arid Northeastern Brazil  

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Silene Carneiro do Nascimento

    2010-11-01

    Full Text Available The objective of this study was to evaluate antiproliferative activity, antioxidant capacity and tannin content in plants from semi-arid northeastern Brazil (Caatinga. For this study, we selected 14 species and we assayed the methanol extracts for antiproliferative activity against the HEp-2 (laryngeal cancer and NCI-H292 (lung cancer cell lines using the (3-[4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl]-2,5-diphenyltetrazole (MTT method. In addition, the antioxidant activity was evaluated with the DPPH (2,2-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl assay, and the tannin content was determined by the radial diffusion method. Plants with better antioxidant activity (expressed in a dose able to decrease the initial DPPH concentration by 50%, or IC50 and with higher levels of tannins were: Poincianella pyramidalis (42.95 ± 1.77 µg/mL IC50 and 8.17 ± 0.64 tannin content, Jatropha mollissima (54.09 ± 4.36µg/mL IC50 and 2.35 ± 0.08 tannin content and Anadenanthera colubrina (73.24 ± 1.47 µg/mL IC50 and 4.41 ± 0.47 tannin content. Plants with enhanced antiproliferative activity (% living cells were Annona muricata (24.94 ± 0.74 in NCI-H292, Lantana camara (25.8 ± 0.19 in NCI-H292, Handroanthus impetiginosus (41.8 ± 0.47 in NCI-H292 and Mentzelia aspera (45.61 ± 1.94 in HEp-2. For species with better antioxidant and antiproliferative activities, we suggest future in vitro and in vivo comparative studies with other pharmacological models, and to start a process of purification and identification of the possible molecule(s responsible for the observed pharmacological activity. We believe that the flora of Brazilian semi-arid areas can be a valuable source of plants rich in tannins, cytotoxic compounds and antioxidant agents.

  3. Tracing the lateral movement of sediments through a shrubland environment using fallout radionuclides, Jornada Basin, Southern New Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Semi-arid grassland and savanna communities in many parts of the world have been displaced by woody shrubs. In the Jornada Basin of southern New Mexico, the displacement of perennial grasslands is well documented beginning in 1858. As shrubs invade semi-arid perennial grasslands, the length, number,...

  4. Optimizing conjunctive use of surface water and groundwater for irrigation in arid and semi-arid areas: an integrated modeling approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Xin; Wu, Bin; Zheng, Yi; Tian, Yong; Liu, Jie; Zheng, Chunmiao

    2015-04-01

    In arid and semi-arid agricultural areas, groundwater (GW) is an important water source of irrigation, in addition to surface water (SW). Groundwater pumping would significantly alter the regional hydrological regime, and therefore complicate the water resources management process. This study explored how to optimize the conjunctive use of SW and GW for agricultural irrigation at a basin scale, based on integrated SW-GW modeling and global optimization methods. The improved GSFLOW model was applied to the Heihe River Basin, the second largest inland river basin in China. Two surrogate-based global optimization approaches were implemented and compared, including the well-established DYCORS algorithm and a new approach we proposed named as SOIM, which takes radial basis function (RBF) and support vector machine (SVM) as the surrogate model, respectively. Both temporal and spatial optimizations were performed, aiming at maximizing saturated storage change of midstream part conditioned on non-reduction of irrigation demand, constrained by certain annual discharge for the downstream part. Several scenarios for different irrigation demand and discharge flow are designed. The main study results include the following. First, the integrated modeling not only provides sufficient flexibility to formulation of optimization problems, but also makes the optimization results more physically interpretable and managerially meaningful. Second, the surrogate-based optimization approach was proved to be effective and efficient for the complex, time-consuming modeling, and is quite promising for decision-making. Third, the strong and complicated SW-GW interactions in the study area allow significant water resources conservation, even if neither irrigation demand nor discharge for the downstream part decreases. Under the optimal strategy, considerable part of surface water division is replaced by 'Stream leakage-Pump' process to avoid non-beneficial evaporation via canals. Spatially

  5. Multi-modeling assessment of recent changes in groundwater resource: application to the semi-arid Haouz plain (Central Morocco)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fakir, Younes; Brahim, Berjamy; Page Michel, Le; Fathallah, Sghrer; Houda, Nassah; Lionel, Jarlan; Raki Salah, Er; Vincent, Simonneaux; Said, Khabba

    2015-04-01

    The Haouz plain (6000 km2) is a part of the Tensift basin located in the Central Morocco. The plain has a semi-arid climate (250 mm/y of rainfall) and is bordered in the south by the High-Atlas mountains. Because the plain is highly anthropized, the water resources face heavy demands from various competing sectors, including agriculture (over than 273000 ha of irrigated areas), water supply for more than 2 million inhabitants and about 2 millions of tourists annually. Consequently the groundwater is being depleted on a large area of the plain, with problems of water scarcity which pose serious threats to water supplies and to sustainable development. The groundwater in the Haouz plain was modeled previously by MODFLOW (USGS groundwater numerical modeling) with annual time steps. In the present study a multi-modeling approach is applied. The aim is to enhance the evaluation of the groundwater pumping for irrigation, one of the most difficult data to estimate, and to improve the water balance assessment. In this purpose, two other models were added: SAMIR (Satellite Estimation of Agricultural Water Demand) and WEAP (integrated water resources planning). The three models are implemented at a monthly time step and calibrated over the 2001-2011 period, corresponding to 120 time steps. This multi-modeling allows assessing the evolution of water resources both in time and space. The results show deep changes during the last years which affect generally the water resources and groundwater particularly. These changes are induced by a remarkable urbanism development, succession of droughts, intensive agriculture activities and weak management of irrigation and water resources. Some indicators of these changes are as follow: (i) the groundwater table decrease varies between 1 to 3m/year, (ii) the groundwater depletion during the last ten year is equivalent to 50% of the lost reserves during 40 years, (iii) the annual groundwater deficit is about 100 hm3, (iv) the renewable

  6. Implications of deep drainage through saline clay for groundwater recharge and sustainable cropping in a semi-arid catchment, Australia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Timms, W. A.; Young, R. R.; Huth, N.

    2012-04-01

    The magnitude and timing of deep drainage and salt leaching through clay soils is a critical issue for dryland agriculture in semi-arid regions (2000 mm yr-1) such as parts of Australia's Murray-Darling Basin (MDB). In this rare study, hydrogeological measurements and estimations of the historic water balance of crops grown on overlying Grey Vertosols were combined to estimate the contribution of deep drainage below crop roots to recharge and salinization of shallow groundwater. Soil sampling at two sites on the alluvial flood plain of the Lower Namoi catchment revealed significant peaks in chloride concentrations at 0.8-1.2 m depth under perennial vegetation and at 2.0-2.5 m depth under continuous cropping indicating deep drainage and salt leaching since conversion to cropping. Total salt loads of 91-229 t ha-1 NaCl equivalent were measured for perennial vegetation and cropping, with salinity to ≥ 10 m depth that was not detected by shallow soil surveys. Groundwater salinity varied spatially from 910 to 2430 mS m-1 at 21 to 37 m depth (N = 5), whereas deeper groundwater was less saline (290 mS m-1) with use restricted to livestock and rural domestic supplies in this area. The Agricultural Production Systems Simulator (APSIM) software package predicted deep drainage of 3.3-9.5 mm yr-1 (0.7-2.1% rainfall) based on site records of grain yields, rainfall, salt leaching and soil properties. Predicted deep drainage was highly episodic, dependent on rainfall and antecedent soil water content, and over a 39 yr period was restricted mainly to the record wet winter of 1998. During the study period, groundwater levels were unresponsive to major rainfall events (70 and 190 mm total), and most piezometers at about 18 m depth remained dry. In this area, at this time, recharge appears to be negligible due to low rainfall and large potential evapotranspiration, transient hydrological conditions after changes in land use and a thick clay dominated vadose zone. This is in

  7. Implications of deep drainage through saline clay for groundwater recharge and sustainable cropping in a semi-arid catchment, Australia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    W. A. Timms

    2012-04-01

    Full Text Available The magnitude and timing of deep drainage and salt leaching through clay soils is a critical issue for dryland agriculture in semi-arid regions (<500 mm yr−1 rainfall, potential evapotranspiration >2000 mm yr−1 such as parts of Australia's Murray-Darling Basin (MDB. In this rare study, hydrogeological measurements and estimations of the historic water balance of crops grown on overlying Grey Vertosols were combined to estimate the contribution of deep drainage below crop roots to recharge and salinization of shallow groundwater. Soil sampling at two sites on the alluvial flood plain of the Lower Namoi catchment revealed significant peaks in chloride concentrations at 0.8–1.2 m depth under perennial vegetation and at 2.0–2.5 m depth under continuous cropping indicating deep drainage and salt leaching since conversion to cropping. Total salt loads of 91–229 t ha−1 NaCl equivalent were measured for perennial vegetation and cropping, with salinity to ≥ 10 m depth that was not detected by shallow soil surveys. Groundwater salinity varied spatially from 910 to 2430 mS m−1 at 21 to 37 m depth (N = 5, whereas deeper groundwater was less saline (290 mS m−1 with use restricted to livestock and rural domestic supplies in this area. The Agricultural Production Systems Simulator (APSIM software package predicted deep drainage of 3.3–9.5 mm yr−1 (0.7–2.1% rainfall based on site records of grain yields, rainfall, salt leaching and soil properties. Predicted deep drainage was highly episodic, dependent on rainfall and antecedent soil water content, and over a 39 yr period was restricted mainly to the record wet winter of 1998. During the study period, groundwater levels were unresponsive to major rainfall events (70 and 190 mm total, and most piezometers at about 18 m depth remained dry. In this area, at this time, recharge appears to be negligible due to low

  8. TANNIN POTENCIAL EVALUATION OF SIX FOREST SPECIES OF BRAZILIAN SEMI-ARID REGION

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Juarez Benigno Paes

    2006-09-01

    Full Text Available The hide tanners of Brazil Northeast region have in Anadenanthera colubrina (Vell. Brenan var. cebil (Gris. Alts. their only source of tannins. As the activity of exploration is extractiviste without the concern of recovery of explored trees and the absence of other tannin sources, exposes the specie to exhaustion and the tanners and extractivistes family to go bankruptcy. Thus, this work aimed to evaluate the tanin potential of Prosopis juliflora, Anadenanthera colubrina var. cebil, Anacardium occidentale, Mimosa tenuiflora, Mimosa arenosa and Croton sonderianus. These species, Anacardium occidentale, Mimosa arenosa and Mimosa temuiflora showed, respectively, 19.83%, 18.11% and 17.74% of tannins. The Anadenanthera colubrina showed 11.89% and was inferior them mentioned species. The Prosopis juliflora and Croton sonderianus showed 3.02% and 6.62%, respectively. The abundance of Mimosa arenosa and Mimosa tenuiflora in the Brazilian Semi-arid proposes them as potential of tannin production. However, there is need of researches to verify their technical viability for skins, as well as for other uses for tannins.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emmanuel Mavhura

    2015-03-01

    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

  10. Droughts and governance impacts on water scarcity: an~analysis in the Brazilian semi-arid

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. C. S. Silva

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Extreme events are part of climate variability. Dealing with variability is still a challenge that might be increased due to climate change. However, impacts of extreme events are not only dependent on their variability, but also on management and governance. In Brazil, its semi-arid region is vulnerable to extreme events, especially droughts, for centuries. Actually, other Brazilian regions that have been mostly concerned with floods are currently also experiencing droughts. This article evaluates how a combination between climate variability and water governance might affect water scarcity and increase the impacts of extreme events on some regions. For this evaluation, Ostrom's framework for analyzing social-ecological systems (SES was applied. Ostrom's framework is useful for understanding interactions between resource systems, governance systems and resource users. This study focuses on social-ecological systems located in a drought-prone region of Brazil. Two extreme events were selected, one in 1997–2000, when Brazil's new water policy was very young, and the other one in 2012–2015. The analysis of SES considering Ostrom's principle "Clearly defined boundaries" showed that deficiencies in water management cause the intensification of drought's impacts for the water users. The reasons are more related to water management and governance problems than to drought event magnitude or climate change. This is a problem that holdup advances in dealing with extreme events.

  11. Mechanisms, timing and quantities of recharge to groundwater in semi-arid and tropical regions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Edmunds, W.M.

    2001-01-01

    Groundwater being exploited in many and and semi-arid regions at the present day was recharged during former humid episodes of the Pleistocene or Holocene and, in contrast, the amounts derived from modem recharge are small generally small and variable. Geochemical and isotopic techniques provide the most effective way to calculate modem recharge and to investigate recharge history, since physically- based water-balance methods are generally inapplicable in semiarid regions. Examples from Africa (Senegal, Niger, Nigeria, Sudan as well as Cyprus) show that direct recharge rates may vary from zero to around 40% of mean rainfall, dependent primarily on the soil depth and the lithology. Spatial variability presents a real problem in any recharge investigation but results from Senegal show that unsaturated zone profiles may be extrapolated using the chemistry of shallow groundwater. Unsaturated-zone studies show that there are limiting conditions to direct recharge through soil, but that present day replenishment of aquifers takes place via wadis and channels. In the Butana area of central Sudan the regional groundwater was also recharged during a mid-Holocene wet phase and is now in decline. The only current recharge sources, which can be recognised distinctly using stable isotopes, are Nile baseflow and ephemeral wadi floods. (author)

  12. Prevalence of gastrointestinal nematode infections in goat flocks on semi-arid rangelands of northeastern Mexico.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olivas-Salazar, Raquel; Estrada-Angulo, Alfredo; Mellado, Miguel; Aguilar-Caballero, Armando Jacinto; Castro-Pérez, Beatriz Isabel; Gutiérrez-Blanco, Eduardo; Ruiz-Zárate, Fernando

    2018-04-01

    The objective of this study was to determine the prevalence of gastrointestinal nematode (GIN) infection in goat flocks on semi-arid rangelands of northeastern Mexico (25° N, 350-400 mm annual precipitation). The study included 668 pluriparous goats from 18 herds in five municipalities of Coahuila and Nuevo Leon, Mexico. Five genetic groups were considered (predominance of Boer, Nubian, Alpine, Saanen, and Toggenburg). Fecal samples were taken from the rectum of each animal to determine the number of eggs per gram (EPG) of GIN. The prevalence of flocks with GIN infections was 88.9%. Similar results were observed for the number of goats infected in the flocks. The Alpine breed presented the highest prevalence and highest EPG loads of GIN, whereas Boer and Nubian were the genetic groups with the lowest (P arid zones of Mexico was found a high prevalence of infections with gastrointestinal nematodes. The municipality and the breed of the animals were factors that showed influence on this prevalence and the level of infection of the goats.

  13. The management of nutrients and water in the west African semi-arid tropics

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bationo, A.; Bielders, C.L.; Duivenbooden, N. van; Buerkert, A.C.; Seyni, F.

    1998-01-01

    At present, the farming systems in the west African semi-arid tropics are unsustainable, low in productivity, and destructive to the environment. A striking feature of the soils is their inherently low fertility, with negative plant-nutrient balance in many cropping systems. Research in N-use efficiency (NUE) indicated that calcium ammonium nitrate (CAN) significantly outperformed urea on millet. Fertilizer losses, greater for urea (53%) than for CAN (25%) were believed to be due to ammonia volatilization. Continuous cropping resulted in lower yields compared to a cereal grown after cowpea or groundnut, and NUE was improved with crop rotation. Phosphorus deficiency is a major constraint. Phosphate rock (PR), indigenous to the region, e.g. at Tahoua in Niger and Tilemsi in Mali, is suitable for direct application. Partial acidulation of low-solubility PR improves agronomic effectiveness. Long-term soil-fertility management trials indicate that although application of mineral fertilizers increase yields, they alone cannot sustain productivity. When mineral fertilizers are combined with other technologies, such as the return of crop residues and manure, productive and sustainable production systems are possible. Water-use efficiency increased dramatically with the addition of plant nutrients. Technologies for land surface management and water harvesting, and appropriate cropping systems with careful varietal selection all contribute to the optimization of soil-water use. Future research should focus on water and nutrient interactions and on understanding why presently available improved technologies are not adopted by farmers even when using a participatory approach. (author)

  14. Improving Modeling of the Summer Climate of Semi-Arid Regions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eltahir, E.; Marcella, M.

    2009-04-01

    Presented is a study on the importance of certain land surface processes in accurately simulating the summertime climate of Southwest Asia. A nearly 4 degree C bias is simulated in summertime temperatures, by standard Regional Climate Model version 3 (RegCM3). Biases are also found in surface albedo, shortwave incident, and surface vapor pressure. Using satellite data, (Earth Radiation Budget Experiment-ERBE) modifications are introduced to match simulated surface albedo to the ERBE data. In addition, by incorporating RegCM3's dust module with sub-grid variability, surface shortwave incident biases are reduced. Lastly, representing the irrigation and marshlands of Mesopotamia reduces vapor pressure deficits in the region. All of these factors combined, along with errors in observational datasets, account for the 4 degree C warm bias in RegCM3 simulations. We conclude that accurate representations of albedo, irrigation, and dust emissions are important processes to be included for accurate summertime climate modeling in semi-arid regions around the world.

  15. Effects of stubble and mulching on soil erosion by wind in semi-arid China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cong, Peifei; Yin, Guanghua; Gu, Jian

    2016-07-01

    Soil erosion is a growing challenge for agricultural production in Northern China. To explore the effect of variation in stubble height and mulching biomass on soil erosion caused by wind, we conducted a field experiment using a quadratic rotation combination design. Results showed that the quantity of straw mulch was the dominant factor affecting soil erosion, and stubble height was of secondary importance. The soil water content in stubble and straw mulching treatments was higher than in a control treatment at 0-20 cm soil, and the tendency in the amount of soil water content was opposite to the amount of wind erosion (r = -0.882, n = 10, p mulch treatments at the 15-20 cm depth was higher than the change from 0-5 cm to 5-10 cm. Combined, the influence of a stubble height of 34 cm and mulch quantity of 4260 kg·ha-1 lowered the amount of erosion to 0.42 t·ha-1, and increased the corn yield to 11900 kg·ha-1. We determined that those were the most appropriate levels of stubble height and straw mulch for crop fields in the semi-arid regions of Northern China.

  16. Gully erosion and sediment delivery ratio from a semi-arid watershed

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cantalice, Jose Ramon; Cunha Filho, Moacyr; Santos, Cicero; Guerra, Sergio; Cavalcante, Douglas; Silva, Michelangelo; Braga Junior, Hermon; Barros Junior, Genival; Silva Junior, Valdemir

    2017-04-01

    The gullies are the major sediment sources and most impressive water erosion form, promoting landscape changes, besides being associated to sediment delivery from watersheds, what takes importance mainly in semiarid watersheds under climate change risk. Behind this context, the present work has been obtained the erosion rates of a gully from Exu Watershed River, in semi-arid of Pernambuco State, Brazil, by application of Foster and Lane model (1983), and also were determinates the gross erosion by the sum of the interrill, rill and gully erosion, as well, the sediment yield of Exu Watershed River to years between 2008 to 2015. The Lane & Foster model with help of area and hydrologic features of Exu Watershed River has calculated adequate values of erosion rates, width and depth from Exu gully. The sediment delivery ratio (SDR) from Exu Watershed River were very low to years between 2008 to 2015, with an average value of 0.00122, which is, to be expected coming from a semiarid watershed that had four years with no rain.

  17. Effects of stubble and mulching on soil erosion by wind in semi-arid China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cong, Peifei; Yin, Guanghua; Gu, Jian

    2016-07-18

    Soil erosion is a growing challenge for agricultural production in Northern China. To explore the effect of variation in stubble height and mulching biomass on soil erosion caused by wind, we conducted a field experiment using a quadratic rotation combination design. Results showed that the quantity of straw mulch was the dominant factor affecting soil erosion, and stubble height was of secondary importance. The soil water content in stubble and straw mulching treatments was higher than in a control treatment at 0-20 cm soil, and the tendency in the amount of soil water content was opposite to the amount of wind erosion (r = -0.882, n = 10, p soil water content observed in the stubble and mulch treatments at the 15-20 cm depth was higher than the change from 0-5 cm to 5-10 cm. Combined, the influence of a stubble height of 34 cm and mulch quantity of 4260 kg·ha(-1) lowered the amount of erosion to 0.42 t·ha(-1), and increased the corn yield to 11900 kg·ha(-1). We determined that those were the most appropriate levels of stubble height and straw mulch for crop fields in the semi-arid regions of Northern China.

  18. Radioecological characterization of a uranium mining site located in a semi-arid region in Brazil

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fernandes, Horst M.; Lamego Simoes Filho, F. Fernando; Perez, Valeska; Franklin, Mariza Ramalho; Gomiero, Luiz Alberto

    2006-01-01

    The work presents the radioecological characterization of the new Brazilian uranium mining and milling site located in a semi-arid region of the country. The process characterization demonstrated that in heap leach plants most of the 226 Ra remains in the leached ore. Despite the potential higher availability of radium isotopes in the soils of the studied region the lack of precipitation in that area reduces the leaching/mobilization of the radionuclides. High 226 Ra and 228 Ra concentrations were found in manioc while 21 Pb was significant in pasture. It was suggested that a range from 10 -3 to 10 -1 may conveniently encompass most of the transfer factors (TF) values for soil/plant systems (i.e. involving different cultures, different soils and natural radionuclides). Impacts due to aerial transportation of aerosols and radon generated in the mining were proved to be minimal and restricted to an area not greater than 15 km 2 . Finally, uranium complexation by carbonates was shown to be the main mechanism responding for the elevated radionuclide concentration in groundwater

  19. Evaluation of evapotranspiration methods for model validation in a semi-arid watershed in northern China

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    K. Schneider

    2007-05-01

    Full Text Available This study evaluates the performance of four evapotranspiration methods (Priestley-Taylor, Penman-Monteith, Hargreaves and Makkink of differing complexity in a semi-arid environment in north China. The results are compared to observed water vapour fluxes derived from eddy flux measurements. The analysis became necessary after discharge simulations using an automatically calibrated version of the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT failed to reproduce runoff measurements. Although the study area receives most of the annual rainfall during the vegetation period, high temperatures can cause water scarcity. We investigate which evapotranspiration method is most suitable for this environment and whether the model performance of SWAT can be improved with the most adequate evapotranspiration method.

    The evapotranspiration models were tested in two consecutive years with different rainfall amounts. In general, the simple Hargreaves and Makkink equations outmatch the more complex Priestley-Taylor and Penman-Monteith methods, although their performance depended on water availability. Effects on the quality of SWAT runoff simulations, however, remained minor. Although evapotranspiration is an important process in the hydrology of this steppe environment, our analysis indicates that other driving factors still need to be identified to improve SWAT simulations.

  20. Aeolian dust nutrient contributions increase with substrate age in semi-arid ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coble, A. A.; Hart, S. C.; Ketterer, M. E.; Newman, G. S.

    2013-12-01

    Rock-derived nutrients supplied by mineral weathering become depleted over time, and without an additional nutrient source the ecosystem may eventually regress or reach a terminal steady state. Previous studies have demonstrated that aeolian dust act as parent materials of soils and important nutrients to plants in arid regions, but the relative importance of these exogenous nutrients to the function of dry ecosystems during soil development is uncertain. Here, using strontium isotopes as a tracer and a well-constrained, three million year old substrate age gradient, we show that aeolian-derived nutrients become increasingly important to plant-available soil pools and tree (Pinus edulis) growth during the latter stages of soil development in a semi-arid climate. Furthermore, the depth of nutrient uptake increased on older substrates, suggesting that trees in arid regions acquire nutrients from greater depths as ecosystem development progresses presumably in response to nutrient depletion in the more weathered surface soils. Our results contribute to the unification of biogeochemical theory by demonstrating the similarity in roles of atmospheric nutrient inputs during ecosystem development across contrasting climates.

  1. Estimating soil erosion in Natura 2000 areas located on three semi-arid Mediterranean Islands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zaimes, George N; Emmanouloudis, Dimitris; Iakovoglou, Valasia

    2012-03-01

    A major initiative in Europe is the protection of its biodiversity. To accomplish this, specific areas from all countries of the European Union are protected by the establishment of the "Natura 2000" network. One of the major threats to these areas and in general to ecosystems is soil erosion. The objective of this study was to quantitatively estimate surface soil losses for three of these protected areas that are located on semi-arid islands of the Mediterranean. One Natura 2000 area was selected from each of the following islands: Sicily in Italy, Cyprus and Rhodes in Greece. To estimate soil losses, Gerlach troughs were used. These troughs were established on slopes that ranged from 35-40% in four different vegetation types: i) Quercus ilex and Quercus rotundifolia forests, ii) Pinus brutia forests, iii) "Phrygana" shrublands and iv) vineyards. The shrublands had the highest soil losses (270 kg ha(-1) yr(-1)) that were 5-13 times more than the other three vegetation types. Soil losses in these shrublands should be considered a major concern. However, the other vegetation types also had high soil losses (21-50 kg ha(-1) yr(-1)). Conclusively, in order to enhance and conserve the biodiversity of these Natura 2000 areas protective management measures should be taken into consideration to decrease soil losses.

  2. Aquaculture and mangrove ecosys of temproductivity in arid and semi-arid Balochistan coastal environments

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Khattak, M.I.

    2005-01-01

    A survey of coastal shrimp-pond operations, and the structure and functioning of coastal mangrove forest ecosystems with particular reference to Ecuador, indicates that certain physical parameters may be good predictors of key biological processes. The most important factors are those associated with the regional water balance, tidal and surface water circulation patterns, and the physicochemical properties of the underlying soils. One important conclusion to emerge from the analyses is that at both regional and local levels, well-developed and productive mangrove forest areas often represent the least desirable sites for the construction and operation of commercial shrimp ponds. In certain regards semi-arid and arid coastal environments where mangroves are poorly developed, shrimp ponds that are constructed on barren mud flats and inland salt pans appear to have the potential to produce higher yields of shrimp with fewer management problems and at a relatively lower production cost. The data and research results from coast of Baluchistan and elsewhere are briefly summarized to suggest why productive mangrove ecosystems to not make the best areas in which to obtain maximum shrimp-pond yields. (author)

  3. Profiles of innovators in a semi-arid smallholder agricultural environment in south west Zimbabwe

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mutsvangwa-Sammie, Eness P.; Manzungu, Emmanuel; Siziba, Shephard

    2017-08-01

    Innovations are regarded as critical to improving the efficiency, productivity and effectiveness of African agriculture. However, few efforts have been directed at understanding 'agricultural innovators', especially among smallholder farmers in sub-Saharan Africa who face low agricultural productivity and widespread food insecurity. This paper investigates the profile of innovators from a local perspective in a semi-arid smallholder farming area in south-west Zimbabwe. The paper is based on data collected from key informant interviews and a household questionnaire survey administered to 239 households from Gwanda and Insiza districts between 2013 and 2014. Qualities or attributes of an innovator (which constitute the profile of an innovator) identified by key informants included: resource endowment; social networks; education; and enthusiasm (passionate and hardworking). The attributes were used in a logit regression model to estimate the probability of the 239 households exhibiting the attributes of an innovator. Social networks and resource endowment, as depicted by amount of land cultivated, were found to significantly influence the probability of an individual being an innovator. Interestingly, the common attributes of education or belonging to an innovation platform used by extension and development agents, were found not to influence the probability of one being an innovator. The paper concludes that understanding local perceptions of innovators, which is based on appreciation of the socio-economic and biophysical circumstances, should be used to identify a 'basket' of context specific innovations that have potential to address the diverse needs of rural households farming households.

  4. 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

  5. Growth and production of irrigated vitória pineapple grown in semi-arid conditions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rodinei Facco Pegoraro

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available This study aimed to evaluate the growth characteristics of irrigated Vitória pineapple plants grown in semi-arid conditions and determine its developmental stages based on those characteristics. It was used a randomized block design with four replicates. The experimental treatments were: plant harvest at 270, 330, 390, 450, 510, 570, 690, 750, and 810 days after planting (DAP. The following variables were determined: plant height, stem diameter, D-leaf length, D-leaf fresh and dry mass, biomass production of plants and plant parts (organs, and vegetative biomass. Five phenological stages are proposed based on vegetative biomass production: 80% (V5. The maximum growth rate for plant height, D-leaf length, and stem diameter was observed at the end of the phenological stage V1 (390-411 DAP, and at the end of stage V5 these plant traits had average values of 106, 82, and 7 cm, respectively. The maximum biomass accumulation rates were observed at stages V4 and V5, resulting in a final fruit yield and total fresh biomass of 72 t ha-1 and 326 t ha-1, respectively. Finally, we estimated that 80% of the accumulated biomass may remain in the field after fruit and slip harvest, and could be incorporated as plant residue into the soil.

  6. Determination of uranium partition coefficients of a semi-arid soil in Bahia

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fernandes, Heloisa H.F.; Pontedeiro, Elizabeth M.; Su, Jian, E-mail: heloisa@lasme.coppe.ufrj.br, E-mail: bettinadulley@hotmail.com, E-mail: sujian@lasme.coppe.ufrj.br [Coordenacao dos Cursos de Pos-Graduacao em Engenharia (COPPE/UFRJ), Rio de Janeiro, RJ (Brazil). Lab. de Simulacao e Metodos de Engenharia; Dourado, Eneida R.G., E-mail: eneida@inb.gov.br [Industrias Nucleares do Brasil (INB), Rio de Janeiro, RJ (Brazil)

    2013-07-01

    In mining and processing industries, the subsurface is one of the most vulnerable compartments to environmental contamination. Understanding the interactions between soil and contaminants is critical for predicting the possible environmental impacts caused by mining and milling operations. One of the main parameters used for this purpose is the partition (or distribution) coefficient, K{sub d}, which allows a relatively simple modeling approach by grouping various sorption phenomena into a single value. However, this parameter is strongly influenced by the physical and chemical characteristics of the medium, such as soil type, pH and solution composition. Thus, this study aims to assess the values of K{sub d} for uranium of typical soils from Bahia's semi-arid region using two different types of solute, one being a standard solution of uranyl acetate and one the liquor of uranium generated during processing. To calculate this parameter, batch adsorption experiments were carried out and adsorption isotherms (linear, Langmuir and Freundlich) were constructed using the Mathematica software. Results obtained for a single type of soil showed reduced values of K{sub d} for a liquor containing uranium when compared to values obtained with the uranyl acetate solution. This indicates that uranium from liquor is less adsorbed onto soil particles, and hence may move more quickly into the subsurface. (author)

  7. Spatial and temporal signatures of fragility and threshold proximity in modelled semi-arid vegetation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bailey, R M

    2011-04-07

    Understanding the behaviour of complex environmental systems, particularly as critical thresholds are approached, is vitally important in many contexts. Among these are the moisture-limited vegetation systems in semi-arid (SA) regions of the World, which support approximately 36 per cent of the human population, maintain considerable biodiversity and which are susceptible to rapid stress-induced collapse. Change in spatially self-organized vegetation patterning has previously been proposed as a means of identifying approaching thresholds in these systems. In this paper, a newly developed cellular automata model is used to explore spatial patterning and also the temporal dynamics of SA vegetation cover. Results show, for the first time, to my knowledge, in a cellular automata model, that 'critical slowdown' (a pronounced reduction in post-perturbation recovery rates) provides clear signals of system fragility as major thresholds are approached. A consequence of slowing recovery rates is the appearance of quasi-stable population states and increased potential for perturbation-induced multi-staged population collapse. The model also predicts a non-patterned cover where environmental stress levels are high, or where more moderate stress levels are accompanied by frequent perturbations. In the context of changing climatic and environmental pressures, these results provide observable indicators of fragility and threshold proximity in SA vegetation systems that have direct relevance to management policies.

  8. Impact of street design on urban microclimate for semi arid climate (Constantine)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bourbia, F.; Boucheriba, F. [Laboratoire Architecture Bioclimatique et Environnement (A.B.E) Universite Mentouri de Constantine, Departement d' Architecture et d' Urbanisme, Constantine 25000 (Algeria)

    2010-02-15

    Urban Planning has an immense impact on local microclimate which in turn affects the comfort and space quality within a city. The urban open spaces play an important role in creating the urban climate. The urban streets vary in geometry as defined by height/width ratio, sky view factor (SVF) and the orientation that is defined by its long axis. This directly influences the absorption and emission of incoming solar and outgoing long wave radiation which has a significant impact on the temperature variations within the street as well as the surrounding environment (Urban Heat Island). The objective of this research is to evaluate and to compare how the microclimate variation of urban street canyon can affect the built environment. Therefore the main aim of this paper is to discuss and assess the impact of the geometry on the street climate, in down town of Constantine-Algeria (semi arid climate). In order to achieve this goal, a series of site measurements, are utilised. The preliminary results strongly indicate an air temperature difference of about 3-6 C between the urban street and its surrounding rural environment. (author)

  9. Flood monitoring in a semi-arid environment using spatially high resolution radar and optical data.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seiler, Ralf; Schmidt, Jana; Diallo, Ousmane; Csaplovics, Elmar

    2009-05-01

    The geographic term "Niger Inland Delta" stands for a vast plain of approximately 40,000 km(2), which is situated in the western Sahel (Republic of Mali). The Inland Delta is affected by yearly inundation through the variable water levels of the Niger-Bani river system. Due to a good availability of (surface) water, the ecosystem at the Niger Inland Delta serves as resting place stop-over for many migrating birds and other wildlife species as well as economic base for farmers and pastoral people. To foster the sustainable usage of its natural resources and to protect this natural heritage, the entire Niger Inland Delta became RAMSAR site in 2004. This paper aims to test to which extent texture analysis can improve the quality of flood monitoring in a semi-arid environment using spatially high resolution ASAR imaging mode data. We found the Gray Level Dependence Method (GLDM) was most suitable proceeding for our data. Several statistical parameters were calculated via co-occurrence matrices and were used to classify the images in different gradation of soil moisture classes. In a second step we used additional information from spatially high resolution optical data (ASTER) to improve the separability of open water areas from moisture/vegetated areas.

  10. Predictability and prediction of summer rainfall in the arid and semi-arid regions of China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xing, Wen; Wang, Bin

    2017-07-01

    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.

  11. Ecosystem services provided by agricultural terraces in semi-arid climates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Romero-Díaz, Asunción; Díaz-Pereira, Elvira; Boix-Fayos, Carolina; de Vente, Joris

    2016-04-01

    Since ancient times, agricultural terraces are common features throughout the world, especially on steep slope gradients. Nowadays many terraces have been abandoned or removed and few new terraces are build due to increased mechanisation and intensification of agriculture. However, terraces are amongst the most effective soil conservation practices, reducing the slope gradient and slope length, as well as runoff rate and soil erosion, and without terraces, it would be impossible to cultivate on many hillslopes. Moreover, their scenic interest is undeniable, as in some cases, terraced slopes have even become part of UNESCO World Heritage. In order to highlight the potential benefits, requirements and limitations of terraces, we reviewed different types of sustainable land management practices related to terraces and characterised their implications for provisioning, regulating, supporting, and cultural ecosystem services. We centred our review on terraces in semi-arid environments worldwide, as were documented in the WOCAT (World Overview of Conservation Approaches and Technologies) database. Our results show that the most important ecosystem services provided by terraces relate to regulation of the on-site and off-site effects of runoff and erosion, and maintenance of soil fertility and vegetation cover. The presence of terraces also favours the provision of food, fiber, and clean water. In short, our results stress the crucial environmental, geomorphological and hydrological functions of terraces that directly relate to improving the quality of life of the people that use them. These results highlight the need for renewed recognition of the value of terraces for society, their preservation and maintenance.

  12. Genetic resistance to natural coccidiosis infection in goats in a semi-arid region of India

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    P.K. Rout

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Coccidiosis is one of the major causes of kid mortality in tropical regions and causes significant loss to farmers by affecting growth and feed efficiency in the growing kid. The strategy to control the coccidiosis is mainly through drug usage and is not efficacious at present. Therefore, an alternative strategy is required to control the disease in goats. Increasing genetic resistance to coccidiosis may be an appropriate complementary control strategy. The purpose of this study was to analyse the genetic variation in severity of natural coccidiosis infections in kids in the semi-arid region. The observations were recorded in 227 kids of Barbari and Jamunapari goats. Barbari goats had higher mean faecal oocyst counts (FOC than Jamunapari goats at 3 and 6 months of age. The heritability for FOC was 0.05 and 0.15 at 3 and 6 months of age, respectively. All phenotypic and environmental correlations between FOC and live weight traits were low and negative, indicating a tendency for more heavily infected kids in the flock to grow more slowly. Genetic correlations were largely similar, but had large standard errors. The results suggest that genetic resistance control strategy can potentially be useful for the better performance in the existing managemental condition.

  13. Microbial community biogeographic patterns in the rhizosphere of two Brazilian semi-arid leguminous trees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lançoni, Milena Duarte; Taketani, Rodrigo Gouvêa; Kavamura, Vanessa Nessner; de Melo, Itamar Soares

    2013-07-01

    Arid environments are regular and well distributed over all continents and display drought characteristics whether full-time or seasonal. This study aims to characterize how the microbial communities of the rhizosphere of two leguminous trees from the Brazilian semi-arid biome the Caatinga are geographically and seasonally shaped, as well as the factors driving this variation. With that purpose, the soil rhizosphere from two leguminous trees (Mimosa tenuiflora and Piptadenia stipulacea (Benth.) Ducke) were sampled in two different seasons: rainy and drought at five different sites. Assessment of bacterial and archaeal communities occurred by T-RFLP analysis of 16S rRNA and archaeal amoA genes. By these means, it was observed that the seasons (wet and dry periods) are the factors that most influence the composition of the microbial community from both analyzed plants, except for the results obtained from the CCA applied to Archaeas. Furthermore, soil physical-chemical factors also had a significant influence on the community and indicated a geographical pattern of the bacterial community. It was not possible to observe significant modifications in the composition in relation to the plant species. We have seen that soil characteristics and rainfall were the factors that most influenced the microbial composition. Also, the bacterial community had a significant correlation with soil characteristics that indicates that these rhizosphere communities might be selected by environmental characteristics. Furthermore, the data suggest that climate plays a key role in structuring the microbial community of this biome.

  14. Simulating the hydrologic impacts of land cover and climate changes in a semi-arid watershed

    Science.gov (United States)

    Changes in climate and land cover are among the principal variables affecting watershed hydrology.This paper uses a cell-based model to examine the hydrologic impacts of climate and land-cover changes in thesemi-arid Lower Virgin River (LVR) watershed located upstream of Lake Mead, Nevada, USA. The cell-basedmodel is developed by considering direct runoff based on the Soil Conservation Service - Curve Number (SCSCN)method and surplus runoff based on the Thornthwaite water balance theory. After calibration and validation,the model is used to predict LVR discharge under future climate and land-cover changes. The hydrologicsimulation results reveal climate change as the dominant factor and land-cover change as a secondary factor inregulating future river discharge. The combined effects of climate and land-cover changes will slightly increaseriver discharge in summer but substantially decrease discharge in winter. This impact on water resources deservesattention in climate change adaptation planning.This dataset is associated with the following publication:Chen, H., S. Tong, H. Yang, and J. Yang. Simulating the hydrologic impacts of land cover and climate changes in a semi-arid watershed. Hydrological Sciences Journal. IAHS LIMITED, Oxford, UK, 60(10): 1739-1758, (2015).

  15. Characterising root density of peach trees in a semi-arid Chernozem to increase plant density

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paltineanu, Cristian; Septar, Leinar; Gavat, Corina; Chitu, Emil; Oprita, Alexandru; Moale, Cristina; Calciu, Irina; Vizitiu, Olga; Lamureanu, Gheorghe

    2016-01-01

    The available information on root system in fully mature peach orchards in semi-arid regions is insufficient. This paper presents a study on the root system density in an irrigated peach orchard from Dobrogea, Romania, using the trench technique. The old orchard has clean cultivation in inter-row and in-row. The objectives of the study were to: test the hypothesis that the roots of fully mature peach trees occupy the whole soil volume; find out if root repulsive effect of adjacent plants occurred for the rootstocks and soil conditions; find relationships between root system and soil properties and analyse soil state trend. Some soil physical properties were significantly deteriorated in inter-row versus in-row, mainly due to soil compaction induced by technological traffic. Density of total roots was higher in-row than inter-row, but the differences were not significant. Root density decreased more intensely with soil depth than with distance from tree trunks. Root density correlated with some soil properties. No repulsive effect of the roots of adjacent peach trees was noted. The decrease of root density with distance from trunk can be used in optimising tree arrangement. The conclusions could also be used in countries with similar growth conditions.

  16. Air pollution measurements in a semi-arid zone, using neutron activation analysis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Shani, G.; Cohen, D.

    1977-01-01

    Neutron activation analysis was used for measurement of air pollution in a semi-arid zone. After a careful selection of the air filter, air samples were filtered in the city of Beer-Sheva in the south of Israel. The sampling took place over a period of 2 months with each sampling period lasting 2 days. The samples were irradiated in a thermal neutron flux of the order of 10 13 n/cm 2 sec for 1 h and the gamma spectrum was measured several times. The concentration of elements was concluded from the measured gamma spectrum. Several conclusions were obtained by combining the weather conditions with the measurement results. The air pollution can be divided into several sources: dust of a certain origin containing Fe, Co, Cr, Sc, Th and Na (probably from the Dead Sea area), other dust sources containing Sb, Eu, and Hf, and urban pollution due to industry and transportation-Br, Hg. The air pollution has its maxima and minima according to weather or industrial conditions. The pollution requires 4 days to clear out. Other relations to weather conditions were also found. (Auth.)

  17. Assessing Rangeland Attributes On Semi-Arid Zone Of North Darfur State Sudan

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mohamed Almontasir A. M. Mohamed

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract The study was conducted over a two years period of 2012 and 2013 at three sites of Alfashir locality Ummarahik 25km north of Alfashir Fashar in eastern part of Alfashir about 5km and Berka 30km west of Alfashir Western Sudan in semi-arid zone. The aim of this study was to assess rangeland attributes. Measurements of plant density vegetation cover range production and carrying capacity were assessed. Results showed that total forage production was low and inadequate to satisfy requirements of livestock for inhabiting the area average range production all over the area was found to be 50.68 kgha and 59.21 kgha for the seasons 2012 and 2013 respectively. The average ground cover was about 34.71 and 42.41 for two seasons. The average plant density for the first season was 27.1 plantm2 while the average plant density for the second season was 29.4 plantm2. The study concluded that unwise utilization and exploitation of the rangelands particularly by man causes range deterioration and serious reduction in range production in both quantity and quality so the study suggested that improvement and rehabilitation such lands rangelands should be done. Further research work is needed to assess rangeland attributes across different ecological zones in North Darfur State.

  18. Spatial and temporal evapotranspiration trends after wildfire in semi-arid landscapes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poon, Patrick K.; Kinoshita, Alicia M.

    2018-04-01

    In recent years climate change and other anthropogenic factors have contributed to increased wildfire frequency and size in western United States forests. This research focuses on the evaluation of spatial and temporal changes in evapotranspiration (ET) following the 2011 Las Conchas Fire in New Mexico (USA) using the Operational Simplified Surface Energy Balance Model (SSEBop ET). Evapotranspiration is coupled with soil burn severity and analyzed for 16 watersheds for water years 2001-2014. An average annual decrease of 120 mm of ET is observed within the regions affected by the Las Conchas Fire, and conifers were converted to grassland a year after the fire. On average, the post-fire annual ET in high, moderate, and low burn severity is lower than pre-fire ET by approximately 103-352 mm, 97-304 mm, and 91-268 mm, respectively. The ratio of post-fire evapotranspiration to precipitation (ET/P) is statistically different from pre-fire conditions (α = 0.05) in nine of the watersheds. The largest decrease in ET is approximately 13-57 mm per month and is most prominent during the summer (April to September). The observed decrease in ET contributes to our understanding of changes in water yield following wildfires, which is of interest for accurately modeling and predicting hydrologic processes in semi-arid landscapes.

  19. Season-ahead streamflow forecast informed tax strategies for semi-arid water rights markets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Delorit, J. D.; Block, P. J.

    2016-12-01

    In many semi-arid regions multisectoral demands stress available water supplies. The Elqui River valley of north central Chile, which draws on limited capacity reservoirs supplied largely by annually variable snowmelt, is one of these cases. This variability forces water managers to develop demand-based allocation strategies which have typically resulted in water right volume reductions, applied equally per right. Compounding this issue is often deferred or delayed infrastructure investments, which has been linked Chile's Coasian approach to water markets, under which rights holders do not pay direct procurement costs, non-use fees, nor taxes. Here we build upon our previous research using forecasts of likely water rights reductions, informed by season-ahead prediction models of October-January (austral growing season) streamflow, to construct annual, forecast-sensitive, per right tax. We believe this tax, to be borne by right holders, will improve the beneficial use of water resources by stimulating water rights trading and improving system efficiency by generating funds for infrastructure investment, thereby reducing free-ridership and conflict between rights holders. Research outputs will include sectoral per right tax assessments, tax revenue generation, Elqui River valley economic output, and water rights trading activity.

  20. High Contribution of Gallery Forests to Local Evaporation in Semi-Arid Burkina Faso

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ceperley, N. C.; Mande, T.; Tyler, S. W.; Van De Giesen, N.; Rinaldo, A.; Parlange, M. B.

    2014-12-01

    Management of the hydrologic cycle is critical to the primary livelihood of a large part of semi-arid West Africa's primary livelihood, rain-fed farming. We use flux measurements from an eddy-covariance station coupled with a dense network of small wireless meteorological stations to examine the relationship between land surface properties (albedo, soil moisture, and roughness) and evapotranspiration in a small (3.5 km2) catchment in Burkina Faso, West Africa. The catchment is a matrix of savanna and agricultural land maintained under various regimes, providing a comparison of multiple land use types of Sudanian Wooded Savanna including a canyon gallery forest, agroforestry parklands, occasionally grazed semi-open savanna, a semi-closed wooded slope, fallow fields, rice paddies, and ephemeral wetlands. By filtering out times when dry air was entrained, we demonstrate the small control of soil moisture and vegetation on the evaporative fraction, which was not initially visible. Additionally we document the high contribution of the gallery forest to the the catchment evaporation, despite its small size. These small meteorological stations could be paired with currently available satellite data to calculate evaporation over a much larger area, even when eddy-covariance equipment is not available. These findings reinforce local cultural beliefs of the importance of gallery forests for climate regulation and may provide tools to key local decision makers, rural farmers.

  1. Water management can reinforce plant competition in salt-affected semi-arid wetlands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coletti, Janaine Z.; Vogwill, Ryan; Hipsey, Matthew R.

    2017-09-01

    The diversity of vegetation in semi-arid, ephemeral wetlands is determined by niche availability and species competition, both of which are influenced by changes in water availability and salinity. Here, we hypothesise that ignoring physiological differences and competition between species when managing wetland hydrologic regimes can lead to a decrease in vegetation diversity, even when the overall wetland carrying capacity is improved. Using an ecohydrological model capable of resolving water-vegetation-salt feedbacks, we investigate why water surface and groundwater management interventions to combat vegetation decline have been more beneficial to Casuarina obesa than to Melaleuca strobophylla, the co-dominant tree species in Lake Toolibin, a salt-affected wetland in Western Australia. The simulations reveal that in trying to reduce the negative effect of salinity, the management interventions have created an environment favouring C. obesa by intensifying the climate-induced trend that the wetland has been experiencing of lower water availability and higher root-zone salinity. By testing alternative scenarios, we show that interventions that improve M. strobophylla biomass are possible by promoting hydrologic conditions that are less specific to the niche requirements of C. obesa. Modelling uncertainties were explored via a Markov Chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) algorithm. Overall, the study demonstrates the importance of including species differentiation and competition in ecohydrological models that form the basis for wetland management.

  2. Excessive reliance on afforestation in China's arid and semi-arid regions: Lessons in ecological restoration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cao, Shixiong; Chen, Li; Shankman, David; Wang, Chunmei; Wang, Xiongbin; Zhang, Hong

    2011-02-01

    Afforestation is a primary tool for controlling desertification and soil erosion in China. Large-scale afforestation, however, has complex and poorly understood consequences for the structure and composition of future ecosystems. Here, we discuss the potential links between China's historical large-scale afforestation practices and the program's effects on environmental restoration in arid and semi-arid regions in northern China based on a review of data from published papers, and offer recommendations to overcome the shortcomings of current environmental policy. Although afforestation is potentially an important approach for environmental restoration, current Chinese policy has not been tailored to local environmental conditions, leading to the use of inappropriate species and an overemphasis on tree and shrub planting, thereby compromising the ability to achieve environmental policy goals. China's huge investment to increase forest cover seems likely to exacerbate environmental degradation in environmentally fragile areas because it has ignored climate, pedological, hydrological, and landscape factors that would make a site unsuitable for afforestation. This has, in many cases, led to the deterioration of soil ecosystems and decreased vegetation cover, and has exacerbated water shortages. Large-scale and long-term research is urgently needed to provide information that supports a more effective and flexible environmental restoration policy.

  3. Insolation driven biomagnetic response to the Holocene Warm Period in semi-arid East Asia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Suzhen; Deng, Chenglong; Xiao, Jule; Li, Jinhua; Paterson, Greig A; Chang, Liao; Yi, Liang; Qin, Huafeng; Pan, Yongxin; Zhu, Rixiang

    2015-01-23

    The Holocene Warm Period (HWP) provides valuable insights into the climate system and biotic responses to environmental variability and thus serves as an excellent analogue for future global climate changes. Here we document, for the first time, that warm and wet HWP conditions were highly favourable for magnetofossil proliferation in the semi-arid Asian interior. The pronounced increase of magnetofossil concentrations at ~9.8 ka and decrease at ~5.9 ka in Dali Lake coincided respectively with the onset and termination of the HWP, and are respectively linked to increased nutrient supply due to postglacial warming and poor nutrition due to drying at ~6 ka in the Asian interior. The two-stage transition at ~7.7 ka correlates well with increased organic carbon in middle HWP and suggests that improved climate conditions, leading to high quality nutrient influx, fostered magnetofossil proliferation. Our findings represent an excellent lake record in which magnetofossil abundance is, through nutrient availability, controlled by insolation driven climate changes.

  4. Leaf anatomy of six species of Heliotropiaceae Schrad. from the Brazilian semi-arid region

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elisabeth Tölke

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available http://dx.doi.org/10.5007/2175-7925.2015v28n3p1 The family Heliotropiaceae has more than 450 species, mainly distributed in the tropics and subtropics. In Brazil, it is represented by the genera Euploca Nutt., Heliotropium L., Myriopus Small and Tournefortia L. The aim of this study was to describe the leaf anatomy of six species of Heliotropiaceae recorded in the semi-arid region of Brazil: E. polyphylla (Lehm. J.I.M. Melo & Semir, E. procumbens (Mill. Diane & Hilger, H. angiospermum Murray, H. curassavicum L., M. rubicundus (Salzm. ex DC. Luebert and M. salzmannii (DC. Diane & Hilger. Besides contributing to the knowledge of the anatomy of the representatives of the family in the Caatinga (Brazilian savannah, we also sought to determine and highlight the anatomical features adaptive to the region and to identify features with potential diagnostic value. Leaf structures were analyzed by light microscopy and scanning electron microscopy. Additional tests were also carried out to detect starch and total lipids. The morphological variation and the distribution of trichomes were the most relevant features for species diagnosis. The distribution of stomata in M. salzmannii and H. angiospermum differed from that described in other papers, which demonstrates the anatomical plasticity of these species. This is the first report describing the leaf blade of M. rubicundus.

  5. Leaf anatomy of six species of Heliotropiaceae Schrad. from the Brazilian semi-arid region

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elisabeth Emília Augusta Dantas Tölke

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available The family Heliotropiaceae has more than 450 species, mainly distributed in the tropics and subtropics. In Brazil, it is represented by the genera Euploca Nutt., Heliotropium L., Myriopus Small and Tournefortia L. The aim of this study was to describe the leaf anatomy of six species of Heliotropiaceae recorded in the semi-arid region of Brazil: E. polyphylla (Lehm. J.I.M. Melo & Semir, E. procumbens (Mill. Diane & Hilger, H. angiospermum Murray, H. curassavicum L., M. rubicundus (Salzm. ex DC. Luebert and M. salzmannii (DC. Diane & Hilger. Besides contributing to the knowledge of the anatomy of the representatives of the family in the Caatinga (Brazilian savannah, we also sought to determine and highlight the anatomical features adaptive to the region and to identify features with potential diagnostic value. Leaf structures were analyzed by light microscopy and scanning electron microscopy. Additional tests were also carried out to detect starch and total lipids. The morphological variation and the distribution of trichomes were the most relevant features for species diagnosis. The distribution of stomata in M. salzmannii and H. angiospermum differed from that described in other papers, which demonstrates the anatomical plasticity of these species. This is the first report describing the leaf blade of M. rubicundus.

  6. Animal-Based Remedies as Complementary Medicines in the Semi-Arid Region of Northeastern Brazil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alves, Rômulo R. N.; Barbosa, José A. A.; Santos, Silene L. D. X.; Souto, Wedson M. S.; Barboza, Raynner R. D.

    2011-01-01

    Animals (and their derived products) are essential ingredients in the preparation of many traditional remedies. Despite its prevalence in traditional medical practices worldwide, research on medicinal animals has often been neglected in comparison to medicinal plant research. This work documents the medicinal animals used by a rural community in the semi-arid region, inserted in Caatinga Biome, where 66 respondents provided information on animal species used as medicine, body parts used to prepare the remedies and illnesses to which the remedies were prescribed. We calculated the informant consensus factor to determine the consensus over which species are effective for particular ailments, as well as the species use value to determine the extent of utilization of each species. We recorded the use of 51 animal species as medicines, whose products were recommended for the treatment of 68 illnesses. The informant consensus in the use of many specific remedies is fairly high, giving an additional validity to this folk medicine. Eight species not previously reported as having medicinal use were recorded. The local medicinal fauna is largely based on wild animals, including some endangered species. Given a high proportion of medicinal animals observed in the study area, it is logical to conclude that any conservation strategy should include access to modern health care. PMID:19729490

  7. Adaptation of spineless cactus to semi-arid region of Paraíba state, Brazil.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aldo Torres-Sales

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available The aim of this study was to evaluate the adaptation of two spineless cactus of the species Nopalea cochenillifera Salm Dyck (Miuda and Alagoas under the environmental conditions of the semi-arid region in the tate of Paraiba, Brazil. An experimental randomized block design with five replications was used. The experiment was conducted under field conditions in São João do Cariri county, State of Paraiba, Brazil (7°22’45,1”S and 36°31’47,2”W, from August 2004 to May 2007. Every twenty-eight days the relative growth rate of cladodes height, length, width, and thickness were evaluated, as well as the number of cladodes per plant and the photosynthetic active area of cladodes and plant. The biomass accumulation per hectare was also measured at the end of the experimental period. One thousand days after planting, the cultivars did not differ in length and width of cladodes. The Alagoas cultivar showed greater thickness of cladode than the Miuda. The Miuda had a larger number of cladodes (p>0.05. There was no difference (p>0.05 in biomass accumulation between cultivars. In conclusion, both cultivars showed similar behavior in the environmental conditions of the semiarid region of the State of Paraiba, Brazil.

  8. Modelling Hydrology and Sediment Transport in a Semi-Arid and Anthropized Catchment Using the SWAT Model: The Case of the Tafna River (Northwest Algeria

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amin Zettam

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available Sediment deposits in North African catchments contribute to around 2%–5% of the yearly loss in the water storage capacity of dams. Despite its semi-arid climate, the Tafna River plays an important role in Algeria’s water self-sufficiency. There is continuous pressure on the Tafna’s dams to respond to the demand for water. The Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT was used to evaluate the contribution of different compartments in the basin to surface water and the dams’ impact on water and sediment storage and its flux to the sea in order to develop reservoir management. The hydrological modelling fitted well with the observed data (Nash varying between 0.42 and 0.75 and R2 varying between 0.25 and 0.84. A large proportion of the surface water came from surface runoff (59% and lateral flow (40%, while the contribution of groundwater was insignificant (1%. SWAT was used to predict sediments in all the gauging stations. Tafna River carries an average annual quantity of 2942 t·yr−1 to the Mediterranean Sea. A large amount of water was stored in reservoirs (49%, which affected the irrigated agricultural zone downstream of the basin. As the dams contain a large amount of sediment, in excess of 27,000 t·yr−1 (90% of the sediment transported by Tafna, storage of sediment reduces the lifetime of reservoirs.

  9. Economics of household energy consumption and its environmental implications in a semi-arid area of northern Nigeria

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kyiogwom, U. B.; Rades, M. J.; Garba, B.

    1997-01-01

    Energy is important for the sustenance of life and can be derived from various sources. All energy systems have both beneficial and adverse effects on the environment. The study examined the consumption pattern of the main sources of energy among households in the study area taking into due consideration the fragile semi-arid ecosystem. The model information was collected through a survey of 322 households. It was found that households spent a substantial part of their income on energy. Fuelwood was consumed by both rural and urban households. Fuel wood in addition served as a source of income. It was concluded that the present economic realities being experienced in the country will put in unbearable pressure on the fragile semi-arid ecosystem of the area. It was therefore suggested that there is the need for a deliberate and committed government policy to protect and conserve the ecosystem

  10. Relationships between primary production and crop yields in semi-arid and arid irrigated agro-ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jaafar, H. H.; Ahmad, F. A.

    2015-04-01

    In semi-arid areas within the MENA region, food security problems are the main problematic imposed. Remote sensing can be a promising too early diagnose food shortages and further prevent the population from famine risks. This study is aimed at examining the possibility of forecasting yield before harvest from remotely sensed MODIS-derived Enhanced Vegetation Index (EVI), Net photosynthesis (net PSN), and Gross Primary Production (GPP) in semi-arid and arid irrigated agro-ecosystems within the conflict affected country of Syria. Relationships between summer yield and remotely sensed indices were derived and analyzed. Simple regression spatially-based models were developed to predict summer crop production. The validation of these models was tested during conflict years. A significant correlation (pwars and drought.

  11. Rainfed agriculture in a semi-arid tropical climate : aspects of land- and watermanagement for red soils in India

    OpenAIRE

    Huibers, F.P.

    1985-01-01

    Rainfed agriculture is defined as the production of field crops that completely depend on the local precipitation for their water supply. Although in the semi-arid tropics the mean annual precipitation might seem to be sufficient to grow (adapted) crops, its variability over the years and its erratic distribution over the season pose problems. During relatively dry periods, the crop might suffer from moisture stress, at other times excessive rainfall occurs, causing water logging an...

  12. Hydrological differentiation and spatial distribution of high altitude wetlands in a semi-arid Andean region derived from satellite data

    OpenAIRE

    M. Otto; D. Scherer; J. Richters

    2011-01-01

    High Altitude Wetlands of the Andes (HAWA) belong to a unique type of wetland within the semi-arid high Andean region. Knowledge about HAWA has been derived mainly from studies at single sites within different parts of the Andes at only small time scales. On the one hand, HAWA depend on water provided by glacier streams, snow melt or precipitation. On the other hand, they are suspected to influence hydrology through water retention and veg...

  13. Hydrological differentiation and spatial distribution of high altitude wetlands in a semi-arid Andean region derived from satellite data

    OpenAIRE

    M. Otto; D. Scherer; J. Richters

    2011-01-01

    High Altitude Wetlands of the Andes (HAWA) are unique types of wetlands within the semi-arid high Andean region. Knowledge about HAWA has been derived mainly from studies at single sites within different parts of the Andes at only small time scales. On the one hand HAWA depend on water provided by glacier streams, snow melt or precipitation. On the other hand, they are suspected to influence hydrology through water retention and vegetation growth altering stream flow velocity. We derive...

  14. Water use efficiency and yield of winter wheat under different irrigation regimes in a semi-arid region

    OpenAIRE

    Kharrou, M.H.; Er-Raki, S.; Chehbouni, A.; Duchemin, Benoît; Simonneaux, Vincent; Le Page, M.; Ouzine, L.; Jarlan, Lionel

    2011-01-01

    International audience; In irrigation schemes under rotational water supply in semi-arid region, the water allocation and irrigation scheduling are often based on a fixed-area proportionate water depth with every irrigation cycle irrespective of crops and their growth stages, for an equitable water supply. An experiment was conducted during the 2004- 2005 season in Haouz irrigated area in Morocco, which objective was 1) to evaluate the effects of the surface irrigation scheduling method (ex-i...

  15. Carbon dioxide emissions from semi-arid soils amended with biochar alone or combined with mineral and organic fertilizers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fernández, José M; Nieto, M Aurora; López-de-Sá, Esther G; Gascó, Gabriel; Méndez, Ana; Plaza, César

    2014-06-01

    Semi-arid soils cover a significant area of Earth's land surface and typically contain large amounts of inorganic C. Determining the effects of biochar additions on CO2 emissions from semi-arid soils is therefore essential for evaluating the potential of biochar as a climate change mitigation strategy. Here, we measured the CO2 that evolved from semi-arid calcareous soils amended with biochar at rates of 0 and 20tha(-1) in a full factorial combination with three different fertilizers (mineral fertilizer, municipal solid waste compost, and sewage sludge) applied at four rates (equivalent to 0, 75, 150, and 225kg potentially available Nha(-1)) during 182 days of aerobic incubation. A double exponential model, which describes cumulative CO2 emissions from two active soil C compartments with different turnover rates (one relatively stable and the other more labile), was found to fit very well all the experimental datasets. In general, the organic fertilizers increased the size and decomposition rate of the stable and labile soil C pools. In contrast, biochar addition had no effects on any of the double exponential model parameters and did not interact with the effects ascribed to the type and rate of fertilizer. After 182 days of incubation, soil organic and microbial biomass C contents tended to increase with increasing the application rates of organic fertilizer, especially of compost, whereas increasing the rate of mineral fertilizer tended to suppress microbial biomass. Biochar was found to increase both organic and inorganic C contents in soil and not to interact with the effects of type and rate of fertilizer on C fractions. As a whole, our results suggest that the use of biochar as enhancer of semi-arid soils, either alone or combined with mineral and organic fertilizers, is unlikely to increase abiotic and biotic soil CO2 emissions. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  16. Design principles and common pool resource management: an institutional approach to evaluating community management in semi-arid Tanzania.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quinn, Claire H; Huby, Meg; Kiwasila, Hilda; Lovett, Jon C

    2007-07-01

    This paper analyses the role of institutions in the management of common pool resources (CPRs) in semi-arid Tanzania. Common property regimes have often been considered inadequate for the management of CPRs because of the problems of excludability, but they are becoming more widely supported as the way forward to overcome the problems of resource use and degradation in developing countries. A series of design principles for long enduring common property institutions have been proposed by Ostrom, but there is concern that they are not applicable to a wide range of real life situations or that they may be specific to certain types of CPR. Here, we compare these principles to the situation prevailing in 12 villages in six districts in semi-arid Tanzania. Data on management institutions were collected through semi-structured interviews and meetings at district and village level. The combined information was used to make a qualitative assessment of the strength with which each design principle appeared to operate in the management of forest, pasture and water resources. Boundaries, conflict and negotiation in CPR management are of key importance in semi-arid regions. However, the need for flexibility in order to deal with ecological uncertainty means that many management institutions would be considered weak or absent according to the design principle approach. This supports the view that the design principles should not be used as a 'blueprint to be imposed on resource management regimes' rather that they provide a framework for investigating common property regimes with the proviso that, certainly for semi-arid regions, they may highlight where management cannot be explained by institutional theory alone.

  17. SUB-PIXEL IMAGE CLASSIFICATION OF HYPER-SPECTRAL DATA FOR VEGETATION AND SOIL MAPPINGIN SEMI-ARID ENVIRONMENT

    OpenAIRE

    Muhammad Kamal

    2013-01-01

    The HyMap hyper-spectral data was used to classify photosynthetic vegetation (PV), non-photosynthetic vegetation (NPV), and exposed soils in a semiarid savannah environment of McKinlay, northern Queensland, and Australia. This study aimed to understandhow effective the sub-pixel classificationapproach applied on hyper-spectral data to distinguish the vegetation and soil features in semi-arid environment. In contrast to the per-pixel approach this approach treats the pixel va...

  18. Dietary selection of sheep grazing the semi-arid grasslands of Inner Mongolia, China at different grazing intensities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schiborra, A; Gierus, M; Wan, H W; Glindemann, T; Wang, C J; Susenbeth, A; Taube, F

    2010-08-01

    The objective of this study was to investigate dietary selection of sheep grazing semi-arid grassland in Inner Mongolia, China, using the difference in organic matter digestibility (OMD) of herbage ingested and herbage on offer as indicator for selection. Faecal N was used as digestibility index for herbage ingested (FOMD), while OMD of herbage on offer (GOMD) was estimated from gas production obtained by the Hohenheim gas test. It was hypothesized that the difference between FOMD and GOMD is high, when grazing animals select against low quality herbage provided that herbage is abundant. In a grazing experiment, six grazing intensities (1.5, 3.0, 4.5, 6.0, 7.5 and 9.0 sheep/ha), representing light to very heavy grazing intensity for the semi-arid grassland, were compared. The amount of herbage on offer decreased with increasing grazing intensity. Independent statistical analysis of FOMD and GOMD showed that the differences between grazing intensities for both OMD determinations (FOMD: 54.0-57.3%, GOMD: 55.2-57.5%) were not significant (p > 0.05). The difference between FOMD and GOMD was not significant for grazing intensities, but varied between sampling periods from -4 to 1 percentage units. In conclusion, the lack of significance for the difference between FOMD and GOMD suggests that for the semi-arid grassland of Inner Mongolia, China, sheep did not select their feed due to a homogeneous nutritional composition of herbage on offer in 2005, regardless of grazing intensity.

  19. Leguminous species sequester more carbon than gramineous species in cultivated grasslands of a semi-arid area

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Yu; Tian, Fuping; Jia, Pengyan; Zhang, Jingge; Hou, Fujiang; Wu, Gaolin

    2017-01-01

    The establishment of grasslands on abandoned cropland has been proposed as an effective method to mitigate climate change. In this study, five cultivated grasslands (three leguminous species and two gramineous species), one abandoned cropland, and one natural grassland were studied to examine how soil organic carbon (SOC) sequestration rate and sequestration efficiency change in a semi-arid area in China. Our results showed that leguminous grasslands had greater total biomass (above- and belowground biomass), SOC storage, SOC sequestration rate, and efficiency than gramineous grasslands, abandoned cropland, and natural grassland during the experimental period. The largest soil carbon (C) accumulation in leguminous grassland was mainly attributed to the capacity to incorporate C and the higher biomass production. Leguminous grasslands accumulated more SOC than gramineous grasslands by 0.64 Mg C ha-1 yr-1. The average SOC sequestration efficiency in leguminous grassland (1.00) was about 2 times greater than gramineous grassland (0.34). The results indicate that cultivated leguminous grassland sequestered more SOC with higher SOC sequestration efficiency than cultivated gramineous grassland in arid and semi-arid areas. Our results provide a reference for ecological management in arid and semi-arid areas.

  20. 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.

  1. An Approach for Simulating Soil Loss from an Agro-Ecosystem Using Multi-Agent Simulation: A Case Study for Semi-Arid Ghana

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Biola K. Badmos

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available Soil loss is not limited to change from forest or woodland to other land uses/covers. It may occur when there is agricultural land-use/cover modification or conversion. Soil loss may influence loss of carbon from the soil, hence implication on greenhouse gas emission. Changing land use could be considered actually or potentially successful in adapting to climate change, or may be considered maladaptation if it creates environmental degradation. In semi-arid northern Ghana, changing agricultural practices have been identified amongst other climate variability and climate change adaptation measures. Similarly, some of the policies aimed at improving farm household resilience toward climate change impact might necessitate land use change. The heterogeneity of farm household (agents cannot be ignored when addressing land use/cover change issues, especially when livelihood is dependent on land. This paper therefore presents an approach for simulating soil loss from an agro-ecosystem using multi-agent simulation (MAS. We adapted a universal soil loss equation as a soil loss sub-model in the Vea-LUDAS model (a MAS model. Furthermore, for a 20-year simulation period, we presented the impact of agricultural land-use adaptation strategy (maize cultivation credit i.e., maize credit scenario on soil loss and compared it with the baseline scenario i.e., business-as-usual. Adoption of maize as influenced by maize cultivation credit significantly influenced agricultural land-use change in the study area. Although there was no significant difference in the soil loss under the tested scenarios, the incorporation of human decision-making in a temporal manner allowed us to view patterns that cannot be seen in single step modeling. The study shows that opening up cropland on soil with a high erosion risk has implications for soil loss. Hence, effective measures should be put in place to prevent the opening up of lands that have high erosion risk.

  2. The semi-Arid integrated model (SIM), a regional integrated model assessing water availability, vulnerability, of ecossytems and society in NE-Brazil

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Krol, Martinus S.; Jaeger, A.; Bronstert, A.; Krywkow, Jorg

    2001-01-01

    Northeastern Brazil, an example of vulnerable semi-arid regions on the earth, is characterised by water scarcity and vulnerability of natural resources, pronounced climatic variability and social stress situations. Integrated studies involving hydrology, ecology, meteorology, climatology, pedology,

  3. Towards a physically-based multi-scale ecohydrological simulator for semi-arid regions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caviedes-Voullième, Daniel; Josefik, Zoltan; Hinz, Christoph

    2017-04-01

    The use of numerical models as tools for describing and understanding complex ecohydrological systems has enabled to test hypothesis and propose fundamental, process-based explanations of the system system behaviour as a whole as well as its internal dynamics. Reaction-diffusion equations have been used to describe and generate organized pattern such as bands, spots, and labyrinths using simple feedback mechanisms and boundary conditions. Alternatively, pattern-matching cellular automaton models have been used to generate vegetation self-organization in arid and semi-arid regions also using simple description of surface hydrological processes. A key question is: How much physical realism is needed in order to adequately capture the pattern formation processes in semi-arid regions while reliably representing the water balance dynamics at the relevant time scales? In fact, redistribution of water by surface runoff at the hillslope scale occurs at temporal resolution of minutes while the vegetation development requires much lower temporal resolution and longer times spans. This generates a fundamental spatio-temporal multi-scale problem to be solved, for which high resolution rainfall and surface topography are required. Accordingly, the objective of this contribution is to provide proof-of-concept that governing processes can be described numerically at those multiple scales. The requirements for a simulating ecohydrological processes and pattern formation with increased physical realism are, amongst others: i. high resolution rainfall that adequately captures the triggers of growth as vegetation dynamics of arid regions respond as pulsed systems. ii. complex, natural topography in order to accurately model drainage patterns, as surface water redistribution is highly sensitive to topographic features. iii. microtopography and hydraulic roughness, as small scale variations do impact on large scale hillslope behaviour iv. moisture dependent infiltration as temporal

  4. Comparative analysis of diversity and utilization of edible plants in arid and semi-arid areas in Benin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Segnon, Alcade C; Achigan-Dako, Enoch G

    2014-12-23

    Agrobiodiversity is said to contribute to the sustainability of agricultural systems and food security. However, how this is achieved especially in smallholder farming systems in arid and semi-arid areas is rarely documented. In this study, we explored two contrasting regions in Benin to investigate how agroecological and socioeconomic contexts shape the diversity and utilization of edible plants in these regions. Data were collected through focus group discussions in 12 villages with four in Bassila (semi-arid Sudano-Guinean region) and eight in Boukoumbé (arid Sudanian region). Semi-structured interviews were carried out with 180 farmers (90 in each region). Species richness and Shannon-Wiener diversity index were estimated based on presence-absence data obtained from the focus group discussions using species accumulation curves. Our results indicated that 115 species belonging to 48 families and 92 genera were used to address food security. Overall, wild species represent 61% of edible plants collected (60% in the semi-arid area and 54% in the arid area). About 25% of wild edible plants were under domestication. Edible species richness and diversity in the semi-arid area were significantly higher than in the arid area. However, farmers in the arid area have developed advanced resource-conserving practices compared to their counterparts in the semi-arid area where slash-and-burn cultivation is still ongoing, resulting in natural resources degradation and loss of biodiversity. There is no significant difference between the two areas for cultivated species richness. The interplay of socio-cultural attributes and agroecological conditions explains the diversity of food plants selected by communities. We conclude that if food security has to be addressed, the production and consumption policies must be re-oriented toward the recognition of the place of wild edible plants. For this to happen we suggest a number of policy and strategic decisions as well as research

  5. Interpretation of environmental isotopic groundwater data. Arid and semi-arid zones

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Geyh, M.A.

    1980-01-01

    Various hydrodynamic aspects are discussed in order to show their implication for the hydrogeological interpretation of environmental isotope and hydrochemical groundwater data. Special attention is drawn to radiocarbon and tritium studies carried out in arid and semi-arid zones. An exponential model has been utilized to determine the mean residence time of the long-term water from springs in karst and crystalline regions. Hydrogeological parameters such as the porosity can be checked by this result. In addition, the exponential model offers the possibility of determining the initial 14 C content of spring water, which is sensitively dependent on the soil of the recharge area. A base-flow model has been introduced to interpret the 14 C and 3 H data of groundwater samples from older karst regions. Differences between pumped and drawn samples exist with respect to the groundwater budget. Owing to pumping, the old base flow is accelerated and becomes enriched in pumped groundwater in comparison to the short-term water. Radiocarbon ages of groundwater in alluvium may be dubious because of isotope exchange with the CO 2 in the root zone along the river bank. Under confined conditions 14 C groundwater ages are diminished if the hydraulic head of the confined aquifer is lower than that of the shallow one. This is due to the radiocarbon downwards transport by convection of shallow groundwater. The same effect occurs, though much faster, if the groundwater table is depleted by groundwater withdrawal. The decrease of the radiocarbon groundwater ages in time can be used to determine the hydraulic transmissibility coefficient of the aquitarde. According to the practical and theoretic results obtained the hydrodynamic aspects require at least the same attention for the interpretation of environmental isotope and hydrochemical data of groundwater as do hydrochemical and isotope fractionation processes. (author)

  6. Theoretical simulation of small scale psychometric solar water desalination system in semi-arid region

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Shatat, Mahmoud; Omer, Siddig; Gillott, Mark; Riffat, Saffa

    2013-01-01

    Many countries around the world suffer from water scarcity. This is especially true in remote and semi-arid regions in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) where per capita water supplies decline as populations increase. This paper presents the results of a theoretical simulation of an affordable small scale solar water desalination plant using the psychometric humidification and dehumidification process coupled with an evacuated tube solar collector with an area of about 2 m 2 . A mathematical model was developed to describe the system's operation. Then a computer program using Simulink Matlab software was developed to provide the governing equations for the theoretical calculations of the humidification and dehumidification processes. The experimental and theoretical values for the total daily distillate output were found to be closely correlated. After the experimental calibration of the mathematical model, a model simulating solar radiation under the climatic conditions in the Middle East region proved that the performance of the system could be improved to produce a considerably higher amount of fresh water, namely up to 17.5 kg/m 2 day. This work suggests that utilizing the concept of humidification and dehumidification, a compact water desalination unit coupled with solar collectors would significantly increase the potable water supply in remote area. It could be a unique solution of water shortages in such areas. -- Highlights: • An affordable small scale desalination system is proposed. • A mathematical model of the desalination system is developed and programmed using Matlab Simulink. • The model describes the psychometric process based on humidification and dehumidification. • The model is used in optimal selection of elements and operating conditions for solar desalination system. • The use of solar water desalination contributes significantly to reducing global warming

  7. Bioweathering potential of cultivable fungi associated with semi-arid surface microhabitats of Mayan buildings

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Benjamín Otto Ortega Morales

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available Soil and rock surfaces support microbial communities involved in mineral weathering processes. Using selective isolation, fungi were obtained from limestone surfaces of Mayan monuments in the semi-arid climate at Yucatan, Mexico. A total of 101 isolates representing 53 different taxa were studied. Common fungi such as Fusarium, Pestalotiopsis, Trichoderma and Penicillium were associated with surfaces and were, probably derived from airborne spores. In contrast, unusual fungi such as Rosellinia, Annulohypoxylon, and Xylaria were predominantly identified from mycelium particles of biofilm biomass. Simulating oligotrophic conditions, agar amended with CaCO3 was inoculated with fungi to test for carbonate activity. A substantial proportion of fungi, in particular those isolated from mycelium (59%, were capable of solubilizing calcium by means of organic acid release, notably oxalic acid as evidenced by ion chromatography. Contrary to our hypothesis, nutrient level was not a variable influencing the CaCO3 solubilization ability among isolates. Particularly active fungi (Annulohypoxylon stygium, Penicillium oxalicum and Rosellinia sp. were selected as models for bioweathering experiments with limestone-containing mesocosms to identify if other mineral phases, in addition to oxalates, were linked to bioweathering processes. Fungal biofilms were seen heavily covering the stone surface, while a biomineralized front was also observed at the stone-biofilm interface, where network of hyphae and mycogenic crystals was observed. X-ray diffraction analysis (XRD identified calcite as the main phase, along with whewellite and wedellite. In addition, lower levels of citrate were detected by Attenuated Total Reflectance-Fourier-Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (ATR-FTIR. Overall, our results suggest that a diverse fungal community is associated with limestone surfaces insemi-arid climates. A subset of this community is geochemically active, excreting organic acids

  8. 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.

  9. Estimating Daily Reference Evapotranspiration in a Semi-Arid Region Using Remote Sensing Data

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peshawa M. Najmaddin

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available Estimating daily evapotranspiration is challenging when ground observation data are not available or scarce. Remote sensing can be used to estimate the meteorological data necessary for calculating reference evapotranspiration ETₒ. Here, we assessed the accuracy of daily ETₒ estimates derived from remote sensing (ETₒ-RS compared with those derived from four ground-based stations (ETₒ-G in Kurdistan (Iraq over the period 2010–2014. Near surface air temperature, relative humidity and cloud cover fraction were derived from the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder/Advanced Microwave Sounding Unit (AIRS/AMSU, and wind speed at 10 m height from MERRA (Modern-Era Retrospective Analysis for Research and Application. Four methods were used to estimate ETₒ: Hargreaves–Samani (HS, Jensen–Haise (JH, McGuinness–Bordne (MB and the FAO Penman Monteith equation (PM. ETₒ-G (PM was adopted as the main benchmark. HS underestimated ETₒ by 2%–3% (R2 = 0.86 to 0.90; RMSE = 0.95 to 1.2 mm day−1 at different stations. JH and MB overestimated ETₒ by 8% to 40% (R2= 0.85 to 0.92; RMSE from 1.18 to 2.18 mm day−1. The annual average values of ETₒ estimated using RS data and ground-based data were similar to one another reflecting low bias in daily estimates. They ranged between 1153 and 1893 mm year−1 for ETₒ-G and between 1176 and 1859 mm year−1 for ETₒ-RS for the different stations. Our results suggest that ETₒ-RS (HS can yield accurate and unbiased ETₒ estimates for semi-arid regions which can be usefully employed in water resources management.

  10. Floristic similarity and dispersal syndromes in a rocky outcrop in semi-arid Northeastern Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elainne Cristina Silva Costa

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Floristic studies provide valuable information on species richness in a region, and are particularly important if these areas belong to less studied environments, such as rocky outcrops, that may increase our knowledge. An important aspect for species colonization includes the mechanisms of diaspores dispersal in each community; these are essential to understand its structure, dynamics, and the regeneration process, and constitute an important tool for conservation. We developed a floristic survey on a granite-gneiss outcrop with the objective to increase the knowledge on plant diversity, through a floristic similarity analysis and detection of dispersal syndromes of sampled species, in a semi-arid region of Brazil. The fieldwork included collection and observation of the botanical material in locoduring a period of 12 months. A total of 161 species belonging to 127 genera and 50 families of angiosperms were recorded. Fabaceae, Asteraceae and Convolvulaceae were the most representative families in number of species. Allophylus quercifolius(Mart. Radlk. (Capparaceae and Lafoensia pacariA. St.-Hil. (Lythraceae represented new records for the State of Paraiba. The autochoric syndrome was the most representative, with 51.5 % of the recorded species; the anemochory was the second most representative syndrome with 26.7 % of the species; and finally the zoochory, representing 22.3 % of the species. The floristic similarity dendrogram showed the formation of three well-defined groups, whose area with the highest value (J = 33.2 is located in a Caatinga region called Cariri Paraibano, while the lowest value observed (J = 5.2, occurred in a settled area in two geomorphological units, a crystalline complex and a plateau region. These results may be due to the varying topographic conditions and edaphic heterogeneity arising from the specific geological formation of the region. These results yet demonstrate that, in rocky outcrops, abiotic syndromes

  11. Nutrient fluxes in a semi-arid microtidal mangrove wetland in the Gulf of California

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sánchez-Carrillo, S.; Sánchez-Andrés, R.; Alatorre, L. C.; Angeler, D. G.; Álvarez-Cobelas, M.; Arreola-Lizárraga, J. A.

    2009-05-01

    Nutrient (C, N and P) fluxes were monitored in a microtidal semi-arid mangrove system, which links a semi-enclosed shallow coastal lagoon with the Gulf of California. We assessed the role of the mangrove ecosystem as a nutrient sink/source and determined how mangrove litterfall rates, tidal regime and climate factors influence these fluxes. Despite high seasonal differences in DOC, POC, N-NO 3- and TP levels, nutrient concentrations were only marginally influenced by either hydrological variables or the concentration of these fractions in the adjacent lagoon. The carbon budget appeared to be balanced throughout the study. Retention rates in the mangrove system were related to litterfall rates. Export of DIN was observed mainly in the wet season due to the low nitrogen assimilation efficiency of the system. Import of organic nitrogen was related to the high retention efficiency of particulate organic nitrogen. Phosphorus fractions were imported and retained in the mangrove supporting previous findings that mangroves are phosphorus sinks. Finally, through a simple meta-analysis we tested the quantitative importance of main variables (tidal flow, tidal elevation, tidal range, rainfall, mangrove catchment area, litterfall) controlling mangrove nutrient dynamics. Although results suggest that generalizations can be made about factors regulating nutrient export from mangroves, the lack of statistical significance highlights the relative importance of the local environment for the magnitude of nutrient exchange in mangroves. Future research should focus on finding mechanistic models to explain these general patterns, taking into account the main biogeochemical processes and their roles in coastal ecosystem ecology.

  12. Calorific Value and Chemical Composition of Five Semi-Arid Mexican Tree Species

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maginot Ngangyo-Heya

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available The current global energy crisis has generated growing interest in looking for alternatives to traditional fossil fuels, presenting lignocellulosic materials as a promising resource for sustainable energy production. In this paper, the calorific values and chemical composition of the trunks, branches, twigs and leaves of five timber species of the semi-arid land of Mexico (Helietta parvifolia (Gray Benth., Ebenopsis ebano (Berl. Barneby, Acacia berlandieri (Benth., Havardia pallens (Benth. Britton & Rose and Acacia wrightii (Benth. were determined according to international standards. The results highlighted the calorific value ranges of 17.56 to 18.61 MJ kg−1 in trunks, 17.15 to 18.45 MJ kg−1 in branches, 17.29 to 17.92 MJ kg−1 in twigs, and 17.35to 19.36 MJ kg−1 in leaves. The pH presented an acidic trend (3.95–5.64. The content of mineral elements varied in trunks (1.09%–2.29%, branches (0.86%–2.75%, twigs (4.26%–6.76% and leaves (5.77%–11.79%, showing the higher proportion in Ca (57.03%–95.53%, followed by K (0.95%–19.21% and Mg (0.88%–13.47%. The highest amount of extractives was obtained in the methanolic solvent (3.96%–17.03%. The lignin recorded values of 28.78%–35.84% for trunks, 17.14%–31.39% for branches and 20.61%–29.92% for twigs. Lignin showed a moderately strong correlation (r = 0.66 with calorific value, but the best mathematical model was registered with the calorific value depending on the pH and lignin (R2 = 58.86%.

  13. Floristic similarity and dispersal syndromes in a rocky outcrop in semi-arid Northeastern Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Costa, Elainne Cristina Silva; Lopes, Sérgio de Faria; Melo, José Iranildo Miranda de

    2015-09-01

    Floristic studies provide valuable information on species richness in a region, and are particularly important if these areas belong to less studied environments, such as rocky outcrops, that may increase our knowledge. An important aspect for species colonization includes the mechanisms of diaspores dispersal in each community; these are essential to understand its structure, dynamics, and the regeneration process, and constitute an important tool for conservation. We developed a floristic survey on a granite-gneiss outcrop with the objective to increase the knowledge on plant diversity, through a floristic similarity analysis and detection of dispersal syndromes of sampled species, in a semi-arid region of Brazil. The fieldwork included collection and observation of the botanical material in loco during a period of 12 months. A total of 161 species belonging to 127 genera and 50 families of angiosperms were recorded. Fabaceae, Asteraceae and Convolvulaceae were the most representative families in number of species. Allophylus quercifolius (Mart.) Radlk. (Capparaceae) and Lafoensia pacari A. St.-Hil. (Lythraceae) represented new records for the State of Paraiba. The autochoric syndrome was the most representative, with 51.5 % of the recorded species; the anemochory was the second most representative syndrome with 26.7 % of the species; and finally the zoochory, representing 22.3 % of the species. The floristic similarity dendrogram showed the formation of three well-defined groups, whose area with the highest value (J = 33.2) is located in a Caatinga region called Cariri Paraibano, while the lowest value observed (J = 5.2), occurred in a settled area in two geomorphological units, a crystalline complex and a plateau region. These results may be due to the varying topographic conditions and edaphic heterogeneity arising from the specific geological formation of the region. These results yet demonstrate that, in rocky outcrops, abiotic syndromes represent an

  14. Spatiotemporal diversity, structure and trophic guilds of insect assemblages in a semi-arid Sabkha ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Menasria, Taha; Neffar, Souad; Chafaa, Smail; Bradai, Lyès; Chaibi, Rachid; Mekahlia, Mohamed Nacer; Bendjoudi, Djamel; Si Bachir, Abdelkrim

    2015-01-01

    The current study highlights some knowledge on the diversity and structure of insect communities and trophic groups living in Sabkha Djendli (semi-arid area of Northeastern Algeria). The entomofauna was monthly sampled from March to November 2006 using pitfall traps at eight sites located at the vicinity of the Sabkha. Structural and diversity parameters (species richness, Shannon index, evenness) were measured for both insect orders and trophic guilds. The canonical correspondence analysis (CCA) was applied to determine how vegetation parameters (species richness and cover) influence spatial and seasonal fluctuations of insect assemblages. The catches totalled 434 insect individuals classified into 75 species, 62 genera, 31 families and 7 orders, of which Coleoptera and Hymenoptera were the most abundant and constant over seasons and study stations. Spring and autumn presented the highest values of diversity parameters. Individual-based Chao-1 species richness estimator indicated 126 species for the total individuals captured in the Sabkha. Based on catch abundances, the structure of functional trophic groups was predators (37.3%), saprophages (26.7%), phytophages (20.5%), polyphages (10.8%), coprophages (4.6%); whereas in terms of numbers of species, they can be classified as phytophages (40%), predators (25.3%), polyphages (13.3%), saprophages (12%), coprophages (9.3%). The CCA demonstrated that phytophages and saprophages as well as Coleoptera and Orthoptera were positively correlated with the two parameters of vegetation, especially in spring and summer. While the abundance of coprophages was positively correlated with species richness of plants, polyphage density was positively associated with vegetation cover. The insect community showed high taxonomic and functional diversity that is closely related to diversity and vegetation cover in different stations of the wetland and seasons. PMID:25825682

  15. The role of upland wetlands in modulating snowmelt runoff in the semi-arid Andes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hevia, Andres; Sproles, Eric; Soulsby, Chris; Tetzlaff, Doerthe

    2016-04-01

    The wetlands, or bofedales, of semi-arid northern central Chile (29°-32°S) provide a critical store of water that modulate spring snowmelt runoff. Water released from bofedales helps sustain flows throughout the dry portions of the year, providing fresh water to downstream residents and a robust tourist, agricultural, and mining economy. In the Río Claro watershed (30°S, 1515 km2, 800m to 5500 m a.s.l.) a series fourteen bofedales have formed at natural choke points in the valley bottoms of the headwater reaches. The highly erosive dynamic of this watershed provides ample sediment, and some of these bofedales are up to 30 m deep. Annual precipitation in the region is limited to 4-6 events annually that fall primarily as snow at elevations above 3500 m. The subsurface storage of the headwaters is limited by the steep terrain of the headwater catchments that are devoid of soils and primarily underlain by granite bedrock. Downstream, irrigated area has increased by 200% between 1985 and 2005, driven by the cultivation of table grapes for export. For over 70 years local water managers have flooded the bodfedales during spring runoff to augment late season flow when irrigation demand peaks. While this low-tech strategy has worked in the past, a recent 8-year drought has raised concerns over long-term water security. We apply geophysical and geographic measurements, water quality, and stable isotopic tracers to calculate the volume of water storage and residence times in the bofedales of Río Claro. This information will be used to evaluate the reliability of the bofedale system as compared to a proposed reservoir in the headwaters of the Río Claro. Additionally, estimating the storage and residence times of the will help reduce uncertainty for modeling efforts currently underway in Río Claro.

  16. Cyanobacterial occurrence and detection of microcystins and saxitoxins in reservoirs of the Brazilian semi-arid

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jessica Roberts Fonseca

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available Aim:The rapid spread of cyanobacteria in water sources and reservoirs has caused serious environmental damage and public health problems, and consists in a problem that challenges the institutions responsible for providing water to the population. In this study, the quantification of microcystin, saxitoxins and cyanobacteria levels was performed over 3 years in the semi-arid reservoirs of Rio Grande do Norte (Brazil. In addition, we analyzed the seasonal distribution of cyanotoxins and the percentage of cyanobacteria and cyanotoxins which were above the limit established by Brazilian law.MethodsThe study was conducted between 2009 and 2011 in four dams with six sites: Armando Ribeiro Gonçalves (ARG in Itajá, San Rafael (SR and Jucurutu; Passagem das Traíras (PT; Itans and Gargalheiras (GARG. Cyanobacteria presence were quantified and identified and the presence of microcystins (MCYs and saxitoxins (STXs was investigated by ELISA.ResultsThe densities of cyanobacteria were found to be above the permitted in 76% of cases. The ELISA results showed that of the 128 samples analyzed, 27% were above the maximum allowed by the Brazilian Ministry of Health Order 2914/2011. A seasonal pattern for the presence of MCYs was found (0.00227 to 24.1954 µg.L–1, with the highest values in the rainy season. There was no clear seasonal pattern for STXs (0.003 to 0.766 µg.L–1.ConclusionsThis study showed the importance of establishing a water quality monitoring for human consumption and its potability standards since the concentration of MCYs in some samples was above the maximum limit allowed by Brazilian law, thus posing a risk to public health since the conventional water treatment is not able to eliminate these potent hepatotoxins.

  17. Spatiotemporal diversity, structure and trophic guilds of insect assemblages in a semi-arid Sabkha ecosystem

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Haroun Chenchouni

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available The current study highlights some knowledge on the diversity and structure of insect communities and trophic groups living in Sabkha Djendli (semi-arid area of Northeastern Algeria. The entomofauna was monthly sampled from March to November 2006 using pitfall traps at eight sites located at the vicinity of the Sabkha. Structural and diversity parameters (species richness, Shannon index, evenness were measured for both insect orders and trophic guilds. The canonical correspondence analysis (CCA was applied to determine how vegetation parameters (species richness and cover influence spatial and seasonal fluctuations of insect assemblages. The catches totalled 434 insect individuals classified into 75 species, 62 genera, 31 families and 7 orders, of which Coleoptera and Hymenoptera were the most abundant and constant over seasons and study stations. Spring and autumn presented the highest values of diversity parameters. Individual-based Chao-1 species richness estimator indicated 126 species for the total individuals captured in the Sabkha. Based on catch abundances, the structure of functional trophic groups was predators (37.3%, saprophages (26.7%, phytophages (20.5%, polyphages (10.8%, coprophages (4.6%; whereas in terms of numbers of species, they can be classified as phytophages (40%, predators (25.3%, polyphages (13.3%, saprophages (12%, coprophages (9.3%. The CCA demonstrated that phytophages and saprophages as well as Coleoptera and Orthoptera were positively correlated with the two parameters of vegetation, especially in spring and summer. While the abundance of coprophages was positively correlated with species richness of plants, polyphage density was positively associated with vegetation cover. The insect community showed high taxonomic and functional diversity that is closely related to diversity and vegetation cover in different stations of the wetland and seasons.

  18. Land cover/land use change in semi-arid Inner Mongolia: 1992-2004

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    John, Ranjeet; Chen Jiquan; Lu Nan; Wilske, Burkhard

    2009-01-01

    The semi-arid grasslands in Inner Mongolia (IM) are under increasing stress owing to climate change and rapid socio-economic development in the recent past. We investigated changes in land cover/land use and landscape structure between 1992 and 2004 through the analysis of AVHRR and MODIS derived land cover data. The scale of analysis included the regional level (i.e. the whole of IM) as well as the level of the dominant biomes (i.e. the grassland and desert). We quantified proportional change, rate of change and the changes in class-level landscape metrics using the landscape structure analysis program FRAGSTATS. The dominant land cover types, grassland and barren, 0.47 and 0.27 million km 2 , respectively, have increased proportionally. Cropland and urban land use also increased to 0.15 million km 2 and 2197 km 2 , respectively. However, the results further indicated increases in both the homogeneity and fragmentation of the landscape. Increasing homogeneity was mainly related to the reduction in minority cover types such as savanna, forests and permanent wetlands and increasing cohesion, aggregation index and clumpy indices. Conversely, increased fragmentation of the landscape was based on the increase in patch density and the interspersion/juxtaposition index (IJI). It is important to note the socio-economic growth in this fragile ecosystem, manifested by an increasing proportion of agricultural and urban land use not just at the regional level but also at the biome level in the context of regional climate change and increasing water stress.

  19. Survival strategies in semi-arid climate for isohydric and anisohydric species

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guerin, M. F.; Gentine, P.; Uriarte, M.

    2013-12-01

    The understanding of survival strategies in dry land remains a challenging problem aiming at the interrelationship between local hydrology, plant physiology and climate. Carbon starvation and hydraulic failure are thought to be the two main factors leading to drought-induced mortality beside biotic perturbation. In order to better comprehend mortality the understanding of abiotic mechanisms triggering mortality is being studied in a tractable model for soil-plant-atmosphere continuum emphasizing the role of soil hydraulic properties, photosynthesis, embolism, leaf-gas exchange and climate. In particular the role of the frequency vs. the intensity of droughts is highlighted within such model. The analysis of the model included a differentiation between isohydric and anisohydric tree regulation and is supported by an extensive dataset of Pinion and Juniper growing in a semi-arid ecosystem. An objective of reduced number of parameters was approached with allometric equations to characterize tree's main traits and their hydraulic controls. Leaf area, sapwood area and tree's height are used to derive capacitance, conductance and photosynthetic abilities of the plant. A parameter sensitivity is performed highlighting the role of root:shoot ratio, rooting depth, photosynthetic capacity, quantum efficiency, and most importantly water use efficiency. Analytic development emphasizes two regimes of transpiration/photosynthesis denoted as stage-I (no embolism) and stage-II (embolism dominated) in analogy with stage I-stage II treminology for evaporation (Phillip,1957). Anisohydric species tend to remain in stage-I during which they still can assimilate carbon at full potential thus avoiding carbon starvation. Isohydric species tend to remain longer in stage-II. The effects of drought intensity/frequency on those 2 stages are described. Figure: sensitivity of Piñons stage 1 (top left), stage 2 (top right), and total cavitation duration (sum of stage 1 and stage 2 - bottom left

  20. ARBUSCULAR MYCORRHIZAL FUNGI IN SUCCESSIONAL STAGES OF CAATINGA IN THE SEMI-ARID REGION OF BRAZIL

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    Carla da Silva Sousa

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available http://dx.doi.org/10.5902/1980509813331Caatinga is an exclusively Brazilian biome with areas in accentuated process of desertification. Arbuscularmycorrhizal fungi (AMF act in plant succession by favoring the establishment of plant species typical ofsuccessional stages and by accelerating recovery leading to a climax stage. The objective of the present workwas to evaluate the occurrence and diversity of AMF in successional stages of caatinga in the semi-aridregion of Paraíba State. Experimental plots (30 x 60 m were delimitated in 2007 in areas corresponding todifferent caatinga successional stages: early caatinga succession (natural revegetation during the previous15 years; intermediate (natural revegetation for about 35 years; late (mature caatinga with more than50 years without major disturbances; and also in pasture areas fenced and protected to represent the initialphase of succession. Plots of all four stages were implemented with three replicates. Soil and root sampleswere collected in the experimental plots, from the 0-15 cm soil layer in the dry and in the rainy seasons.All areas presented low infectivity potential suggesting that the introduction of mycorrhizal seedlings mayaccelerate the process of revegetation of degraded soils in this region. Except for the areas of late stage, theglomalin reservoirs increased along with the advancement of the succession process. Areas in the late stageof succession presented greater richness of AMF species, indicating that the establishment of the vegetationalso exerts a significant effect in the fungal community. Glomus and Acaulospora species were predominantin both seasons, possibly because they are well adapted to semi-arid conditions

  1. Land cover/land use change in semi-arid Inner Mongolia: 1992-2004

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    John, Ranjeet; Chen Jiquan; Lu Nan; Wilske, Burkhard, E-mail: ranjeet.john@utoledo.ed [Department of Environmental Sciences, University of Toledo, Toledo, OH 43606 (United States)

    2009-10-15

    The semi-arid grasslands in Inner Mongolia (IM) are under increasing stress owing to climate change and rapid socio-economic development in the recent past. We investigated changes in land cover/land use and landscape structure between 1992 and 2004 through the analysis of AVHRR and MODIS derived land cover data. The scale of analysis included the regional level (i.e. the whole of IM) as well as the level of the dominant biomes (i.e. the grassland and desert). We quantified proportional change, rate of change and the changes in class-level landscape metrics using the landscape structure analysis program FRAGSTATS. The dominant land cover types, grassland and barren, 0.47 and 0.27 million km{sup 2}, respectively, have increased proportionally. Cropland and urban land use also increased to 0.15 million km{sup 2} and 2197 km{sup 2}, respectively. However, the results further indicated increases in both the homogeneity and fragmentation of the landscape. Increasing homogeneity was mainly related to the reduction in minority cover types such as savanna, forests and permanent wetlands and increasing cohesion, aggregation index and clumpy indices. Conversely, increased fragmentation of the landscape was based on the increase in patch density and the interspersion/juxtaposition index (IJI). It is important to note the socio-economic growth in this fragile ecosystem, manifested by an increasing proportion of agricultural and urban land use not just at the regional level but also at the biome level in the context of regional climate change and increasing water stress.

  2. Behaviour of trifloxystrobin and tebuconazole on grapes under semi-arid tropical climatic conditions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mohapatra, Soudamini; Ahuja, Ashok K; Deepa, M; Jagadish, G K; Prakash, G S; Kumar, Sampath

    2010-08-01

    A mixture of trifloxystrobin and tebuconazole is excellent in controlling both powdery and downy mildew of grapes. The objective of the present work was to study the behaviour of trifloxystrobin and tebuconazole on grape berries and soil following treatment with Nativo 75 WG, a formulation containing both fungicides (trifloxystrobin 250 + tebuconazole 500 g kg(-1)). This study was carried out for planned registration of this mixture for use on grapes in India. Initial residue deposits of trifloxystrobin and tebuconazole on grapes were below their maximum residue limit (MRL) of 0.5 and 2 mg kg(-1), respectively, when Nativo 75 WG was applied at the recommended dose of 175 g product ha(-1). The residues dissipated gradually to 0.02 and 0.05 mg kg(-1) by 30 days, and were below the quantifiable limit of 0.01 mg kg(-1) at the time of harvest (60 days after the last treatment). Trifloxystrobin and tebuconazole dissipated at a pre-harvest interval (PHI) of 36 and 34 days, respectively, from the recommended treatment dose. The acid metabolite of trifloxystrobin, CGA 321 113, was not detected in grape berries at any point in time. Soil at harvest was free of any pesticide residues. Residue levels of both trifloxystrobin and tebuconazole were below MRLs when grapes were harvested 30 days after the last of four applications of 175 g product ha(-1) (trifloxystrobin 44 g AI ha(-1), tebuconazole 88 g AI ha(-1)) under the semi-arid tropical climatic conditions of India. Copyright (c) 2010 Society of Chemical Industry.

  3. A review of groundwater recharge estimation in humid and semi-arid African regions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chung, Il-Moon; Kim, Nam Won

    2016-04-01

    For the review of African recharge estimation, the distinct methods such as the geochemical approach, a method using groundwater level data, the streamflow method, and the water balance methods were first outlined. The major challenge of an African recharge study is the lack of basic data. Thus, this work suggests how to deal with this limitation and from future perspective using recently developed technologies such as RS, GIS, etc. With the rapid growth of information technology, more and more data, in terms of both volume and variety, are expected to be made available on the internet in the near future. RS technology has a great potential to revolutionize the groundwater development and management in the future by providing unique and completely new hydrological and hydrogeological data. However, at present, the RS data should be considered along with the conventional field data. In spite of the weaknesses of water balance methods in semi-arid areas, recently developed water balance methods combined with GIS technology are powerful tools for estimating groundwater re-charge, when spatial-temporal variability of components in water balance is taken into account (Lerner et al., 1990; De Vries and Simmers, 2002; Eilers et al., 2007).When enough data sets are available, integrated surface-groundwater modeling is recommended for more accurate estimation of groundwater recharge and discharge. Acknowledgements This work was supported by a grant(14RDRP-B076275-01-000000) from Infrastructure and transportation technology promotion research Program funded by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport of Korean government.

  4. BVOCs emission in a semi-arid grassland under climate warming and nitrogen deposition

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    H. J. Wang

    2012-04-01

    Full Text Available Biogenic volatile organic compounds (BVOCs profoundly affect atmospheric chemistry and ecosystem functioning. BVOCs emission and their responses to global change are still unclear in grasslands, which cover one quarter of the Earth's land surface and are currently undergoing the largest changes. Over two growing seasons, we conducted a field experiment in a semi-arid grassland (Inner Mongolia, China to examine the emission and the responses of BVOCs emissions to warming and nitrogen deposition. The natural emission rate (NER of monoterpene (dominant BVOCs here is 107 ± 16 μg m−2 h−1 in drought 2007, and 266 ± 53 μg m−2 h−1 in wet 2008, respectively. Warming decreased the standard emission factor (SEF by 24% in 2007, while it increased by 43% in 2008. The exacerbated soil moisture loss caused by warming in dry season might be responsible for the decrease of SEF in 2007. A possible threshold of soil moisture (8.2% (v/v, which controls the direction of warming effects on monoterpene emission, existed in the semiarid grassland. Nitrogen deposition decreased the coverage of Artemisia frigida and hence reduced the NER by 24% across the two growing seasons. These results suggest that the grasslands dominated by the extended Artemisia frigida are an important source for BVOCs, while the responses of their emissions to global changes are more uncertain since they depend on multifactorial in-situ conditions.

  5. Groundwater Overexploitation and Seawater Intrusion in Coastal Areas of Arid and Semi-Arid Regions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nawal Alfarrah

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available The exploitation of groundwater resources is of high importance and has become very crucial in the last decades, especially in coastal areas of arid and semi-arid regions. The coastal aquifers in these regions are particularly at risk due to intrusion of salty marine water. One example is the case of Tripoli city at the Mediterranean coast of Jifarah Plain, North West Libya. Libya has experienced progressive seawater intrusion in the coastal aquifers since the 1930s because of its ever increasing water demand from underground water resources. Tripoli city is a typical area where the contamination of the aquifer in the form of saltwater intrusion is very developed. Sixty-four groundwater samples were collected from the study area and analyzed for certain parameters that indicate salinization and pollution of the aquifer. The results demonstrate high values of the parameters Electrical Conductivity, Na+, K+, Mg2+, Cl− and SO42−, which can be attributed to seawater intrusion, where Cl− is the major pollutant of the aquifer. The water types according to the Stuyfzand groundwater classification are mostly CaCl, NaCl and Ca/MgMix. These water types indicate that groundwater chemistry is changed by cation exchange reactions during the mixing process between freshwater and seawater. The intensive extraction of groundwater from the aquifer reduces freshwater outflow to the sea, creates drawdown cones and lowering of the water table to as much as 25 m below mean sea level. Irrigation with nitrogen fertilizers and domestic sewage and movement of contaminants in areas of high hydraulic gradients within the drawdown cones probably are responsible for the high NO3− concentration in the region.

  6. The aggregate description of semi-arid vegetation with precipitation-generated soil moisture heterogeneity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C. B. White

    1997-01-01

    Full Text Available Meteorological measurements in the Walnut Gulch catchment in Arizona were used to synthesize a distributed, hourly-average time series of data across a 26.9 by 12.5 km area with a grid resolution of 480 m for a continuous 18-month period which included two seasons of monsoonal rainfall. Coupled surface-atmosphere model runs established the acceptability (for modelling purposes of assuming uniformity in all meteorological variables other than rainfall. Rainfall was interpolated onto the grid from an array of 82 recording rain gauges. These meteorological data were used as forcing variables for an equivalent array of stand-alone Biosphere-Atmosphere Transfer Scheme (BATS models to describe the evolution of soil moisture and surface energy fluxes in response to the prevalent, heterogeneous pattern of convective precipitation. The calculated area-average behaviour was compared with that given by a single aggregate BATS simulation forced with area-average meteorological data. Heterogeneous rainfall gives rise to significant but partly compensating differences in the transpiration and the intercepted rainfall components of total evaporation during rain storms. However, the calculated area-average surface energy fluxes given by the two simulations in rain-free conditions with strong heterogeneity in soil moisture were always close to identical, a result which is independent of whether default or site-specific vegetation and soil parameters were used. Because the spatial variability in soil moisture throughout the catchment has the same order of magnitude as the amount of rain falling in a typical convective storm (commonly 10% of the vegetation's root zone saturation in a semi-arid environment, non-linearity in the relationship between transpiration and the soil moisture available to the vegetation has limited influence on area-average surface fluxes.

  7. Transitions in Land Use Architecture under Multiple Human Driving Forces in a Semi-Arid Zone

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Issa Ouedraogo

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available The present study aimed to detect the main shifts in land-use architecture and assess the factors behind the changes in typical tropical semi-arid land in Burkina Faso. Three sets of time-series LANDSAT data over a 23-year period were used to detect land use changes and their underpinning drivers in multifunctional but vulnerable ecologies. Group discussions in selected villages were organized for mapping output interpretation and collection of essential drivers of change as perceived by local populations. Results revealed profound changes and transitions during the study period. During the last decade, shrub and wood savannahs exhibited high net changes (39% and −37% respectively with a weak net positive change for cropland (only 2%, while cropland and shrub savannah exhibited high swap (8% and 16%. This suggests that the area of cropland remained almost unchanged but was subject to relocation, wood savannah decreased drastically, and shrub savannah increased exponentially. Cropland exhibited a null net persistence while shrub and wood savannahs exhibited positive and negative net persistence (1.91 and −10.24, respectively, indicating that there is movement toward agricultural intensification and wood savannah tended to disappear to the benefit of shrub savannah. Local people are aware of the changes that have occurred and support the idea that illegal wood cutting and farming are inappropriate farming practices associated with immigration; absence of alternative cash generation sources, overgrazing and increasing demand for wood energy are driving the changes in their ecosystems. Policies that integrate restoration and conservation of natural ecosystems and promote sustainable agroforestry practices in the study zone are highly recommended.

  8. Occurrence and identification of the etiologic agents of plant diseases in cactus (Opuntia ficus-indica Mill.) in the semi-arid region of Paraiba

    OpenAIRE

    Anne Evelyne Franco de Souza; Luciana Cordeiro Nascimento; Egberto Araújo; Edson Batista Lopes; Francisca Maria Souto

    2010-01-01

    Cactus forage (Opuntia ficus-indica Mill.), intensely cultivated in dry regions of northeast Brazil, although well adapted to the harsh semi-arid climate is affected by major problems such as pests and diseases, responsible for significant losses in production. This study aimed to investigate the occurrence and diversity of the etiologic agents of diseases of cactus cultivated in 38 municipalities in the semi-arid region of Paraiba. The analyses were conducted and processed at the Laboratory ...

  9. Flood frequency analysis and generation of flood hazard indicator maps in a semi-arid environment, case of Ourika watershed (western High Atlas, Morocco)

    Science.gov (United States)

    El Alaoui El Fels, Abdelhafid; Alaa, Noureddine; Bachnou, Ali; Rachidi, Said

    2018-05-01

    The development of the statistical models and flood risk modeling approaches have seen remarkable improvements in their productivities. Their application in arid and semi-arid regions, particularly in developing countries, can be extremely useful for better assessment and planning of flood risk in order to reduce the catastrophic impacts of this phenomenon. This study focuses on the Setti Fadma region (Ourika basin, Morocco) which is potentially threatened by floods and is subject to climatic and anthropogenic forcing. The study is based on two main axes: (i) the extreme flow frequency analysis, using 12 probability laws adjusted by Maximum Likelihood method and (ii) the generation of the flood risk indicator maps are based on the solution proposed by the Nays2DFlood solver of the Hydrodynamic model of two-dimensional Saint-Venant equations. The study is used as a spatial high-resolution digital model (Lidar) in order to get the nearest hydrological simulation of the reality. The results showed that the GEV is the most appropriate law of the extreme flows estimation for different return periods. Taking into consideration the mapping of 100-year flood area, the study revealed that the fluvial overflows extent towards the banks of Ourika and consequently, affects some living areas, cultivated fields and the roads that connects the valley to the city of Marrakech. The aim of this study is to propose new technics of the flood risk management allowing a better planning of the flooded areas.

  10. In-situ unsaturated zone stable water isotope (2H and 18O) measurements in semi-arid environments using tunable off-axis integrated cavity output spectroscopy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gaj, M.; Beyer, M.; Koeniger, P.; Wanke, H.; Hamutoko, J.; Himmelsbach, T.

    2015-06-01

    Stable isotopes (deuterium, 2H, and oxygen-18, 18O) of soil pore water were measured directly in the field using tunable off-axis integrated cavity output spectroscopy (OA-ICOS) and commercially available soil gas probes in a semi-arid region of the Cuvelai-Etosha-Basin, Namibia. High spatial and temporal resolution was achieved in the study area with reasonable accuracy and measurements were in agreement with laboratory-based cryogenic vacuum extraction and subsequent cavity ring down laser spectroscopic isotope analysis (CRDS). After drift correction of the isotope data, mean precision for over 140 measurements of two consecutive field campaigns in June and November 2014 were 1.8 and 0.46 ‰ for δ2H and 18O, respectively. Mean Accuracy using quality check standards was 5 and 0.3 ‰ for δ2H and δ18O, respectively. Results support the applicability of an in-situ measurement system for the determination of stable isotopes in soil pore water. Spatio-temporal variability could be deduced with the observed data in an extremely dry evaporation dominated environment which was sporadically affected by intermittent rainfall.

  11. KAJIAN PEMENUHAN KEBUTUHAN AIR MINUM UNTUK MASYARAKAT DI KAWASAN SEMI-ARID INDONESIA (A Study on Fulfillment of Drinking Water Need of People in Semi-Arid Areas in Indonesia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jakobis Johanis Messakh

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available ABSTRAK Kawasan Kota Kupang dan sekitarnya saat ini berkembang menjadi pusat perekonomian, pendidikan dan sosial budaya di NTT, dengan laju permintaan kebutuhan air minum yang tinggi. Tantangan penyediaan air minum semakin besar, karena daerah tersebut merupakan kawasan semi-arid di Indonesia yang memiliki keterbatasan ketersediaan dan kontinuitas air dari berbagai sumber air yang ada. Penelitian ini bertujuan untuk menganalisa pemenuhan kebutuhan air minum bagi masyarakat di kawasan semi-arid Indonesia, khususnya Regional Kupang, tahun 2015-2035. Penelitian dibagi atas tiga tahap, yakni tahap pertama mengkaji proyeksi laju permintaan air minum tahun 2015-2035, tahap kedua melakukan identifikasi potensi sumber air tersedia, dan tahap ketiga mengatur skenario pemenuhan kebutuhan air minum. Hasil penelitian menunjukkan bahwa, potensi sumber air yang ada, sulit untuk memenuhi kebutuhan air minum pada rentang waktu perencanaan 2015-2035, khususnya mulai tahun 2019 dengan target pencapaian pelayanan air minum harus mencapai 100%. Untuk mengatasi hal ini maka, paradigma pengelolaan sumber daya air untuk keperluan multisektor perlu disesuaikan menurut kekhasan kawasan semi-arid, dengan prioritas utama untuk kebutuhan air minum. Potensi curah hujan yang terjadi perlu dioptimalkan pemanfaatannya sebagai sumber air baku, melalui pembangunan waduk, sarana penampungan air hujan lainnya dan disertai upaya konservasi. Penghematan penggunaan air sesuai kebutuhan dan kearifan lokal daerah, serta pengaturan prioritas daerah pelayanan untuk sistem perpipaan air minum, merupakan strategi lainnya yang bisa dilakukan. Penggunaan air tanah yang merupakan sumber air baku utama, harus dikendalikan dengan mempertimbangkan daya dukung lingkungan. ABSTRACT Kupang and its surrounding region are currently developing into a center of economy, education and socio-culture in the NTT province, with a high rate of demand for drinking water. The challenge to provide drinking

  12. Recent water quality trends in a typical semi-arid river with a sharp decrease in streamflow and construction of sewage treatment plants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cheng, Peng; Li, Xuyong; Su, Jingjun; Hao, Shaonan

    2018-01-01

    Identification of the interactive responses of water quantity and quality to changes in nature and human stressors is important for the effective management of water resources. Many studies have been conducted to determine the influence of these stressors on river discharge and water quality. However, there is little information about whether sewage treatment plants can improve water quality in a region where river streamflow has decreased sharply. In this study, a seasonal trend decomposition method was used to analyze long-term (1996-2015) and seasonal trends in the streamflow and water quality of the Guanting Reservoir Basin, which is located in a semi-arid region of China. The results showed that the streamflow in the Guanting Reservoir Basin decreased sharply from 1996-2000 due to precipitation change and human activities (human use and reservoir regulation), while the streamflow decline over the longer period of time (1996-2015) could be attributed to human activities. During the same time, the river water quality improved significantly, having a positive relationship with the capacity of wastewater treatment facilities. The water quality in the Guanting Reservoir showed a deferred response to the reduced external loading, due to internal loading from sediments. These results implied that for rivers in which streamflow has declined sharply, the water quality could be improved significantly by actions to control water pollution control. This study not only provides useful information for water resource management in the Guanting Reservoir Basin, but also supports the implementation of water pollution control measures in other rivers with a sharp decline in streamflow.

  13. Simple, spatial and predictive approach for cereal yield prediction in the semi-arid areas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Toumi, Jihad; Khabba, Said; Er-Raki, Salah; Le page, Michel; Chahbi Bellakanji, Aicha; Lili Chabaane, Zohra; Ezzahar, Jamal; Zribi, Mehrez; Jarlan, Lionel

    2016-04-01

    The objective is to develop a simple, spatial and predictive approach of dry matter (DM) and grain yield (GY) of cereal in the semi-arid areas. The proposed method is based on the three efficiencies model of Monteith (1972). This approach summarizes the transformation of solar radiation to the dry matter (DM) by the climate (ɛc), interception (ɛi) and conversion (ɛconv) efficiencies. The method combines the maximum of ɛi and ɛconv (noted ɛimax and ɛconvmax) into a single parameter denoted ɛmax, calculating as a function of cumulating growing degree day (CGDD). Also, the stress coefficient ks, which affects the conversion of solar radiation to the biomass was calculated by the surface temperature or the water balance at the root zone. In addition, the expression of ks has been improved by the consideration of the results achieved by deficit irrigation (AquaCrop and STICS models) which showed that the value of ks from 0.7 to 1 didn't affect significantly the cereal production. For the partitioning of the dry matter developed, between straw and grain, the method proposed calculates a variable Harvest Index coefficient (HI). HI is deducted from CGDD and HI0max (maximal final harvest Index in the region of study). Finally, the approach calculates DM depending Satellite Information (NDVI and surface temperature Ts) and climatic data (solar radiation and air temperature). In the case of no availability of Ts, the amount of irrigation is required to calculate ks. Until now, the developed model has been calibrated and validated on the irrigated area R3, located 40 Km east of Marrakech. The evolutions of DM and GY were reproduced satisfactorily. R2 and RMSE are respectively 0.98 and 0.35 t/ha and 0.98 and 0.19 t/ha, respectively. Currently, additional tests are in progress on data relating to the Kairouan plain of Tunisia.

  14. New Approaches for Responsible Management of Offshore Springs in Semi-arid Regions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shaban, Amin; de Jong, Carmen; Al-Sulaimani, Zaher

    2017-04-01

    In arid and semi-arid regions, such as the Mediterranean and Gulf Region where water is scarce water demand has been exacerbated and become a major environmental challenge. Presently there is massive pressure to develop new water sources to alleviate existing water stress. In the quest for more freshwater even groundwater discharge into the sea in the form of "off-shore freshwater springs" (or submarine groundwater discharge) has been contemplated as a potential source of unconventional water in coastal zones. Offshore-springs are derived from aquifers with complex geological controls mainly in the form of faults and karst conduits. Representing a border-line discipline, they have been poorly studied with only few submarine groundwater monitoring sites existing worldwide. Recently, innovative techniques have been developed enabling springs to be detected via remote sensing such as airborne surveys or satellite images. "Thermal Anomalies" can be clearly identified as evidence for groundwater discharge into the marine environment. A diversity of groundwater routes along which off-shore springs are fed from land sources can be recognized and near-shore and offshore springs differentiated and classified according to their geometry. This is well pronounced along the coast of Lebanon and offshore of Oman. Offshore springs play an important role in the marine ecosystem as natural sources of mercury, metals, nutrients, dissolved carbon species and in cooling or warming ocean water. However, they are extremely sensitive to variations in qualitative and quantitative water inputs triggered by climate change and anthropogenic impacts especially in their recharge zones. Pollutants such as sewage, detergents, heavy metals or herbicides that negatively affect water quality of offshore springs can transit the groundwater rapidly. Recently these springs have also been severely affected by uncontrolled water abstraction from land aquifers. In Bahrain, overpumping combined with

  15. Seasonal Variations of the Surface Urban Heat Island in a Semi-Arid City

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sirous Haashemi

    2016-04-01

    effective. The only exception existed in the correlation between elevation and IS, which may be useful to simulate the SUHI at night. This study suggests that in semi-arid cities, such as Tehran, with the urban-rural indicator, a surface urban cool island may be observed in daytime while SUHI at nighttime; with other indicators, SUHI can be observed in both day and night. Thus, SUHI studies require the acquisition of remote sensing image data at both daytime and nighttime and careful selection of SUHI indicators.

  16. Water Governance and Adaptation to Disturbances in Irrigated Semi-Arid Agricultural Systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Evans, T. P.; McCord, P. F.; McBride, L.; Gower, D.; Caylor, K. K.

    2013-12-01

    Climate and other physical drivers of environmental systems are modifying the global availability of water for irrigation. At the same time population growth is placing an increased demand on water resources as local municipalities promote agricultural production as a mechanism to support human welfare and development. Substantial has research focused on household-level agricultural decision-making and adaptation. But equally important are institutional dynamics, or the rules implemented to allocate water resources across different user groups. Previous work has identified design principles for common-pool resource systems that tend to lead to sustained governance regimes. Likewise, past research has addressed the issue of "institutional fit", or locally adapted governance arrangements characterized through governance structure. However, much of the complexity behind institutional dynamics and adaptive capacity lies in the translation of data to information to knowledge, and how this sequence contributes to effective cross-scale water management and decision-making - an arena that has arguably received less attention in the water management literature. We investigate the interplay between governance regimes, data/information and institutional dynamics in irrigation systems in semi-arid regions of Kenya. In particular, we articulate the role of knowledge and data in institutional dynamics at multiple levels of analysis. How do users at different decision-making levels incorporate social and hydrological information in water governance? What data is needed to develop the information and knowledge users need for effective management? While governance structure is certainly a critical component of water management systems - we emphasize the interplay between the data-information-knowledge sequence and institutional dynamics. We present findings from household and manager-level surveys examining irrigation practices and the institutions designed to equitably allocate

  17. Zonal characterization of hillslope erosion processes in a semi-arid high mountain catchment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Torres, Raquel; Millares, Agustín; Aguilar, Cristina; Moñino, Antonio; Ángel Losada, Miguel; José Polo, María

    2013-04-01

    Mediterranean and semi-arid catchments, generally suffer heterogeneous erosive processes at different spatio-temporal scales which produce, in a synergistic manner, a large amount of sediment supply. In mountainous catchments, the influence of pluvio-nival hydrological regime leads to a clear subdivision into homogeneous zones regarding the nature of hillslope processes. Here, a distinction could be addressed with 1) subsurface erosion due to saturated soil by intense snowmelt pulses and 2) steepest mid-mountain soil loss with rill/interrill, small-scale landslides and ephemeral or permanent gullying. Furthermore, the associated channels in these areas are formed by wide alluvial floodplains with important bedload contributions. This complexity conditions the evaluation of erosion and monitoring at catchment scale with elevated costs in time, devices and staff. The catchment of the Guadalfeo river encloses 1200 km², with important presence of snow in the summits height on its right margin, and semiarid low range hills with very erodible soils on its left margin. Gully erosion, landslides and stream bed-load processes, extremely actives in this area, are responsible of a real problem of soil loss and desertification with a high associated cost. This work suggests a methodology for the zonal assessment of different erosive processes taking into account the described heterogeneity and the reduction of research costs. To do this, high resolution bathymetric and topographic surveys supported in a reservoir (110 hm3) allowed the differentiation of bedload and suspended sediments as both are deposited in different locations and hence the validation of the hillslope sediment yield. In parallel, measurements in homogeneous areas were selected in order to obtain zonal results to achieve the representative processes involved. The use of portable samplers allows the remote changing of sampling routines, and thus to capture the temporal scale of the processes and the

  18. Dynamic model of the genesis of calcretes replacing silicate rocks in semi-arid regions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Yifeng; Nahon, Daniel; Merino, Enrique

    1994-12-01

    the mineral and textural zonation observed in many calcretes (namely, at the bottom of the profile the parent rock is first replaced by sepiolite, only part of which is in turn replaced by calcite, whereas at the top of the calcrete the sepiolite is itself completely replaced by the calcite, which appears to "directly" replace the parent rock). The model can produce calcrete near the Earth's surface well above the water table. Low P CO 2, intensive evaporation, and long dry seasons all are predicted to produce thicker calcretes. Calcretes constitute an effective geochemical tool that, via replacement, removes parent silicate rocks and shapes the landscape of semi-arid countries. The model herein provides a mechanism that accounts for the efficiency of replacement in removing silicates.

  19. Seed Dispersal by Ants in the Semi-arid Caatinga of North-east Brazil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leal, Inara R.; Wirth, Rainer; Tabarelli, Marcelo

    2007-01-01

    Background and Aims Myrmecochory is a conspicuous feature of several sclerophyll ecosystems around the world but it has received little attention in the semi-arid areas of South America. This study addresses the importance of seed dispersal by ants in a 2500-km2 area of the Caatinga ecosystem (north-east Brazil) and investigates ant-derived benefits to the plant through myrmecochory. Methods Seed manipulation and dispersal by ants was investigated during a 3-year period in the Xingó region. Both plant and ant assemblages involved in seed dispersal were described and ant behaviour was characterized. True myrmecochorous seeds of seven Euphorbiaceae species (i.e. elaiosome-bearing seeds) were used in experiments designed to: (1) quantify the rates of seed cleaning/removal and the influence of both seed size and elaiosome presence on seed removal; (2) identify the fate of seeds dispersed by ants; and (3) document the benefits of seed dispersal by ants in terms of seed germination and seedling growth. Key Results Seed dispersal by ants involved one-quarter of the woody flora inhabiting the Xingó region, but true myrmecochory was restricted to 12·8 % of the woody plant species. Myrmecochorous seeds manipulated by ants faced high levels of seed removal (38–84 %) and 83 % of removed seeds were discarded on ant nests. Moreover, seed removal positively correlated with the presence of elaiosome, and elaiosome removal increased germination success by at least 30 %. Finally, some Euphorbiaceae species presented both increased germination and seedling growth on ant-nest soils. Conclusions Myrmecochory is a relevant seed dispersal mode in the Caatinga ecosystem, and is particularly frequent among Euphorbiaceae trees and shrubs. The fact that seeds reach micro-sites suitable for establishment (ant nests) supports the directed dispersal hypothesis as a possible force favouring myrmecochory in this ecosystem. Ecosystems with a high frequency of myrmecochorous plants appear not

  20. Variability of soil CO2 efflux in a semi-arid grassland in Arizona

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krishnan, P.; Meyers, T. P.; Heuer, M.

    2017-12-01

    Soil surface CO2 efflux or soil respiration (RS) is one of the most important components of the global carbon cycle. So it is critical to evaluate the response of soil respiration to environmental conditions to predict how future climate and land cover changes influence the ecosystem carbon balance. Continuous half-hourly measurements of RS were made between the end of March to December 2015 in a semi-arid temperate grassland located on the Audubon Research Ranch in south western Arizona (31.5907N, 110.5104W, elevation 1496 m), USA. This first time measurements of Rs over this site using an automated soil chamber were used to investigate the seasonal and diurnal variation of Rs and its relationship to environmental variables. The mean annual air temperature and precipitation at this site were 16 deg C and 370 mm with more than 60% of the annual precipitation was received during the North American monsoon period (July-September). Following the onset of the monsoon, drastic changes in vegetation growth occured turning the ecosystem to a carbon sink by August. Temporal variability in Rs was closely related to the changes in near surface soil temperature at 2 cm (Ts) and soil water content at 5 cm (θ). Half -hourly Rs varied from nearly 0.1 μmol m-2 s-1 in the winter months to a maximum of 5 μmol m-2 s-1 in the peak growing season in August. During the dry pre-monsoon period (May -June), Rs was relatively low ( 0.0.08 m3 m-3, RS was positively correlated to soil temperature at the 2 cm depth following an exponential relationship. Below this value of θ, RS was largely decoupled from TS dropping to less than half of their maximum values during wet soil conditions. Analysis of daily mean nighttime Rs for the year showed that for periods with θ below the threshold, the sensitivity of RS to temperature were substantially reduced resulting in a Q10 significantly < 2, thereby confirming that RS was less affected by soil temperature under low soil water conditions at this

  1. Post-Fire Evapotranspiration and Net Ecosystem Exchange over A Semi-Arid Grassland in Arizona

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krishnan, P.; Meyers, T. P.; Heuer, M.

    2015-12-01

    The seasonal and interannual variability of evapotranspiration (E) and net ecosystem exchange (NEE) following a fire disturbance over a semi -arid grassland located on the Audubon Research Ranch in south western Arizona (31.5907N, 110.5104W, elevation 1496 m), USA, and their relationships to environmental variables were examined using continuous measurements of water vapour and CO2 fluxes made from first week of June 2002 to 2009 using the eddy covariance technique. The research ranch was established in 1969 as an ecological research preserve and it is now one of the largest ungrazed, privately managed grassland sites in Arizona. A wild fire occurred in April - May 2002, and burned all the standing vegetation and litter on in research ranch (~38,000 acres) including 500 acres of grassland. The mean annual temperature and precipitation (P) at this site were ~16 deg C and ~370 mm, respectively. More than 60% of the annual P was received during the North American monsoon period (July-September) with the lowest annual P in the drought years of 2004 and 2009. Drastic changes in albedo, vegetation growth and evapotranspiration occurred following the onset of the monsoon season in July. The ecosystem was mostly a carbon sink during monsoon period. Daily total evapotranspiration during July-August increased from 2 mm d-1 in 2002 to >3 mm d-1 in 2007. The mean annual E over the site was during 2003 -2009 was 352 ±75 mm. With the onset of monsoon the ecosystem turned to carbon sink in 2002, with daily total net ecosystem exchange (NEE) varying up to ~normal July-September P. Because of this, the recovery of the ecosystem was delayed. During 2002-2009, the ecosystem was mostly a carbon source except in 2006 an year with high growing season Normalized-difference vegetation index, longest monsoon growing season and the highest annual and July-September P. The interannual variations in annual E and NEE were mostly controlled by annual P, July-September NDVI and growing season

  2. Human-Induced Vegetation Degradation in a Semi-Arid Rangeland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jackson, Hasan

    Current assessments of anthropogenic land degradation and its impact on vegetation at regional scales are prone to large uncertainties due to the lack of an objective, transferable, spatially and temporally explicit measure of land degradation. These uncertainties have resulted in contradictory estimates of degradation extent and severity and the role of human activities. The uncertainties limit the ability to assess the effects on the biophysical environment and effectiveness of past, current, and future policies of land use. The overall objective of the dissertation is to assess degradation in a semi-arid region at a regional scale where the process of anthropogenic land degradation is evident. Net primary productivity (NPP) is used as the primary indicator to measure degradation. It is hypothesized that land degradation resulting from human factors on the landscape irreversibly reduces NPP below the potential set by environmental conditions. It is also hypothesized that resulting reductions in NPP are distinguishable from natural, spatial and temporal, variability in NPP. The specific goals of the dissertation are to (1) identify the extent and severity of degradation using productivity as the primary surrogate, (2) compare the degradation of productivity to other known mechanisms of degradation, and (3) relate the expression of degradation to components of vegetation and varying environmental conditions. This dissertation employed the Local NPP Scaling (LNS) approach to identify patterns of anthropogenic degradation of NPP in the Burdekin Dry Tropics (BDT) region of Queensland (14 million hectares), Australia from 2000 to 2013. The method started with land classification based on the environmental factors presumed to control NPP to group pixels having similar potential NPP. Then, satellite remotely sensing data were used to compare actual NPP with its potential. The difference, in units of mass of carbon fixed in NPP per unit area per monitoring interval and

  3. Iranian speleothems: Investigating Quaternary climate variability in semi-arid Western Asia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carolin, Stacy; Morgan, Jacob; Peckover, Emily; Walker, Richard; Henderson, Gideon; Rowe, Peter; Andrews, Julian; Ersek, Vasile; Sloan, Alastair; Talebian, Morteza; Fattahi, Morteza; Nezamdoust, Javad

    2016-04-01

    Rapid population growth and limited water supply has highlighted the need for vigorous water resource management practices in the semi-arid regions of Western Asia. One significant unknown in this discussion is the future change in rainfall amount due to the consequential effects of today's greenhouse gas forcing on the regional climate system. Currently, there is little paleoclimate proxy data in Western Asia to extend climate records beyond the limits of the instrumental period, leaving scant evidence to investigate the system's response to various climate forcings on different timescales. Here we present a synthesis of speleothem climate records across northern Iran, from the wetter climate of the Alborz and Zagros mountain ranges to the dry northeast, in order to investigate the magnitude of past climate variability and the forcings responsible. The stalagmites collected from the west and north-central mountain ranges, areas with ~200-400mm mean annual precipitation mostly falling within the fall-winter-spring months, all demonstrate growth limited to the interglacial periods of the Quaternary. We present overlapping Holocene stable isotope records with a complementary trace element record to assist in interpreting the isotopic variability. One of the records is sampled at civilizations in areas of the near East. Imposed upon decadal-scale variability, the record reveals a 1,000-yr gradual trend toward enriched stable oxygen isotope values, interpreted as a trend toward drier conditions, which ends with an abrupt 300-yr cessation in growth beginning at 4.3 kyBP, coincident with the so-called 4.2 kyBP drought event. From the northeast Iranian plateau, we present a new stalagmite record that spans the penultimate deglaciation and Stages 5e-5a. This region presently receives limited rain annually (~100-300mm/yr, regularly falling between November and May), and the record presented is one of the first speleothem climate records to span a deglaciation in West Asia

  4. 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.

  5. 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.; Slack, David H.; Rytuba, James J.

    2012-01-01

    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 wastes in a semi-arid environment requires addressing concurrent changes in the amounts of potential tailings released through fluvial processes and the transport capacity of a wash.

  6. Diurnal regulation of photosynthesis in Jatropha curcas under drought during summer in a semi-arid region

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tominaga, Jun; Inafuku, Sayuri; Coetzee, Tidimalo; Kawamitsu, Yoshinobu

    2014-01-01

    The diurnal photosynthetic responses to drought in Jatropha curcas have not been well assessed under field conditions in harsh semi-arid habitats. To illustrate this, diurnal changes in chlorophyll fluorescence and gas exchange rates were measured in field-grown Jatropha with or without a short (13 days) water recovery treatment under drought conditions during hot summer in a semi-arid. Sensitive stomatal closure coordinated with a drying atmosphere strictly limited a net CO 2 assimilation rate with a predominant morning peak, eventually turning negative during the day. Even though the risk of excess excitation energy which potentially causes photodamage increased with the extremely low capacity for CO 2 fixation, Jatropha preserved the integrity of PSII. Quantitative analysis of quenching partitioning revealed that regulated thermal energy dissipation accounted a large fraction of both instantaneous and daily absorbed energy by up to 80 and 72%, respectively, under the drought condition. Water recovery treatment more than doubled daily CO 2 uptake via mitigating diurnal stomatal closure. The regulated thermal dissipation flexibly adjusted PSII quantum efficiency to capacity of CO 2 fixation. In addition, downregulation of PSII quantum efficiency via sustained regulated thermal dissipation was observed and thought to be an additional photoprotective function. It is clear that Jatropha strongly rely upon the regulated thermal dissipation under drought condition, which must be critically important for this strict water conserving species, especially under a climate with high solar radiation loads as is seen in semi-arid regions. - Highlights: • Diurnal gas exchange and the fate of absorbed energy were assessed in Jatropha. • The dynamic stomatal closure was the predominant restriction under water stress. • The PSII integrity was preserved even under severe water stress. • The regulated thermal dissipation accounted by up to 72% of daily absorbed energy.

  7. The influence of the climatology of the semi-arid from Alagoas-Brazil on the raw milk microbiota

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ticiano Gomes do Nascimento

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available This study aimed to evaluate the influence of the climatology of the semi-arid from Alagoas-Brazil on the raw milk microbiota in semi-arid area of the 07 micro-regions of the State of Alagoas of Alagoas, Brazil. The climatic data were extracted from National Institute of Meteorology from the Brazilian government. The raw milk was collected after the dairy cow milking process in 12 small rural associations of the semi-arid from the State of Alagoas, during the 4 seasons and the raw milk was carried out procedures of sampling, transportation and microbiological analysis. A total of 58 samples were counted coliforms at 45°C, Escherichia coli and coagulase-positive Staphylococcus. Only 02 rural associations presented low levels of microbiological contamination, which were located in areas of climatic conditions and parameters of thermal comfort index and vegetation index favorable, but 10 rural associations presented high counting of coliforms at 45°C, Escherichia coli. The climatologic parameters (maximum temperature, atmospheric pressure, bovine comfort thermal index and vegetation index have showed to influence the growth of the coliforms at 45°C and Escherichia coli with high incidence during the summer weather. The precipitation parameter, bovine thermal comfort and vegetation index have displayed to influence coagulase-positive Staphylococcus counting especially during the period between the summer end and the autumn beginning seasons. New Actions, and Rural Education and Health Programs should be implemented as politics of Food Safety. New strategies and programs for dissemination more effective on the risks of transmission of pathogens and Foodborne Diseases are necessary as the part of emergence politics of the health and education areas. Regulatory Actions should be encouraged within the processes that improve the quality control of raw milk as well its bioproducts, with professional assistance relevant in agriculture area.

  8. Population dynamics of feral horses (Equus caballus) following above-average rainfall in a semi-arid environment of Australia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kampmann, S; Hampson, B A; Pollitt, C C

    2013-11-01

    Recent record rainfall in much of semi-arid Central Australia is the most likely reason for a feral horse population increase in excess of normal. Uncontrolled numbers of feral horses have habitat degradation and animal welfare implications. The aims of this study were to investigate the social structure of feral horses and assess their population growth rate following unseasonably high rainfall. The study area was 4000 km(2) of unmanaged, semi-arid country in Central Australia (latitude 24.50°S, longitude 132.10°E). Horses were identified by descriptive features from ground searches, movement-activated cameras and 'hides' positioned at key water holes. Wherever possible, sex and age categories were documented. Population growth rate was estimated by the number of foals divided by the number of horses older than 1 year in the observed population. A total of 1424 horses were identified and categorised, of which 335 were foals born within the current year. Only 123 juveniles were identified. Of the adult horses, 53.4% were male and 46.6% were female and this differed from parity (P = 0.04). Of the mares, 71.9% had a foal at foot and the population growth rate was 29.5%. With a sustained population growth rate of 29.5%, this population of feral horses will more than double within 3 years. The high population increase will likely have a detrimental effect on native fauna and flora and the fragile, semi-arid ecosystems of Central Australia. After a period of high rainfall and plentiful resources, 'normal' drought conditions will return and many feral horses will starve and die as they compete for limited resources. © 2013 Australian Veterinary Association.

  9. Species diversity and drivers of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal communities in a semi-arid mountain in China

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    He Zhao

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF play an essential role in complex ecosystems. However, the species diversity and composition of AMF communities remain unclear in semi-arid mountains. Further, it is not well understood if the characteristics of AMF community assemblies differ for different habitat types, e.g., agricultural arable land, artificial forest land, natural grassland, and bush/wood land. Here, using the high-throughput technology by Illumina sequencing on the MiSeq platform, we explored the species diversity and composition of soil AMF communities among different habitat types in a semi-arid mountain (Taihang Mountain, Mid-western region of China. Then, we analyzed the effect of nutrient composition and soil texture on AMF community assembly. Our results showed that members of the Glomus genera were predominated in all soil types. The distance-based redundancy analysis indicated that the content of water, available phosphorus, and available potassium were the most crucial geochemical factors that significantly affected AMF communities (p < 0.05. The analysis of the soil texture confirmed that AMF diversity was negatively correlated with soil clay content. The comparison of AMF diversity among the various habitat types revealed that the artificial forest land had the lowest AMF diversity in comparison with other land types. Our findings suggest that there were differences in species diversity and composition of soil AMF communities among different habitat types. These findings shed new light on the characteristics of community structure and drivers of community assembly in AMF in semi-arid mountains, and point to the potential importance of different habitat types on AMF communities.

  10. A pollution fate and transport model application in a semi-arid region: Is some number better than no number?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Özcan, Zeynep; Başkan, Oğuz; Düzgün, H Şebnem; Kentel, Elçin; Alp, Emre

    2017-10-01

    Fate and transport models are powerful tools that aid authorities in making unbiased decisions for developing sustainable management strategies. Application of pollution fate and transport models in semi-arid regions has been challenging because of unique hydrological characteristics and limited data availability. Significant temporal and spatial variability in rainfall events, complex interactions between soil, vegetation and topography, and limited water quality and hydrological data due to insufficient monitoring network make it a difficult task to develop reliable models in semi-arid regions. The performances of these models govern the final use of the outcomes such as policy implementation, screening, economical analysis, etc. In this study, a deterministic distributed fate and transport model, SWAT, is applied in Lake Mogan Watershed, a semi-arid region dominated by dry agricultural practices, to estimate nutrient loads and to develop the water budget of the watershed. To minimize the discrepancy due to limited availability of historical water quality data extensive efforts were placed in collecting site-specific data for model inputs such as soil properties, agricultural practice information and land use. Moreover, calibration parameter ranges suggested in the literature are utilized during calibration in order to obtain more realistic representation of Lake Mogan Watershed in the model. Model performance is evaluated using comparisons of the measured data with 95%CI for the simulated data and comparison of unit pollution load estimations with those provided in the literature for similar catchments, in addition to commonly used evaluation criteria such as Nash-Sutcliffe simulation efficiency, coefficient of determination and percent bias. These evaluations demonstrated that even though the model prediction power is not high according to the commonly used model performance criteria, the calibrated model may provide useful information in the comparison of the

  11. Insert Maranhao in O cial Semi-Arid Geography: A Requirement of Social Justice in the Brazilian Northeast

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    José de Jesus Sousa Lemos

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available The study attempts to show that the Brazilian semi-arid region is a region too needy. Even the Interior Ministry considering that there are municipalities only in the semiarid in eight of the Northeastern States excluding Maranhão, but incorporating municipalities in the state of Minas Gerais, the study also seeks to show that at least fteen municipalities of Maranhão has semiarid features and these municipalities have some of the largest pockets of poverty in this Brazilian ecosystem. In order to achieve its objectives the study uses data collected by the State University of Maranhão, the Demographic Census of IBGE 2010 and the GDP of the municipalities published by the IBGE in 2012. They use the estimated drought indices in a previous study of the State University of Maranhão to the Maranhão municipalities supposed to possess technical characteristics of semiarid region. Social indicators are estimated suchas education exclusion, income, running water, sanitation and garbage collection to all municipalities. The results showed that the average GDP of the semi-arid districts are much smaller than that of other municipalities in the Northeast. The ratio between the highest and the lowest GDP per capita in the semiarid region is 38.4. The iliteracy rates are high in all of them. Very high is also deprivation of access to piped water, sanitation and garbage collection also. e evidence of this study allow us to conclude that, in general, municipalities with technical characteristics of semi-arid in Maranhao State has economic, social and environmental indicators worse than the average of other municipalities already recognized in the Brazilian semiarid region.

  12. Terrestrial Occurrence of Perchlorate and the Relationship to Nitrate in Arid and Semi-Arid Areas (Invited)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jackson, W. A.; Bohlke, J. K.; Sevanthi, R.; Bexfield, L.; Fahlquist, L.; Andraski, B. J.; Gates, J. B.; Eckardt, F. D.; Gu, B.; Rao, B.; Davila, A.; Sturchio, N. C.; Hatzinger, P. B.; Harvey, G.

    2013-12-01

    Indigenous perchlorate (ClO4-) is of increasing interest due to its wide spread occurrence on Earth and Mars. In addition, ClO4- has a number of attributes that may facilitate life and it appears that the metabolic ability to reduce ClO4- may be quite ancient. There are numerous reports of natural terrestrial ClO4- occurrence, deposition, and production but little information exists on the relative occurrence of ClO4- to other major anions, stability of ClO4-, and the long term variations in ClO4- production that may have led to the observed distributions. ClO4- is chemically stable under typical environmental conditions but can be reduced by some bacteria under anoxic conditions. We evaluated samples of soils/caliches and groundwater from a number of arid and semi-arid areas including multiple areas of the U.S. southwest (Edwards Aquifer, Rio Grande Basin, and Amargosa Desert), southern Africa, United Arab Emirates, China (3 locations, including the massive Turpan-Hami NO3- deposits ), Antarctica, and large areas of the Atacama Desert in Chile. NO3- and ClO4- concentrations in soils/caliches were highly correlated (r>0.75) at each location and generally for groundwater samples (r=0.60-0.97). Average NO3-/ClO4-molar ratios were generally lower and less variable in groundwaters (11,000 to 61,000) and somewhat higher and more variable for soils/caliches (12,000 to 120,000) excluding Atacama Desert samples. These ratios are bracketed by the range of ratios observed in dry and wet deposition in the United States. In contrast, NO3-/ClO4- molar ratios of Atacama samples are an order of magnitude lower (1,400) than any other location evaluated or any measured deposition. The isotopic composition of NO3- (δ15N, δ18O, and Δ17O) varies substantially among the sites. Sites that contain atmospheric NO3- primarily (Turpan-Hami and Atacama) if not solely (Antarctica Dry Valley), based on δ18O and Δ17O values, tend to have relatively low NO3-/ClO4- ratios, possibly

  13. Integrated meteorological and hydrological drought model: A management tool for proactive water resources planning of semi-arid regions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rad, Arash Modaresi; Ghahraman, Bijan; Khalili, Davar; Ghahremani, Zahra; Ardakani, Samira Ahmadi

    2017-09-01

    Conventionally, drought analysis has been limited to single drought category. Utilization of models incorporating multiple drought categories, can relax this limitation. A copula-based model is proposed, which uses meteorological and hydrological drought characteristics to assess drought events for ultimate management of water resources, at small scales, i.e., sub-watersheds. The chosen study area is a sub-basin located at Karkheh watershed (western Iran), with five raingauge stations and one hydrometric station, located upstream and at the outlet, respectively, which represent 41-year of data. Prior to drought analysis, time series of precipitation and streamflow records are investigated for possible dependency/significant trend. Considering semi-arid nature of the study area, boxplots are utilized to graphically capture the rainy months, which are used to evaluate the degree of correlation between streamflow and precipitation records via nonparametric correlations. Time scales of 3- and 12-month are considered, which are used to study vulnerability of early vegetation establishment and long-term ecosystem resilience, respectively. Among four common goodness of fit (GOF) tests, Anderson-Darling is found preferable for defining copula distribution functions through GOF measures, i.e., Akaike and Bayesian information criteria and normalized root mean square error. Furthermore, a GOF method is proposed to evaluate the uncertainty associated with different copula models using the concept of entropy. A new bivariate drought modeling approach is proposed through copulas. The proposed index named standardized precipitation-streamflow index (SPSI) unlike common indices which are used in conjunction with station data, can be applied on a regional basis. SPDI is compared with widely applied streamflow drought index (SDI) and standardized precipitation index (SPI). To assess the homogeneity of the dependence structure of SPSI regionally, Kendall-τ and upper tail coefficient

  14. Ethno-ornithology and conservation of wild birds in the semi-arid Caatinga of northeastern Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alves, Rômulo Romeu Nóbrega; Leite, Railson Cidennys Lourenço; Souto, Wedson Medeiros Silva; Bezerra, Dandara M M; Loures-Ribeiro, Alan

    2013-02-27

    The utilization of birds as pets has been recognized as one of the principal threats to global avifauna. Most of the information about the use and sale of birds as pets has been limited to areas of high biodiversity and whose impacts of anthropic actions have been widely broadcast internationally, for example for the Amazon Forest and forest remnants of Southeast Asia. The Caatinga predominates in the semi-arid region of Brazil, and is one of the semi-arid biomes with the greatest biological diversity in the world, where 511 species of birds exist. Many of these birds are used as pets, a common practice in the region, which has important conservationist implications but has been little studied. Therefore, the aim of the present study was to detail aspects of the use of birds as pets in a locality in the semi-arid region of Northeast Brazil. Information on the use of avifauna was obtained through interviews and visits to the homes of 78 wild bird keepers. A total of 41 species of birds were recorded, mostly of the families Emberizidae (n = 9 species), Columbidae (n = 7 species), Icteridae (n = 6 species) and Psittacidae (n = 3 species). The birds that were most often recorded were Paroaria dominicana (n = 79 especimens), Sporophila albogularis (n = 67), Aratinga cactorum (n = 49), Sporophila lineola (n = 36), Sicalis flaveola (n = 29) and Sporophila nigricollis (n = 27). The use of wild birds in the area studied, as an example of what occurs in other places in the semi-arid Northeast, demonstrates that such activities persist in the region, in spite of being illegal, and have been happening in clandestine or semi-clandestine manner. No statistically significant correlation were found between socioeconomic factors and keeping birds as pets reflects the cultural importance of this practice of rearing wild birds for pets in the region, which is widespread among the local population, independent of socioeconomic factors. Obviously, human pressure on the avifauna

  15. Evaluating water controls on vegetation growth in the semi-arid sahel using field and earth observation data

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Abdi, Abdulhakim M.; Boke-Olen, Niklas; Tenenbaum, David E.

    2017-01-01

    identify the main biophysical limitations that induce canopy water stress in Sahelian vegetation and evaluate the relationships between field data and Earth observation-derived spectral products for up-scaling GPP. We find that plant-available water and vapor pressure deficit together control the GPP......Water loss is a crucial factor for vegetation in the semi-arid Sahel region of Africa. Global satellite-driven estimates of plant CO2 uptake (gross primary productivity, GPP) have been found to not accurately account for Sahelian conditions, particularly the impact of canopy water stress. Here, we...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. D. Parkes

    2017-01-01

    large variability during the night. These results indicate dET 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 dv. Spatial and temporal variability of D-excess in ET fluxes therefore needs to be considered when using dv to study moisture recycling and during extended dry periods with weak moisture recycling may act as a tracer of the relative humidity at the oceanic moisture source.

  17. Simulations for Making On-farm Decisions in Relation to ENSO in Semi-arid Areas, South Africa

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tesfuhuney, W. A.; Crespo, O. O.; Walker, S. S.; Steyn, S. A.

    2017-12-01

    The study was employed to investigate and improve on-farm decision making on planting dates and fertilization by relating simulated yield and seasonal outlook information. The Agricultural Production Systems SIMulator model (APSIM) was used to explore ENSO/SOI effects for small-scale farmers to represent weather conditions and soil forms of semi-arid areas of Bothaville, Bethlehem and Bloemfontein regions in South Africa. The relationships of rainfall and SOI anomalies indicate a positive correlation, signifies ENSO/SOI as seasonal outlooks for study areas. Model evaluation results showed higher degree of bias (RMSEs/RMSE value of 0.88-0.98). The D-index of agreement in the range 0.61-0.71 indicate the ability of the APSIM-Maize model is an adequate tool in evaluating relative changes in maize yield in relation to various management practices and seasonal variations. During rainy, La Niño years (SOI > +5), highest simulated yields were found for Bethlehem in November with addition of 100 - 150 kg ha-1 N fertilization and up to 50 kg ha-1 for both Bothaville and Bloemfontein. With respect to various levels of fertilization, the dry El Niño years (SOI < -5) had a range of 0.90-1.31, 3.03-3.54 and 1.11-1.26 t ha-1 yields and showed to increase during La Niña years with a range of 2.50-2.66, 3.36-4.79 and 2.24-2.38 t ha-1 at Bothaville, Bethlehem and Bloemfontein for November planting. During El Niño episodes planting earlier and using 50 kg ha-1 fertilizer with improved short maturing cultivar are effective adaptation measures to counteract poor soils and erratic rainfall of semi-arid environment, Under optimal soil conditions and/or when probability of La Niño episodes, optimal yields are obtained by maximizing fertilization. Effective rainfall and tactical on-farm management decisions in associate with seasonal rainfall out looks information is a useful mechanism in reducing risk for dryland farming in semi-arid regions. Key word: Semi-arid; APSIM; SOI; El Ni

  18. Amphibian and reptile biodiversity in the semi-arid region of the municipality of Nopala de Villagrán, Hidalgo, Mexico.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roth-Monzón, Andrea J; Mendoza-Hernández, Andrés Alberto; Flores-Villela, Oscar

    2018-01-01

    Current global changes are putting both biodiversity and the processes that depend on it at risk. This is especially true for semi-arid regions and the flagship groups that inhabit them, such as amphibians and reptiles. Semi-arid regions are often thought to have lower biodiversity and thus have been overlooked, resulting in the underestimation of their biological richness. Therefore, the aim of this study was to conduct an inventory of amphibians and reptiles in the semi-arid municipality of Nopala de Villagrán, Mexico, and analyze its biodiversity in relation to the seasons, vegetation and microhabitat. During a year of fieldwork, we found 24 species in the area, most of them of low abundance, and one of which was recorded for the first time for the state of Hidalgo. We documented five amphibian species and 19 reptile species. We also found that observed species richness was higher in the rainy season and in xeric scrub vegetation, although only the season differences were significant according to rarefaction curves. Our findings highlight the importance of seasonality and vegetation type for the species that inhabit this semi-arid region. This study broadens our understanding of the importance of semi-arid regions and, by extension, that of other areas with similar characteristics.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. Machine learning for predicting soil classes in three semi-arid landscapes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brungard, Colby W.; Boettinger, Janis L.; Duniway, Michael C.; Wills, Skye A.; Edwards, Thomas C.

    2015-01-01

    Mapping the spatial distribution of soil taxonomic classes is important for informing soil use and management decisions. Digital soil mapping (DSM) can quantitatively predict the spatial distribution of soil taxonomic classes. Key components of DSM are the method and the set of environmental covariates used to predict soil classes. Machine learning is a general term for a broad set of statistical modeling techniques. Many different machine learning models have been applied in the literature and there are different approaches for selecting covariates for DSM. However, there is little guidance as to which, if any, machine learning model and covariate set might be optimal for predicting soil classes across different landscapes. Our objective was to compare multiple machine learning models and covariate sets for predicting soil taxonomic classes at three geographically distinct areas in the semi-arid western United States of America (southern New Mexico, southwestern Utah, and northeastern Wyoming). All three areas were the focus of digital soil mapping studies. Sampling sites at each study area were selected using conditioned Latin hypercube sampling (cLHS). We compared models that had been used in other DSM studies, including clustering algorithms, discriminant analysis, multinomial logistic regression, neural networks, tree based methods, and support vector machine classifiers. Tested machine learning models were divided into three groups based on model complexity: simple, moderate, and complex. We also compared environmental covariates derived from digital elevation models and Landsat imagery that were divided into three different sets: 1) covariates selected a priori by soil scientists familiar with each area and used as input into cLHS, 2) the covariates in set 1 plus 113 additional covariates, and 3) covariates selected using recursive feature elimination. Overall, complex models were consistently more accurate than simple or moderately complex models. Random

  2. Satellite observation of aerosol - cloud interactions over semi-arid and arid land regions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klüser, L.; Holzer-Popp, T.

    2012-04-01

    Satellite observations from three different sources are used to study the interactions between aerosol and ice clouds in five semi-arid and arid land regions over Africa and Asia, reaching from the South-African Kalahari to the Taklimakan and Gobi in Mongolia. (1) Six years of Aqua MODIS cloud and aerosol observations (including "Deep Blue" retrievals) which contain a qualitative separation into coarse and fine mode aerosol are analysed. (2) Five years of APOLLO cloud observations and SYNAER aerosol retrievals which allow discriminating between mineral dust and soot dominated cases from AATSR and SCIAMACHY on ENVISAT are exploited. (3) Moreover IASI provides one year of ice cloud and mineral dust observations over land retrieved with a newly developed method based on singular vector decomposition. Cloud top temperature observations are used to asses the state of convection and to statistically re-project observation distributions of cloud properties to background conditions. Then the difference between observation density distributions of background and re-projected aerosol-contaminated samples can be evaluated. By such way of analysis the influence of different cloud development stages, which also manifest in seasonal cycles of cloud properties, can be minimised. The analysis of the various observation density distributions shows that liquid water and ice effective radius is mainly decreased for increased total aerosol content for both aerosol types, biomass burning aerosols and mineral dust, separately. Two different modes of aerosol impacts on cloud optical depth can be shown. Optical depth is mainly increased, directly following the theory of the so-called "Twomey effect". In the West African Sahel a decrease of cloud water path (for both liquid water and ice) under the influence of absorbing aerosols results also in decreased optical depth. As at the same time the cloud fraction does not decrease under aerosol influence, the statistical decrease of mean

  3. 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

    reducing irrigation from I 300 to I 240 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.

  4. Cyanobacterial blooms in stratified and destratified eutrophic reservoirs in semi-arid region of Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ênio W. Dantas

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available This study investigated the dynamics of cyanobacteria in two deep, eutrophic reservoirs in a semi-arid region of Brazil during periods of stratification and destratification. Four collections were carried out at each reservoir at two depths at three-month intervals. The following abiotic variables were analyzed: water temperature, dissolved oxygen, pH, turbidity, water transparency, total phosphorus, total dissolved phosphorus, orthophosphate and total nitrogen. Phytoplankton density was quantified for the determination of the biomass of cyanobacteria. The data were analyzed using CCA. Higher mean phytoplankton biomass values (29.8 mm³.L-1 occurred in the period of thermal stratification. A greater similarity in the phytoplankton communities also occurred in this period and was related to the development of cyanobacteria, mainly Cylindrospermopsis raciborskii (>3.9 mm³.L-1. During the period of thermal destratification, this species co-dominated the environment with Planktothrix agardhii, Geitlerinema amphibium, Microcystis aeruginosa and Merismopedia tenuissima, as well as with diatoms and phytoflagellates. Environmental instability and competition among algae hindered the establishment of blooms more during the mixture period than during the stratification period. Thermal changes in the water column caused by climatologic events altered other physiochemical conditions of the water, leading to changes in the composition and biomass of the cyanobacterial community in tropical reservoirs.Este estudo investigou a dinâmica das cianobactérias em dois reservatórios eutróficos e profundos localizados na região semi-árida do Brasil durante períodos de estratificação e desestratificação térmica. Quatro coletas foram feitas em cada reservatório em duas profundidades em intervalo de três meses. As variáveis abióticas analisadas foram: temperatura da água, oxigênio dissolvido, pH, turbidez, transparência da água, fósforo total, f

  5. Drought dominates the interannual variability in global terrestrial net primary production by controlling semi-arid ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Ling; He, Bin; Chen, Aifang; Wang, Haiyan; Liu, Junjie; Lű, Aifeng; Chen, Ziyue

    2016-04-19

    Drought is a main driver of interannual variation in global terrestrial net primary production. However, how and to what extent drought impacts global NPP variability is unclear. Based on the multi-timescale drought index SPEI and a satellite-based annual global terrestrial NPP dataset, we observed a robust relationship between drought and NPP in both hemispheres. In the Northern Hemisphere, the annual NPP trend is driven by 19-month drought variation, whereas that in the Southern Hemisphere is driven by 16-month drought variation. Drought-dominated NPP, which mainly occurs in semi-arid ecosystems, explains 29% of the interannual variation in global NPP, despite its 16% contribution to total global NPP. More surprisingly, drought prone ecosystems in the Southern Hemisphere, which only account for 7% of the total global NPP, contribute to 33% of the interannual variation in global NPP. Our observations support the leading role of semi-arid ecosystems in interannual variability in global NPP and highlight the great impacts of long-term drought on the global carbon cycle.

  6. Quality of urban runoff in wet and dry seasons: a case study in a semi-arid zone.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ortiz-Hernández, Joyce; Lucho-Constantino, Carlos; Lizárraga-Mendiola, Liliana; Beltrán-Hernández, Rosa Icela; Coronel-Olivares, Claudia; Vázquez-Rodríguez, Gabriela

    2016-12-01

    Urban runoff (UR) is a promising new resource that may alleviate growing tensions in numerous arid and semi-arid regions of the world. However, it is precisely in these zones that the available UR quality characteristics are scarcer. This work aims to evaluate a wide set of parameters to establish a detailed approach to both the quality of UR in a midsized city in Central Mexico and the feasibility of using UR to recharge aquifers. UR from an institutional land use site was sampled during wet and dry seasons and assessed for suspended solids, organic matter, nutrients, microorganisms, metals, and persistent organic chemicals (i.e., polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, PAH). The results were analyzed using multivariate statistical methods to identify relationships among the variables, the sampling sites and the seasons. The soil erosion and the leaching of materials due to the water flow through vegetated areas were identified as the most influencing factor on the quality of the site runoff in both dry and wet seasons. Additionally, data were more heterogeneous during the dry season, and higher pollutant concentrations were found both during the dry season and in more pervious zones. We consider UR a promising water source for recharging aquifers in arid and semi-arid zones if a program is implemented that can integrate an adequate runoff treatment system, soil protection, and other non-structural measures.

  7. LEAF AREA DYNAMICS AND ABOVEGROUND BIOMASS OF SPECIFIC VEGETATION TYPES OF A SEMI-ARID GRASSLAND IN SOUTHERN ETHIOPIA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bosco Kidake Kisambo

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Leaf Area Index (LAI dynamics and aboveground biomass of a semi-arid grassland region in Southern Ethiopia were determined over a long rain season. The vegetation was categorized into four distinct vegetation types namely Grassland (G, Tree-Grassland (TG, Bushed-Grassland (BG and Bush-Tree grassland (BT. LAI was measured using a Plant Canopy Analyzer (LAI2000. Biomass dynamics of litter and herbaceous components were determined through clipping while the above ground biomass of trees and shrubs were estimated using species-specific allometric equations from literature. LAI showed a seasonal increase over the season with the maximum recorded in the BG vegetation (2.52. Total aboveground biomass for the different vegetation types ranged from 0.61 ton C/ha in areas where trees were non-existent to 8.80 ± 3.81ton C/ha in the Tree-Grassland vegetation in the study site. A correlation of LAI and AGB yielded a positive relationship with an R2 value of 0.55. The results demonstrate the importance of tropical semi-arid grasslands as carbon sinks hence their potential in mitigation of climate change.

  8. Optimization of first order decay gas generation model parameters for landfills located in cold semi-arid climates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vu, Hoang Lan; Ng, Kelvin Tsun Wai; Richter, Amy

    2017-11-01

    Canada has one of the highest waste generation rates in the world. Because of high land availability, land disposal rates in the province of Saskatchewan are high compared to the rest of the country. In this study, landfill gas data was collected at semi-arid landfills in Regina and Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, and curve fitting was carried out to find optimal k and L o or DOC values using LandGEM, Afvalzorg Simple, and IPCC first order decay models. Model parameters at each landfill were estimated and compared using default k and L o or DOC values. Methane generation rates were substantially overestimated using default values (with percentage errors from 55 to 135%). The mean percentage errors for the optimized k and L o or DOC values ranged from 11.60% to 19.93% at the Regina landfill, and 1.65% to 10.83% at the Saskatoon landfill. Finally, the effect of different iterative methods on the curve fitting process was examined. The residual sum of squares for each model and iterative approaches were similar, with the exception of iterative method 1 for the IPCC model. The default values in these models fail to represent landfills located in cold semi-arid climates. The use of site specific data, provided enough information is available regarding waste mass and composition, can greatly help to improve the accuracy of these first order decay models. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  9. Impact of Surface Soil Moisture Variations on Radar Altimetry Echoes at Ku and Ka Bands in Semi-Arid Areas

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christophe Fatras

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available Radar altimetry provides information on the topography of the Earth surface. It is commonly used for the monitoring not only sea surface height but also ice sheets topography and inland water levels. The radar altimetry backscattering coefficient, which depends on surface roughness and water content, can be related to surface properties such as surface soil moisture content. In this study, the influence of surface soil moisture on the radar altimetry echo and backscattering coefficient is analyzed over semi-arid areas. A semi-empirical model of the soil’s complex dielectric permittivity that takes into account that small-scale roughness and large-scale topography was developed to simulate the radar echoes. It was validated using waveforms acquired at Ku and Ka-bands by ENVISAT RA-2 and SARAL AltiKa respectively over several sites in Mali. Correlation coefficients ranging from 0.66 to 0.94 at Ku-band and from 0.27 to 0.96 at Ka-band were found. The increase in surface soil moisture from 0.02 to 0.4 (i.e., the typical range of variations in semi-arid areas increase the backscattering from 10 to 15 dB between the core of the dry and the maximum of the rainy seasons.

  10. Agave proves to be a low recalcitrant lignocellulosic feedstock for biofuels production on semi-arid lands

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-01-01

    Background Agave, which is well known for tequila and other liquor production in Mexico, has recently gained attention because of its attractive potential to launch sustainable bioenergy feedstock solutions for semi-arid and arid lands. It was previously found that agave cell walls contain low lignin and relatively diverse non-cellulosic polysaccharides, suggesting unique recalcitrant features when compared to conventional C4 and C3 plants. Results Here, we report sugar release data from fungal enzymatic hydrolysis of non-pretreated and hydrothermally pretreated biomass that shows agave to be much less recalcitrant to deconstruction than poplar or switchgrass. In fact, non-pretreated agave has a sugar release five to eight times greater than that of poplar wood and switchgrass . Meanwhile, state of the art techniques including glycome profiling, nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), Simon’s Stain, confocal laser scanning microscopy and so forth, were applied to measure interactions of non-cellulosic wall components, cell wall hydrophilicity, and enzyme accessibility to identify key structural features that make agave cell walls less resistant to biological deconstruction when compared to poplar and switchgrass. Conclusions This study systematically evaluated the recalcitrant features of agave plants towards biofuels applications. The results show that not only does agave present great promise for feeding biorefineries on semi-arid and arid lands, but also show the value of studying agave’s low recalcitrance for developments in improving cellulosic energy crops. PMID:24708685

  11. Synchronic historical patterns of species diversification in seasonal aplocheiloid killifishes of the semi-arid Brazilian Caatinga.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wilson J E M Costa

    Full Text Available The Caatinga is the largest nucleus of seasonally dry tropical forests in South America, but little is known about the evolutionary history and biogeography of endemic organisms. Evolutionary diversification and distribution of terrestrial vertebrates endemic to the Caatinga have been explained by palaeogeographical Neogene episodes, mostly related to changes in the course of the São Francisco River, the largest river in the region. Our objective is to estimate the timing of divergence of two endemic groups of short-lived seasonal killifishes inhabiting all ecoregions of the Caatinga, testing the occurrence of synchronic events of spatial diversification in light of available data on regional palaeogeography. We performed independent time-calibrated phylogenetic molecular analyses for two clades of sympatric and geographically widespread seasonal killifishes endemic to the Caatinga, the Hypsolebias antenori group and the Cynolebias alpha-clade. Our results consistently indicate that species diversification took place synchronically in both groups, as well as it is contemporary to diversification of other organisms adapted to life in the semi-arid Caatinga, including lizards and small mammals. Both groups originated during the Miocene, but species diversification started between the Late Miocene and Early Pliocene, when global cooling probably favoured the expansion of semi-arid areas. Synchronic diversification patterns found are chronologically related to Tertiary palaeogeographical reorganizations associated to continental drift and to Quaternary climatic changes, corroborating the recent proposal that South American biodiversity has been continuously shaped between the Late Paleogene and Pleistocene.

  12. Damage caused to the environment by reforestation policies in arid and semi-arid areas of China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cao, Shixiong; Tian, Tao; Chen, Li; Dong, Xiaobin; Yu, Xinxiao; Wang, Guosheng

    2010-06-01

    Traditional approaches to ecosystem restoration have considered afforestation to be an important tool. To alleviate land degradation in China, the Chinese government has therefore invested huge amounts of money in planting trees. However, the results of more than half a century of large-scale afforestation in arid and semi-arid China have shown that when the trees are not adapted to the local environment, the policy does not improve the environment, and may instead increase environmental degradation. When precipitation is lower than potential evaporation, surface soil moisture typically cannot sustain forest vegetation, and shrubs or steppe species replace the forest to form a sustainable natural ecosystem that exists in a stable equilibrium with the available water supply. The climate of much of northwestern China appears to be unsuitable for afforestation owing to the extremely low rainfall. Although some small-scale or short-term afforestation efforts have succeeded in this region, many of the resulting forests have died or degraded over longer periods, so policymakers must understand that these small-scale or short-term results do not support an inflexible policy of large-scale afforestation throughout arid and semi-arid northwestern China. Rather than focusing solely on afforestation, it would be more effective to attempt to recreate natural ecosystems that are better adapted to local environments and that thus provide a better chance of sustainable, long-term rehabilitation.

  13. Evaporative Fraction as an Indicator of Moisture Condition and Water Stress Status in Semi-Arid Rangeland Ecosystems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Francesco Nutini

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available Rangeland monitoring services require the capability to investigate vegetation condition and to assess biomass production, especially in areas where local livelihood depends on rangeland status. Remote sensing solutions are strongly recommended, where the systematic acquisition of field data is not feasible and does not guarantee properly describing the spatio-temporal dynamics of wide areas. Recent research on semi-arid rangelands has focused its attention on the evaporative fraction (EF, a key factor to estimate evapotranspiration (ET in the energy balance (EB algorithm. EF is strongly linked to the vegetation water status, and works conducted on eddy covariance towers used this parameter to increase the performances of satellite-based biomass estimation. In this work, a method to estimate EF from MODIS products, originally developed for evapotranspiration estimation, is tested and evaluated. Results show that the EF estimation from low spatial resolution over wide semi-arid area is feasible. Estimated EF resulted in being well correlated to field ET measurements, and the spatial patterns of EF maps are in agreement with the well-known climatic and landscape Sahelian features. The preliminary test on rangeland biomass production shows that satellite-retrieved EF as a water availability factor significantly increased the capacity of a remote sensing operational product to detect the variability of the field biomass measurements.

  14. The linkage between household water consumption and rainfall in the semi-arid region of East Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Messakh, J. J.; Moy, D. L.; Mojo, D.; Maliti, Y.

    2018-01-01

    Several studies have shown that the amount of water consumption by communities will depend on the factors of water consumption patterns that are influenced by social, cultural, economic and local climate conditions. Research on the linkage between rainfall and household water consumption in semi-arid areas of Indonesia has never been done. This study has been conducted on 17 regions in NTT, and case study has taken samples in one town and one village. The research used survey and documentation method. The results show that the average amount of household water consumption in semi-arid region of East Nusa Tenggara is 107 liters / person / day. Statistical test results using Pearson correlation found r = -0.194 and sig = 0.448. This means that there is a negative correlation between rainfall and household water consumption. The greater the rainfall the smaller the consumption of water, or the smaller the rainfall the greater the consumption of water, but the linkage is not significant. Research shows that the amount of household water consumption will be influenced by many interrelated factors and none of the most dominant factors, including the size of the rainfall that occurs in a region.

  15. Diurnal and Seasonal Variation of Surface Urban Cool and Heat Islands in the Semi-Arid City of Erbil, Iraq

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Azad Rasul

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available The influence of land surface temperature (LST makes the near-surface layer of the troposphere a key driver of urban climate. This paper assesses the temporal formation of the daytime Surface Urban Cool Island (SUCI and night-time Surface Urban Heat Island (SUHI effect in Erbil, Iraq, situated in a semi-arid climate region. LST retrievals from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS Aqua and Terra and MODIS Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI from January 2003 to December 2014 are analysed. The relationships of LST with NDVI and the Normalized Multi-band Drought Index (NMDI are investigated in order to assess the influence of vegetation and moisture on the observed patterns of LST and the SUCI/SUHI. The results indicate that during the daytime, in summer, autumn and winter, densely built-up areas had lower LST acting as a SUCI compared to the non-urbanised area around the city. In contrast, at night-time, Erbil experienced higher LST and demonstrated a significant SUHI effect. The relationship between LST and NDVI is affected by seasonality and is strongly inverted during spring (r2 = 0.73; p < 0.01. Contrary to previous studies of semi-arid cities, a SUCI was detected, not only in the morning, but also during the afternoon.

  16. Short Communication: Rhizosphere bacteria containing ACC-deaminase conferred drought tolerance in wheat grown under semi-arid climate

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Masood Ahmad Shakir

    2012-05-01

    Full Text Available Certain rhizobacteria have the potential of lowering endogenous ethylene levels in plants because of their 1- aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylate (ACC-deaminase activity and promoting root growth. This mechanism is of great agronomic significance under stress environments, which are known to induce accelerated production of ethylene. Thirty rhizobacteria were isolated from rhizosphere of wheat (Triticum aestivum L. growing in the Southern Punjab, a semi-arid region of Pakistan. Rhizobacteria were screened for ACC-deaminase activity and their potential to confer drought tolerance in wheat crop. Results of laboratory study revealed that selected rhizobacteria lowered endogenous ethylene levels in the rhizosphere as measured by Gas Chromatograph. Axenic studies showed that inoculation increased root-shoot length, root-shoot mass and lateral root number of the inoculated plants by 141, 44, 196, 52 and 30%, respectively, over control. Better-developed roots because of inoculation with plant growth promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR helped plants, a better crop stand that enhanced moisture and nutrient feeding volume resulting-in improved growth and yields of wheat crop. Two-year multi-location field trials inferred optimum yields with low delta water in semi-arid climate by PGPR containing ACC-deaminase. The enzyme ACC-deaminase probably lowered harmful ethylene levels which partially eliminated drought stress consequently utilizing soil moisture from lower profiles through proliferated roots.

  17. Management of nutrients and water in rainfed arid and semi-arid areas. Proceedings of a consultants meeting

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1998-07-01

    Sustainable food security is needed for the arid and semi-arid regions of the tropical, subtropical and warm-temperate climatic zones. In these regions the supply of locally grown food is unreliable because much of it is produced in conditions of highly variable rainfall. Even in favourable seasons, these regions re becoming increasingly dependent on imported food. The IAEA's involvement in field studies on soil-water use dates back several years. A five year Co-ordinated Research Project on ''The Use of Nuclear and Related Techniques in Assessment of Irrigation Schedules of Field Crops to Increase Effective Use of Water in Irrigation Projects''. That project, completed in 1995, laid a solid foundation for future research. Because of a scarcity of water in many developing countries and increasing needs for sustainable food security in the face of increasing populations and lack of funds for irrigation schemes of significant dimension, research must focus on improved management of (i) the modest quantities of fertilizers that are available to farmers, (ii) the natural resources that are available to farmers for increasing soil organic matter content, and (iii) rain water. The Joint FAO/IAEA Division of Nuclear Techniques in Food and Agriculture held a Consultants Meeting on Management of Nutrients and Water in Rainfed Arid and Semi-Arid Areas for Increasing Crop Production, 26-29 May 1997

  18. Analysis of the Current Nutrient Management Practices in Semi-Arid Areas of Eastern Kenya: A Nutmon Approach

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Karuku, A.M.

    2002-01-01

    Declining soil fertility caused mainly by continuous cultivation without adequate replenishment of nutrients, is a major factor contributing to low crop yields in the arid and semi arid areas of Kenya. Development of appropriate nutrient management strategies for suitable agricultural production in these areas is, therefore, a priority issue. in the study reported here, analyses of the current nutrient management practices were carried out using the nutrient monitoring (NUTMON) approach in order to create farm house-hold awareness on nutrient management aspects. The procedure involved participatory soil and nutrient flow maps and soil sampling at farm level. laboratory analysis of the soil samples was later carried out. Structured questionnaires were used for systematic collection of information on farm management practices in order to quantify flows of materials with emphasis on soil nutrients and cash. Results of the laboratory soil analysis were also presented to the farmers and discussed during feedback sessions. The test was carried out in three places namely, Kibwezi, Kasikeu and Kiomo. In all the three clusters, off-farm income was an important component of the total family income. Farm net cash flow was highest in Kibwezi cluster due to horticultural crop production activities. Household net cash flow was highest in Kasikeu, largely originating from off-farm income. It was concluded that NUTMON methodology appeared a suitable tool for the diagnostic of the farming system analysis and design in the arid and semi-arid lands of Kenya

  19. Analysis of Vegetation Behavior in a North African Semi-Arid Region, Using SPOT-VEGETATION NDVI Data

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Abdelghani Chehbouni

    2011-11-01

    Full Text Available The analysis of vegetation dynamics is essential in semi-arid regions, in particular because of the frequent occurrence of long periods of drought. In this paper, multi-temporal series of the Normalized Difference of Vegetation Index (NDVI, derived from SPOT-VEGETATION satellite data between September 1998 and June 2010, were used to analyze the vegetation dynamics over the semi-arid central region of Tunisia. A study of the persistence of three types of vegetation (pastures, annual agriculture and olive trees is proposed using fractal analysis, in order to gain insight into the stability/instability of vegetation dynamics. In order to estimate the state of vegetation cover stress, we propose evaluating the properties of an index referred to as the Vegetation Anomaly Index (VAI. A positive VAI indicates high vegetation dynamics, whereas a negative VAI indicates the presence of vegetation stress. The VAI is tested for the above three types of vegetation, during the study period from 1998 to 2010, and is compared with other drought indices. The VAI is found to be strongly correlated with precipitation.

  20. Water Resources Response to Climate and Land-Cover Changes in a Semi-Arid Watershed, New Mexico, USA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joonghyeok Heo

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available This research evaluates a climate-land cover-water resources interconnected system in a semi-arid watershed with minimal human impact from 1970 - 2009. We found _ increase in temperature and 10.9% decrease in precipitation. The temperature exhibited a lower increase trend and precipitation showed a similar decrease trend compared to previous studies. The dominant land-cover change trend was grass and forest conversion into bush/shrub and developed land and crop land into barren and grass land. These alterations indicate that changes in temperature and precipitation in the study area may be linked to changes in land cover, although human intervention is recognized as the major land-cover change contributor for the short term. These alterations also suggest that decreasing human activity in the study area leads to developed land and crop land conversion into barren and grass land. Hydrological responses to climate and land-cover changes for surface runoff, groundwater discharge, soil water content and evapotranspiration decreased by 10.2, 10.0, 4.1, and 10.5%, respectively. Hydrological parameters generally follow similar trends to that of precipitation in semi-arid watersheds with minimal human development. Soil water content is sensitive to land-cover change and offset relatively by the changes in precipitation.

  1. Hydrological Design of Two Low-Impact Development Techniques in a Semi-Arid Climate Zone of Central Mexico

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Liliana Lizárraga-Mendiola

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available This paper deals with the design of a bioretention cell and an infiltration trench in a semi- arid micro watershed. The study area was analyzed by characteristics such as slope changes (S, direction and maximum length of the urban runoff (L, and soil use (runoff coefficient, Rc. The bioretention cell was designed by the calculation of variables such as drainage area (A, concentration time (Tc, rainfall intensity (i, maximum peak drained (Qmax, inlet and outlet runoff (Qa and Qout, respectively, temperature (T, evaporation (Ev, potential evapotranspiration (PEm, consumptive use (U for tolerant plants to semi-arid climates, and soil infiltration capacity (Inf. To design the infiltration trench, only Tc, Qmax, and i were taken into account. The results showed that the designed bioretention cell could retain between 5.37% and 2.25% of runoff volume. As the efficiency of the bioretention cell can be defined by the need for additional irrigation, our results showed that the cell is inefficient in some of the dry months (November and December, even in years characterized by abundant rainfall. Besides, it was shown that the designed infiltration trench could store or infiltrate the water from typical rain events. Based on these results, it is the implementation of more Low-Impact Development (LID for runoff management in the study area is recommended.

  2. Hierarchical distance-based fuzzy approach to evaluate urban water supply systems in a semi-arid region.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yekta, Tahereh Sadeghi; Khazaei, Mohammad; Nabizadeh, Ramin; Mahvi, Amir Hossein; Nasseri, Simin; Yari, Ahmad Reza

    2015-01-01

    Hierarchical distance-based fuzzy multi-criteria group decision making was served as a tool to evaluate the drinking water supply systems of Qom, a semi-arid city located in central part of Iran. A list of aspects consisting of 6 criteria and 35 sub-criteria were evaluated based on a linguistic term set by five decision-makers. Four water supply alternatives including "Public desalinated distribution system", "PET Bottled Drinking Water", "Private desalinated water suppliers" and "Household desalinated water units" were assessed based on criteria and sub-criteria. Data were aggregated and normalized to apply Performance Ratings of Alternatives. Also, the Performance Ratings of Alternatives were aggregated again to achieve the Aggregate Performance Ratings. The weighted distances from ideal solution and anti-ideal solution were calculated after secondary normalization. The proximity of each alternative to the ideal solution was determined as the final step. The alternatives were ranked based on the magnitude of ideal solutions. Results showed that "Public desalinated distribution system" was the most appropriate alternative to supply the drinking needs of Qom population. Also, "PET Bottled Drinking Water" was the second acceptable option. A novel classification of alternatives to satisfy the drinking water requirements was proposed which is applicable for the other cities located in semi-arid regions of Iran. The health issues were considered as independent criterion, distinct from the environmental issues. The constraints of high-tech alternatives were also considered regarding to the level of dependency on overseas.

  3. Changes of soil bacterial diversity as a consequence of agricultural land use in a semi-arid ecosystem.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Guo-Chun Ding

    Full Text Available Natural scrublands in semi-arid deserts are increasingly being converted into fields. This results in losses of characteristic flora and fauna, and may also affect microbial diversity. In the present study, the long-term effect (50 years of such a transition on soil bacterial communities was explored at two sites typical of semi-arid deserts. Comparisons were made between soil samples from alfalfa fields and the adjacent scrublands by two complementary methods based on 16S rRNA gene fragments amplified from total community DNA. Denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE analyses revealed significant effects of the transition on community composition of Bacteria, Actinobacteria, Alpha- and Betaproteobacteria at both sites. PhyloChip hybridization analysis uncovered that the transition negatively affected taxa such as Acidobacteria, Chloroflexi, Acidimicrobiales, Rubrobacterales, Deltaproteobacteria and Clostridia, while Alpha-, Beta- and Gammaproteobacteria, Bacteroidetes and Actinobacteria increased in abundance. Redundancy analysis suggested that the community composition of phyla responding to agricultural use (except for Spirochaetes correlated with soil parameters that were significantly different between the agricultural and scrubland soil. The arable soils were lower in organic matter and phosphate concentration, and higher in salinity. The variation in the bacterial community composition was higher in soils from scrubland than from agriculture, as revealed by DGGE and PhyloChip analyses, suggesting reduced beta diversity due to agricultural practices. The long-term use for agriculture resulted in profound changes in the bacterial community and physicochemical characteristics of former scrublands, which may irreversibly affect the natural soil ecosystem.

  4. Adaptation to New Climate by an Old Strategy? Modeling Sedentary and Mobile Pastoralism in Semi-Arid Morocco

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Korbinian P. Freier

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available In a modeling study we examine vulnerability of income from mobile (transhumant pastoralism and sedentary pastoralism to reduced mean annual precipitation (MAP and droughts. The study is based on empirical data of a 3410 km2 research region in southern, semi-arid Morocco. The land use decision model integrates a meta-model of the Environmental Policy Integrated Climate (EPIC simulator to depict perennial and annual forage plant development. It also includes livestock dynamics and forward-looking decision making under uncertain weather. Mobile livestock in the model moves seasonally, sedentary livestock is restricted to pastures around settlements. For a reduction of MAP by 20%, our model shows for different experimental frequencies of droughts a significant decrease of total income from pastoralism by 8%–19% (p < 0.05. Looking separately at the two modes of pastoralism, pronounced income losses of 18%–44% (p < 0.05 show that sedentary pastoralism is much more vulnerable to dryer climate than mobile pastoralism, which is merely affected. Dedicating more pasture area and high quality fodder to mobile pastoralism significantly abates impacts from reduced MAP and droughts on total income by 11% (p < 0.05. Our results indicate that promotion of mobile pastoralism in semi-arid areas is a valuable option to increase resilience against climate change.

  5. Uncertainties in downscaled relative humidity for a semi-arid region ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Keywords. Climate change; downscaling; hydroclimatology; relative humidity; multi-step linear regression; Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Special Report on Emission Scenarios (IPCC SRES); Malaprabha river basin.

  6. 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.

  7. Formation of Titan's Lakes by Episodic Dissolution and Precipitation of a Surface Layer Under Semi-Arid Conditions: Comparison with the Pans and Calcretes of Etosha (Namibia)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bourgeois, O.; Lopez, T.; Le Mouélic, S.; Fleurant, C.; Tobie, G.; Cornet, T.

    2009-12-01

    Radar images from the Cassini spacecraft reveal closed, smooth and flat depressions above northern and southern latitudes of 60° on Titan, Saturn’s largest moon. These depressions have been interpreted as lakes of liquid hydro-carbons and dissolved nitrogen, resting on the icy crust that covers this moon. The depressions include large (over 100,000 square kilometers) seas with dendritic or poorly defined contours, small (1-10 km wide) circular steep-sided depressions, and medium-sized (20-50 km wide) depressions, the contours of which are composed of adjacent circular segments. Some depressions are completely filled with radar-dark material, while others are partially filled and some are empty. Most of these depressions lie in flat plains. By comparison with a terrestrial analogue located in the Etosha Basin (Namibia), we introduce here a dissolution-precipitation model for the formation of these lakes at the expense of a superficial soluble layer. The Etosha Basin is a flat sedimentary basin located at the western border of the Kalahari desert. The climate is semi-arid, with an average annual precipitation rate of 400 mm/yr and an average annual potential evaporation rate of 2200 mm/yr. Sediments in the basin include clays and silts; they are covered by a layer of soluble calcrete a few meters in thickness. The calcrete has formed by precipitation, in the subsurface, of calcium carbonate dissolved in groundwater. Precipitation of calcium carbonate from groundwater is due to the average annual dominance of groundwater evaporation over precipitation. The calcrete layer is dotted with dozens of so-called pans: these are closed, steep-sided, flat and smooth depressions, 1 to 200 km wide and a few meters deep. Relict boulders of calcrete rest on the silty, clayey and evaporitic floors of the pans and provide evidence that the pans grow by radial regressive dissolution of the calcrete layer. By comparison with the development of pans at the expense of the calcrete

  8. LAND USE/LAND COVER CHANGES IN SEMI-ARID MOUNTAIN LANDSCAPE IN SOUTHERN INDIA: A GEOINFORMATICS BASED MARKOV CHAIN APPROACH

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. A. Rahaman

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Nowadays land use/ land cover in mountain landscape is in critical condition; it leads to high risky and uncertain environments. These areas are facing multiple stresses including degradation of land resources; vagaries of climate and depletion of water resources continuously affect land use practices and livelihoods. To understand the Land use/Land cover (Lu/Lc changes in a semi-arid mountain landscape, Kallar watershed of Bhavani basin, in southern India has been chosen. Most of the hilly part in the study area covers with forest, plantation, orchards and vegetables and which are highly affected by severe soil erosion, landslide, frequent rainfall failures and associated drought. The foothill regions are mainly utilized for agriculture practices; due to water scarcity and meagre income, the productive agriculture lands are converted into settlement plots and wasteland. Hence, land use/land cover change deduction; a stochastic processed based method is indispensable for future prediction. For identification of land use/land cover, and vegetation changes, Landsat TM, ETM (1995, 2005 and IRS P6- LISS IV (2015 images were used. Through CAMarkov chain analysis, Lu/Lc changes in past three decades (1995, 2005, and 2015 were identified and projected for (2020 and 2025; Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI were used to find the vegetation changes. The result shows that, maximum changes occur in the plantation and slight changes found in forest cover in the hilly terrain. In foothill areas, agriculture lands were decreased while wastelands and settlement plots were increased. The outcome of the results helps to farmer and policy makers to draw optimal lands use planning and better management strategies for sustainable development of natural resources.

  9. Managing Environmental Flows for Impounded Rivers in Semi-Arid Regions- A Habitat Suitability Index (HSI) Approach for the Assessment of River Habitat for Salmonid Populations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pai, H.; Sivakumaran, K.; Villamizar, S. R.; Flanagan, J.; Guo, Q.; Harmon, T. C.

    2013-12-01

    Balancing ecosystem health in water-scarce, agriculturally dominated river basins remains a challenge. In dry water years, maintaining conditions for restored and sustained indigenous fish populations (a frequently used indicator for ecosystem health) is particularly challenging. Competing human demands include urban and agricultural water supplies, hydropower, and flood control. In many semi-arid regions, increasing drought intensity and frequency under future climate scenarios will combine with population increases to water scarcity. The goal of this work is to better understand how reservoir releases affect fish habitat and overall river aquatic ecosystem quality. Models integrating a diverse array of physical and biological processes and system state are used to forecast the river ecosystem response to changing drivers. We propose a distributed parameter-based Habitat Suitability Index (HSI) approach for assessing fish habitat quality. Our river ecosystem HSI maps are based on a combination of the following: (1) In situ data describing stream flow and water quality conditions; (2) Spatial observations, including surveyed cross-sections, aerial imagery and digital elevation maps (DEM) of the river and its riparian corridor; and (3) Simulated spatially distributed water depths, flow velocities, and temperatures estimated from 1D and 2D river flow and temperature models (HEC-RAS and CE-QUAL-W2, respectively). With respect to (2), image processing schemes are used to classify and map key habitat features, namely riparian edge and shallow underwater vegetation. HSI maps can be modified temporally to address specific life cycle requirements of indicator fish species. Results are presented for several reaches associated with the San Joaquin River Restoration Project, focusing on several components of the Chinook salmon life cycle. HSI maps and interpretations are presented in the context of a range of prescribed reservoir release hydrographs linked to California water

  10. Characterization of water and energy exchanges for rainfed olive orchards in a semi-arid land : modeling and integration of remote sensing data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chebbi, Wafa; Le Dantec, Valérie; Boulet, Gilles; Lili Chabaane, Zohra; Fanise, Pascal; Mougenot, Bernard; Ayari, Hassan; Cheheb, Hechmi; Rivalland, Vincent; Zribi, Mehrez

    2016-04-01

    Evapotranspiration is one of the most important fluxes of the water balance in semi-arid areas. The components of evapotranspiration are soil evaporation (E) and transpiration (T) through the stomata of the plants. The estimation of crop actual transpiration is a major issue in central and south Tunisia because it affects irrigation scheduling, crop growth and yield. Olive is well adapted to the soil and climate conditions of Tunisia and covers an entire agricultural land of 1.7 million hectares representing nearly 79% of the total tree area. The southern part of the Mediterranean basin faces climate change and could affect olive tree production in rainfed conditions. The hydrological functioning of sparse olive trees is difficult to characterize because of its low LAI. For a good comprehension of the functionning of the water and energy transfers throuigh the Soil-Plant-Atmosphere continuum, we combine the eddy covariance method, soil water content measurements and sap flow method. The main objectives of this study are 1) to characterize the eco-hydrological processes of sparse olive trees from a dedicated experimental protocol and a SVAT model adapted to the sparse characteristic of such crop 2) to analyze the vulnerability of the system to climate change. First, we identify the factors of changes of transpiration at different time steps and characterized the different water stress levels by the combined use of different types of ecophysiological (sap flow) and spectral (photochemical reflectance index) measurements. Then, we estimate the percentage of evaporation, transpiration and the total evapotranspiration (ET). We compared scaled evapotranspiration values (the fraction of cover fraction contributing to the footprint of total ET fluxes) with scaled sap flow values. The sum of soil evaporation and transpiration matches well the total ET. A SVAT model is currently be applied and expanded to represent the impact of canopy structure on radiative and turbulent

  11. Land Use/land Cover Changes in Semi-Arid Mountain Landscape in Southern India: a Geoinformatics Based Markov Chain Approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rahaman, S. A.; Aruchamy, S.; Balasubramani, K.; Jegankumar, R.

    2017-05-01

    Nowadays land use/ land cover in mountain landscape is in critical condition; it leads to high risky and uncertain environments. These areas are facing multiple stresses including degradation of land resources; vagaries of climate and depletion of water resources continuously affect land use practices and livelihoods. To understand the Land use/Land cover (Lu/Lc) changes in a semi-arid mountain landscape, Kallar watershed of Bhavani basin, in southern India has been chosen. Most of the hilly part in the study area covers with forest, plantation, orchards and vegetables and which are highly affected by severe soil erosion, landslide, frequent rainfall failures and associated drought. The foothill regions are mainly utilized for agriculture practices; due to water scarcity and meagre income, the productive agriculture lands are converted into settlement plots and wasteland. Hence, land use/land cover change deduction; a stochastic processed based method is indispensable for future prediction. For identification of land use/land cover, and vegetation changes, Landsat TM, ETM (1995, 2005) and IRS P6- LISS IV (2015) images were used. Through CAMarkov chain analysis, Lu/Lc changes in past three decades (1995, 2005, and 2015) were identified and projected for (2020 and 2025); Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) were used to find the vegetation changes. The result shows that, maximum changes occur in the plantation and slight changes found in forest cover in the hilly terrain. In foothill areas, agriculture lands were decreased while wastelands and settlement plots were increased. The outcome of the results helps to farmer and policy makers to draw optimal lands use planning and better management strategies for sustainable development of natural resources.

  12. Mapping Annual Forest Cover in Sub-Humid and Semi-Arid Regions through Analysis of Landsat and PALSAR Imagery

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yuanwei Qin

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Accurately mapping the spatial distribution of forests in sub-humid to semi-arid regions over time is important for forest management but a challenging task. Relatively large uncertainties still exist in the spatial distribution of forests and forest changes in the sub-humid and semi-arid regions. Numerous publications have used either optical or synthetic aperture radar (SAR remote sensing imagery, but the resultant forest cover maps often have large errors. In this study, we propose a pixel- and rule-based algorithm to identify and map annual forests from 2007 to 2010 in Oklahoma, USA, a transitional region with various climates and landscapes, using the integration of the L-band Advanced Land Observation Satellite (ALOS PALSAR Fine Beam Dual Polarization (FBD mosaic dataset and Landsat images. The overall accuracy and Kappa coefficient of the PALSAR/Landsat forest map were about 88.2% and 0.75 in 2010, with the user and producer accuracy about 93.4% and 75.7%, based on the 3270 random ground plots collected in 2012 and 2013. Compared with the forest products from Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA, National Land Cover Database (NLCD, Oklahoma Ecological Systems Map (OKESM and Oklahoma Forest Resource Assessment (OKFRA, the PALSAR/Landsat forest map showed great improvement. The area of the PALSAR/Landsat forest was about 40,149 km2 in 2010, which was close to the area from OKFRA (40,468 km2, but much larger than those from JAXA (32,403 km2 and NLCD (37,628 km2. We analyzed annual forest cover dynamics, and the results show extensive forest cover loss (2761 km2, 6.9% of the total forest area in 2010 and gain (3630 km2, 9.0% in southeast and central Oklahoma, and the total area of forests increased by 684 km2 from 2007 to 2010. This study clearly demonstrates the potential of data fusion between PALSAR and Landsat images for mapping annual forest cover dynamics in sub-humid to semi-arid regions, and the resultant forest maps would be

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aaron M Foley

    Full Text Available 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

  14. The project for the study of Wurno irrigation scheme area in the Rima hydrological basin, Sokoto State, Nigeria for Fadama irrigation and water supply, using isotope techniques

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Maduabuchi, C.

    2000-07-01

    This publication summarizes the result of the project on the use of isotope techniques for the study of recharge and discharge of the Sokoto-Rima hydrological basin in the semi-arid and northwestern part of Nigeria

  15. Moa (Aves : Dinornithiformes) nesting material from rockshelters in the semi-arid interior of South Island, New Zealand

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wood, J.R.

    2008-01-01

    The first descriptions of plant remains from the nests of extinct moa (Aves: Dinornithiformes) are presented. The samples of desiccated nesting material were collected during excavation of Holocene sediments within five rockshelters in semi-arid regions of southern South Island, New Zealand, between 1964 and 2006. The nesting materials were attributed to moa on the basis of associated moa coprolites, feathers and eggshell fragments. The nesting material includes short, clipped twigs from a range of locally available tree, shrub and liane species. These twig clippings show a size distribution similar to those recorded from moa gizzard content samples. Other nesting material from the sites includes longer twigs and fragments of bark. The plant materials suggest general similarities between the nests of moa and those of the extant Australasian ratites, emu (Dromaius novaehollandiae) and cassowary (Casuarius spp.). (author). 37 refs., 7 figs., 1 tab

  16. Leachate generation from landfill in a semi-arid climate: A qualitative and quantitative study from Sousse, Tunisia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frikha, Youssef; Fellner, Johann; Zairi, Moncef

    2017-09-01

    Despite initiatives for enhanced recycling and waste utilization, landfill still represents the dominant disposal path for municipal solid waste (MSW). The environmental impacts of landfills depend on several factors, including waste composition, technical barriers, landfill operation and climatic conditions. A profound evaluation of all factors and their impact is necessary in order to evaluate the environmental hazards emanating from landfills. The present paper investigates a sanitary landfill located in a semi-arid climate (Tunisia) and highlights major differences in quantitative and qualitative leachate characteristics compared to landfills situated in moderate climates. Besides the qualitative analysis of leachate samples, a quantitative analysis including the simulation of leachate generation (using the HELP model) has been conducted. The results of the analysis indicate a high load of salts (Cl, Na, inorganic nitrogen) in the leachate compared to other landfills. Furthermore the simulations with HELP model highlight that a major part of the leachate generated originates form the water content of waste.

  17. Environmental isotope profiles of the soil water in loess unsaturated zone in semi-arid areas of china

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lin Ruifen; Wei Keqin

    2001-01-01

    According to the IAEA Research Contract No. 9402, soil cores CHN/97 and CHN/98 were taken from loess deposits of China in Inner-Mongolia and Shanxi Province, respectively. Isotope and chemical constituents of the interstitial water from these cores, compared with data obtained from the same places before, were used for estimating the infiltration rate. Tritium profiles from the loess unsaturated zone show clearly defined peaks of 1963 fallout. It implies that piston-flow model is the dominant process for soil water movement in the highly homogeneous loess deposits. It has been shown from this study that vertical infiltration through the unsaturated zone accounts for 12%-13% of the annual precipitation and perhaps is not the main mechanism of groundwater recharge in semi-arid loess areas. (author)

  18. Chromosomal diversity and phylogenetic inferences concerning thrips (Insecta, Thysanoptera) in a semi-arid region of Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brito, R O; Affonso, P R A M; Silva, J C

    2010-11-16

    The order Thysanoptera is composed of cosmopolitan phytophagous and predaceous insects with diverse life histories, behaviors and habits. This order is currently thought to form a trichotomy with Hemiptera and Psocodea; Hemiptera and Thysanoptera are considered to be sister groups. The interrelationships within Thysanoptera remain unclear and cytotaxonomic studies are scarce in thrips. We report, for the first time, chromosomal data on seven species of thrips collected from a semi-arid region in the States of Bahia and Pernambuco (Northeast Brazil). A distinctive chromosomal pattern was observed in Thysanoptera when compared to other members within the infraclass Paraneoptera. Considerable karyotypic differences were also found within genera and species of Thysanoptera. Based on these data, we suggest that Paraneoptera forms a polyphyletic group and that Terebrantia and Tubulifera should be regarded as sister groups. The high chromosomal variability observed in Thysanoptera indicates that chromosomal rearrangements have played a key role in their speciation pathways.

  19. Investigation of black carbon aerosols and their characteristics over tropical urban and semi-arid rural environments in peninsular India

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nazeer Hussain, S.; Chakradhar Rao, T.; Balakrishnaiah, G.; Rama Gopal, K.; Raja Obul Reddy, K.; Siva Kumar Reddy, N.; Lokeswara Reddy, T.; Pavan Kumari, S.; Ramanjaneya Reddy, P.; Ramakrishna Reddy, R.

    2018-01-01

    We conducted the campaign studies on Black Carbon (BC) aerosol measured at two different locations such as semi-arid rural, Anantapur (ATP) and tropical wet and dry urban, Tirupati (TPTY) of Andhra Pradesh. The campaign took place from June 1 to June 30, 2015. We studied diurnal variations and weekdays/weekends differences of BC mass Concentration and its correlations with meteorological parameters for two sites. BC exhibits a strong weekly cycle in which weekend concentrations are significantly lower than weekday concentrations by ∼14 and 31% for ATP and TPTY due to the decrease in the local traffic volumes during weekends due to a well-known 'weekend effect'. An estimation of percentage of contribution of BC indicates the main sources of BC as fossil fuel combustion and which is dominantly observed at TPTY than at ATP. Finally, the influence of the transported air masses has also been discussed with the help of HYSPLIT air mass backward trajectories.

  20. Nematodes associated with Iguana iguana (Linnaeus, 1758) (Squamata, Iguanidae) in Semi-arid areas of Northeastern Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Teles, D A; Brito, S V; Teixeira, A A M; Ribeiro, S C; Araujo-Filho, J A; Lima, V F; Pereira, A M A; Almeida, W O

    2017-01-01

    Nematodes were analyzed in Iguana iguana, a large lizard Iguanidae that is widely distributed throughout the Americas. The aims of the study were investigate the helminths associated with the lizard, I. iguana in semi-arid areas of northeastern Brazil and analyze the parasitological indices (prevalence, and mean intensity of infection). A total of 18 specimens of I. iguana were examined (8 males and 10 females). The overall prevalence of infection was 66.6% (12/18), while in males, it was 75% (6/8) and in females, 60% (6/10). Iguana iguana was identified as a new host for Physaloptera sp., Atractis sp., Piratuba sp. and Subulura sp. This registered contributes to the knowledge of helminth diversity associated with this host.

  1. Nematodes associated with Iguana iguana (Linnaeus, 1758 (Squamata, Iguanidae in Semi-arid areas of Northeastern Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    D. A. Teles

    Full Text Available Abstract Nematodes were analyzed in Iguana iguana, a large lizard Iguanidae that is widely distributed throughout the Americas. The aims of the study were investigate the helminths associated with the lizard, I. iguana in semi-arid areas of northeastern Brazil and analyze the parasitological indices (prevalence, and mean intensity of infection. A total of 18 specimens of I. iguana were examined (8 males and 10 females. The overall prevalence of infection was 66.6% (12/18, while in males, it was 75% (6/8 and in females, 60% (6/10. Iguana iguana was identified as a new host for Physaloptera sp., Atractis sp., Piratuba sp. and Subulura sp. This registered contributes to the knowledge of helminth diversity associated with this host.

  2. Modelling hydrological connectivity in semi-arid flat areas: effect of the flow accumulation algorithm on the spatial pattern

    Science.gov (United States)

    López-Vicente, Manuel; Álvarez, Sara

    2017-04-01

    Much of the water and sediment fluxes in semi-arid landscapes are found to be concentrated in localized pathways. Identifying the location of these pathways is important for management and restoration. This task becomes more complicated in flat areas, such as alluvial terraces, where geomorphic features of concentrated overland flow (rills and ephemeral gullies) are scarce or inexistent. Field identification of sediment delivery pathways as well as depositional areas is also difficult and challenged. The concept of hydrological connectivity (HC) helps us to express the complexity of landscape non-linear responses to rainfall inputs. One of the unsolved issues in overland flow modelling studies is the choice of the right flow accumulation algorithm (FAA). There is an abundant literature on runoff generation under semi-arid conditions, and relating HC and land use management and changes. However, we found a scientific gap in the literature focussed on modelling of HC in flat areas under semi-arid conditions. This study aims to fill in this gap by modelling HC in alluvial terraces (28 ha) in NE Spain under semi-arid conditions (342 mm / year), mainly devoted to rain-fed cereal fields, by using eight FAA. For this purpose, we applied a modified version of the Borselli's index of runoff and sediment connectivity (IC). The study area includes seven fields on flat alluvial terraces, three fields on a gentle slope, small patches of scrubland, and twelve grass buffer strips that are located between each set of fields. Gentle and flat areas (S mapping drone (model eBee by senseFly Ltd.). In order to minimize the effect of the vegetation on the photogrammetry restitution technique, pictures were taken in early spring, before the growth of the cereals. Then, several DEMs were generated independently. For this study, we chose the DEM at 0.5 x 0.5 m of spatial resolution. Before running the IC model, the continuity of the flow path lines throughout the landscape was ensured by

  3. The problems of over exploitation of aquifers in semi-arid areas: characteristics and proposals for mitigation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rodriguez-Estrella, T.

    2014-06-01

    This article presents a general analysis of the problems arising from overexploited aquifers in semi-arid areas, based on research carried out in the Region of Murcia (one of the most over-exploited areas in Europe). Among the negative impacts of this over exploitation are: the drying up of springs, the continuous drawdown of water levels (up to 10 m/y), piezo metric drops (over 30 m in one year if it is a karstic aquifer), an increase in pumping costs (elevating water from a depth of more than 450 m), abandonment of wells, diminishing groundwater reserves, deteriorating water quality, presence of CO{sub 2}, compartmentalizing of aquifers, etc. A series of internal measures is proposed to alleviate the over exploitation of the region. (Author)

  4. Do agrometeorological data improve optical satellite-based estimations of the herbaceous yield in Sahelian semi-arid ecosystems?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Diouf, Abdoul Aziz; Hiernaux, Pierre; Brandt, Martin Stefan

    2016-01-01

    Quantitative estimates of forage availability at the end of the growing season in rangelands are helpful for pastoral livestock managers and for local, national and regional stakeholders in natural resource management. For this reason, remote sensing data such as the Fraction of Absorbed Photosyn......Quantitative estimates of forage availability at the end of the growing season in rangelands are helpful for pastoral livestock managers and for local, national and regional stakeholders in natural resource management. For this reason, remote sensing data such as the Fraction of Absorbed...... evapotranspiration satellite gridded data to estimate the annual herbaceous yield in the semi-arid areas of Senegal. It showed that a machine-learning model combining FAPAR seasonal metrics with various agrometeorological data provided better estimations of the in situ annual herbaceous yield (R2 = 0.69; RMSE = 483...

  5. Characterization of Pseudomonas Species Isolated from the Rhizosphere of Plants Grown in Serozem Soil, Semi-Arid Region of Uzbekistan

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dilfuza Egamberdiyeva

    2005-01-01

    Full Text Available Collections of native Pseudomonas spp. are kept at the NCAM of Uzbekistan. Some of those organisms were isolated from the rhizosphere of cotton, wheat, corn, melon, alfalfa, and tomato grown in field locations within a semi-arid region of Uzbekistan. Strains used for this study were Pseudomonas alcaligenes, P. aurantiaca, P. aureofaciens, P. denitrificans, P. mendocina, P. rathonis, and P. stutzeri. Some of the pseudomonads have been characterized in this report. These strains produced enzymes, phytohormone auxin (IAA, and were antagonist against plant pathogenic fungi in in vitro experiments. Most of the strains were salt tolerant and temperature resistant. Some of the Pseudomonas spp. isolated in this study have been found to increase the growth of wheat, corn, and tomato in pot experiments.

  6. The problems of over exploitation of aquifers in semi-arid areas: characteristics and proposals for mitigation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rodriguez-Estrella, T.

    2014-01-01

    This article presents a general analysis of the problems arising from overexploited aquifers in semi-arid areas, based on research carried out in the Region of Murcia (one of the most over-exploited areas in Europe). Among the negative impacts of this over exploitation are: the drying up of springs, the continuous drawdown of water levels (up to 10 m/y), piezo metric drops (over 30 m in one year if it is a karstic aquifer), an increase in pumping costs (elevating water from a depth of more than 450 m), abandonment of wells, diminishing groundwater reserves, deteriorating water quality, presence of CO 2 , compartmentalizing of aquifers, etc. A series of internal measures is proposed to alleviate the over exploitation of the region. (Author)

  7. Regionalization of coaxial correlation diagrams for the semi-humid and semi-arid catchments in Northern China

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Q. Li

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available This study aims to identify both hydrologically and physically similar catchments which would be the best donors for runoff prediction in ungauged catchments. For this study, eight gauged catchments located in the semi-humid and semi-arid regions of Northern China were used. Hydrological similarity was defined based on the transferability of coaxial correlation diagrams. The physical similarity among catchments was determined by a weighted Euclidean distance based on 19 catchment descriptors including catchment topography, land cover, and soil type. The overlap between hydrologically similar catchments and physically similar catchments was then analysed to identify the best donors. The results suggest that six catchments were hydrologically similar, of which four catchments were both hydrologically and physically similar. It is argued that once a reliable coaxial correlation diagram has been established, the coaxial correlation diagram can be transferred from one catchment to another for runoff prediction, provided that these catchments are physical similar.

  8. The dominant role of semi-arid ecosystems in the trend and variability of the land CO2 sink

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ahlström, Anders; Raupach, Michael R.; Schurgers, Guy

    2015-01-01

    regions. Whereas the mean sink is dominated by highly productive lands (mainly tropical forests), the trend and interannual variability of the sink are dominated by semi-arid ecosystems whose carbon balance is strongly associated with circulation-driven variations in both precipitation and temperature.......The growth rate of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) concentrations since industrialization is characterized by large interannual variability, mostly resulting from variability in CO2 uptake by terrestrial ecosystems (typically termed carbon sink). However, the contributions of regional ecosystems...... to that variability are not well known. Using an ensemble of ecosystem and land-surface models and an empirical observation-based product of global gross primary production, we show that the mean sink, trend, and interannual variability in CO2 uptake by terrestrial ecosystems are dominated by distinct biogeographic...

  9. Vulnerability Assessment of the Livelihoods in Tanzania’s Semi-Arid Agro-Ecological Zone under Climate Change Scenarios

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Msafiri Y. Mkonda

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available Despite the established literature on the vulnerability to climate change in various parts of Tanzania, it is worthwhile to assess the extent of this vulnerability of the peoples’ livelihoods and predict its future outcome. This is particularly important in the vulnerable ecosystems, that is, the semi-arid zones of Tanzania where the people’s livelihoods are highly attached to the declining local condition. The present study aims to assess the livelihoods vulnerability in Kongwa District, the semi-arid zone of Central Tanzania. In doing so, a wide range of methods were employed during data collection and analyses including surveys, informative interviews, discussions and observation. The study sampled 400 (≤10% respondents during a survey. The Mann-Kendall Test with SPSS V20, Microsoft Excel and Theme content techniques were used for data analyses. The results indicate that climate stress has adversely impacted the quality of soil, vegetation, crop yields and intensified environmental degradation. Since most people depend upon the mentioned affected aspects, it is expected that also the level of livelihood vulnerability has elevated. Further, this situation has greatly contributed to increased poverty and thus, propagates the “tragedy of the common” to the available environmental resources. As a response to increased vulnerability, some farmers have abandoned thousands of hectares of agricultural farms that seemed to be less productive. Despite this, slight measures have been taken by both the government and other key stakeholders to limit vulnerability. The findings of this study provide a theoretical and practical basis for coordinating a sustainable man-environment relationship, ensuring the sustainability of the environment which is the major source of peoples’ livelihoods.

  10. Seasonal change detection of riparian zones with remote sensing images and genetic programming in a semi-arid watershed.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Makkeasorn, Ammarin; Chang, Ni-Bin; Li, Jiahong

    2009-02-01

    Riparian zones are deemed significant due to their interception capability of non-point source impacts and the maintenance of ecosystem integrity region wide. To improve classification and change detection of riparian buffers, this paper developed an evolutionary computational, supervised classification method--the RIparian Classification Algorithm (RICAL)--to conduct the seasonal change detection of riparian zones in a vast semi-arid watershed, South Texas. RICAL uniquely demonstrates an integrative effort to incorporate both vegetation indices and soil moisture images derived from LANDSAT 5 TM and RADARSAT-1 satellite images, respectively. First, an estimation of soil moisture based on RADARSAT-1 Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) images was conducted via the first-stage genetic programming (GP) practice. Second, for the statistical analyses and image classification, eight vegetation indices were prepared based on reflectance factors that were calculated as the response of the instrument on LANDSAT. These spectral vegetation indices were then independently used for discriminate analysis along with soil moisture images to classify the riparian zones via the second-stage GP practice. The practical implementation was assessed by a case study in the Choke Canyon Reservoir Watershed (CCRW), South Texas, which is mostly agricultural and range land in a semi-arid coastal environment. To enhance the application potential, a combination of Iterative Self-Organizing Data Analysis Techniques (ISODATA) and maximum likelihood supervised classification was also performed for spectral discrimination and classification of riparian varieties comparatively. Research findings show that the RICAL algorithm may yield around 90% accuracy based on the unseen ground data. But using different vegetation indices would not significantly improve the final quality of the spectral discrimination and classification. Such practices may lead to the formulation of more effective management strategies

  11. Spatial Estimation of Evapotranspiration in an Irrigated Semi-arid Region Using LSMs Driven by Remote Sensing Data.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Etchanchu, J.; Delogu, E.; Saadi, S.; Chebbi, W.; Trapon, D.; Rivalland, V.; Boulet, G.; Boone, A. A.; Fanise, P.; Mougenot, B.; LE Dantec, V.

    2017-12-01

    Evapotranspiration and sensible-latent heat flux partition are important decision critera to manage crops, detect water stress and plan irrigation, particularly in a semi-arid context. Nowadays, remote sensing information (at medium -MODIS- and high resolution -LANDSAT, SPOT-) allows us to spatially estimate the different terms of the energy balance at daily and infra-daily time step through various approaches, either by forcing data in an energy balance model (EVASPA, Gallego-Elvira et al., 2013, and SPARSE, Boulet et al., 2015) or data assimilation in coupled water/energy balance models (SURFEX-ISBA, Noilhan et Planton, 1989). However, these different methods of flux estimations still require an evaluation through comparison to in-situ measurements and inter-comparison.The area selected for this study is the Kairouan agricultural plain, a semi-arid region in central Tunisia. Different flux datasets were acquired over two years, on an extensive rainfed oliveyard with very low vegetation cover, and on irrigated and rainfed wheat plots. In the same time, a third dataset has been acquired over a complex agricultural landscape with an eXtra-Large Aperture Scintillometer (XLAS) set-up on a 4 km transect.First, EC fluxes from towers are compared to the different model simulations at plot scale. Then a spatial comparison with retrievals of sensible and latent heat fluxes from XLAS is performed which allows to take into account the heterogeneity of the landscape (mix of wheat, irrigated oliveyards and bare soil). Effects on irrigation scenarios, through an automatic irrigation triggering method are tested and discussed. Finally, we cross-compare the different modeling approaches.We tackle the various issues: the accuracy of the measurements, the temporal frequency of remote sensing data, and the difficulty to calibrate the models.

  12. Performance of sorghum cultivars for biomass quality and biomethane yield grown in semi-arid area of Pakistan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hassan, Muhammad Umair; Chattha, Muhammad Umer; Mahmood, Athar; Sahi, Shahbaz Talib

    2018-02-23

    Biomass is a promising renewable energy source and its significance is escalating in the context of climate change and depletion of fossil foils. This study was conducted for two consecutive years 2016 and 2017, using five sorghum cultivars, i.e., JS-263, Jawar-2011, Hagari, JS-2002, and YS-2016, in order to determine the best cultivars in terms of dry matter yield, chemical composition, and biomethane yield grown under semi-arid conditions in Pakistan. The results revealed that sorghum cultivars responded differently in terms of growth, biomass yield, chemical composition, and methane yield. Cultivars Jawar-2011 produced maximum leaf area index, leaf area duration, crop growth rate, plant height, and leaves per plant, however, they were comparable with Sorghum-2016, whereas cultivar JS-2002 performed poorly among the tested cultivars. Similarly, cultivar Jawar-2011 produced maximum dry matter yield (16.37 t ha -1 ) similar to that of YS-2016, further cultivar JS-2002 performed poorly and gave lower dry matter yield (12.87 t ha -1 ). The maximum protein concentration (10.95), neutral detergent fibers (61.20), and lignin contents (5.55) found in Jawar-2011 were comparable with those in YS-2016, while the lowest neutral detergent fiber and lignin contents were found in JS-2002. Although JS-2002 produced the highest specific methane yield per kilogram of volatile solids, it was overcompensated by Jawar-2011 owing to higher dry matter yield per hectare. These results suggested that cultivar Jawar-2011 can be grown successfully in semi-arid conditions of Pakistan in order to get good biomass yield along with higher methane yield.

  13. 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

  14. Plan and Some Results of "Advanced Study on Precipitation Enhancement in Arid and Semi-Arid Regions"

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murakami, M.

    2016-12-01

    There are several technologies to secure water resources, including the desalination of seawater, recycling of industrial water and reuse of wastewater. However precipitation enhancement is the only way we can create a large amount of water for industrial use, for example, water for irrigation, provided we find clouds suitable for cloud seeding and apply appropriate and effective methods to increase precipitation. Therefore, rain enhancement research is critical in the quest for new water security options and innovative solutions in the UAE and other arid and semi-arid regions. The main objective of our project is to better evaluate, and ultimately improve, the effectiveness of rain enhancement in the UAE and other arid and semi-arid regions using hygroscopic and glaciogenic seeding techniques. One of the major questions regarding rain enhancement today is the effectiveness of hygroscopic seeding for warm and supercooled convective clouds. Our research will investigate the microphysical processes in seeded and unseeded clouds using a combination of laboratory experiments, numerical simulations and in-situ aircraft measurements in order to decipher the mechanism responsible for precipitation augmentation due to hygroscopic seeding. In our research, major elements of cloud seeding, e.g., assessment of seedability, development of optimal seeding methods and evaluation of seeding effects, will be investigated in the most efficient and realistic way, within three years, using mainly the numerical models with the sophisticated seeding scheme, which is developed on a basis of laboratory experiments and then validated against in-situ and remote sensing observations. In addition to the research plan, the outcomes of the research projects, which will be made available to the public at the end of the project and benefit the broader society, is discussed.

  15. Seasonal diet and prey preference of the African lion in a waterhole-driven semi-arid savanna.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davidson, Zeke; Valeix, Marion; Van Kesteren, Freya; Loveridge, Andrew J; Hunt, Jane E; Murindagomo, Felix; Macdonald, David W

    2013-01-01

    Large carnivores inhabiting ecosystems with heterogeneously distributed environmental resources with strong seasonal variations frequently employ opportunistic foraging strategies, often typified by seasonal switches in diet. In semi-arid ecosystems, herbivore distribution is generally more homogeneous in the wet season, when surface water is abundant, than in the dry season when only permanent sources remain. Here, we investigate the seasonal contribution of the different herbivore species, prey preference and distribution of kills (i.e. feeding locations) of African lions in Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe, a semi-arid African savanna structured by artificial waterholes. We used data from 245 kills and 74 faecal samples. Buffalo consistently emerged as the most frequently utilised prey in all seasons by both male (56%) and female (33%) lions, contributing the most to lion dietary biomass. Jacobs' index also revealed that buffalo was the most intensively selected species throughout the year. For female lions, kudu and to a lesser extent the group "medium Bovidae" are the most important secondary prey. This study revealed seasonal patterns in secondary prey consumption by female lions partly based on prey ecology with browsers, such as giraffe and kudu, mainly consumed in the early dry season, and grazers, such as zebra and suids, contributing more to female diet in the late dry season. Further, it revealed the opportunistic hunting behaviour of lions for prey as diverse as elephants and mice, with elephants taken mostly as juveniles at the end of the dry season during droughts. Jacobs' index finally revealed a very strong preference for kills within 2 km from a waterhole for all prey species, except small antelopes, in all seasons. This suggested that surface-water resources form passive traps and contribute to the structuring of lion foraging behaviour.

  16. Performance of Jatropha curcas L. in Semi-arid Zone: Seed Germination, Seedling Growth and Early Field Growth

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sharif AHAMAD

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available There is a lack of information on basic agronomic properties of Jatropha curcas L. (jatropha cultivation on the marginal lands in the semi-arids. Evaluation of agronomic performance of identified elite strains of J. curcas in marginal lands would be of paramount importance for addressing gap areas in their agronomic properties and subsequently for harnessing their optimum economic potentials. The present study undertook the task of analysing the growth performance of a high oil bearing elite strain of J. curcas–DARL-2 in degraded land in semi-arid zone of Deccan Plateau, India. While undertaking the assessment of growth performance of elite strain DARL-2, two other native (wild strains (namely AHN-1 and AHN-2 of J. curcas were also considered so that a comparative evaluation could be carried out. The role of gypsum was also investigated on J. curcas in the nursery stage as well its carry over effects on growth performance of transplanted trees in the field. Two types of substrates, gypsum-treated soil (GS and untreated soil (SL were used for growing seedlings of all the three jatropha strains. Seedlings (120-days-old of DARL-2 exhibited greater plant height, collar diameter and number of branches but root length was greater in the local strains. In the second year of field transplantation, DARL-2 strain exhibited significantly (p<0.05 greater plant height and number of branches/plant. No carry over effects of gypsum treatment were observed in field transplanted plants as none of the growth parameters significantly varied among the substrate types.

  17. Helminth parasites and reservoir status of captive wild ruminants in the semi-arid region of north-eastern Nigeria.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Umar I Ibrahim

    Full Text Available Aim: To determine the various helminth parasites and associated helminth reservoir status of captive wild ruminants in the semi-arid region of north-eastern, Nigeria. Materials and Methods: Faecal samples were examined for nematode ova by the simple floatation technique using saturated sodium chloride solution as floatation medium. Trematode eggs were examined by the sedementation technique. The modified McMaster technique was used to determine the intensity of helminth infections among the various species of wild ruminants examined, while larval isolation and identification using the modified Baerman’s technique was used to determine the various species of parasites encountered. Results: Out of the 36 samples examined, a high parasite count due to Strongyle infection without the manifestation of overt clinical signs was observed among the captive wild ruminants. The egg counts ranged from 500 + 10.0 among the Grimm’s duicker (Sylvicaprea grimmia to 5, 350 + 51.70 among the Senegal hartebeest (Damaliscus korrigum. The helminth larvae recovered which were common to all the species of wild ruminants were those of Haemonchus contortus, Trichostrogylus axei and Strongyloides papillosus, Demographic data such as age, sex and species of wild animals showed no significant (p>0.05 variation on the prevalence of the helminth infections. Conclusion: The results of this study suggests that the captive wild ruminants in the semi-arid region of north-eastern, Nigeria, were reservoirs of various helminth parasites of medical and veterinary importance. It was therefore, recommended that improved sanitary conditions in animal enclosures, regular and strategic anthelmintic medications may on one hand protect the spread of infection to attendants and visitors to the park. On the other hand it will enhance the in-situ conservation of the rare and endangered species of wild ruminants in the area. [Vet World 2012; 5(9.000: 530-534

  18. Perched groundwater-surface interactions and their consequences in stream flow generation in a semi-arid headwater catchment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Molenat, Jerome; Bouteffeha, Maroua; Raclot, Damien; Bouhlila, Rachida

    2013-04-01

    In semi-arid headwater catchment, it is usually admitted that stream flow comes predominantly from Hortonian overland flow (infiltration excess overland flow). Consequently, subsurface flow processes, and especially perched or shallow groundwater flow, have not been studied extensively. Here we made the assumption that perched groundwater flow could play a significant role in stream flow generation in semi-arid catchment. To test this assumption, we analyzed stream flow time series of a headwater catchment in the Tunisian Cap Bon region and quantified the flow fraction coming from groundwater discharge and that from overland flow. Furthermore, the dynamics of the perched groundwater was analyzed, by focusing on the different perched groundwater-surface interaction processes : diffuse and local infiltration, diffuse exfiltration, and direct groundwater discharge to the stream channel. This work is based on the 2.6 km² Kamech catchment (Tunisia), which belongs to the long term Mediterranean hydrological observatory OMERE (Voltz and Albergel, 2002). Results show that even though Hortonian overland flow was the main hydrological process governing the stream flow generation, groundwater discharge contribution to the stream channel annually accounted for from 10% to 20 % depending on the year. Furthermore, at some periods, rising of groundwater table to the soil surface in bottom land areas provided evidences of the occurrence of saturation excess overland flow processes during some storm events. Reference Voltz , M. and Albergel , J., 2002. OMERE : Observatoire Méditerranéen de l'Environnement Rural et de l'Eau - Impact des actions anthropiques sur les transferts de masse dans les hydrosystèmes méditerranéens ruraux. Proposition d'Observatoire de Recherche en Environnement, Ministère de la Recherche.

  19. An investigation of variability and change in the human and natural systems within a vulnerable semi arid region

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gibbes, C.; Pricope, N. G.; Southworth, J.; Waylen, P.

    2012-12-01

    Climate and fire determine, to a large extent, vegetation dynamics at regional and landscape scales in the semi-arid savanna regions of southern Africa. This work examines the relationships amongst climate, fire and vegetation by studying the spatial and temporal patterns of each. Through the intertwinement of data sources and methodological approaches the relationships between climate shifts, fire regime and vegetation change are examined. Long term trends are identified and anomalies in the patterns of each of these environmental parameters are explored. Vegetation dynamics in the study region are central to local, national and regional livelihood and economic activities. As such, the influence of climate and fire on vegetation not only has ecological ramifications, but ultimately constrains societal functioning. Furthermore the region is experimenting with a wide range of land use strategies, which offers an ideal location for testing the contribution of human decision making to the complexity of the environmental change within semi-arid regions. This work intentionally intertwines qualitative social data analysis with the quantitative analysis of climate fire and vegetation patterns to investigate the interrelations between the social and natural systems. Results from this work indicate that at a regional scale significant drying occurred across much of the study region from the mid 1970's through 2010, and that the drier environment when combined with landscape modifiers such as fire (anthropogenic and natural) altered vegetation patterns thus affecting land use strategies at a local scale. Results will form the basis for scenario modeling of future changes in climate and fire and their role in shaping savanna vegetation in a region currently experiencing increased environmental variability and correspondingly increased pressures to both human and natural systems.

  20. Water quality and health in a Sahelian semi-arid urban context: an integrated geographical approach in Nouakchott, Mauritania.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Traoré, Doulo; Sy, Ibrahima; Utzinger, Jürg; Epprecht, Michael; Kengne, Ives M; Lô, Baidy; Odermatt, Peter; Faye, Ousmane; Cissé, Guéladio; Tanner, Marcel

    2013-11-01

    Access to sufficient quantities of safe drinking water is a human right. Moreover, access to clean water is of public health relevance, particularly in semi-arid and Sahelian cities due to the risks of water contamination and transmission of water-borne diseases. We conducted a study in Nouakchott, the capital of Mauritania, to deepen the understanding of diarrhoeal incidence in space and time. We used an integrated geographical approach, combining socio-environmental, microbiological and epidemiological data from various sources, including spatially explicit surveys, laboratory analysis of water samples and reported diarrhoeal episodes. A geospatial technique was applied to determine the environmental and microbiological risk factors that govern diarrhoeal transmission. Statistical and cartographic analyses revealed concentration of unimproved sources of drinking water in the most densely populated areas of the city, coupled with a daily water allocation below the recommended standard of 20 l per person. Bacteriological analysis indicated that 93% of the non-piped water sources supplied at water points were contaminated with 10-80 coliform bacteria per 100 ml. Diarrhoea was the second most important disease reported at health centres, accounting for 12.8% of health care service consultations on average. Diarrhoeal episodes were concentrated in municipalities with the largest number of contaminated water sources. Environmental factors (e.g. lack of improved water sources) and bacteriological aspects (e.g. water contamination with coliform bacteria) are the main drivers explaining the spatio-temporal distribution of diarrhoea. We conclude that integrating environmental, microbiological and epidemiological variables with statistical regression models facilitates risk profiling of diarrhoeal diseases. Modes of water supply and water contamination were the main drivers of diarrhoea in this semi-arid urban context of Nouakchott, and hence require a strategy to improve

  1. Linking Bayesian and agent-based models to simulate complex social-ecological systems in semi-arid regions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aloah J Pope

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available Interdependencies of ecologic, hydrologic, and social systems challenge traditional approaches to natural resource management in semi-arid regions. As a complex social-ecological system, water demands in the Sonoran Desert from agricultural and urban users often conflicts with water needs for its ecologically-significant riparian corridors. To explore this system, we developed an agent-based model to simulate complex feedbacks between human decisions and environmental conditions in the Rio Sonora Watershed. Cognitive mapping in conjunction with stakeholder participation produced a Bayesian model of conditional probabilities of local human decision-making processes resulting to changes in water demand. Probabilities created in the Bayesian model were incorporated into the agent-based model, so that each agent had a unique probability to make a positive decision based on its perceived environment at each point in time and space. By using a Bayesian approach, uncertainty in the human decision-making process could be incorporated. The spatially-explicit agent-based model simulated changes in depth-to-groundwater by well pumping based on an agent’s water demand. Changes in depth-to-groundwater feedback to influence agent behavior, as well as determine unique vegetation classes within the riparian corridor. Each vegetation class then provides varying stakeholder-defined quality values of ecosystem services. Using this modeling approach allowed us to examine effects on both the ecological and social system of semi-arid riparian corridors under various scenarios. The insight provided by the model contributes to understanding how specific interventions may alter the complex social-ecological system in the future.

  2. Seasonal diet and prey preference of the African lion in a waterhole-driven semi-arid savanna.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zeke Davidson

    Full Text Available Large carnivores inhabiting ecosystems with heterogeneously distributed environmental resources with strong seasonal variations frequently employ opportunistic foraging strategies, often typified by seasonal switches in diet. In semi-arid ecosystems, herbivore distribution is generally more homogeneous in the wet season, when surface water is abundant, than in the dry season when only permanent sources remain. Here, we investigate the seasonal contribution of the different herbivore species, prey preference and distribution of kills (i.e. feeding locations of African lions in Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe, a semi-arid African savanna structured by artificial waterholes. We used data from 245 kills and 74 faecal samples. Buffalo consistently emerged as the most frequently utilised prey in all seasons by both male (56% and female (33% lions, contributing the most to lion dietary biomass. Jacobs' index also revealed that buffalo was the most intensively selected species throughout the year. For female lions, kudu and to a lesser extent the group "medium Bovidae" are the most important secondary prey. This study revealed seasonal patterns in secondary prey consumption by female lions partly based on prey ecology with browsers, such as giraffe and kudu, mainly consumed in the early dry season, and grazers, such as zebra and suids, contributing more to female diet in the late dry season. Further, it revealed the opportunistic hunting behaviour of lions for prey as diverse as elephants and mice, with elephants taken mostly as juveniles at the end of the dry season during droughts. Jacobs' index finally revealed a very strong preference for kills within 2 km from a waterhole for all prey species, except small antelopes, in all seasons. This suggested that surface-water resources form passive traps and contribute to the structuring of lion foraging behaviour.

  3. Antecedent plant physiological performance influences the metabolic acceleration of semi-arid soils in response to rainfall

    Science.gov (United States)

    Potts, D. L.; Barron-Gafford, G. A.; Jenerette, D.

    2011-12-01

    In semi-arid ecosystems precipitation often arrives as discrete rainfall events. Under these conditions of episodic resource availability, natural selection might favor rapid metabolic responses to the sudden availability of otherwise limiting resources. We introduce and define the term metabolic acceleration (α) as the first derivative of the metabolic rate of a biological system. In other words, α describes the ability of a biological system to up- and down-regulate metabolic rate. Examples include, but are not limited to, the metabolic acceleration of leaf maximum net CO2 assimilation (αAnet), of the CO2 efflux produced by roots and soil microbes (αsoil), and of net ecosystem CO2 exchange (αNEE). To better understand αsoil in relation to seasonal patterns of rainfall and plant physiological performance, we compared three microhabitats (under mesquite, under bunchgrasses, and in intercanopy soils) in a semi-arid shrubland near Tucson, Arizona. Across microhabitats, maximum αsoil varied seasonally such that αsoil was greatest during the warm, wet summer months and lowest during cool winter months. Furthermore, throughout course of the year αsoil beneath mesquites was greater than beneath bunchgrasses or in intercanopy soils. Finally, microhabitat-specific responses of αsoil to the onset of the North American monsoon were consistent with patterns of antecedent plant physiological performance. By quantifying the ability of living systems to respond to episodic resource availability, metabolic acceleration provides a new perspective on the biological significance of antecedent conditions in pulse-driven ecosystems. Finally, that αAnet varies among plant functional types and that αsoil varies among microhabitats suggests the potential for the existence of previously unrecognized life-history trade-offs involving the ability of biological systems to rapidly adjust their metabolic rate in response to episodic resource availability.

  4. Using 137Cs and 210Pb ex measurements to estimate soil redistribution rates on semi-arid grassland in Mongolia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kato, H.; Onda, Y.; Tanaka, Y.

    2010-02-01

    In this study, two small experimental catchments were selected in semi-arid grassland in Mongolia. The Kherlen-bayan Ulaan (KBU) catchment has been subjected to intensive grazing as a wintering shelter for domestic livestock animals, and the number of livestock animals in the Baganuur (BGN) catchment has been increasing over the last few decades. The rates and patterns of soil erosion within the catchments were estimated based on cesium-137 ( 137Cs) and lead-210 ( 210Pb ex) inventories in bulk soil core samples. The medium-term (~ 40 years) soil erosion rates based on the 137Cs measurements indicated that annual soil loss from the KBU catchment was approximately three times greater than that from the BGN catchment. The 137Cs-derived rates and patterns of soil erosion indicated that soil in the KBU catchment was susceptible to surface erosion, with facilitated transport of eroded sediment to the catchment outlet. The 210Pb ex-derived soil erosion rates were generally greater than those derived from 137Cs in both catchments. If we assume that the soil erosion rate has been increasing with increasing domestic livestock numbers, the most plausible explanation is that the 210Pb ex-derived estimates represent recent increases in soil erosion. Furthermore, the 210Pb ex/ 137Cs inventory ratio showed a tendency to increase with downslope distance on the eroded hillslope in the BGN catchment. Assuming that the increase in inventory ratio is a result of constant fallout input of 210Pb ex on the eroded sediment during its transportation along the hillslope, the 210Pb ex inventory may not be suitable to estimate soil erosion rates at sites where downslope movement of sediment is slow. Further discussion regarding interpretation of 210Pb ex-derived soil loss is required, and the applicability of the 210Pb ex technique on semi-arid hillslopes remains to be determined.

  5. Drivers of inter-annual variability in Net Ecosystem Exchange in a semi-arid savanna ecosystem, South Africa

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. A. Archibald

    2009-02-01

    Full Text Available Inter-annual variability in primary production and ecosystem respiration was explored using eddy-covariance data at a semi-arid savanna site in the Kruger Park, South Africa. New methods of extrapolating night-time respiration to the entire day and filling gaps in eddy-covariance data in semi-arid systems were developed. Net ecosystem exchange (NEE in these systems occurs as pulses associated with rainfall events, a pattern not well-represented in current standard gap-filling procedures developed primarily for temperate flux sites. They furthermore do not take into account the decrease in respiration at high soil temperatures. An artificial neural network (ANN model incorporating these features predicted measured fluxes accurately (MAE 0.42 gC/m2/day, and was able to represent the seasonal patterns of photosynthesis and respiration at the site. The amount of green leaf area (indexed using satellite-derived estimates of fractional interception of photosynthetically active radiation fAPAR, and the timing and magnitude of rainfall events, were the two most important predictors used in the ANN model. These drivers were also identified by multiple linear regressions (MLR, with strong interactive effects. The annual integral of the filled NEE data was found to range from −138 to +155 g C/m2/y over the 5 year eddy covariance measurement period. When applied to a 25 year time series of meteorological data, the ANN model predicts an annual mean NEE of 75(±105 g C/m2/y. The main correlates of this inter-annual variability were found to be variation in the amount of absorbed photosynthetically active radiation (APAR, length of the growing season, and number of days in the year when moisture was available in the soil.

  6. Differences in the Temperature Sensitivity of Soil Organic Carbon Decomposition in a Semi-Arid Ecosystem across an Elevational Gradient

    Science.gov (United States)

    Delvinne, H.; Flores, A. N.; Benner, S. G.; Feris, K. P.; De Graaff, M. A.

    2015-12-01

    Semi-arid ecosystems are a significant component of the global carbon (C) cycle as they store approximately 20% of global soil C. Yet, projected increases in mean annual temperatures might alter the amount of soil organic C (SOC) currently stored in these ecosystems. Uncertainties about the temperature sensitivity of SOC decomposition have hindered accurate predictions of C cycle feedbacks to climate change. This study aims to elucidate how the temperature sensitivity of SOC decomposition varies along an elevational (1000m) and climatic (i.e. mean annual temperature and precipitation) gradient. The study sites are located at Reynolds Creek Critical Zone Observatory in Owyhee Mountains of Idaho, USA. We conducted stratified random sampling of soil up to 0-5cm across sagebrush canopy and inter-canopy areas at four elevations. We hypothesized decomposition of SOC pools at lower elevations to have greater temperature sensitivity (more CO2 respired per unit C) compared to upper due to the quality of C that is inherently more temperature sensitive. To assess the temperature sensitivity of SOC decomposition, we used aerobic laboratory incubations (n=40) across a temperature gradient ((15, 20, 25, 30) oC) at constant soil moisture (60% water holding capacity) for 120 days and measured CO2 respired. Cumulative CO2 respired increased with increasing incubation temperature. Cumulative CO2 respired also increased with elevation as upper elevations support greater amounts of C. However, when normalized by SOC, we found that the temperature response of CO2 respiration was greater in soils derived from lower than higher elevations (pelevated temperatures differs strongly across the landscape in semi-arid ecosystems.

  7. Water quality and health in a Sahelian semi-arid urban context: an integrated geographical approach in Nouakchott, Mauritania

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Doulo Traoré

    2013-11-01

    Full Text Available Access to sufficient quantities of safe drinking water is a human right. Moreover, access to clean water is of public health relevance, particularly in semi-arid and Sahelian cities due to the risks of water contamination and transmission of water-borne diseases. We conducted a study in Nouakchott, the capital of Mauritania, to deepen the understanding of diarrhoeal incidence in space and time. We used an integrated geographical approach, combining socio-environmental, microbiological and epidemiological data from various sources, including spatially explicit surveys, laboratory analysis of water samples and reported diarrhoeal episodes. A geospatial technique was applied to determine the environmental and microbiological risk factors that govern diarrhoeal transmission. Statistical and cartographic analyses revealed concentration of unimproved sources of drinking water in the most densely populated areas of the city, coupled with a daily water allocation below the recommended standard of 20 l per person. Bacteriological analysis indicated that 93% of the non-piped water sources supplied at water points were contaminated with 10-80 coliform bacteria per 100 ml. Diarrhoea was the second most important disease reported at health centres, accounting for 12.8% of health care service consultations on average. Diarrhoeal episodes were concentrated in municipalities with the largest number of contaminated water sources. Environmental factors (e.g. lack of improved water sources and bacteriological aspects (e.g. water contamination with coliform bacteria are the main drivers explaining the spatio-temporal distribution of diarrhoea. We conclude that integrating environmental, microbiological and epidemiological variables with statistical regression models facilitates risk profiling of diarrhoeal diseases. Modes of water supply and water contamination were the main drivers of diarrhoea in this semi-arid urban context of Nouakchott, and hence require a

  8. Analysis of principal parameters of forest fires and identification of desertification process in semi-arid land in Algeria

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zegrar, Ahmed

    2013-10-01

    In semi arid land in Algeria the ecosystem of steppe presents a different vegetal formation, generally used for pasture, and the forest are in most time composed by species like Aleppo pine sparse. And seen climatic unfavourable conditions in zone and impact of forest fires; we notes deterioration of physical environment particularly, deterioration of natural forest. This deterioration of forests provokes an unbalance of environment witch provokes a process of deterioration advanced in the ultimate stadium is desertification. The specific regeneration of plants are influenced greatly by the regime of fire (season of fire, intensity, interval), who leads to the recuperation of the vegetation of meadow- fire, but in the most case there are unfavourable climatic conditions. In this survey we used satellite data for detection of zones with risk of forest fire and their influenced parameters witch permit generally a desertification process. A thematic detailed analysis of forests ecosystems well attended, some processing on the satellite data (2003) allowed us to identify and classifying the forests in there opinion components flowers. We identified ampleness of fire on this zone also. The parameters slope, the proximity to the road and the forests formations and fire regime were studied in the goal of determining the zones to risk of fire drill. A crossing of information in a geographic information system according to a very determined logic allowed us to classify the zones in degree of risk of fire. These results compared with image data (2011) permit to conclude that in semi arid land the forest ecosystem after fire becomes steppe courses permitting installation of process of desertification.

  9. 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

    2018-01-15

    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.

  10. Daily rainfall-runoff modelling by neural networks in semi-arid zone ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    This research work will allow checking efficiency of formal neural networks for flows' modelling of wadi Ouahrane's basin from rainfall-runoff relation which is non-linear. Two models of neural networks were optimized through supervised learning and compared in order to achieve this goal, the first model with input rain, and ...

  11. Uncertainties in downscaled relative humidity for a semi-arid region ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    ment, agriculture, hydrology, irrigation manage- ment, etc., require future scenarios of relative humidity (RH). In a river basin, ... management programmes which require knowledge of when to irrigate and the amount of water to .... station near the region. It is situated in Gadag district (administrative division) at 15. ◦. 25 N lati-.

  12. Characterization of the potential sites in the Brazilian semi-arid region for implantation of helium thermal pilot system of electric power generation; Caracterizacao dos sitios potenciais na regiao do semi-arido brasileiro para implantacao de sistema piloto heliotermico de geracao eletrica

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Guimaraes, Ana Paula Cardoso; Nascimento, Marcos Vinicius Gusmao; Menezes, Paulo Cesar Pires; Cheroto, Silvia [Centro de Pesquisas de Energia Eletrica (CEPEL), Rio de Janeiro, RJ (Brazil)]. E-mails: pcardoso@cepel.br; pcpm@cepel.br

    2004-07-01

    This work contains studies an analyses related to the characterization of the potential sites for application of helium thermal technology at the brazilian semi-arid, with the mapping of the solar resource from the estimative of direct solar radiation data, the mapping of the hydraulic resources indicating the importance of the Sao Francisco basin in the study context, the mapping of the local electric power network, and a survey of the environmental impacts attributed to power plants with solar concentrators. The general objective is to identify the more adequate sites in Brazil for the implantation of a helium thermal pilot system for electric power generation.

  13. Operational tools and applications of EO satellite data to retrieve surface fluxes in semi-arid countries

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tanguy, Maliko

    The objective of the thesis is to develop and evaluate useful tools and applications of Earth Observation (EO) satellite data to estimate surface fluxes in semi-arid countries. In a first part (Chapter 4), we assess the performance of a new parameterisation scheme of ground heat flux (G) to be used in remote sensing (RS) evapotranspiration (ET) estimation methods. The G-parameterisation optimized with AMMA flux data performs well and improves the sensible heat flux (H) and ET retrieved by means of the triangle method (Jiang & Islam, 2001). In a second part (Chapter 5), the triangle method is compared with ET estimated by means of a land surface model (JULES). An attempt is made to calibrate JULES using the triangle method through Monte Carlo simulations, but the two methods supply rather different results, indicating that further intercomparison tasks should be carried out to assess the performance of RS-based algorithms and land surface models in estimating the components of the land surface energy balance. Chapter 6 presents a set of operational examples for retrieving surface fluxes using RS data. The first example is the study of temporal evolution of ET-maps in Western Africa under monsoonal influence. In a second example, we apply the new scheme proposed in Chapter 4 to retrieve and analyse the long term evolution (2000-2009) of the surface energy balance components, G, H and ET at several sites of the Segura Basin (S-E Spain) using MODIS-Terra data (land surface temperature and NDVI). Temporal and spatial distribution of evapotranspiration reveals different controls on ET. (Chapter 6). In the last example, MODIS-Aqua Sea Surface Temperature (SST) is used to validate a mathematical model to retrieve surface fluxes in a Mediterranean coastal lagoon (Mar Menor, S-E Spain). El objetivo de esta tesis es de desarrollar y evaluar herramientas y aplicaciones de la teledetección para estimar flujos de superficie en zonas semiáridas. En una primera parte (Cap

  14. Influence of grazing on soil seed banks determines the restoration potential of aboveground vegetation in a semi-arid savanna in Ethiopia

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Tessema, Z.K.; Boer, de W.F.; Baars, R.M.T.; Prins, H.H.T.

    2012-01-01

    Species composition, number of emerging seedlings, species diversity and functional group of the soil seed banks, and the influence of grazing on the similarity between the soil seed banks and aboveground vegetation, were studied in 2008 and 2009 in a semi-arid savanna of Ethiopia. We tested whether

  15. The use of earth observation data in hydrological investigations – a case study in a Semi-Arid Catchment (Western Cape, South Africa)

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Bugan, Richard DH

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available data in hydrological investigations – a case study in a Semi-Arid Catchment (Western Cape, South Africa) Bugan, Richard DH Jovanovic, Nebojsa Garcia, C Teich, I ABSTRACT: The availability of hydrological data is a critical component in water...

  16. Soil and vegetation-atmosphere exchange of NO, NH3, and N2O from field measurements in a semi arid grazed ecosystem in Senegal

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Delon, C.; Galy-Lacaux, C.; Serça, D.

    2017-01-01

    The alternating between dry and wet seasons and the consecutive microbial responses to soil water content in semiarid ecosystems has significant consequences on nitrogen exchanges with the atmosphere. Three field campaigns were carried out in a semi arid sahelian rangeland in Dahra (Ferlo, Senegal...

  17. Evaluating the Potential of PROBA-V Satellite Image Time Series for Improving LC Classification in Semi-Arid African Landscapes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Eberenz, Johannes; Verbesselt, Jan; Herold, Martin; Tsendbazar, Nandika; Sabatino, Giovanni; Rivolta, Giancarlo

    2016-01-01

    Satellite based land cover classification for Africa’s semi-arid ecosystems is hampered commonly by heterogeneous landscapes with mixed vegetation and small scale land use. Higher spatial resolution remote sensing time series data can improve classification results under these difficult conditions.

  18. Three-dimensional woody vegetation structure across different land-use types and land-use intensities in a semi-arid savanna

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Fisher, J

    2009-07-01

    Full Text Available STRUCTURE ACROSS DIFFERENT LAND-USE TYPES AND -LAND-USE INTENSITIES IN A SEMI-ARID SAVANNA Jolene Fishera,b, B.F.N. Erasmusa, Ed Witkowskia, Jan van Aardtc,Greg Asnerd, Ty Kennedy-Bowdoind, Dave Knappd, Renaud Mathieu b and Konrad Wessels e a School...

  19. Estimation of small reservoir storage capacities in a semi-arid environment : A case study in the Upper East Region of Ghana

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Liebe, J.; Van de Giesen, N.; Andreini, M.

    2005-01-01

    In semi-arid regions at the margins of the Sahel, large numbers of small reservoirs capture surface runoff during the rainy season, making water available during the dry season. For the local population, small reservoirs are important water sources which help them cope with droughts. The lack of

  20. Agroecology-based aggradation-conservation agriculture (ABACO): Targeting innovations to combat soil degradation and food insecurity in semi-arid Africa

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Tittonell, P.A.; Scopel, E.; Andrieu, N.; Posthumus, H.; Mapfumo, P.; Corbeels, M.; Halsema, van G.E.; Lahmar, R.; Lugandu, S.; Rakotoarisoa, J.; Mtambanengwe, F.; Pound, B.; Chikowo, R.; Naudin, K.; Triomphe, B.; Mkomwa, S.

    2012-01-01

    Smallholder farmers in semi-arid Africa are in an increasingly vulnerable position due to the direct and indirect effects of climate change, demographic pressure and resource degradation. Conservation agriculture (CA) is promoted as an alternative to restore soil productivity through increased water

  1. Shrub mound formation and stability on semi-arid slopes in the Northern Negev Desert of Israel: A field and simulation study

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Buis, E.; Temme, A.J.A.M.; Veldkamp, A.; Boeken, B.; Jongmans, A.G.; Breemen, van N.; Schoorl, J.M.

    2010-01-01

    In semi-arid areas vegetation is scarce and often dominated by individual shrubs on raised mounds. The processes of formation of these mounds are diverse and still debated. Often, shrub mound formation is directly related to the formation of vegetation patterns, thereby assuming that shrub mound

  2. Voluntary cooperation in the provision of a semi-public good : Community-based soil and water conservation in semi-arid India

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bouma, J.A.

    2008-01-01

    This dissertation analyses the question whether households in India’s semi-arid tropics can be expected to voluntarily maintain semi-public investments in soil and water conservation. Increasingly, public investment programs decentralise project planning, implementation and management to local

  3. Response of land surface phenology to variation in tree cover during green-up and senescence periods in the semi-arid savanna of Southern Africa

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Cho, Moses A

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available Understanding the spatio-temporal dynamics of land surface phenology is important to understanding changes in landscape ecological processes of semi-arid savannas in Southern Africa. The aim of the study was to determine the influence of variation...

  4. Groundwater–surface water interactions, vegetation dependencies and implications for water resources management in the semi-arid Hailiutu River catchment, China – a synthesis

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Zhou, Y.; Wenninger, J.; Yang, Z.; Yin, L.; Huang, J.; Hou, L.; Wang, X.; Zhang, D.; Uhlenbrook, S.

    2013-01-01

    During the last decades, large-scale land use changes took place in the Hailiutu River catchment, a semi-arid area in northwest China. These changes had significant impacts on the water resources in the area. Insights into groundwater and surface water interactions and vegetation-water dependencies

  5. Understanding maize/beans intercropping yield distributions from water conservation measures in a hedged agroforestry system in semi-arid Laikipia District, Kenya

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Oteng'i, S.B.B.; Stigter, C.J.; Ng'ang'a, J.K.

    2007-01-01

    Cropping systems in semi-arid Laikipia district are more weather sensitive than those in medium to higher potential areas of Kenya. Water, and to a certain extent, wind are major climatic constraints. Agroforestry (AF) farms surrounded by Coleus barbatus hedges as live-fences are being introduced by

  6. Quantifying decadal-scale erosion rates and their short-term variability on ecological sites in a semi-arid environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soil erosion rates on six semi-arid loamy upland rangeland sites located in southeastern Arizona were measured using a rainfall simulator and 137Cs fallout methods. Site characteristics that have the greatest effects on soil erosion and runoff were identified. Long term (50 years) soil erosion rates...

  7. Shaping Titan's Landscapes by Dissolution and Evaporation: The Case of Ontario Lacus, a High-Latitude Semi-Arid Karst-Playa Landsystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cornet, T.; Bourgeois, O.; Le Mouélic, S.; Rodriguez, S.; Sotin, C.; Lefèvre, A.; Barnes, J. W.; Brown, R. H.; Baines, K. H.; Buratti, B. J.; Clark, R. N.; Nicholson, P. D.

    2012-03-01

    The comparison between Ontario Lacus (Titan) and the Etosha Pan (Namibia), a semi-arid karst-playa landsystem, infer that dissolution/evaporation processes shaped Ontario Lacus' region until the present day, and perhaps as a whole, other Titan's lakes.

  8. Food habits of rodents inhabiting arid and semi-arid ecosystems of central New Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hope, Andrew G.; Parmenter, Robert R.

    2007-01-01

    In this study, we describe seasonal dietary composition for 15 species of rodents collected in all major habitats on the Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge (Socorro County) in central New Mexico. A comprehensive literature review of food habits for these species from throughout their distribution also is provided. We collected rodents in the field during winter, spring and late summer in 1998 from six communities: riparian cottonwood forest; piñon-juniper woodland; juniper-oak savanna; mesquite savanna; short-grass steppe; and Chihuahuan Desert scrubland. Rodents included Spermophilus spilosoma (Spotted Ground Squirrel), Perognathus flavescens (Plains Pocket Mouse), Perognathus flavus (Silky Pocket Mouse), Dipodomys merriami (Merriam’s Kangaroo Rat), Dipodomys ordii (Ord’s Kangaroo Rat), Dipodomys spectabilis (Banner-tailed Kangaroo Rat), Reithrodontomys megalotis (Western Harvest Mouse), Peromyscus boylii (Brush Mouse), Peromyscus eremicus (Cactus Mouse), Peromyscus leucopus (White-footed Mouse), Peromyscus truei (Piñon Mouse), Onychomys arenicola (Mearn’s Grasshopper Mouse), Onychomys leucogaster (Northern Grasshopper Mouse), Neotoma albigula/leucodon (White-throated Woodrats), and Neotoma micropus (Southern Plains Woodrat). We collected stomach contents of all species, and cheek-pouch contents of heteromyids, and quantified them in the laboratory. We determined seasonal diets in each habitat by calculating mean percentage volumes of seeds, arthropods and green vegetation (plant leaves and stems) for each species of rodent. Seeds consumed by each rodent were identified to genus, and often species, and quantified by frequency counts. Comparisons of diets between and among species of rodents, seasons, and ecosystems were also examined. We provide an appendix of all plant taxa documented.

  9. CMIP5 land surface models systematically underestimate inter-annual variability of net ecosystem exchange in semi-arid southwestern North America.

    Science.gov (United States)

    MacBean, N.; Scott, R. L.; Biederman, J. A.; Vuichard, N.; Hudson, A.; Barnes, M.; Fox, A. M.; Smith, W. K.; Peylin, P. P.; Maignan, F.; Moore, D. J.

    2017-12-01

    Recent studies based on analysis of atmospheric CO2 inversions, satellite data and terrestrial biosphere model simulations have suggested that semi-arid ecosystems play a dominant role in the interannual variability and long-term trend in the global carbon sink. These studies have largely cited the response of vegetation activity to changing moisture availability as the primary mechanism of variability. However, some land surface models (LSMs) used in these studies have performed poorly in comparison to satellite-based observations of vegetation dynamics in semi-arid regions. Further analysis is therefore needed to ensure semi-arid carbon cycle processes are well represented in global scale LSMs before we can fully establish their contribution to the global carbon cycle. In this study, we evaluated annual net ecosystem exchange (NEE) simulated by CMIP5 land surface models using observations from 20 Ameriflux sites across semi-arid southwestern North America. We found that CMIP5 models systematically underestimate the magnitude and sign of NEE inter-annual variability; therefore, the true role of semi-arid regions in the global carbon cycle may be even more important than previously thought. To diagnose the factors responsible for this bias, we used the ORCHIDEE LSM to test different climate forcing data, prescribed vegetation fractions and model structures. Climate and prescribed vegetation do contribute to uncertainty in annual NEE simulations, but the bias is primarily caused by incorrect timing and magnitude of peak gross carbon fluxes. Modifications to the hydrology scheme improved simulations of soil moisture in comparison to data. This in turn improved the seasonal cycle of carbon uptake due to a more realistic limitation on photosynthesis during water stress. However, the peak fluxes are still too low, and phenology is poorly represented for desert shrubs and grasses. We provide suggestions on model developments needed to tackle these issues in the future.

  10. Improving estimates of water resources in a semi-arid region by assimilating GRACE data into the PCR-GLOBWB hydrological model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tangdamrongsub, Natthachet; Steele-Dunne, Susan C.; Gunter, Brian C.; Ditmar, Pavel G.; Sutanudjaja, Edwin H.; Sun, Yu; Xia, Ting; Wang, Zhongjing

    2017-04-01

    An accurate estimation of water resources dynamics is crucial for proper management of both agriculture and the local ecology, particularly in semi-arid regions. Imperfections in model physics, uncertainties in model land parameters and meteorological data, as well as the human impact on land changes often limit the accuracy of hydrological models in estimating water storages. To mitigate this problem, this study investigated the assimilation of terrestrial water storage variation (TWSV) estimates derived from the Gravity Recovery And Climate Experiment (GRACE) data using an ensemble Kalman filter (EnKF) approach. The region considered was the Hexi Corridor in northern China. The hydrological model used for the analysis was PCR-GLOBWB, driven by satellite-based forcing data from April 2002 to December 2010. The impact of the GRACE data assimilation (DA) scheme was evaluated in terms of the TWSV, as well as the variation of individual hydrological storage estimates. The capability of GRACE DA to adjust the storage level was apparent not only for the entire TWSV but also for the groundwater component. In this study, spatially correlated errors in GRACE data were taken into account, utilizing the full error variance-covariance matrices provided as a part of the GRACE data product. The benefits of this approach were demonstrated by comparing the EnKF results obtained with and without taking into account error correlations. The results were validated against in situ groundwater data from five well sites. On average, the experiments showed that GRACE DA improved the accuracy of groundwater storage estimates by as much as 25 %. The inclusion of error correlations provided an equal or greater improvement in the estimates. In contrast, a validation against in situ streamflow data from two river gauges showed no significant benefits of GRACE DA. This is likely due to the limited spatial and temporal resolution of GRACE observations. Finally, results of the GRACE DA study

  11. Understanding environmental drivers in the regulation of soil respiration dynamics after fire in semi-arid ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muñoz-Rojas, Miriam; Lewandrowski, Wolfgang; Erickson, Todd E.; Dixon, Kingsley W.; Merritt, David J.

    2016-04-01

    Keywords: Pilbara, soil CO2 efflux, soil C, soil moisture, soil temperature Introduction Soil respiration (Rs) has become a major research focus given the increase in atmospheric CO2 emissions and the large contribution of these CO2 fluxes from soils (Van Groenigen et al., 2014). In addition to its importance in the global C cycle, Rs is a fundamental indicator of soil health and quality that reflects the level of microbial activity and provides an indication of the ability of soils to support plant growth (Oyonarte et al., 2012; Munoz-Rojas et al., 2015). Wildfires can have a significant impact on Rs rates, with the scale of the impact depending on environmental factors such as temperature and moisture, and organic C content in the soil. Vegetation cover can have a significant effect on regulating organic C contents; and while advances are made into understanding the effects of fire on organic C contents and CO2 fluxes (Granged et al., 2011; Willaarts et al., 2015; Muñoz-Rojas et al., 2016), there is limited knowledge of the variability of Rs across ecosystem types, vegetation communities, and responses to fire. In this research we aimed to assess the impacts of a wildfire on the soil CO2 fluxes and soil respiration in a semi-arid ecosystem of Western Australia (Pilbara biogeographical region), and to understand the main environmental drivers controlling these fluxes in different vegetation types. The study has application for other arid and semi-arid regions of the world. Methods The study area was selected following a wildfire that affected 25 ha in February 2014. Twelve plots were established in the burnt site (B) within a 400 m2 area, and 12 plots in an adjacent unburnt control site. At each site, three plots were installed below the canopy of each of the most representative vegetation types of the areas: Eucalyptus trees, Acacia shrubs and Triodia grasses, and three on bare soil. Soil sampling and measurement of soil CO2 efflux, temperature and moisture were

  12. Runoff and Solute Mobilisation in a Semi-arid Headwater Catchment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hughes, J. D.; Khan, S.; Crosbie, R.; Helliwell, S.; Michalk, D.

    2006-12-01

    Runoff and solute transport processes contributing to stream flow were determined in a small headwater catchment in the eastern Murray-Darling Basin of Australia using hydrometric and tracer methods. Stream flow and electrical conductivity were monitored from two gauges draining a portion of upper catchment area (UCA), and a saline scalded area respectively. Results show that the bulk of catchment solute export, occurs via a small saline scald (production of all run off in conditions experienced throughout the experimental period. The process of saturation and runoff bears some similarities to the VSA concept (Hewlett and Hibbert 1967).

  13. Current and future groundwater withdrawals: Effects, management and energy policy options for a semi-arid Indian watershed

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sishodia, Rajendra P.; Shukla, Sanjay; Graham, Wendy D.; Wani, Suhas P.; Jones, James W.; Heaney, James

    2017-12-01

    Effects of future expansion/intensification of irrigated agriculture on groundwater and surface water levels and availability in a semi-arid watershed were evaluated using an integrated hydrologic model (MIKE SHE/MIKE 11) in conjunction with biophysical measurements. Improved water use efficiency, water storage, and energy policy options were evaluated for their ability to sustain the future (2035) increased groundwater withdrawals. Three future withdrawal scenarios (low = 20, medium = 30, high = 50 wells/100 km2/year) based on the historical rate of growth of irrigation wells were formulated. While well drying from falling groundwater levels was limited to drought and consecutive below average rainfall years, under the current (2015) withdrawals, significant increases in frequency and duration (17-97 days/year) of well drying along with 13-26% (19-37 mm) reductions in surface flows were predicted under the future withdrawals. Higher (27-108%) energy demands of existing irrigation pumps due to declining groundwater levels and reduced hydroelectric generation due to decreased surface flows would create a vicious water-food-energy nexus in the future. Crop failure, one of the main causes of farmers' emotional distress and death in the region, is predicted to exacerbate under the future withdrawal scenarios. Shift to negative net recharge (-63 mm) and early and prolonged drying of wells under the high scenario will reduce the groundwater availability and negatively affect crop production in more than 60% and 90% of cropped areas in the Rabi (November-February) and summer (March-May) seasons, respectively during a drought year. Individual and combined demand (drip irrigation and reduced farm electricity subsidy) and supply (water storage) management options improved groundwater levels and reduced well drying by 55-97 days/year compared to business-as-usual management under the high scenario. The combined management (50% drip conversion, 50% reduction in subsidy, and

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

    2015-01-01

    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 10−1to 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 ∼104and 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

  15. Simulating the impact of no-till systems on field water fluxes and maize productivity under semi-arid conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mupangwa, W.; Jewitt, G. P. W.

    Crop output from the smallholder farming sector in sub-Saharan Africa is trailing population growth leading to widespread household food insecurity. It is therefore imperative that crop production in semi-arid areas be improved in order to meet the food demand of the ever increasing human population. No-till farming practices have the potential to increase crop productivity in smallholder production systems of sub-Saharan Africa, but rarely do because of the constraints experienced by these farmers. One of the most significant of these is the consumption of mulch by livestock. In the absence of long term on-farm assessment of the no-till system under smallholder conditions, simulation modelling is a tool that provides an insight into the potential benefits and can highlight shortcomings of the system under existing soil, climatic and socio-economic conditions. Thus, this study was designed to better understand the long term impact of no-till system without mulch cover on field water fluxes and maize productivity under a highly variable rainfall pattern typical of semi-arid South Africa. The simulated on-farm experiment consisted of two tillage treatments namely oxen-drawn conventional ploughing (CT) and ripping (NT). The APSIM model was applied for a 95 year period after first being calibrated and validated using measured runoff and maize yield data. The predicted results showed significantly higher surface runoff from the conventional system compared to the no-till system. Predicted deep drainage losses were higher from the NT system compared to the CT system regardless of the rainfall pattern. However, the APSIM model predicted 62% of the annual rainfall being lost through soil evaporation from both tillage systems. The predicted yields from the two systems were within 50 kg ha -1 difference in 74% of the years used in the simulation. In only 9% of the years, the model predicted higher grain yield in the NT system compared to the CT system. It is suggested that

  16. Mechanisms Controlling Variability of Lake Salinity in Dune Environments in a Semi-arid Climate: The Nebraska Sand Hills (Invited)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zlotnik, V. A.; Ong, J. T.; Swinehart, J. B.; Fritz, S. C.; Lenters, J. D.; Schmieder, J. U.; Lane, J. W.; Halihan, T.

    2010-12-01

    Shallow endorheic saline lakes are common in semi-arid environments in North America, Africa, Asia, and Australia. These lakes receive minimal surface runoff and are supported by groundwater seepage. A combination of hydrologic and geologic factors (regional groundwater flow, evaporation, precipitation, lake size, groundwater recharge, and geologic setting) may preclude seepage out of these lakes, even in the presence of ambient regional flow. Solutes from groundwater are captured by these lakes and become enriched over time by evaporation. The importance of understanding lake dynamics in these arid and semi-arid systems is increasing with societal concerns, including water availability and quality, the use of aquatic ecosystems by waterfowl and other biota, and dangers of dust emissions associated with lake desiccation. We consider the salinity of shallow lakes as a useful indicator of hydroclimatic factors operating at centennial and millennial scales. The Nebraska Sand Hills cover 58 000 km2 of the central Great Plains and are the largest dunefield in the Western Hemisphere. The grass-stabilized dunes attain heights up to 130 m and have been modified by soil development and erosion. In an area 4 ha and depths salinity of natural lakes in the Nebraska Sand Hills ranges from fresh (~0.3 g L-1) to hypersaline (>100 g L-1), with pH values as high as ~10. We assess the mechanisms that control lake salinity in a group of lakes with different subsurface flow regimes. Our methods combine aquifer coring, electromagnetic and electrical resistivity tomography geophysics, hydraulic testing, lakebed dating using 14C and optically stimulated luminescence, energy and water balance analysis, and salt crust and dust collection. Our theory and results show that terrain and water-table topography, lithology, and climate control the lake-aquifer solute exchanges. This study also brings attention to an underappreciated mechanism in the area, namely eolian deflation, which has not

  17. Simulated biomass, environmental impacts and best management practices for long-term switchgrass systems in a semi-arid region

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wang, Limei; Qian, Yaling; Brummer, Joe E.; Zheng, Jiyong; Wilhelm, Sarah; Parton, William J.

    2015-01-01

    Long-term information on switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.) as a biomass energy crop grown on marginally saline soil and the associated impacts on soil carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) dynamics, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and best management practices (BMPs) are limited. In this study, we employed the DAYCENT model, based on a 4-year switchgrass field experiment, to evaluate the long-term biomass yield potential and environmental impacts, and further to develop BMPs for switchgrass in a semi-arid region. The model showed that long-term (14-year) annual mean biomass yields were 9.6 and 5.2 Mg ha −1 for irrigated and rainfed switchgrass systems, respectively. The simulated biomass yields correlated well with field-measured biomass with r 2 values of 0.99 and 0.89 for irrigated and rainfed systems, respectively. Soil organic carbon (SOC) and soil total nitrogen (STN) accumulated rapidly after switchgrass establishment, with mean accrual rates of 0.99–1.13 Mg C ha −1  yr −1 and 0.04–0.08 Mg N ha −1  yr −1 , respectively. Based on the outputs of numerous long-term model simulations with variable irrigation water supplies and N rates, the irrigation regime and N rate with the highest yield to input ratio were chosen as BMPs. The DAYCENT model predicted-BMP was irrigating every 14 days at 70% potential evapotranspiration combined with an N rate of 67 kg ha −1  yr −1 . Switchgrass established and produced biomass reasonably well in this semi-arid region; however, appropriate irrigation and N fertilization were needed for optimal biomass yield. Switchgrass had a great potential to sequester C into soils with low N 2 O emissions while supplying significant quantities of biomass for biofuel synthesis. - Highlights: • The DAYCENT model reliably simulated the growth of switchgrass on marginal land. • Long-term biomass and environmental impacts were simulated using the DAYCENT model. • Switchgrass produced biomass well on marginal land, but

  18. Biomass and biomass water use efficiency in oilseed crop (Brassica juncea L.) under semi-arid microenvironments

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Adak, Tarun; Kumar, Gopal; Chakravarty, N.V.K.; Katiyar, R.K.; Deshmukh, P.S.; Joshi, H.C.

    2013-01-01

    Biomass production in arid and semi-arid regions requires a special attention owing to spatiotemporal scarcity of irrigation water wherein improved water use efficiency (WUE) of the crop is targeted. Under field conditions, the crop undergoes dynamic changes in near ground or within-canopy microenvironments. This changed microclimatic condition may have an impact on phenological response of the oilseed crop which in turn would affect biomass productivity, economic seed yield and water use efficiency of the crop. Henceforth, quantification of biomass production and its WUE of oilseed Brassica crop is essentially required owing to have better understanding of the crop water requirement under the era of climate change. Following a 2 years field experiment, it was revealed that the changes in leaf area index were explained by about 68–74%. The best fit polynomial third order regression analysis indicated >93% prediction in biomass production as a function of time factor. Improved biomass partitioning into economic sinks was also observed. Small scale change in near ground microenvironment may reduce the prediction of biomass variability to the extent of 3%. The mean ET variations were observed as 2.4, 1.5 and 3.2 mm day −1 during the critical phenological stages. Mean seed yield, biomass WUE and seed yield WUE ranged between 2.71 and 2.87 Mg ha −1 , 11.4 and 13.1 g m −2 mm −1 and 19.3 and 22.9 kg ha −1 mm −1 respectively. Variations in both biomass and seed yield water use efficiencies due to small scale change in near ground microclimates were revealed. -- Highlights: ► Assessing biomass productivity and its water use efficiency under arid and semi-arid regions is important. ► Under field conditions, the crop undergoes dynamic changes in near ground or within-canopy microenvironments. ► We have estimated changes in seasonal ET, within-canopy micrometeorological dynamics. ► Biomass productivity, partitioning and water use efficiencies were

  19. Adjusting homestead feeding to requirements and nutrient intake of grazing goats on semi-arid, subtropical highland pastures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dickhoefer, U; Mahgoub, O; Schlecht, E

    2011-03-01

    Intensive livestock grazing can largely deplete the natural fodder resources in semi-arid, subtropical highlands and together with the low nutritional quality of the pasture vegetation limit the growth and production of grazing animals. To evaluate the contribution of homestead feeding of grazing goats to rangeland conservation and animal nutrition, two researcher-managed on-farm trials were conducted in a mountain oasis of Northern Oman. Goats' feed intake on pasture in response to four rations containing different levels of locally available green fodder and concentrate feeds was determined in six male goats each (35 ± 10.2 kg body weight (BW)). Total feed intake was estimated using titanium dioxide as external fecal marker as well as the diet organic matter (OM) digestibility derived from fecal crude protein concentration. The nutritional quality of selected fodder plants on pasture was analyzed to determine the animals' nutrient and energy intake during grazing. The pasture vegetation accounted for 0.46 to 0.65 of the goats' total OM intake (87 to 107 g/kg0.75 BW), underlining the importance of this fodder resource for the husbandry system. However, metabolizable energy (7.2 MJ/kg OM) and phosphorus concentrations (1.4 g/kg OM) in the consumed pasture plants were low. Homestead feeding of nutrient and energy-rich by-products of the national fishery and date palm cultivation to grazing goats increased their daily OM intake (R2 = 0.36; P = 0.005) and covered their requirements for growth and production. While the OM intake on pasture was highest in animals fed a concentrate-based diet (P = 0.003), the daily intake of 21 g OM/kg0.75 BW of cultivated green fodder reduced the animals' feed intake on pasture (R2 = 0.44; P = 0.001). Adjusting homestead supplementation with locally available feedstuffs to the requirements of individual goats and to the nutritional quality of the pasture vegetation improves animal performance and eases the grazing pressure exerted on

  20. Calibration of a Distributed Hydrological Model using Remote Sensing Evapotranspiration data in the Semi-Arid Punjab Region of Pakista

    Science.gov (United States)

    Becker, R.; Usman, M.

    2017-12-01

    A SWAT (Soil Water Assessment Tool) model is applied in the semi-arid Punjab region in Pakistan. The physically based hydrological model is set up to simulate hydrological processes and water resources demands under future land use, climate change and irrigation management scenarios. In order to successfully run the model, detailed focus is laid on the calibration procedure of the model. The study deals with the following calibration issues:i. lack of reliable calibration/validation data, ii. difficulty to accurately model a highly managed system with a physically based hydrological model and iii. use of alternative and spatially distributed data sets for model calibration. In our study area field observations are rare and the entirely human controlled irrigation system renders central calibration parameters (e.g. runoff/curve number) unsuitable, as it can't be assumed that they represent the natural behavior of the hydrological system. From evapotranspiration (ET) however principal hydrological processes can still be inferred. Usman et al. (2015) derived satellite based monthly ET data for our study area based on SEBAL (Surface Energy Balance Algorithm) and created a reliable ET data set which we use in this study to calibrate our SWAT model. The initial SWAT model performance is evaluated with respect to the SEBAL results using correlation coefficients, RMSE, Nash-Sutcliffe efficiencies and mean differences. Particular focus is laid on the spatial patters, investigating the potential of a spatially differentiated parameterization instead of just using spatially uniform calibration data. A sensitivity analysis reveals the most sensitive parameters with respect to changes in ET, which are then selected for the calibration process.Using the SEBAL-ET product we calibrate the SWAT model for the time period 2005-2006 using a dynamically dimensioned global search algorithm to minimize RMSE. The model improvement after the calibration procedure is finally evaluated based