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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. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Masih, I.

    2011-01-01

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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

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

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    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.

  10. 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.

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

    OpenAIRE

    Oel, van, C.J.

    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 processes include hydrological processes and water user responses to variations and changes in water availability. The results are relevant for climate change impact assessments and river basin ma...

  12. 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.

  13. Interaction of water components in the semi-arid Huasco and Limarí river basins, North Central Chile

    OpenAIRE

    Strauch, G; R. Oyarzún; F. Reinstorf; J. Oyarzún; M. Schirmer; K. Knöller

    2009-01-01

    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.

    App...

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

    OpenAIRE

    Tombul, M.; Z. Akyürek; A. Ünal Sorman

    2004-01-01

    International audience; 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-wes...

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

    OpenAIRE

    Tombul, M.; Z. Akyürek; A. Ünal Sorman

    2004-01-01

    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...

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

    OpenAIRE

    Tombul, M.; Z. Akyürek; A. Ünal Sorman

    2004-01-01

    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 fie...

  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 Risk-Based Assessment of Agricultural Water Scarcity Under Climate Change in a Semi-Arid and Snowmelt-Dominated River Basin

    OpenAIRE

    Moursi, Hossam

    2016-01-01

    Water scarcity is the major challenge that water managers face in semi-arid areas, especially in regions that depend on agriculture for rural livelihood. Climate change is one of the major stresses that is expected to exacerbate water scarcity problems in semi-arid regions. In this study, a risk-based approach was used to assess the climate change impacts on the risk of agricultural water scarcity in semi-arid and snowmelt-dominated river basins that are dependent on agriculture. The Sevier R...

  19. Impacts of urbanization on groundwater quality and recharge in a semi-arid alluvial basin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carlson, Mark A.; Lohse, Kathleen A.; McIntosh, Jennifer C.; McLain, Jean E. T.

    2011-10-01

    SummaryThe management of groundwater resources is paramount in semi-arid regions experiencing urban development. In the southwestern United States, enhancing recharge of urban storm runoff has been identified as a strategy for augmenting groundwater resources. An understanding of how urbanization may impact the timing of groundwater recharge and its quality is a prerequisite for mitigating water scarcity and identifying vulnerability to contamination. We sampled groundwater wells along the Rillito Creek in southern Arizona that had been previously analyzed for tritium in the late 1980s to early 1990s and analyzed samples for tritium ( 3H) and helium-3 ( 3H/ 3He) to evaluate changes in 3H and age date groundwaters. Groundwater samples were also analyzed for chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and basic water quality metrics. Substantial changes in 3H values from waters sampled in the early 1990s compared to 2009 were identified after accounting for radioactive decay and indicate areas of rapid recharge. 3H- 3He groundwater ages ranged from 22 years before 2009 to modern recharge. CFC-11, -12 and -113 concentrations were anomalously high across the basin, and non-point source pollution in runoff and/or leaky infrastructure was identified as the most plausible source of this contamination. CFCs were strongly and positively correlated to nitrate ( r2 = 0.77) and a mobile trace metal, nickel ( r2 = 0.71), suggesting that solutes were derived from a similar source. Findings from this study suggest new waters from urban non-point sources are contributing to groundwater recharge and adversely affecting water quality. Reducing delivery of contaminants to areas of focused recharge will be critical to protect future groundwater resources.

  20. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-06-01

    Semi-arid woodlands, which are characterised by patchy vegetation interspersed with bare, open areas, are frequently exposed to wild fire. 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 wild fire. 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 wild fire which destroyed or damaged most of the aboveground plant parts four 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 for 19 days; In DRW, soils were dried for four days, kept dry for another five days, then rewet 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 g soil in CM and DRW was greater under trees, but lower when expressed per g 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 g TOC in the open areas and under shrubs, and reduced TOC and MBC concentrations only under trees, but had little effect on available N and P concentrations. We conclude that of the impact wild fire and DRW events on nutrient cycling differ among vegetation patches of a native semiarid woodland which is related to organic matter amount and availability.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Classen, Aimee T [ORNL; Overby, Stephen [USFS; Hart, Stephen C [Northern Arizona University; Koch, George W [Northern Arizona University; Whitham, Thomas G [Northern Arizona University

    2007-01-01

    Herbivores can directly impact ecosystem function by altering litter quality entering an ecosystem or indirectly by affecting a shift in the microbial community that mediate nutrient processes. We examine herbivore susceptibility and resistance effects on litter microarthropod and soil microbial communities to test the general hypothesis that herbivore driven changes in litter inputs will feedback to the microbial community. Our study population consisted of individual trees that are susceptible or resistant to the stem-boring moth (Dioryctria albovittella) and trees that herbivores have been manually removed since 1982. Moth herbivory increased pi on litter nitrogen concentrations (16%) and canopy precipitation infiltration (28%), both significant factors influencing litter and soil microbial populations. Our research resulted in three major conclusions: 1) In spite of an increase in litter quality, herbivory does not change litter microarthropod abundance or species richness. 2) Herbivore susceptibility alters bulk soil microbial communities, but not soil properties. 3) Season has a strong influence on microbial communities, and their response to herbivore inputs, in this semi-arid ecosystem.

  3. 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.

  4. 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)

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The woodlands in the south-west of the Argentinean pampas are dominated by Prosopis Caldenia Burkart (calden). The current deforestation rate of this woodlands is 0.82% per year. Different compensation initiatives have begun that recognize the role of forests as environmental service providers. The financial incentives they offer make it necessary to quantify the amount of carbon stored in the forest biomass. A model for estimating calden biomass was developed. Thirty-eight trees were selected, felled and divided into sections. An equation system was fitted using joint generalized regression to ensure the additivity property. A weighted regression was used to avoid heteroscedasticity. In these woodlands fire is the main disturbance and it can modify tree allometry, due this all models included the area of the base of the stem and tree height as independent variables since it indirectly collects this variability. Total biomass and the stem fraction had the highest R2Adj. values (0.75), while branches with a diameter less than 7 cm had the lowest (0.58). Tree biomass was also analyzed by partitioning into the basic fractions of stem, crown, roots, and the root/shoot ratio. Biomass allocation was greatest in the crown fraction and the mean root/shoot ratio was 0.58. The carbon stock of the caldenales considering only calden tree biomass is 20.2 Mg ha−1. While the overall carbon balance of the region is negative (deforestation and biomass burning, the remnant forested area has increased their calden density and in an indirect way his carbon sequestration capacity could also be increased. - Highlights: • A model for estimating aboveground and belowground Prosopis caldenia biomass was developed. • Biomass allocation into the tree and the root/shoot ratio were analyzed. • The equation systems presented had made it possible to more accurately estimate the biomass stored in calden woodlands

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Li, J.

    2014-01-01

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

  12. 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

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

    OpenAIRE

    Houha Belgacem; Kherici Nacer; Kachi Slimane; Valles Vincent

    2008-01-01

    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...

  14. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tombul, M.; Akyürek, Z.; Ünal Sorman, A.

    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.

  16. 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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2016-01-01

    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...

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    as this it will lead to better estimate of the groundwater recharge and hereby of the groundwater availability in the delta region.   The hydrological behaviour of the Andarax river basin is simulated by the MIKE SHE code, which is a physically based, distributed and integrated hydrological model. In the first...... scenario we only use traditional meteorological data and standard values for the vegetation characteristics. The traditional meteorological data are rather sparse for the Andarax river basin and to improve the estimation of evapotranspiration we use an energy-based two-layer SVAT model and apply remote...... sensing derived variables as input data. Specifically surface temperature, global radiation, albedo and leaf area index (LAI) are derived from remote sensing images. We compare the two model simulations and focus in particular on the temporal and spatial distribution of evapotranspiration and recharge...

  18. Variability of effective discharge for suspended sediment transport in a large semi-arid river basin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ma, Yuanxu; Huang, He Qing; Xu, Jiongxin; Brierley, Gary J.; Yao, Zhijun

    2010-07-01

    SummaryThe variability of effective discharge is analysed for three geomorphological zones (gullied hilly loess, valley-hill loess and eolian sand) in the Wuding River basin, China, based on mean daily flow discharge and mean daily suspended sediment discharge from 1959 to 1969, a period when human disturbance in this catchment was less intensive. A modified approach to the determination of discharge class intervals is developed, framed in terms of equal arithmetic intervals of the standard deviation S for all the discharges, such as S, 0.75 S, 0.5 S, and 0.25 S. The average flow duration of effective discharge in the river basin ranges primarily from 0.026% to 3.16% in the two loess regions (corresponding to large flood events), and from 18.75% to 91.51% in the eolian sand region (corresponding to low or moderate flows). The average flow duration of effective discharge is significantly influenced by the size of class intervals and by characteristics of the flow and sediment regime. Using the most appropriate class interval of 0.25 S, the average flow duration of effective discharge is about 0.026% in the two loess regions (other than 0.104% at Hengshan), but in the eolian sand region it reaches 24.50% at Yulin and 52.66% at Hanjiamao, respectively. Histograms of suspended sediment transport indicate that there is a bimodal dominant discharge for suspended sediment transport, with one peak in the range of low flows and the other in the range of large floods. Drainage density and specific sediment yields are lower in the eolian sand region, where effective discharge events occur more frequently and suspended sediment concentration is much lower than that carried by events of the same discharge in the loess region. In contrast, drainage density is higher in the two loess regions, where infrequent hyperconcentrated flows generate high specific sediment yields. Effective discharge differs significantly from bankfull discharge across the whole Wuding River basin.

  19. Does woodland encroachment impact water?: An ecohydrology study of western juniper (Juniperus occidentalis) and other semi-arid conifers in the western U.S.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Niemeyer, R. J.; Link, T. E.; Heinse, R.; Seyfried, M. S.; Flerchinger, G. N.; Klos, P. Z.

    2015-12-01

    Semi-arid conifer species including western juniper (Juniperus occidentalis) among other pinyon and juniper (P-J) species have expanded into grass and shrub-dominated landscapes in the western U.S. Despite the importance of land cover changes to hydrological fluxes in these water-limited systems, there have been few process-based ecohydrology studies of western juniper encroachment. Furthermore, many conclusions about the impact of P-J encroachment on streamflow are limited to several studies in the southwestern U.S. Our objectives are to: a) assess how western juniper will impact above-ground hydrological processes, b) assess how western juniper will alter below-ground hydrological processes, c) assess how changes in P-J cover alters deep drainage across diverse climates of the western U.S. To accomplish these objectives we used a combination of continuous lysimeter and soil moisture measurements, periodic snow surveys, electrical resistivity tomography (ERT) and electromagnetic induction (EMI) surveys, simulations with the Simultaneous Heat and Water (SHAW) model and broad, spatially-coarse simulations with the atmosphere-vegetation-soil component of the HBV model. Juniper trees by both intercepting snow and increasing below-canopy snow melt caused tree wells to form throughout the winter. These tree wells increased snow redistribution to the base of the trees. Soil moisture in the interspace dominated by sagebrush, forbes, and grasses drops early in the season, but late season soil moisture changes are moderated by juniper. There is evidence that junipers continue to transpire soil moisture both late into the summer and at up to 3 meters deep. HBV simulations revealed that the potential for increases in deep drainage with a change from P-J to grass cover is principally controlled by the timing instead of the total precipitation. Simulations confirm previous empirical studies that landscapes in monsoon-dominated climates of the southwestern U.S. show negligible

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  6. Integrated Surface and Ground Water modeling of a tank cascaded sub basin using physically based model in a semi-arid region

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ilampooranan, I.; Muthiah, K.; Athikesavan, R.

    2013-05-01

    Hydrological Modeling of tank (small reservoirs) cascaded sub-basin of a semi-arid region is a complex process. Physically based approach can simulate the various processes in surface, unsaturated and saturated ground water zones of such sub basin in an integrated manner. The objectives of the study are (i) to characterize the study area to replicate the physical conditions of surface and saturated zones (ii) to carryout overland flow routing of a tank cascaded basin using physically based modular approach (iii) To simulate the ground water levels in the unconfined aquifer (iv) to study the surface and groundwater dynamics on incorporation of tank cascades in the integrated model. An integrated, physically based model MIKE 11 & MIKE SHE was applied to study the hydrological processes of a tank cascaded semi-arid basin in which flow through tanks were modeled using MIKE 11 and coupled with MIKE SHE in-order to best represent the surface water dynamics in a distributed manner. Sindapalli Uppodai sub-basin, Southern Tamilnadu, India is chosen as study area. There are 15 tanks connected in series forming a tank cascade. Other tanks and depressions in the sub basin are also considered for the study and their effectiveness were analysed. DEM was obtained from SRTM data. The maps such as drainage network, land use and soil are prepared. Soil sampling was carried out. The time series data of rainfall and climate parameters are given as input. The characterization of unconfined aquifer formation was done by Geo-Resistivity survey. 71 observation and pumping wells are monitored within and periphery of sub basin which are used for calibration of the model. The flow routing over the land is done by MIKE SHE's Overland Flow Module, using the diffusive wave approximation of the Saint Venant equation. The hydrograph of routed runoff from the tank cascaded catchment was obtained. The spatial and temporal variation of hydraulic head of the saturated ground water zone is simulated

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    T. Rodríguez-Estrella

    2012-05-01

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

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

  15. Application of a stochastic weather generator to assess climate change impacts in a semi-arid climate: The Upper Indus Basin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Forsythe, N.; Fowler, H. J.; Blenkinsop, S.; Burton, A.; Kilsby, C. G.; Archer, D. R.; Harpham, C.; Hashmi, M. Z.

    2014-09-01

    Assessing local climate change impacts requires downscaling from Global Climate Model simulations. Here, a stochastic rainfall model (RainSim) combined with a rainfall conditioned weather generator (CRU WG) have been successfully applied in a semi-arid mountain climate, for part of the Upper Indus Basin (UIB), for point stations at a daily time-step to explore climate change impacts. Validation of the simulated time-series against observations (1961-1990) demonstrated the models' skill in reproducing climatological means of core variables with monthly RMSE of impressive given complexity of climate processes operating in this mountainous context at the boundary between monsoonal and mid-latitude (westerly) weather systems. Of equal importance the model captures well the observed interannual variability as quantified by the first and last decile of 30-year climatic periods. Differences between a control (1961-1990) and future (2071-2100) regional climate model (RCM) time-slice experiment were then used to provide change factors which could be applied within the rainfall and weather models to produce perturbed ‘future' weather time-series. These project year-round increases in precipitation (maximum seasonal mean change:+27%, annual mean change: +18%) with increased intensity in the wettest months (February, March, April) and year-round increases in mean temperature (annual mean +4.8 °C). Climatic constraints on the productivity of natural resource-dependent systems were also assessed using relevant indices from the European Climate Assessment (ECA) and indicate potential future risk to water resources and local agriculture. However, the uniformity of projected temperature increases is in stark contrast to recent seasonally asymmetrical trends in observations, so an alternative scenario of extrapolated trends was also explored. We conclude that interannual variability in climate will continue to have the dominant impact on water resources management whichever

  16. A river basin as a common-pool resource: a case study for the Jaguaribe basin in the semi-arid Northeast of Brazil

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Oel, van Pieter R.; Krol, Maarten S.; Hoekstra, Arjen Y.

    2009-01-01

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

  17. 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.

  18. Salinization mechanisms in semi-arid regions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. A groundwater-basin approach to conceptualize and simulate post-Pleistocene subsurface flow in a semi-arid region, southeastern New Mexico and western Texas, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Corbet, Thomas F.

    2000-06-01

    Numerical simulation was used to enhance conceptual understanding of the post-Pleistocene hydrogeology of a layered sequence of clastic and evaporite sediments. This work is part of an effort to evaluate the suitability of the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP), New Mexico, USA, as a repository for transuranic waste. The numerical model is three-dimensional, extends laterally to topographic features that form the actual boundaries of a regional groundwater system, and uses a free surface with seepage face as an upper boundary condition to simulate the effect of change in recharge rate on the position of the water table. Simulation results suggest that the modern-day flow field is still adjusting to the drying of the climate that has occurred since the end of the Pleistocene Epoch. A wetter climate at the end of the Pleistocene resulted in a shallow water table, and patterns of groundwater flow were controlled by the intermediate features of the land-surface topography. As the climate became drier and the water table declined, groundwater flow began to increasingly reflect the land-surface topography at the scale of the entire groundwater basin. The modern-day flow pattern has not equilibrated with either the present recharge rate or the position of the water table.

  4. 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

  5. Understanding runoff processes in a semi-arid environment through isotope and hydrochemical hydrograph separations

    OpenAIRE

    Camacho Suarez, V. V.; Saraiva Okello, A. M. L.; Wenninger, J.W.; Uhlenbrook, S.

    2015-01-01

    The understanding of runoff generation mechanisms is crucial for the sustainable management of river basins such as the allocation of water resources or the prediction of floods and droughts. However, identifying the mechanisms of runoff generation has been a challenging task, even more so in arid and semi-arid areas where high rainfall and streamflow variability, high evaporation rates, and deep groundwater reservoirs may increase the complexity of hydrological process dyna...

  6. Understanding runoff processes in a semi-arid environment through isotope and hydrochemical hydrograph separations

    OpenAIRE

    V. V. Camacho; Saraiva Okello, A. M. L.; Wenninger, J.W.; Uhlenbrook, S.

    2015-01-01

    The understanding of runoff generation mechanisms is crucial for the sustainable management of river basins such as the allocation of water resources or the prediction of floods and droughts. However, identifying the mechanisms of runoff generation has been a challenging task, even more so in arid and semi-arid areas where high rainfall and streamflow variability, high evaporation rates, and deep groundwater reservoirs increase the complexity of hydrologica...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-09-01

    The utilization of waste biorefineries in arid/semi-arid regions is advisable due to the reduced sustainable resources in arid/semi-arid regions, e.g. fresh water and biomass. This review focuses on biomass residues available in arid/semi-arid regions, palm trees residues, seawater biomass based residues (coastal arid/semi-arid regions), and the organic fraction of municipal solid waste. The present review aims to describe and discuss the availability of these waste biomasses, their conversion to value chemicals by waste biorefinery processes. For the case of seawater biomass based residues it was reviewed and advise the use of seawater in the biorefinery processes, in order to decrease the use of fresh water. PMID:27072789

  8. 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.

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

    OpenAIRE

    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 with the system of micro-catchments. A microcatchment consists of a runoff area and a basin area in which a tree is planted. The purpose of this study was to develop a design procedure for micro-ca...

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

    OpenAIRE

    Meulen, van der, A.; 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 evaporation in order to enhance crop yield. When farmers abandon the acres, they leave the plastic covers on the fields. Up to now research has been concentrating on the effects of plastic covers on cr...

  11. 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)

  12. Distributed Hydrological Modeling in Semi-Arid Region in Northeast China:A Case Study in the Taoer River Basin%东北半干旱地区流域分布式水文模拟——以洮儿河流域为例

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    尹雄锐; 章光新; 杨帆; 许斌

    2011-01-01

    This study takes Taoer River basin, a typical basin in semi-arid region of Northeast China, as study area, and simulates its hydrological process by the soil and water assessment tool (SWAT) model. Parameter sensitivity analysis is carried out on the upper sub-basin and middle-lower sub-basin to identify the sensitive parameters affecting stream flow. Results show spatial heterogeneity of several parameters' sensitivities, and the reason is the difference of runoff generating mode caused by spatial heterogeneities of climate and underlying surface. Calibration and verification of hydrological model are carried out by daily hydrological and meteorological data from 1988 to 1997, and the results show that average Nash-Sutcliffe efficiency coefficient (EC) of monthly runoff simulation at main stream gauging stations is 0.78 for calibration period and 0.72 for verification period, relative coefficient is more than 0.86, relative error of water budget is within 20%, and daily runoff simulation is also fairly good;while the simulation is not satisfied for dry period due to the inadequacy of precipitation gauging station to capture spatial and temporal distribution of precipitation. These researches show the applicability of SWAT model in modeling runoff generation and relative hydrological process in semi-arid region in Northeast China with scarce-data, and meanwhile it provides foundation and tool for improving further study in water resources integrated management of Taoer River basin.%以东北半干旱地区典型流域--洮儿河流域为研究对象,应用SWAT模型对流域水文过程进行了模拟研究;选择流域上游子流域和中下游子流域分别进行参数敏感性分析,识别出影响模拟结果的敏感参数,研究发现部分参数敏感性存在空间变异性,分析主要原因在于气候和下垫面的空间异质性导致了流域上下游产流模式存在差异.采用1988-1997年水文气象数据进行模型率定

  13. Sediment yield assessment by EPM and PSIAC models using GIS data in semi-arid region

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Ali Bagherzadeh; Mohammad Reza Mansouri Daneshvar

    2011-01-01

    Among land degradation processes,soil erosion is the most serious threat to soil and water conservation in semi-arid regions.At the present study,the sedimentation hazard and the erosion zonation were investigated at Kardeh watershed,north-east of Iran by Erosion Potential Method (EPM) and Pacific Sonth-west Inter Agency Committee (PSIAC) models,in combination with the geographical information system (GIS) data,satellite data and field observations.According to our investigation the study area can be categorized into heavy,moderate and slight erosion zones with the total sediment yield of 147859 and 148078 m3/a estimated by EPM and PSIAC models,respectively.The sub-basins located at the middle and south parts of the watershed are highly eroded due to the geology formation and soil erodibility conditions,while the sub-basins at the north parts are moderately eroded because of the intensive land cover.The amounts of the sediment yield in most areas are found to be consistent between the EPM and PSIAC models (R2 = 0.95).Our data suggest the applicability of both empirical models in evaluating the sediment yield in arid and semi-arid watersheds.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

  15. Semi-arid development: competitiveness factors in biodiesel productive chain

    OpenAIRE

    Breno Barros Telles do Carmo; Dmontier Pinheiro Aragão; Heráclito Lopes Jaguaribe Pontes; Bruno Magalhães Ribeiro; Marcos Ronaldo Albertin

    2009-01-01

    The new global market competitiveness considerer the competition between productive chains (PC) or supply chains, not just between enterprises. In this case, it can be observed collaboration and cooperation enterprises that dispute with others productives chain. The PC competitiveness can be impaired if is subject by inhibitors factors, that can impairer the performance. This paper analyses these competitiveness factors inhibitors in biodiesel productive chain (CPB) in semi-arid area: exporte...

  16. 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

  17. Combining point and distributed snowpack data with landscape-based discretization for hydrologic modeling of the snow-dominated Maipo River Basin, in the semi-arid Andes central Chile

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-12-01

    Snow hydrology in mountain environments plays an important role in the availability of hydrological resources in warm climate areas and height effects, since the magnitude of snowpack, its spatial and temporal distribution is very important to determine the availability of water in the snowmelt season and take forward different productive activities This investigation models and assess the main phenomena hydrological cycle of snow using the software Cold Region Hydrological Model (Pomeroy et al., 2007). The software is a physically based model developed by the centre for hydrology, University of Saskatchewan. The aim of this model is to have a better understanding of hydrological processes involved in cold environments, which are particular in the sense that a host of specific phenomena such as snow and ice accumulation, transport and melt, infiltration through frozen soils, and the like, control the hydrograph timing) The analysis involved the development of a hydrologic model for the Upper Maipo River Basin, with elevations between 800 and 6500 meters above sea level and 5000-km^2 watershed in the Andes of Central Chile which supplies water resources to the capital city of Santiago (7 million inhabitants), to a thriving agricultural region, as well as to hydropower and large mining activities. The paper concludes that there is a differential distribution of snow cover in the study area, determined mainly by steep terrain geomorphology. These factors have been considered in the parameterization of the model, showing considerable variation in storage time, redistributions by blowing snow, melting intervals, infiltration rates and drainage basin. The fictional scenarios modeled demonstrate noticeable changes in the hydrograph, showing the fragile climate and hydrological condition of this basin of Central Chile.

  18. 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.

  19. Management implications of the ecology of free-roaming horses in semi-arid ecosystems of the western United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beever, Erik A.

    2003-01-01

    Compared to other ungulates of North America, free-roaming horses (Equus caballus) possess a unique evolutionary history that has given rise to a distinct suite of behavioral, morphological, and physiological traits. Because of their unique combination of cecal digestion, an elongate head with flexible lips, and non-uniform use of the landscape, horses represent a unique disturbance agent in semi-arid ecosystems of the western United States. Consequently, it is inappropriate to assume that influences of horses on the structure, composition, function, and pattern of arid and semi-arid ecosystems will mirror influences of cattle or other artiodactyls. Although management areas for free-roaming horses occupy 18.6 million ha of land across western North America, we know relatively little about how western ecosystems and their components have responded to this uniquely managed ungulate. I draw on my research of horse habitats in the western Great Basin (U.S.A.) to examine predictions of horses' unique influence, and advocate for continued research to refine our understanding of synecological relationships among horses and diverse ecosystem components in arid and semi-arid regions.

  20. Semi-arid development: competitiveness factors in biodiesel productive chain

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Breno Barros Telles do Carmo

    2009-04-01

    Full Text Available The new global market competitiveness considerer the competition between productive chains (PC or supply chains, not just between enterprises. In this case, it can be observed collaboration and cooperation enterprises that dispute with others productives chain. The PC competitiveness can be impaired if is subject by inhibitors factors, that can impairer the performance. This paper analyses these competitiveness factors inhibitors in biodiesel productive chain (CPB in semi-arid area: exported product, market knowledge, competitiveness position, opportunities to aggregate value in chain, cooperation between enterprises, enterprises way of thinking and paternalism by government. It was done this analyses to compare CPB with the world.

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

    OpenAIRE

    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 perspective, a general review is given in chapter 2 on the environment of the semi-arid tropics, its problems and the research related to agricultural production. Rainfed agriculture has failed to pro...

  2. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Scott Ingram

    2011-03-01

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

  4. Understanding runoff processes in a semi-arid environment through isotope and hydrochemical hydrograph separations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    V. V. Camacho

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available The understanding of runoff generation mechanisms is crucial for the sustainable management of river basins such as the allocation of water resources or the prediction of floods and droughts. However, identifying the mechanisms of runoff generation has been a challenging task, even more so in arid and semi-arid areas where high rainfall and streamflow variability, high evaporation rates, and deep groundwater reservoirs increase the complexity of hydrological process dynamics. Isotope and hydrochemical tracers have proven to be useful in identifying runoff components and their characteristics. Moreover, although widely used in humid-temperate regions, isotope hydrograph separations have not been studied in detail in arid and semi-arid areas. Thus the purpose of this study is to determine if isotope hydrograph separations are suitable for the quantification and characterization of runoff components in a semi-arid catchment considering the hydrological complexities of these regions. Through a hydrochemical characterization of the surface water and groundwater sources of the catchment and two and three component hydrograph separations, runoff components of the Kaap Catchment in South Africa were quantified using both, isotope and hydrochemical tracers. No major disadvantages while using isotope tracers over hydrochemical tracers were found. Hydrograph separation results showed that runoff in the Kaap catchment is mainly generated by groundwater sources. Two-component hydrograph separations revealed groundwater contributions between 64 and 98% of total runoff. By means of three-component hydrograph separations, runoff components were further separated into direct runoff, shallow and deep groundwater components. Direct runoff, defined as the direct precipitation on the stream channel and overland flow, contributed up to 41% of total runoff during wet catchment conditions. Shallow groundwater defined as the soil water and near-surface water component

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Nyakudya, I.W.; Stroosnijder, L.

    2015-01-01

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

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2009-01-01

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

  11. Heterogeneous aquifer system modelisation under semi-arid climate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drias, Tarek; Toubal, Ahmed Cherif

    2010-05-01

    The studied zone is a part of the Mellegne's (North-East of Algeria) under pound, this zone is characterised by its semi-arid climate. The water bearing system is formed by the plio-quaternairy alluviums resting on a marley substratuim of age Eocene. The geostatiscitcs approach of the hydrodynamics parameters (Hydrolic load, transmisivity) allowed the study of their spatial distrubution (casting) by the method of Krigeage by blocks and the identification of zones with water-bearing potentialities. In this respect, the zone of Ain Chabro which, is situated in the South of the plain shows the best values of the transmisivity...... The use of a bidimensinnel model in the differences ended in the permanent regime allowed us to establish the global balence sheet (overall assessment) of the tablecloth and to refine the transmisivity field. These would vary more exactley between 10-4 to 10-2 m²/s. The method associating the probability appraoch of Krigeage to that determining the model has facilited the wedging of the model and clarified the inflitration value. Keys words: hydrodynamics, geostatiscitcs, Modeling, Chabro, Tébessa.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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...

  15. 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 \

  16. Outcrop Groundwater Prospecting, Drilling, and Well Construction in Hard Rocks in Semi-arid Regions

    OpenAIRE

    Chambel, António

    2014-01-01

    This chapter presents some recommendations for prospecting, drilling and well construction in hard rocks in semi-arid regions. Considering that these conditions are present in many countries where technology is not always available, the chapter concentrates on the most basic and simple methods to plan where best to drill and maximize success through the direct observation of rock types, weathering and fracturing. The advantage for the geologist and hydrogeologist in an arid or semi-arid envir...

  17. 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.

  18. UNESCO's G-WADI Program - Developing and Delivering Tools for Improved Water Management in Semi-arid and Arid Lands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Woodard, G. C.; Imam, B.; Sorooshian, S.

    2007-12-01

    UNESCO's Water and Development Information for Arid Lands - A Global Network (G-WADI) aims to strengthen the capacity to manage the water resources of arid and semi-arid areas around the globe through a network of international and regional cooperation. Six centers, including SAHRA headquartered at the University of Arizona and CHRS at UC-Irvine, are cooperating to improve water resource management by sharing knowledge and tools. Specific objectives include: improved understanding of the special characteristics of hydrological systems and water management needs in arid areas, through shared data and experiences; capacity building of individuals and institutions; raising awareness of advanced technologies for data provision, data assimilation, and system analysis; and promoting integrated basin management and the use of appropriate decision support tools. SAHRA coordinates G-WADI's information dissemination via G-WADI's web site and publications. Web-based resources include Global Water News Watch and the subscription service, Water News Tracker, plus access to remotely sensed precipitation data from HyDIS. Information on use of isotopes and chemical tracers is also featured. Materials and outcomes from various workshops and short courses on modeling, water harvesting, and impacts of climate change also are provided. While the intent is to benefit water resource managers in semi- arid and arid developing countries, the collaboration among international water centers, and perspectives and traditional knowledge gained from users, has benefitted U.S. researchers in many ways.

  19. 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

  20. Dust aerosol effect on semi-arid climate over Northwest China detected from A-Train satellite measurements

    OpenAIRE

    Huang, J; Minnis, P.; Yan, H; Yi, Y.; Chen, B; Zhang, L.; J. K. Ayers

    2010-01-01

    The impact of dust aerosols on the semi-arid climate of Northwest China is analyzed by comparing aerosol and cloud properties derived over the China semi-arid region (hereafter, CSR) and the United States semi-arid region (hereafter, USR) using several years of surface and A-Train satellite observations during active dust event seasons. These regions have similar climatic conditions, but aerosol concentrations are greater over the CSR. Because the CSR is close to two major dust source regions...

  1. 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 %5Cnodes%22 which can be left in the eld for many months. Embedded software would then increase sampling frequency during periods of rainfall. We hypothesized that this contrast between no-volume ow in karst passageways dur- ing dry periods and partial- or saturated-volume ow during a rain event is detectable by these Wireless Sensor Network (WSN) geophysical nodes, we call this a Wireless Resistivity Network (WRN). The development of new methodologies to characterize semi-arid karst hydrology is intended to augment Sandia National Laboratorys mission to lead e orts in energy technologies, waste disposal and climate security by helping to identify safe and secure regions and those that are at risk. Development and initial eld testing identi ed technological barriers to using WRNs for identifying semi-arid karst, exposing R&D which can be targeted in the future. Gravity, seismic, and resis- tivity surveys elucidated how each technique might e ectively be used to characterize semi-arid karst. This research brings to light the importance and challenges with char- acterizing semi-arid karst through a multi-method geophysical study. As there have been very few studies with this emphasis, this study has expanded the body of practical experience needed to protect the nations water and energy security interests.

  2. The relationship between anthropogenic dust and population over global semi-arid regions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guan, Xiaodan; Huang, Jianping; Zhang, Yanting; Xie, Yongkun; Liu, Jingjing

    2016-04-01

    Although anthropogenic dust has received more attention from the climate research community, its dominant role in the production process is still not identified. In this study, we analysed the relationship between anthropogenic dust and population density/change over global semi-arid regions and found that semi-arid regions are major source regions in producing anthropogenic dust. The results showed that the relationship between anthropogenic dust and population is more obvious in cropland than in other land cover types (crop mosaics, grassland, and urbanized regions) and that the production of anthropogenic dust increases as the population density grows to more than 90 persons km-2. Four selected semi-arid regions, namely East China, India, North America, and North Africa, were used to explore the relationship between anthropogenic dust production and regional population. The most significant relationship between anthropogenic dust and population occurred in an Indian semi-arid region that had a greater portion of cropland, and the high peak of anthropogenic dust probability appeared with 220 persons km-2 of population density and 60 persons km-2 of population change. These results suggest that the influence of population on production of anthropogenic dust in semi-arid regions is obvious in cropland regions. However, the impact does not always have a positive contribution to the production of anthropogenic dust, and overly excessive population will suppress the increase of anthropogenic dust. Moreover, radiative and climate effects of increasing anthropogenic dust need more investigation.

  3. Integrated Water Resources Planning and Management in Arid/Semi-arid Regions: Data, Modeling, and Assessment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gupta, H.; Liu, Y.; Wagener, T.; Durcik, M.; Duffy, C.; Springer, E.

    2005-12-01

    Water resources in arid and semi-arid regions are highly sensitive to climate variability and change. As the demand for water continues to increase due to economic and population growth, planning and management of available water resources under climate uncertainties becomes increasingly critical in order to achieve basin-scale water sustainability (i.e., to ensure a long-term balance between supply and demand of water).The tremendous complexity of the interactions between the natural hydrologic system and the human environment means that modeling is the only available mechanism for properly integrating new knowledge into the decision-making process. Basin-scale integrated models have the potential to allow us to study the feedback processes between the physical and human systems (including institutional, engineering, and behavioral components); and an integrated assessment of the potential second- and higher-order effects of political and management decisions can aid in the selection of a rational water-resources policy. Data and information, especially hydrological and water-use data, are critical to the integrated modeling and assessment for water resources management of any region. To this end we are in the process of developing a multi-resolution integrated modeling and assessment framework for the south-western USA, which can be used to generate simulations of the probable effects of human actions while taking into account the uncertainties brought about by future climatic variability and change. Data are being collected (including the development of a hydro-geospatial database) and used in support of the modeling and assessment activities. This paper will present a blueprint of the modeling framework, describe achievements so far and discuss the science questions which still require answers with a particular emphasis on issues related to dry regions.

  4. Research Note:Derivation of temperature lapse rates in semi-arid south-eastern Arizona

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R. C. Harlow

    2004-01-01

    Full Text Available Ecological and hydrological modelling at the regional scale requires distributed information on weather variables, and temperature is important among these. In an area of basin and range topography with a wide range of elevations, such as south-eastern Arizona, measurements are usually available only at a relatively small number of locations and elevations, and temperatures elsewhere must be estimated from atmospheric lapse rate. This paper derives the lapse rates to estimate maximum, minimum and mean daily temperatures from elevation. Lapse rates were calculated using air temperatures at 2 m collected during 2002 at 18 locations across south-eastern Arizona, with elevations from 779 to 2512 m. The lapse rate predicted for the minimum temperature was lower than the mean environmental lapse rate (MELR, i.e. 6 K km–1, whereas those predicted for the mean and maximum daily temperature were very similar to the MELR. Lapse rates were also derived from radiosonde data at 00 and 12 UTC (5 pm and 5 am local time, respectively. The lapse rates calculated from radiosonde data were greater than those from the 2 m measurements, presumably because the effect of the surface was less. Given temperatures measured at Tucson airport, temperatures at the other sites were predicted using the different estimates of lapse rates. The best predictions of temperatures used the locally predicted lapse rates. In the case of maximum and mean temperature, using the MELR also resulted in accurate predictions. Keywords: near surface lapse rates, semi-arid climate, mean minimum and maximum temperatures, basin and range topography

  5. 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.)

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. Assessing water availability in a semi-arid watershed of southern India using a semi-distributed model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perrin, J.; Ferrant, S.; Massuel, S.; Dewandel, B.; Maréchal, J. C.; Aulong, S.; Ahmed, S.

    2012-08-01

    SummaryAppropriate groundwater resource management becomes a priority for the States of the semi-arid southern India. Because of the highly increasing groundwater demand, the number of drought-prone regions where the groundwater resource is classified as over-exploited by the Government is critically increasing. Thus there is a need to develop quantitative methodologies adapted to the regional context that are capable to assess water resources at watershed scale and the impact of management measures. This study demonstrates the calibration and use of an integrated water resource assessment model (SWAT) in an 84 km2 representative semi-arid crystalline watershed of southern India with no perennial surface water source. The model can reproduce (i) the recharge rate estimates derived independently by a groundwater balance computation, (ii) runoff and surface water storage occurring in tanks that spread along the drainage system, (iii) groundwater table fluctuations monitored at a monthly time step. Results show that even if the calibration period (2006-2010) was more humid than long-term average, the watershed is sensitive to the monsoon inter-annual variability with water-stress during the dry years and an associated loss in agricultural production. The impact of these dry years is spatially variable with higher vulnerability for sub-basins having proportionally larger irrigated paddy areas, lower groundwater resource, and/or lower recharge potential (i.e., due to land use and repartition of percolation tanks). The scope for additional recharge by means of managed aquifer recharge structures is limited and demand-side management measures are needed to mitigate pumping. A wishful management objective may be to see groundwater reserves as a supplementary resource in case of monsoon failure and not as the main water resource to be used indiscriminately. SWAT proved to be an adequate modeling framework for the simulation of water resource in semi-arid hard-rock context

  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. Impacts of groundwater extraction on salinization risk in a semi-arid floodplain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alaghmand, S.; Beecham, S.; Hassanli, A.

    2013-12-01

    In the lower River Murray in Australia, a combination of a reduction in the frequency, duration and magnitude of natural floods, rising saline water tables in floodplains, and excessive evapotranspiration have led to an irrigation-induced groundwater mound forcing the naturally saline groundwater onto the floodplain. It is during the attenuation phase of floods that these large salt accumulations are likely to be mobilised and discharged into the river. This has been highlighted as the most significant risk in the Murray-Darling Basin and the South Australian Government and catchment management authorities have subsequently developed salt interception schemes (SIS). The aim of these schemes is to reduce the hydraulic gradient that drives the regional saline groundwater towards the River Murray. This paper investigates the interactions between a river (River Murray in South Australia) and a saline semi-arid floodplain (Clark's floodplain) that is significantly influenced by groundwater lowering due to a particular SIS. The results confirm that groundwater extraction maintains a lower water table and a higher amount of fresh river water flux to the saline floodplain aquifer. In terms of salinity, this may lead to less solute stored in the floodplain aquifer. This occurs through three mechanisms, namely extraction of the solute mass from the system, reducing the saline groundwater flux from the highland to the floodplain and changing the floodplain groundwater regime from a losing to a gaining one. It is shown that groundwater extraction is able to remove some of the solute stored in the unsaturated zone and this can mitigate the floodplain salinity risk. A conceptual model of the impact of groundwater extraction on floodplain salinization has been developed.

  11. An integrative approach to characterize hydrological processes and water quality in a semi-arid watershed in Northeastern Brazil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Franklin, M. R.; Fernandes, N.; Veiga, L. H. S.; Melo, L. R.; Santos, A. C. S.; Araujo, V. P.

    2014-12-01

    Arid and semi-arid regions face serious challenges in the management of scarce water resources. This situation tends to become worse with the increasing population growth rates and consequently increasing water demand. Groundwater is the most important water resource in these areas and, therefore, the sustainability of its use depends on the effectiveness in which it is managed, both in terms of quantity and quality. The Caetité Experimental Basin (CEB), located in a semi-arid region of Northeastern Brazil, faces not only the challenges associated with water scarcity, but also changes in landscape and potential contamination processes due to mining activity. The only active uranium production center in Brazil (URA) is located in this watershed and the sustainability of mining and milling operations as well as the survival of the local community are highly dependent on the availability of groundwater resources. Hydrogeological studies in this area are scarce, and the potential contamination and overexploitation of groundwater can not be ruled out. Therefore, a national project was launched in order to improve the understanding and quantification of the interaction between the hydrogeological system and human health. The methodological approach involved hydrological and geochemical monitoring and characterization of the CEB, use of isotopic techniques, groundwater modeling, water quality diagnosis and human health risk assessment due to water ingestion. The results suggested that the groundwater in the CEB are not totally connected, with evidence of a mixture of recent and old waters. The Na-Ca-HCO3-Cl is the dominant water type (50%) followed by Ca-Na-HCO3-Cl water type (17%). The relevant non-radioactive contaminants are Mn, F, NO3 and Ba, mostly from natural origin, with the exception of NO3 that could be associated with the livestock activities. The estimated effective doses due to groundwater ingestion containing radionuclides are below the recommended

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Güntner, Andreas

    2002-07-01

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

  13. 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...

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rietkerk, M; vandenBosch, F; vandeKoppel, J

    1997-01-01

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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. Canola integration into semi-arid wheat cropping systems of the inland Pacific Northwestern USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    The inland Pacific Northwestern USA (iPNW) wheat-producing region has a diversity of environments and soils, yet it lacks crop diversity and is one of the few semi-arid wheat-growing regions without significant integration of oilseeds. Four major agroecological zones, primarily characterised by wate...

  2. An Overview of the Semi-arid Climate and Environment Research Observatory over the Loess Plateau

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    HUANG Jianping; ZHANG Seidou; WANG Guoyin; FENG Guanghong; YUAN Jiuyi; ZHANG Lei; ZUO Hongchao; WANG Shigong; FU Congbin; CHOU Jifan; ZHANG Wu; ZUO Jinqing; BI Jianrong; SHI Jinsen; WANG Xin; CHANG Zhoulin; HUANG Zhongwei; YANG Su

    2008-01-01

    Arid and semi-arid areas comprise about 30% of the earth's surface. Changes in climate and climate variability will likely have a significant impact on these regions. The Loess Plateau over Northwest China is a special semi-arid land surface and part of a dust aerosol source. To improve understanding and capture the direct evidence of the impact of human activity on the semi-arid climate over the Loess Plateau, the Semi-Arid Climate and Environment Observatory of Lanzhou University (SACOL) was established in 2005. SACOL consists of a large set of instruments and focuses on: (1) monitoring of long term tendencies in semiarid climate changes; (2) monitoring of the aerosol effect on the water cycle; (3) studies of interaction between land surface and the atmosphere; (4) improving the land surface and climate models; and (5) validation of space-borne observations. This paper presents a description of SACOL objectives, measurements, and sampling strategies. Preliminary observation results are also reviewed in this paper.

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2007-01-01

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

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  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. 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

  11. 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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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...

  16. Farm level adoption decisions of soil and water management technologies in semi-arid Eastern Kenya

    OpenAIRE

    Bett, Charles

    2004-01-01

    In this paper the conceptual framework of individual farmers' adoption decisions of new agricultural technologies is used to identify factors that influence adoption modified fanya juu terraces in semi-arid eastern Kenya. The adoption decision model was specified using farm and farmers' characteristics and technology characteristics though likely to influence farmers' adoption behaviour. To test intensity of adoption a Torbit model was specified and estimated. Results of logit regression anal...

  17. Who Engages in Water Scarcity Conflicts? A Field Experiment with Irrigators in Semi-arid Africa

    OpenAIRE

    D'Exelle, Ben; Lecoutere, Els; Van Campenhout, Bjorn

    2010-01-01

    Does water scarcity induce conflict? And who would engage in a water scarcity conflict? In this paper we look for evidence of the relation between water scarcity and conflictive behavior. With a framed field experiment conducted with smallholder irrigators from semi-arid Tanzania that replicates appropriation from an occasionally scarce common water flow we assess what type of water users is more inclined to react in conflictive way to scarcity. On average, water scarcity induces selfish appr...

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    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 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 scientifical...

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

    OpenAIRE

    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, despite the use of locally adapted perennial grass species namely Cenchrus ciliaris (African foxtail grass), Eragrostis superba (Maasai love grass) and Enteropogon macrostachyus (Bush rye) failure ...

  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. Growing Vegetables Without Irrigation. More locally grown food in semi-arid regions is possible

    OpenAIRE

    Quinn, Robert M.

    2014-01-01

    There is a growing conflict between cities and agriculture for fresh water. To learn what we can grow without irrigation in semi-arid regions, and to demonstrate the potential of a more local food production, I have been experimenting with dry land storage vegetables (potatoes, winter squash and onions) on our organic farm in North Central Montana in the Northern Great Plains of North America.

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

    OpenAIRE

    Yang, L; Wei, W.; Chen, L.; Jia, F.; B. Mo

    2012-01-01

    Soil moisture in deep soil layers is an important relatively stable water resource for vegetation growth in the semi-arid Loess Plateau of China. Characterizing the spatial variations of deep soil moisture with respect to the topographic conditions has significant importance for vegetation restoration. In this study, we focused on analyzing the spatial variations and factors influencing soil moisture content (SMC) in shallow (0–2 m) and deep (2–8 m) soil layers, based on soil moisture observa...

  3. Nursery pre-conditioning of plants for revegetation, gardening and landscaping in semi-arid environments

    OpenAIRE

    Franco Leemhuis, José Antonio; Martínez Sánchez, Juan José; Fernández Hernández, Juan Antonio; Bañón Arias, Sebastián del Pilar; Ochoa Rego, Jesús; Vicente Colomer, María José

    2010-01-01

    In landscaping and xerogardening projects, under semi-arid conditions, appropriate techniques used in the nursery during seedling production are crucial for the establishment, survival and subsequent growth of plants after transplanting (Figure 1). Morphological and anatomical adaptations in seedlings include reductions in shoot height and/or leaf area, rises in root-collar diameter and root growth potential and, often, a reduction in the shoot:root ratio; in addition, there are physiological...

  4. Runoff from soils on marls under semi-arid mediterranean conditions

    OpenAIRE

    D. Garnet; Blum, W. E. H.

    1996-01-01

    In semi-arid Mediterranean regions the pressure on natural resources such as water and soil is increasing. In the Maghreb, soil degradation and reservoir sedimentation are serious problems, particularly in catchment areas with a high proportion of marls. As part of an Algerian-German project of scientific-technical cooperation, the runoff from soils on marls was studied, using modern rain simulators. A description of the rainfall experiments is followed by the presentation of a simple and app...

  5. Inventory of Semi-Arid Rangelands in South Texas with LANDSAT Data

    OpenAIRE

    Everitt, J. H.; Richardson, A.J.; Wiegand, C. L.

    1981-01-01

    A 39,000-ha semi-arid rangeland test site in Starr and Zapata Counties, Texas, was used to compare rangeland inventory and other landuse categories estimated by digital pattern recognition methods (maximum likelihood ratio classification) with percentages estimated from a ground-correlated print enlarged to 1:100,000 scale from a LANDSAT color composite transparency. Five land-use categories were identified (grassland, mixed brush rangeland, saline rangeland, cropland, and water). We found a ...

  6. Geochemical Weathering Increases Lead Bioaccessibility in Semi-Arid Mine Tailings

    OpenAIRE

    Hayes, Sarah M.; Webb, Sam M.; Bargar, John R.; O'Day, Peggy A; Maier, Raina M.; Chorover, Jon

    2012-01-01

    Mine tailings can host elevated concentrations of toxic metal(loid)s that represent a significant hazard to surrounding communities and ecosystems. Eolian transport, capable of translocating small (micrometer-sized) particles, can be the dominant mechanism of toxic metal dispersion in arid or semi-arid landscapes. Human exposure to metals can then occur via direct inhalation or ingestion of particulates. The fact that measured doses of total lead (Pb) in geomedia correlate poorly with blood P...

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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. PMID:26991277

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    De Dato GD

    2009-06-01

    Full Text Available Forested areas are important in arid and semi-arid regions primarily to combat desertification, but also to increase carbon sinks. To reverse the land degradation processes, restoration in the Mediterranean Basin had been frequently obtained by planting indigenous and exotic conifers, but it has been demonstrated that shrubs are nurse species for tree seedlings. Furthermore, planting indigenous shrubs is more efficient than allochthonous in restoring degraded soils. The aims of this work were: 1 to illustrate an experimental area in Sardinia used as a test-site to build up afforestation and reforestation activities in arid and semi-arid areas with autochthonous shrub species; 2 to show the results on plant survival and biomass one year after plantation trying to explain the role of different densities and specific compositions; 3 to hypothesize some trends of C accumulation of this “artificial” Mediterranean semi-arid shrubland by comparison with data found in the literature. The area is located in North West Sardinia, and is characterized by a Mediterranean climate. The revegetation was set up in February 2006, planting local species (Juniperus phoenicea, Pistacia lentiscus and Rosmarinus officinalis. Three densities and three specific compositions (monospecific plots with P. lentiscus, monospecific plots with J. phoenicea and mixed plots with the three cited species were combined. One month after plantation, almost all plants were alive, but mortality increased after summer, independently of the treatments, likely due to summer drought. During the first year, no differences among the densities and the specific compositions were observed. Total above-ground biomass was in the range of 0.8-3.0 g m-2. Below-ground biomass was in the range of 0.9-1.7 g m-2. A significant lower biomass was measured in October, especially in the Pistacia plots. Higher densities and plant mixing seemed to better perform, allowing establishment of species with a

  12. Simulation of multimedia transfer and fate of endosulfan in semi-arid area: A case study in Lanzhou, a valley-basin city in Western China%半干旱地区典型POPs硫丹环境多介质迁移归趋模拟研究——以兰州河谷盆地为例

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    田慧; 郭强; 方利江; 毛潇萱; 黄韬; 吴军年; 马建民; 高宏

    2013-01-01

    Taking Lanzhou as the study area, a level Ⅲ fugacity model was applied to simulate the concentration distribution of two endosulfan isoraers in five environmental compartments including air, water, soil, sediment and vegetation. Meanwhile, the transfer fluxes between different compartments were analyzed in order to identify main transfer process. In addition, the reliability of this model was studied by comparing modeling results with observational data. For the model uncertainty, twenty parameters of the model were tested and the key parameters were identified using sensitivity analysis, and the uncertainty of these key parameters was estimated. The study results showed that the soil, vegetation and sediment compartments were the main reservoirs of endosulfan in Lanzhou area. Furthermore, the main input sources of endosulfan in the study area were the air inflow and use of pesticides, while the soil degradation and air advection outflow were the major routes for endosulfan depletion in the study area. The study results also indicated that the physical and chemical properties of endosulfan, such as Henry's Law Constant and AOW , as well as the environmental parameters including organic carbon content of sediment and soil had a significant influence on the model sensitivity. The reliability of the model was verified by the agreement between calculated and measured concentrations with the log-scale differences within an order of magnitude. This case study showed that the developed model was suitable for simulating the multimedia transfer and fate of endosulfan in the semi-arid Lanzhou area.%以硫丹为研究对象,利用三级多介质逸度模型,对硫丹在半干旱的兰州河谷盆地大气、水体、土壤、沉积物和植物相中的浓度分布进行模拟研究;对硫丹在研究区环境多介质问的迁移通量进行分析,确定其在环境中的主要迁移过程;并结合实际监测数据,对模型的可靠性进行验证;

  13. Groundwater and Associated Solute Contribution to a Pristine Semi-Arid Estuary Using Resistivity Imaging, Naturally Occurring Radioactive Tracers, and Geochemical Methods.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spalt, N.; Murgulet, D.; Douglas, A. R.

    2015-12-01

    Geophysical, geochemical, and Naturally Occurring Radioactive Tracers (NORTs) were used in a semi-arid National Estuarine Research Reserve to estimate Submarine Groundwater Discharge (SGD) rates and nutrient fluxes. SGD has been identified as an important source of limiting nutrients to coastal ecosystems, and is conceivably even more critical in a dry climate. Groundwater inflows are rarely considered in estuary mass budgets, therefore sampling stations were chosen over the entire bay system to identify spatial differences in SGD and to estimate direct groundwater contributions. This interdisciplinary approach proved necessary to differentiate between the bay recirculation and terrestrial components of SGD. Resistivity measurements using a towed electrode array were used to identify sampling stations at areas favorable to SGD. While NORTs may provide an estimate of basin-wide groundwater input, these sampling stations ascertain the favorable geologic environment for hydraulic interconnectivity between surface water and groundwater in the system. A sampling suite (including metals and nutrients) of surface, bottom, and pore waters during winter and summer months display spatio-temporal changes in nutrient fluxes. This study reinforces the understanding of the necessity to use multiple methods to accurately quantify SGD and associated solute fluxes and advances the knowledge of coastal groundwater interaction in semi-arid environments.

  14. A Reservoir of Natural Perchlorate in Unsaturated Zones of Arid and Semi-Arid Regions, Southwestern USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rao, B. A.; Stonestrom, D. A.; Anderson, T. A.; Orris, G. J.; Rajagapolan, S.; Sandvig, R. M.; Scanlon, B. R.; Walvoord, M. A.; Jackson, W.

    2006-12-01

    Natural perchlorate (ClO4-) is generally present in unsaturated zones of steppe-to-desert regions of the arid and semi-arid southwestern United States. The perchlorate is associated with atmospherically deposited chloride that has accumulated throughout the Holocene. To assess this natural reservoir, we analyzed unsaturated-zone profiles from ten sites across Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, and Utah for perchlorate and other anions. The sampled sites represent a wide range of precipitation (0.1 0.5 m yr-1), dominant vegetation, soil type, underlying geology, and include five distinct ecological regions: Chihuahuan, Mojave, and southern Great Basin deserts; Arizona-New Mexico semi-desert; and Texas High Plains dry steppe. Concentrations of perchlorate correlated closely with chloride and bromide. The perchlorate reservoir (up to 1 kg ha-1) is sufficiently large to impact groundwater when natural recharge during pluvial periods or induced recharge after conversion to agriculture flushes accumulated salts from the unsaturated zone. This little explored source can explain perchlorate in milk and other agricultural products far from anthropogenic contamination, and should be considered when evaluating overall exposure risk.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maria Luisa Quinino de Medeiros

    2013-08-01

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

  16. Climate change impact on future water resources availability for a semi-arid area (Ferghana Valley, Central Asia)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Radchenko, Iuliia; Breuer, Lutz; Mannig, Birgit; Frede, Hans-Georg

    2014-05-01

    Considering increasing temperatures and glacier recession during the last decades, it is of high interest to study the climate change impact on water resources availability in semi-arid regions of Central Asia. The Ferghana Valley is surrounded by the Tien-Shan and Pamiro-Alay mountain systems that store big amounts of water in snowpacks and glaciers. In the valley the agricultural activity of local people strongly depends on available water from the Syrdarya River. The river is formed by the confluence of the Naryn and Karadarya Rivers, which are mainly fed by the glacier and snow melt from the Akshiirak and Ferghana ridges of the aforementioned mountain systems. The small upper river basins of the valley also contribute with runoff (~34 %) to the Syrdarya River. These small rivers are mainly fed by precipitation and seasonal snow melt. Thus, because of climate change and glacier decline, it is necessary to investigate the comparative contribution of the small catchments versus two big river basins to the Syrdarya River system, as these small upper catchments could become more important for future water consumption. In this study the conceptual hydrological HBV-light model has been calibrated and validated for the period 1980-1985 over 18 upper catchments that feed the Syrdarya River from the surrounding mountain ridges. Dynamically downscaled climate change scenarios were then applied up to the year 2100 for these basins. The scenarios were generated by means of Global Circulation Model (ECHAM5) and Regional Climate Model (REMO) with a baseline period from 1971 till 2000. We will present modelling results of water resources, the contribution of small rivers to the Syrdarya River and to what extent this contribution is likely to change in the future. Moreover, the results of simulated potential runoff will be used to develop future climate change adaptation strategies regarding socio-economic and environmental sustainable water use.

  17. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yadav, Brijesh Kumar; Hassanizadeh, S Majid

    2011-09-01

    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 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

  19. 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

  20. Geochemical Weathering Increases Lead Bioaccessibility in Semi-Arid Mine Tailings

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hayes, Sarah M.; Webb, Sam M.; Bargar, John R.; O'Day, Peggy A.; Maier, Raina M.; Chorover, Jon

    2012-01-01

    Mine tailings can host elevated concentrations of toxic metal(loid)s that represent a significant hazard to surrounding communities and ecosystems. Eolian transport, capable of translocating small (micrometer-sized) particles, can be the dominant mechanism of toxic metal dispersion in arid or semi-arid landscapes. Human exposure to metals can then occur via direct inhalation or ingestion of particulates. The fact that measured doses of total lead (Pb) in geomedia correlate poorly with blood Pb levels highlights a need to better resolve the precise distribution of molecularly-speciated metal-bearing phases in the complex particle mixtures. Species distribution controls bioaccessibility, thereby directly impacting health risk. This study seeks to correlate Pb-containing particle size and mineral composition with lability and bioaccessibility in mine tailings subjected to weathering in a semi-arid environment. We employed X-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAS) and X-ray fluorescence (XRF), coupled with sequential chemical extractions, to study Pb speciation in tailings from the semi-arid Arizona Klondyke State Superfund Site. Representative samples ranging in pH from 2.6 to 5.4 were selected for in-depth study of Pb solid-phase speciation. The principle lead-bearing phase was plumbojarosite (PbFe6(SO4)4(OH)12), but anglesite (PbSO4) and iron oxide-sorbed Pb were also observed. Anglesite, the most bioavailable mineral species of lead identified in this study, was enriched in surficial tailings samples, where Pb concentrations in the clay size fraction were 2–3 times higher by mass relative to bulk. A mobile and bioaccessible Pb phase accumulates in surficial tailings, with a corresponding increase in risk of human exposure to atmospheric particles. PMID:22553941

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

  2. 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...... that results in compensatory growth and fertilization effects. We also conclude that vegetation phenology, soil moisture, radiation, VPD and temperature were major components in determining the seasonal dynamics of CO2 fluxes. Despite the height of the peak of the growing season CO2 fluxes, the annual C budget...

  3. Ammonia-oxidising bacteria not archaea dominate nitrification activity in semi-arid agricultural soil

    OpenAIRE

    Banning, Natasha C.; Maccarone, Linda D.; Fisk, Louise M.; Murphy, Daniel V.

    2015-01-01

    Ammonia-oxidising archaea (AOA) and bacteria (AOB) are responsible for the rate limiting step in nitrification; a key nitrogen (N) loss pathway in agricultural systems. Dominance of AOA relative to AOB in the amoA gene pool has been reported in many ecosystems, although their relative contributions to nitrification activity are less clear. Here we examined the distribution of AOA and AOB with depth in semi-arid agricultural soils in which soil organic matter content or pH had been altered, an...

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

    OpenAIRE

    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 recharge estimation methods and results were compared: chloride mass balance method (19–62 mm/year); water-table fluctuation method (2–50 mm/year); Darcian flownet computations (16–28 mm/year); 14C ...

  5. Diet and breeding success of long-eared owls in a semi-arid environment

    OpenAIRE

    Charter M.; Izhaki I.; Leshem Y.; Roulin A.

    2012-01-01

    Only a few studies, and mostly in temperate climates in Europe, have examined the breeding and diet of long-eared owls (Asia otus) compared to studies of cavity-breeding owls, possibly because of the difficulties in reaching the nests of the former. Here we studied a population of long-eared owls, monitoring the diet of breeding owls and that of owls at a communal roost, every two to three months during 2006 -2009, in a semi-arid region in Israel. It was found that the studied owls produced m...

  6. 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

  7. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-02-01

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

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

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

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

    2003-01-01

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

  10. Detecting soil erosion in semi-arid mediterranean environments using simulated EnMAP data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bracken, Ashley H.

    Soil is an essential nature resource. Management of this resource is vital for sustainability and the continued functioning of earths atmospheric, hydrospheric and lithospheric functioning. The assessment and continued monitoring of surface soil state provides the information required to effectively manage this resource. This research used a simulated Environmental Mapping and Analysis Program (EnMAP) hyperspectral image cube of an agricultural region in semi- arid Mediterranean Spain to classify soil erosion states. Multiple Endmember Spectral Mixture Analysis (MESMA) was used to derive within pixel fractions of eroded and accumulated soils. A Classification of the soil erosion states using the scene fraction outputs and digital terrain information. The information products generated in this research provided an optimistic outlook for the applicability of the future EnMAP sensor for soil erosion investigations in semi-arid Mediterranean environments. Additionally, this research verifies that the launch of the EnMAP satellite sensor in 2018 will provide the opportunity to further improve the monitoring of earth finite soil resources.

  11. 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.

  12. Performance of fenugreek bioinoculated with Rhizobium meliloti strains under semi-arid condition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Singh, N K; Patel, D B

    2016-01-01

    Rhizobium meliloti strains were isolated from the fields of S.D. Agricultural University (Gujarat, India) and were maintained in the Congo Red Yeast Extract Mannitol Agar medium. These strains were tested for their effectiveness for fenugreek crop grown under semi-arid condition. Among the six Rhizobium strains, FRS-7 strain showed best plant growth parameters like shoot length, shoot dry weight, shoot total nitrogen, root length, root dry weight, root total nitrogen, seed yield, 1000 grain weight, number of root nodules, and nodules fresh and dry weight. The performance of this strain was better as compared to 20 kgN ha(-1) treatment through urea and was even far better over control plot. Seed yields obtained with FRS-7 during two years were 10.14 and 9.66 q ha(-1); which was about 36.8% and 45.9% high over control. This strain resulted in saving of about 20 kgN ha(-1) accompanied with better crop yield and soil health. Results of the present experiments can be utilized in integrated nutrient management for cultivation of fenugreek in semi-arid areas to provide sustainability to agricultural productivity in such regions. PMID:26930857

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-11-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ali, Ammar; Riksen, Michel; Ouessar, Mohamed; Ritsema, Coen

    2015-04-01

    Arid and semi-arid regions around the world are generally facing 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. Many researchers have presented and applied different methodologies for determining suitable sites and techniques for RWH. However, there is still little attention given to evaluation of the performance of RWH structures. The aim of this research was to design a scientifically-based and generally applicable methodology to evaluate and assess the performance of existing RWH techniques in (semi-) arid regions. The methodology takes engineering, biophysical, and socio-economic criteria into account to assess the performance of RWH using the Analytical Hierarchy Process (AHP) supported by Geographic Information System (GIS). The Oum Zessar watershed in south-eastern Tunisia is used as a case study site to test this evaluation tool. The performance of 58 RWH locations (14 jessour and 44 tabias) in three main sub-catchments of Oum Zessar watershed were assessed and evaluated. Based on the criteria selected, 60performance, 36received good performance scores. The results very accurately represent the real performance of each site. This integrated methodology, which is highly flexible, saves time and costs, and is easy to adapt in different regions, provides a scientifically based analytical tool to support designers and decision makers aiming to improve the performance of existing and new RWH sites.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Ammonia-oxidising bacteria not archaea dominate nitrification activity in semi-arid agricultural soil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Banning, Natasha C.; Maccarone, Linda D.; Fisk, Louise M.; Murphy, Daniel V.

    2015-06-01

    Ammonia-oxidising archaea (AOA) and bacteria (AOB) are responsible for the rate limiting step in nitrification; a key nitrogen (N) loss pathway in agricultural systems. Dominance of AOA relative to AOB in the amoA gene pool has been reported in many ecosystems, although their relative contributions to nitrification activity are less clear. Here we examined the distribution of AOA and AOB with depth in semi-arid agricultural soils in which soil organic matter content or pH had been altered, and related their distribution to gross nitrification rates. Soil depth had a significant effect on gene abundances, irrespective of management history. Contrary to reports of AOA dominance in soils elsewhere, AOA gene copy numbers were four-fold lower than AOB in the surface (0-10 cm). AOA gene abundance increased with depth while AOB decreased, and sub-soil abundances were approximately equal (10-90 cm). The depth profile of total archaea did not mirror that of AOA, indicating the likely presence of archaea without nitrification capacity in the surface. Gross nitrification rates declined significantly with depth and were positively correlated to AOB but negatively correlated to AOA gene abundances. We conclude that AOB are most likely responsible for regulating nitrification in these semi-arid soils.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Polyakov, Viktor; Nichols, Mary; Nearing, Mark

    2015-04-01

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

  19. The biogeophysical effect of large-scale afforestation in semi-arid regions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yosef, Gil; Avissar, Roni; Walko, Robert; Medvigy, David; Yakir, Dan

    2015-04-01

    Forestation in the semi-arid region can significantly influence the surface energy budget and, in turn, the local atmospheric circulations. Such effects could be particularly important in regions under the influence of monsoon regimes, such as the Sahel and North Australia. In these regions, summer solar heating leads first to migration of the equatorial through and the tropical convergence zones (ITCZ) and to the monsoon rain. And second, to a meridional surface temperature gradient that generates low-level easterly jet that acts as a barrier to the penetration of the precipitation into the semi arid areas. In this study we tested the hypothesis that large-scale afforestation in these semi-regions can result in changes in local and regional atmospheric circulation and, consequently, in the precipitation and potential changes in land cover and land use. The GCM OLAM was used to performing high-resolution simulations (50km horizontal grid scale and 50 vertical layers) of afforestation scenarios in the Sahel and North Australia. These areas (Sahel 2.6 E6 km2 and North Australia 2.1 E6 km2) were afforested with a mature pine forest, using the extensive data form the long-term semi-arid Yatir forest in Israel as a reference forest for surface parameterization. The regional effect of the afforestation was analyzed for the following parameters; Surface energy budget, temperature, Easterly jet stream location and intensity, above forest atmospheric instability, water recycling and precipitation. Afforestation in the Sahel resulted in large increase of the surface net radiation (45 W m-2), mainly as a result of decrease in albedo (43 W m-2), decrease of incoming short wave radiation (21 W m-2) and increase of downward long wave radiation (13 W m-2) due to higher clouds cover, and decrease in long wave upward radiation (10 W m-2), as a result of the lower surface temperature. Increasing soil moisture because of the new forest is expressed into higher evapotranspiration, i

  20. New species and records of Anacroneuria (Plecoptera: Perlidae) from the northeastern semi-arid region of Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duarte, Tácio; Lecci, Lucas Silveira

    2016-01-01

    The genus Anacroneuria is widely distributed in the Neotropical Region. There are about 80 species listed from Brazil, five of which are recorded from the northeastern semi-arid region of Brazil, an area characterized by irregular and low precipitation. Examination of adult Anacroneuria material from this including areas of Caatinga desert vegetation and Atlantic forest revealed two new species records, A. debilis (Pictet) and A. terere Righi-Cavallaro & Lecci. Additionally, two new species, A. calori n. sp. and A. singela n. sp., are described from this material. These new records and new species reflect a major effort to document the biodiversity of the aquatic insects of the northeastern semi-arid region of Brazil by the Research Program in Semi-arid Biodiversity. PMID:27396007

  1. Optimization of dry-season sap flow measurements in an oak semi-arid open woodland in Spain

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Reyes-Acosta, J.L.; Lubczynski, M.

    2014-01-01

    In sap flow studies, there is no method complying with high efficiency and versatility of sap flow measurements. To improve that, we propose combining two methods: (1) thermal dissipation probe (TDP) known to be efficient and cost effective and (2) heat field deformation (HFD) known to be versatile.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-10-15

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

  3. 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...

  4. Ethno-ornithology and conservation of wild birds in the semi-arid Caatinga of northeastern Brazil

    OpenAIRE

    Alves, Rômulo Romeu Nóbrega; Leite, Railson Cidennys Lourenço; Souto, Wedson Medeiros Silva; Dandara M.M. Bezerra; Loures-Ribeiro, Alan

    2013-01-01

    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 ...

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

    OpenAIRE

    H. Fadaei; Suzuki, R.; Sakai, T; Torii, K.

    2012-01-01

    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 environ...

  6. Groundwater dating with radiocarbon: application to an aquifer under semi-arid conditions in the south of Morocco (Guelmime)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Radiocarbon dating is based on measuring the loss of the parent radionuclide (14C) in a given sample. This assumes two key features of the system. The first is that the initial concentration of the parent is known and has remained constant in the past. The second is that the system is closed to subsequent gains or losses of the parent, except through radioactive decay. But, the reaction and evolution of the carbonate system strongly dilute the initial 14C activity in dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC). The result is an artificial 'aging' of groundwater by dilution of 14C. Unravelling the relevant processes and distinguishing 14C decay from 14C dilution is an engaging geochemical problem. Several attempts to overcome these problems have been made during the past 30 years and a number of possible correction procedures have been presented by different authors. Environmental isotopes study (13C, 14C) from the aquifers of the Guelmime under semi-arid conditions provides new information on recharge zones, mixing zones and the circulation routes of water. The combination of logPCO2, the saturation index of dolomite and calcite, HCO3-, δ13C, 14C and pH along flow paths can provide an indication of open- and closed-system conditions in the Oumlaachar and Seyyad sub-basins. This approach of geochemical analysis, when combined with correction procedures, allows us to understand age and recharge in the Guelmime aquifer. 14C groundwater ages range from modern to about 2700 years in this aquifer, and indicate recharge values of 0.55-15 mm/yr

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  8. Groundwater dating with radiocarbon: application to an aquifer under semi-arid conditions in the south of Morocco (Guelmime).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bouhlassa, S; Aiachi, A

    2002-04-01

    Radiocarbon dating is based on measuring the loss of the parent radionuclide (14C) in a given sample. This assumes two key features of the system. The first is that the initial concentration of the parent is known and has remained constant in the past. The second is that the system is closed to subsequent gains or losses of the parent, except through radioactive decay. But, the reaction and evolution of the carbonate system strongly dilute the initial 14C activity in dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC). The result is an artificial "aging" of groundwater by dilution of 14C. Unravelling the relevant processes and distinguishing 14C decay from 14C dilution is an engaging geochemical problem. Several attempts to overcome these problems have been made during the past 30 years and a number of possible correction procedures have been presented by different authors. Environmental isotopes study (13C, 14C) from the aquifers of the Guelmime under semi-arid conditions provides new information on recharge zones, mixing zones and the circulation routes of water. The combination of logP(CO2), the saturation index of dolomite and calcite, HCO3, delta13C, 14C and pH along flow paths can provide an indication of open- and closed-system conditions in the Oumlaachar and Seyyad sub-basins. This approach of geochemical analysis, when combined with correction procedures, allows us to understand age and recharge in the Guelmime aquifer. 14C groundwater ages range from modern to about 2700 years in this aquifer, and indicate recharge values of 0.55-15 mm/yr. PMID:11999164

  9. A simulation of soil water content based on remote sensing in a semi-arid Mediterranean agricultural landscape

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sanchez, N.; Martinez-Fernandez, J.; Rodriguez-Ruiz, M.; Torres, E.; Calera, A.

    2012-11-01

    This paper shows the application of a water balance based on remote sensing that integrated a Landsat 5 series from 2009 in an area of 1,300 km{sup 2} in the Duero Basin (Spain). The objective was to simulate the daily soil water content (SWC), actual evapotranspiration, deep percolation and irrigation rates. The accuracy of the application is tested in a semi-arid Mediterranean agricultural landscape with crops over natural conditions. The results of the simulated SWC were compared against 19 in situ stations of the Soil Moisture Measurement Stations Network (REMEDHUS), in order to check the feasibility and accuracy of the application. The theoretical basis of the application was the FAO56 calculation assisted by remotely sensed imagery. The basal crop coefficient (Kcb), as well as other parameters of the calculation came from the remote reflectance of the images. This approach was implemented in the computerized tool HIDROMORE+, which integrates various spatial databases. The comparison of simulated and observed values (at different depths and different land uses) showed a good global agreement for the area (R{sup 2} = 0.92, RMSE = 0.031 m{sup 3} m{sup -}3, and bias = -0.027 m{sup 3} m{sup -}3). The land uses better described were rainfed cereals (R2 = 0.86, RMSE = 0.030 m{sup 3} m{sup -}3, and bias = -0.025 m{sup 3} m{sup -}3) and vineyards (R{sup 2} = 0.86, RMSE = 0.016 m{sup 3} m{sup -}3, and bias = -0.013 m{sup 3} m{sup -}3). In general, an underestimation of the soil water content is noticed, more pronounced into the root zone than at surface layer. The final aim was to convert the application into a hydrological tool available for agricultural water management. (Author) 42 refs.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-04-01

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

  11. 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; Chorover, Jon

    2014-01-01

    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 under semi-arid climate at an EPA Superfund Site in semi-arid 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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; Chorover, Jon

    2014-09-15

    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 under semi-arid climate at an EPA Superfund Site in semi-arid 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

  15. 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)

  16. 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S.J. Siebert

    2003-12-01

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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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...

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

  3. 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

    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......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...

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Were Semi-Arid Areas Wetter or Drier during the Pliocene?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feakins, S. J.; Liddy, H.; Tierney, J. E.

    2014-12-01

    Drying is projected for many semi-arid areas under global warming scenarios. The Pliocene provides a natural analog for global warmth, allowing us to test the terrestrial response to past warming. Today North East Africa (O to 12 N, 38 to 50 E) includes C3 shrubs in arid areas, C4 grasslands in semi-arid areas and C3 trees in the moister uplands. Here we take a biomarker approach to reconstructing terrestrial vegetation and hydrological changes in NE Africa during the Pliocene and develop complementary records of sea surface temperature (SST) changes in the Western Indian Ocean. We find the plant leaf wax carbon isotopic negative anomaly to be ambiguous. Woody cover interpretations suggest afforestation with C3 trees. But an alternative explanation, an increase of dry C3 shrublands, appears more likely based on drying evidence from hydrogen isotopes and pollen for an expansion of shrub taxa. Either change implies a contraction of the Miocene C4 grasslands. To explore the mechanisms for drying we look to the Western Indian Ocean and find biomarker trends show a coincident cooling (in contrast to Mg/Ca), providing a mechanism to reduce moisture supply to the continent. We are adding to the resolution and coverage of the d13C, dD, pollen and TEX86 records in order to assess whether this Pliocene scenario is robust. Specifically we are testing the hypothesis that a cooling trend in the Western Indian Ocean is coincident with a drying and C3 shrubland expansion. Our work to resolve these quite different scenarios (afforestation or aridification on land) is key, since model simulations have offered up both wetter and drier regional responses to Pliocene global warmth and questions about the direction of SST changes (warming or cooling Indian Ocean across the Pliocene) forms part of the larger present debate about the fidelity of Pliocene SST proxies.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. [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). PMID:26717703

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Quantifying the thermal heat requirement of Brassica in assessing biophysical parameters under semi-arid microenvironments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adak, Tarun; Chakravarty, N. V. K.

    2010-07-01

    Evaluation of the thermal heat requirement of Brassica spp. across agro-ecological regions is required in order to understand the further effects of climate change. Spatio-temporal changes in hydrothermal regimes are likely to affect the physiological growth pattern of the crop, which in turn will affect economic yields and crop quality. Such information is helpful in developing crop simulation models to describe the differential thermal regimes that prevail at different phenophases of the crop. Thus, the current lack of quantitative information on the thermal heat requirement of Brassica crops under debranched microenvironments prompted the present study, which set out to examine the response of biophysical parameters [leaf area index (LAI), dry biomass production, seed yield and oil content] to modified microenvironments. Following 2 years of field experiments on Typic Ustocrepts soils under semi-arid climatic conditions, it was concluded that the Brassica crop is significantly responsive to microenvironment modification. A highly significant and curvilinear relationship was observed between LAI and dry biomass production with accumulated heat units, with thermal accumulation explaining ≥80% of the variation in LAI and dry biomass production. It was further observed that the economic seed yield and oil content, which are a function of the prevailing weather conditions, were significantly responsive to the heat units accumulated from sowing to 50% physiological maturity. Linear regression analysis showed that growing degree days (GDD) could indicate 60-70% variation in seed yield and oil content, probably because of the significant response to differential thermal microenvironments. The present study illustrates the statistically strong and significant response of biophysical parameters of Brassica spp. to microenvironment modification in semi-arid regions of northern India.

  18. Impact of debris dams on hyporheic interaction along a semi-arid stream

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lautz, Laura K.; Siegel, Donald I.; Bauer, Robert L.

    2006-01-01

    Hyporheic exchange increases the potential for solute retention in streams by slowing downstream transport and increasing solute contact with the substrate. Hyporheic exchange may be a major mechanism to remove nutrients in semi-arid watersheds, where livestock have damaged stream riparian zones and contributed nutrients to stream channels. Debris dams, such as beaver dams and anthropogenic log dams, may increase hyporheic interactions by slowing stream water velocity, increasing flow complexity and diverting water to the subsurface.Here, we report the results of chloride tracer injection experiments done to evaluate hyporheic interaction along a 320 m reach of Red Canyon Creek, a second order stream in the semi-arid Wind River Range of Wyoming. The study site is part of a rangeland watershed managed by The Nature Conservancy of Wyoming, and used as a hydrologic field site by the University of Missouri Branson Geologic Field Station. The creek reach we investigated has debris dams and tight meanders that hypothetically should enhance hyporheic interaction. Breakthrough curves of chloride measured during the field experiment were modelled with OTIS-P, a one-dimensional, surface-water, solute-transport model from which we extracted the storage exchange rate and cross-sectional area of the storage zone As for hyporheic exchange. Along gaining reaches of the stream reach, short-term hyporheic interactions associated with debris dams were comparable to those associated with severe meanders. In contrast, along the non-gaining reach, stream water was diverted to the subsurface by debris dams and captured by large-scale near-stream flow paths. Overall, hyporheic exchange rates along Red Canyon Creek during snowmelt recession equal or exceed exchange rates observed during baseflow at other streams.

  19. Effect of Supplemental Irrigation on Lentil Yield and Growth in Semi-Arid Environment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Abdullah KAHRAMAN

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Lentil is one of the most promising legume crops providing nutritional and food assurance to human beings. Due to extensive production of lentil crop in rain-fed agriculture system, its growth and yield are mainly determined by the levels of precipitation. Consequently, it usually faces drought stress during the generative stage resulting in low yield. In such scenario, controlled supplemental irrigation (SI can improve and stabilize the productivity. Therefore, the present study was conducted to determine the effect of supplemental irrigation on the growth and yield of lentil crop under semi-arid climate conditions of Turkey. An experiment was performed during two consecutive crop seasons at Sanliurfa, Turkey with annual mean rainfall of 196 and 275 mm in the first and second experimental year, respectively. Six supplementary irrigation treatments were given using drip irrigation system [no supplement irrigation (I0, 25% (I25, 50% (I50, 75% (I75, 100% (I100, full irrigation and 125% (I125 supplement irrigation depending on the available soil water content]. Results obtained in the study indicated that in both study years, highest biomass, harvest index and grain yield values were obtained from fully irrigated treatments (I100, while non-supplementary irrigated treatments have provided lowest values. It should be clearly noticed that growth parameters including yield were lower under over-irrigation treatment (I125. Hence, it is recommended that farmers need to optimize the supplemental irrigation technique to obtain desired yields. This study will support the successful usage of the supplemental irrigation technology to improve lentil productivity, particularly under semi-arid environment.

  20. [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).

  1. Acupunctural Afforestation for Desertification Mitigation over Semi-Arid Regions in East Asia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Myoung, B.; Choi, Y.; Park, S. K.

    2011-12-01

    Desertification over the arid/semi-arid regions in East Asia and dust transports from the regions have been serious concerns for the societies not only in adjacent Asian countries but also in the western US. One of the strategies for desertification mitigation is tree planting over the semi-arid areas. However, unless the newly planted vegetation changes the feedback characteristics between land-surface and the atmosphere, the impact is not profound and effective for a long time. Here we show afforestation effects on the coupling strength between the land-surface and atmosphere, measured by the monthly anomalies of precipitation and evapotranspiration. The coupling strength is an important parameter to diagnose the aridity of a region since the stronger coupling strength is indicative of the higher vulnerability of the local climate to droughts. Simulations of a regional vegetation-climate coupled model reveal that afforestation substantially modulates local coupling strength mainly through controlling variability of evapotranspiration. The coupling strength decreases most significantly with an increase of unit vegetation fraction over the northern and central China including Manchurian Plains and highly populated areas of Beijing and Tianjin. The coupling characteristics of these regions are expected to reduce the occurrence of extreme weather events such as droughts by alleviating positive responses of the surface to precipitation deficit. Therefore, afforestation concentrated on these regions, which is called "acupunctural afforestation", may most effectively contribute to desertification mitigation than other regions by attenuating mechanisms maintaining warm season droughts. This study suggests that our attention should be paid to understanding the coupling strength between land and the atmosphere for desertification mitigation.

  2. 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

  3. When does colonisation of a semi-arid hillslope generate vegetation patterns?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sherratt, Jonathan A

    2016-07-01

    Patterned vegetation occurs in many semi-arid regions of the world. Most previous studies have assumed that patterns form from a starting point of uniform vegetation, for example as a response to a decrease in mean annual rainfall. However an alternative possibility is that patterns are generated when bare ground is colonised. This paper investigates the conditions under which colonisation leads to patterning on sloping ground. The slope gradient plays an important role because of the downhill flow of rainwater. One long-established consequence of this is that patterns are organised into stripes running parallel to the contours; such patterns are known as banded vegetation or tiger bush. This paper shows that the slope also has an important effect on colonisation, since the uphill and downhill edges of an isolated vegetation patch have different dynamics. For the much-used Klausmeier model for semi-arid vegetation, the author shows that without a term representing water diffusion, colonisation always generates uniform vegetation rather than a pattern. However the combination of a sufficiently large water diffusion term and a sufficiently low slope gradient does lead to colonisation-induced patterning. The author goes on to consider colonisation in the Rietkerk model, which is also in widespread use: the same conclusions apply for this model provided that a small threshold is imposed on vegetation biomass, below which plant growth is set to zero. Since the two models are quite different mathematically, this suggests that the predictions are a consequence of the basic underlying assumption of water redistribution as the pattern generation mechanism. PMID:26547308

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. Soil Moisture Retrieval Using a Two-Dimenional L-Band Synthetic Aperture Radiometer in a Semi-Arid Environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Surface soil moisture was retrieved from L-band radiometer data collected in semi-arid regions during the Soil Moisture Experiment in 2004 (SMEX04). The two-dimensional synthetic aperture radiometer (2D-STAR) was flown over regional-scale study sites located in Arizona, USA and Sonora, Mexico. The s...

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2007-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. Phenotypic nutrient up-take differences in an alley cropping system in semi-arid Machakos, Kenya

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2001-01-01

    Alley cropping of Cassia siamea and maize was studied in semi-arid Kenya for soil fertility improvement. Katumani composite maize was planted except in the short rains of 1988 (SR88) when a hybrid variety was sown. Therefore the grain yield per row increased differently in the alley cropped maize (C

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. Process-based modelling of a headwater catchment in semi-arid conditions: the influence of macropore flow

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schaik, N.L.M.B.; Bronstert, A.; Jong, S.M.; Jetten, V.G.; Dam, van J.C.; Ritsema, C.J.; Schnabel, S.

    2014-01-01

    Subsurface stormflow is thought to occur mainly in humid environments with steep terrains. However, in semi-arid areas, preferential flow through macropores can also result in a significant contribution of subsurface stormflow to catchment runoff for varying catchment conditions. Most hydrological m

  16. Process-based modelling of a headwater catchment in a semi-arid area : The influence of macropore flow

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Schaik, N. L M B; Bronstert, A.; de Jong, S. M.; Jetten, V. G.; van Dam, J. C.; Ritsema, C. J.; Schnabel, S.

    2014-01-01

    Subsurface stormflow is thought to occur mainly in humid environments with steep terrains. However, in semi-arid areas, preferential flow through macropores can also result in a significant contribution of subsurface stormflow to catchment runoff for varying catchment conditions. Most hydrological m

  17. 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 ...

  18. 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

  19. Alternative Crop Rotations in the Semi-arid Central Great Plains Region: How Much Fallow? Evaluating the Economics

    Science.gov (United States)

    The traditional crop production system in the semi-arid Central Great Plains Region (CGPR) of the U.S.A. is winter wheat (Triticum aestivum L.)-summer fallow (WF) or one crop every two years. This system is not a long-term sustainable dryland system. It is conducive to soil degradation and provide...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-01-01

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

  1. 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

  2. '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

  3. 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.

  4. Spatial variation of size distribution of Sarcopoterium spinosum in semi-arid rangelands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pariente, Sarah

    2014-05-01

    Rangelands of semi-arid regions exhibit a three-phase mosaic spatial pattern comprising three representative patches: shrubs, trampling routes, and the remaining intershrubs area (hereafter: intershrubs). These patches differ in their soil properties, vegetation, and hydrological characteristics, and the differences are attributed to the differing intensities of animal hoof impacts and trampling: highest in the routes, sporadic in the intershrubs and minimal in the shrubs. A study conducted in the area described below revealed that soil moisture and organic matter contents, and topographic incline varied in the increasing order: routes distance from the routes, i.e., shrubs located near trampling routes are expected to be bigger than those far from them. The research was conducted in the Goral Hills, in the northern Negev region of Israel. This is a hilly, semi-arid area, 350-500 m above sea level, with mean annual rainfall of 300 mm that falls between October/December and May. Average daily temperatures range from 10° C in the winter to 25° C in the summer. The lithology is chalk and limestone of the Eocene era. The soil is shallow, generally not deeper than 20 or 40 cm in the open spaces between shrubs and beneath shrubs, respectively. The research area, like many other semi-arid areas of the Old World, has been grazed by flocks of sheep and goats since prehistoric times. The predominant shrub in the area is Sarcopoterium spinosum. To confirm the above hypothesis 10 representative hillslopes - five south-facing and five north-facing - were randomly selected within the research area. On each, a plot measuring 3 X 18 m running down the backslope was randomly selected and divided into squares of 1 m2. The shrubs - Sarcopoterium spinosum - and routes were mapped and, for each shrub, the height, maximal length, and width at the middle of the canopy were measured, in order to determine the area of the canopy and the volume of the shrub. The shrubs were divided into

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

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    Silene Carneiro do Nascimento

    2010-11-01

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

  6. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-12-01

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

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

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    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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. Woodland Detection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fischer, Richard B.

    1989-01-01

    Presents tips on nature observation during a woodland hike in the Adirondacks. Discusses engraver beetles and Dutch elm disease, birds' nests, hornets' nests, caterpillar webs, deer and bear signs, woodpecker holes, red squirrels, porcupine and beaver signs, and galls. (SV)

  12. Relating surface backscatter response from TRMM precipitation radar to soil moisture: results over a semi-arid region

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    H. Stephen

    2010-02-01

    Full Text Available The Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM carries aboard the Precipitation Radar (TRMMPR that measures the backscatter (σ° of the surface. σ° is sensitive to surface soil moisture and vegetation conditions. Due to sparse vegetation in arid and semi-arid regions, TRMMPR σ° primarily depends on the soil water content. In this study we relate TRMMPR σ° measurements to soil water content (ms in the Lower Colorado River Basin (LCRB. σ° dependence on ms is studied for different vegetation greenness values determined through Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI. A new model of σ° that couples incidence angle, ms, and NDVI is used to derive parameters and retrieve soil water content. The calibration and validation of this model are performed using simulated and measured ms data. Simulated ms is estimated using the Variable Infiltration Capacity (VIC model and measured ms is acquired from ground measuring stations in Walnut Gulch Experimental Watershed (WGEW.

    σ° model is calibrated using VIC and WGEW ms data during 1998 and the calibrated model is used to derive ms during later years. The temporal trends of derived ms are consistent with VIC and WGEW ms data with a correlation coefficient (R of 0.89 and 0.74, respectively. Derived ms is also consistent with the measured precipitation data with R=0.76. The gridded VIC data is used to calibrate the model at each grid point in LCRB and spatial maps of the model parameters are prepared. The model parameters are spatially coherent with the general regional topography in LCRB. TRMMPR σ° derived soil moisture maps during May (dry and August (wet 1999 are spatially similar to VIC estimates with correlation 0.67 and 0.76, respectively. This research provides new

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

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    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

  14. 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

  15. 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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Physiology-phenology interactions in a productive semi-arid pine forest.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maseyk, Kadmiel S; Lin, Tongbao; Rotenberg, Eyal; Grünzweig, José M; Schwartz, Amnon; Yakir, Dan

    2008-01-01

    This study explored possible advantages conferred by the phase shift between leaf phenology and photosynthesis seasonality in a semi-arid Pinus halepensis forest system, not seen in temperate sites. Leaf-scale measurements of gas exchange, nitrogen and phenology were used on daily, seasonal and annual time-scales. Peak photosynthesis was in late winter, when high soil moisture, mild temperatures and low leaf vapour pressure deficit (D(L)) allowed high rates associated with high water- and nitrogen-use efficiencies. Self-sustained new needle growth through the dry and hot summer maximized photosynthesis in the following wet season, without straining carbon storage. Low rates of water loss were associated with increasing sensitivity of stomatal conductance (g(s)) to soil moisture below a relative extractable water (REW) of 0.4, and decreased g(s )sensitivity to D(L) below REW of approx. 0.2. This response was captured by the modified Ball-Berry (Leuning) model. While most physiological parameters and responses measured were typical of temperate pines, the photosynthesis-phenological phasing contributed to high productivity under warm-dry conditions. This contrasts with reported effects of short-term periodical droughts and could lead to different predictions of the effect of warming and drying climate on pine forest productivity. PMID:18331428

  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 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Interception loss and rainfall redistribution by three semi-arid growing shrubs in northeastern Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Návar, Jose; Bryan, Rorke

    1990-07-01

    Interception loss and rainfall redistribution were measured in individual shrubs of Diospyrus texana, Acacia farnesiana and Prosopis laevigata from a semi-arid vegetal community in northeastern Mexico in the summer of 1987. In this period 230 mm of precipitation were recorded from 17 storms. Net precipitation averaged 167.6 mm, of which throughfall formed 160.5 and stemflow 7.1 mm. Interception loss was 27.2% of the total gross precipitation. Significant differences in stemflow were noted both among species and within the species D. texana. Stemflow inputs averaged 321 and 115 ml min -1 for a 40 mm h -1 simulated storm for the species D. texana and A. farnesiana-P. laevigata, respectively. The theoretical areas and distances over which stemflow spread averaged 0.320 m 2 and 0.115 m 2 and 0.30 and 0.15 m, respectively. These areas were calculated to receive 3030 and 2650 mm as annual precipitation.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    P.K. Rout

    2015-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2006-01-01

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

  6. Hydrodynamic caracterisation of an heterogeneous aquifer system under semi-arid climate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drias, T.; Toubal, A. Ch

    2009-04-01

    The studied zone is a part of the Mellegne's (North-East of Algeria) under pound, this zone is characterised by its semi-arid climate. The water bearing system is formed by the plio-quaternairy alluviums resting on a marley substratuim of age Eocene. The geostatiscitcs approach of the hydrodynamics parameters (Hydrolic load, transmisivity) allowed the study of their spatial distrubution (casting) by the method of Krigeage by blocks and the identification of zones with water-bearing potentialities. In this respect, the zone of Ain Chabro which, is situated in the South of the plain shows the best values of the transmisivity...... The use of a bidimensinnel model in the differences ended in the permanent regime allowed us to establish the global balence sheet (overall assessment) of the tablecloth and to refine the transmisivity field. These would vary more exactley between 10-4 to 10-2 m²/s. The method associating the probability appraoch of Krigeage to that determining the model has facilited the wedging of the model and clarified the inflitration value. Keys words: hydrodynamics, geostatiscitcs, Modeling, Chabro, Tébessa.

  7. Thresholds for runoff and sediment transport in Semi-arid areas; implications for connectivity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bracken, L. J.; Kirkby, M. J.

    2007-05-01

    The concept of connectivity is increasingly being applied within a range of disciplines in the Earth and Environmental sciences as researchers recognize the need to move beyond the traditional view that runoff is generated by either Hortonian infiltration excess or by the variable source area model. In studies which focus on connectivity two key assumptions tend to be made. Firstly, that runoff thresholds must be exceeded for runoff to be produced and secondly, that all factors that influence runoff thresholds are important for hydrological connectivity. It follows that hillslope hydrological connectivity can be initiated by shorter duration, or lower intensity events, whereas catchment-scale hydrological connectivity and flooding, requires prolonged, high intensity storms. Each catchment thus has a base spatial pattern in terms of connectivity, depending on key runoff generating areas, and a response curve as the catchments wets up. In this paper we explore how this base spatial pattern changes according to thresholds in the landscape for runoff generation and sediment transport. By examining a range of events at different spatial scales it is hoped that an understanding can be developed of key thresholds in semi-arid landscapes which will assist in understanding long term landscape development.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  10. Peach response to water deficit in a semi-arid region

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paltineanu, C.; Septar, L.; Moale, C.; Nicolae, S.; Nicola, C.

    2013-09-01

    During three years a deficit irrigation experiment was performed on peach response under the semi-arid conditions of south-eastern Romania. Three sprinkler-irrigated treatments were investigated: fully irrigated, deficit irrigation treatment, and non-irrigated control treatment. Soil water content ranged between 60 and 76% of the plant available soil water capacity in fully irrigated, between 40 and 62% in deficit irrigation treatment, and between 30 and 45% in control. There were significant differences in fruit yield between the treatments. Irrigation water use efficiency was maximum in deficit irrigation treatment. Fruit yield correlated significantly with irrigation application. Total dry matter content, total solids content and titrable acidity of fruit were significantly different in the irrigated treatments vs. the control. Significant correlation coefficients were found between some fruit chemical components. For the possible future global warming conditions, when water use becomes increasingly restrictive, deficit irrigation will be a reasonable solution for water conservation in regions with similar soil and climate conditions.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

  12. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eltahir, E.; Marcella, M.

    2009-04-01

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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. Biogeochemical and ecological impacts of livestock grazing in semi-arid southeastern Utah, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fernandez, D.P.; Neff, J.C.; Reynolds, R.L.

    2008-01-01

    Relatively few studies have examined the ecological and biogeochemical effects of livestock grazing in southeastern Utah. In this study, we evaluated how grazing has affected soil organic carbon and nitrogen to a depth of 50 cm in grasslands located in relict and actively-grazed sites in the Canyonlands physiographic section of the Colorado Plateau. We also evaluated differences in plant ground cover and the spatial distribution of soil resources. Results show that areas used by domestic livestock have 20% less plant cover and 100% less soil organic carbon and nitrogen compared to relict sites browsed by native ungulates. In actively grazed sites, domestic livestock grazing also appears to lead to clustered, rather than random, spatial distribution of soil resources. Magnetic susceptibility, a proxy for soil stability in this region, suggests that grazing increases soil erosion leading to an increase in the area of nutrient-depleted bare ground. Overall, these results, combined with previous studies in the region, suggest that livestock grazing affects both plant cover and soil fertility with potential long-term implications for the sustainability of grazing operations in this semi-arid landscape. ?? 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. Can groundwater in the discharge area receive recharge from rainfall in semi-arid areas?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiang, Xiao-Wei; Sun, Zhi-Chao; Zhao, Ke-Yu; Wan, Li; Wang, Xu-Sheng

    2016-04-01

    The definition of discharge area, which could be traced back to Toth (1962), is an area where the flow of groundwater is directed upward with respect to the water table. However, such a definition is subjected to criticism because it is usually accepted that rainfall can infiltrate into the subsurface and recharge the aquifer. In this study, the water table and soil moisture in the discharge area of an inland watershed in northwestern China with a semi-arid climate are monitored. The water table is recorded using Diver, while soil moistures at ten different depths are recorded using 5TM. The hourly rainfall data is also available in a nearby weather station. Both groundwater and soil water are found to have responses to heavy rainfalls. Soil moisture in the shallow part (soil moisture is dependent on the amount of rainfall. Soil moisture in the deep part (>90 cm) also have response to heavy rainfalls, however, they have a more direct relation to the dynamics of the water table. Based on the variations in soil moisture, we conclude that the rise in water table is not caused by the in situ infiltration of rainfall, and the infiltrated rainfall got evaporated before arriving at the water table. The vertical flux from regional groundwater flow is found to be the main contribution of water supply to support evaporation.

  19. 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.

  20. Population dynamics of small mammals in semi-arid regions: a comparative study of demographic variability in two rodent species.

    OpenAIRE

    Lima, Mauricio; Stenseth, Nils Chr.; Leirs, Herwig; Jaksic, Fabián M

    2003-01-01

    The seasonally determined demographic structure of two semi-arid rodents, both agricultural pest species (the leaf-eared mouse (Phyllotis darwini) in Chile and the multimammate mouse (Mastomys natalensis) in Tanzania), is analysed using capture-mark-recapture (CMR) statistical models and measures for elasticity (the relative change in the growth rate due to a relative unit change in the parameter of concern) derived from projection linear matrix models. We demonstrate that reproduction and su...

  1. Spatial variation of shallow and deep soil moisture in the semi-arid loess hilly area, China

    OpenAIRE

    Yang, L; Wei, W.; Chen, L.; Jia, F.; B. Mo

    2012-01-01

    Soil moisture in deep soil layers is the only relatively stable water resource for introduced vegetation in the semi-arid Loess Plateau of China. Characterizing the spatial variation of deep soil moisture is significant for vegetation restoration with respect to the topographic conditions. In this study, we focused on analyzing the spatial variations and influencing factors of soil moisture content (SMC) in shallow (0–2 m) and deep (2–8 m) soil layers based on soil moisture observation in...

  2. Characterization of Pseudomonas Species Isolated from the Rhizosphere of Plants Grown in Serozem Soil, Semi-Arid Region of Uzbekistan

    OpenAIRE

    Dilfuza Egamberdiyeva

    2005-01-01

    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 enzyme...

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2016-01-01

    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 eff...

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

    OpenAIRE

    Perrin, Jean-Louis; Rais, N; Chahinian, Nanée; Moulin, P.; Ijjaali, M.

    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...

  5. Linking Bayesian and agent-based models to simulate complex social-ecological systems in semi-arid regions

    OpenAIRE

    Pope, Aloah J.; Gimblett, Randy

    2015-01-01

    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 So...

  6. Linking Bayesian and agent-based models to simulate complex social-ecological systems in semi-arid regions

    OpenAIRE

    Pope, Aloah J.; Randy eGimblett

    2015-01-01

    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 ...

  7. 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.

  8. Vegetation–soil water interaction within a dynamical ecosystem model of grassland in semi-arid areas

    OpenAIRE

    Zeng, Xiaodong; Zeng, Xubin; Shen, Samuel S. P.; Dickingson, Robert E.; Zeng, Qing-Cun

    2011-01-01

    A dynamical ecosystem model with three variables, living biomass, wilted biomass and available soil wetness, isdeveloped to examine the vegetation–soil water interaction in semi-arid areas. The governing equations are based onthe mass conservation law. The physical and biophysical processes are formulated with the parameters estimated fromobservational data. Both numerical results and qualitative analysis of the model as well as observational data indicate thatthe maintenance of a grassland r...

  9. Agave proves to be a low recalcitrant lignocellulosic feedstock for biofuels production on semi-arid lands

    OpenAIRE

    Li, Hongjia; Pattathil, Sivakumar; Marcus B. Foston; Ding, Shi-You; Kumar, Rajeev; Gao, Xiadi; Mittal, Ashutosh; Yarbrough, John M; Himmel, Michael E.; Ragauskas, Arthur J.; Hahn, Michael G.; Wyman, Charles E

    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 fung...

  10. Evaporative fraction as an indicator of moisture condition and water stress status in semi-arid rangeland ecosystems

    OpenAIRE

    Francesco Nutini; Mirco Boschetti; Gabriele Candiani; Stefano Bocchi; Pietro Alessandro Brivio

    2014-01-01

    Rangeland monitoring services require the capability to investigate vegetation condition and to assess biomass production, especially in areas where local livelihood depends on rangeland status. Remote sensing solutions are strongly recommended, where the systematic acquisition of field data is not feasible and does not guarantee properly describing the spatio-temporal dynamics of wide areas. Recent research on semi-arid rangelands has focused its attention on the evaporative fraction (EF), a...

  11. Modelling scale-dependent runoff generation in a small semi-arid watershed accounting for rainfall intensity and water depth

    OpenAIRE

    Langhans, Christoph; Govers, Gerard; Diels, Jan; Stone, Jeffry J.; Nearing, Mark A.

    2014-01-01

    Observed scale effects of runoff on hillslopes and small watersheds derive from complex interactions of time-varying rainfall rates with runoff, infiltration and macro- and microtopographic structures. A little studied aspect of scale effects is the concept of water depth-dependent infiltration. For semi-arid rangeland it has been demonstrated that mounds underneath shrubs have a high infiltrability and lower lying compacted or stony inter-shrub areas have a lower infiltrability. ...

  12. Problems and prospects in the utilisation of animal traction in semi-arid West Africa: Evidence from Niger

    OpenAIRE

    Williams, T. O.

    1998-01-01

    Sustained adoption of animal traction for crop cultivation in the semi-arid zone of West Africa has been slow despite deliberate attempts by governments, development agencies and research organizations. to promote its use among small-scale farmers. The low adoption rates are partly due to demand and supply constraints, combined with the absence of certain preconditions (e.g appropriate climatic and biophysical attributes, and farming practices). On the demand side, factors like the short term...

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. Controlling stomatal aperture in semi-arid regions-The dilemma of saving water or being cool?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chaves, M M; Costa, J M; Zarrouk, O; Pinheiro, C; Lopes, C M; Pereira, J S

    2016-10-01

    Stomatal regulation of leaf gas exchange with the atmosphere is a key process in plant adaptation to the environment, particularly in semi-arid regions with high atmospheric evaporative demand. Development of stomata, integrating internal signaling and environmental cues sets the limit for maximum diffusive capacity of stomata, through size and density and is under a complex genetic control, thus providing multiple levels of regulation. Operational stomatal conductance to water vapor and CO2 results from feed-back and/or feed-forward mechanisms and is the end-result of a plethora of signals originated in leaves and/or in roots at each moment. CO2 assimilation versus water vapor loss, proposed to be the subject of optimal regulation, is species dependent and defines the water use efficiency (WUE). WUE has been a topic of intense research involving areas from genetics to physiology. In crop plants, especially in semi-arid regions, the question that arises is how the compromise of reducing transpiration to save water will impact on plant performance through leaf temperature. Indeed, plant transpiration by providing evaporative cooling, is a major component of the leaf energy balance. In this paper we discuss the dilemma of 'saving water or being cool' bringing about recent findings from molecular genetics, to development and physiology of stomata. The question of 'how relevant is screening for high/low WUE in crops for semi-arid regions, where drought and heat co-occur' is discussed. PMID:27593463

  17. 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.

  18. Occurrence and identification of the etiologic agents of plant diseases in cactus (Opuntia ficus-indica Mill.) in the semi-arid region of Paraiba

    OpenAIRE

    Anne Evelyne Franco de Souza; Luciana Cordeiro Nascimento; Egberto Araújo; Edson Batista Lopes; Francisca Maria Souto

    2010-01-01

    Cactus forage (Opuntia ficus-indica Mill.), intensely cultivated in dry regions of northeast Brazil, although well adapted to the harsh semi-arid climate is affected by major problems such as pests and diseases, responsible for significant losses in production. This study aimed to investigate the occurrence and diversity of the etiologic agents of diseases of cactus cultivated in 38 municipalities in the semi-arid region of Paraiba. The analyses were conducted and processed at the Laboratory ...

  19. Reuse of domestic wastewater treated in macrophyte ponds to irrigate tomato and eggplant in semi-arid West-Africa: benefits and risks

    OpenAIRE

    Akponikpe, PBI; Wima, K.; Yacouba, H.; Mermoud, A

    2011-01-01

    The scarcity of freshwater resources is a critical problem in semi-arid zones and marginal quality water is increasingly being used in agriculture. This paper aimed at evaluating the physico-chemical and biological risks on irrigated soils and fruits of macrophyte treated wastewater (TWW), the nutrients supply, and the effect on tomato and eggplant production in semi-arid Burkina Faso. During three years of experiments, treated wastewater was used, with fresh water as control, in combination ...

  20. Sustainable Land Management in African Semi-arid and Subhumid Regions: Proceedings of the SCOPE Workshop, Dakar, Senegal, 15-19 November 1993

    OpenAIRE

    Ganry, F.; Campbell, B.

    1995-01-01

    Metadata only record Maintaining the natural resource base over time in dryland areas of the tropics (which cover the arid, semi-arid, and subhumid regions) requires that desertification and land degradation be controlled. Because of their areal importance, on a global scale, their potential for food and wood production, and their vulnerability, the semi-arid regions, in particular of Africa, are of special importance. The book contains the proceedings of a SCOPE (Scientific Committee on P...

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. Cheatgrass is favored by warming but not CO2 enrichment in a semi-arid grassland.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blumenthal, Dana M; Kray, Julie A; Ortmans, William; Ziska, Lewis H; Pendall, Elise

    2016-09-01

    Elevated CO2 and warming may alter terrestrial ecosystems by promoting invasive plants with strong community and ecosystem impacts. Invasive plant responses to elevated CO2 and warming are difficult to predict, however, because of the many mechanisms involved, including modification of phenology, physiology, and cycling of nitrogen and water. Understanding the relative and interactive importance of these processes requires multifactor experiments under realistic field conditions. Here, we test how free-air CO2 enrichment (to 600 ppmv) and infrared warming (+1.5 °C day/3 °C night) influence a functionally and phenologically distinct invasive plant in semi-arid mixed-grass prairie. Bromus tectorum (cheatgrass), a fast-growing Eurasian winter annual grass, increases fire frequency and reduces biological diversity across millions of hectares in western North America. Across 2 years, we found that warming more than tripled B. tectorum biomass and seed production, due to a combination of increased recruitment and increased growth. These results were observed with and without competition from native species, under wet and dry conditions (corresponding with tenfold differences in B. tectorum biomass), and despite the fact that warming reduced soil water. In contrast, elevated CO2 had little effect on B. tectorum invasion or soil water, while reducing soil and plant nitrogen (N). We conclude that (1) warming may expand B. tectorum's phenological niche, allowing it to more successfully colonize the extensive, invasion-resistant northern mixed-grass prairie, and (2) in ecosystems where elevated CO2 decreases N availability, CO2 may have limited effects on B. tectorum and other nitrophilic invasive species. PMID:27090757

  6. Pattern selection and hysteresis in the Rietkerk model for banded vegetation in semi-arid environments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dagbovie, Ayawoa S; Sherratt, Jonathan A

    2014-10-01

    Banded vegetation is a characteristic feature of semi-arid environments. It occurs on gentle slopes, with alternating stripes of vegetation and bare ground running parallel to the contours. A number of mathematical models have been proposed to investigate the mechanisms underlying these patterns, and how they might be affected by changes in environmental conditions. One of the most widely used models is due to Rietkerk and co-workers, and is based on a water redistribution hypothesis, with the key feedback being that the rate of rainwater infiltration into the soil is an increasing function of plant biomass. Here, for the first time, we present a detailed study of the existence and stability of pattern solutions of the Rietkerk model on slopes, using the software package wavetrain (www.ma.hw.ac.uk/wavetrain). Specifically, we calculate the region of the rainfall-migration speed parameter plane in which patterns exist, and the sub-region in which these patterns are stable as solutions of the model partial differential equations. We then perform a detailed simulation-based study of the way in which patterns evolve when the rainfall parameter is slowly varied. This reveals complex behaviour, with sudden jumps in pattern wavelength, and hysteresis; we show that these jumps occur when the contours of constant pattern wavelength leave the parameter region giving stable patterns. Finally, we extend our results to the case in which a diffusion term for surface water is added to the model equations. The parameter regions for pattern existence and stability are relatively insensitive to small or moderate levels of surface water diffusion, but larger diffusion coefficients significantly change the subdivision into stable and unstable patterns. PMID:25142517

  7. Effect of Check Dams on Erosion and Flow Dynamics on Small Semi-Arid Watersheds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Polyakov, V.; Nearing, M.; Nichols, M.; McClaran, M. P.

    2012-12-01

    Erosion dynamics in semi-arid environments is defined by high magnitude, low frequency rainfalls that produce runoff with high sediment concentration. Check dams were shown to be an effective sedimentation mitigation technique on small watersheds. Constructed of rocks, or other materials placed across the flow and anchored into the bottom and sides of the channel, these barriers produce upstream and downstream effects. By impounding runoff they reduce flow velocity, increase infiltration and allow sediment settling thus decreasing channel slope. Decreased sediment load downstream of the dam may result in accelerated channel scouring. While the effect of check dams on channel stability has been studied extensively their impact on overall watershed sediment balance is not well known. In 2008 a total of 37 loose rock semi permeable check dams were installed on two small (4.0 and 3.1 ha) watersheds located on the alluvial fan of the Santa Rita Mountains in southern Arizona, USA. Each watershed was equipped with high resolution weighing type rain gauge a supercritical flow flume and sediment sampler. Hyetographs, hydrographs, and sediment load data for the watersheds were collected since 1975. The erosion dynamics and flow characteristics following the check dam installation were compared with historical records. The volume of the sediment retained upstream of each dam was calculated through survey. After 4 years the check dams were filled to over 80% of their capacity and no significant increase in downstream scouring has been observed. Maximum 30-min intensity (I30) was overall best predictor variable for total runoff. After check dam installation the number ratio of runoff to rainfall events has been reduced by half. However, runoff peak rates were not significantly effected.

  8. Land cover/land use change in semi-arid Inner Mongolia: 1992-2004

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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 km2, respectively, have increased proportionally. Cropland and urban land use also increased to 0.15 million km2 and 2197 km2, 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. Theoretical simulation of small scale psychometric solar water desalination system in semi-arid region

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Many countries around the world suffer from water scarcity. This is especially true in remote and semi-arid regions in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) where per capita water supplies decline as populations increase. This paper presents the results of a theoretical simulation of an affordable small scale solar water desalination plant using the psychometric humidification and dehumidification process coupled with an evacuated tube solar collector with an area of about 2 m2. A mathematical model was developed to describe the system's operation. Then a computer program using Simulink Matlab software was developed to provide the governing equations for the theoretical calculations of the humidification and dehumidification processes. The experimental and theoretical values for the total daily distillate output were found to be closely correlated. After the experimental calibration of the mathematical model, a model simulating solar radiation under the climatic conditions in the Middle East region proved that the performance of the system could be improved to produce a considerably higher amount of fresh water, namely up to 17.5 kg/m2 day. This work suggests that utilizing the concept of humidification and dehumidification, a compact water desalination unit coupled with solar collectors would significantly increase the potable water supply in remote area. It could be a unique solution of water shortages in such areas. -- Highlights: • An affordable small scale desalination system is proposed. • A mathematical model of the desalination system is developed and programmed using Matlab Simulink. • The model describes the psychometric process based on humidification and dehumidification. • The model is used in optimal selection of elements and operating conditions for solar desalination system. • The use of solar water desalination contributes significantly to reducing global warming

  10. 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.

  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. 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

  13. Soil Moisture Variability and its Effects on Herbage Production in Semi-arid Rangelands of Kenya

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Results obtained from recent studies focused on rangelands potential as influenced by human activity and climatic factors in the semi-arid and arid pastoral ecosystems of Northern Kenya indicated great temporal and spatial forage production variability. The objective of the studies was to document primary production in relation to water stress (drought), herbivory and direct human activities. Efforts also focused on finding possibilities of increasing productivity while conserving the finite resources for sustainable use. Laboratory, field and numerical methods were employed over several seasons and years. Forb and grass production was more variable than that of the browse (dwarf shrub) layer. Compared to forbs and dwarf shrubs, the grass layer contributed less to the total production in all seasons, indicating that the region had less potential for grazers compared to browsers. Spatial-temporal variation in rangeland carrying capacity reflected the great spatial heterogeneity in vegetation types and production. Similarly, seasonal differences were very evident, with highest estimates in the long rainy and the lowest during the dry and short rainy seasons, respectively. Factors limiting rangeland production potential were identified to be moisture deficiency, resource-use conflicts, an increasing and partially sedentarised nomadic population, overgrazing, tree felling, and land degradation (desert encroachment). Measures that can improve rangeland production potential and provide a better way of life for the inhabitants of the region include: (a) identification of land degradation (e.g. by means of bio-indicators and Geographical Information Systems, GIS); (b) technical interventions (i.e. soil and water conservation, restoration of degraded areas, fodder production); (c) social-economic interventions (i.e. resolution of resource-use conflicts, alleviation of poverty, infrastructure development improvement of livestock marketing channels etc.) and (d) continued

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

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

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    Carla da Silva Sousa

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available http://dx.doi.org/10.5902/1980509813331Caatinga is an exclusively Brazilian biome with areas in accentuated process of desertification. Arbuscularmycorrhizal fungi (AMF act in plant succession by favoring the establishment of plant species typical ofsuccessional stages and by accelerating recovery leading to a climax stage. The objective of the present workwas to evaluate the occurrence and diversity of AMF in successional stages of caatinga in the semi-aridregion of Paraíba State. Experimental plots (30 x 60 m were delimitated in 2007 in areas corresponding todifferent caatinga successional stages: early caatinga succession (natural revegetation during the previous15 years; intermediate (natural revegetation for about 35 years; late (mature caatinga with more than50 years without major disturbances; and also in pasture areas fenced and protected to represent the initialphase of succession. Plots of all four stages were implemented with three replicates. Soil and root sampleswere collected in the experimental plots, from the 0-15 cm soil layer in the dry and in the rainy seasons.All areas presented low infectivity potential suggesting that the introduction of mycorrhizal seedlings mayaccelerate the process of revegetation of degraded soils in this region. Except for the areas of late stage, theglomalin reservoirs increased along with the advancement of the succession process. Areas in the late stageof succession presented greater richness of AMF species, indicating that the establishment of the vegetationalso exerts a significant effect in the fungal community. Glomus and Acaulospora species were predominantin both seasons, possibly because they are well adapted to semi-arid conditions

  17. Calorific Value and Chemical Composition of Five Semi-Arid Mexican Tree Species

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    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%.

  18. 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 (soils (1.6-2.5 m). Earlier sowing had a larger impact than modified root systems on water uptake (14-31 vs 2-17mm) and mean yield increase (up to 0.7 vs 0-0.2 t ha(-1)) and the benefits occurred on deep and shallow soils and in more years (9-79 vs 3-44%). Increasing the proportion of crops in the sequence which dry the subsoil extensively has implications for the farming system productivity, and the crop sequence must be managed tactically to optimize overall system benefits. PMID:26976814

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. Carbon dioxide and methane supersaturation in lakes of semi-humid/semi-arid region, Northeastern China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wen, Zhidan; Song, Kaishan; Zhao, Ying; Jin, Xiuliang

    2016-08-01

    Understanding concentrations of carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4) in lakes is an important part of a comprehensive global carbon budget. We estimated data on the partial pressure of CO2 (pCO2) and CH4 (pCH4) from sampling with 95 lakes in semi-humid/semi-arid region of Northeastern China during ice-free period. Both pCO2 and pCH4 varied greatly among the study sites. p(CO2) values in these lakes ranged from 21.9 to 30,152.3 μatm (n = 403), and 91% of lakes in this survey were supersaturated with CO2. p(CH4) values ranged from 12.6 to 139,630.7 μatm with all sites in this study of CH4 sources to the atmosphere during the ice-free period. The collected urban lakes samples exhibited higher pCO2 and pCH4 than wild lakes samples. Either the mean value of p(CO2) or p(CH4) in saline waters is higher than in fresh waters. Correlation analysis implied that the partial pressure of the GHGs (CO2 and CH4) showed statistically correlations with water environment indicators like pH, dissolved organic carbon (DOC), total nitrogen (TN), total phosphorus (TP), and chlorophyll a (Chla). However, the most of the relationships showed a high degree of scatter, only pH might be used as the predictor of the gas partial pressure based on the result of this study (rpCO2 = -0.437, p carbon emission rate is 560.2 g C m-2 from 95 lakes in Northeastern China. We could not extrapolate carbon emission from these lakes to the boreal region or a wider scale because of the change of environmental conditions.

  4. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  6. Monitoring Vegetation Phenological Cycles in Two Different Semi-Arid Environmental Settings Using a Ground-Based NDVI System: A Potential Approach to Improve Satellite Data Interpretation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Malika Baghzouz

    2010-04-01

    Full Text Available In semi-arid environmental settings with sparse canopy covers, obtaining remotely sensed information on soil and vegetative growth characteristics at finer spatial and temporal scales than most satellite platforms is crucial for validating and interpreting satellite data sets. In this study, we used a ground-based NDVI system to provide continuous time series analysis of individual shrub species and soil surface characteristics in two different semi-arid environmental settings located in the Great Basin (NV, USA. The NDVI system was a dual channel SKR-1800 radiometer that simultaneously measured incident solar radiation and upward reflectance in two broadband red and near-infrared channels comparable to Landsat-5 TM band 3 and band 4, respectively. The two study sites identified as Spring Valley 1 site (SV1 and Snake Valley 1 site (SNK1 were chosen for having different species composition, soil texture and percent canopy cover. NDVI time-series of greasewood (Sarcobatus vermiculatus from the SV1 site allowed for clear distinction between the main phenological stages of the entire growing season during the period from January to November, 2007. NDVI time series values were significantly different between sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata and rabbitbrush (Chrysothamnus viscidiflorus at SV1 as well as between the two bare soil types at the two sites. Greasewood NDVI from the SNK1 site produced significant correlations with chlorophyll index (r = 0.97, leaf area index (r = 0.98 and leaf xylem water potential (r = 0.93. Whereas greasewood NDVI from the SV1 site produced lower correlations (r = 0.89, r = 0.73, or non significant correlations (r = 0.32 with the same parameters, respectively. Total percent cover was estimated at 17.5% for SV1 and at 63% for SNK1. Results from this study indicated the potential capabilities of using this ground-based NDVI system to extract spatial and temporal details of soil and vegetation optical properties not possible

  7. a Proposed New Vegetation Index, the Total Ratio Vegetation Index (trvi), for Arid and Semi-Arid Regions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fadaei, H.; Suzuki, R.; Sakai, T.; Torii, K.

    2012-07-01

    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 analysing data from the

  8. 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

  9. Estimate of shallow groundwater recharge in the Hadejia-Nguru Wetlands, semi-arid northeastern Nigeria

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goes, B. J. M.

    1999-06-01

    The Hadejia-Nguru Wetlands are annually inundated flood plains in semi-arid northeastern Nigeria. The area has a unique ecosystem that forms a natural barrier against the encroachment of the Sahara desert. Both the rich wetland vegetation and local farmers using shallow tube wells depend on a groundwater mound (with a water table less than 6 m below the surface) that is present in the unconfined aquifer under the flood-plain area. Using well records (1991-97) and a hydrogeologic profile based on piezometers that were monitored for two years, it is shown that recharge through the annually inundated flood plains is the source of the groundwater mound. Maintenance of the groundwater-recharge function of the flood plains depends on wet-season releases from two large upstream dams. On the basis of a water-budget method, the mean (1991-97) wet-season unconfined groundwater recharge in the flood-plain area between Hadejia and Nguru and in the immediate vicinity (1250 km2) is estimated to be 132 mm (range, 73-197 mm). Outflow from the unconfined flood-plain aquifer to the unconfined upland aquifer is approximately 10% of the wet-season flood-plain recharge. The unconfined groundwater outflow from the flood-plain area can provide a significant contribution to the present-day rural water supply in the surrounding uplands, but it does not offer much potential for additional groundwater abstraction. In addition to outflow to the upland aquifer (˜14 mm), the distribution of the annually recharged water volume of the shallow flood-plain aquifer is (1) domestic uses (3 mm), (2) small-scale irrigation (˜15 mm), and (3) evapotranspiration ( 1 100 mm). Along the hydrogeologic profile, the recharge in the upland (i.e., outflow from the unconfined flood-plain aquifer and possibly diffuse rain-fed recharge) is in balance with the water uses (i.e., domestic uses, groundwater outflow, and evapotranspiration). The absence of a seasonal water-level trend in the two piezometers in the

  10. 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).

  11. Predicting changes in hydrologic retention in an evolving semi-arid alluvial stream

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harvey, J.W.; Conklin, M.H.; Koelsch, R.S.

    2003-01-01

    Hydrologic retention of solutes in hyporheic zones or other slowly moving waters of natural channels is thought to be a significant control on biogeochemical cycling and ecology of streams. To learn more about factors affecting hydrologic retention, we repeated stream-tracer injections for 5 years in a semi-arid alluvial stream (Pinal Creek, Ariz.) during a period when streamflow was decreasing, channel width increasing, and coverage of aquatic macrophytes expanding. Average stream velocity at Pinal Creek decreased from 0.8 to 0.2 m/s, average stream depth decreased from 0.09 to 0.04 m, and average channel width expanded from 3 to 13 m. Modeling of tracer experiments indicated that the hydrologic retention factor (Rh), a measure of the average time that solute spends in storage per unit length of downstream transport, increased from 0.02 to 8 s/m. At the same time the ratio of cross-sectional area of storage zones to main channel cross-sectional area (As/A) increased from 0.2 to 0.8 m2/m2, and average water residence time in storage zones (ts) increased from 5 to 24 min. Compared with published data from four other streams in the US, Pinal Creek experienced the greatest change in hydrologic retention for a given change in streamflow. The other streams differed from Pinal Creek in that they experienced a change in streamflow between tracer experiments without substantial geomorphic or vegetative adjustments. As a result, a regression of hydrologic retention on streamflow developed for the other streams underpredicted the measured increases in hydrologic retention at Pinal Creek. The increase in hydrologic retention at Pinal Creek was more accurately predicted when measurements of the Darcy-Weisbach friction factor were used (either alone or in addition to streamflow) as a predictor variable. We conclude that relatively simple measurements of channel friction are useful for predicting the response of hydrologic retention in streams to major adjustments in channel

  12. Management of Meloidogyne incognita with Chemicals and Cultivars in Cotton in a Semi-Arid Environment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wheeler, T A; Siders, K T; Anderson, M G; Russell, S A; Woodward, J E; Mullinix, B G

    2014-06-01

    Management of Meloidogyne incognita (root-knot nematode) in cotton in the United States was substantially affected by the decision to stop production of aldicarb by its principle manufacturer in 2011. The remaining commercially available tools to manage M. incognita included soil fumigation, nematicide seed treatments, postemergence nematicide application, and cultivars partially resistant to M. incognita. Small plot field studies were conducted on a total of nine sites from 2011-2013 to examine the effects of each of these tools alone or in combinations, on early season galling, late-season nematode density in soil, yield, and value ($/ha = lint value minus chemical costs/ha). The use of a partially resistant cultivar resulted in fewer galls/root system at 35 d after planting in eight of nine tests, lower root-knot nematode density late in the growing season for all test sites, higher lint yield in eight of nine sites, and higher value/ha in six of nine sites. Galls per root were reduced by aldicarb in three of nine sites and by 1,3-dichloropropene (1,3-D) in two of eight sites, relative to the nontreated control (no insecticide or nematicide treatment). Soil fumigation reduced M. incognita density late in the season in three of nine sites. Value/ha was not affected by chemical treatment in four of nine sites, but there was a cultivar × chemical interaction in four of nine sites. When value/ha was affected by chemical treatment, the nontreated control had a similar value to the treatment with the highest value/ha in seven of eight cultivar-site combinations. The next "best" value/ha were associated with seed treatment insecticide (STI) + oxamyl and aldicarb (similar value to the highest value/ha in six of eight cultivar-site combinations). The lowest valued treatment was STI + 1,3-D. In a semi-arid region, where rainfall was low during the spring for all three years, cultivars with partial resistance to M. incognita was the most profitable method of managing root

  13. Carbon dioxide and methane supersaturation in lakes of semi-humid/semi-arid region, Northeastern China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wen, Zhidan; Song, Kaishan; Zhao, Ying; Jin, Xiuliang

    2016-08-01

    Understanding concentrations of carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4) in lakes is an important part of a comprehensive global carbon budget. We estimated data on the partial pressure of CO2 (pCO2) and CH4 (pCH4) from sampling with 95 lakes in semi-humid/semi-arid region of Northeastern China during ice-free period. Both pCO2 and pCH4 varied greatly among the study sites. p(CO2) values in these lakes ranged from 21.9 to 30,152.3 μatm (n = 403), and 91% of lakes in this survey were supersaturated with CO2. p(CH4) values ranged from 12.6 to 139,630.7 μatm with all sites in this study of CH4 sources to the atmosphere during the ice-free period. The collected urban lakes samples exhibited higher pCO2 and pCH4 than wild lakes samples. Either the mean value of p(CO2) or p(CH4) in saline waters is higher than in fresh waters. Correlation analysis implied that the partial pressure of the GHGs (CO2 and CH4) showed statistically correlations with water environment indicators like pH, dissolved organic carbon (DOC), total nitrogen (TN), total phosphorus (TP), and chlorophyll a (Chla). However, the most of the relationships showed a high degree of scatter, only pH might be used as the predictor of the gas partial pressure based on the result of this study (rpCO2 = -0.437, p < 0.01, n = 382; rpCH4 = -0.265, p < 0.01, n = 400). Furthermore, salinity could be a good predictor for p(CO2) and p(CH4) in 83 freshwater lakes in our study (rpCO2 = 0.365, rpCH4 = 0.323, p < 0.01, n = 348). The mean CO2 flux increased with the decreasing lake area size. The calculated annual areal carbon emission rate is 560.2 g C m-2 from 95 lakes in Northeastern China. We could not extrapolate carbon emission from these lakes to the boreal region or a wider scale because of the change of environmental conditions.

  14. 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.

  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. 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. PMID:27344510

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Diurnal regulation of photosynthesis in Jatropha curcas under drought during summer in a semi-arid region

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The diurnal photosynthetic responses to drought in Jatropha curcas have not been well assessed under field conditions in harsh semi-arid habitats. To illustrate this, diurnal changes in chlorophyll fluorescence and gas exchange rates were measured in field-grown Jatropha with or without a short (13 days) water recovery treatment under drought conditions during hot summer in a semi-arid. Sensitive stomatal closure coordinated with a drying atmosphere strictly limited a net CO2 assimilation rate with a predominant morning peak, eventually turning negative during the day. Even though the risk of excess excitation energy which potentially causes photodamage increased with the extremely low capacity for CO2 fixation, Jatropha preserved the integrity of PSII. Quantitative analysis of quenching partitioning revealed that regulated thermal energy dissipation accounted a large fraction of both instantaneous and daily absorbed energy by up to 80 and 72%, respectively, under the drought condition. Water recovery treatment more than doubled daily CO2 uptake via mitigating diurnal stomatal closure. The regulated thermal dissipation flexibly adjusted PSII quantum efficiency to capacity of CO2 fixation. In addition, downregulation of PSII quantum efficiency via sustained regulated thermal dissipation was observed and thought to be an additional photoprotective function. It is clear that Jatropha strongly rely upon the regulated thermal dissipation under drought condition, which must be critically important for this strict water conserving species, especially under a climate with high solar radiation loads as is seen in semi-arid regions. - Highlights: • Diurnal gas exchange and the fate of absorbed energy were assessed in Jatropha. • The dynamic stomatal closure was the predominant restriction under water stress. • The PSII integrity was preserved even under severe water stress. • The regulated thermal dissipation accounted by up to 72% of daily absorbed energy. • The

  20. Hierarchical distance-based fuzzy approach to evaluate urban water supply systems in a semi-arid region

    OpenAIRE

    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 d...

  1. 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

    2013-01-01

    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

  2. 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

    response functions indicated little influence of the anisotropic behavior for savanna but vegetation indices including red/NIR (NDVI) and NIR/SWIR (SIWSI) were found to be sensitive to the view angle (NDVI and SIWSI varied by 5 and 41 %, respectively). Surprisingly, the influence from differences...... 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....

  3. Utilisation Of Micro-Finance Institutions’ Funds By Borrowers In Arid And Semi-Arid Lands In Kenya

    OpenAIRE

    Nzioki, Paul M.; Taragon, Geoffrey; Kalio, A. M.

    2013-01-01

    Despite a lot of efforts in terms of resource mobilisation in Arid and Semi-Arid Lands (ASAL) , the poverty levels are still very high and the defaulted loans from the four Micro-Finance Institutions (MFIs) in Maralal town amounts KES 15 million. The study sought to establish whether economic characteristics of entrepreneurs and whether literacy levels affect application and usage of borrowed funds in the ASAL regions of Africa. The study was limited to Maralal Town, one of the main towns in ...

  4. 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. PMID:26221535

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. Management of nutrients and water in rainfed arid and semi-arid areas. Proceedings of a consultants meeting

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sustainable food security is needed for the arid and semi-arid regions of the tropical, subtropical and warm-temperate climatic zones. In these regions the supply of locally grown food is unreliable because much of it is produced in conditions of highly variable rainfall. Even in favourable seasons, these regions re becoming increasingly dependent on imported food. The IAEA's involvement in field studies on soil-water use dates back several years. A five year Co-ordinated Research Project on ''The Use of Nuclear and Related Techniques in Assessment of Irrigation Schedules of Field Crops to Increase Effective Use of Water in Irrigation Projects''. That project, completed in 1995, laid a solid foundation for future research. Because of a scarcity of water in many developing countries and increasing needs for sustainable food security in the face of increasing populations and lack of funds for irrigation schemes of significant dimension, research must focus on improved management of (i) the modest quantities of fertilizers that are available to farmers, (ii) the natural resources that are available to farmers for increasing soil organic matter content, and (iii) rain water. The Joint FAO/IAEA Division of Nuclear Techniques in Food and Agriculture held a Consultants Meeting on Management of Nutrients and Water in Rainfed Arid and Semi-Arid Areas for Increasing Crop Production, 26-29 May 1997

  8. 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).

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. The Fire Distinguisher: a Baseline Study of Semi-Arid Karst Drip Waters in Wildman's Cave at Wombeyan, NSW, Australia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baker, A.; Flemons, I.

    2015-12-01

    This study addresses the impact of fire on karst systems in a semi-arid environment. There is limited knowledge of hydrological and geochemical changes that result from a fire over a karst system. Soil science literature has shown that fire can change surface properties and from this it has been hypothesized that these impacts will be mirrored in an underlying cave (see Figure). This project is the first phase of a pre/post-fire study of organic matter, drip rates, trace metal composition, and stable isotope composition changes in a semi-arid cave system. This project aims establishes the baseline hydrogeochemical processes at Wildman's cave, at Wombeyan in NSW, Australia. The Wildman's cave site has not been studied previously, so this study adds to expanding literature on cave systems. This pre-fire monitoring provides a new dataset for semiarid karst processes. We report the first 8 months of an ongoing dataset, obtained through collection of dripwater samples, with drip loggers indicating drip rates over the same period. Dripwaters were analysed for pH and EC, cation/anion content, organic matter content and stable isotope composition. Following the successful completion of this baseline study, post fire data will be obtained via a controlled burn. This will expand on current knowledge of the use of speleothems as accurate records of past climates and fire history.

  18. Short Communication: Rhizosphere bacteria containing ACC-deaminase conferred drought tolerance in wheat grown under semi-arid climate

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Masood Ahmad Shakir

    2012-05-01

    Full Text Available Certain rhizobacteria have the potential of lowering endogenous ethylene levels in plants because of their 1- aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylate (ACC-deaminase activity and promoting root growth. This mechanism is of great agronomic significance under stress environments, which are known to induce accelerated production of ethylene. Thirty rhizobacteria were isolated from rhizosphere of wheat (Triticum aestivum L. growing in the Southern Punjab, a semi-arid region of Pakistan. Rhizobacteria were screened for ACC-deaminase activity and their potential to confer drought tolerance in wheat crop. Results of laboratory study revealed that selected rhizobacteria lowered endogenous ethylene levels in the rhizosphere as measured by Gas Chromatograph. Axenic studies showed that inoculation increased root-shoot length, root-shoot mass and lateral root number of the inoculated plants by 141, 44, 196, 52 and 30%, respectively, over control. Better-developed roots because of inoculation with plant growth promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR helped plants, a better crop stand that enhanced moisture and nutrient feeding volume resulting-in improved growth and yields of wheat crop. Two-year multi-location field trials inferred optimum yields with low delta water in semi-arid climate by PGPR containing ACC-deaminase. The enzyme ACC-deaminase probably lowered harmful ethylene levels which partially eliminated drought stress consequently utilizing soil moisture from lower profiles through proliferated roots.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. Machine learning for predicting soil classes in three semi-arid landscapes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brungard, Colby W.; Boettinger, Janis L.; Duniway, Michael C.; Wills, Skye A.; Edwards, Thomas C.

    2015-01-01

    Mapping the spatial distribution of soil taxonomic classes is important for informing soil use and management decisions. Digital soil mapping (DSM) can quantitatively predict the spatial distribution of soil taxonomic classes. Key components of DSM are the method and the set of environmental covariates used to predict soil classes. Machine learning is a general term for a broad set of statistical modeling techniques. Many different machine learning models have been applied in the literature and there are different approaches for selecting covariates for DSM. However, there is little guidance as to which, if any, machine learning model and covariate set might be optimal for predicting soil classes across different landscapes. Our objective was to compare multiple machine learning models and covariate sets for predicting soil taxonomic classes at three geographically distinct areas in the semi-arid western United States of America (southern New Mexico, southwestern Utah, and northeastern Wyoming). All three areas were the focus of digital soil mapping studies. Sampling sites at each study area were selected using conditioned Latin hypercube sampling (cLHS). We compared models that had been used in other DSM studies, including clustering algorithms, discriminant analysis, multinomial logistic regression, neural networks, tree based methods, and support vector machine classifiers. Tested machine learning models were divided into three groups based on model complexity: simple, moderate, and complex. We also compared environmental covariates derived from digital elevation models and Landsat imagery that were divided into three different sets: 1) covariates selected a priori by soil scientists familiar with each area and used as input into cLHS, 2) the covariates in set 1 plus 113 additional covariates, and 3) covariates selected using recursive feature elimination. Overall, complex models were consistently more accurate than simple or moderately complex models. Random

  2. Quantifying the vulnerability of carbon stocks and fluxes in six semi-arid biomes in the Southwestern US to the severe 2011-2013 drought (Invited)

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-12-01

    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. Climatic extremes are typical in the Southwestern U.S, and the frequency of extreme temperature and precipitation events (both drought and large storms) in this region is predicted to increase in the next century. Understanding how resilient carbon pools and fluxes in these biomes are to climate extremes constitutes a large uncertainty in our ability to understand regional carbon balance. We use a 7 year record (2007-2013) of continuous measurements of net ecosystem exchange of carbon (NEE) and its components (gross primary productivity (GPP) and ecosystem respiration (Re) 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 test hypotheses about the biome-specific sensitivity of carbon cycling to both drought and temperature extremes. In particular, we focus on the functional responses in these biomes to the extended drought in this region from 2011-2013, which has triggered extensive mortality in many biomes. We used time series of climatic variables, radiation absorbed by vegetation, sap flux, soil moisture storage, and remotely sensed structural and functional data, including rates of mortality, to compare the biome-specific mechanisms behind these responses. We also produce biome-specific functional response surfaces of productivity and respiration to VPD, temperature and soil water availability. Decreases in annual NEP from the relatively wet year of 2010 to the severe drought year 2011 ranged from 60-165 g C m-2 y-1 across the gradient, due more to decreases in GPP than Re. We observed the greatest sensitivity to both temperature and precipitation extremes in

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. Intercomparison of Aerosol Optical Thickness Derived from MODIS and in Situ Ground Datasets over Jaipur, a Semi-arid Zone in India.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Payra, Swagata; Soni, Manish; Kumar, Anikender; Prakash, Divya; Verma, Sunita

    2015-08-01

    The first detailed seasonal validation has been carried out for the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) Terra and Aqua satellites Level 2.0 Collection Version 5.1 AOT (τMODIS) with Aerosol Robotic Network (AERONET) Level 2.0 AOT (τAERONET) for the years 2009-2012 over semi-arid region Jaipur, northwestern India. The correlation between τMODIS versus τAERONET at 550 nm is determined with different spatial and temporal size windows. The τMODIS overestimates τAERONET within a range of +0.06 ± 0.24 during the pre-monsoon (April-June) season, while it underestimates the τAERONET with -0.04 ± 0.12 and -0.05 ± 0.18 during dry (December-March) and post-monsoon (October-November) seasons, respectively. Correlation without (with) error envelope has been found for pre-monsoon at 0.71 (0.89), post-monsoon at 0.76 (0.94), and dry season at 0.78 (0.95). τMODIS is compared to τAERONET at three more ground AERONET stations in India, i.e., Kanpur, Gual Pahari, and Pune. Furthermore, the performance of MODIS Deep Blue and Aqua AOT550 nm (τDB550 nm and τAqua550 nm) with τAERONET is also evaluated for all considered sites over India along with a U.S. desert site at White Sand, Tularosa Basin, NM. The statistical results reveal that τAqua550 nm performs better over Kanpur and Pune, whereas τDB550 nm performs better over Jaipur, Gual Pahari, and White Sand High Energy Laser Systems Test Facility (HELSTF) (U.S. site). PMID:26158600

  7. 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.

  8. Transport of multiple tracers in variably saturated humid region structured soils and semi-arid region laminated sediments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mayes, M. A.; Jardine, P. M.; Mehlhorn, T. L.; Bjornstad, B. N.; Ladd, J. L.; Zachara, J. M.

    2003-05-01

    The processes governing physical nonequilibrium (PNE)—coupled preferential flow and matrix diffusion—are diverse between humid and semi-arid regions, and are directly related to climate and rock/sediment type, and indirectly related to subsequent soil profile development. The fate and transport of contaminants in these variably saturated undisturbed media is largely a function of the influence of PNE processes. Large cores of laminated silts and sands were collected from the US Department of Energy Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) in semi-arid south central Washington. Additional cores of weathered, fractured interbedded limestone and shale saprolite were collected from the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) in humid eastern Tennessee. PNNL cores were collected parallel (FBP) and perpendicular (FXB) to bedding, and the ORNL core was 30° to bedding. Saturated and unsaturated transport experiments were performed using multiple nonreactive tracers that had different diffusion coefficients (Br -, PFBA, and PIPES), in order to identify the influence of PNE on the fate and transport of solutes. In the ORNL structured saprolite, solute transport was governed by coupled preferential flow and matrix diffusion, as evidenced by tracer separation and highly asymmetric breakthrough curves (BTC). BTCs became more symmetric as preferential flowpaths became inactive during drainage. Tracer separation persisted during unsaturated flow suggesting the continued importance of nonequilibrium mass transfer between flowpaths and the immobile water that was held in the soil matrix. No evidence of PNE was observed under near-saturated conditions in the semi-arid region (PNNL) laminated silts and sands. Unsaturated flow in cores with discontinuous layering resulted in preferential flow and the development of perched, immobile water as evidenced by early breakthrough and separation of tracers. Conversely, transport parallel to laterally continuous beds did not result in

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. The project for the study of Wurno irrigation scheme area in the Rima hydrological basin, Sokoto State, Nigeria for Fadama irrigation and water supply, using isotope techniques

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    This publication summarizes the result of the project on the use of isotope techniques for the study of recharge and discharge of the Sokoto-Rima hydrological basin in the semi-arid and northwestern part of Nigeria

  12. Modelisation de l'erosion hydrique en milieu semi-aride de forte energie de relief a partir de donnees de teledetection: Application a la Bolivie

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ouattara, Tidiane

    In this study, we propose a model of water erosion risks for such environments using remote sensing and morphometric data: MEH-SAFER (Modele d'Erosion Hydrique en milieu Semi-Aride de Forte Energie de Relief). MEH-SAFER is based on the Lamachere and Guillet model (MLG) (Burkina Faso) to the Lake Laka-Laka drainage basin (Bolivia). While preserving the same principle calculations of runoff potential, we have improved the acquisition method of the biophysical data in order to avoid errors related to topography and to the ground data. We have conceived a method based on multisource satellite images (RADARSAT-1, Landsat-7 and SPOT-4). We replaced the geomorphological graphic models used by Lamachere and Guillet with a topographic vulnerability map originating from the MVT (topographic vulnerability model). This, in turn, was derived from a DEM. Several combinations of multisource image and texture bands give classification accuracies greater than 80% for the land use classes. These include, among others, the combinations of entropy-ETM+2-ETM+4, correlation-ETM+2-ETM+4, homogeneity-ETM +2-ETM+4, mean-ETM+2-ETM +4, standard deviation-ETM+2-ETM+4, original radar image-ETM+2-ETM+4, dissimilarity-ETM +2-ETM+4, angular second moment-ETM+2-ETM +4, XS1-ETM+3-ETM+4 and XS2-ETM +3-ETM+4. In 83% of the basin, the potential runoff is superior to 0,50 on a maximum of 1. In the remaining 17% of the basin, the potential varies of 0 to 0,42, which is explained by the resistant hydrodynamical characteristics of the geoecological units. The results reported here reveal that in general the study area is not particularly vulnerable to erosion and that as a consequence the perceived rate of sedimentation is a natural consequence of the morphoclimatic conditions of the drainage basin. The main contribution of this study is the development of the MEH-SAFER. It includes several original ingredients including the numerical processing of multisource satellite data and morphometric topographical

  13. A hard sandy-loam soil from semi-arid Northern Cameroon : 1. Fabric of the groundmass

    OpenAIRE

    Lamotte, Mathieu; A. Bruand; Humbel, François-Xavier; Herbillon, A.J.; Rieu, Michel

    1997-01-01

    Dans les régions tropicales semi-arides, le durcissement des sols limite l'infiltration de l'eau et l'activité biologique, provoquant ainsi le développement de grandes étendues presque désertiques. Un sol sablo-limoneux présentant un horizon meuble au-dessus d'un horizon à forte cohésion a été sélectionné dans le bassin tchadien. L'étude de ces horizons a été réalisée par granulométrie, porosimétrie au mercure et microscopie électronique à balayage. Les deux horizons possèdent une même distri...

  14. 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)

    Togtohyn; Chuluun; Dennis; Ojima

    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.

  15. 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.

  16. An Overview of the Land Surface Processes Experiment (Laspex) over a Semi-Arid Region of India

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vernekar, K.G.; Sinha, S.; Sadani, L.K.; Sivaramakrishnan, S.; Parasnis, S.S.; Mohan, Brij; Dharmaraj, S.; Patil, M.N.; Pillai, J.S.; Murthy, B.S.; Debaje, S.B.; Bagavathsingh, A.

    To understand and quantify the land-surface-vegetation interactionwith the atmospheric boundary layer, and validate or improve upon the existing surfaceflux parameterization schemes in various weather forecast models, a LAnd SurfaceProcesses EXperiment (LASPEX), was designed and executed in the semi-arid regionof Gujarat, India during January 1997-December 1998. Micrometeorological tower observations,soil and vegetation parameters, radiation, turbulence and upper airobservations were taken continuously for two years at five sites, separated by about60-100 km from each other. Towers of 9 m height with instruments at four levels wereinstalled at sites that are agricultural fields and characterized with a variety of soilproperties, vegetation and diverse crops. An overview of the experiment is presented.Some results, such as the seasonal variation of surface energy balance and turbulence statistics,are discussed.

  17. 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.

  18. The problems of over exploitation of aquifers in semi-arid areas: characteristics and proposals for mitigation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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 CO2, compartmentalizing of aquifers, etc. A series of internal measures is proposed to alleviate the over exploitation of the region. (Author)

  19. 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)

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. A. Archibald

    2009-02-01

    Full Text Available Inter-annual variability in primary production and ecosystem respiration was explored using eddy-covariance data at a semi-arid savanna site in the Kruger Park, South Africa. New methods of extrapolating night-time respiration to the entire day and filling gaps in eddy-covariance data in semi-arid systems were developed. Net ecosystem exchange (NEE in these systems occurs as pulses associated with rainfall events, a pattern not well-represented in current standard gap-filling procedures developed primarily for temperate flux sites. They furthermore do not take into account the decrease in respiration at high soil temperatures. An artificial neural network (ANN model incorporating these features predicted measured fluxes accurately (MAE 0.42 gC/m2/day, and was able to represent the seasonal patterns of photosynthesis and respiration at the site. The amount of green leaf area (indexed using satellite-derived estimates of fractional interception of photosynthetically active radiation fAPAR, and the timing and magnitude of rainfall events, were the two most important predictors used in the ANN model. These drivers were also identified by multiple linear regressions (MLR, with strong interactive effects. The annual integral of the filled NEE data was found to range from −138 to +155 g C/m2/y over the 5 year eddy covariance measurement period. When applied to a 25 year time series of meteorological data, the ANN model predicts an annual mean NEE of 75(±105 g C/m2/y. The main correlates of this inter-annual variability were found to be variation in the amount of absorbed photosynthetically active radiation (APAR, length of the growing season, and number of days in the year when moisture was available in the soil.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. Helminth parasites and reservoir status of captive wild ruminants in the semi-arid region of north-eastern Nigeria.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Umar I Ibrahim

    Full Text Available Aim: To determine the various helminth parasites and associated helminth reservoir status of captive wild ruminants in the semi-arid region of north-eastern, Nigeria. Materials and Methods: Faecal samples were examined for nematode ova by the simple floatation technique using saturated sodium chloride solution as floatation medium. Trematode eggs were examined by the sedementation technique. The modified McMaster technique was used to determine the intensity of helminth infections among the various species of wild ruminants examined, while larval isolation and identification using the modified Baerman’s technique was used to determine the various species of parasites encountered. Results: Out of the 36 samples examined, a high parasite count due to Strongyle infection without the manifestation of overt clinical signs was observed among the captive wild ruminants. The egg counts ranged from 500 + 10.0 among the Grimm’s duicker (Sylvicaprea grimmia to 5, 350 + 51.70 among the Senegal hartebeest (Damaliscus korrigum. The helminth larvae recovered which were common to all the species of wild ruminants were those of Haemonchus contortus, Trichostrogylus axei and Strongyloides papillosus, Demographic data such as age, sex and species of wild animals showed no significant (p>0.05 variation on the prevalence of the helminth infections. Conclusion: The results of this study suggests that the captive wild ruminants in the semi-arid region of north-eastern, Nigeria, were reservoirs of various helminth parasites of medical and veterinary importance. It was therefore, recommended that improved sanitary conditions in animal enclosures, regular and strategic anthelmintic medications may on one hand protect the spread of infection to attendants and visitors to the park. On the other hand it will enhance the in-situ conservation of the rare and endangered species of wild ruminants in the area. [Vet World 2012; 5(9.000: 530-534

  13. 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

  14. 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 ...

  15. MACROINVERTEBRATE SAMPLING TECHNIQUES FOR STREAMS IN SEMI-ARID REGIONS. COMPARISON OF THE SURBER METHOD AND A UNIT-EFFORT TRAVELING KICK METHOD

    Science.gov (United States)

    Streams of the arid and semi-arid regions of the western United States are characterized by irregular flow patterns resulting in highly unstable macroinvertebrate habitats and a sparse macrobenthic fauna. The use of a standard square-foot Surber stream-bottom sampler is of limite...

  16. 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

  17. Large-scale transcriptome analysis in chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.), an orphan legume crop of the semi-arid tropics of Asia and Africa

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.) is an important legume crop in the semi-arid regions of Asia and Africa. Gains in crop productivity have been low however, particularly due to biotic and abiotic stresses. To help enhance crop productivity using molecular breeding techniques, next generation sequencing ...

  18. Non-Linear Responses to Precipitation and Shrub Encroachment in Semi-Arid Grassland: Isotopes and CO2 Fluxes Reveal Soil Microsite Alteration as Explanation 1875

    Science.gov (United States)

    Responses of net ecosystem production (NEP) to growing season rainfall amount is non-linear over a gradient of woody-plant encroachment in semi-arid riparian grassland. NEP is positively correlated with growing season precipitation amount in the grassland, but is negatively correlated with precipita...

  19. Agroecology-based aggradation-conservation agriculture (ABACO): Targeting innovations to combat soil degradation and food insecurity in semi-arid Africa

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Tittonell, P.A.; Scopel, E.; Andrieu, N.; Posthumus, H.; Mapfumo, P.; Corbeels, M.; Halsema, van G.E.; Lahmar, R.; Lugandu, S.; Rakotoarisoa, J.; Mtambanengwe, F.; Pound, B.; Chikowo, R.; Naudin, K.; Triomphe, B.; Mkomwa, S.

    2012-01-01

    Smallholder farmers in semi-arid Africa are in an increasingly vulnerable position due to the direct and indirect effects of climate change, demographic pressure and resource degradation. Conservation agriculture (CA) is promoted as an alternative to restore soil productivity through increased water

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. Food habits of rodents inhabiting arid and semi-arid ecosystems of central New Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hope, Andrew G.; Parmenter, Robert R.

    2007-01-01

    In this study, we describe seasonal dietary composition for 15 species of rodents collected in all major habitats on the Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge (Socorro County) in central New Mexico. A comprehensive literature review of food habits for these species from throughout their distribution also is provided. We collected rodents in the field during winter, spring and late summer in 1998 from six communities: riparian cottonwood forest; piñon-juniper woodland; juniper-oak savanna; mesquite savanna; short-grass steppe; and Chihuahuan Desert scrubland. Rodents included Spermophilus spilosoma (Spotted Ground Squirrel), Perognathus flavescens (Plains Pocket Mouse), Perognathus flavus (Silky Pocket Mouse), Dipodomys merriami (Merriam’s Kangaroo Rat), Dipodomys ordii (Ord’s Kangaroo Rat), Dipodomys spectabilis (Banner-tailed Kangaroo Rat), Reithrodontomys megalotis (Western Harvest Mouse), Peromyscus boylii (Brush Mouse), Peromyscus eremicus (Cactus Mouse), Peromyscus leucopus (White-footed Mouse), Peromyscus truei (Piñon Mouse), Onychomys arenicola (Mearn’s Grasshopper Mouse), Onychomys leucogaster (Northern Grasshopper Mouse), Neotoma albigula/leucodon (White-throated Woodrats), and Neotoma micropus (Southern Plains Woodrat). We collected stomach contents of all species, and cheek-pouch contents of heteromyids, and quantified them in the laboratory. We determined seasonal diets in each habitat by calculating mean percentage volumes of seeds, arthropods and green vegetation (plant leaves and stems) for each species of rodent. Seeds consumed by each rodent were identified to genus, and often species, and quantified by frequency counts. Comparisons of diets between and among species of rodents, seasons, and ecosystems were also examined. We provide an appendix of all plant taxa documented.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. Aerosol radiative effects over global arid and semi-arid regions based on MODIS Deep Blue satellite observations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hatzianastassiou, Nikolaos; Papadimas, Christos D.; Gkikas, Antonis; Matsoukas, Christos; Sayer, Andrew M.; Hsu, N. Christina; Vardavas, Ilias

    2014-05-01

    Aerosols are a key parameter for several atmospheric processes related to weather and climate of our planet. Specifically, the aerosol impact on Earth's climate is exerted and quantified through their radiative effects, which are induced by their direct, indirect and semi-direct interactions with radiation, in particular at short wavelengths (solar). It is acknowledged that the uncertainty of present and future climate assessments is mainly associated with aerosols and that a better understanding of their physico-chemical, optical and radiative effects is needed. The contribution of satellites to this aim is important as a complementary tool to climate and radiative transfer models, as well as to surface measurements, since space observations of aerosol properties offer an extended spatial coverage. However, such satellite based aerosol properties and associated model radiation computations have suffered from unavailability over highly reflecting surfaces, namely polar and desert areas. This is also the case for MODIS which, onboard the Terra and Aqua satellites, has been providing high quality aerosol data since 2000 and 2002, respectively. These data, more specifically the aerosol optical depth (AOD) which is the most important optical property used in radiative and climate models, are considered to be of best quality. In order to address this problem, the MODIS Deep Blue (DB) algorithm has been developed which enables the retrieval of AOD above arid and semi-arid areas of the globe, including the major deserts. In the present study we make use of the FORTH detailed spectral radiative transfer model (RTM) with MODIS DB AOD data, supplemented with single scattering albedo (SSA) and asymmetry parameter (AP) aerosol data from the Global Aerosol DataSet (GADS) to estimate the aerosol DREs over the arid and semi-arid regions of the globe. The RTM is run using surface and atmospheric data from the ISCCP-D2 dataset and the NCEP global reanalysis project and computes the

  6. 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

  7. Simulating the impact of no-till systems on field water fluxes and maize productivity under semi-arid conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mupangwa, W.; Jewitt, G. P. W.

    Crop output from the smallholder farming sector in sub-Saharan Africa is trailing population growth leading to widespread household food insecurity. It is therefore imperative that crop production in semi-arid areas be improved in order to meet the food demand of the ever increasing human population. No-till farming practices have the potential to increase crop productivity in smallholder production systems of sub-Saharan Africa, but rarely do because of the constraints experienced by these farmers. One of the most significant of these is the consumption of mulch by livestock. In the absence of long term on-farm assessment of the no-till system under smallholder conditions, simulation modelling is a tool that provides an insight into the potential benefits and can highlight shortcomings of the system under existing soil, climatic and socio-economic conditions. Thus, this study was designed to better understand the long term impact of no-till system without mulch cover on field water fluxes and maize productivity under a highly variable rainfall pattern typical of semi-arid South Africa. The simulated on-farm experiment consisted of two tillage treatments namely oxen-drawn conventional ploughing (CT) and ripping (NT). The APSIM model was applied for a 95 year period after first being calibrated and validated using measured runoff and maize yield data. The predicted results showed significantly higher surface runoff from the conventional system compared to the no-till system. Predicted deep drainage losses were higher from the NT system compared to the CT system regardless of the rainfall pattern. However, the APSIM model predicted 62% of the annual rainfall being lost through soil evaporation from both tillage systems. The predicted yields from the two systems were within 50 kg ha -1 difference in 74% of the years used in the simulation. In only 9% of the years, the model predicted higher grain yield in the NT system compared to the CT system. It is suggested that

  8. 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

  9. 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 di fferent applications such as the estimation of climate changes and land cover features. It is known that thermal infrared (TIR) emissivity is aff ected by soil moisture, but there are very few works in literature on this issue. This study is aimed to analyze and fi nd 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 fi elds 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 μ m 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 di erent spectral channels, at 8.7 μm, 10.8 μ m and 12 μ m. A Kalman lter

  10. Simulated biomass, environmental impacts and best management practices for long-term switchgrass systems in a semi-arid region

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Long-term information on switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.) as a biomass energy crop grown on marginally saline soil and the associated impacts on soil carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) dynamics, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and best management practices (BMPs) are limited. In this study, we employed the DAYCENT model, based on a 4-year switchgrass field experiment, to evaluate the long-term biomass yield potential and environmental impacts, and further to develop BMPs for switchgrass in a semi-arid region. The model showed that long-term (14-year) annual mean biomass yields were 9.6 and 5.2 Mg ha−1 for irrigated and rainfed switchgrass systems, respectively. The simulated biomass yields correlated well with field-measured biomass with r2 values of 0.99 and 0.89 for irrigated and rainfed systems, respectively. Soil organic carbon (SOC) and soil total nitrogen (STN) accumulated rapidly after switchgrass establishment, with mean accrual rates of 0.99–1.13 Mg C ha−1 yr−1 and 0.04–0.08 Mg N ha−1 yr−1, respectively. Based on the outputs of numerous long-term model simulations with variable irrigation water supplies and N rates, the irrigation regime and N rate with the highest yield to input ratio were chosen as BMPs. The DAYCENT model predicted-BMP was irrigating every 14 days at 70% potential evapotranspiration combined with an N rate of 67 kg ha−1 yr−1. Switchgrass established and produced biomass reasonably well in this semi-arid region; however, appropriate irrigation and N fertilization were needed for optimal biomass yield. Switchgrass had a great potential to sequester C into soils with low N2O emissions while supplying significant quantities of biomass for biofuel synthesis. - Highlights: • The DAYCENT model reliably simulated the growth of switchgrass on marginal land. • Long-term biomass and environmental impacts were simulated using the DAYCENT model. • Switchgrass produced biomass well on marginal land, but irrigation and

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Modeling the Impact of Climate and Population Change Scenarios in a Semi-arid Aquifer

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neff, K.; Mallakpour, I.; Maddock, T.; Meixner, T.

    2011-12-01

    The Upper San Pedro River in Southern Arizona has been modeled using MODFLOW several times, most recently by Goode and Maddock (2000) and Pool and Dickinson (2006). It is the last free-flowing river in Arizona and its riparian area serves as habitat for migrating birds and several endangered native species. Understanding how the river will respond to future climate and population change is critical for the successful management of this resource. In the current model, we improve upon previous models by adding a third season to represent the summer monsoon rains, changing the model domain to include only the basin fill in order to minimize error, and using newer MODFLOW packages such as Streamflow Routing (SFR) to more accurately model the riparian system. GMS is used to produce the initial MODFLOW files. Once the new regional model was developed, we changed inputs to the model in order to observe the effects of changes in regional precipitation and temperature due to climate change, as well as changes in pumping for human use, on the aquifer and river. The challenge of adapting an older model to use new data and technology is valuable because it will improve model performance and provide better information to water resources decision-makers in the basin, who are faced with potential increases in population and thus municipal water demand. The new regional model is also intended to be coupled in the future with a stream network flood routing model to reflect the role of flood-pulse recharge on groundwater and streamflow levels.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. Rainfall-runoff relationship of some catchments with karstic geomorphology under arid to semi-arid conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Vera, Maximo R.

    1984-02-01

    The relationship between rainfall and runoff of fourteen catchments with a total area of 5983 km 2 in the northeastern zone of Libya was reviewed in an attempt to determine the effect of karstic geomorphology on the runoff coefficient. Available data since 1965 were collated and eight wadis with at least eleven flood events were used for linear regression analysis. The selected catchments are under arid to semi-arid conditions with mean annual rainfall of 50-500 mm and with surface geology consisting mostly of marly limestone which is favourable to karstification phenomena. The ratio of runoff to rainfall is extremely variable with a range of 0.0001-0.830, and therefore it is not a reliable criterion for runoff estimation, especially with the limited data subjected to statistical analysis. The regression analysis shows correlation coefficients from 0.219 to 0.89 with no apparent effect of size of catchment area. As indicated by the coefficient of determination, 4.8-80.3% of the variation in runoff has been accounted for by the regression. The extent and degree of karstification, if properly quantified, can be a significant factor for runoff prediction, in addition to rainfall intensity and duration, antecedent soil moisture, effective catchment area and other geomorphological features.

  18. 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. PMID:22967492

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Assessment of Groundwater Chemistry and Status in a Heavily Used Semi-Arid Region with Multivariate Statistical Analysis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xuedi Zhang

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available This hydrogeological study assessed the quality of phreatic water supplies across the semi-arid, traditional agricultural region of the Yinchuan region in northwest China, near the upper reaches of the Yellow River. We analyzed the chemical characteristics of water collected from 39 sampling stations before the 2011 summer-autumn irrigation period, using multivariate statistical analysis and geostatistical methods. We determined which factors influence the composition of groundwater, using principal component analysis (PCA and two modes of cluster analysis. PCA showed that the most important variables in the study area were the strong evaporation effect caused by the dry climate, dissolution of carbonate minerals and those containing F− and K−, and human activity including the treatment of domestic sewage and chemical fertilization. The Q-mode of cluster analysis identified three distinct water types that were distinguished by different chemical compositions, while the R-mode of analysis revealed two distinct clusters of sampling stations that appeared to be influenced by distinct sets of natural and/or anthropogenic factors.

  2. 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.

  3. Latent heat loss and sweat gland histology of male goats in an equatorial semi-arid environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Melo Costa, Cíntia Carol; Maia, Alex Sandro Campos; Neto, José Domingues Fontenele; Oliveira, Steffan Edward Octávio; de Queiroz, João Paulo Araújo Fernandes

    2014-03-01

    The objective of this work was to quantify the heat loss by cutaneous evaporation of goats in an equatorial semi-arid environment. The latent heat loss from the body surfaces of these ten undefined breed goats was measured using a ventilated capsule in sun and shade and in the three body regions (neck, flank and hindquarters). Skin samples from these three regions were histologically analyzed to relate the quantity of sweat glands, the area of sweat glands and the epithelium thickness of each of these regions to the heat loss by cutaneous evaporation of the examined goats. The epithelium thickness that was measured varied significantly for body regions with different quantities and areas of sweat glands ( P sweat glands from the flank had the biggest area (43330.51 ± 778.71 μm2) and quantity per square centimeter (390 ± 9 cm-2). After the animals were exposed to sun, the flanks lost the greatest amount of heat by cutaneous evaporation (73.03 ± 1.75 W m-2) and possessed the highest surface temperatures (39.47 ± 0.18 °C). The histological characteristics may have influenced the heat loss by cutaneous evaporation that was observed in the flank region after the animals were exposed to sun.

  4. 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.

  5. Dimethylamine as a major alkyl amine species in particles and cloud water: Observations in semi-arid and coastal regions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Youn, J.-S.; Crosbie, E.; Maudlin, L. C.; Wang, Z.; Sorooshian, A.

    2015-12-01

    Aerosol and cloud water measurements of dimethylamine (DMA), the most abundant amine in this study, were conducted in semi-arid (Tucson, Arizona) and marine (Nucleation in California Experiment, NiCE; central coast of California) areas. In both regions, DMA exhibits a unimodal aerosol mass size distribution with a dominant peak between 0.18 and 0.56 μm. Particulate DMA concentrations increase as a function of marine biogenic emissions, sulfate, BVOC emissions, and aerosol-phase water. Such data supports biogenic sources of DMA, aminium salt formation, and partitioning of DMA to condensed phases. DMA concentrations exhibit positive correlations with various trace elements and most especially vanadium, which warrants additional investigation. Cloud water DMA levels are enhanced significantly during wildfire periods unlike particulate DMA levels, including in droplet residual particles, due to effective dissolution of DMA into cloud water and probably DMA volatilization after drop evaporation. DMA:NH4+ molar ratios peak between 0.18 and 1.0 μm depending on the site and time of year, suggesting that DMA competes better with NH3 in those sizes in terms of reactive uptake by particles.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Naveen P. Singh

    2014-06-01

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

  7. 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.

  8. Maximizing biomass production in semi-arid regions: genotypic selection of identified species. [Saltbush and Johnson Grass

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Goodin, J.R.; Newton, R.J.

    1983-08-31

    This project identifies genotypes selected from two species of unconventional plants previously identified as having exceptional potential for the production of biomass feedstock in semi-arid regions. The project involved collection of germ plasm from indigenous Atriplex canescens (saltbush) and introduced Sorghum halepense (Johnson grass). In addition, greenhouse and field screening techniques recently aplied to domesticated crop plants are used to identify exceptional biomass productivity based on drought tolerance, salinity tolerance, and seedling vigor. In both of these species, the genetic base is enormous. Saltbush is common to all of western North America, and Johnsongrass had established itself as an important forage and weedy species throughout most of the world. It would appear that artificial selection for desirable genotypes is a feasible process, and this project has demonstrated the possibility of selection from many accessions from the field. Preliminary screening for seedling vigor, drought tolerance, and salt tolerance has produced a few genotypes now ready for field testing. Propagation of these cloned genotypes is underway. 22 references, 2 figures, 1 table.

  9. Remote Sensing Based Analysis of Recent Variations in Water Resources and Vegetation of a Semi-Arid Region

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shaowei Ning

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available This study is designed to demonstrate use of free remote sensing data to analyze response of water resources and grassland vegetation to a climate change induced prolonged drought in a sparsely gauged semi-arid region. Water resource changes over Hulun Lake region derived from monthly Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE and Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM products were analyzed. The Empirical Orthogonal Functions (EOF analysis results from both GRACE and TRMM showed decreasing trends in water storage changes and precipitation over 2002 to 2007 and increasing trends after 2007 to 2012. Water storage and precipitation changes on the spatial and temporal scale showed a very consistent pattern. Further analysis proved that water storage changes were mainly caused by precipitation and temperature changes in this region. It is found that a large proportion of grassland vegetation recovered to its normal state after above average rainfall in the following years (2008–2012 and only a small proportion of grassland vegetation (16.5% of the study area is degraded and failed to recover. These degraded grassland vegetation areas are categorized as ecologically vulnerable to climate change and protective strategies should be designed to prevent its further degradation.

  10. 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. PMID:26373304

  11. 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.

  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. PMID:26178534

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. [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.

  16. Helping small-scale farmers in the semi-arid tropics: Linking participatory research, traditional research and simulation modelling

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The aim was to link necessary research skills to increase the range of options available to resource-poor farmers in the study area. The research consisted of on-station research to evaluate and understand cropping-system options resulting from insertion of a legume crop into the sorghum and castor system, on-farm research whereby farmers evaluate cropping-system options that are of interest to them, use of 15N as a label to help understand the nitrogen (N) balance of the various options, and cropping-systems simulation to examine long-term climatic risks from possible options. Particular attention was placed on the option of sorghum/pigeon pea intercrops, and on quantifying the inputs of N from animal manure and by the pigeon-pea component. We were also interested in the process of linking on-station to on-farm research, and simulation modelling to the cropping system research. One important outcome was that different groups identified different problems and posed different questions. The problems identified and questions raised were examined by use of scenario analyses run for ten to thirty years which contrasted the existing practice with a range of alternative practices. The simulations were useful in guiding the design of on-farm experiments. Other likely outcomes are the setting of low-rate fertilizer recommendations specifically for the semi-arid tropics, the marketing of small packs of fertilizers, and increased use of manure resources for crop production. (author)

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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%.

  20. 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).

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Applicability Research on Flood Forecasting Models for Semi-arid and Semi-humid Areas%半干旱半湿润地区洪水预报模型适用性研究

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    刘郁; 赵兰兰; 马丁

    2016-01-01

    Accprding tp the basin features and runpff characteristics, this paper cpmpared the Hebei stprm flppd mpdel and Xin ’an-jiang mpdel in the mpdel principle and structure. Taking the Lapniuhe River Basin as a case, an applicability study was made. The results shpw that the precisipn pf the Hebei stprm flppd mpdel is higher, and is mpre suitable tp flppd fprecasting fpr the semi-arid and semi-humid areas.%针对半干旱半湿润地区的流域特性和产汇流特点,比较了河北雨洪模型和新安江模型的模型原理和模型特性,以滦河支流老牛河流域为例,开展了洪水预报适用性研究。结果表明,河北雨洪模型的预报精度较高,更适用于半干旱半湿润地区的洪水预报。

  4. Soil moisture and its consequences under different management in a six year old hedged agroforestry demonstration plot in semi-arid Kenya, for two successive contrasting seasons

    OpenAIRE

    Otengi, S.B.B.; Stigter, C.J.; Ng'anga, J.K.; Liniger, H.

    2007-01-01

    Hedged agroforestry (AF) demonstration plots with maize/bean intercrops were studied at Matanya in Laikipia district, Kenya, between 1991 and 1995 inclusive, to understand crop yield behaviour due to selected soil moisture conservation methods applicable in semi-arid areas. The treatments were: Grevillea robusta trees root pruned, compared to unpruned, both in combination with (1) minimum tillage and mulching with 3t/ha maize stalks harvested from the plots with additional stalks collected fr...

  5. Impact of climate and analysis of desertification processes in semi arid land in Algeria: using data of Alsat-1 and Landsat

    OpenAIRE

    Ahmed, Z; Habib, M; Sid Ali, H.; Sofiane, K.

    2015-01-01

    The degradation of natural resources in arid and semi-arid areas was highlighted dramatically during this century due to population growth and transformation of land use systems. The Algerian steppe has undergone a regression over the past decade due to drought cycle, the extension of areas cultivated in marginal lands, population growth and overgrazing. These phenomena have led to different degradation processes, such as the destruction of vegetation, soil erosion, and deterioration...

  6. Are Fe and P availabilities involved in determining the occurrence and distribution of Calluna vulgaris (L.) Hull in semi-arid grasslands on calcareous soils?

    OpenAIRE

    Fühner, Christoph; Runge, Michael

    2008-01-01

    Calluna vulgaris (L.) Hull is primarily found on acid soils and is generally classified as a calcifuge species. Therefore, its occasional growth in semi-arid grassland on shallow calcareous soils gave rise to the question as to whether special soil conditions, deviating from the typical conditions in calcareous soils, enable this unusual occurrence. In an attempt to answer this question, we analysed selected soil factors, comparing plots where C. vulgaris was growing besides calcicole species...

  7. Farmer’s Knowledge and Perception of Diversified Farming Systems in Sub-Humid and Semi-Arid Areas in Benin

    OpenAIRE

    Alcade C. Segnon; Achigan-Dako, Enoch G; Orou G. Gaoue; Adam Ahanchédé

    2015-01-01

    Building on farmer’s agroecological knowledge to design environmental-friendly agricultural systems is crucial given the environmental impact of industrial agriculture. We investigated the drivers of farmers’ knowledge of agrobiodiversity management and analyzed how farmers’ knowledge and their current farming contexts may guide future farming systems in sub-humid (Bassila) and semi-arid (Boukoumbé) areas of Benin. We conducted structured interviews with 180 farmers and used generalized linea...

  8. Resistance Status of the Malaria Vector Mosquitoes, Anopheles stephensi and Anopheles subpictus Towards Adulticides and Larvicides in Arid and Semi-Arid Areas of India

    OpenAIRE

    Tikar, S. N.; M J Mendki; Sharma, A K; D. Sukumaran; Veer, Vijay; Prakash, Shri; Parashar, B. D.

    2011-01-01

    Susceptibility studies of malaria vectors Anopheles stephensi Liston (Diptera: Culicidae) and An. subpictus Grassi collected during 2004–2007 from various locations of Arid and Semi-Arid Zone of India were conducted by adulticide bioassay of DDT, malathion, deltamethrin and larvicide bioassay of fenthion, temephos, chlorpyriphos and malathion using diagnostic doses. Both species from all locations exhibited variable resistance to DDT and malathion from majority of location. Adults of both the...

  9. The effects of clouds and aerosols on net ecosystem CO2 exchange over semi-arid Loess Plateau of Northwest China

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    H. Yu

    2010-05-01

    Full Text Available The impacts of clouds and atmospheric aerosols on the terrestrial carbon cycle at semi-arid Loess Plateau in Northwest China are investigated, by using the observation data obtained at the SACOL (Semi-Arid Climate and Environment Observatory of Lanzhou University site. Daytime (solar elevation angles of larger than 50° NEE of CO2 obtained during the midgrowing season (July–August are analyzed with respect to variations in the diffuse radiation, cloud cover and aerosol optical depth (AOD. Results show a significant impact by clouds and aerosols on the CO2 uptake by the grassland (with smaller LAI values located in a semi-arid region, quite different from areas covered by forests and crops. The light saturation levels in canopy are lower, with a value of about 434.8 W m−2. Thus, under overcast conditions of optically thick clouds, the CO2 uptake increases with increasing clearness index, and a maximum CO2 uptake and light use efficiency of vegetation occur with the clearness index of about 0.37 and lower air temperature. Under other sky conditions the CO2 uptake decreases with the cloudiness but the light use efficiency is enhanced, due to increase in the fraction of diffuse PAR. Additionally, under cloudy conditions, changes in the NEE of CO2 also result from the interactions of many environmental factors, especially the air temperature. In contrast to its response to changes in solar radiation, the carbon uptake shows a negative response to increased AOD. The reason for the difference in the response of the semi-arid grassland from that of the forest and crop lands may be due to the difference in the canopy's architectural structure.

  10. Seroprevalence of peste des petits ruminants among domestic small and large ruminants in the semi-arid region of North-eastern Nigeria

    OpenAIRE

    Abdul-Dahiru El-Yuguda; Saka Saheed Baba; Abdul Ganiyu Ambali; Godon O Egwu

    2013-01-01

    Background: Recent changes in the host range of peste des petits ruminants (PPR) virus coupled with the presence of a hugeruminant population in the study area has stimulated our interest to carry out a sero-survey for PPR among the differentdomestic ruminant populations of semi-arid region of North-eastern (NE) Nigeria.Materials and Methods: The prevalence of PPR virus antibodies among domestic animals (goat, sheep, cattle and camel)populations in NE Nigeria was studied using virus neutralis...

  11. What happens after the catchment caught the storm? Hydrological processes at the small, semi-arid Weatherley catchment, South-Africa

    OpenAIRE

    Uhlenbrook, S.; Wenninger, J.; Lorentz, S.

    2005-01-01

    International audience The knowledge of water flow pathways and residence times in a catchment are essential for predicting the hydrological response to a rain storm event. Different experimental techniques are available to study these processes, which are briefly reviewed in this paper. To illustrate this, recent findings from the Weatherley catchment a 1.5 km2 semi-arid headwater in South-Africa, are reported in this paper. Beside classical hydrometric measurements of precipitation and r...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Qidong; Zuo, Hongchao; Li, Weidong

    2016-01-01

    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. PMID:26991786

  13. On the value of combined event runoff and tracer analysis to improve understanding of catchment functioning in a data-scarce semi-arid area

    OpenAIRE

    M. Hrachowitz; Bohte, R.; Mul, M.L.; Bogaard, T.A.; Savenije, H. H. G.; S. Uhlenbrook

    2011-01-01

    Hydrological processes in small catchments are not quite understood yet, which is true in particular for catchments in data scarce, semi-arid regions. This is in contrast with the need for a better understanding of water fluxes and the interactions between surface- and groundwater in order to facilitate sustainable water resources management in such environments, where both floods and droughts can result in severe crop loss. In this study, event runoff coefficient analysis and limited tracer ...

  14. Conceptual model for water management in Brazilian semi-arid regions: From intervention to sustainability, case of Lagoa Real Uranium Plant

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The world water lack problem has been already diagnosed and is acknowledged as one of the greatest challenges for this century. The scientific literature, documents and either nationals or internationals official reports like the Brazilian Water Agency (ANA) and UNESCO point out the main shortages and general management practices. Also in Brazil, it is a multi-facet problem that envelops several social agents for many decades and has tragic consequences in some regions of the country, like is the case of the northeastern semi-arid region. This work presents the strategies for expertise integration to attend demands for the establishment of partnerships that include several institutions, with different experiences in the region, to improve the acquaintance with dry climate in Brazilian semi-arid. The general objective was developing a conceptual model of technical multi-institutional arrangements as tools for aquifer management, promoting sustainable use of groundwater in the semi-arid region. Here, we present a conceptual model based in technical, political and socio-economical dimensions of sustainability that exchange information among them and with management requirements. This process must be turned in more productive agricultural systems with the introduction of new technology that respect the family arrangement of the production units. It is also expected that validation of this conceptual model allows an applicable alternative to other areas in the future, respected of course all the geo-socio-economical constraints of each site. (author)

  15. 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

  16. Multifonctionnalité de l'agriculture familiale et diversification des activités dans le sertão semi-aride de l'État de Bahia (Brésil)

    OpenAIRE

    Bittencourt Machado, Gustavo

    2009-01-01

    This thesis intends to understand the multifunctionality of the familial agriculture by the theoretical, conceptual and juridical approach according to the public policies that recognize the agricultural public functions or tasks for the semi-arid regions. The case study is the brazilian semi-arid sertão, specially the Sisal Territory, in the State of Bahia, using the Agrarian System Analysis-diagnostic. The agricultural multifonctionality is studied with their public functions, considering t...

  17. 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.

  18. What Climate Conditions Enhance Hillslope Erosion in Semi-Arid Regions?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pierce, J. L.; Riley, K. E.; Kenworthy, M.; Poulos, M. J.; Weppner, K.; Nelson, N.; Svenson, L.

    2011-12-01

    , steeper slope angles, thicker soils, and episodic but large debris flows, while south-facing or drier slopes have sparse vegetation, thin soils, lower slope angles, and frequent small sheetfloods. Space for time substitutions indicate similar shifts over Holocene timescales. We hypothesize that increased climate variability, where wet intervals of vegetation (fuel) production are followed by severe drought and fire, promote large debris flows. Dry (but stable?) climates are characterized few fires and large debris flows, and more frequent sheetflooding. When Holocene records of erosion are compared with alluvial fan records of sedimentation over the past 100 ka, the Holocene is characterized by very limited deposition. Most fan deposition corresponds with LGM and OIS stage 3 cool/wet intervals. Deposition on fans occurs regardless of whether the contributing basin was glaciated, indicating cool and/or wet climates are responsible for increased erosion, not the direct effect of glaciers. The question of whether cool/wet intervals or warm/dry intervals drive hillslope response is, therefore, very dependent on the timescale of observation. It is likely, however, that increased climate variability may drive erosional response over multiple timescales.

  19. Assessment of strip tillage systems for maize production in semi-arid Ethiopia: effects on grain yield and water balance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Temesgen

    2007-07-01

    Full Text Available The traditional tillage implement, the Maresha plow, and the tillage systems that require repeated and cross plowing have caused poor rainfall partitioning, land degradation and hence low water productivity in Ethiopia. Conservation tillage could alleviate these problems. However, no-till can not be feasible for smallholder farmers in semi-arid regions of Ethiopia because of difficulties in maintaining soil cover due to low rainfall and communal grazing and because of high costs of herbicides. Strip tillage systems may offer a solution. This study was initiated to test strip tillage systems using implements that were modified forms of the Maresha plow, and to evaluate the impacts of the new tillage systems on water balance and grain yields of maize (Zea mays XX. Experiments were conducted in two dry semi arid areas called Melkawoba and Wulinchity, in the central Rift Valley of Ethiopia during 2003–2005. Strip tillage systems that involved cultivating planting lines at a spacing of 0.75 m using the Maresha plow followed by subsoiling along the same lines (STS and without subsoiling (ST were compared with the traditional tillage system of 3 to 4 times plowing with the Maresha plow (CONV. Soil moisture was monitored to a depth of 1.8 m using Time Domain Reflectometer while surface runoff was measured using rectangular trough installed at the bottom of each plot. STS resulted in the least surface runoff (Qs=17 mm-season−1, the highest transpiration (T=196 mm-season−1, the highest grain yields (Y=2130 kg-ha−1 and the highest water productivity using total evaporation (WPET=0.67 kg-m−3 followed by ST (Qs=25 mm-season−1, T=178 mm-season−1, Y=1840 kg-ha−1, WPET=0.60 kg-m−3 and CONV (Qs=40 mm-season−1,T=158 mm

  20. 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

  1. Forests and water - Friends or foes?. Hydrological implications of deforestation and land degradation in semi-arid Tanzania

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    In the study area in Babati District in Tanzania a multi-component research approach was attempted. Two catchments, one forested and one deforested-degraded, were studied regarding soil properties, runoff and groundwater recharge. This was done both in the field and with the use of two computer models: one simulating groundwater recharge as a function of rainfall variability, and one simulating hydrological implications of massive land cover conversion on the flooding of nearby Lake Babati. Three major findings came out of the study. The first is that most forested catchments (in various hydroclimates and landscapes) will increase the runoff following deforestation (due to less evapotranspiration). This is well-established knowledge, but it also depends on the actual conditions at hand. These conditions are defined as hydroclimate, soil texture and slope. In humid-temperate climates with coarse soils on flat land, the conditions strongly favor increased runoff following deforestation. However, in dry regions with fine textured soils on hilly ground, and where deforestation also implies land degradation, less dry season flow is likely to develop after a considerable adjustment period has been allowed. Secondly, the prevalence of preferential flow in a forest soil, as compared to a compacted and eroded soil, must be a key component in an explanation of why more dry season flow can emerge from a forested as compared to a deforested catchment in the dry tropics. Thirdly, there are several aspects of semi-arid and arid tropical hydrology which make comparisons with humid-temperate regions difficult and require special attention in the management of water resources in the dry tropics. 14 refs, 18 figs, 1 tab

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. Maize yield response to water supply and fertilizer input in a semi-arid environment of Northeast China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yin, Guanghua; Gu, Jian; Zhang, Fasheng; Hao, Liang; Cong, Peifei; Liu, Zuoxin

    2014-01-01

    Maize grain yield varies highly with water availability as well as with fertilization and relevant agricultural management practices. With a 311-A optimized saturation design, field experiments were conducted between 2006 and 2009 to examine the yield response of spring maize (Zhengdan 958, Zea mays L) to irrigation (I), nitrogen fertilization (total nitrogen, urea-46% nitrogen,) and phosphorus fertilization (P2O5, calcium superphosphate-13% P2O5) in a semi-arid area environment of Northeast China. According to our estimated yield function, the results showed that N is the dominant factor in determining maize grain yield followed by I, while P plays a relatively minor role. The strength of interaction effects among I, N and P on maize grain yield follows the sequence N+I >P+I>N+P. Individually, the interaction effects of N+I and N+P on maize grain yield are positive, whereas that of P+I is negative. To achieve maximum grain yield (10506.0 kg · ha(-1)) for spring maize in the study area, the optimum application rates of I, N and P are 930.4 m(3) · ha(-1), 304.9 kg · ha(-1) and 133.2 kg · ha(-1) respectively that leads to a possible economic profit (EP) of 10548.4 CNY · ha(-1) (CNY, Chinese Yuan). Alternately, to obtain the best EP (10827.3 CNY · ha(-1)), the optimum application rates of I, N and P are 682.4 m(3) · ha(-1), 241.0 kg · ha(-1) and 111.7 kg · ha(-1) respectively that produces a potential grain yield of 10289.5 kg · ha(-1). PMID:24465896

  5. 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.

  6. CO2 production rate maxima in the deeper unsaturated zone of a semi-arid floodplain at Rifle, Colorado

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tokunaga, T. K.; Kim, Y.; Wan, J.; Dong, W.; Conrad, M. E.; Bill, M.; Hobson, C.; Williams, K. H.; Long, P. E.

    2015-12-01

    Fluxes of CO2 from soils are important to understand in order to predict subsurface feedbacks to the atmosphere and responses to climate change. Such fluxes are commonly monitored at the soil surface and generally assumed to largely originate within shallow depths. Relatively little is understood on the depth distribution of CO2 production below the rhizosphere. We monitored CO2 fluxes at the soil surface, and measured vertical profiles of vadose CO2 concentrations, matric potentials, and temperatures at the Rifle Site, a saline semi-arid floodplain along the Colorado River in order to determine the significance of deeper vadose zone respiration. Vadose zone CO2 profiles exhibit temperature-dependent seasonal variations, and are consistent with CO2 fluxes measured at the soil surface. The measured vadose zone CO2 concentration profiles combined with gas diffusion coefficients estimated from soil properties indicated that local maxima in rates of CO2 production persist in the deeper vadose zone, about 1 m below the rhizosphere, and above the water table (~3.5 m below the soil surface). We hypothesized that water and oxygen activities, nutrient levels, and temperatures remain favorable for microbial respiration throughout the year in the subrhizosphere, unlike overlying drier soils and the underlying poorly aerated aquifer. Using soils and sediments from the field site, the hypothesized existence of deeper subsurface maxima in CO2 production rate is currently being tested in the laboratory through sediment incubation experiments and in 2.0 m tall vadose zone columns. Initial results from the laboratory support the hypothesized persistence of a subrhizosphere "hot zone" for microbial respiration, partly sustained through seasonal pulses of dissolved and labile organic carbon originating from the rhizosphere. These findings suggest that similar sustained deeper local maxima in respiration rates may occur in many other regions where near-surface conditions are

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  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. 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.

  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 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 within sites.

  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. Long-term effect of irrigation with waste water on soil microbial community in semi-arid conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    García-Orenes, Fuensanta; Morugan, Alicia; Mar Alguacil, Mª; Roldan, Antonio

    2013-04-01

    The water shortage is one of the most serious environmental problems in semi-arid areas around the world, which implicates the search for alternatives sources of water to satisfy the water demand in these regions. The use of wastewater for the irrigation of agricultural land is one of most suitable solutions to save better quality water when the natural resources are scarce. The reuse of wastewater in soil irrigation is not a new practise and is increasing in many places around the world; however the implications for the sustainability of agro-ecosystems must be studied in deep. The objective of this work was to study the effects of the long-term irrigation with treated wastewater in soil microbial community (evaluated as abundance of phospholipid fatty acids, PLFA). The experiment was conducted in an area located in Alicante (Southeast Spain) (Coordinates 38° 17´38" N, 0° 33´50" W). During 40 years an experimental Citrus aurantium L. (orange tree) orchard has been drip-irrigated with waste water, and control plots with the same characteristics subjected to drip irrigation with fresh water, were also stabilised during all the experimental period. Soil samples from individual trees were colleted in a randomised design with three replicates for each irrigation treatment (irrigation with waste water and irrigation with fresh water), to analyse the abundance of PLFA at the end of the experiment. The results show a major content of total PLFA in soils irrigated with fresh water, also these soils showed higher variety of PLFAs, and so a higher variety of groups of microorganims.

  14. Study on Rangeland production Potential and its Limitations in the Semi-Arid lands of Northern Kenya

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Results obtained from recent studies focused on rangeland potential as influenced by human activity and climatic factors in the semi-arid and pastoral ecosystems of Northern Kenya indicated great temporal and spatial forage production variability. The objective of the studies was to document the primary production potential in relation to water stress (drought), herbivory and direct human activities. Efforts also focused on finding possibilities of increasing productivity while conserving the finite resources for sustainable use. Laboratory field and numeric methods were employed over several seasons and years. Forb and grass production was more viable than that of the brows (dwarf shrub) layer. Compared to forbs and dwarf shrubs, The grass layer contributed less to the total of production in all seasons, indicating that the region had less potential for grazers compared to browsers. Spatial-temporal variations in rangeland carrying capacity reflected the great spatial heterogeneity in vegetation types and production. Similarly, seasonal difference were very evident, with highest estimates in the long rainy and lowest during the dry and short rainy seasons, respectively. Factors limiting rangeland production potential and were identified to be moisture deficiency, resource-use conflicts, an increasing and partial sedentarised nomadic population, overgrazing, tree felling, and land degradation (desert encroachment). Measures that can increase rangelands production potential and provide a better way of life for the inhabitants of the region include: (a) identification of land degradation (e.g. by means of bio-indicators and Geographical Information systems, GIS); (b) technical interventions (i.e. soil and water conservation,restoration of degraded ares, fodder production); (c)socio-economic interventions (i.e. resolution of resource-use conflicts, alleviation of poverty, infrastructure development, improvement of livestock marketing channels, etc) and (d) continued

  15. Processes Driving Submarine Groundwater Discharge and Nutrient Fluxes in a Semi-arid Coastal Area: Coastal South Texas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murgulet, D.; Douglas, A. R.; Spalt, N.

    2015-12-01

    Assessments of submarine groundwater discharge (SGD), an important pathway for material transport to coastal embayments, are difficult, as there is no simple means to estimate the water flux. Because of processes like tidal pumping, non-homogeneous bottom sediment compositions, high hydrologic and hydrogeologic "heterogeneity", and the likelihood of multiple sources (i.e. different aquifers or recirculated seawater) within a study region, there could be significant variation in the magnitude of discharge. Furthermore, in highly saline semi-arid environments such as south Texas, density-driven flow will also influence the discharge rates and location of seepage faces. Thus, discharge throughout a bay is undoubtedly variable temporally and spatially so it is not reasonable to extrapolate a single flow rate to the entire surface area. Multiple approaches are necessary especially where the terrestrial groundwater is not fresh like in coastal area of south Texas. To meet this challenge, we have explored the use of high-resolution continuous subsurface imaging techniques, continuous radon monitoring, and other geochemical tracers to more precisely measure SGD and nutrient fluxes to coastal zone waters over time periods of hours and under different climatic conditions. This approach allowed us to differentiate between fresh groundwater and recirculated seawater, delineate seepage faces as dependent on / independent of sediment heterogeneity and convective flow caused by density differences. We were able to also correct SGD rates derived from continuous radon monitoring that can be significantly variable on account of observation uncertainties associated with the above-mentioned complications. Areas of significant SGD, as shown by both continuous resistivity profiling and radon and radium isotopes, were also associated with the highest non-conservative nutrient (i.e. nitrate) concentrations. Overall, this combination of methods shows promise in differentiating between flow

  16. 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

  17. Meteorological drivers of ablation processes on a cold glacier in the semi-arid Andes of Chile

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. MacDonell

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available Meteorological and surface change measurements collected during a 2.5 yr period are used to calculate surface mass and energy balances at 5324 m a.s.l. on Guanaco Glacier, a cold-based glacier in the semi-arid Andes of Chile. Meteorological conditions are marked by extremely low vapour pressures (annual mean of 1.1 hPa, strong winds (annual mean of 10 m s−1, shortwave radiation receipt persistently close to the theoretical site maximum during cloud-free days (mean annual 295 W m−2; summer hourly maximum 1354 W m−2 and low precipitation rates (mean annual 45 mm w.e.. Snowfall occurs sporadically throughout the year and is related to frontal events in the winter and convective storms during the summer months. Net shortwave radiation provides the greatest source of energy to the glacier surface, and net longwave radiation dominates energy losses. The turbulent latent heat flux is always negative, which means that the surface is always losing mass via sublimation, which is the main form of ablation at the site. Sublimation rates are most strongly correlated with net shortwave radiation, incoming shortwave radiation, albedo and vapour pressure. Low glacier surface temperatures restrict melting for much of the period, however episodic melting occurs during the austral summer, when warm, humid, calm and high pressure conditions restrict sublimation and make more energy available for melting. Low accumulation (131 mm w.e. over the period and relatively high ablation (1435 mm w.e. means that mass change over the period was negative (−1304 mm w.e., which continued the negative trend recorded in the region over the last few decades.

  18. Mixed crop-livestock production systems of smallholder farmers in sub-humid and semi-arid areas of Zambia

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Livestock production activities among small-scale farmers of semi-arid (Agro-ecological zone 1) and sub-humid (Agro-ecological zone 2) areas of Zambia are integrated with crop production activities in what is termed as crop/livestock farming system. This is a closed system in which production of one enterprise depends on the other. In Zambia, crop production depends on draught animals for tillage of cropping area, animal manure for fertilisation of crops while livestock depend on crop residues for dry season feeding. Good quality grass is generally available in adequate amounts to support reasonable level of livestock productivity during the rainy season. But livestock rely on low quantity and poor quality, highly fibrous perennial grass from veld and fibrous crop residues during the dry season. These resources are inadequate to support optimum livestock productivity activities. Poor nutrition results in low rates of reproduction and production as well as increased susceptibility to diseases. With the increasing human population cropping land is expanding, leading to increased production of crop residues. This has however, reduced the grazing land available for ruminant production. In Zambia large quantities of crop residues (stovers, husks and straws, legume tops and hulls, sugar cane tops, cassava leaves, potato vines, etc.) are left in the field where they are wasted each year because small-scale farmers lack the knowledge on how best to use them. There is a need to find ways to reverse this situation by adapting known and workable technologies to local conditions and by introducing new approaches for improving the use of crop residues and poor quality fibrous feeds. Efforts should also be made to enlarge feed resource base. The technologies should be simple and effective. In the presence of a dynamic market system, livestock production in a crop/livestock system could be intensified and made profitable for small-scale farmers. (author)

  19. Large scale characterization of unsaturated soil properties in a semi-arid region combining infiltration, pedotransfer functions and evaporation tests

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shabou, Marouen; Angulo-Jaramillo, Rafael; Lassabatère, Laurent; Boulet, Gilles; Mougenot, Bernard; Lili Chabaane, Zohra; Zribi, Mehrez

    2016-04-01

    Water resource management is a major issue in semi-arid regions, especially where irrigated agriculture is dominant on soils with highly variable clay content. Indeed, topsoil clay content has a significant importance on infiltration and evaporation processes and therefore in the estimation of the volume of water needed for crops. In this poster we present several methods to estimate wilting point, field capacity volumetric water contents and saturated hydraulic conductivity of the Kairouan plain (680 km2), central Tunisia (North Africa). The first method relies on the Beerkan Estimation of Soil Transfer parameters (BEST) method, which consists in local estimate of unsaturated soil hydraulic properties from a single-ring infiltration test, combined with the use of pedotransfer functions applied to the Kairouan plain different soil types. Results are obtained over six different topsoil texture classes along the Kairouan plain. Saturated hydraulic conductivity is high for coarse textured and some of the fine textured soils due to shrinkage cracking-macropore soil structure. The saturated hydraulic conductivity values are respectively 1.31E-5 m.s-1 and 1.71E-05 m.s-1. The second method is based on evaporation tests on different test plots. It consists of analyzing soil moisture profile changes during the dry down periods to detect the time-to-stress that can be obtained from observation of soil moisture variation, albedo measurements and variation of soil temperature. Results show that the estimated parameters with the evaporation method are close to those obtained by combining the BEST method and pedotransfer functions. The results validate that combining local infiltration tests and pedotransfer functions is a promising tool for the large scale hydraulic characterization of region with strong spatial variability of soils properties.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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. PMID:26615728

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Tree Morphologic Plasticity Explains Deviation from Metabolic Scaling Theory in Semi-Arid Conifer Forests, Southwestern USA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Swetnam, Tyson L; O'Connor, Christopher D; Lynch, Ann M

    2016-01-01

    A significant concern about Metabolic Scaling Theory (MST) in real forests relates to consistent differences between the values of power law scaling exponents of tree primary size measures used to estimate mass and those predicted by MST. Here we consider why observed scaling exponents for diameter and height relationships deviate from MST predictions across three semi-arid conifer forests in relation to: (1) tree condition and physical form, (2) the level of inter-tree competition (e.g. open vs closed stand structure), (3) increasing tree age, and (4) differences in site productivity. Scaling exponent values derived from non-linear least-squares regression for trees in excellent condition (n = 381) were above the MST prediction at the 95% confidence level, while the exponent for trees in good condition were no different than MST (n = 926). Trees that were in fair or poor condition, characterized as diseased, leaning, or sparsely crowned had exponent values below MST predictions (n = 2,058), as did recently dead standing trees (n = 375). Exponent value of the mean-tree model that disregarded tree condition (n = 3,740) was consistent with other studies that reject MST scaling. Ostensibly, as stand density and competition increase trees exhibited greater morphological plasticity whereby the majority had characteristically fair or poor growth forms. Fitting by least-squares regression biases the mean-tree model scaling exponent toward values that are below MST idealized predictions. For 368 trees from Arizona with known establishment dates, increasing age had no significant impact on expected scaling. We further suggest height to diameter ratios below MST relate to vertical truncation caused by limitation in plant water availability. Even with environmentally imposed height limitation, proportionality between height and diameter scaling exponents were consistent with the predictions of MST. PMID:27391084

  10. 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. PMID:26461478

  11. 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.

  12. 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 show