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Sample records for basin semi-arid woodland

  1. Reduction of tree cover in West African woodlands and promotion in semi-arid farmlands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brandt, Martin; Rasmussen, Kjeld; Hiernaux, Pierre; Herrmann, Stefanie; Tucker, Compton J.; Tong, Xiaoye; Tian, Feng; Mertz, Ole; Kergoat, Laurent; Mbow, Cheikh; David, John L.; Melocik, Katherine A.; Dendoncker, Morgane; Vincke, Caroline; Fensholt, Rasmus

    2018-05-01

    Woody vegetation in farmland acts as a carbon sink and provides ecosystem services for local people, but no macroscale assessments of the impact of management and climate on woody cover exist for drylands. Here we make use of very high spatial resolution satellite imagery to derive wall-to-wall woody cover patterns in tropical West African drylands. Our study reveals that mean woody cover in farmlands along all semi-arid and sub-humid rainfall zones is 16%, on average only 6% lower than in savannahs. In semi-arid Sahel, farmland management promotes woody cover around villages (11%), while neighbouring savannahs had on average less woody cover. However, farmlands in sub-humid zones have a greatly reduced woody cover (21%) as compared with savannahs (33%). In the region as a whole, rainfall, terrain and soil are the most important (80%) determinants of woody cover, while management factors play a smaller (20%) role. We conclude that agricultural expansion causes a considerable reduction of trees in woodlands, but observations in Sahel indicate that villagers safeguard trees on nearby farmlands which contradicts simplistic ideas of a high negative correlation between population density and woody cover.

  2. 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

  3. Modelling hydrologic and hydrodynamic processes in basins with large semi-arid wetlands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fleischmann, Ayan; Siqueira, Vinícius; Paris, Adrien; Collischonn, Walter; Paiva, Rodrigo; Pontes, Paulo; Crétaux, Jean-François; Bergé-Nguyen, Muriel; Biancamaria, Sylvain; Gosset, Marielle; Calmant, Stephane; Tanimoun, Bachir

    2018-06-01

    Hydrological and hydrodynamic models are core tools for simulation of large basins and complex river systems associated to wetlands. Recent studies have pointed towards the importance of online coupling strategies, representing feedbacks between floodplain inundation and vertical hydrology. Especially across semi-arid regions, soil-floodplain interactions can be strong. In this study, we included a two-way coupling scheme in a large scale hydrological-hydrodynamic model (MGB) and tested different model structures, in order to assess which processes are important to be simulated in large semi-arid wetlands and how these processes interact with water budget components. To demonstrate benefits from this coupling over a validation case, the model was applied to the Upper Niger River basin encompassing the Niger Inner Delta, a vast semi-arid wetland in the Sahel Desert. Simulation was carried out from 1999 to 2014 with daily TMPA 3B42 precipitation as forcing, using both in-situ and remotely sensed data for calibration and validation. Model outputs were in good agreement with discharge and water levels at stations both upstream and downstream of the Inner Delta (Nash-Sutcliffe Efficiency (NSE) >0.6 for most gauges), as well as for flooded areas within the Delta region (NSE = 0.6; r = 0.85). Model estimates of annual water losses across the Delta varied between 20.1 and 30.6 km3/yr, while annual evapotranspiration ranged between 760 mm/yr and 1130 mm/yr. Evaluation of model structure indicated that representation of both floodplain channels hydrodynamics (storage, bifurcations, lateral connections) and vertical hydrological processes (floodplain water infiltration into soil column; evapotranspiration from soil and vegetation and evaporation of open water) are necessary to correctly simulate flood wave attenuation and evapotranspiration along the basin. Two-way coupled models are necessary to better understand processes in large semi-arid wetlands. Finally, such coupled

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    John Tyler Fox

    2017-10-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Oel, P.R.

    2009-01-01

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

  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

    2013-07-01

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-03-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Strachan, Scotty

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2008-01-01

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

  11. Rainfall-interception-evaporation-runoff relationships in a semi-arid catchment, northern Limpopo basin, Zimbabwe

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Love, D.; Uhlenbrook, S.; Corzo Perez, G.; Twomlow, S.; Zaag, van der P.

    2010-01-01

    Characterizing the response of a catchment to rainfall, in terms of the production of runoff vs the interception, transpiration and evaporation of water, is the first important step in understanding water resource availability in a catchment. This is particularly important in small semi-arid

  12. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-12-01

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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Litvak, Marcy [University of New Mexico

    2018-04-09

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2010-01-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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...

  4. Adaptation of streeter model - Phelps for water quality modeling in a large semi-arid basin.

    OpenAIRE

    Wagner Josà da Silva Mendes

    2014-01-01

    This paper presents an adaptation of the classical model of Streeter-Phelps modeling of Dissolved Oxygen (DO) and Biochemical Oxygen Demand (BOD) in the basin of the Upper Jaguaribe (25,000 km2), State of Ceara, Brazil. The adaptation of the model consisted of the numerical solution of differential equations Streeter-Phelps, considering the effect of incremental flows and sewage releases over the sections, as well as the variability of the sections of rivers and tributaries. For model calibra...

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

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Mathieu, R

    2013-11-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ying Xue

    2016-08-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2017-08-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Marin, C.; Desir, G.

    2009-01-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  11. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xie, Zhenghui; Zeng, Yujin

    2017-04-01

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

  13. 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

  14. Non-parametric trend analysis of the aridity index for three large arid and semi-arid basins in Iran

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ahani, Hossien; Kherad, Mehrzad; Kousari, Mohammad Reza; van Roosmalen, Lieke; Aryanfar, Ramin; Hosseini, Seyyed Mashaallah

    2013-05-01

    Currently, an important scientific challenge that researchers are facing is to gain a better understanding of climate change at the regional scale, which can be especially challenging in an area with low and highly variable precipitation amounts such as Iran. Trend analysis of the medium-term change using ground station observations of meteorological variables can enhance our knowledge of the dominant processes in an area and contribute to the analysis of future climate projections. Generally, studies focus on the long-term variability of temperature and precipitation and to a lesser extent on other important parameters such as moisture indices. In this study the recent 50-year trends (1955-2005) of precipitation (P), potential evapotranspiration (PET), and aridity index (AI) in monthly time scale were studied over 14 synoptic stations in three large Iran basins using the Mann-Kendall non-parametric test. Additionally, an analysis of the monthly, seasonal and annual trend of each parameter was performed. Results showed no significant trends in the monthly time series. However, PET showed significant, mostly decreasing trends, for the seasonal values, which resulted in a significant negative trend in annual PET at five stations. Significant negative trends in seasonal P values were only found at a number of stations in spring and summer and no station showed significant negative trends in annual P. Due to the varied positive and negative trends in annual P and to a lesser extent PET, almost as many stations with negative as positive trends in annual AI were found, indicating that both drying and wetting trends occurred in Iran. Overall, the northern part of the study area showed an increasing trend in annual AI which meant that the region became wetter, while the south showed decreasing trends in AI.

  15. Study on Applicability of Conceptual Hydrological Models for Flood Forecasting in Humid, Semi-Humid Semi-Arid and Arid Basins in China

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Guangyuan Kan

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Flood simulation and forecasting in various types of watersheds is a hot issue in hydrology. Conceptual hydrological models have been widely applied to flood forecasting for decades. With the development of economy, modern China faces with severe flood disasters in all types of watersheds include humid, semi-humid semi-arid and arid watersheds. However, conceptual model-based flood forecasting in semi-humid semi-arid and arid regions is still challenging. To investigate the applicability of conceptual hydrological models for flood forecasting in the above mentioned regions, three typical conceptual models, include Xinanjiang (XAJ, mix runoff generation (MIX and northern Shannxi (NS, are applied to 3 humid, 3 semi-humid semi-arid, and 3 arid watersheds. The rainfall-runoff data of the 9 watersheds are analyzed based on statistical analysis and information theory, and the model performances are compared and analyzed based on boxplots and scatter plots. It is observed the complexity of drier watershed data is higher than that of the wetter watersheds. This indicates the flood forecasting is harder in drier watersheds. Simulation results indicate all models perform satisfactorily in humid watersheds and only NS model is applicable in arid watersheds. Model with consideration of saturation excess runoff generation (XAJ and MIX perform better than the infiltration excess-based NS model in semi-humid semi-arid watersheds. It is concluded more accurate mix runoff generation theory, more stable and efficient numerical solution of infiltration equation and rainfall data with higher spatial-temporal resolution are main obstacles for conceptual model-based flood simulation and forecasting.

  16. Managing Basin Interdependencies in a Heterogeneous, Highly Utilized and Data Scarce River Basin in Semi-Arid Africa : The case of the Pangani River Basin, Eastern Africa

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kiptala, J.K.

    2016-01-01

    For integrated water resources management both blue and green water resources in a river basin and their spatial and temporal distribution have to be considered. This is because green and blue water uses are interdependent. In sub-Saharan Africa, the upper landscapes are often dominated by rainfed

  17. Managing Basin Interdependencies in a Heterogeneous, Highly Utilized and Data Scarce River Basin in Semi-Arid Africa: The Case of the Pangani River Basin, Eastern Africa

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kiptala, J.K.

    2016-01-01

    For integrated water resources management both blue and green water resources in a river basin and their spatial and temporal distribution have to be considered. This is because green and blue water uses are interdependent. In sub-Saharan Africa, the upper landscapes are often dominated by rainfed

  18. Salinization mechanisms in semi-arid regions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Santiago, M.M.F.

    1984-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

  3. Improving assessment of groundwater-resource sustainability with deterministic modelling: a case study of the semi-arid Musi sub-basin, South India

    Science.gov (United States)

    Massuel, S.; George, B. A.; Venot, J.-P.; Bharati, L.; Acharya, S.

    2013-11-01

    Since the 1990s, Indian farmers, supported by the government, have partially shifted from surface-water to groundwater irrigation in response to the uncertainty in surface-water availability. Water-management authorities only slowly began to consider sustainable use of groundwater resources as a prime concern. Now, a reliable integration of groundwater resources for water-allocation planning is needed to prevent aquifer overexploitation. Within the 11,000-km2 Musi River sub-basin (South India), human interventions have dramatically impacted the hard-rock aquifers, with a water-table drop of 0.18 m/a over the period 1989-2004. A fully distributed numerical groundwater model was successfully implemented at catchment scale. The model allowed two distinct conceptualizations of groundwater availability to be quantified: one that was linked to easily quantified fluxes, and one that was more expressive of long-term sustainability by taking account of all sources and sinks. Simulations showed that the latter implied 13 % less available groundwater for exploitation than did the former. In turn, this has major implications for the existing water-allocation modelling framework used to guide decision makers and water-resources managers worldwide.

  4. Quantifying the Anthropogenic and Geological Controls on the DIC and Water Quality of the Waterways in a Closed Semi-Arid Basin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jameel, M. Y.; Bowen, G. J.

    2016-12-01

    Recent studies have shown that inland aquatic carbon cycling is an important component of the global carbon cycle which is being altered significantly by changes in land use/land cover (LCLU). The study of dissolved carbon species (DIC) in rivers provides important information about the processing of carbon within a watershed. In 2014, we conducted pilot surveys quantifying the spatiotemporal pattern in the DIC concentration and its isotopic ratios (δ13C) across the Bear and the Weber Rivers within the closed Great Salt Lake (GSL) Basin, which is undergoing rapid urbanization and changes in LCLU. Our data reflected significant variations among and between both rivers, where the Weber River was characterized by smaller seasonal and spatial variability. However, both the rivers showed an increase in DIC from headwaters to terminus. We observed increase in the riverine DIC along the agricultural and urbanized stretches of the river, and decrease downstream of tributaries input draining pristine watersheds. We also observed significant differences in the DIC upstream and downstream of reservoirs. We hypothesize that these variations suggest strong anthropogenic control on the DIC such as due to agriculture, urbanization, construction of reservoirs and anthropogenic modifications of the river flow. To test our hypothesis we conducted an additional geochemical survey during the high flow spring season (in 2016). An additional survey during fall 2016 will capture the base flow chemistry. We measured a suite of geochemical tracers including major ions (Ca, Mg, NO3, Cl, PO4, SO4), trace elements (Sr, Rb, Fe, Al, and Zn), nitrate (δ15N and δ18O), carbon, strontium, water isotopes and physical properties of water (temperature, pH, DO and conductivity) to quantify the factors controlling the river DIC and water quality. Our ongoing work will help evaluate the overall water quality and carbon budget of the major rivers in the GSL and partition the anthropogenic and natural

  5. Water conservation for semi-arid rangelands

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Willis, W.O.

    1983-01-01

    Water deficiency is most often the cause for low forage production on rangelands in semi-arid and arid regions. Water conservation methods have been developed but additional research is needed to develop the best management practices for various climatic regions. Poor management is another major cause of low rangeland production. Better management, including the application of research findings, depends on attitudes, policies, adaptability of findings, resources for implementation and a good understanding of the governing biotic and abiotic factors. (author)

  6. Hydrological Response of Semi-arid Degraded Catchments in Tigray, Northern Ethiopia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Teka, Daniel; Van Wesemael, Bas; Vanacker, Veerle; Hallet, Vincent

    2013-04-01

    To address water scarcity in the arid and semi-arid part of developing countries, accurate estimation of surface runoff is an essential task. In semi-arid catchments runoff data are scarce and therefore runoff estimation using hydrological models becomes an alternative. This research was initiated in order to characterize runoff response of semi-arid catchments in Tigray, North Ethiopia to evaluate SCS-CN for various catchments. Ten sub-catchments were selected in different river basins and rainfall and runoff were measured with automatic hydro-monitoring equipments for 2-3 years. The Curve Number was estimated for each Hydrological Response Unit (HRU) in the sub-catchments and runoff was modeled using the SCS-CN method at λ = 0.05 and λ = 0.20. The result showed a significant difference between the two abstraction ratios (P =0.05, df = 1, n= 132) and reasonable good result was obtained for predicted runoff at λ = 0.05 (NSE = -0.69; PBIAS = 18.1%). When using the CN values from literature runoff was overestimated compared to the measured value (e= -11.53). This research showed the importance of using measured runoff data to characterize semi-arid catchments and accurately estimate the scarce water resource. Key words: Hydrological response, rainfall-runoff, degraded environments, semi-arid, Ethiopia, Tigray

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2006-01-01

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

  8. Cereals for the semi-arid tropics

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    De Wet, J.M.J.

    1989-01-01

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

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

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

    rlarbey

    PRISE Goal. This research will support the emergence of equitable, climate resilient economic development in semi-arid lands through research excellence and ... change in semi-arid areas, and how is the private sector adapting? 4. How do ... Role. Individual. Contact email. Lead Principal Investigator. Dr Tom Mitchell.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2000-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Y. Cheng

    2017-10-01

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

  12. Introducing Pathways to Resilience in Semi-Arid Economies (PRISE ...

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

    rlarbey

    Equitable, climate resilient economic development in semi-arid .... manufacturing or services (apart from health, insurance and tourism). Further research ... evaluated, particularly economic impact assessments of adaptation both on existing.

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

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

  14. Avaliação e identificação de parâmetros importantes para a qualidade de corpos d'água no semiárido baiano. Estudo de caso: bacia hidrográfica do rio Salitre Evaluation and identification of significant quality parameters for the bodies of water in bahia's semi-arid region. Case study: salitre river hydrographic basin

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Clélia Nobre de Oliveira

    2010-01-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2006-01-01

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

  16. Modelling annual evapotranspiration in a semi-arid, African savanna ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Accurately measuring evapotranspiration (ET) is essential if we are to derive reasonable estimates of production and water use for semi-arid savannas. Estimates of ET are also important in defining the health of an ecosystem and the quantity of water used by the vegetation when preparing a catchment-scale water balance.

  17. Rainwater harvesting in arid and semi-arid zones

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Boers, T.M.

    1994-01-01

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

  18. Hypogeous fungi from Southern Spanish semi-arid lands

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    1992-01-01

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

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    acer

    ABSTRACT: The in vitro gas production of some semi-arid browse species were evaluated. The relationship between in ... between in vitro gas measured on incubation of browse leaves and that calculated from SCFA allows the prediction of SCFA from ... with concentrate feed (40% corn, 10% wheat offal, 10% palm kernel ...

  20. Adaptation at Scale in Semi-Arid Regions | IDRC - International ...

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

    People living in Africa and South Asia's semi-arid regions face challenges that hinder their economic growth and development. This project seeks to find proactive, longer-term approaches to climate change adaptation in these vulnerable regions, while helping locals manage existing risks. Short-term focus must shift. So far ...

  1. 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)

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1980-01-01

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

  4. 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...

  5. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  7. 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 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 at high elevation in areas that recharge regional groundwater. Combined, our findings suggest that urbanization in semi-arid regions results in tradeoffs in the redistribution of water and N that have important

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carlos Alberto Nascimento da Rocha Junior

    2018-04-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Samayoa, S. D.

    2017-12-01

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

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

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

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  12. The influence of conservation tillage methods on soil water regimes in semi-arid southern Zimbabwe

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mupangwa, W.; Twomlow, S.; Walker, S.

    Planting basins and ripper tillage practices are major components of the recently introduced conservation agriculture package that is being extensively promoted for smallholder farming in Zimbabwe. Besides preparing land for crop planting, these two technologies also help in collecting and using rainwater more efficiently in semi-arid areas. The basin tillage is being targeted for households with limited or no access to draught animals while ripping is meant for smallholder farmers with some draught animal power. Trials were established at four farms in Gwanda and Insiza in southern Zimbabwe to determine soil water contributions and runoff water losses from plots under four different tillage treatments. The tillage treatments were hand-dug planting basins, ripping, conventional spring and double ploughing using animal-drawn implements. The initial intention was to measure soil water changes and runoff losses from cropped plots under the four tillage practices. However, due to total crop failure, only soil water and runoff were measured from bare plots between December 2006 and April 2007. Runoff losses were highest under conventional ploughing. Planting basins retained most of the rainwater that fell during each rainfall event. The amount of rainfall received at each farm significantly influenced the volume of runoff water measured. Runoff water volume increased with increase in the amount of rainfall received at each farm. Soil water content was consistently higher under basin tillage than the other three tillage treatments. Significant differences in soil water content were observed across the farms according to soil types from sand to loamy sand. The basin tillage method gives a better control of water losses from the farmers’ fields. The planting basin tillage method has a greater potential for providing soil water to crops than ripper, double and single conventional ploughing practices.

  13. 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.

  14. 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 \

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

    KAUST Repository

    Yadav, Brijesh Kumar; Hassanizadeh, S Majid

    2011-01-01

    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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-08-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1999-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-08-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-08-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  1. Analysis of energy fluxes and vegetation-atmosphere parameters in irrigated and natural ecosystems of semi-arid Brazil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Teixeira, A. H. de Castro; Bastiaanssen, W. G. M.; Ahmad, M. D.; Moura, M. S. B.; Bos, M. G.

    2008-11-01

    SummaryKnowledge on evapotranspiration is essential in quantifying water use depletion and to allocate scarce water resources to competing uses. Despite that an extensive literature describes the theoretical mechanisms of turbulent water vapour transport above and within crop canopies fewer studies have examined land surface parameters within composite landscapes of irrigated crops and semi-arid natural vegetation. Aiming to improve parameterizations of the radiation and energy balance in irrigated crops and natural vegetation, micro-climatic measurements were carried out on irrigated land (vineyards and mango orchard) and natural vegetation (caatinga) in the semi-arid zone of the São Francisco River basin (Brazil) from 2002 to 2005. The fractions of 24 h incident solar radiation available for net radiation were 46%, 55%, 51% and 53%, for wine grape, table grape, mango orchard and caatinga, respectively. Daily evaporative fractions of the net available energy used as latent heat flux ( λE) were 0.80, 0.88, 0.75 and 0.33 respectively. The daylight values of bulk surface resistances ( rs) averaged 128 s m -1, 73 s m -1, 133 s m -1 and 1940 s m -1 for wine grape, table grape, mango orchard and caatinga, respectively. Simplified parameterizations on roughness and evaporation resistances were performed. It could be concluded that net radiation can be estimated by means of a linear expression with incident global solar radiation depending on the type of vegetation. The variability of aerodynamic resistance ( ra) could be mainly explained by the friction velocity ( u ∗) which on turn depends on the surface roughness length for momentum transport ( z 0m). The experimental data showed that for sparse canopies z 0m being 9% of the mean vegetation height is a doable operational rule for the semi-arid region of São Francisco River basin. The seasonal values of rs for irrigated crops were highly correlated with water vapour pressure deficit. The availability of analytical

  2. 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.)

  3. Are acid volatile sulfides (AVS) important trace metals sinks in semi-arid mangroves?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Queiroz, Hermano Melo; Nóbrega, Gabriel Nuto; Otero, Xose L; Ferreira, Tiago Osório

    2018-01-01

    Acid-volatile sulfides (AVS) formation and its role on trace metals bioavailability were studied in semi-arid mangroves. The semi-arid climatic conditions at the studied sites, marked by low rainfall and high evapotranspiration rates, clearly limited the AVS formation (AVS contents varied from 0.10 to 2.34μmolg -1 ) by favoring oxic conditions (Eh>+350mV). The AVS contents were strongly correlated with reactive iron and organic carbon (r=0.84; r=0.83 respectively), evidencing their dominant role for AVS formation under semi-arid conditions. On the other hand, the recorded ΣSEM/AVS values remained >1 evidencing a little control of AVS over the bioavailability of trace metals and, thus, its minor role as a sink for toxic metals. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Janiele França Vasconcelos

    2014-12-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Janiele França Vasconcelos

    2014-08-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-04-01

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

  7. Hydrological response in catchments whit debris covered glaciers in the semi-arid Andes, Chile

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caro, A.; McPhee, J.; MacDonell, S.; Pellicciotti, F.; Ayala, A.

    2016-12-01

    Glaciers in the semi-arid Andes Cordillera in Chile have shrank rapidly during the 20th century. Negative mass balance contributes to increase the surface area of debris-covered glaciers. Recent research in Chile suggests that contributions from glaciers to summer season river flow in dry years is very important, however hydrological processes determining the glacier contribution are still poorly understood in the region. This work seeks to determine appropriate parameters for the simulation of melt volume in two watersheds dominated by debris-covered glaciers, in order to understand its variability in time and space, in the area with the largest population in Chile. The hydrological simulation is performed for the Tapado (30°S) and Pirámide (33ºS) glaciers, which can be defined as cold and temperate respectively. To simulate the hydrological behaviour we adopt the physically-based TOPographic Kinematic wave APproximation model (TOPKAPI-ETH). The hydrometeorological records necessary model runs have been collected through fieldwork from 2013 to 2015. Regarding the calibration of the model parameters melting ETI, its observed that the value for TF in Pirámide is a third of the value for Tapado glacier, while SRF is half in Tapado regarding to Pirámide. The runoff in the glaciers, the constant snow and ice storage are higher in Tapado regarding Pirámide. Results show a contribution of glacial outflow to runoff during 2015 of 55% in Tapado and 77% in Pirámide, with maximum contributions between January and March in Tapado and Pirámide between November and March, presenting the relevance of the permanence of snow cover during spring and shelter that provides debris-covered in reducing the melting glacier. The results have allowed to know the relevance of the glacier contribution to mountain streams, allowing to know the calibration parameters most relevant in the hydrology balance of glacier basins in the Andes.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bruce W. Clegg

    2017-06-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-12-01

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

  10. 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E. E. De Figueiredo

    2015-03-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Klaij, M.C.

    1983-01-01

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

    To put the

  14. 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

  15. Soil fertility management strategies and practices by smallholder farmers in semi-arid areas of Zimbabwe

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mapfumo, P.; Giller, K.E.

    2001-01-01

    Indigenous soil fertility management strategies in semi-arid Communal Areas of Zimbabwe have largely been driven by an extensive use of resources. The shrinking of common property resources (CPRs) due to expansion of cultivated lands, the general loss of productivity in natural ecosystems (e.g.,

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Linda Kennedy; Dan Robinett

    2013-01-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2006-01-01

    Numerical groundwater modelling is used as the base for sound aquifer system analysis and water resources assessment. In many cases, particularly in semi-arid and arid regions, groundwater flow is intricately linked to salinity transport. A case in point is the Shashe River Valley in Botswana. A ...

  18. 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

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  1. 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

  2. Hydrological modeling in semi-arid region using HEC-HMS model ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The purpose of this study is to simulate rainfall-runoff in the semi-arid region of ... the frequency storm is used for the meteorological model, the SCS curve number is ... SCS unit hydrograph method have been applied to simulate the runoff rate.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Nikiema, A.

    2005-01-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

    van Marken Lichtenbelt, Wouter David

    1991-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Marken Lichtenbelt, Wouter David

    1991-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ammar, Adham Ali

    2017-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Tessema, Z.K.

    2011-01-01

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

  8. 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...

  9. 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,

  10. 1 Title page Title: Groundwater quality in a semi-arid region of India ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    64

    Groundwater quality in a semi-arid region of India - suitability for drinking, ... concentration ranges from 0.1 to 4.4 mg/L and 39% of the total samples measured ..... on identifying local priorities and implementing proper management is very.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Breman, H.; Kessler, J.J.

    1995-01-01

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

  12. Development of hardy sorghum cultivars for the arid and semi arid ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Development of hardy sorghum cultivars for the arid and semi arid regions. MN Makobe, EM Kahangi, AK Misra, MO Imbuga. Abstract. No Abstract. Full Text: EMAIL FREE FULL TEXT EMAIL FREE FULL TEXT · DOWNLOAD FULL TEXT DOWNLOAD FULL TEXT · AJOL African Journals Online. HOW TO USE AJOL.

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

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

  14. Nuclear applications for the management of aquifers in the semi-arid region

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Simoes Filho, Fernando Lamego

    2005-01-01

    The semi-arid region of the Northeast of Brazil is characterized by a lack of superficial waters due to the low pluviometric precipitation and high evaporation rates. In addition to this, the precipitation events are irregular in time causing long periods of dryness or flooding with catastrophic consequences. Owing to adverse climatic conditions with recurrent droughts, intense pressure is being put on the use of groundwater resources. Groundwater occurrence on its turn depends on a series of geological and climatological characteristics that are very variable in the region. Because of this situation, groundwater is of strategical importance and represents a vital factor to its socioeconomic development. However, there is still insufficient knowledge of the basic aquifers characteristics leading to an over exploitation of the water resources. It is not surprising that, amongst other reasons, this situation contributes to the fact that areas with the lowest human development pattern are located in the semi-arid region of Brazil. Given the nature of hydrological problems that need to be addressed in semi-arid regions, nuclear/isotope techniques are increasingly recognized as indispensable tools for water resources assessment and development. However, information arising from these techniques has to cope with other hydrological methods in an integrated manner. The general objective was prospect nuclear technologies as tools for aquifer management, promoting sustainable use of groundwater in the semi-arid region. (author)

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  19. 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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2004-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Döll, Petra; Krol, Martinus S.

    2002-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-04-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-12-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1986-04-01

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

  6. Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi in a semi-arid, limestone mining-impacted area of Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thaís Teixeira-Rios

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available The main goal of this study was to determine the diversity and activity of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF in an area degraded by limestone mining within the semi-arid region of Brazil known as the caatinga (shrublands. Near a limestone quarry, we selected two areas of caatinga (preserved and degraded for study. The number of glomerospores did not differ significantly between the two areas. There was a trend toward the most probable number of infective propagules being higher in the degraded area. Twenty AMF taxa were identified in the two sampled areas, species richness, diversity and evenness being higher in the preserved area. Two species of Racocetra represent new records for the semi-arid region of Brazil. Glomerospore production and AMF species richness were unaffected by mining activity in the study area.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1997-01-01

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

  8. Spatial distribution of overland flow and sediment yield in semi-arid rangelands

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sarah, P.; Lavee, H.

    2009-01-01

    Feedbacks and mutual links exist among soil, vegetation and water; they enable co-evolution of these features within eco-geomorphic systems, These relations are fragile, especially in semi-arid areas where grazing is the main land use. The simples subdivision of the surface of many semi-arid rangelands is into a two-component mosaic pattern comprising shrub patches interspersed with open spaces, with the former acting s skinks for water and other resources, and the latter as sources. However close observations in areas under grazing in the northern Negev region of Israel suggested that the spatial patterns of surface components is more complicated, and that the open space between shrubs consists of two components: herbaceous areas, separated by trampling routes that support no vegetation. (Author)

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

    OpenAIRE

    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 The results show that adoption of improved soil fertility technologies such as composting by farmers is determined by soil fertility status, access to the market and social reasons. Organic amendment...

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

    OpenAIRE

    Nikiema, A.

    2005-01-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

    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...

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2015-01-01

    The Holocene Warm Period (HWP) provides valuable insights into the climate system and biotic responses to environmental variability and thus serves as an excellent analogue for future global climate changes. Here we document, for the first time, that warm and wet HWP conditions were highly favourable for magnetofossil proliferation in the semi-arid Asian interior. The pronounced increase of magnetofossil concentrations at ~9.8?ka and decrease at ~5.9?ka in Dali Lake coincided respectively wit...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sishodia, R. P.; Shukla, S.

    2017-12-01

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

  14. Spatial patterns and natural recruitment of native shrubs in a semi-arid sandy land.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Bo; Yang, Hongxiao

    2013-01-01

    Passive restoration depending on native shrubs is an attractive approach for restoring desertified landscapes in semi-arid sandy regions. We sought to understand the relationships between spatial patterns of native shrubs and their survival ability in sandy environments. Furthermore, we applied our results to better understand whether passive restoration is feasible for desertified landscapes in semi-arid sandy regions. The study was conducted in the semi-arid Mu Us sandy land of northern China with the native shrub Artemisia ordosica. We analyzed population structures and patterns of A. ordosica at the edges and centers of land patches where sand was stabilized by A. ordosica-dominated vegetation. Saplings were more aggregated than adults, and both were more aggregated at the patch edges than at the patch centers. At the patch edges, spatial association of the saplings with the adults was mostly positive at distances 0.3-6.6 m, and turned from positive to neutral, and even negative, at other distances. At the patch centers, the saplings were spaced almost randomly around the adults, and their distances from the adults did not seem to affect their locations. A greater number of A. ordosica individuals emerged at the patch edges than at the patch centers. Such patterns may have resulted from their integrative adjustment to specific conditions of soil water supply and sand drift intensity. These findings suggest that in semi-arid sandy regions, native shrubs that are well-adapted to local environments may serve as low-cost and competent ecological engineers that can promote the passive restoration of surrounding patches of mobile sandy land.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tancredo Augusto Feitosa de Souza

    2016-06-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aldrin M. Pérez-Marin

    2017-06-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carlos Alberto Fragoso de Souza

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    ESF Medeiros

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-07-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-07-01

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

  2. 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

  3. Determining the resilience of carbon dynamics in semi-arid biomes of the Southwestern US to severe drought and altered rainfall patterns

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-12-01

    Water is critically important for biotic processes in semi-arid ecosystems and 2011 is developing as one of the most severe drought years on record for many parts of the Southwestern US. To quantify the impact of this severe drought on regional carbon and energy balance, we need a more detailed understanding of how water limitation alters ecosystem processes across a range of semi-arid biomes. We quantified the impact of severe drought and changes in both the quantity and distribution of precipitation on ecosystem biotic structure and function across the range of biomes represented in the NM elevation gradient network (desert grassland, creosote shrubland, juniper savanna, piñon-juniper woodland, ponderosa pine forest and subalpine mixed conifer forest). We compared how daily, seasonal and annual carbon and energy balance and their components in each of these biomes respond to changes in rainfall patterns using continuous measurements of carbon, water and energy exchange and associated measurements in each of these biomes during a 5 year period (2006-2011) that included a severe drought, and large variability in both winter precipitation and the timing and intensity of the monsoon. To understand the underlying mechanisms, we used time series of radiation absorbed by vegetation, surface albedo, soil moisture storage, phenology, gross primary productivity (GPP), ecosystem respiration (Re), and WorldView-2 images acquired pre- and post-monsoon in each of these biomes. In all of the biomes except the desert grassland site, the strength and timing of both winter and monsoon precipitation are important controls over carbon and energy dynamics in this region, though we see site-specific sensitivities across the elevation gradient. Over the past 5 years, carbon dynamics in the desert grassland site appears to be decoupled from winter precipitation. In addition, carbon dynamics in disturbed grassland and pinon-juniper ecosystems were more sensitive to severe drought than

  4. Use of carbon isotope analysis to understand semi-arid erosion dynamics and long-term semi-arid land degradation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Turnbull, Laura; Brazier, Richard E; Wainwright, John; Dixon, Liz; Bol, Roland

    2008-06-01

    Many semi-arid areas worldwide are becoming degraded, in the form of C(4) grasslands being replaced by C(3) shrublands, which causes an increase in surface runoff and erosion, and altered nutrient cycling, which may affect global biogeochemical cycling. The prevention or control of vegetation transitions is hindered by a lack of understanding of their temporal and spatial dynamics, particularly in terms of interactions between biotic and abiotic processes. This research investigates (1) the effects of soil erosion on the delta(13)C values of soil organic matter (SOM) throughout the soil profile and its implications for reconstructing vegetation change using carbon-isotope analysis and (2) the spatial properties of erosion over a grass-shrub transition to increase understanding of biotic-abiotic interactions by using delta(13)C signals of eroded material as a sediment tracer. Results demonstrate that the soils over grass-shrub transitions are not in steady state. A complex interplay of factors determines the input of SOM to the surface horizon of the soil and its subsequent retention and turnover through the soil profile. A positive correlation between event runoff and delta(13)C signatures of eroded sediment was found in all plots. This indicates that the delta(13)C signatures of eroded sediment may provide a means of distinguishing between changes in erosion dynamics over runoff events of different magnitudes and over different vegetation types. The development of this technique using delta(13)C signatures of eroded sediment provides a new means of furthering existing understanding of erosion dynamics over vegetation transitions. This is critical in terms of understanding biotic-abiotic feedbacks and the evolution of areas subject to vegetation change in semi-arid environments. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E. Berger

    2016-10-01

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

  6. Landscape Characteristics and Variations in Longitudinal Stream Flow Contribution in two Headwater Semi-Arid Mountain Watersheds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shakespeare, B.; Gooseff, M. N.

    2005-12-01

    Understanding what role particular catchment attributes (slope, aspect, landcover, and contributing area) play in the contribution of stream flow is important for land management decisions, especially in the semi-arid western areas of the United States. Our study site is paired small catchments (approximately 9 and 11 km2) in the headwaters of the Weber drainage basin in Northern Utah. These catchments are surrounded by Wasatch formation with loamy textured soils. One catchment is predominantly underlain by quartzite while the other catchment is mostly underlain by limestone. We measured lateral flow gains every 200 to 400 meters using salt dilution gauging techniques throughout the ~5 km long streams. These measurements were taken synoptically 3 times during the seasonal discharge recession (summer 2005). The flows ranged spatially from 4 L s-1 to 55 L s-1 and varied temporally by as much as 50% when comparing the same reaches. Using GIS software, landscape analysis of slope, aspect, contributing area, topographic convergence, riparian and hillslope area, and landcover was performed for each of the delineated stream reach contributing areas. The results were tested for correlations between lateral flow gains measured in the field and different landscape characteristics. Each of the synoptic events was compared with each other to explore effects of seasonal recession on the relationships between flow gain and landscape characteristics.

  7. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    L. Ren

    2014-09-01

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

  9. Modelling of channel transmission loss processes in semi-arid catchments of southern Africa using the Pitman Model

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    V. Mvandaba

    2018-05-01

    Full Text Available Water availability is one of the major societal issues facing the world. The ability to understand and quantify the impact of key hydrological processes, on the availability of water resources, is therefore integral to ensuring equitable and sustainable resource management. Channel transmission losses are an under-researched hydrological process that affects resource availability in many semi-arid regions such as the Limpopo River Basin in southern Africa, where the loss processes amount to approximately 30 % of the water balance. To improve the understanding of these loss processes and test the capability of modelling routines, three approaches using the Pitman model are applied to selected alluvial aquifer environments. The three approaches are an explicit transmission loss function, the use of a wetland function to represent channel-floodplain storage exchanges and the use of a dummy reservoir to represent floodplain storage and evapotranspiration losses. Results indicate that all three approaches are able to simulate channel transmission losses with differing impacts on the regional flows. A determination of which method best represents the channel transmission losses process requires further testing in a study area that has reliable observed historical records.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ducrot, Raphaëlle

    2017-12-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ying Zhang

    2017-09-01

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

  12. 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hugo Saiz

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

  14. Carbon storage capacity of semi-arid grassland soils and sequestration potentials in northern China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wiesmeier, Martin; Munro, Sam; Barthold, Frauke; Steffens, Markus; Schad, Peter; Kögel-Knabner, Ingrid

    2015-10-01

    Organic carbon (OC) sequestration in degraded semi-arid environments by improved soil management is assumed to contribute substantially to climate change mitigation. However, information about the soil organic carbon (SOC) sequestration potential in steppe soils and their current saturation status remains unknown. In this study, we estimated the OC storage capacity of semi-arid grassland soils on the basis of remote, natural steppe fragments in northern China. Based on the maximum OC saturation of silt and clay particles soils (grazing land, arable land, eroded areas) were estimated. The analysis of natural grassland soils revealed a strong linear regression between the proportion of the fine fraction and its OC content, confirming the importance of silt and clay particles for OC stabilization in steppe soils. This relationship was similar to derived regressions in temperate and tropical soils but on a lower level, probably due to a lower C input and different clay mineralogy. In relation to the estimated OC storage capacity, degraded steppe soils showed a high OC saturation of 78-85% despite massive SOC losses due to unsustainable land use. As a result, the potential of degraded grassland soils to sequester additional OC was generally low. This can be related to a relatively high contribution of labile SOC, which is preferentially lost in the course of soil degradation. Moreover, wind erosion leads to substantial loss of silt and clay particles and consequently results in a direct loss of the ability to stabilize additional OC. Our findings indicate that the SOC loss in semi-arid environments induced by intensive land use is largely irreversible. Observed SOC increases after improved land management mainly result in an accumulation of labile SOC prone to land use/climate changes and therefore cannot be regarded as contribution to long-term OC sequestration. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  15. 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

  16. Assessment of the performance of water harvesting systems in semi-arid regions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lasage, Ralph

    2016-04-01

    Water harvesting is widely practiced and has the potential to improve water availability for domestic and agricultural use in semi-arid regions. New funds are becoming available to stimulate the implementation of water harvesting projects, for meeting the Sustainable Development Goals and to help communities to adapt to climate change. For this, it is important to understand which factors determine the success of water harvesting techniques under different conditions. For this, we review the literature, including information on the crop yield impacts of water harvesting projects in semi-arid Africa and Asia. Results show that large water harvesting structures (> 500 m3) are less expensive than small structures, when taking into account investment costs, storage capacity and lifetimes. We also find that water harvesting improves crop yields significantly, and that the relative impact of water harvesting on crop yields is largest in low rainfall years. We also see that the governance, technical knowledge and initial investment are more demanding for the larger structures than for smaller structures, which may affect their spontaneous adoption and long term sustainability when managed by local communities. To support the selection of appropriate techniques, we present a decision framework based on case specific characteristics. This framework can also be used when reporting and evaluating the performance of water harvesting techniques, which is up to now quite limited in peer reviewed literature. Based on Bouma, J., Hegde, S.E., Lasage, R., (2016). Assessing the returns to water harvesting: A meta-analysis. Agricultural Water Management 163, 100-109. Lasage, R., Verburg P.H., (2015). Evaluation of small scale water harvesting techniques for semi-arid environments. Journal of Arid Environments 118, 48-57.

  17. Land cover controls on summer discharge and runoff solution chemistry of semi-arid urban catchments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gallo, Erika L.; Brooks, Paul D.; Lohse, Kathleen A.; McLain, Jean E. T.

    2013-04-01

    SummaryRecharge of urban runoff to groundwater as a stormwater management practice has gained importance in semi-arid regions where water resources are scarce and urban centers are growing. Despite this trend, the importance of land cover in controlling semi-arid catchment runoff quantity and quality remains unclear. Here we address the question: How do land cover characteristics control the amount and quality of storm runoff in semi-arid urban catchments? We monitored summertime runoff quantity and quality from five catchments dominated by distinct urban land uses: low, medium, and high density residential, mixed use, and commercial. Increasing urban land cover increased runoff duration and the likelihood that a rainfall event would result in runoff, but did not increase the time to peak discharge of episodic runoff. The effect of urban land cover on hydrologic responses was tightly coupled to the magnitude of rainfall. At distinct rainfall thresholds, roads, percent impervious cover and the stormwater drainage network controlled runoff frequency, runoff depth and runoff ratios. Contrary to initial expectations, runoff quality did not vary in repose to impervious cover or land use. We identified four major mechanisms controlling runoff quality: (1) variable solute sourcing due to land use heterogeneity and above ground catchment connectivity; (2) the spatial extent of pervious and biogeochemically active areas; (3) the efficiency of overland flow and runoff mobilization; and (4) solute flushing and dilution. Our study highlights the importance of the stormwater drainage systems characteristics in controlling urban runoff quantity and quality; and suggests that enhanced wetting and in-stream processes may control solute sourcing and retention. Finally, we suggest that the characteristics of the stormwater drainage system should be integrated into stormwater management approaches.

  18. 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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1976-01-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2015-01-01

    The Holocene Warm Period (HWP) provides valuable insights into the climate system and biotic responses to environmental variability and thus serves as an excellent analogue for future global climate changes. Here we document, for the first time, that warm and wet HWP conditions were highly favourable for magnetofossil proliferation in the semi-arid Asian interior. The pronounced increase of magnetofossil concentrations at ~9.8 ka and decrease at ~5.9 ka in Dali Lake coincided respectively wit...

  1. 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

  2. Amphibian and reptile biodiversity in the semi-arid region of the municipality of Nopala de Villagrán, Hidalgo, Mexico

    OpenAIRE

    Roth-Monzón, Andrea J.; Mendoza-Hernández, Andrés Alberto; Flores-Villela, Oscar

    2018-01-01

    Current global changes are putting both biodiversity and the processes that depend on it at risk. This is especially true for semi-arid regions and the flagship groups that inhabit them, such as amphibians and reptiles. Semi-arid regions are often thought to have lower biodiversity and thus have been overlooked, resulting in the underestimation of their biological richness. Therefore, the aim of this study was to conduct an inventory of amphibians and reptiles in the semi-arid municipality of...

  3. 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.

  4. Groundwater recharge in irrigated semi-arid areas: quantitative hydrological modelling and sensitivity analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiménez-Martínez, Joaquín; Candela, Lucila; Molinero, Jorge; Tamoh, Karim

    2010-12-01

    For semi-arid regions, methods of assessing aquifer recharge usually consider the potential evapotranspiration. Actual evapotranspiration rates can be below potential rates for long periods of time, even in irrigated systems. Accurate estimations of aquifer recharge in semi-arid areas under irrigated agriculture are essential for sustainable water-resources management. A method to estimate aquifer recharge from irrigated farmland has been tested. The water-balance-modelling approach was based on VisualBALAN v. 2.0, a computer code that simulates water balance in the soil, vadose zone and aquifer. The study was carried out in the Campo de Cartagena (SE Spain) in the period 1999-2008 for three different groups of crops: annual row crops (lettuce and melon), perennial vegetables (artichoke) and fruit trees (citrus). Computed mean-annual-recharge values (from irrigation+precipitation) during the study period were 397 mm for annual row crops, 201 mm for perennial vegetables and 194 mm for fruit trees: 31.4, 20.7 and 20.5% of the total applied water, respectively. The effects of rainfall events on the final recharge were clearly observed, due to the continuously high water content in soil which facilitated the infiltration process. A sensitivity analysis to assess the reliability and uncertainty of recharge estimations was carried out.

  5. Predicting the future impact of droughts on ungulate populations in arid and semi-arid environments.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Clare Duncan

    Full Text Available Droughts can have a severe impact on the dynamics of animal populations, particularly in semi-arid and arid environments where herbivore populations are strongly limited by resource availability. Increased drought intensity under projected climate change scenarios can be expected to reduce the viability of such populations, yet this impact has seldom been quantified. In this study, we aim to fill this gap and assess how the predicted worsening of droughts over the 21(st century is likely to impact the population dynamics of twelve ungulate species occurring in arid and semi-arid habitats. Our results provide support to the hypotheses that more sedentary, grazing and mixed feeding species will be put at high risk from future increases in drought intensity, suggesting that management intervention under these conditions should be targeted towards species possessing these traits. Predictive population models for all sedentary, grazing or mixed feeding species in our study show that their probability of extinction dramatically increases under future emissions scenarios, and that this extinction risk is greater for smaller populations than larger ones. Our study highlights the importance of quantifying the current and future impacts of increasing extreme natural events on populations and species in order to improve our ability to mitigate predicted biodiversity loss under climate change.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Liana Monique Paiva Cavalcanti

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

  7. Rainwater harvesting to enhance water productivity of rainfed agriculture in the semi-arid Zimbabwe

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kahinda, Jean-marc Mwenge; Rockström, Johan; Taigbenu, Akpofure E.; Dimes, John

    Zimbabwe’s poor are predominantly located in the semi-arid regions and rely on rainfed agriculture for their subsistence. Decline in productivity, scarcity of arable land, irrigation expansion limitations, erratic rainfall and frequent dry spells, among others cause food scarcity. The challenge faced by small-scale farmers is to enhance water productivity of rainfed agriculture by mitigating intra-seasonal dry spells (ISDS) through the adoption of new technologies such as rainwater harvesting (RWH). The paper analyses the agro-hydrological functions of RWH and assesses its impacts (at field scale) on the crop yield gap as well as the Transpirational Water Productivity ( WPT). The survey in six districts of the semi-arid Zimbabwe suggests that three parameters (water source, primary use and storage capacity) can help differentiate storage-type-RWH systems from “conventional dams”. The Agricultural Production Simulator Model (APSIM) was used to simulate seven different treatments (Control, RWH, Manure, Manure + RWH, Inorganic Nitrogen and Inorganic Nitrogen + RWH) for 30 years on alfisol deep sand, assuming no fertiliser carry over effect from season to season. The combined use of inorganic fertiliser and RWH is the only treatment that closes the yield gap. Supplemental irrigation alone not only reduces the risks of complete crop failure (from 20% down to 7% on average) for all the treatments but also enhances WPT (from 1.75 kg m -3 up to 2.3 kg m -3 on average) by mitigating ISDS.

  8. The simulation of naturally ventilated residential buildings in semi-arid regions

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ghiabaklou, Z.; Ballinger, J.A.; Prasad, D.K. [New South Wales Univ., Kensington, NSW (Australia). Solar Architecture Research Unit

    1995-12-31

    The most important consideration in hot arid and semi-arid zones is to reduce the internal day temperature and to maintain the interior spaces of buildings in a comfortable condition. An important contributor to errors in the thermal analysis of naturally ventilated buildings is inaccurate airflow predictions. These predictions are important for designers in regions where most buildings are naturally ventilated. Passive cooling by day and night natural ventilation in a single story residential building in Wagga Wagga, a semi-arid location in New South Wales has been compared and analyzed theoretically. A modified version of the computer simulation program CHEETAH, has been used to consider a building with continuous natural ventilation to simulate indoor air temperature. The aim of the study was to investigate the thermal behaviour of the building with continuous ventilation (24 hour/day) and the same building with only night time ventilation. Using night time ventilation in high mass buildings in such a climate, leads to a considerable decrease in room air temperature. Simulation results showed that increasing the effective area of windows is effective only when the wind blows. Using a steady averaged air change per hour can also cause a reduction in room air temperatures which results in different temperatures than the actual air changes per hour. (author). 3 figs., 4 refs.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2009-01-01

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  11. Genetic improvement of Nellore cattle in the semi-arid region of northeastern Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ana Carla Borges Barbosa

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available The semi-arid region of Brazil represents approximately 57% of the northeastern territory. The main economic activity in this region is agriculture and livestock, in most cases, using traditional technologies. However, there is little published information currently available on cattle-raising in this part of Brazil. The objective of this study was to estimate genetic parameters and trends for productive and reproductive traits of Nellore cattle raised in semi-arid region of northeastern Brazil. Data were collected on weight-adjusted at 205 (W205, 365 (W365 and 550 (W550 days of life, age at first calving (AFC, calving interval (CI and scrotal circumference (SC at 550 days of life of cattle born between 1965 and 2011. Estimates of covariance and variance were obtained through univariate analysis using a Gibbs sampler. The estimated coefficients of heritability (mode were 0.27 (W205, 0.36 (W365 and 0.39 (W550, 0.37 (SC, 0.22 (AFC and 0.03 (CI. Little or no gain from selection is apparent in the genetic trend analysis over the 45 years of the study. However, environmental improvement has allowed phenotypic progress in growth traits and age at first age calving.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. Leaf green-up in a semi-arid African savanna - separating tree and grass responses to environmental cues

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Archibald, S

    2007-01-01

    Full Text Available -arid African savanna - 583 Journal of Vegetation Science 18: 583-594, 2007 © IAVS; Opulus Press Uppsala. Leaf green-up in a semi-arid African savanna – separating tree and grass responses to environmental cues Archibald, S.1* & Scholes, R.J.1,2 1Natural... to identify tree and grass green-up dates in a semi-arid savanna system, and are there predictable environmental cues for green-up for each life form? Location: Acacia nigrescens/Combretum apiculatum savanna, Kruger National Park, South Africa (25° S, 31...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-06-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2016-11-01

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

  18. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Enrico M. Lodolini

    2016-06-01

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

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. Modeling Linkages Between Effective Impervious Surface and Urban Vegetation Productivity in Semi-arid Environments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shields, C. A.; Tague, C.

    2010-12-01

    With a majority of the world's population now living in urban areas, the role of vegetation in urban ecosystems warrants increased attention. We address the question of how the fine scale (significantly impact the productivity of vegetation and uptake of C and N. To gain insight into how landscape features influence vegetation productivity, we use a coupled ecohydrogic model to estimate impacts of the amount and arrangement of impervious surfaces on vegetation water use. We use the model to explore how concepts from research in natural semi-arid ecosystems can be applied in the urban context. Ecological research in semi-arid ecosystems has shown that the arrangement of vegetated and bare surfaces plays a key role in regulating both runoff and ecosystem water use and productivity. Systems that include a mixture of bare and vegetated surfaces, for example, tend to show less runoff and more productivity than those with more homogeneous cover. In some instances, patchiness of bare and vegetated surfaces is more important than total vegetated area in determining rates of runoff and vegetation use of rainfall. In an urban context, impervious surfaces can be viewed as analogous to the bare surfaces present in undeveloped ecosystems. We consider not only the total impervious area (TIA), but also the effect of impervious area with a direct hydrologic connection to the stream network, effective impervious area (EIA). While increases in total impervious area (TIA) have been widely shown to impact catchment hydrology, the role of effective impervious area (EIA) has been less extensively studied. A consensus is emerging from the literature that EIA is as important or even more important than TIA as an indicator of catchment response to urbanization. Ecohydrologic models offer a tool to quantify the role of EIA on water availability and plant productivity and demonstrate the potential of urban areas to act as C or N sinks (and minimize the impacts such as increased storm runoff

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jin, T. T.; Fu, B. J.; Liu, G. H.; Wang, Z.

    2011-08-01

    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 conditions, and the

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-03-01

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

  6. Application of Isotope techniques in the arid and semi-arid zone hydrology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gonfiantini, R.; Louvat, D.; Aranyossy, J.F.

    1993-01-01

    The paper presents a brief introduction on the scientific background of isotope hydrology,and after, explains the applications of environment isotope techniques in groundwater hydrology of the arid and semi-arid zones. It includes the study of aquifer recharge and discharge, identification of palaeorecharge, groundwater movement and age in unconfined and confined aquifers, and interconnections between aquifers. The contribution of isotopes is highlighted with many examples of field case studies, with emphasis on studies carried out with IAEA support. Finally, a short description of IAEA program on isotope hydrology is given, with a list of regional projects supported through the IAEA Technical Cooperation program, and of Coordinated Research Programs. The latter give the modern research trends in isotope application to hydrology and hydrosphere environmental studies. (author). 2 tabs., 25 figs., 69 refs

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1999-01-01

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

  8. Isotopic composition of groundwater in semi-arid regions of Southern Africa

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Vogel, J.C.; Urk, H. van

    1975-01-01

    Although the isotope content of precipitation in the semi-arid regions of southern Africa is extremely variable, groundwater samples from the same district are found to have a remarkably constant isotopic composition. The oxygen-18 content of the underground water, in general, varies by about 0.5% in a given area. The differences that occur between different regions are sufficiently large to allow the groundwater of an area to be characterized by means of its oxygen-18 content. In order to localize the infiltration area of an aquifer, radiocarbon dating of the water is used. It appears that the groundwater contains, in general, less of the heavy isotopes than does the precipitation in the recharge area. This indicates that infiltration only takes place during periods of heavy rainfall. Examples are given where the isotope content of the groundwater is used to distinguish between different aquifers in the same region

  9. 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

    variable in scaling carbon fluxes from ground observations using earth observation data. The net ecosystem exchange of carbon dioxide (NEE) 2010-2013 was measured using the eddy covariance technique at a grazed semi-arid savanna site in Senegal, West Africa. Night-time NEE was not related to temperature......-arid savanna sites; half-hourly GPP and Reco peaked at -43μmol CO2m-2s-1 and 20μmol CO2m-2s-1, and daily GPP and Reco peaked at -15gCm-2 and 12gCm-2, respectively. Possible explanations for the high CO2 fluxes are a high fraction of C4 species, alleviated water stress conditions, and a strong grazing pressure...

  10. 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.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    2001-03-01

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

  12. Spatiotemporal characterization of dissolved carbon for inland waters in semi-humid/semi-arid region, China

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    K. S. Song

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available Spatiotemporal variations of dissolved organic carbon (DOC and inorganic carbon (DIC in 26 waters across the semi-humid/semi-arid Songnen Plain, China, were examined with data collected during 2008–2011. Fresh (n = 14 and brackish (n = 12 waters were grouped according to electrical conductivity (threshold = 1000 μS cm−1 Significant differences in the average DOC and DIC concentrations were observed between the fresh (5.63 mg L−1, 37.39 mg L−1 and the brackish waters (15.33 mg L−1, 142.93 mg L−1. Colored dissolved organic matter (CDOM and DOC concentrations were mainly controlled by climatic–hydrologic conditions. The investigation indicated that the outflow conditions in the semi-arid region had condensed effects on the dissolved carbon, resulting in close relationships between salinity vs. DOC (R2 = 0.66, and salinity vs. DIC (R2 = 0.94. An independent data set collected in May 2012 also confirmed this finding (DOC: R2 = 0.79, DIC: R2 = 0.91, highlighting the potential of quantifying DOC and DIC via salinity measurements for waters dispersed in the plain. Indices based on the CDOM absorption spectra (e.g., the DOC-specific CDOM absorption (SUVA254, absorption ratio a250 : a365 (E250 : E365 and the spectral slope ratio (Sr, S275−295/S350−400 were applied to characterize CDOM composition and quality. Our results indicate that high molecular weight CDOM fractions are more abundant in the fresh waters than the brackish waters.

  13. Spatiotemporal characterization of dissolved carbon for inland waters in semi-humid/semi-arid region, China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Song, K. S.; Zang, S. Y.; Zhao, Y.; Li, L.; Du, J.; Zhang, N. N.; Wang, X. D.; Shao, T. T.; Guan, Y.; Liu, L.

    2013-10-01

    Spatiotemporal variations of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) and inorganic carbon (DIC) in 26 waters across the semi-humid/semi-arid Songnen Plain, China, were examined with data collected during 2008-2011. Fresh (n = 14) and brackish (n = 12) waters were grouped according to electrical conductivity (threshold = 1000 μS cm-1) Significant differences in the average DOC and DIC concentrations were observed between the fresh (5.63 mg L-1, 37.39 mg L-1) and the brackish waters (15.33 mg L-1, 142.93 mg L-1). Colored dissolved organic matter (CDOM) and DOC concentrations were mainly controlled by climatic-hydrologic conditions. The investigation indicated that the outflow conditions in the semi-arid region had condensed effects on the dissolved carbon, resulting in close relationships between salinity vs. DOC (R2 = 0.66), and salinity vs. DIC (R2 = 0.94). An independent data set collected in May 2012 also confirmed this finding (DOC: R2 = 0.79, DIC: R2 = 0.91), highlighting the potential of quantifying DOC and DIC via salinity measurements for waters dispersed in the plain. Indices based on the CDOM absorption spectra (e.g., the DOC-specific CDOM absorption (SUVA254), absorption ratio a250 : a365 (E250 : E365) and the spectral slope ratio (Sr, S275-295/S350-400) were applied to characterize CDOM composition and quality. Our results indicate that high molecular weight CDOM fractions are more abundant in the fresh waters than the brackish waters.

  14. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-05-01

    Atmospheric carbonyl sulfide (COS) is a major precursor for sulfate aerosols that play a critical role in climate regulation. Recent studies have highlighted the importance of COS measurements as a reliable means to constrain biospheric carbon assimilation. In a scenario of limited availability of COS data around the globe, we present gas-chromatographic measurements of atmospheric COS mixing ratios over Ahmedabad, a semi-arid, urban region in western India. These measurements, being reported for the first time over an Indian site, enable us to understand the diurnal and seasonal variation in atmospheric COS with respect to its natural, anthropogenic and photochemical sources and sinks. The annual mean COS mixing ratio over Ahmedabad is found to be 0.83±0.43ppbv, which is substantially higher than free tropospheric values for the northern hemisphere. Inverse correlation of COS with soil and skin temperature, suggests that the dry soil of the semi-arid study region is a potential sink for atmospheric COS. Positive correlations of COS with NO2 and CO during post-monsoon and the COS/CO slope of 0.78pptv/ppbv reveals influence of diesel combustion and tire wear. The highest concentrations of COS are observed during pre-monsoon; COS/CO2 slope of 44.75pptv/ppmv combined with information from air mass back-trajectories reveal marshy wetlands spanning over 7500km(2) as an important source of COS in Ahmedabad. COS/CO2 slopes decrease drastically (8.28pptv/ppmv) during post-monsoon due to combined impact of biospheric uptake and anthropogenic emissions. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fadaei, Hadi; Suzuki, Rikie

    2012-11-01

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

  17. Estimation of hourly ultraviolet solar irradiance in the semi-arid northeast region of Brasil

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Andrade, Ricardo C. de; Tiba, Chigueru [Dept. de Energia Nuclear da Univ. Federal de Pernambuco, Recife, Pernambuco (Brazil)

    2008-07-01

    Two computational codes, SPCTRAL2 and SMARTS2, were used for estimating ultraviolet solar irradiance in a locality of the semi-arid region of the Northeast of Brazil. The softwares presented simplicity of use, precision and relative ease in obtaining the input variables: zenith angle, atmospheric pressure in relation to sea level, relative humidity of the air, amount of precipitable water, total ozone and the aerosol optic depths (AOD). All these variables are measured in conventional meteorological stations, except for the aerosol optic depth. The AOD was measured with an apparatus that was constructed with a narrow band LED sensor, centered in 555nm which measures the monochromatic radiation transmission through the terrestrial atmosphere, which can be described by Beer's law. The measurements for obtaining the AOD were carried out during the months of December, 2006 and January, 2007 for Pesqueira-PE (Longitude -36.77 and Latitude 8.4 ) semi-arid region of Pernambuco, at intervals of 10 and 10 minutes, simultaneously. The ultraviolet solar irradiation was measured with a TURV (Total Ultraviolet Radiometer) Eppley Pyranometer on a minute scale. The computational simulations with SPCTRAL2 and SMARTS2 were made considering the following cases: (a) obtention of daily AOD, or be it, coming from the linear extrapolation of all the data along the day (b) obtention of hourly AOD, or be it the linearization by parts (piecewise). In the first case, the results of the simulations of ultraviolet solar irradiance and ultraviolet radiation index show an error of 4% and 13% for solar midday, and 78% at end of afternoon, when compared with the values measured with the TURV pyranometer. These results were significantly improved when using the AOD obtained on hourly bases: an error of 6.7 % for solar midday, a maximum error of 10% between 11 and 13 h, a maximum error of 20% between 10 and 14h and finally a maximum error of 30% between 9 and 15h. (orig.)

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poon, P.; Kinoshita, A. M.

    2017-12-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Miriam K. Joshua

    2016-04-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Julio Cesar Neves dos Santos

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

  2. 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.

  3. Trends and variations of pH and hardness in a typical semi-arid river in a monsoon climate region during 1985-2009.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hao, Shaonan; Li, Xuyong; Jiang, Yan; Zhao, Hongtao; Yang, Lei

    2016-09-01

    The rapid growth of urbanization and industrialization, along with dramatic climate change, has strongly influenced hydrochemical characteristics in recent decades in China and thus could cause the variation of pH and general total hardness of a river. To explore such variations and their potential influencing factors in a river of the monsoon climate region, we analyzed a long-term monitoring dataset of pH, SO4 (2-), NOx, general total hardness (GH), Mg(2+), Ca(2+), and Cl(-) in surface water and groundwater in the Luan River basin from 1985 to 2009. The nonparametric Seasonal Kendall trend test was used to test the long-term trends of pH and GH. Relationship between the affecting factors, pH and GH were discussed. Results showed that pH showed a decreasing trend and that GH had an increasing trend in the long-term. Seasonal variation of pH and GH was mainly due to the typical monsoon climate. Results of correlation analysis showed that the unit area usage amounts of chemical fertilizer, NO3 (-), and SO4 (2-) were negatively correlated with pH in groundwater. In addition, mining activity affected GH spatial variation. Acid deposition, drought, and increasing the use of chemical fertilizers would contribute to the acidification trend, and mining activities would affect the spatial variation of GH. Variations of precipitation and runoff in semi-arid monsoon climate areas had significant influences on the pH and GH. Our findings implied that human activities played a critical role in river acidification in the semi-arid monsoon climate region of northern China.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-07-01

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

  5. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  7. 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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2008-01-01

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

  9. 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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Huibers, F.P.

    1985-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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…

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  17. 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. '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

  19. 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

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

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Archibald, SA

    2009-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Krol, Martinus S.; Bronstert, Axel

    2007-01-01

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

  3. New Possibilities for High-Resolution, Large-Scale Ecosystem Assessment of the World's Semi-Arid Regions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burney, J. A.; Goldblatt, R.

    2016-12-01

    Understanding drivers of land use change - and in particular, levels of ecosystem degradation - in semi-arid regions is of critical importance because these agroecosystems (1) are home to the world's poorest populations, almost all of whom depend on agriculture for their livelihoods, (2) play a critical role in the global carbon and climate cycles, and (3) have in many cases seen dramatic changes in temperature and precipitation, relative to global averages, over the past several decades. However, assessing ecosystem health (or, conversely, degradation) presents a difficult measurement problem. Established methods are very labor intensive and rest on detailed questionnaires and field assessments. High-resolution satellite imagery has a unique role semi-arid ecosystem assessment in that it can be used for rapid (or repeated) and very simple measurements of tree and shrub density, an excellent overall indicator for dryland ecosystem health. Because trees and large shrubs are more sparse in semi-arid regions, sub-meter resolution imagery in conjunction with automated image analysis can be used to assess density differences at high spatial resolution without expensive and time-consuming ground-truthing. This could be used down to the farm level, for example, to better assess the larger-scale ecosystem impacts of different management practices, to assess compliance with REDD+ carbon offset protocols, or to evaluate implementation of conservation goals. Here we present results comparing spatial and spectral remote sensing methods for semi-arid ecosystem assessment across new data sources, using the Brazilian Sertão as an example, and the implications for large-scale use in semi-arid ecosystem science.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Márcio J. da Silva

    2010-01-01

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

  5. 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

  6. Water requirement and use by Jatropha curcas in a semi-arid tropical location

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kesava Rao, A.V.R.; Wani, Suhas P.; Singh, Piara; Srinivas, K.; Srinivasa Rao, Ch.

    2012-01-01

    Increasing emphasis on biofuel to meet the growing energy demand while reducing emissions of greenhouse gases, Jatropha curcas has attracted the attention of researchers, policy makers and industries as a good candidate for biodiesel. It is a non-edible oil crop, drought tolerant and could be grown on degraded lands in the tropics without competing for lands currently used for food production. J. curcas being a wild plant, much about its water requirement and production potential of promising clones in different agroclimatic conditions is not known. Water use assessment of J. curcas plantations in the semi-arid tropical location at ICRISAT, Patancheru indicated that crop evapotranspiration of J. curcas under no moisture stress varied from 1410 to 1538 mm per year during 2006–2009. Under field conditions the crop evapotranspiration varied from 614 to 930 mm depending on the atmospheric demand, rainfall and crop phenological stage. Patterns of soil-water depletion indicated that with growing plant age from two to five years, depth of soil-water extraction increased from 100 to 150 cm by fifth year. Monthly water use of Jatropha varied from 10–20 (leaf shedding period) to 140 mm depending on water availability and environmental demand. This study indicated that J. curcas has a good drought tolerance mechanism, however under favorable soil moisture conditions Jatropha could use large amounts of water for luxurious growth and high yield. These findings highlight the need to carefully identify suitable niche areas for Jatropha cultivation and assess the implications of large J. curcas plantations on water availability and use under different agroecosystems, particularly so in water scarce regions such as semi-arid and arid regions in the tropics. -- Highlights: ► Jatropha ET varied from 1410 to 1538 mm in optimal and 614 to 930 mm in field conditions. ► Depth of soil-water extraction increased from 100 to 150 cm by fifth year of age. ► Jatropha yields varied

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-07-15

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-09-01

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

  9. Chemical and Physical Weathering of Granites in a Semi-Arid Savanna

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khomo, L.; Hartshorn, A.; Chadwick, O.; Kurtz, A.; Heimsath, A.; Rogers, K.

    2005-12-01

    The catena concept describes soil properties on hillslopes and implies a hydrological mass redistribution process that has been applied differently in different parts of the Earth. In tectonically active regions, it is mostly used to describe the redistribution of mass by overland flow leading to thickening soil mantles downslope. This application is somewhat different from its initial and still popular usage in tectonically inactive areas of Africa, where it defines long-term soil property differentiation along hillslopes as controlled by internal soil hydrology as opposed to overland flow. Many ecologists have found the "African" catena concept to be useful as an organizing principal for savanna studies, but there has been little recent research on catenas per se in Africa. Elsewhere however, there is a growing body of research that places the concept ever more strongly into a landscape evolution context. Here, we apply these new approaches to catenas in a South African savanna underlain by a heterogeneous suite of Basement granites straddling a gradient in effective precipitation. We constrain the weathering extent of hilly terrains formed on these oldrocks by calculating element losses with solid-phase mass-balance calculations augmented by cosmogenic (26Al/10Be) derived rates of landscape denudation. We test the efficacy of Ti, Zr and Nb as immobile elements to benchmark chemical losses and gains in these semi-arid weathering environments. We also trace and quantify the abundance of the host minerals for these elements (Ti = rutile and ilmenite, Nb = columbite and Zr = zircon and baddleyite) in a variety of rocks in the basement complex. This analysis provides the boundary conditions for assigning immobile elements to parent materials required for the mass balance calculations. We calculate total denudation using the cosmogenic isotopes and then partition it into chemical and physical loss vectors using the mass balance calculations for representative

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    W. A. Timms

    2012-04-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-04-01

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

  15. 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.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Khattak, M.I.

    2005-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    K. Schneider

    2007-05-01

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

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

  18. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-03-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mohamed Almontasir A. M. Mohamed

    2015-08-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1998-01-01

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

  2. Tetracycline resistance in semi-arid agricultural soils under long-term swine effluent application.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Popova, Inna E; Josue, Rosemarie D R; Deng, Shiping; Hattey, Jeffory A

    2017-05-04

    Annually, millions pounds of antibiotics are released unmetabolized into environment along with animal wastes. Accumulation of antibiotics in soils could potentially induce the persistence of antibiotic resistant bacteria. Antibiotics such as tetracyclines and tetracycline-resistant bacteria have been previously detected in fields fertilized with animal manure. However, little is known about the accumulation of tetracyclines and the development of tetracycline resistance in semi-arid soils. Here we demonstrate that continuous land application with swine effluent, containing trace amounts of chlortetracycline, does not necessarily induce tetracycline resistance in soil bacteria. Based on the testing of more than 3,000 bacteria isolated from the amended soils, we found no significant increase in the occurrence and level of chlortetracycline resistant bacteria in soils after 15 years of continuous swine effluent fertilization. To account for a possible transfer of tetracycline-resistant bacteria originated from the swine effluent to soils, we analyzed two commonly found tetracycline resistant genes, tet(O) and tet(M), in the swine effluent and fertilized soils. Both genes were present in the swine effluent, however, they were not detectable in soils applied with swine effluent. Our data demonstrate that agronomic application of manure from antibiotic treated swine effluent does not necessarily result in the development of antibiotic bacterial resistance in soils. Apparently, concentrations of chlortetracycline present in manure are not significant enough to induce the development of antibiotic bacterial resistance.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poon, Patrick K.; Kinoshita, Alicia M.

    2018-04-01

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

  5. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-12-01

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

  7. Hydric balance in subsistence culture in the semi-arid soil of Northeast Brazil

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Antonino, Antonio C.D.; Sampaio, Everardo V.S.B.; Dall'Olio, Attilio; Salcedo, Ignacio H.; Bernardo, Ana L.; Soares, Adriano A.M.

    1997-01-01

    In spite of being the limiting factor for agricultural production, little has been studied about water dynamics in the soil-plant-atmosphere system in the semi-arid northeastern Brazil. To fill this gap, an experiment was established at Coxixola, PB, with four treatments (corn and beans crops, bare soil and soil covered with mulch), plots 7.7 x 10 m and planting spacing between holes, of 1.1 x 1.0 m. Rainfall was monitored with a pluviometer, evaporation with a class A tank and soil water with a neutron probe with daily measurements each 10 cm until 100 cm depth. the crop cycle, from March to July, was divided into nine periods, 13-14 days each. Results confirm the water limitation, with 212 mm rainfall during the cycle, 81% concentrated in the four first periods. Variations in the water storage in the soil profile, for the four treatments, followed variations in rainfall. Bare soil and much had similar results. Average daily real evapotranspiration for beans was 1.8 mm and for corn 1.9 mm. Average daily real evaporation for bare soil and much was 0.78 e 0.85 mm, respectively. (author). 9 refs., 2 figs., 2 tabs

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. C. S. Silva

    2015-06-01

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

  9. Determining the Frequency of Dry Lake Bed Formation in Semi-Arid Mongolia From Satellite Data

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yuta Demura

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available In the Mongolian Plateau, the desert steppe, mountains, and dry lake bed surfaces may affect the process of dust storm emissions. Among these three surface types, dry lake beds are considered to contribute a substantial amount of global dust emissions and to be responsible for “hot spots” of dust outbreaks. The land cover types in the study area were broadly divided into three types, namely desert steppe, mountains, and dry lake beds, by a classification based on Normalized Difference Water Index (NDWI calculated from MODIS Terra satellite images, and Digital Elevation Model (DEM. This dry lake beds extracting method using remote sensing offers a new technique for identifying dust hot spots and potential untapped groundwater in the dry lands of the Gobi region. In the study area, frequencies of dry lake bed formation were calculated during the period of 2001 to 2014. The potential dry lake area corresponded well with the length of the river network based on hydrogeological characterization (R2 = 0.77, p < 0.001. We suggest that the threshold between dry lake bed areas and the formation of ephemeral lakes in semi-arid regions is eight days of total precipitation.

  10. Air pollution measurements in a semi-arid zine, using neutron activation analysis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Shani, G; Cohen, D

    1977-01-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Shani, G; Cohen, D [Ben-Gurion Univ. of the Negev, Beersheba (Israel). Dept. of Nuclear Engineering

    1977-12-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Weijun Zhao

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

  13. Influence of Microclimate on Semi-Arid Montane Conifer Forest Sapflux Velocity in Complex Terrain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thirouin, K. R.; Barnard, D. M.; Barnard, H. R.

    2016-12-01

    Microclimate variation in complex terrain is key to our understanding of large-scale climate change effects on montane ecosystems. Modern climate models forecast that semi-arid montane ecosystems in the western United States are to experience increases in temperature, number of extreme drought events, and decreases in annual snowpack, all of which will potentially influence ecosystem water, carbon, and energy balances. In this study, we developed response curves that describe the relationships between stem sapflux velocity, air temperature (Tair), incoming solar radiation (SWin), soil temperature (Tsoil), and soil moisture content (VWC) in sites of Pinus contorta and Pinus ponderosa distributed along an elevation and aspect gradient in the montane zone of the Central Rocky Mountains, Colorado, USA. Among sites we found sapflux velocity to be significantly correlated with all four environmental factors (p physiological differences, the highest elevation south-facing P. contorta site behaved similarly to the south-facing P. ponderosa, suggesting that environmental drivers may dominate the response. In response to Tair, peak sapflux velocity occurred at 12-13 degrees C at all sites except the mid-slope north-facing P. contorta site, which also had the lowest Tsoil. The responses of stem sapflux velocity to climate drivers indicate that forest transpiration is regulated by microclimate gradients across small spatial scales in complex terrain, which need to be characterized in order to understand broader ecosystem dynamics and the role that large-scale climate change will play in these systems.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2006-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-06-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-04-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elisabeth Emília Augusta Dantas Tölke

    2015-09-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elisabeth Tölke

    2015-06-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-08-01

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

  1. Isotope studies of a thick unsaturated zone in a semi-arid area of Southern Africa

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Butler, M.J.; Verhagen, B.Th.

    2001-01-01

    Unsaturated zone profiles ranging in depth from 8 m to 22 m were obtained by hand augering an aeolian sand cover in the southern reaches of the semi-arid Kalahari thirstland. Moisture contents were rather low (<3 wt.%); in situ moisture chloride concentrations, measured by selective ion electrode following elutriation, are generally <500 ppm. Deuterium in the moisture was measured mass spectrometrically by direct quantitative conversion to hydrogen on zinc metal of moist soil samples. A novel technique of direct equilibration was developed for oxygen-18 analysis. Neither a thermonuclear tritium peak nor a stable isotope evaporation inversion near the surface could be observed in any of the profiles. Remarkable differences both laterally and vertically are observed in most parameters measured between profiles taken a few tens of metres apart. At greater depths, these differences become less pronounced. Recharge estimates based on chloride differ markedly from those obtained from tritium. Although the stable isotope values of the underlying saturated zone are similar to moisture in the deeper sections of the unsaturated zone profiles, the markedly lower chloride concentrations point towards preferential or bypass flow as an important mechanism of ground water recharge in the area. This can be regarded as a benchmark site on account of the wealth of unsaturated zone data as well as the detailed and ongoing rainfall record. (author)

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Shani, G.; Cohen, D.

    1977-01-01

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

  3. Dynamic modeling of potentially conflicting energy reduction strategies for residential structures in semi-arid climates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hester, Nathan; Li, Ke; Schramski, John R; Crittenden, John

    2012-04-30

    Globally, residential energy consumption continues to rise due to a variety of trends such as increasing access to modern appliances, overall population growth, and the overall increase of electricity distribution. Currently, residential energy consumption accounts for approximately one-fifth of total U.S. energy consumption. This research analyzes the effectiveness of a range of energy-saving measures for residential houses in semi-arid climates. These energy-saving measures include: structural insulated panels (SIP) for exterior wall construction, daylight control, increased window area, efficient window glass suitable for the local weather, and several combinations of these. Our model determined that energy consumption is reduced by up to 6.1% when multiple energy savings technologies are combined. In addition, pre-construction technologies (structural insulated panels (SIPs), daylight control, and increased window area) provide roughly 4 times the energy savings when compared to post-construction technologies (window blinds and efficient window glass). The model also illuminated the importance variations in local climate and building configuration; highlighting the site-specific nature of this type of energy consumption quantification for policy and building code considerations. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  4. Artemisia annua L.: agro-techniques for semi-arid environments

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marcello Scarcella

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available Artemisia annua L. is an aromatic annual plant native in Asia, probably in China, and is widespread in all temperate regions. Aerial parts contain aromatic volatile oils and non-volatile sesquiterpenes used in pharmacopoeia. The most important sesquiterpene is artemisinin and its derivatives, which are used as a remedy against malaria. In the Mediterranean region, interest in cultivating Artemisia resulted in emerging industrial activities demanding local biomass with high content of artemisinin to start new production chains. The goal of this paper was to find out appropriate agro-techniques for semi-arid climate regions to be followed by local growers in order to get convenient yield in terms of biomass and artemisinin content. The specific research objectives were to test germplasm and to develop a pilot model for A. annua, including the main agro-techniques (plant density, nitrogen supply and irrigation requirements. Results were obtained after a two-year field study carried out in an area of Salento region. The effects of the season and of the tested cultivars were not significant. The highest biomass production (36 t ha-1 of dry biomass, associated with a high percentage of artemisinin (0.97 % on dry weight, was achieved by using 7.3 plant m-2, and by supplying 60 Kg N ha-1 and 150 mm of irrigation water.

  5. Cyanobacterial blooms in stratified and destratified eutrophic reservoirs in semi-arid region of Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dantas, Enio W; Moura, Ariadne N; Bittencourt-Oliveira, Maria do Carmo

    2011-12-01

    This study investigated the dynamics of cyanobacteria in two deep, eutrophic reservoirs in a semi-arid region of Brazil during periods of stratification and destratification. Four collections were carried out at each reservoir at two depths at three-month intervals. The following abiotic variables were analyzed: water temperature, dissolved oxygen, pH, turbidity, water transparency, total phosphorus, total dissolved phosphorus, orthophosphate and total nitrogen. Phytoplankton density was quantified for the determination of the biomass of cyanobacteria. The data were analyzed using CCA. Higher mean phytoplankton biomass values (29.8 mm(3).L(-1)) occurred in the period of thermal stratification. A greater similarity in the phytoplankton communities also occurred in this period and was related to the development of cyanobacteria, mainly Cylindrospermopsis raciborskii (>3.9 mm(3).L(-1)). During the period of thermal destratification, this species co-dominated the environment with Planktothrix agardhii, Geitlerinema amphibium, Microcystis aeruginosa and Merismopedia tenuissima, as well as with diatoms and phytoflagellates. Environmental instability and competition among algae hindered the establishment of blooms more during the mixture period than during the stratification period. Thermal changes in the water column caused by climatologic events altered other physiochemical conditions of the water, leading to changes in the composition and biomass of the cyanobacterial community in tropical reservoirs.

  6. Evaluating soil moisture and hydraulic conductivity in semi-arid rangeland soils

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Whitaker, M.P.L.

    1993-01-01

    The US DOE's Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management (DOE-OCRWM) Fellowship Program supports various disciplines of academic research related to the isolation of radionuclides from the biosphere. The purpose of this paper is to provide an example of a university research application in the specific discipline of hydrology and water resources (a multi-disciplinary field encompassing engineering and the earth sciences), and to discuss how this research pertains to the objectives of the DOE-OCRWM Fellowship Program. The university research application is twofold: One portion focuses on the spatial variability of soil moisture (θ) and the other section compares point measurements with small watershed estimates of hydraulic conductivity (K) in a semi-arid rangeland soil in Arizona. For soil moisture measurements collected over a range of horizontal sampling intervals, no spatial correlation was evident. This outcome is reassuring to computer modelers who have assumed no spatial correlation for soil moisture over smaller scales. In regard to hydraulic conductivity, point measurements differed significantly from small watershed estimates of hydraulic conductivity which were derived from a calibrated and verified rainfall-runoff computer model. The estimates of saturated hydraulic conductivity (Ks) were obtained from previous computer simulations in which measured data was collected in the same research location as the present study

  7. Monoterpene emissions from Pinus halepensis forests in a semi-arid region (Israel)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seco, R.; Karl, T.; Turnipseed, A. A.; Greenberg, J.; Guenther, A. B.; Llusia, J.; Penuelas, J.; Kim, S.; Dicken, U.; Rotenberg, E.; Rohatyn, S.; Preisler, Y.; Yakir, D.

    2013-12-01

    Atmospheric volatile organic compounds (VOCs) have key environmental and biological roles, and can affect atmospheric chemisty, secondary aerosol formation, and as a consequence also climate. At the same time, global changes in climate arising from human activities can modify the VOC emissions of vegetation in the coming years. Monoterpene emission fluxes were measured during April 2013 at two forests in the semi-arid climate of Israel. Both forests were dominated by the same pine species, Pinus halepensis, but differed in the amount of annual average precipitation received (280 and 800 mm at Yatir and Birya, respectively). Measurements performed included leaf-level sampling as well as canopy-level flux calculations. Leaf level monoterpene emissions were sampled from leaf cuvettes with adsorbent cartridges and later analyzed by GC-MS. Canopy scale fluxes were calculated with the Disjunct Eddy Covariance technique by means of a Quadrupole PTRMS. We report the differences observed between the two forests in terms of photosynthetic activity and monoterpene emissions, aiming to see the effect of the different precipitation regimes at each location.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-12-01

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

  9. Pattern solutions of the Klausmeier Model for banded vegetation in semi-arid environments I

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sherratt, Jonathan A

    2010-01-01

    In many semi-arid environments, vegetation cover is sparse, and is self-organized into large-scale spatial patterns. In particular, banded vegetation is typical on hillsides. Mathematical modelling is widely used to study these banded patterns, and many models are effectively extensions of a coupled reaction–diffusion–advection system proposed by Klausmeier (1999 Science 284 1826–8). However, there is currently very little mathematical theory on pattern solutions of these equations. This paper is the first in a series whose aim is a comprehensive understanding of these solutions, which can act as a springboard both for future simulation-based studies of the Klausmeier model, and for analysis of model extensions. The author focusses on a particular part of parameter space, and derives expressions for the boundaries of the parameter region in which patterns occur. The calculations are valid to leading order at large values of the 'slope parameter', which reflects a comparison of the rate of water flow downhill with the rate of vegetation dispersal. The form of the corresponding patterns is also studied, and the author shows that the leading order equations change close to one boundary of the parameter region in which there are patterns, leading to a homoclinic solution. Conclusions are drawn on the way in which changes in mean annual rainfall affect pattern properties, including overall biomass productivity

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muthukumar, T.; Udaiyan, K.

    2002-10-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2013-07-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fernandes, Heloisa H.F.; Pontedeiro, Elizabeth M.; Su, Jian

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-02-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-09-01

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

  16. 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.

  17. Response of three semi-arid plant species to fluoride; consequences for chlorophyll florescence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baunthiyal, M; Sharma, V

    2014-01-01

    The study was done to investigate the ability of three semi-arid plant species viz. Acacia tortilis, Cassia fistula and Prosopis juliflora to adapt to fluoride (F) stress. Here we examined the changes in activities of chlorophyll a fluorescence and photosynthetic pigment concentration during early growth of these plants. One month old plants were treated with 10, 20, and 50 mg kg(-1) F in soilrite. We did not observe any major change in photosynthetic performance of these plants during early growth. This was revealed by ETR, ETRmax, PPFD-sat and deltaF/Fm'-sat values which were higher in these plants. The decrease in chl a, chl b and total chl concentrations were significant only at 5 days. For most of the parameters, C. fistula was found to be more sensitive to F stress and P. juliflora showed least damage from F. The lesser inhibition in the parameters reflected the F tolerant nature of these plants with respect to photosynthesis. This opens the possibility of potential use of these species for treatment of F contaminated soil and water.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Edmunds, W.M.

    2001-01-01

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

  19. Seedbed preparation influence on morphometric characteristics of perennial grasses of a semi-arid rangeland in Kenya

    OpenAIRE

    Opiyo, Francis EO; Ekaya, Wellington N; Nyariki, Dickson M; Mureithi, Stephen Mwangi

    2011-01-01

    Semi-arid rangelands in Kenya are an important source of forage for both domestic and wild animals. However, indigenous perennial grasses notably Cenchrus ciliaris (African foxtail grass), Eragrostis superba (Maasai love grass) and Enteropogon macrostachyus (Bush rye grass) are disappearing at an alarming rate. Efforts to re-introduce them through restoration programs have often yielded little success. This can partly be attributed to failure of topsoil to capture and store scarce water to me...

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

    OpenAIRE

    Huibers, F.P.

    1985-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-06-01

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

  2. Simulated Optimum Sowing Date for Forage Pearl Millet Cultivars in Multilocation Trials in Brazilian Semi-Arid Region.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Santos, Rafael D; Boote, Kenneth J; Sollenberger, Lynn E; Neves, Andre L A; Pereira, Luiz G R; Scherer, Carolina B; Gonçalves, Lucio C

    2017-01-01

    Forage production is primarily limited by weather conditions under dryland production systems in Brazilian semi-arid regions, therefore sowing at the appropriate time is critical. The objectives of this study were to evaluate the CSM-CERES-Pearl Millet model from the DSSAT software suite for its ability to simulate growth, development, and forage accumulation of pearl millet [ Pennisetum glaucum (L.) R.] at three Brazilian semi-arid locations, and to use the model to study the impact of different sowing dates on pearl millet performance for forage. Four pearl millet cultivars were grown during the 2011 rainy season in field experiments conducted at three Brazilian semi-arid locations, under rainfed conditions. The genetic coefficients of the four pearl millet cultivars were calibrated for the model, and the model performance was evaluated with experimental data. The model was run for 14 sowing dates using long-term historical weather data from three locations, to determine the optimum sowing window. Results showed that performance of the model was satisfactory as indicated by accurate simulation of crop phenology and forage accumulation against measured data. The optimum sowing window varied among locations depending on rainfall patterns, although showing the same trend for cultivars within the site. The best sowing windows were from 15 April to 15 May for the Bom Conselho location; 12 April to 02 May for Nossa Senhora da Gloria; and 17 April to 25 May for Sao Bento do Una. The model can be used as a tool to evaluate the effect of sowing date on forage pearl millet performance in Brazilian semi-arid conditions.

  3. Crop Upgrading Strategies and Modelling for Rainfed Cereals in a Semi-Arid Climate—A Review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Festo Richard Silungwe

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available Spatiotemporal rainfall variability and low soil fertility are the primary crop production challenges facing poor farmers in semi-arid environments. However, there are few solutions for addressing these challenges. The literature provides several crop upgrading strategies (UPS for improving crop yields, and biophysical models are used to simulate these strategies. However, the suitability of UPS is limited by systemization of their areas of application and the need to cope with the challenges faced by poor farmers. In this study, we reviewed 187 papers from peer-reviewed journals, conferences and reports that discuss UPS suitable for cereals and biophysical models used to assist in the selection of UPS in semi-arid areas. We found that four UPS were the most suitable, namely tied ridges, microdose fertilization, varying sowing dates, and field scattering. The DSSAT, APSIM and AquaCrop models adequately simulate these UPS. This work provides a systemization of crop UPS and models in semi-arid areas that can be applied by scientists and planners.

  4. PRODUCERS’ PERCEPTION OF GEOGRAPHICAL INDICATIONS AS A PRODUCT DIVERSIFICATION TOOL FOR AGRIFOOD PRODUCTS IN SEMI-ARID REGIONS OF KENYA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fredah Wangui Maina

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available The study assessed producers’ awareness and perceptions of territorial-based qualities and the economic potential of two potential origin-based geographical indications in two semi-arid counties in Kenya. Protection of the origin products as geographical indications is presented as an option for ecosystem approach in managing fragile semi-arid regions while providing producers economic incentives and social inclusion; key components of green growth. Factor analysis was conducted on Likert scale perception questions administered to producers of goats (Baringo and mangoes (Makueni. The producers were aware of the uniqueness of their products and its geographical source. The resultant factors reveal the importance of public policies, institutions, market access and public sector actors as important to producers’ perception of the success of protecting their products as geographical indications. Clustering revealed producer heterogeneity in their perceptions of protecting their respective products as geographical indications. The constitution of the clusters was significantly different based on the number of years the producers had practiced farming in the region, their awareness of the uniqueness of their goats, income received from goat production and institutional factors. Enhanced collective action for both goats and mangoes in the semi-arid regions would ensure collective reputation in the product presented to the market. The producers’ perceptions emphasise geographical indications as a marketing tool rather than an environmental tool, agreeing with Principle 4 of the ecosystem approach on managing ecosystem in an economic context.

  5. Prolonged limitation of tree growth due to warmer spring in semi-arid mountain forests of Tianshan, northwest China

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wu Xiuchen; Liu Hongyan; Wang Yufu; Deng Minghua

    2013-01-01

    Based on radial tree growth measurements in nine plots of area 625 m 2 (369 trees in total) and climate data, we explored the possibly changing effects of climate on regional tree growth in the temperate continental semi-arid mountain forests in the Tianshan Mountains in northwest China during 1933–2005. Tree growth in our study region is generally limited by the soil water content of pre- and early growing season (February–July). Remarkably, moving correlation functions identified a clear temporal change in the relationship between tree growth and mean April temperature. Tree growth showed a significant (p < 0.05) and negative relationship to mean April temperature since approximately the beginning of the 1970s, which indicated that the semi-arid mountain forests are suffering a prolonged growth limitation in recent years accompanying spring warming. This prolonged limitation of tree growth was attributed to the effects of soil water limitation in early spring (March–April) caused by the rapid spring warming. Warming-induced prolonged drought stress contributes, to a large part, to the marked reduction of regional basal area increment (BAI) in recent years and a much slower growth rate in young trees. Our results highlight that the increasing water limitation induced by spring warming on tree growth most likely aggravated the marked reduction in tree growth. This work provides a better understanding of the effects of spring warming on tree growth in temperate continental semi-arid forests. (letter)

  6. Simulations for Making On-farm Decisions in Relation to ENSO in Semi-arid Areas, South Africa

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tesfuhuney, W. A.; Crespo, O. O.; Walker, S. S.; Steyn, S. A.

    2017-12-01

    The study was employed to investigate and improve on-farm decision making on planting dates and fertilization by relating simulated yield and seasonal outlook information. The Agricultural Production Systems SIMulator model (APSIM) was used to explore ENSO/SOI effects for small-scale farmers to represent weather conditions and soil forms of semi-arid areas of Bothaville, Bethlehem and Bloemfontein regions in South Africa. The relationships of rainfall and SOI anomalies indicate a positive correlation, signifies ENSO/SOI as seasonal outlooks for study areas. Model evaluation results showed higher degree of bias (RMSEs/RMSE value of 0.88-0.98). The D-index of agreement in the range 0.61-0.71 indicate the ability of the APSIM-Maize model is an adequate tool in evaluating relative changes in maize yield in relation to various management practices and seasonal variations. During rainy, La Niño years (SOI > +5), highest simulated yields were found for Bethlehem in November with addition of 100 - 150 kg ha-1 N fertilization and up to 50 kg ha-1 for both Bothaville and Bloemfontein. With respect to various levels of fertilization, the dry El Niño years (SOI risk for dryland farming in semi-arid regions. Key word: Semi-arid; APSIM; SOI; El Niño / La Niña; On-farm Decisions

  7. 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.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2001-01-01

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

  9. Seasonal variation of carbon fluxes in a sparse savanna in semi arid Sudan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ardö, Jonas; Mölder, Meelis; El-Tahir, Bashir Awad; Elkhidir, Hatim Abdalla Mohammed

    2008-12-01

    Large spatial, seasonal and annual variability of major drivers of the carbon cycle (precipitation, temperature, fire regime and nutrient availability) are common in the Sahel region. This causes large variability in net ecosystem exchange and in vegetation productivity, the subsistence basis for a major part of the rural population in Sahel. This study compares the 2005 dry and wet season fluxes of CO2 for a grass land/sparse savanna site in semi arid Sudan and relates these fluxes to water availability and incoming photosynthetic photon flux density (PPFD). Data from this site could complement the current sparse observation network in Africa, a continent where climatic change could significantly impact the future and which constitute a weak link in our understanding of the global carbon cycle. The dry season (represented by Julian day 35-46, February 2005) was characterized by low soil moisture availability, low evapotranspiration and a high vapor pressure deficit. The mean daily NEE (net ecosystem exchange, Eq. 1) was -14.7 mmol d-1 for the 12 day period (negative numbers denote sinks, i.e. flux from the atmosphere to the biosphere). The water use efficiency (WUE) was 1.6 mmol CO2 mol H2O-1 and the light use efficiency (LUE) was 0.95 mmol CO2 mol PPFD-1. Photosynthesis is a weak, but linear function of PPFD. The wet season (represented by Julian day 266-273, September 2005) was, compared to the dry season, characterized by slightly higher soil moisture availability, higher evapotranspiration and a slightly lower vapor pressure deficit. The mean daily NEE was -152 mmol d-1 for the 8 day period. The WUE was lower, 0.97 mmol CO2 mol H2O-1 and the LUE was higher, 7.2 mumol CO2 mmol PPFD-1 during the wet season compared to the dry season. During the wet season photosynthesis increases with PPFD to about 1600 mumol m-2s-1 and then levels off. Based on data collected during two short periods, the studied ecosystem was a sink of carbon both during the dry and wet season

  10. Seasonal variation of carbon fluxes in a sparse savanna in semi arid Sudan

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    El-Tahir Bashir

    2008-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Large spatial, seasonal and annual variability of major drivers of the carbon cycle (precipitation, temperature, fire regime and nutrient availability are common in the Sahel region. This causes large variability in net ecosystem exchange and in vegetation productivity, the subsistence basis for a major part of the rural population in Sahel. This study compares the 2005 dry and wet season fluxes of CO2 for a grass land/sparse savanna site in semi arid Sudan and relates these fluxes to water availability and incoming photosynthetic photon flux density (PPFD. Data from this site could complement the current sparse observation network in Africa, a continent where climatic change could significantly impact the future and which constitute a weak link in our understanding of the global carbon cycle. Results The dry season (represented by Julian day 35–46, February 2005 was characterized by low soil moisture availability, low evapotranspiration and a high vapor pressure deficit. The mean daily NEE (net ecosystem exchange, Eq. 1 was -14.7 mmol d-1 for the 12 day period (negative numbers denote sinks, i.e. flux from the atmosphere to the biosphere. The water use efficiency (WUE was 1.6 mmol CO2 mol H2O-1 and the light use efficiency (LUE was 0.95 mmol CO2 mol PPFD-1. Photosynthesis is a weak, but linear function of PPFD. The wet season (represented by Julian day 266–273, September 2005 was, compared to the dry season, characterized by slightly higher soil moisture availability, higher evapotranspiration and a slightly lower vapor pressure deficit. The mean daily NEE was -152 mmol d-1 for the 8 day period. The WUE was lower, 0.97 mmol CO2 mol H2O-1 and the LUE was higher, 7.2 μmol CO2 mmol PPFD-1 during the wet season compared to the dry season. During the wet season photosynthesis increases with PPFD to about 1600 μmol m-2s-1 and then levels off. Conclusion Based on data collected during two short periods, the studied ecosystem

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-04-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carla da Silva Sousa

    2014-03-01

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

  14. 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

  15. Estimating Daily Reference Evapotranspiration in a Semi-Arid Region Using Remote Sensing Data

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    Peshawa M. Najmaddin

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available Estimating daily evapotranspiration is challenging when ground observation data are not available or scarce. Remote sensing can be used to estimate the meteorological data necessary for calculating reference evapotranspiration ETₒ. Here, we assessed the accuracy of daily ETₒ estimates derived from remote sensing (ETₒ-RS compared with those derived from four ground-based stations (ETₒ-G in Kurdistan (Iraq over the period 2010–2014. Near surface air temperature, relative humidity and cloud cover fraction were derived from the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder/Advanced Microwave Sounding Unit (AIRS/AMSU, and wind speed at 10 m height from MERRA (Modern-Era Retrospective Analysis for Research and Application. Four methods were used to estimate ETₒ: Hargreaves–Samani (HS, Jensen–Haise (JH, McGuinness–Bordne (MB and the FAO Penman Monteith equation (PM. ETₒ-G (PM was adopted as the main benchmark. HS underestimated ETₒ by 2%–3% (R2 = 0.86 to 0.90; RMSE = 0.95 to 1.2 mm day−1 at different stations. JH and MB overestimated ETₒ by 8% to 40% (R2= 0.85 to 0.92; RMSE from 1.18 to 2.18 mm day−1. The annual average values of ETₒ estimated using RS data and ground-based data were similar to one another reflecting low bias in daily estimates. They ranged between 1153 and 1893 mm year−1 for ETₒ-G and between 1176 and 1859 mm year−1 for ETₒ-RS for the different stations. Our results suggest that ETₒ-RS (HS can yield accurate and unbiased ETₒ estimates for semi-arid regions which can be usefully employed in water resources management.

  16. Hierarchy of responses to resource pulses in arid and semi-arid ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schwinning, Susanne; Sala, Osvaldo E

    2004-10-01

    In arid/semi-arid ecosystems, biological resources, such as water, soil nutrients, and plant biomass, typically go through periods of high and low abundance. Short periods of high resource abundance are usually triggered by rainfall events, which, despite of the overall scarcity of rain, can saturate the resource demand of some biological processes for a time. This review develops the idea that there exists a hierarchy of soil moisture pulse events with a corresponding hierarchy of ecological responses, such that small pulses only trigger a small number of relatively minor ecological events, and larger pulses trigger a more inclusive set and some larger ecological events. This framework hinges on the observation that many biological state changes, where organisms transition from a state of lower to higher physiological activity, require a minimal triggering event size. Response thresholds are often determined by the ability of organisms to utilize soil moisture pulses of different infiltration depth or duration. For example, brief, shallow pulses can only affect surface dwelling organisms with fast response times and high tolerance for low resource levels, such as some species of the soil micro-fauna and -flora, while it takes more water and deeper infiltration to affect the physiology, growth or reproduction of higher plants. This review first discusses how precipitation, climate and site factors translate into soil moisture pulses of varying magnitude and duration. Next, the idea of the response hierarchy for ecosystem processes is developed, followed by an exploration of the possible evolutionary background for the existence of response thresholds to resource pulses. The review concludes with an outlook on global change: does the hierarchical view of precipitation effects in ecosystems provide new perspectives on the future of arid/semiarid lands?

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rafaela Watanabe

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    John, Ranjeet; Chen Jiquan; Lu Nan; Wilske, Burkhard, E-mail: ranjeet.john@utoledo.ed [Department of Environmental Sciences, University of Toledo, Toledo, OH 43606 (United States)

    2009-10-15

    The semi-arid grasslands in Inner Mongolia (IM) are under increasing stress owing to climate change and rapid socio-economic development in the recent past. We investigated changes in land cover/land use and landscape structure between 1992 and 2004 through the analysis of AVHRR and MODIS derived land cover data. The scale of analysis included the regional level (i.e. the whole of IM) as well as the level of the dominant biomes (i.e. the grassland and desert). We quantified proportional change, rate of change and the changes in class-level landscape metrics using the landscape structure analysis program FRAGSTATS. The dominant land cover types, grassland and barren, 0.47 and 0.27 million km{sup 2}, respectively, have increased proportionally. Cropland and urban land use also increased to 0.15 million km{sup 2} and 2197 km{sup 2}, respectively. However, the results further indicated increases in both the homogeneity and fragmentation of the landscape. Increasing homogeneity was mainly related to the reduction in minority cover types such as savanna, forests and permanent wetlands and increasing cohesion, aggregation index and clumpy indices. Conversely, increased fragmentation of the landscape was based on the increase in patch density and the interspersion/juxtaposition index (IJI). It is important to note the socio-economic growth in this fragile ecosystem, manifested by an increasing proportion of agricultural and urban land use not just at the regional level but also at the biome level in the context of regional climate change and increasing water stress.

  19. 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.

  20. Spatiotemporal diversity, structure and trophic guilds of insect assemblages in a semi-arid Sabkha ecosystem

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Haroun Chenchouni

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available The current study highlights some knowledge on the diversity and structure of insect communities and trophic groups living in Sabkha Djendli (semi-arid area of Northeastern Algeria. The entomofauna was monthly sampled from March to November 2006 using pitfall traps at eight sites located at the vicinity of the Sabkha. Structural and diversity parameters (species richness, Shannon index, evenness were measured for both insect orders and trophic guilds. The canonical correspondence analysis (CCA was applied to determine how vegetation parameters (species richness and cover influence spatial and seasonal fluctuations of insect assemblages. The catches totalled 434 insect individuals classified into 75 species, 62 genera, 31 families and 7 orders, of which Coleoptera and Hymenoptera were the most abundant and constant over seasons and study stations. Spring and autumn presented the highest values of diversity parameters. Individual-based Chao-1 species richness estimator indicated 126 species for the total individuals captured in the Sabkha. Based on catch abundances, the structure of functional trophic groups was predators (37.3%, saprophages (26.7%, phytophages (20.5%, polyphages (10.8%, coprophages (4.6%; whereas in terms of numbers of species, they can be classified as phytophages (40%, predators (25.3%, polyphages (13.3%, saprophages (12%, coprophages (9.3%. The CCA demonstrated that phytophages and saprophages as well as Coleoptera and Orthoptera were positively correlated with the two parameters of vegetation, especially in spring and summer. While the abundance of coprophages was positively correlated with species richness of plants, polyphage density was positively associated with vegetation cover. The insect community showed high taxonomic and functional diversity that is closely related to diversity and vegetation cover in different stations of the wetland and seasons.

  1. How to Improve Water Usage Efficiency? Characterization of Family Farms in A Semi-Arid Area

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    Laura Piedra-Muñoz

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Water scarcity in Spain is partly due to poor management of this resource in the agricultural sector. The main aim of this study is to present the major factors related to water usage efficiency in farming. It focuses on the Almería coast, southeast Spain, which is one of the most arid areas of the country, and in particular, on family farms as the main direct managers of water use in this zone. Many of these farms are among the most water efficient in Spanish agriculture but this efficiency is not generalized throughout the sector. This work conducts a comprehensive assessment of water performance in this area, using on-farm water-use, structural, socio-economic, and environmental information. Two statistical techniques are used: descriptive analysis and cluster analysis. Thus, two groups are identified: farms that are less and farms that are more efficient regarding water usage. By analyzing both the common characteristics within each group and the differences between the groups with a one-way ANOVA analysis, several conclusions can be reached. The main differences between the two clusters center on the extent to which innovation and new technologies are used in irrigation. The most water efficient farms are characterized by more educated farmers, a greater degree of innovation, new irrigation technology, and an awareness of water issues and environmental sustainability. The findings of this study can be extended to farms in similar arid and semi-arid areas and contribute to fostering appropriate policies to improve the efficiency of water usage in the agricultural sector.

  2. Influence of agricultural management on chemical quality of a clay soil of semi-arid Morocco

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ibno Namr, Khalid; Mrabet, Rachid

    2004-06-01

    Morocco's semi-arid lands are characterized by unique challenges. The most important obstacles to the development of durable agriculture are (1) limited and unpredictable supply of soil moisture and (2) low soil quality. Intensive use of soil throughout history has led to depletion in soil quality, leading in return to reduced yields because of the consequent reduced organic matter. Recognizing the need to recover soil quality and production decline, INRA scientists began, in the early 1980s, research on the effects of crop rotations, tillage and residue management on the productivity and quality of cropped soils. The present study concerns the short-term effect of rotation, tillage and residue management on selected quality indices of a calcixeroll (organic matter, nitrogen, particulate organic carbon (Cpom), particulate organic nitrogen (Npom) and pH). Hence, three rotations (wheat-wheat, WW; fallow-wheat, FW; and fallow-wheat-barley, FWB), two tillage systems (conventional offset disking, CT and no-tillage, NT), and three levels of residue in the NT system (NT 0 = no-residue cover, NT 50 = half surface residue cover, NT 100 = full surface residue cover) were selected. Three surface horizons were sampled (0-2.5, 2.5-7 and 7-20 cm). The study results showed an improvement of measured soil chemical properties under NT compared to CT, at the surface layer. No-tillage system helped sequestration of carbon and nitrogen, build-up of particulate organic carbon and nitrogen and sensible reduction of pH only at the surface layer. Continuous wheat permitted a slight improvement of soil quality, mainly at the 0-2.5 cm depth. Effects of rotation, tillage and residue level were reduced with depth of measurements.

  3. 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.

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

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    H. J. Wang

    2012-04-01

    Full Text Available Biogenic volatile organic compounds (BVOCs profoundly affect atmospheric chemistry and ecosystem functioning. BVOCs emission and their responses to global change are still unclear in grasslands, which cover one quarter of the Earth's land surface and are currently undergoing the largest changes. Over two growing seasons, we conducted a field experiment in a semi-arid grassland (Inner Mongolia, China to examine the emission and the responses of BVOCs emissions to warming and nitrogen deposition. The natural emission rate (NER of monoterpene (dominant BVOCs here is 107 ± 16 μg m−2 h−1 in drought 2007, and 266 ± 53 μg m−2 h−1 in wet 2008, respectively. Warming decreased the standard emission factor (SEF by 24% in 2007, while it increased by 43% in 2008. The exacerbated soil moisture loss caused by warming in dry season might be responsible for the decrease of SEF in 2007. A possible threshold of soil moisture (8.2% (v/v, which controls the direction of warming effects on monoterpene emission, existed in the semiarid grassland. Nitrogen deposition decreased the coverage of Artemisia frigida and hence reduced the NER by 24% across the two growing seasons. These results suggest that the grasslands dominated by the extended Artemisia frigida are an important source for BVOCs, while the responses of their emissions to global changes are more uncertain since they depend on multifactorial in-situ conditions.

  5. 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.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Geyh, M.A.

    1980-01-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Too, D.K.; Trlica, M.J.; Swift, D.M.; Musembi, D.K.

    1999-01-01

    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

  8. 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.

  9. Kinetically limited weathering at low denudation rates in semi-arid climates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vanacker, V.; Schoonejans, J.; Opfergelt, S.; Ameijeiras-Marino, Y.; Christl, M.

    2016-12-01

    On Earth, the Critical Zone supports terrestrial life, being the near-surface environment where interactions between the atmosphere, lithosphere, hydrosphere, and biosphere take place Quantitative understanding of the interaction between mechanical rock breakdown, chemical weathering, and physical erosion is essential for unraveling Earth's biogeochemical cycles. In this study, we explore the role of soil water balance on regulating soil chemical weathering under water deficit regimes. Weathering rates and intensities were evaluated for nine soil profiles located on convex ridge crests of three mountain ranges in the Spanish Betic Cordillera. We present and compare quantitative information on soil weathering, chemical depletion and total denudation that were derived based on geochemical mass balance, 10Be cosmogenic nuclides and U-series disequilibria. Soil production rates determined based on U-series isotopes (238U, 234U, 230Th and 226Ra) are of the same order of magnitude as 10Be-derived denudation rates, suggesting steady state soil thickness, in two out of three sampling sites. The chemical weathering intensities are relatively low (˜5 to 30% of the total denudation of the soil) and negatively correlated with the magnitude of the water deficit in soils. Soil weathering extents increase (nonlinearly) with soil thickness and decrease with increasing surface denudation rates, consistent with kinetically limited or controlled weathering. Our study suggests that soil residence time and water availability limit weathering processes in semi-arid climates, which has not been validated previously with field data. An important implication of this finding is that climatic regimes may strongly regulate soil weathering by modulating soil solute fluxes.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maginot Ngangyo-Heya

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available The current global energy crisis has generated growing interest in looking for alternatives to traditional fossil fuels, presenting lignocellulosic materials as a promising resource for sustainable energy production. In this paper, the calorific values and chemical composition of the trunks, branches, twigs and leaves of five timber species of the semi-arid land of Mexico (Helietta parvifolia (Gray Benth., Ebenopsis ebano (Berl. Barneby, Acacia berlandieri (Benth., Havardia pallens (Benth. Britton & Rose and Acacia wrightii (Benth. were determined according to international standards. The results highlighted the calorific value ranges of 17.56 to 18.61 MJ kg−1 in trunks, 17.15 to 18.45 MJ kg−1 in branches, 17.29 to 17.92 MJ kg−1 in twigs, and 17.35to 19.36 MJ kg−1 in leaves. The pH presented an acidic trend (3.95–5.64. The content of mineral elements varied in trunks (1.09%–2.29%, branches (0.86%–2.75%, twigs (4.26%–6.76% and leaves (5.77%–11.79%, showing the higher proportion in Ca (57.03%–95.53%, followed by K (0.95%–19.21% and Mg (0.88%–13.47%. The highest amount of extractives was obtained in the methanolic solvent (3.96%–17.03%. The lignin recorded values of 28.78%–35.84% for trunks, 17.14%–31.39% for branches and 20.61%–29.92% for twigs. Lignin showed a moderately strong correlation (r = 0.66 with calorific value, but the best mathematical model was registered with the calorific value depending on the pH and lignin (R2 = 58.86%.

  11. Floristic similarity and dispersal syndromes in a rocky outcrop in semi-arid Northeastern Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Costa, Elainne Cristina Silva; Lopes, Sérgio de Faria; Melo, José Iranildo Miranda de

    2015-09-01

    Floristic studies provide valuable information on species richness in a region, and are particularly important if these areas belong to less studied environments, such as rocky outcrops, that may increase our knowledge. An important aspect for species colonization includes the mechanisms of diaspores dispersal in each community; these are essential to understand its structure, dynamics, and the regeneration process, and constitute an important tool for conservation. We developed a floristic survey on a granite-gneiss outcrop with the objective to increase the knowledge on plant diversity, through a floristic similarity analysis and detection of dispersal syndromes of sampled species, in a semi-arid region of Brazil. The fieldwork included collection and observation of the botanical material in loco during a period of 12 months. A total of 161 species belonging to 127 genera and 50 families of angiosperms were recorded. Fabaceae, Asteraceae and Convolvulaceae were the most representative families in number of species. Allophylus quercifolius (Mart.) Radlk. (Capparaceae) and Lafoensia pacari A. St.-Hil. (Lythraceae) represented new records for the State of Paraiba. The autochoric syndrome was the most representative, with 51.5 % of the recorded species; the anemochory was the second most representative syndrome with 26.7 % of the species; and finally the zoochory, representing 22.3 % of the species. The floristic similarity dendrogram showed the formation of three well-defined groups, whose area with the highest value (J = 33.2) is located in a Caatinga region called Cariri Paraibano, while the lowest value observed (J = 5.2), occurred in a settled area in two geomorphological units, a crystalline complex and a plateau region. These results may be due to the varying topographic conditions and edaphic heterogeneity arising from the specific geological formation of the region. These results yet demonstrate that, in rocky outcrops, abiotic syndromes represent an

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    John, Ranjeet; Chen Jiquan; Lu Nan; Wilske, Burkhard

    2009-01-01

    The semi-arid grasslands in Inner Mongolia (IM) are under increasing stress owing to climate change and rapid socio-economic development in the recent past. We investigated changes in land cover/land use and landscape structure between 1992 and 2004 through the analysis of AVHRR and MODIS derived land cover data. The scale of analysis included the regional level (i.e. the whole of IM) as well as the level of the dominant biomes (i.e. the grassland and desert). We quantified proportional change, rate of change and the changes in class-level landscape metrics using the landscape structure analysis program FRAGSTATS. The dominant land cover types, grassland and barren, 0.47 and 0.27 million km 2 , respectively, have increased proportionally. Cropland and urban land use also increased to 0.15 million km 2 and 2197 km 2 , respectively. However, the results further indicated increases in both the homogeneity and fragmentation of the landscape. Increasing homogeneity was mainly related to the reduction in minority cover types such as savanna, forests and permanent wetlands and increasing cohesion, aggregation index and clumpy indices. Conversely, increased fragmentation of the landscape was based on the increase in patch density and the interspersion/juxtaposition index (IJI). It is important to note the socio-economic growth in this fragile ecosystem, manifested by an increasing proportion of agricultural and urban land use not just at the regional level but also at the biome level in the context of regional climate change and increasing water stress.

  13. Evaluating management-induced soil salinization in golf courses in semi-arid landscapes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Young, J.; Udeigwe, T. K.; Weindorf, D. C.; Kandakji, T.; Gautam, P.; Mahmoud, M. A.

    2015-04-01

    Site-specific information on land management practices are often desired to make better assessments of their environmental impacts. A study was conducted in Lubbock, Texas, in the Southern High Plains of the United States, an area characterized by semi-arid climatic conditions, to (1) examine the potential management-induced alterations in soil salinity indicators in golf course facilities and (2) develop predictive relationships for a more rapid soil salinity examination within these urban landscape soils using findings from a portable X-ray fluorescence (PXRF) spectrometer. Soil samples were collected from managed (well irrigated) and non-managed (non-irrigated) areas of seven golf course facilities at 0-10, 10-20, and 20-30 cm depths and analyzed for a suite of chemical properties. Among the extractable cations, sodium (Na) was significantly (p golf facilities. Soil electrical conductivity (EC), exchangeable sodium percentage (ESP), and sodium adsorption ratio (SAR), parameters often used in characterizing soil salinity and sodicity, were for the most part significantly (p < 0.05) higher in the managed areas. Water quality reports collected over a 22-year period (1991-2013, all years not available) indicated a gradual increase in pH, EC, SAR, total alkalinity, and extractable ions, thus supporting the former findings. Findings from the PXRF suggested possible differences in chemical species and sources that contribute to salinity between the managed and non-managed zones. PXRF-quantified Cl and S, and to a lesser extent Ca, individually and collectively explained 23-85% of the variability associated with soil salinity at these facilities.

  14. Climate Change Sensitivity of Multi-Species Afforestation in Semi-Arid Benin

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Florent Noulèkoun

    2018-06-01

    Full Text Available The early growth stage is critical in the response of trees to climate change and variability. It is not clear, however, what climate metrics are best to define the early-growth sensitivity in assessing adaptation strategies of young forests to climate change. Using a combination of field experiments and modelling, we assessed the climate sensitivity of two promising afforestation species, Jatropha curcas L. and Moringa oleifera Lam., by analyzing their predicted climate–growth relationships in the initial two years after planting on degraded cropland in the semi-arid zone of Benin. The process-based WaNuLCAS model (version 4.3, World Agroforestry Centre, Bogor, Indonesia was used to simulate aboveground biomass growth for each year in the climate record (1981–2016, either as the first or as the second year of tree growth. Linear mixed models related the annual biomass growth to climate indicators, and climate sensitivity indices quantified climate–growth relationships. In the first year, the length of dry spells had the strongest effect on tree growth. In the following year, the annual water deficit and length of dry season became the strongest predictors. Simulated rooting depths greater than those observed in the experiments enhanced biomass growth under extreme dry conditions and reduced sapling sensitivity to drought. Projected increases in aridity implied significant growth reduction, but a multi-species approach to afforestation using species that are able to develop deep-penetrating roots should increase the resilience of young forests to climate change. The results illustrate that process-based modelling, combined with field experiments, can be effective in assessing the climate–growth relationships of tree species.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-03-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-12-01

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

  17. Energy for development in semi-arid areas of northeastern Brazil

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Pereira, A F [Getulio Vargas Foundation, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Warkov, S

    1979-09-01

    Work on the prospects for alternative energy systems, especially solar and biomass, and the interrelationship of energy and rural development in the semi-arid areas of North-East Brazil is reported. The approach is interdisciplinary and raises questions about some economic and social costs and benefits that may be associated with energy-policy choices in this one sub-region of Brazil. Following an appraisal of fuel wood, solar cookers, irrigation and fertilizers in the context of energy and rural development, the social, demographic and cultural characteristics of the region are described. The drought-stricken area of the rural Northeast (Sertao) is the poorest in the country, with small land units, scarce surface water, subsistance agriculture, low capital formation, transportation deficiencies, resistance to change, high rates of out-migration and the like. The description of some regional development projects leads to a comparison of various technologies that might efficiently improve the supply of water. Work performed in the State of Paraiba on simple water distillation technology is reviewed and a social and economic cost/benefit study proposed. Factors affecting rural electrification are considered. A social impact analysis of viable alternatives to conventional electrical energy systems is put forward and the status of wind and solar generation of electricity is reviewed. A final section describes the current status of work in Brazil on biomass alternatives and compares the prospects for sugar cane and manioc plant alcohol. A proposal is made for a multi-disciplinary assessment of the socio-economic impacts of alternate energy sources. 42 references.

  18. Survival strategies in semi-arid climate for isohydric and anisohydric species

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guerin, M. F.; Gentine, P.; Uriarte, M.

    2013-12-01

    The understanding of survival strategies in dry land remains a challenging problem aiming at the interrelationship between local hydrology, plant physiology and climate. Carbon starvation and hydraulic failure are thought to be the two main factors leading to drought-induced mortality beside biotic perturbation. In order to better comprehend mortality the understanding of abiotic mechanisms triggering mortality is being studied in a tractable model for soil-plant-atmosphere continuum emphasizing the role of soil hydraulic properties, photosynthesis, embolism, leaf-gas exchange and climate. In particular the role of the frequency vs. the intensity of droughts is highlighted within such model. The analysis of the model included a differentiation between isohydric and anisohydric tree regulation and is supported by an extensive dataset of Pinion and Juniper growing in a semi-arid ecosystem. An objective of reduced number of parameters was approached with allometric equations to characterize tree's main traits and their hydraulic controls. Leaf area, sapwood area and tree's height are used to derive capacitance, conductance and photosynthetic abilities of the plant. A parameter sensitivity is performed highlighting the role of root:shoot ratio, rooting depth, photosynthetic capacity, quantum efficiency, and most importantly water use efficiency. Analytic development emphasizes two regimes of transpiration/photosynthesis denoted as stage-I (no embolism) and stage-II (embolism dominated) in analogy with stage I-stage II treminology for evaporation (Phillip,1957). Anisohydric species tend to remain in stage-I during which they still can assimilate carbon at full potential thus avoiding carbon starvation. Isohydric species tend to remain longer in stage-II. The effects of drought intensity/frequency on those 2 stages are described. Figure: sensitivity of Piñons stage 1 (top left), stage 2 (top right), and total cavitation duration (sum of stage 1 and stage 2 - bottom left

  19. Post-Fire Evapotranspiration and Net Ecosystem Exchange over A Semi-Arid Grassland in Arizona

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krishnan, P.; Meyers, T. P.; Heuer, M.

    2015-12-01

    The seasonal and interannual variability of evapotranspiration (E) and net ecosystem exchange (NEE) following a fire disturbance over a semi -arid grassland located on the Audubon Research Ranch in south western Arizona (31.5907N, 110.5104W, elevation 1496 m), USA, and their relationships to environmental variables were examined using continuous measurements of water vapour and CO2 fluxes made from first week of June 2002 to 2009 using the eddy covariance technique. The research ranch was established in 1969 as an ecological research preserve and it is now one of the largest ungrazed, privately managed grassland sites in Arizona. A wild fire occurred in April - May 2002, and burned all the standing vegetation and litter on in research ranch (~38,000 acres) including 500 acres of grassland. The mean annual temperature and precipitation (P) at this site were ~16 deg C and ~370 mm, respectively. More than 60% of the annual P was received during the North American monsoon period (July-September) with the lowest annual P in the drought years of 2004 and 2009. Drastic changes in albedo, vegetation growth and evapotranspiration occurred following the onset of the monsoon season in July. The ecosystem was mostly a carbon sink during monsoon period. Daily total evapotranspiration during July-August increased from 2 mm d-1 in 2002 to >3 mm d-1 in 2007. The mean annual E over the site was during 2003 -2009 was 352 ±75 mm. With the onset of monsoon the ecosystem turned to carbon sink in 2002, with daily total net ecosystem exchange (NEE) varying up to ~vegetation index, longest monsoon growing season and the highest annual and July-September P. The interannual variations in annual E and NEE were mostly controlled by annual P, July-September NDVI and growing season length during 2002-2009.

  20. Testing the assumptions of the pyrodiversity begets biodiversity hypothesis for termites in semi-arid Australia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davis, Hayley; Ritchie, Euan G; Avitabile, Sarah; Doherty, Tim; Nimmo, Dale G

    2018-04-01

    Fire shapes the composition and functioning of ecosystems globally. In many regions, fire is actively managed to create diverse patch mosaics of fire-ages under the assumption that a diversity of post-fire-age classes will provide a greater variety of habitats, thereby enabling species with differing habitat requirements to coexist, and enhancing species diversity (the pyrodiversity begets biodiversity hypothesis). However, studies provide mixed support for this hypothesis. Here, using termite communities in a semi-arid region of southeast Australia, we test four key assumptions of the pyrodiversity begets biodiversity hypothesis (i) that fire shapes vegetation structure over sufficient time frames to influence species' occurrence, (ii) that animal species are linked to resources that are themselves shaped by fire and that peak at different times since fire, (iii) that species' probability of occurrence or abundance peaks at varying times since fire and (iv) that providing a diversity of fire-ages increases species diversity at the landscape scale. Termite species and habitat elements were sampled in 100 sites across a range of fire-ages, nested within 20 landscapes chosen to represent a gradient of low to high pyrodiversity. We used regression modelling to explore relationships between termites, habitat and fire. Fire affected two habitat elements (coarse woody debris and the cover of woody vegetation) that were associated with the probability of occurrence of three termite species and overall species richness, thus supporting the first two assumptions of the pyrodiversity hypothesis. However, this did not result in those species or species richness being affected by fire history per se. Consequently, landscapes with a low diversity of fire histories had similar numbers of termite species as landscapes with high pyrodiversity. Our work suggests that encouraging a diversity of fire-ages for enhancing termite species richness in this study region is not necessary.

  1. Flood frequency analysis and generation of flood hazard indicator maps in a semi-arid environment, case of Ourika watershed (western High Atlas, Morocco)

    Science.gov (United States)

    El Alaoui El Fels, Abdelhafid; Alaa, Noureddine; Bachnou, Ali; Rachidi, Said

    2018-05-01

    The development of the statistical models and flood risk modeling approaches have seen remarkable improvements in their productivities. Their application in arid and semi-arid regions, particularly in developing countries, can be extremely useful for better assessment and planning of flood risk in order to reduce the catastrophic impacts of this phenomenon. This study focuses on the Setti Fadma region (Ourika basin, Morocco) which is potentially threatened by floods and is subject to climatic and anthropogenic forcing. The study is based on two main axes: (i) the extreme flow frequency analysis, using 12 probability laws adjusted by Maximum Likelihood method and (ii) the generation of the flood risk indicator maps are based on the solution proposed by the Nays2DFlood solver of the Hydrodynamic model of two-dimensional Saint-Venant equations. The study is used as a spatial high-resolution digital model (Lidar) in order to get the nearest hydrological simulation of the reality. The results showed that the GEV is the most appropriate law of the extreme flows estimation for different return periods. Taking into consideration the mapping of 100-year flood area, the study revealed that the fluvial overflows extent towards the banks of Ourika and consequently, affects some living areas, cultivated fields and the roads that connects the valley to the city of Marrakech. The aim of this study is to propose new technics of the flood risk management allowing a better planning of the flooded areas.

  2. Inter-annual variability of urolithiasis epidemic from semi-arid part of Deccan Volcanic Province, India: climatic and hydrogeochemical perspectives.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kale, Sanjay S; Ghole, Vikram Shantaram; Pawar, N J; Jagtap, Deepak V

    2014-01-01

    Semi-arid Karha basin from Deccan Volcanic Province, India was investigated for inter-annual variability of urolithiasis epidemic. The number of reported urolith patient, weather station data and groundwater quality results was used to assess impact of geoenvironment on urolithiasis. Data of 7081 urolith patient were processed for epidemiological study. Gender class, age group, year-wise cases and urolith type were studied in epidemiology. Rainfall, temperature, pan evaporation and sunshine hours were used to correlate urolithiasis. Further, average values of groundwater parameters were correlated with the number of urolith episodes. A total of 52 urolith samples were collected from hospitals and analysed using FTIR technique to identify dominant urolith type in study area. Result shows that male population is more prone, age group of 20-40 is more susceptible and calcium oxalate uroliths are dominant in study area. Year-wise distribution revealed that there is steady increase in urolithiasis with inflation in drought years. In climatic parameters, hot days are significantly correlated with urolithiasis. In groundwater quality, EC, Na and F are convincingly correlated with urolith patients, which concludes the strong relation between geo-environment and urolithiasis.

  3. Recent water quality trends in a typical semi-arid river with a sharp decrease in streamflow and construction of sewage treatment plants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cheng, Peng; Li, Xuyong; Su, Jingjun; Hao, Shaonan

    2018-01-01

    Identification of the interactive responses of water quantity and quality to changes in nature and human stressors is important for the effective management of water resources. Many studies have been conducted to determine the influence of these stressors on river discharge and water quality. However, there is little information about whether sewage treatment plants can improve water quality in a region where river streamflow has decreased sharply. In this study, a seasonal trend decomposition method was used to analyze long-term (1996-2015) and seasonal trends in the streamflow and water quality of the Guanting Reservoir Basin, which is located in a semi-arid region of China. The results showed that the streamflow in the Guanting Reservoir Basin decreased sharply from 1996-2000 due to precipitation change and human activities (human use and reservoir regulation), while the streamflow decline over the longer period of time (1996-2015) could be attributed to human activities. During the same time, the river water quality improved significantly, having a positive relationship with the capacity of wastewater treatment facilities. The water quality in the Guanting Reservoir showed a deferred response to the reduced external loading, due to internal loading from sediments. These results implied that for rivers in which streamflow has declined sharply, the water quality could be improved significantly by actions to control water pollution control. This study not only provides useful information for water resource management in the Guanting Reservoir Basin, but also supports the implementation of water pollution control measures in other rivers with a sharp decline in streamflow.

  4. Variability of soil CO2 efflux in a semi-arid grassland in Arizona

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krishnan, P.; Meyers, T. P.; Heuer, M.

    2017-12-01

    Soil surface CO2 efflux or soil respiration (RS) is one of the most important components of the global carbon cycle. So it is critical to evaluate the response of soil respiration to environmental conditions to predict how future climate and land cover changes influence the ecosystem carbon balance. Continuous half-hourly measurements of RS were made between the end of March to December 2015 in a semi-arid temperate grassland located on the Audubon Research Ranch in south western Arizona (31.5907N, 110.5104W, elevation 1496 m), USA. This first time measurements of Rs over this site using an automated soil chamber were used to investigate the seasonal and diurnal variation of Rs and its relationship to environmental variables. The mean annual air temperature and precipitation at this site were 16 deg C and 370 mm with more than 60% of the annual precipitation was received during the North American monsoon period (July-September). Following the onset of the monsoon, drastic changes in vegetation growth occured turning the ecosystem to a carbon sink by August. Temporal variability in Rs was closely related to the changes in near surface soil temperature at 2 cm (Ts) and soil water content at 5 cm (θ). Half -hourly Rs varied from nearly 0.1 μmol m-2 s-1 in the winter months to a maximum of 5 μmol m-2 s-1 in the peak growing season in August. During the dry pre-monsoon period (May -June), Rs was relatively low ( 0.0.08 m3 m-3, RS was positively correlated to soil temperature at the 2 cm depth following an exponential relationship. Below this value of θ, RS was largely decoupled from TS dropping to less than half of their maximum values during wet soil conditions. Analysis of daily mean nighttime Rs for the year showed that for periods with θ below the threshold, the sensitivity of RS to temperature were substantially reduced resulting in a Q10 significantly < 2, thereby confirming that RS was less affected by soil temperature under low soil water conditions at this

  5. Water Governance and Adaptation to Disturbances in Irrigated Semi-Arid Agricultural Systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Evans, T. P.; McCord, P. F.; McBride, L.; Gower, D.; Caylor, K. K.

    2013-12-01

    Climate and other physical drivers of environmental systems are modifying the global availability of water for irrigation. At the same time population growth is placing an increased demand on water resources as local municipalities promote agricultural production as a mechanism to support human welfare and development. Substantial has research focused on household-level agricultural decision-making and adaptation. But equally important are institutional dynamics, or the rules implemented to allocate water resources across different user groups. Previous work has identified design principles for common-pool resource systems that tend to lead to sustained governance regimes. Likewise, past research has addressed the issue of "institutional fit", or locally adapted governance arrangements characterized through governance structure. However, much of the complexity behind institutional dynamics and adaptive capacity lies in the translation of data to information to knowledge, and how this sequence contributes to effective cross-scale water management and decision-making - an arena that has arguably received less attention in the water management literature. We investigate the interplay between governance regimes, data/information and institutional dynamics in irrigation systems in semi-arid regions of Kenya. In particular, we articulate the role of knowledge and data in institutional dynamics at multiple levels of analysis. How do users at different decision-making levels incorporate social and hydrological information in water governance? What data is needed to develop the information and knowledge users need for effective management? While governance structure is certainly a critical component of water management systems - we emphasize the interplay between the data-information-knowledge sequence and institutional dynamics. We present findings from household and manager-level surveys examining irrigation practices and the institutions designed to equitably allocate

  6. Simulating the Dependence of Sagebrush Steppe Vegetation on Redistributed Snow in a Semi-Arid Watershed.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soderquist, B.; Kavanagh, K.; Link, T. E.; Strand, E. K.; Seyfried, M. S.

    2014-12-01

    snow. These results indicate that as snow water subsidies decrease, ecosystems may shift from tree and shrub dominated to grassland dominated. As climate change progresses, shifts in the precipitation regimes in semi-arid environments may lead to changes in species composition and carbon stores throughout the intermountain west.

  7. Spatial and temporal estimation of runoff in a semi-arid microwatershed of Southern India.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rejani, R; Rao, K V; Osman, M; Chary, G R; Pushpanjali; Reddy, K Sammi; Rao, Ch Srinivasa

    2015-08-01

    In a semi-arid microwatershed of Warangal district in Southern India, daily runoff was estimated spatially using Soil Conservation Service (SCS)-curve number (CN) method coupled with GIS. The groundwater status in this region is over-exploited, and precise estimation of runoff is very essential to plan interventions for this ungauged microwatershed. Rainfall is the most important factor governing runoff, and 75.8% of the daily rainfall and 92.1% of the rainy days which occurred were below 25 mm/day. The declines in rainfall and rainy days observed in recent years were 9.8 and 8.4%, respectively. The surface runoff estimated from crop land for a period of 57 years varied from 0 to 365 mm with a mean annual runoff of 103.7 mm or 14.1% of the mean annual rainfall. The mean annual runoff showed a significant reduction from 108.7 to 82.9 mm in recent years. The decadal variation of annual runoff from crop land over the years varied from 49.2 to 89.0% which showed the caution needed while planning watershed management works in this microwatershed. Among the four land use land cover conditions prevailing in the area, the higher runoff (20% of the mean annual rainfall) was observed from current fallow in clayey soil and lower runoff of 8.7% from crop land in loamy soil due to the increased canopy coverage. The drought years which occurred during recent years (1991-2007) in crop land have increased by 3.5%, normal years have increased by 15.6%, and the above normal years have decreased by 19.1%. This methodology can be adopted for estimating the runoff potential from similar ungauged watersheds with deficient data. It is concluded that in order to ensure long-term and sustainable groundwater utilization in the region, proper estimation of runoff and implementation of suitable water harvesting measures are the need of the hour.

  8. Yield and biological nitrogen fixation of cowpea varieties in the semi-arid region of Brazil

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Santiago de Freitas, Ana Dolores; Fernandes Silva, Acácia; Valadares de Sá Barretto Sampaio, Everardo

    2012-01-01

    Cowpea is an important crop in small properties of the Brazilian semi-arid region, where it is cultivated without fertilizer application. In spite of the fundamental role played by biological Nitrogen fixation (BNF), little is known of the symbiosis between cowpea varieties and native rhizobia or recommended rhizobia strains. A field experiment was conducted aiming to estimate BNF and productivities of local varieties, in association with two previously described bradyrhizobial inoculant strains and native rhizobia (no inoculation). The plants received 20 kg ha −1 of enriched 15 N fertilizer to allow the use of the isotopic dilution method. After harvest (80 days) straw and grain biomass was determined. The varieties differed in grain and straw productivity and in N and N derived from atmosphere (%Ndfa). Corujinha had the highest grain productivity (1147 kg ha −1 ), followed by Sempre Verde (920 kg ha −1 ), Azul (912 kg ha −1 ) and Cariri (889 kg ha −1 ). Costela de Vaca had the highest straw productivity (2258 kg ha −1 ), highest N content in the straw (28 g ha −1 ) and highest BNF (79 %Ndfa, corresponding to 45 kg ha −1 of N for total aboveground biomass and 39 kg ha −1 for the straw), but the lowest grain productivity (381 kg ha −1 ) and the lowest harvest index (0.14). The inoculations did not significantly alter productivities, N contents or %Ndfa but there was a tendency of lower grain productivities in the non-inoculated plants, which was reflected in lower total and biologically fixed N quantities, indicating that the native strains may be slightly less efficient. -- Highlights: ► We estimate N fixation and productivities of local cowpea varieties in Brazil. ► Plants were inoculated or not with two recommended rhizobia strains. ► All local varieties had high proportions of their N derived from the air (%Ndfa). ► They differed in BNF in grain and straw productivity. ► Inoculation did not alter productivities or %Ndfa but

  9. Seasonal Variations of the Surface Urban Heat Island in a Semi-Arid City

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sirous Haashemi

    2016-04-01

    effective. The only exception existed in the correlation between elevation and IS, which may be useful to simulate the SUHI at night. This study suggests that in semi-arid cities, such as Tehran, with the urban-rural indicator, a surface urban cool island may be observed in daytime while SUHI at nighttime; with other indicators, SUHI can be observed in both day and night. Thus, SUHI studies require the acquisition of remote sensing image data at both daytime and nighttime and careful selection of SUHI indicators.

  10. 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. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  11. 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.

  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 (<1.0 m), but occurred in 14-44% of years at sites with deeper 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. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Experimental Biology.

  13. Human-Induced Vegetation Degradation in a Semi-Arid Rangeland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jackson, Hasan

    Current assessments of anthropogenic land degradation and its impact on vegetation at regional scales are prone to large uncertainties due to the lack of an objective, transferable, spatially and temporally explicit measure of land degradation. These uncertainties have resulted in contradictory estimates of degradation extent and severity and the role of human activities. The uncertainties limit the ability to assess the effects on the biophysical environment and effectiveness of past, current, and future policies of land use. The overall objective of the dissertation is to assess degradation in a semi-arid region at a regional scale where the process of anthropogenic land degradation is evident. Net primary productivity (NPP) is used as the primary indicator to measure degradation. It is hypothesized that land degradation resulting from human factors on the landscape irreversibly reduces NPP below the potential set by environmental conditions. It is also hypothesized that resulting reductions in NPP are distinguishable from natural, spatial and temporal, variability in NPP. The specific goals of the dissertation are to (1) identify the extent and severity of degradation using productivity as the primary surrogate, (2) compare the degradation of productivity to other known mechanisms of degradation, and (3) relate the expression of degradation to components of vegetation and varying environmental conditions. This dissertation employed the Local NPP Scaling (LNS) approach to identify patterns of anthropogenic degradation of NPP in the Burdekin Dry Tropics (BDT) region of Queensland (14 million hectares), Australia from 2000 to 2013. The method started with land classification based on the environmental factors presumed to control NPP to group pixels having similar potential NPP. Then, satellite remotely sensing data were used to compare actual NPP with its potential. The difference, in units of mass of carbon fixed in NPP per unit area per monitoring interval and

  14. Future irrigation expansion outweigh groundwater recharge gains from climate change in semi-arid India.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sishodia, Rajendra P; Shukla, Sanjay; Wani, Suhas P; Graham, Wendy D; Jones, James W

    2018-09-01

    ) management was recommended to achieve a sustainable food-water-energy nexus in semi-arid regions. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  15. New Approaches for Responsible Management of Offshore Springs in Semi-arid Regions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shaban, Amin; de Jong, Carmen; Al-Sulaimani, Zaher

    2017-04-01

    In arid and semi-arid regions, such as the Mediterranean and Gulf Region where water is scarce water demand has been exacerbated and become a major environmental challenge. Presently there is massive pressure to develop new water sources to alleviate existing water stress. In the quest for more freshwater even groundwater discharge into the sea in the form of "off-shore freshwater springs" (or submarine groundwater discharge) has been contemplated as a potential source of unconventional water in coastal zones. Offshore-springs are derived from aquifers with complex geological controls mainly in the form of faults and karst conduits. Representing a border-line discipline, they have been poorly studied with only few submarine groundwater monitoring sites existing worldwide. Recently, innovative techniques have been developed enabling springs to be detected via remote sensing such as airborne surveys or satellite images. "Thermal Anomalies" can be clearly identified as evidence for groundwater discharge into the marine environment. A diversity of groundwater routes along which off-shore springs are fed from land sources can be recognized and near-shore and offshore springs differentiated and classified according to their geometry. This is well pronounced along the coast of Lebanon and offshore of Oman. Offshore springs play an important role in the marine ecosystem as natural sources of mercury, metals, nutrients, dissolved carbon species and in cooling or warming ocean water. However, they are extremely sensitive to variations in qualitative and quantitative water inputs triggered by climate change and anthropogenic impacts especially in their recharge zones. Pollutants such as sewage, detergents, heavy metals or herbicides that negatively affect water quality of offshore springs can transit the groundwater rapidly. Recently these springs have also been severely affected by uncontrolled water abstraction from land aquifers. In Bahrain, overpumping combined with

  16. Effects of Urbanization on the Flow Regimes of Semi-Arid Southern California Streams

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hawley, R. J.; Bledsoe, B. P.; Stein, E. D.

    2010-12-01

    Stream channel erosion and associated habitat degradation are pervasive in streams draining urban areas in the southwestern US. The prevalence of these impacts results from the inherent sensitivity of streams in semi-arid climates to changes in flow and sediment regimes, and past inattention to management of geomorphically effective flows. Addressing this issue is difficult due to the lack of data linking ranges of flow (from small to large runoff events) to geomorphic channel response. Forty-three U. S. Geological Survey gages with record lengths greater than ~15 yrs and watershed areas less than ~250 square kilometers were used to empirically model the effects of urbanization on streams in southern California. The watersheds spanned a gradient of urban development and ranged from 0 to 23% total impervious area in 2001. With little flow control at the subdivision scale to date, most impervious area in the region is relatively well-connected to surface-drainage networks. Consequently, total impervious area was an effective surrogate for urbanization, and emerged as a significant (p approach expands on previous scaling procedures to produce histogram-style cumulative flow duration graphs for ungaged sites based on urbanization extent and other watershed descriptors. Urbanization resulted in proportionally-longer durations of all geomorphically-effective flows, with a more pronounced effect on the durations of moderate flows. For example, an average watershed from the study domain with ~20% imperviousness could experience five times as many days of mean daily flows on the order of 100 cfs (3 cubic meters per second) and approximately three times as many days on the order of 1,000 cfs (30 cubic meters per second) relative to the undeveloped setting. Increased duration of sediment-transporting flows is a primary driver of accelerated changes in channel form that are often concurrent with urbanization throughout southern California, particularly in unconfined, fine

  17. Species diversity and drivers of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal communities in a semi-arid mountain in China

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    He Zhao

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF play an essential role in complex ecosystems. However, the species diversity and composition of AMF communities remain unclear in semi-arid mountains. Further, it is not well understood if the characteristics of AMF community assemblies differ for different habitat types, e.g., agricultural arable land, artificial forest land, natural grassland, and bush/wood land. Here, using the high-throughput technology by Illumina sequencing on the MiSeq platform, we explored the species diversity and composition of soil AMF communities among different habitat types in a semi-arid mountain (Taihang Mountain, Mid-western region of China. Then, we analyzed the effect of nutrient composition and soil texture on AMF community assembly. Our results showed that members of the Glomus genera were predominated in all soil types. The distance-based redundancy analysis indicated that the content of water, available phosphorus, and available potassium were the most crucial geochemical factors that significantly affected AMF communities (p < 0.05. The analysis of the soil texture confirmed that AMF diversity was negatively correlated with soil clay content. The comparison of AMF diversity among the various habitat types revealed that the artificial forest land had the lowest AMF diversity in comparison with other land types. Our findings suggest that there were differences in species diversity and composition of soil AMF communities among different habitat types. These findings shed new light on the characteristics of community structure and drivers of community assembly in AMF in semi-arid mountains, and point to the potential importance of different habitat types on AMF communities.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tominaga, Jun; Inafuku, Sayuri; Coetzee, Tidimalo; Kawamitsu, Yoshinobu

    2014-01-01

    The diurnal photosynthetic responses to drought in Jatropha curcas have not been well assessed under field conditions in harsh semi-arid habitats. To illustrate this, diurnal changes in chlorophyll fluorescence and gas exchange rates were measured in field-grown Jatropha with or without a short (13 days) water recovery treatment under drought conditions during hot summer in a semi-arid. Sensitive stomatal closure coordinated with a drying atmosphere strictly limited a net CO 2 assimilation rate with a predominant morning peak, eventually turning negative during the day. Even though the risk of excess excitation energy which potentially causes photodamage increased with the extremely low capacity for CO 2 fixation, Jatropha preserved the integrity of PSII. Quantitative analysis of quenching partitioning revealed that regulated thermal energy dissipation accounted a large fraction of both instantaneous and daily absorbed energy by up to 80 and 72%, respectively, under the drought condition. Water recovery treatment more than doubled daily CO 2 uptake via mitigating diurnal stomatal closure. The regulated thermal dissipation flexibly adjusted PSII quantum efficiency to capacity of CO 2 fixation. In addition, downregulation of PSII quantum efficiency via sustained regulated thermal dissipation was observed and thought to be an additional photoprotective function. It is clear that Jatropha strongly rely upon the regulated thermal dissipation under drought condition, which must be critically important for this strict water conserving species, especially under a climate with high solar radiation loads as is seen in semi-arid regions. - Highlights: • Diurnal gas exchange and the fate of absorbed energy were assessed in Jatropha. • The dynamic stomatal closure was the predominant restriction under water stress. • The PSII integrity was preserved even under severe water stress. • The regulated thermal dissipation accounted by up to 72% of daily absorbed energy.

  19. Soil Microbial Activity Responses to Fire in a Semi-arid Savannah Ecosystem Pre- and Post-Monsoon Season

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jimenez, J. R.; Raub, H. D.; Jong, E. L.; Muscarella, C. R.; Smith, W. K.; Gallery, R. E.

    2017-12-01

    Extracellular enzyme activities (EEA) of soil microorganisms can act as important proxies for nutrient limitation and turnover in soil and provide insight into the biochemical requirements of microbes in terrestrial ecosystems. In semi-arid ecosystems, microbial activity is influenced by topography, disturbances such as fire, and seasonality from monsoon rains. Previous studies from forest ecosystems show that microbial communities shift to similar compositions after severe fires despite different initial conditions. In semi-arid ecosystems with high spatial heterogeniety, we ask does fire lead to patch intensification or patch homogenization and how do monsoon rains influence the successional trajectories of microbial responses? We analyzed microbial activity and soil biogeochemistry throughout the monsoon season in paired burned and unburned sites in the Santa Rita Experimental Range, AZ. Surface soil (5cm) from bare-ground patches, bole, canopy drip line, and nearby grass patches for 5 mesquite trees per site allowed tests of spatiotemporal responses to fire and monsoon rain. Microbial activity was low during the pre-monsoon season and did not differ between the burned and unburned sites. We found greater activity near mesquite trees that reflects soil water and nutrient availability. Fire increased soil alkalinity, though soils near mesquite trees were less affected. Soil water content was significantly higher in the burned sites post-monsoon, potentially reflecting greater hydrophobicity of burned soils. Considering the effects of fire in these semi-arid ecosystems is especially important in the context of the projected changing climate regime in this region. Assessing microbial community recovery pre-, during, and post-monsoon is important for testing predictions about whether successional pathways post-fire lead to recovery or novel trajectories of communities and ecosystem function.

  20. INTEGRATION OF SATELLITE RAINFALL DATA AND CURVE NUMBER METHOD FOR RUNOFF ESTIMATION UNDER SEMI-ARID WADI SYSTEM

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E. O. Adam

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available The arid and semi-arid catchments in dry lands in general require a special effective management as the scarcity of resources and information which is needed to leverage studies and investigations is the common characteristic. Hydrology is one of the most important elements in the management of resources. Deep understanding of hydrological responses is the key towards better planning and land management. Surface runoff quantification of such ungauged semi-arid catchments considered among the important challenges. A 7586 km2 catchment under investigation is located in semi-arid region in central Sudan where mean annual rainfall is around 250 mm and represent the ultimate source for water supply. The objective is to parameterize hydrological characteristics of the catchment and estimate surface runoff using suitable methods and hydrological models that suit the nature of such ungauged catchments with scarce geospatial information. In order to produce spatial runoff estimations, satellite rainfall was used. Remote sensing and GIS were incorporated in the investigations and the generation of landcover and soil information. Five days rainfall event (50.2 mm was used for the SCS CN model which is considered the suitable for this catchment, as SCS curve number (CN method is widely used for estimating infiltration characteristics depending on the landcover and soil property. Runoff depths of 3.6, 15.7 and 29.7 mm were estimated for the three different Antecedent Moisture Conditions (AMC-I, AMC-II and AMC-III. The estimated runoff depths of AMCII and AMCIII indicate the possibility of having small artificial surface reservoirs that could provide water for domestic and small household agricultural use.

  1. Insert Maranhao in O cial Semi-Arid Geography: A Requirement of Social Justice in the Brazilian Northeast

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    José de Jesus Sousa Lemos

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available The study attempts to show that the Brazilian semi-arid region is a region too needy. Even the Interior Ministry considering that there are municipalities only in the semiarid in eight of the Northeastern States excluding Maranhão, but incorporating municipalities in the state of Minas Gerais, the study also seeks to show that at least fteen municipalities of Maranhão has semiarid features and these municipalities have some of the largest pockets of poverty in this Brazilian ecosystem. In order to achieve its objectives the study uses data collected by the State University of Maranhão, the Demographic Census of IBGE 2010 and the GDP of the municipalities published by the IBGE in 2012. They use the estimated drought indices in a previous study of the State University of Maranhão to the Maranhão municipalities supposed to possess technical characteristics of semiarid region. Social indicators are estimated suchas education exclusion, income, running water, sanitation and garbage collection to all municipalities. The results showed that the average GDP of the semi-arid districts are much smaller than that of other municipalities in the Northeast. The ratio between the highest and the lowest GDP per capita in the semiarid region is 38.4. The iliteracy rates are high in all of them. Very high is also deprivation of access to piped water, sanitation and garbage collection also. e evidence of this study allow us to conclude that, in general, municipalities with technical characteristics of semi-arid in Maranhao State has economic, social and environmental indicators worse than the average of other municipalities already recognized in the Brazilian semiarid region.

  2. A pollution fate and transport model application in a semi-arid region: Is some number better than no number?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Özcan, Zeynep; Başkan, Oğuz; Düzgün, H Şebnem; Kentel, Elçin; Alp, Emre

    2017-10-01

    Fate and transport models are powerful tools that aid authorities in making unbiased decisions for developing sustainable management strategies. Application of pollution fate and transport models in semi-arid regions has been challenging because of unique hydrological characteristics and limited data availability. Significant temporal and spatial variability in rainfall events, complex interactions between soil, vegetation and topography, and limited water quality and hydrological data due to insufficient monitoring network make it a difficult task to develop reliable models in semi-arid regions. The performances of these models govern the final use of the outcomes such as policy implementation, screening, economical analysis, etc. In this study, a deterministic distributed fate and transport model, SWAT, is applied in Lake Mogan Watershed, a semi-arid region dominated by dry agricultural practices, to estimate nutrient loads and to develop the water budget of the watershed. To minimize the discrepancy due to limited availability of historical water quality data extensive efforts were placed in collecting site-specific data for model inputs such as soil properties, agricultural practice information and land use. Moreover, calibration parameter ranges suggested in the literature are utilized during calibration in order to obtain more realistic representation of Lake Mogan Watershed in the model. Model performance is evaluated using comparisons of the measured data with 95%CI for the simulated data and comparison of unit pollution load estimations with those provided in the literature for similar catchments, in addition to commonly used evaluation criteria such as Nash-Sutcliffe simulation efficiency, coefficient of determination and percent bias. These evaluations demonstrated that even though the model prediction power is not high according to the commonly used model performance criteria, the calibrated model may provide useful information in the comparison of the

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-04-01

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

  4. Do agrometeorological data improve optical satellite-based estimations of the herbaceous yield in Sahelian semi-arid ecosystems?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Diouf, Abdoul Aziz; Hiernaux, Pierre; Brandt, Martin Stefan

    2016-01-01

    evapotranspiration satellite gridded data to estimate the annual herbaceous yield in the semi-arid areas of Senegal. It showed that a machine-learning model combining FAPAR seasonal metrics with various agrometeorological data provided better estimations of the in situ annual herbaceous yield (R2 = 0.69; RMSE = 483...... kg·DM/ha) than models based exclusively on FAPAR metrics (R2 = 0.63; RMSE = 550 kg·DM/ha) or agrometeorological variables (R2 = 0.55; RMSE = 585 kg·DM/ha). All the models provided reasonable outputs and showed a decrease in the mean annual yield with increasing latitude, together with an increase...

  5. 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

    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...... between normalised difference spectral indices (NDSIs) and the measured ecosystem properties. Finally, the effects of variable sun sensor viewing geometry on different NDSI wavelength combinations were analysed. The wavelengths with the strongest correlation to seasonal dynamics in ecosystem properties...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  7. Evaluating water controls on vegetation growth in the semi-arid sahel using field and earth observation data

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Abdi, Abdulhakim M.; Boke-Olen, Niklas; Tenenbaum, David E.

    2017-01-01

    Water loss is a crucial factor for vegetation in the semi-arid Sahel region of Africa. Global satellite-driven estimates of plant CO2 uptake (gross primary productivity, GPP) have been found to not accurately account for Sahelian conditions, particularly the impact of canopy water stress. Here, we...... identify the main biophysical limitations that induce canopy water stress in Sahelian vegetation and evaluate the relationships between field data and Earth observation-derived spectral products for up-scaling GPP. We find that plant-available water and vapor pressure deficit together control the GPP...

  8. Amphibian and reptile biodiversity in the semi-arid region of the municipality of Nopala de Villagrán, Hidalgo, Mexico.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roth-Monzón, Andrea J; Mendoza-Hernández, Andrés Alberto; Flores-Villela, Oscar

    2018-01-01

    Current global changes are putting both biodiversity and the processes that depend on it at risk. This is especially true for semi-arid regions and the flagship groups that inhabit them, such as amphibians and reptiles. Semi-arid regions are often thought to have lower biodiversity and thus have been overlooked, resulting in the underestimation of their biological richness. Therefore, the aim of this study was to conduct an inventory of amphibians and reptiles in the semi-arid municipality of Nopala de Villagrán, Mexico, and analyze its biodiversity in relation to the seasons, vegetation and microhabitat. During a year of fieldwork, we found 24 species in the area, most of them of low abundance, and one of which was recorded for the first time for the state of Hidalgo. We documented five amphibian species and 19 reptile species. We also found that observed species richness was higher in the rainy season and in xeric scrub vegetation, although only the season differences were significant according to rarefaction curves. Our findings highlight the importance of seasonality and vegetation type for the species that inhabit this semi-arid region. This study broadens our understanding of the importance of semi-arid regions and, by extension, that of other areas with similar characteristics.

  9. Amphibian and reptile biodiversity in the semi-arid region of the municipality of Nopala de Villagrán, Hidalgo, Mexico

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrea J. Roth-Monzón

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Current global changes are putting both biodiversity and the processes that depend on it at risk. This is especially true for semi-arid regions and the flagship groups that inhabit them, such as amphibians and reptiles. Semi-arid regions are often thought to have lower biodiversity and thus have been overlooked, resulting in the underestimation of their biological richness. Therefore, the aim of this study was to conduct an inventory of amphibians and reptiles in the semi-arid municipality of Nopala de Villagrán, Mexico, and analyze its biodiversity in relation to the seasons, vegetation and microhabitat. During a year of fieldwork, we found 24 species in the area, most of them of low abundance, and one of which was recorded for the first time for the state of Hidalgo. We documented five amphibian species and 19 reptile species. We also found that observed species richness was higher in the rainy season and in xeric scrub vegetation, although only the season differences were significant according to rarefaction curves. Our findings highlight the importance of seasonality and vegetation type for the species that inhabit this semi-arid region. This study broadens our understanding of the importance of semi-arid regions and, by extension, that of other areas with similar characteristics.

  10. Amphibian and reptile biodiversity in the semi-arid region of the municipality of Nopala de Villagrán, Hidalgo, Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mendoza-Hernández, Andrés Alberto; Flores-Villela, Oscar

    2018-01-01

    Current global changes are putting both biodiversity and the processes that depend on it at risk. This is especially true for semi-arid regions and the flagship groups that inhabit them, such as amphibians and reptiles. Semi-arid regions are often thought to have lower biodiversity and thus have been overlooked, resulting in the underestimation of their biological richness. Therefore, the aim of this study was to conduct an inventory of amphibians and reptiles in the semi-arid municipality of Nopala de Villagrán, Mexico, and analyze its biodiversity in relation to the seasons, vegetation and microhabitat. During a year of fieldwork, we found 24 species in the area, most of them of low abundance, and one of which was recorded for the first time for the state of Hidalgo. We documented five amphibian species and 19 reptile species. We also found that observed species richness was higher in the rainy season and in xeric scrub vegetation, although only the season differences were significant according to rarefaction curves. Our findings highlight the importance of seasonality and vegetation type for the species that inhabit this semi-arid region. This study broadens our understanding of the importance of semi-arid regions and, by extension, that of other areas with similar characteristics. PMID:29312825

  11. 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

  12. Cyanobacterial blooms in stratified and destratified eutrophic reservoirs in semi-arid region of Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ênio W. Dantas

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available This study investigated the dynamics of cyanobacteria in two deep, eutrophic reservoirs in a semi-arid region of Brazil during periods of stratification and destratification. Four collections were carried out at each reservoir at two depths at three-month intervals. The following abiotic variables were analyzed: water temperature, dissolved oxygen, pH, turbidity, water transparency, total phosphorus, total dissolved phosphorus, orthophosphate and total nitrogen. Phytoplankton density was quantified for the determination of the biomass of cyanobacteria. The data were analyzed using CCA. Higher mean phytoplankton biomass values (29.8 mm³.L-1 occurred in the period of thermal stratification. A greater similarity in the phytoplankton communities also occurred in this period and was related to the development of cyanobacteria, mainly Cylindrospermopsis raciborskii (>3.9 mm³.L-1. During the period of thermal destratification, this species co-dominated the environment with Planktothrix agardhii, Geitlerinema amphibium, Microcystis aeruginosa and Merismopedia tenuissima, as well as with diatoms and phytoflagellates. Environmental instability and competition among algae hindered the establishment of blooms more during the mixture period than during the stratification period. Thermal changes in the water column caused by climatologic events altered other physiochemical conditions of the water, leading to changes in the composition and biomass of the cyanobacterial community in tropical reservoirs.Este estudo investigou a dinâmica das cianobactérias em dois reservatórios eutróficos e profundos localizados na região semi-árida do Brasil durante períodos de estratificação e desestratificação térmica. Quatro coletas foram feitas em cada reservatório em duas profundidades em intervalo de três meses. As variáveis abióticas analisadas foram: temperatura da água, oxigênio dissolvido, pH, turbidez, transparência da água, fósforo total, f

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2016-10-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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

    2016-01-01

    This paper describes the aerosols optical, physical characteristics and the aerosol radiative forcing pertaining to semi-arid region, Anantapur for the period January 2013-December 2014. Collocated measurements of Aerosol Optical Depth (AOD) and Black Carbon mass concentration (BC) are carried out by using MICROTOPS II and Aethalometer and estimated the aerosol radiative forcing over this location. The mean values of AOD at 500 nm are found to be 0.47 ± 0.09, 0.34 ± 0.08, 0.29 ± 0.06 and 0.30 ± 0.07 during summer, winter, monsoon and post-monsoon respectively. The Angstrom exponent (α_3_8_0_–_1_0_2_0) value is observed maximum in March (1.25 ± 0.19) and which indicates the predominance of fine - mode aerosols and lowest in the month of July (0.33 ± 0.14) and may be due to the dominance of coarse-mode aerosols. The diurnal variation of BC is exhibited two height peaks during morning 07:00–08:00 (IST) and evening 19:00–21:00 (IST) hours and one minima noticed during afternoon (13:00–16:00). The highest monthly mean BC concentration is observed in the month of January (3.4 ± 1.2 μg m"−"3) and the lowest in July (1.1 ± 0.2 μg m"−"3). The estimated Aerosol Direct Radiative Forcing (ADRF) in the atmosphere is found to be + 36.8 ± 1.7 W m"−"2, + 26.9 ± 0.2 W m"−"2, + 18.0 ± 0.6 W m"−"2 and + 18.5 ± 3.1 W m"−"2 during summer, winter, monsoon and post-monsoon seasons, respectively. Large difference between TOA and BOA forcing is observed during summer which indicate the large absorption of radiant energy (36.80 W m"−"2) which contributes more increase in atmospheric heating by ~ 1 K/day. The BC contribution on an average is found to be 64% and is responsible for aerosol atmospheric heating. - Highlights: • The mean values of AOD_5_0_0 are found to be high during summer whereas low in monsoon. • The highest values of BC are observed in January and the lowest in the month of July. • The annual mean atmospheric forcing is found to be

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-04-01

    reducing irrigation from I 300 to I 240 mm during 2012-2013 and 2013-2014 did not reduce crop yield significantly (P nitrogen application ranged from 31.2 to 55.4% at N 180 and N 240 kg ha -1 for different levels of irrigation. It is concluded from study that irrigation and nitrogen relationship can be used for efficient management of irrigation and nitrogen and to reduce nitrogen losses. The empirical equations developed in this study can help farmers of semi-arid environment to calculate optimum level of irrigation and nitrogen for maximum economic return from wheat.

  16. 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.

  17. Ideal proportion of roughage and concentrate for Malpura ewes to adapt and reproduce in a semi-arid tropical environment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Indu, Shekhawat; Sejian, Veerasamy; Kumar, Davendra; Pareek, Arvind; Naqvi, Syed Mohammad Krusheed

    2015-12-01

    The study was designed to identify the most appropriate roughage to concentrate ratio for Malpura ewes under semi-arid tropical environments. The study was conducted for a period of 35 days and included 30 (2 years old) non-pregnant Malpura ewes weighing between 30 and 35 kg. Estrus synchronization was carried out in all the animals using indigenously developed intravaginal sponges impregnated with progesterone. The ewes were randomly divided into three groups (n = 10/group) namely R50 (n = 10; roughage to concentrate, 50:50), R60 (n = 10; roughage to concentrate, 60:40), and R70 (n = 10; roughage to concentrate, 70:30). Individual feed and water intake was recorded on a daily basis throughout the course of the study. Growth variables, physiological responses, blood metabolites, and endocrine responses were estimated at weekly intervals. Results of the study indicated that nutritional treatment significantly influenced growth variables including body weight (p progesterone, PCV, total cholesterol, total protein, albumin, estrus%, and estrus cycle length. Since the additional concentrate supplementation in R50 and R60 did not improve the production variables, it can be concluded that providing 70 % roughage and 30 % concentrate could be a more appropriate and economically feasible ration composition for Malpura ewes reared in semi-arid tropical environments.

  18. Impact of Surface Soil Moisture Variations on Radar Altimetry Echoes at Ku and Ka Bands in Semi-Arid Areas

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christophe Fatras

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available Radar altimetry provides information on the topography of the Earth surface. It is commonly used for the monitoring not only sea surface height but also ice sheets topography and inland water levels. The radar altimetry backscattering coefficient, which depends on surface roughness and water content, can be related to surface properties such as surface soil moisture content. In this study, the influence of surface soil moisture on the radar altimetry echo and backscattering coefficient is analyzed over semi-arid areas. A semi-empirical model of the soil’s complex dielectric permittivity that takes into account that small-scale roughness and large-scale topography was developed to simulate the radar echoes. It was validated using waveforms acquired at Ku and Ka-bands by ENVISAT RA-2 and SARAL AltiKa respectively over several sites in Mali. Correlation coefficients ranging from 0.66 to 0.94 at Ku-band and from 0.27 to 0.96 at Ka-band were found. The increase in surface soil moisture from 0.02 to 0.4 (i.e., the typical range of variations in semi-arid areas increase the backscattering from 10 to 15 dB between the core of the dry and the maximum of the rainy seasons.

  19. Agronomic performance of onion hybrids in Baraúna, in the semi-arid region of Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Renato Leandro Costa Nunes

    Full Text Available In the Brazilian state of Rio Grande do Norte, the significant planting of onions is relatively recent, with producers seeking alternative ways to reduce losses. As a result, it was aimed to evaluate the agronomic performance of onion hybrids in the town of Baraúna in the semi-arid region of Rio Grande do Norte. The experimental design was of randomised blocks with six replications. Treatments consisted of eight hybrids (Cronus F1, Predilata F1, Serena F1, Fortaleza F1, Mata Hari, Luana, Lambada, Don Victor and a control cultivar (IPA 11. The following were evaluated: average plant height; average number of leaves; diameter of the pseudostem; productivity; average bulb weight; rate of survival; leaf-waxiness; cultivar cycle; commercial classification of the bulbs. The Serena F1 and Mata Hari cultivars are recommended for the northeast semi-arid region due to high productivity, early cycle and better bulb classification. The use of these cultivars may help, in the short term, to change cultivation of the onion in the state of Rio Grande do Norte.

  20. 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.

  1. Hydrological Design of Two Low-Impact Development Techniques in a Semi-Arid Climate Zone of Central Mexico

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Liliana Lizárraga-Mendiola

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available This paper deals with the design of a bioretention cell and an infiltration trench in a semi- arid micro watershed. The study area was analyzed by characteristics such as slope changes (S, direction and maximum length of the urban runoff (L, and soil use (runoff coefficient, Rc. The bioretention cell was designed by the calculation of variables such as drainage area (A, concentration time (Tc, rainfall intensity (i, maximum peak drained (Qmax, inlet and outlet runoff (Qa and Qout, respectively, temperature (T, evaporation (Ev, potential evapotranspiration (PEm, consumptive use (U for tolerant plants to semi-arid climates, and soil infiltration capacity (Inf. To design the infiltration trench, only Tc, Qmax, and i were taken into account. The results showed that the designed bioretention cell could retain between 5.37% and 2.25% of runoff volume. As the efficiency of the bioretention cell can be defined by the need for additional irrigation, our results showed that the cell is inefficient in some of the dry months (November and December, even in years characterized by abundant rainfall. Besides, it was shown that the designed infiltration trench could store or infiltrate the water from typical rain events. Based on these results, it is the implementation of more Low-Impact Development (LID for runoff management in the study area is recommended.

  2. Using RapidEye and MODIS Data Fusion to Monitor Vegetation Dynamics in Semi-Arid Rangelands in South Africa

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andreas Tewes

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available Image time series of high temporal and spatial resolution capture land surface dynamics of heterogeneous landscapes. We applied the ESTARFM (Enhanced Spatial and Temporal Adaptive Reflectance Fusion Model algorithm to multi-spectral images covering two semi-arid heterogeneous rangeland study sites located in South Africa. MODIS 250 m resolution and RapidEye 5 m resolution images were fused to produce synthetic RapidEye images, from June 2011 to July 2012. We evaluated the performance of the algorithm by comparing predicted surface reflectance values to real RapidEye images. Our results show that ESTARFM predictions are accurate, with a coefficient of determination for the red band 0.80 < R2 < 0.92, and for the near-infrared band 0.83 < R2 < 0.93, a mean relative bias between 6% and 12% for the red band and 4% to 9% in the near-infrared band. Heterogeneous vegetation at sub-MODIS resolution is captured adequately: A comparison of NDVI time series derived from RapidEye and ESTARFM data shows that the characteristic phenological dynamics of different vegetation types are reproduced well. We conclude that the ESTARFM algorithm allows us to produce synthetic remote sensing images at high spatial combined with high temporal resolution and so provides valuable information on vegetation dynamics in semi-arid, heterogeneous rangeland landscapes.

  3. Influence of hydraulic and geomorphologic components of a semi-arid watershed on depleted-uranium transport

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Becker, N.M.

    1991-01-01

    Investigations were undertaken to determine the fate and transport of depleted uranium away from high explosive firing sites at Los Alamos National Laboratory in north-central New Mexico. Investigations concentrated on a small, semi-arid watershed which drains 5 firing sites. Sampling for uranium in spring/summer/fall runoff, snowmelt runoff, in fallout, and in soil and in sediments revealed that surface water is the main transport mechanism. Although the watershed is less than 8 km 2 , flow discontinuity was observed between the divide and the outlet; flow discontinuity occurs in semi-arid and arid watersheds, but was unexpected at this scale. This region, termed a discharge sink, is an area where all flow infiltrates and all sediment, including uranium, deposits during nearly all flow events; it is estimated that the discharge sink has provided the locale for uranium detention during the last 23 years. Mass balance calculations indicate that over 90% of uranium expended still remains at or nearby the firing sites. Leaching experiments determined that uranium can rapidly dissolve from the solid phase. It is postulated that precipitation and runoff which percolate vertically through uranium-contaminated soil and sediment are capable of transporting uranium in the dissolved phase to deeper strata. This may be the key transport mechanism which moves uranium out of the watershed

  4. Synchronic historical patterns of species diversification in seasonal aplocheiloid killifishes of the semi-arid Brazilian Caatinga.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Costa, Wilson J E M; Amorim, Pedro F; Mattos, José Leonardo O

    2018-01-01

    The Caatinga is the largest nucleus of seasonally dry tropical forests in South America, but little is known about the evolutionary history and biogeography of endemic organisms. Evolutionary diversification and distribution of terrestrial vertebrates endemic to the Caatinga have been explained by palaeogeographical Neogene episodes, mostly related to changes in the course of the São Francisco River, the largest river in the region. Our objective is to estimate the timing of divergence of two endemic groups of short-lived seasonal killifishes inhabiting all ecoregions of the Caatinga, testing the occurrence of synchronic events of spatial diversification in light of available data on regional palaeogeography. We performed independent time-calibrated phylogenetic molecular analyses for two clades of sympatric and geographically widespread seasonal killifishes endemic to the Caatinga, the Hypsolebias antenori group and the Cynolebias alpha-clade. Our results consistently indicate that species diversification took place synchronically in both groups, as well as it is contemporary to diversification of other organisms adapted to life in the semi-arid Caatinga, including lizards and small mammals. Both groups originated during the Miocene, but species diversification started between the Late Miocene and Early Pliocene, when global cooling probably favoured the expansion of semi-arid areas. Synchronic diversification patterns found are chronologically related to Tertiary palaeogeographical reorganizations associated to continental drift and to Quaternary climatic changes, corroborating the recent proposal that South American biodiversity has been continuously shaped between the Late Paleogene and Pleistocene.

  5. 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.

  6. Synchronic historical patterns of species diversification in seasonal aplocheiloid killifishes of the semi-arid Brazilian Caatinga.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wilson J E M Costa

    Full Text Available The Caatinga is the largest nucleus of seasonally dry tropical forests in South America, but little is known about the evolutionary history and biogeography of endemic organisms. Evolutionary diversification and distribution of terrestrial vertebrates endemic to the Caatinga have been explained by palaeogeographical Neogene episodes, mostly related to changes in the course of the São Francisco River, the largest river in the region. Our objective is to estimate the timing of divergence of two endemic groups of short-lived seasonal killifishes inhabiting all ecoregions of the Caatinga, testing the occurrence of synchronic events of spatial diversification in light of available data on regional palaeogeography. We performed independent time-calibrated phylogenetic molecular analyses for two clades of sympatric and geographically widespread seasonal killifishes endemic to the Caatinga, the Hypsolebias antenori group and the Cynolebias alpha-clade. Our results consistently indicate that species diversification took place synchronically in both groups, as well as it is contemporary to diversification of other organisms adapted to life in the semi-arid Caatinga, including lizards and small mammals. Both groups originated during the Miocene, but species diversification started between the Late Miocene and Early Pliocene, when global cooling probably favoured the expansion of semi-arid areas. Synchronic diversification patterns found are chronologically related to Tertiary palaeogeographical reorganizations associated to continental drift and to Quaternary climatic changes, corroborating the recent proposal that South American biodiversity has been continuously shaped between the Late Paleogene and Pleistocene.

  7. A Tool for the Evaluation of Irrigation Water Quality in the Arid and Semi-Arid Regions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lucia Bortolini

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available In the Mediterranean arid and semi-arid regions, large amounts of low quality waters could be used for crop irrigation, but the adoption of articulated classifications with too rigid quality limits can often reduce the recoverable quantities of water and make the monitoring of water quality too much expensive. Therefore, an evaluation of irrigation water quality based on only a few crucial parameters, which consider the crop species to be irrigated and the type of irrigation system and management adopted, can be an easy and flexible method for maximizing the reuse of wastewater and low-quality water for agricultural purposes. In this view, an irrigation water quality tool (IWQT was developed to support farmers of arid and semi-arid regions on evaluating the use of low quality water for crop irrigation. The most significant and cheapest parameters of irrigation water quality were identified and clustered in three quality classes according to their effects on crop yield and soil fertility (agronomic quality indicators, human health (hygiene and health quality indicators, and irrigation systems (management quality indicators. According to IWQT parameters, a tool reporting a series of recommendations, including water treatment types, was implemented to guide farmers on the use of low quality irrigation water.

  8. Quality of urban runoff in wet and dry seasons: a case study in a semi-arid zone.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ortiz-Hernández, Joyce; Lucho-Constantino, Carlos; Lizárraga-Mendiola, Liliana; Beltrán-Hernández, Rosa Icela; Coronel-Olivares, Claudia; Vázquez-Rodríguez, Gabriela

    2016-12-01

    Urban runoff (UR) is a promising new resource that may alleviate growing tensions in numerous arid and semi-arid regions of the world. However, it is precisely in these zones that the available UR quality characteristics are scarcer. This work aims to evaluate a wide set of parameters to establish a detailed approach to both the quality of UR in a midsized city in Central Mexico and the feasibility of using UR to recharge aquifers. UR from an institutional land use site was sampled during wet and dry seasons and assessed for suspended solids, organic matter, nutrients, microorganisms, metals, and persistent organic chemicals (i.e., polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, PAH). The results were analyzed using multivariate statistical methods to identify relationships among the variables, the sampling sites and the seasons. The soil erosion and the leaching of materials due to the water flow through vegetated areas were identified as the most influencing factor on the quality of the site runoff in both dry and wet seasons. Additionally, data were more heterogeneous during the dry season, and higher pollutant concentrations were found both during the dry season and in more pervious zones. We consider UR a promising water source for recharging aquifers in arid and semi-arid zones if a program is implemented that can integrate an adequate runoff treatment system, soil protection, and other non-structural measures.

  9. LEAF AREA DYNAMICS AND ABOVEGROUND BIOMASS OF SPECIFIC VEGETATION TYPES OF A SEMI-ARID GRASSLAND IN SOUTHERN ETHIOPIA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bosco Kidake Kisambo

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Leaf Area Index (LAI dynamics and aboveground biomass of a semi-arid grassland region in Southern Ethiopia were determined over a long rain season. The vegetation was categorized into four distinct vegetation types namely Grassland (G, Tree-Grassland (TG, Bushed-Grassland (BG and Bush-Tree grassland (BT. LAI was measured using a Plant Canopy Analyzer (LAI2000. Biomass dynamics of litter and herbaceous components were determined through clipping while the above ground biomass of trees and shrubs were estimated using species-specific allometric equations from literature. LAI showed a seasonal increase over the season with the maximum recorded in the BG vegetation (2.52. Total aboveground biomass for the different vegetation types ranged from 0.61 ton C/ha in areas where trees were non-existent to 8.80 ± 3.81ton C/ha in the Tree-Grassland vegetation in the study site. A correlation of LAI and AGB yielded a positive relationship with an R2 value of 0.55. The results demonstrate the importance of tropical semi-arid grasslands as carbon sinks hence their potential in mitigation of climate change.

  10. 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.

  11. The linkage between household water consumption and rainfall in the semi-arid region of East Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Messakh, J. J.; Moy, D. L.; Mojo, D.; Maliti, Y.

    2018-01-01

    Several studies have shown that the amount of water consumption by communities will depend on the factors of water consumption patterns that are influenced by social, cultural, economic and local climate conditions. Research on the linkage between rainfall and household water consumption in semi-arid areas of Indonesia has never been done. This study has been conducted on 17 regions in NTT, and case study has taken samples in one town and one village. The research used survey and documentation method. The results show that the average amount of household water consumption in semi-arid region of East Nusa Tenggara is 107 liters / person / day. Statistical test results using Pearson correlation found r = -0.194 and sig = 0.448. This means that there is a negative correlation between rainfall and household water consumption. The greater the rainfall the smaller the consumption of water, or the smaller the rainfall the greater the consumption of water, but the linkage is not significant. Research shows that the amount of household water consumption will be influenced by many interrelated factors and none of the most dominant factors, including the size of the rainfall that occurs in a region.

  12. Analysis of the Current Nutrient Management Practices in Semi-Arid Areas of Eastern Kenya: A Nutmon Approach

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Karuku, A.M.

    2002-01-01

    Declining soil fertility caused mainly by continuous cultivation without adequate replenishment of nutrients, is a major factor contributing to low crop yields in the arid and semi arid areas of Kenya. Development of appropriate nutrient management strategies for suitable agricultural production in these areas is, therefore, a priority issue. in the study reported here, analyses of the current nutrient management practices were carried out using the nutrient monitoring (NUTMON) approach in order to create farm house-hold awareness on nutrient management aspects. The procedure involved participatory soil and nutrient flow maps and soil sampling at farm level. laboratory analysis of the soil samples was later carried out. Structured questionnaires were used for systematic collection of information on farm management practices in order to quantify flows of materials with emphasis on soil nutrients and cash. Results of the laboratory soil analysis were also presented to the farmers and discussed during feedback sessions. The test was carried out in three places namely, Kibwezi, Kasikeu and Kiomo. In all the three clusters, off-farm income was an important component of the total family income. Farm net cash flow was highest in Kibwezi cluster due to horticultural crop production activities. Household net cash flow was highest in Kasikeu, largely originating from off-farm income. It was concluded that NUTMON methodology appeared a suitable tool for the diagnostic of the farming system analysis and design in the arid and semi-arid lands of Kenya

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1998-07-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-04-01

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

  15. Adaptation to New Climate by an Old Strategy? Modeling Sedentary and Mobile Pastoralism in Semi-Arid Morocco

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Korbinian P. Freier

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available In a modeling study we examine vulnerability of income from mobile (transhumant pastoralism and sedentary pastoralism to reduced mean annual precipitation (MAP and droughts. The study is based on empirical data of a 3410 km2 research region in southern, semi-arid Morocco. The land use decision model integrates a meta-model of the Environmental Policy Integrated Climate (EPIC simulator to depict perennial and annual forage plant development. It also includes livestock dynamics and forward-looking decision making under uncertain weather. Mobile livestock in the model moves seasonally, sedentary livestock is restricted to pastures around settlements. For a reduction of MAP by 20%, our model shows for different experimental frequencies of droughts a significant decrease of total income from pastoralism by 8%–19% (p < 0.05. Looking separately at the two modes of pastoralism, pronounced income losses of 18%–44% (p < 0.05 show that sedentary pastoralism is much more vulnerable to dryer climate than mobile pastoralism, which is merely affected. Dedicating more pasture area and high quality fodder to mobile pastoralism significantly abates impacts from reduced MAP and droughts on total income by 11% (p < 0.05. Our results indicate that promotion of mobile pastoralism in semi-arid areas is a valuable option to increase resilience against climate change.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Schumacher, Paul; Mislimshoeva, Bunafsha; Brenning, Alexander

    2016-01-01

    to overcome this issue. However, clear recommendations on the suitability of specific proxies to provide accurate biomass information in semi-arid to arid environments are still lacking. This study contributes to the understanding of using multispectral high-resolution satellite data (RapidEye), specifically...... red edge and texture attributes, to estimate wood volume in semi-arid ecosystems characterized by scarce vegetation. LASSO (Least Absolute Shrinkage and Selection Operator) and random forest were used as predictive models relating in situ-measured aboveground standing wood volume to satellite data...

  18. LAND USE/LAND COVER CHANGES IN SEMI-ARID MOUNTAIN LANDSCAPE IN SOUTHERN INDIA: A GEOINFORMATICS BASED MARKOV CHAIN APPROACH

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. A. Rahaman

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Nowadays land use/ land cover in mountain landscape is in critical condition; it leads to high risky and uncertain environments. These areas are facing multiple stresses including degradation of land resources; vagaries of climate and depletion of water resources continuously affect land use practices and livelihoods. To understand the Land use/Land cover (Lu/Lc changes in a semi-arid mountain landscape, Kallar watershed of Bhavani basin, in southern India has been chosen. Most of the hilly part in the study area covers with forest, plantation, orchards and vegetables and which are highly affected by severe soil erosion, landslide, frequent rainfall failures and associated drought. The foothill regions are mainly utilized for agriculture practices; due to water scarcity and meagre income, the productive agriculture lands are converted into settlement plots and wasteland. Hence, land use/land cover change deduction; a stochastic processed based method is indispensable for future prediction. For identification of land use/land cover, and vegetation changes, Landsat TM, ETM (1995, 2005 and IRS P6- LISS IV (2015 images were used. Through CAMarkov chain analysis, Lu/Lc changes in past three decades (1995, 2005, and 2015 were identified and projected for (2020 and 2025; Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI were used to find the vegetation changes. The result shows that, maximum changes occur in the plantation and slight changes found in forest cover in the hilly terrain. In foothill areas, agriculture lands were decreased while wastelands and settlement plots were increased. The outcome of the results helps to farmer and policy makers to draw optimal lands use planning and better management strategies for sustainable development of natural resources.

  19. Managing Environmental Flows for Impounded Rivers in Semi-Arid Regions- A Habitat Suitability Index (HSI) Approach for the Assessment of River Habitat for Salmonid Populations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pai, H.; Sivakumaran, K.; Villamizar, S. R.; Flanagan, J.; Guo, Q.; Harmon, T. C.

    2013-12-01

    Balancing ecosystem health in water-scarce, agriculturally dominated river basins remains a challenge. In dry water years, maintaining conditions for restored and sustained indigenous fish populations (a frequently used indicator for ecosystem health) is particularly challenging. Competing human demands include urban and agricultural water supplies, hydropower, and flood control. In many semi-arid regions, increasing drought intensity and frequency under future climate scenarios will combine with population increases to water scarcity. The goal of this work is to better understand how reservoir releases affect fish habitat and overall river aquatic ecosystem quality. Models integrating a diverse array of physical and biological processes and system state are used to forecast the river ecosystem response to changing drivers. We propose a distributed parameter-based Habitat Suitability Index (HSI) approach for assessing fish habitat quality. Our river ecosystem HSI maps are based on a combination of the following: (1) In situ data describing stream flow and water quality conditions; (2) Spatial observations, including surveyed cross-sections, aerial imagery and digital elevation maps (DEM) of the river and its riparian corridor; and (3) Simulated spatially distributed water depths, flow velocities, and temperatures estimated from 1D and 2D river flow and temperature models (HEC-RAS and CE-QUAL-W2, respectively). With respect to (2), image processing schemes are used to classify and map key habitat features, namely riparian edge and shallow underwater vegetation. HSI maps can be modified temporally to address specific life cycle requirements of indicator fish species. Results are presented for several reaches associated with the San Joaquin River Restoration Project, focusing on several components of the Chinook salmon life cycle. HSI maps and interpretations are presented in the context of a range of prescribed reservoir release hydrographs linked to California water

  20. Combining geochemical tracers with geophysical tools to study groundwater quality in Mesilla Bolson of the semi-arid Rio Grande watershed

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ma, L.; Hiebing, M.; Garcia, S.; Szynkiewicz, A.; Doser, D. I.

    2017-12-01

    Mesilla Bolson is an important alluvial aquifer system of the semi-arid Rio Grande watershed in southern New Mexico and West Texas. It is one of the two major groundwater sources for the City of El Paso in Texas and provides about 30% of the region's domestic groundwater needs. Groundwater from Mesilla Bolson is also extensively used for agriculture irrigation in this region. However, high concentrations of total dissolved solids in some areas of this region significantly impact groundwater quality for the Rio Grande alluvial aquifer. For example, an increase in groundwater salinity is generally observed from north to south within the aquifer. Some previous researchers have suggested this salinity change is due to 1) runoff and recharge from agricultural activity; 2) natural upwelling of deeper brackish groundwater; and 3) water-rock interactions in the aquifer. To better study how agricultural and municipal practices contribute to increasing salinity, we sampled 50 wells of the Mesilla Bolson in 2015-2016 for uranium (234U/238U), strontium (87Sr/86Sr), boron (d11B), and sulfur (d34S) isotope compositions to characterize major salinity sources of groundwater. In addition, we applied a geophysical gravity survey to determine the possible influences of faults and other subsurface structures on groundwater quality in this region. Our multi-isotope results suggest that the groundwater resources of this alluvial aquifer have been already impacted by human activities and groundwater recharge to the alluvial aquifer is affected by surface processes such as i) the return flows from the Rio Grande surface water used for irrigation, ii) municipal discharges, and iii) irrigation with the reclaimed city water. However, natural upwelling is also probably responsible for the salinity increase near some fault areas, primarily due to water-rock interactions such as dissolution of evaporites within the deeper basin. In some areas of the Mesilla Bolson, fault systems act as conduits

  1. Land Use/land Cover Changes in Semi-Arid Mountain Landscape in Southern India: a Geoinformatics Based Markov Chain Approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rahaman, S. A.; Aruchamy, S.; Balasubramani, K.; Jegankumar, R.

    2017-05-01

    Nowadays land use/ land cover in mountain landscape is in critical condition; it leads to high risky and uncertain environments. These areas are facing multiple stresses including degradation of land resources; vagaries of climate and depletion of water resources continuously affect land use practices and livelihoods. To understand the Land use/Land cover (Lu/Lc) changes in a semi-arid mountain landscape, Kallar watershed of Bhavani basin, in southern India has been chosen. Most of the hilly part in the study area covers with forest, plantation, orchards and vegetables and which are highly affected by severe soil erosion, landslide, frequent rainfall failures and associated drought. The foothill regions are mainly utilized for agriculture practices; due to water scarcity and meagre income, the productive agriculture lands are converted into settlement plots and wasteland. Hence, land use/land cover change deduction; a stochastic processed based method is indispensable for future prediction. For identification of land use/land cover, and vegetation changes, Landsat TM, ETM (1995, 2005) and IRS P6- LISS IV (2015) images were used. Through CAMarkov chain analysis, Lu/Lc changes in past three decades (1995, 2005, and 2015) were identified and projected for (2020 and 2025); Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) were used to find the vegetation changes. The result shows that, maximum changes occur in the plantation and slight changes found in forest cover in the hilly terrain. In foothill areas, agriculture lands were decreased while wastelands and settlement plots were increased. The outcome of the results helps to farmer and policy makers to draw optimal lands use planning and better management strategies for sustainable development of natural resources.

  2. Mapping Annual Forest Cover in Sub-Humid and Semi-Arid Regions through Analysis of Landsat and PALSAR Imagery

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yuanwei Qin

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Accurately mapping the spatial distribution of forests in sub-humid to semi-arid regions over time is important for forest management but a challenging task. Relatively large uncertainties still exist in the spatial distribution of forests and forest changes in the sub-humid and semi-arid regions. Numerous publications have used either optical or synthetic aperture radar (SAR remote sensing imagery, but the resultant forest cover maps often have large errors. In this study, we propose a pixel- and rule-based algorithm to identify and map annual forests from 2007 to 2010 in Oklahoma, USA, a transitional region with various climates and landscapes, using the integration of the L-band Advanced Land Observation Satellite (ALOS PALSAR Fine Beam Dual Polarization (FBD mosaic dataset and Landsat images. The overall accuracy and Kappa coefficient of the PALSAR/Landsat forest map were about 88.2% and 0.75 in 2010, with the user and producer accuracy about 93.4% and 75.7%, based on the 3270 random ground plots collected in 2012 and 2013. Compared with the forest products from Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA, National Land Cover Database (NLCD, Oklahoma Ecological Systems Map (OKESM and Oklahoma Forest Resource Assessment (OKFRA, the PALSAR/Landsat forest map showed great improvement. The area of the PALSAR/Landsat forest was about 40,149 km2 in 2010, which was close to the area from OKFRA (40,468 km2, but much larger than those from JAXA (32,403 km2 and NLCD (37,628 km2. We analyzed annual forest cover dynamics, and the results show extensive forest cover loss (2761 km2, 6.9% of the total forest area in 2010 and gain (3630 km2, 9.0% in southeast and central Oklahoma, and the total area of forests increased by 684 km2 from 2007 to 2010. This study clearly demonstrates the potential of data fusion between PALSAR and Landsat images for mapping annual forest cover dynamics in sub-humid to semi-arid regions, and the resultant forest maps would be

  3. A Framework Predicting Water Availability in a Rapidly Growing, Semi-Arid Region under Future Climate Change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Han, B.; Benner, S. G.; Glenn, N. F.; Lindquist, E.; Dahal, K. R.; Bolte, J.; Vache, K. B.; Flores, A. N.

    2014-12-01

    Climate change can lead to dramatic variations in hydrologic regime, affecting both surface water and groundwater supply. This effect is most significant in populated semi-arid regions where water availability are highly sensitive to climate-induced outcomes. However, predicting water availability at regional scales, while resolving some of the key internal variability and structure in semi-arid regions is difficult due to the highly non-linearity relationship between rainfall and runoff. In this study, we describe the development of a modeling framework to evaluate future water availability that captures elements of the coupled response of the biophysical system to climate change and human systems. The framework is built under the Envision multi-agent simulation tool, characterizing the spatial patterns of water demand in the semi-arid Treasure Valley area of Southwest Idaho - a rapidly developing socio-ecological system where urban growth is displacing agricultural production. The semi-conceptual HBV model, a population growth and allocation model (Target), a vegetation state and transition model (SSTM), and a statistically based fire disturbance model (SpatialAllocator) are integrated to simulate hydrology, population and land use. Six alternative scenarios are composed by combining two climate change scenarios (RCP4.5 and RCP8.5) with three population growth and allocation scenarios (Status Quo, Managed Growth, and Unconstrained Growth). Five-year calibration and validation performances are assessed with Nash-Sutcliffe efficiency. Irrigation activities are simulated using local water rights. Results show that in all scenarios, annual mean stream flow decreases as the projected rainfall increases because the projected warmer climate also enhances water losses to evapotranspiration. Seasonal maximum stream flow tends to occur earlier than in current conditions due to the earlier peak of snow melting. The aridity index and water deficit generally increase in the

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aaron M Foley

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Maduabuchi, C.

    2000-07-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rodriguez-Estrella, T.

    2014-01-01

    This article presents a general analysis of the problems arising from overexploited aquifers in semi-arid areas, based on research carried out in the Region of Murcia (one of the most over-exploited areas in Europe). Among the negative impacts of this over exploitation are: the drying up of springs, the continuous drawdown of water levels (up to 10 m/y), piezo metric drops (over 30 m in one year if it is a karstic aquifer), an increase in pumping costs (elevating water from a depth of more than 450 m), abandonment of wells, diminishing groundwater reserves, deteriorating water quality, presence of CO 2 , compartmentalizing of aquifers, etc. A series of internal measures is proposed to alleviate the over exploitation of the region. (Author)

  7. Turbulent fluxes in atmospheric boundary layer of a semi-arid region of N-E Brazil

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Patel, S. R.; De Fatima Correia, M.; Da Silva, E. M.; Costa, A. M. N.

    2004-01-01

    The preliminary results of the Experiment 'Experimento de Microfisica de Nuvens-EmfiN' (Experiment of microphysics of clouds) conducted by Universidade Estatual de Ceara-UECE at Fortaleza, a semi-arid region of N-E Brazil, are presented. The mean kinematic fluxes of sensible heat and water vapor of the surface boundary layer are estimated by the thermodynamic energy and water vapor conservation equations; and by the Monin-Obukhov similarity theory. The results of the two methods are in good agreement. It is shown that in the absence of sophisticated fast-response turbulence instrumentation and wind data the conservations equations methods are better option for estimation of heat and water vapor fluxes. Further they are useful to study the turbulent fluxes in inhomogeneous condition in time like early morning and late evening boundary layer transitions

  8. Renewable energies and regional development. Photovoltaic energy, micro-grid systems in the Brazilian semi-arid

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Arrais de Miranda Mousinho, Maria Candida

    2012-07-01

    This article tackles the issue of the development related to the insertion of new renewable energy technologies. It also presents the experience of the region of the Sao Francisco River Valley - named after the largest river genuinely Brazilian located in the semi-arid region -, focusing mainly on two municipalities: Xique-Xique and Barra. Its focus is the use of solar energy for rural communities. To present the results of that experience, the support of the Rio Sao Francisco Project: culture, identity and development, of the Deutsche Gesellschaft fuer Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) and of Eurosolar was essential. The research on which this article is based was fruit of a volunteer research project linked to the Partners of the Americas Bahia-Pennsylvania Committee.

  9. Effect of Planting Date on Reducing Growth Period of Spring Safflower Cultivars in Tabriz Cold and Semi-arid Climate

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    B Pasban Eslam

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available Introduction Safflower is a plant adaptable to areas with limited rainfall during winter and spring and dry air at flowering, seed filling and maturity stages, and tolerant to water deficit. The positive correlation coefficient observed between safflower seed yield with precipitation and low air temperature during seed germination to flowering and flowering to seed maturity. Furthermore, precipitation and low temperature during flowering to seed maturity significantly increased seed oil percentage. Therefore, it seems that, by adjusting the planting time can be adapted phenological stages of plant with appropriate weather conditions. The aims of this research were study the possibility reducing the growth period of safflower spring varieties with maintaining performance through delay in planting time, evaluate seed and oil yields at different planting times, and identify the best varieties for cold and semi-arid areas. Materials and Methods The experiment was conducted at the East Azarbaijan Agriculture and Natural Resources Research Center (46°2¢E, 37°58¢N, 1347 m a.s.l. during 2014-2015 growing season. According to Koppen climatic classification system, the area climate is semi-arid and cold. This study was carried out as factorial experiment based on randomized complete block design with three replications. Treatments were four planting dates (30 March, 9, 19 and 29 April and three safflower spring cultivars (Sina, Soffeh and Goldasht. Plant spacing between rows was 24 cm and final plant density was 70 plant per m2. Each plot consisted of 6 rows in 5 meters. Plants were harvested on the 11th and 14th of August in the first and second years of experiment, respectively. At the harvest time, in order to control boarder effects, plants from the sides of each plot were removed. Measured traits were plant height, capitulum diameter, seed yield, capitula number per plant, seed number per capitulum and 1000-seed weight. Ten plants in each plot

  10. Nematodes associated with Iguana iguana (Linnaeus, 1758) (Squamata, Iguanidae) in Semi-arid areas of Northeastern Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Teles, D A; Brito, S V; Teixeira, A A M; Ribeiro, S C; Araujo-Filho, J A; Lima, V F; Pereira, A M A; Almeida, W O

    2017-01-01

    Nematodes were analyzed in Iguana iguana, a large lizard Iguanidae that is widely distributed throughout the Americas. The aims of the study were investigate the helminths associated with the lizard, I. iguana in semi-arid areas of northeastern Brazil and analyze the parasitological indices (prevalence, and mean intensity of infection). A total of 18 specimens of I. iguana were examined (8 males and 10 females). The overall prevalence of infection was 66.6% (12/18), while in males, it was 75% (6/8) and in females, 60% (6/10). Iguana iguana was identified as a new host for Physaloptera sp., Atractis sp., Piratuba sp. and Subulura sp. This registered contributes to the knowledge of helminth diversity associated with this host.

  11. Nematodes associated with Iguana iguana (Linnaeus, 1758 (Squamata, Iguanidae in Semi-arid areas of Northeastern Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    D. A. Teles

    Full Text Available Abstract Nematodes were analyzed in Iguana iguana, a large lizard Iguanidae that is widely distributed throughout the Americas. The aims of the study were investigate the helminths associated with the lizard, I. iguana in semi-arid areas of northeastern Brazil and analyze the parasitological indices (prevalence, and mean intensity of infection. A total of 18 specimens of I. iguana were examined (8 males and 10 females. The overall prevalence of infection was 66.6% (12/18, while in males, it was 75% (6/8 and in females, 60% (6/10. Iguana iguana was identified as a new host for Physaloptera sp., Atractis sp., Piratuba sp. and Subulura sp. This registered contributes to the knowledge of helminth diversity associated with this host.

  12. Leachate generation from landfill in a semi-arid climate: A qualitative and quantitative study from Sousse, Tunisia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frikha, Youssef; Fellner, Johann; Zairi, Moncef

    2017-09-01

    Despite initiatives for enhanced recycling and waste utilization, landfill still represents the dominant disposal path for municipal solid waste (MSW). The environmental impacts of landfills depend on several factors, including waste composition, technical barriers, landfill operation and climatic conditions. A profound evaluation of all factors and their impact is necessary in order to evaluate the environmental hazards emanating from landfills. The present paper investigates a sanitary landfill located in a semi-arid climate (Tunisia) and highlights major differences in quantitative and qualitative leachate characteristics compared to landfills situated in moderate climates. Besides the qualitative analysis of leachate samples, a quantitative analysis including the simulation of leachate generation (using the HELP model) has been conducted. The results of the analysis indicate a high load of salts (Cl, Na, inorganic nitrogen) in the leachate compared to other landfills. Furthermore the simulations with HELP model highlight that a major part of the leachate generated originates form the water content of waste.

  13. 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.

  14. 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. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. Towards prediction of soil erodibility using hyperspectral information: a case study in a semi-arid region of Iran

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ostovari, Yaser; Ghorbani-Dashtaki, Shoja; Bahrami, Hossein-Ali

    2018-01-01

    and develop Spectrotransfer Function (STF) using spectral reflectance information and Pedotransfer Function (PTF) to predict the K-factor, respectively. The derived STF was compared with developed PTF using measurable soil properties by Ostovari et al. (2016) and the Universal Soil Loss Equation (USLE......Soil Visible–Near-Infrared (Vis-NIR) spectroscopy has become an applicable and interesting technique to evaluate a number of soil properties because it is a fast, cost-effective, and non-invasive measurement technique. The main objective of the study to predict soil erodibility (K-factor), soil...... organic matter (SOM), and calcium carbonate equivalent (CaCO3) in calcareous soils of semi-arid regions located in south of Iran using spectral reflectance information in the Vis-NIR range. The K-factor was measured in 40 erosion plots under natural rainfall and the spectral reflectance of soil samples...

  16. Jojoba, Simmondsia chinensis: an alternative for the economic development of the arid and semi arid zones of Mexico

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sepulveda Betancourt, J I; Parra Hake, H

    1976-01-01

    Simmondsia chinensis is, in spite of its name, a species indigenous to SE California and Arizona (US) and to the states of Sonora, Baja California Norte and Baja California Sur in Mexico. It is a shrubby forage plant that reaches a height of 1.5 m and can grow under conditions of extreme drought and high salinity provided that frost does not occur; it is thus suitable for many arid and semi-arid parts of Mexico as well as other similar regions of the world. The seed, traditionally associated with medicinal properties, was found in 1933 to produce a liquid wax with properties similar to those of sperm-whale oil, an increasingly scarce product used for the lubrication of machinery run at high temperatures and speeds. Some other uses for S. chinensis wax are listed, and silvicultural research on the species in progress in Baja California Sur and elsewhere is briefly described.

  17. Jojoba, Simmondsia chinensis. An alternative for the economic development of the arid and semi arid zones of Mexico

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sepulveda Betancourt, J I; Parra Hake, H

    1976-01-01

    S. chinensis is, in spite of its name, a species indigenous to SE California and Arizona (US) and to the states of Sonora, Baja California Norte and Baja California Sur in Mexico. It is a shrubby forage plant that reaches a height of 1.5 m and can grow under conditions of extreme drought and high salinity provided that frost does not occur; it is thus suitable for many arid and semi-arid parts of Mexico as well as other similar regions of the world. The seed, traditionally associated with medicinal properties, was found in 1933 to produce a liquid wax with properties similar to those of sperm-whale oil, an increasingly scarce product used for the lubrication of machinery run at high temperatures and speeds. Some other uses for S. chinensis wax are listed, and silvicultural research on the species in progress in Baja California Sur and elsewhere is briefly described.

  18. Modelling hydrological connectivity in semi-arid flat areas: effect of the flow accumulation algorithm on the spatial pattern

    Science.gov (United States)

    López-Vicente, Manuel; Álvarez, Sara

    2017-04-01

    Much of the water and sediment fluxes in semi-arid landscapes are found to be concentrated in localized pathways. Identifying the location of these pathways is important for management and restoration. This task becomes more complicated in flat areas, such as alluvial terraces, where geomorphic features of concentrated overland flow (rills and ephemeral gullies) are scarce or inexistent. Field identification of sediment delivery pathways as well as depositional areas is also difficult and challenged. The concept of hydrological connectivity (HC) helps us to express the complexity of landscape non-linear responses to rainfall inputs. One of the unsolved issues in overland flow modelling studies is the choice of the right flow accumulation algorithm (FAA). There is an abundant literature on runoff generation under semi-arid conditions, and relating HC and land use management and changes. However, we found a scientific gap in the literature focussed on modelling of HC in flat areas under semi-arid conditions. This study aims to fill in this gap by modelling HC in alluvial terraces (28 ha) in NE Spain under semi-arid conditions (342 mm / year), mainly devoted to rain-fed cereal fields, by using eight FAA. For this purpose, we applied a modified version of the Borselli's index of runoff and sediment connectivity (IC). The study area includes seven fields on flat alluvial terraces, three fields on a gentle slope, small patches of scrubland, and twelve grass buffer strips that are located between each set of fields. Gentle and flat areas (S drone (model eBee by senseFly Ltd.). In order to minimize the effect of the vegetation on the photogrammetry restitution technique, pictures were taken in early spring, before the growth of the cereals. Then, several DEMs were generated independently. For this study, we chose the DEM at 0.5 x 0.5 m of spatial resolution. Before running the IC model, the continuity of the flow path lines throughout the landscape was ensured by removing

  19. Moa (Aves : Dinornithiformes) nesting material from rockshelters in the semi-arid interior of South Island, New Zealand

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wood, J.R.

    2008-01-01

    The first descriptions of plant remains from the nests of extinct moa (Aves: Dinornithiformes) are presented. The samples of desiccated nesting material were collected during excavation of Holocene sediments within five rockshelters in semi-arid regions of southern South Island, New Zealand, between 1964 and 2006. The nesting materials were attributed to moa on the basis of associated moa coprolites, feathers and eggshell fragments. The nesting material includes short, clipped twigs from a range of locally available tree, shrub and liane species. These twig clippings show a size distribution similar to those recorded from moa gizzard content samples. Other nesting material from the sites includes longer twigs and fragments of bark. The plant materials suggest general similarities between the nests of moa and those of the extant Australasian ratites, emu (Dromaius novaehollandiae) and cassowary (Casuarius spp.). (author). 37 refs., 7 figs., 1 tab

  20. Environmental isotope profiles of the soil water in loess unsaturated zone in semi-arid areas of china

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lin Ruifen; Wei Keqin

    2001-01-01

    According to the IAEA Research Contract No. 9402, soil cores CHN/97 and CHN/98 were taken from loess deposits of China in Inner-Mongolia and Shanxi Province, respectively. Isotope and chemical constituents of the interstitial water from these cores, compared with data obtained from the same places before, were used for estimating the infiltration rate. Tritium profiles from the loess unsaturated zone show clearly defined peaks of 1963 fallout. It implies that piston-flow model is the dominant process for soil water movement in the highly homogeneous loess deposits. It has been shown from this study that vertical infiltration through the unsaturated zone accounts for 12%-13% of the annual precipitation and perhaps is not the main mechanism of groundwater recharge in semi-arid loess areas. (author)

  1. 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)

  2. Reproductive performance and body weight changes in draught cows in a smallholder semi-arid farming area of Zimbabwe.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chimonyo, M; Kusina, N T; Hamudikuwanda, H; Nyoni, O

    2000-12-01

    The reproductive performance of 46 cows in a semi-arid, smallholder farming area of Zimbabwe was monitored for a year. Half the cows were used throughout the monitoring period for various draught purposes, including ploughing and procurement of farm produce for marketing using carts. All the cows lost body weight between July and October, after which the cows that were not worked gained weight until June of the following year. In contrast, the cows that were worked continued to lose body weight until January, throughout the time during which they were used to provide draught power, after which they gained weight. Body weights were significantly higher (p draught purposes caused loss of body weight and reduced ovarian activity and conception rates.

  3. Impacts of water development on aquatic macroinvertebrates, amphibians, and plants in wetlands of a semi-arid landscape

    Science.gov (United States)

    Euliss, Ned H.; Mushet, David M.

    2004-01-01

    We compared the macroinvertebrate and amphibian communities of 12 excavated and 12 natural wetlands in western North Dakota, USA, to assess the effects of artificially lengthened hydroperiods on the biotic communities of wetlands in this semi-arid region. Excavated wetlands were much deeper and captured greater volumes of water than natural wetlands. Most excavated wetlands maintained water throughout the study period (May to October 1999), whereas most of the natural wetlands were dry by June. Excavated wetlands were largely unvegetated or contained submergent and deep-marsh plant species. The natural wetlands had two well-defined vegetative zones populated by plant species typical of wet meadows and shallow marshes. Excavated wetlands had a richer aquatic macroinvertebrate community that included several predatory taxa not found in natural wetlands. Taxa adapted to the short hydroperiods of seasonal wetlands were largely absent from excavated wetlands. The amphibian community of natural and excavated wetlands included the boreal chorus frog (Pseudacris maculata), northern leopard frog (Rana pipiens), plains spadefoot (Scaphiopus bombifrons), Woodhouse's toad (Bufo woodhousii woodhousii), and tiger salamander (Ambystoma tigrinum). The plains spadefoot occurred only in natural wetlands while tiger salamanders occurred in all 12 excavated wetlands and only one natural wetland. Boreal chorus frogs and northern leopard frogs were present in both wetland types; however, they successfully reproduced only in wetlands lacking tiger salamanders. Artificially extending the hydroperiod of wetlands by excavation has greatly influenced the composition of native biotic communities adapted to the naturally short hydroperiods of wetlands in this semi-arid region. The compositional change of the biotic communities can be related to hydrological changes and biotic interactions, especially predation related to excavation.

  4. Seasonal diet and prey preference of the African lion in a waterhole-driven semi-arid savanna.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davidson, Zeke; Valeix, Marion; Van Kesteren, Freya; Loveridge, Andrew J; Hunt, Jane E; Murindagomo, Felix; Macdonald, David W

    2013-01-01

    Large carnivores inhabiting ecosystems with heterogeneously distributed environmental resources with strong seasonal variations frequently employ opportunistic foraging strategies, often typified by seasonal switches in diet. In semi-arid ecosystems, herbivore distribution is generally more homogeneous in the wet season, when surface water is abundant, than in the dry season when only permanent sources remain. Here, we investigate the seasonal contribution of the different herbivore species, prey preference and distribution of kills (i.e. feeding locations) of African lions in Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe, a semi-arid African savanna structured by artificial waterholes. We used data from 245 kills and 74 faecal samples. Buffalo consistently emerged as the most frequently utilised prey in all seasons by both male (56%) and female (33%) lions, contributing the most to lion dietary biomass. Jacobs' index also revealed that buffalo was the most intensively selected species throughout the year. For female lions, kudu and to a lesser extent the group "medium Bovidae" are the most important secondary prey. This study revealed seasonal patterns in secondary prey consumption by female lions partly based on prey ecology with browsers, such as giraffe and kudu, mainly consumed in the early dry season, and grazers, such as zebra and suids, contributing more to female diet in the late dry season. Further, it revealed the opportunistic hunting behaviour of lions for prey as diverse as elephants and mice, with elephants taken mostly as juveniles at the end of the dry season during droughts. Jacobs' index finally revealed a very strong preference for kills within 2 km from a waterhole for all prey species, except small antelopes, in all seasons. This suggested that surface-water resources form passive traps and contribute to the structuring of lion foraging behaviour.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. Response of deep soil moisture to land use and afforestation in the semi-arid Loess Plateau, China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Lei; Wei, Wei; Chen, Liding; Mo, Baoru

    2012-12-01

    SummarySoil moisture is an effective water source for plant growth in the semi-arid Loess Plateau of China. Characterizing the response of deep soil moisture to land use and afforestation is important for the sustainability of vegetation restoration in this region. In this paper, the dynamics of soil moisture were quantified to evaluate the effect of land use on soil moisture at a depth of 2 m. Specifically, the gravimetric soil moisture content was measured in the soil layer between 0 and 8 m for five land use types in the Longtan catchment of the western Loess Plateau. The land use types included traditional farmland, native grassland, and lands converted from traditional farmland (pasture grassland, shrubland and forestland). Results indicate that the deep soil moisture content decreased more than 35% after land use conversion, and a soil moisture deficit appeared in all types of land with introduced vegetation. The introduced vegetation decreased the soil moisture content to levels lower than the reference value representing no human impact in the entire 0-8 m soil profile. No significant differences appeared between different land use types and introduced vegetation covers, especially in deeper soil layers, regardless of which plant species were introduced. High planting density was found to be the main reason for the severe deficit of soil moisture. Landscape management activities such as tillage activities, micro-topography reconstruction, and fallowed farmland affected soil moisture in both shallow and deep soil layers. Tillage and micro-topography reconstruction can be used as effective countermeasures to reduce the soil moisture deficit due to their ability to increase soil moisture content. For sustainable vegetation restoration in a vulnerable semi-arid region, the plant density should be optimized with local soil moisture conditions and appropriate landscape management practices.

  8. Vulnerability Assessment of the Livelihoods in Tanzania’s Semi-Arid Agro-Ecological Zone under Climate Change Scenarios

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Msafiri Y. Mkonda

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available Despite the established literature on the vulnerability to climate change in various parts of Tanzania, it is worthwhile to assess the extent of this vulnerability of the peoples’ livelihoods and predict its future outcome. This is particularly important in the vulnerable ecosystems, that is, the semi-arid zones of Tanzania where the people’s livelihoods are highly attached to the declining local condition. The present study aims to assess the livelihoods vulnerability in Kongwa District, the semi-arid zone of Central Tanzania. In doing so, a wide range of methods were employed during data collection and analyses including surveys, informative interviews, discussions and observation. The study sampled 400 (≤10% respondents during a survey. The Mann-Kendall Test with SPSS V20, Microsoft Excel and Theme content techniques were used for data analyses. The results indicate that climate stress has adversely impacted the quality of soil, vegetation, crop yields and intensified environmental degradation. Since most people depend upon the mentioned affected aspects, it is expected that also the level of livelihood vulnerability has elevated. Further, this situation has greatly contributed to increased poverty and thus, propagates the “tragedy of the common” to the available environmental resources. As a response to increased vulnerability, some farmers have abandoned thousands of hectares of agricultural farms that seemed to be less productive. Despite this, slight measures have been taken by both the government and other key stakeholders to limit vulnerability. The findings of this study provide a theoretical and practical basis for coordinating a sustainable man-environment relationship, ensuring the sustainability of the environment which is the major source of peoples’ livelihoods.

  9. Seasonal change detection of riparian zones with remote sensing images and genetic programming in a semi-arid watershed.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Makkeasorn, Ammarin; Chang, Ni-Bin; Li, Jiahong

    2009-02-01

    Riparian zones are deemed significant due to their interception capability of non-point source impacts and the maintenance of ecosystem integrity region wide. To improve classification and change detection of riparian buffers, this paper developed an evolutionary computational, supervised classification method--the RIparian Classification Algorithm (RICAL)--to conduct the seasonal change detection of riparian zones in a vast semi-arid watershed, South Texas. RICAL uniquely demonstrates an integrative effort to incorporate both vegetation indices and soil moisture images derived from LANDSAT 5 TM and RADARSAT-1 satellite images, respectively. First, an estimation of soil moisture based on RADARSAT-1 Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) images was conducted via the first-stage genetic programming (GP) practice. Second, for the statistical analyses and image classification, eight vegetation indices were prepared based on reflectance factors that were calculated as the response of the instrument on LANDSAT. These spectral vegetation indices were then independently used for discriminate analysis along with soil moisture images to classify the riparian zones via the second-stage GP practice. The practical implementation was assessed by a case study in the Choke Canyon Reservoir Watershed (CCRW), South Texas, which is mostly agricultural and range land in a semi-arid coastal environment. To enhance the application potential, a combination of Iterative Self-Organizing Data Analysis Techniques (ISODATA) and maximum likelihood supervised classification was also performed for spectral discrimination and classification of riparian varieties comparatively. Research findings show that the RICAL algorithm may yield around 90% accuracy based on the unseen ground data. But using different vegetation indices would not significantly improve the final quality of the spectral discrimination and classification. Such practices may lead to the formulation of more effective management strategies

  10. Spatial and temporal variability in the Quality of Surface water in a semi-arid mediterranean region (river orontes- Lebanon)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    SLIM, K.; SAAD, Z.; KAZPARD, V.; EL SAMAD, O.; NASREDDINE, M.

    2004-01-01

    The Orontes River is an international river, with its headwaters in Lebanon, its middle section in Syria and its mouth in Turkey. Fresh surface waters were sampled monthly during the year 2000 and analyzed for major ions and for trace metals. Sea-salt aerosols in rainwater partially influence the major ion composition in the river. The concentration of major cations and anions fall within the range of the most common natural Concentration of major ion assemblages established for world river(MCNC), with a cation and anion dominance in the order of Ca > Mg > Na> K and HCO3 > SO4 > Cl, which tend to be predominantly influenced by chemical weathering of rocks and minerals in a semi-arid region. Ca and HCO3 are mostly derived from the dissolution of carbonate rocks. The sources of SO4 could be attributed to anhydrite minerals and to anthropogenic impact from fertilizers. Increases in nutrient concentrations are attributed mainly to the increasing influence of agricultural runoff. δ18 0/ δH plots shows that the data either fits the Mediterranean Meteoric Water Line(MMWL) or have elevated values that indicate evaporative isotope enrichment in a semi-arid climate. The correlation matrix for trace elements shows a high coefficient of correlation for Fe, Zn and Cu indicating that these elements could be controlled by the same chemistry in water. The bicarbonate-alkaline type of Orontes surface water contribute to the formation of trace metals-carbonate complexes such as FeCO3(aq) and ZnCO3 (aq). The good correlation between Pb, Cd and Cr reflects the effect of increasing urbanization in the catchments. (author)

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. Performance of sorghum cultivars for biomass quality and biomethane yield grown in semi-arid area of Pakistan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hassan, Muhammad Umair; Chattha, Muhammad Umer; Mahmood, Athar; Sahi, Shahbaz Talib

    2018-05-01

    Biomass is a promising renewable energy source and its significance is escalating in the context of climate change and depletion of fossil foils. This study was conducted for two consecutive years 2016 and 2017, using five sorghum cultivars, i.e., JS-263, Jawar-2011, Hagari, JS-2002, and YS-2016, in order to determine the best cultivars in terms of dry matter yield, chemical composition, and biomethane yield grown under semi-arid conditions in Pakistan. The results revealed that sorghum cultivars responded differently in terms of growth, biomass yield, chemical composition, and methane yield. Cultivars Jawar-2011 produced maximum leaf area index, leaf area duration, crop growth rate, plant height, and leaves per plant, however, they were comparable with Sorghum-2016, whereas cultivar JS-2002 performed poorly among the tested cultivars. Similarly, cultivar Jawar-2011 produced maximum dry matter yield (16.37 t ha -1 ) similar to that of YS-2016, further cultivar JS-2002 performed poorly and gave lower dry matter yield (12.87 t ha -1 ). The maximum protein concentration (10.95), neutral detergent fibers (61.20), and lignin contents (5.55) found in Jawar-2011 were comparable with those in YS-2016, while the lowest neutral detergent fiber and lignin contents were found in JS-2002. Although JS-2002 produced the highest specific methane yield per kilogram of volatile solids, it was overcompensated by Jawar-2011 owing to higher dry matter yield per hectare. These results suggested that cultivar Jawar-2011 can be grown successfully in semi-arid conditions of Pakistan in order to get good biomass yield along with higher methane yield.

  14. Plan and Some Results of "Advanced Study on Precipitation Enhancement in Arid and Semi-Arid Regions"

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murakami, M.

    2016-12-01

    There are several technologies to secure water resources, including the desalination of seawater, recycling of industrial water and reuse of wastewater. However precipitation enhancement is the only way we can create a large amount of water for industrial use, for example, water for irrigation, provided we find clouds suitable for cloud seeding and apply appropriate and effective methods to increase precipitation. Therefore, rain enhancement research is critical in the quest for new water security options and innovative solutions in the UAE and other arid and semi-arid regions. The main objective of our project is to better evaluate, and ultimately improve, the effectiveness of rain enhancement in the UAE and other arid and semi-arid regions using hygroscopic and glaciogenic seeding techniques. One of the major questions regarding rain enhancement today is the effectiveness of hygroscopic seeding for warm and supercooled convective clouds. Our research will investigate the microphysical processes in seeded and unseeded clouds using a combination of laboratory experiments, numerical simulations and in-situ aircraft measurements in order to decipher the mechanism responsible for precipitation augmentation due to hygroscopic seeding. In our research, major elements of cloud seeding, e.g., assessment of seedability, development of optimal seeding methods and evaluation of seeding effects, will be investigated in the most efficient and realistic way, within three years, using mainly the numerical models with the sophisticated seeding scheme, which is developed on a basis of laboratory experiments and then validated against in-situ and remote sensing observations. In addition to the research plan, the outcomes of the research projects, which will be made available to the public at the end of the project and benefit the broader society, is discussed.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Performance of Jatropha curcas L. in Semi-arid Zone: Seed Germination, Seedling Growth and Early Field Growth

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sharif AHAMAD

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available There is a lack of information on basic agronomic properties of Jatropha curcas L. (jatropha cultivation on the marginal lands in the semi-arids. Evaluation of agronomic performance of identified elite strains of J. curcas in marginal lands would be of paramount importance for addressing gap areas in their agronomic properties and subsequently for harnessing their optimum economic potentials. The present study undertook the task of analysing the growth performance of a high oil bearing elite strain of J. curcas–DARL-2 in degraded land in semi-arid zone of Deccan Plateau, India. While undertaking the assessment of growth performance of elite strain DARL-2, two other native (wild strains (namely AHN-1 and AHN-2 of J. curcas were also considered so that a comparative evaluation could be carried out. The role of gypsum was also investigated on J. curcas in the nursery stage as well its carry over effects on growth performance of transplanted trees in the field. Two types of substrates, gypsum-treated soil (GS and untreated soil (SL were used for growing seedlings of all the three jatropha strains. Seedlings (120-days-old of DARL-2 exhibited greater plant height, collar diameter and number of branches but root length was greater in the local strains. In the second year of field transplantation, DARL-2 strain exhibited significantly (p<0.05 greater plant height and number of branches/plant. No carry over effects of gypsum treatment were observed in field transplanted plants as none of the growth parameters significantly varied among the substrate types.

  18. Daily rainfall-runoff modelling by neural networks in semi-arid zone ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    This research work will allow checking efficiency of formal neural networks for flows' modelling of wadi Ouahrane's basin from rainfall-runoff relation which is non-linear. Two models of neural networks were optimized through supervised learning and compared in order to achieve this goal, the first model with input rain, and ...

  19. 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

  20. Shrub mound formation and stability on semi-arid slopes in the Northern Negev Desert of Israel: A field and simulation study

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Buis, E.; Temme, A.J.A.M.; Veldkamp, A.; Boeken, B.; Jongmans, A.G.; Breemen, van N.; Schoorl, J.M.

    2010-01-01

    In semi-arid areas vegetation is scarce and often dominated by individual shrubs on raised mounds. The processes of formation of these mounds are diverse and still debated. Often, shrub mound formation is directly related to the formation of vegetation patterns, thereby assuming that shrub mound

  1. 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

  2. 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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    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:

  3. Influence of grazing on soil seed banks determines the restoration potential of aboveground vegetation in a semi-arid savanna in Ethiopia

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Tessema, Z.K.; Boer, de W.F.; Baars, R.M.T.; Prins, H.H.T.

    2012-01-01

    Species composition, number of emerging seedlings, species diversity and functional group of the soil seed banks, and the influence of grazing on the similarity between the soil seed banks and aboveground vegetation, were studied in 2008 and 2009 in a semi-arid savanna of Ethiopia. We tested whether

  4. Voluntary cooperation in the provision of a semi-public good : Community-based soil and water conservation in semi-arid India

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bouma, J.A.

    2008-01-01

    This dissertation analyses the question whether households in India’s semi-arid tropics can be expected to voluntarily maintain semi-public investments in soil and water conservation. Increasingly, public investment programs decentralise project planning, implementation and management to local

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nainggolan, Doan

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

  6. Is the future blue-green or brown? The effects of extreme events on phytoplankton dynamics in a semi-arid man-made lake

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Meideiros, L.D.C.; Mattos, A.; Lurling, M.F.L.L.W.; Becker, V.

    2015-01-01

    In arid and semi-arid regions, a hydrological regime characterized by an annual cycle of drought and rainy seasons changes the volume and retention time of reservoirs. Such changes affect the limnological characteristics and lead to changes on phytoplankton community. Phytoplankton seasonal

  7. 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.

  8. CMIP5 land surface models systematically underestimate inter-annual variability of net ecosystem exchange in semi-arid southwestern North America.

    Science.gov (United States)

    MacBean, N.; Scott, R. L.; Biederman, J. A.; Vuichard, N.; Hudson, A.; Barnes, M.; Fox, A. M.; Smith, W. K.; Peylin, P. P.; Maignan, F.; Moore, D. J.

    2017-12-01

    Recent studies based on analysis of atmospheric CO2 inversions, satellite data and terrestrial biosphere model simulations have suggested that semi-arid ecosystems play a dominant role in the interannual variability and long-term trend in the global carbon sink. These studies have largely cited the response of vegetation activity to changing moisture availability as the primary mechanism of variability. However, some land surface models (LSMs) used in these studies have performed poorly in comparison to satellite-based observations of vegetation dynamics in semi-arid regions. Further analysis is therefore needed to ensure semi-arid carbon cycle processes are well represented in global scale LSMs before we can fully establish their contribution to the global carbon cycle. In this study, we evaluated annual net ecosystem exchange (NEE) simulated by CMIP5 land surface models using observations from 20 Ameriflux sites across semi-arid southwestern North America. We found that CMIP5 models systematically underestimate the magnitude and sign of NEE inter-annual variability; therefore, the true role of semi-arid regions in the global carbon cycle may be even more important than previously thought. To diagnose the factors responsible for this bias, we used the ORCHIDEE LSM to test different climate forcing data, prescribed vegetation fractions and model structures. Climate and prescribed vegetation do contribute to uncertainty in annual NEE simulations, but the bias is primarily caused by incorrect timing and magnitude of peak gross carbon fluxes. Modifications to the hydrology scheme improved simulations of soil moisture in comparison to data. This in turn improved the seasonal cycle of carbon uptake due to a more realistic limitation on photosynthesis during water stress. However, the peak fluxes are still too low, and phenology is poorly represented for desert shrubs and grasses. We provide suggestions on model developments needed to tackle these issues in the future.

  9. High Spatial Resolution Visual Band Imagery Outperforms Medium Resolution Spectral Imagery for Ecosystem Assessment in the Semi-Arid Brazilian Sertão

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ran Goldblatt

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Semi-arid ecosystems play a key role in global agricultural production, seasonal carbon cycle dynamics, and longer-run climate change. Because semi-arid landscapes are heterogeneous and often sparsely vegetated, repeated and large-scale ecosystem assessments of these regions have to date been impossible. Here, we assess the potential of high-spatial resolution visible band imagery for semi-arid ecosystem mapping. We use WorldView satellite imagery at 0.3–0.5 m resolution to develop a reference data set of nearly 10,000 labeled examples of three classes—trees, shrubs/grasses, and bare land—across 1000 km 2 of the semi-arid Sertão region of northeast Brazil. Using Google Earth Engine, we show that classification with low-spectral but high-spatial resolution input (WorldView outperforms classification with the full spectral information available from Landsat 30 m resolution imagery as input. Classification with high spatial resolution input improves detection of sparse vegetation and distinction between trees and seasonal shrubs and grasses, two features which are lost at coarser spatial (but higher spectral resolution input. Our total tree cover estimates for the study area disagree with recent estimates using other methods that may underestimate treecover because they confuse trees with seasonal vegetation (shrubs and grasses. This distinction is important for monitoring seasonal and long-run carbon cycle and ecosystem health. Our results suggest that newer remote sensing products that promise high frequency global coverage at high spatial but lower spectral resolution may offer new possibilities for direct monitoring of the world’s semi-arid ecosystems, and we provide methods that could be scaled to do so.

  10. Improving estimates of water resources in a semi-arid region by assimilating GRACE data into the PCR-GLOBWB hydrological model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tangdamrongsub, Natthachet; Steele-Dunne, Susan C.; Gunter, Brian C.; Ditmar, Pavel G.; Sutanudjaja, Edwin H.; Sun, Yu; Xia, Ting; Wang, Zhongjing

    2017-04-01

    An accurate estimation of water resources dynamics is crucial for proper management of both agriculture and the local ecology, particularly in semi-arid regions. Imperfections in model physics, uncertainties in model land parameters and meteorological data, as well as the human impact on land changes often limit the accuracy of hydrological models in estimating water storages. To mitigate this problem, this study investigated the assimilation of terrestrial water storage variation (TWSV) estimates derived from the Gravity Recovery And Climate Experiment (GRACE) data using an ensemble Kalman filter (EnKF) approach. The region considered was the Hexi Corridor in northern China. The hydrological model used for the analysis was PCR-GLOBWB, driven by satellite-based forcing data from April 2002 to December 2010. The impact of the GRACE data assimilation (DA) scheme was evaluated in terms of the TWSV, as well as the variation of individual hydrological storage estimates. The capability of GRACE DA to adjust the storage level was apparent not only for the entire TWSV but also for the groundwater component. In this study, spatially correlated errors in GRACE data were taken into account, utilizing the full error variance-covariance matrices provided as a part of the GRACE data product. The benefits of this approach were demonstrated by comparing the EnKF results obtained with and without taking into account error correlations. The results were validated against in situ groundwater data from five well sites. On average, the experiments showed that GRACE DA improved the accuracy of groundwater storage estimates by as much as 25 %. The inclusion of error correlations provided an equal or greater improvement in the estimates. In contrast, a validation against in situ streamflow data from two river gauges showed no significant benefits of GRACE DA. This is likely due to the limited spatial and temporal resolution of GRACE observations. Finally, results of the GRACE DA study

  11. Understanding environmental drivers in the regulation of soil respiration dynamics after fire in semi-arid ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muñoz-Rojas, Miriam; Lewandrowski, Wolfgang; Erickson, Todd E.; Dixon, Kingsley W.; Merritt, David J.

    2016-04-01

    Keywords: Pilbara, soil CO2 efflux, soil C, soil moisture, soil temperature Introduction Soil respiration (Rs) has become a major research focus given the increase in atmospheric CO2 emissions and the large contribution of these CO2 fluxes from soils (Van Groenigen et al., 2014). In addition to its importance in the global C cycle, Rs is a fundamental indicator of soil health and quality that reflects the level of microbial activity and provides an indication of the ability of soils to support plant growth (Oyonarte et al., 2012; Munoz-Rojas et al., 2015). Wildfires can have a significant impact on Rs rates, with the scale of the impact depending on environmental factors such as temperature and moisture, and organic C content in the soil. Vegetation cover can have a significant effect on regulating organic C contents; and while advances are made into understanding the effects of fire on organic C contents and CO2 fluxes (Granged et al., 2011; Willaarts et al., 2015; Muñoz-Rojas et al., 2016), there is limited knowledge of the variability of Rs across ecosystem types, vegetation communities, and responses to fire. In this research we aimed to assess the impacts of a wildfire on the soil CO2 fluxes and soil respiration in a semi-arid ecosystem of Western Australia (Pilbara biogeographical region), and to understand the main environmental drivers controlling these fluxes in different vegetation types. The study has application for other arid and semi-arid regions of the world. Methods The study area was selected following a wildfire that affected 25 ha in February 2014. Twelve plots were established in the burnt site (B) within a 400 m2 area, and 12 plots in an adjacent unburnt control site. At each site, three plots were installed below the canopy of each of the most representative vegetation types of the areas: Eucalyptus trees, Acacia shrubs and Triodia grasses, and three on bare soil. Soil sampling and measurement of soil CO2 efflux, temperature and moisture were

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  13. Current and future groundwater withdrawals: Effects, management and energy policy options for a semi-arid Indian watershed

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sishodia, Rajendra P.; Shukla, Sanjay; Graham, Wendy D.; Wani, Suhas P.; Jones, James W.; Heaney, James

    2017-12-01

    Effects of future expansion/intensification of irrigated agriculture on groundwater and surface water levels and availability in a semi-arid watershed were evaluated using an integrated hydrologic model (MIKE SHE/MIKE 11) in conjunction with biophysical measurements. Improved water use efficiency, water storage, and energy policy options were evaluated for their ability to sustain the future (2035) increased groundwater withdrawals. Three future withdrawal scenarios (low = 20, medium = 30, high = 50 wells/100 km2/year) based on the historical rate of growth of irrigation wells were formulated. While well drying from falling groundwater levels was limited to drought and consecutive below average rainfall years, under the current (2015) withdrawals, significant increases in frequency and duration (17-97 days/year) of well drying along with 13-26% (19-37 mm) reductions in surface flows were predicted under the future withdrawals. Higher (27-108%) energy demands of existing irrigation pumps due to declining groundwater levels and reduced hydroelectric generation due to decreased surface flows would create a vicious water-food-energy nexus in the future. Crop failure, one of the main causes of farmers' emotional distress and death in the region, is predicted to exacerbate under the future withdrawal scenarios. Shift to negative net recharge (-63 mm) and early and prolonged drying of wells under the high scenario will reduce the groundwater availability and negatively affect crop production in more than 60% and 90% of cropped areas in the Rabi (November-February) and summer (March-May) seasons, respectively during a drought year. Individual and combined demand (drip irrigation and reduced farm electricity subsidy) and supply (water storage) management options improved groundwater levels and reduced well drying by 55-97 days/year compared to business-as-usual management under the high scenario. The combined management (50% drip conversion, 50% reduction in subsidy, and

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-09-01

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

  15. Toxic metal(loid) speciation during weathering of iron sulfide mine tailings under semi-arid climate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Root, Robert A.; Hayes, Sarah M.; Hammond, Corin M.; Maier, Raina M.; Chorover, Jon

    2015-01-01

    Toxic metalliferous mine-tailings pose a significant health risk to ecosystems and neighboring communities from wind and water dispersion of particulates containing high concentrations of toxic metal(loid)s (e.g., Pb, As, Zn). Tailings are particularly vulnerable to erosion before vegetative cover can be reestablished, i.e., decades or longer in semi-arid environments without intervention. Metal(loid) speciation, linked directly to bioaccessibility and lability, is controlled by mineral weathering and is a key consideration when assessing human and environmental health risks associated with mine sites. At the semi-arid Iron King Mine and Humboldt Smelter Superfund site in central Arizona, the mineral assemblage of the top 2 m of tailings has been previously characterized. A distinct redox gradient was observed in the top 0.5 m of the tailings and the mineral assemblage indicates progressive transformation of ferrous iron sulfides to ferrihydrite and gypsum, which, in turn weather to form schwertmannite and then jarosite accompanied by a progressive decrease in pH (7.3 to 2.3). Within the geochemical context of this reaction front, we examined enriched toxic metal(loid)s As, Pb, and Zn with surficial concentrations 41.1, 10.7, 39.3 mM kg-1 (3080, 2200, and 2570 mg kg-1), respectively. The highest bulk concentrations of As and Zn occur at the redox boundary representing a 1.7 and 4.2 fold enrichment relative to surficial concentrations, respectively, indicating the translocation of toxic elements from the gossan zone to either the underlying redox boundary or the surface crust. Metal speciation was also examined as a function of depth using X-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAS). The deepest sample (180 cm) contains sulfides (e.g., pyrite, arsenopyrite, galena, and sphalerite). Samples from the redox transition zone (25-54 cm) contain a mixture of sulfides, carbonates (siderite, ankerite, cerrusite, and smithsonite) and metal(loid)s sorbed to neoformed secondary Fe

  16. Role of Aeolian Dust in Shaping Landscapes and Soils of Arid and Semi-Arid South Africa

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joseph R. McAuliffe

    2018-05-01

    Full Text Available The deposition of fine aeolian sediment profoundly influences the morphology of several different landscapes of the arid and semi-arid western portion of South Africa. Such landscapes and features include: (1 regularly-spaced mounds known as heuweltjies of the succulent Karoo region, (2 barren stone pavements in the more arid regions, and (3 hillslopes with smooth, curvilinear slope profiles that are mantled with coarse, stony colluvium. Investigations of each of these are presented, together with comparisons of similar features found within arid and semi-arid portions of Western North America. Recent findings suggest that the formation of the distinct, regularly-spaced heuweltjies involves a linked set of biological and physical processes. These include nutrient accumulation by termites and the production of dense vegetation patches, which, in turn, serve as a trap for aeolian sediments. Dust deposition is also responsible for the formation of stone pavements as demonstrated by research conducted principally in the Mojave Desert region of the United States. Mineralogical and geochronological studies have demonstrated that the stone clasts remain on the surface as fine aeolian sediments are translocated downward beneath the clasts resulting in a silt-rich soil horizon directly beneath the clasts. Pavements examined in South Africa have the same morphological features that can only be explained by the same process. The formation of soils on hillslopes mantled with stony colluvium are commonly viewed as having formed through the in-situ weathering of the stony colluvium. However, like pavements, mantles of coarse, stony colluvium are effective dust traps that provide the long-term stability required for advanced development of thick, fine-grained soils. This process contributes to the evolution of smooth, vegetated, curvilinear slope profiles. In each of these examples, the accumulation of dust has a profound influence, not only in soil formation

  17. 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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wang, Limei; Qian, Yaling; Brummer, Joe E.; Zheng, Jiyong; Wilhelm, Sarah; Parton, William J.

    2015-01-01

    Long-term information on switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.) as a biomass energy crop grown on marginally saline soil and the associated impacts on soil carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) dynamics, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and best management practices (BMPs) are limited. In this study, we employed the DAYCENT model, based on a 4-year switchgrass field experiment, to evaluate the long-term biomass yield potential and environmental impacts, and further to develop BMPs for switchgrass in a semi-arid region. The model showed that long-term (14-year) annual mean biomass yields were 9.6 and 5.2 Mg ha −1 for irrigated and rainfed switchgrass systems, respectively. The simulated biomass yields correlated well with field-measured biomass with r 2 values of 0.99 and 0.89 for irrigated and rainfed systems, respectively. Soil organic carbon (SOC) and soil total nitrogen (STN) accumulated rapidly after switchgrass establishment, with mean accrual rates of 0.99–1.13 Mg C ha −1  yr −1 and 0.04–0.08 Mg N ha −1  yr −1 , respectively. Based on the outputs of numerous long-term model simulations with variable irrigation water supplies and N rates, the irrigation regime and N rate with the highest yield to input ratio were chosen as BMPs. The DAYCENT model predicted-BMP was irrigating every 14 days at 70% potential evapotranspiration combined with an N rate of 67 kg ha −1  yr −1 . Switchgrass established and produced biomass reasonably well in this semi-arid region; however, appropriate irrigation and N fertilization were needed for optimal biomass yield. Switchgrass had a great potential to sequester C into soils with low N 2 O emissions while supplying significant quantities of biomass for biofuel synthesis. - Highlights: • The DAYCENT model reliably simulated the growth of switchgrass on marginal land. • Long-term biomass and environmental impacts were simulated using the DAYCENT model. • Switchgrass produced biomass well on marginal land, but

  19. Changes in Trace Gas Nitrogen Emissions as a Response to Ecosystem Type Conversion in a Semi-Arid Climate.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andrews, H.; Eberwein, J. R.; Jenerette, D.

    2016-12-01

    As humans continue to introduce exotic plants and to alter climate and fire regimes in semi-arid ecosystems, many plant communities have begun to shift from perennial forbs and shrubs to annual grasses with different functional traits. Shifts in plant types are also associated with shifts in microclimate, microbial activity, and litter inputs, all of which contribute to the efficiency of nitrogen processing and the magnitude of trace gas emissions (NOx and N2O), which are increasingly important fluxes in water-limited systems. Here, we explored how changes in plant litter impact trace gas emissions, asking the question: How does conversion from a native shrubland to exotic grassland ecosystem alter NOx and N2O fluxes in a semi-arid climate? We posed two hypotheses to explain the impacts of different types of litter on soils disturbed by exotic grasses and those that were still considered shrublands: 1.) Soils that have undergone conversion by exotic grasses release higher amounts of NOx and N2O than do those of unconverted shrublands, due to disruptions of native plant and soil processes by exotic grasses, and 2.) Because litter of exotic grasses has lower C:N than that of shrubs, litter inputs from exotic grasses will increase NOx and N2O emissions from soils more than will litter inputs from shrubs. As a preliminary study, we experimentally wetted mesocosms in a laboratory incubation containing converted and unconverted soils that had been mixed with no litter or either exotic grass or coastal sage scrub (CSS) litter. We measured N2O fluxes from mesocosms over a 48-hour period. 24 hours after wetting, samples with grass litter produced higher amounts of N2O than those with CSS litter; similarly, converted soils produced higher amounts of N2O than unconverted soils. These two effects combined resulted in exotic grassland conditions (converted soils with exotic grass litter) producing 10 times the amount of N2O as those containing native shrubland conditions

  20. 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

  1. Biomass and biomass water use efficiency in oilseed crop (Brassica juncea L.) under semi-arid microenvironments

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Adak, Tarun; Kumar, Gopal; Chakravarty, N.V.K.; Katiyar, R.K.; Deshmukh, P.S.; Joshi, H.C.

    2013-01-01

    Biomass production in arid and semi-arid regions requires a special attention owing to spatiotemporal scarcity of irrigation water wherein improved water use efficiency (WUE) of the crop is targeted. Under field conditions, the crop undergoes dynamic changes in near ground or within-canopy microenvironments. This changed microclimatic condition may have an impact on phenological response of the oilseed crop which in turn would affect biomass productivity, economic seed yield and water use efficiency of the crop. Henceforth, quantification of biomass production and its WUE of oilseed Brassica crop is essentially required owing to have better understanding of the crop water requirement under the era of climate change. Following a 2 years field experiment, it was revealed that the changes in leaf area index were explained by about 68–74%. The best fit polynomial third order regression analysis indicated >93% prediction in biomass production as a function of time factor. Improved biomass partitioning into economic sinks was also observed. Small scale change in near ground microenvironment may reduce the prediction of biomass variability to the extent of 3%. The mean ET variations were observed as 2.4, 1.5 and 3.2 mm day −1 during the critical phenological stages. Mean seed yield, biomass WUE and seed yield WUE ranged between 2.71 and 2.87 Mg ha −1 , 11.4 and 13.1 g m −2 mm −1 and 19.3 and 22.9 kg ha −1 mm −1 respectively. Variations in both biomass and seed yield water use efficiencies due to small scale change in near ground microclimates were revealed. -- Highlights: ► Assessing biomass productivity and its water use efficiency under arid and semi-arid regions is important. ► Under field conditions, the crop undergoes dynamic changes in near ground or within-canopy microenvironments. ► We have estimated changes in seasonal ET, within-canopy micrometeorological dynamics. ► Biomass productivity, partitioning and water use efficiencies were

  2. Characterization of the deforestation effect in a semi-arid region by the use of satellite images

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benhanifia, Khatir; Haddouche, Driss; Smahi, Zakaria; Bensaid, Abdelkrim; Hamimed, Abderrahmane

    2004-02-01

    In Algeria, arid and semi-arid regions occupy over than 95% of whole territory. Forests in the semi arid zone constitutes a front face to the advance of the desert towards northern sides. Like in other regions of the world, deforestation phenomenon have a serious consequences on the fragile ecosystem. Severe continuous drought, fires, pasture, insects as well as the absence of a clear forest politics are so many factors that reduced forest areas in this country. However, the conservation of this patrimony must be a priority of any regional development project. This paper describes an evaluating study of the deforestation impact on forests in the region of Djelfa situated in the Saharian Atlas using multitemporal satellite remote sensing data. In order to establish a forest change map, a methodology based on the comparison between normalized difference vegetation indexes (NDVI) generated from satellite images was adopted. For this purpose, a pair of Landsat and (ETM+) images acquired over the region on April 11th, 1987 and march 24th, 2001 have been used. Until being processed, data used have been geometrically and atmospherically corrected. Then, an (NDVI) have been produced for each date. Resulting from compared (NDVI) image presents the forest change map in the study area. Radiometric values of resulting image have been regrouped into three classes according to change types as follow : Increased radiometry = more active vegetation Decreased radiometry = deterioration in vegetation activity Non changed areas = Non changed Investigations made on the terrain permitted to interpret many causes of detected evolutions. Regressive changes were considerable and demonstrates however, the degradation effect on the vegetation state. Some of regressed radiometry are related to forest fires that affected the region in 1994. Almost of regressive changes are due to a deterioration of vegetation caused by multiple factors. Drought, deceases, pasture and infection are considered

  3. Calibration of a Distributed Hydrological Model using Remote Sensing Evapotranspiration data in the Semi-Arid Punjab Region of Pakista

    Science.gov (United States)

    Becker, R.; Usman, M.

    2017-12-01

    A SWAT (Soil Water Assessment Tool) model is applied in the semi-arid Punjab region in Pakistan. The physically based hydrological model is set up to simulate hydrological processes and water resources demands under future land use, climate change and irrigation management scenarios. In order to successfully run the model, detailed focus is laid on the calibration procedure of the model. The study deals with the following calibration issues:i. lack of reliable calibration/validation data, ii. difficulty to accurately model a highly managed system with a physically based hydrological model and iii. use of alternative and spatially distributed data sets for model calibration. In our study area field observations are rare and the entirely human controlled irrigation system renders central calibration parameters (e.g. runoff/curve number) unsuitable, as it can't be assumed that they represent the natural behavior of the hydrological system. From evapotranspiration (ET) however principal hydrological processes can still be inferred. Usman et al. (2015) derived satellite based monthly ET data for our study area based on SEBAL (Surface Energy Balance Algorithm) and created a reliable ET data set which we use in this study to calibrate our SWAT model. The initial SWAT model performance is evaluated with respect to the SEBAL results using correlation coefficients, RMSE, Nash-Sutcliffe efficiencies and mean differences. Particular focus is laid on the spatial patters, investigating the potential of a spatially differentiated parameterization instead of just using spatially uniform calibration data. A sensitivity analysis reveals the most sensitive parameters with respect to changes in ET, which are then selected for the calibration process.Using the SEBAL-ET product we calibrate the SWAT model for the time period 2005-2006 using a dynamically dimensioned global search algorithm to minimize RMSE. The model improvement after the calibration procedure is finally evaluated based

  4. Pinyon-juniper woodlands

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1995-01-01

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

  5. Microvirga vignae sp. nov., a root nodule symbiotic bacterium isolated from cowpea grown in semi-arid Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Radl, Viviane; Simões-Araújo, Jean Luiz; Leite, Jakson; Passos, Samuel Ribeiro; Martins, Lindete Míria Vieira; Xavier, Gustavo Ribeiro; Rumjanek, Norma Gouvêa; Baldani, José Ivo; Zilli, Jerri Edson

    2014-03-01

    16S rRNA gene sequence analysis of eight strains (BR 3299(T), BR 3296, BR 10192, BR 10193, BR 10194, BR 10195, BR 10196 and BR 10197) isolated from nodules of cowpea collected from a semi-arid region of Brazil showed 97 % similarity to sequences of recently described rhizobial species of the genus Microvirga. Phylogenetic analyses of four housekeeping genes (gyrB, recA, dnaK and rpoB), DNA-DNA relatedness and AFLP further indicated that these strains belong to a novel species within the genus Microvirga. Our data support the hypothesis that genes related to nitrogen fixation were obtained via horizontal gene transfer, as sequences of nifH genes were very similar to those found in members of the genera Rhizobium and Mesorhizobium, which are not immediate relatives of the genus Microvirga, as shown by 16S rRNA gene sequence analysis. Phenotypic traits, such as host range and carbon utilization, differentiate the novel strains from the most closely related species, Microvirga lotononidis, Microvirga zambiensis and Microvirga lupini. Therefore, these symbiotic nitrogen-fixing bacteria are proposed to be representatives of a novel species, for which the name Microvirga vignae sp. nov. is suggested. The type strain is BR3299(T) ( = HAMBI 3457(T)).

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Analysis of soil and vegetation patterns in semi-arid Mediterranean landscapes by way of a conceptual water balance model

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    I. Portoghese

    2008-06-01

    Full Text Available This paper investigates the impact of various vegetation types on water balance variability in semi-arid Mediterranean landscapes, and the different strategies they may have developed to succeed in such water-limited environments. The existence of preferential associations between soil water holding capacity and vegetation species is assessed through an extensive soil geo-database focused on a study region in Southern Italy. Water balance constraints that dominate the organization of landscapes are investigated by a conceptual bucket approach. The temporal water balance dynamics are modelled, with vegetation water use efficiency being parameterized through the use of empirically obtained crop coefficients as surrogates of vegetation behavior in various developmental stages. Sensitivity analyses with respect to the root zone depth and soil water holding capacity are carried out with the aim of explaining the existence of preferential soil-vegetation associations and, hence, the spatial distribution of vegetation types within the study region. Based on these sensitivity analyses the degrees of suitability and adaptability of each vegetation type to parts of the study region are explored with respect of the soil water holding capacity, and the model results were found consistent with the observed affinity patterns.

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

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    Yating He

    2017-01-01

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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Identification of suitable sites for rainwater harvesting structures in arid and semi-arid regions: A review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ammar Adham

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Harvested rainwater is an alternative source of water in arid and semi-arid regions (ASARs around the world. Many researchers have developed and applied various methodologies and criteria to identify suitable sites and techniques for rainwater harvesting (RWH. Determining the best method or guidelines for site selection, however, is difficult. The main objective of this study was to define a general method for selecting suitable RWH sites in ASARs by assembling an inventory of the main methods and criteria developed during the last three decades. We categorised and compared four main methodologies of site selection from 48 studies published in scientific journals, reports of international organisations, or sources of information obtained from practitioners. We then identified three main sets of criteria for selecting RWH locations and the main characteristics of the most common RWH techniques used in ASARs. The methods were diverse, ranging from those based only on biophysical criteria to more integrated approaches including socio-economic criteria, especially after 2000. The most important criteria for the selection of suitable sites for RWH were slope, land use/cover, soil type, rainfall, distance to settlements/streams, and cost. The success rate of RWH projects tended to increase when these criteria were considered, but an objective evaluation of these selection methods is still lacking. Most studies now select RHW sites using geographic information systems in combination with hydrological models and multi-criteria analysis.

  13. 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.

  14. Quality of Life of Post-Mastectomy Women Living in a Semi-Arid Region of Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Araújo Neto, Emídio A; Alves, Beatriz C A; Gehrke, Flávia de S; Azzalis, Ligia A; Junqueira, Virginia C B; Sousa, Luiz Vinicius de A; Adami, Fernando; Fonseca, Fernando L A

    2017-06-05

    Health is the major reference regarding quality of life; when it comes to breast cancer in particular, the loss of a breast traumatically affects a woman's life, reflecting on her quality of life. Recognizing this problem, our aim was to investigate the quality of life of women who live in a semi-arid region of Brazil after breast cancer mastectomy. In this exploratory, transversal and observational study, a Brazilian variantof the shorter version of the original instrument from the World Health Organization Quality of Life (WHOQOL-BREF), applied in the study population, was analyzed and their socio-demographic profile was obtained. The sample was composed of 50 mastectomized women. The 50 included patients comprised women at a mean age of 54 years. Most of them had finished elementary school, and their average income was one Brazilian minimum monthly wage. Regarding the data related to quality of life, the highest score was found in the social relationships domain (4.29) followed by the psychological (4.09) and environmental (3.88) domains. The lowest score observed was for the physical domain (3.48). With these findings we can say that social and psychological parameters are driving factors of the quality of life in post-mastectomy women. Therefore, these results are useful to establish strategies to improve the quality of life of breast cancer mastectomy patients.

  15. Structural variations among monocot emergent and amphibious species from lakes of the semi-arid region of Bahia, Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    KRB Leite

    Full Text Available Temporary lakes are common in the semi-arid region of the State of Bahia and form water mirrors in the rainy season. In this period, various vegetal species appear having different life forms adapted to the seasonality conditions of the rainfall regime. This work surveyed the adaptive anatomical structures of some emergent and amphibious monocot species occurring in these lakes. We studied the anatomy of roots, rhizomes, leaves and scapes of Cyperus odoratus, Oxycaryum cubense, Pycreus macrostachyos (Cyperaceae - amphibious species; and of Echinodorus grandiflorus (Alismataceae, Eichhornia paniculata (Pontederiaceae and Habenaria repens (Orchidaceae - emergent species. The anatomical features of the dermal, fundamental and vascular systems confirming the tendency of the adaptive convergence of these plants to temporary lacustrine the environment include: single layered epidermal cells with a thin cuticle layer in the aerial organs; the presence of air canals in all the organs; few or no supporting tissues; and less numerous conducting elements and thinner cell walls in the xylem. The reduction of the supporting tissues, the number of stomata, which can even be absent, and the number of conducting elements and the degree of cell wall lignification in the xylem of the emergent species is more accentuated than that of the amphibious species. The pattern of distribution of aerenchyma in the roots of the studied species was considered important to distinguish between amphibious and emergent life forms.

  16. Structural variations among monocot emergent and amphibious species from lakes of the semi-arid region of Bahia, Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leite, K R B; França, F; Scatena, V I

    2012-02-01

    Temporary lakes are common in the semi-arid region of the State of Bahia and form water mirrors in the rainy season. In this period, various vegetal species appear having different life forms adapted to the seasonality conditions of the rainfall regime. This work surveyed the adaptive anatomical structures of some emergent and amphibious monocot species occurring in these lakes. We studied the anatomy of roots, rhizomes, leaves and scapes of Cyperus odoratus, Oxycaryum cubense, Pycreus macrostachyos (Cyperaceae) - amphibious species; and of Echinodorus grandiflorus (Alismataceae), Eichhornia paniculata (Pontederiaceae) and Habenaria repens (Orchidaceae) - emergent species. The anatomical features of the dermal, fundamental and vascular systems confirming the tendency of the adaptive convergence of these plants to temporary lacustrine the environment include: single layered epidermal cells with a thin cuticle layer in the aerial organs; the presence of air canals in all the organs; few or no supporting tissues; and less numerous conducting elements and thinner cell walls in the xylem. The reduction of the supporting tissues, the number of stomata, which can even be absent, and the number of conducting elements and the degree of cell wall lignification in the xylem of the emergent species is more accentuated than that of the amphibious species. The pattern of distribution of aerenchyma in the roots of the studied species was considered important to distinguish between amphibious and emergent life forms.

  17. Commercialization of animal-derived remedies as complementary medicine in the semi-arid region of Northeastern Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alves, Rômulo R N; Léo Neto, Nivaldo A; Brooks, Sharon E; Albuquerque, Ulysses P

    2009-07-30

    In this study, we aim to document the use of animal species in traditional medicine and healing practices in the semi-arid region of Northeastern Brazil. While widespread and of great importance to large population that has limited access to contemporary medicine, such practices are poorly understood and the potential value of medicinal animal species largely unknown. Based on interviews with the merchants of medicinal animals, we calculated the informant consensus factor (ICF) to determine the consensus over which species are effective for particular ailments, as well as the species relative importance to determine the extent of potential utilization of each species. We describe the therapeutic effects of 36 animal species used medicinally. The zootherapeutical products sold commercially are used to treat 40 health problems that were classified into 10 broad categories. We also highlight those species valued for their effectiveness against a range of ailments. The highest ICF value (0.91) was cited for diseases of the skin and subcutaneous tissue, which include relief of symptoms such as acne and furuncles. This study demonstrates that many animal species play an important role in healing practices. Animals provide the raw materials for remedies prescribed clinically and are also used in the form of amulets and charms in magic-religious rituals and ceremonies. The medicinal value of animal species depends on the local knowledge that exists within user communities, and therefore, the conservation of animal species is imperative to the preservation of local medicinal knowledge and culture.

  18. 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.

  19. Some cirad activities and perspectives in water and nutrient management in arid and semi-arid regions using nuclear techniques

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Maraux, F.; Affholder, F.; Forest, F.; Ganry, F.; N'diaye, M.; Oliver, R.; Scopel, E.

    1998-01-01

    The Centre de Cooperation Internationale en Recherche Agronomique pour le Developpement has conducted collaborative research with national agricultural research services in several semi-arid regions that has led to a general understanding of the relationship between water consumption and growth, and crop responses to fertilizers. However, farmers' adoption of practices arising from the research has been minimal. Current effort is directed at overcoming limits to adoption, firstly by understanding the interaction of fertilizer response and water supply, especially through modelling, in order to quantify risk criteria from the farmer's point of view. Secondly, research now takes account of the whole cropping system, including labour availability, access to credit, livestock management, etc., with a multidisciplinary approach. Approaches that offer sustainability are improved intercropping systems, retention of crop residues, increased plant cover, and agroforestry. There are important technical gaps in understanding of how these systems should operate. The allocation of nutrients and water among the components of intercropped or agroforestry systems is not understood and solutions could lead to improved spatial arrangements. The integrated effects of residues on runoff, soil evaporation, crop transpiration and N mineralization are not quantified. In these and other problems, the full range of risks as well as benefits need to be evaluated. (author)

  20. Political participation and sustainability: reflections on a research-intervention with youngs in Cearas’s semi-arid region

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Domingos Arthur Feitosa Petrola

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available Participating socially and politically in the country's life still is a huge democratic challenge, especially when it concerns Brazilian youth. This research therefore sought to understand the social and political participation of young people in the semi-arid region, analyzing their relations with sustainability. With a qualitative nature, it was developed between May and August of 2014 with a group of subjects, with 15 to 30 years old, members of a non-governmental organization in the city of Arneiroz, countryside of the State of Ceara. The type of research is expressed in the research-intervention which assumes a political and methodological feature. The Freirean Culture Circles were also used as a "place-instruments" of data collection. By the results, it was observed that young people have demonstrated that, despite recognizing the importance of acting and assuming a political role at the transformation of reality through participation mechanisms, they do not feel invited to occupy this place given the traditional and technocratic model of social control and, therefore, they show little interest in effective participatory action. It is urgent to elaborate methodologies that promote and reach to a committed and critical participation, structured through an ideal of sustainable and ethical public policies, stimulating more creative forms of emancipation.

  1. Lake Area Changes and Their Influence on Factors in Arid and Semi-Arid Regions along the Silk Road

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chao Tan

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available In the context of global warming, the changes in major lakes and their responses to the influence factors in arid and semi-arid regions along the Silk Road are especially important for the sustainable development of local water resources. In this study, the areas of 24 lakes were extracted using MODIS NDVI data, and their spatial-temporal characteristics were analyzed. In addition, the relationship between lake areas and the influence factors, including air temperature, precipitation, evapotranspiration, land use and land cover change (LULCC and population density in the watersheds, were investigated. The results indicated that the areas of most lakes shrank, and the total area decreased by 22,189.7 km2 from 2001 to 2016, except for those of the lakes located on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau. The air temperature was the most important factor for all the lakes and increased at a rate of 0.113 °C/a during the past 16 years. LULCC and the increasing population density markedly influenced the lakes located in the middle to western parts of this study area. Therefore, our results connecting lake area changes in the study region highlight the great challenge of water resources and the urgency of implementation of the green policy in the One Belt and One Road Initiative through international collaboration.

  2. Effects of organic amendments on the mobility of Pb and Zn from mine tailings added to semi-arid soils.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barajas-Aceves, M; Rodríguez-Vázquez, R

    2013-01-01

    The effects of mine tailings and three organic amendments (compost, bokashi and vermicompost) on the mobility factor for Pb and Zn and on the potential C and N mineralization in semi-arid agricultural and rangeland soils were examined. During the experiment, soil samples were analyzed periodically for CO(2)-C evolution, inorganic N, dehydrogenase activity and percent Pb and Zn mobility during 169 d of incubation. The dehydrogenase activity and CO(2)-C evolved were strongly inhibited by mine tailings mixed with organic compost in both agricultural and rangeland soils (37 to 43 %), followed by N mineralization in treatments with mine tailings plus bokashi or compost (13 to 26.5 %) at 169 d incubation. The highest % mobility of Pb and Zn were observed in soils amended with mine tailings alone, while the lowest was observed in agricultural soils treated with vermicompost plus mine tailings. The CO(2)-C evolved was fitted to first order E, while the cumulative N mineralization was fitted to the linearized power function. Mine tailings were found to influence the potential C and N mineralization rate constants in both soils. The models for C and N mineralization could be used to evaluate the effects of mine tailings, which include intrinsic parameters in the soil.

  3. Deep Soil Recharge in Arid and Semi-Arid Regions: New Evidences in MU-US Sandy Land of China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cheng, Y.; Yang, W.; Zhan, H.

    2017-12-01

    Precipitation induced recharge is an important source of groundwater budget but it is very difficult to quantify in arid and semiarid regions. In this study, a newly invented lysimeter was used to monitor deep soil recharge (DSR) under 200 cm depth in MU-US sandy land in western China under three kinds of landforms (mobile dune, semi-fixed dune, and fixed dune). We found that the annual DSRs in such three different kinds of landforms varied significantly. Specifically, the annual DSRs were 224.1 mm (50.5% of the annual precipitation), 71.1 mm (50.5% of the annual precipitation), and 1.3 mm (0.3% of the annual precipitation) in mobile dune, semi-fixed dune, and fixed dune, respectively. We also found that vegetation coverage and precipitation pattern significantly affected DSR. A 24-hr precipitation event with the precipitation amount greater than 8 mm was able to infiltrate soil deeper than 200 cm and contributed to ground water recharge directly. Vegetation was a dominant factor influencing infiltration in the fixed sand dune. Our research revealed that precipitation induced DSR in arid and semi-arid regions was a complex process that required long-term monitoring and innovative system analysis of interrelated factors such as precipitation strength and pattern, meteorological parameters, and dynamic soil moisture. Key words: Precipitation pattern, sand dune groundwater, deep soil recharge, infiltration.

  4. Seasonal variations in plant water status of four desert halophytes from semi-arid region of Karachi

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Aziz, I.; Gul, B.; Gulzar, S.; Khan, A

    2011-01-01

    Halophytes in arid and semi arid zones of the world are often subjected to extremely variable drought, salinity and temperature. These fluctuations may bring about changes in their osmoregulation and gas exchange responses besides other physiological and biochemical processes. The purpose of this study was to detect temporal changes in plant water status and osmotic adjustment in four desert halophytes viz., Suaeda fruticosa, Heliotropium curassavicum, Haloxylon stocksii and Atriplex stocksii from an inland community at Karachi University Campus. During the dry period (November to January) water and osmotic potentials of all test species increased with higher values in A. stocksii (salt secretor) than those of S. fruticosa and H. stocksii (salt includer) and H. curassavicum (salt excluder). Proline increased substantially and was highest in H. curassavicum followed by A. stocksii in comparison to the two salt includers. The lowering of osmotic potential corresponded to an increase in Na and Cl, lower stomatal conductance and chlorophyll content indicating reduced gas exchange during the dry period. The increase in proline may have little role in osmoreglation but could contribute in scavenging reactive oxygen species. (author)

  5. 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.

  6. Assessing anthropogenic impacts on limited water resources under semi-arid conditions: three-dimensional transient regional modelling in Jordan

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rödiger, Tino; Magri, Fabien; Geyer, Stefan; Morandage, Shehan Tharaka; Ali Subah, H. E.; Alraggad, Marwan; Siebert, Christian

    2017-11-01

    Both increasing aridity and population growth strongly stress freshwater resources in semi-arid areas such as Jordan. The country's second largest governorate, Irbid, with over 1 million inhabitants, is already suffering from an annual water deficit of 25 million cubic meters (MCM). The population is expected to double within the next 20 years. Even without the large number of refugees from Syria, the deficit will likely increase to more then 50 MCM per year by 2035 The Governorate's exclusive resource is groundwater, abstracted by the extensive Al Arab and Kufr Asad well fields. This study presents the first three-dimensional transient regional groundwater flow model of the entire Wadi al Arab to answer important questions regarding the dynamic quality and availability of water within the catchment. Emphasis is given to the calculation and validation of the dynamic groundwater recharge, derived from a multi-proxy approach, including (1) a hydrological model covering a 30-years dataset, (2) groundwater level measurements and (3) information about springs. The model enables evaluation of the impact of abstraction on the flow regime and the groundwater budget of the resource. Sensitivity analyses of controlling parameters indicate that intense abstraction in the southern part of the Wadi al Arab system can result in critical water-level drops of 10 m at a distance of 16 km from the production wells. Moreover, modelling results suggest that observed head fluctuations are strongly controlled by anthropogenic abstraction rather than variable recharge rates due to climate changes.

  7. Spatial and temporal dynamics of deep percolation, lag time and recharge in an irrigated semi-arid region

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nazarieh, F.; Ansari, H.; Ziaei, A. N.; Izady, A.; Davari, K.; Brunner, P.

    2018-05-01

    The time required for deep percolating water to reach the water table can be considerable in areas with a thick vadose zone. Sustainable groundwater management, therefore, has to consider the spatial and temporal dynamics of groundwater recharge. The key parameters that control the lag time have been widely examined in soil physics using small-scale lysimeters and modeling studies. However, only a small number of studies have analyzed how deep-percolation rates affect groundwater recharge dynamics over large spatial scales. This study examined how the parameters influencing lag time affect groundwater recharge in a semi-arid catchment under irrigation (in northeastern Iran) using a numerical modeling approach. Flow simulations were performed by the MODFLOW-NWT code with the Vadose-Zone Flow (UZF) Package. Calibration of the groundwater model was based on data from 48 observation wells. Flow simulations showed that lag times vary from 1 to more than 100 months. A sensitivity analysis demonstrated that during drought conditions, the lag time was highly sensitive to the rate of deep percolation. The study illustrated two critical points: (1) the importance of providing estimates of the lag time as a basis for sustainable groundwater management, and (2) lag time not only depends on factors such as soil hydraulic conductivity or vadose zone depth but also depends on the deep-percolation rates and the antecedent soil-moisture condition. Therefore, estimates of the lag time have to be associated with specific percolation rates, in addition to depth to groundwater and soil properties.

  8. Development and water requirements of cowpea under climate change conditions in the Brazilian semi-arid region

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Edmilson G. Cavalcante Junior

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT This study aimed to determine the impacts that climate change may cause on the development and evapotranspiration of cowpea, in semi-arid climate region of Northeast Brazil. The study was conducted in the municipalities of Apodi, Ipanguaçu and Mossoró, in the state of Rio Grande do Norte. In order to evaluate the influence of climate change on crop water consumption, changes in air temperature and relative humidity were simulated using the PRECIS climate model. Two scenarios of emissions were evaluated based on the report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change: a pessimistic named A2 and an optimistic B2. The duration of the crop cycle showed an average reduction of 14 and 23 days for the optimistic and pessimistic scenarios, respectively. Temperatures will be well above the limit tolerated by crop, which could have a negative impact on its development and yield. There will be a decrease in total evapotranspiration of 4.8%, considering the optimistic scenario, and 8.7% in the pessimistic scenario.

  9. 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 < 0.01). Among the body regions that were examined, the samples from the neck demonstrated the highest epithelium thickness (16.23 ± 0.13 μm). However, the samples of 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.

  10. Key attributes of agricultural innovations in semi-arid smallholder farming systems in south-west Zimbabwe

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-06-01

    In Sub-Sahara Africa, which includes Zimbabwe, about 80% of the population depends on agriculture for subsistence, employment and income. Agricultural production and productivity are, however, low. This has been attributed to a lack of appropriate innovations despite the huge investments that have been made to promote 'innovations' as a means to safeguarding agriculture-based livelihoods, which raises the question of how innovations are conceptualized, designed and implemented. This paper explores the key attributes of agricultural innovations by assessing how innovations are conceptualized, designed and implemented in semi-arid smallholder farming systems in south-west Zimbabwe. The study gathered information from 13 key informants and a household survey of 239 farmer households from Gwanda and Insiza districts. Results showed a multiplicity of understandings of agricultural innovations among different stakeholders. However, novelty/newness, utility and adaptability were identified as the major attributes. In general, farmers characterized agricultural innovations as 'something new and mostly introduced by NGOs' but did not associate them with the key attributes of utility and adaptability. More crop-related innovations were identified despite the area being suitable for livestock production. The paper concludes that, rather than view the multiple and sometimes competing understandings of agricultural innovations as undesirable, this should be used to promote context specific innovations which stand a better chance of enhancing agriculture-based livelihoods.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-11-01

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

  12. Nitrogen (15 N) fertilizer use in subsistence culture in the semi-arid soil of Northeast-Brazil

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sampaio, Everardo V.S.B.; Antonino, Antonio C.D.; Salcedo, Ignacio H.; Tiessen, Holm

    1997-01-01

    Productivity in the semi-arid area of Northeast Brazil is limited by nitrogen deficiency but fertilizers are not used due to the risk of this investment, usually calculated considering the year of application. Part of the fertilizer accumulates in the soil and can be used in subsequent crops. To provide information on accumulation, an experiment was established at Coxixola, city Pernambuco state consisting of combinations of single and intercropped corn and beans, with and without nitrogen fertilization (16 Kg.ha-1). Planting was done in holes, 1,1 x 1,0 m apart and 15N ammonium nitrate was applied in the there central holes of the plots. At harvest, plants in these hole were analysed separately and the soil was sampled at threre depths and five distances from the point of application of the fertilizer. Productivities were low, without differences between fertilized and non fertilized treatments for grain but with differences for straw. Single corn absorbed more (34%) and retained more of the N fertilizer in the soil (50%) than single beans (16 e 28%) and intercrop (corn 15% beans 11% soil 48%). Part of the unrecovered fertilizer may have migrated out of the sampled volume. This migration and the losses in beans indicate that only a small effect is expected for the accumulated N in the soil. (author). 31 refs., 1 fig., 4 tabs

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-03-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-11-01

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

  15. Geochemical processes controlling groundwater quality under semi arid environment: A case study in central Morocco.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karroum, Morad; Elgettafi, Mohammed; Elmandour, Abdenabi; Wilske, Cornelia; Himi, Mahjoub; Casas, Albert

    2017-12-31

    Bahira plain is an important area for Morocco due to its agriculture and mining activities. Situated in a sub-arid to arid climate, this plain hosts an aquifer system that represents sequences of carbonates, phosphates, evaporates and alluvial deposits. Groundwater flows from Ganntour plateau (recharge area) to the basin-fill deposits and Zima Lake and Sed Elmejnoun where water evaporates. The objective of this study was to characterize the chemical properties of the groundwater and to assess the processes controlling the groundwater's chemistry. We can divide water samples into three hydrochemical water groups: recharge waters (Ca/Mg-HCO 3 ), transition zone waters (Ca-HCO 3 -SO 4 /Cl) and discharge waters (Na-Cl/SO 4 ). Accordingly, compositions of waters are determined by the availability of easily soluble minerals like calcite (Ca-HCO 3 dominant), halite (Na-Cl dominant) and gypsum (Ca-SO 4 dominant). Cl/Br ratios show that Cl concentration increases from dissolution of natural halite. When groundwater is affected by extreme evaporation Cl/Br ratios may increase up to 1900. High fluoride concentrations are associated with low Ca 2+ concentrations (<100mg/L). That means when recharge waters enter the aquifer, it starts dissolving fluorite since the Ca 2+ concentration is low. Once groundwater becomes saturated with Ca 2+ , the immobilization of fluoride is occurring by precipitation of fluoride-rich minerals like fluoro-apatite. According to the environmental isotope ( 18 O and 2 H) analyses, they are three potential processes affecting groundwater: 1. Evaporation as verified by low slope value, 2. Water-rock interaction, 3. admixture of waters showed different stable isotope compositions and salinities. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  16. Too Much or Too Little? Eco-hydrology in Arid and Semi-arid Regions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Toch, S. L.

    2009-04-01

    Around the world, disastrous effects of floods and droughts are painful evidence of our continuing struggle between human resource demands and the sustainability of our hydrologic ecosystems. Too much or too little rainfall is often deemed the culprit in these water crises, focusing on water "lacks and needs" instead of exploring the diverse mechanisms of the hydrologic functions and processes that sustain us. Applicable to regions around the world, this unified approach focuses on the connections between our human and ecological qualities, with user friendly concepts and how-to guides backed up by real life experiences. From the poorest parts of Africa to Urban France to the wealthiest state in the USA, examples from surface to groundwater to marine environments demonstrate how the links between vulnerable natural areas, and the basins that they support are integral to the availability, adequacy and accessibility of our drinking water. The interactions of watersheds within our diverse communities can link our resource practices with our human needs, serving as a basis for our ecological health and human well-being. Hydrologic ecosystems provide links to geographic and cultural information traversing physical and social boundaries. This international, community-based project demonstrates how our human resource demands can be managed within ecological constraints. An inter-disciplinary process is used that specifically explores the connections between ecological integrity and the preservation of potable supplies. A monitoring strategy is developed that assesses risk to human health from resource use practices, and explores the similarities and interactions between our human needs and those of the ecosystems in which we all must live together. This work is geared as a reference for groups, individuals and agencies concerned with land use and watershed management, a supplement for interdisciplinary high school through University curriculum, for professional

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

    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.

  18. Immunomodulatory activity of extracts from Cordia superba Cham. and Cordia rufescens A. DC. (Boraginaceae), plant species native from Brazilian Semi-arid

    OpenAIRE

    Costa,José Fernando Oliveira; David,Juceni P. L.; David,Jorge M.; Giulietti,Ana M.; Queiroz,Luciano P.; Santos,Ricardo R.; Soares,Milena Botelho P.

    2008-01-01

    The family Boraginaceae is widely distributed in Brazil and in the Northeastern region some species are popularly used to treat symptoms of rheumatism, painful menstruation and dyspepsia. In this work we studied Cordia superba Cham. and C. rufescens A. DC., native from Brazilian Semi-arid region, in order to investigate their immunomodulatory activity. Six extracts were prepared from aerial parts of C. superba and C. rufescens. The cytotoxicity was evaluated using splenocytes from BALB/c mice...

  19. Consistency between Sweat Rate and Wet Bulb Globe Temperature for the Assessment of Heat Stress of People Working Outdoor in Arid and Semi-arid Regions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hamidreza Heidari

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Background: Heat stress is common among workers in arid and semi-arid areas. In order to take every preventive measure to protect exposed workers against heat-related disorders, it is crucial to choose an appropriate index that accurately relates environmental parameters to physiological responses. Objective: To investigate the consistency between 2 heat stress and strain indices, ie, sweat rate and wet bulb globe temperature (WBGT, for the assessment of heat stress of people working outdoor in arid and semi-arid regions in Iran. Methods: During spring and summer, 136 randomly selected outdoor workers were enrolled in this study. Using a defined protocol, the sweat rate of these workers was measured 3 times a day. Simultaneously, the environmental parameters including WBGT index were recorded for each working station. Results: The level of agreement between sweat rate and WBGT was poor (κ<0.2. Based on sweat rate, no case exceeding the reference value was observed during the study. WBGT overestimated the heat stress in outdoor workers compared to sweat rate. Conclusion: It seems that the sweat rate standards may need some modifications related to real condition of work in arid and semi-arid regions in Iran. Moreover, it seems that judging workers solely based on monitoring their sweat rate in such regions, can probably result in underestimation of heat stress.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tana P. MEWADA

    2015-09-01

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

  1. The Impact of Green Water Management Strategies on Household-Level Agricultural Water Productivity in a Semi-Arid Region: A Survey-based Assessment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Afton Clarke-Sather

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available This study evaluates the effect of policies that encourage farmers to shift to crops with higher water productivity (CWP on the farm-level CWP of agricultural systems in a semi-arid region of western China. We combine survey results of farmers’ historical cropping decisions from a 2010 survey with estimates of CWP from agronomic experiments analogous to actual cultivation practices in the region to model CWP at the farm level and understand changes driven by shifting crops. Policies designed to replace subsistence agricultural systems with two cash crops; potatoes and maize; resulted in an increase in the CWP of semi-arid agricultural systems of approximately 30% between the years 1990–2010. This change was driven by shifting to crops that have a peak water demand that occurs in the portions of the growing season with the highest rainfall. The results of this article illustrate the potential of shifts in cropping patterns to increase the CWP of agricultural systems in semi-arid regions.

  2. Evaluation of Three Evaporation Estimation Techniques In A Semi-Arid Region (Omar El Mukhtar Reservoir Sluge, Libya- As a case Study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lubna s. Ben Taher

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available In many semi-arid countries in the world like Libya, drinking water supply is dependent on reservoirs water storage. Since the evaporation rate is very high in semi-arid countries, estimates and forecasts of reservoir evaporation rate can be useful in the management of major water source. Many researchers have been investigating the suitability of estimates evaporation rates methods in many climatic settings, infrequently of which were in an arid setting. This paper presents the modeling results of evaporation from Omar El Mukhtar Reservoir, Libya. Three techniques namely (artificial neural networks (ANN, Multiple linear regression (MLR and response surface methods (RSM were developed, to assess the estimation of monthly evaporation records from 2001 to 2009; their relative performance were compared using the coefficient of determination(E, mean absolute percentage error (MAPE%, and 95% confidence interval. The key variables used to develop and validate the models were: monthly (precipitation Rf., average temperature Temp., relative humidity Rh., sunshine hours Sh., atmospheric pressure Pa. and wind speed Ws.. The encouraging results approved that the models with more inputs generally had better accuracies and the ANN model performed superior to the other models in predicting monthly Evp with high E=0.86 and low MAPE%= 13.9 and the predicted mean within the range of observed 95CI%. In summary, it is revealed in this study that the ANN and RSM models are appropriate for predicting Evp using climatic inputs in semi-arid climate.

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

    KAUST Repository

    Schillaci, Calogero

    2016-10-29

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

  4. Water quality modelling of an impacted semi-arid catchment using flow data from the WEAP model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Slaughter, Andrew R.; Mantel, Sukhmani K.

    2018-04-01

    The continuous decline in water quality in many regions is forcing a shift from quantity-based water resources management to a greater emphasis on water quality management. Water quality models can act as invaluable tools as they facilitate a conceptual understanding of processes affecting water quality and can be used to investigate the water quality consequences of management scenarios. In South Africa, the Water Quality