WorldWideScience

Sample records for basin semi-arid woodland

  1. Great Basin semi-arid woodland dynamics during the late quaternary

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wigand, P.E.; Hemphill, M.L.; Sharpe, S.E. [Univ. and Community College System of Nevada, Reno, NV (United States)] [and others

    1995-09-01

    Semi-arid woodlands have dominated the middle elevations of Great Basin mountain ranges during the Holocene where subalpine woodlands prevailed during the Pleistocene. Ancient woodrat middens, and in a few cases pollen records indicate in the late Pleistocene and early Holocene woodland history lowered elevation of subalpine woodland species. After a middle Holocene retrenchment at elevations in excess of 500 meters above today, Juniper-dominated semi-arid woodland reached its late Holocene maximum areal extent during the Neoglacial (2 to 4 ka). These records, along with others indicate contracting semi-arid woodland after the Neoglacial about 1.9 ka. Desert shrub community expansion coupled with increased precariousness of wetland areas in the southern Great Basin between 1.9 and 1.5 ka coincide with shrinking wet-lands in the west-central and northern Great Basin. Coincident greater grass abundance in northern Great Basin sagebrush steppe, reaching its maximum between 1.5 and 1.2 ka, corresponds to dramatic increases in bison remains in the archaeological sites of the northern Intermontane West. Pollen and woodrat midden records indicate that this drought ended about 1.5 ka. Succeeding ameliorating conditions resulted in the sudden northward and downward expansion of pinon into areas that had been dominated by juniper during the Neoglacial. Maximum areal extent of pinon dominated semi-arid woodland in west-central Nevada was centered at 1.2 ka. This followed by 100 years the shift in dominance from juniper to pinon in southern Nevada semi-arid woodlands. Great Basin woodlands suffered from renewed severe droughts between .5 to .6 ka. Effectively wetter conditions during the {open_quotes}Little Ice Age{close_quotes} resulted in re-expansion of semi-arid woodland. Activities related to European settlement in the Great Basin have modified prehistoric factors or imposed new ones that are affecting woodland response to climate.

  2. Simultaneous assimilation of satellite and eddy covariance data for improving terrestrial water and carbon simulations at a semi-arid woodland site in Botswana

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kato, T.; Knorr, W.; Scholtze, M.; Veenendaal, E.M.; Kaminski, T.; Kattge, J.; Gobron, N.

    2013-01-01

    Terrestrial productivity in semi-arid woodlands is strongly susceptible to changes in precipitation, and semi-arid woodlands constitute an important element of the global water and carbon cycles. Here, we use the Carbon Cycle Data Assimilation System (CCDAS) to investigate the key parameters control

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. Animal foraging as a mechanism for sediment movement and soil nutrient development: Evidence from the semi-arid Australian woodlands and the Chihuahuan Desert

    Science.gov (United States)

    An emerging area of interest in geomorphology over the past two decades has been the effects of biota on ecosystem processes. We examined the roles of a range of vertebrates on soil disturbance in two markedly different environments, the semi-arid woodland of eastern Australia and a Chihuahuan Deser...

  8. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. H. Shim

    2013-01-01

    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 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, 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.

  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....... 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...... 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...

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Oel, van Pieter Richard

    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. 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...

  13. Simultaneous assimilation of satellite and eddy covariance data for improving terrestrial water and carbon simulations at a semi-arid woodland site in Botswana

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    T. Kato

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available Terrestrial productivity in semi-arid woodlands is strongly susceptible to changes in precipitation, and semi-arid woodlands constitute an important element of the global water and carbon cycles. Here, we use the Carbon Cycle Data Assimilation System (CCDAS to investigate the mechanisms controlling ecological and hydrogical activities for a semi-arid savanna woodland site in Maun, Botswana. Twenty-four eco-hydrological process parameters of a terrestrial ecosystem model are optimized against two data streams either separately or simultaneously: daily averaged latent heat flux (LHF derived from eddy covariance measurement, and decadal fraction of absorbed photosynthetically active radiation (FAPAR derived from Sea-viewing Wide Field-of-view Sensor (SeaWiFS.

    Assimilation of both LHF and FAPAR for the years 2000 and 2001 leads to improved agreement between measured and simulated quantities not only for LHF and FAPAR, but also for photosynthetic CO2 uptake. The closest agreement is found for each observed data stream when only the same data stream is assimilated. The mean uncertainty reduction (relative to the prior over all parameters is 16.1% for the simultaneous assimilation of LHF and FAPAR, 9.2% for assimilating LHF only, and 7.8% for assimilating FAPAR only. Furthermore, the set of parameters with the highest uncertainty reduction is similar between assimilating only FAPAR or only LHF. The highest uncertainty reduction is found for a parameter describing maximum plant-available soil moisture for all three cases. This indicates that not only LHF but also satellite-derived FAPAR data can be used to constrain and indirectly observe hydrological quantities.

  14. Simultaneous assimilation of satellite and eddy covariance data for improving terrestrial water and carbon simulations at a semi-arid woodland site in Botswana

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    T. Kato

    2013-02-01

    Full Text Available Terrestrial productivity in semi-arid woodlands is strongly susceptible to changes in precipitation, and semi-arid woodlands constitute an important element of the global water and carbon cycles. Here, we use the Carbon Cycle Data Assimilation System (CCDAS to investigate the key parameters controlling ecological and hydrological activities for a semi-arid savanna woodland site in Maun, Botswana. Twenty-four eco-hydrological process parameters of a terrestrial ecosystem model are optimized against two data streams separately and simultaneously: daily averaged latent heat flux (LHF derived from eddy covariance measurements, and decadal fraction of absorbed photosynthetically active radiation (FAPAR derived from the Sea-viewing Wide Field-of-view Sensor (SeaWiFS.

    Assimilation of both data streams LHF and FAPAR for the years 2000 and 2001 leads to improved agreement between measured and simulated quantities not only for LHF and FAPAR, but also for photosynthetic CO2 uptake. The mean uncertainty reduction (relative to the prior over all parameters is 14.9% for the simultaneous assimilation of LHF and FAPAR, 8.5% for assimilating LHF only, and 6.1% for assimilating FAPAR only. The set of parameters with the highest uncertainty reduction is similar between assimilating only FAPAR or only LHF. The highest uncertainty reduction for all three cases is found for a parameter quantifying maximum plant-available soil moisture. This indicates that not only LHF but also satellite-derived FAPAR data can be used to constrain and indirectly observe hydrological quantities.

  15. Response of respiration and nutrient availability to drying and rewetting in soil from a semi-arid woodland depends on vegetation patch and a recent wildfire

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Q.; Meyer, W. S.; Koerber, G. R.; Marschner, P.

    2015-08-01

    Semi-arid woodlands, which are characterised by patchy vegetation interspersed with bare, open areas, are frequently exposed to wildfire. During summer, long dry periods are occasionally interrupted by rainfall events. It is well known that rewetting of dry soil induces a flush of respiration. However, the magnitude of the flush may differ between vegetation patches and open areas because of different organic matter content, which could be further modulated by wildfire. Soils were collected from under trees, under shrubs or in open areas in unburnt and burnt sandy mallee woodland, where part of the woodland experienced a wildfire which destroyed or damaged most of the aboveground plant parts 4 months before sampling. In an incubation experiment, the soils were exposed to two moisture treatments: constantly moist (CM) and drying and rewetting (DRW). In CM, soils were incubated at 80 % of maximum water holding capacity (WHC) for 19 days; in DRW, soils were dried for 4 days, kept dry for another 5 days, then rewetted to 80 % WHC and maintained at this water content until day 19. Soil respiration decreased during drying and was very low in the dry period; rewetting induced a respiration flush. Compared to soil under shrubs and in open areas, cumulative respiration per gram of soil in CM and DRW was greater under trees, but lower when expressed per gram of total organic carbon (TOC). Organic matter content, available P, and microbial biomass C, but not available N, were greater under trees than in open areas. Wild fire decreased the flush of respiration per gram of TOC in the open areas and under shrubs, and reduced TOC and microbial biomass C (MBC) concentrations only under trees, but had little effect on available N and P concentrations. We conclude that the impact of wildfire and DRW events on nutrient cycling differs among vegetation patches of a native semi-arid woodland which is related to organic matter amount and availability.

  16. Groundwater seepage controls salinity in a hydrologically terminal basin of semi-arid northwest Australia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Skrzypek, Grzegorz; Dogramaci, Shawan; Rouillard, Alexandra; Grierson, Pauline F.

    2016-11-01

    Very small groundwater outflows have the potential to significantly impact the hydrochemistry and salt accumulation processes of notionally terminal basins in arid environments. However, this limited groundwater outflow can be very difficult to quantify using classical water budget calculations due to large uncertainties in estimates of evaporation and evapotranspiration rates from the surface of dry lake beds. In this study, we used a dimensionless time evaporation model to estimate the range of groundwater outflow required to maintain salinity levels observed at the Fortescue Marsh (FM), one of the largest wetlands of semi-arid northwest Australia (∼1100 km2). The groundwater outflow from aquifers underlying the FM to the Lower Fortescue catchment is constrained by an extremely low hydraulic gradient of flood water is fresh to brackish, and salt efflorescences are very sparse and evident only when the FM is dry. We show that if the FM was 100% "leakage free" i.e., a true terminal basin, groundwater would have achieved halite saturation (>300 g/L) after ∼45 ka. We calculated that only a very small seepage of ∼2G L/yr (∼0.03% of the FM water volume) is sufficient to maintain current salinity conditions. The minimum time required to develop the current hydrochemical groundwater composition under the FM ranges from ∼60 to ∼165 ka. We conclude that a dimensionless time evaporation model versus inflow over outflow ratio model is likely more suitable than classical water budget calculations for determining outflow from large saline lakes and to estimate groundwater seepage from hydrologically terminal basins.

  17. Sahra integrated modeling approach to address water resources management in semi-arid river basins

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Springer, E. P.; Gupta, Hoshin V. (Hoshin Vijai),; Brookshire, David S.; Liu, Y. (Yuqiong)

    2004-01-01

    Water resources decisions in the 21Sf Century that will affect allocation of water for economic and environmental will rely on simulations from integrated models of river basins. These models will not only couple natural systems such as surface and ground waters, but will include economic components that can assist in model assessments of river basins and bring the social dimension to the decision process. The National Science Foundation Science and Technology Center for Sustainability of semi-Arid Hydrology and Riparian Areas (SAHRA) has been developing integrated models to assess impacts of climate variability and land use change on water resources in semi-arid river basins. The objectives of this paper are to describe the SAHRA integrated modeling approach and to describe the linkage between social and natural sciences in these models. Water resources issues that arise from climate variability or land use change may require different resolution models to answer different questions. For example, a question related to streamflow may not need a high-resolution model whereas a question concerning the source and nature of a pollutant will. SAHRA has taken a multiresolution approach to integrated model development because one cannot anticipate the questions in advance, and the computational and data resources may not always be available or needed for the issue to be addressed. The coarsest resolution model is based on dynamic simulation of subwatersheds or river reaches. This model resolution has the advantage of simplicity and social factors are readily incorporated. Users can readily take this model (and they have) and examine the effects of various management strategies such as increased cost of water. The medium resolution model is grid based and uses variable grid cells of 1-12 km. The surface hydrology is more physically based using basic equations for energy and water balance terms, and modules are being incorporated that will simulate engineering components

  18. A 500-year history of floods in the semi arid basins of south-eastern Spain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sánchez García, Carlos; Schulte, Lothar; Peña, Juan Carlos; Carvalho, Filpe; Brembilla, Carla

    2016-04-01

    Floods are one of the natural hazards with higher incidence in the south-eastern Spain, the driest region in Europe, causing fatalities, damage of infrastructure and economic losses. Flash-floods in semi arid environments are related to intensive rainfall which can last from few hours to days. These floods are violent and destructive because of their high discharges, sediment transport and aggradation processes in the flood plain. Also during historical times floods affected the population in the south-eastern Spain causing sever damage or in some cases the complete destruction of towns. Our studies focus on the flood reconstruction from historical sources of the Almanzora, Aguas and Antas river basins, which have a surface between 260-2600 km2. We have also compiled information from the Andarax river and compared the flood series with the Guadalentín and Segura basins from previous studies (Benito et. al., 2010 y Machado et al., 2011). Flood intensities have been classified in four levels according to the type of damage: 1) ordinary floods that only affect agriculture plots; 2) extraordinary floods which produce some damage to buildings and hydraulic infrastructure; 3) catastrophic floods which caused sever damage, fatalities and partial or complete destruction of towns. A higher damage intensity of +1 magnitude was assigned when the event is recorded from more than one major sub-basin (stretches and tributaries such as Huércal-Overa basin) or catchment (e.g. Antas River). In total 102 incidences of damages and 89 floods were reconstructed in the Almanzora (2.611 km2), Aguas (539 km2), Antas (261 km2) and Andarax (2.100 km2) catchments. The Almanzora River was affected by 36 floods (1550-2012). The highest events for the Almanzora River were in 1580, 1879, 1973 and 2012 producing many fatalities and destruction of several towns. In addition, we identified four flood-clusters 1750-1780, 1870-1900, 1960-1977 and 1989-2012 which coincides with the periods of

  19. 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.

  20. Water politics in Brazil subsidiarity and humanity aspects for the semi-arid sustainable river basin management

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Guimaraes, Patricia Borba Vilar; Xavier, Yanko Marcius de Alencarr [Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Norte (UFRN), Natal, RN (Brazil). Dept. de Direito Publico

    2010-02-15

    This paper examines Brazilian national constitutional law interpretation about water resources management, environmental protection and sustainable development principles. Institutional scenario is characterized under an economical format, important to conciliate human rights guaranties, national development and water protection. We provide subsidies for legal and institutional analysis considering human rights and an equity desirable scenario. Institutional context in Brazil assumes that Federal Law No. 9433/97 determined that water management must improve its multiple uses, decentralization and social participation. Water resources management in Brazil is legally and institutionally marked by the presence of the subsidiarity principle. We analyze the case in current national scene, with its consequent conflict in Sao Francisco River Basin, a semi arid Northeastern River Basin. This work also reflects some aspects of water pricing as defined by State politics. Some parameters are discussed as an elementary presupposition for water regulatory instruments that will define respective water management policy. Therefore, when defining criteria water fees, laws must comply with constitutional principles and the parameters established by the Brazilian Water Law (Law 9.433/97). The lack of reasonability and proportionality in dealing with the formal aspects and, specially, in defining water allocation, can obstruct the subsidiary principle application as determined by the Law 9433/97 and National Water Resources Policy. The question is observed in a more detailed focus over Northeastern Brazilian semi-arid region, where scarcity and traditional relations on politics are difficult to deal with, according to a renewed vision of the State and sustainable development principles. (author)

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Development and Application of Grid-GA Model in a Semi-Humid and Semi-Arid Basin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, L.; Li, Z.; Bao, H.; Yu, Z.

    2009-12-01

    Modeling the hydrologic processes in semi-arid and semi-humid basins is specially challenging due to the specific characteristics of these basins. In this paper, combining with GIS technology and DEM, the Grid- and Green-Ampt infiltration approach-based distributed hydrologic model of the runoff-production in excess infiltration is developed (Grid-GA model). In Grid-GA model, the Green-Ampt infiltration approach has improved in three parts: (1) the effective hydraulic conductivity of the wetting front at saturation, is power function decaying with the depth of the wetting front; (2) F, the cumulative infiltration, is modified at the end of every time step; (3) the moisture content rate of the soil, is redistribution during the infiltration process. In flow concentration formation, there are kinematic wave approach for un-channel grid and Muskingum approach for channel grid. The model described that includes vegetation and root interception, evapotranspiration, and runoff generation via the excess infiltration mechanism, as well as subsurface via the Darcian approach used by TOPMODEL, runoff concentration, and flow routing. The water exchange among grids within the watershed and the runoff routing along the river drainage networks are taken into consideration in the model. The Grid-GA model is applied to Gaoli basin in Yi River, a tributary of the Yishusi Watershed, with an area of 552 km2 for flood simulation. The results show that the model performs well in the simulation and can be used for flood forecasting in the semi-humid and semi-arid region.

  5. Isotopes and groundwater management strategies under semi-arid area: case of the Souss upstream basin (Morocco).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bouragba, L; Mudry, J; Bouchaou, L; Hsissou, Y; Krimissa, M; Tagma, T; Michelot, J L

    2011-07-01

    This study concerns the Souss upstream basin. The objective is to investigate the characteristics of surface water and groundwater, to assess the impact of artificial recharge as reinforcement of the natural replenishment and assess the renewal of groundwater under semi-arid area. Two major water types are observed: (i) surface waters and upstream springs (least mineralized) and (ii) all groundwater samples (prevailing calcium and magnesium bicarbonate water type). Water isotopes show a low evaporation of precipitations during infiltration. Impoverishment in heavy isotopes is the characteristic of mountain rainfalls, or of a climate colder and wetter than present. Carbon-14 activities (34-94 pmc) indicate a long residence time. The artificial recharge is low compared to the reservoir volume, due to which the renewal rate is also low.

  6. Altered limitations to soil CO2 efflux following a tree mortality event in a semi-arid woodland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berryman, E.; Marshall, J. D.; Litvak, M. E.; Butnor, J. R.; Rahn, T.

    2012-12-01

    Recent mass tree mortality events occurring throughout western North America during the past decade will potentially increase COtextsubscript{2} loss from affected forests and woodlands. A major portion of C lost to the atmosphere is soil COtextsubscript{2} efflux (SE). SE, a combination of root and microbial respiration, is likely affected by mass mortality through key limiting variables: water, C substrate, and nitrogen (N) availability. The loss of active roots may lead to increases in soil water and N availability; the fall of dead litter may enhance labile C supply. These limitations may not act independently of each other; trade-offs may exist between C and water limitation and between C and N limitation. This "sliding scale" model of limitations can help us understand how disturbance might affect C cycle mechanisms. We used field amendments to directly test the effects of piñon mortality on limitations to SE in a piñon-juniper woodland in central New Mexico, USA. In September 2009, piñons were girdled and sprayed with herbicide to induce a mass mortality event and a nearby area was retained as a reference site. Limitation of SE to water, labile C, and N was experimentally tested three years later by monitoring the response of SE to water, sucrose and ammonium sulfate solution applications to both the mineral soil and litter surface. SE was limited by water, C, and N in the mineral soil at both the mortality and reference sites (two-way ANOVA; Pareas. Thus, SE in the years after mortality may follow increases in water and N availability.

  7. Tunable Diode Laser Measurements of Leaf-scale Carbon Isotope Discrimination and Ecosystem Respired Carbon and Oxygen Isotope Ratios in a Semi-arid Woodland

    Science.gov (United States)

    McDowell, N.; Chris, B.; Hanson, D.; Kern, S.; Meyer, C.; Pockman, W.; Powers, H.

    2005-12-01

    We present results and speculative interpretation of leaf-level carbon isotope discrimination and ecosystem respired carbon and oxygen isotope ratios from a semi-arid, C3/C4 woodland located in northern New Mexico, USA. Overstory leaf area index (LAI) is dominated by live juniper (Juniperus monosperma) trees with an LAI value of approximately 1.0 m2 per m2 ground area, and has a seasonally dynamic understory of mixed C3 forbs and C4 grasses and cacti, with a maximum LAI of 0.30 m2 per m2 ground area. Ecosystem respired carbon isotope ratios showed values characteristic of C3 dominated photosynthesis (Keeling plot intercepts of -35 to -22 per mil). Seasonal variation was typical of that found in wetter, C3 dominated forests, as was the dependence on climate (e.g. relationships with vapor pressure deficit, soil water content, and canopy conductance). Leaf-level carbon isotope discrimination of the junipers, measured by coupling a Li-Cor 6400 photosynthesis system to the TDL, provided discrimination-Ci and discrimination-vpd relationships consistent with measured ecosystem respired carbon isotope ratios. The oxygen isotope ratio of ecosystem respiration was dependent on rain water isotope composition, but was correlated with soil water content during rain-free periods. The cumulative effect of vapor pressure deficit after a rain event was tightly correlated with the oxygen isotope ratio of ecosystem respiration, suggesting the primary drivers are evaporative enrichment of soil water and perhaps nocturnal leaf enrichment. Instrument precision for carbon and oxygen isotope ratios of carbon dioxide is 0.06 to 0.18 per mil; however, overall precision is somewhat lower due to pressure and sampling effects.

  8. The role of synoptic, seasonal, and inter-annual climate on the carbon isotope ratio of ecosystem respiration in a semi-arid woodland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shim, J.; Powers, H. H.; Meyer, C.; Pockman, W.; McDowell, N.

    2010-12-01

    The terrestrial carbon cycle is influenced by environmental variability at time scales ranging from synoptic to inter-annual. Here we present five-years of nightly growing season (day 100-300) observations of the carbon isotope ratio of ecosystem respiration (δ 13CR) from a semi-arid, Juniperus monosperma dominated woodland. This ecosystem experienced large environmental changes, including variable frequency and intensity of precipitation-pulses and timing and intensity of droughts and monsoon seasons. Mean δ 13CR was remarkably invariant (-23.57 + 0.4 ‰), with the only exception being particularly enriched δ 13CR in 2006 following a winter with anomalously low snowfall and during other seasonal periods of low soil water content (SWC). δ 13CR was strongly coupled to climate and physiology during the dry pre-monsoon periods (typically May-June), including fast (≤2 days) responses to changes in juniper canopy conductance (Gc) and vapor pressure deficit (VPD) following rain pulses. In contrast, δ 13CR was relatively de-coupled from Gc and environmental drivers during monsoon and post-monsoon periods (July-August and September, respectively). During these latter two seasons, δ 13CR values approached the δ 13C of soil organic matter and response times to VPD and SWC were lagged significantly longer than for pre-monsoon periods (eight days average). Rainfall events caused clear immediate depletions in δ13CR,followed by progressive hourly δ 13CR enrichment. Rates of soil respiration were elevated during wet periods and had values similar to δ 13CR. These results are consistent with the source of ecosystem respiration shifting from autotrophic dominance utilizing recently assimilated C substrates in the pre-monsoon drought to an increasing heterotrophic decomposition of older carbon during the wetter monsoon and post-monsoon periods.

  9. Climate Change and Increased Irrigation Demands: What Is Left for Hydropower Generation? Results from Two Semi-Arid Basins

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tor Haakon Bakken

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available In this study, we have modelled the effect of climate change and increased irrigation withdrawals on the available water for hydropower production in two semi-arid river basins, i.e., Kizilirmak (Turkey and Devoll (Albania, and the role of the reservoirs. The combined effect of climate change and extended irrigation withdrawals will overall lead to reduced runoff in the rivers, according to our simulations. The changes will be most dramatic at Kizilirmak, reducing the water available for hydropower production. The presence of the reservoirs will lead to extended water use/losses due to the provision of regulated flow, enabling larger irrigation withdrawals and increasing the evaporative losses from the reservoir surfaces. Comparing the water consumption losses at Kizilirmak, the irrigation losses are in the range of 2–4 times larger than the gross evaporation losses from reservoir surfaces. The reservoirs at Devoll will improve water availability for hydropower production during low flow periods, and the upstream irrigation represents presently a low risk to the downstream power producers. As the results are sensitive to specific river basin characteristics and the assumptions made, the results cannot be generalized to other river basins without taking these specifics into consideration.

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. Nitrate Pollution and Preliminary Source Identification of Surface Water in a Semi-Arid River Basin, Using Isotopic and Hydrochemical Approaches

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ying Xue

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Nitrate contamination in rivers has raised widespread concern in the world, particularly in arid/semi-arid river basins lacking qualified water. Understanding the nitrate pollution levels and sources is critical to control the nitrogen input and promote a more sustainable water management in those basins. Water samples were collected from a typical semi-arid river basin, the Weihe River watershed, China, in October 2014. Hydrochemical assessment and nitrogen isotopic measurement were used to determine the level of nitrogen compounds and identify the sources of nitrate contamination. Approximately 32.4% of the water samples exceeded the World Health Organization (WHO drinking water standard for NO3−-N. Nitrate pollution in the main stream of the Weihe River was obviously much more serious than in the tributaries. The δ15N-NO3− of water samples ranged from +8.3‰ to +27.0‰. No significant effect of denitrification on the shift in nitrogen isotopic values in surface water was observed by high dissolved oxygen (DO values and linear relationship diagram between NO3−-N and δ15N-NO3−, except in the Weihe River in Huayin County and Shitou River. Analyses of hydrochemistry and isotopic compositions indicate that domestic sewage and agricultural activities are the main sources of nitrate in the river.

  13. Future Water Management in the South Platte River Basin: Impacts of Hydraulic Fracturing, Population, Agriculture, and Climate Change in a Semi-Arid Region.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walker, E. L.; Hogue, T. S.; Anderson, A. M.; Read, L.

    2015-12-01

    In semi-arid basins across the world, the gap between water supply and demand is growing due to climate change, population growth, and shifts in agriculture and unconventional energy development. Water conservation efforts among residential and industrial water users, recycling and reuse techniques and innovative regulatory frameworks for water management strive to mitigate this gap, however, the extent of these strategies are often difficult to quantify and not included in modeling water allocations. Decision support systems (DSS) are purposeful for supporting water managers in making informed decisions when competing demands create the need to optimize water allocation between sectors. One region of particular interest is the semi-arid region of the South Platte River basin in northeastern Colorado, where anthropogenic and climatic effects are expected to increase the gap between water supply and demand in the near future. Specifically, water use in the South Platte is impacted by several high-intensity activities, including unconventional energy development, i.e. hydraulic fracturing, and large withdrawals for agriculture; these demands are in addition to a projected population increase of 100% by 2050. The current work describes the development of a DSS for the South Platte River basin, using the Water Evaluation and Planning system software (WEAP) to explore scenarios of how variation in future water use in the energy, agriculture, and municipal sectors will impact water allocation decisions. Detailed data collected on oil and gas water use in the Niobrara shale play will be utilized to predict future sector use. We also employ downscaled climate projections for the region to quantify the potential range of water availability in the basin under each scenario, and observe whether or not, and to what extent, climate may impact management decisions at the basin level.

  14. 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

  15. Modeling the distributed effects of forest thinning on the long-term water balance and streamflow extremes for a semi-arid basin in the southwestern US

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moreno, Hernan A.; Gupta, Hoshin V.; White, Dave D.; Sampson, David A.

    2016-03-01

    To achieve water resource sustainability in the water-limited southwestern US, it is critical to understand the potential effects of proposed forest thinning on the hydrology of semi-arid basins, where disturbances to headwater catchments can cause significant changes in the local water balance components and basinwise streamflows. In Arizona, the Four Forest Restoration Initiative (4FRI) is being developed with the goal of restoring 2.4 million acres of ponderosa pine along the Mogollon Rim. Using the physically based, spatially distributed triangulated irregular network (TIN)-based Real-time Integrated Basin Simulator (tRIBS) model, we examine the potential impacts of the 4FRI on the hydrology of Tonto Creek, a basin in the Verde-Tonto-Salt (VTS) system, which provides much of the water supply for the Phoenix metropolitan area. Long-term (20-year) simulations indicate that forest removal can trigger significant shifts in the spatiotemporal patterns of various hydrological components, causing increases in net radiation, surface temperature, wind speed, soil evaporation, groundwater recharge and runoff, at the expense of reductions in interception and shading, transpiration, vadose zone moisture and snow water equivalent, with south-facing slopes being more susceptible to enhanced atmospheric losses. The net effect will likely be increases in mean and maximum streamflow, particularly during El Niño events and the winter months, and chiefly for those scenarios in which soil hydraulic conductivity has been significantly reduced due to thinning operations. In this particular climate, forest thinning can lead to net loss of surface water storage by vegetation and snowpack, increasing the vulnerability of ecosystems and populations to larger and more frequent hydrologic extreme conditions on these semi-arid systems.

  16. Modeling the distributed effects of forest thinning on the long-term water balance and stream flow extremes for a semi-arid basin in the southwestern US

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    H. A. Moreno

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available To achieve water resources sustainability in the water-limited Southwestern US, it is critical to understand the potential effects of proposed forest thinning on the hydrology of semi-arid basins, where disturbances to headwater catchments can cause significant changes in the local water balance components and basin-wise stream flows. In Arizona, the Four Forest Restoration Initiative (4FRI is being developed with the goal of restoring 2.4 million acres of ponderosa pine along the Mogollon Rim. Using the physically based, spatially distributed tRIBS model, we examine the potential impacts of the 4FRI on the hydrology of Tonto Creek, a basin in the Verde–Tonto–Salt (VTS system, which provides much of the water supply for the Phoenix Metropolitan Area. Long-term (20 year simulations indicate that forest removal can trigger significant shifts in the spatio-temporal patterns of various hydrological components, causing increases in net radiation, surface temperature, wind speed, soil evaporation, groundwater recharge, and runoff, at the expense of reductions in interception and shading, transpiration, vadose zone moisture and snow water equivalent, with south facing slopes being more susceptible to enhanced atmospheric losses. The net effect will likely be increases in mean and maximum stream flow, particularly during El Niño events and the winter months, and chiefly for those scenarios in which soil hydraulic conductivity has been significantly reduced due to thinning operations. In this particular climate, forest thinning can lead to net loss of surface water storage by vegetation and snow pack, increasing the vulnerability of ecosystems and populations to larger and more frequent hydrologic extreme conditions on these semi-arid systems.

  17. Hydrochemical Differentiation of Salinisation Process of the Water in Endoreic Semi-Arid Basin: Case of Rémila Basin, Algeria

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Houha Belgacem

    2008-01-01

    Full Text Available The aim of this study is to determine and treat a hierarchical basis of the various mechanisms responsible for the space variation of the water quality in a endoreic semi-arid basin. The water chemistry showed a large variability in space and time. The total dissolved solid (TDS in water increases from upstream to downstream due to the effect of the arid climate, but also due to the water-rock interactions and the anthropic polution of surface water. The water chemistry changes progressively from bicarbonate calcic upstream to sulphated and chlorinated calcic in the median zone to chlorinate sodic in the Sebkha. Thermodynamic modelling showed the major role of evaporation in the evolution of the water chemistry. The result indicated calcite precipitation then gypsum precipitation as well as cations exchanges reactions. Statistical approach allowed to arrange processes that responsible for the hydrochemical variability according to their important. The increase of water salinity is due mainly to the aridity process. The differentiation between salty surface water (Sebkha and deeper water (Chott is the second process. The combined of the geochemical and statistical methods allowed to identify the main

  18. Causality analysis of groundwater dynamics based on a Vector Autoregressive model in the semi-arid basin of Gundal (South India)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mangiarotti, S.; Sekhar, M.; Berthon, L.; Javeed, Y.; Mazzega, P.

    2012-08-01

    Causal relationships existing between observed levels of groundwater in a semi-arid sub-basin of the Kabini River basin (Karnataka state, India) are investigated in this study. A Vector Auto Regressive model is used for this purpose. Its structure is built on an upstream/downstream interaction network based on observed hydro-physical properties. Exogenous climatic forcing is used as an input based on cumulated rainfall departure. Optimal models are obtained thanks to a trial approach and are used as a proxy of the dynamics to derive causal networks. It appears to be an interesting tool for analysing the causal relationships existing inside the basin. The causal network reveals 3 main regions: the Northeastern part of the Gundal basin is closely coupled to the outlet dynamics. The Northwestern part is mainly controlled by the climatic forcing and only marginally linked to the outlet dynamic. Finally, the upper part of the basin plays as a forcing rather than a coupling with the lower part of the basin allowing for a separate analysis of this local behaviour. The analysis also reveals differential time scales at work inside the basin when comparing upstream oriented with downstream oriented causalities. In the upper part of the basin, time delays are close to 2 months in the upward direction and lower than 1 month in the downward direction. These time scales are likely to be good indicators of the hydraulic response time of the basin which is a parameter usually difficult to estimate practically. This suggests that, at the sub-basin scale, intra-annual time scales would be more relevant scales for analysing or modelling tropical basin dynamics in hard rock (granitic and gneissic) aquifers ubiquitous in south India.

  19. Efficiency of sample-based indices for spatial pattern recognition of wild pistachio (Pistacia atlantica) trees in semi-arid woodlands

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Yousef Erfanifard; Joachim Saborowski; Kerstin Wiegand; Katrin M Meyer

    2016-01-01

    The efficiency of sample-based indices pro-posed to quantify the spatial distribution of trees is influ-enced by the structure of tree stands, environmental heterogeneity and degree of aggregation. We evaluated 10 commonly used distance-based and 10 density-based indices using two structurally different stands of wild pis-tachio trees in the Zagros woodlands, Iran, to assess the reliability of each in revealing stand structure in wood-lands. All trees were completely stem-mapped in a nearly pure (40 ha) and a mixed (45 ha) stand. First, the inho-mogeneous pair correlation function [g(r)] and the Clark–Evans index (CEI) were used as references to reveal the true spatial arrangement of all trees in these stands. The sampled data were then evaluated using the 20 indices. Sampling was undertaken in a grid based on a square lattice using square plots (30 m 9 30 m) and nearest neighbor distances at the sample points. The g(r) and CEI statistics showed that the wild pistachio trees were aggregated in both stands, although the degree of aggregation was markedly higher in the pure stand. Three distance-and six density-based indices statistically verified that the wild pistachio trees were aggregated in both stands. The dis-tance-based Hines and Hines statistic (ht) and the density-based standardised Morisita (Ip), patchiness (IP) and Cassie (CA) indices revealed aggregation of the trees in the two structurally different stands in the Zagros woodlands and the higher clumping in the pure stand, whereas the other indices were not sensitive enough.

  20. Estimation of evapotranspiration for different land covers in a Brazilian semi-arid region: A case study of the Brígida River basin, Brazil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Santos, Celso Augusto Guimarães; Silva, Richarde Marques da; Silva, Alexandro Medeiros; Brasil Neto, Reginaldo Moura

    2017-03-01

    In this study, the Surface Energy Balance Algorithm for Land (SEBAL) was used to compute the surface albedo, vegetation indices (NDVI, SAVI and LAI), surface temperature, soil heat flux and evapotranspiration (ET) over two contrasting years (dry and wet) in the Brígida River basin, a semi-arid region of north-eastern Brazil. The actual ET was computed during satellite overpass and was integrated for 24 h on a pixel-by-pixel basis for the daily ET distribution. Due to the topographic effects, an attempt was also made to incorporate DEM information to estimate the net radiation. The land cover types identified in the watershed are cropland, bare land, dense canopy, grassland, and caatinga vegetation. In order to study the variation among the biophysical parameters and ET, two-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) was used. The ET calculated by SEBAL ranged between 2.46 and 6.87 mm/day for the dry year (1990) and 1.31 and 6.84 mm/day for the wet year (2009) for the river basin. The results showed that a reduction in vegetation cover is evident in the temporal and spatial analysis over the studied periods in the region and that these facts influence the values of the energy balance and ET. The results showed significant differences in the variables of land cover type and year at the probability level of 0.05 for all land cover types.

  1. 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

  2. Simulating Daily and Sub-daily Water Flow in Large, Semi-arid Watershed Using SWAT: A Case Study of Nueces River Basin, Texas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bassam, S.; Ren, J.

    2015-12-01

    Runoff generated during heavy rainfall imposes quick, but often intense, changes in the flow of streams, which increase the chance of flash floods in the vicinity of the streams. Understanding the temporal response of streams to heavy rainfall requires a hydrological model that considers meteorological, hydrological, and geological components of the streams and their watersheds. SWAT is a physically-based, semi-distributed model that is capable of simulating water flow within watersheds with both long-term, i.e. annually and monthly, and short-term (daily and sub-daily) time scales. However, the capability of SWAT in sub-daily water flow modeling within large watersheds has not been studied much, compare to long-term and daily time scales. In this study we are investigating the water flow in a large, semi-arid watershed, Nueces River Basin (NRB) with the drainage area of 16950 mi2 located in South Texas, with daily and sub-daily time scales. The objectives of this study are: (1) simulating the response of streams to heavy, and often quick, rainfall, (2) evaluating SWAT performance in sub-daily modeling of water flow within a large watershed, and (3) examining means for model performance improvement during model calibration and verification based on results of sensitivity and uncertainty analysis. The results of this study can provide important information for water resources planning during flood seasons.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    B. Kamali

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Glacier contribution to flow in two high-altitude streams of the semi-arid Huasco Basin, northern-central Chile

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gascoin, Simon; Ponce, Rodrigo; Kinnard, Christophe; MacDonell, Shelley

    2010-05-01

    In the semi-arid north-central Chile, populated lowlands rely on runoff and groundwater recharge generated in the high altitude areas of the Andes mountain range. In spite of its importance in terms of water resources, the water balance in these areas is poorly known. In particular, the relative contribution of the cryosphere components (snowpack, glaciers, rock glaciers) to the regional water balance has not been thoroughly evaluated yet. We examine the hydrological importance of glaciers in the case of two well-monitored high-altitude watersheds of the Huasco Basin in northern-central Chile (29°S). We use data from a five years glaciological monitoring program to assess the quantity of water that comes from glaciers fusion per watershed. Then, we compare it with the measured discharge at five stream gauge stations located between 2620 m and 3980 m. The results reveal a substantial contribution of the glaciers to the hydrological balance of the study area. At the regional scale, the water balance is dominated by the snowpack dynamics.

  6. Stable oxygen isotope analysis reveal vegetation influence on soil water movement and ecosystem water fluxes in a semi-arid oak woodland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Piayda, Arndt; Dubbert, Maren; Werner, Christiane; Cuntz, Matthias

    2015-04-01

    Mechanistically disentangling the role and function of vegetation within the hydrological cycle is one of the key questions in the interdisciplinary field of ecohydrology. The presence of vegetation can have various impacts on soil water relations: transpiration of active vegetation causes great water losses, rainfall is intercepted, soil evaporation can be reduced and infiltration, hydraulic redistribution and translatory flow might be altered. In drylands, covering around 40% of the global land surface, the carbon cycle is closely coupled to water availability due to (seasonal) droughts. Specifically savannah type ecosystems, which cover large areas worldwide, are, due to their bi-layered structure, very suitable to study the effects of distinct vegetation types on the ecosystem water cycle. Oxygen isotope signatures (δ18O) have been used to partition ecosystem evapotranspiration (ET ) because of the distinct isotopic compositions of water transpired by leaves relative to soil evaporated vapor. Recent developments in laser spectroscopy enable measurements of δ18O in the vapor phase with high temporal resolution in the field and bear a novel opportunity to trace water movement within the ecosystem. In the present study, the effects of distinct vegetation layers (i.e. trees and herbaceous vegetation) on soil water infiltration and redistribution as well as ecosystem water fluxes in a Mediterranean cork-oak woodland are disentangled. An irrigation experiment was carried out using δ18O labeled water to quantify the distinct effects of trees and herbaceous vegetation on 1) infiltration and redistribution of water in the soil profile and 2) to disentangle the effects of tree cover on the contribution of unproductive soil evaporation and understory transpiration to total ET . First results proof that stable δ18O isotopes measured onsite with laser spectroscopy is a valuable tool to trace water movement in the soil showing a much higher sensitivity than common TDR

  7. The implications of geology, soils, and vegetation on landscape morphology: Inferences from semi-arid basins with complex vegetation patterns in Central New Mexico, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yetemen, Omer; Istanbulluoglu, Erkan; Vivoni, Enrique R.

    2010-04-01

    This paper examines the relationship between land surface properties (e.g. soil, vegetation, and lithology) and landscape morphology quantified by the catchment descriptors: the slope-area (S-A) relation, curvature-area (C-A) relation, and the cumulative area distribution (CAD), in two semi-arid basins in central New Mexico. The first site is composed of several basins located in today's desert elevations with mesic north-facing and xeric south-facing hillslopes underlain by different lithological formations. The second site is a mountainous basin exhibiting vegetation gradients from shrublands in the lower elevations to grasslands and forests at higher elevations. All three land surface properties were found to have significant influences on the S-A and C- A relations, while the power-law exponents of the CADs for these properties did not show any significant deviations from the narrow range of universal scaling exponents reported in the literature. Among the three different surface properties we investigated, vegetation had the most profound impact on the catchment descriptors. In the S-A diagrams of the aspect-controlled ecosystems, we found steeper slopes in north-facing aspects than south-facing aspects for a given drainage area. In elevation-controlled ecosystems, forested landscapes exhibited the steepest slopes for the range of drainage areas examined, followed by shrublands and grasslands in all soil textures and lithologies. In the C-A diagrams, steeper slopes led to a higher degree of divergence on hillslopes and a higher degree of convergence in the valleys than shallower slopes. The influence of functional types of vegetation detected on observed topography provided some initial understanding of the potential impacts of life on the organization of topography. This finding also emphasizes the critical role of climate in catchment development. We suggest that climatic fluctuations that are capable of replacing vegetation communities could lead to highly

  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. 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

    2016-08-01

    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.

  10. Productivity and phenological responses of natural vegetation to present and future inter-annual climate variability across semi-arid river basins in Chile.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glade, Francisco E; Miranda, Marcelo D; Meza, Francisco J; van Leeuwen, Willem J D

    2016-12-01

    Time series of vegetation indices and remotely sensed phenological data offer insights about the patterns in vegetation dynamics. Both are useful sources of information for analyzing and monitoring ecosystem responses to environmental variations caused by natural and anthropogenic drivers. In the semi-arid region of Chile, climate variability and recent severe droughts in addition to land-use changes pose threats to the stability of local ecosystems. Normalized difference vegetation index time series (2000-2013) data from the moderate resolution imaging spectroradiometer (MODIS) was processed to monitor the trends and patterns of vegetation productivity and phenology observed over the last decade. An analysis of the relationship between (i) vegetation productivity and (ii) precipitation and temperature data for representative natural land-use cover classes was made. Using these data and ground measurements, productivity estimates were projected for two climate change scenarios (RCP2.6 and RCP8.5) at two altitudinal levels. Results showed negative trends of vegetation productivity below 2000 m a.s.l. and positive trends for higher elevations. Phenology analysis suggested that mountainous ecosystems were starting their growing period earlier in the season, coinciding with a decreased productivity peak during the growing season. The coastal shrubland/grassland land cover class had a significant positive relation with rainfall and a significant negative relation with temperature, suggesting that these ecosystems are vulnerable to climate change. Future productivity projections indicate that under an RCP8.5 climate change scenario, productivity could decline by 12% in the period of 2060-2100, leading to a severe vegetation degradation at lower altitudes and in drier areas.

  11. Understanding Hydrologic Processes in Semi-Arid Cold Climates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barber, M. E.; Beutel, M.; Lamb, B.; Watts, R.

    2004-12-01

    Water shortages destabilize economies and ecosystems. These shortages are caused by complex interactions between climate variability, ecosystem processes, and increased demand from human activities. In the semi-arid region of the northwestern U.S., water availability during drought periods has already reached crisis levels and the problems are expected to intensify as the effects of global climate change and population growth continue to alter the supply and demand patterns. Many of the problems are critical to this region because hydropower, agriculture, navigation, fish and wildlife survival, water supply, tourism, environmental protection, and water-based recreation are vital to state economies and our way of life. In order to assess the spatial and temporal nature of hydrologic responses, consistent and comprehensive long-term data sets are needed. In response to these needs, we would like to propose the Spokane River drainage basin as a long-term hydrologic observatory. The Spokane River basin is located in eastern Washington and northern Idaho and is a tributary of the Columbia River. The watershed consists of several major surface water tributaries as well as natural and man-made lakes and reservoirs. With headwaters beginning in the Rocky Mountains, the drainage area is approximately 6,640 mi2. In addition to providing an excellent study area for examining many conventional water resource problems, the Spokane River watershed also presents a unique opportunity for investigating many of the hydrologic processes found in semi-arid cold climates. Snowfall in the watershed varies spatially between 35 inches near the mouth of the basin to over 112 inches at the headwaters. These varied hydrologic uses provide a unique opportunity to address many common challenges faced by water resource professionals. This broad array of issues encompasses science, engineering, agriculture, social sciences, economics, fisheries, and a host of other disciplines. In addition

  12. 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 c

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. Application of the groundwater-balance equation to indicate interbasin and vertical flow in two semi-arid drainage basins, Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carrillo-Rivera, J. J.

    2000-09-01

    An analysis of horizontal inflow and outflow in the groundwater-budget equation and the significance for interbasin flow are presented. Two field cases in Mexico, one in the Baja California peninsula and another in central Mexico, highlight the influence of interbasin flow. A significant proportion (approximately 70%) of the ed (thermal) groundwater probably originates outside the drainage basin. A conclusion is that a groundwater-balance study is an unsatisfactory method for determining some parameters, such as storativity (S). Specifically, the groundwater-balance approach provides unreliable results when vertical inflow is ignored or cannot be adequately defined. Vertical flow is indicated by the presence of groundwater temperatures as much as 23 °C higher than ambient temperature. Regional faults could be the pathways for upward flow. When vertical inflow is ignored, uncertainty in the estimation of the storativity through regional groundwater-balance calculation results. On the basis of the groundwater-balance equation, a value of S=0.19 appears to represent the confined condition of the developed part of the aquifer; this result is several orders of magnitude higher than would be reasonable according to the geological conditions. Findings are useful in evaluating whether a groundwater resource is being "overexploited". Conclusions are instructive in the application of transient-flow computer models, in which vertical flow of less dense water from beneath is not included. Résumé. L'article présente une analyse des entrées et des sorties horizontales dans l'équation du bilan d'une nappe et leur signification dans les écoulements entre bassins. Deux exemples provenant du Mexique, l'un dans la péninsule de Basse Californie, l'autre dans le centre du Mexique, mettent en lumière l'influence de l'écoulement entre bassins, où une proportion significative (environ 70%) de l'eau souterraine extraite, thermale, a probablement son origine hors du bassin. Une

  16. Effects of irrigation and plastic mulch on soil properties on semi-arid abandoned fields

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van der Meulen, E.S.; Nol, L.; Cammeraat, L.H.

    2006-01-01

    The Guadalentín Basin in Spain is one of the driest areas of Europe and has problems with high evaporation rates, and high risks of desertification exist including soil quality loss and soil erosion. Farmers in this semi-arid region use polyethylene covers on their irrigated croplands to reduce evap

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wood, W.W.; Rainwater, K.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

  18. 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.

  19. Nebkha patterns in semi-arid environments

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  20. Observing and Quantifying Ecological Disturbance Impacts on Semi-arid Biomes in the Southwestern US.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Litvak, M. E.; Krofcheck, D. J.; Morillas, L.; Fox, A. M.

    2014-12-01

    The magnitude of carbon fluxes through arid and semi-arid ecosystems is considered modest, but integrated over the ~40% of the global land surface covered by these ecosystems, the total carbon stored is almost twice that in temperate forest ecosystems. In the semi-arid Southwestern U.S., drought and rising temperatures have triggered insect outbreaks, fire and widespread mortality in the past 5 years, all of which are predicted to increase in the next century. Understanding how resilient carbon pools and fluxes in these biomes are to these disturbances constitutes a large uncertainty in our ability to understand both carbon and energy flux dynamics in this region. We use an 8 year record (2007-2014) of continuous measurements of net ecosystem exchange of carbon (NEE) and its components (gross primary productivity (GPP) and ecosystem respiration (Re), and evapotranspiration (ET) made over the New Mexico Elevation Gradient (NMEG) network of flux tower sites (desert grassland, creosote shrubland, juniper savanna, piñon-juniper woodland, ponderosa pine and subalpine mixed conifer) to quantify the biome-specific responses of carbon and water dynamics to these disturbances. In particular, we focus on biome-specific responses across the NMEG biomes to the extended drought in this region from 2011-2014, and to the widespread mortality observed in piñon-juniper woodlands following the turn of the century drought (1999-2002) and multi-year recent drought. Finally, we compare functional responses of land-surface fluxes to recent catastrophic fires (grassland, subalpine conifer biomes), and insect outbreaks (subalpine conifer and piñon-juniper woodland biomes). We discuss the results in terms of which disturbances have contributed to and are likely to trigger the largest changes in carbon sequestration in this region in response to predicted climate change scenarios.

  1. 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.

  2. 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)

  3. Tracer-based studies of soil water movement in semi-arid forests of New Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Newman, Brent D.; Campbell, Andrew R.; Wilcox, Bradford P.

    1997-09-01

    The related issues of water movement and contaminant transport in arid and semi-arid environments have generated considerable interest and concern in the last few decades. Essential to understanding these issues is knowledge of how water moves through the soils that form the uppermost part of the vadose zone. The use of tracers, both natural and artificially introduced, is proving to be an effective method for gaining such knowledge in dry regions, where investigation by other means is difficult. In this study, natural stable-isotope and chloride tracers were used to investigate water movement in the soils of a piñon-juniper woodland and of a ponderosa pine forest on the Pajarito Plateau in northern New Mexico. The objectives were to (1) estimate and compare near-surface flux rates and evaluate the importance of evaporation in the two communities, and (2) determine to what extent differences in flux rates and evaporation are due to differences in plant cover and/or soil hydraulic properties. The results of this study will aid in evaluating the potential for contaminant mobility in semi-arid systems such as the Pajarito Plateau and, in addition, will increase understanding of nutrient distributions and plant water use in semi-arid environments. The stable-isotope data indicate a similarity between the piñon-juniper and ponderosa communities with respect to evaporation: in both, it is restricted mainly to the upper 10 cm of soil. Chloride profiles from the two communities, on the other hand, show a distinct difference with respect to downward fluxes: in the ponderosa pine forest, these fluxes (≈0.02 cm year -1) are an order of magnitude lower than those in the piñon-juniper woodland (≈0.2 cm year -1), even though total precipitation is about 4 cm year -1 higher in the ponderosa pine forest. This difference, however, appears to be related not to plant cover, but to differences in soil hydraulic properties. The soils of the ponderosa pine forest contain clay

  4. Climate Warming Threatens Semi-arid Forests in Inner Asia

    Science.gov (United States)

    WU, X.; Liu, H.; Qi, Z.; Li, X.

    2014-12-01

    A line of evidences reveal an increasing tree growth decline and tree mortality mainly attributable to climate warming and the warming-mediated changes in drought and other processes (such as fire and insect dynamics) in many parts of world tropical, temperate and boreal forests. However, the growth responses to climate change of the widely distributed semi-arid forests are unclear. Here, we synthetically investigate the tree growth patterns during past decades and its interannual response to climate variations in Inner Asia combining the ground truth field survey and samplings, remote sensing observations and climate data. We identified a pervasive tree growth decline since mid-1990s in semi-arid forests in Inner Asia. The widely observed tree growth decline is dominantly attributable to warming-induced water stress during pre- and early growing season. Tree growth of semi-arid forests in Inner Asia is particularly susceptible to spring warming and has been suffering a prolonged growth limitation in recent decades due to spring warming-mediated water conditions. Additionally, we identified a much slower growth rate in younger trees and a lack of tree regeneration in these semi-arid forests. The widely observed forest growth reduction and lack of tree regeneration over semi-arid forests in Inner Asia could predictably exert great effects on forest structure, regionally/globally biophysical and biochemical processes and the feedbacks between biosphere and atmosphere. Notably, further increases in forest stress and tree mortality could be reasonably expected, especially in context of the increase frequency and severity of high temperature and heat waves and changes in forest disturbances, potentially driving the eventual regional loss of current semi-arid forests. Given the potential risks of climate induced forest dieback, increased management attention to adaptation options for enhancing forest resistance and resilience to projected climate stress can be expected

  5. Climate warming threatens semi-arid forests in Inner Asia

    Science.gov (United States)

    WU, X.

    2015-12-01

    A line of evidences reveal an increasing tree growth decline and tree mortality mainly attributable to climate warming and the warming-mediated changes in drought and other processes in many parts of world tropical, temperate and boreal forests. However, the growth responses to climate change of the widely distributed semi-arid forests are unclear. Here, we synthetically investigate the tree growth patterns during past decades and its interannual response to climate variations in Inner Asia combining the ground truth field survey and samplings, remote sensing observations and climate data. We identified a pervasive tree growth decline since mid-1990s in semi-arid forests in Inner Asia. The widely observed tree growth decline is dominantly attributable to warming-induced water stress during pre- and early growing season. Tree growth of semi-arid forests in Inner Asia is particularly susceptible to spring warming and has been suffering a prolonged growth limitation in recent decades due to spring warming-mediated water conditions. Additionally, we identified a much slower growth rate in younger trees and a lack of tree regeneration in these semi-arid forests. The widely observed forest growth reduction and lack of tree regeneration over semi-arid forests in Inner Asia could predictably exert great effects on forest structure, regionally/globally biophysical and biochemical processes and the feedbacks between biosphere and atmosphere. Notably, further increases in forest stress and tree mortality could be reasonably expected, especially in context of the increase frequency and severity of high temperature and heat waves and changes in forest disturbances, potentially driving the eventual regional loss of current semi-arid forests. Given the potential risks of climate induced forest dieback, increased management attention to adaptation options for enhancing forest resistance and resilience to projected climate stress can be expected. However, the functionally realistic

  6. Satellite-based analysis of recent trends in the ecohydrology of a semi-arid region

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Gokmen

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available We present a regional framework for an integrated and spatiotemporally distributed assessment of human-induced trends in the hydrology and the associated ecological health of a semi-arid basin where both human activities (i.e. agriculture and natural ecosystems are highly groundwater dependent. To achieve this, we analysed the recent trends (from year 2000 to 2010 in precipitation, evapotranspiration (actual and potential and vegetation greenness (i.e. NDVI using a combination of satellite and ground-based observations. The trend assessment was applied for the semi-arid Konya Basin (Turkey, one of the largest endorheic basins in the world. The results revealed a consistent increasing trend of both yearly evapotranspiration (totally 63 MCM yr−1 from croplands and mean NDVI (about 0.004 NDVI yr−1 in irrigated croplands, especially concentrating in the plain part of the basin, while no significant trends were observed for the precipitation and potential evapotranspiration variables. On the contrary, a consistent decreasing trend of both yearly evapotranspiration (totally −2.1 MCM yr−1 and mean NDVI (−0.001 NDVI yr−1 was observed in the wetlands, which also cannot be explained by trends in precipitation and potential evapotranspiration. The emerging picture suggest that the greening trend of the vegetation and increasing of evapotranspiration in the plain are related to land cover changes (i.e. conversion into irrigated croplands and to the intensification of the supplementary irrigation for agriculture, which in turn caused drying out of some wetlands and the natural vegetation which mostly depend on the groundwater, the main source of irrigation water as well. Our study presented an example of the utility of spatially and temporally continuous RS data in assessing the regional trends in hydrological and ecological variables and their interactions in a spatially distributed manner in a semi-arid region, which can also be adapted to

  7. 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.

  8. Mediterranean semi-arid systems-sensitivity and adaptation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lavee, H.; Sarah, P.

    2009-07-01

    The semi-arid areas of the Mediterranean are sensitive to climate change as they are located. In many cases, between two different systems, the arid system and the Mediterranean sub-humid system. A number of quick response ecogeomorphological variables were monitored along a climatic transect in Israel, running from west to east, covering an annual rainfall range of 700-100mm. The relationships of climatic conditions-available water soil properties overland flow erosion, were investigates. Soil samples were taken from open areas between shrubs and overland flow was monitored in posts of 7, 14 and 21 m in length (3m width). (Author)

  9. Expansive Soil Properties in a Semi-Arid Region

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    MuawiaA. Dafalla

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available The expansive soils in semi-arid regions are of great concern to design and geotechnical engineers. Range and variations of geotechnical properties of soils are very useful for appropriate design. Saudi Arabia; a semi arid region attracted the attention of researchers and practicing engineers over the last three decades following the rapid urbanizations in different parts of the country. Advanced testing equipments were made available for this study. The research group conducted joint visits with high officials from different municipality authorities to survey the problem and study the extent of damage to various structures. The areas visited included Al Ghatt, Al Zulfi, Al Hofuf, Um Al Sahik, Al Qatif, Tabuk, Tayma and Al Qaleeba. Single and two storey buildings, boundary walls, pavements and asphalt roads suffered significant damage in many parts of the visited locations. This paper presents the outcome of survey and a general review of previous works carried out for swelling clays in Saudi Arabia. Engineering properties for typical soil formation are presented.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Klaij, M.C.

    1983-01-01

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

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

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

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

    2008-01-01

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

  13. The Influence of Woodland Encroachment on Runoff and Erosion in Sagebrush Steppe Systems, Great Basin, USA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pierson, F. B.; Kormos, P. R.; Williams, C. J.

    2007-12-01

    Pinyon and juniper woodlands have expanded 10 to 30% in the past 30 years and now occupy nearly 20 million hectares of sagebrush shrub steppe in the Great Basin Region and Colorado Plateau, USA. The conversion of sagebrush steppe to pinyon and juniper woodlands has been linked to changes in plant community structure and composition and respective increases in overland flow and erosion from these landscapes. The Sagebrush Steppe Treatment Evaluation Project (SageSTEP, www.sagestep.org) was implemented in 2005 as a 5 year interdisciplinary research study to evaluate restoration methodologies for sagebrush rangelands degraded by woodland and grassland encroachment over a six state area within the Great Basin. The hydrology component of SageSTEP focuses on the relationships between changes in vegetation and groundcover and runoff/erosion processes. In 2006, 140 small scale (0.5 m2) rainfall simulations were conducted at 2 locations within the Great Basin to determine whether critical thresholds exist in vegetation and ground cover that significantly influence infiltration, runoff, and erosion in pinyon and juniper woodlands. Simulation plots were distributed on interspaces (areas between shrub/tree canopies) and juniper, pinyon, and shrub coppices (areas underneath canopy). Water drop penetration times and litter depths were also collected for each plot to explore controls on soil hydrophobicity. Preliminary results suggest a positive correlation between litter depth and hydrophobicity, as soils under thick pinyon and juniper coppices are strongly water repellant and soils in interspaces and under shrub coppices are easily wettable. Interspace plots with varying amounts of grasses and forbs have the highest erosion and runoff rates due to higher percentages of bare ground and relatively low soil stability. Pinyon coppices have the least runoff and erosion due to very high litter depths and low bare ground cover, even though surface soils are hydrophobic. Juniper and

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. Impacts of urbanization on nitrogen cycling and aerosol, surface and groundwater transport in semi-arid regions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lohse, K. A.; Gallo, E.; Carlson, M.; Riha, K. M.; Brooks, P. D.; McIntosh, J. C.; Sorooshian, A.; Michalski, G. M.; Meixner, T.

    2011-12-01

    Semi-arid regions are experiencing disproportionate increases in human population and land transformation worldwide, taxing limited water resources and altering nitrogen (N) biogeochemistry. How the redistribution of water and N by urbanization affects semi-arid ecosystems and downstream water quality (e.g. drinking water) is unclear. Understanding these interactions and their feedbacks will be critical for developing science-based management strategies to sustain these limited resources. This is especially true in the US where some of the fastest growing urban areas are in semi-arid ecosystems, where N and water cycles are accelerated, and intimately coupled, and where runoff from urban ecosystems is actively managed to augment a limited water supply to the growing human population. Here we synthesize several ongoing studies from the Tucson Basin in Arizona and examine how increasing urban land cover is altering rainfall-runoff relationships, groundwater recharge, water quality, and long range transport of atmospheric N. Studies across 5 catchments varying in impervious land cover showed that only the least impervious catchment responded to antecedent moisture conditions while hydrologic responses were not statistically related to antecedent rainfall conditions at more impervious sites. Regression models indicated that rainfall depth, imperviousness, and their combined effect control discharge and runoff ratios (p < 0.01, r2 = 0.91 and 0.75, respectively). In contrast, runoff quality was not predictably related to imperviousness or catchment size. Rather, rainfall depth and duration, time since antecedent rainfall, and stream channel characteristics and infrastructure controlled runoff chemistry. Groundwater studies showed nonpoint source contamination of CFCs and associated nitrate in areas of rapid recharge along ephemeral channels. Aerosol measurements indicate that both long-range transport of N and N emissions from Tucson are being transported and deposited

  19. 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 \

  20. Integrating management objectives and grazing strategies on semi-arid rangelands

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — Rangelands account for almost half of Nebraska's 24 million acres. Much of these expansive natural resource areas are in the semi-arid climatic region of Nebraska...

  1. Richness and diversity of Leguminosae in an altitudinal gradient in the tropical semi-arid zone of Brazil

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Jacira R.LIMA; Vidal F.MANSANO; Francisca S.ARA(U)JO

    2012-01-01

    Many studies are based on the premise that,on a local scale,diversity is the result of ecological processes,whereas on a regional scale factors such as the topography,geology,hydrology,and historical and evolutionary events would influence this control.The Baturité Mountain Range (Ceará state),located in the Brazilian semi-arid zone,is considered an area of extreme importance for conservation with its vegetation varying with the altitude and slope (windward vs.leeward).On the windward (wet) slope,rainforest dominates,whereas the leeward (dry) slope is dominated by seasonal forests and thorny woodland.The aim of this study was to contribute to the knowledge of the patterns of richness and diversity of the family Leguminosae on a local scale (Baturité Mountain Range) as well as a regional scale (northeastern Brazil).The two slopes present quite distinct floras.The dry slope presents higher richness and diversity indices for Leguminosae than the wet slope.The highest diversity of Leguminosae in the dry areas did not corroborate the ideas of other studies carried out in neotropical forests (total flora) that the higher species richness was predicted for wet areas.The present study indicates that the historical and evolutionary processes influence the diversity patterns on a local scale (Baturité Mountain Range),as well as on a regional scale (Brazilian semi-arid).Our results reinforce the uniqueness of each portion of this area and its importance for conservation.

  2. Use of Satellite SAR for Understanding Long-Term Human Occupation Dynamics in the Monsoonal Semi-Arid Plains of North Gujarat, India

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Francesc C. Conesa

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available This work explores the spatial distribution of monsoonal flooded areas using ENVISAT C-band Advanced Synthetic Aperture Radar (ASAR in the semi-arid region of N. Gujarat, India. The amplitude component of SAR Single Look Complex (SLC images has been used to estimate the extent of surface and near-surface water dynamics using the mean amplitude (MA of monsoonal (July to September and post-monsoonal (October to January seasons. The integration of SAR-derived maps (seasonal flooding maps and seasonal MA change with archaeological data has provided new insights to understand present-day landscape dynamics affecting archaeological preservation and visibility. Furthermore, preliminary results suggest a good correlation between Mid-Holocene settlement patterns and the distribution and extension of seasonal floodable areas within river basin areas, opening interesting inroads to study settlement distribution and resource availability in past socio-ecological systems in semi-arid areas.

  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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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.)

  7. 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

  8. 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...

  9. Coupling stable isotope and satellite to inform a snow accumulation and melt model for data poor, semi-arid watersheds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hublart, Paul; Sproles, Eric; Soulsby, Chris; Tetzlaff, Doerthe; Hevía, Andres

    2016-04-01

    At the most basic level watersheds catch, store, and release water. In semi-arid northern central Chile (29°-32°) snow and glacier melt dominate these basic hydrological stages. In this region precipitation is typically limited to three to five events per year that falls as snow in the High Cordillera at elevations above 3000 m a.s.l. The rugged topography and steep gradient makes snowfall rates highly variable in space and time. Despite its critical importance for water supply, high elevation meteorological data and measurements of snowpack are scarce due to limited winter access above 3000 m a.s.l. Due to the critically limited understanding of catch, store, and release processes most conceptual watershed models for this region remain speculative, are prone to over-parameterization, and greatly inhibits hydrological prediction in the region. Focused on two headwater watersheds of the Elqui River basin (1615-6040 m a.s.l., 429-566 km2) this study couples stable isotope and Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (MODIS) data to develop an improved conceptual model of how semi-arid mountain watersheds catch, store, and release water. MODIS snow-cover and land surface temperature data are used to inform an enhanced temperature-index Snow Accumulation and Melt (SAM) model. The use of remotely-sensed temperature data as input to this model is evaluated by comparison with an interpolated dataset derived from a few available meteorological stations. The outputs from the SAM model are used as inputs to a conceptual catchment model including two water stores (one standing for surface/subsurface processes and the other for deeper groundwater storage). The model is calibrated and evaluated from a Bayesian perspective using discharge data measured at the catchment outlets over a 15-year period (2000-2015). Stable isotope data collected during 2015-2016 is applied to better constrain model outputs. The combination of MODIS-based and isotope-based information proves very

  10. Coexistence and geographical distribution of Leguminosae in an area of Atlantic forest in the semi-arid region of Brazil

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Jacira R. LIMA; Vidal F. MANSANO; Francisca S. ARA(U)JO

    2012-01-01

    Understanding the factors that affect plant species distribution and coexistence in areas with high plant species diversity is a challenge for ecologists.According to some authors,species occupy specific niches,but for others,species coexistence and geographical distribution patterns are random.Floristic composition of the family Leguminosae was studied on moist and dry slopes of the Baturité mountains in semi-arid northeastern Brazil and was compared with findings for other plant formations elsewhere in Brazil.Substantial floristic differences were found between the moist windward and dry leeward slopes of the Baturité mountains despite their close geographical proximity.The leeward slope was slightly more diverse than the windward slope.Similarity analyses showed that the windward face is floristically allied to the Amazon forest,whereas the leeward slope is similar to other dry-area formations of northeastern Brazil,such as thorny woodland (caatinga) and seasonal forests.The strong floristic differences that were observed between the windward and leeward slopes corroborate the theory of ecological niche conservatism,which holds that species occurrence is closely linked to environmental factors,such as temperature and precipitation.

  11. Economic analysis of a simulated alley cropping system for semi-arid conditions, using micro computers

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hoekstra, D.A.

    1983-01-01

    Returns were simulated for the semi-arid areas in Mackakos District, Kenya (bimodal rainfall distribution, 600 mm/yr) comparing the present system (maize and beans intercropped twice a year) with a Leucaena leucocephala hedgerow system. Although some of the assumptions contain a large element of uncertainty, the results were promising enough for the system to be considered further. 4 references.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Boers, Th.M.

    1994-01-01

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

  13. A methodology to assess and evaluate rainwater harvesting techniques in (semi-) arid regions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Adham, Ammar; Riksen, Michel; Ouessar, Mohamed; Ritsema, Coen J.

    2016-01-01

    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 methodologie

  14. 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...

  15. 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

  16. 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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-03-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2010-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Marken Lichtenbelt, Wouter David

    1991-01-01

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

  20. 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

  1. Infiltration and planting pits for improved water management and maize yield in semi-arid Zimbabwe

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Nyakudya, I.W.; Stroosnijder, L.; Nyagumbo, I.

    2014-01-01

    Realising that rainwater harvesting (RWH) improves crop productivity, smallholder farmers in semi-arid Zimbabwe modified contour ridges traditionally used for rainwater management by digging infiltration pits inside contour ridge channels in order to retain more water in crop fields. However, scient

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Krol, Maarten 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 dependenc

  3. Comparison of groundwater recharge estimation methods for the semi-arid Nyamandhlovu area, Zimbabwe

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Sibanda, T.; Nonner, J.C.; Uhlenbrook, S.

    2009-01-01

    The Nyamandhlovu aquifer is the main water resource in the semi-arid Umguza district in Matebeleland North Province in Zimbabwe. The rapid increase in water demand in the city of Bulawayo has prompted the need to quantify the available groundwater resources for sustainable utilization. Groundwater r

  4. Soil quality improvement for crop production in semi-arid West Africa

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ouédraogo, E.

    2004-01-01

    Soil quality maintenance and crop production improvement in semi-arid West Africa require appropriate cropping technologies, which are ecologically sound and economically viable. Thus, on-farm and on-station experiments have been carried out on the central plateau and in the south of Burkina Faso Th

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wit, A.M.W. de

    2001-01-01

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

  6. 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 ...

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  8. 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

  9. Regional validity of the parameters of a distributed runoff-erosion model in the semi-arid region of Brazil

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    SRINIVASAN Vajapeyam Srirangachar; PAIVA Fernanda Maria de Lima

    2009-01-01

    The present paper examines the validity of the application of a distributed rainfall-runoff-erosion model on a regional basis in a semi-arid region of Brazil.The model tested is known as WESP (Water Erosion Simulation Program) developed by Lopes (1987).The model simulates the hydrograph and the sedi-ment graph for individual events and thus, the model when properly calibrated can serve as a predic-tive tool for runoff and soil erosion on an individual or a continuous basis.The possibility of the exis-tence of regionally applicable values for the parameters of the model WESP would be very interesting from the point of view of predictability of runoff and soil erosion from ungauged basins in the region.For this purpose, data collected in several experimental units in the experimental basin of Sume as well as in the experimental basin of Sao Joao de Cariri have been used.The model was calibrated and validated in each of the experimental units (consisting of erosion plots and micro-basins) and the av-erage value from all of the units for each of the parameters was considered to be the regional value.With these average values, all the events in all the experimental units were simulated.The results show that the runoff and erosion values simulated with this single parameter set were very good in all the units, being well within the acceptable deviations.

  10. Regional validity of the parameters of a distributed runoff-erosion model in the semi-arid region of Brazil

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    SRINIVASAN; Vajapeyam; Srirangachar; PAIVA; Fernanda; Maria; de; Lima

    2009-01-01

    The present paper examines the validity of the application of a distributed rainfall-runoff-erosion model on a regional basis in a semi-arid region of Brazil. The model tested is known as WESP (Water Erosion Simulation Program) developed by Lopes (1987). The model simulates the hydrograph and the sediment graph for individual events and thus, the model when properly calibrated can serve as a predictive tool for runoff and soil erosion on an individual or a continuous basis. The possibility of the existence of regionally applicable values for the parameters of the model WESP would be very interesting from the point of view of predictability of runoff and soil erosion from ungauged basins in the region. For this purpose, data collected in several experimental units in the experimental basin of Sumé as well as in the experimental basin of So Joo de Cariri have been used. The model was calibrated and validated in each of the experimental units (consisting of erosion plots and micro-basins) and the average value from all of the units for each of the parameters was considered to be the regional value. With these average values, all the events in all the experimental units were simulated. The results show that the runoff and erosion values simulated with this single parameter set were very good in all the units, being well within the acceptable deviations.

  11. Reconstruction of paleohydrology in semi-arid regions for water resources management: Opportunities and challenges

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elshorbagy, Amin; Wagener, Thorsten; Razavi, Saman; Sauchyn, David

    2016-04-01

    Tree-ring based reconstruction of paleohydrology can be a valuable and important means to extend the available hydrological records for several centuries. Such record extension, when properly done, can improve water resources management and planning by making available realistic long records that reflect past short- and long-term hydrometeorological variabilities. This research highlights some of the important, and perhaps unresolved, issues in tree-ring based reconstruction of paleohydrology, especially in semi-arid regions. The relationships between tree growth, as represented by tree-ring chronologies (TRCs), runoff (Q), precipitation (P), and evapotranspiration (ET) are discussed within both statistical and hydrological contexts. The Oldman River Basin (OMRB), Alberta, Canada, is presented as a case study, with TRCs and hydrometeorological data used to demonstrate the relevant issues. Runoff and precipitation data were available through measurements, and actual evapotranspiration was estimated using a lumped conceptual hydrological model developed in this study for the OMRB. Correlation analysis was conducted to explore the relationships between TRCs and each of Q, P, and ET over the entire historical record (globally) as well as locally within the wet and dry subperiods. Global and local correlation strengths and linear relationships appear to be significantly different, particularly affecting tree-ring based inferences about the hydrology and wet and dry episodes from reconstructions made using regression models. This finding is not typically highlighted in the available literature. Reconstruction of paleoQ may also not be as credible as paleoP and paleoET. This is discussed within the context of the watershed storage and release functions. It was also found that a moving average window, of more than one year, of P and ET time series might be necessary for reconstruction of these variables using tree-ring chronologies. This study improves our understanding of

  12. Groundwater Recharge Evaluation in Semi-Arid Northeast Mexico in Response to Projected Climate Change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wolaver, B. D.

    2007-12-01

    This research evaluates the effects of projected climate change on mountain recharge in the semi-arid Cuatrocinegas Basin (CCB) of northeast Mexico. The CCB UNESCO Biosphere Reserve is located in Coahuila, Mexico (~27° N, ~102° W) and includes > 500 springs that discharge from a regional flow system to wetlands with > 70 endemic species and to an irrigation network. This study tests the hypothesis that projected climate changes will reduce CCB recharge. In CCB, ~75% of annual precipitation (~220 mm at 700 m, ~400 mm at 2350 m) falls between May and October and ~40% falls during the North American Monsoon in June, July, and August. Environmental isotopes indicate aquifer residence times of > 50 years. Stable isotopes (O and H) show that mountain precipitation (at an elevation of ~1170 to 2350 m) dominates groundwater recharge. Recharge is insignificant at lower- elevation valleys that cover the majority of the study area due to high evapotranspiration rates. A Cl--balance water-budget recharge analysis estimates a spatially distributed recharge rate of ~1 to 3% of precipitation to provide at least 35x106 m3/year spring discharge (as measured in canals that drain dozens of springs). IPCC AR4 climate projections predict an annual temperature increase of 3.0 to 3.5°C and an annual precipitation decrease of 5 to 10% for Subregion CNA (located adjacent to CCB) by 2099. During June to August, models project a temperature increase of 3.5 to 4.0°C and a precipitation increase of 0 to 5%. Although global and regional circulation models evaluate mountain regions poorly, a first-order evaluation of climate projections on CCB recharge is needed input to develop effective long-term groundwater management policies. Climate projections suggest that the minimum elevation at which recharge occurs in CCB may increase by ~615 m to 1785 m, which would limit recharge to the highest mountain elevations. If annual precipitation is reduced by 5 to 10% and temperatures increase as

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Khire, M.V. [GeoSyntec Consultants, Boca Raton, FL (United States); Benson, C.H.; Bosscher, P.J. [Univ. of Wisconsin, Madison, WI (United States)

    1997-12-31

    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.

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

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2000-01-01

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

  15. Feeding behavior and physiological responses of sheep grazing in the semi-arid

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carolyny Batista Lima

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Sheep farming is an important social and economic support for the population living in semi-arid zones. These climatic conditions in these regions - a high radiant heat load, especially - may require adjustments in physiology and behavior of the animal to enable their survival. The increased respiratory rate and rectal temperature, with seeking behavioral patterns reduced grazing time and increased idle time are recurrent in the literature as the main physiological and behavioral responses of sheep grazing in high radiant heat load environments. The presence of shadow, natural or artificial, can encourage and facilitate thermolysis physiological adjustments sheep without harm, predominantly, your metabolism. Thus, the objective of compiling information on the main patterns of behavior, as well as major physiological responses of sheep grazing in semi-arid zones.

  16. Temperature variations in a housing of the semi-arid region of Djelfa (Algeria)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ettoumi, F.Y.; Adane, A.E.H. [Universite de Sciences et Technologie Houari Boumediene, Faculte de Genie Electrique, Alger (Algeria); Messen, N. [C.N.R.B.-BP, Wilaya de Djelfa (Algeria); Sauvageot, H. [Universite Paul Sabatier, Toulouse (France). Lab. d' Aerologie

    2002-03-01

    Temperature variations are analysed for two areas of Algeria, lying in a semi-arid region and near the West Coast, respectively, the Djelfa and Oran areas. This analysis mainly consists in computing the temperature deviations with respect to the reference levels of 18{sup o}C and 25{sup o}C. Their time variations are then studied. When summing the temperature deviations per month, the amount of energy, expressed in degree hour for each month of the year, necessary to heat and cool the houses during cold weather and hot periods, respectively, is obtained. An economic study of construction material efficiency is associated with the computation of the temperature deviations and applied to housing in semi-arid regions. It is shown that cheap traditional materials having greater thermal inertia can advantageously be used for housing constructions in these regions.(author)

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

    OpenAIRE

    Emmanuel Mavhura; Desmond Manatsa; Terence Mushore

    2015-01-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

    Ncube, B.

    2007-01-01

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

  19. Tillage for soil and water conservation in the semi-arid tropics

    OpenAIRE

    Hoogmoed, W.B.

    1999-01-01

    Soil tillage is the manipulation of soil which is generally considered as necessary to obtain optimum growth conditions for a crop. In the same time the resulting modification of soil structure has serious implications for the behaviour of the soil to erosive forces by water and wind. In Chapter 1 an introduction is given to the most important aspects: the objectives of tillage, the conflicting requirements set to tillage, the characteristics of soil and water conservation in the semi-arid tr...

  20. Geochemical Processes Controlling the Generation and Environmental Impacts of Acid Mine Drainage in Semi Arid Conditions

    OpenAIRE

    Magombedze, Chris

    2006-01-01

    This study evaluates the geochemical processes that control the geochemistry of acid mine drainage in semi arid conditions. The central objective is to characterise and understand the evolution of acid mine drainage and its potential environmental impacts on the Mazowe River sub-catchment, in north east Zimbabwe. The work is based on a case study at three neighbouring metal sulphide mines, namely Trojan Nickel Mine, Mazowe Gold Mine and Iron Duke Pyrites.The methodology used in this research ...

  1. Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi in Mimosa tenuiflora (Willd.) Poir from Brazilian semi-arid

    OpenAIRE

    Tancredo Augusto Feitosa de Souza; Susana Rodriguez-Echeverría; Leonaldo Alves de Andrade; Helena Freitas

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Many plant species from Brazilian semi-arid present arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) in their rhizosphere. These microorganisms play a key role in the establishment, growth, survival of plants and protection against drought, pathogenic fungi and nematodes. This study presents a quantitative analysis of the AMF species associated with Mimosa tenuiflora, an important native plant of the Caatinga flora. AMF diversity, spore abundance and root colonization were estimated in seven sampl...

  2. 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

  3. The Araceae in Ceará, Brazil: humid forest plants in a semi-arid region

    OpenAIRE

    Andrade,Ivanilza Moreira de; Mayo,Simon Joseph; Silva, Maria Francilene Souza; Sousa,Danilo José Lima de; Matias,Lígia Queiroz; Ribeiro,Thales Alves

    2013-01-01

    The study consists of a taxonomic treatment of the Araceae of Ceará, a state lying within Brazil's semi-arid region. The aroid flora shows greater similarity to those of central Brazil and Amazonia than to the Atlantic forest. Most species occur in humid forest fragments - the "florestas serranas". Geophytes are also found in caatinga and dry forest (Taccarum ulei) and lithophytes on rock outcrops in dry forest (Philodendron acutatum). Floating aquatics occur in ponds and lakes throughout the...

  4. Partitioning understory evapotranspiration in semi-arid ecosystems in Namibia using the isotopic composition of water vapour

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Blécourt, Marleen; Gaj, Marcel; Holtorf, Kim-Kirsten; Gröngröft, Alexander; Brokate, Ralph; Himmelsbach, Thomas; Eschenbach, Annette

    2016-04-01

    In dry environments with a sparse vegetation cover, understory evapotranspiration is a major component of the ecosystem water balance. Consequently, knowledge on the size of evapotranspiration fluxes and the driving factors is important for our understanding of the hydrological cycle. Understory evapotranspiration is made up of soil evaporation and plant transpiration. Soil evaporation can be measured directly from patches free of vegetation. However, when understory vegetation is present distinguishing between soil evaporation and plant transpiration is challenging. In this study, we aim to partition understory evapotranspiration based on an approach that combines the measurements of water-vapour fluxes using the closed chamber method with measurements of the isotopic composition of water vapour. The measurements were done in the framework of SASSCAL (Southern African Science Service Centre for Climate Change and Adaptive Land Management). The study sites were located in three different semi-arid ecosystems in Namibia: thornbush savanna, Baikiaea woodland and shrubland. At each site measurements were done under tree canopies as well as at unshaded areas between the canopies. We measured evaporation from the bare soil and evapotranspiration from patches covered with herbaceous species and shrubs using a transparent chamber connected with an infrared gas analyser (LI-8100A, LICOR Inc.). The stable isotope composition of water vapour inside the chamber and depth profiles of soil water stable isotopes were determined in-situ using a tuneable off-axis integrated cavity output spectroscope (OA-ICOS, Los Gatos Research, DLT 100). Xylem samples were extracted using the cryogenic vacuum extraction method and the isotopic composition of the extracted water was measured subsequently with a cavity-ring-down spectrometer (CRDS L2120-i, Picarro Inc.). We will present the quantified fluxes of understory evapotranspiration measured in the three different ecosystems, show the

  5. Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi in Mimosa tenuiflora (Willd. Poir from Brazilian semi-arid

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tancredo Augusto Feitosa de Souza

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Many plant species from Brazilian semi-arid present arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF in their rhizosphere. These microorganisms play a key role in the establishment, growth, survival of plants and protection against drought, pathogenic fungi and nematodes. This study presents a quantitative analysis of the AMF species associated with Mimosa tenuiflora, an important native plant of the Caatinga flora. AMF diversity, spore abundance and root colonization were estimated in seven sampling locations in the Ceará and Paraíba States, during September of 2012. There were significant differences in soil properties, spore abundance, percentage of root colonization, and AMF diversity among sites. Altogether, 18 AMF species were identified, and spores of the genera Acaulospora, Claroideoglomus, Dentiscutata, Entrophospora, Funneliformis, Gigaspora, Glomus, Racocetra, Rhizoglomus and Scutellospora were observed. AMF species diversity and their spore abundance found in M. tenuiflora rhizosphere shown that this native plant species is an important host plant to AMF communities from Brazilian semi-arid region. We concluded that: (a during the dry period and in semi-arid conditions, there is a high spore production in M. tenuiflora root zone; and (b soil properties, as soil pH and available phosphorous, affect AMF species diversity, thus constituting key factors for the similarity/dissimilarity of AMF communities in the M. tenuiflora root zone among sites.

  6. 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.

  7. Modeling carbon cycle dynamics and response to drought in semi-arid ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hilton, T. W.; Fox, A. M.; Krofcheck, D. J.; Litvak, M. E.

    2012-12-01

    The southwestern United States is presently experiencing a multi-year drought. Though the carbon uptake per unit area of the semi-arid biomes in this region is smaller than that of more temperate biomes, these biomes cover roughly 40 percent of the world's land surface, and thus make a significant contribution to the global terrestrial biological carbon cycle. Here we test the ability of two land surface model structures to diagnose the carbon cycle dynamics of semi-arid landscapes during the ongoing extreme drought. We use the New Mexico Elevation Gradient (NMEG) as a testbed for these modeling experiments. The NMEG comprises eight eddy covariance towers observing ecosystems ranging from desert grassland ( 1600 m elevation) to alpine mixed coniferous forest ( 3000 m elevation). During the drought the ecosystems observed by these towers saw their annual net carbon uptake decline between 33 and 100 percent (50 to 150 gC m^{-2} year^{-1}), with two of the eight sites becoming net sources of carbon to the atmosphere and one transitioning from a net carbon sink to carbon-neutral. We parametrize a simple light-use efficiency (LUE)-based model (Vegetation Photosynthesis and Respiration Model, VPRM) and a complex model which simulates many land surface processes (Community Land Model, CLM). We explore the capacity of both models to diagnose the terrestrial carbon cycle in semi-arid biomes where water availability is highly episodic.

  8. Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi in Mimosa tenuiflora (Willd.) Poir from Brazilian semi-arid.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Souza, Tancredo Augusto Feitosa; Rodriguez-Echeverría, Susana; de Andrade, Leonaldo Alves; Freitas, Helena

    2016-01-01

    Many plant species from Brazilian semi-arid present arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) in their rhizosphere. These microorganisms play a key role in the establishment, growth, survival of plants and protection against drought, pathogenic fungi and nematodes. This study presents a quantitative analysis of the AMF species associated with Mimosa tenuiflora, an important native plant of the Caatinga flora. AMF diversity, spore abundance and root colonization were estimated in seven sampling locations in the Ceará and Paraíba States, during September of 2012. There were significant differences in soil properties, spore abundance, percentage of root colonization, and AMF diversity among sites. Altogether, 18 AMF species were identified, and spores of the genera Acaulospora, Claroideoglomus, Dentiscutata, Entrophospora, Funneliformis, Gigaspora, Glomus, Racocetra, Rhizoglomus and Scutellospora were observed. AMF species diversity and their spore abundance found in M. tenuiflora rhizosphere shown that this native plant species is an important host plant to AMF communities from Brazilian semi-arid region. We concluded that: (a) during the dry period and in semi-arid conditions, there is a high spore production in M. tenuiflora root zone; and (b) soil properties, as soil pH and available phosphorous, affect AMF species diversity, thus constituting key factors for the similarity/dissimilarity of AMF communities in the M. tenuiflora root zone among sites.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

    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.

  12. Sources of water used by natural mesquite vegetation in a semi-arid region of northern Mexico

    OpenAIRE

    2009-01-01

    Vegetation structure in semi-arid regions of northern Mexico and the southwestern USA has changed dramatically over the last century; shrubs such as mesquite (Prosopis sp.) have expanded into, and have become dominant in, ecosystems that once supported semi-arid grassland. The upper San Pedro River watershed, which extends from northern Sonora (Mexico) to southeastern Arizona (USA), highlights these changes. Between 1973 and 1992, grasslands decreased by 18% and the total area dominated by me...

  13. Development and implementation of a monitoring and information system to increase water use efficiency in arid and semi-arid areas in Limarí, Central Chile (WEIN)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berger, Erich; Balmert, David; Richter, Jürgen

    2016-10-01

    The project WEIN was funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF | Berlin, Germany) in the framework of the high-tech strategy of Germany's program "KMU-Innovativ". The project started in 2012 and was completed in 2014. In the scope of the project, an integrated system for analysis, monitoring and information at river basin level was developed, which provides relevant information for all stakeholders that are concerned with water resource issues. The main objective of the project was to improve water use efficiency and hence ensure the agricultural production in the region. The pilot region, in which this system was implemented, is the semi-arid Limarí basin in Northern Central Chile. One of the main parts of the project was the development and implementation of a web- and app-based irrigation water ordering and accounting system for local farmers.

  14. Exploring the causes of discharge decrease in a semi-arid watershed of the middle reaches of the Yellow River through a distributed biosphere hydrological model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, Z.; Wang, Z.; Hong, Y.

    2013-12-01

    The streamflows of Huangfuchuan River, a semi-arid tributary in the middle Yellow River, have drastically decreased in the past decade, which may impact the governance strategies of Yellow River. The causes of the decreasing are generally attributed to the climate variability and also the intensive human activities of the area. In this study, a distributed biosphere hydrological model (WEB-DHM, or the Water and Energy Budget-based Distributed Hydrological Model) was used to explore the causes for the decrease quantitatively by reproducing the natural hydrological processes. First, the WEB-DHM was calibrated and validated with daily discharges for a sub-period (1985 to 1998) that had little human interference in the basin. Then, another 8-year (1999 to 2006) simulation was carried out to estimate the natural streamflows in the period with more human activities. With these hydrological simulations, the possible causes (i.e., climate variability and human activities) of the runoff reduction from 1985 to 2006 were quantitatively identified. Results showed that: (1) The annual mean runoff in the semi-arid river basin significantly decreased from 34.04 mm year-1 during the period before 1998 (1985 to 1998) to 13.72 mm year-1 during the period after 1998 (1999 to 2006), showing a sharp decrease of 68% (20.32 mm year-1); (2) The climate variability accounted for a decrease of annual runoff by approximately 9.38 mm year-1 (46.17% of total); while the human activities (including vegetation changes, soil-water conservation measures, artificial water intakes and water storage project construction), had caused a decrease in annual runoff by approximately 10.94 mm year-1 (53.83% of total). It can be concluded that human activities contributed more to the runoff reduction in the Huangfuchuan River Basin from 1985 to 2006. The distributed biosphere hydrological modeling approach, as well as the findings from this study would benefit the water resources management in the semi-arid

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-09-01

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

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. Discussion on an Eco-Agriculture Model in the Semi-Arid Region of China

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    ZhangPeidong

    2005-01-01

    The semi-arid region of China covers an area of 2.2×106kin2. Water shortage in this region is the core but not the only one factor for the sustainable development of agriculture. Effective application of the energy and all kinds of resources and overall maintenance of the balance of ecological environment must be emphasized for sustainable development of the agriculture in the region. The extensive development of rural yard-economy is the only way to realize the intensive agricultural development there. A model is developed on the basis of our studies in recent years.

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. Application of spatially varying storage capacity model for runoff parameterization in semi-arid catchment

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Li-liang REN; Gui-zuo WANG; Fang LU; Tian-fang FANG

    2009-01-01

    This paper introduces the method of designation of water storage capacity for each grid cell within a catchment, which considers topography, vegetation and soil synthetically. For the purpose of hydrological process simulation in semi-arid regions, a spatially varying storage capacity (VSC) model was developed based on the spatial distribution of water storage capacity and the vertical hybrid runoff mechanism. To verify the applicability of the VSC model, both the VSC model and a hybrid runoff model were used to simulate daily runoff processes in the catchment upstream of the Dianzi hydrological station from 1973 to 1979. The results showed that the annual average Nash-Sutcliffe coefficient was 0.80 for the VSC model, and only 0.67 for the hybrid runoff model. The higher annual average Nash-Sutcliffe coefficient of the VSC model means that this hydrological model can better simulate daily runoff processes in semi-arid regions. Furthermore, as a distributed hydrological model, the VSC model can be applied in regional water resource management.

  3. Application of spatially varying storage capacity model for runoff parameterization in semi-arid catchment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Li-liang REN

    2009-06-01

    Full Text Available This paper introduces the method of designation of water storage capacity for each grid cell within a catchment, which considers topography, vegetation and soil synthetically. For the purpose of hydrological process simulation in semi-arid regions, a spatially varying storage capacity (VSC model was developed based on the spatial distribution of water storage capacity and the vertical hybrid runoff mechanism. To verify the applicability of the VSC model, both the VSC model and a hybrid runoff model were used to simulate daily runoff processes in the catchment upstream of the Dianzi hydrological station from 1973 to 1979. The results showed that the annual average Nash-Sutcliffe coefficient was 0.80 for the VSC model, and only 0.67 for the hybrid runoff model. The higher annual average Nash-Sutcliffe coefficient of the VSC model means that this hydrological model can better simulate daily runoff processes in semi-arid regions. Furthermore, as a distributed hydrological model, the VSC model can be applied in regional water resource management.

  4. Respiratory heat loss in Morada Nova sheep in Brazilian semi-arid regions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Steffan Edward Octávio Oliveira

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available This study aimed to evaluate the respiratory heat loss in sheep from the equations developed for this species and its relations with meteorological variables in semi-arid regions. The respiratory heat loss (sensible and latent was estimated through the equations in the literature for four 12-month-old male Morada Nova sheep, kept in an installation with shading of ceramic tiles and a 3-meter-high ceiling. The following environmental variables were measured: air temperature (TA, wind speed (U, relative humidity (RH and partial vapor pressure (PP{tA}. The physiological variables measured: rectal temperature (TR and respiratory rate (RR. Statistical analysis was performed based on regression using PROC REG procedure in SAS. The latent respiratory heat loss showed a linear and positive correlation with ambient temperature. However, the respiratory convection showed a linear and negative correlation, but with incipient values. Therefore, the latent heat loss is more important than the sensible one in the respiratory system to maintain thermoregulation of sheep in a semi-arid region of Brazil.

  5. Remote Sensing Parameterization of Land Surface Heat Fluxes over Arid and Semi-arid Areas

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    马耀明; 王介民; 黄荣辉; 卫国安; MassimoMENENTI; 苏中波; 胡泽勇; 高峰; 文军

    2003-01-01

    Dealing with the regional land surfaces heat fluxes over inhomogeneous land surfaces in arid and semi-arid areas is an important but not an easy issue. In this study, one parameterization method based on satellite remote sensing and field observations is proposed and tested for deriving the regional land surface heat fluxes over inhomogeneous landscapes. As a case study, the method is applied to the Dunhuang experimental area and the HEIFE (Heihe River Field Experiment, 1988-1994) area. The Dunhuang area is selected as a basic experimental area for the Chinese National Key Programme for Developing Basic Sciences: Research on the Formation Mecbanism and Prediction Theory of Severe Climate Disaster in China (G1998040900, 1999-2003). The four scenes of Landsat TM data used in this study are 3 June 2000,22 August 2000, and 29 January 2001 for the Dunhuang area and 9 July 1991 for the HEIFE area. The regional distributions of land surface variables, vegetation variables, and heat fluxes over inhomogeneous landscapes in arid and semi-arid areas are obtained in this study.

  6. 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.

  7. On the potential for regolith control of fluvial terrace formation in semi-arid escarpments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Norton, K. P.; Schlunegger, F.; Litty, C.

    2016-02-01

    Cut-fill terraces occur throughout the western Andes, where they have been associated with pluvial episodes on the Altiplano. The mechanism relating increased rainfall to sedimentation is, however, not well understood. Here, we apply a hillslope sediment model and reported cosmogenic nuclide concentrations in terraces to examine terrace formation in semi-arid escarpment environments. We focus on the Pisco river system in western Peru in order to determine probable hillslope processes and sediment transport conditions during phases of terrace formation. Specifically, we model steady-state and transient hillslope responses to increased precipitation rates. The measured terrace distribution and sediment agree with the transient predictions, suggesting strong climatic control on the cut-fill sequences in western Peru primarily through large variations in sediment load. Our model suggests that the ultimate control for these terraces is the availability of sediment on the hillslopes, with hillslope stripping supplying large sediment loads early in wet periods. At the Pisco river, this is manifest as an approximately 4-fold increase in erosion rates during pluvial periods. We suggest that this mechanism may also control terrace occurrence other semi-arid escarpment settings.

  8. 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.

  9. Role of radiatively forced temperature changes in enhanced semi-arid warming over East Asia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    X. Guan

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available As the climate change occurred over East Asia since 1950s, intense interest and debate have arisen concerning the contribution of human activities to the warming observed in previous decades. In this study, we investigate surface temperature change using a recently developed methodology that can successfully identify and separate the dynamically induced temperature (DIT and radiatively forced temperature (RFT changes in raw surface air temperature (SAT data. For regional averages, DIT and RFT make 43.7 and 56.3 % contributions to the SAT over East Asia, respectively. The DIT changes dominate the SAT decadal variability and are mainly determined by internal climate variability, such as the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO, Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO, and Atlantic Multi-decadal Oscillation (AMO. The radiatively forced SAT changes made major contribution to the global-scale warming trend and the regional-scale enhanced semi-arid warming (ESAW. Such enhanced warming is also found in radiatively forced daily maximum and minimum SAT. The long-term global-mean SAT warming trend is mainly related to radiative forcing produced by global well-mixed greenhouse gases. The regional anthropogenic radiative forcing, however, caused the enhanced warming in the semi-arid region, which may be closely associated with local human activities. Finally, the relationship between global warming hiatus and regional enhanced warming is discussed.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-10-15

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

  11. EMISSION OF NITROUS OXIDE AND CARBON DIOXIDE FROM SEMI-ARID TROPICAL SOILS IN CHIAPAS MÉXICO

    OpenAIRE

    2010-01-01

    The semi-arid region of Chiapas is dominated by N2 -fixing shrubs, e.g., Acacia angustissima. Urea-fertilized soil samples under maize were collected from areas covered and uncovered by A. angustissima in different seasons and N2O and CO2 emissions were monitored. The objective of this study was to determine the effects of urea and of the rainy and dry season on gas emissions from semi-arid soil under laboratory conditions. Urea and soil use had no effect on CO2 production. Nitrons oxide emis...

  12. 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

  13. 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)

  14. Integrated approach to ecohydrology of semi-arid sites in areas of complex topography and biome transitions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gutierrez, H. A.; Ivanov, V. Y.; Vivoni, E. R.; Bras, R. L.

    2005-05-01

    atmospheric forcing and the effects on the hydrologic fluxes, including changes in the water and energy balance. Finally, we point to further potential advances in the coupled simulation of the biosphere, atmosphere, and hydrosphere in semi-arid regions.

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. Seasonal dynamics of soil CO2 efflux in biodiverse semi-arid ecosystems of Western Australia

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-04-01

    Introduction In recent years, soil respiration (Rs) has been a major research focus given the increase in atmospheric CO2 emissions and the large contribution of CO2 fluxes from soils. Rs is the second largest carbon flux in terrestrial ecosystems and globally accounts for 98±12 CO2-C yr-1 or ten times that produced by fossil fuel combustion. In addition to its importance in the global carbon cycle, Rs is a key indicator of ecosystem state and functioning. Despite the global importance of this process, there is still limited knowledge of its and responses to abiotic and biotic processes, particularly in arid and semi-arid areas. In this research we investigated the seasonal variations and controlling factors of Rs for different vegetation types in biodiverse ecosystems of the Pilbara region (Western Australia). This region, with a semi-arid climate and two main seasons (wet-summer and dry-winter), is an ancient landscape with diverse geology and high levels of regional endemism. Methods This research was conducted in seven study sites across the Pilbara region with similar native soils and analogous ecosystems representative of the area. A permanent plot was defined at each site which included three of the most representative and dominant vegetation cover types of the Pilbara ecosystems: trees (Corymbia spp.), shrubs (Acacia spp.), grasses (Triodia spp.), and bare soil. Soil sampling and field measurements were carried out in February 2014 (wet-summer season) and July 2014 (dry-winter season). Rs was measured with a portable soil CO2 flux chamber attached to a Li-Cor 6400 and, simultaneously, both temperature and soil moisture were determined. Results Soil CO2 efflux ranged from 0.57 µmol m-2 s-1 to 1.96 µmol m-2 s-1 in the dry-winter season and from 1.57 µmol m-2 s-1 to 3.91 µmol m-2 s-1 in the wet-summer season. Higher Rs rates were found in the wet-summer season in all vegetation types and below Corymbia spp. in both periods. Rs differed significantly

  18. Agricultural water productivity optimization for irrigated Teff (Eragrostic Tef) in water scarce semi-arid region of EthiopiaAgricultural water productivity optimization for irrigated Teff (Eragrostic Tef) in water scarce semi-arid region of Ethiopia

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Yihun, Y.M.

    2015-01-01

    Title of the PhD Thesis: ‘Agricultural Water Productivity Optimization for Irrigated Teff (Eragrostic Tef) in water Scarce Semi-Arid region of Ethiopia’ Yenesew Mengiste Yihun In water stressed regions such as the Central Rift Valley of Ethiopia, increasing Crop Water Productivity (CWP)

  19. 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 Spa

  20. 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 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.

  1. Species screening and biomass trials of woody plants in the semi-arid Southwest United States

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kirmse, R.D.; Fisher, J.T.

    1989-01-01

    Species screening and selection trials are being conducted to identify appropriate woody species and technology for biofuel farming in the southwest United States. During the initial phase of the program, 26 native and exotic species have been tested at sites in Texas, New Mexico and Arizona. Second season biomass estimates indicate that initial yields of 3.2-8.5 dry Mg ha/sup -1/ year/sup -1/ are possible without post-establishment irrigation. The species Atriplex canescens (Pursh) Nutt., Prosopis alba Griseb. and Leucaena leucocephala (Lam.) de Wit reached canopy closure within two seasons of growth and are identified as rapid initial biomass producers under the semi-arid conditions of the study area. (author).

  2. Dependence of juvenile reef fishes on semi-arid hypersaline estuary microhabitats as nurseries.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sales, N S; Dias, T L P; Baeta, A; Pessanha, A L M

    2016-07-01

    The differences between fish assemblages in three microhabitat types, in relation to vegetation and sediment characteristics of a hypersaline estuary located in an semi-arid zone in north-eastern Brazil, were investigated. Fishes were collected using a beach seine during the rainy and dry seasons in 2012. A total of 78 species were recorded, with the most common families being Gerreidae, Lutjanidae and Tetraodontidae. The majority of species were represented by juveniles, with Eucinostomus argenteus, Ulaema lefroyi and Sphoeroides greeleyi being the dominant species. The fish assemblage structures differed significantly among microhabitat types, with the narrow intertidal flat adjacent to the mangrove fringe supporting the most diverse fish fauna. In addition, only 27 species were common to all of the microhabitats. The results support the hypothesis that hypersaline estuaries serve as important nursery areas for various reef fish species, due to the structural complexity provided by their macroalgae beds and mangroves.

  3. 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.

  4. Reproduction in the one humped camel (Camelus dromedarius in semi arid Nigeria

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M.A. Umaru

    2013-02-01

    Full Text Available This review examines the one humped camel (Camelus dromedarius a considerable number of the dromedary about 50,000 is found in the semi-arid part of Northern Nigeria. Apart from the wide use of the camel as a draught animal the camel now serve as a source of milk, meat and hide in this region, these notes examines the anatomical basis of reproduction, pregnancy, and its diagnosis, fertility, and the application of modern  techniques in camel reproduction. Different techniques and equipments are now being employed for explicit study of the reproductive processes in the camel. Transrectal ultrasaonographic scanning machine is now being used to study ovulation pattern and timing, video endoscopic hysteroscopy is another technique employed to study various aspects of the camel conceptus. Techniques like oestrous synchronization, super ovulation, semen collection artificial insemination, embryo recovery and transfer are all used in the study of camel.

  5. 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.

  6. Demographic noise and resilience in a semi-arid ecosystem model

    CERN Document Server

    Realpe-Gomez, John; Galla, Tobias; McKane, Alan J; Rietkerk, Max

    2013-01-01

    The scarcity of water characterizing drylands forces vegetation to adopt appropriate survival strategies. Some of these generate water-vegetation feedback mechanisms that can lead to spatial self-organisation of vegetation. To date these phenomena have mostly been studied with models representing plants by a density of biomass, varying continuously in time and space. Such models disregard the discrete nature of plant individuals and their intrinsically stochastic behaviour. These features give rise to demographic noise, which can influence the qualitative dynamics of ecosystem models. In the present work we explore the effects of demographic noise on the resilience of a model semi-arid ecosystem. We introduce a spatial stochastic eco-hydrological hybrid model in which plants are modelled as discrete entities subject to stochastic dynamical rules, while the dynamics of surface and soil water are described by continuous variables. The model has a deterministic approximation very similar to previous continuous m...

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2006-01-01

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

  8. The causes of stemflow variation in three semi-arid growing species of northeastern Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Návar, José

    1993-05-01

    This study was conducted to determine the role of some plant parameters on stemflow generation. Stemflow measurements in individual shrubs of three semi-arid growing species ( Diospyrus texana, Acacia farnesiana and Prosopis laevigata) were carried out under natural and simulated rainfall conditions in northeastern Mexico. Stemflow coefficients for individual shrubs were developed. The analysis of variance showed a significant difference among the species for both natural and simulated rainfall conditions. The multiple linear models suggested that the number of branches and position on the canopy, instead of total projected branch area, controls stemflow. There were also suggestions that bark roughness, leaf and twig position may also explain some of the interspecific stemflow variation. This contribution was suggested by an introduced funnelling ratio.

  9. Using remote-sensing technologies in combination with Cesium-137 measurements to estimate soil-erosion quantity in semi-arid steppe areas

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2009-01-01

    Soil erosion by wind is one of the most important processes in the changing the earth’s surface in semi-arid areas,Thus it is of great importance to study soil-erosion action.Using integrated technologies of remote sensing and geochemistry radioactivity iso-tope to extract regional soil-erosion information and to calculate quantity of soil erosion is accomplished successfully in this paper by means of beneficial experiments in the Talatan region of the Gonghe Basin,which is located in northeastern Qinghai-Tibet Pla-teau in China.The results show that the soil erosion by wind is not intensive in this region;the erosion types belong to the classes of very-soft erosion and soft-erosion type,which account for 47.12 percent and 35.58 percent,respectively,of the total study area.In total,two kinds of soil erosion account for 82.70 percent of the study area;only a small area belongs to the classes of severe erosion and very-severe erosion;this area is about 22.14 km2.Severe deposition activity has taken place in this region,and has appeared in a large area(322.67 km2),which accounts for 11.78 percent of the total study area.The results of this study show that soil erosion and deposition inventories are 870,000-1,150,000 tons and 550,000-780,000 tons,respectively,per year.The soil in-ventory shows about 320,000-370,000 tons from Talatan to Longyangxia reservoir per year.Using remote-sensing technology and 137Cs techniques is a valid means to analyze and to evaluate the quantity of soil erosion by wind in semi-arid environments.

  10. Using remote-sensing technologies in combination with Cesium-137 measurements to estimate soil-erosion quantity in semi-arid steppe areas

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    ZhanJiang Sha; HaiZhou Ma; LingQin Li; Jinzhou Du; FeiQuan Wu; QiShun Fan

    2009-01-01

    Soil erosion by wind is one of the most important processes in the changing the earth's surface in semi-arid areas, Thus it is of great importance to study soil-erosion action. Using integrated technologies of remote sensing and geochemistry radioactivity isotope to extract regional soil-erosion information and to calculate quantity of soil erosion is accomplished successfully in this paper by means of beneficial experiments in the Talatan region of the Gonghe Basin, which is located in northeastern Qinghai-Tibet Plateau in China. The results show that the soil erosion by wind is not intensive in this region; the erosion types belong to the classes of very-soft erosion and soft-erosion type, which account for 47.12 percent and 35.58 percent, respectively, of the total study area.In total, two kinds of soil erosion account for 82.70 percent of the study area; only a small area belongs to the classes of severe erosion and very-severe erosion; this area is about 22.14 km2. Severe deposition activity has taken place in this region, and has appeared in a large area (322.67 km2), which accounts for 11.78 percent of the total study area. The results of this study show that soil erosion and deposition inventories are 870,000-1,150,000 tons and 550,000-780,000 tons, respectively, per year. The soil inventory shows about 320,000-370,000 tons from Talatan to Longyangxia reservoir per year. Using remote-sensing technology and 137Cs techniques is a valid means to analyze and to evaluate the quantity of soil erosion by wind in semi-arid environments.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Niemeyer, Ryan J.; Heinse, Robert; Link, Timothy E.; Seyfried, Mark S.; Klos, P. Zion; Williams, Christopher J.; Nielson, Travis

    2017-01-01

    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-dominated western juniper stand we compared moisture dynamics horizontally across a discontinuous canopy, and vertically in soil and saprolite. We monitored soil moisture at 15 and 60 cm and conducted periodic electromagnetic induction and electrical resistivity tomography surveys aimed at sensing moisture changes within the root zone and saprolite. Timing of soil moisture dry down at 15 cm was very similar between canopy patches and interspace. Conversely, dry down at 60 cm occurred 22 days earlier in the interspace than under canopy patches. After rainfall, interspaces with more shrubs showed greater increases in soil moisture than interspaces with few shrubs. For the few rainfall events that were large enough to increase soil moisture at 60 cm, increases in moisture occurred almost exclusively below the canopy. Soil water holding capacity from 0 to 150 cm was a primary driver of areas that were associated with the greatest change in distributed electrical conductivity - an indicator of changes in soil moisture - across the growing season. Vegetation was also correlated with a greater seasonal change in electrical conductivity at these depths. The seasonal change in resistivity suggested moisture extraction by juniper well into the saprolite, as deep as 12 m below the surface. This change in deep subsurface resistivity primarily occurred below medium and large juniper trees. This study suggests how tree roots are both increasing infiltration below their canopy while also extracting moisture at depths of upwards of 12 m. Information from this study can help improve our understanding of juniper resilience to drought and the hydrologic impacts of semi-arid land cover

  14. Potential of green infrastructure to restore predevelopment water budget of a semi-arid urban catchment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feng, Youcan; Burian, Steven; Pomeroy, Christine

    2016-11-01

    This paper presents a study of the potential for green infrastructure (GI) to restore the predevelopment hydrologic cycle in a semi-arid urban catchment. Simulations of stormwater runoff from a 0.11-km2 urban catchment in Salt Lake City, Utah, USA for predeveloped (Natural Hydrology, NH), developed (Baseline, BL), and developed with GI (Green Infrastructure, GI) conditions were executed for a one-year period. The study was repeated for a relatively dry year, wet year, and an average year based on precipitation amounts in the year. Bioretention and green roofs were chosen for the GI plan. Results showed that the water budget of the catchment with the GI plan implemented more closely matches the NH water budget compared to the BL scenario, for all three years (dry, wet, average). The BL and GI scenarios showed more significant modifications to the water budget than what has been found by studies in humid climates. Compared to the BL condition, GI annually reduces surface runoff by 35%, 45%, and 43% and restores evapotranspiration by 18%, 19%, and 25% for the dry, average, wet years, respectively. Based on the introduced water budget restoration coefficient (WBRC), the water budget of the study catchment was restored by the GI plan to 90%, 90%, and 82% of the predevelopment state in the dry, average, and wet years, respectively. By comparing the WBRC estimated for other studies, it is further inferred that the water budget is more significantly affected by development and GI restoration in semi-arid than humid climates, but the differences lessen as the precipitation amount increases.

  15. Infrequent composted biosolids applications affect semi-arid grassland soils and vegetation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ippolito, J A; Barbarick, K A; Paschke, M W; Brobst, R B

    2010-05-01

    Monitoring of repeated composted biosolids applications is necessary for improving beneficial reuse program management strategies, because materials will likely be reapplied to the same site at a future point in time. A field trial evaluated a single and a repeated composted biosolids application in terms of long-term (13-14 years) and short-term (2-3 years) effects, respectively, on soil chemistry and plant community in a Colorado semi-arid grassland. Six composted biosolids rates (0, 2.5, 5, 10, 21, 30 Mg ha(-1)) were surface applied in a split-plot design study with treatment (increasing compost rates) as the main factor and co-application time (1991, or 1991 and 2002) as the split factor applications. Short- and long-term treatment effects were evident in 2004 and 2005 for soil 0-8 cm depth pH, EC, NO(3)-N, NH(4)-N, total N, and AB-DTPA soil Cd, Cu, Mo, Zn, P, and Ba. Soil organic matter increases were still evident 13 and 14 years following composted biosolids application. The repeated composted biosolids application increased soil NO(3)-N and NH(4)-N and decreased AB-DTPA extractable Ba as compared to the single composted biosolids application in 2004; differences between short- and long-term applications were less evident in 2005. Increasing biosolids rates resulted in increased native perennial grass cover in 2005. Plant tissue Cu, Mo, Zn, and P concentrations increased, while Ba content decreased depending on specific plant species and year. Overall, the lack of many significant negative effects suggests that short- or long-term composted biosolids application at the rates studied did not adversely affect this semi-arid grassland ecosystem.

  16. Determine the optimum spectral reflectance of juniper and pistachio in arid and semi-arid region

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fadaei, Hadi; Suzuki, Rikie

    2012-11-01

    Arid and semi-arid areas of northeast Iran cover about 3.4 million ha are populated by two main tree species, the broadleaf Pistacia vera. L (pistachio) and the conifer Juniperus excelsa ssp. polycarpos (Persian juniper). Natural stands of pistachio in Iran are not only environmentally important but genetically essential as seed sources for pistachio production in orchards. In this study, we estimated the optimum spectral reflectance of juniper forests and natural pistachio stands using remote sensing to help in the sustainable management and production of pistachio in Iran. In this research spectral reflectance are able to specify of multispectral from Advanced Land Observing Satellite (ALOS) that provided by JAXA. These data included PRISM is a panchromatic radiometer with a 2.5 m spatial resolution at nadir, has one band with a wavelength of 0.52-0.77 μm and AVNIR-2 is a visible and near infrared radiometer for observing land and coastal zones with a 10 m spatial resolution at nadir, has four multispectral bands: blue (0.42-0.50 μm), green (0.52-0.60 μm), red (0.61-0.69 μm), and near infrared (0.76-0.89 μm). Total ratio vegetation index (TRVI) of optimum spectral reflectance of juniper and pistachio have been evaluated. The result of TRVI for Pistachio and juniper were (R2= 0.71 and 0.55). I hope this research can provide decision of managers to helping sustainable management for arid and semi-arid regions in Iran.

  17. The importance of plant water use on evapotranspiration covers in semi-arid Australia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Schneider

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available We estimated the evapotranspiration (ET for an area vegetated with characteristic semi-arid native Australian plant species on ET mine waste cover systems. These systems aim to minimise drainage into underlying hazardous wastes by maximising evaporation (E from the soil surface and transpiration from vegetation. An open top chamber was used to measure diurnal and daily ET of two plant species – Senna artemisioides (silver cassia and Sclerolaena birchii (galvanised burr – after a simulated rainfall event, as well as E from bare soil. Both ET and E decreased with increasing time after initial watering. Different temporal patterns were observed for daily ET from the two plant species and E from bare soil, revealing Senna artemisioides as intensive and Sclerolaena birchii as extensive water exploiters. A strong positive linear relationship was identified between ET (and E, and the atmospheric water demand represented by the vapour pressure deficit. The relationship always was more pronounced in the morning than in the afternoon, indicating a diminishing water supply from the soil associated with a declining unsaturated hydraulic conductivity of the soil in the afternoon. The slopes of the regression lines were steepest for Senna artemisioides, reflecting its intensive water-exploiting characteristics. We used the derived estimates of ET and E to predict the effect of species composition on plot ET in relation to total vegetation coverage. Although both species proved suitable for an operational ET cover system, vegetation coverage should exceed at least 50% in order to markedly influence plot ET, a value which is likely to be unsustainable in semi-arid climates.

  18. Modeling mechanisms of vegetation change due to fire in a semi-arid ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    White, J.D.; Gutzwiller, K.J.; Barrow, W.C.; Randall, L.J.; Swint, P.

    2008-01-01

    Vegetation growth and community composition in semi-arid environments is determined by water availability and carbon assimilation mechanisms specific to different plant types. Disturbance also impacts vegetation productivity and composition dependent on area affected, intensity, and frequency factors. In this study, a new spatially explicit ecosystem model is presented for the purpose of simulating vegetation cover type changes associated with fire disturbance in the northern Chihuahuan Desert region. The model is called the Landscape and Fire Simulator (LAFS) and represents physiological activity of six functional plant types incorporating site climate, fire, and seed dispersal routines for individual grid cells. We applied this model for Big Bend National Park, Texas, by assessing the impact of wildfire on the trajectory of vegetation communities over time. The model was initialized and calibrated based on landcover maps derived from Landsat-5 Thematic Mapper data acquired in 1986 and 1999 coupled with plant biomass measurements collected in the field during 2000. Initial vegetation cover change analysis from satellite data showed shrub encroachment during this time period that was captured in the simulated results. A synthetic 50-year climate record was derived from historical meteorological data to assess system response based on initial landcover conditions. This simulation showed that shrublands increased to the detriment of grass and yucca-ocotillo vegetation cover types indicating an ecosystem-level trajectory for shrub encroachment. Our analysis of simulated fires also showed that fires significantly reduced site biomass components including leaf area, stem, and seed biomass in this semi-arid ecosystem. In contrast to other landscape simulation models, this new model incorporates detailed physiological responses of functional plant types that will allow us to simulated the impact of increased atmospheric CO2 occurring with climate change coupled with fire

  19. [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).

  20. Contribution of semi-arid ecosystems to interannual variability of the global carbon cycle.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poulter, Benjamin; Frank, David; Ciais, Philippe; Myneni, Ranga B; Andela, Niels; Bi, Jian; Broquet, Gregoire; Canadell, Josep G; Chevallier, Frederic; Liu, Yi Y; Running, Steven W; Sitch, Stephen; van der Werf, Guido R

    2014-05-29

    The land and ocean act as a sink for fossil-fuel emissions, thereby slowing the rise of atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations. Although the uptake of carbon by oceanic and terrestrial processes has kept pace with accelerating carbon dioxide emissions until now, atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations exhibit a large variability on interannual timescales, considered to be driven primarily by terrestrial ecosystem processes dominated by tropical rainforests. We use a terrestrial biogeochemical model, atmospheric carbon dioxide inversion and global carbon budget accounting methods to investigate the evolution of the terrestrial carbon sink over the past 30 years, with a focus on the underlying mechanisms responsible for the exceptionally large land carbon sink reported in 2011 (ref. 2). Here we show that our three terrestrial carbon sink estimates are in good agreement and support the finding of a 2011 record land carbon sink. Surprisingly, we find that the global carbon sink anomaly was driven by growth of semi-arid vegetation in the Southern Hemisphere, with almost 60 per cent of carbon uptake attributed to Australian ecosystems, where prevalent La Niña conditions caused up to six consecutive seasons of increased precipitation. In addition, since 1981, a six per cent expansion of vegetation cover over Australia was associated with a fourfold increase in the sensitivity of continental net carbon uptake to precipitation. Our findings suggest that the higher turnover rates of carbon pools in semi-arid biomes are an increasingly important driver of global carbon cycle inter-annual variability and that tropical rainforests may become less relevant drivers in the future. More research is needed to identify to what extent the carbon stocks accumulated during wet years are vulnerable to rapid decomposition or loss through fire in subsequent years.

  1. Soil biogenic emissions of nitric oxide from a semi-arid savanna in South Africa

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feig, G. T.; Mamtimin, B.; Meixner, F. X.

    2008-12-01

    Soils of arid and semi-arid ecosystems are important biogenic sources of atmospheric nitric oxide (NO), however, there is still a shortage of measurements from these systems. Here we present the results of a laboratory study of the biogenic emission of NO from four different landscape positions of the Kruger National Park (KNP), a large conservation area in a semi-arid region of South Africa. Results show that the highest net potential NO fluxes come from the low lying (footslope) landscape regions, which have the largest nitrogen stocks and highest rates of nitrogen input into the soil. Net potential NO fluxes from midslope and crest regions were considerably lower. The maximum release of NO occurred at fairly low soil moisture contents of 10%-20% water filled pore space. Using soil moisture and temperature data obtained in situ at the Kruger National Park flux tower site, net potential NO fluxes obtained in the laboratory were converted to field fluxes for each of the four landscape positions for the period 2003 to 2005. The highest field NO flux is from footslope positions, during each of these years and emissions ranged from 1.5-8.5 kg ha a (in terms of mass of nitrogen). Remote sensing and Geographic Information Systems techniques were used to up-scale field NO fluxes on a regional basis indicating that the highest emissions occurred from the midslope positions, due to their large geographical extent in the considered research area. Emissions for the KNP Skukuza land type (56 000 ha) ranged from 20×103 kg in 2004 to 34×103 kg in 2003. The importance of landscape characteristics in the determination of regional biogenic NO soil emission is emphasized.

  2. The importance of plant water use on evapotranspiration covers in semi-arid Australia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schneider, A.; Arnold, S.; Doley, D.; Mulligan, D. R.; Baumgartl, T.

    2012-10-01

    We estimated the evapotranspiration (ET) for an area vegetated with characteristic semi-arid native Australian plant species on ET mine waste cover systems. These systems aim to minimise drainage into underlying hazardous wastes by maximising evaporation (E) from the soil surface and transpiration from vegetation. An open top chamber was used to measure diurnal and daily ET of two plant species - Senna artemisioides (silver cassia) and Sclerolaena birchii (galvanised burr) - after a simulated rainfall event, as well as E from bare soil. Both ET and E decreased with increasing time after initial watering. Different temporal patterns were observed for daily ET from the two plant species and E from bare soil, revealing Senna artemisioides as intensive and Sclerolaena birchii as extensive water exploiters. A strong positive linear relationship was identified between ET (and E), and the atmospheric water demand represented by the vapour pressure deficit. The relationship always was more pronounced in the morning than in the afternoon, indicating a diminishing water supply from the soil associated with a declining unsaturated hydraulic conductivity of the soil in the afternoon. The slopes of the regression lines were steepest for Senna artemisioides, reflecting its intensive water-exploiting characteristics. We used the derived estimates of ET and E to predict the effect of species composition on plot ET in relation to total vegetation coverage. Although both species proved suitable for an operational ET cover system, vegetation coverage should exceed at least 50% in order to markedly influence plot ET, a value which is likely to be unsustainable in semi-arid climates.

  3. Strategies to reducing GHG emissions in semi-arid rangelands of Mexico

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Heriberto Díaz Solís

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available SESS (Simple Ecological Sustainability Simulator model was modified to evaluate 3 management strategies that could increase CO2 sequestration and reduce methane emissions in cow-calf production systems in semi-arid rangelands. The management strategies included (1 maintenance of a high and constant stocking rate (CONTROL, which is the most common current practice, (2 maintenance of a low and constant stocking rate (LOW SR and (3 adjustment of stocking rate before the beginning of each breeding season based on the amount of precipitation during the previous growing season (REPLA-PPT. The model was parameterized to represent a typical extensive (5 000 ha cow-calf production system in the northeastern portion of the Mexican state of Coahuila under an historical (1950 to 1994 precipitation regime, and compared carbon sequestration, methane emissions, animal performance and net profit resulting from each strategy. Results of the 45-year simulations indicated the REPLA-PPT stocking rate strategy had the greatest improvement of range condition, captured more CO2 in vegetation, had the lowest methane emissions, substantially improved mean body condition score and reduced annual mortality of cattle, compared to the constant stocking rate strategies. REPLA-PPT also showed the highest values for calves weaned, and kg weaned per ton of methane produced and highest long-term net profit. This suggests that adaptive management of extensive cow-calf production systems in semi-arid environments could increase carbon sequestration in soils and reduce methane emissions, while improving range production, maintaining animal production and giving the greatest long-term net profit.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Miriam K. Joshua

    2016-03-01

    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

  5. Variability of atmospheric carbonyl sulfide at a semi-arid urban site in western India.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mallik, Chinmay; Chandra, Naveen; Venkataramani, S; Lal, Shyam

    2016-05-01

    Atmospheric carbonyl sulfide (COS) is a major precursor for sulfate aerosols that play a critical role in climate regulation. Recent studies have highlighted the importance of COS measurements as a reliable means to constrain biospheric carbon assimilation. In a scenario of limited availability of COS data around the globe, we present gas-chromatographic measurements of atmospheric COS mixing ratios over Ahmedabad, a semi-arid, urban region in western India. These measurements, being reported for the first time over an Indian site, enable us to understand the diurnal and seasonal variation in atmospheric COS with respect to its natural, anthropogenic and photochemical sources and sinks. The annual mean COS mixing ratio over Ahmedabad is found to be 0.83±0.43ppbv, which is substantially higher than free tropospheric values for the northern hemisphere. Inverse correlation of COS with soil and skin temperature, suggests that the dry soil of the semi-arid study region is a potential sink for atmospheric COS. Positive correlations of COS with NO2 and CO during post-monsoon and the COS/CO slope of 0.78pptv/ppbv reveals influence of diesel combustion and tire wear. The highest concentrations of COS are observed during pre-monsoon; COS/CO2 slope of 44.75pptv/ppmv combined with information from air mass back-trajectories reveal marshy wetlands spanning over 7500km(2) as an important source of COS in Ahmedabad. COS/CO2 slopes decrease drastically (8.28pptv/ppmv) during post-monsoon due to combined impact of biospheric uptake and anthropogenic emissions.

  6. 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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Krol, Maarten 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 drought

  8. 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 wa

  9. 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 agricultural

  10. Building bridges using livestock as ecosystem engineers in semi-arid rangelands: Addressing conservation and livestock production goals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Domestic livestock have the potential to function as ecosystem engineers in semi-arid rangelands, but their utility has been compromised by management practices that emphasize livestock production, homogeneous use of vegetation and removal/control of interacting disturbances of fire and prairie dogs...

  11. 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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  13. Rainfed agriculture in a semi-arid tropical climate. Aspects of land- and water management 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 its errati

  14. 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 effe

  15. Adaptive livelihood strategies employed by farmers to close the food gap in semi-arid south eastern Zimbabwe

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2014-01-01

    Rural households in semi-arid areas of southern Africa are confronted with numerous hazards that threaten the household food base. The new wildlife policy of establishing transfrontier conservation areas aims to increase conservation of wildlife resources while improving local livelihoods. This poli

  16. 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 ...

  17. 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 agro-ecosyst

  18. 'If only it would rain': Farmers' perceptions of rainfall and drought in semi-arid central Tanzania

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Slegers, M.F.W.

    2008-01-01

    Farmers in semi-arid East Africa prioritize drought as their major productivity-reducing problem, while scientists identify soil degradation as a major threat. The question that needs to be addressed is how farmers perceive drought. Insight into farmers¿ perceptions of drought could be the missing l

  19. Rainfall risk and the potential of reduced tillage systems to conserve soil water in semi-arid cropping systems of southern Africa

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    P. Munguambe

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available Improvement of household food security in the Limpopo Basin has been elusive due to a combination of factors related to information and market constraints, but also farmers’ risk aversion induced by the high variability of rainfall during the growing season. The purpose of this study was to (1 characterize the rainfall and growing season patterns experienced by smallholder farmers, and (2 measure soil water dynamics in ripper and basin tillage systems being promoted in the semi-arid Limpopo Basin of southern Africa. The results show that the second half of the growing season receives more rainfall than the first half in the Limpopo Basin. However, rainfall is more variable during the January-March than the October-December period. Growing seasons start earlier and end later in the Mozambique part of the basin which is closer to the Indian Ocean. The Limpopo Basin is prone to two and three week dry spells with chances of 14 day spells higher (34–42% than the 21 day spells (8–12%. The chances of 14 and 21 day dry spells increase substantially during the second half of the growing season. The 1980–1990 was one of the driest decades in the Limpopo Basin. Planting basin system conserved more soil water on sandy loam (18–24% and clay loam (4–12% soils than the conventional practice during flowering and grain filling maize growth stages. Ripper had 17–29% more soil water than conventional practice during flowering and grain filling maize growth stages. There is a high risk of dry spells and soil water deficits in smallholder cropping systems of the Limpopo basin. There is therefore scope in promoting rain and soil water management technologies, and good land husbandry in order to reduce risk of crop failure in the smallholder cropping systems.

  20. Entomological studies for surveillance and prevention of dengue in arid and semi-arid districts of Rajasthan, India

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anil Purohit

    2008-05-01

    Full Text Available Background & objectives: Rajasthan is one of the dengue endemic states of India. Very few studies have been published on entomological aspects of dengue in this state. Owing to water scarcity, inhabitants in desert areas overstore domestic water which leads to the persistence of dengue vectors within the domestic premises. Area specific knowledge on breeding, key containers and seasonal rhythms of vector population is essential for preparing an effective prevention plan against dengue. Present paper reports results of entomological investigations on dengue vectors in arid and semi-arid districts of Rajasthan. Methods: Longitudinal studies were undertaken during 2004–06 in one arid and two semi-arid dengue endemic districts of Rajasthan. Adult and larval Aedes were collected from the randomly selected houses in representative towns and villages with associated details of container types and water storage practices of inhabitants. Results: In urban areas during all the seasons adult house index (AHI of Aedes aegypti was maximum in desert zone (25 and least in semi-arid area with saline river III (1. The difference of AHI during three seasons was statistically significant (c2 = 16.1, p <0.01 for urban; and c2 = 50.71, p < 0.001 for rural. Breeding of Ae. aegypti among urban settings was maximum in desert zone. During all the seasons cement tanks were the key breeding habitats for Ae. aegypti in desert as well as semi-arid areas. Interpretation & conclusion: Water storage habits during summer season emerged to be the risk factor of vector abundance in urban areas of arid and semi-arid settings. A carefully designed study of key containers targeting cement tanks as the primary habitats of mosquito control may lead to commendable results for dengue prevention.

  1. 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,...

  2. 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

  3. Biogeochemical factors contributing to enhanced carbon storage following afforestation of a semi-arid shrubland

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. M. Grünzweig

    2007-07-01

    Full Text Available Ecosystems in dry regions are generally low in productivity and carbon (C storage. We report, however, large increases in C sequestration following afforestation of a semi-arid shrubland with Pinus halepensis trees. Using C and nitrogen (N inventories, based in part on site-specific allometric equations, we measured an increase in the standing ecosystem C stock from 2380 g C m−2 in the shrubland to 5840 g C m−2 in the forest after 35 years, with no significant change in N stocks. The total amount of C produced by the forest was estimated as 6250 g C m−2. Carbon sequestration following afforestation was associated with increased N use efficiency as reflected by an overall increase in C/N ratio from 7.6 in the shrubland to 16.6 in the forest. The C accumulation rate in the forest was particularly high for soil organic C (SOC; increase of 1760 g C m−2 or 50 g C m−2 yr−1, which was associated with the following factors: 1 Analysis of a small 13C signal within this pure C3 system combined with size fractionation of soil organic matter indicated a significant addition of new SOC derived from forest vegetation (68% of total forest SOC and a considerable portion of the old original shrubland SOC (53% still remaining in the forest. 2 A large part of both new and old SOC appeared to be protected from decomposition as about 60% of SOC under both land-use types were in mineral-associated fractions. 3 A short-term decomposition study indicated decreased decomposition of lower-quality litter and SOC in the forest, based on reduced decay rates of up to 90% for forest compared to shrubland litter. 4 Forest soil included a significant component of live and dead roots. Our results showed the considerable potential for C sequestration, particularly in soils, following afforestation in semi-arid regions, which is particularly relevant in light of persistent

  4. Responses of desert, semi-arid grassland and scrub-oak ecosystems to elevated CO2

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luus, Kristina; Walker, Anthony; de Kauwe, Martin; Hungate, Bruce; Megonigal, J. Patrick; Lu, Meng; Fenstermaker, Lynn; Nowak, Robert; Morgan, Jack; Medlyn, Belinda; Norby, Richard; Zaehle, Sönke

    2014-05-01

    We compared observations from free air CO2 enrichment (FACE) experiments at dry (desert, semi-arid grassland and scrub-oak) sites, to predictions from a suite of ecosystem models with differing complexity, ranging from a parsimonious forest growth model (GDAY) to a comprehensive land surface model (OCN). Dry ecosystems have often been predicted to increase in net primary productivity (NPP) and net C uptake over time in response to elevated CO2 (eCO2) because of increased N fixation, and alleviation of drought-stress due to reduced stomatal conductance. However, experiments at the Nevada Desert FACE (NDFF), the semi-arid prairie grassland FACE (PHACE), and the scrub-oak Kennedy Space Center open-top chamber experiment (KSCO), have revealed that dry ecosystems display a more complex biogeochemical response to eCO2. Insights into the processes determining the responses of dry ecosystems to eCO2 were gained by evaluating model estimates against site data, and by dissecting model responses to eCO2. Site level findings at PHACE indicated that eCO2 enabled more rapid C turnover, resulting in a net ecosystem C loss. Conversely, at PHACE, models such as OCN simulated a decrease in N leaching and an increase in NPP because of eCO2, leading to increased C storage. Leaf cover and NPP at KSCO initially increased with eCO2 before declining due to reduced N fixation and increased N leaching. At NDFF, eCO2 only increased plant growth during one abnormally wet year; in subsequent years, soil crust cyanobacteria decreased in abundance, and gains in biomass were not sustained. In OCN simulations at NDFF, eCO2 increased water-use efficiency and NPP in years with average to above-average precipitation. Through examination of the reasons for discrepancies between observed and modeled ecosystem responses to eCO2, processes determining the biogeochemical responses of dry ecosystems to eCO2 were elucidated.

  5. Surficial weathering of iron sulfide mine tailings under semi-arid climate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hayes, Sarah M.; Root, Robert A.; Perdrial, Nicolas; Maier, Raina M.; Chorover, Jon

    2014-09-01

    Mine wastes introduce anthropogenic weathering profiles to the critical zone that often remain unvegetated for decades after mining cessation. As such, they are vulnerable to wind and water dispersion of particulate matter to adjacent ecosystems and residential communities. In sulfide-rich ore tailings, propagation to depth of the oxidative weathering front controls the depth-variation in speciation of major and trace elements. Despite the prevalence of surficial mine waste deposits in arid regions of the globe, few prior studies have been conducted to resolve the near-surface profile of sulfide ore tailings weathered under semi-arid climate. We investigated relations between gossan oxidative reaction-front propagation and the molecular speciation of iron and sulfur in tailings subjected to weathering in a semi-arid climate at an EPA Superfund Site in central Arizona (USA). Here we report a multi-method data set combining wet chemical and synchrotron-based X-ray diffraction (XRD) and X-ray absorption near-edge spectroscopy (XANES) methods to resolve the tight coupling of iron (Fe) and sulfur (S) geochemical changes in the top 2 m of tailings. Despite nearly invariant Fe and S concentration with depth (130-140 and 100-120 g kg-1, respectively), a sharp redox gradient and distinct morphological change was observed within the top 0.5 m, associated with a progressive oxidative alteration of ferrous sulfides to (oxyhydr)oxides and (hydroxy)sulfates. Transformation is nearly complete in surficial samples. Trends in molecular-scale alteration were co-located with a decrease in pH from 7.3 to 2.3, and shifts in Fe and S lability as measured via chemical extraction. Initial weathering products, ferrihydrite and gypsum, transform to schwertmannite, then jarosite-group minerals with an accompanying decrease in pH. Interestingly, thermodynamically stable phases such as goethite and hematite were not detected in any samples, but ferrihydrite was observed even in samples with

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

    2011-11-01

    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, 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 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 is 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, 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 negligible due to low rainfall and large potential evapotranspiration, transient hydrological conditionsafter changes

  9. 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

  10. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2006-01-01

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

  13. Canopy management effects on ‘Syrah’ grapevines under tropical semi-arid conditions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Patrícia Coelho de Souza Leão

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of shoot topping and leaf removal practices on vegetative vigor, yield and physicochemical characteristics of the 'Syrah' grape in the semi-arid tropical climate conditions of the São Francisco River Valley in the northeast of Brazil. The experiment was conducted over five growing cycles from 2010 to 2012 in a 'Syrah' commercial vineyard in the municipality of Casa Nova, Bahia, Brazil. Treatments consisted of leaf removal once or twice during fruit set or at the beginning of bunch closure, and one or two shoot toppings of the berry when pea-sized or 10 days after berry growth had commenced. Leaf removal and shoot topping did not affect yield, plant vigor components nor the main attributes of fruit quality. In contrast, there was a seasonal effect with higher yield and better balance between production and vigor in grapes produced in the first half of 2012. The Syrah grape quality was favored in cycles in the first half of the year when its ripening phase coincided with the period of mild temperatures.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xing, Wen; Wang, Bin

    2016-09-01

    Northwest China (NWC) is an arid and semi-arid region where climate variability and environmental changes are sensitive to precipitation. The present study explores sources and limits of predictability of summer precipitation over NWC using the predictable mode analysis (PMA) of percentage of rainfall anomaly data. Two major modes of NWC summer rainfall variability are identified which are tied to Eurasian continental scale precipitation variations. The first mode features wet northern China corresponding to dry central Siberia and wet Mongolia, which is mainly driven by tropical Pacific sea surface temperature anomalies (SSTA). The second mode features wet western China reflecting wet Central Asia and dry Ural-western Siberia, which strongly links to Indian Ocean SSTA. Anomalous land warming over Eurasia also provides important precursors for the two modes. The cross-validated hindcast results demonstrate these modes can be predicted with significant correlation skills, suggesting that they may be considered as predictable modes. The domain averaged temporal correlation coefficient (TCC) skill during 1979 to 2015 using 0-month (1-month) lead models is 0.39 (0.35), which is considerably higher than dynamical models' multi-model ensemble mean skill (-0.02). Maximum potential attainable prediction skills are also estimated and discussed. The result illustrates advantage of PMA in predicting rainfall over dry land areas and large room for dynamical model improvement. However, secular changes of predictors need to be detected continuously in order to make practical useful prediction.

  15. Energy and mass transfer parameters in a brazilian semi-arid ecosystem under different thermohydrological conditions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Antônio Heriberto de Castro Teixeira

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT In the Brazilian semi-arid region, the natural vegetation ("Caatinga" has been replaced by irrigated agriculture, emphasising the importance for quantification of the energy and mass exchanges. Eddy covariance and micro-climatic measurements in this natural ecosystem, were analysed for two years under different thermohydrological conditions. Sensible heat flux (H accounted for 49 and 64% of the net radiation (Rn, respectively, during the wetter and the drier conditions of 2004 and 2005. The corresponding fractions of Rn partitioned as latent heat flux (LE were 40% and 25%. Evapotranspiration (ET in 2004, with 693 mm, represented 96% of precipitation (P, while in 2005 (399 mm, it was 18% higher than P, which evidenced the use of the remaining soil moisture from the previous wetter year. All the soil-water-vegetation-atmosphere transfer parameters were influenced by the rainfall amounts. However, the surface resistance (rs was the most strongly affected by the soil moisture status, dropping with increases of the ratio of ET to reference evapotranspiration (ET0. On the other hand, the highest rs values were related to increases in both vapour pressure deficit (De and aerodynamic temperature (T0. The current research aimed to quantify the energy and mass exchange between the "Caatinga" and the lower atmosphere, testing in which circumstances the biophysical controlling parameters can be reasonably predicted from agrometeorological data, throughout parameterizations, to incorporate in large-scale models.

  16. Seasonality of vesicular-arbuscular mycorrhizae in sedges in a semi-arid tropical grassland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muthukumar, T.; Udaiyan, K.

    2002-10-01

    Vesicular-arbuscular mycorrhizal (VAM) colonization and spore numbers in the rhizosphere of Cyperus iria L. and C. rotundus L., growing in a semi-arid tropical grassland, was studied during the 1993 and 1994 monsoons. In addition, climatic and chemical properties of the soils were determined in order to investigate their influence on mycorrhizal variables. VAM fungal association in the sedges was confirmed by plant- and root-trap culture techniques. The soil nutrients exhibited seasonal variations, but were highly variable between years. Intercellular hyphae and vesicles with occasional intraradical spores characterized mycorrhizal association in sedges. Dark septate fungi also colonized roots of sedges. Temporal variations in mycorrhizal colonization and spore numbers occurred, indicating seasonality. However, the patterns of mycorrhizal colonization and spore numbers were different during both the years. The VAM fungal structures observed were intercellular hyphae and vesicles. Changes in the proportion of root length with VAM structures, total colonization levels and spore numbers were related to climatic and edaphic factors. However, the intensity of influence of climatic and soil factors on VAM tended to vary with sedge species.

  17. 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)

  18. Analysis of Precipitation Characteristics during 1957-2012 in the Semi-Arid Loess Plateau, China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Weijun; Yu, Xinyang; Ma, Huan; Zhu, Qingke; Zhang, Yan; Qin, Wei; Ai, Ning; Wang, Yu

    2015-01-01

    Precipitation is the only water supply and most important factor affecting vegetation growth on the slopes of semi-arid Loess Plateau of China. Based on precipitation data from 7 synoptic stations in the study area over the period 1957-2012, the trends of precipitation and standardized precipitation index (SPI) were analyzed by using linear regression, Mann-Kendall, and Spearman's Rho tests at the 5% significance level. The results show that (1) the precipitation fluctuation of monthly precipitation was intense (coefficients of variation> 100%), and the drier years were recorded as 1965 and 1995 at all stations. (2) The significant change trend of different stations varied on different time scales: the Changwu station had a significant decreasing trend in April (-0.488 mm/year) and November (-0.249 mm/year), while Luochuan station was in April (-0.457 mm/year); Changwu station displayed a significant increasing trends in winter (0.220 mm/year) and a significant decreasing trends in spring (-0.770 mm/year). The significant decreasing trends in annual precipitation were detected at the Suide (-2.034 mm/year) and Yan'an (-2.129 mm/year) stations. (3) The SPI-12 series analysis suggests that the drought degree of Yulin and Changwu was the lowest and that of Hengshan was the highest among the 7 synoptic stations.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silva, A. C. S.; Galvão, C. O.; Silva, G. N. S.

    2015-06-01

    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.

  20. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lilley, Julianne M; Kirkegaard, John A

    2016-06-01

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

  2. Determination of seasonal rainfall variability, onset and cessation in semi-arid Tharaka district, Kenya

    Science.gov (United States)

    Recha, C. W.; Makokha, G. L.; Traore, P. S.; Shisanya, C.; Lodoun, T.; Sako, A.

    2012-05-01

    The study quantified rainfall variability for March-May (MAM) and October-December (OND) seasons in Tharaka district, Kenya. The parameters analysed were inter-annual variability of seasonal rainfall, onset and cessation using daily rainfall data in three agro-ecological zones' stations. Percentage mean cumulative method was used to determine onset and cessation, and seasonal variability was estimated using rainfall variability indices. Although both seasons are highly variable, OND has been persistently below mean over time while MAM shows high within-season variability. Despite the near uniformity in the mean onset and cessation dates, the former is highly variable on an inter-annual scale. The two rainfall seasons are inherently dissimilar and therefore require specific cropping in agro-ecological zone LM4 and LM4-5. It is possible that farmers in IL5 are missing an opportunity by under-utilising MAM rainfall. The results should be incorporated in implications of climate variability and vulnerability assessment in semi-arid Tharaka district.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Impacts of climate change on nutrient cycling in semi-arid and arid ecosystems

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Belnap, J. [National Biological Survey, Moab, UT (United States)

    1995-09-01

    Effective precipitation is a major factor in determining nutrient pathways in different ecosystems. Soil flora and fauna play a critical role in nutrient cycles of all ecosystems. Temperature, timing, and amounts of precipitation affect population composition, activity levels, biomass, and recovery rates from disturbance. Changes in these variables can result in very different inputs and outputs for different nutrients. As a result, areas with less effective precipitation have very different nutrient cycles than more mesic zones. Climate change, therefore, can profoundly affect the nutrient cycles of ecosystems. Nitrogen cycles may be especially sensitive to changes in temperature and to timing and amounts of precipitation. Rainfall contains varying amounts of nitrogen compounds. Changes in amounts of rainfall will change amounts of nitrogen available to these systems. Because rainfall is limited in semi-arid and regions, these systems tend to be more dependent on microbial populations for nitrogen input. Consequently, understanding the effects of climate change on these organisms is critical in understanding the overall effect on ecosystems.

  7. Semi-Arid Water Resource Challenges - Can Water Harvesting Close the Gap?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meixner, T.; Niraula, R.; Norman, L.; Pivo, G.; Gerlak, A.; Pavao-Zuckerman, M.; Henry, A.

    2015-12-01

    Water resource availability restricts development in arid and semi-arid regions of world. Past observations show that urban areas can increase stream discharge at least on a local scale. These results suggest that urbanization may increase the availability of wet water capable of being used by urban society. Here we present a combination of observational work demonstrating the increase of available water in urban areas of southern Arizona; and a modelling study demonstrating that future land use change may significantly increase river discharge across the Santa Cruz watershed which is ~12% urban. The observational data comes from over 30 watersheds varying in cover from undeveloped to highly urban and in spatial scale from a few square meters to thousands of square kilometers. The modelling study includes a conservation (~35% urban), megalopolitan (~34% urban) and business as usual scenario (~38% urban) for land use change due to regional population growth. All land use change scenarios result in significant increases in watershed streamflow. Depending upon pattern of urbanization, streamflow increased as much 88% in some watershed locations; demonstrating the potential to partially meet water resources demands in the region with water produced by the urbanization process. This water could be used regionally or locally, and significant efforts at implementing water harvesting in the region have been pursued. However, the ability to scale such implementation and overcome the physical, and social barriers to implementation are currently unquantified.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chaves, Luis Fernando; Añez, Nestor

    2016-01-01

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

  9. Remote sensing to monitor monotypic weed patches in semi-arid grasslands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Planck, Laura

    Remote sensing technology has great potential for mapping weed distributions. Fine-scale weed distribution maps can provide means to evaluate the success of weed control methods, to guide selection of future control methods, and to examine factors that influence the creation and persistence of monotypic weed patches. Here I examined the effectiveness of different classification approaches in detecting dense monotypic patches of the late-phenology weeds Taeniatherum caput-medusae (medusahead) and Aegilops triuncialis (barbed goatgrass), among cool-season forage grasses (Bromus spp. and Avena spp.) across multiple years in semi-arid rangelands in northern California (USA). I found that color infrared photographs acquired at two key phenological periods produced more accurate classifications than those based on one image alone, and that inclusion of training sites did not improve the overall accuracy of a classification. I also examined the association of remnant litter with transitions in species dominance in medusahead, goatgrass or forage patches. Persistence of goatgrass-dominated patches was correlated with the amount of remnant litter present, but surprisingly that of medusahead was not, suggesting a potential need for different strategies in control of these two noxious species. Overall, this study shows that remote sensing can be used to create weed distribution maps of phenologically distinct species, and help us further understand community response to invasion and evaluate the effectiveness of management treatments.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-03-01

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

  11. Impacts of Climate Anomalies on the Vegetation Patterns in the Arid and Semi-Arid Zones of Uzbekistan

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dildora, Aralova; Toderich, Kristina; Dilshod, Gafurov

    2016-08-01

    Steadily rising temperature anomalies in last decades are causing changes in vegetation patterns for sensitive to climate change in arid and semi-arid dryland ecosystems. After desiccation of the Aral Sea, Uzbekistan has been left with the challenge to develop drought and heat stress monitoring system and tools (e.g., to monitor vegetation status and/crop pattern dynamics) with using remote sensing technologies in broad scale. This study examines several climate parameters, NDVI and drought indexes within geostatistical method to predict further vegetation status in arid and semi-arid zones of landscapes. This approaches aimed to extract and utilize certain variable environmental data (temperature and precipitation) for assessment and inter-linkages of vegetation cover dynamics, specifically related to predict degraded and recovered zones or desertification process in the drylands due to scarcity of water resources and high risks of climate anomalies in fragile ecosystem of Uzbekistan.

  12. Architectural typologies of the handmade cheese makers in the semi-arid region, at Alagoas state, Brazil

    OpenAIRE

    Mendonça, Ariadne Aguiar Vitório; Toledo, Alexandre Márcio

    2011-01-01

    This paper presents the architectonic typology of the handcraft cheese factories of the semi-arid region of Alagoas, relating and verifying the result of the changes on the structure, especially because of the demanding of the rules concerning hygiene and food safety on dairy products. The goal is to identify the typological categories and relate them to the way the handcrafted cheese is made (“queijo coalho” and “queijo manteiga”), according to the regulations. The rural architecture was bas...

  13. Deriving seasonal dynamics in ecosystem properties of semi-arid savannas using in situ based hyperspectral reflectance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    T. Tagesson

    2015-02-01

    infrared (ρ1295 wavelengths. NDSI combining near infrared and shortwave infrared were strongly affected by solar zenith angles and sensor viewing geometry, as were many combinations of visible wavelengths. This study provides analyses based upon novel multi-angular hyperspectral data for validation of Earth Observation based properties of semi-arid ecosystems, as well as insights for designing spectral characteristics of future sensors for ecosystem monitoring.

  14. 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.

  15. Diurnal and Seasonal Variation of Surface Urban Cool and Heat Islands in the Semi-Arid City of Erbil, Iraq

    OpenAIRE

    Azad Rasul; Heiko Balzter; Claire Smith

    2016-01-01

    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 t...

  16. Parameterization of almanac crop simulation model for non-irrigated dry bean in semi-arid temperate areas in Mexico

    OpenAIRE

    Alma Delia Baez-Gonzalez; James R. Kiniry; Jose Saul Padilla Ramirez; Guillermo Medina Garcia; Jose Luis Ramos Gonzalez; Esteban Salvador Osuna Ceja

    2015-01-01

    Dry bean simulation models can be used to make management decisions when properly parameterized. This study aimed to parameterize the ALMANAC (Agricultural Land Management Alternatives with Numerical Assessment Criteria) crop simulation model for dry bean in the semi-arid temperate areas of Mexico. The parameterization process was based on data from two important non-irrigated dry bean fields in Mexico. The parameters were potential heat units (PHU), leaf area index (LAI) and harvest index (H...

  17. Water quality assessment of highly polluted rivers in a semi-arid Mediterranean zone Oued Fez and Sebou River (Morocco)

    OpenAIRE

    2014-01-01

    Oued Fez (one of the Sebou River tributaries - Morocco) allowed us to study and quantify the effect of the lack of wastewater treatment on surface water quality in semi-arid hydrological context. The analysis is based on field data collected from June 2009 to December 2011. Concentration and load patterns of nitrogen, phosphorus and chromium (used in the processing of leather) are compared in stable hydrological conditions during low flow and high flow periods in an eight-location sampling ne...

  18. Stable carbon isotope ratios in tree rings of co-occurring species from semi-arid tropics in Africa: Patterns and climatic signals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gebrekirstos, Aster; Worbes, Martin; Teketay, Demel; Fetene, Masresha; Mitlöhner, Ralph

    2009-04-01

    Although several proxies have been proposed to trace the course of environmental and climatological fluctuations, precise paleoclimate records from the tropics, notably from Africa are still sorely lacking today. Stable carbon isotopes ( δ13C) in tree rings are an attractive record of climate. In this study, the patterns and climatic signals of δ13C ratios were determined on tree rings of deciduous ( Acacia senegal, Acacia tortilis, Acacia seyal) and an evergreen ( Balanites aegyptiaca) species, from a semi-arid Acacia Woodland in Ethiopia. δ13C inter-annual patterns are synchronous among the co-occurring species. A declining trend with time was observed in δ13C, notably for B. aegyptiaca, which could be due to anthropogenic increases in atmospheric CO 2 concentration and decrease in atmospheric δ13C. Tree ring δ13C values of all the species revealed significant negative correlation with precipitation amount but not with temperature and relative humidity. The δ13C series of the deciduous species shows a higher correlation ( r = - 0.70 to - 0.78) with precipitation than the evergreen species ( r = - 0.55). A master δ13C series, composed of the average of the three Acacia species, displayed stronger significant correlation ( r = - 0.82) than any of the individual species δ13C series. The weak relationship between temperature and δ13C in this study indicates that photosynthetic rate is not a significant factor. Moisture stress, however, may have a direct impact on the stomatal conductance and explain the strong negative relationship between δ13C and precipitation. The results demonstrate the potential of δ13C in tree rings to reflect physiological responses to environmental changes as a vehicle for paleoclimatic reconstruction, which is important to understand tree response to past and future climate change.

  19. 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.

  20. CHARACTERIZATION AND QUANTIFICATION OF NATIVE FOREST PATCHES IN A SECTOR OF THE SEMI-ARID LANDSCAPE AT THE MAULE’S REGION, CHILE

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yony Ormazábal

    2013-08-01

    Full Text Available http://dx.doi.org/10.5902/1980509810556In general, the Mediterranean forests have suffered high levels of fragmentation, mainly by anthropogenic action, as result of the productive activities of agriculture and livestock, human settlements and forest plantations of fast growing exotic species, leading to loss of continuity of natural forests, and thus a decrease of biodiversity. In this context, the objective of this study was to evaluate the potential use of satellite images and Geographic Information Systems (GIS to quantify and characterize the spatial evolution of native forests in a semi-arid landscape area at the Region of Maule, Chile. The study was conducted with Landsat-5 TM images of 2004 and 2008, which were classified by the supervised method where it was previously necessary to apply the atmospheric and the geometric corrections to reduce errors of interpretation and measurement. Within the analysis, it was incorporated digital thematic information of land use of the National Forestry Corporation (CONAF and also it was joined one of the latest techniques derived from remote sensing for studying changes in land cover, that is called Radiometric Rotation Controlled by No-Change Axis (RCNA. Finally, the fragmentation indexes were estimated for characterizing the spatial configuration of landscape. From the results of the digital classification it was possible to estimate landscape metrics that show significant differences in the structure of the study area between the two periods. In addition, it was generated an image of change 2004/2008 that allowed to evaluate the consistency of the RCEN technique, demonstrating the feasibility of using this alternative methodology for the detection of changes in terms of degradation and recovery of woodlands.

  1. Fire and Climate History of Mixed Conifer Woodlands in the Great Basin, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Biondi, F.; Bradley, M.; Cheek, J.; Jamieson, L.; Kilpatrick, M.; Sibold, J.; Strachan, S. D.

    2010-12-01

    We investigated climate, fire, and species dynamics before and after Euro-American settlement at two locations in Lincoln County, Nevada. Both the Mt. Irish and Clover Mountains sites are isolated high ranges in the southern Great Basin Desert, not far from the floristic boundary with the northern Mojave Desert. At Mt. Irish, non-scarred ponderosa pines and single-leaf piñons were used to develop a tree-ring reconstruction of drought (mean PDSI for May-July, NV Clim. Div. 3) from 1396 to 2003. Fire-scarred ponderosas found at both study areas were then sampled, and crossdated fire-scar records were used to generate the fire history. A total of 12 plots, each 0.1 ha in size, was sampled at each site to quantify stand structure, age of surviving trees, and fuel loads. Additional information on species dynamics were collected at regularly spaced grid points. Density of pinyon pine at both sites has more than doubled since Euro-American settlement, with peak survivorship occurring in 1900-1940 at Mount Irish and 1930-1970 at the Clover Mountains. Pre-settlement trees occur throughout each site, particularly at Mount Irish, where in 1550-1860 fires that scarred at least two trees were very frequent (mean fire return interval: 4 years), while fires that scarred at least 10% of the recorder trees were relatively rare (mean fire return interval: 66 years). At the Clover Mountains, for the period 1785-2007, fires that scarred at least two trees and fires that scarred at least 10% of the recorder trees had more similar mean fire return intervals: 7 and 12 years. Fire frequency did not decrease during the 1780-1840 period, when fire was reduced or absent in other areas of the western United States. Much lower fire frequency was noted after Euro-American settlement at Mt. Irish, most likely because of less favorable climatic conditions, while the difference was less pronounced, and also affected by fire suppression activity, at the Clover Mountains. Fuel loads at the two

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Valuing goat genetic resources: a pro-poor growth strategy in the Kenyan semi-arid tropics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Omondi, I A; Baltenweck, I; Drucker, A G; Obare, G A; Zander, K K

    2008-12-01

    Goats, "the poor man's cow", provide very important genetic resources that can be exploited for continued improvements of the livelihoods of poor livestock keepers in the semi-arid tropics. This study presents the evaluation of the economic values of goat genetic resources (GGRs) in terms of the important non-market traits embedded in goats and how this information can be utilised to improve livelihoods in semi-arid regions. The results obtained from mixed logit models derived from stated choice data collected from 314 respondents in the semi-arid Marsabit district of Kenya reveal that disease resistance is the most highly valued trait whose resultant augmentation results into a welfare improvement of up to KShs.2899. Drought tolerance and milk traits were found to be implicitly valued at KShs.2620 and 1179 respectively. The study further revealed that improvement in milk trait in does, body size and disease resistance traits in bucks, and drought tolerance trait in both does and bucks will collectively improve the producers' welfare hence should be given priority. However, improvement in the reproduction and production ("overall body condition/ meatiness" trait) potential of goats will be worthwhile only if issues concerning access to pasture and water resources are addressed prior and simultaneously.

  5. Economic valuation of sheep genetic resources: implications for sustainable utilization in the Kenyan semi-arid tropics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Omondi, I; Baltenweck, I; Drucker, A G; Obare, G; Zander, K K

    2008-12-01

    Sheep, recognised as one of the important livestock species especially in the semi-arid tropics with high genetic resource potentials, can be exploited through sustainable utilization in order to improve livestock keepers' livelihoods. This study presents the evaluation of the economic values of sheep genetic resources (SGR) in terms of the important non-market traits embedded in sheep and how this information can be utilised to improve livelihoods in semi-arid regions. The results obtained from mixed logit models results derived from stated choice data collected from 157 respondents in the semi-arid Marsabit district of Kenya reveal that disease resistance is the most highly valued trait whose resultant increment results into a welfare improvement of up to KShs.1537. Drought tolerance and fat deposition traits were found to be implicitly valued at KShs.694 and 738 respectively. The results further point out that for livestock stakeholders to effectively improve the livelihoods of poor livestock-keepers, development strategies for improving the management and/or utilisation of SGR in terms of drought tolerance, should not only be tailor made to target regions that are frequently devastated by drought but should also succeed other strategies or efforts that would first lead to the improvement of producers' economic status.

  6. Keeping Sediment and Nutrients out of Streams in Arid/Semi-Arid Regions: Application of Low Impact Development/Green Infrastructure Practices

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yongping, Yuan

    2015-04-01

    Climatic and hydrological characteristics in the arid/semi-arid areas create unique challenges to soil, water and biodiversity conservation. These areas are environmentally sensitive, but very valuable for the ecosystems services they provide to society. Some of these areas are experiencing the fastest urbanization and now face multiple water resource challenges. Low Impact Development (LID)/Green Infrastructure (GI) practices are increasingly popular for reducing stormwater and nonpoint source pollution in many regions around the world. However, streamflow in the arid/semi-arid regions is largely dependent on seasonal, short term, and high intensity rainfall events. LID has not been very common in the arid/semi-arid regions due to a lack of performance evaluation, as well as the perception that LID may not be very useful for regions with little annual precipitation. This study focused on investigating the hydrologic and pollutant removal performance of LID/GI systems in arid/semi-arid climates. Ten types of practices were found in use in the Western/Southwestern U.S.: rainwater harvest systems, detention ponds, retention ponds, bioretention, media filters, porous pavements, vegetated swales/buffer/strips, green roofs, infiltration trenches, and integrated LIDs. This study compared the performance of these practices in terms of their effectiveness at pollutant removal and cost-effectiveness. This analysis provides insight into the future implementation of LID/GI in the arid/semi-arid areas. Key words: LID/GI, arid/semi-arid, effectiveness of pollutant removal, cost-effectiveness analysis

  7. Monitoring small reservoirs in semi-arid region by satellite SAR data

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-04-01

    The work presents a novel tool for the monitoring of small reservoirs in semi-arid regions. The pilot project was developed in the Yatenga region, a Sahelian area in northern Burkina Faso. In semi-arid regions, small reservoirs are widely employed for facing seasonal variability in water availability due to the alternation of a rainy (3 months) and a dry (9 months) season. Beside their crucial importance, the small reservoirs are not appropriately monitored, they are often built for the initiative of small local communities and even basic data as their location and capacity are not available. Another major problem is linked to soil erosion due to water and consequent reservoirs' sedimentation that reduces the amount of available water and the life span of reservoirs. This lack of data prevents the implementation of strategies for the optimization of water resources management. It is therefore necessary to improve the data availability through the development of cost-effective monitoring techniques and to adapt the hydrological modeling to the limited available data. In this context the use if satellite data can highly contribute to the achievement of crucial information at low costs, high resolution in time and wide areas. In the present work, we used COSMO-SkyMed Stripmap (3m resolution) and Spotligth (1m resolution) Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) data acquired under the aegis of the 2007 Italian Space Agency Announcement of Opportunity and of the HydroCIDOT project. The shorelines of the reservoirs were extracted from the series of SAR images by employing an innovative change-detection framework. A digital elevation model (DEM) of the study area was obtained via standard interferometry processing of images acquired at the end of the dry season, when small reservoirs are completely empty, and information about the surface usually covered by water can be retrieved. The obtained DEM and shorelines were used for bathymetry extraction of reservoirs. For the

  8. Co-evolution of Vegetation, Sediment Transport and Infiltration on semi-arid hillslopes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harman, C. J.; Troch, P. A.; Lohse, K. A.; Sivapalan, M.

    2011-12-01

    Soils in semi-arid landscapes can vary over very small distances, with a great deal of variation associated with 'resource islands' created and maintained by woody vegetation. The distinct physical and hydraulic properties that arise in these islands can lead to spatial patterns of infiltration that have been implicated in the maintenance of the vegetation populating the island. Less well understood are the roles that the small-scale variability in soils plays in determining the transport of sediments, water and sediment-bound carbon and nitrogen across hillslopes. Here we explore these relationships using a coupled field and modeling approach. Detailed field data from hillslopes underlain by both granite and schist parent materials in the Santa Catalina mountains (part of the JSC Critical Zone Observatory) suggest that soils under individual velvet mesquite (latin name) contain higher concentration of soil organic matter and have higher hydraulic conductivity and water holding capacity. Greater infiltration and increased roughness under the canopy appears to lead to the formation of mounds that alter overland flow lines around the area under the canopy, particularly in the finer schist soils. This diversion leads to a complex distribution of shear stresses across the hillslope, creating systematic patterns in the transport of carbon and nitrogen rich soils under the canopies. The relationship between the small scale mechanism and the emergent pattern dynamics in the temporal variability of materials delivered to the stream from the hillslope are also examined, and the implications of these results for the modeling of water, sediment and nutrient fluxes at hillslope scales will be discussed.

  9. Integrated Modelling of Climate Change Impacts in an Irrigated, Semi-arid Catchment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haslauer, C. P.; von Gunten, D.; Wöhling, T.; Rudolph, D. L.; Cirpka, O. A.

    2015-12-01

    Predicting the impacts of climate change on hydrological processes is a central challenge for water management. Commonly, studies on climate-change effects focus on surface flow and feed-backs between surface and subsurface flows are neglected frequently. Furthermore, changes in hydrological processes are generally not distributed realistically. Integrated catchment models, based on partial-differential-equations, have the potential of overcoming these difficulties. However, these models are complicated to use in realistic settings, notably because of their long simulation time. In this presentation, we demonstrate a successful application of an integrated catchment model (HydroGeoSphere) in a semi-arid catchment in north-east Spain. The study area recently underwent a transition to irrigated agriculture, which is reflected in our model evaluations conducted under varying irrigation conditions. To accelerate model calibration, we developed a novel calibration method based on a hierarchy of computational grids. The climate scenarios for the region are based on four regional climate models, which are downscaled using a weather generator. These scenarios are used to estimate climate change impacts on hydrologic parameters in different irrigation settings. The effects of climate change strongly depend on the presence of irrigation. Water table depth and low flows are more sensitive to climate change when irrigation is present, while peak flows exhibit a more pronounced response to climate in scenarios without irrigation. In addition to the climatic means, we examined the impacts of changes in drought conditions. We compare the outcomes of droughts predicted by our hydrological model with simpler approaches based on drought indices. We show that drought indices oversimplify future hydrological impacts of droughts and can result in biased estimation of drought impacts, especially if drought indices do not take temperature changes into account.

  10. Modelling long-term sustainability of irrigation practices in semi arid region

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guyennon, Nicolas; Romano, Emanuele; Portoghese, Ivan

    2016-04-01

    The impact of climate change on groundwater or surface water resources can be investigated through models simulating the hydrological and hydrogeological processes at the atmosphere/surface water/soil/groundwater interfaces. However, in aquifers extensively exploited for irrigation purposes, the water demand variability related to actual water availability, as well as to variation of the crops, and associated supply management options should be considered to evaluate impacts. Moreover, in the case of a multi-resources water supply system it is necessary to develop models able to simulate also the variation of the total demand distribution among each resource. We proposed a modeling scheme able to simulate an integrated multiple-resources and multiple-purposes water supply system by merging distributed crop water requirements with surface reservoir and ground water mass balance, considering resources availability and management, with emphasis on irrigation practices. The overall framework has been implemented for the case study of the Fortore water supply system, a semi-arid region in south Italy. It permits to simulate the conjunctive use of the water from the Occhito artificial reservoir (160 Mm3) and from groundwater to supply domestic, industrial and agricultural demand. The overall model successfully reproduces the Occhito dam level variability (both seasonal and inter-annual) as well as the observed groundwater depletion. The proposed model was forced by 60 years of meteorological observation to test the long-term sustainability of the current irrigation practices and has been extended to the next decades under a1b IPCC scenario using three ENSEMBLES member to test adaptation strategies.

  11. Hydrodynamics, vegetation transition and geomorphology coevolution in a semi-arid floodplain wetland.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sandi, Steven; Rodriguez, Jose F.; Saco, Patricia M.; Riccardi, Gerardo; Wen, Li; Saintilan, Neil

    2016-04-01

    The Macquarie Marshes is a complex system of marshes, swamps and lagoons interconnected by a network of streams in the semi-arid region in north western NSW, Australia. The low-gradient topography of the site leads to channel breakdown processes where the river network becomes practically non-existent. As a result, the flow extends over large areas of wetland that later re-join and reform channels exiting the system. Vegetation in semiarid wetlands are often water dependent and flood tolerant species that rely on periodical floods in order to maintain healthy conditions. The detrimental state of vegetation in the Macquarie Marshes over the past few decades has been linked to decreasing inundation frequencies. Spatial distribution of flood tolerant overstory species such as River Red Gum and Black Box has not greatly changed since early 1990's, however; the condition of the vegetation patches shows a clear deterioration evidenced by terrestrial species encroachment on the wetland understory. On the other hand, areas of flood dependent species such as Water Couch and Common Reed have undergone complete succession to terrestrial species and dryland. 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 changes. Regular updates of stream network, floodplain surface elevations and vegetation coverage provide feedbacks to the hydrodynamic model. We presents also the development and assessment of transitional rules to determine if the water conditions have been met for different vegetation

  12. Development and use of bioenergy feedstocks for semi-arid and arid lands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cushman, John C; Davis, Sarah C; Yang, Xiaohan; Borland, Anne M

    2015-07-01

    Global climate change is predicted to increase heat, drought, and soil-drying conditions, and thereby increase crop sensitivity to water vapour pressure deficit, resulting in productivity losses. Increasing competition between agricultural freshwater use and municipal or industrial uses suggest that crops with greater heat and drought durability and greater water-use efficiency will be crucial for sustainable biomass production systems in the future. Agave (Agavaceae) and Opuntia (Cactaceae) represent highly water-use efficient bioenergy crops that could diversify bioenergy feedstock supply yet preserve or expand feedstock production into semi-arid, abandoned, or degraded agricultural lands, and reclaim drylands. Agave and Opuntia are crassulacean acid metabolism species that can achieve high water-use efficiencies and grow in water-limited areas with insufficient precipitation to support traditional C3 or C4 bioenergy crops. Both Agave and Opuntia have the potential to produce above-ground biomass rivalling that of C3 and C4 crops under optimal growing conditions. The low lignin and high amorphous cellulose contents of Agave and Opuntia lignocellulosic biomass will be less recalcitrant to deconstruction than traditional feedstocks, as confirmed by pretreatments that improve saccharification of Agave. Refined environmental productivity indices and geographical information systems modelling have provided estimates of Agave and Opuntia biomass productivity and terrestrial sequestration of atmospheric CO2; however, the accuracy of such modelling efforts can be improved through the expansion of field trials in diverse geographical settings. Lastly, life cycle analysis indicates that Agave would have productivity, life cycle energy, and greenhouse gas balances comparable or superior to those of traditional bioenergy feedstocks, but would be far more water-use efficient.

  13. Climatic and Grazing Controls on Biological Soil Crust Nitrogen Fixation in Semi-arid Ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schwabedissen, S. G.; Reed, S.; Lohse, K. A.; Magnuson, T. S.

    2014-12-01

    Nitrogen, next to water, is believed to be the main limiting resource in arid and semi-arid ecosystems. Biological soil crusts (biocrusts) -a surface community of mosses, lichens and cyanobacteria-have been found to be the main influx of "new" nitrogen (N) into many dryland ecosystems. Controls on biocrust N fixation rates include climate (temperature and moisture), phosphorus availability, and disturbance factors such as trampling, yet a systematic examination of climatic and disturbance controls on biocrusts communities is lacking. Biocrust samples were collected along an elevation gradient in the Reynolds Creek Experimental Watershed near Murphy, Idaho. Four sites were selected from a sagebrush steppe ecosystem with precipitation ranging from ≤250mm/yr to ≥1100mm/yr. Each site included 5 grazed plots and one historic exclosure plot that has been free from grazing for more than 40 years. Five samples each were collected from under plants and from interplant spaces from the grazed plots and exclosures and analyzed for potential N fixation using an acetylene reduction assay. We hypothesized that N fixation rates would be the highest in the exclosures of the two middle sites along the elevation gradient, due to the lack of disturbance and optimal temperature and moisture, respectively. As predicted, results showed higher rates of potential N fixation in exclosures than non-exclosures at a mid-elevation 8.4 ± 3.1 kg N/ha/yr in the exclosures compared to 1.8 ± 1.5 kg N/ha/yr indicating that grazing may reduce N fixation activity. Interestingly, rates were 2-5 times lower under plant canopies compared to interplant spaces at all but the highest elevation site. Findings from our study suggest that biocrust N fixation may be a dominant input of N into theses dryland systems and, in line with our hypotheses, that climate, location within the landscape, and disturbance may interact to regulate the rates of this fundamental ecosystem process.

  14. Chemical-Structural Changes of Organic Matter in a Semi-Arid Soil After Organic Amendment

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    C.NICOL(A)S; G.MASCIANDARO; T.HERN(A)NDEZ; C.GARCIA

    2012-01-01

    A 9-month incubation experiment using composted and non-composted amendments derived from vine pruning waste and sewage sludge was carried out to study the effects of the nature and stability of organic amendments on the structural composition of organic matter (OM) in a semi-arid soil. The changes of soil OM,both in the whole soil and in the extractable carbon with pyrophosphate,were evaluated by pyrolysis-gas chromatography and chemical analyses.By the end of the experiment,the soils amended with pruning waste exhibited less organic carbon loss than those receiving sewage sludge.The non-composted residues increased the aliphatic-pyrolytic products of the OM,both in the whole soil and also in the pyrophosphate extract,with the products derived from peptides and proteins being significantly higher.After 9 months,in the soils amended with pruning waste the relative abundance of phenolic-pyrolytic products derived from phenolic compounds,lignin and proteins in the whole soil tended to increase more than those in the soils amended with sewage sludge.However,the extractable OM with pyrophosphate in the soils amended with composted residues tended to have higher contents of these phenolic-pyrolytic products than that in non-composted ones.Thus,despite the stability of pruning waste,the composting of this material promoted the incorporation of phenolic compounds to the soil OM.The pyrolytic indices (furfural/pyrrole and aliphatic/aromatic ratios) showed the diminution of aliphatic compounds and the increase of aromatic compounds,indicating the stabilization of the OM in the amended soils after 9 months.In conclusion,the changes of soil OM depend on the nature and stability of the organic amendments,with composted vine pruning waste favouring humification.

  15. 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%.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Physical-chemical determinant properties of biological communities in continental semi-arid waters.

    Science.gov (United States)

    da Rocha, Francisco Cleiton; de Andrade, Eunice Maia; Lopes, Fernando Bezerra; de Paula Filho, Francisco José; Filho, José Hamilton Costa; da Silva, Merivalda Doroteu

    2016-08-01

    Throughout human history, water has undergone changes in quality. This problem is more serious in dry areas, where there is a natural water deficit due to climatic factors. The aims of this study, therefore, were (i) to verify correlations between physical attributes, chemical attributes and biological metrics and (ii) from the biological attributes, to verify the similarity between different points of a body of water in a tropical semi-arid region. Samples were collected every 2 months, from July 2009 to July 2011, at seven points. Four physical attributes, five chemical attributes and four biological metrics were investigated. To identify the correlations between the physicochemical properties and the biological metrics, hierarchical cluster analysis (HCA) and canonical correlation analysis (CCA) were applied. Nine classes of phytoplankton were identified, with the predominance of species of cyanobacteria, and ten families of macroinvertebrates. The use of HCA resulted in the formation of three similar groups, showing that it was possible to reduce the number of sampling points when monitoring water quality with a consequent reduction in cost. Group I was formed from the waters at the high end of the reservoir (points P1, P2 and P3), group II by the waters from the middle third (points P4 and P5), and group III by the waters from the lower part of the reservoir (points P6 and P7). Richness of the phytoplanktons Cyanophyceae, Chorophyceae and Bacillariophyceae was the attribute which determined dissimilarity in water quality. Using CCA, it was possible to identify the spatial variability of the physicochemical attributes (TSS, TKN, nitrate and total phosphorus) that most influence the metrics of the macroinvertebrates and phytoplankton present in the water. Low macroinvertebrate diversity, with a predominance of indicator families for deterioration in water quality, and the composition of phytoplankton showing a predominance of cyanobacteria, suggests greater

  19. Measurements of scattering and absorption properties of surface aerosols at a semi-arid site, Anantapur

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rama Gopal, K.; Balakrishnaiah, G.; Arafath, S. Md.; Raja Obul Reddy, K.; Siva Kumar Reddy, N.; Pavan Kumari, S.; Raghavendra Kumar, K.; Chakradhar Rao, T.; Lokeswara Reddy, T.; Reddy, R. R.; Nazeer Hussain, S.; Vasudeva Reddy, M.; Suresh Babu, S.; Mallikarjuna Reddy, P.

    2017-01-01

    Aerosol optical properties are continuously measured at a semi-arid station, Anantapur from June 2012 to May 2013 which describes the impact of surface aerosols on climate change over the region. Scattering coefficient (σsct) and absorption coefficient (σabs) are obtained from integrating Nephelometer and Aethalometer, respectively. Also, the single scattering albedo (ω0), Scattering/absorption Ångström exponents were examined during the period of study. Diurnal variations of σsct and σabs show a bi-peak pattern with two maxima and one minimum in a day. The largest values of σsct and σabs are obtained in winter while the lowest values are measured in monsoon. From the measurements σsct550 and σabs550 are found to be 110 ± 12.23 Mm- 1 and 33 ± 5.2 Mm- 1, respectively during the study period. An analysis of the ω0 suggests that there is a more absorbing fraction in the particle composition over the measurement site. The ω0 obtained in the surface boundary layer of Anantapur is below the critical value of 0.86 that determines the shift from cooling to warming. A relationship between scattering/absorption coefficients and scattering/absorption Ångström exponent and single scattering albedo is further examined. In order to understand the origins of the air masses in the study region, we performed seven-day back trajectory analyses based on the NOAA HYSPLIT model. These trajectories were computed at several altitudes (3000 m, 1500 m, and 500 m) for June 2012 and May 2013. These results put in evidence the need of efforts to reduce absorbing particles (black carbon) emissions to avoid the possible warming that would result from the reductions of the cooling aerosol only.

  20. ARBUSCULAR MYCORRHIZAL FUNGI IN SUCCESSIONAL STAGES OF CAATINGA IN THE SEMI-ARID REGION OF BRAZIL

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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. 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.

  2. Modeling the Erosion Process in Beaded Streams in a Semi-arid Bajada, Southern New Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gao, P.

    2003-12-01

    A channel network in Southern New Mexico falls in one of the three categories: splay, bead, and braid. A splay simply refers to diverging channels. A bead refers to channel reaches in which flow first diverges to form an area of multiple flow paths and then converges to form a single channel. A braid is intermediate between a splay and a bead. Recent studies have demonstrated that beads, which widely exist in the semi-arid environment of Southern New Mexico, serve as sinks to attract more water, nutrients, and sediment than other areas. Thus beads provide a physical base for ecological remediation means to reverse the desertification process. However, the mechanisms for the formation of a bead and geomorphologic factors controlling the properties of a bead are still poorly understood. Given the difficulties of physically tracking and quantitatively estimating the development of a bead in the field, a computer simulation is adopted to model the erosion process that leads to the beaded streams. The modeling is based on a FORTRAN algorithm in which the bajada surface is represented by a matrix of square cells. On each cell, both sediment transport and continuity equations, which are sufficient to describe the erosion process, are applied to determine whether the cell is degraded (erosion), aggraded (deposition), or graded (equilibrium). With a rule of determining the distribution of flow rate from a cell to its downstream neighbors, channels are automatically formed by the erosion processes. The simulation indicates (1) that a bead is formed with the combination of three factors: uneven distribution of flow rate, infiltration, and the degree of distribution, (2) that a bead, once formed, is stable, (3) that the size and shape of a bead are controlled by the discharge-infiltration ratio.

  3. BVOCs emission in a semi-arid grassland under climate warming and nitrogen deposition

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    H. J. Wang

    2012-01-01

    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 increased it 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.

  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. An improved conceptual understanding of snowmelt and groundwater dynamics in the semi-arid Andes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sproles, Eric; Hevia, Andres; Soulsby, Chris; Tetzlaff, Doerthe

    2016-04-01

    The contribution of snowmelt to groundwater has long been recognized as an important component of the hydrological cycle in semi-arid northern central Chile (29°-32°S). Despite its importance as a water resource, this transition to groundwater remains poorly understood. Climatically, the High Cordillera in northern central Chile receives approximately 10 times as much annual precipitation as the valley bottoms, falling almost exclusively as snow above 3500 m during the winter months. Geologically, the High Cordillera is characterized by steep topography and a highly dissected landscape underlain by bedrock. Groundwater stores in the mountain headwaters are assumed to be constrained to the valley bottoms. The current working hypothesis of watershed processes in the High Cordillera describes fluxes of spring melt moving through the hillslope via local flowpaths to valley aquifers that recharge streams throughout the headwater reaches. Previous studies in the region indicate Pre-Cordilleran aquifers, located in lower elevation dry ephemeral valleys, are hydrologically disconnected from the High Cordillera. These watersheds have no seasonal snowpack, and recharge occurs primarily during infrequent rain events. These isolated Pre-Cordilleran aquifers serve as an important water resource for rural residents and infrastructure. We present stable isotope, geochemical, and groundwater level data from the wet El Niño winter of 2015 that suggests a topographically disconnected aquifer in the Pre-Cordillera received considerable recharge from High Cordillera snowmelt. These novel findings are indicative of deep groundwater flow paths between the Pre- and High Cordillera during the wet winter and spring of 2015, and improve the conceptual understanding of hydrological processes in the region. Additionally, these results will directly benefit groundwater management in the Pre-Cordillera and better inform modeling efforts in the High Cordillera. While this study is limited to

  6. 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.

  7. Semi-arid Vegetation Pattern, Stability and Suitability to Suppress Sand Movement in Central Sudan

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    N.K.N. Al-Amin

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Moving sand that threatens Gezira scheme is the dominant land degradation feature in central Sudan and the front line defence is the sparse scattered natural vegetation of the area. The study aimed to assess the role of this vegetation to suppress drifting sand and to monitor their ability to face the impact of climate change and human activity (deforestation. The dimensions of the sand captured by single tree of dominant species, Acacia tortilis, Leptadenia pyrotechnica, Prosopis juliflora and Panicum turgidum were measured and the volumes were calculated. To picture the drought pattern 5-year running means of annual rainfalls (1941-2007 of the study area were calculated and compared with long-term mean. Deforestation was indicated by local community wood consumption in relation to the average woody biomass (in good condition. The results show that scattered trees of the right densities had potentiality to settle drifting sand, but they were subjected to 20 years dry seasons followed by only 4 wet years and now are subjected to a new era of dry spell. This condition is not in favour of the semi-arid vegetation pattern sustainability and a suitable measure to enhance natural regeneration is needed. In addition, the community's wood demand was higher than the resource, where a person would destroy 0.5 ha/year compared to 0.9 ha/year per person available reveals the magnitude of deforestation. Encouragement of farmers to use alternative energy sources and functional application of laws and regulations to protect the existing vegetation rem ain crucial.

  8. 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.

  9. The causes of flow regime shifts in the semi-arid Hailiutu River, Northwest China

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Z. Yang

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Identifying the causes (climate vs. human activities for hydrological variability is a major challenge in hydrology. This paper examines the flow regime shifts, changes in the climatic variables such as precipitation, evaporation, temperature, and crop area in the semi-arid Hailiutu catchment in the middle section of the Yellow River by performing several statistical analyses. The Pettitt test, cumulative sum charts (CUSUM, regime shift index (RSI method, and harmonic analysis were carried out on annual, monthly, and daily discharges. Four major shifts in the flow regime have been detected in 1968, 1986, 1992 and 2001. Characteristics of the flow regime were analyzed in the five periods: 1957–1967, 1968–1985, 1986–1991, 1992–2000, and 2001–2007. From 1957 to 1967, the flow regime reflects quasi natural conditions of the high variability and larger amplitude of 6 months periodic fluctuations. The river peak flow was reduced by the construction of two reservoirs in the period 1968–1985. In the period of 1986–1991, the river discharge further decreased due to the combined influence of river diversions and increase of groundwater extractions for irrigation. In the fourth period of 1992–2000, the river discharge reached lowest flow and variation in corresponding to a large increase in crop area. The flow regime recovered, but not yet to natural status in the fifth period of 2001–2007. Climatic factors are found not likely responsible for the changes in the flow regime, but the changes in the flow regime are corresponding well to historical land use policy changes.

  10. The causes of flow regime shifts in the semi-arid Hailiutu River, Northwest China

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Z. Yang

    2011-06-01

    Full Text Available Identifying the causes (climate vs. human activities for hydrological variability is a major challenge in hydrology. This paper examines the flow regime shifts, changes in the climatic variables such as precipitation, evaporation, temperature, and crop area in the semi-arid Hailiutu catchment in the middle section of the Yellow River by performing several statistical analyses. The Pettitt test, cumulative sum charts (CUSUM, regime shift index (RSI method, and harmonic analysis were carried out on annual, monthly, and daily discharges. Four major shifts in the flow regime have been detected in 1968, 1986, 1992 and 2001. Characteristics of the flow regime were analyzed in the five periods: 1957–1967, 1968–1985, 1986–1991, 1992–2000, and 2001–2007. From 1957 to 1967, the flow regime reflects quasi natural conditions with high variability and larger amplitude of 6 months periodic fluctuations. The river flow had been affected by the construction of two reservoirs in the period 1968–1985. In the period of 1986–1991, the river discharge decreased due to the combined influence of river diversions and increase of groundwater extractions for irrigation. In the fourth period of 1992–2000, the river discharge reached lowest flow values and variations corresponding to a large increase in crop area. The flow regime recovered, but not yet to natural status in the fifth period of 2001–2007. Climatic factors are not responsible for all these changes in the flow regime, but the changes are corresponding well to human activities.

  11. 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.

  12. Effects of land use/land cover and climate changes on surface runoff in a semi-humid and semi-arid transition zone in northwest China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yin, Jing; He, Fan; Jiu Xiong, Yu; Qiu, Guo Yu

    2017-01-01

    Water resources, which are considerably affected by land use/land cover (LULC) and climate changes, are a key limiting factor in highly vulnerable ecosystems in arid and semi-arid regions. The impacts of LULC and climate changes on water resources must be assessed in these areas. However, conflicting results regarding the effects of LULC and climate changes on runoff have been reported in relatively large basins, such as the Jinghe River basin (JRB), which is a typical catchment (> 45 000 km2) located in a semi-humid and arid transition zone on the central Loess Plateau, northwest China. In this study, we focused on quantifying both the combined and isolated impacts of LULC and climate changes on surface runoff. We hypothesized that under climatic warming and drying conditions, LULC changes, which are primarily caused by intensive human activities such as the Grain for Green Program, will considerably alter runoff in the JRB. The Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) was adopted to perform simulations. The simulated results indicated that although runoff increased very little between the 1970s and the 2000s due to the combined effects of LULC and climate changes, LULC and climate changes affected surface runoff differently in each decade, e.g., runoff increased with increased precipitation between the 1970s and the 1980s (precipitation contributed to 88 % of the runoff increase). Thereafter, runoff decreased and was increasingly influenced by LULC changes, which contributed to 44 % of the runoff changes between the 1980s and 1990s and 71 % of the runoff changes between the 1990s and 2000s. Our findings revealed that large-scale LULC under the Grain for Green Program has had an important effect on the hydrological cycle since the late 1990s. Additionally, the conflicting findings regarding the effects of LULC and climate changes on runoff in relatively large basins are likely caused by uncertainties in hydrological simulations.

  13. Direct radiative forcing properties of atmospheric aerosols over semi-arid region, Anantapur in India.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kalluri, Raja Obul Reddy; Gugamsetty, Balakrishnaiah; Kotalo, Rama Gopal; Nagireddy, Siva Kumar Reddy; Tandule, Chakradhar Rao; Thotli, Lokeswara Reddy; Rajuru Ramakrishna, Reddy; Surendranair, Suresh Babu

    2016-10-01

    This paper describes the aerosols optical, physical characteristics and the aerosol radiative forcing pertaining to semi-arid region, Anantapur for the period January 2013-December 2014. Collocated measurements of Aerosol Optical Depth (AOD) and Black Carbon mass concentration (BC) are carried out by using MICROTOPS II and Aethalometer and estimated the aerosol radiative forcing over this location. The mean values of AOD at 500nm are found to be 0.47±0.09, 0.34±0.08, 0.29±0.06 and 0.30±0.07 during summer, winter, monsoon and post-monsoon respectively. The Angstrom exponent (α380-1020) value is observed maximum in March (1.25±0.19) and which indicates the predominance of fine - mode aerosols and lowest in the month of July (0.33±0.14) and may be due to the dominance of coarse-mode aerosols. The diurnal variation of BC is exhibited two height peaks during morning 07:00-08:00 (IST) and evening 19:00-21:00 (IST) hours and one minima noticed during afternoon (13:00-16:00). The highest monthly mean BC concentration is observed in the month of January (3.4±1.2μgm(-3)) and the lowest in July (1.1±0.2μgm(-3)). The estimated Aerosol Direct Radiative Forcing (ADRF) in the atmosphere is found to be +36.8±1.7Wm(-2), +26.9±0.2Wm(-2), +18.0±0.6Wm(-2) and +18.5±3.1Wm(-2) during summer, winter, monsoon and post-monsoon seasons, respectively. Large difference between TOA and BOA forcing is observed during summer which indicate the large absorption of radiant energy (36.80Wm(-2)) which contributes more increase in atmospheric heating by ~1K/day. The BC contribution on an average is found to be 64% and is responsible for aerosol atmospheric heating.

  14. Timing and climatic drivers for glaciation across semi-arid western Himalayan-Tibetan orogen

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dortch, Jason M.; Owen, Lewis A.; Caffee, Marc W.

    2013-10-01

    Mapping and forty-seven new 10Be ages help define the timing of glaciation in the Ladakh and Pangong Ranges in Northwest India. Five new local glacial stages are defined for the Ladakh Range. From oldest to youngest these include: the Ladakh-4 glacial stage at 81 ± 20 ka; the Ladakh-3 glacial stage (not dated); the Ladakh-2 glacial stage at 22 ± 3 ka; the Ladakh-1 glacial stage (not dated); and the Ladakh Cirque glacial stage at 1.8 ± 0.4 ka. Three local glacial stages are defined for the Pangong Range, which include: the Pangong-2 glacial stage at 85 ± 15 ka; the Pangong-1 glacial stage at 40 ± 3 ka; and the Pangong Cirque glacial stage at 0.4 ± 0.3 ka. The new 10Be ages are combined with 645 recalculated 10Be ages from previous studies to develop the first regional framework of glaciation across the dryland regions of the Greater Himalaya, Transhimalaya, Pamir and Tian Shan at the western end of the Himalayan-Tibetan orogen. Nineteen regional glacial stages are recognized that are termed semi-arid western Himalayan-Tibetan stages (SWHTS). These include: SWHTS 9 at 311 ± 32 ka; SWHTS 7 at 234 ± 44 ka [tentative]; SWHTS 6 at 146 ± 18 ka; SWHTS 5E at 121 ± 11 ka; SWHTS 5A at 80 ± 5 ka; SWHTS 5A- at 72 ± 8 ka; SWHTS 4 at 61 ± 5 ka; SWHTS 3 at 46 ± 4 ka; SWHTS 2F at 30 ± 3 ka; SWHTS 2E at 20 ± 2 ka; SWHTS 2D at 16.9 ± 0.7 ka; SWHTS 2C at 14.9 ± 0.8 ka; SWHTS 2B at 13.9 ± 0.5 ka; SWHTS 2A at 12.2 ± 0.8 ka; SWHTS 1E at 8.8 ± 0.3 ka [tentative]; SWHTS 1D at 6.9 ± 0.2 ka [tentative]; SWHTS 1C at 3.8 ± 0.6 ka; SWHTS 1B at 1.7 ± 0.2 ka; and SWHTS 1A at 0.4 ± 0.1 ka. Regional glacial stages older than 21 ka are broadly correlated with strong monsoons. SWHTS that are 21 ka or younger, have smaller uncertainties and broadly correlate with global ice volume given by marine Oxygen Isotope Stages, and northern hemisphere climatic events (Oldest Dryas, Older Dryas, Younger Dryas, Roman Humid Period, and Little Ice Age).

  15. Evaporative loss from irrigated interrows in a highly advective semi-arid agricultural area

    Science.gov (United States)

    Agam, Nurit; Evett, Steven R.; Tolk, Judy A.; Kustas, William P.; Colaizzi, Paul D.; Alfieri, Joseph G.; McKee, Lynn G.; Copeland, Karen S.; Howell, Terry A.; Chávez, Jose L.

    2012-12-01

    Agricultural productivity has increased in the Texas High Plains at the cost of declining water tables, putting at risk the sustainability of the Ogallala Aquifer as a principal source of water for irrigated agriculture. This has led area producers to seek alternative practices that can increase water use efficiency (WUE) through more careful management of water. One potential way of improving WUE is by reducing soil evaporation (E), thus reducing overall evapotranspiration (ET). Before searching for ways to reduce E, it is first important to quantify E and understand the factors that determine its magnitude. The objectives of this study were (1) to quantify E throughout part of the growing season for irrigated cotton in a strongly advective semi-arid region; (2) to study the effects of LAI, days after irrigation, and measurement location within the row on the E/ET fraction; and (3) to study the ability of microlysimeter (ML) measures of E combined with sap flow gage measures of transpiration (T) to accurately estimate ET when compared with weighing lysimeter ET data and to assess the E/T ratio. The research was conducted in an irrigated cotton field at the Conservation & Production Research Laboratory of the USDA-ARS, Bushland, TX. ET was measured by a large weighing lysimeter, and E was measured by 10 microlysimeters that were deployed in two sets of 5 across the interrow. In addition, 10 heat balance sap flow gages were used to determine T. A moderately good agreement was found between the sum E + T and ET (SE = 1 mm or ˜10% of ET). It was found that E may account for >50% of ET during early stages of the growing season (LAI < 0.2), significantly decreasing with increase in LAI to values near 20% at peak LAI of three. Measurement location within the north-south interrows had a distinct effect on the diurnal pattern of E, with a shift in time of peak E from west to east, a pattern that was governed by the solar radiation reaching the soil surface. However, total

  16. 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 <4yr resolution and spans 3.7-5.3 kyBP, a contested period of catastrophic droughts that allegedly eradicated 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

  17. Spatial distribution of rock glaciers in the semi-arid Andes of Argentina

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blöthe, Jan Henrik; Halla, Christian; Schrott, Lothar; Götz, Joachim; Trombotto, Dario

    2016-04-01

    Active rock glaciers are indicators for permafrost in periglacial environments of high mountain areas. Within the permafrost body and the seasonally frozen active layer, these rock glaciers potentially store large amounts of water. Especially in semiarid mountain belts, such as the central Andes of Argentina, rock glaciers attain several kilometres in length, covering surface areas of >106 m2. Here, rock glaciers even outrange ice glaciers in cumulative area and absolute number, indicating they might constitute a large water reservoir in this semiarid part of the Andes. Despite their potential hydrological importance, our knowledge about the rock glaciers' spatial distribution, subsurface composition and absolute ice content is still very limited. Our study addresses this shortcoming and aims at assessing the hydrological significance of rock glacier permafrost in the semi-arid Andes of Argentina by combining local geophysical investigations with regional remote sensing analysis. Our research focuses on the central Andes between 30°S and 33°S, where we have compiled an inventory that comprises more than 1200 rock glaciers, as well as 154 clear-ice and debris-covered glaciers. Two field sites that bracket this regional study area towards their northern and southern edge have been selected for local geophysical investigations. At these locations, earlier studies detected the presence of rock glacier permafrost by thermal monitoring and geophysical prospection. Preliminary results of the regional spatial distribution indicate that the spatial density of rock glaciers increases towards the south, concomitant with a twofold increase in mean annual precipitation. Rock glacier density peaks in the area of the Aconcagua massif, while precipitation is further increasing towards the south. Simultaneously, the lower altitudinal limit of intact rock glaciers slightly decreases, with the lowest rock glacier toe positions in the northern study area located at ~3800 m a. s. l

  18. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Novara

    2011-11-01

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

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

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

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

  20. A PROPOSED NEW VEGETATION INDEX, THE TOTAL RATIO VEGETATION INDEX (TRVI, FOR ARID AND SEMI-ARID REGIONS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    H. Fadaei

    2012-07-01

    Full Text Available Vegetation indices that provide important key to predict amount vegetation in forest such as percentage vegetation cover, aboveground biomass, and leaf-area index. Arid and semi-arid areas are not exempt of this rule. Arid and semi-arid areas of northeast Iran cover about 3.4 million ha and are populated by two main tree species, the broadleaf Pistacia vera (pistachio and the conifer Juniperus excelsa ssp. polycarpos (Persian juniper. Natural stands of pistachio in Iran are not only environmentally important but also genetically essential as seed sources for pistachio production in orchards. We investigated the relationships between tree density and vegetation indices in the arid and semi-arid regions in the northeast of Iran by analysing Advanced Land Observing Satellite (ALOS data PRISM is a panchromatic radiometer with a 2.5 m spatial resolution at nadir, and has one band with a wavelength of 0.52–0.77 μm (JAXA EORC. AVNIR-2 is a visible and near infrared radiometer for observing land and coastal zones with a 10 m spatial resolution at nadir, and has four multispectral bands: blue (0.42–0.50 μm, green (0.52–0.60 μm, red (0.61–0.69 μm, and near infrared (0.76–0.89 μm (JAXA EORC. In this study, we estimated various vegetation indices using maximum filtering algorithm (5×5 and examined. This study carried out of juniper forests and natural pistachio stand using Advanced Land Observing Satellite (ALOS and field inventories. Have been compared linear regression model of vegetation indices and proposed new vegetation index for arid and semi-arid regions. Also, we estimated the densities of juniper forests and natural pistachio stands using remote sensing to help in the sustainable management and production of pistachio in Iran. We present a new vegetation index for arid and semi-arid regions with sparse forest cover, the Total Ratio Vegetation Index (TRVI, and we investigate the relationship of the new index to tree density by

  1. Different responses of MODIS-derived NDVI to root-zone soil moisture in semi-arid and humid regions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Xianwei; Xie, Hongjie; Guan, Huade; Zhou, Xiaobing

    2007-06-01

    SummarySurface representation of the root-zone soil moisture is investigated so that feasibility of using optical remote sensing techniques to indirectly map root-zone soil moisture is assessed. Specifically, covariation of root-zone soil moisture with the normalized difference of vegetation index (NDVI) from Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) is studied at three sites (New Mexico, Arizona, and Texas) selected from the Soil Climate Analysis Network (SCAN). The three sites represent two types of vegetation (shrub and grass) and two types of climate conditions: semi-arid (New Mexico and Arizona) and humid (Texas). Collocated deseasonalized time series of soil moistures at five depths (5 cm, 10 cm, 20 cm, 50 cm, and 100 cm) and NDVI (8-day composite in 250 m resolution) during the period of February 2000 through April 2004 were used for correlation analysis. Similar analysis was also conducted for the raw time series for comparison purposes. The linear regression of both the deseasonalized time series and the raw time series was used to estimate root-zone soil moisture. Results show that (1) the deseasonalized time series results in consistent and significant correlation (0.46-0.55) between NDVI and root-zone soil moisture at the three sites; (2) vegetation (NDVI) at the humid site needs longer time (10 days) to respond to soil moisture change than that at the semi-arid sites (5 days or less); (3) the time-series of root-zone soil moisture estimated by a linear regression model based on deseasonalized time series accounts for 42-71% of the observed soil moisture variations for the three sites; and (4) in the semi-arid region, root-zone soil moisture of shrub-vegetated area can be better estimated using NDVI than that of grass-vegetated area.

  2. Fluvial transport and surface enrichment of arsenic in semi-arid mining regions: examples from the Mojave Desert, California.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Christopher S; Stack, David H; Rytuba, James J

    2012-07-01

    As a result of extensive gold and silver mining in the Mojave Desert, southern California, mine wastes and tailings containing highly elevated arsenic (As) concentrations remain exposed at a number of former mining sites. Decades of weathering and erosion have contributed to the mobilization of As-enriched tailings, which now contaminate surrounding communities. Fluvial transport plays an intermittent yet important and relatively undocumented role in the migration and dispersal of As-contaminated mine wastes in semi-arid climates. Assessing the contribution of fluvial systems to tailings mobilization is critical in order to assess the distribution and long-term exposure potential of tailings in a mining-impacted environment. Extensive sampling, chemical analysis, and geospatial mapping of dry streambed (wash) sediments, tailings piles, alluvial fans, and rainwater runoff at multiple mine sites have aided the development of a conceptual model to explain the fluvial migration of mine wastes in semi-arid climates. Intense and episodic precipitation events mobilize mine wastes downstream and downslope as a series of discrete pulses, causing dispersion both down and lateral to washes with exponential decay behavior as distance from the source increases. Accordingly a quantitative model of arsenic concentrations in wash sediments, represented as a series of overlapping exponential power-law decay curves, results in the acceptable reproducibility of observed arsenic concentration patterns. Such a model can be transferable to other abandoned mine lands as a predictive tool for monitoring the fate and transport of arsenic and related contaminants in similar settings. Effective remediation of contaminated mine 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-10-01

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

  4. An automated field spectrometer system for studying VIS, NIR and SWIR anisotropy for semi-arid savanna

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Huber, Silvia; Tagesson, Håkan Torbern; Fensholt, Rasmus

    2014-01-01

    off-nadir observation angles but for observations of large off-nadir angles highest values were found in the morning or evening hours (both forward and backward scatter direction). Anisotropy factors corresponding to MODIS, SPOT and SEVIRI red, near-infrared (NIR) and shortwave-infrared (SWIR) sensor...... collected with the DAFIS system for monitoring of plant spectro-directional behavior in semi-arid African savanna for quantitative evaluation of satellite or airborne remote sensing data or development of new Earth Observation (EO) based indices and algorithms to monitor vegetation status or stress....

  5. 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

  6. Reconstruction of the sediment flow regime in a semi-arid Mediterranean catchment using check dam sediment information.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bussi, G.; Rodríguez, X.; Francés, F.; Benito, G.; Sánchez-Moya, Y.; Sopeña, A.

    2012-04-01

    When using hydrological and sedimentological models, lack of historical records is often one of the main problems to face, since observed data are essential for model validation. If gauged data are poor or absent, a source of additional proxy data may be the slack-water deposits accumulated in check dams. The aim of this work is to present the result of the reconstruction of the recent hydrological and sediment yield regime of a semi-arid Mediterranean catchment (Rambla del Poyo, Spain, 184 square km) by coupling palaeoflood techniques with a distributed hydrological and sediment cycle model, using as proxy data the sandy slack-water deposits accumulated upstream a small check dam (reservoir volume 2,500 square m) located in the headwater basin (drainage area 13 square km). The solid volume trapped into the reservoir has been estimated using differential GPS data and an interpolation technique. Afterwards, the total solid volume has been disaggregated into various layers (flood units), by means of a stratigraphical description of a depositional sequence in a 3.5 m trench made across the reservoir sediment deposit, taking care of identifying all flood units; the separation between flood units is indicated by a break in deposition. The sedimentary sequence shows evidence of 15 flood events that occurred after the dam construction (early '90). Not all events until the present are included; for the last ones, the stream velocity and energy conditions for generating slack-water deposits were not fulfilled due to the reservoir filling. The volume of each flood unit has been estimated making the hypothesis that layers have a simple pyramidal shape (or wedge); every volume represents an estimation of the sediments trapped into the reservoir corresponding to each flood event. The obtained results have been compared with the results of modeling a 20 year time series (1990 - 2009) with the distributed conceptual hydrological and sediment yield model TETIS-SED, in order to

  7. Représentativité de l'échantillonnage géochimique et hydrodynamique en nappe libre du milieu semi-aride (Reliability of geochemical and hydrodynamic sample in a semi-arid water table)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Favreau, G.; Leduc, C.; Marlin, C.

    2000-11-01

    This paper evaluates the reliability of the geochemical and hydrodynamic sampling in a phreatic aquifer of semi-arid Africa. These remarks are based on a dense network and on detailed data collected for about ten years in the Continental Terminal water table near Niamey, Niger. The natural potentiometric fluctuations are seasonal (up to 6 m during the rainy season) and interannual (up to 10 m since the 1960s). Hydrodynamic measurements can be disturbed by artificial flooding into the wells (20% of the network) and by domestic drawings (up to 2 m of lowering). Geochemical characteristics can vary seasonally: isotopic modifications and salinity increase near recharge areas, with more stability further away. They can also vary artificially in wells because of their large opening towards the open air. Artifical increases of salinity of one order of magnitude and contaminations of 14C activities of up to 20 pmC occur in some wells by atmospheric dust inputs or organic matter which was has fallen into the well. In conclusion, some recommendations are given for a representative sampling in semi-arid phreatic aquifers.

  8. Comparing the Impacts of Forest Thinning and Mortality on Streamflow, Recharge, and Forest Productivity in a Semi-Arid Mountain Watershed

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dugger, A. L.; Tague, C.; Allen, C. D.; Ringler, T.

    2012-12-01

    resources in the semi-arid Southwest.

  9. Deriving seasonal dynamics in ecosystem properties of semi-arid savanna grasslands from in situ-based hyperspectral reflectance

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Tagesson, Håkan Torbern; Fensholt, Rasmus; Huber, S.;

    2015-01-01

    This paper investigates how hyperspectral reflectance (between 350 and 1800 nm) can be used to infer ecosystem properties for a semi-arid savanna grassland in West Africa using a unique in situ-based multi-angular data set of hemispherical conical reflectance factor (HCRF) measurements. Relations......This paper investigates how hyperspectral reflectance (between 350 and 1800 nm) can be used to infer ecosystem properties for a semi-arid savanna grassland in West Africa using a unique in situ-based multi-angular data set of hemispherical conical reflectance factor (HCRF) measurements....... Relationships between seasonal dynamics in hyperspectral HCRF and ecosystem properties (biomass, gross primary productivity (GPP), light use efficiency (LUE), and fraction of photosynthetically active radiation absorbed by vegetation (FAPAR)) were analysed. HCRF data (ρ) were used to study the relationship...... between normalised difference spectral indices (NDSIs) and the measured ecosystem properties. Finally, the effects of variable sun sensor viewing geometry on different NDSI wavelength combinations were analysed. The wavelengths with the strongest correlation to seasonal dynamics in ecosystem properties...

  10. 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

    2016-04-01

    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.

  11. Roots of forbs sense climate fluctuations in the semi-arid Loess Plateau: Herb-chronology based analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shi, Songlin; Li, Zongshan; Wang, Hao; von Arx, Georg; Lü, Yihe; Wu, Xing; Wang, Xiaochun; Liu, Guohua; Fu, Bojie

    2016-06-01

    Growth of herbaceous plants responds sensitively and rapidly to climate variability. Yet, little is known regarding how climate warming influences the growth of herbaceous plants, particularly in semi-arid sites. This contrasts with widely reported tree growth decline and even mortality in response to severe water deficits due to climate warming around the world. Here, we use the relatively novel approach of herb-chronology to analyze the correlation between climatic factors and annual ring width in the root xylem of two perennial forb species (Medicago sativa, Potentilla chinensis) in the Loess Plateau of China. We show that warming-induced water deficit has a significant negative effect on the growth of herbaceous plants in the Loess Plateau. Our results indicate that the growth of forbs responds rapidly and sensitively to drought variability, implying that water availability plays a dominant role in regulating the growth of herbaceous plants in semi-arid areas. If warming and drying in the Loess Plateau continue in the future, further affects the growth of herbaceous plants, potentially driving regional changes in the relationship between herbaceous vegetation and climate.

  12. 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.

  13. Scaling up Semi-Arid Grassland Biochemical Content from the Leaf to the Canopy Level: Challenges and Opportunities

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amy Mui

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available Remote sensing imagery is being used intensively to estimate the biochemical content of vegetation (e.g., chlorophyll, nitrogen, and lignin at the leaf level. As a result of our need for vegetation biochemical information and our increasing ability to obtain canopy spectral data, a few techniques have been explored to scale leaf-level biochemical content to the canopy level for forests and crops. However, due to the contribution of non-green materials (i.e., standing dead litter, rock, and bare soil from canopy spectra in semi-arid grasslands, it is difficult to obtain information about grassland biochemical content from remote sensing data at the canopy level. This paper summarizes available methods used to scale biochemical information from the leaf level to the canopy level and groups these methods into three categories: direct extrapolation, canopy-integrated approach, and inversion of physical models. As for semi-arid heterogeneous grasslands, we conclude that all methods are useful, but none are ideal. It is recommended that future research should explore a systematic upscaling framework which combines spatial pattern analysis, canopy-integrated approach, and modeling methods to retrieve vegetation biochemical content at the canopy level.

  14. Trade-off between reservoir yield and evaporation losses as a function of lake morphology in semi-arid Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Campos, José N B; Lima, Iran E; Studart, Ticiana M C; Nascimento, Luiz S V

    2016-05-31

    This study investigates the relationships between yield and evaporation as a function of lake morphology in semi-arid Brazil. First, a new methodology was proposed to classify the morphology of 40 reservoirs in the Ceará State, with storage capacities ranging from approximately 5 to 4500 hm3. Then, Monte Carlo simulations were conducted to study the effect of reservoir morphology (including real and simplified conical forms) on the water storage process at different reliability levels. The reservoirs were categorized as convex (60.0%), slightly convex (27.5%) or linear (12.5%). When the conical approximation was used instead of the real lake form, a trade-off occurred between reservoir yield and evaporation losses, with different trends for the convex, slightly convex and linear reservoirs. Using the conical approximation, the water yield prediction errors reached approximately 5% of the mean annual inflow, which is negligible for large reservoirs. However, for smaller reservoirs, this error became important. Therefore, this paper presents a new procedure for correcting the yield-evaporation relationships that were obtained by assuming a conical approximation rather than the real reservoir morphology. The combination of this correction with the Regulation Triangle Diagram is useful for rapidly and objectively predicting reservoir yield and evaporation losses in semi-arid environments.

  15. 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

  16. Spatial pattern of nitrogen isotopes as an indicator of ecosystem responses to rainfall in semi-arid and arid grasslands

    Science.gov (United States)

    WANG, C.; Bai, E.; Liu, D.; Fang, T. Y.; Jiang, P.; Han, G. X.

    2013-12-01

    Nitrogen (N) is an essential element for plant growth, however, whether it is a limiting factor of plant growth in water-limited areas is still not clear. Here we examined spatial variations of plant and soil stable N isotopes along a 3200 km precipitation gradient and proposed a conceptual model to explain ecosystem responses to increasing precipitation in arid and semi-arid grasslands in China. Soil δ15N increased with increasing MAP in areas with MAP areas with 200 mm 200 mm. In areas with MAP nutrient cycling in arid and semi-arid areas. If future climate change leads to drier climate in dryland, the uncoupled plant and microbial response may cause more N losses and higher ecosystem vulnerability. 3 Soil organic carbon (Soil C, a), total nitrogen (Soil N, b), C/N (c) and δ15N (d) of study sites along a MAP gradient. Relationship between MAP and foliar δ15N (a) and root δ15N (b).

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Priyadarshini, K V R; Prins, Herbert H T; de Bie, Steven; Heitkönig, Ignas M A; Woodborne, Stephan; Gort, Gerrit; Kirkman, Kevin; Fry, Brian; de Kroon, Hans

    2014-04-01

    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 (15)N tracer additions to investigate possible redistribution of N by trees to grasses. Foliar stable N isotope ratio (δ(15)N) values were consistent with trees and grasses using mycorrhiza-supplied N in all seasons except in the wet season when they switched to microbially fixed N. The dependence of trees and grasses on mineralized soil N seemed highly unlikely based on seasonal variation in mineralization rates in the Kruger Park region. Remarkably, foliar δ(15)N values were similar for all three tree species differing in the potential for N fixation through nodulation. The tracer experiment showed that N was redistributed by trees to understory grasses in all seasons. Our results suggest that the redistribution of N from trees to grasses and uptake of N was independent of water redistribution. Although there is overlap of N sources between trees and grasses, dependence on biological sources of N coupled with redistribution of subsoil N by trees may contribute to the coexistence of trees and grasses in semi-arid savannas.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elimar Alves de Lima

    2015-03-01

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

  1. Land degradation assessment by geo-spatially modeling different soil erodibility equations in a semi-arid catchment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saygın, Selen Deviren; Basaran, Mustafa; Ozcan, Ali Ugur; Dolarslan, Melda; Timur, Ozgur Burhan; Yilman, F Ebru; Erpul, Gunay

    2011-09-01

    Land degradation by soil erosion is one of the most serious problems and environmental issues in many ecosystems of arid and semi-arid regions. Especially, the disturbed areas have greater soil detachability and transportability capacity. Evaluation of land degradation in terms of soil erodibility, by using geostatistical modeling, is vital to protect and reclaim susceptible areas. Soil erodibility, described as the ability of soils to resist erosion, can be measured either directly under natural or simulated rainfall conditions, or indirectly estimated by empirical regression models. This study compares three empirical equations used to determine the soil erodibility factor of revised universal soil loss equation prediction technology based on their geospatial performances in the semi-arid catchment of the Saraykoy II Irrigation Dam located in Cankiri, Turkey. A total of 311 geo-referenced soil samples were collected with irregular intervals from the top soil layer (0-10 cm). Geostatistical analysis was performed with the point values of each equation to determine its spatial pattern. Results showed that equations that used soil organic matter in combination with the soil particle size better agreed with the variations in land use and topography of the catchment than the one using only the particle size distribution. It is recommended that the equations which dynamically integrate soil intrinsic properties with land use, topography, and its influences on the local microclimates, could be successfully used to geospatially determine sites highly susceptible to water erosion, and therefore, to select the agricultural and bio-engineering control measures needed.

  2. 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.

  3. Validation of humidex in evaluating heat stress in the outdoor jobs in arid and semi-arid climates of Iran

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hamid Reza Heidari

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Introduction: Regarding development of several thermal indices and limitations of each, in this research applicability and validity of temperature- humidity index (Humidex were examined against the standard heat index, Wet Bulb Globe Temperature -WBGT, as well as tympanic temperature of subjects. Material and Method:  This cross-sectional study was done on 163 subjects at spring and summer (2013 in outdoor jobs of arid and semi-arid climates of Iran. Environmental parameters as well as tympanic temperature of subjects were measured simultaneously and then heat indices were determined. Data were analyzed using linear correlation charts and Kappa coefficient of agreement by means of SPSS software version 20. Results: A strong correlation was obtained between WBGT and Humidex in both arid and semi-arid regions (r>0.98, while the correlation between Humidex and tympanic temperature was moderate (r=0.5-0.8. Based on the obtained Kappa value, the agreement coefficient between Humidex and WBGT was 0.878. This value was obtained equal to 0.226 for the Humidex and tympanic temperature. Conclusion: The results of this study showed that Humidex can be applied as an appropriate substitute for the WBGT index. However, if evaluation of environmental condition with low air temperature or very hot situation is considered, relying only on the Humidex results will not provide a realistic estimation of thermal strain imposed to individuals.

  4. The active microbial diversity drives ecosystem multifunctionality and is physiologically related to carbon availability in Mediterranean semi-arid soils.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bastida, Felipe; Torres, Irene F; Moreno, José L; Baldrian, Petr; Ondoño, Sara; Ruiz-Navarro, Antonio; Hernández, Teresa; Richnow, Hans H; Starke, Robert; García, Carlos; Jehmlich, Nico

    2016-09-01

    Biogeochemical processes and ecosystemic functions are mostly driven by soil microbial communities. However, most methods focus on evaluating the total microbial community and fail to discriminate its active fraction which is linked to soil functionality. Precisely, the activity of the microbial community is strongly limited by the availability of organic carbon (C) in soils under arid and semi-arid climate. Here, we provide a complementary genomic and metaproteomic approach to investigate the relationships between the diversity of the total community, the active diversity and ecosystem functionality across a dissolved organic carbon (DOC) gradient in southeast Spain. DOC correlated with the ecosystem multifunctionality index composed by soil respiration, enzyme activities (urease, alkaline phosphatase and β-glucosidase) and microbial biomass (phospholipid fatty acids, PLFA). This study highlights that the active diversity (determined by metaprotoemics) but not the diversity of the whole microbial community (evaluated by amplicon gene sequencing) is related to the availability of organic C and it is also connected to the ecosystem multifunctionality index. We reveal that DOC shapes the activities of bacterial and fungal populations in Mediterranean semi-arid soils and determines the compartmentalization of functional niches. For instance, Rhizobales thrived at high-DOC sites probably fuelled by metabolism of one-C compounds. Moreover, the analysis of proteins involved in the transport and metabolism of carbohydrates revealed that Ascomycota and Basidiomycota occupied different nutritional niches. The functional mechanisms for niche specialization were not constant across the DOC gradient.

  5. 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.

  6. Fixation kinetics of chelated and non-chelated zinc in semi-arid alkaline soils: application to zinc management

    Science.gov (United States)

    Udeigwe, Theophilus K.; Eichmann, Madeleine; Menkiti, Matthew C.

    2016-07-01

    This study was designed to examine the fixation pattern and kinetics of zinc (Zn) in chelated (ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid, EDTA) and non-chelated mixed micronutrient systems of semi-arid alkaline soils from the Southern High Plains, USA. Soils were characterized for a suite of chemical and physical properties and data obtained from extraction experiments fitted to various kinetic models. About 30 % more plant-available Zn was fixed in the non-chelated system within the first 14 days with only about 18 % difference observed between the two systems by day 90, suggesting that the effectiveness of the chelated compounds tended to decrease over time. The strengths of the relationships of change in available Zn with respect to other micronutrients (copper, iron, and manganese) were higher and more significant in the non-chelated system (average R2 of 0.83), compared to the chelated (average R2 of 0.42). Fixation of plant-available Zn was best described by the power-function model (R2 = 0.94, SE = 0.076) in the non-chelated system, and was poorly described by all the models examined in the chelated system. Reaction rate constants and relationships generated from this study can serve as important tools for micronutrient management and for future micronutrient modeling studies on these soils and other semi-arid regions of the world.

  7. Advanced seismic and GPR survey of a rock glacier in the Upper Choapa Valley, semi-arid Andes of Chile

    Science.gov (United States)

    Monnier, S.; Bodet, L.; Camerlynck, C. M.; Dhemaied, A.; Galibert, P.; Kinnard, C.; Vitale, Q.; Saéz, R.

    2011-12-01

    In semi-arid to arid contexts, rock glaciers, as other prominent permafrost features, can represent critical permanent resources of solid water. It is thus important to analyze their internal structure and estimate their ice content, especially in mining areas where human activities may have an impact on permafrost features. In the upper Choapa Valley, semi-arid Andes of Chile (31.59°S, 70.50°W), we investigate a small rock glacier located in an open-pit copper mine, using data from two boreholes and advanced geophysical methods. The two boreholes, performed using diamond drill hole technique, reveal relatively low ice content (order of magnitude: 20-25%) in the rock glacier. Seismic and ground-penetrating (GPR) radar surveys were performed on the surface of the rock glacier. P- and S-wave refraction seismics were employed along two profiles. The ground-penetrating radar operation mode was quite new and innovative for a rock glacier site; it consisted, (1) for three-dimensional imaging, of a rectangular grid of 25 evenly (2 m) spaced constant-offset (2 m) profiles, and (2) for velocity analysis, of a 150 m-long profile performed many times in constant-offset mode with offset varying between 0.5 and 16 m. The processing of the acquired data permits to obtain an accurate representation of the internal structure and an estimation of the overall ice content in the rock glacier.

  8. Direct radiative forcing properties of atmospheric aerosols over semi-arid region, Anantapur in India

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kalluri, Raja Obul Reddy; Gugamsetty, Balakrishnaiah [Aerosol & Atmospheric Research Laboratory, Department of Physics, Sri Krishnadevaraya University, Anantapur 515 003, Andhra Pradesh (India); Kotalo, Rama Gopal, E-mail: krgverma@yahoo.com [Aerosol & Atmospheric Research Laboratory, Department of Physics, Sri Krishnadevaraya University, Anantapur 515 003, Andhra Pradesh (India); Nagireddy, Siva Kumar Reddy; Tandule, Chakradhar Rao; Thotli, Lokeswara Reddy [Aerosol & Atmospheric Research Laboratory, Department of Physics, Sri Krishnadevaraya University, Anantapur 515 003, Andhra Pradesh (India); Rajuru Ramakrishna, Reddy [Aerosol & Atmospheric Research Laboratory, Department of Physics, Sri Krishnadevaraya University, Anantapur 515 003, Andhra Pradesh (India); Srinivasa Ramanujan Institute of Technology, B.K. Samudram Mandal, Anantapur 515 701, Andhra Pradesh (India); Surendranair, Suresh Babu [Space Physics Laboratory, Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre, Trivandrum 695 022, Kerala (India)

    2016-10-01

    This paper describes the aerosols optical, physical characteristics and the aerosol radiative forcing pertaining to semi-arid region, Anantapur for the period January 2013-December 2014. Collocated measurements of Aerosol Optical Depth (AOD) and Black Carbon mass concentration (BC) are carried out by using MICROTOPS II and Aethalometer and estimated the aerosol radiative forcing over this location. The mean values of AOD at 500 nm are found to be 0.47 ± 0.09, 0.34 ± 0.08, 0.29 ± 0.06 and 0.30 ± 0.07 during summer, winter, monsoon and post-monsoon respectively. The Angstrom exponent (α{sub 380–1020}) value is observed maximum in March (1.25 ± 0.19) and which indicates the predominance of fine - mode aerosols and lowest in the month of July (0.33 ± 0.14) and may be due to the dominance of coarse-mode aerosols. The diurnal variation of BC is exhibited two height peaks during morning 07:00–08:00 (IST) and evening 19:00–21:00 (IST) hours and one minima noticed during afternoon (13:00–16:00). The highest monthly mean BC concentration is observed in the month of January (3.4 ± 1.2 μg m{sup −3}) and the lowest in July (1.1 ± 0.2 μg m{sup −3}). The estimated Aerosol Direct Radiative Forcing (ADRF) in the atmosphere is found to be + 36.8 ± 1.7 W m{sup −2}, + 26.9 ± 0.2 W m{sup −2}, + 18.0 ± 0.6 W m{sup −2} and + 18.5 ± 3.1 W m{sup −2} during summer, winter, monsoon and post-monsoon seasons, respectively. Large difference between TOA and BOA forcing is observed during summer which indicate the large absorption of radiant energy (36.80 W m{sup −2}) which contributes more increase in atmospheric heating by ~ 1 K/day. The BC contribution on an average is found to be 64% and is responsible for aerosol atmospheric heating. - Highlights: • The mean values of AOD{sub 500} are found to be high during summer whereas low in monsoon. • The highest values of BC are observed in January and the lowest in the month of July. • The annual mean

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. Sr isotope study in the drainage water in semi-arid irrigation district, Adana, Turley

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kume, T.; Akca, E.; Nakano, T.; Nagano, T.; Kapur, S.; Watanabe, T.

    2009-12-01

    The management of drainage water from irrigated lands is an important issue not only for agricultural planning but also for environmental conservation. In arid and semi-arid regions, drainage water is reused as irrigation water due to lack of enough fresh irrigation water and irrigation schemes. The drainage water reuse should be undertaken only if long-term deleterious effects on soil properties can be avoided. In addition to salt concentration, the origin of salts of drainage water should be examined to avoid agricultural and environmental pollution. The Lower Seyhan Irrigation Project (LSIP), Adana, Turkey, faces to the Mediterranean. In the LSIP, intensive irrigated agriculture has conducted since 1960s. Recently, total amount of applied irrigation water has been increased along with expansion of agricultural area and fertilizer input is also increasing. Some part of the southern lowest fields is under sea level. Soil salinization and shallow groundwater have been observed in the lowest part due to irrigation water seepage from upper stream and insufficient drainage. Moreover, agricultural drainage water has been used for irrigation water there, so that the salt is a mixture of several components. Therefore, geo-chemical measurements are indispensable to clarify the source of salt. In this study, we focused on the isotopic and chemical compositions of agricultural drain water of three main drainage canals in the LSIP. Seasonal changes in drainage features were examined using 87Sr/86Sr ratio (Sr isotope ratio) and major cation data. The abundances of possible end components were determined using mixing model. The result of measurements showed that there was a good relationship between 87Sr/86Sr values and reciprocal values of Sr concentration, while drain water quality clearly differed between summer and winter. This means Sr of drain water consists of several origins. The relationship and other data showed that Sr of drain water was a mixture of three

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-04-01

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

  13. Which mechanisms dominate the net effects of forest thinning on water yield and forest productivity in the semi-arid Santa Fe Municipal Watershed?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dugger, A. L.; Tague, C.; Allen, C. D.; Ringler, T.

    2013-12-01

    It remains an open question whether, and under what conditions, forest thinning leads to water yield increases or decreases. Observations point in both directions, with clear examples of woody plant removal leading to increases, encroachment causing no change, and tree mortality resulting in both increases and decreases in downstream water yields. These seemingly conflicting results imply that different processes may dominate vegetation controls on catchment water yield, and that these dominant processes may vary with environment. While a framework has been proposed for hydrologic sensitivity to woody plant changes in grassland-woodland systems, these hypotheses have yet to be fully vetted in forested mountain catchments. To address this gap, we use a coupled ecologic-hydrologic modeling system (RHESSys) to examine different mechanisms through which thinning alters water partitioning: (1) increased (incoming) shortwave and decreased (canopy) longwave radiation, (2) decreased transpiration and increased surface evaporation, (3) decreased canopy and increased near-surface turbulent fluxes. Ultimately the net effect of forest thinning on water yield depends on the balance of these different mechanisms, and we seek to better understand how topographic, subsurface geophysical, and climatic conditions influence this balance. We focus on a semi-arid, forested, mountain watershed since these hydrologic systems are not only vital water supply sources for a large portion of the Southwest U.S., but also highly sensitive to changes in vegetation cover. We use an existing application of RHESSys in the Santa Fe (New Mexico) Municipal Watershed that has been validated against measurements of radiation, water, and carbon fluxes at nearby Ameriflux sites covering a range of conditions including undisturbed, thinned, and burned forest. We evaluate the effects of thinning on both downstream water yield and forest productivity across different site conditions (slope/aspect, soil water

  14. Pinyon-juniper woodlands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gottfried, Gerald J.; Swetnam, Thomas W.; Allen, Craig D.; Betancourt, Julio L.; Chung-MacCoubrey, Alice L.; Finch, Deborah M.; Tainter, Joseph A.

    1995-01-01

    Pinyon-juniper woodlands are one of the largest ecosystems in the Southwest and in the Middle Rio Grande Basin (Fig. 1). The woodlands have been important to the region's inhabitants since prehistoric times for a variety of natural resources and amenities. The ecosystems have not been static; their distributions, stand characteristics, and site conditions have been altered by changes in climatic patterns and human use and, often, abuse. Management of these lands since European settlement has varied from light exploitation and benign neglect, to attempts to remove the trees in favor of forage for livestock, and then to a realization that these lands contain useful resources and should be managed accordingly. Land management agencies are committed to ecosystem management. While there are several definitions of ecosystem management, the goal is to use ecological approaches to create and maintain diverse, productive, and healthy ecosystems (Kaufmann et al. 1994). Ecosystem management recognizes that people are an integral part of the system and that their needs must be considered. Ecological approaches are central to the concept, but our understanding of basic woodland ecology is incomplete, and there are different opinions and interpretations of existing information (Gottfried and Severson 1993). There are many questions concerning proper ecosystem management of the pinyon-juniper woodlands and how managers can achieve these goals (Gottfried and Severson 1993). While the broad concept of ecosystem management generally is accepted, the USDA Forest Service, other public land management agencies, American Indian tribes, and private landowners may have differing definitions of what constitutes desired conditions. Key questions about the pinyon-juniper ecosystems remain unanswered. Some concern the basic dynamics of biological and physical components of the pinyon-juniper ecosystems. Others concern the distribution of woodlands prior to European settlement and changes

  15. 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.

  16. Very high CO2 exchange fluxes at the peak of the rainy season in a West African grazed semi-arid savanna ecosystem

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Tagesson, Håkan Torbern; Ardoe, Jonas; Guiro, Idrissa;

    2016-01-01

    Africa is a sink of carbon, but there are large gaps in our knowledge regarding the CO2 exchange fluxes for many African ecosystems. Here, we analyse multi-annual eddy covariance data of CO2 exchange fluxes for a grazed Sahelian semi-arid savanna ecosystem in Senegal, West Africa. The aim of the ...... response to climate change.......Africa is a sink of carbon, but there are large gaps in our knowledge regarding the CO2 exchange fluxes for many African ecosystems. Here, we analyse multi-annual eddy covariance data of CO2 exchange fluxes for a grazed Sahelian semi-arid savanna ecosystem in Senegal, West Africa. The aim...

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. Assessment of overland flow variation and blue water production in a farmed semi-arid water harvesting catchment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mekki, I.; Albergel, J.; Ben Mechlia, N.; Voltz, M.

    Upgrading agriculture in semi-arid areas and ensuring its sustainability require an optimal management of rainfall partition between blue and green waters in the farmed water harvesting catchment. The main objective of this study is to analyze the influence of heterogeneous land use on the spatial and temporal variation of rainfall partitioning and blue water production within a typical farmed catchment located in north-eastern Tunisia. The catchment has an area of 2.6 km 2 and comprises at its outlet a dam, which retains the runoff water in a reservoir. Overland flow and soil water balance components were monitored during two cropping seasons (2000/2001 and 2001/2002) on a network of eleven plots of 2 m 2 each with different land use and soil characteristics. The hydrological balances of both the catchment and reservoir have been monitored since 1994. Observed data showed a very large temporal and spatial variability of overland flow within the catchment reflecting the great importance of total rainfall as well as land use. During the 2001/2002 season the results showed a large variation of the number of observed runoff events, from 27 to 39, and of the annual overland flow depths, from 8 mm (under vineyard on calcaric cambisols) up to 43 mm (under shrubs-pasture on haplic regosols), between the plots. The annual runoff amounts were moderate; they always corresponded to less than 15% of the annual rainfall amount whatever the observation scale. It was also observed that changes in land use in years with similar rainfall could lead to significant differences in blue water flow. An attempt for predicting the overland flow by the general linear regression approach showed an r2 of 31%, the predictors used are the class of soil infiltration capacity, the initial moisture saturation ratio of the soil surface layer and the total rainfall amounts. These experimental results indicate that the variation in land use in a semi-arid catchment is a main factor of variation in

  20. Determining Environmental Factors Controlling Nitrogen Cycling in the Semi-Arid Rio Grande Using Nitrogen and Oxygen Isotopes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sanchez, D. A.; Szynkiewicz, A.; Faiia, A. M.

    2015-12-01

    The Rio Grande is a semi-arid river in the American Southwest supporting agriculture and large populous centers in New Mexico and west Texas. In addition to increasing salinity, considerable increases of nitrate (NO3), up to ~50 mg/L, have been previously observed in the Rio Grande between Las Cruces, New Mexico and El Paso, Texas. This is particularly a problem during non-irrigation season when little surface water is released from upstream reservoirs, substantially reducing stream flows in the Rio Grande. While both irrigation runoff and municipal waste effluents are likely important NO3 contributors, there are no quantitative studies assessing NO3 fluxes to the Rio Grande from these two sources. Therefore, in this study we used 𝛿15N and 𝛿18O values of NO3 as environmental tracers to characterize major NO3 sources in the Rio Grande and its agricultural drains between Las Cruces and El Paso. Surface water of the semi-arid Rio Grande, drains and major wastewater treatment plants were collected in October 2014 (non-irrigation season) and August 2015 (irrigation season). The water samples from the 2014 sampling campaign showed that the 𝛿15N and 𝛿18O values of NO3 in the Rio Grande and two agricultural drains located south of El Paso varied in relatively narrow range from +9.8 to +15.7‰ and -5.9 to -0.2‰, respectively. These ranges were similar to 𝛿15N and 𝛿18O values of local wastewater treatment plants in Las Cruces and El Paso, from +8.2 to +10.2‰ and -9.7 to -2.5‰ respectively. Municipal wastewater effluents are important tributaries to the semi-arid Rio Grande in the studied area, particularly during non-irrigation season. Furthermore, irrigation of agricultural fields south of El Paso is to a large extent supported by reclaimed municipal wastewater. Consequently, these explain the observed higher contributions of NO3 from urban sources in the investigated area.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  2. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mayer, Ana C G; Vasconcelos, Simão D

    2013-03-10

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

  4. 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)

  5. Anthelmintic resistance of nematodes in communally grazed goats in a semi-arid area of South Africa

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    F.R. Bakunzi

    2003-07-01

    Full Text Available A survey was conducted on the occurrence of anthelmintic resistance of nematodes in communally grazed goats in a semi-arid area in SouthAfrica. In herds belonging to 10 smallholder goat farmers, the efficacies of fenbendazole, levamisole and rafoxanide were tested by faecal egg count reduction (FECR tests. Efficacies of 80 % were considered a threshold for anthelmintic resistance. The FECR tests showed that all drugs tested more than 80 % effective in most instances, but there were notable exceptions. In 1 case, rafoxanide was only 31 % effective and in another case fenbendazole was only 47 % effective. The occurrence of anthelmintic resistance in this farming sector is of concern. Steps should be taken to prevent its further spread and to avoid the development of a situation as onnumerous commercial sheep farms in South Africa where resistance is very common.

  6. Land use change and carbon cycle in arid and semi-arid lands of East and Central Asia

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2002-01-01

    Dramatic changes in land use have occurred in arid and semi-arid landsof Asia during the 20th century. Grassland conversion into croplands and ecosystem degradation is widespread due to the high growth rate of human population and political reforms of pastoral systems. Rangeland degradation made many parts of this region vulnerable to environmental and political changes. The collapse of the livestock sector in some states of central Asia, expansion of livestock inChina and intensive degradation of grasslands in China are examples of the responses of pastoral systems to these changes over the past decades. Carbon dynamics in this region is highly variable in space and time. Land use/cover changes with widespread reduction of forest and grasslands increased carbon emission from the region.

  7. 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...

  8. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Rinderer

    2015-03-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-05-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-08-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-03-01

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

  13. Two-Source Energy Balance Model Evaluation for Mapping Evapotranspiration on the Semi- arid Southern High Plains

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gowda, P. H.; Chavez, J. L.; Colaizzi, P. D.; Evett, S. R.; Howell, T. A.; Copeland, K.

    2007-05-01

    Evapotranspiration (ET) is an essential component of the water balance and a major consumptive use of irrigation water and precipitation on cropland. In this study, we applied the Two-Source Energy Balance (T-SEB) model to estimate hourly ET from Landsat Thematic Mapper (TM) data for the semi-arid Southern High Plains of the United States where more than 90 percent of the groundwater withdrawals are used for irrigation. For this purpose, a Landsat TM image covering a major portion of the Southern High Plains (parts of Texas Panhandle and northeastern New Mexico) was acquired for 23 July 2006 for the overpass at 11:26 AM CST. Atmospheric correction on the TM imagery was done using MODTRAN, an atmospheric radiative transfer model. Comprehensive ground-truth data were collected to develop a detailed land use map showing major crops grown in the region. Performance of the T SEB model was evaluated by comparing mapped ET data with measured hourly ET data on five weighing lysimeters at Bushland, TX [35 Deg. 11' N, 102 Deg. 06' W; 1,170 m elevation MSL] managed by the Conservation and Production Research Laboratory, USDA-ARS. Lysimeter-measured ET rates varied from 0.24 to 0.71 mm/h. Comparison of estimated hourly mapped ET values with lysimetric measurements had an accuracy within 6% of the measured ET (r2=0.99), with a root mean squared error of 0.03 mm/h. These results support the use of the T-SEB model for the semi-arid Southern High Plains; however, more evaluation is needed for different agroclimatological conditions in the region.

  14. 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

  15. Photosynthesis and growth reduction with warming are driven by nonstomatal limitations in a Mediterranean semi-arid shrub.

    Science.gov (United States)

    León-Sánchez, Lupe; Nicolás, Emilio; Nortes, Pedro A; Maestre, Fernando T; Querejeta, José I

    2016-05-01

    Whereas warming enhances plant nutrient status and photosynthesis in most terrestrial ecosystems, dryland vegetation is vulnerable to the likely increases in evapotranspiration and reductions in soil moisture caused by elevated temperatures. Any warming-induced declines in plant primary production and cover in drylands would increase erosion, land degradation, and desertification. We conducted a four-year manipulative experiment in a semi-arid Mediterranean ecosystem to evaluate the impacts of a ~2°C warming on the photosynthesis, transpiration, leaf nutrient status, chlorophyll content, isotopic composition, biomass growth, and postsummer survival of the native shrub Helianthemum squamatum. We predicted that warmed plants would show reduced photosynthetic activity and growth, primarily due to the greater stomatal limitation imposed by faster and more severe soil drying under warming. On average, warming reduced net photosynthetic rates by 36% across the study period. Despite this strong response, warming did not affect stomatal conductance and transpiration. The reduction of peak photosynthetic rates with warming was more pronounced in a drought year than in years with near-average rainfall (75% and 25-40% reductions relative to controls, respectively), with no indications of photosynthetic acclimation to warming through time. Warmed plants had lower leaf N and P contents, δ (13)C, and sparser and smaller leaves than control plants. Warming reduced shoot dry mass production by 31%. However, warmed plants were able to cope with large reductions in net photosynthesis, leaf area, and shoot biomass production without changes in postsummer survival rates. Our findings highlight the key role of nonstomatal factors (biochemical and/or nutritional) in reducing net carbon assimilation rates and growth under warming, which has important implications for projections of plant carbon balance under the warmer and drier climatic scenario predicted for drylands worldwide

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Remote sensing-based vegetation indices for monitoring vegetation change in the semi-arid region of Sudan

    Science.gov (United States)

    R. A., Majdaldin; Osunmadewa, B. A.; Csaplovics, E.; Aralova, D.

    2016-10-01

    Land degradation, a phenomenon referring to (drought) in arid, semi-arid and dry sub-humid regions as a result of climatic variations and anthropogenic activities most especially in the semi-arid lands of Sudan, where vast majority of the rural population depend solely on agriculture and pasture for their daily livelihood, the ecological pattern had been greatly influenced thereby leading to loss of vegetation cover coupled with climatic variability and replacement of the natural tree composition with invasive mesquite species. The principal aim of this study is to quantitatively examine the vigour of vegetation in Sudan through different vegetation indices. The assessment was done based on indicators such as soil adjusted vegetation index (SAVI). Cloud free multi-spectral remotely sensed data from LANDSAT imagery for the dry season periods of 1984 and 2009 were used in this study. Results of this study shows conversion of vegetation to other land use type. In general, an increase in area covered by vegetation was observed from the NDVI results of 2009 which is a contrast of that of 1984. The results of the vegetation indices for NDVI in 1984 (vegetated area) showed that about 21% was covered by vegetation while 49% of the area were covered with vegetation in 2009. Similar increase in vegetated area were observed from the result of SAVI. The decrease in vegetation observed in 1984 is as a result of extensive drought period which affects vegetation productivity thereby accelerating expansion of bare surfaces and sand accumulation. Although, increase in vegetated area were observed from the result of this study, this increase has a negative impact as the natural vegetation are degraded due to human induced activities which gradually led to the replacement of the natural vegetation with invasive tree species. The results of the study shows that NDVI perform better than by SAVI.

  19. 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

  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. Satellite-Based Monitoring of Decadal Soil Salinization and Climate Effects in a Semi-arid Region of China

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    WANG Hesong; JIA Gensuo

    2012-01-01

    Soil salinization is a common phenomenon that affects both the environment and the socio-economy in arid and semi-arid regions; it is also an important aspect of land cover change.In this study,we integrated multi-sensor remote sensing data with a field survey to analyze processes of soil salinization in a semi-arid area in China from 1979 to 2009. Generally,the area of salt-affected soils increased by 0.28% per year with remarkable acceleration from 1999 to 2009 (0.42% increase per year).In contrast,the area of surface water bodies showed a decreasing trend (-0.08% per year) in the same period.Decreases in precipitation and increases in aridity due to annual (especially summer) warming provided a favorable condition for soil salinization. The relatively flat terrain favored waterlogging at the surface,and continuous drought facilitated upward movement of soil water and accumulation of surface saline and calcium. Meanwhile,land-use practices also played a crucial role in accelerating soil salinization.The conversion to cropland from natural vegetation greatly increased the demand for groundwater irrigation and aggravated the process of soil salinization.Furthermore,there are potential feedbacks of soil salinization to regional climate.The salinization of soils can limit the efficiency of plant water use as well as photosynthesis; therefore,it reduces the amount of carbon sequestrated by terrestrial ecosystem.Soil salinization also reduces the absorbed solar radiation by increasing land surface albedo.Such conversions of land cover significantly change the energy and water balance between land and atmosphere.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. Restoration of spatial heterogeneity and ecohydrological processes in semi-arid grassland: Influence of timing and landscape context on long-term changes in soil and vegetation

    Science.gov (United States)

    The success of ecosystem restoration in semi-arid grasslands is variable and unpredictable. Water retention dikes (7.5-30 cm tall, 50-150 m long) were installed at the Jornada Experimental Range (3-6 dikes/site) in the Chihuahuan Desert from 1975-1981 in an effort to restore ecosystem structure and ...

  6. On the operationalization of a spatially explicit evaluation of the complexity of land use trajectories in semi-arid Mediterranean agro-ecosystems

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nainggolan, Doan

    This thesis aims to unpack the complexity of trajectories of land use change in semi-arid Mediterranean agro-ecosystems – illustrated using findings from the Torrealvilla catchment in south-eastern Spain. The research looks at multiple dimensions of land use change and addresses the past, present...

  7. Exploring options for integrated nutrient management in semi-arid tropics using farmer field schools: a case study in Mbeere District, eastern Kenya

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Onduru, D.D.; Preez, Du C.C.; Muchena, F.N.; Gachimbi, L.N.; Jager, de A.

    2008-01-01

    The farmer field school (FFS) approach was used in semi-arid eastern Kenya in the period 2002–2003 to explore technology options for addressing declining soil fertility and to institute learning processes on integrated nutrient management (INM).
    The farmer field school (FFS) approach was used in

  8. 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.

  9. Evaluation of the SAFRAN-ISBA-RAPID hydrometeorological chain on a mountainous catchment in a semi-arid region. Case of the Rheraya (Marrakech, Morocco)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Szczypta, Camille; Gascoin, Simon; Habets, Florence; Saaidi, Amina; Berjamy, Brahim; Marchane, Ahmed; Boulet, Gilles; Hanich, Lahoucine; Jarlan, Lionel

    2015-04-01

    The water content of snow pack is an important resource for many watershed in semi-arid areas where downstream plains are dominated by irrigated agriculture. As part of the ANR Amethyst, this work is to develop, adapt and evaluate a hydro-meteorological forecasting chain for quantifying streamflows at the outlet of a mountainous watershed (Rheraya wadi, Marrakech region, Morocco), a pilot basin instrumented since 2003 as part of SudMed project. Two sets of atmospheric forcing were used: (1) The first was generated by spatializing meteorological data observed on 6 stations (Asni, Aremdt, Tachedert, Oukaimeden, Imskerbour and Neltner) using the semi-physical module Micromet (Liston and Elder, 2006) on the hydrological period September 2003 - August 2012; (2) the second is provided by the SAFRAN re-analysis, implemented by the Metoffice of Morocco (Casablanca, Morocco), during the period August 2004 - July 2008. These two sets were then used as inputs for the ISBA surface model, within the modeling platform SURFEX. Finally, runoff and drainage simulations derived from ISBA were forced into the hydrological model RAPID to predict streamflows. The flows predictions and the snow covered area (SCA) were compared respectively to the observations available for the 2003-2009 period and to the daily MODIS products of SCA. Despite time unsystematic lags and low biases on flow values, the initial results are encouraging due to topographical and hydro-complexity of the studied area. Despite a slight tendency to underestimate the SCA for the "Micromet" run and to over-estimate for the "Safran" run, SCA is well reproduced with a determination coefficient of r²=0.76 and r²=0.79, respectively. Given the complex topography of the basin, a sensitivity analysis to the size of the grid point (from 8 km to 250 m) was conducted. If the different simulated series of SCA are close from a resolution to another, streamflows simulations are, by contrast, highly sensitive to the resolution

  10. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    1985-09-01

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

  12. Seasonal streamflow forecasts in a semi-arid Andean watershed using remotely sensed snow cover data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cartes, M.; McPhee, J.; Vargas, X.

    2009-04-01

    Forecasts of monthly streamflow during the snowmelt season are highly relevant for real-time decision making such as hydropower production scheduling, irrigation planning, and water transfers in market-driven water resource systems. The Chilean water bureau issues such forecasts, for a number of snowmelt-driven watersheds in northern and central Chile, based on measurements from a sparse network of snow course stations. This research aims at improving the accuracy of the government-issued seasonal forecasts by combining streamflow data and remotely sensed snow cover information through a recurrent neural network (RNN). The snow cover area (SCA) obtained from MODIS-Surface Reflectance product (MOD09) and the Normalized Differentiation Snow Index (NDSI), from 2000-2008 period, allow us to understand the variation of the snowmelt and accumulation processes in six different basins located in central Chile (32,5° - 34,5° south latitude; 69,5° -70,5° west longitude). For the three basins located at higher altitudes (> 1800 m.s.l.), after applying a cross-correlation procedure we determined a strong relation (r > 0.7) between SCA and the seasonal hydrograph, lagged around 4 months. The basin SCA, the NDSI at specific points inside the basin and past basin streamflow data are input to the RNN for recognizing the pattern variation of seasonal hydrograph through supervised learning. The determination coefficients for the validation period (r2 > 0.6) indicate a good support for the application of this methodology in normal-humid hydrological years. Particularly for the dryer years we obtain a considerable overestimation (around 30%) of the monthly snowmelt runoff. These results are limited by the availability of data for different types (dry, normal or humid) of hydrological years.

  13. 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

  14. Cork oak woodlands patchiness

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Costa, Augusta; Madeira, Manuel; Plieninger, Tobias

    2014-01-01

    The cork oak (Quercus suber L.) woodlands of the agroforestry landscapes of Southwestern Iberia are undergoing drastic change due to severe natural and anthropogenic disturbances. These may eventually result in woodland loss or deforestation, the final step of an ongoing process of woodland...... degradation. Monitoring changes in the spatial patterns of woodlands - especially fractional canopy cover of woodlands and/or their patchiness in the landscape mosaic - potentially enables forecasting of loss and responding to it at an early stage. We examine the degradation process in two cork oak woodlands...

  15. Seasonal Variation of Cumulative CO2 Emission from a Vertisol Under Apricot Orchard in Semi-Arid Southeast Turkey

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    G.YILMAZ

    2012-01-01

    Understanding the factors affecting the CO2 emission from agricultural practices is crucial for global warming.A study was performed in an apricot orchard field in the experimental farm of the Harran University,Southeast Turkey,to i) quantify weekly and seasonal variations of the CO2 emissions from a Vertisol under apricot orchard; ii) evaluate the difference in CO2 emission between the area under trees and rows; and iii) assess the relationships between the amounts of CO2 emissions and environmental parameters for better use and management of the soils from the view point of carbon balance and flux in a semi-arid environment under drip irrigation.Soil CO2 emission measurements were performed during May 2008 and May 2010,from both under tree crowns (CO2-UC) and between tree rows (CO2-BR),on a weekly basis in southeast Turkey with a semi-arid climate.CO2 emissions were statistically correlated with weather and soil parameters such as air temperature,relative humidity,rainfall,soil water content,and soil temperature at various depths from 5 to 100 cm.The weekly emissions ranged from 82 to 1 110 kg CO2 ha-1 week-1 and from 96 to 782 kg CO2 ha-1 week-1 in CO2-UC and CO2-BR,respectively.Increase in CO2 emission in the second year was due to increases in mean air and soil temperatures.The weekly and monthly cumulative CO2 emissions were positively correlated with the air and soil temperatures.Multiple linear regression analysis explained 35% and 83% variations in average weekly and monthly CO2 emissions,by using meteorological data.Including the interaction effects of meteorological parameters in regression equations nearly doubled the variance explained by the regression models.According to stepwise regression analysis,soil and air temperatures were found to have the most significant impact on the temporal variability of the soil CO2 emission.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Milewski, Robert; Chabrillat, Sabine; Eisele, Andreas

    2016-04-01

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

  17. Eutrophication and sedimentation patterns in complete exploitation of water resources scenarios: an example from Northwestern semi-arid Mexico.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sánchez-Carrillo, Salvador; Alatorre, Luis C; Sánchez-Andrés, Raquel; Garatuza-Payán, Jaime

    2007-09-01

    Water requirements to supply human needs lead water stakeholders to store more water during surplus periods to fulfil the demand during--not only--scarcity periods. At the reservoirs, mostly those in semi-arid regions, water level then fluctuates extremely between rises and downward during one single year. Besides of water management implications, changes on physical, chemical and biological dynamics of these drawdown and refilling are little known yet. This paper shows the results, throughout a year, on solids, nutrients (N and P), chlorophyll-a, and sedimentation changes on the dynamics, when the former policy was applied in a reservoir from the semi-arid Northwestern Mexico. Water level sinusoidal trend impinged changes on thermal stratification and mixing, modifying nutrient cycling and primary producer responses. According to nitrogen and phosphorus concentration as well as chlorophyll-a, reservoir was mesotrophic, becoming hypertrophic during drawdown. Nutrient concentrations were high (1.22 +/- 0.70 and 0.14 +/- 0.12 mg P l(-1)), increasing phosphorus and lowering N:P significantly throughout the study period, although no intensive agricultural, no urban development, neither industrial activities take place in the watershed. This suggests nutrient recycling complex mechanisms, including nutrient release from the sediment-water interface as the main nutrient pathway when shallowness, at the same time as mineralization, increases. Outflows controlled nitrogen and phosphorus availability on the ecosystem while organic matter depended on river inflows. As on other subtropical aquatic ecosystems, nitrogen limited primary productivity (Spearman correlation R = 0.75) but chlorophyll-a seasonal pattern showed an irregular trend, prompting other no-nutrient related limitants. Shallowness induced a homogeneous temporal pattern on water quality. This observed temporal variability was mainly explained statistically by changes on solids (mineral and organic), chlorophyll

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-04-01

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

  19. Applicability of passive compost bioreactors for treatment of extremely acidic and saline waters in semi-arid climates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Biermann, Vera; Lillicrap, Adam M; Magana, Claudia; Price, Barry; Bell, Richard W; Oldham, Carolyn E

    2014-05-15

    Extremely acidic and saline groundwater occurs naturally in south-western Australia. Discharge of this water to surface waters has increased following extensive clearing of native vegetation for agriculture and is likely to have negative environmental impacts. The use of passive treatment systems to manage the acidic discharge and its impacts is complicated by the region's semi-arid climate with hot dry summers and resulting periods of no flow. This study evaluates the performance of a pilot-scale compost bioreactor treating extremely acidic and saline drainage under semi-arid climatic conditions over a period of 2.5 years. The bioreactor's substrate consisted of municipal waste organics (MWO) mixed with 10 wt% recycled limestone. After the start-up phase the compost bioreactor raised the pH from ≤3.7 to ≥7 and produced net alkaline outflow for 126 days. The bioreactor removed up to 28 g/m(2)/d CaCO3 equivalent of acidity and acidity removal was found to be load dependent during the first and third year. Extended drying over summer combined with high salinity caused the formation of a salt-clay surface layer on top of the substrate, which was both beneficial and detrimental for bioreactor performance. The surface layer prevented the dehydration of the substrate and ensured it remained waterlogged when the water level in the bioreactor fell below the substrate surface in summer. However, when flow resumed the salt-clay layer acted as a barrier between the water and substrate decreasing performance efficiency. Performance increased again when the surface layer was broken up indicating that the negative climatic impacts can be managed. Based on substrate analysis after 1.5 years of operation, limestone dissolution was found to be the dominant acidity removal process contributing up to 78-91% of alkalinity generation, while bacterial sulfate reduction produced at least 9-22% of the total alkalinity. The substrate might last up to five years before the limestone

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  1. Soil carbon changes after plantation of autochthonous species in a semi-arid Mediterranean old-field in Sardinia

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Dato, Giovanbattista; de Angelis, Paolo

    2010-05-01

    Forested areas are important in arid and semi-arid regions primarily to combat desertification, but also to increase carbon sinks. According to the last Italian National Inventory of Forest and Carbon INFC dated 2005, Mediterranean maquis and shrublands cover about 690,100 ha, in Italy. Considering their vast diffusion, efforts should be done to evaluate the potential of these ecosystems in sequestering C in order to achieve the Kyoto Protocol commitments and dampen desertification processes. The aim of this work was to present preliminary observations on soil C accumulation and release in a planted Mediterranean semi-arid shrubland. During the first three years particular effort was done to quantify the plant growth and soil CO2 emission, to test if species-specific responses could be detectable and relevant for the C-budget. The experimental area is located in North West Sardinia, and is characterized by a Mediterranean climate. The revegetation was set up in February 2006, in an old-field, planting local species (Juniperus phoenicea, Pistacia lentiscus and Rosmarinus officinalis) in mono-specific or mixed plots. Soil total organic carbon and nitrogen was measured at the same time of plantation and after 3 years, collecting soil cores (144 samples) at two depths (0-20 cm and 20-40 cm). Moreover, in order to measure soil CO2 emissions, 4 collars are inserted into the soil at 30-60-90-120 cm from 3 plants per each species. Measurements have being made monthly since July 2006 by a portable IRGA. Presently, soil C in the studied area is about 0.7 - 0.8 t ha-1. Based on soil CO2 emissions measurements (≈7 t C ha-1 yr-1) and on the low biomass accumulation (0.25-0.60 t ha-1 yr-1), the plantation is at the present a net C source. This is an effect of the low plant growth, very little input from litter, and the contemporary mineralization of old C deriving from the preceding agricultural phase (priming effect).

  2. Changes in avian and plant communities of aspen woodlands over 12 years after livestock removal in the Northwestern Great Basin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Earnst, Susan L; Dobkin, David S; Ballard, Jennifer A

    2012-10-01

    Riparian and quaking aspen (Populus tremuloides) woodlands are centers of avian abundance and diversity in the western United States, but they have been affected adversely by land use practices, particularly livestock grazing. In 1990, cattle were removed from a 112,500-ha national wildlife refuge in southeastern Oregon. Thereafter, we monitored changes in vegetation and bird abundance in years 1-3 (phase 1) and 10-12 (phase 2) in 17 riparian and 9 snow-pocket aspen plots. On each 1.5-ha plot, we sampled vegetation in 6 transects. Three times during each breeding season, observers recorded all birds 50 m to each side of the plot's 150-m centerline for 25 minutes. We analyzed data with multivariate analysis of variance and paired t tests with p values adjusted for multiple comparisons. In both periods, riparian and snow-pocket aspen produced extensive regeneration of new shoots (stems/ha and 7079 stems/ha, respectively). By phase 2, a 64% increase in medium-diameter trees in riparian stands indicated successful recruitment into the overstory, but this pattern was not seen in snow-pocket stands, where the density of trees was over 2 times greater. By phase 2 in riparian and snow-pocket stands, native forb cover had increased by 68% and 57%, respectively, mesic shrub cover had increased by 29% and 58%, and sagebrush cover had decreased by 24% and 31%. Total avian abundance increased by 33% and 39% in riparian and snow-pocket aspen, respectively, ground or understory nesters increased by 133% and 67% and overstory nesters increased by 34% and 33%. Similarly, ground or understory foragers increased by 25% and 32%, aerial foragers by 55% and 57%, and overstory foragers by 66% and 43%. We interpreted the substantial regeneration of aspen shoots, increased densities of riparian forbs and shrubs, and increased avian abundances as a multitrophic-level response to the total removal of livestock and as substantial movement toward recovery of biological integrity.

  3. Sources and controls for the mobility of arsenic in oxidizing groundwaters from loess-type sediments in arid/semi-arid dry climates - evidence from the Chaco-Pampean plain (Argentina).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nicolli, Hugo B; Bundschuh, Jochen; García, Jorge W; Falcón, Carlos M; Jean, Jiin-Shuh

    2010-11-01

    In oxidizing aquifers, arsenic (As) mobilization from sediments into groundwater is controlled by pH-dependent As desorption from and dissolution of mineral phases. If climate is dry, then the process of evaporative concentration contributes further to the total concentration of dissolved As. In this paper the principal As mobility controls under these conditions have been demonstrated for Salí River alluvial basin in NW Argentina (Tucumán Province; 7000 km(2)), which is representative for other basins or areas of the predominantly semi-arid Chaco-Pampean plain (1,000,000 km(2)) which is one of the world's largest regions affected by high As concentrations in groundwater. Detailed hydrogeochemical studies have been performed in the Salí River basin where 85 groundwater samples from shallow aquifers (42 samples), deep samples (26 samples) and artesian aquifers (17 samples) have been collected. Arsenic concentrations range from 11.4 to 1660 μg L(-1) leaving 100% of the investigated waters above the provisional WHO guideline value of 10 μg L(-1). A strong positive correlation among As, F, and V in shallow groundwaters was found. The correlations among those trace elements and U, B and Mo have less significance. High pH (up to 9.2) and high bicarbonate (HCO(3)) concentrations favour leaching from pyroclastic materials, including volcanic glass which is present to 20-25% in the loess-type aquifer sediments and yield higher trace element concentrations in groundwater from shallow aquifers compared to deep and artesian aquifers. The significant increase in minor and trace element concentrations and salinity in shallow aquifers is related to strong evaporation under semi-arid climatic conditions. Sorption of As and associated minor and trace elements (F, U, B, Mo and V) onto the surface of Fe-, Al- and Mn-oxides and oxi-hydroxides, restricts the mobilization of these elements into groundwater. Nevertheless, this does not hold in the case of the shallow unconfined

  4. A generic open-source toolbox to help long term irrigation monitoring for integrated water management in semi-arid Mediterranean areas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Le Page, Michel; Gosset, Cindy; Oueslati, Ines; Calvez, Roger; Zribi, Mehrez; Lili Chabaane, Zohra

    2016-04-01

    In semi arid areas, irrigated plains are often the major consumer of water well beyond other water demands. Traditionally fed by surface water, irrigation has massively shifted to a more reliable resource: groundwater. This shift occurred in the late thirty years has also provoked an extension and intensification of irrigation, often translated into impressive groundwater table decreases. Integrated water management needs a systematic and robust way to estimate the water demands by the agricultural sector. We propose a generic toolbox based on the FAO-56 method and the Crop Coefficient/NDVI approach used in Remote Sensing. The toolbox can be separated in three main areas: 1) It facilitates the preparation of different input datasets: download, domain extraction, homogenization of formats, or spatial interpolation. 2) A collection of algorithms based on the analysis of NDVI time series is proposed: Separation of irrigated vs non-irrigated area, a simplified annual land cover classification, Crop Coefficient, Fraction Cover and Efficient Rainfall. 3) Synthesis against points or areas produces the output data at the desired spatial and temporal resolution for Integrated Water Modeling or data analysis and comparison. The toolbox has been used in order to build a WEAP21 model of the Merguellil basin in Tunisia for the period of 2000-2014. Different meteorological forcings were easily used and compared: WFDEI, AGRI4CAST, MED-CORDEX. A local rain gauges database was used to produce a daily rainfall gridded dataset. MODIS MOD13Q1 (16 days, 250m) data was used to produce the NDVI derived datasets (Kc, Fc, RainEff). Punctual evapotranspiration was compared to actual measurements obtained by flux towers on wheat and barley showing good agreements on a daily basis (r2=0.77). Finally, the comparison to monthly statistics of three irrigated commands was performed over 4 years. This late comparison showed a bad agreement which led us to suppose two things: First, the simple

  5. Differential Responses of Soil Microbial Community to Four-Decade Long Grazing and Cultivation in a Semi-Arid Grassland

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yating He

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Grazing and cultivation are two important management practices worldwide that can cause significant soil organic carbon (SOC losses. However, it remains elusive how soil microbes have responded to soil carbon changes under these two practices. Based on a four-decade long field experiment, this study investigated the effects of grazing and cultivation on SOC stocks and microbial properties in the semi-arid grasslands of China. We hypothesize that grazing and cultivation would deplete SOC and depress microbial activities under both practices. However, our hypotheses were only partially supported. As compared with the adjacent indigenous grasslands, SOC and microbial biomass carbon (MBC were decreased by 20% or more under grazing and cultivation, which is consistent with the reduction of fungi abundance by 40% and 71%, respectively. The abundance of bacteria and actinomycetes was decreased under grazing but increased under cultivation, which likely enhanced microbial diversity in cultivation. Invertase activity decreased under the two treatments, while urease activity increased under grazing. These results suggest that nitrogen fertilizer input during cultivation may preferentially favor bacterial growth, in spite of SOC loss, due to rapid decomposition, while overgrazing may deteriorate the nitrogen supply to belowground microbes, thus stimulating the microbial production of nitrogen acquisition enzymes. This decade-long study demonstrated differential soil microbial responses under grazing and cultivation and has important applications for better management practices in the grassland ecosystem.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  7. Drone-acquired structure-from-motion photogrammetry for high-precision measurements of biomass in semi-arid rangelands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cunliffe, Andrew; Brazier, Richard; Anderson, Karen

    2016-04-01

    Covering 40% of the terrestrial surface, dryland ecosystems have a distinct vegetation structure that is strongly linked to their function. Recent global modelling studies have indicated interannual variations in semiarid ecosystem biomass accounts for ca. 40%-60% of interannual variations in atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations. Empirical evidence is needed to validate these model predictions; however, existing survey approaches cannot provide sufficiently precise data at landscape-scale extents to quantify this structure appropriately. Using a small unpiloted aerial system (UAS) to acquire aerial photographs and processing using structure-from-motion (SfM) photogrammetry, three dimensional models were produced quantifying the vegetation structure of semi-arid ecosystems at seven areas of interest (AOI). This approach yielded ultrafine (0.64) supported prediction of aboveground biomass from canopy volume. Canopy volumes, modelled biomass and carbon stocks were sensitive to spatial changes in vegetation community structure. We demonstrate the use of an inexpensive UAS and SfM photogrammetry to produce ultrafine-scale biophysical data products. The high-precision of this approach affords sensitivity to subtle differences in the biotic structure (and therefore function) of heterogeneous ecosystems subject to rapid environmental change, and has exciting potential to revolutionise the study of spatial ecology in ecosystems with either spatially or temporally discontinuous canopy cover.

  8. [Water and soil conservation function of typical plantation forest ecosystems in semi-arid region of Western Liaoning Province].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiang, Ping; Guo, Fang; Luo, Yue-Chu; Wei, Jing; Sun, Xiao-Wei; Wu, Gang

    2007-12-01

    From the aspects of surface runoff and soil erosion, this paper quantitatively studied the water and soil conservation function of five plantation forest ecosystems in semi-arid region of Western Liaoning Province. The results showed that various types of test plantation forest ecosystems were all able to reduce surface runoff and soil erosion effectively. In June - September, the monthly mean surface runoff coefficient of Pinus tabulaeformis forest ecosystem, P. tabulaeformis - Hippophae rhamnoides forest ecosystem, H. rhamnoides forest ecosystem, P. simonii forest ecosystem, and P. simonii - H. rhamnoides forest ecosystem was 10.1%, 6.5%, 2.3%, 8.6% and 5.3% of that of barren hill, respectively, and the soil erosion quantity was 2.65%, 0.96%, 0.15%, 2.32% and 0.69% of that of barren hill, respectively. Among the five forest ecosystems, H. rhamnoides forest ecosystem had the least surface runoff and soil erosion, being the best in water and soil conservation function.

  9. [Characteristics of evapotranspiration and crop coefficient of agroecosystems in semi-arid area of Loess Plateau, Northwest China].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Fu-Lin; Zhang, Qiang; Wang, Run-Yuan; Wang, Sheng; Yue, Ping; Wang, He-Ling; Zhao, Hong

    2013-05-01

    Evapotranspiration (ET) is an important component of ground surface energy balance and water balance, and closely related to water cycle. By using eddy covariance technique, this paper studied the ET characteristics of agroecosystems in the semi-arid area of Loess Plateau in growth season (from April to September), 2010, and analyzed the relationships between crop coefficient and environmental factors. During the observation period, the diurnal variation of latent heat flux (LE) in each month was similar to single-peak curve, and the peak value (151.4 W x m(-2)) occurred in August. The daytime energy partitioning manner showed a significant seasonal variation, with LE/R(n) heat flux) from April to June, and LE/R(n) > H/R(n) from July to September. The daily ET rate also showed a significant seasonal variation, with the maximum of 4.69 mm x d(-1). The wind speed (W(s)), relative humidity (RH), soil water content (theta), and atmospheric vapor pressure deficit (D) were the major factors affecting the crop coefficient K(c) which was exponentially decreased with increasing W(s), exponentially increased with increasing RH and theta, and linearly decreased with increasing D.

  10. Tradeoffs of modifications of storm water managements systems for nitrogen loss pathways in semi-arid ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lohse, K. A.; Gallo, E. L.; Brooks, P. D.; Meixner, T.; McIntosh, J. C.

    2013-12-01

    Urbanization is altering hydrologic and nitrogen (N) inputs to streams that may substantially increase nitrogen-containing trace gas emissions to the atmosphere with regional and global consequences. In the semi-arid southwestern US, human modifications of ephemerally dry stream channels interact with hydrologic and nitrogen alterations to lead to extremely high fluxes of nitrous oxide (N2O). Cumulative N2O losses ranged from 0.04 to 0.97 mg N m-2 in 6 hr for rainfall compared to 22.5-59.3 mg N m-2 for flood pulse events. Impervious channels eliminated N trace gas losses but increased delivery of water and N to downstream ecosystems and areas of focused recharge by 6 fold compared to watersheds with greater pervious channel lengths. In contrast, importation of clay into channels increased total N trace gas losses by 8-32 fold relative to more natural sand dominated channels but this result depended on the degree of wetting. Our integrated findings suggest human modification of storm water management systems to impervious channels increases delivery of water and N to downstream navigable waters and areas of focused recharge whereas importation of clay materials leads to higher N trace gas losses and reduced delivery of nitrate. Management will need to address long-term challenges of balancing tradeoffs of greenhouse N gases and N in water supplies, intermediate scale issues of enhancing recharge, and short-term issues of removing water and preventing flooding.

  11. Exploiting Nutritional Value of Staple Foods in the World's Semi-Arid Areas: Risks, Benefits, Challenges and Opportunities of Sorghum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Proietti, Ilaria; Frazzoli, Chiara; Mantovani, Alberto

    2015-03-30

    Sorghum (Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench) is a drought-resistant crop and an important food resource in terms of nutritional as well as social-economic values, especially in semi-arid environments. Cultivar selection and processing methods have been observed to impact on composition and functional and nutritional value of sorghum. Amino acid imbalance, cyanogenic glycosides, endogenous anti-nutrients, mycotoxins and toxic elements are among factors impairing its nutritional value. This paper reviews possible approaches (varieties selection, production practices, cooking processes) to improve the benefits-to-risks balance of sorghum meal, to mitigate the risk of deficiencies and/or imbalances and to improve effects on human nutrition. Opportunity for avoiding dietary diversification in high sorghum consumers is also discussed, e.g., tryptophan and niacin deficits potentially related to pellagra, or unavailability of proteins and divalent cations (e.g., Fe, Zn) due to the antinutrient activity of phytic acid and tannins. As potential candidate for production investments, the role of sorghum in preserving biological diversity is also considered.

  12. Mapping Irrigated Areas in the Tunisian Semi-Arid Context with Landsat Thermal and VNIR Data Imagery

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rivalland, Vincent; Drissi, Hsan; Simonneaux, Vincent; Tardy, Benjamin; Boulet, Gilles

    2016-04-01

    Our study area is the Merguellil semi-arid irrigated plain in Tunisia, where the water resource management is an important stake for governmental institutions, farmer communities and more generally for the environment. Indeed, groundwater abstraction for irrigation is the primary cause of aquifer depletion. Moreover, unregistered pumping practices are widespread and very difficult to survey by authorities. Thus, the identification of areas actually irrigated in the whole plain is of major interest. In order to map the irrigated areas, we tried out a methodology based on the use of Landsat 7 and 8 Land Surface Temperature (LST) data issued from atmospherically corrected thermal band using the LANDARTs Tool jointly with the NDVI vegetation indices obtained from visible ane near infrared (VNIR) bands. For each Landsat acquisition during the years 2012 to 2014, we computed a probability of irrigation based on the location of the pixel in the NDVI - LST space. Basically for a given NDVI value, the cooler the pixel the higher its probability to be irrigated is. For each date, pixels were classified in seven bins of irrigation probability ranges. Pixel probabilities for each date were then summed over the study period resulting in a probability map of irrigation. Comparison with ground data shows a consistent identification of irrigated plots and supports the potential operational interest of the method. However, results were hampered by the low Landsat LST data availability due to clouds and the inadequate revisit frequency of the sensor.

  13. Daily global solar radiation modelling using multi-layer perceptron neural networks in semi-arid region

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mawloud GUERMOUI

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available Accurate estimation of Daily Global Solar Radiation (DGSR has been a major goal for solar energy application. However, solar radiation measurements are not a simple task for several reasons. In the cases where data are not available, it is very common the use of computational models to estimate the missing data, which are based mainly of the search for relationships between weather variables, such as temperature, humidity, sunshine duration, etc. In this respect, the present study focuses on the development of artificial neural network (ANN model for estimation of daily global solar radiation on horizontal surface in Ghardaia city (South Algeria. In this analysis back-propagation algorithm is applied. Daily mean air temperature, relative humidity and sunshine duration was used as climatic inputs parameters, while the daily global solar radiation (DGSR was the only output of the ANN. We have evaluated Multi-Layer Perceptron (MLP models to estimate DGSR using three year of measurement (2005-2008. It was found that MLP-model based on sunshine duration and mean air temperature give accurate results in term of Mean Absolute Bias Error, Root Mean Square Error, Relative Square Error and Correlation Coefficient. The obtained values of these indicators are 0.67 MJ/m², 1.28 MJ/m², 6.12%and 98.18%, respectively which shows that MLP is highly qualified for DGSR estimation in semi-arid climates.

  14. Soil surface moisture estimation over a semi-arid region using ENVISAT ASAR radar data for soil evaporation evaluation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Zribi

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available The present paper proposes a method for the evaluation of soil evaporation, using soil moisture estimations based on radar satellite measurements. We present firstly an approach for the estimation and monitoring of soil moisture in a semi-arid region in North Africa, using ENVISAT ASAR images, over two types of vegetation covers. The first mapping process is dedicated solely to the monitoring of moisture variability related to rainfall events, over areas in the "non-irrigated olive tree" class of land use. The developed approach is based on a simple linear relationship between soil moisture and the backscattered radar signal normalised at a reference incidence angle. The second process is proposed over wheat fields, using an analysis of moisture variability due to both rainfall and irrigation. A semi-empirical model, based on the water-cloud model for vegetation correction, is used to retrieve soil moisture from the radar signal. Moisture mapping is carried out over wheat fields, showing high variability between irrigated and non-irrigated wheat covers. This analysis is based on a large database, including both ENVISAT ASAR and simultaneously acquired ground-truth measurements (moisture, vegetation, roughness, during the 2008–2009 vegetation cycle. Finally, a semi-empirical approach is proposed in order to relate surface moisture to the difference between soil evaporation and the climate demand, as defined by the potential evaporation. Mapping of the soil evaporation is proposed.

  15. Ethnobotanical study of forage/fodder plant species in and around the semi-arid Awash National Park, Ethiopia

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Tinsae Bahru; Zemede Asfaw; Sebsebe Demissew

    2014-01-01

    We undertook ethnobotanical study of forage/fodder plant species used by the Afar and Oromo (Kereyu and Ittu) Nations in and around the semi-arid Awash National Park (ANP), Ethiopia. The study aimed at investigating and documenting indigenous knowledge (IK) on forage/fodder plant species and threats to their survival. Ninety-six in-formants between 20 and 80 years old were selected using prior informa-tion. Data were collected using semi-structured interview, guided field walk, discussion and field observation. Preference ranking, Jaccard’s coefficient of similarity and priority ranking were used for data analysis. One hundred twenty-six forage/fodder species of 90 genera and 43 fami-lies were collected in the study area. More than 88%of the species were reported with their vernacular names, where 68% were reported by the Afar Nation and 70%by the Oromo Nation. Family Poaceae was repre-sented by 25 species (20%), followed by Fabaceae 18 (14%). Preference ranking for the most preferred forage grasses as perceived by key infor-mants revealed that Chrysopogon plumulosus was the most important forage/fodder species. Overgrazing was the major threat in the study area, scoring 22%.

  16. Risk of fire occurrence in arid and semi-arid ecosystems of Iran: an investigation using Bayesian belief networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bashari, Hossein; Naghipour, Ali Asghar; Khajeddin, Seyed Jamaleddin; Sangoony, Hamed; Tahmasebi, Pejman

    2016-09-01

    Identifying areas that have a high risk of burning is a main component of fire management planning. Although the available tools can predict the fire risks, these are poor in accommodating uncertainties in their predictions. In this study, we accommodated uncertainty in wildfire prediction using Bayesian belief networks (BBNs). An influence diagram was developed to identify the factors influencing wildfire in arid and semi-arid areas of Iran, and it was populated with probabilities to produce a BBNs model. The behavior of the model was tested using scenario and sensitivity analysis. Land cover/use, mean annual rainfall, mean annual temperature, elevation, and livestock density were recognized as the main variables determining wildfire occurrence. The produced model had good accuracy as its ROC area under the curve was 0.986. The model could be applied in both predictive and diagnostic analysis for answering "what if" and "how" questions. The probabilistic relationships within the model can be updated over time using observation and monitoring data. The wildfire BBN model may be updated as new knowledge emerges; hence, it can be used to support the process of adaptive management.

  17. Strategic Framework for Sustainable Management of Drainage Systems in Semi-Arid Cities: An Iraqi Case Study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mohammed Nanekely

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available For the purpose of this paper, Erbil city, located in the northern part of Iraq, has been chosen as a representative case study for a large number of cities, particularly in semi-arid areas, lacking sustainable drainage systems (SuDS. The study assesses (a the role of SuDS as a measure in areas with a water shortage; (b water scarcity in decision-making processes; (c the lack of legislation to implement SuDS; (d the adverse effects of climate change on the urban drainage system; and (e the effects of an increased population on SuDS implementation. An integrated methodology that incorporates a self-administrated questionnaire, workshops, face-to-face communication and interviews, as well as electronic media interactions, were used to achieve the objectives. A generic platform that consists of thirteen pillars, supporting the short to long-term national policies and strategies towards a sustainable urban drainage system, has been developed. Results showed that environmental laws need to be introduced. Findings also indicate that a growing population, which is partly due to an increase of internally displaced people, is a major challenge to an early application of SuDS, due to a rise in land demand and a lack of financial resources.

  18. Effects of adding water on seasonal variation of soil nitrogen availability under sandy grasslands in semi-arid region

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    HUANG Xiao-xing; YU Zhan-yuan; QIAN Wei; XU Da-yong; AI Gui-yan

    2007-01-01

    Water is usally thought of a limiting factor for the restoration of semi-arid ecosystem. In the growing season of 2006, a study was conducted to determine the effects of modeling precipitation on seasonal patterns in concentrations of soil-available nitrogen and to describe the seasonal patterns in soil nitrogen availability and seasonal variation in the rates of net nitrogen mineralization of topsoil at Daqinggou ecological station in Keerqin sand lands, Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, China. Manipulation of water (80 mm) was designed to be added to experiment plots of sandy grasslands in dry season. Water addition (W) treatment and control (CK) treatment were separately taken in six replications and randomly assigned in 12 plots (4 m×4 m for each) with 2-m buffers betweens. Results showed that the content of soil inorganic nitrogen and net nitrogen mineralization rate were not affected by adding water in sandy grassland of Keerqin sand lands. Net nitrogen mineralization rates ranged from 0.5 μg·g-1·month-1 to 4 μg·g-1·month-1. The highest values of soil inorganic nitrogen and net nitrogen mineralization occurred on October 15 in control plots. The seasonal changes of soil inorganic nitrogen contents exhibited "V" shape pattern that was related to seasonal patterns of soil ammonium-N (ascending trend) and nitrate-N transformation (descending trend).

  19. Combining Sustainable Land Management Technologies to Combat Land Degradation and Improve Rural Livelihoods in Semi-arid Lands in Kenya.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mganga, K Z; Musimba, N K R; Nyariki, D M

    2015-12-01

    Drylands occupy more than 80% of Kenya's total land mass and contribute immensely to the national economy and society through agriculture, livestock production, tourism, and wild product harvesting. Dryland ecosystems are areas of high climate variability making them vulnerable to the threats of land degradation. Consequently, agropastoralists inhabiting these ecosystems develop mechanisms and technologies to cope with the impacts of climate variability. This study is aimed to; (1) determine what agropastoralists inhabiting a semi-arid ecosystem in Kenya attribute to be the causes and indicators of land degradation, (2) document sustainable land management (SLM) technologies being undertaken to combat land degradation, and (3) identify the factors that influence the choice of these SLM technologies. Vegetation change from preferred indigenous forage grass species to woody vegetation was cited as the main indicator of land degradation. Land degradation was attributed to recurrent droughts and low amounts of rainfall, overgrazing, and unsustainable harvesting of trees for fuelwood production. However, despite the challenges posed by climate variability and recurrent droughts, the local community is engaging in simple SLM technologies including grass reseeding, rainwater harvesting and soil conservation, and dryland agroforestry as a holistic approach combating land degradation and improving their rural livelihoods. The choice of these SLM technologies was mainly driven by their additional benefits to combating land degradation. In conclusion, promoting such simple SLM technologies can help reverse the land degradation trend, improve agricultural production, food security including access to food, and subsequently improve livelihoods of communities inhabiting dryland ecosystems.

  20. Physical and chemical degradation of grassland soils in semi-arid regions: A case from Central Anatolia, Turkey

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yaşar Korkanç, Selma; Korkanç, Mustafa

    2016-12-01

    The aim of this study is to determine some hydro-physical and chemical characteristics of soils on the grassland areas under semi-arid conditions in terms of soil degradation processes. Three sampling plots of 20 × 20 m size were selected from the Emen Plain as Locations-I, II and III basing on the area covered with vegetation and visual soil properties; and total 108 soil samples from 2 points and 3 depth levels (0-20 cm, 20-40 cm, 40-60 cm) of each sampling plot. Soils of the research area are in degradation process in terms of some physical and chemical characteristics. It was observed that soil properties (i.e. bulk density, total porosity, organic matter, pH, electrical conductivity and saturated hydraulic conductivity) in Location-II and Location-III changed negatively in comparison to Location-I almost at all depths. In the Location-III grassland, bulk density, pH, electrical conductivity and Na + values are higher than those in Location-I, whereas the organic matter, total porosity and saturated hydraulic conductivity values are low. Grassland area is vulnerable to erosion. High Exchangeable Sodium Percentage (ESP) values in Locations-II and III indicates the sodicity problem in these areas.

  1. Sedum-dominated green-roofs in a semi-arid region increase CO2 concentrations during the dry season.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Agra, Har'el; Klein, Tamir; Vasl, Amiel; Shalom, Hadar; Kadas, Gyongyver; Blaustein, Leon

    2017-04-15

    Green roofs are expected to absorb and store carbon in plants and soils and thereby reduce the high CO2 concentration levels in big cities. Sedum species, which are succulent perennials, are commonly used in extensive green roofs due to their shallow root system and ability to withstand long water deficiencies. Here we examined CO2 fixation and emission rates for Mediterranean Sedum sediforme on green-roof experimental plots. During late winter to early spring, we monitored CO2 concentrations inside transparent tents placed over 1m(2) plots and followed gas exchange at the leaf level using a portable gas-exchange system. We found high rates of CO2 emission at daytime, which is when CO2 concentration in the city is the highest. Both plot- and leaf-scale measurements showed that these CO2 emissions were not fully compensated by the nighttime uptake. We conclude that although carbon sequestration may only be a secondary benefit of green roofs, for improving this ecosystem service, other plant species than Sedum should also be considered for use in green roofs, especially in Mediterranean and other semi-arid climates.

  2. A comparative study on isotopic composition of precipitation in wet tropic and semi-arid stations across southern India

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    C Unnikrishnan Warrier; M Praveen Babu

    2011-12-01

    Isotopic composition of monthly composite precipitation samples from Kozhikode ( = 31), a wet tropic station and Hyderabad ( = 25), a semi-arid station across southern India were studied for a period of four years from 2005 to 2008. During the study period, the Kozhikode station recorded an average rainfall of 3500 mm while the Hyderabad station showed an average rainfall of 790 mm. The average stable isotope values in precipitation at the Kozhikode station were 18O= -3.52‰, d-excess = 13.72‰; 18O = -2.94‰, d-excess = 10.57‰; and 18O = -7.53‰, d-excess = 13.79‰, respectively during the pre-monsoon (March–May), monsoon (June–September) and post-monsoon (October–February) seasons. For the Hyderabad station, the average stable isotope values were 18O = −5.88‰, d-excess = 2.34‰; 18O = −4.39‰, d-excess = 9.21‰; and 18O = −8.69‰, d-excess = 14.29‰, respectively for the three seasons. The precipitation at the two stations showed distinctive isotopic signatures. The stable isotopic composition of precipitation at the Hyderabad station showed significant variations from the global trend while the Kozhikode station almost followed the global value. These differences are mainly attributed to the latitudinal differences of the two stations coupled with the differences in climatic conditions.

  3. Mexican Fruit Fly Populations in the Semi-Arid Highlands of the Sierra Madre Oriental in Northeastern Mexico.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vanoye-Eligio, V; Mora-Olivo, A; Gaona-García, G; Reyes-Zepeda, F; Rocandio-Rodríguez, M

    2017-01-04

    The Mexican fruit fly, Anastrepha ludens Loew (Diptera: Tephritidae), is one of the most important pests of citrus in Mexico. We report the results of an analysis of A. ludens populations that inhabit the semi-arid highlands of the Sierra Madre Oriental in northeastern Mexico. This study aimed to provide information on population fluctuation of A. ludens and how it relates to climate variables, as well as insights into habitat and native parasitoids. Population peaked in the period July-November when ripe fruits of the wild host, Casimiroa pubescens Ramírez, were available. No adults were captured the rest of the year, suggesting that high populations depend on the availability of wild host fruit. No significant relationships between population fluctuation and climatic variables were observed, except for minimum temperature. Fruit samples of citron (Citrus medica L.), pomegranate (Punica granatum L.), and C. pubescens were collected to determine degree of infestation. Infestation levels (pupae/g) ranged between 0.0006 for citron, 0.0047 for pomegranate, and 0.0240 for C. pubescens. A native parasitoid of Tephritidae, Doryctobracon crawfordii (Viereck) (Braconidae), was identified. Parasitism percentage was calculated at 12.5% on C. pubescens fruits. No parasitoids were observed on citron or pomegranate fruit samples. These results contribute to knowledge on behavior of A. ludens native to temperate environments where no commercial hosts are available. Further research on host expansion of this pest in light of scenarios of global climate change is suggested.

  4. A Review of Nutrient Management Studies Involving Finger Millet in the Semi-Arid Tropics of Asia and Africa

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Malinda S. Thilakarathna

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Finger millet (Eleusine coracana (L. Gaertn is a staple food crop grown by subsistence farmers in the semi-arid tropics of South Asia and Africa. It remains highly valued by traditional farmers as it is nutritious, drought tolerant, short duration, and requires low inputs. Its continued propagation may help vulnerable farmers mitigate climate change. Unfortunately, the land area cultivated with this crop has decreased, displaced by maize and rice. Reversing this trend will involve achieving higher yields, including through improvements in crop nutrition. The objective of this paper is to comprehensively review the literature concerning yield responses of finger millet to inorganic fertilizers (macronutrients and micronutrients, farmyard manure (FYM, green manures, organic by-products, and biofertilizers. The review also describes the impact of these inputs on soils, as well as the impact of diverse cropping systems and finger millet varieties, on nutrient responses. The review critically evaluates the benefits and challenges associated with integrated nutrient management, appreciating that most finger millet farmers are economically poor and primarily use farmyard manure. We conclude by identifying research gaps related to nutrient management in finger millet, and provide recommendations to increase the yield and sustainability of this crop as a guide for subsistence farmers.

  5. Detection and prediction of land cover changes using Markov chain model in semi-arid rangeland in western Iran.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fathizad, Hassan; Rostami, Noredin; Faramarzi, Marzban

    2015-10-01

    The study of changes and destruction rate in the previous years as well as the possibility of prediction of these changes in the following years has a key role in optimal planning, controlling, and restricting non-normative changes in the future. This research was approached to detecting land use/cover changes (1985-2007) and to forecast the changes in the future (2021) use of multitemporal satellite imagery in semi-arid area in western Iran. A supervised classification of multilayer perceptron (MLP) was applied for detecting land use changes. The study area was classified into five classes, those of forest, rangeland, agriculture, residential, and barren lands. The change detection analysis indicated a decreasing trend in forest cover by 30.42%, while other land uses were increased during 1985 to 2007. The land use changes were predicted using Markov chain model for 2021. The model was calibrated by comparing the simulated map with the real detected classes of land cover in 2007. Then, for further model processing, an acceptable accuracy at 83% was achieved between them. Finally, land use changes were predicted by using transition matrix derived from calibrated approach. The findings of this study demonstrate a rapid change in land use/cover for the coming years. Transforming the forest into other land uses especially rangeland and cropland is the main land cover changes in the future. Therefore, the planning of protection and restoration of forest cover should be an essential program for decision-makers in the study area.

  6. Fertilizer induced nitrous oxide emissions from Vertisols and Alfisols during sweet sorghum cultivation in the Indian semi-arid tropics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramu, Karri; Watanabe, Takeshi; Uchino, Hiroshi; Sahrawat, Kanwar L; Wani, Suhas P; Ito, Osamu

    2012-11-01

    Nitrous oxide (N(2)O) emissions from Vertisols and Alfisols during sweet sorghum cultivation in the Indian semi-arid tropics were determined using a closed chamber technique during the rainy season (June-October) of 2010. The study included two treatments, nitrogen (N) at a rate of 90 kg/ha and a control without N fertilizer application. The N(2)O emissions strongly coincided with N fertilization and rainfall events. The cumulative N(2)O-N emission from Alfisols was 1.81 N(2)O-N kg/ha for 90 N treatment and 0.15 N(2)O-N kg/ha for the 0 N treatment. Similarly, the N(2)O-N emission from Vertisols was 0.70 N(2)O-N kg/ha for 90 N treatment and 0.09 N(2)O-N kg/ha for the 0 N treatment. The mean N(2)O-N emission factor for fertilizer induced emissions from the Alfisols was 0.90% as compared to 0.32% for Vertisols. Our results suggest that the N(2)O emissions are dependent on the soil properties. Therefore, the monitoring of N(2)O emissions from different agro-ecological regions, having different soil types, rainfall characteristics, cropping systems and crop management practices are necessary to develop comprehensive and accurate green house gas inventories.

  7. Water Tables, Evapotranspiration, and Climate Variability: A Decade of Observations From a Semi-Arid Riparian Ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thibault, J. R.; Cleverly, J. R.; Dahm, C.

    2009-12-01

    Native (Rio Grande cottonwood) riparian ecosystems in the semi-arid Rio Grande floodplain of central New Mexico are threatened by hydrologic alterations and highly competitive invasive vegetation (saltcedar, Russian olive). Climate change is expected to alter surface runoff in the southwestern United States and exacerbate water scarcity. Depletions are likely to increase in this agricultural riverine corridor downstream of the rapidly growing Albuquerque metropolitan area. Long-term monitoring of shallow alluvial water tables (WTs) and evapotranspiration (ET) in native, non-native, and mixed communities along the river has provided critical information to help understand how water availability affects these ecosystems during a decade of extreme climate variability. Here, we present several observations, with implications for restoration. WTs ranged from several meters depth to flood stage and from relatively stable to highly dynamic, which can influence recruitment of native vegetation and ecosystem functioning. Annual ET declined with deeper WTs across sites, with robust correlations where WTs were dynamic. Riparian communities responded differently to drought cycles and to restorative flooding during peak runoff at the onset of the growing season. Annual ET in a native-dominated system was reduced following removal of non-native understory vegetation, but returned to previous levels when regrowth was left unmanaged. Long-term data are valuable assets that can help optimize efforts to sustain and restore native ecosystems amid the challenges of a changing climate.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Naveen P. Singh

    2014-06-01

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

  9. Growing season soil moisture following restoration treatments of varying intensity in semi-arid ponderosa pine forests

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Donnell, F. C.; Springer, A. E.; Sankey, T.; Masek Lopez, S.

    2014-12-01

    Forest restoration projects are being planned for large areas of overgrown semi-arid ponderosa pine forests of the Southwestern US. Restoration involves the thinning of smaller trees and prescribed or managed fire to reduce tree density, restore a more natural fire regime, and decrease the risk of catastrophic wildfire. The stated goals of these projects generally reduced plant water stress and improvements in hydrologic function. However, little is known about how to design restoration treatments to best meet these goals. As part of a larger project on snow cover, soil moisture, and groundwater recharge, we measured soil moisture, an indicator of plant water status, in four pairs of control and restored sites near Flagstaff, Arizona. The restoration strategies used at the sites range in both amount of open space created and degree of clustering of the remaining trees. We measured soil moisture using 30 cm vertical time domain reflectometry probes installed on 100 m transects at 5 m intervals so it would be possible to analyze the spatial pattern of soil moisture. Soil moisture was higher and more spatially variable in the restored sites than the control sites with differences in spatial pattern among the restoration types. Soil moisture monitoring will continue until the first snow fall, at which point measurements of snow depth and snow water equivalent will be made at the same locations.

  10. Influence of geochemical processes on hydrochemistry and irrigation suitability of groundwater in part of semi-arid Deccan Plateau, India

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vasu, Duraisamy; Singh, Surendra Kumar; Tiwary, Pramod; Sahu, Nisha; Ray, Sanjay Kumar; Butte, Pravin; Duraisami, Veppangadu Perumal

    2017-02-01

    Major ion geochemistry was used to characterise the chemical composition of groundwater in part of semi-arid Deccan plateau region to understand the geochemical evolution and to evaluate the groundwater quality for irrigation. The study area comprises peninsular gneissic complex of Archean age, younger granites and basaltic alluvium. Forty-nine georeferenced groundwater samples were collected and analysed for major ions. The ionic sequence based on relative proportions was Na+ > Mg2+ > Ca2+ > SO4 2- > HCO3 - > Cl- > CO3 2- > BO3 3- > K+. High Na+, Mg2+ and Ca2+ were generally associated with basaltic alluvial formation, whereas pH, electrical conductivity (EC) and total dissolved salts (TDS) were found to be higher in granitic formations. High standard deviation for EC, TDS, Na+, Ca2+ and Mg2+ indicated the dispersion of ionic concentration throughout the study area. Four major hydrochemical facies identified were Na-Mg-HCO3 type; Mg-Na-HCO3 type; Na-Mg-Ca-SO4 and Mg-Na-Ca-SO4 type. The graphical plots indicated that the groundwater chemistry was influenced by rock-water interaction, silicate weathering and reverse ion exchange. Sodium-dominated waters might have impeded the hydraulic properties of soils as a result of long-term irrigation.

  11. Safe greywater reuse to augment water supply and provide sanitation in semi-arid areas of rural India.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Godfrey, S; Labhasetwar, P; Wate, S; Jimenez, B

    2010-01-01

    Water reuse is recognized as a tool to increase water supply in peri-urban areas of semi-arid and arid regions of the world. However, it is an option rarely explored for rural areas in developing countries, and has not been documented extensively in the scientific literature. This paper presents results from 6 greywater reuse systems which were built with the objective to augment water supply and to provide sanitation in rural low income areas of Madhya Pradesh, India. The systems are based on reclaiming greywater from bathing for the use in toilet flushing and kitchen garden irrigation. The reuse systems were implemented based on the scientific rationale presented in the WHO (2006) guidelines. The paper presents evidence from the operation and evaluation of the greywater treatment plants under field conditions between 2005 and 2008. The paper concludes that greywater is a highly cost effective solution for water scarcity. In this study, reusing greywater resulted in a 60% increase in water availability, a reduction in open defecation and a fourfold increase in food availability.

  12. Combining Sustainable Land Management Technologies to Combat Land Degradation and Improve Rural Livelihoods in Semi-arid Lands in Kenya

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mganga, K. Z.; Musimba, N. K. R.; Nyariki, D. M.

    2015-12-01

    Drylands occupy more than 80 % of Kenya's total land mass and contribute immensely to the national economy and society through agriculture, livestock production, tourism, and wild product harvesting. Dryland ecosystems are areas of high climate variability making them vulnerable to the threats of land degradation. Consequently, agropastoralists inhabiting these ecosystems develop mechanisms and technologies to cope with the impacts of climate variability. This study is aimed to; (1) determine what agropastoralists inhabiting a semi-arid ecosystem in Kenya attribute to be the causes and indicators of land degradation, (2) document sustainable land management (SLM) technologies being undertaken to combat land degradation, and (3) identify the factors that influence the choice of these SLM technologies. Vegetation change from preferred indigenous forage grass species to woody vegetation was cited as the main indicator of land degradation. Land degradation was attributed to recurrent droughts and low amounts of rainfall, overgrazing, and unsustainable harvesting of trees for fuelwood production. However, despite the challenges posed by climate variability and recurrent droughts, the local community is engaging in simple SLM technologies including grass reseeding, rainwater harvesting and soil conservation, and dryland agroforestry as a holistic approach combating land degradation and improving their rural livelihoods. The choice of these SLM technologies was mainly driven by their additional benefits to combating land degradation. In conclusion, promoting such simple SLM technologies can help reverse the land degradation trend, improve agricultural production, food security including access to food, and subsequently improve livelihoods of communities inhabiting dryland ecosystems.

  13. Estrus synchronization and fixed-time artificial insemination in sheep under field conditions of a semi-arid tropical region.

    Science.gov (United States)

    De, Kalyan; Kumar, Davendra; Sethi, Debabrata; Gulyani, Rajiv; Naqvi, Syed Mohammed Khursheed

    2015-02-01

    A study was conducted to assess the success of estrus synchronization and fixed-time artificial insemination (FTAI) in sheep under field conditions of a semi-arid tropical region. A total of 471 ewes belonging to 17 farmers of four villages in Tonk district of Rajasthan (Jelmiya, Dhani Jaisinghpura, Tantiya and Bheepur) were synchronized for estrus during the years 2011 and 2012. Synchronization of estrus was done by AVIKESIL-S, cost-effective intra-vaginal sponges developed by the Institute and eCG protocol. The sponges were kept in situ in the vagina for 12 days and 200 IU eCG (Folligon, Intervet) was administered intramuscularly at the time of sponge withdrawal on the 12th day. Fixed-time cervical insemination was performed twice in ewes exhibiting estrus (restlessness, shaking of tail, slightly swollen vulva, moist and reddish cervical external os), 48 and 56 h after sponge removal, using liquid chilled semen of Patanwadi/Malpura rams containing 100 million sperm per dose. The estrus response recorded was 79.4 % (374/471) and lambing rate was 60.42 % (226/374). It may be concluded from the encouraging results of the present study that FTAI can be used effectively to take advantage of both the genetic improvement and economic benefit that can be realized by the use of estrus synchronization in conjunction with artificial insemination (AI).

  14. Water quality assessment of highly polluted rivers in a semi-arid Mediterranean zone Oued Fez and Sebou River (Morocco)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perrin, J. L.; Raïs, N.; Chahinian, N.; Moulin, P.; Ijjaali, M.

    2014-03-01

    Oued Fez (one of the Sebou River tributaries - Morocco) allowed us to study and quantify the effect of the lack of wastewater treatment on surface water quality in semi-arid hydrological context. The analysis is based on field data collected from June 2009 to December 2011. Concentration and load patterns of nitrogen, phosphorus and chromium (used in the processing of leather) are compared in stable hydrological conditions during low flow and high flow periods in an eight-location sampling network. The Oued Fez and the Sebou River are characterised by severe pollution downstream from the city of Fez, particularly TN (mainly NH4 and Norg), TP (mainly Ppart) and TCr. The most polluted sites are those directly under the influence of domestic and industrial waste water inputs, particularly tannery effluents. Obviously, the concentrations measured at these locations are above all environmental quality standards. Pollutant loads are very heavy in the Sebou River and can contaminate the river course for kilometres. Moreover, as the water of the Sebou River is used for the irrigation of vegetables, serious problems of public health could arise. A better understanding of contaminant dynamics and self-purifying processes in these rivers will help implement actions and steps aimed at improving water quality in the Sebou River, which is the primary water supply source in Morocco and is used for agricultural and industrials purposes as well as for drinking water.

  15. Do Red Edge and Texture Attributes from High-Resolution Satellite Data Improve Wood Volume Estimation in a Semi-Arid Mountainous Region?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Schumacher, Paul; Mislimshoeva, Bunafsha; Brenning, Alexander;

    2016-01-01

    Remote sensing-based woody biomass quantification in sparsely-vegetated areas is often limited when using only common broadband vegetation indices as input data for correlation with ground-based measured biomass information. Red edge indices and texture attributes are often suggested as a means...... to overcome this issue. However, clear recommendations on the suitability of specific proxies to provide accurate biomass information in semi-arid to arid environments are still lacking. This study contributes to the understanding of using multispectral high-resolution satellite data (RapidEye), specifically...... red edge and texture attributes, to estimate wood volume in semi-arid ecosystems characterized by scarce vegetation. LASSO (Least Absolute Shrinkage and Selection Operator) and random forest were used as predictive models relating in situ-measured aboveground standing wood volume to satellite data...

  16. Using stable isotopes (δ^{18}O and δ$D) of gypsum hydration water to unravel the mode of gypsum speleothem formation in semi-arid caves

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gázquez, Fernando; Calaforra, Jose Maria; Evans, Nicholas P.; Hodell, David A.

    2016-04-01

    Subaerial gypsum speleothems form during the evaporation of calcium-sulfate-rich solutions in caves. The evaporation of infiltration water is the widely accepted mechanism to explain precipitation of gypsum speleothems; i.e., the dissolution of gypsum host-rock (e.g. Messinian marine gypsum) supplies Ca2+ and SO42- ions to cave waters and subsequent evaporation leads to gypsum saturation. However, water condensation actively occurs in caves of semi-arid regions and plays a key role in subaerial cave speleogenesis and recharge of aquifers in low-rainfall environments. To date, water condensation in karstic environments has not been considered as an important factor in gypsum speleothem formation. We collected speleothem samples from the upper passages of Covadura Cave in the gypsum karst of Sorbas (Almeria, SE Spain). This cave is located in a temperate (annual mean temperature of 19.5oC), semi-arid region (

  17. Land Surface Model and Particle Swarm Optimization Algorithm Based on the Model-Optimization Method for Improving Soil Moisture Simulation in a Semi-Arid Region.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Qidong Yang

    Full Text Available Improving the capability of land-surface process models to simulate soil moisture assists in better understanding the atmosphere-land interaction. In semi-arid regions, due to limited near-surface observational data and large errors in large-scale parameters obtained by the remote sensing method, there exist uncertainties in land surface parameters, which can cause large offsets between the simulated results of land-surface process models and the observational data for the soil moisture. In this study, observational data from the Semi-Arid Climate Observatory and Laboratory (SACOL station in the semi-arid loess plateau of China were divided into three datasets: summer, autumn, and summer-autumn. By combing the particle swarm optimization (PSO algorithm and the land-surface process model SHAW (Simultaneous Heat and Water, the soil and vegetation parameters that are related to the soil moisture but difficult to obtain by observations are optimized using three datasets. On this basis, the SHAW model was run with the optimized parameters to simulate the characteristics of the land-surface process in the semi-arid loess plateau. Simultaneously, the default SHAW model was run with the same atmospheric forcing as a comparison test. Simulation results revealed the following: parameters optimized by the particle swarm optimization algorithm in all simulation tests improved simulations of the soil moisture and latent heat flux; differences between simulated results and observational data are clearly reduced, but simulation tests involving the adoption of optimized parameters cannot simultaneously improve the simulation results for the net radiation, sensible heat flux, and soil temperature. Optimized soil and vegetation parameters based on different datasets have the same order of magnitude but are not identical; soil parameters only vary to a small degree, but the variation range of vegetation parameters is large.

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

    OpenAIRE

    2009-01-01

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

  19. Effects of experimentally-enhanced precipitation and nitrogen on resistance, recovery and resilience of a semi-arid grassland after drought.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Zhuwen; Ren, Haiyan; Cai, Jiangping; Wang, Ruzhen; Li, Mai-He; Wan, Shiqiang; Han, Xingguo; Lewis, Bernard J; Jiang, Yong

    2014-12-01

    Resistance, recovery and resilience are three important properties of ecological stability, but they have rarely been studied in semi-arid grasslands under global change. We analyzed data from a field experiment conducted in a native grassland in northern China to explore the effects of experimentally enhanced precipitation and N deposition on both absolute and relative measures of community resistance, recovery and resilience--calculated in terms of community cover--after a natural drought. For both absolute and relative measures, communities with precipitation enhancement showed higher resistance and lower recovery, but no change in resilience compared to communities with ambient precipitation in the semi-arid grassland. The manipulated increase in N deposition had little effect on these community stability metrics except for decreased community resistance. The response patterns of these stability metrics to alterations in precipitation and N are generally consistent at community, functional group and species levels. Contrary to our expectations, structural equation modeling revealed that water-driven community resistance and recovery result mainly from changes in community species asynchrony rather than species diversity in the semi-arid grassland. These findings suggest that changes in precipitation regimes may have significant impacts on the response of water-limited ecosystems to drought stress under global change scenarios.

  20. Index of Relative Importance of the Dietary Proportions of Sloth Bear (Melursus ursinus in Semi-Arid Region

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tana P. MEWADA

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Characterisations of the Sloth bear (Melursus ursinus diet during three distinguished seasons (monsoon, winter and summer in the semi-arid region of western India was under study. Diet was estimated using scat analysis, based on the calculation of Index of Relative Importance (IRI in order to determine the contribution of different food items in the Sloth bear diet. Sloth bears were observed to feed on a wide variety of prey items. They are specialized on insect prey, particularly termites or ants, and are considered as myrmecophagous. The myrmecophagousis character was confirmed by the highest score of insect part (IRI = 21.37 from the samples (n = 566, which was followed by Diospyros melanoxylon (IRI Score 13.51, Ficus spp. (IRI score 12.69 and Cassia fistula (IRI Score 10.13. Sloth bear dietary proportions varied among the three seasons under the study interval. Data suggested that the Sloth bear is essentially behaving as an omnivore, having similar diet (in terms of high incidence of wild fruits and insects with the bears inhabiting semi-arid regions. The opportunistic and generalist strategy of selecting diet ingredients has probably helped the species to survive in semi-arid habitat across the North Gujarat.

  1. Myxomycetes associated with Cactaceae in sub-humid (agreste and semi-arid (sertão regions of Pernambuco, Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Inaldo do Nascimento Ferreira

    2011-06-01

    Full Text Available Studies that indicate the presence of Myxomycetes in arid and semi-arid regions of the planet have revealed new taxons and high species diversity. In those environments, the Myxomycetes occupy special microhabitats like those offered by succulent plants. Aiming to expand the knowledge of species that occur in semi-arid environments we investigated the occurrence of Myxomycetes on Cereus jamacaru (mandacaru, Melocactus bahiensis (coroa de frade, Opuntia ficus-indica (palma forrageira and Pilocereus gounellei (xique-xique – cacti that compose the natural landscape of the sub-humid (agreste and semi-arid (sertão regions of Pernambuco, Brazil. We obtained 158 specimens of Myxomycetes (106 field collections; 52 in moist chamber cultures, representing 16 species distributed in nine genera, with high taxonomic diversity (S/G= 0.63-1.5. All of the identified species are new records for the municipalities studied. Comatricha pulchella, Didymium nigripes and Physarum bogoriense are mentioned for the first time in Caatinga areas in the state of Pernambuco, and Didymium squamulosum and Physarum echinosporum are new records for this biome. Physarum compressum and Badhamia melanospora were the most abundant and frequent species, characterized as constant in the studied myxobiota.

  2. Quantifying depression-focused recharge in a seasonally frozen, semi-arid landscape

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cey, Edwin; Noorduijn, Saskia; Mohammed, Aaron; Pavlovskii, Igor; Bentley, Laurence; Hayashi, Masaki

    2016-04-01

    Groundwater recharge in the northern prairie region is influenced by seasonal accumulation of snowmelt runoff in numerous closed topographic depressions (tens to 100's of meters in size) that dot the landscape. Estimating recharge is difficult due to the number and complexity of processes at play, including snow redistribution, runoff, infiltration, evapotranspiration, lateral water redistribution, and recharge, which take place on clay-rich, macroporous sediments that are seasonally frozen. A multi-faceted study, referred to as the Groundwater Recharge in the Prairies (GRIP) project, was undertaken on the Canadian prairies in order to better understand the key hydrologic processes and to generate reliable basin-scale estimates of groundwater recharge that are necessary for sustainable groundwater management. Detailed monitoring of hydrological fluxes across individual depression-midslope-upland complexes was undertaken at three field sites located in different ecoregions, yielding valuable insights into the hydrologic processes and feedbacks within these individual micro-catchments. This process understanding was incorporated into a relatively simple one-dimensional (1D) water budget model, to which a new upscaling scheme was applied to estimate recharge over a watershed or multiple watersheds. The 1D model links upland and depression processes for an individual micro-catchment, and then upscales to a larger model grid cell based on a categorization of depressions based on their surface area and density within the grid cell. This approach enables explicit incorporation of relevant recharge processes, thus producing realistic recharge estimates, while limiting computational demand. The model has been calibrated and tested against a long-term data set from one of the field sites. Results demonstrate complex relationships between upland-depression water transfers and catchment geometry, resulting in maximal groundwater recharge in catchments with intermediate ratios

  3. The causes of land landscape changes in semi-arid area of Northwest China:a case study of Yulin city%中国西北半干旱区土地景观变化成因--以榆林市为例

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    郭丽英; 任志远; 刘彦随

    2006-01-01

    Rapid land landscape change has taken place in many arid and semi-arid regions such as the vulnerable ecological area over the last decade. In this paper, we quantified land landscape change of Yulin in this area between 1985 and 2000 using remote sensing and GIS. It was found that fallow landscape decreased by 125,148 hm2 while grassland and woodland increased by 107,975 hm2 and 17,157hm2, respectively. The major factors responsible for these changes are identified as the change in the government policy on preserving the environment, continued growth in mining, and urbanization. The efforts in restoring the deteriorated ecosystem have reaped certain benefits in reducing the spatial extent of sandy land through replacement by non-irrigated farmland, woodland and grassland. On the other hand,continued expansion of mining industry and urbanization has exerted adverse impacts on the land landscape. At present regional economic development conflicts directly with the protection of the natural environment. Such a conflict has caused the destruction to the land resources and fragmentation of the landscape accompanied by land desertification, the case is even serious in some localities.

  4. Modelling the topsoil carbon stock of agricultural lands with the Stochastic Gradient Treeboost in a semi-arid Mediterranean region

    KAUST Repository

    Schillaci, Calogero

    2016-10-29

    ETM+ panchromatic Band 8 were the most important predictors of SOC stock. Finally, SOC stocks were estimated for each land cover class. SGT predicted SOC stock better than GSOC and ISRIC for most data. This resulted in a percentage of data in the prediction confidence interval ± 50% compared to the observed values of 71.4%, 65.8%, and 50.7% for SGT, GSOC, and SGT, respectively. This consisted of a higher R2 and a slope (β) that was closer to 1 for the pseudo-regression constructed with SGT compared to GSOC and ISRIC. In conclusion, the results of the present study showed that the integration of RS with climatic and soil texture spatial data could strongly improve SOC prediction in a semi-arid Mediterranean region. In addition, the panchromatic band of Landsat 7 ETM + was more predictive compared to the conventionally used NDVI. This information is crucial to guiding decision-making processes, especially at a regional scale and/or in semi-arid Mediterranean areas. The model performance of the SGT could be further improved by adopting predictors with greater spatial resolutions. The results of the present experiment yield valuable information, especially for assessing climate change or land use change scenarios for SOC stocks and their spatial distribution.

  5. Monitoring temperature sensitivity of soil organic carbon decomposition under maize-wheat cropping systems in semi-arid India.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sandeep, S; Manjaiah, K M; Mayadevi, M R; Singh, A K

    2016-08-01

    Long-term storage of soil organic carbon (SOC) is essential for sustainability of agricultural ecosystems and maintaining overall environment quality as soils contain a significant part of global carbon stocks. In this study, we attempted to explain the carbon mineralization and temperature sensitivity of SOC in maize-wheat systems, a common cropping system in the semi-arid regions of India. Soil samples(0-0.15 m) from long-term experimental plots laid in split plot design with two tillage systems (conventional tillage and bed planting) and six nutrient management treatments (T 1 = control, T 2 = 120 kg urea-N/ha, T 3 = T2 (25 % N substituted by farmyard manure (FYM)), T 4 = T 2 (25 % N substituted by sewage sludge), T 5 = T 2 + crop residue, T 6 = 100 % recommended doses of N through organic source - 50 % FYM + 25 % biofertilizer + 25 % crop residue) were incubated at different temperatures (25, 30, 35, and 40 °C) to determine the thermal sensitivity parameters associated with carbon mineralization. Earlier reports suggest a selective preservation of C3-derived carbon fractions over C4 in the SOC pool, and this is the first instance where δ (13)C signatures (C4-derived carbon) were used as a qualitative measure to assess thermal sensitivity of SOC pools in the maize-wheat crop rotation systems of semi-arid India. Among the nutrient management treatments, mineral fertilizers were found to add more C4-derived carbon to the SOC pool in both the tillage systems but shows less promise in SOC stability as indicated by their lower activation energies (Ea) (14.25 kJ mol(-1)). Conventional tillage was found to mineralize 18.80 % (T 1-control at 25 °C) to 29.93 % carbon (T 3-mineral fertilizer + FYM at 40 °C) during the 150 days of incubation which was significantly higher than bed planting system (14.90 % in T 1-control at 25 °C and 21.99 % in T 6-100% organic sources at 40 °C). Organic manures, especially FYM (19

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-05-01

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

  7. Nitrogen, carbon and phosphorus mineralization in soils from semi-arid highlands of central Mexico amended with tannery sludge.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barajas-Aceves, M; Dendooven, L

    2001-04-01

    Tannery sludge contains valuable nutrients and could be used as a fertilizer to pioneering vegetation in heavily eroded soils of the semi-arid highlands of central Mexico. Soil collected under and outside the canopy of mesquite (Prosopis laeviginata), huizache (Acacia tortuoso) and catclaw (Mimosa biuncifera), and cultivated with maize (Zea mays) and beans (Phaesolus vulgaris) was amended with 1.5 g tannery sludge kg-1 soil or 210 kg dry sludge ha-1 or left unamended. Amended and unamended soils were incubated aerobically for 70 days at 22 +/- 2 degrees C and CO2 production, available P, and inorganic N concentrations were monitored. The CO2 production rate, total C and P, available P, biomass C and P were larger under the canopy of the vegetation than outside of the canopy. The soils were depleted of N as more than 50 mg N kg-1 soil could not be accounted for in the first days of the incubation. Nitrification showed a lag, which lasted 28 days, and concentration of available P remained constant or increased slightly. Application of tannery sludge to soil increased CO2 production with 6.5 mg CO2 kg-1 soil d-1 and inorganic N with 30 mg N kg-1 soil after 70 days, but available P did not increase. Application of tannery sludge increased C and N mineralization and could thus provide valuable nutrients to a pioneer vegetation. Although no inhibitory effects on the biological functioning of the soil were found, further investigation into possible long-term environmental effects are necessary.

  8. Soil microbial community structure is unaltered by plant invasion, vegetation clipping, and nitrogen fertilization in experimental semi-arid grasslands

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chelsea J Carey

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available Global and regional environmental changes often co-occur, creating complex gradients of disturbance on the landscape. Soil microbial communities are an important component of ecosystem response to environmental change, yet little is known about how microbial structure and function respond to multiple disturbances, or whether multiple environmental changes lead to unanticipated interactive effects. Our study used experimental semi-arid grassland plots in a Mediterranean-climate to determine how soil microbial communities in a seasonally variable ecosystem respond to one, two, or three simultaneous environmental changes: exotic plant invasion, plant invasion + vegetation clipping (to simulate common management practices like mowing or livestock grazing, plant invasion + nitrogen (N fertilization, and plant invasion + clipping + N fertilization. We examined microbial community structure 5-6 years after plot establishment via sequencing of >1 million 16S rRNA genes. Abiotic soil properties (soil moisture, temperature, pH, and inorganic N and microbial functioning (nitrification and denitrification potentials were also measured and showed treatment-induced shifts, including altered NO3- availability, temperature, and nitrification potential. Despite these changes, bacterial and archaeal communities showed little variation in composition and diversity across treatments. Even communities in plots exposed to three interacting environmental changes were similar to those in restored native grassland plots. Historical exposure to large seasonal and inter-annual variations in key soil properties, in addition to prior site cultivation, may select for a functionally plastic or largely dormant microbial community, resulting in a microbial community that is structurally robust to single and multiple environmental changes.

  9. Achievements and prospects of genomics-assisted breeding in three legume crops of the semi-arid tropics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Varshney, Rajeev K; Mohan, S Murali; Gaur, Pooran M; Gangarao, N V P R; Pandey, Manish K; Bohra, Abhishek; Sawargaonkar, Shrikant L; Chitikineni, Annapurna; Kimurto, Paul K; Janila, Pasupuleti; Saxena, K B; Fikre, Asnake; Sharma, Mamta; Rathore, Abhishek; Pratap, Aditya; Tripathi, Shailesh; Datta, Subhojit; Chaturvedi, S K; Mallikarjuna, Nalini; Anuradha, G; Babbar, Anita; Choudhary, Arbind K; Mhase, M B; Bharadwaj, Ch; Mannur, D M; Harer, P N; Guo, Baozhu; Liang, Xuanqiang; Nadarajan, N; Gowda, C L L

    2013-12-01

    Advances in next-generation sequencing and genotyping technologies have enabled generation of large-scale genomic resources such as molecular markers, transcript reads and BAC-end sequences (BESs) in chickpea, pigeonpea and groundnut, three major legume crops of the semi-arid tropics. Comprehensive transcriptome assemblies and genome sequences have either been developed or underway in these crops. Based on these resources, dense genetic maps, QTL maps as well as physical maps for these legume species have also been developed. As a result, these crops have graduated from 'orphan' or 'less-studied' crops to 'genomic resources rich' crops. This article summarizes the above-mentioned advances in genomics and genomics-assisted breeding applications in the form of marker-assisted selection (MAS) for hybrid purity assessment in pigeonpea; marker-assisted backcrossing (MABC) for introgressing QTL region for drought-tolerance related traits, Fusarium wilt (FW) resistance and Ascochyta blight (AB) resistance in chickpea; late leaf spot (LLS), leaf rust and nematode resistance in groundnut. We critically present the case of use of other modern breeding approaches like marker-assisted recurrent selection (MARS) and genomic selection (GS) to utilize the full potential of genomics-assisted breeding for developing superior cultivars with enhanced tolerance to various environmental stresses. In addition, this article recommends the use of advanced-backcross (AB-backcross) breeding and development of specialized populations such as multi-parents advanced generation intercross (MAGIC) for creating new variations that will help in developing superior lines with broadened genetic base. In summary, we propose the use of integrated genomics and breeding approach in these legume crops to enhance crop productivity in marginal environments ensuring food security in developing countries.

  10. Has contemporary climate change played a role in population declines of the lizard Ctenophorus decresii from semi-arid Australia?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walker, Samantha; Stuart-Fox, Devi; Kearney, Michael R

    2015-12-01

    Whilst contemporary climatic changes are small in magnitude compared to those predicted for the coming decades, they have already been linked to species range shifts and local extinctions. Elucidating the drivers behind species' responses to contemporary climate change will better inform management strategies for vulnerable and pest species alike. A recent proposal to explain worldwide local extinctions in lizards is that increasing maximum temperatures have constrained lizard activity time in the breeding season beyond extinction thresholds. Here we document a significant population decline and potential local extinction at the warm (northern) range margin of the tawny dragon, Ctenophorus decresii, a rock-dwelling lizard from the Flinders Ranges in semi-arid Australia. We developed and tested a biophysical model of tawny dragon thermoregulatory behaviour and drove the model with daily weather data for the period 1990-2009 across the Flinders Ranges. Our results indicate that potential annual activity time has likely increased over this period throughout the historic range, with within-season declines only in the summer months at the northern range limit. However, populations that have declined since 2000 have also likely experienced higher active body temperatures and more stringent retreat-site requirements (deeper crevices) than have regions where the species remains common, during a period of declining rainfall. Our laboratory estimates of thermal preference in this species were insensitive to altered nutritional and hydric state. Thus it is possible that recent population declines are linked to desiccation stress driven by higher body temperatures and declining rainfall. Our study illustrates that simple indices of the impact of climate warming on animals, such as activity restriction, may in fact reflect a variety of potential mechanisms whose ultimate outcome will be contingent on other factors such as water and shelter availability.

  11. Rehabilitation of semi-arid coal mine spoil bank soils with mine residues and farm organic by-products

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Salazar, M.; Bosch-Serra, A.; Estudillos, G.; Poch, R.M. [University of Lleida, Lleida (Spain). Dept. of Environmental & Soil Science

    2009-07-01

    A method of rehabilitating coal mine soils was studied under the conditions of a semi-arid climate, lack of topsoil but availability of farm by-products in NE Spain. The objectives of the research were to assess a new method in order to achieve a suitable substrate for the establishment of native vegetation, to evaluate environmental impacts associated with the reclamation process, and to determine the time necessary to integrate the treated area into the surrounding environment. Eight plots (10 x 35 m{sup 2}) were established in September 1997. Substrate combinations of two types of mine spoil (coal dust and coarse-sized material), two levels of pig slurry (39 and 94 Mg ha{sup -1}dry-wt), and cereal straw (0 and 15 Mg ha{sup -1}) were applied. Monitoring of select physical and chemical soil properties and vegetation characteristics was performed from 1997 until 2005. The bulk density and the saturated hydraulic conductivity measured did not limit plant development and water availability. Initial substrate salinity (1.37 S m{sup -1}) decreased with time and in the long term did not limit plant colonization to salinity-adapted species. Initial nitrate concentration was 298 mg kg{sup -1}, but was reduced significantly to acceptable values in 3 years (55 mg kg{sup -1}) and the measured pH (7.6) was maintained at the level of initial spoil values. Vegetation cover reached up to 90%. In the treated area, spontaneous vegetation cover (15 to 70%) colonized the nonsown areas widely. In the medium term, vegetation cover tended to be higher in plots with a thicker layer of coal dust material and the higher slurry rate. Soil rehabilitation and environmental reintegration, taking into account soil and vegetation indicators, was possible in the studied area with low cost inputs using residual materials from mining activities and animal husbandry by-products.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-11-01

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

  13. Validation of MODIS and Deep Blue aerosol optical depth retrievals in an arid/semi-arid region of northwest China

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Xia Li; Xiangao Xia; Shengli Wang; Jietai Mao; Yan Liu

    2012-01-01

    The global aerosol optical depth (AOD or τ) has been retrieved using the Dark Target algorithm (the C004 and C005 products) and the Deep Blue algorithm (DB product).Few validations have thus far been performed in arid/semi-arid regions,especially in northwest China.The ground-based remote sensing of AOD from sun photometers at four sites in Xinjiang during the years 2002-2003 is used to validate aerosol products,including C004,C005 and DB of the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS).The results show substantial improvement in the C005 aerosol product over the C004 product.The average correlation coefficient of regression with ground measurements increased from 0.59 to 0.69,and the average offset decreased from 0.28 to 0.13.The slopes of the linear regressions tended to be close to unity.The percentage of AODs falling within the retrieval errors of 30% (or △τ =±0.1 ± 0.2τ)increased from 16.1% to 45.6%.The best retrievals are obtained over an oasis region,whereas the worst are obtained over urban areas.Both the MODIS C004 and C005 products overestimate AOD,which is likely related to improper assumptions of the aerosol model and of the estimation of surface reflectance.An encouraging result has been derived with regard to validation of the DB AOD.Overall,the average offset,slope and correlation coefficient of regression with sun-photometer measurements are -0.04,0.88 and 0.85,respectively.Approximately 73% of the DB AOD retrievals fall within the expected error of 30%.Underestimation of the AOD by the DB products is observed.The aerosol model and estimations of surface reflectance in this region require further improvements.

  14. Exceptionally high organic nitrogen concentrations in a semi-arid South Texas estuary susceptible to brown tide blooms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wetz, Michael S.; Cira, Emily K.; Sterba-Boatwright, Blair; Montagna, Paul A.; Palmer, Terence A.; Hayes, Kenneth C.

    2017-03-01

    Studies of estuarine eutrophication have tended to focus on systems with continually flowing rivers, while little is known about estuaries from semi-arid/arid regions. Here we report results from an assessment of water quality conditions in Baffin Bay, Texas, a shallow (use. Chlorophyll a averaged 28-30 μg/l in Baffin Bay from 2003 to 2013 and total Kjeldahl nitrogen (TKN) concentrations were also very high (116-120 μM), with concentrations of both variables exceeding those of most other Texas estuaries by 2-5 fold. More recent field sampling (2013-2015) showed that dissolved organic nitrogen concentrations in Baffin Bay (62 ± 14 μM) were >2 fold higher than in three other Texas estuaries. In contrast, inorganic nitrogen (ammonium, nitrate) and phosphate concentrations were relatively low. Statistically significant long-term annual increases in chlorophyll a and salinity were observed in Baffin Bay, while long-term seasonal increases were observed for water temperature and TKN. Overall, Baffin Bay is displaying multiple symptoms of eutrophication, namely very high organic carbon, organic nitrogen and chlorophyll concentrations, as well as symptoms not quantified here such as fish kills and episodic hypoxia. Much of the increase in chlorophyll in Baffin Bay, at least since ∼1990, have coincided with blooms of the mixotrophic phytoplankton species, Aureoumbra lagunensis, which is thought to be favored under high proportions of organic to inorganic nitrogen. Thus the high and possibly increasing organic nitrogen concentrations, coupled with a long-term annual increase in salinity and a long-term seasonal increase in water temperature are likely to promote additional brown tide blooms in this system in the future.

  15. Effects of different agricultural managements in soil microbial community structure in a semi-arid Mediterranean region.

    Science.gov (United States)

    García-Orenes, Fuensanta; Morugan, Alicia; Mataix-Solera, Jorge; Scow, Kate

    2013-04-01

    Agriculture has been practiced in semi-arid Mediterranean regions for 10.000 years and in many cases these practices have been unsuitable causing land degradation for millennium and an important loss of soil quality. The land management can provide solutions to find the best agricultural practices in order to maintain the soil quality and get a sustainable agriculture model. Microbiological properties are the most sensitive and rapid indicators of soil perturbations and land use managements. The study of microbial community and diversity has an important interest as indicators of changes in soil quality. The main objective of this work was to asses the effect of different agricultural management practices in soil microbial community (evaluated as abundance of phospholipid fatty acids, PLFA). Four different treatments were selected, based on the most commonly practices applied by farmers in the study area, "El Teularet Experimental Station", located at the Enguera Range in the southern part of the Valencia province (eastern Spain). These treatments were: a) ploughing, b) herbicides c) mulch, using the types applied by organic farmers to develop a sustainable agriculture, such as oat straw and d) control that was established as plot where the treatment was abandonment after farming. An adjacent area with the same type of soil, but with natural vegetation was used as a standard or reference high quality soil. Soil samples were taken to evaluate the changes in microbial soil structure, analysing the abundance of PLFA. The results showed a major content of total PLFA in soils treated with oats straw, being these results similar to the content of PLFA in the soil with natural vegetation, also these soils were similar in the distribution of abundance of different PLFA studied. However, the herbicide and tillage treatments showed great differences regarding the soil used as reference (soil under natural vegetation).

  16. Small-Scale Spatial Variability of Soil Nutrients and Vegetation Properties in Semi-Arid Northern China

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    CHEN Fu-Sheng; ZENG De-Hui; HE Xing-Yuan

    2006-01-01

    A field experiment was conducted at Kezuohouqi County, Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region of China, which was located on the southeastern edge of the Horqin Sandy Land, to study the spatial variability of soil nutrients for a smallscale, nutrient-poor, sandy site in a semi-arid region of northern China; to investigate whether or not there were "islands of fertility" at the experimental site; and to determine the key nutrient elements that sustained ecosystem stability. Results obtained from geostatistical analysis indicated that the spatial distribution pattern of soil total nitrogen (STN) was far different from those of soil organic matter (SOM), total phosphorus (STP), and total potassium (STK). Compared to SOM, STP, and STK, STN had a lower structural heterogeneity ratio and a longer range, while other elements were all similar. In addition, STN had an isotropic spatial structure, whereas the others had an anisotropic spatial structure.The spatial structure patterns of herbage species, cover, and height also differed, indicating that spatial variability was subjected to different ecological factors. Differences in the spatial variability patterns among soil nutrients and vegetation properties showed that soil nutrients for a small-scale were not the primary limiting factors that influenced herbage spatial distribution patterns. Incorporating spatial distribution patterns of tree species, namely, Pinus sylvestris var. mongolica Litv. and shrub Lespedeza bicolor Turcz. in a research plot and using fractal dimension, SOM, STP, and STK were shown to contribute to the "islands of fertility" phenomenon, however STN was not, possibly meaning that nitrogen was a key limiting element. Therefore, during restoration of similar ecosystems more attention should be given to soil nitrogen.

  17. ENERGETIC VALUE OF FORAGES FROM SEMI-ARID REGION AND DIGESTIBILITY OF RATIONS FOR NAKED NECK PULLETS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    ALEX MARTINS VARELA DE ARRUDA

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available The feeding programs for naked neck chickens in semi-intensive production system from brazilian equatorial semi-arid environment, must consider regional food availability and respective nutritional values. Thus, to evaluate the digestibility and metabolizable energy of alternative forages, it was used 240 naked neck pullets (Isa Label lineage receiving water and ration ad libitum, pair-housed in cages for total collection of excreta on conventional warehouse. It was used a completely randomized design with factorial arrangement (5x2: one control ration (corn and soy meal and other four experimental rations with silk flower hay (Calotropis procera, cassava leafs hay (Manihot esculenta, kills pasture hay (Senna obtusifolia or leucaena leafs hay (Leucaena leucocephala, and all rations were balanced for two growing phases, between 8 and 10 weeks (young pullets and between 14 and 16 weeks of age (old pullets. The values of apparent digestibility of nutrients for all experimental rations were lower than control ration (P <0.05 and it was observed general means of 72.18% for dry matter, 78.12% for crude protein, 66.90% for ether extract, 28.08% for neutral detergent fiber, 18.51% for the acid detergent fiber, 71.64% for gross energy and availability of 15.61% for mineral matter. The general mean of apparent and corrected metabolizable energy of alternative forages was 1217 kcal/ kg and 1108 kcal/kg, respectively, and the higher value was determined for leucaena hay and the lower value for silk flower hay (P <0.05.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-05-01

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

  19. A Dynamic Eco-Geomorphogic View of Surface Connectivity in Semi-Arid Areas: Modelling Approach and Observations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saco, Patricia; Moreno-de las Heras, Mariano; Willgoose, Garry

    2013-04-01

    We study the dynamics of runoff connectivity patterns in semi-arid areas with patchy vegetation using a modelling approach and field data. Runoff connectivity emerges from the interaction between hydrologic, vegetation and erosion patterns. These patterns are spatially and temporally dynamic as they respond to a variety of processes acting at various temporal and spatial scales. For example, soil moisture patterns, which prescribe runoff production due to infiltration excess mechanisms, dynamically change exhibiting a relatively fast response to temporal changes in rainfall rates, but are also influenced by a slower response to spatial and temporal changes in vegetation cover that alter infiltration rates. We use a modelling framework that couples a landform evolution model with a dynamic vegetation model for water-limited ecosystems. The model captures the dynamics of spatially variable infiltration rates that are responsible for the development of a runoff-runon system, which determines the surface connectivity of the landscape and modulates the resulting sediment erosion and depositional areas. Therefore the amount of water and sediments retained by the landscape is linked to the dynamic surface connectivity between the upslope and downslope areas. We analyse and compare the patterns of surface connectivity resulting from hillslopes with varying slopes, and varying soil erodibilities and diffusivities. We also investigate the effect of different vegetation covers, with varying degrees of soil-cover protective effect, which give rise to both banded and striped vegetation patterns. We present and analyse the modelling results, which are found to be in good agreement with field observations in both Australia and Spain. These simulations suggest that the appearance of rills in areas with higher slope or soil erodibility, and/or vegetation with lower soil-protective effect dramatically alters connectivity patterns. Results show that in these areas, small disturbances

  20. Microclimate-induced Lateral Channel Migration as a Driver for Hillslope Asymmetry in Semi-arid Landscapes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richardson, P. W.; Perron, J. T.; Miller, S. R.

    2014-12-01

    North-facing slopes in semi-arid regions of the northern hemisphere are commonly steeper than south-facing slopes, whereas the converse is observed in the southern hemisphere. In the absence of a structural cause, the most common explanations for topographic asymmetry ultimately invoke aspect-related microclimate. Landscapes with asymmetric topography are therefore potential natural laboratories for investigating the sensitivity of surface processes to climate. However, the specific mechanisms driving asymmetry are not well understood, and studies using asymmetric topography to investigate landscape climate sensitivity may have to consider multiple origins of the asymmetry. Two leading hypotheses have emerged. One states that small differences in microclimate cause differences in the efficiency of erosional processes on slopes with different aspect. The more efficiently eroding slope erodes faster until the resulting slope asymmetry compensates for the difference in erosional efficiency. According to the other hypothesis, the difference in erosional efficiency is not sufficient to create the observed topographic asymmetry. Instead, sediment aggradation at the foot of the more quickly eroding slope forces lateral channel migration and undercutting of the opposing slope. These two explanations for topographic asymmetry predict different trajectories of long-term landscape evolution - sustained migration of asymmetric valleys would drive stream capture and drainage reorganization, whereas the mechanism without lateral channel migration would not - but there is no existing test capable of distinguishing between them. We develop such a test using a landscape evolution model that simulates different asymmetry-forming mechanisms, including asymmetric runoff production, channel incision threshold, soil creep, and lateral channel migration. For the case of topographic asymmetry produced by lateral channel migration, the model predicts that north-facing hilltops should be

  1. Managing Semi-Arid Rangelands for Carbon Storage: Grazing and Woody Encroachment Effects on Soil Carbon and Nitrogen.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yusuf, Hasen M; Treydte, Anna C; Sauerborn, Jauchim

    2015-01-01

    High grazing intensity and wide-spread woody encroachment may strongly alter soil carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) pools. However, the direction and quantity of these changes have rarely been quantified in East African savanna ecosystem. As shifts in soil C and N pools might further potentially influence climate change mitigation, we quantified and compared soil organic carbon (SOC) and total soil nitrogen (TSN) content in enclosures and communal grazing lands across varying woody cover i.e. woody encroachment levels. Estimated mean SOC and TSN stocks at 0-40 cm depth varied across grazing regimes and among woody encroachment levels. The open grazing land at the heavily encroached site on sandy loam soil contained the least SOC (30 ± 2.1 Mg ha-1) and TSN (5 ± 0.57 Mg ha-1) while the enclosure at the least encroached site on sandy clay soil had the greatest mean SOC (81.0 ± 10.6 Mg ha-1) and TSN (9.2 ± 1.48 Mg ha-1). Soil OC and TSN did not differ with grazing exclusion at heavily encroached sites, but were twice as high inside enclosure compared to open grazing soils at low encroached sites. Mean SOC and TSN in soils of 0-20 cm depth were up to 120% higher than that of the 21-40 cm soil layer. Soil OC was positively related to TSN, cation exchange capacity (CEC), but negatively related to sand content. Our results show that soil OC and TSN stocks are affected by grazing, but the magnitude is largely influenced by woody encroachment and soil texture. We suggest that improving the herbaceous layer cover through a reduction in grazing and woody encroachment restriction are the key strategies for reducing SOC and TSN losses and, hence, for climate change mitigation in semi-arid rangelands.

  2. Effect of soil coarseness on soil base cations and available micronutrients in a semi-arid sandy grassland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lü, Linyou; Wang, Ruzhen; Liu, Heyong; Yin, Jinfei; Xiao, Jiangtao; Wang, Zhengwen; Zhao, Yan; Yu, Guoqing; Han, Xingguo; Jiang, Yong

    2016-04-01

    Soil coarseness is the main process decreasing soil organic matter and threatening the productivity of sandy grasslands. Previous studies demonstrated negative effect of soil coarseness on soil carbon storage, but less is known about how soil base cations (exchangeable Ca, Mg, K, and Na) and available micronutrients (available Fe, Mn, Cu, and Zn) response to soil coarseness. In a semi-arid grassland of Northern China, a field experiment was initiated in 2011 to mimic the effect of soil coarseness on soil base cations and available micronutrients by mixing soil with different mass proportions of sand: 0 % coarse elements (C0), 10 % (C10), 30 % (C30), 50 % (C50), and 70 % (C70). Soil coarseness significantly increased soil pH in three soil depths of 0-10, 10-20 and 20-40 cm with the highest pH values detected in C50 and C70 treatments. Soil fine particles (smaller than 0.25 mm) significantly decreased with the degree of soil coarseness. Exchangeable Ca and Mg concentrations significantly decreased with soil coarseness degree by up to 29.8 % (in C70) and 47.5 % (in C70), respectively, across three soil depths. Soil available Fe, Mn, and Cu significantly decreased with soil coarseness degree by 62.5, 45.4, and 44.4 %, respectively. As affected by soil coarseness, the increase of soil pH, decrease of soil fine particles (including clay), and decline in soil organic matter were the main driving factors for the decrease of exchangeable base cations (except K) and available micronutrients (except Zn) through soil profile. Developed under soil coarseness, the loss and redistribution of base cations and available micronutrients along soil depths might pose a threat to ecosystem productivity of this sandy grassland.

  3. Plant species diversity of wetland ecosystem in an arid and semi-arid region in northwest China

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    LI Rui; LIU Yunfang; ZHANG Kebin

    2007-01-01

    In order to study the changes of plant species diversity along the biotope gradient and its influencing factors in a wetland-add grassland ecosystem in the add and semi-arid regions of northwest China,four transect lines were set along the biotope gradient in four directions:east,northeast,west and northwest,and altogether 123 sample plots were investigated on species composition,density,foliage cover,height and biomass (calculated in fresh weight).The whole study area was divided into the Wetland zone,the ecotone and the arid grassland zone in terms of habitat characteristics and vegetation types.In this paper,we analyzed and compared the species diversity in the ecotone of a wetland-dry grassland ecosystem in Yanchi County,Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region,with the help of biodiversity software BioDiversity Pro and statistical software Microcal Origin,as well as the combined measurement of species diversity indices.The results revealed distinct differences between those three vegetation zones along each transect line.The ecotone had the highest richness indices (R) and comprehensive diversity indices (Y),reflecting the edge effect.The greatest evenness indices (E) were found in the add grassland zones.This result agreed with the phenomenon of desertification reversion,vegetation restoration and dominant communities' formation.As for the four transect lines,the east and the northeast scored higher in each diversity index than the others due to less human disturbance,gentler topography uplift and more intercepted materials and energies.The highest Simpson index value was found in the northeast transect line,which was 39.9% higher than the lowest in the Northwest.

  4. Applicability of the Thermal Infrared Spectral Region for the Prediction of Soil Properties Across Semi-Arid Agricultural Landscapes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sabine Chabrillat

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available In this study we tested the feasibility of the thermal infrared (TIR wavelength region (within the atmospheric window between 8 and 11.5 μm together with the traditional solar reflective wavelengths for quantifying soil properties for coarse-textured soils from the Australian wheat belt region. These soils have very narrow ranges of texture and organic carbon contents. Soil surface spectral signatures were acquired in the laboratory, using a directional emissivity spectrometer (μFTIR in the TIR, as well as a bidirectional reflectance spectrometer (ASD FieldSpec for the solar reflective wavelengths (0.4–2.5 μm. Soil properties were predicted using multivariate analysis techniques (partial least square regression. The spectra were resampled to operational imaging spectroscopy sensor characteristics (HyMAP and TASI-600. To assess the relevance of specific wavelength regions in the prediction, the drivers of the PLS models were interpreted with respect to the spectral characteristics of the soils’ chemical and physical composition. The study revealed the potential of the TIR (for clay: R2 = 0.93, RMSEP = 0.66% and for sand: R2 = 0.93, RMSEP = 0.82% and its combination with the solar reflective region (for organic carbon: R2 = 0.95, RMSEP = 0.04% for retrieving soil properties in typical soils of semi-arid regions. The models’ drivers confirmed the opto-physical base of most of the soils’ constituents (clay minerals, silicates, iron oxides, and emphasizes the TIR’s advantage for soils with compositions dominated by quartz and kaolinite.

  5. Habitat Heterogeneity Variably Influences Habitat Selection by Wild Herbivores in a Semi-Arid Tropical Savanna Ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muposhi, Victor K.; Gandiwa, Edson; Chemura, Abel; Bartels, Paul; Makuza, Stanley M.; Madiri, Tinaapi H.

    2016-01-01

    An understanding of the habitat selection patterns by wild herbivores is critical for adaptive management, particularly towards ecosystem management and wildlife conservation in semi arid savanna ecosystems. We tested the following predictions: (i) surface water availability, habitat quality and human presence have a strong influence on the spatial distribution of wild herbivores in the dry season, (ii) habitat suitability for large herbivores would be higher compared to medium-sized herbivores in the dry season, and (iii) spatial extent of suitable habitats for wild herbivores will be different between years, i.e., 2006 and 2010, in Matetsi Safari Area, Zimbabwe. MaxEnt modeling was done to determine the habitat suitability of large herbivores and medium-sized herbivores. MaxEnt modeling of habitat suitability for large herbivores using the environmental variables was successful for the selected species in 2006 and 2010, except for elephant (Loxodonta africana) for the year 2010. Overall, large herbivores probability of occurrence was mostly influenced by distance from rivers. Distance from roads influenced much of the variability in the probability of occurrence of medium-sized herbivores. The overall predicted area for large and medium-sized herbivores was not different. Large herbivores may not necessarily utilize larger habitat patches over medium-sized herbivores due to the habitat homogenizing effect of water provisioning. Effect of surface water availability, proximity to riverine ecosystems and roads on habitat suitability of large and medium-sized herbivores in the dry season was highly variable thus could change from one year to another. We recommend adaptive management initiatives aimed at ensuring dynamic water supply in protected areas through temporal closure and or opening of water points to promote heterogeneity of wildlife habitats. PMID:27680673

  6. The influence of several changes in atmospheric states over semi-arid areas on the incidence of mental health disorders

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yackerson, Naomy S.; Zilberman, Arkadi; Todder, Doron; Kaplan, Zeev

    2011-05-01

    The incidence of suicide attempts [Deliberate Self Harm (DSH); ICD-10: X60-X84] and psychotic attacks (PsA; ICD-10, F20-F29) in association with atmospheric states, typical for areas close to big deserts, was analyzed. A retrospective study is based on the 4,325 cases of DSH and PsA registered in the Mental Health Center (MHC) of Ben-Gurion University (Be'er-Sheva, Israel) during 2001-2003. Pearson and Spearman test correlations were used; the statistical significance was tested at p 0.1). Correlation coefficients between N SU and N PS and speed WS of westerly wind reaches 0.3 ( p 0.09). Variations in easterly wind direction WD influence N SU and N PS values ( p 0.3). Obviously ,in transition areas located between different regions ,the main role of air streams in meteorological-biological impact can scarcely be exaggerated. An unstable balance in the internal state of a weather-sensitive person is disturbed when the atmospheric state is changed by specific desert winds, which can provoke significant perturbations in meteorological parameters. Results indicate the importance of wind direction, defining mainly the atmospheric situation in semi-arid areas: changes in direction of the easterly wind influence N SU and N PS , while changes in WS are important for mental health under westerly air streams. Obviously, N SU and N PS are more affected by the disturbance of weather from its normal state, for a given season, to which the local population is accustomed, than by absolute values of meteorological parameters.

  7. [Effects of degraded sandy grassland afforestation on soil quality in semi-arid area of northern China].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, Ya-lin; Zeng, De-hui; Fan, Zhi-ping; Ai, Gui-yan

    2007-11-01

    By the methods of field survey and incubation test, this paper studied the effects of degraded sandy grassland afforestation with Mongolian pine on the soil physical, chemical and biological properties in 0-10 cm layer on Keerqin sandy land. The results showed that after 32 years afforestation, soil organic C, total N and total P decreased by 21%, 42% and 45%, respectively. In May and November, soil NH4+ -N content was significantly higher under Mongolian pine plantation than under grassland (P = 0.001; P = 0.019), but in May, August and November, soil NO3- -N content was in adverse (P soil C mineralization rate was higher under Mongolian pine plantation than under grassland, but the difference in N mineralization rate was not significant (P > 0.05). In May and August, soil microbial biomass C under Mongolian pine plantation and grassland had little difference, but in November, it was significantly higher under Mongolian pine plantation than under grassland. Soil nutrients- and moisture contents were the important factors affecting soil microbial biomass C. Soil urease and invertase activities decreased but catalase activity increased under Mongolian pine plantation, compared with those under grassland. It was suggested that 32 years afforestation of degraded sandy grassland with Mongolian pine on Keerqin sandy land led to a definite degradation of soil quality. Owing to the changes of vegetation, the test indicators of soil quality had different seasonal dynamic characteristics under Mongolian pine plantation and grassland. As a means of degraded ecosystem restoration in semi-arid area of Northern China, afforestation had its definite limitations.

  8. Re-writing the historical perceptions of semi-arid agriculture at the abandoned site of Engaruka, NE Tanzania

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lang, Carol; Stump, Daryl

    2016-04-01

    Archaeological excavations and surveys recognised as early as the 1960s that the extensive area of archaeological remains at Engaruka in northeast Tanzania were the remnants of former settlements overlooking c. 2000ha of agricultural fields and terraces served by a complex network of irrigation canals. Given that the area is now semi-arid and receives c. 400mm of rain per year, it was naturally assumed that this irrigation was necessary in order to undertake arable cultivation. However, recent and ongoing geoarchaeological research - including stratigraphy, micromorphology and geochemistry, complemented by archaeobotany and modelling of hydrology and sediment transport - demonstrates that the site was formerly much wetter. So much wetter, in fact, that farmers built fields containing soils with paddy-like characteristics, and constructed sediment traps that accumulated vast quantities of alluvium entrained within watercourses, resulting in deposits up to 60cm deep over an area of c. 900ha, and up to 2m deep (totally some 16,000 m3) within just one large terrace covering c. 0.6ha. This paper presents the stratigraphy, micromorphology and geochemistry of the site, discusses the importance of relating this wet phase (or phases) to broader palaeoclimatic signatures covering the period of the site's occupation between the 14th and mid- to late 18th century AD, and questions if and how data of this sort can inform assessments of systemic sustainability or resilience. Acknowledgements: European Research Council Starter Grand Scheme (FP/200702013/) ERC Grant Agreement No. ERC-StG-2012-337128-AAREA

  9. Steam flow generation in semi-arid, forested and seasonally snow-covered catchments, Valles Caldera, New Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, F.; Bales, R. C.; Conklin, M. H.; Kostrzewski, J. M.

    2005-12-01

    Stream flow generation is poorly understood for semi-arid, forested and seasonally snow-covered catchments in southwest US. Here we report on initial results of a pioneer study on source waters and flowpaths using isotopic and geochemical tracers in two streams originated from Redondo Peak in Valles Caldera, New Mexico. The Valles Caldera is the latest collapse feature in the volcanic field and hosts high-temperature hydrothermal systems with several geothermal springs. It is currently covered by ponderosa pine in lower elevations and mixed conifer in higher elevations. Samples were collected from snow, hillslope groundwater, and stream water at Redondo Creek and La Jara Creek from December 2004 to July 2005. Using diagnostic tools of mixing models and end-member mixing analysis, it is suggested that stream water quantity and quality at Redondo Creek were primarily controlled by mixing of two end-members: hillslope subsurface water and geothermal springs. Hillslope subsurface water was sourced from snowmelt and then gradually released to stream flow through spring and summer. Infiltration-excess overland flow of snowmelt did not appear to occur. Contribution of hillslope subsurface water to stream flow was 90% on average from December 2004 to July 2005 and its percentage gradually increased from spring to summer with increase in discharge. Contribution of geothermal springs decreased on percentage over season with a peak (20%) in late march and lowest but relatively constant value (5%) through June and July. Stream flow generation at La Jara Creek was relatively simple, all from hillslope subsurface water. This information may improve our understanding of changes of hydrological and biogeochemical cycles in response to climate warming in these and similar catchments in southwest US.

  10. Changes of AM fungal abundance along environmental gradients in the arid and semi-arid grasslands of northern China.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yajun Hu

    Full Text Available Arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM fungi are ubiquitous symbionts of higher plants in terrestrial ecosystems, while the occurrence of the AM symbiosis is influenced by a complex set of abiotic and biotic factors. To reveal the regional distribution pattern of AM fungi as driven by multiple environmental factors, and to understand the ecological importance of AM fungi in natural ecosystems, we conducted a field investigation on AM fungal abundance along environmental gradients in the arid and semi-arid grasslands of northern China. In addition to plant parameters recorded in situ, soil samples were collected, and soil chemo-physical and biological parameters were measured in the lab. Statistical analyses were performed to reveal the relative contribution of climatic, edaphic and vegetation factors to AM fungal abundance, especially for extraradical hyphal length density (HLD in the soil. The results indicated that HLD were positively correlated with mean annual temperature (MAT, soil clay content and soil pH, but negatively correlated with both soil organic carbon (SOC and soil available N. The multiple regressions and structural equation model showed that MAT was the key positive contributor and soil fertility was the key negative contributor to HLD. Furthermore, both the intraradical AM colonization (IMC and relative abundance of AM fungi, which was quantified by real-time PCR assay, tended to decrease along the increasing SOC content. With regard to the obvious negative correlation between MAT and SOC in the research area, the positive correlation between MAT and HLD implied that AM fungi could potentially mitigate soil carbon losses especially in infertile soils under global warming. However, direct evidence from long-term experiments is still expected to support the AM fungal contribution to soil carbon pools.

  11. Changes of AM fungal abundance along environmental gradients in the arid and semi-arid grasslands of northern China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, Yajun; Rillig, Matthias C; Xiang, Dan; Hao, Zhipeng; Chen, Baodong

    2013-01-01

    Arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi are ubiquitous symbionts of higher plants in terrestrial ecosystems, while the occurrence of the AM symbiosis is influenced by a complex set of abiotic and biotic factors. To reveal the regional distribution pattern of AM fungi as driven by multiple environmental factors, and to understand the ecological importance of AM fungi in natural ecosystems, we conducted a field investigation on AM fungal abundance along environmental gradients in the arid and semi-arid grasslands of northern China. In addition to plant parameters recorded in situ, soil samples were collected, and soil chemo-physical and biological parameters were measured in the lab. Statistical analyses were performed to reveal the relative contribution of climatic, edaphic and vegetation factors to AM fungal abundance, especially for extraradical hyphal length density (HLD) in the soil. The results indicated that HLD were positively correlated with mean annual temperature (MAT), soil clay content and soil pH, but negatively correlated with both soil organic carbon (SOC) and soil available N. The multiple regressions and structural equation model showed that MAT was the key positive contributor and soil fertility was the key negative contributor to HLD. Furthermore, both the intraradical AM colonization (IMC) and relative abundance of AM fungi, which was quantified by real-time PCR assay, tended to decrease along the increasing SOC content. With regard to the obvious negative correlation between MAT and SOC in the research area, the positive correlation between MAT and HLD implied that AM fungi could potentially mitigate soil carbon losses especially in infertile soils under global warming. However, direct evidence from long-term experiments is still expected to support the AM fungal contribution to soil carbon pools.

  12. Soil carbon sequestration and mineralization potential in an old-field revegetated with shrubs in semi-arid climate conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Dato, G.; Lagomarsino, A.; Abou Jaoudé, R.; De Angelis, P.

    2012-04-01

    Revegetation and afforestation of abandoned fields can modify mineralisation processes of soil organic matter and, as a consequence, the potential for C sequestration. Our work aimed to analyse these changes identifying C fractions with different degrees of physical protection and potential mineralization, in a old-field revegetated with shrubby species in a Mediterranean semi-arid area. A multi-specific plantation was made up in February 2006, by planting Juniperus phoenicea L. (JP), Pistacia lentiscus L. (PL) and Rosmarinus officinalis L. (RO). The area has a typical Mediterranean climate with an average temperature of 16.8 °C and a total annual precipitation of 643 mm. Soil cores were collected in three plots with a mixed specific composition, and in one plot used as control (grass cover). Soil cores (0 - 20 cm depth) were sampled in April 2010 at two distances (30 and 60 cm) from the centre of shrub crown cover in revegetated plots, and randomly in the control. The following variables were examined: soil aggregates (macro- > 250 µm and micro-aggregates between 53 and 250 µm), fine particulate organic matter (F-POM) and its C and N content, microbial respiration after 28 days at 24 °C, and mineralization rate of labile and stable C. In the short period, no variation in soil C accumulation induced by the plantation was detected. On the other hand, C input from the different soil covers had a distinct pattern: in revegetated plots it was mainly made up by POM, while fine roots represented the major C input in the control. Macro- and micro-aggregates distribution differed in the control and revegetated plots, allowing a higher physical protection of organic carbon in the control. Nevertheless, more recalcitrant organic matter inputs in the plantation can likely determine a more robust soil C accumulation in the long term.

  13. Spatial pattern of a plant community in a wetland ecosystem in a semi-arid region in northwestern China

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Kebin ZHANG; Rui LI; Yunfang LIU; Baitian WANG; Xiaohui YANG; Ruiping HOU

    2008-01-01

    The spatial distribution characteristics of plant communities in a wetland-dry grassland ecosystem in arid and semi-arid regions in northwestern China and the main factors affecting the distribution pattern were studied. The Siertan wetland in the Haba Lake Nature Reserve was the study area. Four transect lines, each about 1 km long, were set up in the growing season along the biotope gradient in four directions: east, northeast, west and northwest. Attributes measured include frequency of occurrence, height, density, coverage, biomass and envir-onmental soil factors. The data were analyzed using a two-way indicative species analysis (TWINSPAN), detrended correspondence analysis (DCA) and Spear-man correlation coefficients. On this basis, the vegetation in the Siertan wetland was classified into three types and 14 associations. The first vegetation type was halophytic marsh vegetation, mainly distributed in the wetland zone. This type largely contains halophyte and hygric plants and its representative association is Phragmites communis + Kalidiumfoliatum. The second type was meadow vegeta-tion, distributed in the ecotone. The meadow vegetation species are mainly mesophytic and their representative association is Nitraria tangutorum+ Pennisetum flacci-dum. The third vegetation type is grassland vegetation, which mainly consists of mesophytic and xerophytes, dis-tributed in the arid grassland zone. The representative association of the third vegetation type is the association of Anaeurolepidium secalium + Saussurea runcinata. Correlation analysis between the axes of DCA and envir-onmental soil factors shows that soil moisture content, organic matter, soil salt content and total nitrogen are the main environmental factors affecting the pattern of vegetation distribution along the biotope gradients from wetland to arid grassland. Other factors affecting the vegetation are microtopography and grazing pressure. Additionally, we have reported modifications and

  14. Políticas públicas de recursos hídricos para o semi-árido Public water resources policy for the semi-arid region

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    José Almir Cirilo

    2008-01-01

    Full Text Available As características climáticas e socioeconômicas do semi-árido brasileiro requerem tecnologias específicas de utilização e conservação dos recursos hídricos. É preciso analisar as alternativas de obtenção de água para usos diversos. Em contraposição às formas tradicionais de acumular água em pequenos reservatórios de superfície (açudes e perfuração de poços no cristalino, têm-se buscado alternativas como poços de grande profundidade nas áreas sedimentares, metodologias para redução da evaporação e controle da salinização, destinação e uso de efluentes. Por fim, obras de integração de bacias hidrográficas e transporte de água a grande distância começam a ser construídas na região. A abordagem dessas diferentes políticas hídricas para o semi-árido é o objetivo deste trabalho.The climatic, social and economic characteristics in the Brazilian semi-arid region require specific technologies of water resources uses and conservation. So, many alternatives for clean water acquisition must be analyzed. In opposition to the traditional way of accumulating water in small surface reservoirs and perforation of wells in crystalline terrains, alternatives have been looking like great depth wells in sedimentary areas, methodologies for evaporation reduction and salinization control, destination and use of effluents. Finally, works for river basins integration and water transport over long distances are starting to be built in Northeast region. The approach in those water policies for the Brazilian semi-arid region is the purpose of this paper.

  15. 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; Gunter, Brian; Ditmar, Pavel; Sutanudjaja, Edwin; Sun, Yu; Xia, Ting; Wang, Zhongjing

    2016-04-01

    An accurate estimate of water resources is critical for proper management of both agriculture and the local ecology, particularly in semi-arid regions where water is scarce. Imperfections in model physics, uncertainties in model land parameters and meteorological data, and the human impact on land changes often limit the accuracy of hydrological models in estimating water storages. To address this problem, this study investigated the assimilation of Terrestrial Water Storage (TWS) 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 of 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 performance of the GRACE Data Assimilation (DA) scheme was evaluated in terms of its impact on the TWS as well as on the individual hydrological storage estimates. The capability of GRACE DA to adjust the storage level was apparent not only in the TWS but also in the groundwater component, which had annual amplitude, phase, and long-term trend estimates closer to the GRACE observations. This study also assessed the impact of considering correlated errors in GRACE-based estimates. These were derived based on the error propagation approach using the full error variance-covariance matrices provided as a part of the GRACE data product. The assessment was carried out by comparing the EnKF results after excluding (EnKF 1D) and including (EnKF 3D) error correlations with the in situ groundwater data from 5 well sites, and the in situ streamflow data from two river gauges. Both EnKF 1D and 3D improved groundwater and streamflow estimates compared to the results from the PCR-GLOBWB alone (Ensemble Open Loop, EnOL). Although EnKF 3D was inferior to 1D at some groundwater measurement locations, on average, it showed equal or greater improvement in all metrics. For example

  16. Soil Microbial Activity Elucidates Unique Soil Carbon Transport Patterns within Resource Islands on Semi-Arid Hillslopes

    Science.gov (United States)

    McLain, J. E.; Lohse, K. A.; Harman, C. J.

    2012-12-01

    Shrublands in semi-arid regions are associated with heterogeneous landscapes with infertile bare areas separated by nutrient rich vegetated areas known as resource islands. However this conceptual understanding of plant-soil feedbacks is based predominantly on research performed on stable or depositional geomorphic surfaces, and it is unclear whether these patterns and autogenic processes hold on sloping terrain. We used vegetation mapping and soil sampling to investigate the spatial distribution of soil organic matter and microtopography on two steeper hillslopes of contrasting lithology (one granite, one schist) in the Sonoran desert foothills of the Catalina Mountains. Soil samples were collected from ten transects at each site, and aimed to quantify the spatial redistribution of the soil organic matter under individual canopies. Five of the transects were oriented downslope below woody shrubs and Velvet mesquite (Prosopis velutina). Samples were taken directly below the center of the canopy, at three points upslope, and three points downslope. Surface grab samples were collected and brought to the laboratory, where they were sieved to 2 mm, and 10 g (air-dry weight) samples were placed into microcosms, brought to 80% field capacity with sterile water, and net carbon dioxide (CO2) evolution was measured over 4 days in triplicate microcosms for each soil sample. Highest net microbial CO2 evolution (8.3 μg CO2 g-1 soil d-1) was observed immediately downslope from woody plants on gently sloping granite sites and gradually decreased to a minimum of 3.0 μg CO2 g-1 soil d-1 at the farthest downslope collection point. The upslope transect showed highest net microbial CO2 evolution closest to the canopy (6.3 μg CO2 g-1 soil d-1) but upslope decreased to the lowest measured CO2 production measured (averaging < 1.5 μg CO2 g-1 soil d-1 at both upslope sampling sites). The CO2 evolution patterns were less pronounced on the schist sites, where slopes were much steeper

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

    KAUST Repository

    Parkes, Stephen D.

    2017-01-27

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

  18. Building resilience to social-ecological change through farmers' learning practices in semi-arid Makueni County Kenya

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ifejika Speranza, Chinwe; Kiteme, Boniface; Kimathi Mbae, John; Schmude, Miron

    2015-04-01

    Social-ecological change is resulting in various risks and opportunities to farmers, which they address through complex multi-strategies to sustain their agricultural-based livelihoods and agricultural landscapes. This paper examines how various stakeholders such as research and government organisations, local and international non-governmental organisations, private companies, farmer groups, individual actors and farmers draw on scientific, external and localised knowledge to address the needs of farmers in sustainable land management and food production. What is the structure of collaboration between the various actors and how does this influence the potential for learning, not only for the farmers but also for other stakeholders? How does the supplied knowledge meet farmers' knowledge needs and demands for sustainable land management and food production? To what extent and how is knowledge co-produced among the various stakeholders? What different types of learning can be identified and what are their influences on farmers' sustainable land management practices? How does farmer learning foster the resilience of agricultural landscapes? Answers to these questions are sought through a case study in the semi-arid areas of Makueni County, Kenya. Particular environmental risks in the study area relate to recurrent droughts and flooding, soil erosion and general land degradation. Opportunities in the study area arise short-term due to more conducive rainfall conditions for crop and vegetation growth, institutional arrangements that foster sustainable land management such as agroforestry programmes and conservation agriculture projects. While farmers observe changes in their environment, they weigh the various risks and opportunities that arise from their social-ecological context and their own capacity to respond leading to the prioritization of certain adaptations relative to others. This can mean that while certain farmers may have knowledge on sustainable land

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-06-01

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

  20. A comparison of groundwater recharge estimation methods in a semi-arid, coastal avocado and citrus orchard (Ventura County, California)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grismer, Mark E.; Bachman, S.; Powers, T.

    2000-10-01

    We assess the relative merits of application of the most commonly used field methods (soil-water balance (SWB), chloride mass balance (CMB) and soil moisture monitoring (NP)) to determine recharge rates in micro-irrigated and non-irrigated areas of a semi-arid coastal orchard located in a relatively complex geological environment.Application of the CMB method to estimate recharge rates was difficult owing to the unusually high, variable soil-water chloride concentrations. In addition, contrary to that expected, the chloride concentration distribution at depths below the root zone in the non-irrigated soil profiles was greater than that in the irrigated profiles. The CMB method severely underestimated recharge rates in the non-irrigated areas when compared with the other methods, although the CMB method estimated recharge rates for the irrigated areas, that were similar to those from the other methods, ranging from 42 to 141 mm/year.The SWB method, constructed for a 15-year period, provided insight into the recharge process being driven by winter rains rather than summer irrigation and indicated an average rate of 75 mm/year and 164 mm/year for the 1984 - 98 and 1996 - 98 periods, respectively. Assuming similar soil-water holding capacity, these recharge rates applied to both irrigated and non-irrigated areas. Use of the long period of record was important because it encompassed both drought and heavy rainfall years. Successful application of the SWB method, however, required considerable additional field measurements of orchard ETc, soil-water holding capacity and estimation of rainfall interception - runoff losses.Continuous soil moisture monitoring (NP) was necessary to identify both daily and seasonal seepage processes to corroborate the other recharge estimates. Measured recharge rates during the 1996 - 1998 period in both the orchards and non-irrigated site averaged 180 mm/year. The pattern of soil profile drying during the summer irrigation season, followed

  1. Effects of biochar and clay amendment on nutrient sorption of an Arenosol in semi-arid NE-Brazil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beusch, Christine; Kaupenjohann, Martin

    2014-05-01

    In the semi-arid Northeast of Brazil nutrient-poor Arenosol with a low capacity to retain water and nutrients is the predominant soil type. Our aim is to provide a long-term melioration of the soils with locally available and inexpensive materials. We hypothesize an increase in nutrient sorption by the addition of biochar and clay. We conducted adsorption experiments according to OECD 106 batch equilibrium method in order to test this hypothesis. Sandy Arenosol, locally produced pyrolized biochar made of Prosopis juliflora, and a clayey Vertisol with a clay content of 69.8 %, all from our project area in Pernambuco, NE-Brazil, were used. The percentage of biochar and Vertisol added were 0 % (pure Arenosol), 1 %, 2.5 %, 5 %, 10 %, 100 % (pure biochar respectively Vertisol). Samples were shaken for 24 hours in a 1:5 solid-solution ratio in six different concentrations of Ammonium-N, Nitrate-N (0 - 25 mg L-1 each), Phosphorus (0 - 19.8 mg L-1) and Potassium (0 - 50 mg L-1). These concentrations were chosen to represent a common range of nutrients in a prevalent quaternary fertilization scheme of N:P:K of 1:0.4:1, with half NH4-N and NO3-N each. Then, where possible, sorption isotherms according to Langmuir were derived. Addition of biochar and Vertisol only showed marginal effects on Ammonium sorption. We detected a high loss of Ammonium with pure biochar, we assume loss of gaseous NH3. High rates of biochar addition caused Nitrate retention. Biochar increased P sorption with a maximum adsorption capacity (qmax) of 27.35 mg kg-1 for the 5 % amendment, although some P was leached out (up to 1.58 mg kg-1 for the 10 % addition). Phosphate sorption on Vertisol was even higher with a qmax for the 5 % addition of 60.77 mg kg-1. Potassium did not sorb to biochar, but was strongly leached out (84.19 mg kg-1 out of the 5 % addition). For Vertisol we observed a strong Potassium sorption that is linear within the concentration range we tested. A possible enhancement of nutrient

  2. Seasonality of insects in the semi-arid Caatinga of northeastern Brazil Sazonalidade de insetos na Caatinga do Nordeste Brasileiro

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexandre Vasconcellos

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Insects are essential to tropical ecosystems functioning. In semi-arid regions, the increase in abundance and/or activity (e.g. reproduction and foraging behavior of insects is usually associated with climatic variables. The present study investigates which climatic variables are best predictors of insect abundance in an area of Caatinga in northeastern Brazil. Individuals were sampled for 24 months using Malaise and pitfall traps, and beating trays. A total of 58925 individuals belonging to 20 insect orders were collected. The most abundant orders were Hymenoptera, Diptera, Collembola and Coleoptera. Most orders studied showed a clear maximum abundance in the rainy season. Rainfall and humidity were the best predictors of insect abundance in the Caatinga. However, no climatic variable could explain Psocoptera and Blattodea variance in abundance/activity. Our results suggest that climatic changes associated with rainfall patterns in the Caatinga may affect ecosystem processes and services that depend direct or indirectly on insect abundance/activity.Os insetos são abundantes e essenciais para o funcionamento dos ecossistemas terrestres tropicais. No entanto, a abundância e/ou atividade (e.g. reprodução ou forrageio destes organismos podem ser fortemente influenciadas pelas variáveis climáticas. Este estudo examina quais as variáveis climáticas podem atuar como preditoras da abundância e/ou atividade dos insetos em uma área de Caatinga do Nordeste brasileiro. Ao longo de 24 meses, os insetos foram coletados mensalmente utilizando armadilhas Malaise, armadilhas tipo "pitfall" e guarda-chuva entomológico. Um total de 58925 indivíduos de 20 ordens foi coletado. As ordens mais abundantes foram Hymenoptera, Diptera, Collembola e Coleoptera. Entre as doze ordens mais abundantes, dez apresentaram os seus maiores picos durante a estação chuvosa. A precipitação e a umidade relativa foram os principais preditores dos padrões de abund

  3. Seasonal Variation in Hydrology Driving Shifts in Sources of Nitrate in an Agricultural Dominant Semi-arid Watershed

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moon Nielsen, L. G.; Orr, C. H.

    2010-12-01

    In the South Fork Palouse River in the semi-arid region of Eastern Washington State, surface water hydrology is driven by seasonal variation in precipitation, with peak surface water flow and highest Nitrate values observed from January to April, and lowest surface flows and corresponding lower Nitrate concentrations observed from June to August. Land-use in the watershed is predominantly non-irrigated cropland (82%) fertilized by synthetic fertilizer, with an additional 8% of land in urban areas. Due to the prevalence of anthropogenically influenced land in the watershed, Nitrate concentrations measured in streams here are chronically elevated above natural levels. Typically in an area that is dominated by agriculture, the source of Nitrate in surface waters draining agricultural land would be predicted to be synthetic fertilizer. However it is important to consider the impacts seasonal hydrological conditions can have upon Nitrate sources and flow paths. We investigated how Nitrate sources in Palouse streams and rivers changed seasonally to address the hypothesis that seasonal variation in precipitation shifts the dominant sources of Nitrate in surface waters. We based our determination of nitrogen source on the results from dual stable isotope analysis of Nitrate using the denitrifier method. Sampling was done at 7 locations of increasing catchment area along the South Fork Palouse River and tributary streams. Sampling site catchment area varied one order of magnitude from 70.9 to 717.4 km2. Surface waters at yearly low flow during the summer season indicated δ15N-Nitrate and δ18O-Nitrate ranging within generally accepted values to indicate Nitrate derived from animal and human waste. These can be attributed to waste water discharge from the urban areas in the watershed. Yearly hydrologic data suggests that during the winter season, increased precipitation causes a shift in δ15N-Nitrate and δ18O-Nitrate to values typically observed in sources derived from

  4. Examining the relationship between intermediate-scale soil moisture and terrestrial evaporation within a semi-arid grassland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jana, Raghavendra B.; Ershadi, Ali; McCabe, Matthew F.

    2016-09-01

    Interactions between soil moisture and terrestrial evaporation affect water cycle behaviour and responses between the land surface and the atmosphere across scales. With strong heterogeneities at the land surface, the inherent spatial variability in soil moisture makes its representation via point-scale measurements challenging, resulting in scale mismatch when compared to coarser-resolution satellite-based soil moisture or evaporation estimates. The Cosmic Ray Neutron Probe (CRNP) was developed to address such issues in the measurement and representation of soil moisture at intermediate scales. Here, we present a study to assess the utility of CRNP soil moisture observations in validating model evaporation estimates. The CRNP soil moisture product from a pasture in the semi-arid central west region of New South Wales, Australia, was compared to evaporation derived from three distinct approaches, including the Priestley-Taylor (PT-JPL), Penman-Monteith (PM-Mu), and Surface Energy Balance System (SEBS) models, driven by forcing data from local meteorological station data and remote sensing retrievals from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) sensor. Pearson's correlations, quantile-quantile (Q-Q) plots, and analysis of variance (ANOVA) were used to qualitatively and quantitatively evaluate the temporal distributions of soil moisture and evaporation over the study site. The relationships were examined against nearly 2 years of observation data, as well as for different seasons and for defined periods of analysis. Results highlight that while direct correlations of raw data were not particularly instructive, the Q-Q plots and ANOVA illustrate that the root-zone soil moisture represented by the CRNP measurements and the modelled evaporation estimates reflect similar distributions under most meteorological conditions. The PT-JPL and PM-Mu model estimates performed contrary to expectation when high soil moisture and cold temperatures were present

  5. Screening Prosopis (mesquite) species for biofuel production on semi-arid lands. Final report, April 1, 1978-March 30, 1981

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Felker, P; Cannell, G H; Clark, P R; Osborn, J F; Nash, P

    1985-01-01

    Arid adapted nitrogen fixing trees and shrubs of the genus Prosopis (mesquite) have been examined for woody biomass production on semi-arid lands of southwestern United States. A germ-plasm collection of 900 accessions from North and South America and Africa was assembled. Field studies screening for biomass production, frost tolerance, response to irrigation, pod production and heat/drought tolerance involved a total of 80 accessions. Selections made from survivors of coal/frost screening trial had more frost tolerance and biomass productivity than prostrate selections from the ranges of Arizona, New Mexico and west Texas. Thirteen Prosopis species were found to nodulate, reduce acetylene to ethylene, and grow on a nitrogen free media in greenhouse experiments. The salinity tolerance of six Prosopis species was examined on a nitrogen free media in greenhouse experiments. No reduction in growth occurred for any species tested at a salinity of 6000 mg NaC1/L which is considered too saline for normal agricultural crops. Individual trees have grown 5 to 7 cm in basal diameter, and 2.0 to 3.7 meters in height per year and have achieved 50 kg oven dry weight per tree in 2 years with 600 mm water application per year. Vegetative propagation techniques have been developed and clones of these highly productive trees have been made. Small pilots on 1.5 x 1.5 m spacing in the California Imperial Valley had a first and second season dry matter production of 11.7 and 16.9 T/ha for P. chilensis (0009), 7.1 and 6.9 T/ha for P. glandulosa var. torreyana (0001), 9.8 and 19.2 T/ha for P. alba (0039) and 7.9 and 14.5 T/ha for progency of a California ornamental (0163). The projected harvested costs of $25.00 per oven dry ton or $1.50 per million Btu's compare favorable with coal and other alternative fuel sources in South Texas.

  6. LONG-TERM COLLOID MOBILIZATION AND COLLOID-FACILITATED TRANSPORT OF RADIONUCLIDES IN A SEMI-ARID VADOSE ZONE

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Markus Flury; James B. Harsh; Fred Zhang; Glendon W. Gee; Earl D. Mattson; Peter C. L

    2012-08-01

    The main purpose of this project was to improve the fundamental mechanistic understanding and quantification of long-term colloid mobilization and colloid-facilitated transport of radionuclides in the vadose zone, with special emphasis on the semi-arid Hanford site. While we focused some of the experiments on hydrogeological and geochemical conditions of the Hanford site, many of our results apply to colloid and colloid-facilitated transport in general. Specific objectives were (1) to determine the mechanisms of colloid mobilization and colloid-facilitated radionuclide transport in undisturbed Hanford sediments under unsaturated flow, (2) to quantify in situ colloid mobilization and colloid-facilitated radionuclidetransport from Hanford sediments under field conditions, and (3) to develop a field-scale conceptual and numerical model for colloid mobilization and transport at the Hanford vadose zone, and use that model to predict long-term colloid and colloid- facilitated radionuclide transport. To achieve these goals and objectives, we have used a combination of experimental, theoretical, and numerical methods at different spatial scales, ranging from microscopic investigationsof single particle attachment and detachment to larger-scale field experiments using outdoor lysimeters at the Hanford site. Microscopic and single particle investigations provided fundamental insight into mechanisms of colloid interactions with the air-water interface. We could show that a moving air water interface (such as a moving water front during infiltration and drainage) is very effective in removing and mobilizing particles from a stationary surface. We further demonstrated that it is particularly the advancing air-water interface which is mainly responsible for colloid mobilization. Forces acting on the colloids calculated from theory corroborated our experimental results, and confirm that the detachment forces (surface tension forces) during the advancing air-water interface

  7. Multi-satellite sensor study on precipitation-induced emission pulses of NOx from soils in semi-arid ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zörner, Jan; Penning de Vries, Marloes; Beirle, Steffen; Sihler, Holger; Veres, Patrick R.; Williams, Jonathan; Wagner, Thomas

    2016-07-01

    We present a top-down approach to infer and quantify rain-induced emission pulses of NOx ( ≡ NO + NO2), stemming from biotic emissions of NO from soils, from satellite-borne measurements of NO2. This is achieved by synchronizing time series at single grid pixels according to the first day of rain after a dry spell of prescribed duration. The full track of the temporal evolution several weeks before and after a rain pulse is retained with daily resolution. These are needed for a sophisticated background correction, which accounts for seasonal variations in the time series and allows for improved quantification of rain-induced soil emissions. The method is applied globally and provides constraints on pulsed soil emissions of NOx in regions where the NOx budget is seasonally dominated by soil emissions. We find strong peaks of enhanced NO2 vertical column densities (VCDs) induced by the first intense precipitation after prolonged droughts in many semi-arid regions of the world, in particular in the Sahel. Detailed investigations show that the rain-induced NO2 pulse detected by the OMI (Ozone Monitoring Instrument), GOME-2 and SCIAMACHY satellite instruments could not be explained by other sources, such as biomass burning or lightning, or by retrieval artefacts (e.g. due to clouds). For the Sahel region, absolute enhancements of the NO2 VCDs on the first day of rain based on OMI measurements 2007-2010 are on average 4 × 1014  molec cm-2 and exceed 1 × 1015  molec cm-2 for individual grid cells. Assuming a NOx lifetime of 4 h, this corresponds to soil NOx emissions in the range of 6 up to 65 ng N m-2 s-1, which is in good agreement with literature values. Apart from the clear first-day peak, NO2 VCDs are moderately enhanced (2 × 1014  molec cm-2) compared to the background over the following 2 weeks, suggesting potential further emissions during that period of about 3.3 ng N m-2 s-1. The pulsed emissions contribute about 21-44 % to total

  8. Spatial and temporal estimation of soil loss for the sustainable management of a wet semi-arid watershed cluster.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rejani, R; Rao, K V; Osman, M; Srinivasa Rao, Ch; Reddy, K Sammi; Chary, G R; Pushpanjali; Samuel, Josily

    2016-03-01

    The ungauged wet semi-arid watershed cluster, Seethagondi, lies in the Adilabad district of Telangana in India and is prone to severe erosion and water scarcity. The runoff and soil loss data at watershed, catchment, and field level are necessary for planning soil and water conservation interventions. In this study, an attempt was made to develop a spatial soil loss estimation model for Seethagondi cluster using RUSLE coupled with ARCGIS and was used to estimate the soil loss spatially and temporally. The daily rainfall data of Aphrodite for the period from 1951 to 2007 was used, and the annual rainfall varied from 508 to 1351 mm with a mean annual rainfall of 950 mm and a mean erosivity of 6789 MJ mm ha(-1) h(-1) year(-1). Considerable variation in land use land cover especially in crop land and fallow land was observed during normal and drought years, and corresponding variation in the erosivity, C factor, and soil loss was also noted. The mean value of C factor derived from NDVI for crop land was 0.42 and 0.22 in normal year and drought years, respectively. The topography is undulating and major portion of the cluster has slope less than 10°, and 85.3% of the cluster has soil loss below 20 t ha(-1) year(-1). The soil loss from crop land varied from 2.9 to 3.6 t ha(-1) year(-1) in low rainfall years to 31.8 to 34.7 t ha(-1) year(-1) in high rainfall years with a mean annual soil loss of 12.2 t ha(-1) year(-1). The soil loss from crop land was higher in the month of August with an annual soil loss of 13.1 and 2.9 t ha(-1) year(-1) in normal and drought year, respectively. Based on the soil loss in a normal year, the interventions recommended for 85.3% of area of the watershed includes agronomic measures such as contour cultivation, graded bunds, strip cropping, mixed cropping, crop rotations, mulching, summer plowing, vegetative bunds, agri-horticultural system, and management practices such as broad bed furrow, raised sunken beds, and harvesting available water

  9. Examining the relationship between intermediate-scale soil moisture and terrestrial evaporation within a semi-arid grassland

    KAUST Repository

    Jana, Raghavendra B.

    2016-09-30

    Interactions between soil moisture and terrestrial evaporation affect water cycle behaviour and responses between the land surface and the atmosphere across scales. With strong heterogeneities at the land surface, the inherent spatial variability in soil moisture makes its representation via point-scale measurements challenging, resulting in scale mismatch when compared to coarser-resolution satellite based soil moisture or evaporation estimates. The Cosmic Ray Neutron Probe (CRNP) was developed to address such issues in the measurement and representation of soil moisture at intermediate scales. Here, we present a study to assess the utility of CRNP soil moisture observations in validating model evaporation estimates. The CRNP soil moisture product from a pasture in the semi-arid central west region of New South Wales, Australia, was compared to evaporation derived from three distinct approaches, including the Priestley–Taylor (PT-JPL), Penman–Monteith (PM-Mu), and Surface Energy Balance System (SEBS) models, driven by forcing data from local meteorological station data and remote sensing retrievals from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) sensor. Pearson’s correlations, quantile–quantile (Q–Q) plots, and analysis of variance (ANOVA) were used to qualitatively and quantitatively evaluate the temporal distributions of soil moisture and evaporation over the study site. The relationships were examined against nearly 2 years of observation data, as well as for different seasons and for defined periods of analysis. Results highlight that while direct correlations of raw data were not particularly instructive, the Q–Q plots and ANOVA illustrate that the root-zone soil moisture represented by the CRNP measurements and the modelled evaporation estimates reflect similar distributions under most meteorological conditions. The PT-JPL and PM-Mu model estimates performed contrary to expectation when high soil moisture and cold temperatures were

  10. Examining the relationship between intermediate scale soil moisture and terrestrial evaporation within a semi-arid grassland

    KAUST Repository

    Jana, Raghavendra Belur

    2016-05-17

    Interactions between soil moisture and terrestrial evaporation affect water cycle behaviour and responses between the land surface and the atmosphere across scales. With strong heterogeneities at the land surface, the inherent spatial variability in soil moisture makes its representation via point-scale measurements challenging, resulting in scale-mismatch when compared to coarser-resolution satellite-based soil moisture or evaporation estimates. The Cosmic Ray Soil Moisture Observing System (COSMOS) was developed to address such issues in the measurement and representation of soil moisture at intermediate scales. Here we present an examination of the links observed between COSMOS soil moisture retrievals and evaporation estimates over a pasture in the semi-arid central-west region of New South Wales, Australia. The COSMOS soil moisture product was compared to evaporation derived from three distinct approaches, including the Priestley-Taylor (PT-JPL), Penman-Monteith (PM-Mu) and Surface Energy Balance System (SEBS) models, driven by forcing data from local meteorological station data and remote sensing retrievals from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) sensor. Pearson’s Correlations, Quantile-Quantile (Q-Q) plots, and Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) were used to qualitatively and quantitatively evaluate the temporal distributions of soil moisture and evaporation over the study site. The relationships were examined against nearly two years of observation data, as well as for different seasons and for defined periods of analysis. Results highlight that while direct correlations of raw data were not particularly instructive, the Q-Q plots and ANOVA illustrate that the root-zone soil moisture represented by the COSMOS measurements and the modelled evaporation estimates reflect similar distributions under most meteorological conditions. The PT-JPL and PM-Mu model estimates performed contrary to expectation when high soil moisture and cold

  11. Organo-mineral interactions promote greater soil organic carbon stability under aspen in semi-arid montane forests in Utah

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Miegroet, H.; Roman Dobarco, M.

    2014-12-01

    Forest species influence soil organic carbon (SOC) storage through litter input, which in interaction with soil microclimate, texture and mineralogy, lead to different SOC stabilization and storage patterns. We sampled mineral soil (0-15 cm) across the ecotone between aspen (Populus tremuloides) and mixed conifers stands (Abies lasiocarpa and Pseudotsuga menziesii) in semi-arid montane forests from Utah, to investigate the influence of vegetation vs. site characteristics on SOC stabilization, storage and chemistry. SOC was divided into light fraction (LF), mineral-associated SOC in the silt and clay fraction (MoM), and a dense subfraction > 53 μm (SMoM) using wet sieving and electrostatic attraction. SOC decomposability and solubility was derived from long term laboratory incubations and hot water extractions (HWE). Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) was used to study differences in chemical functional groups in LF and MoM. Vegetation cover did not affect SOC storage (47.0 ± 16.5 Mg C ha-1), SOC decomposability (cumulative CO2-C release of 93.2 ± 65.4 g C g-1 C), or SOC solubility (9.8 ± 7.2 mg C g-1 C), but MoM content increased with presence of aspen [pure aspen (31.2 ± 15.1 Mg C ha-1) > mixed (25.7 ± 8.8 Mg C ha-1) > conifer (22.8 ± 9.0 Mg C ha-1)]. Organo-mineral complexes reduced biological availability of SOC, indicated by the negative correlation between silt+clay (%) and decomposable SOC per gram of C (r = -0.48, p = 0.001) or soluble SOC (r = -0.59, p < 0.0001). FTIR spectral analysis indicated that higher MoM content under aspen was not due to higher concentration of recalcitrant compounds (e.g., aliphatic and aromatic C), but rather to stabilization of simple molecules (e.g., polysaccharides) of plant or microbial origin. FTIR spectra clustered by sites with similar parent material rather than by vegetation cover. This suggests that initial differences in litter chemistry between aspen and conifers converged into similar MoM chemistry

  12. Seasonal cycles of fluorescent biological aerosol particles in boreal and semi-arid forests of Finland and Colorado

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C. J. Schumacher

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available Biological aerosol particles have become increasingly important for atmospheric study, but continuous measurements at high time and size resolution have not been available until recently. Here we report seasonal cycles of fluorescent biological aerosol particles (FBAP from the boreal forest in Hyytiälä, Finland (18 months and the semi-arid Manitou Experimental Forest, Colorado (10 months. FBAP at both locations were observed to be highest in summer and lowest in winter, increasing by factors of 12 and 5 between these seasons, respectively. In addition to the low temperatures and reduced sunlight during winter, we suggest that snow cover inhibited FBAP release from local terrestrial surfaces and that more extensive snow cover at the Finland site contributed to lower winter FBAP concentrations. Average size distributions at each site exhibited peaks between 1.5 and 6 μm in aerodynamic diameter. The Finland site consistently showed a dominant, narrow FBAP peak at ~3 μm in addition to discreet modes at ~1.5 and ~5 μm, whereas the Colorado site showed broader peaks at 1.5 and 5 μm, suggesting different modes of biological particles at the two sites. FBAP concentrations in both locations were shown to correlate with daily patterns of relative humidity (RH during each season. Also during summer at each site, average FBAP concentration scaled with RH, but at the Finland site RH values above ~82% led to a significant decrease in FBAP concentration. We hypothesize that this is due to dew formation that inhibits bioparticle release. Lastly we show that rain during summer at each location led to pronounced increases in both fluorescent and total particle concentrations with FBAP peak particle size at ~2 μm and concentration scaling with rain intensity. We suggest that these particles are primarily fungal spores and other bioparticles lofted from splashing of rain droplets hitting soil and leaf surfaces. During the summer at the Colorado site we

  13. Seasonal cycles of fluorescent biological aerosol particles in boreal and semi-arid forests of Finland and Colorado

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schumacher, C. J.; Pöhlker, C.; Aalto, P.; Hiltunen, V.; Petäjä, T.; Kulmala, M.; Pöschl, U.; Huffman, J. A.

    2013-12-01

    Biological aerosol particles have become increasingly important for atmospheric study, but continuous measurements at high time and size resolution have not been available until recently. Here we report seasonal cycles of fluorescent biological aerosol particles (FBAP) from the boreal forest in Hyytiälä, Finland (18 months) and the semi-arid Manitou Experimental Forest, Colorado (10 months). FBAP at both locations were observed to be highest in summer and lowest in winter, increasing by factors of 12 and 5 between these seasons, respectively. In addition to the low temperatures and reduced sunlight during winter, we suggest that snow cover inhibited FBAP release from local terrestrial surfaces and that more extensive snow cover at the Finland site contributed to lower winter FBAP concentrations. Average size distributions at each site exhibited peaks between 1.5 and 6 μm in aerodynamic diameter. The Finland site consistently showed a dominant, narrow FBAP peak at ~ 3 μm in addition to discreet modes at ~ 1.5 and ~ 5 μm, whereas the Colorado site showed broader peaks at 1.5 and 5 μm, suggesting different modes of biological particles at the two sites. FBAP concentrations in both locations were shown to correlate with daily patterns of relative humidity (RH) during each season. Also during summer at each site, average FBAP concentration scaled with RH, but at the Finland site RH values above ~ 82% led to a significant decrease in FBAP concentration. We hypothesize that this is due to dew formation that inhibits bioparticle release. Lastly we show that rain during summer at each location led to pronounced increases in both fluorescent and total particle concentrations with FBAP peak particle size at ~ 2 μm and concentration scaling with rain intensity. We suggest that these particles are primarily fungal spores and other bioparticles lofted from splashing of rain droplets hitting soil and leaf surfaces. During the summer at the Colorado site we consistently

  14. Estimation of water requirement per unit carbon fixed by Eucalyptus camaldulensis in semi-arid land of Western Australia

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    T. Kojima; Y. Tanaka; S. Katoh; K. Tahara; N. Takahashi; K, Yamada

    2002-01-01

    Afforestation in arid land is a promising method for carbon fixation, but the effective utili-zation of water is highly important and required. Thus, the evaluation of the amount of water perunit carbon fixed with the tree growth is required to minimize the amount of water supplied to theplants. In this research, a tree is regarded as a carbon fixation reactor with inflows of water andnutrients from roots, and CO2 as the carbon source from leaves with outflow of water vapor fromleaves and accumulation in the tree itself. In the process of photosynthesis and respiration nutri-tional elements are dissolved in water flow in trees. They do not flow out by these reactions, butare accumulated in trees. Thus, we have treated the behaviour of nutrients as a marker to evaluatethe water/carbon ratio. Assuming that nutrient concentration is constant in sap, and the differences in the ratios ofnutrient to carbon in living trees and dead (i.e. litter fall, etc.) are negiected, the ratio of the usedwater to fixed carbon is given as the ratio of nutrient to carbon in the tree body divided by the ratioof nutrient to water in sap. However, some nutrients are translocated and concentrated within thetree and some may be discarded through litter fall. Thus it is important to examine which nutrientelement is the most suitable as the tracer. In this paper, the results of the above method applied to Eucalyptus camaldulensis in semi-arid land of Western Australia are shown. The value of water requirement per unit carbon fixationdetermined from potassium balance is between 421 kg-H2O/kg-C for mature trees and 285kg-H2O/k9-C for young trees, while the values from calcium balance are much larger than these.The cause of the discrepancy between these values is discussed based on the measured elementconcentrations in sap and trees and the plant physiology. Finally, the actual average value throughthe life of a tree is suggested to fall between the two values.

  15. Assessment of Ecosystem Services in a Semi-arid Agriculture-dominant Area: Framework and Case Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dhungel, R.; Chen, Y.; Maltos, R.; Sivakumaran, K.; Aguilar, A.; Harmon, T. C.

    2015-12-01

    California's Central Valley (CV) water crisis has increased in severity due to a prolonged drought. The drought is directly contributing to the overexploitation of groundwater, along with deficiency in agricultural, recreational and aesthetic water services. The population of the CV, home to about 6.5 million people, is projected to be 12 million by 2040. Balancing water demand between municipal use, agricultural supply, and other ecosystem services, will be challenging for this region in perpetuity. In the heart of CV lies the San Joaquin River (SJR) where Friant Dam is the main low-elevation reservoir regulating water release. The Friant Dam's reservoir fulfills agricultural, municipal and industrial water needs through the Friant-Kern and Madera canals, as well as through the mainstem SJR. The SJR restoration project (SJRRP) is a recent development that is imposing additional demands on water releases in order to restore sustainable aquatic habitat for Chinook salmon and other species on the mainstem below the Friant Dam. The Chinook require adequate flow to moderate river temperature, particularly during hot summer and fall months. Temperatures on CV rivers exhibit strong diurnal and seasonal patterns, and can rise to harmful levels when flows are inadequate. In this study, we developed a framework that allows for assessing the effectiveness and implied costs of ecosystem services provided by a restored SJR in a semi-arid agriculture-dominant area. This is done by explicitly linking economics-based farmers' model with a reduced-form hydrological model that is loosely coupled to a physical-based stream-temperature model, specifically CE-QUAL-W2. The farmers' model is based on positive mathematical program approach calibrated with twenty proxy crops for year 2005. The river-hydrology is simulated by a vector autoregression model that incorporates daily flow variability. We study the mandated release policies by the SJR restoration project, along with hypothetical

  16. Fluorescent bioaerosol particle, molecular tracer, and fungal spore concentrations during dry and rainy periods in a semi-arid forest

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ila Gosselin, Marie; Rathnayake, Chathurika M.; Crawford, Ian; Pöhlker, Christopher; Fröhlich-Nowoisky, Janine; Schmer, Beatrice; Després, Viviane R.; Engling, Guenter; Gallagher, Martin; Stone, Elizabeth; Pöschl, Ulrich; Huffman, J. Alex

    2016-12-01

    Bioaerosols pose risks to human health and agriculture and may influence the evolution of mixed-phase clouds and the hydrological cycle on local and regional scales. The availability and reliability of methods and data on the abundance and properties of atmospheric bioaerosols, however, are rather limited. Here we analyze and compare data from different real-time ultraviolet laser/light-induced fluorescence (UV-LIF) instruments with results from a culture-based spore sampler and offline molecular tracers for airborne fungal spores in a semi-arid forest in the southern Rocky Mountains of Colorado. Commercial UV-APS (ultraviolet aerodynamic particle sizer) and WIBS-3 (wideband integrated bioaerosol sensor, version 3) instruments with different excitation and emission wavelengths were utilized to measure fluorescent aerosol particles (FAPs) during both dry weather conditions and periods heavily influenced by rain. Seven molecular tracers of bioaerosols were quantified by analysis of total suspended particle (TSP) high-volume filter samples using a high-performance anion-exchange chromatography system with pulsed amperometric detection (HPAEC-PAD). From the same measurement campaign, Huffman et al. (2013) previously reported dramatic increases in total and fluorescent particle concentrations during and immediately after rainfall and also showed a strong relationship between the concentrations of FAPs and ice nuclei (Huffman et al., 2013; Prenni et al., 2013). Here we investigate molecular tracers and show that during rainy periods the atmospheric concentrations of arabitol (35.2 ± 10.5 ng m-3) and mannitol (44.9 ± 13.8 ng m-3) were 3-4 times higher than during dry periods. During and after rain, the correlations between FAP and tracer mass concentrations were also significantly improved. Fungal spore number concentrations on the order of 104 m-3, accounting for 2-5 % of TSP mass during dry periods and 17-23 % during rainy periods, were obtained from scaling the

  17. Retrieval of seasonal dynamics of forest understory reflectance from semi-arid to boreal forests using MODIS BRDF data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pisek, Jan; Chen, Jing; Kobayashi, Hideki; Rautiainen, Miina; Schaepman, Mi