WorldWideScience

Sample records for biosphere

  1. The Biosphere.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cloud, Preston

    1983-01-01

    Discusses the earth's biosphere, considering how the microbial, animal and plant life (which make up the biosphere) are sustained by the earth's lithosphere, hydrosphere, and atmosphere. Also considers how these three earth features have powerfully shaped the evolution of these organisms. (JN)

  2. Interpretation of Biosphere Reserves.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Merriman, Tim

    1994-01-01

    Introduces the Man and the Biosphere Programme (MAB) to monitor the 193 biogeographical provinces of the Earth and the creation of biosphere reserves. Highlights the need for interpreters to become familiar or involved with MAB program activities. (LZ)

  3. Biosphere Model Report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    D.W. Wu; A.J. Smith

    2004-11-08

    The purpose of this report is to document the biosphere model, the Environmental Radiation Model for Yucca Mountain, Nevada (ERMYN), which describes radionuclide transport processes in the biosphere and associated human exposure that may arise as the result of radionuclide release from the geologic repository at Yucca Mountain. The biosphere model is one of the process models that support the Yucca Mountain Project (YMP) Total System Performance Assessment (TSPA) for the license application (LA), TSPA-LA. The ERMYN provides the capability of performing human radiation dose assessments. This report documents the biosphere model, which includes: (1) Describing the reference biosphere, human receptor, exposure scenarios, and primary radionuclides for each exposure scenario (Section 6.1); (2) Developing a biosphere conceptual model using site-specific features, events, and processes (FEPs) (Section 6.2), the reference biosphere (Section 6.1.1), the human receptor (Section 6.1.2), and approximations (Sections 6.3.1.4 and 6.3.2.4); (3) Building a mathematical model using the biosphere conceptual model (Section 6.3) and published biosphere models (Sections 6.4 and 6.5); (4) Summarizing input parameters for the mathematical model, including the uncertainty associated with input values (Section 6.6); (5) Identifying improvements in the ERMYN compared with the model used in previous biosphere modeling (Section 6.7); (6) Constructing an ERMYN implementation tool (model) based on the biosphere mathematical model using GoldSim stochastic simulation software (Sections 6.8 and 6.9); (7) Verifying the ERMYN by comparing output from the software with hand calculations to ensure that the GoldSim implementation is correct (Section 6.10); (8) Validating the ERMYN by corroborating it with published biosphere models; comparing conceptual models, mathematical models, and numerical results (Section 7).

  4. Biosphere Process Model Report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    J. Schmitt

    2000-05-25

    To evaluate the postclosure performance of a potential monitored geologic repository at Yucca Mountain, a Total System Performance Assessment (TSPA) will be conducted. Nine Process Model Reports (PMRs), including this document, are being developed to summarize the technical basis for each of the process models supporting the TSPA model. These reports cover the following areas: (1) Integrated Site Model; (2) Unsaturated Zone Flow and Transport; (3) Near Field Environment; (4) Engineered Barrier System Degradation, Flow, and Transport; (5) Waste Package Degradation; (6) Waste Form Degradation; (7) Saturated Zone Flow and Transport; (8) Biosphere; and (9) Disruptive Events. Analysis/Model Reports (AMRs) contain the more detailed technical information used to support TSPA and the PMRs. The AMRs consists of data, analyses, models, software, and supporting documentation that will be used to defend the applicability of each process model for evaluating the postclosure performance of the potential Yucca Mountain repository system. This documentation will ensure the traceability of information from its source through its ultimate use in the TSPA-Site Recommendation (SR) and in the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) analysis processes. The objective of the Biosphere PMR is to summarize (1) the development of the biosphere model, and (2) the Biosphere Dose Conversion Factors (BDCFs) developed for use in TSPA. The Biosphere PMR does not present or summarize estimates of potential radiation doses to human receptors. Dose calculations are performed as part of TSPA and will be presented in the TSPA documentation. The biosphere model is a component of the process to evaluate postclosure repository performance and regulatory compliance for a potential monitored geologic repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. The biosphere model describes those exposure pathways in the biosphere by which radionuclides released from a potential repository could reach a human receptor

  5. Reconnecting to the biosphere.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Folke, Carl; Jansson, Asa; Rockström, Johan; Olsson, Per; Carpenter, Stephen R; Chapin, F Stuart; Crépin, Anne-Sophie; Daily, Gretchen; Danell, Kjell; Ebbesson, Jonas; Elmqvist, Thomas; Galaz, Victor; Moberg, Fredrik; Nilsson, Måns; Osterblom, Henrik; Ostrom, Elinor; Persson, Asa; Peterson, Garry; Polasky, Stephen; Steffen, Will; Walker, Brian; Westley, Frances

    2011-11-01

    Humanity has emerged as a major force in the operation of the biosphere, with a significant imprint on the Earth System, challenging social-ecological resilience. This new situation calls for a fundamental shift in perspectives, world views, and institutions. Human development and progress must be reconnected to the capacity of the biosphere and essential ecosystem services to be sustained. Governance challenges include a highly interconnected and faster world, cascading social-ecological interactions and planetary boundaries that create vulnerabilities but also opportunities for social-ecological change and transformation. Tipping points and thresholds highlight the importance of understanding and managing resilience. New modes of flexible governance are emerging. A central challenge is to reconnect these efforts to the changing preconditions for societal development as active stewards of the Earth System. We suggest that the Millennium Development Goals need to be reframed in such a planetary stewardship context combined with a call for a new social contract on global sustainability. The ongoing mind shift in human relations with Earth and its boundaries provides exciting opportunities for societal development in collaboration with the biosphere--a global sustainability agenda for humanity.

  6. The biosphere rules.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Unruh, Gregory C

    2008-02-01

    Sustainability, defined by natural scientists as the capacity of healthy ecosystems to function indefinitely, has become a clarion call for business. Leading companies have taken high-profile steps toward achieving it: Wal-Mart, for example, with its efforts to reduce packaging waste, and Nike, which has removed toxic chemicals from its shoes. But, says Unruh, the director of Thunderbird's Lincoln Center for Ethics in Global Management, sustainability is more than an endless journey of incremental steps. It is a destination, for which the biosphere of planet Earth--refined through billions of years of trial and error--is a perfect model. Unruh distills some lessons from the biosphere into three rules: Use a parsimonious palette. Managers can rethink their sourcing strategies and dramatically simplify the number and types of materials their companies use in production, making recycling cost-effective. After the furniture manufacturer Herman Miller discovered that its leading desk chair had 200 components made from more than 800 chemical compounds, it designed an award-winning successor whose far more limited materials palette is 96% recyclable. Cycle up, virtuously. Manufacturers should design recovery value into their products at the outset. Shaw Industries, for example, recycles the nylon fiber from its worn-out carpet into brand-new carpet tile. Exploit the power of platforms. Platform design in industry tends to occur at the component level--but the materials in those components constitute a more fundamental platform. Patagonia, by recycling Capilene brand performance underwear, has achieved energy costs 76% below those for virgin sourcing. Biosphere rules can teach companies how to build ecologically friendly products that both reduce manufacturing costs and prove highly attractive to consumers. And managers need not wait for a green technological revolution to implement them.

  7. Biosphere 2: The True Story.

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Keeffe, Michael

    1992-01-01

    Discusses the history and current developments of the Biosphere 2 Project, a prototype for enclosed self-sustaining structures for space colonization built in the Arizona Desert. Biosphere 2 was created to educate and provide solutions to environmental problems and revenue from research. (MCO)

  8. Implications of Biospheric Energization

    Science.gov (United States)

    Budding, Edd; Demircan, Osman; Gündüz, Güngör; Emin Özel, Mehmet

    2016-07-01

    Our physical model relating to the origin and development of lifelike processes from very simple beginnings is reviewed. This molecular ('ABC') process is compared with the chemoton model, noting the role of the autocatalytic tuning to the time-dependent source of energy. This substantiates a Darwinian character to evolution. The system evolves from very simple beginnings to a progressively more highly tuned, energized and complex responding biosphere, that grows exponentially; albeit with a very low net growth factor. Rates of growth and complexity in the evolution raise disturbing issues of inherent stability. Autocatalytic processes can include a fractal character to their development allowing recapitulative effects to be observed. This property, in allowing similarities of pattern to be recognized, can be useful in interpreting complex (lifelike) systems.

  9. The deep subterranean biosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pedersen, Karsten

    1993-08-01

    The main purpose with this review is to summarise present research on the microbiology of deep subterranean environments, deeper than 50-100 m. Included are mainly studies where drilling, excavation, core sampling and ground water sampling have been made for research. Studies done in environments penetrated for commercial purposes, such as water wells, mining, oil recovery etc., have been dismissed because of the obvious risk for contamination during the penetration. Different measures that can be applied to reduce the risk of microbial contamination of sampled specimens by the access operations are discussed. The requirement for reliable estimations of the present microbial biomass, its activity and diversity in subterranean ecosystems, is fundamental. An array of different methods to achieve this goal are presented. The depth limit for subterranean life is suggested to be set by temperature, provided there is energy available for microbial life. If so, it should be possible to enrich thermophilic bacteria from deep hot ground waters which also has been done. There are only a few sites where the subterranean microbiology has been studied in multidisiplinary programs including chemistry and geology. The two most extensively published sites are the sediments of the Atlantic coastal plain of South Carolina, USA, studied in a subsurface program, initiated and sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy, and crystalline bed-rock in Sweden studied in a program concerning the safety of future underground repositories for nuclear waste. This review presents an array of independent reports suggesting that microbial life is widespread at depth in the crust of earth—the deep subterranean biosphere. The obvious consequences is that microbes may be involved in many subterranean geochemical processes, such as diagenesis, weathering, precipitation, and in oxidation or reduction reactions of metals, carbon, nitrogen and sulfur—just as they are in most terranean environments.

  10. LIMITS OF THE EARTH BIOSPHERE

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Karel KUDRNA

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Evaluation of the state of CO2 accumulation in the atmosphere demands knowledge on possibilities of the biosphere – its photosynthetizing apparatus, conditions and limits of absorption. A decisive precondition is to determine relation of CO2 accumulation by photosynthesis in dependence on the water balance, especially on its control quantity – transpiration, which is stabilized by supporting of underground waters.

  11. Life span of the biosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lovelock, J. E.; Whitfield, M.

    1982-04-01

    Since main sequence stars appear to increase their burning rate as they age, the sun may be thought to have increased its output by 30% since the earth's origin 4.5 billion years ago. Due to the requirement for some means of planetary thermostasis in the maintenance of an equable climate since life began, possible links are considered between the biological, Gaia hypothesis of Lovelock and Margulis (1974) for climate control, and Walker et al's (in press) model of automatic thermostasis, in which the abundance of such atmospheric greenhouse gases as CO2 adjusts to resist the warming tendency of the increased solar flux. It is concluded that, since atmospheric CO2 is now close to its partial pressure lower limit, the biosphere will on a geological time-scale be soon exposed, without protection, to the predicted solar luminosity increases.

  12. Anthropogenic transformation of the terrestrial biosphere.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ellis, Erle C

    2011-03-13

    Human populations and their use of land have transformed most of the terrestrial biosphere into anthropogenic biomes (anthromes), causing a variety of novel ecological patterns and processes to emerge. To assess whether human populations and their use of land have directly altered the terrestrial biosphere sufficiently to indicate that the Earth system has entered a new geological epoch, spatially explicit global estimates of human populations and their use of land were analysed across the Holocene for their potential to induce irreversible novel transformation of the terrestrial biosphere. Human alteration of the terrestrial biosphere has been significant for more than 8000 years. However, only in the past century has the majority of the terrestrial biosphere been transformed into intensively used anthromes with predominantly novel anthropogenic ecological processes. At present, even were human populations to decline substantially or use of land become far more efficient, the current global extent, duration, type and intensity of human transformation of ecosystems have already irreversibly altered the terrestrial biosphere at levels sufficient to leave an unambiguous geological record differing substantially from that of the Holocene or any prior epoch. It remains to be seen whether the anthropogenic biosphere will be sustained and continue to evolve.

  13. The Sword of Damocles and the Biosphere

    OpenAIRE

    Cairns, John

    2011-01-01

    The tale of the sword of Damocles can be used to describe the sword hanging by a thread over humankind with the damage it is doing to the present biosphere. The sixth biosphere, or the current biosphere, is experiencing a significant reduction in species caused by human-related activities. The signs of risk have markedly increased by the signs differ considerably from one are to another, and people tend do discount global change because it is unnoticeable in their local area. If humans begin...

  14. Disruptive Event Biosphere Dose Conversion Factor Analysis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    M. Wasiolek

    2004-09-08

    This analysis report is one of the technical reports containing documentation of the Environmental Radiation Model for Yucca Mountain, Nevada (ERMYN), a biosphere model supporting the total system performance assessment (TSPA) for the license application (LA) for the Yucca Mountain repository. This analysis report describes the development of biosphere dose conversion factors (BDCFs) for the volcanic ash exposure scenario, and the development of dose factors for calculating inhalation dose during volcanic eruption. A graphical representation of the documentation hierarchy for the ERMYN is presented in Figure 1-1. This figure shows the interrelationships among the products (i.e., analysis and model reports) developed for biosphere modeling and provides an understanding of how this analysis report contributes to biosphere modeling. This report is one of two reports that develop biosphere BDCFs, which are input parameters for the TSPA model. The ''Biosphere Model Report'' (BSC 2004 [DIRS 169460]) describes in detail the ERMYN conceptual model and mathematical model. The input parameter reports, shown to the right of the Biosphere Model Report in Figure 1-1, contain detailed descriptions of the model input parameters, their development and the relationship between the parameters and specific features, events and processes (FEPs). This report describes biosphere model calculations and their output, the BDCFs, for the volcanic ash exposure scenario. This analysis receives direct input from the outputs of the ''Biosphere Model Report'' (BSC 2004 [DIRS 169460]) and from the five analyses that develop parameter values for the biosphere model (BSC 2004 [DIRS 169671]; BSC 2004 [DIRS 169672]; BSC 2004 [DIRS 169673]; BSC 2004 [DIRS 169458]; and BSC 2004 [DIRS 169459]). The results of this report are further analyzed in the ''Biosphere Dose Conversion Factor Importance and Sensitivity Analysis''. The objective of this

  15. Ciliates and the rare biosphere: a review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dunthorn, Micah; Stoeck, Thorsten; Clamp, John; Warren, Alan; Mahé, Frédéric

    2014-01-01

    Here we provide a brief review of the rare biosphere from the perspective of ciliates and other microbial eukaryotes. We trace research on rarity from its lack of much in-depth focus in morphological and Sanger sequencing projects, to its central importance in analyses using high throughput sequencing strategies. The problem that the rare biosphere is potentially comprised of mostly errors is then discussed in the light of asking community-comparative, novel-diversity, and ecosystem-functioning questions.

  16. Nominal Performance Biosphere Dose Conversion Factor Analysis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    M.A. Wasiolek

    2005-04-28

    This analysis report is one of the technical reports containing documentation of the Environmental Radiation Model for Yucca Mountain, Nevada (ERMYN), a biosphere model supporting the Total System Performance Assessment (TSPA) for the license application (LA) for the Yucca Mountain repository. This analysis report describes the development of biosphere dose conversion factors (BDCFs) for the groundwater exposure scenario, and the development of conversion factors for assessing compliance with the groundwater protection standards. A graphical representation of the documentation hierarchy for the ERMYN is presented in Figure 1-1. This figure shows the interrelationships among the products (i.e., analysis and model reports) developed for biosphere modeling and provides an understanding of how this analysis report contributes to biosphere modeling. This report is one of two reports that develop BDCFs, which are input parameters for the TSPA-LA model. The ''Biosphere Model Report'' (BSC 2004 [DIRS 169460]) describes in detail the ERMYN conceptual model and mathematical model. The input parameter reports, shown to the right of the ''Biosphere Model Report'' in Figure 1-1, contain detailed description of the model input parameters, their development, and the relationship between the parameters and specific features events and processes (FEPs). This report describes biosphere model calculations and their output, the BDCFs, for the groundwater exposure scenario. This analysis receives direct input from the outputs of the ''Biosphere Model Report'' (BSC 2004 [DIRS 169460]) and the five analyses that develop parameter values for the biosphere model (BSC 2005 [DIRS 172827]; BSC 2004 [DIRS 169672]; BSC 2004 [DIRS 169673]; BSC 2004 [DIRS 169458]; BSC 2004 [DIRS 169459]). The results of this report are further analyzed in the ''Biosphere Dose Conversion Factor Importance and Sensitivity Analysis

  17. Work in support of biosphere assessments for solid radioactive waste disposal. 2. biosphere FEP list and biosphere modelling

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Egan, M.J.; Maul, P.R.; Watkins, B.M.; Venter, A. [QuantiSci Ltd., Henley-on-Thames (United Kingdom)

    2001-10-01

    In order to assist SSI in its reappraisal of the SFR safety case, QuantiSci has been appointed to develop a systematic framework within which to conduct the review of SKB's post-closure performance assessment (PA). The biosphere FEP list presented here was developed for use as reference material in conducting the review. SSI wishes to develop an independent PA capability for a time-dependent biosphere in preparation for the examination of the revised SFR safety case. This report documents the model development that has been undertaken by QuantiSci using the Amber computer code.

  18. Components, processes and interactions in the biosphere

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    2010-12-15

    This report describes the processes and interactions between components in the biosphere that may be important in a safety assessment for radioactive waste disposal. The processes are general, i.e. they can be used in all safety analyses for underground repositories and are not specific to a particular method or location. Processes related to the geosphere and specific repository types (e.g. the KBS-3 method) can be found in /Skagius et al. 1995, SKB 2001, 2006, 2010a/. This report describes a biosphere interaction matrix that has been used in support of SR-Site and that can be used in future safety assessments. The work of defining and characterising processes in the biosphere is ongoing and many persons from different disciplines have been involved in the identification and characterisation of processes

  19. Nominal Performance Biosphere Dose Conversion Factor Analysis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    M. Wasiolek

    2004-09-08

    This analysis report is one of the technical reports containing documentation of the Environmental Radiation Model for Yucca Mountain, Nevada (ERMYN), a biosphere model supporting the Total System Performance Assessment (TSPA) for the license application (LA) for the Yucca Mountain repository. This analysis report describes the development of biosphere dose conversion factors (BDCFs) for the groundwater exposure scenario, and the development of conversion factors for assessing compliance with the groundwater protection standard. A graphical representation of the documentation hierarchy for the ERMYN is presented in Figure 1-1. This figure shows the interrelationships among the products (i.e., analysis and model reports) developed for biosphere modeling and provides an understanding of how this analysis report contributes to biosphere modeling. This report is one of two reports that develop biosphere BDCFs, which are input parameters for the TSPA-LA model. The ''Biosphere Model Report'' (BSC 2004 [DIRS 169460]) describes in detail the ERMYN conceptual model and mathematical model. The input parameter reports, shown to the right of the ''Biosphere Model Report'' in Figure 1-1, contain detailed description of the model input parameters, their development, and the relationship between the parameters and specific features events and processes (FEPs). This report describes biosphere model calculations and their output, the BDCFs, for the groundwater exposure scenario. The objectives of this analysis are to develop BDCFs for the groundwater exposure scenario for the three climate states considered in the TSPA-LA as well as conversion factors for evaluating compliance with the groundwater protection standard. The BDCFs will be used in performance assessment for calculating all-pathway annual doses for a given concentration of radionuclides in groundwater. The conversion factors will be used for calculating gross alpha particle

  20. Past and Future of the Anthropogenic Biosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ellis, E. C.

    2010-12-01

    Human populations and their use of land have now transformed most of the terrestrial biosphere into anthropogenic biomes (anthromes). As anthromes have emerged as the dominant global forms of ecological pattern and process, human interactions with terrestrial ecosystems have become a key earth system process, determining the structure and functioning of the biosphere. This presentation explores Ester Boserup’s land use intensification theories as models for understanding the emergence and dynamics of anthromes and their ecological processes, including their biogeochemistry and community structure, from the mostly wild biosphere of the Holocene to the primarily anthropogenic biosphere of the present and future. Existing global models and data for human population growth and land use over the Holocene differ in their portrayal of the global transition to a mostly anthropogenic biosphere. Yet there is little doubt that human populations have continued to grow over the long term and that anthromes have been increasingly important global ecological systems for millennia. This is conclusive evidence that human interactions with ecosystems can be sustained over the long-term, albeit under conditions that may no longer be realizable by either Earth or human systems. The classic Malthusian paradigm, in which human population growth outstrips natural resources leading to population collapse is unsupported by historical observations at global scale. Boserupian intensification is the better model, providing a robust theoretical foundation in which socio-ecological systems evolve as human populations increase, towards increasingly efficient use of limiting natural resources and enhanced production of anthropogenic ecological services such as food. This is not a story of technical advance, but rather of the forced adoption of ever more energy-intensive technical solutions in support of ever increasing population demands. And it does explain historical changes in the biosphere

  1. Ecology and exploration of the rare biosphere.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lynch, Michael D J; Neufeld, Josh D

    2015-04-01

    The profound influence of microorganisms on human life and global biogeochemical cycles underlines the value of studying the biogeography of microorganisms, exploring microbial genomes and expanding our understanding of most microbial species on Earth: that is, those present at low relative abundance. The detection and subsequent analysis of low-abundance microbial populations—the 'rare biosphere'—have demonstrated the persistence, population dynamics, dispersion and predation of these microbial species. We discuss the ecology of rare microbial populations, and highlight molecular and computational methods for targeting taxonomic 'blind spots' within the rare biosphere of complex microbial communities.

  2. The legacy of Biosphere 2 for the study of biospherics and closed ecological systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allen, J P; Nelson, M; Alling, A

    2003-01-01

    The unprecedented challenges of creating Biosphere 2, the world's first laboratory for biospherics, the study of global ecology and long-term closed ecological system dynamics, led to breakthrough developments in many fields, and a deeper understanding of the opportunities and difficulties of material closure. This paper will review accomplishments and challenges, citing some of the key research findings and publications that have resulted from the experiments in Biosphere 2. Engineering accomplishments included development of a technique for variable volume to deal with pressure differences between the facility and outside environment, developing methods of atmospheric leak detection and sealing, while achieving new standards of closure, with an annual atmospheric leakrate of less than 10%, or less than 300 ppm per day. This degree of closure permitted detailed tracking of carbon dioxide, oxygen, and trace gases such as nitrous oxide and ethylene over the seasonal variability of two years. Full closure also necessitated developing new approaches and technologies for complete air, water, and wastewater recycle and reuse within the facility. The development of a soil-based highly productive agricultural system was a first in closed ecological systems, and much was learned about managing a wide variety of crops using non-chemical means of pest and disease control. Closed ecological systems have different temporal biogeochemical cycling and ranges of atmospheric components because of their smaller reservoirs of air, water and soil, and higher concentration of biomass, and Biosphere 2 provided detailed examination and modeling of these accelerated cycles over a period of closure which measured in years. Medical research inside Biosphere 2 included the effects on humans of lowered oxygen: the discovery that human productivity can be maintained with good health with lowered atmospheric oxygen levels could lead to major economies on the design of space stations and

  3. The legacy of biosphere 2 for the study of biospherics and closed ecological systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allen, J. P.; Nelson, M.; Alling, A.

    The unprecedented challenges of creating Biosphere 2, the world's first laboratory for biospherics, the study of global ecology and long-term closed ecological system dynamics, led to breakthrough developments in many fields, and a deeper understanding of the opportunities and difficulties of material closure. This paper will review accomplishments and challenges, citing some of the key research findings and publications that have resulted from the experiments in Biosphere 2. Engineering accomplishments included development of a technique for variable volume to deal with pressure differences between the facility and outside environment, developing methods of atmospheric leak detection and sealing, while achieving new standards of closure, with an annual atmospheric leakrate of less than 10%, or less than 300 ppm per day. This degree of closure permitted detailed tracking of carbon dioxide, oxygen, and trice gases such as nitrous oxide and ethylene over the seasonal variability of two years. Full closure also necessitated developing new approaches and technologies for complete air, water, and wastewater recycle and reuse within the facility. The development of a soil-based highly productive agricultural system was a first in closed ecological systems, and much was learned about managing a wide variety of crops using non-chemical means of pest and disease control. Closed ecological systems have different temporal biogeochemical cycling and ranges of atmospheric components because of their smaller reservoirs of air, water and soil, and higher concentration of biomass, and Biosphere 2 provided detailed examination and modeling of these accelerated cycles over a period of closure which measured in years. Medical research inside Biosphere 2 included the effects on humans of lowered oxygen: the discovery that human productivity can be maintained with good health with lowered atmospheric oxygen levels could lead to major economies on the design of space stations and

  4. The World Campaign for the Biosphere.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barman, Charles R.

    1984-01-01

    Lists and discusses goals of The World Campaign for the Biosphere and strategies designed to achieve these goals. Also lists eight suggestions for science teachers to help incorporate the goals into school curricula and programs. These include organizing assemblies which present information about environmental problems and presenting environmental…

  5. The Legacy of Biosphere 2 for Biospherics and Closed Ecological System Research

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allen, J.; Alling, A.; Nelson, M.

    The unprecedented challenges of creating Biosphere 2, the world's first laboratory for biospherics, the study of global ecology and long-term closed ecological system dynamics led to breakthrough developments in many fields, and a deeper understanding of the opportunities and difficulties of material closure. This paper will review these accomplishments and challenges, citing some of the key research accomplishments and publications which have resulted from the experiments in Biosphere 2. Engineering accomplishments included development of a technique for variable volume to deal with pressure differences between the facility and outside environment, developing methods of leak detection and sealing, and achieving new standards of closure, with an annual atmospheric leakrate of less than 10%, or less than 300 ppm per day. This degree of closure permitted detailed tracking of carbon dioxide, oxygen, and trace gases such as nitrous oxide and ethylene over the seasonal variability of two years. Full closure also necessitated developing new approaches and technologies for complete air, water, and wastewater recycle and reuse within the facility. The development of a soil-based highly productive agricultural system was a first in closed ecological systems, and much was learned about managing a wide variety of crops using non-chemical means of pest and disease control. Closed ecological systems have different temporal b ogeochemical cycling and ranges ofi atmospheric components because of their smaller reservoirs of air, water and soil, and higher concentration of biomass, and Biosphere 2 provided detailed examination and modeling of these accelerated cycles over a period of closure which measured in years. Medical research inside Biosphere 2 included the effects on humans of lowered oxygen: the discovery that human productivity can be maintained down to 15% oxygen could lead to major economies on the design of space stations and planetary/lunar settlements. The improved

  6. Assessing biosphere feedbacks on Earth System Processes

    Science.gov (United States)

    McElwain, Jennifer

    2016-04-01

    The evolution and ecology of plant life has been shaped by the direct and indirect influence of plate tectonics. Climatic change and environmental upheaval associated with the emplacement of large igneous provinces have triggered biosphere level ecological change, physiological modification and pulses of both extinction and origination. This talk will investigate the influence of large scale changes in atmospheric composition on plant ecophysiology at key intervals of the Phanerozoic. Furthermore, I will assess the extent to which plant ecophysiological response can in turn feedback on earth system processes such as the global hydrological cycle and biogeochemical cycling of nitrogen and carbon. Palaeo-atmosphere simulation experiments, palaeobotanical data and recent historical (last 50 years) data-model comparison will be used to address the extent to which plant physiological responses to atmospheric CO2 can modulate global climate change via biosphere level feedback.

  7. Harvesting the biosphere: the human impact.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smil, Vaclav

    2011-01-01

    The human species has evolved to dominate the biosphere: global anthropomass is now an order of magnitude greater than the mass of all wild terrestrial mammals. As a result, our dependence on harvesting the products of photosynthesis for food, animal feed, raw materials, and energy has grown to make substantial global impacts. During the past two millennia these harvests, and changes of land use due to deforestation and conversions of grasslands and wetlands, have reduced the stock of global terrestrial plant mass by as much as 45 percent, with the twentieth-century reduction amounting to more than 15 percent. Current annual harvests of phytomass have been a significant share of the global net primary productivity (NPP, the total amount of new plant tissues created by photosynthesis). Some studies put the human appropriation of NPP (the ratio of these two variables) as high as 40 percent but the measure itself is problematic. Future population growth and improved quality of life will result in additional claims on the biosphere, but options to accommodate these demands exist without severely compromising the irreplaceable biospheric services.

  8. Was there a late Archean biospheric explosion?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lindsay, John F

    2008-08-01

    There is a growing body of evidence which suggests that the evolution of the planet drives the evolution of the biosphere. There have been 2 significant stages in Earth history when atmospheric oxygen levels rose rapidly, and both appear to be associated with supercontinent cycles. The earlier biospheric event, which extends across the Archean-Proterozoic boundary (ca. 3.0-2.2 Ga), has received little attention and is the focus of this study. Recent work on the Pilbara Craton of Western Australia has shown that concretion formed by microbial activity during the diagenesis of these sediments are absent from early Archean sediments but abundant in late Archean and early Paleoproterozoic successions of the Hamersley Basin, appearing abruptly in sedimentary rocks younger than 2.7 Ga. This study suggests that their internal architecture may have been defined by the diffusion of humic acids and the formation of polymer gels during diagenesis. The data imply that the biosphere expanded suddenly shortly after 3.0 Ga and may have begun to raise the oxygen levels of the oceanic water column earlier than thought-possibly as much as 300 my earlier.

  9. Gene expression in the deep biosphere.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Orsi, William D; Edgcomb, Virginia P; Christman, Glenn D; Biddle, Jennifer F

    2013-07-11

    Scientific ocean drilling has revealed a deep biosphere of widespread microbial life in sub-seafloor sediment. Microbial metabolism in the marine subsurface probably has an important role in global biogeochemical cycles, but deep biosphere activities are not well understood. Here we describe and analyse the first sub-seafloor metatranscriptomes from anaerobic Peru Margin sediment up to 159 metres below the sea floor, represented by over 1 billion complementary DNA (cDNA) sequence reads. Anaerobic metabolism of amino acids, carbohydrates and lipids seem to be the dominant metabolic processes, and profiles of dissimilatory sulfite reductase (dsr) transcripts are consistent with pore-water sulphate concentration profiles. Moreover, transcripts involved in cell division increase as a function of microbial cell concentration, indicating that increases in sub-seafloor microbial abundance are a function of cell division across all three domains of life. These data support calculations and models of sub-seafloor microbial metabolism and represent the first holistic picture of deep biosphere activities.

  10. The Biosphere as a Living System. On Peculiarities of the Evolutionary Process on the Biosphere Level

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexej Yablokov

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available The main purpose of this second essay the “biospherology” is to streamline and formalize the existing knowledge about the biosphere, to develop the theoretical basis of the theory of evolution of the biosphere. Despite the vast amount of research on ways of origin and development of life, yet there is no generally accepted theory of evolution of life on Earth, which would not only contain the phenomenology of this process, but also an understanding of the mechanism of functioning of the biosphere as a self-regulating living organism. In the first essay, the necessity of such an understanding to preserve life-supporting functions of the biosphere under increasing anthropogenic pressure. As solution it has been proposed in the form of transition to the managed (controlled evolution of the biosphere – to process of maintenance of life-supporting ability of the biosphere by management of Humankind activity. This essay is an attempt to create a consistent picture of the structure and functioning of the Earth life, the main achievements of the evolution of life, led to the almost completely closed (to the Anthropocene self-sustaining biosphere cycling of substance and energy, the growth of "sum of life" and evolve the social form of matter from biological one. The proposed view of the multidimensional picture of life on Earth consists of the determination of necessary and sufficient properties of a life matter, formulate functioning principles of the life, and determind of the different levels of organization of life. Among the main features of living: discreetness, integritiness, self-reproducibility, dissymmetriness, cooperativeness, mortality, orderness, energy saturation, informational content. Among the main principles of the functioning of the life: the unity of the biological structure (phenotype and the program for its construction (genotype, transmitted in generations; matrix way of transmission of the programs of development

  11. Environmental Transport Input Parameters for the Biosphere Model

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    M. Wasiolek

    2004-09-10

    This analysis report is one of the technical reports documenting the Environmental Radiation Model for Yucca Mountain, Nevada (ERMYN), a biosphere model supporting the total system performance assessment for the license application (TSPA-LA) for the geologic repository at Yucca Mountain. A graphical representation of the documentation hierarchy for the ERMYN is presented in Figure 1-1. This figure shows relationships among the reports developed for biosphere modeling and biosphere abstraction products for the TSPA-LA, as identified in the ''Technical Work Plan for Biosphere Modeling and Expert Support'' (BSC 2004 [DIRS 169573]) (TWP). This figure provides an understanding of how this report contributes to biosphere modeling in support of the license application (LA). This report is one of the five reports that develop input parameter values for the biosphere model. The ''Biosphere Model Report'' (BSC 2004 [DIRS 169460]) describes the conceptual model and the mathematical model. The input parameter reports, shown to the right of the Biosphere Model Report in Figure 1-1, contain detailed description of the model input parameters. The output of this report is used as direct input in the ''Nominal Performance Biosphere Dose Conversion Factor Analysis'' and in the ''Disruptive Event Biosphere Dose Conversion Factor Analysis'' that calculate the values of biosphere dose conversion factors (BDCFs) for the groundwater and volcanic ash exposure scenarios, respectively. The purpose of this analysis was to develop biosphere model parameter values related to radionuclide transport and accumulation in the environment. These parameters support calculations of radionuclide concentrations in the environmental media (e.g., soil, crops, animal products, and air) resulting from a given radionuclide concentration at the source of contamination (i.e., either in groundwater or in volcanic ash). The analysis

  12. Biospheric Cooling and the Emergence of Intelligence

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schwartzman, David; Middendorf, George

    The long-term cooling history of the Earth's biosphere implies a temperature constraint on the timing of major events in biologic evolution, e.g., emergence of cyanobacteria, eucaryotes and Metazoa apparently occurred at times when temperatures were near their upper growth limits. Could biospheric cooling also have been a necessary condition for the emergence of veterbrates and their encephalization? The upper temperature limit for vertebrate growth is about 10 degrees below the limit for Metazoa (50 degrees C). Heterothermy followed by full homeothermy was likely a necessary condition for greater encephalization because of the energy requirement of larger brains. The temperature differential between an animal and a cooler environment, all other factors equal, will increase the efficiency of heat loss from the brain, but too large a differential will shift metabolic energy away from the brain to the procurement of food. Encephalization has also entailed the evolution of internal cooling mechanisms to avoid overheating the brain. The two periods of pronounced Phanerozoic cooling, the PermoCarboniferous and late Cenozoic, corresponded to the emergence of mammal-like reptiles and hominids respectively, with a variety of explanations offered for the apparent link. The origin of highly encephalized whales, dolphins and porpoises occurred with the drop in ocean temperatures 25-30 mya. Of course, other possible paths to encephalization are conceivable, with radically different solutions to the problem of heat dissipation. But the intrinsic requirements for information processing capacity necessary for intelligence suggest our terrestrial pattern may resemble those of alien biospheres given similar histories.

  13. The water cycle in closed ecological systems: Perspectives from the Biosphere 2 and Laboratory Biosphere systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nelson, Mark; Dempster, W. F.; Allen, J. P.

    2009-12-01

    To achieve sustainable, healthy closed ecological systems requires solutions to challenges of closing the water cycle - recycling wastewater/irrigation water/soil medium leachate and evaporated water and supplying water of required quality as needed for different needs within the facility. Engineering Biosphere 2, the first multi-biome closed ecological system within a total airtight footprint of 12,700 m 2 with a combined volume of 200,000 m 3 with a total water capacity of some 6 × 10 6 L of water was especially challenging because it included human inhabitants, their agricultural and technical systems, as well as five analogue ecosystems ranging from rainforest to desert, freshwater ecologies to saltwater systems like mangrove and mini-ocean coral reef ecosystems. By contrast, the Laboratory Biosphere - a small (40 m 3 volume) soil-based plant growth facility with a footprint of 15 m 2 - is a very simplified system, but with similar challenges re salinity management and provision of water quality suitable for plant growth. In Biosphere 2, water needs included supplying potable water for people and domestic animals, irrigation water for a wide variety of food crops, and recycling and recovering soil nutrients from wastewater. In the wilderness biomes, providing adequately low salinity freshwater terrestrial ecosystems and maintaining appropriate salinity and pH in aquatic/marine ecosystems were challenges. The largest reservoirs in Biosphere 2 were the ocean/marsh with some 4 × 10 6 L, soil with 1 to 2 × 10 6 l, primary storage tank with 0 to 8 × 10 5 L and storage tanks for condensate and soil leachate collection and mixing tanks with a capacity of 1.6 × 10 5 L to supply irrigation for farm and wilderness ecosystems. Other reservoirs were far smaller - humidity in the atmosphere (2 × 10 3 L), streams in the rainforest and savannah, and seasonal pools in the desert were orders of magnitude smaller (8 × 10 4 L). Key technologies included condensation from

  14. Characteristics of the Receptor for the Biosphere Model

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    M.A. Wasiolek; K.R. Rautenstrauch

    2003-06-27

    This analysis report is one of the technical reports containing documentation of the Environmental Radiation Model for Yucca Mountain Nevada (ERMYN), a biosphere model supporting the Total System Performance Assessment (TSPA) for the geologic repository at Yucca Mountain. A graphical representation of the documentation hierarchy for the ERMYN is presented in Figure 1-1. This figure shows relationships among the products (i.e., analysis and model reports) developed for biosphere modeling and biosphere abstraction products for TSPA, as identified in the ''Technical Work Plan: for Biosphere Modeling and Expert Support'' (TWP) (BSC 2003). Some documents identified in Figure 1-1 may be under development and not available at the time this report is issued. This figure is included to provide an understanding of how this analysis report contributes to biosphere modeling in support of the license application, and access to the listed documents is not required to understand the contents of this report. This report is one of the reports that develop input parameter values for the biosphere model. The ''Biosphere Model Report'' (BSC 2003), describes the conceptual model as well as the mathematical model and its input parameters. The purpose of this analysis report is to define values for biosphere model parameters that are related to the dietary, lifestyle, and dosimetric characteristics of the receptor. The biosphere model, consistent with the licensing rule at 10 CFR Part 63, uses a hypothetical person called the reasonably maximally exposed individual (RMEI) to represent the potentially exposed population. The parameters that define the RMEI are based on the behaviors and characteristics of the Amargosa Valley population, consistent with the requirements of 10 CFR 63.312. Amargosa Valley is the community, located in the direction of the projected groundwater flow path, where most of the farming in the area occurs. The parameter values

  15. Inhalation Exposure Input Parameters for the Biosphere Model

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    K. Rautenstrauch

    2004-09-10

    This analysis is one of 10 reports that support the Environmental Radiation Model for Yucca Mountain, Nevada (ERMYN) biosphere model. The ''Biosphere Model Report'' (BSC 2004 [DIRS 169460]) describes in detail the conceptual model as well as the mathematical model and its input parameters. This report documents development of input parameters for the biosphere model that are related to atmospheric mass loading and supports the use of the model to develop biosphere dose conversion factors (BDCFs). The biosphere model is one of a series of process models supporting the total system performance assessment (TSPA) for a Yucca Mountain repository. Inhalation Exposure Input Parameters for the Biosphere Model is one of five reports that develop input parameters for the biosphere model. A graphical representation of the documentation hierarchy for the ERMYN is presented in Figure 1-1. This figure shows the interrelationships among the products (i.e., analysis and model reports) developed for biosphere modeling, and the plan for development of the biosphere abstraction products for TSPA, as identified in the Technical Work Plan for Biosphere Modeling and Expert Support (BSC 2004 [DIRS 169573]). This analysis report defines and justifies values of mass loading for the biosphere model. Mass loading is the total mass concentration of resuspended particles (e.g., dust, ash) in a volume of air. Mass loading values are used in the air submodel of ERMYN to calculate concentrations of radionuclides in air inhaled by a receptor and concentrations in air surrounding crops. Concentrations in air to which the receptor is exposed are then used in the inhalation submodel to calculate the dose contribution to the receptor from inhalation of contaminated airborne particles. Concentrations in air surrounding plants are used in the plant submodel to calculate the concentrations of radionuclides in foodstuffs contributed from uptake by foliar interception.

  16. Reviewing Biosphere Reserves globally: effective conservation action or bureaucratic label?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coetzer, Kaera L; Witkowski, Edward T F; Erasmus, Barend F N

    2014-02-01

    The Biosphere Reserve (BR) model of UNESCO's Man and the Biosphere Programme reflects a shift towards more accountable conservation. Biosphere Reserves attempt to reconcile environmental protection with sustainable development; they explicitly acknowledge humans, and human interests in the conservation landscape while still maintaining the ecological values of existing protected areas. Conceptually, this model is attractive, with 610 sites currently designated globally. Yet the practical reality of implementing dual 'conservation' and 'development' goals is challenging, with few examples successfully conforming to the model's full criteria. Here, we review the history of Biosphere Reserves from first inception in 1974 to the current status quo, and examine the suitability of the designation as an effective conservation model. We track the spatial expansion of Biosphere Reserves globally, assessing the influence of the Statutory Framework of the World Network of Biosphere Reserves and Seville strategy in 1995, when the BR concept refocused its core objectives on sustainable development. We use a comprehensive range of case studies to discuss conformity to the Programme, the social and ecological consequences associated with implementation of the designation, and challenges in aligning conservation and development. Given that the 'Biosphere Reserve' label is a relatively unknown designation in the public arena, this review also provides details on popularising the Biosphere Reserve brand, as well as prospects for further research, currently unexploited, but implicit in the designation.

  17. The Biosphere as a Living System. On the Harmonization of Human and Biosphere Relationship

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexey Yablokov

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available The evolution of the biosphere has led to creation of astrophysical and telluric stable perfect system biotic regulation, which based on a high degree of closure of natural cycles. The development of human beings as bio-social, beyond the biological patterns, break these closed cycles, and dramatically broke the biotic regulation of the biosphere. As results — sustainable biosphere has become unsustainable anthroposphere. As with the origin of life physico-chemical regularities of the structure of matter turned out to be “mastered” life, as soon as with the emergence of anthroposphere physical-chemicalbiological regularities of evolution are complemented by social ones (including technology development and of the technosphere — as the essential content of anthroposphere. The result of the violation of natural biotic regulation broke a global environmental crisis that boomerang begins it is dangerous to human. It is theoretically possible to overcome this ecological crisis by the transition from the Neolithic paradigm of “nature conquest”, to the organization of “crisis management” of the biosphere (world system governance by the activity of the society restore and “repair” the damaged processes in the biosphere. This requires a new organization in all areas of human activity, i.e., a fundamentally new paradigm of human behavior on the planet. Development within the paradigm of the Neolithic culture (extensive use of natural resources, is inevitably associated with different kinds of wars in their redistribution, leads to an increasing accumulation of non-degradable waste (tertiary anthropogenic products, determines the fatal instability of anthroposphere and, therefore, unsustainable development of civilization. It is a mistake to assume that human’s dependence on nature is reduced — it takes a different form. The forces of human as an intelligence being, “recollecting himself”, about the offense with lifesupporting

  18. Biosphere models for safety assesment of radioactive waste disposal

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Proehl, G.; Olyslaegers, G.; Zeevaert, T. [SCK/CEN, Mol (Belgium); Kanyar, B. [University of Veszprem (Hungary). Dept. of Radiochemistry; Pinedo, P.; Simon, I. [Centro de Investigaciones Energeticas Medioambientales y Tecnologicas (CIEMAT), Madrid (Spain); Bergstroem, U.; Hallberg, B. [Studsvik Ecosafe, Nykoeping (Sweden); Mobbs, S.; Chen, Q.; Kowe, R. [NRPB, Chilton, Didcot (United Kingdom)

    2004-07-01

    The aim of the BioMoSA project has been to contribute in the confidence building of biosphere models, for application in performance assessments of radioactive waste disposal. The detailed objectives of this project are: development and test of practical biosphere models for application in long-term safety studies of radioactive waste disposal to different European locations, identification of features, events and processes that need to be modelled on a site-specific rather than on a generic base, comparison of the results and quantification of the variability of site-specific models developed according to the reference biosphere methodology, development of a generic biosphere tool for application in long term safety studies, comparison of results from site-specific models to those from generic one, Identification of possibilities and limitations for the application of the generic biosphere model. (orig.)

  19. Characteristics of the Receptor for the Biosphere Model

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    M. Wasiolek; K. Rautenstrauch

    2004-09-09

    This analysis report is one of a series of technical reports that document the Environmental Radiation Model for Yucca Mountain, Nevada (ERMYN), a biosphere model supporting the total system performance assessment (TSPA) for the geologic repository at Yucca Mountain. This report is one of the five biosphere reports that develop input parameter values for the biosphere model. The ''Biosphere Model Report'' (BSC 2004 [DIRS 169460]) describes the conceptual model, as well as the mathematical model and its input parameters. Figure 1-1 is a graphical representation of the documentation hierarchy for the ERMYN. This figure shows relationships among the products (i.e., scientific analyses and model reports) developed for biosphere modeling and biosphere abstraction products for TSPA, as identified in the ''Technical Work Plan: for Biosphere Modeling and Expert Support'' (BSC 2004 [DIRS 169573]). The purpose of this analysis report is to define values for biosphere model parameters that are related to the dietary, lifestyle, and dosimetric characteristics of the receptor. The biosphere model, consistent with the licensing rule at 10 CFR Part 63 [DIRS 156605], uses a hypothetical person called the reasonably maximally exposed individual (RMEI) to represent the potentially exposed population. The parameters that define the RMEI are based on the behaviors and characteristics of the residents of the unincorporated town of Amargosa Valley, consistent with the requirements of 10 CFR 63.312 [DIRS 156605]. The output of this report is used as direct input in the two analyses identified in Figure 1-1 that calculate the values of biosphere dose conversion factors (BDCFs) for the groundwater and volcanic ash exposure scenarios. The parameter values developed in this report are reflected in the TSPA through the BDCFs. The analysis was performed in accordance with AP-SIII.9Q, ''Scientific Analyses'', and the technical work

  20. Nominal Performance Biosphere Dose Conversion Factor Analysis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    M. Wasiolek

    2000-12-21

    The purpose of this report was to document the process leading to development of the Biosphere Dose Conversion Factors (BDCFs) for the postclosure nominal performance of the potential repository at Yucca Mountain. BDCF calculations concerned twenty-four radionuclides. This selection included sixteen radionuclides that may be significant nominal performance dose contributors during the compliance period of up to 10,000 years, five additional radionuclides of importance for up to 1 million years postclosure, and three relatively short-lived radionuclides important for the human intrusion scenario. Consideration of radionuclide buildup in soil caused by previous irrigation with contaminated groundwater was taken into account in the BDCF development. The effect of climate evolution, from the current arid conditions to a wetter and cooler climate, on the BDCF values was evaluated. The analysis included consideration of different exposure pathway's contribution to the BDCFs. Calculations of nominal performance BDCFs used the GENII-S computer code in a series of probabilistic realizations to propagate the uncertainties of input parameters into the output. BDCFs for the nominal performance, when combined with the concentrations of radionuclides in groundwater allow calculation of potential radiation doses to the receptor of interest. Calculated estimates of radionuclide concentration in groundwater result from the saturated zone modeling. The integration of the biosphere modeling results (BDCFs) with the outcomes of the other component models is accomplished in the Total System Performance Assessment (TSPA) to calculate doses to the receptor of interest from radionuclides postulated to be released to the environment from the potential repository at Yucca Mountain.

  1. Disruptive Event Biosphere Doser Conversion Factor Analysis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    M. Wasiolek

    2000-12-28

    The purpose of this report was to document the process leading to, and the results of, development of radionuclide-, exposure scenario-, and ash thickness-specific Biosphere Dose Conversion Factors (BDCFs) for the postulated postclosure extrusive igneous event (volcanic eruption) at Yucca Mountain. BDCF calculations were done for seventeen radionuclides. The selection of radionuclides included those that may be significant dose contributors during the compliance period of up to 10,000 years, as well as radionuclides of importance for up to 1 million years postclosure. The approach documented in this report takes into account human exposure during three different phases at the time of, and after, volcanic eruption. Calculations of disruptive event BDCFs used the GENII-S computer code in a series of probabilistic realizations to propagate the uncertainties of input parameters into the output. The pathway analysis included consideration of different exposure pathway's contribution to the BDCFs. BDCFs for volcanic eruption, when combined with the concentration of radioactivity deposited by eruption on the soil surface, allow calculation of potential radiation doses to the receptor of interest. Calculation of radioactivity deposition is outside the scope of this report and so is the transport of contaminated ash from the volcano to the location of the receptor. The integration of the biosphere modeling results (BDCFs) with the outcomes of the other component models is accomplished in the Total System Performance Assessment (TSPA), in which doses are calculated to the receptor of interest from radionuclides postulated to be released to the environment from the potential repository at Yucca Mountain.

  2. Inhalation Exposure Input Parameters for the Biosphere Model

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    M. Wasiolek

    2006-06-05

    This analysis is one of the technical reports that support the Environmental Radiation Model for Yucca Mountain, Nevada (ERMYN), referred to in this report as the biosphere model. ''Biosphere Model Report'' (BSC 2004 [DIRS 169460]) describes in detail the conceptual model as well as the mathematical model and its input parameters. This report documents development of input parameters for the biosphere model that are related to atmospheric mass loading and supports the use of the model to develop biosphere dose conversion factors (BDCFs). The biosphere model is one of a series of process models supporting the total system performance assessment (TSPA) for a Yucca Mountain repository. ''Inhalation Exposure Input Parameters for the Biosphere Model'' is one of five reports that develop input parameters for the biosphere model. A graphical representation of the documentation hierarchy for the biosphere model is presented in Figure 1-1 (based on BSC 2006 [DIRS 176938]). This figure shows the interrelationships among the products (i.e., analysis and model reports) developed for biosphere modeling and how this analysis report contributes to biosphere modeling. This analysis report defines and justifies values of atmospheric mass loading for the biosphere model. Mass loading is the total mass concentration of resuspended particles (e.g., dust, ash) in a volume of air. Mass loading values are used in the air submodel of the biosphere model to calculate concentrations of radionuclides in air inhaled by a receptor and concentrations in air surrounding crops. Concentrations in air to which the receptor is exposed are then used in the inhalation submodel to calculate the dose contribution to the receptor from inhalation of contaminated airborne particles. Concentrations in air surrounding plants are used in the plant submodel to calculate the concentrations of radionuclides in foodstuffs contributed from uptake by foliar interception. This

  3. Precambrian paleontology and acrochrons of the biosphere evolution: On the theory of the expanding biosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sokolov, B. S.

    2012-04-01

    What is pre-life? We have no idea, since it is hidden in chemical molecules that conceal its future genetic potential. From the biological standpoint, a prokaryotic cyanobacteria cell represents a culmination of biochemical evolution. Its appearance on the Earth marked the starting point of the formation of the first biogeocoenosis on the planet, i.e., the onset of its biosphere. After having started, approximately 4.0-3.7 Ga ago, biosphere evolution has continued uninterrupted on the Earth. Its whole course is reflected in the geochronological record of the stratisphere, the stratified shell of the Earth. In the stratigraphic sense, this record comprises the Archean, Proterozoic (i.e., Karelian and Riphean), and Phanerozoic (i.e., Paleozoic, Mesozoic, and Cenozoic). They correspond to acrochrons, i.e., the main stages in biosphere evolution. According to the Precambrian paleontology, the first three acrochrons represent a pre-Vendian stage in the evolution of unicellular prokaryotic and eukaryotic organisms that terminated in the Riphean with the appearance of their colonial communities. The true metacellular structure of tissue Metaphyta and Metazoa started forming only in the Late Neoproterozoic (Late Riphean). The Vendian Period was marked by a radiation of macrotaxonomic diversity with the appearance of the main multicellular types of the Phanerozoic organization level. Therefore, the last acrochron (lasting from approximately 650 Ma ago) should be considered as corresponding to the Vendian-Phanerozoic period. The Cambrian explosion corresponds to the mass expansion of skeletal Metazoa.

  4. Natural releases from contaminated groundwater, Example Reference Biosphere 2B

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Simon, I. [CIEMAT/PIRA, Avda Complutense 22, 28040 Madrid (Spain)]. E-mail: isc@csn.es; Naito, M. [Nuclear Waste Management Organization of Japan (NUMO), 4-1-23 Shiba, Minato-ku, Tokyo, 108-0014 (Japan); Thorne, M.C. [Mike Thorne and Associates Limited, Abbotsleigh, Kebroyd Mount, Ripponden, Halifax, West Yorkshire HX6 3JA (United Kingdom); Walke, R. [Enviros QuantiSci, Building D5, Culham Science Centre, Culham, Oxfordshire OX14 3DB (United Kingdom)

    2005-07-01

    Safety assessment is a tool which, by means of an iterative procedure, allows the evaluation of the performance of a disposal system and its potential impact on human health and the environment. Radionuclides from a deep geological disposal facility may not reach the surface environment until many tens of thousands of years after closure of the facility. The BIOMASS Programme on BIOsphere Modelling and ASSessment developed Examples of 'Reference Biospheres' to illustrate the use of the methodology and to demonstrate how biosphere models can be developed and justified as being fit for purpose. The practical examples are also intended to be useful in their own right. The Example Reference Biosphere 2B presented here involves the consideration of alternative types of geosphere-biosphere interfaces and calculation of doses to members of hypothetical exposure groups arising from a wide range of exposure pathways within agricultural and semi-natural environments, but without allowing for evolution of the corresponding biosphere system. The example presented can be used as a generic analysis in some situations although it was developed around a relatively specific conceptual model. It should be a useful practical example, but the above numerical results are not intended to be understood as prescribed biosphere 'conversion factors'.

  5. Analysis specifications for the CC3 biosphere model biotrac

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Szekely, J.G.; Wojciechowski, L.C.; Stephens, M.E.; Halliday, H.A.

    1994-12-01

    The CC3 (Canadian Concept, generation 3) model BIOTRAC (Biosphere Transport and Consequences) describes the movement in the biosphere of releases from an underground disposal vault, and the consequent radiological dose to a reference individual. Concentrations of toxic substances in different parts of the biosphere are also calculated. BIOTRAC was created specifically for the postclosure analyses of the Environmental Impact Statement that AECL is preparing on the concept for disposal of Canada`s nuclear fuel waste. The model relies on certain assumptions and constraints on the system, which are described by Davis et al. Accordingly, great care must be exercised if BIOTRAC is used for any other purpose.

  6. Marine biosphere reserves - Need of the 21st century

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Dhargalkar, V.K.; Untawale, A.G.

    Worldwide awareness for the creation of Marine Biosphere Reserves has increased considerably due to the human depredation in many coastal areas and natural changes. Many important and unique plant and animal species have been extinct and whatever...

  7. Environmental Transport Input Parameters for the Biosphere Model

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    M. A. Wasiolek

    2003-06-27

    This analysis report is one of the technical reports documenting the Environmental Radiation Model for Yucca Mountain Nevada (ERMYN), a biosphere model supporting the total system performance assessment (TSPA) for the geologic repository at Yucca Mountain. A graphical representation of the documentation hierarchy for the ERMYN is presented in Figure 1-1. This figure shows relationships among the reports developed for biosphere modeling and biosphere abstraction products for the TSPA, as identified in the ''Technical Work Plan: for Biosphere Modeling and Expert Support'' (TWP) (BSC 2003 [163602]). Some documents in Figure 1-1 may be under development and not available when this report is issued. This figure provides an understanding of how this report contributes to biosphere modeling in support of the license application (LA), but access to the listed documents is not required to understand the contents of this report. This report is one of the reports that develops input parameter values for the biosphere model. The ''Biosphere Model Report'' (BSC 2003 [160699]) describes the conceptual model, the mathematical model, and the input parameters. The purpose of this analysis is to develop biosphere model parameter values related to radionuclide transport and accumulation in the environment. These parameters support calculations of radionuclide concentrations in the environmental media (e.g., soil, crops, animal products, and air) resulting from a given radionuclide concentration at the source of contamination (i.e., either in groundwater or volcanic ash). The analysis was performed in accordance with the TWP (BSC 2003 [163602]). This analysis develops values of parameters associated with many features, events, and processes (FEPs) applicable to the reference biosphere (DTN: M00303SEPFEPS2.000 [162452]), which are addressed in the biosphere model (BSC 2003 [160699]). The treatment of these FEPs is described in BSC (2003 [160699

  8. Characteristics of the Receptor for the Biosphere Model

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    M.A. Wasiolek

    2005-04-05

    This analysis report is one of a series of technical reports that document the Environmental Radiation Model for Yucca Mountain, Nevada (ERMYN), a biosphere model supporting the total system performance assessment (TSPA) for the geologic repository at Yucca Mountain. This report is one of the five biosphere reports that develop input parameter values for the biosphere model. The ''Biosphere Model Report'' (BSC 2004 [DIRS 169460]) describes the conceptual model, as well as the mathematical model and its input parameters. Figure 1-1 is a graphical representation of the documentation hierarchy for the ERMYN. This figure shows relationships among the products (i.e., scientific analyses and model reports) developed for biosphere modeling and biosphere abstraction products for TSPA, as identified in the ''Technical Work Plan for Biosphere Modeling and Expert Support'' (BSC 2005 [DIRS 172782]). The purpose of this analysis report is to define values for biosphere model parameters that are related to the dietary, lifestyle, and dosimetric characteristics of the receptor. The biosphere model, consistent with the licensing rule at 10 CFR Part 63 [DIRS 173164], uses a hypothetical person called the reasonably maximally exposed individual (RMEI) to represent the potentially exposed population. The parameters that define the RMEI are based on the behaviors and characteristics of the residents of the unincorporated town of Amargosa Valley, consistent with the requirements of 10 CFR 63.312 [DIRS 173164]. The output of this report is used as direct input in the two analyses identified in Figure 1-1 that calculate the values of biosphere dose conversion factors (BDCFs) for the groundwater and volcanic ash exposure scenarios. The parameter values developed in this report are reflected in the TSPA through the BDCFs. The analysis was performed in accordance with LP-SIII.9Q-BSC, ''Scientific Analyses'', and the technical work

  9. High Performance Geostatistical Modeling of Biospheric Resources

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pedelty, J. A.; Morisette, J. T.; Smith, J. A.; Schnase, J. L.; Crosier, C. S.; Stohlgren, T. J.

    2004-12-01

    We are using parallel geostatistical codes to study spatial relationships among biospheric resources in several study areas. For example, spatial statistical models based on large- and small-scale variability have been used to predict species richness of both native and exotic plants (hot spots of diversity) and patterns of exotic plant invasion. However, broader use of geostastics in natural resource modeling, especially at regional and national scales, has been limited due to the large computing requirements of these applications. To address this problem, we implemented parallel versions of the kriging spatial interpolation algorithm. The first uses the Message Passing Interface (MPI) in a master/slave paradigm on an open source Linux Beowulf cluster, while the second is implemented with the new proprietary Xgrid distributed processing system on an Xserve G5 cluster from Apple Computer, Inc. These techniques are proving effective and provide the basis for a national decision support capability for invasive species management that is being jointly developed by NASA and the US Geological Survey.

  10. Comets, carbonaceous meteorites, and the origin of the biosphere

    OpenAIRE

    2006-01-01

    International audience; The Biosphere is considered to represent the Earth's crust, atmosphere, oceans, and ice caps and the living organisms that survive within this habitat. This paper considers the significance of comets and carbonaceous meteorites to the origin and evolution of the Biosphere and presents new Field Emission Scanning Electron Microscope (FESEM) images of indigenous microfossils in the Orgueil and Murchison meteorites. The discovery of microbial extremophiles in deep crustal...

  11. Evolution of Photosynthesis and Biospheric Oxygenation Contingent Upon Nitrogen Fixation?

    OpenAIRE

    Grula, John W.

    2006-01-01

    How photosynthesis by Precambrian cyanobacteria oxygenated Earth's biosphere remains incompletely understood. Here it is argued that the oxic transition, which took place between approximately 2.3 and 0.5 Gyr ago, required a great proliferation of cyanobacteria, and this in turn depended on their ability to fix nitrogen via the nitrogenase enzyme system. However, the ability to fix nitrogen was not a panacea, and the rate of biospheric oxygenation may still have been affected by nitrogen cons...

  12. Global carbon export from the terrestrial biosphere controlled by erosion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Galy, Valier; Peucker-Ehrenbrink, Bernhard; Eglinton, Timothy

    2015-05-14

    Riverine export of particulate organic carbon (POC) to the ocean affects the atmospheric carbon inventory over a broad range of timescales. On geological timescales, the balance between sequestration of POC from the terrestrial biosphere and oxidation of rock-derived (petrogenic) organic carbon sets the magnitude of the atmospheric carbon and oxygen reservoirs. Over shorter timescales, variations in the rate of exchange between carbon reservoirs, such as soils and marine sediments, also modulate atmospheric carbon dioxide levels. The respective fluxes of biospheric and petrogenic organic carbon are poorly constrained, however, and mechanisms controlling POC export have remained elusive, limiting our ability to predict POC fluxes quantitatively as a result of climatic or tectonic changes. Here we estimate biospheric and petrogenic POC fluxes for a suite of river systems representative of the natural variability in catchment properties. We show that export yields of both biospheric and petrogenic POC are positively related to the yield of suspended sediment, revealing that POC export is mostly controlled by physical erosion. Using a global compilation of gauged suspended sediment flux, we derive separate estimates of global biospheric and petrogenic POC fluxes of 157(+74)(-50) and 43(+61)(-25) megatonnes of carbon per year, respectively. We find that biospheric POC export is primarily controlled by the capacity of rivers to mobilize and transport POC, and is largely insensitive to the magnitude of terrestrial primary production. Globally, physical erosion rates affect the rate of biospheric POC burial in marine sediments more strongly than carbon sequestration through silicate weathering. We conclude that burial of biospheric POC in marine sediments becomes the dominant long-term atmospheric carbon dioxide sink under enhanced physical erosion.

  13. Agricultural and Environmental Input Parameters for the Biosphere Model

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    K. Rasmuson; K. Rautenstrauch

    2004-09-14

    This analysis is one of 10 technical reports that support the Environmental Radiation Model for Yucca Mountain Nevada (ERMYN) (i.e., the biosphere model). It documents development of agricultural and environmental input parameters for the biosphere model, and supports the use of the model to develop biosphere dose conversion factors (BDCFs). The biosphere model is one of a series of process models supporting the total system performance assessment (TSPA) for the repository at Yucca Mountain. The ERMYN provides the TSPA with the capability to perform dose assessments. A graphical representation of the documentation hierarchy for the ERMYN is presented in Figure 1-1. This figure shows the interrelationships between the major activities and their products (the analysis and model reports) that were planned in ''Technical Work Plan for Biosphere Modeling and Expert Support'' (BSC 2004 [DIRS 169573]). The ''Biosphere Model Report'' (BSC 2004 [DIRS 169460]) describes the ERMYN and its input parameters.

  14. Spanish methodological approach for biosphere assessment of radioactive waste disposal.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Agüero, A; Pinedo, P; Cancio, D; Simón, I; Moraleda, M; Pérez-Sánchez, D; Trueba, C

    2007-10-01

    The development of radioactive waste disposal facilities requires implementation of measures that will afford protection of human health and the environment over a specific temporal frame that depends on the characteristics of the wastes. The repository design is based on a multi-barrier system: (i) the near-field or engineered barrier, (ii) far-field or geological barrier and (iii) the biosphere system. Here, the focus is on the analysis of this last system, the biosphere. A description is provided of conceptual developments, methodological aspects and software tools used to develop the Biosphere Assessment Methodology in the context of high-level waste (HLW) disposal facilities in Spain. This methodology is based on the BIOMASS "Reference Biospheres Methodology" and provides a logical and systematic approach with supplementary documentation that helps to support the decisions necessary for model development. It follows a five-stage approach, such that a coherent biosphere system description and the corresponding conceptual, mathematical and numerical models can be built. A discussion on the improvements implemented through application of the methodology to case studies in international and national projects is included. Some facets of this methodological approach still require further consideration, principally an enhanced integration of climatology, geography and ecology into models considering evolution of the environment, some aspects of the interface between the geosphere and biosphere, and an accurate quantification of environmental change processes and rates.

  15. Biosphere reserves in action: Case studies of the American experience

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    None

    1995-06-26

    For nearly 20 years, biosphere reserves have offered a unique framework for building the knowledge, skills, and attitudes required for conservation and sustainable use of ecosystems. The 12 case studies in this volume chronicle many of the cooperative efforts to implement the biosphere reserve concept in the United States. Considered together, these efforts involve more than 20 types of protected areas, and the participation of all levels of government, and many private organizations, academic institutions, citizens groups, and individuals. Biosphere reserves are multi-purpose areas that are nominated by the national committee of the Man and the Biosphere Program (MAB) and designated by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) to serve as demonstration areas for cooperation in building harmonious relationships between human activities and the conservation of ecosystems and biological diversity. Each biosphere reserve exemplifies the characteristic ecosystems of one of the worlds biogeographical regions. It is a land or coas%arine area involving human communities as integral components and including resources managed for objectives ranging from complete protection to intensive, yet sustainable development. A biosphere reserve is envisioned as a regional ''landscape for learning'' in which monitoring, research, education, and training are encouraged to support sustainable conservation of natural and managed ecosystems. It is a framework for regional cooperation involving government decisionmakers, scientists, resource managers, private organizations and local people (i.e., the biosphere reserve ''stakeholders''). Finally, each biosphere reserve is part of a global network for sharing information and experience to help address complex problems of conservation and development. The 12 case studies presented in this report represent only a few of the possible evolutions of a biosphere reserve in

  16. Commonness and rarity in the marine biosphere.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Connolly, Sean R; MacNeil, M Aaron; Caley, M Julian; Knowlton, Nancy; Cripps, Ed; Hisano, Mizue; Thibaut, Loïc M; Bhattacharya, Bhaskar D; Benedetti-Cecchi, Lisandro; Brainard, Russell E; Brandt, Angelika; Bulleri, Fabio; Ellingsen, Kari E; Kaiser, Stefanie; Kröncke, Ingrid; Linse, Katrin; Maggi, Elena; O'Hara, Timothy D; Plaisance, Laetitia; Poore, Gary C B; Sarkar, Santosh K; Satpathy, Kamala K; Schückel, Ulrike; Williams, Alan; Wilson, Robin S

    2014-06-10

    Explaining patterns of commonness and rarity is fundamental for understanding and managing biodiversity. Consequently, a key test of biodiversity theory has been how well ecological models reproduce empirical distributions of species abundances. However, ecological models with very different assumptions can predict similar species abundance distributions, whereas models with similar assumptions may generate very different predictions. This complicates inferring processes driving community structure from model fits to data. Here, we use an approximation that captures common features of "neutral" biodiversity models--which assume ecological equivalence of species--to test whether neutrality is consistent with patterns of commonness and rarity in the marine biosphere. We do this by analyzing 1,185 species abundance distributions from 14 marine ecosystems ranging from intertidal habitats to abyssal depths, and from the tropics to polar regions. Neutrality performs substantially worse than a classical nonneutral alternative: empirical data consistently show greater heterogeneity of species abundances than expected under neutrality. Poor performance of neutral theory is driven by its consistent inability to capture the dominance of the communities' most-abundant species. Previous tests showing poor performance of a neutral model for a particular system often have been followed by controversy about whether an alternative formulation of neutral theory could explain the data after all. However, our approach focuses on common features of neutral models, revealing discrepancies with a broad range of empirical abundance distributions. These findings highlight the need for biodiversity theory in which ecological differences among species, such as niche differences and demographic trade-offs, play a central role.

  17. The terrestrial biosphere in the SFR region

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jerling, L.; Isaeus, M. [Stockholm Univ. (Sweden). Dept. of Botany; Lanneck, J. [Stockholm Univ. (Sweden). Dept. of Physical Geography; Lindborg, T.; Schueldt, R. [Danish Nature Council, Copenhagen (Denmark)

    2001-03-01

    This report is a part of the SKB project 'SAFE' (Safety Assessment of the Final Repository of Radioactive Operational Waste). The aim of project SAFE is to update the previous safety analysis of SFR-1.SFR-1 is a facility for disposal of low and intermediate level radioactive waste, which is situated in bedrock beneath the Baltic Sea, one km off the coast near the Forsmark nuclear power plant in Northern Uppland. A part of the SAFE-analysis aims at analysing the transport of radionuclides in the ecosystems.To do so one has to build a model that includes a large amount of information concerning the biosphere.The first step is to collect and compile descriptions of the biosphere.This report is a first attempt to characterise the terrestrial environment of the SFR area of Forsmark. In the first part of the report the terrestrial environment, land class distribution and production of the area is described. The primary production in different terrestrial ecosystems is estimated for a model area in the Forsmark region. The estimations are based on the actual land class distribution and the values for the total primary production (d.w. above ground biomass)and the amount carbon produced, presented as g/m{sup 2} for each land class respectively. An important aspect of the biosphere is the vegetation and its development. The future development of vegetation is of interest since production,decomposition and thus storage of organic material, vary strongly among vegetation types and this has strong implications for the transport of radionuclides.Therefore an attempt to describe the development of terrestrial vegetation has been made in the second part. Any prediction of future vegetation is based on knowledge of the past together with premises for the future development.The predictions made, thus, becomes marred with errors enforced by the assumptions and incomplete information of the past. The assumptions made for the predictions in this report are crude and results

  18. The terrestrial biosphere in the SFR region

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jerling, L.; Isaeus, M. [Stockholm Univ. (Sweden). Dept. of Botany; Lanneck, J. [Stockholm Univ. (Sweden). Dept. of Physical Geography; Lindborg, T.; Schueldt, R. [Danish Nature Council, Copenhagen (Denmark)

    2001-03-01

    This report is a part of the SKB project 'SAFE' (Safety Assessment of the Final Repository of Radioactive Operational Waste). The aim of project SAFE is to update the previous safety analysis of SFR-1.SFR-1 is a facility for disposal of low and intermediate level radioactive waste, which is situated in bedrock beneath the Baltic Sea, one km off the coast near the Forsmark nuclear power plant in Northern Uppland. A part of the SAFE-analysis aims at analysing the transport of radionuclides in the ecosystems.To do so one has to build a model that includes a large amount of information concerning the biosphere.The first step is to collect and compile descriptions of the biosphere.This report is a first attempt to characterise the terrestrial environment of the SFR area of Forsmark. In the first part of the report the terrestrial environment, land class distribution and production of the area is described. The primary production in different terrestrial ecosystems is estimated for a model area in the Forsmark region. The estimations are based on the actual land class distribution and the values for the total primary production (d.w. above ground biomass)and the amount carbon produced, presented as g/m{sup 2} for each land class respectively. An important aspect of the biosphere is the vegetation and its development. The future development of vegetation is of interest since production,decomposition and thus storage of organic material, vary strongly among vegetation types and this has strong implications for the transport of radionuclides.Therefore an attempt to describe the development of terrestrial vegetation has been made in the second part. Any prediction of future vegetation is based on knowledge of the past together with premises for the future development.The predictions made, thus, becomes marred with errors enforced by the assumptions and incomplete information of the past. The assumptions made for the predictions in this report are crude and results

  19. Soil-Related Input Parameters for the Biosphere Model

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    A. J. Smith

    2004-09-09

    This report presents one of the analyses that support the Environmental Radiation Model for Yucca Mountain Nevada (ERMYN). The ''Biosphere Model Report'' (BSC 2004 [DIRS 169460]) describes the details of the conceptual model as well as the mathematical model and the required input parameters. The biosphere model is one of a series of process models supporting the postclosure Total System Performance Assessment (TSPA) for the Yucca Mountain repository. A schematic representation of the documentation flow for the Biosphere input to TSPA is presented in Figure 1-1. This figure shows the evolutionary relationships among the products (i.e., analysis and model reports) developed for biosphere modeling, and the biosphere abstraction products for TSPA, as identified in the ''Technical Work Plan for Biosphere Modeling and Expert Support'' (TWP) (BSC 2004 [DIRS 169573]). This figure is included to provide an understanding of how this analysis report contributes to biosphere modeling in support of the license application, and is not intended to imply that access to the listed documents is required to understand the contents of this report. This report, ''Soil-Related Input Parameters for the Biosphere Model'', is one of the five analysis reports that develop input parameters for use in the ERMYN model. This report is the source documentation for the six biosphere parameters identified in Table 1-1. The purpose of this analysis was to develop the biosphere model parameters associated with the accumulation and depletion of radionuclides in the soil. These parameters support the calculation of radionuclide concentrations in soil from on-going irrigation or ash deposition and, as a direct consequence, radionuclide concentration in other environmental media that are affected by radionuclide concentrations in soil. The analysis was performed in accordance with the TWP (BSC 2004 [DIRS 169573]) where the governing procedure

  20. Venus and Mars as Failed Biospheres

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grinspoon, D.

    2014-04-01

    What kinds of planets can support life? A widely held belief is that to support life, a planet should have stable bodies of liquid surface water. This assumption has in turn led to the conventional notion of a habitable zone (HZ) as a range of distances from a star where water can exist on the surface of a solid planet for biologically relevant timescales. As our understanding of terrestrial planet evolution has increased, the importance of water abundance as a substance controlling many evolutionary factors has become increasingly clear. This is true of biological evolution, as the presence of liquid water is widely regarded as the key to the possibility of finding "life as we know it" on other worlds. It is also true of geological and climatic evolution. Water is among the most important climatically active atmospheric gasses on the terrestrial planets. It is also a controlling variable for tectonic style and geologic processes, as well as a mediator of surface-atmosphere chemical reactions. Of the three local terrestrial planets, two have lost their oceans either to a subsurface cryosphere or to space, and one has had liquid oceans for most of its history. It is likely that planetary desiccation in one form or another is common among extrasolar terrestrial planets near the edges of their habitable zones. Thus, understanding the sources and sinks for surface water and characterizing the longevity of oceans and the magnitude of loss mechanisms on terrestrial planets of differing size, composition and proximity to stars of various stellar types, as well as the range of physical parameters which facilitates plate tectonics, is key to defining stellar habitable zones. The global biosphere of Earth has greatly altered many physical properties of the planet, and it is unclear to what extent the long-term habitability of Earth is the result of its inhabitation. Only comparative planetology, eventually including comparison with other inhabited planets, will answer this

  1. Evolution of Photosynthesis and Biospheric Oxygenation Contingent Upon Nitrogen Fixation?

    CERN Document Server

    Grula, J W

    2006-01-01

    How photosynthesis by Precambrian cyanobacteria oxygenated Earth's biosphere remains incompletely understood. Here it is argued that the oxic transition, which took place between approximately 2.3 and 0.5 Gyr ago, required a great proliferation of cyanobacteria, and this in turn depended on their ability to fix nitrogen via the nitrogenase enzyme system. However, the ability to fix nitrogen was not a panacea, and the rate of biospheric oxygenation may still have been affected by nitrogen constraints on cyanobacterial expansion. Evidence is presented for why cyanobacteria probably have a great need for fixed nitrogen than other prokaryotes, underscoring the importance of their ability to fix nitrogen. The connection between nitrogen fixation and the evolution of photosynthesis is demonstrated by the similarities between nitrogenase and enzymes critical for the biosynthesis of (bacterio)chlorophyll. It is hypothesized that biospheric oxygenation would not have occurred if the emergence of cyanobacteria had not ...

  2. Biosphere dose conversion Factor Importance and Sensitivity Analysis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    M. Wasiolek

    2004-10-15

    This report presents importance and sensitivity analysis for the environmental radiation model for Yucca Mountain, Nevada (ERMYN). ERMYN is a biosphere model supporting the total system performance assessment (TSPA) for the license application (LA) for the Yucca Mountain repository. This analysis concerns the output of the model, biosphere dose conversion factors (BDCFs) for the groundwater, and the volcanic ash exposure scenarios. It identifies important processes and parameters that influence the BDCF values and distributions, enhances understanding of the relative importance of the physical and environmental processes on the outcome of the biosphere model, includes a detailed pathway analysis for key radionuclides, and evaluates the appropriateness of selected parameter values that are not site-specific or have large uncertainty.

  3. The biosphere today and tomorrow in the SFR area

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kautsky, Ulrik (ed.)

    2001-06-01

    This report is a compilation of the work done mainly in the SAFE project for the biosphere from about 14 reports. The SAFE project is the updated safety analysis of SFR-1, the LLW and ILW repository at Forsmark. The aim of the report is to summarize the available information about the present-day biosphere in the area surrounding SFR and to use this information, together with information about the previous development of the biosphere, to predict the future development of the area in a more comparable way than the underlying reports. The data actually used for the models have been taken from the original reports which also justify or validate the data. The report compiles information about climate, oceanography, landscape, sedimentation, shoreline displacement, marine, lake and terrestrial ecosystems.

  4. An Estimate of the Total DNA in the Biosphere.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Landenmark, Hanna K E; Forgan, Duncan H; Cockell, Charles S

    2015-06-01

    Modern whole-organism genome analysis, in combination with biomass estimates, allows us to estimate a lower bound on the total information content in the biosphere: 5.3 × 1031 (±3.6 × 1031) megabases (Mb) of DNA. Given conservative estimates regarding DNA transcription rates, this information content suggests biosphere processing speeds exceeding yottaNOPS values (1024 Nucleotide Operations Per Second). Although prokaryotes evolved at least 3 billion years before plants and animals, we find that the information content of prokaryotes is similar to plants and animals at the present day. This information-based approach offers a new way to quantify anthropogenic and natural processes in the biosphere and its information diversity over time.

  5. Culturing captures members of the soil rare biosphere.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shade, Ashley; Hogan, Clifford S; Klimowicz, Amy K; Linske, Matthew; McManus, Patricia S; Handelsman, Jo

    2012-09-01

    The ecological significance of rare microorganisms within microbial communities remains an important, unanswered question. Microorganisms of extremely low abundance (the 'rare biosphere') are believed to be largely inaccessible and unknown. To understand the structure of complex environmental microbial communities, including the representation of rare and prevalent community members, we coupled traditional cultivation with pyrosequencing. We compared cultured and uncultured bacterial members of the same agricultural soil, including eight locations within one apple orchard and four time points. Our analysis revealed that soil bacteria captured by culturing were in very low abundance or absent in the culture-independent community, demonstrating unexpected accessibility of the rare biosphere by culturing.

  6. Selection of biosphere reserves for the Californian Biogeographical Province : Final report

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — Completion of the biosphere reserve network within the United States is a major objective of the United States Man and the Biosphere Program (US MAS). Toward this...

  7. Impact disruption and recovery of the deep subsurface biosphere

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Cockell, Charles S.; Voytek, Mary A.; Gronstal, Aaaron L

    2012-01-01

    Although a large fraction of the world's biomass resides in the subsurface, there has been no study of the effects of catastrophic disturbance on the deep biosphere and the rate of its subsequent recovery. We carried out an investigation of the microbiology of a 1.76 km drill core obtained from t...

  8. Terrestrial biosphere change over the last 120 kyr

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hoogakker, B.A.A.; Smith, R.A.; Singarayer, J.S.; Marchant, R.; Prentice, I.C.; Allen, J.R.M.; Anderson, R.S.; Bhagwat, S.A.; Behling, H.; Borisova, O.; Bush, M.; Correa-Metrio, A.; de Vernal, A.; Finch, J.M.; Fréchette, B.; Lozano-Garcia, S.; Gosling, W.D.; Granoszewski, W.; Grimm, E.C.; Grüger, E.; Hanselman, J.; Harrison, S.P.; Hill, T.R.; Huntley, B.; Jiménez-Moreno, G.; Kershaw, P.; Ledru, M.-P.; Magri, D.; McKenzie, M.; Müller, U.; Nakagawa, T.; Novenko, E.; Penny, D.; Sadori, L.; Scott, L.; Stevenson, J.; Valdes, P.J.; Vandergoes, M.; Velichko, A.; Whitlock, C.; Tzedakis, C.

    2016-01-01

    A new global synthesis and biomization of long (> 40 kyr) pollen-data records is presented and used with simulations from the HadCM3 and FAMOUS climate models and the BIOME4 vegetation model to analyse the dynamics of the global terrestrial biosphere and carbon storage over the last glacial-intergla

  9. Terrestrial acidification during the end-Permian biosphere crisis?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Sephton, Mark A.; Jiao, Dan; Engel, Michael H.; Looy, Cindy V.; Visscher, Henk

    2015-01-01

    Excessive acid rainfall associated with emplacement of the Siberian Traps magmatic province is increasingly accepted as a major contributing factor to the end-Permian biosphere crisis. However, direct proxy evidence of terrestrial acidification is so far not available. In this paper, we seek to dete

  10. Farmers' Perceptions of a Mountain Biosphere Reserve in Austria

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adelheid Humer-Gruber

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available This study explored farmers’ perceptions of a biosphere reserve in the Austrian Alps with the goal of promoting better understanding among different stakeholders involved in the agricultural sector in a biosphere reserve. Biosphere reserves have a variety of functions and serve as models of sustainable regional development and involve stakeholders in decision-making on and development of protected areas. In the Alpine biosphere reserve selected for this study, the conservation of cultural landscapes plays a major role; therefore, farmers feature prominently, and this study focuses on their points of view. Farmers rely heavily on natural resources, but structural changes in agriculture determine their work to a large degree, and they often refuse to support protected area management. This situation calls for a closer integration of social-scientific knowledge in regional development programs. Qualitative research methods based on grounded theory can help identify sources of conflict and social strengths. The study found substantial support for the reserve but also a noticeable lessening of the original excitement about it, pointing to the need for further outreach and to the importance, when establishing future reserves, of handling the start-up phase with heightened sensitivity.

  11. Acetogenesis in the energy-starved deep biosphere - a paradox?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lever, Mark

    2012-01-01

    Under anoxic conditions in sediments, acetogens are often thought to be outcompeted by microorganisms performing energetically more favorable metabolic pathways, such as sulfate reduction or methanogenesis. Recent evidence from deep subseafloor sediments suggesting acetogenesis in the presence of...... to be taken into account to understand microbial survival in the energy-depleted deep biosphere....

  12. Evidence for an active rare biosphere within freshwater protists community.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Debroas, Didier; Hugoni, Mylène; Domaizon, Isabelle

    2015-03-01

    Studies on the active rare biosphere at the RNA level are mainly focused on Bacteria and Archaea and fail to include the protists, which are involved in the main biogeochemical cycles of the earth. In this study, the richness, composition and activity of the rare protistan biosphere were determined from a temporal survey of two lakes by pyrosequencing. In these ecosystems, the always rare OTUs represented 77.2% of the total OTUs and 76.6% of the phylogenetic diversity. From the various phylogenetic indices computed, the phylogenetic units (PUs) constituted exclusively by always rare OTUs were discriminated from the other PUs. Therefore, the rare biosphere included mainly taxa that are distant from the reference databases compared to the dominant ones. In addition, the rarest OTUs represented 59.8% of the active biosphere depicted by rRNA and the activity (rRNA:rDNA ratio) increased with the rarity. The high rRNA:rDNA ratio determined in the rare fraction highlights that some protists were active at low abundances and contribute to ecosystem functioning. Interestingly, the always rare and active OTUs were characterized by seasonal changes in relation with the main environmental parameters measured. In conclusion, the rare eukaryotes represent an active, dynamic and overlooked fraction in the lacustrine ecosystems.

  13. Ecology of the rare microbial biosphere of the Arctic Ocean.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Galand, Pierre E; Casamayor, Emilio O; Kirchman, David L; Lovejoy, Connie

    2009-12-29

    Understanding the role of microbes in the oceans has focused on taxa that occur in high abundance; yet most of the marine microbial diversity is largely determined by a long tail of low-abundance taxa. This rare biosphere may have a cosmopolitan distribution because of high dispersal and low loss rates, and possibly represents a source of phylotypes that become abundant when environmental conditions change. However, the true ecological role of rare marine microorganisms is still not known. Here, we use pyrosequencing to describe the structure and composition of the rare biosphere and to test whether it represents cosmopolitan taxa or whether, similar to abundant phylotypes, the rare community has a biogeography. Our examination of 740,353 16S rRNA gene sequences from 32 bacterial and archaeal communities from various locations of the Arctic Ocean showed that rare phylotypes did not have a cosmopolitan distribution but, rather, followed patterns similar to those of the most abundant members of the community and of the entire community. The abundance distributions of rare and abundant phylotypes were different, following a log-series and log-normal model, respectively, and the taxonomic composition of the rare biosphere was similar to the composition of the abundant phylotypes. We conclude that the rare biosphere has a biogeography and that its tremendous diversity is most likely subjected to ecological processes such as selection, speciation, and extinction.

  14. Implementation of the Biosphere Compatibility Principle in Urban Planning: How to Train Next-Generation Specialists

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ivanova, Zinaida Ilyinichna; Yudenkova, Olga Valeryevna; Ishkov, Aleksandr Dmitrievich; Shnyrenkov, Evgeny Anatolyevich

    2015-01-01

    The co-authors address the relevant issues concerning the need to implement the principle of the biosphere compatibility as the core prerequisite for the symbiotic co-existence of man and nature. Caring treatment of the biosphere, termination of its excessive exploitation, analysis of the ratio between the biospheric potential of specific areas…

  15. Viral infections as controlling factors for the deep biosphere? (Invited)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Engelen, B.; Engelhardt, T.; Sahlberg, M.; Cypionka, H.

    2009-12-01

    The marine deep biosphere represents the largest biotope on Earth. Throughout the last years, we have obtained interesting insights into its microbial community composition. However, one component that was completely overlooked so far is the viral inventory of deep-subsurface sediments. While viral infections were identified to have a major impact on the benthic microflora of deep-sea surface sediments (Danavaro et al. 2008), no studies were performed on deep-biosphere samples, so far. As grazers probably play only a minor role in anoxic and highly compressed deep sediments, viruses might be the main “predators” for indigenous microorganisms. Furthermore, the release of cell components, called “the viral shunt”, could have a major impact on the deep biosphere in providing labile organic compounds to non-infected microorganisms in these generally nutrient depleted sediments. However, direct counting of viruses in sediments is highly challenging due to the small size of viruses and the high background of small particles. Even molecular surveys using “universal” PCR primers that target phage-specific genes fail due to the vast phage diversity. One solution for this problem is the lysogenic viral life cycle as many bacteriophages integrate their DNA into the host genome. It is estimated that up to 70% of cultivated bacteria contain prophages within their genome. Therefore, culture collections (Batzke et al. 2007) represent an archive of the viral composition within the respective habitat. These prophages can be induced to become free phage particles in stimulation experiments in which the host cells are set under certain stress situations such as a treatment with UV exposure or DNA-damaging antibiotics. The study of the viral component within the deep biosphere offers to answer the following questions: To which extent are deep-biosphere populations controlled by viral infections? What is the inter- and intra-specific diversity and the host-specific viral

  16. Group dynamics challenges: Insights from Biosphere 2 experiments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nelson, Mark; Gray, Kathelin; Allen, John P

    2015-07-01

    Successfully managing group dynamics of small, physically isolated groups is vital for long duration space exploration/habitation and for terrestrial CELSS (Controlled Environmental Life Support System) facilities with human participants. Biosphere 2 had important differences and shares some key commonalities with both Antarctic and space environments. There were a multitude of stress factors during the first two year closure experiment as well as mitigating factors. A helpful tool used at Biosphere 2 was the work of W.R. Bion who identified two competing modalities of behavior in small groups. Task-oriented groups are governed by conscious acceptance of goals, reality-thinking in relation to time and resources, and intelligent management of challenges. The opposing unconscious mode, the "basic-assumption" ("group animal") group, manifests through Dependency/Kill the Leader, Fight/Flight and Pairing. These unconscious dynamics undermine and can defeat the task group's goal. The biospherians experienced some dynamics seen in other isolated teams: factions developing reflecting personal chemistry and disagreements on overall mission procedures. These conflicts were exacerbated by external power struggles which enlisted support of those inside. Nevertheless, the crew evolved a coherent, creative life style to deal with some of the deprivations of isolation. The experience of the first two year closure of Biosphere 2 vividly illustrates both vicissitudes and management of group dynamics. The crew overrode inevitable frictions to creatively manage both operational and research demands and opportunities of the facility, thus staying 'on task' in Bion's group dynamics terminology. The understanding that Biosphere 2 was their life support system may also have helped the mission to succeed. Insights from the Biosphere 2 experience can help space and remote missions cope successfully with the inherent challenges of small, isolated crews.

  17. Drivers and patterns of land biosphere carbon balance reversal

    Science.gov (United States)

    Müller, Christoph; Stehfest, Elke; van Minnen, Jelle G.; Strengers, Bart; von Bloh, Werner; Beusen, Arthur H. W.; Schaphoff, Sibyll; Kram, Tom; Lucht, Wolfgang

    2016-04-01

    The carbon balance of the land biosphere is the result of complex interactions between land, atmosphere and oceans, including climatic change, carbon dioxide fertilization and land-use change. While the land biosphere currently absorbs carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, this carbon balance might be reversed under climate and land-use change (‘carbon balance reversal’). A carbon balance reversal would render climate mitigation much more difficult, as net negative emissions would be needed to even stabilize atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations. We investigate the robustness of the land biosphere carbon sink under different socio-economic pathways by systematically varying climate sensitivity, spatial patterns of climate change and resulting land-use changes. For this, we employ a modelling framework designed to account for all relevant feedback mechanisms by coupling the integrated assessment model IMAGE with the process-based dynamic vegetation, hydrology and crop growth model LPJmL. We find that carbon balance reversal can occur under a broad range of forcings and is connected to changes in tree cover and soil carbon mainly in northern latitudes. These changes are largely a consequence of vegetation responses to varying climate and only partially of land-use change and the rate of climate change. Spatial patterns of climate change as deduced from different climate models, substantially determine how much pressure in terms of global warming and land-use change the land biosphere will tolerate before the carbon balance is reversed. A reversal of the land biosphere carbon balance can occur as early as 2030, although at very low probability, and should be considered in the design of so-called peak-and-decline strategies.

  18. WEB-DHM: A distributed biosphere hydrological model developed by coupling a simple biosphere scheme with a hillslope hydrological model

    Science.gov (United States)

    The coupling of land surface models and hydrological models potentially improves the land surface representation, benefiting both the streamflow prediction capabilities as well as providing improved estimates of water and energy fluxes into the atmosphere. In this study, the simple biosphere model 2...

  19. Models for dose assessments. Modules for various biosphere types

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bergstroem, U.; Nordlinder, S.; Aggeryd, I. [Studsvik Eco and Safety AB, Nykoeping (Sweden)

    1999-12-01

    The main objective of this study was to provide a basis for illustrations of yearly dose rates to the most exposed individual from hypothetical leakages of radionuclides from a deep bedrock repository for spent nuclear fuel and other radioactive waste. The results of this study will be used in the safety assessment SR 97 and in a study on the design and long-term safety for a repository planned to contain long-lived low and intermediate level waste. The repositories will be designed to isolate the radionuclides for several hundred thousands of years. In the SR 97 study, however, hypothetical scenarios for leakage are postulated. Radionuclides are hence assumed to be transported in the geosphere by groundwater, and probably discharge into the biosphere. This may occur in several types of ecosystems. A number of categories of such ecosystems were identified, and turnover of radionuclides was modelled separately for each ecosystem. Previous studies had focused on generic models for wells, lakes and coastal areas. These models were, in this study, developed further to use site-specific data. In addition, flows of groundwater, containing radionuclides, to agricultural land and peat bogs were considered. All these categories are referred to as modules in this report. The forest ecosystems were not included, due to a general lack of knowledge of biospheric processes in connection with discharge of groundwater in forested areas. Examples of each type of module were run with the assumption of a continuous annual release into the biosphere of 1 Bq for each radionuclide during 10 000 years. The results are presented as ecosystem specific dose conversion factors (EDFs) for each nuclide at the year 10 000, assuming stationary ecosystems and prevailing living conditions and habits. All calculations were performed with uncertainty analyses included. Simplifications and assumptions in the modelling of biospheric processes are discussed. The use of modules may be seen as a step

  20. Exploring frontiers of the deep biosphere through scientific ocean drilling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Inagaki, F.; D'Hondt, S.; Hinrichs, K. U.

    2015-12-01

    Since the first deep biosphere-dedicated Ocean Drilling Program (ODP) Leg 201 using the US drill ship JOIDES Resolution in 2002, scientific ocean drilling has offered unique opportunities to expand our knowledge of the nature and extent of the deep biosphere. The latest estimate of the global subseafloor microbial biomass is ~1029cells, accounting for 4 Gt of carbon and ~1% of the Earth's total living biomass. The subseafloor microbial communities are evolutionarily diverse and their metabolic rates are extraordinarily slow. Nevertheless, accumulating activity most likely plays a significant role in elemental cycles over geological time. In 2010, during Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP) Expedition 329, the JOIDES Resolutionexplored the deep biosphere in the open-ocean South Pacific Gyre—the largest oligotrophic province on our planet. During Expedition 329, relatively high concentrations of dissolved oxygen and significantly low biomass of microbial populations were observed in the entire sediment column, indicating that (i) there is no limit to life in open-ocean sediment and (ii) a significant amount of oxygen reaches through the sediment to the upper oceanic crust. This "deep aerobic biosphere" inhabits the sediment throughout up to ~37 percent of the world's oceans. The remaining ~63 percent of the oceans is comprised of higher productivity areas that contain the "deep anaerobic biosphere". In 2012, during IODP Expedition 337, the Japanese drill ship Chikyu explored coal-bearing sediments down to 2,466 meters below the seafloor off the Shimokita Peninsula, Japan. Geochemical and microbiological analyses consistently showed the occurrence of methane-producing communities associated with the coal beds. Cell concentrations in deep sediments were notably lower than those expected from the global regression line, implying that the bottom of the deep biosphere is approached in these beds. Taxonomic composition of the deep coal-bearing communities profoundly

  1. USA: Glacier National Park, Biosphere Reserve and GLORIA Site

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fagre, Daniel B.; Lee, Cathy; Schaaf, Thomas; Simmonds, Paul

    2004-01-01

    The National Park Service of the United States has 388 designated protected areas and parks that include historic and cultural sites as well as ‘natural resource’ parks set aside for their unique and outstanding natural features. Early efforts to create parks were focused on areas of beauty or unusual features but later efforts increasingly aimed to protect biodiversity and intact ecosystems. Protected areas in the National Park Service are found in nearly all the fifty states from Florida to Alaska, with examples of preserved natural environments ranging from coral reefs to the icy summit of Mt. McKinley in Alaska, at 6,187 m. Many of the larger parks have been designated as Biosphere Reserves under the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Man and the Biosphere Programme.

  2. Pharmaceutical Residues Affecting the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve Kristianstads Vattenrike Wetlands

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Björklund, Erland; Svahn, Ola; Bak, Søren Alex

    2016-01-01

    plants (WWTPs). We analysed influent and treated wastewater, leachate water, lake, river, and wetland water alongside sediment for six model pharmaceuticals. The two WWTPs investigated released pharmaceutical residues at levels close to those previously observed in Swedish monitoring exercises. Compound......This study is the first to investigate the pharmaceutical burden from point sources affecting the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve Kristianstads Vattenrike, Sweden. The investigated Biosphere Reserve is a >1000 km(2) wetland system with inflows from lakes, rivers, leachate from landfill, and wastewater-treatment......-dependent WWTP removal efficiencies ranging from 12 to 100 % for bendroflumethiazide, oxazepam, atenolol, carbamazepine, and diclofenac were observed. Surface-water concentrations in the most affected lake were ≥100 ng/L for the various pharmaceuticals with atenolol showing the highest levels (>300 ng...

  3. A Hot Climate on Early Earth: Implications to Biospheric Evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schwartzman, D. W.; Knauth, L. P.

    2009-12-01

    There is now robust evidence for a much warmer climate on the early Earth than now. Both oxygen and silicon isotopes in sedimentary chert and the compelling case for a near constant isotopic oxygen composition of seawater over geologic time support thermophilic surface temperatures until about 1.5-2 billion years ago, aside from a glacial episode in the early Proterozoic. This temperature scenario has important implications to biospheric evolution, including a temperature constraint that held back the emergence of major organismal groups, starting with phototrophs. A geophysiology of biospheric evolution raises the potential of similar coevolutionary relationships of life and its environment on Earth-like planets around Sun-like stars.

  4. Information in the Biosphere: Biological and Digital Worlds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gillings, Michael R; Hilbert, Martin; Kemp, Darrell J

    2016-03-01

    Evolution has transformed life through key innovations in information storage and replication, including RNA, DNA, multicellularity, and culture and language. We argue that the carbon-based biosphere has generated a cognitive system (humans) capable of creating technology that will result in a comparable evolutionary transition. Digital information has reached a similar magnitude to information in the biosphere. It increases exponentially, exhibits high-fidelity replication, evolves through differential fitness, is expressed through artificial intelligence (AI), and has facility for virtually limitless recombination. Like previous evolutionary transitions, the potential symbiosis between biological and digital information will reach a critical point where these codes could compete via natural selection. Alternatively, this fusion could create a higher-level superorganism employing a low-conflict division of labor in performing informational tasks.

  5. Lunar subsurface architecture enhanced by artificial biosphere concepts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klassi, Jason D.; Rocha, Carlos J.; Carr, Charles A.

    1992-01-01

    The integration of artificial biosphere technology with subselene architecture can create a life-enhancing, productive habitat that is safe from solar radiation and extreme temperature fluctuations while maximizing resources brought from Earth and derived from lunar regolith. In the short term, the resulting biotectural (biosphere and architectural) designs will not only make the structures more habitable, productive, and manageable, but will ultimately provide the self-sufficiency factors necessary for the mature lunar settlement. From a long-term perspective, this biotecture approach to astronautics and extraterrestrial development (1) helps reduce mass lift requirements, (2) contributes to habitat self-sufficiency, and (3) actualizes at least one philosophy of solar system exploration, which is to exploit nonterrestrial resources in an effort to conserve our natural resources on this planet.

  6. Building capital through bioregional planning and biosphere reserves

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David Brunckhorst

    2001-02-01

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT: The need to implement innovative approaches to sustainability is now more critical than ever. This discussion draws on parts of the puzzle that must be assembled to achieve integrated, cross-tenure and jurisdictional management of whole regions and their peoples for a sustainable future. A regional, landscape ecology approach helps us to move on from theory and historical lessons to boldly design and adaptively develop novel on-ground models. To take an entirely different approach from conventional thinking, I draw from Common Property Resource (CPR theory and experience, together with practical experience from the Bookmark Biosphere project. The characteristics of successful enduring Common Property regimes are identified and discussed in light of critical needs to maintain and restore social and ecological capital. I then highlight the concepts and logistical objectives behind the 30-year-old UNESCO Biosphere Reserve Program, which appears to have great potential as an operational framework within which these changes can be made. The Biosphere Reserve Program is maturing through integration of cultural needs and aspirations for quality of life, while conserving natural values and ecosystem processes. In particular, progress is being made through bioregional planning and management incorporating a variety of IUCN protected area types with novel, sustainable, resource-use diversification. The novel arrangements, experience and lessons from one developing model, Bookmark Biosphere Reserve in South Australia, are described as an example. I wish to encourage more models like the Bookmark experiment to evolve through even greater creativity and engagement with public and private partners. On-ground models that demonstrate innovative alternative land use management in the rangelands or integration across the coastal-marine interface are especially needed.

  7. Tourism environmental attitudes in Berlengas Biosphere Reserve, Portugal

    OpenAIRE

    Santos, Nelson; Vasconcelos, João; Lopes, Maria Sofia; Mouga, Teresa

    2014-01-01

    Berlengas archipelago is located in the Atlantic Ocean, on the Portuguese continental shelf, on the western side of Iberian Peninsula. Berlengas is a marine reserve since 1981, a marine protected area since 1998 and, in 2011, it was included into the World Network of Biosphere Reserves (WNBR). As Berlengas is a relatively accessible archipelago from the west coast, it attracts all sorts of visitors during summer period. As a consequence, Berlengas has been facing a stronger demand for tour...

  8. Developing Starlight connections with UNESCO sites through the Biosphere Smart

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marin, Cipriano

    2015-08-01

    The large number of UNESCO Sites around the world, in outstanding sites ranging from small islands to cities, makes it possible to build and share a comprehensive knowledge base on good practices and policies on the preservation of the night skies consistent with the protection of the associated scientific, natural and cultural values. In this context, the Starlight Initiative and other organizations such as IDA play a catalytic role in an essential international process to promote comprehensive, holistic approaches on dark sky preservation, astronomical observation, environmental protection, responsible lighting, sustainable energy, climate change and global sustainability.Many of these places have the potential to become models of excellence to foster the recovery of the dark skies and its defence against light pollution, included some case studies mentioned in the Portal to the Heritage of Astronomy.Fighting light pollution and recovering starry sky are already elements of a new emerging culture in biosphere reserves and world heritage sites committed to acting on climate change and sustainable development. Over thirty territories, including biosphere reserves and world heritage sites, have been developed successful initiatives to ensure night sky quality and promote sustainable lighting. Clear night skies also provide sustainable income opportunities as tourists and visitors are eagerly looking for sites with impressive night skies.Taking into account the high visibility and the ability of UNESCO sites to replicate network experiences, the Starlight Initiative has launched an action In cooperation with Biosphere Smart, aimed at promoting the Benchmark sites.Biosphere Smart is a global observatory created in partnership with UNESCO MaB Programme to share good practices, and experiences among UNESCO sites. The Benchmark sites window allows access to all the information of the most relevant astronomical heritage sites, dark sky protected areas and other places

  9. Low marine sulphate and protracted oxygenation of the Proterozoic biosphere.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kah, Linda C; Lyons, Timothy W; Frank, Tracy D

    2004-10-14

    Progressive oxygenation of the Earth's early biosphere is thought to have resulted in increased sulphide oxidation during continental weathering, leading to a corresponding increase in marine sulphate concentration. Accurate reconstruction of marine sulphate reservoir size is therefore important for interpreting the oxygenation history of early Earth environments. Few data, however, specifically constrain how sulphate concentrations may have changed during the Proterozoic era (2.5-0.54 Gyr ago). Prior to 2.2 Gyr ago, when oxygen began to accumulate in the Earth's atmosphere, sulphate concentrations are inferred to have been oxygen and thus sulphate levels may have risen significantly. Here we report large stratigraphic variations in the sulphur isotope composition of marine carbonate-associated sulphate, and use a rate-dependent model for sulphur isotope change that allows us to track changes in marine sulphate concentrations throughout the Proterozoic. Our calculations indicate sulphate levels between 1.5 and 4.5 mM, or 5-15 per cent of modern values, for more than 1 Gyr after initial oxygenation of the Earth's biosphere. Persistence of low oceanic sulphate demonstrates the protracted nature of Earth's oxygenation. It links biospheric evolution to temporal patterns in the depositional behaviour of marine iron- and sulphur-bearing minerals, biological cycling of redox-sensitive elements and availability of trace metals essential to eukaryotic development.

  10. Biosphere Compatibility as a Principle of Sustainable Urban Development

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ivanova Zinaida

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available The article covers safety and environmental issues, as well as the sustainable interaction between man and nature in the context of present-day cities. An important task, according to the authors, is the study of scientific approaches and practical achievements in this field, and then the detection of the most urgent critical issues. The coauthors provide an overview of numerous research projects on the treatment of nature, the anthropogenic load, the biosphere as a geological body, the noosphere, and ratios characterizing the condition of the biosphere. The coauthors believe that ecological management, aimed to reverse the treatment of nature, must be integrative. New legislation, effective control of its execution, new disciplines to be introduced at the level of secondary, vocational, and higher education, development of ecological schools of thought and advanced green standards and materials applicable to any construction operations may comprise an effective solution. The authors offer their vision of the challenges and outline the primary steps, including immediate implementation of urban planning solutions to be developed in accordance with the biosphere compatibility principles, with calculations of humanitarian balances of the bio-technosphere. The coauthors also consider the innovative approaches to the use of eco-friendly materials in construction projects.

  11. Earth's Early Biosphere and the Biogeochemical Carbon Cycle

    Science.gov (United States)

    DesMarais, David

    2004-01-01

    Our biosphere has altered the global environment principally by influencing the chemistry of those elements most important for life, e g., C, N, S, O, P and transition metals (e.g., Fe and Mn). The coupling of oxygenic photosynthesis with the burial in sediments of photosynthetic organic matter, and with the escape of H2 to space, has increased the state of oxidation of the Oceans and atmosphere. It has also created highly reduced conditions within sedimentary rocks that have also extensively affected the geochemistry of several elements. The decline of volcanism during Earth's history reduced the flow of reduced chemical species that reacted with photosynthetically produced O2. The long-term net accumulation of photosynthetic O2 via biogeochemical processes has profoundly influenced our atmosphere and biosphere, as evidenced by the O2 levels required for algae, multicellular life and certain modem aerobic bacteria to exist. When our biosphere developed photosynthesis, it tapped into an energy resource that was much larger than the energy available from oxidation-reduction reactions associated with weathering and hydrothermal activity. Today, hydrothermal sources deliver globally (0.13-1.1)x10(exp l2) mol yr(sup -1) of reduced S, Fe(2+), Mn(2+), H2 and CH4; this is estimated to sustain at most about (0.2-2)xl0(exp 12)mol C yr(sup -1) of organic carbon production by chemautotrophic microorganisms. In contrast, global photosynthetic productivity is estimated to be 9000x10(exp 12) mol C yr(sup -1). Thus, even though global thermal fluxes were greater in the distant geologic past than today, the onset of oxygenic photosynthesis probably increased global organic productivity by some two or more orders of magnitude. This enormous productivity materialized principally because oxygenic photosynthesizers unleashed a virtually unlimited supply of reduced H that forever freed life from its sole dependence upon abiotic sources of reducing power such as hydrothermal emanations

  12. How close are we to a predictive science of the biosphere?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moorcroft, Paul R

    2006-07-01

    In just 20 years, the field of biosphere-atmosphere interactions has gone from a nascent discipline to a central area of modern climate change research. The development of terrestrial biosphere models that predict the responses of ecosystems to climate and increasing CO2 levels has highlighted several mechanisms by which changes in ecosystem composition and function might alter regional and global climate. However, results from empirical studies suggest that ecosystem responses can differ markedly from the predictions of terrestrial biosphere models. As I discuss here, the challenge now is to connect terrestrial biosphere models to empirical ecosystem measurements. Only by systematically evaluating the predictions of terrestrial biosphere models against suites of ecosystem observations and experiments measurements will a true predictive science of the biosphere be achieved.

  13. HERPETOFAUNA OF THE CAMİLİ BIOSPHERE REZERVE AREA (BORÇKA, ARTVİN, TURKEY

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Murat AFSAR

    2012-02-01

    Full Text Available In this study, 15 amphibian and reptile species were recorded from 12 different localities in the Camili Biosphere Reserve, known as the first biosphere site of Turkey. Two of these species are urodelan, four are anuran, four are Lacertilia and five are Ophidia. Two black coloured Natrix specimens collected from biosphere rezerve area are compered with literature data belongs to N. megalocephala. Moreover, the population and habitat status of threatened species were investigated, required conservation measures were explained.

  14. Influence of geoengineered climate on the terrestrial biosphere.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Naik, Vaishali; Wuebbles, Donald J; Delucia, Evan H; Foley, Jonathan A

    2003-09-01

    Various geoengineering schemes have been proposed to counteract anthropogenically induced climate change. In a previous study, it was suggested that a 1.8% reduction in solar radiation incident on the Earth's surface could noticeably reduce regional and seasonal climate change from increased atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2). However, the response of the terrestrial biosphere to reduced solar radiation in a CO2-rich climate was not investigated. In this study, we hypothesized that a reduction in incident solar radiation in a Doubled CO2 atmosphere will diminish the net primary productivity (NPP) of terrestrial ecosystems, potentially accelerating the accumulation of CO2 in the atmosphere. We used a dynamic global ecosystem model, the Integrated Biosphere Simulator (IBIS), to investigate this hypothesis in an unperturbed climatology. While this simplified modeling framework effectively separated the influence of CO2 and sunlight on the terrestrial biosphere, it did not consider the complex feedbacks within the Earth's climate system. Our analysis indicated that compared to a Doubled CO2 scenario, reduction in incident solar radiation by 1.8% in a double CO2 world will have negligible impact on the NPP of terrestrial ecosystems. There were, however, spatial variations in the response of NPP-engineered solar radiation. While productivity decreased by less than 2% in the tropical and boreal forests as hypothesized, it increased by a similar percentage in the temperate deciduous forests and grasslands. This increase in productivity was attributed to an approximately 1% reduction in evapotranspiration in the Geoengineered scenario relative to the Doubled CO2 scenario. Our initial hypothesis was rejected because of unanticipated effects of engineered solar radiation on the hydrologic cycle. However, any geoengineering approaches that reduce incident solar radiation need to be thoroughly analyzed in view of the implications on ecosystem productivity and the hydrologic cycle.

  15. Evolving Phytoplankton Stoichiometry Fueled Diversification of the Marine Biosphere

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Antonietta Quigg

    2012-05-01

    Full Text Available The availability of nutrients and the quantity and quality of food at the base of food webs have largely been ignored in discussions of the Phanerozoic record of biodiversity. We examine the role of nutrient availability and phytoplankton stoichiometry (the relative proportions of inorganic nutrients to carbon in the diversification of the marine biosphere. Nutrient availability and phytoplankton stoichiometry played a critical role in the initial diversification of the marine biosphere during the Neoproterozoic. Initial biosphere expansion during this time resulted in the massive sequestration of nutrients into biomass which, along with the geologically slow input of nutrients from land, set the stage for severe nutrient limitation and relatively constant marine biodiversity during the rest of the Paleozoic. Given the slow nutrient inputs from land and low recycling rates, the growth of early-to-middle Paleozoic metazoans remained limited by their having to expend energy to first “burn off” (respire excess carbon in food before the associated nutrients could be utilized for growth and reproduction; the relative equilibrium in marine biodiversity during the Paleozoic therefore appears to be real. Limited nutrient availability and the consequent nutrient imbalance may have delayed the appearance of more advanced carnivores until the Permo-Carboniferous, when widespread orogeny, falling sea level, the spread of forests, greater weathering rates, enhanced ocean circulation, oxygenation, and upwelling all combined to increase nutrient availability. During the Meso-Cenozoic, rising oxygen levels, the continued nutrient input from land, and, especially, increasing rates of bioturbation, enhanced nutrient availability, increasing the nutrient content of phytoplankton that fueled the diversification of the Modern Fauna.

  16. Cosmic rays and the biosphere over 4 billion years

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Svensmark, Henrik

    2006-01-01

    Variations in the flux of cosmic rays (CR) at Earth during the last 4.6 billion years are constructed from information about the star formation rate in the Milky Way and the evolution of the solar activity. The constructed CR signal is compared with variations in the Earths biological productivity...... as recorded in the isotope delta C-13, which spans more than 3 billion years. CR and fluctuations in biological productivity show a remarkable correlation and indicate that the evolution of climate and the biosphere on the Earth is closely linked to the evolution of the Milky Way....

  17. Effects of Gamma Ray Bursts in Earth Biosphere

    CERN Document Server

    Martin, Osmel; Guimaraes, Mayrene; Penate, Liuba; Horvath, Jorge; Galante, Douglas

    2009-01-01

    We continue former work on the modeling of potential effects of Gamma Ray Bursts on Phanerozoic Earth. We focus on global biospheric effects of ozone depletion and show a first modeling of the spectral reduction of light by NO2 formed in the stratosphere. We also illustrate the current complexities involved in the prediction of how terrestrial ecosystems would respond to this kind of burst. We conclude that more biological field and laboratory data are needed to reach even moderate accuracy in this modeling

  18. Comets, carbonaceous meteorites, and the origin of the biosphere

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    r. b. Hoover

    2006-01-01

    Full Text Available The Biosphere is considered to represent the Earth's crust, atmosphere, oceans, and ice caps and the living organisms that survive within this habitat. This paper considers the significance of comets and carbonaceous meteorites to the origin and evolution of the Biosphere and presents new Field Emission Scanning Electron Microscope (FESEM images of indigenous microfossils in the Orgueil and Murchison meteorites. The discovery of microbial extremophiles in deep crustal rocks, hydrothermal vents and ancient ice has established that the biosphere is far more extensive than previously recognized. Chemical and molecular biomarkers and microfossils in Archaean rocks indicate that life appeared very early on the primitive Earth and the origin of the biosphere is closely linked with the emergence of life. The role of comets, carbonaceous meteorites, interstellar dust and asteroids in the delivery of water, organics and prebiotic chemicals to Earth during the Hadean (4.5–3.8 Ga period of heavy bombardment has become more widely recognized. Spacecraft observations of the chemical compositions and characteristics of the nuclei of several comets (Halley, Borrelly, Wild 2, and Tempel 1 have established that comets contain complex organic chemicals; that water is the predominant volatile; and that high temperatures (~400 K can be reached on the black (albedo~0.03 nuclei when near perihelion. The microscopic dust particles in the Tempel 1 ejecta are similar in size to the particulates of the Orgueil meteorite and evidence is mounting that comets may represent the parent bodies of the CI meteorites. Impact craters and pinnacles on comet Wild 2 suggest a thick crust. Episodic outbursts and jets of Halley, Borrelly, Wild 2 and Tempel 1 near perihelion indicate that localized regimes of liquid water may periodically exist beneath the thick crust of many comets. This increases the possibility that microbial life might survive in comets and therefore the

  19. Tracing the microbial biosphere into the Messinian Salinity Crisis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Natalicchio, Marcello; Dela Pierre, Francesco; Birgel, Daniel; Lozar, Francesca; Peckmann, Jörn

    2016-04-01

    The Messinian salinity crisis (MSC), one of the largest environmental crises in Earth history, occurred in the Mediterranean Basin about 6 Ma ago. The isolation of the Mediterranean from the Atlantic Ocean caused the transformation of the Mediterranean sea into a giant salina. The establishment of harsh conditions (hypersalinity and anoxia) in the water mass had a strong impact on the aquatic biosphere, resulting in the apparent disappearance of many marine biota. This aspect is however controversial, mostly because of the finding of fossils of biota that actually survived the onset of the MSC. To trace the response of life to this catastrophic event, we studied the microbial biosphere (both body fossils and molecular fossils) archived in the sediments straddling the MSC onset (shales, carbonates and sulphates) from marginal subbasins (Piedmont Basin, northern Italy, and Nijar Basin, southern Spain). Despite the significant reduction of calcareous plankton, the progressive rise of other microorganisms (prokaryotes and eukaryotes) is documented in the studied sediments at the MSC onset. These microorganisms include remains of euryhaline and stenohaline diatoms and filamentous microfossils interpreted as vacuolated sulphide-oxidizing bacteria. This fossil assemblage, which typifies both marginal (gypsum) and more distal (carbonates and shale) deposits, indicates conditions of high primary productivity in the surface waters, favoured by increased nutrient influx in the course of high riverine runoff. Molecular fossils allow tracing of the microbial biosphere into the geological past. The rise of algal compounds (e.g. dinosterol) in the basal MSC deposits (gypsum, carbonate and shales), accompanied by the simultaneous increase of terrigenous organic material (n-alkanes), agree with the eutrophication of the basin. In addition, the MSC deposits show an instant and significant increase of archaeal biomarkers, including the archaeal membrane lipids archaeol and extended

  20. Phosphorus cycling in the deep subseafloor biosphere at North Pond

    Science.gov (United States)

    Defforey, D.; Paytan, A.

    2013-12-01

    Phosphorus is a macronutrient involved both in functional and structural components of all living cells. This makes it an essential nutrient for life, including microbial life in the deep subseafloor habitat. Phosphorus availability in this environment is limited since it is thought to be mainly present in refractory mineral phases. However, recent estimates suggest that the deep biosphere may contain up to 1% of Earth's total biomass, which implies that microorganisms may possess mechanisms to harvest recalcitrant phosphorus compounds in this environment. This study sheds light on those mechanisms by investigating phosphorus cycling in deep open-ocean sediments using stable oxygen isotope ratios in phosphate. Furthermore, this study provides insight into changes in phosphorus bioavailability and mobility under a range of natural environmental conditions within the deep biosphere. Sediment samples were collected from four boreholes drilled during the IODP Expedition 336 to North Pond, an isolated sediment pond on the western flank of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. Sedimentary phosphorus compounds are characterized using sequential extractions (SEDEX), which separate them into five distinct pools. Phosphate from the various extracts are then concentrated, purified through a series of steps, then converted to silver phosphate, which is pyrolyzed and analyzed by continuous-flow isotope ratio mass spectrometry (CF-IRMS). The isotopic signatures and/or fractionations associated with many of the potential reactions and transformations operating in the P cycle have been determined, and provide the basis for interpreting isotopic data that are obtained from the phosphate extracts.

  1. Impact disruption and recovery of the deep subsurface biosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cockell, Charles S.; Voytek, Mary A.; Gronstal, Aaron L.; Finster, Kai; Kirshtein, Julie D.; Howard, Kieren; Reitner, Joachim; Gohn, Gregory S.; Sanford, Ward E.; Horton, J. Wright; Kallmeyer, Jens; Kelly, Laura; Powars, David S.

    2012-01-01

    Although a large fraction of the world's biomass resides in the subsurface, there has been no study of the effects of catastrophic disturbance on the deep biosphere and the rate of its subsequent recovery. We carried out an investigation of the microbiology of a 1.76 km drill core obtained from the ~35 million-year-old Chesapeake Bay impact structure, USA, with robust contamination control. Microbial enumerations displayed a logarithmic downward decline, but the different gradient, when compared to previously studied sites, and the scatter of the data are consistent with a microbiota influenced by the geological disturbances caused by the impact. Microbial abundance is low in buried crater-fill, ocean-resurge, and avalanche deposits despite the presence of redox couples for growth. Coupled with the low hydraulic conductivity, the data suggest the microbial community has not yet recovered from the impact ~35 million years ago. Microbial enumerations, molecular analysis of microbial enrichment cultures, and geochemical analysis showed recolonization of a deep region of impact-fractured rock that was heated to above the upper temperature limit for life at the time of impact. These results show how, by fracturing subsurface rocks, impacts can extend the depth of the biosphere. This phenomenon would have provided deep refugia for life on the more heavily bombarded early Earth, and it shows that the deeply fractured regions of impact craters are promising targets to study the past and present habitability of Mars.

  2. Urdaibai Biosphere Reserve (Biscay, Spain): Conservation against development?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Castillo-Eguskitza, Nekane; Rescia, Alejandro J; Onaindia, Miren

    2017-03-15

    The protected area approach has extended from conserving biodiversity to improving human well-being. However, the relationship between conservation and socioeconomic and cultural development continues to be controversial. This paper combines land use variables with socioeconomic and cultural variables through multivariate ordination analysis and evaluates their evolution in two areas inside and outside a Biosphere Reserve since the approval of the Governance Plan for Use and Management in the Reserve. The results indicate a similar tendency in the two areas, from the abandonment of traditional rural activities and decline in pine plantations to naturalness, urban sprawl and the growth of the tertiary economic sector, welfare indicators and sustainability index. However, it can be broadly observed that the region included inside the protected area presents better conservation features (native forest) and rural systems (forestry and primary economic sector) than the region outside the protected area while maintaining similar socioeconomic and cultural conditions. We suggest that the designation of the Biosphere Reserve does not influence the local population negatively but does safeguard its conservation, which could have enhanced socioeconomic and cultural development. Thus, even though certain changes must be made to replace the conifer plantations and encourage agricultural activities, the designation of the protected area fulfills its sustainability goal and enhances the local population's quality of life.

  3. Basic Research in Human–Computer–Biosphere Interaction

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hill Hiroki Kobayashi

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available In this study, we present a vision of how a human–computer–biosphere interaction (HCBI can facilitate a sustainable society. HCBI extends and transforms the subject of human–computer interaction from countable people, objects, pets, and plants into an auditory biosphere that is an uncountable, a complex, and a non-linguistic soundscape. As an example, utilizing HCBI to experience forest soundscapes can help us feel one with nature, without physically being present in nature. The goal of HCBI is to achieve ecological interactions between humans and nature through computer systems without causing environmental destruction. To accomplish this, information connectivity must be created despite the physical separation between humans and the environment. This combination should also ensure ecological neutrality. In this paper, we present an overview of an HCBI concept, related work, methodologies, and developed interfaces. We used pre-recorded animal calls to enable a bio-acoustical feedback from the target wildlife. In this study, we primarily focus on the design and evaluation of a bio-acoustic interaction system utilizing tracking collars, microphones, speakers, infrared cameras, infrared heat sensors, micro-climate sensors, radio-tracking devices, GPS devices, radio clocks, embedded Linux boards, high-capacity batteries, and high-speed wireless communication devices. Our experiments successfully demonstrated bio-acoustic interactions between wildlife—more specifically, an endangered species of a wild cat—and human beings via a computer system, thus validating the HCBI concept.

  4. Microbial activity in the marine deep biosphere: Progress and prospects

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Beth N Orcutt

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available The vast marine deep biosphere consists of microbial habitats within sediment, pore waters, upper basaltic crust and the fluids that circulate throughout it. A wide range of temperature, pressure, pH, and electron donor and acceptor conditions exists – all of which can combine to affect carbon and nutrient cycling and result in gradients on spatial scales ranging from millimeters to kilometers. Diverse and mostly uncharacterized microorganisms live in these habitats, and potentially play a role in mediating global scale biogeochemical processes. Quantifying the rates at which microbial activity in the subsurface occurs is a challenging endeavor, yet developing an understanding of these rates is essential to determine the impact of subsurface life on Earth's global biogeochemical cycles, and for understanding how microorganisms in these "extreme" environments survive (or even thrive. Here, we synthesize recent advances and discoveries pertaining to microbial activity in the marine deep subsurface, and we highlight topics about which there is still little understanding and suggest potential paths forward to address them. This publication is the result of a workshop held in August 2012 by the NSF-funded Center for Dark Energy Biosphere Investigations (C-DEBI "theme team" on microbial activity (www.darkenergybiosphere.org.

  5. Prospects for the study of evolution in the deep biosphere

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jennifer F Biddle

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Since the days of Darwin, scientists have used the framework of the theory of evolution to explore the interconnectedness of life on Earth and adaptation of organisms to the ever-changing environment. The advent of molecular biology has advanced and accelerated the study of evolution by allowing direct examination of the genetic material that ultimately determines the phenotypes upon which selection acts. The study of evolution has been furthered through examination of microbial evolution, with large population numbers, short generation times and easily extractable DNA. Such work has spawned the study of microbial biogeography, with the realization that concepts developed in population genetics may be applicable to microbial genomes (Manhes et al. 2011, Martiny et al. 2006. Microbial biogeography and adaptation has been examined in many different environments. Here we argue that the deep biosphere is a unique environment for the study of evolution and list specific factors that can be considered and where the studies may be performed. This publication is the result of the NSF-funded Center for Dark Energy Biosphere Investigations (C-DEBI theme team on Evolution (www.darkenergybiosphere.org.

  6. A computational framework for a database of terrestrial biosphere models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Metzler, Holger; Müller, Markus; Ceballos-Núñez, Verónika; Sierra, Carlos A.

    2016-04-01

    Most terrestrial biosphere models consist of a set of coupled ordinary first order differential equations. Each equation represents a pool containing carbon with a certain turnover rate. Although such models share some basic mathematical structures, they can have very different properties such as number of pools, cycling rates, and internal fluxes. We present a computational framework that helps analyze the structure and behavior of terrestrial biosphere models using as an example the process of soil organic matter decomposition. The same framework can also be used for other sub-processes such as carbon fixation or allocation. First, the models have to be fed into a database consisting of simple text files with a common structure. Then they are read in using Python and transformed into an internal 'Model Class' that can be used to automatically create an overview stating the model's structure, state variables, internal and external fluxes. SymPy, a Python library for symbolic mathematics, helps to also calculate the Jacobian matrix at possibly given steady states and the eigenvalues of this matrix. If complete parameter sets are available, the model can also be run using R to simulate its behavior under certain conditions and to support a deeper stability analysis. In this case, the framework is also able to provide phase-plane plots if appropriate. Furthermore, an overview of all the models in the database can be given to help identify their similarities and differences.

  7. Omora Ethnobotanical Park and the UNESCO Cape Horn Biosphere Reserve

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Harold Mooney

    2008-12-01

    Full Text Available The biocultural conservation and research initiative of Omora Ethnobotanical Park and the UNESCO Cape Horn Biosphere Reserve was born in a remote part of South America and has rapidly expanded to attain regional, national, and international relevance. The park and the biosphere reserve, led by Ricardo Rozzi and his team, have made significant progress in demonstrating the way academic research supports local cultures, social processes, decision making, and conservation. It is a dynamic hive of investigators, artists, writers, students, volunteers, and friends, all exploring ways to better integrate academia and society. The initiative involves an informal consortium of institutions and organizations; in Chile, these include the University of Magallanes, the Omora Foundation, and the Institute of Ecology and Biodiversity, and in the United States, the University of North Texas, the Omora Sub-Antarctic Research Alliance, and the Center for Environmental Philosophy at the University of North Texas. The consortium intends to function as a hub through which other institutions and organizations can be involved in research, education, and biocultural conservation. The park constitutes one of three long-term socio-ecological research sites in Chile of the Institute of Ecology and Biodiversity.

  8. Prospects for the study of evolution in the deep biosphere.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Biddle, Jennifer F; Sylvan, Jason B; Brazelton, William J; Tully, Benjamin J; Edwards, Katrina J; Moyer, Craig L; Heidelberg, John F; Nelson, William C

    2011-01-01

    Since the days of Darwin, scientists have used the framework of the theory of evolution to explore the interconnectedness of life on Earth and adaptation of organisms to the ever-changing environment. The advent of molecular biology has advanced and accelerated the study of evolution by allowing direct examination of the genetic material that ultimately determines the phenotypes upon which selection acts. The study of evolution has been furthered through examination of microbial evolution, with large population numbers, short generation times, and easily extractable DNA. Such work has spawned the study of microbial biogeography, with the realization that concepts developed in population genetics may be applicable to microbial genomes (Martiny et al., 2006; Manhes and Velicer, 2011). Microbial biogeography and adaptation has been examined in many different environments. Here we argue that the deep biosphere is a unique environment for the study of evolution and list specific factors that can be considered and where the studies may be performed. This publication is the result of the NSF-funded Center for Dark Energy Biosphere Investigations (C-DEBI) theme team on Evolution (www.darkenergybiosphere.org).

  9. 'Rare biosphere' bacteria as key phenanthrene degraders in coastal seawaters.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sauret, Caroline; Séverin, Tatiana; Vétion, Gilles; Guigue, Catherine; Goutx, Madeleine; Pujo-Pay, Mireille; Conan, Pascal; Fagervold, Sonja K; Ghiglione, Jean-François

    2014-11-01

    By coupling DNA-SIP and pyrosequencing approaches, we identified Cycloclasticus sp. as a keystone degrader of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) despite being a member of the 'rare biosphere' in NW Mediterranean seawaters. We discovered novel PAH-degrading bacteria (Oceanibaculum sp., Sneathiella sp.) and we identified other groups already known to possess this function (Alteromonas sp., Paracoccus sp.). Together with Cycloclasticus sp., these groups contributed to potential in situ phenanthrene degradation at a rate >0.5 mg l(-1) day(-1), sufficient to account for a considerable part of PAH degradation. Further, we characterized the PAH-tolerant bacterial communities, which were much more diverse in the polluted site by comparison to unpolluted marine references. PAH-tolerant bacteria were also members of the rare biosphere, such as Glaciecola sp. Collectively, these data show the complex interactions between PAH-degraders and PAH-tolerant bacteria and provide new insights for the understanding of the functional ecology of marine bacteria in polluted waters.

  10. Microbial activity in the marine deep biosphere: progress and prospects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Orcutt, Beth N; Larowe, Douglas E; Biddle, Jennifer F; Colwell, Frederick S; Glazer, Brian T; Reese, Brandi Kiel; Kirkpatrick, John B; Lapham, Laura L; Mills, Heath J; Sylvan, Jason B; Wankel, Scott D; Wheat, C Geoff

    2013-01-01

    The vast marine deep biosphere consists of microbial habitats within sediment, pore waters, upper basaltic crust and the fluids that circulate throughout it. A wide range of temperature, pressure, pH, and electron donor and acceptor conditions exists-all of which can combine to affect carbon and nutrient cycling and result in gradients on spatial scales ranging from millimeters to kilometers. Diverse and mostly uncharacterized microorganisms live in these habitats, and potentially play a role in mediating global scale biogeochemical processes. Quantifying the rates at which microbial activity in the subsurface occurs is a challenging endeavor, yet developing an understanding of these rates is essential to determine the impact of subsurface life on Earth's global biogeochemical cycles, and for understanding how microorganisms in these "extreme" environments survive (or even thrive). Here, we synthesize recent advances and discoveries pertaining to microbial activity in the marine deep subsurface, and we highlight topics about which there is still little understanding and suggest potential paths forward to address them. This publication is the result of a workshop held in August 2012 by the NSF-funded Center for Dark Energy Biosphere Investigations (C-DEBI) "theme team" on microbial activity (www.darkenergybiosphere.org).

  11. 1999 KUIPER PRIZE LECTURE. Cometary Origin of the Biosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Delsemme, Armand H.

    2000-08-01

    Most of the biosphere was brought on the primitive Earth by an intense bombardment of comets. This included the atmosphere, the seawater and those volatile carbon compounds needed for the emergence of life. Comets were thrown into the inner Solar System by the strong perturbation induced by the growth of the giant planets' cores. The bulk of the Earth's bombardment came from those comets that accreted in Jupiter's zone, where the original deuterium enrichment had been diminished by steam coming from the hot, inner parts of the Solar System. This steam had condensed into icy chunks before their accretion into larger cometary nuclei. In contrast, comets that accreted in the zones of the outer giant planets kept their interstellar isotopic enrichments. Those comets contributed to the Earth's bombardment for a small amount only; they were mostly ejected into the Oort cloud and are the major source of the long-period comets observed today. The short-period comets, which come from the Kuiper Belt, should also have the same interstellar enrichment. The deuterium enrichment of seawater, accurately predicted by the previous scenario, has become one of the best telltales for the cometary origin of our biosphere. This cometary origin may have far-reaching cosmological consequences, in particular for the origin of life in other planetary systems.

  12. A summary of biospheric research 1975-1997

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Edlund, O.; Bergstroem, U.; Hallberg, B.; Karlsson, Sara [Studsvik Eco and Safety AB, Nykoeping (Sweden)

    1999-12-01

    The aim of this study is to present a summary of the work performed within the frame of SKB's biosphere programme during 1975 - 1997. The studies focused on field studies and theoretical model development. Important problems identified during this time period are pointed out. Summaries of the biospheric parts of the safety analyses performed since 1977 are given. Models are described as well as basic assumptions. Already the first analysis had an overall approach including dispersion from local to global zones with multiple exposure pathways. Compartment models have been used whereby the rate constants in the first assessments were mostly based on observed redistribution of radionuclides in nature. During the years emphasis has been laid on the description of processes mathematically and additional processes have been included in the models. In general, standard biospheres with constant environmental conditions were applied with focus on releases of radionuclides to wells, lakes and coastal areas. Drinking water has shown to be an important exposure pathway but not always the dominant one. Some screening calculations performed showed that peat bogs may be important recipients when doses to humans are concerned. The field studies initially focused on the naturally existing isotopes of U and Ra. A lot of studies were performed to gain data concerning the levels of these radionuclides in soils and waters. The studies also obtained information about back-ground values and the distribution between various biospheric components which was used to support model assumptions. A special sampling programme with the purpose to outline influence of drying up of lakes on the dose to individuals of critical group was also performed. The dose calculations showed that the doses could increase two orders of magnitude for immobile elements when the lake had dried up. Investigations of the natural abundance of radionuclides in soil and flora were performed later. After the

  13. Evaluation of Features, Events, and Processes (FEP) for the Biosphere Model

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    M. Wasiolek; P. Rogers

    2004-10-27

    The purpose of this analysis report is to evaluate and document the inclusion or exclusion of biosphere features, events, and processes (FEPs) with respect to modeling used to support the total system performance assessment (TSPA) for the license application (LA). A screening decision, either ''Included'' or ''Excluded'', is given for each FEP along with the corresponding technical basis for the excluded FEPs and the descriptions of how the included FEPs were incorporated in the biosphere model. This information is required by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) regulations at 10 CFR 63.114 (d, e, and f) [DIRS 156605]. The FEPs addressed in this report concern characteristics of the reference biosphere, the receptor, and the environmental transport and receptor exposure pathways for the groundwater and volcanic ash exposure scenarios considered in biosphere modeling. This revision provides the summary of the implementation of included FEPs in TSPA-LA, (i.e., how the FEP is included); for excluded FEPs, this analysis provides the technical basis for exclusion from TSPA-LA (i.e., why the FEP is excluded). This report is one of the 10 documents constituting the biosphere model documentation suite. A graphical representation of the documentation hierarchy for the biosphere model is presented in Figure 1-1. This figure shows the interrelationships among the products (i.e., analysis and model reports) developed for biosphere modeling. The ''Biosphere Model Report'' describes in detail the biosphere conceptual model and mathematical model. The input parameter reports shown to the right of the ''Biosphere Model Report'' contain detailed descriptions of the model input parameters and their development. Outputs from these six reports are used in the ''Nominal Performance Biosphere Dose Conversion Factor Analysis and Disruptive Event Biosphere Dose Conversion Factor Analysis

  14. Value orientations and environmental beliefs in five countries - Validity of an instrument to measure egoistic, altruistic and biospheric value orientations

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    de Groot, Judith I. M.; Steg, Linda

    2007-01-01

    Various scholars argue that egoistic, altruistic, and biospheric value orientations are important for understanding environmental beliefs and behavior. However, little empirical evidence has been provided for the distinction between altruistic and biospheric values. This study examines whether this

  15. Review on Eco-tourism Development Modes of Biosphere Reserves in China

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    CUI Xianghui; CHU Jianmin; ZHU Xueling

    2006-01-01

    Based on the analysis of the current situation and existing problems in the development of eco-tourism carried out by biosphere reserves in China, this paper discussed the development of global biosphere reserve and a set of development criteria about eco-tourism. According to the current tourism development of Baotianman Biosphere Reserve, a development mode for eco-tourism was gotten , in which such aspects as the function division, development process, establishment of facility, constitution of organization, community participation and sustainable management of biosphere reserve were taken into account, and the establishment of public education and environmental protection facility were considered as a vital characteristic of eco-tourism of biosphere reserves.

  16. Comets, Carbonaceous Meteorites, and the Origin of the Biosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoover, Richard B.

    2005-01-01

    The biosphere comprises the Earth s crust, atmosphere, oceans, and ice caps and the living organisms that survive within this habitat. The discoveries of barophilic chemolithoautotrophic thermophiles living deep within the crust and in deep-sea hydrothermal vents, and psychrophiles in permafrost and deep within the Antarctic Ice Sheet indicate the Earth s biosphere is far more extensive than previously recognized. Molecular biomarkers and Bacterial Paleontology provide evidence that life appeared very early on the primitive Earth and the origin of the biosphere is closely linked with the emergence of life. The role of comets, meteorites, and interstellar dust in the delivery of water, organics and prebiotic chemicals has long been recognized. Deuterium enrichment of seawater and comets indicates that comets delivered oceans to the early Earth. Furthermore, the similarity of the D/H ratios and the chemical compositions of CI carbonaceous meteorites and comets indicate that the CI meteorites may be remnants of cometary nuclei with most volatiles removed. Comets, meteorites, and interstellar dust also contain complex organic chemicals, amino acids, macromolecules, and kerogen-like biopolymers and may have played a crucial role in the delivery of complex organics and prebiotic chemicals during the Hadean (4.5-3.8 Gyr) period of heavy bombardment. The existence of indigenous microfossils of morphotypes of cyanobacteria in the CI and CM carbonaceous meteorites suggests that the paradigm that life originated endogenously in the primitive oceans of early Earth may require re-consideration. Recent data on the hot (300-400 K) black crust on comet P/Halley and Stardust images of P/Wild 2 showing depressions, tall cliffs, and pinnacles, indicate the presence of thick, durable, dark crusts on comets. If cavities within the ice and crust sustain vapor pressures in excess of 10 millibar, then localized pools of liquid water and brines could exist within the comet. Since life

  17. Trends and Future Challenges in Sampling the Deep Terrestrial Biosphere

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael J Wilkins

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available Research in the deep terrestrial biosphere is driven by interest in novel biodiversity and metabolisms, biogeochemical cycling, and the impact of human activities on this ecosystem. As this interest continues to grow, it is important to ensure that when subsurface investigations are proposed, materials recovered from the subsurface are sampled and preserved in an appropriate manner to limit contamination and ensure preservation of accurate microbial, geochemical, and mineralogical signatures. On February 20th, 2014, a workshop on Trends and Future Challenges in Sampling The Deep Subsurface was coordinated in Columbus, Ohio by The Ohio State University and West Virginia University faculty, and sponsored by The Ohio State University and the Sloan Foundation’s Deep Carbon Observatory. The workshop aims were to identify and develop best practices for the collection, preservation, and analysis of terrestrial deep rock samples. This document summarizes the information shared during this workshop.

  18. On detecting biospheres from thermodynamic disequilibrium in planetary atmospheres

    CERN Document Server

    Krissansen-Totton, Joshua; Catling, David C

    2015-01-01

    Atmospheric chemical disequilibrium has been proposed as a method for detecting extraterrestrial biospheres from exoplanet observations. Chemical disequilibrium is potentially a generalized biosignature since it makes no assumptions about particular biogenic gases or metabolisms. Here, we present the first rigorous calculations of the thermodynamic chemical disequilibrium in the atmospheres of Solar System planets, in which we quantify the difference in Gibbs free energy of an observed atmosphere compared to that of all the atmospheric gases reacted to equilibrium. The purely gas phase disequilibrium in Earth's atmosphere, as measured by this available Gibbs free energy, is not unusual by Solar System standards and smaller than that of Mars. However, Earth's atmosphere is in contact with a surface ocean, which means that gases can react with water, and so a multiphase calculation that includes aqueous species is required. We find that the disequilibrium in Earth's atmosphere-ocean system (in joules per mole o...

  19. Vulnerable Earthworm Species Identified from Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E.V. Ramasamy

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Diversity of earthworms at Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve is less known even though it is one among the biodiversity hot spots. Unless an authentic record of available earthworm species is made, the consequences of human alternation or climate change on the earthworm species diversity cannot be assessed. In this regard, the present study is relevant. Earthworms were collected from twenty three sites of NBR. The findings of this study showed that out of the total earthworm species identified from selected areas of NBR, 83.4% are native species and 16.6% are exotic. This indicates the predominance of native species in the study area possibly due to low level of disturbance in the area. Among the species identified from Mukurthi, Priodichaeta pellucida (Bourne which is listed as vulnerable and has not been encountered since its discovery about 100 years ago.

  20. The Mojave vadose zone: a subsurface biosphere analogue for Mars.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abbey, William; Salas, Everett; Bhartia, Rohit; Beegle, Luther W

    2013-07-01

    If life ever evolved on the surface of Mars, it is unlikely that it would still survive there today, but as Mars evolved from a wet planet to an arid one, the subsurface environment may have presented a refuge from increasingly hostile surface conditions. Since the last glacial maximum, the Mojave Desert has experienced a similar shift from a wet to a dry environment, giving us the opportunity to study here on Earth how subsurface ecosystems in an arid environment adapt to increasingly barren surface conditions. In this paper, we advocate studying the vadose zone ecosystem of the Mojave Desert as an analogue for possible subsurface biospheres on Mars. We also describe several examples of Mars-like terrain found in the Mojave region and discuss ecological insights that might be gained by a thorough examination of the vadose zone in these specific terrains. Examples described include distributary fans (deltas, alluvial fans, etc.), paleosols overlain by basaltic lava flows, and evaporite deposits.

  1. Trends and Future Challenges in Sampling the Deep Terrestrial Biosphere

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wilkins, Michael J.; Daly, Rebecca; Mouser, Paula J.; Trexler, Ryan; Sharma, Shihka; Cole, David R.; Wrighton, Kelly C.; Biddle , Jennifer F.; Denis, Elizabeth; Fredrickson, Jim K.; Kieft, Thomas L.; Onstott, T. C.; Peterson, Lee; Pfiffner, Susan M.; Phelps, Tommy J.; Schrenk, Matthew O.

    2014-09-12

    Research in the deep terrestrial biosphere is driven by interest in novel biodiversity and metabolisms, biogeochemical cycling, and the impact of human activities on this ecosystem. As this interest continues to grow, it is important to ensure that when subsurface investigations are proposed, materials recovered from the subsurface are sampled and preserved in an appropriate manner to limit contamination and ensure preservation of accurate microbial, geochemical, and mineralogical signatures. On February 20th, 2014, a workshop on “Trends and Future Challenges in Sampling The Deep Subsurface” was coordinated in Columbus, Ohio by The Ohio State University and West Virginia University faculty, and sponsored by The Ohio State University and the Sloan Foundation’s Deep Carbon Observatory. The workshop aims were to identify and develop best practices for the collection, preservation, and analysis of terrestrial deep rock samples. This document summarizes the information shared during this workshop.

  2. Trends and future challenges in sampling the deep terrestrial biosphere.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilkins, Michael J; Daly, Rebecca A; Mouser, Paula J; Trexler, Ryan; Sharma, Shihka; Cole, David R; Wrighton, Kelly C; Biddle, Jennifer F; Denis, Elizabeth H; Fredrickson, Jim K; Kieft, Thomas L; Onstott, Tullis C; Peterson, Lee; Pfiffner, Susan M; Phelps, Tommy J; Schrenk, Matthew O

    2014-01-01

    Research in the deep terrestrial biosphere is driven by interest in novel biodiversity and metabolisms, biogeochemical cycling, and the impact of human activities on this ecosystem. As this interest continues to grow, it is important to ensure that when subsurface investigations are proposed, materials recovered from the subsurface are sampled and preserved in an appropriate manner to limit contamination and ensure preservation of accurate microbial, geochemical, and mineralogical signatures. On February 20th, 2014, a workshop on "Trends and Future Challenges in Sampling The Deep Subsurface" was coordinated in Columbus, Ohio by The Ohio State University and West Virginia University faculty, and sponsored by The Ohio State University and the Sloan Foundation's Deep Carbon Observatory. The workshop aims were to identify and develop best practices for the collection, preservation, and analysis of terrestrial deep rock samples. This document summarizes the information shared during this workshop.

  3. Factors responsible for a stable biosphere of silicon utilizing organisms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mitra, D.; Das, S.

    2012-12-01

    Silicon utilizing microorganisms are defined as micro-organisms with high silicon content (≥ 1% dry weight) and the capability to metabolize silicon with or without demonstrable silicon transporter genes (SIT). Important characteristics found in these microorganisms, on account of having high silicon concentration in their body, include increased autotrophic activity, ability to encounter metal toxicities (including iron toxicity), increased mechanical strength, ability to prevent infections, capacity to survive in nutritionally compromised states and in high and low pressure zones, higher light transmission and reduced salinity stress. They can also grow in the dark for at least three months even in the absence of any organic substrate. In living cells, silicon helps in cell wall formation, regulates citric acid cycle (acting on an isoenzyme of isocitrate dehydrogenase), synthesizes special proteins for chromosomes and chloroplasts, and regulates chlorophyll synthesis. Silicon metabolism also requires 30% less energy than carbon and that might be one of the reasons why it was not abandoned in over 100 million years of evolution; even in the presence of a well advanced and dominating carbon world. Additionally, silicon utilizing organisms have undergone resistance and capacity adaptations during their long existence on the Earth. Their inherent ability to tolerate a wide variety of stress was manifested by their exceptional survival during periods of extinction on Earth. The phenomenon of 'selective survival' of the biosphere shaped by these organisms across major extinction boundaries in the geologic past is very prominent. Approximately 46% of diatom species, the most important silicon utilizing organisms, survived the transition from the Cretaceous to the Upper Paleocene period, suggesting their significant turnover across the K-Pg boundary. Another important silicon utilizing organism, radiolarian, also showed no evidence of mass extinction across the K

  4. On COBACC (COntinental Biosphere-Aerosol-Cloud-Climate) feedback

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kulmala, Markku

    2016-04-01

    Anthropogenic emissions of GHGs have increased substantially during the past century. Elevated concentrations of CO2 and methane are the most important forcing agents causing global warming. However, it is not straightforward to attribute or predict the climate change in detail, as the internal variability of climate is only partially understood, aerosol forcings are still highly uncertain, and there are many feedback mechanisms that are difficult to quantify. It has been recognized for decades that the biosphere plays an important role in climate. For example, Kulmala et al. (2004) suggested a negative climate feedback mechanism whereby higher temperatures and CO2-levels boost continental biomass production, leading to increased biogenic secondary organic aerosol (BSOA) and cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) concentrations, tending to cause cooling. This COBACC (COntinental Biosphere-Aerosol-Cloud-Climate) feedback is similar to the so-called CLAW-hypothesis by Charlson et al. (1987) which connects the ocean biochemistry and climate via a negative feedback loop involving CCN production due to sulphur emissions from plankton. The first quantification of the COBACC feedback loop (Kulmala et al. 2014) was based on continuous comprehensive observations at SMEAR II (Station for Measuring Forest Ecosystem-Atmosphere Relations) station in Hyytiälä, Finland, and showed that a 10 ppm increase in atmospheric CO2 concentration leads to a significant (several percent) increase in both carbon sink and aerosol source. These effects operate through changes in gross primary production, volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions and secondary aerosol formation associated with atmospheric oxidation of VOCs. Here we will describe the present knowledge from processes level understanding to whole COBACC feedback including some hints on biogenic and anthropogenic contributions to global aerosol number load. References: Charlson, R. J. et al. Nature 326, 655 1987 Kulmala, M. et al. Atmos

  5. Ciliates and the rare biosphere-community ecology and population dynamics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weisse, Thomas

    2014-01-01

    Application of deep sequencing technologies to environmental samples and some detailed morphological studies suggest that there is a vast, yet unexplored rare ciliate biosphere, tentatively defined in terms of operational taxonomic units. However, very few studies complemented molecular and phylogenetic data with morphological and ecological descriptions of the species inventory. This is mainly because the sampling effort increases strongly with decreasing species abundance. In spite of this limited knowledge, it is clear that species that are rare under certain environmental conditions (temporal rare biosphere) may become abundant when the physical, chemical, and biological variables of their habitat change. Furthermore, some species may always be present in low numbers if their dispersal rates are exceedingly high (accidental rare biosphere). An intriguing question is whether there are some species that are always rare, i.e., in every suitable environment. This permanent rare biosphere is conceptually different from the temporal rare biosphere. This review characterizes typical aquatic habitats of the rare ciliate biosphere, portrays different scenarios under which some or even many species may be permanently rare (background fauna), and identifies some fundamental questions that need to be addressed to achieve a better understanding of the population dynamics of the rare ciliate biosphere.

  6. The biosphere: Problems and solutions; Proceedings of the Miami International Symposium on the Biosphere, Miami Beach, FL, April 23, 24, 1984

    Science.gov (United States)

    Veziroglu, T. N.

    The objective of the Miami International Symposium on the Biosphere was to provide a forum for the presentation of the latest research findings on the environmental effects of human activities. The topics discussed are related to biosphere reserves, environmental aspects of hydrocarbon fuels, radioactivity and nuclear waste, land management, acid rains, water quality, water resources, coastal resources management, the pollution of rivers, industrial waste, economic development and the environment, health hazards and solutions, endangered species, environmentally compatible systems, space pollution, and global considerations. Attention is given to questions regarding global security and sustainable development, environethics as a global strategy for environmental quality, a gestalt approach to the environment, potential indicators for monitoring biosphere reserves, a review of regional impacts associated with the development of U.S. synthetic fuel resources, water resources in the Soviet Union, and pollution-free pesticides.

  7. Preliminary Feasibility Study of a Hybrid Solar and Modular Pumped Storage Hydro System at Biosphere 2

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lansey, Kevin [Univ. of Arizona, Tucson, AZ (United States); Hortsman, Chris [Univ. of Arizona, Tucson, AZ (United States)

    2016-10-01

    In this study, the preliminary feasibility of a hybrid solar and modular pumped storage system designed for high energy independence at Biosphere 2 is assessed. The system consists of an array of solar PV panels that generate electricity during the day to power both Biosphere 2 and a pump that sends water through a pipe to a tank at a high elevation. When solar power is not available, the water is released back down the pipe towards a tank at a lower elevation, where it passes through a hydraulic water turbine to generate hydroelectricity to power Biosphere 2. The hybrid system is sized to generate and store enough energy to enable Biosphere 2 to operate without a grid interconnection on an average day.

  8. 10 CFR 63.305 - Required characteristics of the reference biosphere.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

    ... WASTES IN A GEOLOGIC REPOSITORY AT YUCCA MOUNTAIN, NEVADA Postclosure Public Health and Environmental Standards § 63.305 Required characteristics of the reference biosphere. (a) Features, events, and...

  9. Evaluating the Carbon Cycle of a Coupled Atmosphere-Biosphere Model

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Delire, C; Foley, J A; Thompson, S

    2002-08-21

    We investigate how well a coupled biosphere-atmosphere model, CCM3-IBIS, can simulate the functioning of the terrestrial biosphere and the carbon cycling through it. The simulated climate is compared to observations, while the vegetation cover and the carbon cycle are compared to an offline version of the biosphere model IBIS forced with observed climatic variables. The simulated climate presents some local biases that strongly affect the vegetation (e.g., a misrepresentation of the African monsoon). Compared to the offline model, the coupled model simulates well the globally averaged carbon fluxes and vegetation pools. The zonal mean carbon fluxes and the zonal mean seasonal cycle are also well represented except between 0{sup o} and 20{sup o}N due to the misrepresentation of the African monsoon. These results suggest that, despite regional biases in climate and ecosystem simulations, this coupled atmosphere-biosphere model can be used to explore geographic and temporal variations in the global carbon cycle.

  10. Water quality monitoring in the Paul do Boquilobo Biosphere Reserve

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baptista, C.; Santos, L.

    2016-08-01

    The Paul do Boquilobo is an important wetland ecosystem classified by Unesco as a MAB Biosphere reserve also awarded Ramsar site status, representing one of the most important habitats for the resident nesting colony of Cattle Egret (Bulbucus ibis). Yet owing to its location, it suffers from human induced impacts which include industrial and domestic effluent discharges as well as agricultural land use which have negatively impacted water quality. The current study reports the results obtained from the introductory monitoring programme of surface water quality in the Nature Reserve to emphasize the detrimental impact of the anthropogenic activities in the water quality of such an important ecosystem. The study involved physicochemical and biotic variables, microbial parameters and biological indicators. Results after 3 years of monitoring bring to evidence a poor water quality further impaired by seasonal patterns. Statistical analysis of data attributed water quality variation to 3 main parameters - pH, dissolved oxygen and nitrates, indicating heavy contamination loads from both organic and agricultural sources. Seasonality plays a role in water flow and climatic conditions, where sampling sites presented variable water quality data, suggesting a depurative function of the wetland.

  11. Origin of Homochirality of Amino Acids in the Biosphere

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shosuke Kojo

    2010-05-01

    Full Text Available Discussions are made concerning realistic mechanisms for the origin of L-amino acids in the biosphere. As the most plausible mechanism, it is proposed that a mixture of racemic amino acids in the prebiotic sea caused spontaneous and effective optical resolution through self crystallization, even if asymmetric synthesis of a single amino acid has never occurred without the aid of an optically active molecule. This hypothesis is based on recrystallization of a mixture of D,L-amino acids in the presence of excess of D,L-asparagine (Asn. The enantiomeric excess (ee of each amino acid in the resulting crystals indicates that crystallization of co-existing amino acids with the configuration same as that of Asn took place, although it was incidental whether the enrichment occurred in L- or D-amino acids. In addition, the resulting ee was sufficiently high (up to 100% to account for the predominance of L-amino acids on the earth.

  12. Decapod larvae dynamics on Berlengas Biosphere Reserve (UNESCO - Portugal

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lénia Da Fonseca Alexandre Rato

    2014-05-01

    Total decapoda abundance ranged from 0,06 ind.m-3 in May 2011 to 64,28ind.m-3 in August 2012, and significantly different between summer/winter and winter/spring months (P(perm≤0,05. The data obtained on this study revealed that Infraorders Brachyura, Anomura and Caridea are the most common. All three are significantly different between months (P(perm≤0,05 but not between sampling stations (P(perm>0,05. Brachyuran abundance was significantly affected by the Oceanograhic Conditions (P(perm≤0,05. Abundances were higher in spring and summer months, when Chlorophyl a values (mg.m-3, Temperature (ºC and Salinity (ppt were also higher. Decapoda community is directly affected by the surrounding environmental conditions in Berlengas Biosphere Reserve and abundance might also be related with specific larvae release throughout the year. Each sampling station was considered a replica from the study area. The ecological importance of Berlengas was also verified by the presence of non-frequent larvae of Achelata and Stomatopoda.

  13. Novel N4 Bacteriophages Prevail in the Cold Biosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhan, Yuanchao; Buchan, Alison

    2015-01-01

    Coliphage N4 is a lytic bacteriophage discovered nearly half a century ago, and it was considered to be a “genetic orphan” until very recently, when several additional N4-like phages were discovered to infect nonenteric bacterial hosts. Interest in this genus of phages is stimulated by their unique genetic features and propagation strategies. To better understand the ecology of N4-like phages, we investigated the diversity and geographic patterns of N4-like phages by examining 56 Chesapeake Bay viral communities, using a PCR-clone library approach targeting a diagnostic N4-like DNA polymerase gene. Many new lineages of N4-like phages were found in the bay, and their genotypes shift from the lower to the upper bay. Interestingly, signature sequences of N4-like phages were recovered only from winter month samples, when water temperatures were below 4°C. An analysis of existing metagenomic libraries from various aquatic environments supports the hypothesis that N4-like phages are most prolific in colder waters. In particular, a high number of N4-like phages were detected in Organic Lake, Antarctica, a cold and hypersaline system. The prevalence of N4-like phages in the cold biosphere suggests these viruses possess yet-to-be-determined mechanisms that facilitate lytic infections under cold conditions. PMID:26025897

  14. Novel N4 Bacteriophages Prevail in the Cold Biosphere.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhan, Yuanchao; Buchan, Alison; Chen, Feng

    2015-08-01

    Coliphage N4 is a lytic bacteriophage discovered nearly half a century ago, and it was considered to be a "genetic orphan" until very recently, when several additional N4-like phages were discovered to infect nonenteric bacterial hosts. Interest in this genus of phages is stimulated by their unique genetic features and propagation strategies. To better understand the ecology of N4-like phages, we investigated the diversity and geographic patterns of N4-like phages by examining 56 Chesapeake Bay viral communities, using a PCR-clone library approach targeting a diagnostic N4-like DNA polymerase gene. Many new lineages of N4-like phages were found in the bay, and their genotypes shift from the lower to the upper bay. Interestingly, signature sequences of N4-like phages were recovered only from winter month samples, when water temperatures were below 4°C. An analysis of existing metagenomic libraries from various aquatic environments supports the hypothesis that N4-like phages are most prolific in colder waters. In particular, a high number of N4-like phages were detected in Organic Lake, Antarctica, a cold and hypersaline system. The prevalence of N4-like phages in the cold biosphere suggests these viruses possess yet-to-be-determined mechanisms that facilitate lytic infections under cold conditions.

  15. Quaternary climate - Terrestrial Biosphere Interaction: amplifying or stabilizing?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Claussen, Martin

    2016-04-01

    According to the Gaia hypothesis, interaction between climate and biological processes tend to homeostatically maintain, on a global scale, conditions favourable for life. Does the idea of homeostatic interaction between terrestrial biosphere and climate hold for the Quaternary glacial - interglacial changes? Interpretation of palaeoclimate and palaeobotanic evidence by using climate and Earth system models yields an interesting picture. The synergy between the sea-ice albedo - climate feedback and the taiga-tundra - climate feedback is suggested to amplify the orbitally forced climatic precession. This effect seems to be strong at regional scale, but small at global scale. Various simulations indicate that biogeophysical processes amplify the difference of some 4 to 6 K in global mean temperature between glacial and interglacial climate by some 10 percent. The combined effect of biogeophysical and biogeochemical processes, i.e. processes with involve carbon stored in biomass and soil, is less clear. Theoretical studies suggest that in pre-industrial, interglacial climate, a reduction in boreal and extratropical forests tend to cool the climate and a reduction in tropical forest, to warm the climate. Recent estimates in changes in organic carbon stored under ice sheets and in permafrost point at the possibility that the sum of all terrestrial biogeochemical processes might almost "carbon neutral" to the climate system. If corroborated, this observation would favour the assumption of a dominance of biogeophysical processes amplifying orbitally forced Quaternary climate variations.

  16. Acetogenesis in the energy-starved deep biosphere - a paradox?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lever, Mark Alexander

    2011-01-01

    Under anoxic conditions in sediments, acetogens are often thought to be outcompeted by microorganisms performing energetically more favorable metabolic pathways, such as sulfate reduction or methanogenesis. Recent evidence from deep subseafloor sediments suggesting acetogenesis in the presence of sulfate reduction and methanogenesis has called this notion into question, however. Here I argue that acetogens can successfully coexist with sulfate reducers and methanogens for multiple reasons. These include (1) substantial energy yields from most acetogenesis reactions across the wide range of conditions encountered in the subseafloor, (2) wide substrate spectra that enable niche differentiation by use of different substrates and/or pooling of energy from a broad range of energy substrates, (3) reduced energetic cost of biosynthesis among acetogens due to use of the reductive acetyl CoA pathway for both energy production and biosynthesis coupled with the ability to use many organic precursors to produce the key intermediate acetyl CoA. This leads to the general conclusion that, beside Gibbs free energy yields, variables such as metabolic strategy and energetic cost of biosynthesis need to be taken into account to understand microbial survival in the energy-depleted deep biosphere.

  17. Biosphere as a complex life-support system (LSS) for human civilization

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pechurkin, Nickolay

    As a continuously growing link of the Biosphere, we should keep in mind that biotic cycles induced by flows of a solar energy are the source of Biosphere and ecosystems functioning. Our pressure on the Biosphere which is connected with biotic cycle’s alterations and damages is menacingly growing. There are innumerable examples of atmosphere, water and soil pollution. We have contaminated even Earth-Space orbits with different uncontrolled debris. Ecological Footprint (EF) is a proper quantitative measure of anthropogenic impact on the Biosphere and ecosystems functioning. The comparative dynamics of the United Nations’ Human Development Index (HDI) and Ecological Footprint (EF) is discussed in the paper. The main call of sustainable development of mankind: all humans can have opportunity to fulfill their lives without degrading the Biosphere. To support sustainability, we should make an effort to develop each nation and the mankind as a whole with a high HDI and with a low ecological footprint. It means: to have high level of HDI at low level of EF. But current tendency of economical and social development shows: the higher HDI, the bigger EF. EF of mankind is rising threateningly. Now actual pressure of the human civilization of our planet (2014) upon 60 % exceeds its potential possibilities (biological capacity, measured as the area of "global" green hectares). It means that now we require more than 1.5 planets of the Earth’s type for sustainable development. It leads to ecological incident in the scale of Biosphere. Our Biosphere is the large, multilevel, hierarchically organized system, and our civilization is only a part of it. This part is not central; it can disappear for ever, if we do not cope to be included in the Biosphere as a great complex system. An example of Krasnoyarsk region as a representative region with high level of industry and technological energy production is considered in the paper. This work was supported by the Russian Foundation

  18. Biosphere of the earth as a life-support system (LSS) for mankind

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pechurkin, Nickolay

    As a component of biosphere the mankind became the most powerful and active link recently. Exponential growth of human population number and of some technological indicators of its development becomes menacing for steady (stationary or close-to-stationary) functioning of biosphere as single whole. Anyway, we should be able to estimate quantitatively limits of pos-sible anthropogenic impact on functional parameters of biosphere. Considering biosphere as a natural LSS, we can receive the helpful information for working out and creation of artificial LSS of various types. Big biotic cycle induced with flows of a solar energy, is a basis of func-tioning of biosphere and its basic cells -ecosystems. In comparison with the majority natural ecosystems, the biosphere has very high factor of closure of substance circulation, especially limiting biogenic elements: nitrogen and phosphorus. Voluntarily or not, the mankind interferes in big biotic cycle and modifies it. For example, extracting mineral fertilizers for cultivation of agricultural crops, we return in circulation lost before substances, type nitric, potassic, phos-phoric salts. Burning fossils of organic carbon (oil, gas, coal), we raise concentration of carbon dioxide in atmosphere. The melting of a permafrost connected with activity of mankind, is capable to lead to excretion of other greenhouse gases, in particular, methane. It's possible to summarize briefly the main functional properties of the biosphere: Integrity, Closure, Substance cycling, Steady state, Energy dependence. These properties of the biosphere, as a LSS, ensure potentially everlasting life under the conditions of a limited quantity of substrate suitable for the life on the planet. But the selfish mankind is able to destroy harmonic adjustment of this unique natural mechanism

  19. Post-closure biosphere assessment modelling: comparison of complex and more stylised approaches.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walke, Russell C; Kirchner, Gerald; Xu, Shulan; Dverstorp, Björn

    2015-10-01

    Geological disposal facilities are the preferred option for high-level radioactive waste, due to their potential to provide isolation from the surface environment (biosphere) on very long timescales. Assessments need to strike a balance between stylised models and more complex approaches that draw more extensively on site-specific information. This paper explores the relative merits of complex versus more stylised biosphere models in the context of a site-specific assessment. The more complex biosphere modelling approach was developed by the Swedish Nuclear Fuel and Waste Management Co (SKB) for the Formark candidate site for a spent nuclear fuel repository in Sweden. SKB's approach is built on a landscape development model, whereby radionuclide releases to distinct hydrological basins/sub-catchments (termed 'objects') are represented as they evolve through land rise and climate change. Each of seventeen of these objects is represented with more than 80 site specific parameters, with about 22 that are time-dependent and result in over 5000 input values per object. The more stylised biosphere models developed for this study represent releases to individual ecosystems without environmental change and include the most plausible transport processes. In the context of regulatory review of the landscape modelling approach adopted in the SR-Site assessment in Sweden, the more stylised representation has helped to build understanding in the more complex modelling approaches by providing bounding results, checking the reasonableness of the more complex modelling, highlighting uncertainties introduced through conceptual assumptions and helping to quantify the conservatisms involved. The more stylised biosphere models are also shown capable of reproducing the results of more complex approaches. A major recommendation is that biosphere assessments need to justify the degree of complexity in modelling approaches as well as simplifying and conservative assumptions. In light of

  20. Conch, Cooperatives, and Conflict: Conservation and Resistance in the Banco Chinchorro Biosphere Reserve

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David M Hoffman

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available In theory, biosphere reserves link biodiversity conservation with development, primarily through sustainable resource utilisation, and alternative, conservation-compatible economies in the buffer and transition zones outside the core area. Successful management should reduce pressure on natural resources within its core area as well as enable local communities to participate in the management of buffer zone resources in a sustainable manner. The Banco Chinchorro Biosphere Reserve was declared in 1996 to protect coral reefs and marine biodiversity, while also enabling fishing cooperatives to maintain their livelihoods based upon the sustainable extraction of lobster, conch, and scalefish. In 2004, eight years after the Reserve′s declaration, Mexican authorities struggled to control marine resource use in the reserve, especially the extraction of queen conch (Strombus gigas. This article provides an overview of the long struggle to conserve queen conch populations in the area. Particular attention is paid to describing the various forms of resistance fishermen employed to counter the increasing regulation and vigilance that accompanied the creation of the Banco Chinchorro Biosphere Reserve. This case chronicles the resistance to regulation and interpersonal violence that erupts when entrenched attitudes and practices are confronted with increasing surveillance. Thus, what was observed in the Banco Chinchorro Biosphere Reserve parallels other research that depicts the forms of resistance to conservation that local people enact when confronted with conservation interventions. Finally, the plight of queen conch in the Banco Chinchorro Biosphere Reserve clearly reflects the conflicts and difficulties found across Mexico in the implementation of the biosphere reserve model.

  1. Biosphere 2: a prototype project for a permanent and evolving life system for Mars base.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nelson, M; Allen, J P; Dempster, W F

    1992-01-01

    As part of the ground-based preparation for creating long-term life systems needed for space habitation and settlement, Space Biospheres Ventures (SBV) is undertaking the Biosphere 2 project near Oracle, Arizona. Biosphere 2, currently under construction, is scheduled to commence its operations in 1991 with a two-year closure period with a crew of eight people. Biosphere 2 is a facility which will be essentialy materially-closed to exchange with the outside environment. It is open to information and energy flow. Biosphere 2 is designed to achieve a complex life-support system by the integration of seven areas or "biomes"--rainforest, savannah, desert, marsh, ocean, intensive agriculture and human habitat. Unique bioregenerative technologies, such as soil bed reactors for air purification, aquatic waste processing systems, real-time analytic systems and complex computer monitoring and control systems are being developed for the Biosphere 2 project. Its operation should afford valuable insight into the functioning of complex life systems necessary for long-term habitation in space. It will serve as an experimental ground-based prototype and testbed for the stable, permanent life systems needed for human exploration of Mars.

  2. Swansong Biospheres: Refuges for life and novel microbial biospheres on terrestrial planets near the end of their habitable lifetimes

    CERN Document Server

    O'Malley-James, J T; Raven, J A; Cockell, C S

    2012-01-01

    The future biosphere on Earth (as with its past) will be made up predominantly of unicellular microorganisms. Unicellular life was probably present for at least 2.5 Gyr before multicellular life appeared and will likely be the only form of life capable of surviving on the planet in the far future, when the ageing Sun causes environmental conditions to become more hostile to more complex forms of life. Therefore, it is statistically more likely that habitable Earth-like exoplanets we discover will be at a stage in their habitable lifetime more conducive to supporting unicellular, rather than multicellular life. The end stage of habitability on Earth is the focus of this work. A simple, latitude-based climate model incorporating eccentricity and obliquity variations is used as a guide to the temperature evolution of the Earth over the next 3 Gyr. This allows inferences to be made about potential refuges for life, particularly in mountains and cold-trap (ice) caves and what forms of life could live in these envi...

  3. Comets, Asteroids, Meteorites, and the Origin of the Biosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoover, Richard B.

    2006-01-01

    During the past few decades, the delivery of water, organics, and prebiotic chemicals to the Biosphere of Earth during the Hadean (4.5-3.8 Ga) period of heavy bombardment by comets and asteroids has become more widely accepted. Comets are still largely regarded as frigid, pristine bodies of protosolar nebula material that are devoid of liquid water and therefore unsuitable for life. Complex organic compounds have been observed in comets and on the water-rich asteroid 1998 KY26 and near IR observations have indicated the presence of crystalline water ice and ammonia hydrate on the large Kuiper Belt object (50000) Quaoar that has resurfacing suggesting cryovolcanic outgassing. Spacecraft observations of the chemical compositions and characteristics of the nuclei of several comets (Halley, Borrelly, Wild 2, and Tempel 1) have shown that comets contain complex organic chemicals; that water is the predominant volatile; and that extremely high temperatures (approx. 350-400 K) can be reached on the surfae of the very black (albedo approx. 0.03) nuclei of comets when they approach the Sun. Impact craters and pinnacles observed on comet Wild 2 suggest a thick crust. Episodic outbursts and jets from the nuclei of several comets indicate that localized regimes of liquid water and water vapor can periodically exist beneath the comet crust. The Deep Impact mission found the temperature of the nucleus of comet Tempel 1 at 1.5 AU varied from a minimum of 280 plus or minus 8 K the 330K (57 C) on the sunlit side. In this paper it is argued that that pools and films of liquid water exist (within a wide range of temperatures) in cavities and voids just beneath the hot, black crust. The possibility of liquid water existing over a wide range of temperatures significantly enhances the possibility that comets might contain niches suitable for the growth of microbial communities and ecosystems. These regimes would be ideal for the growth of psychrophilic, mesophilic, and thermophilic

  4. Comets, Asteroids, and the Origin of the Biosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoover, Richard B.

    2006-01-01

    During the past few decades, the role of comets in the delivery of water, organics, and prebiotic chemicals to the Biosphere of Earth during the Hadean (4.5-3.8 Ga) period of heavy bombardment has become more widely accepted. However comets are still largely regarded as frigid, pristine bodies of protosolar nebula material that are entirely devoid of liquid water and consequently unsuitable for life in any form. Complex organic compounds have been observed comets and on the water rich asteroid 1998 KY26, which has color and radar reflectivity similar to the carbonaceous meteorites. Near infrared observations have indicated the presence of crystalline water ice and ammonia hydrate on the large Kuiper Belt object (50000) Quaoar with resurfacing that may indicate cryovolcanic outgassing and the Cassini spacecraft has detected water-ice geysers on Saturn s moon Enceladus. Spacecraft observations of the chemical compositions and characteristics of the nuclei of several comets (Halley, Borrelly, Wild 2, and Tempel 1) have now firmly established that comets contain a suite of complex organic chemicals; water is the predominant volatile; and that extremely high temperatures (approx.350-400 K) can be reached on the surface of the very black (albedo-0.03) nuclei when the comets are with 1.5 AU from the Sun. Impact craters and pinnacles observed on comet Wild 2 suggest a thick crust and episodic outbursts and jets observed on the nuclei of several comets are interpreted as indications that localized regimes of liquid water and water vapor can periodically exist beneath the crust of some comets. The Deep Impact observations indicate that the temperature on the nucleus of of comet Tempel 1 at 1.5 AU varied from 330K on the sunlit side to a minimum of 280+/-8 K. It is interesting that even the coldest region of the comet surface was slightly above the ice/liquid water phase transition temperature. These results suggest that pools and films of liquid water can exist in a wide

  5. On Detecting Biospheres from Chemical Thermodynamic Disequilibrium in Planetary Atmospheres.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krissansen-Totton, Joshua; Bergsman, David S; Catling, David C

    2016-01-01

    Atmospheric chemical disequilibrium has been proposed as a method for detecting extraterrestrial biospheres from exoplanet observations. Chemical disequilibrium is potentially a generalized biosignature since it makes no assumptions about particular biogenic gases or metabolisms. Here, we present the first rigorous calculations of the thermodynamic chemical disequilibrium in Solar System atmospheres, in which we quantify the available Gibbs energy: the Gibbs free energy of an observed atmosphere minus that of atmospheric gases reacted to equilibrium. The purely gas phase disequilibrium in Earth's atmosphere is mostly attributable to O2 and CH4. The available Gibbs energy is not unusual compared to other Solar System atmospheres and smaller than that of Mars. However, Earth's fluid envelope contains an ocean, allowing gases to react with water and requiring a multiphase calculation with aqueous species. The disequilibrium in Earth's atmosphere-ocean system (in joules per mole of atmosphere) ranges from ∼20 to 2 × 10(6) times larger than the disequilibria of other atmospheres in the Solar System, where Mars is second to Earth. Only on Earth is the chemical disequilibrium energy comparable to the thermal energy per mole of atmosphere (excluding comparison to Titan with lakes, where quantification is precluded because the mean lake composition is unknown). Earth's disequilibrium is biogenic, mainly caused by the coexistence of N2, O2, and liquid water instead of more stable nitrate. In comparison, the O2-CH4 disequilibrium is minor, although kinetics requires a large CH4 flux into the atmosphere. We identify abiotic processes that cause disequilibrium in the other atmospheres. Our metric requires minimal assumptions and could potentially be calculated from observations of exoplanet atmospheres. However, further work is needed to establish whether thermodynamic disequilibrium is a practical exoplanet biosignature, requiring an assessment of false positives, noisy

  6. Microbial metagenomes from three aquifers in the Fennoscandian shield terrestrial deep biosphere reveal metabolic partitioning among populations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Xiaofen; Holmfeldt, Karin; Hubalek, Valerie; Lundin, Daniel; Åström, Mats; Bertilsson, Stefan; Dopson, Mark

    2016-05-01

    Microorganisms in the terrestrial deep biosphere host up to 20% of the earth's biomass and are suggested to be sustained by the gases hydrogen and carbon dioxide. A metagenome analysis of three deep subsurface water types of contrasting age (from 86% coverage. The populations were dominated by Proteobacteria, Candidate divisions, unclassified archaea and unclassified bacteria. The estimated genome sizes of the biosphere. The data were finally used to create a combined metabolic model of the deep terrestrial biosphere microbial community.

  7. Biosphere modeling for safety assessment of high-level radioactive waste geological disposal

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Baba, T.; Ishihara, Y.; Ishiguro, K. [Japan Nuclear Cycle Development Inst., Waste Management and Fuel Cycle Research Center, Tokai Works, Tokai, Ibaraki (Japan); Suzuki, Y. [Nuclear Energy System Incorporated, Tokyo (Japan); Naito, M. [Japan Nuclear Cycle Development Inst., Geological Isolation Research Project, Tokai, Ibaraki (Japan); Ikeda, T. [Japan Gas Corporation, Tokyo (Japan); Little, R. [QuantiSci Ltd, Henley-on-Thames, Oxon (United Kingdom)

    1999-11-01

    In the safety assessment of a high-level radioactive waste disposal system, it is required to estimate future radiological impacts on human beings. Consideration of living habits and the human environment in the future involves a large degree of uncertainty. To avoid endless speculation aimed at reducing such uncertainty, an approach is applied for identifying and justifying a 'reference biosphere' for use in safety assessment in Japan. Considering a wide range of Japanese geological environments, some specific reference biospheres' are developed using an approach consistent with the BIOMOVS II reference biosphere methodology. The models represent the components of the surface environment using compartments between which fluxes of materials (solid/water) and radionuclides are defined by transfer factors. A range of exposure pathways via which such radionuclides enter the food-chain, along with uptake and concentration factors, are also defined. The response to a step function of unit flux from the geosphere is determined for each model. The results show that it is reasonable to use steady-state biosphere responses to a unit-input flux to define nuclide-dependent factors for converting fluxes from the geosphere to doses. This simplifies safety assessment calculations, which then require only look-up tables for such flux to dose conversion rather than fully coupled biosphere models. (author)

  8. Biospheric and petrogenic organic carbon flux along southeast Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cui, Xingqian; Bianchi, Thomas S.; Jaeger, John M.; Smith, Richard W.

    2016-10-01

    Holocene fjords store ca. 11-12% of the total organic carbon (OC) buried in marine sediments with fjords along southeast (SE) Alaska possibly storing half of this OC (Smith et al., 2015). However, the respective burial of biospheric (OCbio) and petrogenic OC (OCpetro) remains poorly constrained, particularly across glaciated versus non-glaciated systems. Here, we use surface sediment samples to quantify the sources and burial of sedimentary OC along SE Alaska fjord-coastal systems, and conduct a latitudinal comparison across a suite of fjords and river-coastal systems with distinctive OC sources. Our results for SE Alaska show that surface sediments in northern fjords (north of Icy Strait) with headwater glaciers are dominated by OCpetro, in contrast to marine and terrestrially-derived fresh OC in non-glaciated southern fjords. Along the continental shelf of the Gulf of Alaska, terrestrial OC is exported from rivers. Using end-member mixing models, we determine that glaciated fjords have significantly higher burial rates of OCpetro (∼ 1.1 ×103 gOC m-2yr-1) than non-glaciated fjords and other coastal systems, making SE Alaska potentially the largest sink of OCpetro in North America. In contrast, non-glaciated fjords in SE Alaska are effective in burying marine OC (OCbio-mari) (13-82 g OC m-2yr-1). Globally, OC in fjord sediments are comprised of a mixture of OCpetro and fresh OCbio, in contrast to the pre-aged OC from floodplain river-coastal systems. We find that there may be a general latitudinal trend in the role of fjords in processing OC, where high-latitude temperate glacial fjords (e.g., Yakutat Bay, SE Alaska) rebury OCpetro and non-glacial mid-latitude fjords (e.g., Doubtful Sound, Fiordland) sequester CO2 from phytoplankton and/or temperate forests. Overall, we propose that fjords are effective in sequestering OCbio and re-burying OCpetro. Based on our study, we hypothesize that climate change will have a semi-predictable impact on fjords' OC cycling in

  9. Capturing Vegetation Diversity in the Ent Terrestrial Biosphere Model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kiang, N. Y.; Haralick, R. M.; Cook, B.; Aleinov, I. D.

    2013-12-01

    We present preliminary results from data mining to develop parameter sets and global vegetation structure datasets to set boundary conditions for the Ent Terrestrial Biosphere Model (Ent TBM) for improved representation of diversity and to propagate uncertainty in simulations of land carbon dynamics in the 20th century and under future climate change. The Ent TBM is the only dynamic global vegetation model (DGVM) developed for coupling with general circulation models (GCMs) to account for the height structure of mixed canopies, including a canopy radiative transfer scheme that accounts for foliage clumping in dynamically changing canopies. It is flexibly programmed to incorporate any number of "plant functional types" (PFTs). It is now a coupled component of the ModelE2 version of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) general circulation model (GCM). We demonstrate a data mining method, linear manifold clustering, to be used with several very recently compiled large databases of plant traits and phenology combined with climate and satellite data, to identify new PFT groupings, and also conduct customized parameter fits of PFT traits already defined in Ent. These parameter sets are used together with satellite-derived global forest height structure and land cover derived from a combination of satellite and inventory sources and bioclimatic relations to provide a new estimate and uncertainty bounds on vegetation biomass carbon stocks. These parameter sets will also be used to reproduce atmospheric CO2 time series over the flask observational period, to evaluate the impact of improved representation of vegetation dynamics on soil carbon stocks, and finally to produce a projection of the land carbon sink under future climate change. This research is timely in taking advantage of new, globally ranging vegetation databases, satellite-derived forest heights, and the advanced framework of the Ent TBM. It will advance understanding of and reduce uncertainty in

  10. Confronting terrestrial biosphere models with forest inventory data.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lichstein, Jeremy W; Golaz, Ni-Zhang; Malyshev, Sergey; Shevliakova, Elena; Zhang, Tao; Sheffield, Justin; Birdsey, Richard A; Sarmiento, Jorge L; Pacala, Stephen W

    2014-06-01

    Efforts to test and improve terrestrial biosphere models (TBMs) using a variety of data sources have become increasingly common. Yet, geographically extensive forest inventories have been under-exploited in previous model-data fusion efforts. Inventory observations of forest growth, mortality, and biomass integrate processes across a range of timescales, including slow timescale processes such as species turnover, that are likely to have important effects on ecosystem responses to environmental variation. However, the large number (thousands) of inventory plots precludes detailed measurements at each location, so that uncertainty in climate, soil properties, and other environmental drivers may be large. Errors in driver variables, if ignored, introduce bias into model-data fusion. We estimated errors in climate and soil drivers at U.S. Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) plots, and we explored the effects of these errors on model-data fusion with the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory LM3V dynamic global vegetation model. When driver errors were ignored or assumed small at FIA plots, responses of biomass production in LM3V to precipitation and soil available water capacity appeared steeper than the corresponding responses estimated from FIA data. These differences became nonsignificant if driver errors at FIA plots were assumed to be large. Ignoring driver errors when optimizing LM3V parameter values yielded estimates for fine-root allocation that were larger than biometric estimates, which is consistent with the expected direction of bias. To explore whether complications posed by driver errors could be circumvented by relying on intensive study sites where driver errors are small, we performed a power analysis. To accurately quantify the response of biomass production to spatial variation in mean annual precipitation within the eastern United States would require at least 40 intensive study sites, which is larger than the number of sites typically available

  11. [A phylogenetic analysis of plant communities of Teberda Biosphere Reserve].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shulakov, A A; Egorov, A V; Onipchenko, V G

    2016-01-01

    Phylogenetic analysis of communities is based on the comparison of distances on the phylogenetic tree between species of a community under study and those distances in random samples taken out of local flora. It makes it possible to determine to what extent a community composition is formed by more closely related species (i.e., "clustered") or, on the opposite, it is more even and includes species that are less related with each other. The first case is usually interpreted as a result of strong influence caused by abiotic factors, due to which species with similar ecology, a priori more closely related, would remain: In the second case, biotic factors, such as competition, may come to the fore and lead to forming a community out of distant clades due to divergence of their ecological niches: The aim of this' study Was Ad explore the phylogenetic structure in communities of the northwestern Caucasus at two spatial scales - the scale of area from 4 to 100 m2 and the smaller scale within a community. The list of local flora of the alpine belt has been composed using the database of geobotanic descriptions carried out in Teberda Biosphere Reserve at true altitudes exceeding.1800 m. It includes 585 species of flowering plants belonging to 57 families. Basal groups of flowering plants are.not represented in the list. At the scale of communities of three classes, namely Thlaspietea rotundifolii - commumties formed on screes and pebbles, Calluno-Ulicetea - alpine meadow, and Mulgedio-Aconitetea subalpine meadows, have not demonstrated significant distinction of phylogenetic structure. At intra level, for alpine meadows the larger share of closely related species. (clustered community) is detected. Significantly clustered happen to be those communities developing on rocks (class Asplenietea trichomanis) and alpine (class Juncetea trifidi). At the same time, alpine lichen proved to have even phylogenetic structure at the small scale. Alpine (class Salicetea herbaceae) that

  12. Multistable states in the biosphere-climate system: towards conceptual models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bartsev, S.; Belolipetskii, P.; Degermendzhi, A.

    2017-02-01

    Forecasting response of the biosphere and regional ecosystems to observed and expected climate change is the fundamental problem with obvious practical significance. Fundamental non-linearity of the climate system and biosphere makes feasible implementing multiple states and threshold processes in the biosphere-climate system (BCS) in response to gradually increasing influence factor (greenhouse gas concentrations growth). Really time series analysis of global temperature and other global and local parameters indicates the presence of abrupt transitions between stationary states. Identification of the switching mechanisms using general circulation models of the atmosphere and the ocean is associated with the obvious difficulties due to their complexity. Understanding the nature of such switches at qualitative level can be achieved by using a conceptual small-scale models. Some variants of possible mechanisms capable of generating these shifts and simultaneously supporting quasi-stationary periods between them are discussed.

  13. In-situ detection of microbial life in the deep biosphere in igneous ocean crust

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Everett Cosio Salas

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available The deep biosphere is a major frontier to science. Recent studies have shown the presence and activity of cells in deep marine sediments and in the continental deep biosphere. Volcanic lavas in the deep ocean subsurface, through which substantial fluid flow occurs, present another potentially massive deep biosphere. We present results from the deployment of a novel in-situ logging tool designed to detect microbial life harbored in a deep, native, borehole environment within igneous oceanic crust, using deep ultraviolet native fluorescence spectroscopy. Results demonstrate the predominance of microbial-like signatures within the borehole environment, with densities in the range of 105 cells/mL. Based on transport and flux models, we estimate that such a concentration of microbial cells could not be supported by transport through the crust, suggesting in situ growth of these communities.

  14. In situ Detection of Microbial Life in the Deep Biosphere in Igneous Ocean Crust.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salas, Everett C; Bhartia, Rohit; Anderson, Louise; Hug, William F; Reid, Ray D; Iturrino, Gerardo; Edwards, Katrina J

    2015-01-01

    The deep biosphere is a major frontier to science. Recent studies have shown the presence and activity of cells in deep marine sediments and in the continental deep biosphere. Volcanic lavas in the deep ocean subsurface, through which substantial fluid flow occurs, present another potentially massive deep biosphere. We present results from the deployment of a novel in situ logging tool designed to detect microbial life harbored in a deep, native, borehole environment within igneous oceanic crust, using deep ultraviolet native fluorescence spectroscopy. Results demonstrate the predominance of microbial-like signatures within the borehole environment, with densities in the range of 10(5) cells/mL. Based on transport and flux models, we estimate that such a concentration of microbial cells could not be supported by transport through the crust, suggesting in situ growth of these communities.

  15. A biosphere assessment of high-level radioactive waste disposal in Sweden.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kautsky, Ulrik; Lindborg, Tobias; Valentin, Jack

    2015-04-01

    Licence applications to build a repository for the disposal of Swedish spent nuclear fuel have been lodged, underpinned by myriad reports and several broader reviews. This paper sketches out the technical and administrative aspects and highlights a recent review of the biosphere effects of a potential release from the repository. A comprehensive database and an understanding of major fluxes and pools of water and organic matter in the landscape let one envisage the future by looking at older parts of the site. Thus, today's biosphere is used as a natural analogue of possible future landscapes. It is concluded that the planned repository can meet the safety criteria and will have no detectable radiological impact on plants and animals. This paper also briefly describes biosphere work undertaken after the review. The multidisciplinary approach used is relevant in a much wider context and may prove beneficial across many environmental contexts.

  16. Analysis of Low-Biomass Microbial Communities in the Deep Biosphere.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morono, Y; Inagaki, F

    2016-01-01

    Over the past few decades, the subseafloor biosphere has been explored by scientific ocean drilling to depths of about 2.5km below the seafloor. Although organic-rich anaerobic sedimentary habitats in the ocean margins harbor large numbers of microbial cells, microbial populations in ultraoligotrophic aerobic sedimentary habitats in the open ocean gyres are several orders of magnitude less abundant. Despite advances in cultivation-independent molecular ecological techniques, exploring the low-biomass environment remains technologically challenging, especially in the deep subseafloor biosphere. Reviewing the historical background of deep-biosphere analytical methods, the importance of obtaining clean samples and tracing contamination, as well as methods for detecting microbial life, technological aspects of molecular microbiology, and detecting subseafloor metabolic activity will be discussed.

  17. Disaggregating Fossil Fuel Emissions from Biospheric Fluxes: Methodological Improvements for Inverse Methods

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yadav, V.; Shiga, Y. P.; Michalak, A. M.

    2012-12-01

    The accurate spatio-temporal quantification of fossil fuel emissions is a scientific challenge. Atmospheric inverse models have the capability to overcome this challenge and provide estimates of fossil fuel emissions. Observational and computational limitations limit current analyses to the estimations of a combined "biospheric flux and fossil-fuel emissions" carbon dioxide (CO2) signal, at coarse spatial and temporal resolution. Even in these coarse resolution inverse models, the disaggregation of a strong biospheric signal form a weaker fossil-fuel signal has proven difficult. The use of multiple tracers (delta 14C, CO, CH4, etc.) has provided a potential path forward, but challenges remain. In this study, we attempt to disaggregate biospheric fluxes and fossil-fuel emissions on the basis of error covariance models rather through tracer based CO2 inversions. The goal is to more accurately define the underlying structure of the two processes by using a stationary exponential covariance model for the biospheric fluxes, in conjunction with a semi-stationary covariance model derived from nightlights for fossil fuel emissions. A non-negativity constraint on fossil fuel emissions is imposed using a data transformation approach embedded in an iterative quasi-linear inverse modeling algorithm. The study is performed for January and June 2008, using the ground-based CO2 measurement network over North America. The quality of disaggregation is examined by comparing the inferred spatial distribution of biospheric fluxes and fossil-fuel emissions in a synthetic-data inversion. In addition to disaggregation of fluxes, the ability of the covariance models derived from nightlights to explain the fossil-fuel emissions over North America is also examined. The simple covariance model proposed in this study is found to improve estimation and disaggregation of fossil-fuel emissions from biospheric fluxes in the tracer-based inverse models.

  18. Recent developments in assessment of long-term radionuclide behavior in the geosphere-biosphere subsystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, G M; Smith, K L; Kowe, R; Pérez-Sánchez, D; Thorne, M; Thiry, Y; Read, D; Molinero, J

    2014-05-01

    Decisions on permitting, controlling and monitoring releases of radioactivity into the environment rely on a great variety of factors. Important among these is the prospective assessment of radionuclide behavior in the environment, including migration and accumulation among and within specific environmental media, and the resulting environmental and human health impacts. Models and techniques to undertake such assessments have been developed over several decades based on knowledge of the ecosystems involved, as well as monitoring of previous radionuclide releases to the environment, laboratory experiments and other related research. This paper presents developments in the assessment of radiation doses and related research for some of the key radionuclides identified as of potential significance in the context of releases to the biosphere from disposal facilities for solid radioactive waste. Since releases to the biosphere from disposal facilities involve transfers from the geosphere to the biosphere, an important aspect is the combined effects of surface hydrology, near-surface hydrogeology and chemical gradients on speciation and radionuclide mobility in the zone in which the geosphere and biosphere overlap (herein described as the geosphere-biosphere subsystem). In turn, these aspects of the environment can be modified as a result of environmental change over the thousands of years that have to be considered in radioactive waste disposal safety assessments. Building on the experience from improved understanding of the behavior of the key radionuclides, this paper proceeds to describe development of a generic methodology for representing the processes and environmental changes that are characteristic of the interface between the geosphere and the biosphere. The information that is provided and the methodology that is described are based on international collaborative work implemented through the BIOPROTA forum, www.bioprota.org.

  19. Faunal diversity of rotifers (Rotifera: Eurotatoria of Nokrek Biosphere Reserve, Meghalaya, India

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    B.K. Sharma

    2011-02-01

    Full Text Available Plankton samples collected from the Nokrek Biosphere Reserve of Meghalaya (Northeast India revealed 70 species of Rotifera belonging to 24 genera and 15 families. Eight species are new records from the state of Meghalaya. The Oriental Lecane blachei and the palaeotropical L. unguitata are biogeographically interesting elements. The Rotifera taxocoenosis of Nokrek Biosphere Reserve is characterized by a distinct richness of the tropic-centered genus Lecane, paucity of Brachionus species, greater diversity of littoral-periphytonic elements and a general tropical character with cosmopolitan (71.4% > tropicopolitan (17.1 % species.

  20. Plumes and Earth's Dynamic History : from Core to Biosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Courtillot, V. E.

    2002-12-01

    The last half century has been dominated by the general acceptance of plate tectonics. Although the plume concept emerged early in this story, its role has remained ambiguous. Because plumes are singularities, both in space and time, they tend to lie dangerously close to catastrophism, as opposed to the calm uniformitarian view of plate tectonics. Yet, it has become apparent that singular events and transient phenomena are of great importance, even if by definition they cover only a small fraction of geological time, in diverse observational and theoretical fields such as 1) magnetic reversals and the geodynamo, 2) tomography and mantle convection, 3) continental rifting and collision, and 4) evolution of the fluid envelopes (atmospheric and oceanic "climate"; evolution of species in the biosphere). I will emphasize recent work on different types of plumes and on the correlation between flood basalts and mass extinctions. The origin of mantle plumes remains a controversial topic. We suggest that three types of plumes exist, which originate at the three main discontinuities in the Earth's mantle (base of lithosphere, transition zone and core-mantle boundary). Most of the hotspots are short lived (~ 10Ma) and seem to come from the transition zone or above. Important concentrations occur above the Pacific and African superswells. Less than 10 hotspots have been long lived (~ 100Ma) and may have a very deep origin. In the last 50 Ma, these deep-seated plumes in the Pacific and Indo-Atlantic hemispheres have moved slowly, but motion was much faster prior to that. This change correlates with major episodes of true polar wander. The deeper ("primary") plumes are thought to trace global shifts in quadrupolar convection in the lower mantle. These are the plumes that were born as major flood basalts or oceanic plateaus (designated as large igneous provinces or LIPs). Most have an original volume on the order or in excess of 2.5 Mkm3. In most provinces, volcanism lasted on

  1. The impact of solar UV radiation on the early biosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Horneck, G.

    2007-08-01

    sensing mechanisms; (ii) application of external shielding, such as covering by mud, sand or rock material; (iii) development of intrinsic UV screening pigments, such as tanning, inductive flavonoid production of plants, intracellular mycosporin production in cyanobacteria, (iv) accumulation of antioxidants and quenching substances. However, if UV damage has been induced - in spite of all avoidance efforts, organisms may restore their functionality by numerous repair processes. Repair pathways of a rich diversity and functional universality include (i) direct repair with the reversal of photochemical abnormalities, e.g. in the DNA; (ii) recombination repair removing the UV-induced abnormality by homologous recombination; and (iii) excision repair, where the section of the DNA strand containing the abnormality is removed and a repair patch is synthesized using the intact strand as a template. In addition to efficient repair systems for radiation-induced DNA injury, life has developed a variety of defense mechanisms, such as the increase in the production of stress proteins and the activation of the immune defence system. Some of these capacities have certainly already been evolved in the early biosphere, when it was exposed to the extended UV-spectrum of the sun. Only since the early Proterozoic, due to a rapid rise in the atmospheric oxygen concentration and consequently a photochemical built up of the stratospheric ozone layer, a more moderate UV radiation climate prevailed with wavelengths shorter than 295 nm being effectively cut off.

  2. Exploring the deep biosphere through ophiolite-associated surface springs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meyer-Dombard, D. R.; Cardace, D.; Woycheese, K. M.; Vallalar, B.; Arcilla, C. A.

    2013-12-01

    potential to yield energy for metabolism in these ecosystems. Media were diluted with filtered spring fluid to the desired concentration on location, and inoculated immediately. We found positive growth in cultures from all sample locations (seven in all), at temperatures ranging from 28-48C under both aerobic and anaerobic conditions. Growth on complex organic media was successful in five samples, and media including sugars or organic acids in two and four samples, respectively. Heterotrophic sulfate reduction was seen in six samples, and autotrophic sulfate reduction in only three samples. Four locations yielded heterotrophic iron reducers, and five locations host organisms capable of autotrophic iron reduction. This variety of positive growth indicates a metabolically flexible community, complementing data obtained from previously reported communities in serpentinizing systems. We begin to obtain a picture of community dynamics and functional diversity in these ecosystems that bridge the subsurface and surface biospheres.

  3. Access: A Directory of Contacts, Environmental Data Bases, and Scientific Infrastructure on 175 Biosphere Reserves in 32 Countries.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Department of State, Washington, DC. Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs.

    Following the EuroMAB meeting in Strasbourg, France (September 1991) and on an initiative of the Man and the Biosphere National Committee of the United States, a decision was made to create a research network from information available in biosphere reserves in 30 European countries, Canada and the United States. This Directory of EuroMAB Biosphere…

  4. Environmental values in post-socialist Hungary : Is it useful to distinguish egoistic, altruistic and biospheric values?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    de Groot, Judith. I. M.; Steg, Linda; Keizer, Martijn; Farsang, Andrea; Watt, Alan

    2012-01-01

    In this article the authors examine whether the significance of biospheric values as a separate cluster next to egoistic and altruistic values is mainly a Western European phenomenon or whether biospheric values are also endorsed as a value in its own right in post-socialist Hungary. In two differen

  5. Swansong Biospheres II: The final signs of life on terrestrial planets near the end of their habitable lifetimes

    CERN Document Server

    O'Malley-James, Jack T; Greaves, Jane S; Raven, John A

    2013-01-01

    The biosignatures of life on Earth do not remain static, but change considerably over the planet's habitable lifetime. Earth's future biosphere, much like that of the early Earth, will consist of predominantly unicellular microorganisms due to the increased hostility of environmental conditions caused by the Sun as it enters the late stage of its main sequence evolution. Building on previous work, the productivity of the biosphere is evaluated during different stages of biosphere decline between 1 Gyr and 2.8 Gyr from present. A simple atmosphere-biosphere interaction model is used to estimate the atmospheric biomarker gas abundances at each stage and to assess the likelihood of remotely detecting the presence of life in low-productivity, microbial biospheres, putting an upper limit on the lifetime of Earth's remotely detectable biosignatures. Other potential biosignatures such as leaf reflectance and cloud cover are discussed.

  6. 1988 Pilot Institute on Global Change on trace gases and the biosphere

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Eddy, J.A.; Moore, B. III

    1998-07-01

    This proposal seeks multi-agency funding to conduct an international, multidisciplinary 1988 Pilot Institute on Global Change to take place from August 7 through 21, 1988, on the topic: Trace Gases and the Biosphere. The institute, to be held in Snowmass, Colorado, is envisioned as a pilot version of a continuing series of institutes on Global Change (IGC). This proposal seeks support for the 1988 pilot institute only. The concept and structure for the continuing series, and the definition of the 1988 pilot institute, were developed at an intensive and multidisciplinary Summer Institute Planning Meeting in Boulder, Colorado, on August 24--25, 1987. The theme for the 1988 PIGC, Trace Gases and the Biosphere, will focus a concerted, high-level multidisciplinary effort on a scientific problem central to the Global Change Program. Dramatic year-to-year increases in the global concentrations of radiatively-active trace gases such as methane and carbon dioxide are now well documented. The predicted climatic effects of these changes lend special urgency to efforts to study the biospheric sources and sinks of these gases and to clarify their interactions and role in the geosphere-biosphere system.

  7. The Anthropocene: a conspicuous stratigraphical signal of anthropogenic changes in production and consumption across the biosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, Mark; Zalasiewicz, Jan; Waters, Colin N.; Edgeworth, Matt; Bennett, Carys; Barnosky, Anthony D.; Ellis, Erle C.; Ellis, Michael A.; Cearreta, Alejandro; Haff, Peter K.; Ivar do Sul, Juliana A.; Leinfelder, Reinhold; McNeill, John R.; Odada, Eric; Oreskes, Naomi; Revkin, Andrew; Richter, Daniel deB; Steffen, Will; Summerhayes, Colin; Syvitski, James P.; Vidas, Davor; Wagreich, Michael; Wing, Scott L.; Wolfe, Alexander P.; Zhisheng, An

    2016-03-01

    Biospheric relationships between production and consumption of biomass have been resilient to changes in the Earth system over billions of years. This relationship has increased in its complexity, from localized ecosystems predicated on anaerobic microbial production and consumption to a global biosphere founded on primary production from oxygenic photoautotrophs, through the evolution of Eukarya, metazoans, and the complexly networked ecosystems of microbes, animals, fungi, and plants that characterize the Phanerozoic Eon (the last ˜541 million years of Earth history). At present, one species, Homo sapiens, is refashioning this relationship between consumption and production in the biosphere with unknown consequences. This has left a distinctive stratigraphy of the production and consumption of biomass, of natural resources, and of produced goods. This can be traced through stone tool technologies and geochemical signals, later unfolding into a diachronous signal of technofossils and human bioturbation across the planet, leading to stratigraphically almost isochronous signals developing by the mid-20th century. These latter signals may provide an invaluable resource for informing and constraining a formal Anthropocene chronostratigraphy, but are perhaps yet more important as tracers of a biosphere state that is characterized by a geologically unprecedented pattern of global energy flow that is now pervasively influenced and mediated by humans, and which is necessary for maintaining the complexity of modern human societies.

  8. Application Biosphere Compatibility Concept To Evaluate The Quality Of Urban Environment By Bioindication Methods

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vorobyov, S.

    2017-01-01

    This article focuses on the application of methods biondisation different types of urban green areas to assess the quality of urban environment from the standpoint of compatibility biosphere concept. To assess urban environmental quality, we used a variety of areas of the city of Orel with different levels of human impact.

  9. Ecological research in the large-scale biosphere-atmosphere experiment in Amazonia: early results

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Keller, M.; Alencar, A.; Asner, G.P.; Braswell, B.; Bustamante, M.; Davidson, E.; Feldpausch, T.; Fernandes, E.; Goulden, M.; Kabat, P.; Kruijt, B.; Luizão, F.; Miller, S.; Markewitz, D.; Nobre, A.D.; Nobre, C.A.; Priante Filho, N.; Rocha, da H.; Silva Dias, P.; Randow, von C.; Vourlitis, G.L.

    2004-01-01

    The Large-scale Biosphere-Atmosphere Experiment in Amazonia (LBA) is a multinational, interdisciplinary research program led by Brazil. Ecological studies in LBA focus on how tropical forest conversion, regrowth, and selective logging influence carbon storage,. nutrient dynamics, trace gas fluxes, a

  10. Modeling the global society-biosphere-climate system : Part 2: Computed scenarios

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Alcamo, J.; Van Den Born, G.J.; Bouwman, A.F.; De Haan, B.J.; Klein Goldewijk, K.; Klepper, O.; Krabec, J.; Leemans, R.; Olivier, J.G.J.; Toet, A.M.C.; De Vries, H.J.M.; Van Der Woerd, H.J.

    1994-01-01

    This paper presents scenarios computed with IMAGE 2.0, an integrated model of the global environment and climate change. Results are presented for selected aspects of the society-biosphere-climate system including primary energy consumption, emissions of various greenhouse gases, atmospheric concent

  11. Patterns of new versus recycled primary production in the terrestrial biosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) availability regulate plant productivity throughout the terrestrial biosphere, influencing the patterns and magnitude of net primary production (NPP) by land plants both now and into the future. These nutrients enter ecosystems via geologic and atmospheric pathways, a...

  12. International Co-ordinating Council of the Programme on Man and the Biosphere (MAB). Final Report.

    Science.gov (United States)

    United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization, Paris (France).

    Man and the Biosphere Program is an interdisciplinary program of research which emphasizes an ecological approach to the study of interrelationships between man and the environment. It is concerned with subjects of global or major regional significance which require international cooperation. This final report discusses areas in which…

  13. Earth applications of closed ecological systems: Relevance to the development of sustainability in our global biosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nelson, M.; Allen, J.; Ailing, A.; Dempster, W. F.; Silverstone, S.

    The parallels between the challenges facing bioregenerative life support in artificial closed ecological systems and those in our global biosphere are striking. At the scale of the current global technosphere and expanding human population, it is increasingly obvious that the biosphere can no longer safely buffer and absorb technogenic and anthropogenic pollutants. The loss of biodiversity, reliance on non-renewable natural resources, and conversion of once wild ecosystems for human use with attendant desertification/soil erosion, has led to a shift of consciousness and the widespread call for sustainability of human activities. For researchers working on bioregenerative life support in closed systems, the small volumes and faster cycling times than in the Earth's biosphere make it starkly clear that systems must be designed to ensure renewal of water and atmosphere, nutrient recycling, production of healthy food, and safe environmental methods of maintaining technical systems. The development of technical systems that can be fully integrated and supportive of living systems is a harbinger of new perspectives as well as technologies in the global environment. In addition, closed system bioregenerative life support offers opportunities for public education and consciousness changing of how to live with our global biosphere.

  14. "Biosphere Reserve"--The Actual Research Subject of the Sustainable Development Process"

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khasaev, Gabibulla R.; Sadovenko, Marina Yu.; Isaev, Roman O.

    2016-01-01

    The relevance of the analyzed issue is caused by the growing slippage of research funds of sustainable development in its practice. The purpose of the article is the theoretical basis of the biosphere reserve as a scientific research subject that is relevant to rules of the scientific activity. The leading approach to the study of this issue is…

  15. Biosphere analyses for the safety assessment SR-Site - synthesis and summary of results

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Saetre, Peter (comp.)

    2010-12-15

    This report summarises nearly 20 biosphere reports and gives a synthesis of the work performed within the SR-Site Biosphere project, i.e. the biosphere part of SR-Site. SR-Site Biosphere provides the main project with dose conversion factors (LDFs), given a unit release rate, for calculation of human doses under different release scenarios, and assesses if a potential release from the repository would have detrimental effects on the environment. The intention of this report is to give sufficient details for an overview of methods, results and major conclusions, with references to the biosphere reports where methods, data and results are presented and discussed in detail. The philosophy of the biosphere assessment was to make estimations of the radiological risk for humans and the environment as realistic as possible, based on the knowledge of present-day conditions at Forsmark and the past and expected future development of the site. This was achieved by using the best available knowledge, understanding and data from extensive site investigations from two sites. When sufficient information was not available, uncertainties were handled cautiously. A systematic identification and evaluation of features and processes that affect transport and accumulation of radionuclides at the site was conducted, and the results were summarised in an interaction matrix. Data and understanding from the site investigation was an integral part of this work, the interaction matrix underpinned the development of the radionuclide model used in the biosphere assessment. Understanding of the marine, lake and river and terrestrial ecosystems at the site was summarized in a conceptual model, and relevant features and process have been characterized to capture site specific parameter values. Detailed investigations of the structure and history of the regolith at the site and simulations of regolith dynamics were used to describe the present day state at Forsmark and the expected development of

  16. Climate controls on the residence time of terrestrial biospheric carbon in river basins

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eglinton, T.; Galy, V.; Feng, X.; Drenzek, N.; Dickens, A.; Ponton, C.; Giosan, L.; Schefuss, E.; Voss, B.; Vonk, J.; Gustafsson, O.; Montlucon, D.; Wu, Y.

    2012-04-01

    Our current understanding of the timescales over which terrestrial biospheric carbon is transferred from source to sedimentary sink, and of the factors that control these timescales, remains limited. Such information is crucial for developing a mechanistic understanding organic matter cycling on the continents and the dynamics of terrestrial carbon delivery to the oceans. Radiocarbon is increasingly being used to examine the "age" of organic constituents in the dissolved and particulate phase. Based on such measurements, there is growing evidence to suggest that land-ocean organic matter transfer via rivers may be rapid (years, decades) or may take place over centuries to millennia. How do these ages relate to drainage basin properties and biospheric carbon dynamics within continental drainage basins? This presentation seeks to explore the factors that influence radiocarbon ages of specific components of terrestrial biospheric carbon carried and exported by rivers to the ocean. Molecular-level radiocarbon measurements on vascular plant biomarkers (plant leaf waxes and lignin-derived phenols) have been made on particulate matter collected from a range of river systems globally, as well as on sediment cores collected near the mouths of rivers. Additional molecular isotopic (stable carbon and hydrogen isotopes) measurements of the plant wax markers provides complementary information on the provenance of the vegetation signals and on regional environmental conditions. The measurements reveal that two primary controls on apparent storage time of terrestrial biospheric carbon are regional temperature and aridity. The former is most apparent in contrasts between low and high latitude rivers, with colder regional climates resulting in longer residence times. Evidence for aridity as a control on storage times is evident from relationships between the stable carbon isotopic and/or hydrogen isotopic composition of vascular plant markers and their radiocarbon age, with dryer

  17. Toward Reducing Uncertainties in Biospheric Carbon Uptake in the American West: An Atmospheric Perspective

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lin, J. C.; Stephens, B. B.; Mallia, D.; Wu, D.; Jacobson, A. R.

    2015-12-01

    Despite the need for an understanding of terrestrial biospheric carbon fluxes to account for carbon cycle feedbacks and predict future CO2 concentrations, knowledge of such fluxes at the regional scale remains poor. This is particularly true in mountainous areas, where lack of observations combined with difficulties in their interpretation lead to significant uncertainties. Yet mountainous regions are also where significant forest cover and biomass are found—areas that have the potential to serve as carbon sinks. In particular, understanding carbon fluxes in the American West is of critical importance for the U.S. carbon budget, as the large area and biomass indicate potential for carbon sequestration. However, disturbances such as drought, insect outbreak, and wildfires in this region can introduce significant perturbations to the carbon cycle and thereby affect the amount of carbon sequestered by vegetation in the Rockies. To date, there have been few atmospheric CO2 observations in the American Rockies due to a combination of difficulties associated with logistics and interpretation of the measurements in the midst of complex terrain. Among the few sites are those associated with NCAR's Regional Atmospheric Continuous CO2 Network in the Rocky Mountains (Rocky RACCOON). As CO2 observations in mountainous areas increase in the future, it is imperative that they can be properly interpreted to yield information about biospheric carbon fluxes. In this paper, we will present CO2 observations from RACCOON, along with atmospheric simulations that attempt to extract information about biospheric carbon fluxes in the Western U.S. from these observations. We show that atmospheric models can significantly misinterpret the CO2 observations, leading to large errors in the retrieved biospheric fluxes, due to erroneous atmospheric flows. Recommendations for ways to minimize such errors and properly link the CO2 concentrations to biospheric fluxes are discussed.

  18. Development of a reference biospheres methodology for radioactive waste disposal. Final report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Dorp, F. van [NAGRA (Switzerland)] [and others

    1996-09-01

    The BIOMOVS II Working Group on Reference Biospheres has focused on the definition and testing of a methodology for developing models to analyse radionuclide behaviour in the biosphere and associated radiological exposure pathways(a Reference Biospheres Methodology). The Working Group limited the scope to the assessment of the long-term implications of solid radioactive waste disposal. Nevertheless, it is considered that many of the basic principles would be equally applicable to other areas of biosphere assessment. The recommended methodology has been chosen to be relevant to different types of radioactive waste and disposal concepts. It includes the justification, arguments and documentation for all the steps in the recommended methodology. The previous experience of members of the Reference Biospheres Working Group was that the underlying premises of a biosphere assessment have often been taken for granted at the early stages of model development, and can therefore fail to be recognized later on when questions of model sufficiency arise, for example, because of changing regulatory requirements. The intention has been to define a generic approach for the formation of an 'audit trail' and hence provide demonstration that a biosphere model is fit for its intended purpose. The starting point for the methodology has three. The Assessment Context sets out what the assessment has to achieve, eg. in terms of assessment purpose and related regulatory criteria, as well as information about the repository system and types of release from the geosphere. The Basic System Description includes the fundamental premises about future climate conditions and human behaviour which, to a significant degree, are beyond prediction. The International FEP List is a generically relevant list of Features, Events and Processes potentially important for biosphere model development. The International FEP List includes FEPs to do with the assessment context. The context examined in

  19. Post-closure biosphere assessment modelling: comparison of complex and more stylised approaches

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Walke, Russell C. [Quintessa Limited, The Hub, 14 Station Road, Henley-on-Thames (United Kingdom); Kirchner, Gerald [University of Hamburg, ZNF, Beim Schlump 83, 20144 Hamburg (Germany); Xu, Shulan; Dverstorp, Bjoern [Swedish Radiation Safety Authority, SE-171 16 Stockholm (Sweden)

    2014-07-01

    Geological facilities are the preferred option for disposal of high-level radioactive waste, due to their potential to provide isolation from the surface environment (biosphere) on very long time scales. Safety cases developed in support of geological disposal include assessment of potential impacts on humans and wildlife in order to demonstrate compliance with regulatory criteria. As disposal programmes move from site-independent/generic assessments through site selection to applications for construction/operation and closure, the degree of understanding of the present-day site increases, together with increased site-specific information. Assessments need to strike a balance between simple models and more complex approaches that draw more extensively on this site-specific information. This paper explores the relative merits of complex versus more stylised biosphere models in the context of a site-specific assessment. The complex biosphere model was developed by the Swedish Nuclear Fuel and Waste Management Co (SKB) for the Formark candidate site for a spent nuclear fuel repository in Sweden. SKB's model is built on a landscape evolution model, whereby radionuclide releases to distinct hydrological basins/sub-catchments (termed 'objects') are represented as they evolve through land rise and climate change. The site is located on the Baltic coast with a terrestrial landscape including lakes, mires, forest and agriculture. The land at the site is projected to continue to rise due to post-glacial uplift leading to ecosystem transitions in excess of ten thousand years. The simple biosphere models developed for this study include the most plausible transport processes and represent various types of ecosystem. The complex biosphere models adopt a relatively coarse representation of the near-surface strata, which is shown to be conservative, but also to under-estimate the time scale required for potential doses to reach equilibrium with radionuclide fluxes

  20. Analysis of Critical Issues in Biosphere Assessment Modelling and Site Investigation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Egan, M.J.; Thorne, M.C.; Little, R.H.; Pasco, R.F. [Quintessa Limited, Henley-on-Thames (United Kingdom)

    2003-07-01

    The aim of this document is to present a critical review of issues concerned with the treatment of the biosphere and geosphere-biosphere interface in long-term performance assessment studies for nuclear waste disposal in Sweden. The review covers three main areas of investigation: a review of SKB's plans for undertaking site investigations at candidate locations for the development of a deep geological repository for spent fuel; identification of critical uncertainties associated with SKB's treatment of the geosphere-biosphere interface in recent performance assessments; and a preliminary modelling investigation of the significance of features, events and processes in the near-surface environment in terms of their effect on the accumulation and redistribution of radionuclides at the geosphere-biosphere interface. Overall, SKB's proposals for site investigations are considered to be comprehensive and, if they can be carried out to the specification presented, will constitute a benchmark that other waste management organisations will have to work hard to emulate. The main concern is that expertise for undertaking the investigations and reporting the results could be stretched very thin. The authors have also identified weaknesses in the documentation concerning the collection of evidence for environmental change and on developing scenarios for future environmental change. A fundamental assumption adopted in the renewed assessment of the SFR 1 repository, which is not discussed or justified in any of the documentation that has been reviewed, is that radionuclides enter the water column of the coastal and lake models directly, without passing first through the bed sediments. The modelling study reported herein suggests that SKB's models are robust to range of alternative conceptual descriptions relating to the geosphere-biosphere interface. There are however situations, in which contaminated groundwater is released via sediment rather than directly

  1. Contribution to the pteridophytic flora of India: Nokrek Biosphere Reserve, Meghalaya

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    B. Singh

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Nokrek National Park, located approximately 40km from Tura town in West Garo Hills district of Meghalaya, India, was added to the list of Biosphere Reserves by UNESCO in May 2009. Since there is no previous report from this area, the pteridophytes of the Nokrek Biosphere Reserve are catalogued in the present study. The checklist consists of 113 taxa (98 ferns, 15 fern allies, of which 25 species are newly reported for the Meghalaya State (Selaginella involvens, Selaginella semicordata, Selaginella subdiaphana, Selaginella tenuifolia, Asplenium gueinzianum, Asplenium perakanse, Microlepia hancei, Microlepia rhomboidea, Dicranopteris linearis, Coniogramme procera, Bolbitis sinensis, Loxogramme chinensis, Lygodium microphyllum, Lemmaphyllum microphyllum, Lemmaphyllum rostratum, Pleopeltis macrosphaera, Pyrrosia lanceolata, Pyrrosia longifolia, Pteris biaurita ssp. walkeriana, Pteris grevilleana, Tectaria fuscipes, Cyclosorus crinipes, Pseudocyclosorus falcilobus, Diplazium apicisorum and Diplazium pseudosetigerum and 43 species are new for all the three Garo Hill districts of the Garo Hills in the Meghalaya State.

  2. Interpretations and Implementation of the Regulations on the Protection of Danube Delta Biosphere Reserve

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dorin Matei

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available The Danube Delta Biosphere Reserve, part of the UNESCO world patrimony since 1992, enjoys an enhanced legislative protection regarding the protection of fauna and flora. In Romania we find the legislation in the field of traffic regulations on ships and boats on the Danube, on canals and inland lakes in the Danube Delta area, and in fisheries and protection of animals and plants. The state of the environment in the Danube Delta Biosphere Reserve is constantly analyzed, achieving annual public reports. The aim of the paper is the interpretation of legal provisions both in the field, making proposals de lege ferenda for the smooth running of traffic and environmental protection in the Delta.

  3. Estimation of Pre-industrial Nitrous Oxide Emission from the Terrestrial Biosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, R.; Tian, H.; Lu, C.; Zhang, B.; Pan, S.; Yang, J.

    2015-12-01

    Nitrous oxide (N2O) is currently the third most important greenhouse gases (GHG) after methane (CH4) and carbon dioxide (CO2). Global N2O emission increased substantially primarily due to reactive nitrogen (N) enrichment through fossil fuel combustion, fertilizer production, and legume crop cultivation etc. In order to understand how climate system is perturbed by anthropogenic N2O emissions from the terrestrial biosphere, it is necessary to better estimate the pre-industrial N2O emissions. Previous estimations of natural N2O emissions from the terrestrial biosphere range from 3.3-9.0 Tg N2O-N yr-1. This large uncertainty in the estimation of pre-industrial N2O emissions from the terrestrial biosphere may be caused by uncertainty associated with key parameters such as maximum nitrification and denitrification rates, half-saturation coefficients of soil ammonium and nitrate, N fixation rate, and maximum N uptake rate. In addition to the large estimation range, previous studies did not provide an estimate on preindustrial N2O emissions at regional and biome levels. In this study, we applied a process-based coupled biogeochemical model to estimate the magnitude and spatial patterns of pre-industrial N2O fluxes at biome and continental scales as driven by multiple input data, including pre-industrial climate data, atmospheric CO2 concentration, N deposition, N fixation, and land cover types and distributions. Uncertainty associated with key parameters is also evaluated. Finally, we generate sector-based estimates of pre-industrial N2O emission, which provides a reference for assessing the climate forcing of anthropogenic N2O emission from the land biosphere.

  4. Subsistence fisheries in the Sierra Manantlán Biosphere Reserve (Jalisco/Colima, Mexico)

    OpenAIRE

    Norman Mercado-Silva; Eduardo Santana-Castellón; Luis Manuel Martínez Rivera; John Lyons; Timothy Moermond

    2011-01-01

    Biosphere reserves are charged with the challenging dual objectives of protecting exemplary ecosystems and providing local communities with opportunities for development. Small-scale, subsistence fisheries occur in many protected areas in Mexico, but little is known about their characteristics. Additionally, subsistence fishermen rarely have the possibility to express their opinions on the quality of the ecosystems they depend on for survival. We used surveys to describe the Ayuquila River (J...

  5. Indobis and its relevance to the Gulf of Mannar Biosphere reserve

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Achuthankutty, C.T.; Kakodkar, A.; Nath, A.I.V.

    and around the biosphere reserve and providing facilities for long-term ecological studies, environmental education, training, research and monitoring related to local, national and global issues of conservation and sustainable development... and special multiple use management status. Ecological Importance The Reserve harbours marine biodiversity of global significance and is renowned for its coral reef, sea grass and algal communities. The islands are referred as a "biologist's paradise...

  6. Earth Applications of Closed Ecological Systems: Relevance to the Development of Sustainability in our Global Biosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dempster, W.; van Thillo, M.; Alling, A.; Allen, J.; Silverstone, S.; Nelson, M.

    The parallels between the challenges facing bioregenerative life support and closed ecological systems and those in our global biosphere are striking. At the scale of the current global technosphere and human population, it is increasingly obvious that the biosphere can no longer be counted on to be vast enough to safely buffer and absorb technogenic and anthropogenic pollutants. With an increasing percentage of the world's natural resources and primary productivity being dictated by, and directed to, humans, our species is starting to appreciate its survival and quality of life depends on regulating its activities, and insuring that crucial biogeochemical cycles continue to function. This shift of consciousness has led to the widespread call for moving towards the sustainability of human activities. For researchers working on bioreenerative life support, the small volumes and faster cycling times have made it obvious that systems must be created in to ensure renewal of water and atmosphere, nutrient recycling, and where all technical systems can be safely integrated with the maintenance of safe environmental conditions. The development of technical systems that can be fully integrated with the living systems that they support should be a harbinger of new perspectives in the global environment. The paper will review some of these environmental technologies which are emerging from bioregenerative life support system research such as high-yield intensive agricultural methods, waste treatment and nutrient recycling, air purification, modeling, sensor and control systems and their potential applications in the global biosphere. In addition, a review of the human experience in closed ecological systems shows that these can offer opportunities for public education and consciousness-changing of how humans regard our global biosphere.

  7. Turnover of microbial lipids in the deep biosphere and growth of benthic archaeal populations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xie, Sitan; Lipp, Julius S; Wegener, Gunter; Ferdelman, Timothy G; Hinrichs, Kai-Uwe

    2013-04-01

    Deep subseafloor sediments host a microbial biosphere with unknown impact on global biogeochemical cycles. This study tests previous evidence based on microbial intact polar lipids (IPLs) as proxies of live biomass, suggesting that Archaea dominate the marine sedimentary biosphere. We devised a sensitive radiotracer assay to measure the decay rate of ([(14)C]glucosyl)-diphytanylglyceroldiether (GlcDGD) as an analog of archaeal IPLs in continental margin sediments. The degradation kinetics were incorporated in model simulations that constrained the fossil fraction of subseafloor IPLs and rates of archaeal turnover. Simulating the top 1 km in a generic continental margin sediment column, we estimated degradation rate constants of GlcDGD being one to two orders of magnitude lower than those of bacterial IPLs, with half-lives of GlcDGD increasing with depth to 310 ky. Given estimated microbial community turnover times of 1.6-73 ky in sediments deeper than 1 m, 50-96% of archaeal IPLs represent fossil signals. Consequently, previous lipid-based estimates of global subseafloor biomass probably are too high, and the widely observed dominance of archaeal IPLs does not rule out a deep biosphere dominated by Bacteria. Reverse modeling of existing concentration profiles suggest that archaeal IPL synthesis rates decline from around 1,000 pg⋅mL(-1) sediment⋅y(-1) at the surface to 0.2 pg⋅mL(-1)⋅y(-1) at 1 km depth, equivalent to production of 7 × 10(5) to 140 archaeal cells⋅mL(-1) sediment⋅y(-1), respectively. These constraints on microbial growth are an important step toward understanding the relationship between the deep biosphere and the carbon cycle.

  8. Novelty and uniqueness patterns of rare members of the soil biosphere.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elshahed, Mostafa S; Youssef, Noha H; Spain, Anne M; Sheik, Cody; Najar, Fares Z; Sukharnikov, Leonid O; Roe, Bruce A; Davis, James P; Schloss, Patrick D; Bailey, Vanessa L; Krumholz, Lee R

    2008-09-01

    Soil bacterial communities typically exhibit a distribution pattern in which most bacterial species are present in low abundance. Due to the relatively small size of most culture-independent sequencing surveys, a detailed phylogenetic analysis of rare members of the community is lacking. To gain access to the rarely sampled soil biosphere, we analyzed a data set of 13,001 near-full-length 16S rRNA gene clones derived from an undisturbed tall grass prairie soil in central Oklahoma. Rare members of the soil bacterial community (empirically defined at two different abundance cutoffs) represented 18.1 to 37.1% of the total number of clones in the data set and were, on average, less similar to their closest relatives in public databases when compared to more abundant members of the community. Detailed phylogenetic analyses indicated that members of the soil rare biosphere either belonged to novel bacterial lineages (members of five novel bacterial phyla identified in the data set, as well as members of multiple novel lineages within previously described phyla or candidate phyla), to lineages that are prevalent in other environments but rarely encountered in soil, or were close relatives to more abundant taxa in the data set. While a fraction of the rare community was closely related to more abundant taxonomic groups in the data set, a significant portion of the rare biosphere represented evolutionarily distinct lineages at various taxonomic cutoffs. We reason that these novelty and uniqueness patterns provide clues regarding the origins and potential ecological roles of members of the soil's rare biosphere.

  9. Dark Matter of the Biosphere: the Amazing World of Bacteriophage Diversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hatfull, Graham F

    2015-08-01

    Bacteriophages are the most abundant biological entities in the biosphere, and this dynamic and old population is, not surprisingly, highly diverse genetically. Relative to bacterial genomics, phage genomics has advanced slowly, and a higher-resolution picture of the phagosphere is only just emerging. This view reveals substantial diversity even among phages known to infect a common host strain, but the relationships are complex, with mosaic genomic architectures generated by illegitimate recombination over a long period of evolutionary history.

  10. Territorialisation, Conservation, and Neoliberalism in the Tehuacán-Cuicatlán Biosphere Reserve, Mexico

    OpenAIRE

    Alison Elizabeth Lee

    2014-01-01

    The territorialisation of a botanical garden and the Tehuacán-Cuicatlán Biosphere Reserve (TCBR) in southern Mexico is examined from the perspective of local residents of one rural town and the biologists whose professional careers involved extensive research in the region. While there were brief periods of conflict between residents and outsiders over the use of local lands for conservation, the cumulative effects demonstrate a general acceptance of the conservation paradigm. Local residents...

  11. Dating the Anthropocene: Towards an empirical global history of human transformation of the terrestrial biosphere

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Erle C. Ellis

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Human use of land is a major cause of the global environmental changes that define the Anthropocene. Archaeological and paleoecological evidence confirm that human populations and their use of land transformed ecosystems at sites around the world by the late Pleistocene and historical models indicate this transformation may have reached globally significant levels more than 3000 years ago. Yet these data in themselves remain insufficient to conclusively date the emergence of land use as a global force transforming the biosphere, with plausible dates ranging from the late Pleistocene to AD 1800. Conclusive empirical dating of human transformation of the terrestrial biosphere will require unprecedented levels of investment in sustained interdisciplinary collaboration and the development of a geospatial cyberinfrastructure to collate and integrate the field observations of archaeologists, paleoecologists, paleoenvironmental scientists, environmental historians, geoscientists, geographers and other human and environmental scientists globally from the Pleistocene to the present. Existing field observations may yet prove insufficient in terms of their spatial and temporal coverage, but by assessing these observations within a spatially explicit statistically robust global framework, major observational gaps can be identified, stimulating data gathering in underrepresented regions and time periods. Like the Anthropocene itself, building scientific understanding of the human role in shaping the biosphere requires both sustained effort and leveraging the most powerful social systems and technologies ever developed on this planet.

  12. MAN IN BIOSPHERE RESERVE: A REMOTE SENSING STUDY IN SIMILIPAL, ORISSA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Biswal

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available The Similipal is a densely forested hill-range in the heart of Mayurbhanj district,Orissa, lying close to the eastern-most end of the Easternghats. Similipal Biosphere Reserve is located in the Mahanadian Biogeographical Region and within the Biotic Province, Chhotanagpur Plateau.There are 4 villages in the core and 61 villages in the buffer area of the biosphere reserve .Agriculture is not well developed and employment opportunities are very poor , most of the people derive their income from collection of NTFP and sale of firewood and timber. A collaborative work is carried out by Regional Remote Sensing Centre(East and Anthropological survey of India,Kolkata to study the impact of those four villages in the core area of SBR on the conservation of natural resources over the decades.Change in vegetation density as measured by NDVI over the decades is analysed to study the impact of these villages on the core area of Similipal Biosphere Reserve.

  13. Searching for a shadow biosphere on Earth as a test of the 'cosmic imperative'.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davies, P C W

    2011-02-13

    Estimates for the number of communicating civilizations in the galaxy, based on the so-called Drake equation, are meaningless without a plausible estimate for the probability that life will emerge on an Earth-like planet. In the absence of a theory of the origin of life, that number can be anywhere from 0 to 1. Distinguished scientists have been known to argue that life on Earth is a freak accident, unique in the observable universe and, conversely, that life is almost bound to arise in the course of time, given Earth-like conditions. De Duve, adopting the latter position, coined the phrase that 'life is a cosmic imperative'. De Duve's position would be immediately verified if we were to discover a second sample of life that we could be sure arose from scratch independently of known life. Given the current absence of evidence for life beyond Earth, the best way to test the hypothesis of the cosmic imperative is to see whether terrestrial life began more than once. If it did, it is possible that descendants of a second genesis might be extant, forming a sort of 'shadow biosphere' existing alongside, or perhaps interpenetrating, the known biosphere. I outline a strategy to detect the existence of such a shadow biosphere.

  14. Pharmaceutical Residues Affecting the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve Kristianstads Vattenrike Wetlands: Sources and Sinks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Björklund, Erland; Svahn, Ola; Bak, Søren; Bekoe, Samuel Oppong; Hansen, Martin

    2016-10-01

    This study is the first to investigate the pharmaceutical burden from point sources affecting the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve Kristianstads Vattenrike, Sweden. The investigated Biosphere Reserve is a >1000 km(2) wetland system with inflows from lakes, rivers, leachate from landfill, and wastewater-treatment plants (WWTPs). We analysed influent and treated wastewater, leachate water, lake, river, and wetland water alongside sediment for six model pharmaceuticals. The two WWTPs investigated released pharmaceutical residues at levels close to those previously observed in Swedish monitoring exercises. Compound-dependent WWTP removal efficiencies ranging from 12 to 100 % for bendroflumethiazide, oxazepam, atenolol, carbamazepine, and diclofenac were observed. Surface-water concentrations in the most affected lake were ≥100 ng/L for the various pharmaceuticals with atenolol showing the highest levels (>300 ng/L). A small risk assessment showed that adverse single-substance toxicity on aquatic organisms within the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve is unlikely. However, the effects of combinations of a large number of known and unknown pharmaceuticals, metals, and nutrients are still unknown.

  15. Integration of Deep Biosphere Research into the International Continental Scientific Drilling Program

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jens Kallmeyer

    2010-10-01

    Full Text Available An international workshop on the Integration of Deep Biosphere Research into the International Continental Scientific Drilling Program (ICDP was held on 27–29 September 2009 in Potsdam. It was organized by the Helmholtz Centre Potsdam GFZ German Research Centrefor Geosciences and the University of Potsdam (Germany. Financial support was provided by ICDP. This workshop brought together the expertise of thirty-three microbiologists, biogeochemists, and geologists from seven countries (Finland, Germany, Japan, New Zealand, Sweden, U.K., U.S.A.. Over the last two decades, microbiological and biogeochemical investigations have demonstrated the occurrence of microbial life widely disseminated within the deep subsurface of the Earth (Fredrickson and Onstott, 1996; Parkes et al., 2000; Pedersen, 2000; Sherwood Lollar et al., 2006. Considering the large subsurface pore space available as a life habitat, it has been estimated that the biomass of the so-called deep biosphere might be equal to or even larger than that of the surface biosphere (Whitman et al., 1998.

  16. Man in Biosphere Reserve: a Remote Sensing Study in Similipal, Orissa

    Science.gov (United States)

    Biswal, A.; Mukherjee, S.; Jeyaram, A.; Krishna Murthy, Y. V. N.

    2011-08-01

    The Similipal is a densely forested hill-range in the heart of Mayurbhanj district,Orissa, lying close to the eastern-most end of the Easternghats. Similipal Biosphere Reserve is located in the Mahanadian Biogeographical Region and within the Biotic Province, Chhotanagpur Plateau.There are 4 villages in the core and 61 villages in the buffer area of the biosphere reserve .Agriculture is not well developed and employment opportunities are very poor , most of the people derive their income from collection of NTFP and sale of firewood and timber. A collaborative work is carried out by Regional Remote Sensing Centre(East) and Anthropological survey of India,Kolkata to study the impact of those four villages in the core area of SBR on the conservation of natural resources over the decades.Change in vegetation density as measured by NDVI over the decades is analysed to study the impact of these villages on the core area of Similipal Biosphere Reserve.

  17. Response of the rare biosphere to environmental stressors in a highly diverse ecosystem (Zodletone spring, OK, USA).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coveley, Suzanne; Elshahed, Mostafa S; Youssef, Noha H

    2015-01-01

    Within highly diverse ecosystems, the majority of bacterial taxa are present in low abundance as members of the rare biosphere. The rationale for the occurrence and maintenance of the rare biosphere, and the putative ecological role(s) and dynamics of its members within a specific ecosystem is currently debated. We hypothesized that in highly diverse ecosystems, a fraction of the rare biosphere acts as a backup system that readily responds to environmental disturbances. We tested this hypothesis by subjecting sediments from Zodletone spring, a sulfide- and sulfur-rich spring in Southwestern OK, to incremental levels of salinity (1, 2, 3, 4, and 10% NaCl), or temperature (28°, 30°, 32°, and 70 °C), and traced the trajectories of rare members of the community in response to these manipulations using 16S rRNA gene analysis. Our results indicate that multiple rare bacterial taxa are promoted from rare to abundant members of the community following such manipulations and that, in general, the magnitude of such recruitment is directly proportional to the severity of the applied manipulation. Rare members that are phylogenetically distinct from abundant taxa in the original sample (unique rare biosphere) played a more important role in the microbial community response to environmental disturbances, compared to rare members that are phylogenetically similar to abundant taxa in the original sample (non-unique rare biosphere). The results emphasize the dynamic nature of the rare biosphere, and highlight its complexity and non-monolithic nature.

  18. Biosphere analyses for the safety assessment SR-Site - synthesis and summary of results

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Saetre, Peter (comp.)

    2010-12-15

    This report summarises nearly 20 biosphere reports and gives a synthesis of the work performed within the SR-Site Biosphere project, i.e. the biosphere part of SR-Site. SR-Site Biosphere provides the main project with dose conversion factors (LDFs), given a unit release rate, for calculation of human doses under different release scenarios, and assesses if a potential release from the repository would have detrimental effects on the environment. The intention of this report is to give sufficient details for an overview of methods, results and major conclusions, with references to the biosphere reports where methods, data and results are presented and discussed in detail. The philosophy of the biosphere assessment was to make estimations of the radiological risk for humans and the environment as realistic as possible, based on the knowledge of present-day conditions at Forsmark and the past and expected future development of the site. This was achieved by using the best available knowledge, understanding and data from extensive site investigations from two sites. When sufficient information was not available, uncertainties were handled cautiously. A systematic identification and evaluation of features and processes that affect transport and accumulation of radionuclides at the site was conducted, and the results were summarised in an interaction matrix. Data and understanding from the site investigation was an integral part of this work, the interaction matrix underpinned the development of the radionuclide model used in the biosphere assessment. Understanding of the marine, lake and river and terrestrial ecosystems at the site was summarized in a conceptual model, and relevant features and process have been characterized to capture site specific parameter values. Detailed investigations of the structure and history of the regolith at the site and simulations of regolith dynamics were used to describe the present day state at Forsmark and the expected development of

  19. Development of a reference biospheres methodology for radioactive waste disposal. Final report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Dorp, F. van [NAGRA (Switzerland)] [and others

    1996-09-01

    The BIOMOVS II Working Group on Reference Biospheres has focused on the definition and testing of a methodology for developing models to analyse radionuclide behaviour in the biosphere and associated radiological exposure pathways(a Reference Biospheres Methodology). The Working Group limited the scope to the assessment of the long-term implications of solid radioactive waste disposal. Nevertheless, it is considered that many of the basic principles would be equally applicable to other areas of biosphere assessment. The recommended methodology has been chosen to be relevant to different types of radioactive waste and disposal concepts. It includes the justification, arguments and documentation for all the steps in the recommended methodology. The previous experience of members of the Reference Biospheres Working Group was that the underlying premises of a biosphere assessment have often been taken for granted at the early stages of model development, and can therefore fail to be recognized later on when questions of model sufficiency arise, for example, because of changing regulatory requirements. The intention has been to define a generic approach for the formation of an 'audit trail' and hence provide demonstration that a biosphere model is fit for its intended purpose. The starting point for the methodology has three. The Assessment Context sets out what the assessment has to achieve, eg. in terms of assessment purpose and related regulatory criteria, as well as information about the repository system and types of release from the geosphere. The Basic System Description includes the fundamental premises about future climate conditions and human behaviour which, to a significant degree, are beyond prediction. The International FEP List is a generically relevant list of Features, Events and Processes potentially important for biosphere model development. The International FEP List includes FEPs to do with the assessment context. The context examined in

  20. Using the kingfisher (Alcedo atthis) as a bioindicator of PCBs and PBDEs in the dinghushan biosphere reserve, China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mo, Ling; Wu, Jiang-Ping; Luo, Xiao-Jun; Li, Ke-Lin; Peng, Ying; Feng, An-Hong; Zhang, Qiang; Zou, Fa-Sheng; Mai, Bi-Xian

    2013-07-01

    The Dinghushan Biosphere Reserve is a nature reserve and a site for the study of tropical and subtropical forest ecosystems. Rapid industrialization and intensive electronic waste-recycling activities around the biosphere reserve have resulted in elevated levels of industrial organic contaminants in the local environment that may cause adverse effects on wildlife that inhabits this area. In the present study, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), and 2 alternative brominated flame retardants (BFRs)-decabromodiphenyl ethane (DBDPE) and 1,2-bis(2,4,6-tribromophenoxy) ethane (BTBPE)-were investigated in the biosphere reserve and a reference site by using the kingfisher (Alcedo atthis) as a bioindicator. Residue concentrations in kingfishers from the Dinghushan Biosphere Reserve ranged from 490 ng/g to 3000 ng/g, 51 ng/g to 420 ng/g, 0.44 ng/g to 90 ng/g, and 0.04 ng/g to 0.87 ng/g lipid weight for ∑PCBs, ∑PBDEs, DBDPE, and BTBPE, respectively. With the exception of the BTBPE, these levels were 2 to 5 times higher than those detected in kingfishers from the reference site. The contaminant patterns from the biosphere reserve were also different, with larger PCB contributions in comparison with the reference site. The estimated predator-prey biomagnification factors (BMFs) showed that most of the PCB and PBDE congeners and BTBPE were biomagnified in kingfishers from the biosphere reserve. The calculated toxic equivalent quantity (TEQ) concentrations of major coplanar PCB congeners in kingfishers from the biosphere reserve ranged from 18 pg/g to 66 pg/g wet weight, with some of these TEQ concentrations reaching or exceeding the levels known to impair bird reproduction and survival.

  1. Application of the Spanish methodological approach for biosphere assessment to a generic high-level waste disposal site.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Agüero, A; Pinedo, P; Simón, I; Cancio, D; Moraleda, M; Trueba, C; Pérez-Sánchez, D

    2008-09-15

    A methodological approach which includes conceptual developments, methodological aspects and software tools have been developed in the Spanish context, based on the BIOMASS "Reference Biospheres Methodology". The biosphere assessments have to be undertaken with the aim of demonstrating compliance with principles and regulations established to limit the possible radiological impact of radioactive waste disposals on human health and on the environment, and to ensure that future generations will not be exposed to higher radiation levels than those that would be acceptable today. The biosphere in the context of high-level waste disposal is defined as the collection of various radionuclide transfer pathways that may result in releases into the surface environment, transport within and between the biosphere receptors, exposure of humans and biota, and the doses/risks associated with such exposures. The assessments need to take into account the complexity of the biosphere, the nature of the radionuclides released and the long timescales considered. It is also necessary to make assumptions related to the habits and lifestyle of the exposed population, human activities in the long term and possible modifications of the biosphere. A summary on the Spanish methodological approach for biosphere assessment are presented here as well as its application in a Spanish generic case study. A reference scenario has been developed based on current conditions at a site located in Central-West Spain, to indicate the potential impact to the actual population. In addition, environmental change has been considered qualitatively through the use of interaction matrices and transition diagrams. Unit source terms of (36)Cl, (79)Se, (99)Tc, (129)I, (135)Cs, (226)Ra, (231)Pa, (238)U, (237)Np and (239)Pu have been taken. Two exposure groups of infants and adults have been chosen for dose calculations. Results are presented and their robustness is evaluated through the use of uncertainty and

  2. Soil-to-Plant Concentration Ratios for Assessing Food Chain Pathways in Biosphere Models

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Napier, Bruce A.; Fellows, Robert J.; Krupka, Kenneth M.

    2007-10-01

    This report describes work performed for the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s project Assessment of Food Chain Pathway Parameters in Biosphere Models, which was established to assess and evaluate a number of key parameters used in the food-chain models used in performance assessments of radioactive waste disposal facilities. Section 2 of this report summarizes characteristics of samples of soils and groundwater from three geographical regions of the United States, the Southeast, Northwest, and Southwest, and analyses performed to characterize their physical and chemical properties. Because the uptake and behavior of radionuclides in plant roots, plant leaves, and animal products depends on the chemistry of the water and soil coming in contact with plants and animals, water and soil samples collected from these regions of the United States were used in experiments at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory to determine radionuclide soil-to-plant concentration ratios. Crops and forage used in the experiments were grown in the soils, and long-lived radionuclides introduced into the groundwater provide the contaminated water used to water the grown plants. The radionuclides evaluated include 99Tc, 238Pu, and 241Am. Plant varieties include alfalfa, corn, onion, and potato. The radionuclide uptake results from this research study show how regional variations in water quality and soil chemistry affect radionuclide uptake. Section 3 summarizes the procedures and results of the uptake experiments, and relates the soil-to-plant uptake factors derived. In Section 4, the results found in this study are compared with similar values found in the biosphere modeling literature; the study’s results are generally in line with current literature, but soil- and plant-specific differences are noticeable. This food-chain pathway data may be used by the NRC staff to assess dose to persons in the reference biosphere (e.g., persons who live and work in an area potentially affected by

  3. A global model of carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus cycles for the terrestrial biosphere

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Y. P. Wang

    2009-10-01

    Full Text Available Carbon storage by many terrestrial ecosystems can be limited by nutrients, predominantly nitrogen (N and phosphorous (P, in additional to other environmental constraints, water, light and temperature. However the spatial distribution and the extent of both N and P limitation at global scale have not been quantified. Here we have developed a global model of carbon (C, nitrogen (N and phosphorus (P cycles for the terrestrial biosphere. Model estimates of steady state C and N pool sizes and major fluxes between plant, litter and soil pools, under present climate conditions, agree well with various independent estimates. The total amount of C in the terrestrial biosphere is 2526 Gt C, and the C fractions in plant, litter and soil organic matter are 21, 6 and 73%. The total amount of N is 124 Gt N, with about 94% stored in the soil, 5% in the plant live biomass, and 1% in litter. We found that the estimates of total soil P and its partitioning into different pools in soil are quite sensitive to biochemical P mineralization that has not been included in any other global models previously. The total amount of P is 26 Gt P in the terrestrial biosphere, 17% of which is stored in the soil organic matter if biochemical P mineralization is modelled, or 40 Gt P, with 60% in soil organic matter, otherwise.

    This model was used to derive the global distribution of N or P limitation on the productivity of terrestrial ecosystems. Our model predicts that the net primary productivity of most tropical evergreen broadleaf forests and tropical savannahs is reduced by about 20% on average by P limitation, and most of the remaining biomes are N limited; N limitation is strongest in high latitude deciduous needle leaf forests, and reduces its net primary productivity by up to 40% under present conditions.

  4. The biosphere at Laxemar. Data, assumptions and models used in the SR-Can assessment

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Karlsson, Sara; Kautsky, Ulrik; Loefgren, Anders; Soederbaeck, Bjoern (eds.)

    2006-10-15

    This is essentially a compilation of a variety of reports concerning the site investigations, the research activities and information derived from other sources important for the safety assessment. The main objective is to present prerequisites, methods and data used, in the biosphere modelling for the safety assessment SR-Can at the Laxemar site. A major part of the report focuses on how site-specific data are used, recalculated or modified in order to be applicable in the safety assessment context; and the methods and sub-models that are the basis for the biosphere modelling. Furthermore, the assumptions made as to the future states of surface ecosystems are mainly presented in this report. A similar report is provided for the Forsmark area. This report summarises the method adopted for safety assessment following a radionuclide release into the biosphere. The approach utilises the information about the site as far as possible and presents a way of calculating risk to humans. A central tool in the work is the description of the topography, where there is good understanding of the present conditions and the development over time is fairly predictable. The topography affects surface hydrology, sedimentation, size of drainage areas and the characteristics of ecosystems. Other parameters are human nutritional intake, which is assumed to be constant over time, and primary production (photosynthesis), which also is a fairly constant parameter over time. The Landscape Dose Factor approach (LDF) gives an integrated measure for the site and also resolves the issues relating to the size of the group with highest exposure. If this approach is widely accepted as method, still some improvements and refinement are necessary in collecting missing site data, reanalysing site data, reviewing radionuclide specific data, reformulating ecosystem models and evaluating the results with further sensitivity analysis.

  5. Structure of the rare archaeal biosphere and seasonal dynamics of active ecotypes in surface coastal waters.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hugoni, Mylène; Taib, Najwa; Debroas, Didier; Domaizon, Isabelle; Jouan Dufournel, Isabelle; Bronner, Gisèle; Salter, Ian; Agogué, Hélène; Mary, Isabelle; Galand, Pierre E

    2013-04-01

    Marine Archaea are important players among microbial plankton and significantly contribute to biogeochemical cycles, but details regarding their community structure and long-term seasonal activity and dynamics remain largely unexplored. In this study, we monitored the interannual archaeal community composition of abundant and rare biospheres in northwestern Mediterranean Sea surface waters by pyrosequencing 16S rDNA and rRNA. A detailed analysis of the rare biosphere structure showed that the rare archaeal community was composed of three distinct fractions. One contained the rare Archaea that became abundant at different times within the same ecosystem; these cells were typically not dormant, and we hypothesize that they represent a local seed bank that is specific and essential for ecosystem functioning through cycling seasonal environmental conditions. The second fraction contained cells that were uncommon in public databases and not active, consisting of aliens to the studied ecosystem and representing a nonlocal seed bank of potential colonizers. The third fraction contained Archaea that were always rare but actively growing; their affiliation and seasonal dynamics were similar to the abundant microbes and could not be considered a seed bank. We also showed that the major archaeal groups, Thaumarchaeota marine group I and Euryarchaeota group II.B in winter and Euryarchaeota group II.A in summer, contained different ecotypes with varying activities. Our findings suggest that archaeal diversity could be associated with distinct metabolisms or life strategies, and that the rare archaeal biosphere is composed of a complex assortment of organisms with distinct histories that affect their potential for growth.

  6. [Historical presence of invasive fish in the biosphere reserve sierra de Huautla, Mexico].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mejía-Mojica, Humberto; de Rodríguez-Romero, Felipe Jesús; Díaz-Pardo, Edmundo

    2012-06-01

    The effects of invasive species on native ecosystems are varied, and these have been linked to the disappearance or decline of native fauna, changes in community structure, modification of ecosystems and as vectors of new diseases and parasites. Besides, the development of trade in species for ornamental use has contributed significantly to the import and introduction of invasive fish in some important areas for biodiversity conservation in Mexico, but the presence of these species is poorly documented. In this study we analyzed the fish community in the Biosphere Reserve Sierra de Huautla by looking at diversity changes in the last 100 years. For this, we used databases of historical records and recent collections for five sites in the Amacuzac river, along the Biosphere Reserve area. We compared the values of similarity (Jaccard index) between five times series (1898-1901, 1945-1953, 1971-1980, 1994-1995 and 2008-2009), and we obtained values of similarity (Bray-Curtis) between the five sites analyzed. In our results we recognized a total of 19 species for the area, nine non-native and ten native, three of which were eliminated for the area. Similarity values between the early days and current records were very low (.27); the major changes in the composition of the fauna occurred in the past 20 years. The values of abundance, diversity and similarity among the sampling sites, indicate the dominance of non-native species. We discuss the role of the ornamental fish trade in the region as the leading cause of invasive introduction in the ecosystem and the possible negative effects that at least four non-native species have had on native fauna and the ecosystem (Oreochromis mossambicus, Amatitlania nigrofasciata, Pterygoplichthys disjunctivus and P pardalis). There is an urgent need of programs for registration, control and eradication of invasive species in the Sierra de Huautla Biosphere Reserve and biodiversity protection areas in Mexico.

  7. Remote sensing of the earth's biosphere - A tool for studies of the global atmospheric environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bartlett, David S.; Harriss, Robert C.; Bartlett, Karen B.

    1987-01-01

    Recent advances in remote sensing technology and its use for global studies of the biospheric processes are described. Special consideration is given to research related to two issues: (1) quantifying the impacts of natural vegetation and its changing patterns of occurrence on the atmospheric CO2 budget and (2) assessing wetlands (such as the swamps and marshes of Florida's Everglades) as sources of atmospheric CH4. The results include the data from NOAA-AVHRR sensors and from experiments in remote detection of plant growth rate.

  8. Challenges of deriving a complete biosphere greenhouse gas balance through integration of terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peichl, Matthias

    2013-04-01

    Past research efforts have mostly focused on separately investigating the exchange of greenhouse gases (GHGs) within the limits of different terrestrial and aquatic ecosystem types. More recently however, it has been recognized that GHG exchanges and budgets are not limited to boundaries of the terrestrial or aquatic biosphere components and instead are often tightly linked amongst the different ecosystem types. Primarily the aquatic production and export of GHGs due to substrate supply or discharge from surrounding terrestrial ecosystems play a major role in regional GHG budgets. Understanding the mechanisms and drivers of this connectivity between different terrestrial and aquatic ecosystem GHG exchanges is therefore necessary to develop landscape-level GHG budgets and to understand their sensitivity to disturbances of the biosphere. Moreover, the exchange of carbon dioxide (CO2) as the most important GHG species has been the primary research objective with regards to obtaining better estimates of the carbon sequestration potential of the biosphere. However, methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions may offset CO2 sinks and considerably affect the complete GHG balance in both terrestrial and aquatic systems. Including their contribution and improved knowledge on the dynamics of these two gas species is therefore essential for complete GHG budget estimates. At present, the integration of terrestrial and aquatic GHG exchanges toward landscape GHG budgets poses numerous challenges. These include the need for a better knowledge of i) the contribution of CH4 and N2O to the GHG budgets within contrasting terrestrial (forests, peatlands, grasslands, croplands) and aquatic (lake, streams) ecosystems when integrated over a full year, ii) the effect of ecosystem properties (e.g. age and/or development stage, size of water body) on the GHG balance, iii) the impact of management effects (e.g. nitrogen fertilizer application), iv) differences among climate regions and v

  9. Ship space to database: emerging infrastructures for studies of the deep subseafloor biosphere

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peter T. Darch

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Background An increasing array of scientific fields face a “data deluge.” However, in many fields data are scarce, with implications for their epistemic status and ability to command funding. Consequently, they often attempt to develop infrastructure for data production, management, curation, and circulation. A component of a knowledge infrastructure may serve one or more scientific domains. Further, a single domain may rely upon multiple infrastructures simultaneously. Studying how domains negotiate building and accessing scarce infrastructural resources that they share with other domains will shed light on how knowledge infrastructures shape science. Methods We conducted an eighteen-month, qualitative study of scientists studying the deep subseafloor biosphere, focusing on the Center for Dark Energy Biosphere Investigations (C-DEBI and the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP and its successor, the International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP2. Our methods comprised ethnographic observation, including eight months embedded in a laboratory, interviews (n = 49, and document analysis. Results Deep subseafloor biosphere research is an emergent domain. We identified two reasons for the domain’s concern with data scarcity: limited ability to pursue their research objectives, and the epistemic status of their research. Domain researchers adopted complementary strategies to acquire more data. One was to establish C-DEBI as an infrastructure solely for their domain. The second was to use C-DEBI as a means to gain greater access to, and reconfigure, IODP/IODP2 to their advantage. IODP/IODP2 functions as infrastructure for multiple scientific domains, which creates competition for resources. C-DEBI is building its own data management infrastructure, both to acquire more data from IODP and to make better use of data, once acquired. Discussion Two themes emerge. One is data scarcity, which can be understood only in relation to a domain

  10. User's manual for biosphere and dose simulation program (Biodose)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Duffy, J.J.; Bogar, G.P.

    1980-01-04

    This user's manual describes the BIOsphere Transport and DOSE program (BIODOSE) prepared for, and delivered to, Lawrence Livermore Laboratory (LLL) by the Analytic Sciences Corporation (TASC). BIODOSE simulates the transport of radionuclides in surface water systems and the resulting concentration of nuclides in the food chain. It includes the prediction of human dosage risks for individuals and for populations resulting from release of radionuclides into surface water or well water. The BIODOSE program was designed for easy use, including standard defaults and a flexible input scheme.

  11. Retrospective study of the carcinogenic hydrocarbon benz(a)pyrene in the biosphere

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ilnitskii, A.P.; Vinogradov, V.N.; Riabchun, V.K.; Mischenko, V.S.; Gvildis, V.Y.; Belitskii, G.A.; Shabad, L.M.

    1979-11-01

    In the first section of work, study results of soil samples in the areas of eternal frost confirmed the presence of BaP in the frozen layers of soil aged 10 years, 100 years, 3000 to 4000 and 10,000 years of age. In the second part of the work, results are furnished on the BaP content in the ice of modern glaciers and their moraines, located in Kamchatka. BaP was found in 11 samples in the concentration of 0.001 to 0.003 microgram/l. These data represent the final results in the retrospective study of carcinogenic substances in the biosphere.

  12. The UNESCO biosphere reserve concept as a tool for urban sustainability: the CUBES Cape Town case study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stanvliet, R; Jackson, J; Davis, G; De Swardt, C; Mokhoele, J; Thom, Q; Lane, B D

    2004-06-01

    The Cape Town Case Study (CTCS) was a multi-institutional collaborative project initiated by CUBES, a knowledge networking initiative of UNESCO's Ecological Sciences Division and the Earth Institute at Columbia University. Cape Town was selected as a CUBES site on the basis of its high biological and cultural significance, together with its demonstrated leadership in promoting urban sustainability. The CTCS was conducted by the Cape Town Urban Biosphere Group, a cross-disciplinary group of specialists drawn from national, provincial, municipal, and civil society institutions, mandated to examine the potential value of the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve concept as a tool for environmental management, social inclusion, and poverty alleviation in Cape Town. This article provides a contextualization of the CTCS and its collaborative process. It also reviews the biosphere reserve concept relative to urban sustainability objectives and proposes a more functional application of that concept in an urban context. A detailed analysis of key initiatives at the interface of conservation and poverty alleviation is provided in table format. Drawing on an examination of successful sustainability initiatives in Cape Town, specific recommendations are made for future application of the biosphere reserve concept in an urban context, as well as a model by which urban areas might affiliate with the UNESCO World Network of Biosphere Reserves, and criteria for such affiliation.

  13. Swansong Biospheres: The biosignatures of inhabited earth-like planets nearing the end of their habitable lifetimes

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Malley-James, Jack T.; Greaves, Jane S.; Raven, John A.; Cockell, Charles S.

    2014-01-01

    The biosignatures of life on Earth are not fixed, but change with time as environmental conditions change and life living within those environments adapts to the new conditions. A latitude-based climate model, incorporating orbital parameter variations, was used to simulate conditions on the far-future Earth as the Sun enters the late main sequence. Over time, conditions increasingly favour a unicellular microbial biosphere, which can persist for a maximum of 2.8 Gyr from present. The biosignature changes associated with the likely biosphere changes are evaluated using a biosphere-atmosphere gas exchange model and their detectability is discussed. As future Earth-like exoplanet discoveries could be habitable planets nearing the end of their habitable lifetimes, this helps inform the search for the signatures of life beyond Earth

  14. Ecuador's YasunI Biosphere Reserve: a brief modern history and conservation challenges

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Finer, Matt [Save America' s Forests, Washington, DC (United States); Vijay, Varsha; Jenkins, Clinton N [Duke University, Durham, NC (United States); Ponce, Fernando [Ciudadanos por la Democracia, Quito (Ecuador); Kahn, Ted R, E-mail: matt@saveamericasforests.or [Neotropical Conservation Foundation, Washington, DC (United States)

    2009-07-15

    Ecuador's YasunI Man and the Biosphere Reserve-located at the intersection of the Amazon, the Andes mountains, and the equator-is home to extraordinary biodiversity and a recently contacted Amazonian indigenous group known as the Waorani (or Huaorani). Relatives of the Waorani, the Tagaeri and Taromenane, still live in voluntary isolation deep in the reserve, with no peaceful contact with the outside world. The YasunI Biosphere Reserve also sits atop large reserves of crude oil, Ecuador's chief export, and contains an abundance of valuable timber species. This volatile combination has led to intense conflicts, and subsequently, increased international interest and concern. To make the issues confronting YasunI more accessible to a growing audience of interested parties, we synthesized information on the biological, social, and political issues of the region, providing a concise overview of its modern history and conservation challenges. We constructed a chronology of key events in the YasunI region over the past century and a series of maps designed to guide readers to a better understanding of the area's complicated array of overlapping designations. Main topics of analysis and discussion include: the Waorani and their ancestors living in voluntary isolation, YasunI National Park, illegal logging, missionary impacts, oil-development-related impacts and conflicts, and the Ecuadorian government's innovative YasunI-ITT Initiative (ITT: Ishpingo-Tiputini-Tambococha).

  15. Global redox cycle of biospheric carbon: Interaction of photosynthesis and earth crust processes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ivlev, Alexander A

    2015-11-01

    A model of the natural global redox cycle of biospheric carbon is introduced. According to this model, carbon transfer between biosphere and geospheres is accompanied by a conversion of the oxidative forms, presented by CO2, bicarbonate and carbonate ions, into the reduced forms, produced in photosynthesis. The mechanism of carbon transfer is associated with two phases of movement of lithospheric plates. In the short-term orogenic phase, CO2 from the subduction (plates' collisions) zones fills the "atmosphere-hydrosphere" system, resulting in climate warming. In the long-term quiet (geosynclynal) phase, weathering and photosynthesis become dominant depleting the oxidative forms of carbon. The above asymmetric periodicity exerts an impact on climate, biodiversity, distribution of organic matter in sedimentary deposits, etc. Along with photosynthesis expansion, the redox carbon cycle undergoes its development until it reaches the ecological compensation point, at which CO2 is depleted to the level critical to support the growth and reproduction of plants. This occurred in the Permo-Carboniferous time and in the Neogene. Shorter-term perturbations of the global carbon cycle in the form of glacial-interglacial oscillations appear near the ecological compensation point.

  16. The impact of protest responses in choice experiments: an application to a Biosphere Reserve Management Program

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Barrio

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available Aim of study: To identify protest responses and compute welfare estimates with and without the inclusion of such responses using follow-up statements in a choice experiment exercise. To our knowledge, this is one of the first empirical applications that, following the conventional treatment used in contingent valuation methodology, explicitly deals with the treatment and identification of protest responses in choice experiments.Area of study: the Eo, Oscos y Terras de Burón Biosphere Reserve sited between the regions of Galicia and Asturias. We are interested in the influence of such responses on preference elicitation for alternative management actions in this Reserve.Materials and methods: A face-to-face survey conducted in a sample of residents and non-residents of this Reserve. In total, more than 450 surveys were collected.Main results show that protest responses are fairly common in choice experiments, and their analysis affects the statistical performance of the empirical models as well as the valuation estimates. In fact, when the sample is corrected by protest responses, its size decreases to 303 individuals. Furthermore, we can observe that protest responses are triggered by a less positive attitude towards the wolf.Research highlight: Protest responses are a common issue in choice experiments and, therefore, future exercises should consider them explicitly, as earlier contingent valuation studies have.Key words: Biosphere Reserve; choice experiments; protest responses; willingness to pay.

  17. Comparative assessment of public opinion on the landscape quality of two biosphere reserves in Europe.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sowińska-Świerkosz, Barbara; Chmielewski, Tadeusz J

    2014-09-01

    The European Landscape Convention (2000) obligates European Union countries to identify and implement landscape quality objectives (LQOs) understood as the specification of public expectations and preferences concerning the landscape of a given area, expressed by competent public authorities. The convention emphasizes the important role of local community representatives in this field. In Poland, the implementation of the LQO concept was first undertaken in two regions with radically different landscape characteristics: (1) the West Polesie Biosphere Reserve and (2) the selected protected areas of the Roztocze-Solska Forest, nominated to the rank of a biosphere reserve. The first stage of the presented study was the recognition of public opinion on the quality of key features of landscape, based on a questionnaire (n = 470). The primary objective of the study was to provide an answer to the following questions: (1) Whether similar social expectations regarding landscape quality exist in spite of radically different landscape characteristics of the regions investigated (landscape quality is understood as spatial arrangement, scenic beauty, and lack of environmental pollution); (2) which landscape features are considered to be most preservation worthy by the representatives of both local communities; and (3) What processes or development impacts pose the greatest threat to the landscape quality of both regions according to the public opinion? The conducted comparative assessment revealed that it is possible to define a set of features fundamental to the quality of both areas and that representatives of local communities pointed out the same threats to the natural and cultural values of both regions investigated.

  18. Comparative Assessment of Public Opinion on the Landscape Quality of Two Biosphere Reserves in Europe

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sowińska-Świerkosz, Barbara; Chmielewski, Tadeusz J.

    2014-09-01

    The European Landscape Convention (2000) obligates European Union countries to identify and implement landscape quality objectives (LQOs) understood as the specification of public expectations and preferences concerning the landscape of a given area, expressed by competent public authorities. The convention emphasizes the important role of local community representatives in this field. In Poland, the implementation of the LQO concept was first undertaken in two regions with radically different landscape characteristics: (1) the West Polesie Biosphere Reserve and (2) the selected protected areas of the Roztocze-Solska Forest, nominated to the rank of a biosphere reserve. The first stage of the presented study was the recognition of public opinion on the quality of key features of landscape, based on a questionnaire ( n = 470). The primary objective of the study was to provide an answer to the following questions: (1) Whether similar social expectations regarding landscape quality exist in spite of radically different landscape characteristics of the regions investigated (landscape quality is understood as spatial arrangement, scenic beauty, and lack of environmental pollution); (2) which landscape features are considered to be most preservation worthy by the representatives of both local communities; and (3) What processes or development impacts pose the greatest threat to the landscape quality of both regions according to the public opinion? The conducted comparative assessment revealed that it is possible to define a set of features fundamental to the quality of both areas and that representatives of local communities pointed out the same threats to the natural and cultural values of both regions investigated.

  19. CONSERVATION STRATEGIES FOR NEPENTHES KHASIANA IN THE NOKREK BIOSPHERE RESERVE OF GARO HILLS, NORTHEAST, INDIA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bikarma SINGH

    2011-03-01

    Full Text Available The present paper focuses on the various disturbance agents such as coal mining, limestone extraction, stone quarrying, jhum cultivation, fire, grazing, over-exploitation of resources, road constructions etc., affecting the natural growth of Nepethes khasiana in the Nokrek Biosphere Reserve of India. N. khasiana is the prominent insectivorous scandent shrubs species of this biosphere reserve and is an important source of medicine and basic ornamental uses for the local garo tribal people of north-east India. The inevitable pressure due to commercialization of the N. khasiana is leading to severe destruction of the species and may create the scarcity of that species in the near future. Therefore, joint efforts need to be implemented by the local garo villagers with governmental and non-governmental agencies for conservation and sustainable use of N. khasiana. The government may also take initiative by allotting demarcated forests areas to the villagers as village forest, thus motivating the villagers to take special care for its protection and rehabilitation and for a sustainable output.

  20. The Effect of Global Change on Surface Ozone and Reactive Nitrogen Concentrations: Implications for the Biosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hess, P. G.; Murazaki, K.; Emmons, L.; Lamarque, J.

    2005-12-01

    We simulated two ten year periods using the global chemical transport model MOZART-2 (Model of Ozone and Related chemical Tracers version 2): 1990-2000 and 2090-2100. In each case MOZART-2 is driven by meteorology from the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) coupled Climate Systems Model (CSM) 1.0 forced with the (SRES) A1 scenario. Profound future changes in the summertime climate over the U.S. are found including changes in temperature, water vapor and clouds and the frequency of synoptic venting of the boundary layer. Even allowing for no changes in emissions in the future, the changes in climate alone drive a significant increase in the ozone concentration over the eastern U.S. (up to 5 ppbv on average) and an increase in the persistence of pollution events. Implications of these changes on the biosphere are assessed with and without allowing for the impact of climate on biogenic emissions. Furthermore the changes in climate alone cause large changes in the partitioning of NOy, decreasing PAN by over 20% over the U.S. Coupled with changes in precipitation; this induces significant changes in the deposition of nitrogen species to the biosphere in a future climate.

  1. The Economic Impact of Labeled Regional Products: The Experience of the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve Entlebuch

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Florian Knaus

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available Protected area management bodies are increasingly required to address economic development alongside the original goal of conservation. This is especially true for United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO biosphere reserves, which are expected to function as models for sustainable development. Economic development has been achieved in many places through nature-based tourism. Sale of products labeled as coming from protected areas is considered promising in this respect too, especially in Europe, but their economic impact has not been assessed so far. This study estimated the gross added value generated by labeled products from the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve Entlebuch—a rural, mountainous region in Switzerland. After a management-guided phase of building up credibility, identity, and innovations, labeled products generated a remarkable gross added value of US$ 5.8 million in 2014, 13 years after the product label was introduced. This corresponds to 4% of the jobs in agriculture and forestry and 1% of all jobs in the region. Given potential synergies with biodiversity, tourism, individual well-being, and other assets, labeled products can be true advantages for protected areas and their managers.

  2. Quantification of the regional carbon cycle of the biosphere: policy, science and land-use decisions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cihlar, J

    2007-11-01

    This paper addresses some issues related to the carbon cycle and its utilization by society. Traditional uses for agriculture, forestry, as a source of fuel and other products, and for pastoral farming, among others, have recently been supplemented by identifying its potential for mitigating the increasing concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Through the Kyoto Protocol, carbon has become a commodity and the CO(2)-absorbing capability of the vegetation and soils an economically valuable asset. The multi-facetted roles of the C cycle and its sensitivity to human activities present a demand for techniques that permit accurate, timely and affordable characterization of the various components of this cycle, especially on land where most human activities take place. Such techniques must satisfy a range of demands in terms of purpose, clients for the information, and biosphere properties. However, if successful, they offer the potential to support monitoring, reporting, policy setting, and management of terrestrial biospheric resources. The context for these requirements and possibilities is illustrated with reference to the China Carbon Sequestration Project and its findings.

  3. Beyond Reductionism Twice: No Laws Entail Biosphere Evolution, Formal Cause Laws Beyond Efficient Cause Laws

    CERN Document Server

    Kauffman, Stuart

    2013-01-01

    Newton set the stage for our view of how science should be done. We remain in what I will call the `Newtonian Paradigm' in all of physics, including Newton, Einstein, and Schrodinger. As I will show shortly, Newton invented and bequeathed to us `efficient cause entailing laws' for the entire becoming of the universe. With Laplace this became the foundation of contemporary reductionism in which all that can happen in the world is due to efficient cause entailing laws. More this framework stands as our dominant way to do science. The Newtonian Paradigm has done enormous work in science, and helped lead to the Industrial Revolution, and even our entry into Modernity. In this paper I propose to challenge the adequacy of the Newtonian Paradigm on two ground: 1) For the evolution of the biosphere beyond the watershed of life, we can formulate no efficient cause entailing laws that allow us to deduce the evolution of the biosphere. A fortiori, the same holds for the evolution of the economy, legal systems, social sy...

  4. Biosphere Dose Conversion Factors for Reasonably Maximally Exposed Individual and Average Member of Critical Group

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    K. Montague

    2000-02-23

    The purpose of this calculation is to develop additional Biosphere Dose Conversion Factors (BDCFs) for a reasonably maximally exposed individual (RMEI) for the periods 10,000 years and 1,000,000 years after the repository closure. In addition, Biosphere Dose Conversion Factors for the average member of a critical group are calculated for those additional radionuclides postulated to reach the environment during the period after 10,000 years and up to 1,000,000 years. After the permanent closure of the repository, the engineered systems within the repository will eventually lose their abilities to contain radionuclide inventory, and the radionuclides will migrate through the geosphere and eventually enter the local water table moving toward inhabited areas. The primary release scenario is a groundwater well used for drinking water supply and irrigation, and this calculation takes these postulated releases and follows them through various pathways until they result in a dose to either a member of critical group or a reasonably maximally exposed individual. The pathways considered in this calculation include inhalation, ingestion, and direct exposure.

  5. Ecuador's Yasuní Biosphere Reserve: a brief modern history and conservation challenges

    Science.gov (United States)

    Finer, Matt; Vijay, Varsha; Ponce, Fernando; Jenkins, Clinton N.; Kahn, Ted R.

    2009-07-01

    Ecuador's Yasuní Man and the Biosphere Reserve—located at the intersection of the Amazon, the Andes mountains, and the equator—is home to extraordinary biodiversity and a recently contacted Amazonian indigenous group known as the Waorani (or Huaorani). Relatives of the Waorani, the Tagaeri and Taromenane, still live in voluntary isolation deep in the reserve, with no peaceful contact with the outside world. The Yasuní Biosphere Reserve also sits atop large reserves of crude oil, Ecuador's chief export, and contains an abundance of valuable timber species. This volatile combination has led to intense conflicts, and subsequently, increased international interest and concern. To make the issues confronting Yasuní more accessible to a growing audience of interested parties, we synthesized information on the biological, social, and political issues of the region, providing a concise overview of its modern history and conservation challenges. We constructed a chronology of key events in the Yasuní region over the past century and a series of maps designed to guide readers to a better understanding of the area's complicated array of overlapping designations. Main topics of analysis and discussion include: the Waorani and their ancestors living in voluntary isolation, Yasuní National Park, illegal logging, missionary impacts, oil-development-related impacts and conflicts, and the Ecuadorian government's innovative Yasuní-ITT Initiative (ITT: Ishpingo-Tiputini-Tambococha).

  6. Wrinkles in the rare biosphere: Pyrosequencing errors can lead to artificial inflation of diversity estimates

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kunin, Victor; Engelbrektson, Anna; Ochman, Howard; Hugenholtz, Philip

    2009-08-01

    Massively parallel pyrosequencing of the small subunit (16S) ribosomal RNA gene has revealed that the extent of rare microbial populations in several environments, the 'rare biosphere', is orders of magnitude higher than previously thought. One important caveat with this method is that sequencing error could artificially inflate diversity estimates. Although the per-base error of 16S rDNA amplicon pyrosequencing has been shown to be as good as or lower than Sanger sequencing, no direct assessments of pyrosequencing errors on diversity estimates have been reported. Using only Escherichia coli MG1655 as a reference template, we find that 16S rDNA diversity is grossly overestimated unless relatively stringent read quality filtering and low clustering thresholds are applied. In particular, the common practice of removing reads with unresolved bases and anomalous read lengths is insufficient to ensure accurate estimates of microbial diversity. Furthermore, common and reproducible homopolymer length errors can result in relatively abundant spurious phylotypes further confounding data interpretation. We suggest that stringent quality-based trimming of 16S pyrotags and clustering thresholds no greater than 97% identity should be used to avoid overestimates of the rare biosphere.

  7. Biosphere Modeling for the Dose Assessment of a HLW Repository: Development of ACBIO

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lee, Youn Myoung; Hwang, Yong Soo; Kang, Chul Hyung

    2006-01-15

    For the purpose of evaluating a dose rate to an individual due to a long-term release of nuclides from a HLW repository, a biosphere assessment model and an implemented code, ACBIO, based on the BIOMASS methodology have been developed by utilizing AMBER, a general compartment modeling tool. To demonstrate its practicability and usability as well as to observe the sensitivity of the compartment scheme, the concentration, the activity in the compartments as well as the annual flux between the compartments at their peak values, were calculated and investigated. For each case when changing the structure of the compartments and GBIs as well as varying selected input Kd values, all of which seem very important among the others, the dose rate per nuclide release rate is calculated separately and analyzed. From the maximum dose rates, the flux to dose conversion factors for each nuclide were derived, which are used for converting the nuclide release rate appearing from the geosphere through various GBIs to dose rates (Sv/y) for an individual in a critical group. It has also been observed that the compartment scheme, the identification of a possible exposure group and the GBIs could all be highly sensitive to the final consequences in a biosphere modeling.

  8. Building institutional capacity for environmental governance through social entrepreneurship: lessons from Canadian biosphere reserves

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Colleen George

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Sustainability-oriented organizations have typically adopted governance approaches that undertake community participation and collaboration through multistakeholder arrangements. Documented challenges of this model are associated with collaboration and institutional capacity, and include reactive accountability structures, inability to reach consensus, funding limitations, and lack of innovation. Social entrepreneurship is a model used successfully in other social sectors; yet, it has rarely been explored by sustainability-oriented organizations. Nevertheless, research in other sectors has found that social entrepreneurship models of governance can encourage diverse participation from a wide range of social groups. In this paper we consider the value of social entrepreneurship for sustainability-oriented organizations by examining whether it can help address governance-related challenges associated with collaboration and institutional capacity. Analysis of organizational documents and participant interviews in three biosphere reserves in Atlantic Canada revealed that, over time, these organizations have struggled to maintain their mission objectives, retain productivity, and respond to economic stress. By examining social entrepreneurship theory and its practice in a biosphere reserve in northern Quebec, we learned that social entrepreneurship strategies more effectively target values and expertise, encourage meaningful engagement, foster strategic direction, and promote diversified and stable funding models than the stakeholder models explored. We determined there are opportunities to develop hybrid governance models that offer the benefits of social entrepreneurship while addressing the procedural concerns outlined by the stakeholder model.

  9. Is the genetic landscape of the deep subsurface biosphere affected by viruses?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rika E Anderson

    2011-11-01

    Full Text Available Viruses are powerful manipulators of microbial diversity, biogeochemistry, and evolution in the marine environment. Viruses can directly influence the genetic capabilities and the fitness of their hosts through the use of fitness factors and through horizontal gene transfer. However, the impact of viruses on microbial ecology and evolution is often overlooked in studies of the deep subsurface biosphere. Subsurface habitats connected to hydrothermal vent systems are characterized by constant fluid flux, dynamic environmental variability and high microbial diversity. In such conditions, high adaptability would be an evolutionary asset, and the potential for frequent host-virus interactions would be high, increasing the likelihood that cellular hosts could acquire novel functions. Here, we review evidence supporting this hypothesis, including data indicating that microbial communities in subsurface hydrothermal fluids are exposed to a high rate of viral infection, as well as viral metagenomic data suggesting that the vent viral assemblage is particularly enriched in genes that facilitate horizontal gene transfer and host adaptability. Therefore, viruses are likely to play a crucial role in facilitating adaptability to the extreme conditions of these regions of the deep subsurface biosphere. We also discuss how these results might apply to other regions of the deep subsurface, where the nature of virus-host interactions would be altered, but possibly no less important, compared to more energetic hydrothermal systems.

  10. Patterns of new versus recycled primary production in the terrestrial biosphere.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cleveland, Cory C; Houlton, Benjamin Z; Smith, W Kolby; Marklein, Alison R; Reed, Sasha C; Parton, William; Del Grosso, Stephen J; Running, Steven W

    2013-07-30

    Nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) availability regulate plant productivity throughout the terrestrial biosphere, influencing the patterns and magnitude of net primary production (NPP) by land plants both now and into the future. These nutrients enter ecosystems via geologic and atmospheric pathways and are recycled to varying degrees through the plant-soil-microbe system via organic matter decay processes. However, the proportion of global NPP that can be attributed to new nutrient inputs versus recycled nutrients is unresolved, as are the large-scale patterns of variation across terrestrial ecosystems. Here, we combined satellite imagery, biogeochemical modeling, and empirical observations to identify previously unrecognized patterns of new versus recycled nutrient (N and P) productivity on land. Our analysis points to tropical forests as a hotspot of new NPP fueled by new N (accounting for 45% of total new NPP globally), much higher than previous estimates from temperate and high-latitude regions. The large fraction of tropical forest NPP resulting from new N is driven by the high capacity for N fixation, although this varies considerably within this diverse biome; N deposition explains a much smaller proportion of new NPP. By contrast, the contribution of new N to primary productivity is lower outside the tropics, and worldwide, new P inputs are uniformly low relative to plant demands. These results imply that new N inputs have the greatest capacity to fuel additional NPP by terrestrial plants, whereas low P availability may ultimately constrain NPP across much of the terrestrial biosphere.

  11. Deep-biosphere consortium of fungi and prokaryotes in Eocene subseafloor basalts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bengtson, S; Ivarsson, M; Astolfo, A; Belivanova, V; Broman, C; Marone, F; Stampanoni, M

    2014-11-01

    The deep biosphere of the subseafloor crust is believed to contain a significant part of Earth's biomass, but because of the difficulties of directly observing the living organisms, its composition and ecology are poorly known. We report here a consortium of fossilized prokaryotic and eukaryotic micro-organisms, occupying cavities in deep-drilled vesicular basalt from the Emperor Seamounts, Pacific Ocean, 67.5 m below seafloor (mbsf). Fungal hyphae provide the framework on which prokaryote-like organisms are suspended like cobwebs and iron-oxidizing bacteria form microstromatolites (Frutexites). The spatial inter-relationships show that the organisms were living at the same time in an integrated fashion, suggesting symbiotic interdependence. The community is contemporaneous with secondary mineralizations of calcite partly filling the cavities. The fungal hyphae frequently extend into the calcite, indicating that they were able to bore into the substrate through mineral dissolution. A symbiotic relationship with chemoautotrophs, as inferred for the observed consortium, may be a pre-requisite for the eukaryotic colonization of crustal rocks. Fossils thus open a window to the extant as well as the ancient deep biosphere.

  12. Is the genetic landscape of the deep subsurface biosphere affected by viruses?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, Rika E; Brazelton, William J; Baross, John A

    2011-01-01

    Viruses are powerful manipulators of microbial diversity, biogeochemistry, and evolution in the marine environment. Viruses can directly influence the genetic capabilities and the fitness of their hosts through the use of fitness factors and through horizontal gene transfer. However, the impact of viruses on microbial ecology and evolution is often overlooked in studies of the deep subsurface biosphere. Subsurface habitats connected to hydrothermal vent systems are characterized by constant fluid flux, dynamic environmental variability, and high microbial diversity. In such conditions, high adaptability would be an evolutionary asset, and the potential for frequent host-virus interactions would be high, increasing the likelihood that cellular hosts could acquire novel functions. Here, we review evidence supporting this hypothesis, including data indicating that microbial communities in subsurface hydrothermal fluids are exposed to a high rate of viral infection, as well as viral metagenomic data suggesting that the vent viral assemblage is particularly enriched in genes that facilitate horizontal gene transfer and host adaptability. Therefore, viruses are likely to play a crucial role in facilitating adaptability to the extreme conditions of these regions of the deep subsurface biosphere. We also discuss how these results might apply to other regions of the deep subsurface, where the nature of virus-host interactions would be altered, but possibly no less important, compared to more energetic hydrothermal systems.

  13. Root structural and functional dynamics in terrestrial biosphere models--evaluation and recommendations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Warren, Jeffrey M; Hanson, Paul J; Iversen, Colleen M; Kumar, Jitendra; Walker, Anthony P; Wullschleger, Stan D

    2015-01-01

    There is wide breadth of root function within ecosystems that should be considered when modeling the terrestrial biosphere. Root structure and function are closely associated with control of plant water and nutrient uptake from the soil, plant carbon (C) assimilation, partitioning and release to the soils, and control of biogeochemical cycles through interactions within the rhizosphere. Root function is extremely dynamic and dependent on internal plant signals, root traits and morphology, and the physical, chemical and biotic soil environment. While plant roots have significant structural and functional plasticity to changing environmental conditions, their dynamics are noticeably absent from the land component of process-based Earth system models used to simulate global biogeochemical cycling. Their dynamic representation in large-scale models should improve model veracity. Here, we describe current root inclusion in models across scales, ranging from mechanistic processes of single roots to parameterized root processes operating at the landscape scale. With this foundation we discuss how existing and future root functional knowledge, new data compilation efforts, and novel modeling platforms can be leveraged to enhance root functionality in large-scale terrestrial biosphere models by improving parameterization within models, and introducing new components such as dynamic root distribution and root functional traits linked to resource extraction.

  14. Atmospheric pressure as a natural climate regulator for a terrestrial planet with a biosphere.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, King-Fai; Pahlevan, Kaveh; Kirschvink, Joseph L; Yung, Yuk L

    2009-06-16

    Lovelock and Whitfield suggested in 1982 that, as the luminosity of the Sun increases over its life cycle, biologically enhanced silicate weathering is able to reduce the concentration of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO(2)) so that the Earth's surface temperature is maintained within an inhabitable range. As this process continues, however, between 100 and 900 million years (Ma) from now the CO(2) concentration will reach levels too low for C(3) and C(4) photosynthesis, signaling the end of the solar-powered biosphere. Here, we show that atmospheric pressure is another factor that adjusts the global temperature by broadening infrared absorption lines of greenhouse gases. A simple model including the reduction of atmospheric pressure suggests that the life span of the biosphere can be extended at least 2.3 Ga into the future, more than doubling previous estimates. This has important implications for seeking extraterrestrial life in the Universe. Space observations in the infrared region could test the hypothesis that atmospheric pressure regulates the surface temperature on extrasolar planets.

  15. Increased biotic metabolism of the biosphere inferred from observed data and models

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2000-01-01

    A 35 year record of production and respiration in the Northern Hemisphere bas been derived from monthly records of atmospheric concentration, fossil fuel combustion, and oceanic absorption of carbon dioxide using a method developed by Hall et al. The original conclusion of Hall et al. that there was no significant change in biotic metabolism, is confirmed by measuring both production and respiration from 1958 to 1972. But the analysis of the subsequent record shows that both production and respiration have been enhanced since the early 1970s by some large scale global change, probably of human origin. Our results also show that high-latitude regions in the Northern Hemisphere are changing more than regions further south. Nevertheless, the ratio of production to respiration (P/R) remains unchanged during the time period examined. Thus, no argument can be made for net carbon storage of or release from the biosphere from this analysis, although the turnover rate of the biosphere appears to be enhanced.

  16. Increased biotic metabolism of the biosphere inferred from observed data and models

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    田汉勤[1; CharlesA.S.Hall[2; 叶琦[3

    2000-01-01

    A 35 year record ot production and respiration in tne Northern Hemisphere bas been derived from monthly records of atmospheric concentration, fossil fuel combustion, and oceanic absorption of carbon dioxide using a method developed by Hall et al. The original conclusion of Hall et al. that there was no significant change in biotic metabolism, is confirmed by measuring both production and respiration from 1958 to 1972. But the analysis of the subsequent record shows that both production and respiration have been enhanced since the early 1970s by some large scale global change, probably of human origin. Our results also show that high-latitude regions in the Northern Hemisphere are changing more than regions further south. Nevertheless, the ratio of production to respiration (P/R) remains unchanged during the time period examined. Thus, no argument can be made for net carbon storage of or release from the biosphere from this analysis, although the turnover rate of the biosphere appears to be enhanced.

  17. Biosphere modelling for dose assessments of radioactive waste repositories. Final report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Klos, R. [Paul Scherrer Inst., Wuerenlingen (Switzerland)] [and others

    1996-09-01

    The aims of the Complementary Studies Working Group were: to investigate and explain differences which exist between contemporary models with respect to how, for a given test case, they represent the modelled Features, Events and Processes (FEPs) and how the nature of these representations affects the calculational end-points; to determine the most appropriate ways of representing key FEPs; to identify where knowledge needs to be improved to give better representations of these key FEPs in the future and where simplifications of existing formulations might be possible; to show that the modelling undertaken is suitable for purpose, in that it is robust and that it is unlikely that the radiological consequences calculated by the models would be underestimated (so that any conservative bias in the models is justified); to build confidence in the available modelling tools; to extend the work undertaken in the first phase of BIOMOVS to include consideration of radiological dose. Ten modelling groups from Western Europe and Canada have participated, revealing a variety of representations of radionuclide transport processes and techniques for calculating dose. The exercise has focused on the ways in which key FEPs are represented with the intention of determining the robustness or otherwise of existing representations. This has been achieved by applying a well defined dataset representative of a Central European inland valley. Human habits and lifestyle are chosen to be representative of a subsistence agricultural community. Climatic conditions are those of the present day. Many of the conclusions have relevance beyond the immediate concerns of the Central European biospheres and, although care should be exercised when terms of reference differ greatly from the system detailed here, much has been learned which has wider applicability. The exercise has successfully compared not only the behaviour of biosphere models for waste disposal assessments, but has also provided the

  18. A model of accumulation of radionuclides in biosphere originating from groundwater contamination

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gaerdenaes, Annemieke [Swedish Univ. of Agricultural Sciences, Uppsala (Sweden). Dept. of Soil Sciences; Jansson, Per-Erik; Karlberg, Louise [Royal Inst. of Technology, Stockholm (Sweden). Dept. Land and Water Resources

    2006-03-15

    The objective of this study is to introduce a module in CoupModel describing the transport and accumulation in the biosphere of a radionuclide originating from a ground water contamination. Two model approaches describing the plant uptake of a radionuclide were included, namely passive and active uptake. Passive uptake means in this study that the root uptake rate of a radionuclide is governed by water uptake. Normal mechanism for the passive water uptake is the convective flux of water from the soil to the plant. An example of element taken up passively is Ca. Active plant uptake is in this model defined as the root uptake rate of a radionuclide that is governed by carbon assimilation i.e. photosynthesis and plant growth. The actively taken up element can for example be an element essential to plant, but not available in high enough concentration by passive uptake alone, like the major nutrients N and P or an element that very well resembles a plant nutrient, like Cs resembles K. Active uptake of trace element may occur alone or in addition to passive uptake. Normal mechanism for the active uptake is molecular diffusion from the soil solution to the roots or via any other organism living in symbiosis with the roots like the mycorrhiza. Also a model approach describing adsorption was introduced. CoupModel dynamically couples and simulates the flows of water, heat, carbon and nitrogen in the soil/plant/atmosphere system. Any number of plants may be defined and are divided into roots, leaves, stem and grain. The soil is considered in one vertical profile that may be represented into a maximum of 100 layers. The model is the windows-successor and integrated version of the DOS-models SOIL and SOILN, which have been widely used on different ecosystems and climate regions during 25 years time period. To this soil/plant/atmosphere model were introduced a module describing accumulation of a radionuclide in the biosphere originating from groundwater contamination. The

  19. Between land and sea: divergent data stewardship practices in deep-sea biosphere research

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cummings, R.; Darch, P.

    2013-12-01

    Data in deep-sea biosphere research often live a double life. While the original data generated on IODP expeditions are highly structured, professionally curated, and widely shared, the downstream data practices of deep-sea biosphere laboratories are far more localized and ad hoc. These divergent data practices make it difficult to track the provenance of datasets from the cruise ships to the laboratory or to integrate IODP data with laboratory data. An in-depth study of the divergent data practices in deep-sea biosphere research allows us to: - Better understand the social and technical forces that shape data stewardship throughout the data lifecycle; - Develop policy, infrastructure, and best practices to improve data stewardship in small labs; - Track provenance of datasets from IODP cruises to labs and publications; - Create linkages between laboratory findings, cruise data, and IODP samples. In this paper, we present findings from the first year of a case study of the Center for Dark Energy Biosphere Investigations (C-DEBI), an NSF Science and Technology Center that studies life beneath the seafloor. Our methods include observation in laboratories, interviews, document analysis, and participation in scientific meetings. Our research uncovers the data stewardship norms of geologists, biologists, chemists, and hydrologists conducting multi-disciplinary research. Our research team found that data stewardship on cruises is a clearly defined task performed by an IODP curator, while downstream it is a distributed task that develops in response to local need and to the extent necessary for the immediate research team. IODP data are expensive to collect and challenging to obtain, often costing $50,000/day and requiring researchers to work twelve hours a day onboard the ships. To maximize this research investment, a highly trained IODP data curator controls data stewardship on the cruise and applies best practices such as standardized formats, proper labeling, and

  20. Geospatial assessment and monitoring of historical forest cover changes (1920-2012) in Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve, Western Ghats, India.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Satish, K V; Saranya, K R L; Reddy, C Sudhakar; Krishna, P Hari; Jha, C S; Rao, P V V Prasada

    2014-12-01

    Deforestation in the biosphere reserves, which are key Protected Areas has negative impacts on biodiversity, climate, carbon fluxes and livelihoods. Comprehensive study of deforestation in biosphere reserves is required to assess the impact of the management effectiveness. This article assesses the changes in forest cover in various zones and protected areas of Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve, the first declared biosphere reserve in India which forms part of Western Ghats-a global biodiversity hotspot. In this study, we have mapped the forests from earliest available topographical maps and multi-temporal satellite data spanning from 1920's to 2012 period. Mapping of spatial extent of forest cover, vegetation types and land cover was carried out using visual interpretation technique. A grid cell of 1 km × 1 km was generated for time series change analysis to understand the patterns in spatial distribution of forest cover (1920-1973-1989-1999-2006-2012). The total forest area of biosphere reserve was found to be 5,806.5 km(2) (93.8 % of total geographical area) in 1920. Overall loss of forest cover was estimated as 1,423.6 km(2) (24.5 % of the total forest) with reference to 1920. Among the six Protected Areas, annual deforestation rate of >0.5 was found in Wayanad wildlife sanctuary during 1920-1973. The deforestation in Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve is mainly attributed to conversion of forests to plantations and agriculture along with submergence due to construction of dams during 1920 to 1989. Grid wise analysis indicates that 851 grids have undergone large-scale negative changes of >75 ha of forest loss during 1920-1973 while, only 15 grids have shown >75 ha loss during 1973-1989. Annual net rate of deforestation for the period of 1920 to 1973 was calculated as 0.5 followed by 0.1 for 1973 to 1989. Our analysis shows that there was large-scale deforestation before the declaration of area as biosphere reserve in 1986; however, the deforestation has drastically

  1. Advancing subsurface biosphere and paleoclimate research: ECORD–ICDP–DCO–J-DESC–MagellanPlus Workshop Series Program Report

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mills, H.L.; de Leeuw, J.; Hinrichs, K.-U.; Inagaki, F.; Kallmeyer, J.

    2015-01-01

    The proper pre-drilling preparation, on-site acquisition and post-drilling preservation of high-qualitysubsurface samples are crucial to ensure significant progress in the scientifically and societally important areasof subsurface biosphere and paleoclimate research. Two of the four research themes

  2. The nonlinear effects of evolutionary innovation biospheric feedbacks on qualitative environmental change: from the microbial to metazoan world.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kennedy, Martin

    2013-05-01

    The biomass of living organisms hosts only a small portion of the elemental abundance at the surface of the Earth, yet biology plays a defining role in the composition and stability of the biosphere by acting on sensitive geochemical feedbacks controlling global element cycles. This type of influence is evident in a class of evolutionary innovations that have a profoundly disproportionate effect on the biosphere, referred to here as evolutionary innovation biospheric feedbacks (EIBFs). A particular biological innovation need not be complex, rather its influence is amplified by its effect on geochemical feedbacks controlling elemental cycling. The lead-up to the metazoan radiation (~585 million years ago) provides an example of such an EIBF. While commonly attributed to an increase in free oxygen concentration, the reason for this step increase in O2 almost 2 billion years after the advent of oxygenic photosynthesis is traced to a seemingly unrelated evolutionary innovation resulting in a critical by-product of the first soils: secondary clay minerals. Detrital clay minerals deposited in continental margin sediments sequester organic carbon compounds and thus prevent consumption of atmospheric oxygen produced during photosynthesis. The transition from the abiotic to biotic land surface at the end of the Precambrian shifted biogeochemical cycling to this terrestrial-dominated modern mode that enabled sufficient oxygenation of the biosphere to trigger the metazoan radiation.

  3. Human Migration and Agricultural Expansion: An Impending Threat to the Maya Biosphere Reserve

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sader, Steven; Reining, Conard; Sever, Thomas L.; Soza, Carlos

    1997-01-01

    Evidence is presented of the current threats to the Maya Biosphere Reserve in northern Guatemala as derived through time-series Landsat Thematic Mapper observations and analysis. Estimates of deforestation rates and trends are examined for different management units within the reserve and buffer zones. The satellite imagery was used to quantify and monitor rates, patterns, and trends of forest clearing during a time period corresponding to new road construction and significant human migration into the newly accessible forest region. Satellite imagery is appropriate technology in a vast and remote tropical region where aerial photography and extensive field-based methods are not cost-effective and current, timely data is essential for establishing conservation priorities.

  4. Changing glacial lakes and associated outburst floods risks in Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve, Indian Himalaya

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mal, S.; Singh, R. B.

    2014-09-01

    Glacial lakes and associated outburst floods (GLOFs) have increased in the Himalayan region due to climate change during the last century that has led to huge losses to society. Therefore, the present study was undertaken to map glacial lakes, their increasing extent, and associated damage potential in Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve (NDBR), Indian Himalaya. The glacial lakes were mapped on Landsat TM (3 November, 2009 and 6 November 2010) and Landsat MSS satellite images (15 November 1976 and 26 October 1979) to assess their changing area. Potential GLOFs sites have been identified and studied for their damage potentials using site characteristics and past occurrence of GLOFs. A total of 35 lakes were mapped, of which 14 lakes are located at more than 4500 m. The size and damage potentials of lakes have increased. Some lakes grew so much that they merged to form a big lake. All of these are potential GLOFs and can cause severe damage to society.

  5. Social structure of lions (Panthera leo) is affected by management in Pendjari Biosphere Reserve, Benin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sogbohossou, Etotépé A; Bauer, Hans; Loveridge, Andrew; Funston, Paul J; De Snoo, Geert R; Sinsin, Brice; De Iongh, Hans H

    2014-01-01

    Lion populations have undergone a severe decline in West Africa. As baseline for conservation management, we assessed the group structure of lions in the Pendjari Biosphere Reserve in Benin. This reserve, composed of one National Park and two Hunting Zones, is part of the WAP transboundary complex of protected areas. Overall mean group size was 2.6±1.7 individuals (n = 296), it was significantly higher in the National Park (2.7±1.7, n = 168) than in the Hunting Zones (2.2±1.5, n = 128). Overall adult sex ratio was even, but significantly biased towards females (0.67) in the National Park and towards males (1.67) in the Hunting Zones. Our results suggest that the Pendjari lion population is affected by perturbations, such as trophy hunting.

  6. Biospheric Life Support - integrating biological regeneration into protection of humans in space.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rocha, Mauricio; Iha, Koshun

    2016-07-01

    A biosphere stands for a set of biomes (regional biological communities) interacting in a materially closed (though energetically open) ecological system (CES). Earth's biosphere, the thin layer of life on the planet's surface, can be seen as a natural CES- where life "consumables" are regenerated/restored via biological, geological and chemical processes. In Life Sciences, artificial CESs- local ecosystems extracts with varying scales and degrees of closure, are considered convenient/representatives objects of study. For outer space, these concepts have been applied to the issue of life support- a significant consideration as long as distance from Earth increases. In the nineties, growing on the Russian expertise on biological life support, backed by a multidisciplinary science team, the famous Biosphere 2 appeared. That private project innovated, by assembling a set of Earth biomes samples- plus an organic ag one, inside a closed Mars base-like structure, next to 1.5 ha under glass, in Arizona, US. The crew of 8 inside completed their two years contract, though facing setbacks- the system failed, e.g., to produce enough food/air supplies. But their "failures"- if this word can be fairly applied to science endeavors, were as meaningful as their achievements for the future of life support systems (LSS) research. By this period, the Russians had accumulated experience in extended orbital stays, achieving biological outcomes inside their stations- e.g. complete wheat cycles. After reaching the Moon, the US administration decided to change national priorities, putting the space program as part of a "détente" policy, to relieve international tensions. Alongside the US space shuttle program, the Russians were invited to join the new International Space Station (ISS), bringing to that pragmatic project, also their physical/chemical LSS- top air/water regenerative technology at the time. Present US policy keeps the ISS operational, extending its service past its planned

  7. Impact of a global warming on biospheric sources of methane and its climatic consequences

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hameed, S.; Cess, R. D.

    1980-01-01

    Most of atmospheric methane originates by bacterial processes in anaerobic environments within the soil which are found to become more productive with increases in ambient temperature. A warming of climate, due to increasing levels of industrial gases resulting from fossil fuel burning, is thus likely to increase methane abundance within the atmosphere. This may lead to further heating of the atmosphere, since both methane and ozone (which is generated in the troposphere from reactions of methane) have greenhouse effects. This feedback mechanism has been explored with the use of a coupled climate-chemical model of the troposphere, by the calculation of the impact of the predicted global warming due to increased emissions of carbon dioxide and other industrial gases on the biospheric sources of methane.

  8. Developments in radiological assessment and biosphere modelling studies to support radioactive waste disposal in Spain

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Perez-Sanchez, D. [Centro de Investigaciones Energeticas, Medioambientales y Tecnologicas - CIEMAT (Spain); Thorne, M. [Mike Thorne and Associates Limited (United States)

    2014-07-01

    Long-term safety assessments for the disposal of radioactive waste in Spain involve the demonstration that annual radiation doses to humans due to potential releases of radionuclides from the waste disposal facility into the biosphere will satisfy the regulatory criteria. For several years, CIEMAT has been developing, for ENRESA, a conceptual approach and tool to support modelling of the migration and accumulation of radionuclides within environmental media once those radionuclides have been released to some component of the biosphere (atmosphere, water bodies or soils). The CIEMAT modelling approach calculates the concentrations of radionuclides in different components of the biosphere and then the calculated radionuclide concentrations are used to estimate the radiation doses to humans due to various exposure paths. In this paper, we not only describe the methodology and modelling approach, we also describe recent developments of that approach to better quantify the resultant doses to humans. First, we present recent developments in the mathematical model for the behaviour of {sup 79}Se and {sup 238}U-series radionuclides in soils and their uptake by plants, taking into account seasonal variations in soil hydrology in Spain. Initial studies with the model that are reported here demonstrate that it is a powerful tool for exploring the behaviour of redox-sensitive radionuclides and {sup 238}U decay chain members in soil-plant systems under different hydrological regimes. In particular, it permits studies of the degree to which secular equilibrium assumptions are appropriate when modelling the {sup 238}U decay chain. Further studies are currently being undertaken examining sensitivities of model results to input parameter values and also applying the model to sites contaminated with {sup 238}U-series radionuclides. It is anticipated that results from these studies will also be reported. A particular interest in biosphere safety assessment is how environmental

  9. The first case of anoxia in waters of the Far East Marine Biosphere Reserve

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stunzhas, P. A.; Tishchenko, P. Ya.; Ivin, V. V.; Barabanshchikov, Yu. A.; Volkova, T. I.; Vyshkvartsev, D. I.; Zvalinskii, V. I.; Mikhailik, T. A.; Semkin, P. Ju.; Tishchenko, P. P.; Khodorenko, N. D.; Shvetsova, M. G.; Golovchenko, F. M.

    2016-03-01

    In August 2013, anoxia of the bottom waters was established in the southern region of the Far East Marine Biosphere Reserve, Far East Branch, Russian Academy of Science, in the depression between Furugelm Island and coastal waters. Death of the benthic community was registered using a remotely operated underwater vehicle. The hydrochemical studies revealed that the area of the absence and/or presence of low oxygen contents corresponds to an area of anomalously high contents of ammonium, phosphates, and silicates, a high partial pressure of carbon dioxide and normalized alkalinity, and the presence of hydrogen sulfide. The microbiological decomposition of diatoms precipitated on the seafloor in the absence of oxygen regeneration was the reason for anoxia. Its formation in summer of 2013 was caused by anomalously abundant precipitates in the Far East.

  10. Interrelationship between Kubu trible people and plant resources at the Bukit Duabelas biosphere reserve, Jambi

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    FRANCISCA MURTI SETYOWATI

    2003-01-01

    Full Text Available Indonesia consists of hundreds of tribe, one of them which is dwelled in the Bukit Duabelas Biosphere Reserve in Jambi, the Kubu tribe (Anak Dalam tribe. Their daily living is very dependent upon the native surrounding. The results of interviews during the research with the figure or tribe-head (Temenggung and Kubu tribe member, indicated that at least 193 plant species recorded. These plants were used as food (69 species, construction materials (42 species, medicines (39 species, house hold utensils (11 species, dye (1 species, latex producing plants (5 species, for ritual materials (9 species, and others (15 species. How the customs and habits of Kubu tribe people manage and use of plant resources were discussed in this paper.

  11. The hidden seasonality of the rare biosphere in coastal marine bacterioplankton.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alonso-Sáez, Laura; Díaz-Pérez, Laura; Morán, Xosé Anxelu G

    2015-10-01

    Rare microbial taxa are increasingly recognized to play key ecological roles, but knowledge of their spatio-temporal dynamics is lacking. In a time-series study in coastal waters, we detected 83 bacterial lineages with significant seasonality, including environmentally relevant taxa where little ecological information was available. For example, Verrucomicrobia had recurrent maxima in summer, while the Flavobacteria NS4, NS5 and NS2b clades had contrasting seasonal niches. Among the seasonal taxa, only 4 were abundant and persistent, 20 cycled between rare and abundant and, remarkably, most of them (59) were always rare (contributing biosphere, hitherto mainly characterized by dormancy and episodes of 'boom and bust', as envisioned by the seed-bank hypothesis. The predictable patterns of seasonal reoccurrence are relevant for understanding the ecology of rare bacteria, which may include key players for the functioning of marine ecosystems.

  12. Social structure of lions (Panthera leo is affected by management in Pendjari Biosphere Reserve, Benin.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Etotépé A Sogbohossou

    Full Text Available Lion populations have undergone a severe decline in West Africa. As baseline for conservation management, we assessed the group structure of lions in the Pendjari Biosphere Reserve in Benin. This reserve, composed of one National Park and two Hunting Zones, is part of the WAP transboundary complex of protected areas. Overall mean group size was 2.6±1.7 individuals (n = 296, it was significantly higher in the National Park (2.7±1.7, n = 168 than in the Hunting Zones (2.2±1.5, n = 128. Overall adult sex ratio was even, but significantly biased towards females (0.67 in the National Park and towards males (1.67 in the Hunting Zones. Our results suggest that the Pendjari lion population is affected by perturbations, such as trophy hunting.

  13. The response of the terrestrial biosphere to urbanization: land cover conversion, climate, and urban pollution

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    K. Trusilova

    2008-11-01

    Full Text Available Although urban areas occupy a relatively small fraction of land, they produce major disturbances of the carbon cycle through land use change, climate modification, and atmospheric pollution. In this study we quantify effects of urban areas on the carbon cycle in Europe. Among urbanization-driven environmental changes, which influence carbon sequestration in the terrestrial biosphere, we account for: (1 proportion of land covered by impervious materials, (2 local urban meteorological conditions, (3 urban high CO2 concentrations, and (4 elevated atmospheric nitrogen deposition. We use the terrestrial ecosystem model BIOME-BGC to estimate fluxes of carbon exchange between the biosphere and the atmosphere in response to these urban factors.

    We analysed four urbanization-driven changes individually, setting up our model in such a way that only one of the four was active at a time. From these model simulations we found that fertilization effects from the elevated CO2 and the atmospheric nitrogen deposition made the strongest positive contributions to the carbon uptake (0.023 Pg C year−1 and 0.039 Pg C year−1, respectively, whereas, the impervious urban land and local urban meteorological conditions resulted in a reduction of carbon uptake (−0.005 Pg C year−1 and −0.007 Pg C year−1, respectively. The synergetic effect of the four urbanization-induced changes was an increase of the carbon sequestration in Europe of 0.058 Pg C year−1.

  14. Biodiversity, biosphere reserves, and the Big Apple: a study of the New York Metropolitan Region.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Solecki, William D; Rosenzweig, Cynthia

    2004-06-01

    The objectives of this article were to assess the dimensions of biodiversity-urban society interactions within the New York Metropolitan Region, a 31-county area with a population of 21.5 million, and to explore pathways to reconcile dysfunctional relationships between these two ever-entwined systems. The article builds on the premise that urban biodiversity exists at a crucial nexus of ecological and societal interactions, linking local, regional, and global scales, and that urban ecologies are projected to become even more dynamic in the future, particularly as a result of global climate change. The pathway proposed to reconcile the biodiversity-urban society relationships is the incorporation of biosphere reserve strategies into regional environmental planning efforts focused on the New York/New Jersey Harbor/Estuary specifically and on the greater New York Metropolitan Region in general. The concepts of the "ecological footprint" and vulnerability to global environmental change are used to analyze the current interactions between biodiversity and urban society, and to evaluate the efficacy of adopting biosphere reserve strategies in the region. New York has long been at the forefront of American environmentalism and landscape planning. Coupled with this history is a still small but growing interest in regional environmental planning efforts (e.g., the U.S. EPA Harbor Estuary Program) and green infrastructure (e.g., the 2002 Humane Metropolis Conference organized by the Ecological Cities Project). The research presented here aims to contribute to these nascent activities. As a megacity, New York may serve as a model for other major cities of the world.

  15. Does Aspartic Acid Racemization Constrain the Depth Limit of the Subsurface Biosphere?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Onstott, T C.; Magnabosco, C.; Aubrey, A. D.; Burton, A. S.; Dworkin, J. P.; Elsila, J. E.; Grunsfeld, S.; Cao, B. H.; Hein, J. E.; Glavin, D. P.; Kieft, T. L.; Silver, B. J.; Phelps, T. J.; Heerden, E. Van; Opperman, D. J.; Bada, J. L.

    2013-01-01

    Previous studies of the subsurface biosphere have deduced average cellular doubling times of hundreds to thousands of years based upon geochemical models. We have directly constrained the in situ average cellular protein turnover or doubling times for metabolically active micro-organisms based on cellular amino acid abundances, D/L values of cellular aspartic acid, and the in vivo aspartic acid racemization rate. Application of this method to planktonic microbial communities collected from deep fractures in South Africa yielded maximum cellular amino acid turnover times of approximately 89 years for 1 km depth and 27 C and 1-2 years for 3 km depth and 54 C. The latter turnover times are much shorter than previously estimated cellular turnover times based upon geochemical arguments. The aspartic acid racemization rate at higher temperatures yields cellular protein doubling times that are consistent with the survival times of hyperthermophilic strains and predicts that at temperatures of 85 C, cells must replace proteins every couple of days to maintain enzymatic activity. Such a high maintenance requirement may be the principal limit on the abundance of living micro-organisms in the deep, hot subsurface biosphere, as well as a potential limit on their activity. The measurement of the D/L of aspartic acid in biological samples is a potentially powerful tool for deep, fractured continental and oceanic crustal settings where geochemical models of carbon turnover times are poorly constrained. Experimental observations on the racemization rates of aspartic acid in living thermophiles and hyperthermophiles could test this hypothesis. The development of corrections for cell wall peptides and spores will be required, however, to improve the accuracy of these estimates for environmental samples.

  16. Does aspartic acid racemization constrain the depth limit of the subsurface biosphere?

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Onstott, T. C. [Princeton University; Aubrey, A.D. [Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA; Kieft, T L [New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology; Silver, B J [Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA; Phelps, Tommy Joe [ORNL; Van Heerden, E. [University of the Free State; Opperman, D. J. [University of the Free State; Bada, J L. [Geosciences Research Division, Scripps Instition of Oceanography, Univesity of California San Diego,

    2014-01-01

    Previous studies of the subsurface biosphere have deduced average cellular doubling times of hundreds to thousands of years based upon geochemical models. We have directly constrained the in situ average cellular protein turnover or doubling times for metabolically active micro-organisms based on cellular amino acid abundances, D/L values of cellular aspartic acid, and the in vivo aspartic acid racemization rate. Application of this method to planktonic microbial communities collected from deep fractures in South Africa yielded maximum cellular amino acid turnover times of ~89 years for 1 km depth and 27 C and 1 2 years for 3 km depth and 54 C. The latter turnover times are much shorter than previously estimated cellular turnover times based upon geochemical arguments. The aspartic acid racemization rate at higher temperatures yields cellular protein doubling times that are consistent with the survival times of hyperthermophilic strains and predicts that at temperatures of 85 C, cells must replace proteins every couple of days to maintain enzymatic activity. Such a high maintenance requirement may be the principal limit on the abundance of living micro-organisms in the deep, hot subsurface biosphere, as well as a potential limit on their activity. The measurement of the D/L of aspartic acid in biological samples is a potentially powerful tool for deep, fractured continental and oceanic crustal settings where geochemical models of carbon turnover times are poorly constrained. Experimental observations on the racemization rates of aspartic acid in living thermophiles and hyperthermophiles could test this hypothesis. The development of corrections for cell wall peptides and spores will be required, however, to improve the accuracy of these estimates for environmental samples.

  17. The biosphere at Forsmark. Data, assumptions and models used in the SR-Can assessment

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Karlsson, Sara; Kautsky, Ulrik; Loefgren, Anders; Soederbaeck, Bjoern (eds.)

    2006-10-15

    This report summarises the method adopted for safety assessment following a radionuclide release into the biosphere. The approach utilises the information about the site as far as possible and presents a way of calculating risk to humans. The parameters are topography, where there is good understanding of the present conditions and the development over time is fairly predictable. The topography affects surface hydrology, sedimentation, size of drainage areas and the characteristics of ecosystems. Other parameters are human nutritional intake, which is assumed to be constant over time, and primary production (photosynthesis), which also is a fairly constant parameter over time. The Landscape Dose Factor approach (LDF) gives an integrated measure for the site and also resolves the issues relating to the size of the group with highest exposure. If this approach is widely accepted as method, still some improvements and refinement are necessary, e.g. collecting missing site data, reanalysing site data, reviewing radionuclide specific data, reformulating ecosystem models and evaluating the results with further sensitivity analysis. The report presents descriptions and estimates not presented elsewhere, as well as summaries of important steps in the biosphere modelling that are presented in more detail in separate reports. The intention is to give the reader a coherent description of the steps taken to calculate doses to biota and humans, including a description of the data used, the rationale for a number of assumptions made during parameterisation, and of how the landscape context is applied in the modelling, and also to present the models used and the results obtained.

  18. Raised UV-B Stress at the Time of the end-Permian Biosphere Crisis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Visscher, H.; Brinkhuis, H.; Kuerschner, W.; Looy, C.; Van Konijnenburg - Van Cittert, J.

    2001-12-01

    It is likely that the Phanerozoic biosphere has been exposed to recurrent episodes of elevated UV-B radiation caused by ozone depletion events. Natural phenomena that have the potential to disrupt the stratospheric ozone balance include asteroid or comet impacts and large-scale volcanism. However, while UV-B exposure has long been known to be damaging to life, no distinctive UV-B effects have so far been detected in the fossil record of terrestrial and aquatic organisms. Notably land plants display a wide variety of biochemical and morphological responses to enhanced UV-B exposure. Adverse effects of UV-B stress on photosynthesis, growth and development of plants are largely due to altered gene action. Progressive increase in mutation rates indicates that UV-B enhancement can generate genomic instability of plant populations. Among fossil remains of land plants, only successive assemblages of dispersed spores and pollen may provide the sample size and stratigraphic spacing needed to recognize morphological traits that could indicate enhanced mutation. In spores and pollen of recent plants, mutational effects can be reflected morphologically by abnormal variation in overall shape and size, disorganized wall structure and/or the presence of permanent tetrads in which individual microspores have failed to separate from one another during sporogenesis. On the basis of spore/pollen records from Europe, North America, Asia and Africa, we document the worldwide proliferation of dispersed tetrads of microspores of heterosporous lycopsids that occurred in conjunction with the dramatic end-Permian biosphere crisis. This conspicuous `tetrad event' may reflect an episode of raised UV-B stress, resulting from ozone depletion induced by outgassing of volatile halocarbons at the time of emplacement of voluminous doleritic intrusives in organic-rich Paleozoic deposits in Siberia.

  19. Management Effectiveness and Land Cover Change in Dynamic Cultural Landscapes - Assessing a Central European Biosphere Reserve

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bettina Ohnesorge

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Protected areas are a central pillar of efforts to safeguard biodiversity and ecosystem services, but their contribution to the conservation and management of European cultural landscapes that have complex spatial-temporal dynamics is unclear. The conservation strategy of biosphere reserves aims at integrating biodiversity and ecosystem service conservation with economic development by designating zones of differing protection and use intensities. It is applied worldwide to protect and manage valuable cultural landscapes. Using the example of a German biosphere reserve, we developed a framework to assess the effectiveness of Central European reserves in meeting their land cover related management goals. Based on digital biotope maps, we defined and assessed land cover change processes that were relevant to the reserve management's goals over a period of 13 years. We then compared these changes in the reserve's core, buffer, and transition zones and in a surrounding reference area by means of a geographical information system. (Un-desirable key processes related to management aims were defined and compared for the various zones. We found that - despite an overall land cover persistence of approximately 85% across all zones - differences in land cover changes can be more prominent across zones inside the reserve than between the areas inside and outside of it. The reserve as a whole performed better than the surrounding reference area when using land cover related management goals as a benchmark. However, some highly desirable targets, such as the conversion of coniferous plantations into seminatural forests or the gain of valuable biotope types, affected larger areas in the nonprotected reference area than in the transition zone.

  20. A quantitative approach for comparing modeled biospheric carbon flux estimates across regional scales

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    D. N. Huntzinger

    2010-10-01

    Full Text Available Given the large differences between biospheric model estimates of regional carbon exchange, there is a need to understand and reconcile the predicted spatial variability of fluxes across models. This paper presents a set of quantitative tools that can be applied for comparing flux estimates in light of the inherent differences in model formulation. The presented methods include variogram analysis, variable selection, and geostatistical regression. These methods are evaluated in terms of their ability to assess and identify differences in spatial variability in flux estimates across North America among a small subset of models, as well as differences in the environmental drivers that appear to have the greatest control over the spatial variability of predicted fluxes. The examined models are the Simple Biosphere (SiB 3.0, Carnegie Ames Stanford Approach (CASA, and CASA coupled with the Global Fire Emissions Database (CASA GFEDv2, and the analyses are performed on model-predicted net ecosystem exchange, gross primary production, and ecosystem respiration. Variogram analysis reveals consistent seasonal differences in spatial variability among modeled fluxes at a 1°×1° spatial resolution. However, significant differences are observed in the overall magnitude of the carbon flux spatial variability across models, in both net ecosystem exchange and component fluxes. Results of the variable selection and geostatistical regression analyses suggest fundamental differences between the models in terms of the factors that control the spatial variability of predicted flux. For example, carbon flux is more strongly correlated with percent land cover in CASA GFEDv2 than in SiB or CASA. Some of these factors can be linked back to model formulation, and would have been difficult to identify simply by comparing net fluxes between models. Overall, the quantitative approach presented here provides a set of tools for comparing predicted grid-scale fluxes across

  1. A systematic approach for comparing modeled biospheric carbon fluxes across regional scales

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    D. N. Huntzinger

    2011-06-01

    Full Text Available Given the large differences between biospheric model estimates of regional carbon exchange, there is a need to understand and reconcile the predicted spatial variability of fluxes across models. This paper presents a set of quantitative tools that can be applied to systematically compare flux estimates despite the inherent differences in model formulation. The presented methods include variogram analysis, variable selection, and geostatistical regression. These methods are evaluated in terms of their ability to assess and identify differences in spatial variability in flux estimates across North America among a small subset of models, as well as differences in the environmental drivers that best explain the spatial variability of predicted fluxes. The examined models are the Simple Biosphere (SiB 3.0, Carnegie Ames Stanford Approach (CASA, and CASA coupled with the Global Fire Emissions Database (CASA GFEDv2, and the analyses are performed on model-predicted net ecosystem exchange, gross primary production, and ecosystem respiration. Variogram analysis reveals consistent seasonal differences in spatial variability among modeled fluxes at a 1° × 1° spatial resolution. However, significant differences are observed in the overall magnitude of the carbon flux spatial variability across models, in both net ecosystem exchange and component fluxes. Results of the variable selection and geostatistical regression analyses suggest fundamental differences between the models in terms of the factors that explain the spatial variability of predicted flux. For example, carbon flux is more strongly correlated with percent land cover in CASA GFEDv2 than in SiB or CASA. Some of the differences in spatial patterns of estimated flux can be linked back to differences in model formulation, and would have been difficult to identify simply by comparing net fluxes between models. Overall, the systematic approach presented here provides a set of tools for comparing

  2. The importance of a Biosphere Reserve of Atlantic Forest for the conservation of stream fauna.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yoshida, C E; Uieda, V S

    2014-05-01

    Preservation of terrestrial fauna and flora has been the main reason for the settlement of most protected areas in the past 30 years, but although those areas may include water bodies, this does not necessarily mean that the biodiversity of freshwater environments are also protected. In the present study, the fauna inventory of eight streams (1st, 2nd, 4th and 5th orders) of three microbasins of Japi Mountain, a Biosphere Reserve of Atlantic Forest recognised by UNESCO since 1994, located in São Paulo state, southeast of Brazil, was conducted. The hypothesis of this study is that the conservation of this area is important for the maintenance of the aquatic biodiversity of this biome, and so, this world hotspot deserves priority conservation actions. From 2005 to 2007, benthic macroinvertebrates, fishes and, eventually, anuran amphibians were sampled in these streams. The results showed that Japi Mountain contributes to the conservation of 138 taxonomic units of the aquatic biota and covers a rich and representative biodiversity of freshwater fauna of the world (0.2%), Neotropical region (0.9%), Brazil (2.4%) and São Paulo state (17.9%). The studied streams in the Environmental Protection Area help protect endangered taxa like the fishes Neoplecostomus paranensis and Pareiorhina cf rudolphi, and shelter freshwater invertebrates and fishes whose distribution is restricted to the Brazilian territory. Japi Mountain is also an important haven of species that was missing there like the frog species Vitreorana eurygnatha. Thus, this species inventory emphasises the importance of conservation actions of the freshwater environments of this Biosphere Reserve of Atlantic Forest.

  3. Does aspartic acid racemization constrain the depth limit of the subsurface biosphere?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Onstott, T C; Magnabosco, C; Aubrey, A D; Burton, A S; Dworkin, J P; Elsila, J E; Grunsfeld, S; Cao, B H; Hein, J E; Glavin, D P; Kieft, T L; Silver, B J; Phelps, T J; van Heerden, E; Opperman, D J; Bada, J L

    2014-01-01

    Previous studies of the subsurface biosphere have deduced average cellular doubling times of hundreds to thousands of years based upon geochemical models. We have directly constrained the in situ average cellular protein turnover or doubling times for metabolically active micro-organisms based on cellular amino acid abundances, D/L values of cellular aspartic acid, and the in vivo aspartic acid racemization rate. Application of this method to planktonic microbial communities collected from deep fractures in South Africa yielded maximum cellular amino acid turnover times of ~89 years for 1 km depth and 27 °C and 1-2 years for 3 km depth and 54 °C. The latter turnover times are much shorter than previously estimated cellular turnover times based upon geochemical arguments. The aspartic acid racemization rate at higher temperatures yields cellular protein doubling times that are consistent with the survival times of hyperthermophilic strains and predicts that at temperatures of 85 °C, cells must replace proteins every couple of days to maintain enzymatic activity. Such a high maintenance requirement may be the principal limit on the abundance of living micro-organisms in the deep, hot subsurface biosphere, as well as a potential limit on their activity. The measurement of the D/L of aspartic acid in biological samples is a potentially powerful tool for deep, fractured continental and oceanic crustal settings where geochemical models of carbon turnover times are poorly constrained. Experimental observations on the racemization rates of aspartic acid in living thermophiles and hyperthermophiles could test this hypothesis. The development of corrections for cell wall peptides and spores will be required, however, to improve the accuracy of these estimates for environmental samples.

  4. Biosphere as an energy source and carbon trap; Die Biosphaere als Energiequelle und Kohlenstoffsenke

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Koerner, C. [Universitaet Basel (Switzerland). Botanisches Inst.

    2004-07-01

    Carbon is the material basis of life and also became the core of humanity's fossil fuel based energy system. Each year, mankind emits ca 1% additional CO{sub 2} into the atmospheric CO{sub 2} pool by fossil fuel burning and forest destruction. Part of this CO{sub 2} becomes diluted in ocean water, part is absorbed by plants, but 3 billion tons remain in the air, which already contains ca. 375 ppm of CO{sub 2}, one third more than at the beginning of the industrial revolution. In this contribution I discuss the possibilities to (I) substitute fossil by sustainably produced biofuels, (2) enhance carbon sequestration to the biosphere, and (3) to stimulate plant productivity by elevated CO{sub 2} concentrations. It is shown that in industrialized countries, the realistic bioenergy potential is rather limited (< 5%) and CO{sub 2}-stimulated productivity cannot change this significantly. By far the most effective biological measure to slow down atmospheric CO{sub 2} enrichment is the preservation of old growth forests. It is key to the whole carbon debate that it is the carbon pool size which matters and not the speed by which carbon is pumped through ecosystems or the biosphere. Afforestation and reforestation can never in a timely fashion compensate for the carbon release by logging and burning of existent forests. Extension of forest area is, however, an additional, though slow and one-time (not repeatable) important measure. There is experimental evidence that atmospheric CO{sub 2} enrichment is likely to enhance forest dynamics, particularly in the tropics (liana problem), which can lead to a reduction of this immense carbon reservoir. (orig.)

  5. Biosphere modelling for dose assessments of radioactive waste repositories. Final report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Klos, R. [Paul Scherrer Inst., Wuerenlingen (Switzerland)] [and others

    1996-09-01

    The aims of the Complementary Studies Working Group were: to investigate and explain differences which exist between contemporary models with respect to how, for a given test case, they represent the modelled Features, Events and Processes (FEPs) and how the nature of these representations affects the calculational end-points; to determine the most appropriate ways of representing key FEPs; to identify where knowledge needs to be improved to give better representations of these key FEPs in the future and where simplifications of existing formulations might be possible; to show that the modelling undertaken is suitable for purpose, in that it is robust and that it is unlikely that the radiological consequences calculated by the models would be underestimated (so that any conservative bias in the models is justified); to build confidence in the available modelling tools; to extend the work undertaken in the first phase of BIOMOVS to include consideration of radiological dose. Ten modelling groups from Western Europe and Canada have participated, revealing a variety of representations of radionuclide transport processes and techniques for calculating dose. The exercise has focused on the ways in which key FEPs are represented with the intention of determining the robustness or otherwise of existing representations. This has been achieved by applying a well defined dataset representative of a Central European inland valley. Human habits and lifestyle are chosen to be representative of a subsistence agricultural community. Climatic conditions are those of the present day. Many of the conclusions have relevance beyond the immediate concerns of the Central European biospheres and, although care should be exercised when terms of reference differ greatly from the system detailed here, much has been learned which has wider applicability. The exercise has successfully compared not only the behaviour of biosphere models for waste disposal assessments, but has also provided the

  6. Hillslope hydrology under glass: confronting fundamental questions of soil-water-biota co-evolution at Biosphere 2

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    P. A. Troch

    2009-11-01

    Full Text Available Recent studies have called for a new unifying hydrological theory at the hillslope and watershed scale, emphasizing the importance of coupled process understanding of the interactions between hydrology, ecology, pedology, geochemistry and geomorphology. The Biosphere 2 Hillslope Experiment is aimed at tackling this challenge and exploring how climate, soil and vegetation interact and drive the evolution of the hydrologic hillslope behavior. A set of three large-scale hillslopes (18 m by 33 m each will be built in the climate-controlled experimental biome of the Biosphere 2 facility near Tucson, Arizona, USA. By minimizing the initial physical complexity of these hillslopes, the spontaneous formation of flow pathways, soil spatial heterogeneity, surface morphology and vegetation patterns can be observed over time. This paper documents the hydrologic design process for the Biosphere 2 Hillslope Experiment, which was based on design principles agreed upon among the Biosphere 2 science community. Main design principles were that the hillslopes should promote spatiotemporal variability of hydrological states and fluxes, facilitate transient lateral subsurface flow without inducing overland flow and be capable of supporting vegetation. Hydrologic modeling was used to identify a hillslope configuration (geometry, soil texture, soil depth that meets the design objectives. The recommended design for the hillslopes consists of a zero-order basin shape with a 10 degree overall slope, a uniform soil depth of 1 m and a loamy sand soil texture. The sensitivity of the hydrologic response of this design to different semi-arid climate scenarios was subsequently tested. Our modeling showed that the timing of rainfall in relation to the timing of radiation input controls the spatiotemporal variability of moisture within the hillslope and the generation of lateral subsurface flow. The Biosphere 2 Hillslope Experiment will provide an excellent opportunity to test

  7. Hillslope hydrology under glass: confronting fundamental questions of soil-water-biota co-evolution at Biosphere 2

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    L. Hopp

    2009-06-01

    Full Text Available Recent studies have called for a new unifying hydrological theory at the hillslope and watershed scale, emphasizing the importance of coupled process understanding of the interactions between hydrology, ecology, pedology, geochemistry and geomorphology. The Biosphere 2 Hillslope Experiment aims at exploring how climate, soil and vegetation interact and drive the evolution of the hydrologic hillslope behavior using a set of three large-scale hillslopes (18 m by 33 m each that will be built in the climate-controlled experimental biome of the Biosphere 2 facility near Tucson, Arizona, USA. By minimizing the initial physical complexity of these hillslopes, the spontaneous formation of flow pathways, soil spatial heterogeneity, surface morphology and vegetation patterns can be observed over time. This paper documents the hydrologic design process for the Biosphere 2 Hillslope Experiment, which was based on design principles agreed upon among the Biosphere 2 science community. Main design principles were that the hillslopes should promote spatiotemporal variability of hydrological states and fluxes, facilitate transient lateral subsurface flow without inducing overland flow and be capable of supporting vegetation. Hydrologic modeling was used to identify a hillslope configuration (geometry, soil texture, soil depth that meets the design objectives. The recommended design for the hillslopes consists of a zero-order basin shape with a 10 degree overall slope, a uniform soil depth of 1 m and a loamy sand soil texture. The sensitivity of the hydrologic response of this design to different semi-arid climate scenarios was subsequently tested. Modeling results show that the timing of rainfall in relation to the timing of radiation input controls the spatiotemporal variability of moisture within the hillslope and the generation of lateral subsurface flow. The Biosphere 2 Hillslope Experiment will provide an excellent opportunity to test hypotheses, observe

  8. On the uncertainty of phenological responses to climate change, and implications for a terrestrial biosphere model

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Migliavacca

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Phenology, the timing of recurring life cycle events, controls numerous land surface feedbacks to the climate system through the regulation of exchanges of carbon, water and energy between the biosphere and atmosphere.

    Terrestrial biosphere models, however, are known to have systematic errors in the simulation of spring phenology, which potentially could propagate to uncertainty in modeled responses to future climate change. Here, we used the Harvard Forest phenology record to investigate and characterize sources of uncertainty in predicting phenology, and the subsequent impacts on model forecasts of carbon and water cycling. Using a model-data fusion approach, we combined information from 20 yr of phenological observations of 11 North American woody species, with 12 leaf bud-burst models that varied in complexity.

    Akaike's Information Criterion indicated support for spring warming models with photoperiod limitations and, to a lesser extent, models that included chilling requirements.

    We assessed three different sources of uncertainty in phenological forecasts: parameter uncertainty, model uncertainty, and driver uncertainty. The latter was characterized running the models to 2099 using 2 different IPCC climate scenarios (A1fi vs. B1, i.e. high CO2 emissions vs. low CO2 emissions scenario. Parameter uncertainty was the smallest (average 95% Confidence Interval – CI: 2.4 days century−1 for scenario B1 and 4.5 days century−1 for A1fi, whereas driver uncertainty was the largest (up to 8.4 days century−1 in the simulated trends. The uncertainty related to model structure is also large and the predicted bud-burst trends as well as the shape of the smoothed projections varied among models (±7.7 days century−1 for A1fi, ±3.6 days century−1 for B1. The forecast sensitivity of bud-burst to temperature (i.e. days bud-burst advanced per

  9. Records of our Early Biosphere Illuminate our Origins and Guide our Search for Life Beyond Earth

    Science.gov (United States)

    DesMarais, David J.

    2003-01-01

    A scientific "mission of exploration to early Earth" will help us chart the distribution of life elsewhere. We must discriminate between attributes of biospheres that are universal versus those attributes that represent principally the outcomes of long-term survival specifically on Earth. In addition to the basic physics and chemistry of matter, the geologic evolution of rocky habitable planets and their climates might be similar elsewhere in the Universe. Certain key agents that drive long-term environmental change (e.g., stellar evolution, impacts, geothermal heat flow, tectonics, etc.) can help us to reconstruct ancient climates and to compare their evolution among populations of Earth- like planets. Early Earth was tectonically more active than today and therefore it exhaled reduced chemical species into the more oxidized surface environment at greater rates. This tectonic activity thus sustained oxidation-reduction reactions that provided the basis for the development of biochemical pathways that harvest chemical energy ("bioenergetics"). Most examples of bioenergetics today that extract energy by reacting oxidized and reduced chemicals in the environment were likely more pervasive among our microbial ancestors than are the presently known examples of photosynthesis. The geologic rock record indicates that, as early as 3.5 billion years ago (3.5 Ga), microbial biofilms were widespread within the coastal environments of small continents and tectonically unstable volcanic islands. Non oxygen-producing (non-oxygenic) photosynthesis preceded oxygenic photosynthesis, but all types of photosynthesis contributed substantially to the long-term increase in global primary biological productivity. Evidence of photosynthesis is tentative by 3.5 Ga and compelling by 2.7 Ga. Evidence of oxygenic photosynthesis is strong by 2.7 Ga and compelling by 2.3 Ga. These successive innovations transformed life from local communities that survived principally by catalyzing chemical

  10. High-pressure hydrogen respiration in hydrothermal vent samples from the deep biosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morgan-Smith, D.; Schrenk, M. O.

    2013-12-01

    Cultivation of organisms from the deep biosphere has met with many challenges, chief among them the ability to replicate this extreme environment in a laboratory setting. The maintenance of in situ pressure levels, carbon sources, and gas concentrations are important, intertwined factors which may all affect the growth of subsurface microorganisms. Hydrogen in particular is of great importance in hydrothermal systems, but in situ hydrogen concentrations are largely disregarded in attempts to culture from these sites. Using modified Hungate-type culture tubes (Bowles et al. 2011) within pressure-retaining vessels, which allow for the dissolution of higher concentrations of gas than is possible with other culturing methods, we have incubated hydrothermal chimney and hydrothermally-altered rock samples from the Lost City and Mid-Cayman Rise hydrothermal vent fields. Hydrogen concentrations up to 15 mmol/kg have been reported from Lost City (Kelley et al. 2005), but data are not yet available from the recently-discovered Mid-Cayman site, and the elevated concentration of 30 mmol/kg is being used in all incubations. We are using a variety of media types to enrich for various metabolic pathways including iron and sulfur reduction under anoxic or microaerophilic conditions. Incubations are being carried out at atmospheric (0.1 MPa), in situ (9, 23, or 50 MPa, depending on site), and elevated (50 MPa) pressure levels. Microbial cell concentrations, taxonomic diversity, and metabolic activities are being monitored during the course of these experiments. These experiments will provide insight into the relationships between microbial activities, pressure, and gas concentrations typical of deep biosphere environments. Results will inform further culturing studies from both fresh and archived samples. References cited: Bowles, M.W., Samarkin, V.A., Joye, S.B. 2011. Improved measurement of microbial activity in deep-sea sediments at in situ pressure and methane concentration

  11. A Better Representation of European Croplands into a Global Biosphere Model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gervois, S.; de Noblet, N.; Viovy, N.; Ciais, P.; Brisson, N.; Seguin, B.

    2002-12-01

    Croplands cover a quarter of Europe's surface (about an hundred million hectares), their impact on carbon and water fluxes must therefore be estimated. Global biosphere models such as ORCHIDEE (http://www.ipsl.jussieu.fr/~ssipsl/) were conceived to simulate natural ecosystems only, so croplands are often described as grasslands. Not only cropland productivity depends on climate and soil conditions but also on irrigations, fertilisers impact, date of sowing... In addition crop species are usually selected genetically to shorten and accelerate their growth. Agronomic models such as STICS (Brisson et al. 1998) give a more realistic picture of croplands as they are especially designed to account for this human forcing. On the other hand they can be used at the local scale only. First we evaluate the ability of the two models to reproduce the seasonal behaviour the leaf area index (LAI), the aerial biomass, and the exchanges of water vapour and CO2 with the atmosphere. For that we compare the model outputs with measurements performed at five sites that are representative of most common European crops (wheat, corn, soybean). As expected the agronomic STICS better behaves than the generic model ORCHIDEE in representing the seasonal cycle of the above variables. In order to get a realistic representation of croplands areas at the regional scale, we decided to couple ORCHIDEE with STICS. First we present the main steps of the coupling procedure. The principle consists in forcing ORCHIDEE with five more realistic outputs of STICS: LAI, date of harvest, nitrogen stress, root profile, and vegetation height. On the other hand, ORCHIDEE computes its own carbon and water balance. The allocation scheme was also modified in ORCHIDEE in order to conserve the coherence between LAI and leaf biomass, and we added a harvest module into ORCHIDEE. The coupled model was validated against carbon and water fluxes observed respectively at two fields (wheat and corn) in the US. We also

  12. Patterns of new versus recycled primary production in the terrestrial biosphere (Invited)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cleveland, C. C.; Houlton, B. Z.; Smith, W. K.; Marklein, A. R.; Reed, S.; Parton, W. J.; Del Grosso, S.; Running, S. W.

    2013-12-01

    Nutrients like nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) regulate plant productivity throughout the terrestrial biosphere, and will continue to influence the patterns and magnitude of net primary production (NPP) by land plants in the future. For example, increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations might be predicted to stimulate NPP, but only if sufficient quantities of nutrients are available to fuel additional growth. New inputs of N and P enter ecosystems from the weathering of rocks, from atmospheric deposition, or through biological pathways like N fixation, but nutrients are also recycled in plants and microbes through soil and organic matter decomposition processes. Yet, the proportion of global NPP that can be attributed to new nutrient inputs versus recycled nutrients is unresolved, as are the large-scale patterns of variation across terrestrial ecosystems. Here, we combined satellite imagery, biogeochemical modeling and empirical observations to identify previously unknown patterns of new versus recycled nutrient (N and P) productivity on land. Our analysis shows that the vast majority (~90%) of current NPP is fueled by highly efficient nutrient recycling via plant nutrient resorption and nutrient mineralization, processes that combine to provide a fundamental global ecosystem service. However, our analysis also points to the tropical forest biome as a hotspot of new NPP fueled by new N inputs (accounting for 45% of total new NPP globally), much higher than previous estimates from temperate and high latitude regions. The large fraction of tropical forest NPP resulting from new N inputs is driven by the high capacity for N fixation, although rates of N fixation vary considerably within this diverse biome. By contrast, the contribution of new N to primary productivity is much lower outside the tropics. Globally, N deposition explains a much smaller proportion of new NPP, accounting for <3% of NPP from new nutrients globally, and new P inputs are uniformly

  13. Development and evaluation of an ozone deposition scheme for coupling to a terrestrial biosphere model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Franz, Martina; Simpson, David; Arneth, Almut; Zaehle, Sönke

    2017-01-01

    Ozone (O3) is a toxic air pollutant that can damage plant leaves and substantially affect the plant's gross primary production (GPP) and health. Realistic estimates of the effects of tropospheric anthropogenic O3 on GPP are thus potentially important to assess the strength of the terrestrial biosphere as a carbon sink. To better understand the impact of ozone damage on the terrestrial carbon cycle, we developed a module to estimate O3 uptake and damage of plants for a state-of-the-art global terrestrial biosphere model called OCN. Our approach accounts for ozone damage by calculating (a) O3 transport from 45 m height to leaf level, (b) O3 flux into the leaf, and (c) ozone damage of photosynthesis as a function of the accumulated O3 uptake over the lifetime of a leaf. A comparison of modelled canopy conductance, GPP, and latent heat to FLUXNET data across European forest and grassland sites shows a general good performance of OCN including ozone damage. This comparison provides a good baseline on top of which ozone damage can be evaluated. In comparison to literature values, we demonstrate that the new model version produces realistic O3 surface resistances, O3 deposition velocities, and stomatal to total O3 flux ratios. A sensitivity study reveals that key metrics of the air-to-leaf O3 transport and O3 deposition, in particular the stomatal O3 uptake, are reasonably robust against uncertainty in the underlying parameterisation of the deposition scheme. Nevertheless, correctly estimating canopy conductance plays a pivotal role in the estimate of cumulative O3 uptake. We further find that accounting for stomatal and non-stomatal uptake processes substantially affects simulated plant O3 uptake and accumulation, because aerodynamic resistance and non-stomatal O3 destruction reduce the predicted leaf-level O3 concentrations. Ozone impacts on GPP and transpiration in a Europe-wide simulation indicate that tropospheric O3 impacts the regional carbon and water cycling less

  14. Hydrothermal synthesis of hydrocarbons at low temperature. Implications for sustaining a biosphere in Europa

    Science.gov (United States)

    Navarro-Gonzalez, Rafael; Montoya, Lilia; Davis, Wanda; McKay, Chris

    Observational evidence from Earth-borne systems and space missions as well as theoretical arguments suggest that Jupiter's satellite Europa could be geologically active today and may possess an ocean of liquid water of about 100 km deep underneath the icy surface about 10 km thickness. The existence of an aqueous ocean is an important requirement for life, as we know it. However, a biosphere also depends of an adequate energy source to drive the most fundamental biological processes such as metabolism, growth, reproduction, etc. Methanogenesis associated with hydrothermal vents may potentially drive a biosphere in an European ocean. We report here on the production of a large variety of hydrocarbons in hydrothermal systems at low temperatures (150° C). The chemical composition of the hydrothermal vent gases was derived from a thermochemical model that assumes that Europa had a cometary (solar, less H) abundance at high temperatures characteristic of a vent. Specifically the following gas mixture was used: 45% CO2 , 45% CH4, and 10 % N2 . A 500 ml stainless steel reactor was filled with 200 ml triply distilled water and the gas mixture at 1 bar at 25° C. In some experiments 3 g of pyrite were added into the reaction vessel. The system was heated for 24 hrs in the temperature range from 100 to 375° C. At the completion of the experiment, the reaction was quenched to 25° C and the gas mixture was analyzed by GC-FTIR-MS techniques. In the absence of pyrite, methane is oxidized to carbon dioxide with the possible production of hydrogen. In contrast in the presence of pyrite, methane is converted into a suite of hydrocarbons from C2 to C7 containing all possible isomers. The production of these compounds was found at temperatures as low as 150° C. In order to get a better understanding of the chemical mechanism involved in the synthesis of hydrocarbons and explore the effect on the initial oxidation state of the carbon used, we performed additional experiments in

  15. Sensitivity of the Biosphere-Atmosphere Transfer Scheme (BATS) to the Inclusion of Variable Soil Characteristics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilson, M. F.; Henderson-Sellers, A.; Dickinson, R. E.; Kennedy, P. J.

    1987-03-01

    The soils data of Wilson and Henderson-Sellers have been incorporated into the land-surface parameterization scheme of the NCAR Community Climate Model after Dickinson. A stand-alone version of this land-surface scheme, termed the Biosphere-Atmosphere Transfer Scheme (BATS), has been tested in a series of sensitivity experiments designed to assess the sensitivity of the scheme to the inclusion of variable soil characteristics. The cases investigated were for conditions designed to represent a low-latitude, evergreen forest; a low-latitude sand desert; a high-latitude coniferous forest; high-latitude tundra; and prairie grasslands, each for a specified time of year. The tundra included spring snowmelt and the grassland incorporated snow accumulation. The sensitivity experiments included varying the soil texture from a coarse texture typical of sand through a medium texture typical of loam to a fine texture typical of clay. The sensitivity of the formulation to the specified total and upper soil column depth and the response to altering the parameterization of the soil albedo dependence upon soil wetness and snow-cover were also examined. The biosphere-atmosphere transfer scheme showed the greatest sensitivity to the soil texture variation, particularly to the associated variation in the hydraulic conductivity and diffusivity parameters. There was only a very small response to the change in the soil albedo dependence on wetness and, although the sensitivity to the snow-covered soil albedo via the response to roughness length/snow-masking depth was significant, the results were predictable. Changing the total depth of the active soil column produced a much smaller response than altering the depth of the upper soil layer, primarily because the degree of saturation of the upper layer plays an important role in the parameterized hydrology. Soil moisture responses can also be initiated by changes in vegetation characteristics such as the stomatal resistance through

  16. Peat swamp forest types and their regeneration in Giam Siak Kecil-Bukit Batu Biosphere Reserve, Riau, East Sumatra, Indonesia

    OpenAIRE

    H. Gunawan; Kobayashi, S.; Mizuno, K; Kono, Y

    2012-01-01

    Although the ecology of tropical peat swamp forests is only now becoming understood, they are already under severe threat of conversion and degradation. Based on studies of the peat swamp forest of the Giam Siak Kecil–Bukit Batu Biosphere Reserve carried out between 2009 and 2010, this paper discusses forest types and regeneration processes in terms of promoting biodiversity conservation and sustainable management of the remaining peat swamp forest. Permanent plots covering a total area of th...

  17. Using Carbonyl Sulfide column measurements and a Chemical Transport Model to investigate variability in biospheric CO2 fluxes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Yuting; Petri, Christof; Palm, Mathias; Warneke, Thorsten; Baker, Ian; Berry, Joe; Suntharalingam, Parvadha; Campbell, Elliott; Wolf, Adam; Deutscher, Nick; Notholt, Justus

    2015-04-01

    Understanding the CO2 processes on land is of great importance, because the terrestrial exchange drives the seasonal and interannual variability of CO2 in the atmosphere. Atmospheric inversions based on CO2 concentration measurements alone can only determine net biosphere fluxes, but not differentiate between photosynthesis (uptake) and respiration (production). Carbonyl sulfide (OCS) could provide an important additional constraint: it is also taken up by plants during photosynthesis but not emitted during respiration, and therefore is a potential means to differentiate between these processes. Solar absorption Fourier Transform InfraRed (FTIR) spectrometry allows for the retrieval of the atmospheric concentrations of both CO2 and OCS. Here, we investigate co-located and nearly simultaneous measurements of OCS and CO2 measured at 3 sites via FTIR spectrometers. These northern-hemispheric sites span a wide range of latitudes and all have multiple year time-series. The sites include Ny-Alesund (79°N), Bremen (53°N) and Paramaribo (6°N). We compare these measurements to simulations of OCS and CO2 using the GEOS-Chem model. The simulations are driven by different land biospheric fluxes of OCS and CO2 to match the seasonality of the measurements. The simple biosphere model (SiB-COS) are used in the study because it simultaneously calculates the biospheric fluxes of both OCS and CO2. The CO2 simulation with SiB fluxes agrees with the measurements better than a simulation using CASA. Comparison of the OCS simulations with different fluxes indicates that the latitudinal distribution of the OCS fluxes within SiB needs to be adjusted.

  18. Studies of the terrestrial O{sub 2} and carbon cycles in sand dune gases and in biosphere 2

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Severinghaus, J.P.

    1995-12-31

    Molecular oxygen in the atmosphere is coupled tightly to the terrestrial carbon cycle by the processes of photosynthesis, respiration, and burning. This dissertation examines different aspects of this coupling in four chapters. Chapter 1 explores the feasibility of using air from sand dunes to reconstruct atmospheric O{sub 2} composition centuries ago. Such a record would reveal changes in the mass of the terrestrial biosphere, after correction for known fossil fuel combustion, and constrain the fate of anthropogenic CO{sub 2}.

  19. Advancing subsurface biosphere and paleoclimate research: ECORD-ICDP-DCO-J-DESC-MagellanPlus Workshop Series Program Report

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mills, H. J.; de Leeuw, J.; Hinrichs, K.-U.; Inagaki, F.; Kallmeyer, J.

    2015-12-01

    The proper pre-drilling preparation, on-site acquisition and post-drilling preservation of high-quality subsurface samples are crucial to ensure significant progress in the scientifically and societally important areas of subsurface biosphere and paleoclimate research. Two of the four research themes of IODP and ICDP and one of the four research areas of the Deep Carbon Observatory (DCO) focus on the subsurface biosphere. Increasing understanding of paleoclimate is a central goal of IODP and incorporated within the scope of the IMPRESS program, the successor of the IMAGES program. Therefore, the goal of our IODP-ICDP-DCO-J-DESC-MagellanPlus-sponsored workshop was to help advance deep biosphere and paleoclimate research by identifying needed improvements in scientific drilling planning and available technology, sample collection and initial analysis, and long-term storage of subsurface samples and data. Success in these areas will (a) avoid biological and other contamination during drilling, sampling, storage and shipboard/shore-based experiments; (b) build a repository and database of high-quality subsurface samples for microbiological and paleoclimate research available for the scientific community world-wide over the next decades; and (c) standardize, as much as possible, microbiological and paleoclimate drilling, sampling and storage workflows to allow results and data to be comparable across both space and time. A result of this workshop is the development and suggested implementation of new advanced methods and technologies to collect high-quality samples and data for the deep biosphere and paleoclimate scientific communities to optimize expected substantial progress in these fields. The members of this workshop will enhance communication within the scientific drilling community by crafting a handbook focused on pre-drilling, drilling and post-drilling operations.

  20. Predicting ecosystem dynamics at regional scales: an evaluation of a terrestrial biosphere model for the forests of northeastern North America.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Medvigy, David; Moorcroft, Paul R

    2012-01-19

    Terrestrial biosphere models are important tools for diagnosing both the current state of the terrestrial carbon cycle and forecasting terrestrial ecosystem responses to global change. While there are a number of ongoing assessments of the short-term predictive capabilities of terrestrial biosphere models using flux-tower measurements, to date there have been relatively few assessments of their ability to predict longer term, decadal-scale biomass dynamics. Here, we present the results of a regional-scale evaluation of the Ecosystem Demography version 2 (ED2)-structured terrestrial biosphere model, evaluating the model's predictions against forest inventory measurements for the northeast USA and Quebec from 1985 to 1995. Simulations were conducted using a default parametrization, which used parameter values from the literature, and a constrained model parametrization, which had been developed by constraining the model's predictions against 2 years of measurements from a single site, Harvard Forest (42.5° N, 72.1° W). The analysis shows that the constrained model parametrization offered marked improvements over the default model formulation, capturing large-scale variation in patterns of biomass dynamics despite marked differences in climate forcing, land-use history and species-composition across the region. These results imply that data-constrained parametrizations of structured biosphere models such as ED2 can be successfully used for regional-scale ecosystem prediction and forecasting. We also assess the model's ability to capture sub-grid scale heterogeneity in the dynamics of biomass growth and mortality of different sizes and types of trees, and then discuss the implications of these analyses for further reducing the remaining biases in the model's predictions.

  1. Occurrence of Oncicola sp. (Acanthocephala in Atelocynus microtis (Canidae from the Manu Biosphere Reserve, Madre de Dios, Peru

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Manuel Tantaleán

    2011-06-01

    Full Text Available During a large survey of mammals and their parasites, which took place in the Manu Biosphere Reserve, Madre de Dios, Peru, two specimens of Atelocynus microtis, short eared dog, were captured from which some acanthocephalan specimens were collected. Albeit it was not possible to identify them up to species level basically due to their immature condition, all of them were diagnosed as members of the genus Oncicola Travassos, 1916.

  2. Experiments on the amplification of optical activity. [molecular chirality in earth biosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blair, N. E.; Bonner, W. A.

    1980-01-01

    Chemical mechanisms for the amplification of small, abiotically produced enantiomeric excesses leading to the complete stereo specificity of all biochemical reactions observed in the present-day biosphere are investigated quantitatively. Partial copolymerization of a mixture of R- and S-leucine or R- and S-valine N-carboxy anhydrides containing a known excess of one enantiomer was induced and the enantiomeric composition of the resulting oligomer was analyzed by gas chromatography. It is found that the 50% polymerization of leucine mixtures having excesses of 8 to 70% of either enantiomer leads to a significant enhancement of the enantiomeric excess of the polymer, accompanied by a corresponding decrease in the enantiomeric excess of the unpolymerized residue. On the other hand, 25-50% polymerization of valine mixtures is observed to result in polymers showing a decreased enantiomeric excess relative to the starting mixture and corresponding increases in those of the residue. Results of the leucine polymerization are interpreted as supporting the theory of steric interactions between the monomer and the helical structure of the polymer leading to the enrichment of one enantiomer, and possible mechanisms for the reverse stereospecificity observed in valine are discussed.

  3. Microbes in high arctic snow and implications for the cold biosphere.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harding, Tommy; Jungblut, Anne D; Lovejoy, Connie; Vincent, Warwick F

    2011-05-01

    We applied molecular, microscopic, and culture techniques to characterize the microbial communities in snow and air at remote sites in the Canadian High Arctic (Ward Hunt Island, Ellesmere Island, and Cornwallis Island, latitudes 74 to 83(o)N). Members of the Bacteria and Eukarya were prevalent in the snow, and their small subunit (SSU) rRNA gene signatures indicated strong local aerial transport within the region over the preceding 8 months of winter snowpack accumulation. Many of the operational taxonomic units (OTUs) were similar to previously reported SSU rRNA gene sequences from the Arctic Ocean, suggesting the importance of local aerial transport processes for marine microbiota. More than 47% of the cyanobacterial OTUs in the snow have been previously found in microbial mats in the region, indicating that this group was also substantially derived from local sources. Viable cyanobacteria isolated from the snow indicated free exchange between the snow and adjacent mat communities. Other sequences were most similar to those found outside the Canadian Arctic but were from snow, lake and sea ice, glaciers and permafrost, alpine regions, Antarctica, and other regions of the Arctic, supporting the concept of global distribution of microbial ecotypes throughout the cold biosphere.

  4. Life on rock. Scaling down biological weathering in a new experimental design at Biosphere-2

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zaharescu, D. G.; Dontsova, K.; Burghelea, C. I.; Chorover, J.; Maier, R.; Perdrial, J. N.

    2012-12-01

    Biological colonization and weathering of bedrock on Earth is a major driver of landscape and ecosystem development, its effects reaching out into other major systems such climate and geochemical cycles of elements. In order to understand how microbe-plant-mycorrhizae communities interact with bedrock in the first phases of mineral weathering we developed a novel experimental design in the Desert Biome at Biosphere-2, University of Arizona (U.S.A). This presentation will focus on the development of the experimental setup. Briefly, six enclosed modules were designed to hold 288 experimental columns that will accommodate 4 rock types and 6 biological treatments. Each module is developed on 3 levels. A lower volume, able to withstand the weight of both, rock material and the rest of the structure, accommodates the sampling elements. A middle volume, houses the experimental columns in a dark chamber. A clear, upper section forms the habitat exposed to sunlight. This volume is completely sealed form exterior and it allows a complete control of its air and water parameters. All modules are connected in parallel with a double air purification system that delivers a permanent air flow. This setup is expected to provide a model experiment, able to test important processes in the interaction rock-life at grain-to- molecular scale.

  5. A landscape in three biospheres: biological rock weathering in a model ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Presler, J. K.

    2012-12-01

    Biological rock weathering is the process by which life breaks down minerals into forms that are readily available for creation of an ecosystem. In order to test how microbes, plants and mycorrhizal communities interact with bedrock to initiate a primary ecosystem that will eventually lead to soil formation, we developed a modular experiment in the desert biome of Biosphere-2. In this presentation we present selected phases in the development of the experimental setup. Briefly, we aimed to replicate a large-scale primordial landscape in a closed, mesocosm system involving six carefully designed, identical chambers, each containing 48 experimental columns, 30cm long. The rocks used, i.e. basalt, rhyolite, granite and schist, represent four prevalent rock types in the natural landscape. The biotic communities are represented by combinations of rock microbial communities, plants and their associated mycorrhizae. Bacterial inoculum was optimized for each rock type. Each model was created to remain completely separated from outside influence. We expect that this experiment will provide crucial knowledge about primary interactions between rock and biota on Earth. Experimental Modules

  6. Vegetation pattern related tc grazing pressure in alpine meadows of Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Singh, S K; Rai, J P N

    2004-07-01

    The present study aims to analyze the interaction of prevailing biotic pressure on plant species diversity in Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve (NDBR) which lies in northern part of Uttaranchal hills between 79 degrees 40'E to 80 degrees 05'E longitude and 30 degrees 17' N to 30 degrees 41'N latitude and covers an area of 2236.7 km2. A total of 75 species has been found which included the herbaceous plants viz., grasses, sedges and forbs. Generally, the plants have a short life span of 3-4 months. However, few species persist throughout the growth period i.e. May-October. Phytosociological study performed in plots of varying slope and grazing pressure intensity revealed that the dominant grasses were Danthonia cachemyriana and Poa annua and dominant forbs were Trachydium roylei and Geum elatum in all the plots. Grasses were abundant on west facing slopes while forbs preferred the even topography of east facing meadows. The grasses and sedges together had optimum density during July and August. In general, short lived species exhibited more diversity for one or two months whilst the long lived species exhibited optimum diversity althrough the snow free period. The species diversity is maximum (100%) in moderately grazed bughiyals i.e. Pacchu and minimum in intensively grazed bughiyals i.e. Martoli. The species distribution among the plots was 60-90% contagious and 11.2-38.0% randomirrespective of grazing pressure, thus highlighting the significance of grazing pressure in management of alpine meadows.

  7. Analysis of the Effect of a Marine Energy Farm to Protect a Biosphere Reserve

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rusu Eugen

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Sacalin Peninsula in the Black Sea is a new land located south of the Saint George branch of the Danube. Since 1938 this area became a biosphere reserve since many rare species of animals and plants are to be found there. The generation of this new peninsula is due to the sedimentary process induced by the Danube River outflow and it was started more than 150 years ago. In the winter of 2013 this environment was seriously affected by some very strong storms putting in real danger this ecosystem. From this perspective, the objective of the present work is to evaluate the protection that might be offered to this area by a marine energy farm that would be deployed in front of the peninsula. In order to assess the coastal protection offered by the proposed solution, simulations with the SWAN (Simulating Waves Nearshore wave model have been performed for the most relevant storm patterns. The results show that a marine energy farm can provide a real sheltering effect to the ecological reserve. Such approach seems to be also economically viable since this coastal environment represents a real hot spot in the Black Sea from the point of view of marine energy resources.

  8. Assessment of Food Chain Pathway Parameters in Biosphere Models: Annual Progress Report for Fiscal Year 2004

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Napier, Bruce A.; Krupka, Kenneth M.; Fellows, Robert J.; Cataldo, Dominic A.; Valenta, Michelle M.; Gilmore, Tyler J.

    2004-12-02

    This Annual Progress Report describes the work performed and summarizes some of the key observations to date on the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s project Assessment of Food Chain Pathway Parameters in Biosphere Models, which was established to assess and evaluate a number of key parameters used in the food-chain models used in performance assessments of radioactive waste disposal facilities. Section 2 of this report describes activities undertaken to collect samples of soils from three regions of the United States, the Southeast, Northwest, and Southwest, and perform analyses to characterize their physical and chemical properties. Section 3 summarizes information gathered regarding agricultural practices and common and unusual crops grown in each of these three areas. Section 4 describes progress in studying radionuclide uptake in several representative crops from the three soil types in controlled laboratory conditions. Section 5 describes a range of international coordination activities undertaken by Project staff in order to support the underlying data needs of the Project. Section 6 provides a very brief summary of the status of the GENII Version 2 computer program, which is a “client” of the types of data being generated by the Project, and for which the Project will be providing training to the US NRC staff in the coming Fiscal Year. Several appendices provide additional supporting information.

  9. The hidden seasonality of the rare biosphere in coastal marine bacterioplankton

    KAUST Repository

    Alonso-Sáez, Laura

    2015-04-08

    Summary: Rare microbial taxa are increasingly recognized to play key ecological roles, but knowledge of their spatio-temporal dynamics is lacking. In a time-series study in coastal waters, we detected 83 bacterial lineages with significant seasonality, including environmentally relevant taxa where little ecological information was available. For example, Verrucomicrobia had recurrent maxima in summer, while the Flavobacteria NS4, NS5 and NS2b clades had contrasting seasonal niches. Among the seasonal taxa, only 4 were abundant and persistent, 20 cycled between rare and abundant and, remarkably, most of them (59) were always rare (contributing <1% of total reads). We thus demonstrate that seasonal patterns in marine bacterioplankton are largely driven by lineages that never sustain abundant populations. A fewer number of rare taxa (20) also produced episodic \\'blooms\\', and these events were highly synchronized, mostly occurring on a single month. The recurrent seasonal growth and loss of rare bacteria opens new perspectives on the temporal dynamics of the rare biosphere, hitherto mainly characterized by dormancy and episodes of \\'boom and bust\\', as envisioned by the seed-bank hypothesis. The predictable patterns of seasonal reoccurrence are relevant for understanding the ecology of rare bacteria, which may include key players for the functioning of marine ecosystems. © 2015 Society for Applied Microbiology and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  10. The Middle Miocene climate as modelled in an atmosphere-ocean-biosphere model

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Krapp

    2011-11-01

    Full Text Available We present simulations with a coupled atmosphere-ocean-biosphere model for the Middle Miocene 15 million years ago. The model is insofar more consistent than previous models because it captures the essential interactions between ocean and atmosphere and between atmosphere and vegetation. The Middle Miocene topography, which alters both large-scale ocean and atmospheric circulations, causes a global warming of 0.7 K compared to present day. Higher than present-day CO2 levels of 480 and 720 ppm cause a global warming of 2.8 and 4.9 K. The associated water vapour feedback enhances the greenhouse effect which leads to a polar amplification of the warming. These results suggest that higher than present-day CO2 levels are necessary to drive the warm Middle Miocene climate, also because the dynamic vegetation model simulates a denser vegetation which is in line with fossil records. However, we do not find a flatter than present-day equator-to-pole temperature gradient as has been suggested by marine and terrestrial proxies. Instead, a compensation between atmospheric and ocean heat transport counteracts the flattening of the temperature gradient. The acclaimed role of the large-scale ocean circulation in redistributing heat cannot be supported by our results. Including full ocean dynamics, therefore, does not solve the problem of the flat temperature gradient during the Middle Miocene.

  11. The Middle Miocene climate as modelled in an atmosphere-ocean-biosphere model

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Krapp

    2011-06-01

    Full Text Available We present simulations with a coupled ocean-atmosphere-biosphere model for the Middle Miocene 15 million years ago. The Middle Miocene topography, which alters both large-scale ocean and atmospheric circulations, causes a global warming of 0.7 K compared to present-day. Higher than present-day CO2 levels of 480 and 720 ppm cause a global warming of 2.8 and 4.9 K, thereby matching proxy-based Middle Miocene global temperature estimates of 3–6 K warming. Higher CO2 levels and the associated water vapour feedback enhance the greenhouse effect and lead to a polar amplification of the warming. Although oceanic and atmospheric poleward heat transport are individually altered by 10–30 % in the mid and high latitudes, changes of the total heat transport account only for 4–8 %, pointing toward a compensation between oceanic and atmospheric heat transport. Our model reproduces a denser vegetation in agreement with fossil records. These results suggest that higher than present-day CO2 levels are essential to drive the warm Middle Miocene climate.

  12. Carbon dioxide fixation and respiration relationships observed during closure experiments in Biosphere 2

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nelson, Mark; Dempster, William; Allen, John P.

    Biosphere 2 enclosed several ecosystems - ones analogous to rainforest, tropical savannah, thornscrub, desert, marsh and coral reef - and a diverse agro-ecology, with dozens of food crops, in virtual material isolation from Earth's environment. This permits a detailed examination of fixation and respiration from the continuous record of carbon dioxide concentration from sensors inside the facility. Unlike the Earth, all the ecosystems were active during sunlight hours, while phyto and soil respiration dominated nighttime hours. This resulted in fluctuations of as much as 600-700 ppm CO2 daily during days of high sunlight input. We examine the relationships between daytime fixation as driven by photosynthesis to nighttime respiration and also fixation and respiration as related to carbon dioxide concentration. Since carbon dioxide concentrations varied from near Earth ambient levels to over 3000 ppm (during low-light winter months), the response of the plant communities and impact on phytorespiration and soil respiration may be of relevance to the global climate change research community. An investigation of these dynamics will also allow the testing of models predicting the response of community metabolism to variations in sunlight and degree of previous net carbon fixation.

  13. Territorialisation, Conservation, and Neoliberalism in the Tehuacán-Cuicatlán Biosphere Reserve, Mexico

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alison Elizabeth Lee

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available The territorialisation of a botanical garden and the Tehuacán-Cuicatlán Biosphere Reserve (TCBR in southern Mexico is examined from the perspective of local residents of one rural town and the biologists whose professional careers involved extensive research in the region. While there were brief periods of conflict between residents and outsiders over the use of local lands for conservation, the cumulative effects demonstrate a general acceptance of the conservation paradigm. Local residents re-appropriated an older discourse linking their land rights to indigenous ancestors in order to mobilise collective support to ensure local control of the botanical garden. The discourse was subsequently incorporated into a local ecotourism project providing cultural substance complementary to the biological and visual aspects of the landscape. Contradictions between conservation and livelihoods were minimal due to neoliberal policies that encouraged migration to the United States of America and wage work in regional maquiladoras. Consequently, the territorialisation of conservation spaces was not disruptive to the increasingly proletarianised, non-agricultural livelihoods of local residents.

  14. Redefining fine roots improves understanding of below-ground contributions to terrestrial biosphere processes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCormack, M Luke; Dickie, Ian A; Eissenstat, David M; Fahey, Timothy J; Fernandez, Christopher W; Guo, Dali; Helmisaari, Heljä-Sisko; Hobbie, Erik A; Iversen, Colleen M; Jackson, Robert B; Leppälammi-Kujansuu, Jaana; Norby, Richard J; Phillips, Richard P; Pregitzer, Kurt S; Pritchard, Seth G; Rewald, Boris; Zadworny, Marcin

    2015-08-01

    Fine roots acquire essential soil resources and mediate biogeochemical cycling in terrestrial ecosystems. Estimates of carbon and nutrient allocation to build and maintain these structures remain uncertain because of the challenges of consistently measuring and interpreting fine-root systems. Traditionally, fine roots have been defined as all roots ≤ 2 mm in diameter, yet it is now recognized that this approach fails to capture the diversity of form and function observed among fine-root orders. Here, we demonstrate how order-based and functional classification frameworks improve our understanding of dynamic root processes in ecosystems dominated by perennial plants. In these frameworks, fine roots are either separated into individual root orders or functionally defined into a shorter-lived absorptive pool and a longer-lived transport fine-root pool. Using these frameworks, we estimate that fine-root production and turnover represent 22% of terrestrial net primary production globally - a c. 30% reduction from previous estimates assuming a single fine-root pool. Future work developing tools to rapidly differentiate functional fine-root classes, explicit incorporation of mycorrhizal fungi into fine-root studies, and wider adoption of a two-pool approach to model fine roots provide opportunities to better understand below-ground processes in the terrestrial biosphere.

  15. Investigations into the impact of astronomical phenomena on the terrestrial biosphere and climate

    CERN Document Server

    Feng, Fabo

    2015-01-01

    This thesis assesses the influence of astronomical phenomena on the Earth's biosphere and climate. I examine in particular the relevance of both the path of the Sun through the Galaxy and the evolution of the Earth's orbital parameters in modulating non-terrestrial mechanisms. I build models to predict the extinction rate of species, the temporal variation of the impact cratering rate and ice sheet deglaciations, and then compare these models with other models within a Bayesian framework. I find that the temporal distribution of mass extinction events over the past 550 Myr can be explained just as well by a uniform random distribution as by other models, such as variations in the stellar density local to the Sun arising from the Sun's orbit. Given the uncertainties in the Galaxy model and the Sun's current phase space coordinates, as well as the errors in the geological data, it is not possible to draw a clear connection between terrestrial extinction and the solar motion. In a separate study, I find that the...

  16. Analysis of heavy metals concentration in water and sediment in the Hara biosphere reserve, southern Iran.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nowrouzi, Mohsen; Mansouri, Borhan; Nabizadeh, Sahar; Pourkhabbaz, Alireza

    2014-02-01

    This study determined the concentration of heavy metals (Al, Cr, Cu, and Zn) in water and sediments at nine sites in the Hara biosphere reserve of southern Iran during the summer and winter 2010. Determination of Al, Cr, Cu, and Zn in water was carried out by graphite furnace atomic absorption spectrometer (Shimadzu, AA 610s) and in sediment by flame atomic absorption spectrometer (Perkin Elmer, AA3030). Results showed that the heavy metal concentrations in the water samples decreased in the sequence of Zn > Al > Cu > Cr, while in sediment samples were Cr > Zn > Cu > Al. Data analysis indicated that with the exception of Al, there was a Pearson's correlation coefficient between pH and Cu, Zn, and Cr at α = 0.01, 0.05, and 0.001 in sediment (in winter), respectively. There were also significant differences between heavy metals of Cr, Cu, and Zn during the two seasons (p < 0.001) in the water and sediment.

  17. Hadal biosphere: insight into the microbial ecosystem in the deepest ocean on Earth.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nunoura, Takuro; Takaki, Yoshihiro; Hirai, Miho; Shimamura, Shigeru; Makabe, Akiko; Koide, Osamu; Kikuchi, Tohru; Miyazaki, Junichi; Koba, Keisuke; Yoshida, Naohiro; Sunamura, Michinari; Takai, Ken

    2015-03-17

    Hadal oceans at water depths below 6,000 m are the least-explored aquatic biosphere. The Challenger Deep, located in the western equatorial Pacific, with a water depth of ∼11 km, is the deepest ocean on Earth. Microbial communities associated with waters from the sea surface to the trench bottom (0∼10,257 m) in the Challenger Deep were analyzed, and unprecedented trench microbial communities were identified in the hadal waters (6,000∼10,257 m) that were distinct from the abyssal microbial communities. The potentially chemolithotrophic populations were less abundant in the hadal water than those in the upper abyssal waters. The emerging members of chemolithotrophic nitrifiers in the hadal water that likely adapt to the higher flux of electron donors were also different from those in the abyssal waters that adapt to the lower flux of electron donors. Species-level niche separation in most of the dominant taxa was also found between the hadal and abyssal microbial communities. Considering the geomorphology and the isolated hydrotopographical nature of the Mariana Trench, we hypothesized that the distinct hadal microbial ecosystem was driven by the endogenous recycling of organic matter in the hadal waters associated with the trench geomorphology.

  18. Residential Water Demand in a Mexican Biosphere Reserve: Evidence of the Effects of Perceived Price

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marco Antonio Almendarez-Hernández

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available The purpose of this paper is to provide empirical evidence for policy-makers of water management, evaluate the applicability of economic variables such as price and other factors that affect demand, and determine the impact thereof on decision-making surrounding water management in the El Vizcaino Biosphere Reserve in Mexico. We estimated a dynamic function with an average price specification, as well as price perception specification. Findings demonstrated that consumers tend to react to perceived average price but not to the marginal price. Furthermore, long-term price elasticity was found to be higher than short-term elasticity, and both elasticities were found to be inelastic. Inelastic elasticities, coupled with rising prices, generate substantial revenues with which to improve water planning and supply quality and to expand service coverage. The results suggest that users’ level of knowledge surrounding price is a key factor to take into account when restructuring rates, especially in situations where consumers do not readily possess the necessary information about their rate structure and usage within a given billing period. Furthermore, the results can help water management policy-makers to achieve goals of economic efficiency, social equity, and environmental sustainability.

  19. Resource Flows of Villages with Contrasting Lifestyles in Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve, Central Himalaya, India

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    K. S. Rao; S. Nautiyal; R. K. Maikhuri; K. G. Saxena

    2005-01-01

    Resource use efficiency analyses of village ecosystem are necessary for effective and efficient planning of resource utilization. This paper deals with economic and energy input-output analyses of different components of village ecosystem in representative buffer zone villages, which are practicing transhumance and settled way of lifestyles in Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve (NDBR) of Garhwal Himalaya. While the villages practicing transhumance used various natural resources spatially segregated,the villages practicing settled way of lifestyle have to manage resources from a limited spatial area through rotation and varied extraction intensities. Forests subsidized the production activity in both type of villages and the per capita resource extractions were found to be greater in transhumance village than settled village. Though crops provided maximum energy, in terms of economic criteria, animal husbandry played important role in both settled and transhumance villages. As villages representing both the situations showed different ways of adjustments to the conservation oriented land use changes,management authority needs to address the eco-development plans fulfilling the aspirations of all people traditionally using the resources of the Reserve to reduce the conflicts and encourage their participation in the conservation of the area.

  20. Evidence for chlorine recycling - Hydrosphere, biosphere, atmosphere - In a forested wet zone on the Canadian Shield

    Science.gov (United States)

    Milton, G.M.; Milton, J.C.D.; Schiff, S.; Cook, P.; Kotzer, T.G.; Cecil, L.D.

    2003-01-01

    The ability to measure environmental levels of 36Cl by Accelerator Mass Spectrometry and 3H by 3He-ingrowth Mass Spectrometry has made it possible to use the pulses of these two isotopes released into the atmosphere during nuclear weapons testing as tracers of Cl and water movement in soils and groundwater. The authors have investigated the movement of these tracers below a forested wet zone, and have found that both are retarded to a differing extent in the near surface because of vegetative uptake and recycling. Adsorption by clay particles, followed by slow release to the groundwater, may also be significant. The data accumulated in this region of near vertical recharge have gone a considerable distance towards explaining the anomalously low concentrations of 36Cl measured in the 5 Laurentian Great Lakes, as well as indicating possible mechanisms for large scale Cl- recycling in the atmosphere and biosphere. Identification of the near-term non-conservative behaviour of the Cl- is significant, since such a phenomenon could introduce errors in many watershed calculations, e.g. water residence times, evaporation rates, and mixing calculations. Published by Elsevier Science Ltd.

  1. Organochlorines in the Vaccares Lagoon trophic web (Biosphere Reserve of Camargue, France)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Roche, H., E-mail: helene.roche@u-psud.f [Ecologie, Systematique et Evolution, UMR8079 CNRS, Universite Paris-Sud, AgroParisTech, F91405 Orsay Cedex (France); Vollaire, Y.; Persic, A.; Buet, A. [Ecologie, Systematique et Evolution, UMR8079 CNRS, Universite Paris-Sud, AgroParisTech, F91405 Orsay Cedex (France); Oliveira-Ribeiro, C. [Departamento de Biologia Celular, Universidade Federal do Parana, Caixa Postal 19031, CEP: 81.531-990, Curitiba, PR (Brazil); Coulet, E. [Nature Reserve of Camargue, La Capeliere, F13200 Arles (France); Banas, D.; Ramade, F. [Ecologie, Systematique et Evolution, UMR8079 CNRS, Universite Paris-Sud, AgroParisTech, F91405 Orsay Cedex (France)

    2009-08-15

    During a decade (1996-2006), ecotoxicological studies were carried out in biota of the Vaccares Lagoon (Biosphere Reserve in Rhone Delta, France). A multicontamination was shown at all levels of the trophic web due to a direct bioconcentration of chemical from the medium combined with a food transfer. Here, the pollutants investigated were organochlorines, among which many compounds banned or in the course of prohibition (or restriction) (PCB, lindane, pp'-DDE, dieldrin, aldrin, heptachlor, endosulfan...) and some substances likely still used in the Rhone River basin (diuron, fipronil). The results confirmed the ubiquity of contamination. It proves to be chronic, variable and tends to regress; however contamination levels depend on the trophic compartment. A biomagnification process was showed. A comparison of investigation methods used in other Mediterranean wetlands provides basis of discussion, and demonstrates the urgent need of modelling to assess the ecotoxicological risk in order to improve the management of such protected areas. - The Vaccares Lagoon trophic web biomagnifies organochlorine pollutants.

  2. Tropical rainforest biome of Biosphere 2. Structure, composition and results of the first 2 years of operation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Leigh, Linda S. [Systems Ecology and Energy Analysis Program, Department of Environmental Engineering Sciences, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL (United States); Burgess, Tony; Marino, Bruno D.V.; Wei, Yong Dan [Biosphere 2 Center, Inc. P.O. Box 689, Oracle, AZ (United States)

    1999-06-01

    The tropical rainforest biome in the Biosphere 2 mesocosm was managed with rainfall and temperature conditions to simulate a natural rainforest typical of the new world tropics. The establishment of the biome was based on the introduction of excessive numbers of species allowing self-organization of an ecologically unique rainforest. Over 282 species of plants from rainforest areas were planted within the topographically diverse rainforest biome (area of 1900 m{sup 2}, volume of 35,000 m{sup 3}), just before the Biosphere 2 closure in 1991. Approximately 61% of these species survived when counted in 1993, representing a plant species richness reduction to 172 species in 0.19 hectare. Rank order graphs show that a high diversity community resulted not unlike insular rainforests. The plants of the rainforest mesocosm, however, grew under anomalous conditions of soil (amended desert grassland soil), atmospheric composition (CO{sub 2} up to 4500 ppm by volume (ppmv)) and rainwater composition (high salinity and nutrients). Stem growth rates of a dominant canopy tree, Cecropia, were up to four times higher but had reduced diameter at breast height compared to natural counterparts. Human intervention in plant succession was also an important factor in shaping the ecology of the rainforest biome of Biosphere 2

  3. Planning, architecture, seismic, construction and energy-related criteria for sustainable spatial development in the Danube Delta Biosphere Reserve area

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vasile Meiţă

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available The Danube Delta Biosphere Reserve represents a complex of ecosystems embedding a biome that had been included on UNESCO World Heritage list due to its global environmental importance. The outstanding natural diversity, including ecosystems, habitats and species situated at the top of European and International conservation lists, is mixed with an equally rich and important cultural (ethnic and religious diversity of the human communities inhabiting the area. According to the guidelines of the Man and the Biosphere Programme of UNESCO, the biosphere reserves including human settlements should be managed such that they could constitute an example for what sustainable development means. Starting from the spatial dimension added to the traditional socioeconomic, ecological and cultural pillars of sustainable development, the paper examines planning, architecture, seismic, construction and energy-related criteria that could substantiate a sustainable development model applicable to the Danube Delta, and counter the effects of clime change in the area. The results suggest that the traditional practices of the inhabitants could offer sustainable solutions and help preserving the natural and cultural diversity of the region.

  4. The effects of recreation experience, environmental attitude, and biospheric value on the environmentally responsible behavior of nature-based tourists.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Tsung Hung; Jan, Fen-Hauh

    2015-07-01

    The scientific understanding of the recreation experience and the environmentally responsible behavior of nature-based tourists is limited. This study examines the relationship among the recreation experience, environmental attitude, biospheric value, and the general and site-specific environmentally responsible behavior of nature-based tourists in Taomi, Liuqiu Island, and Aowanda and Najenshan in Taiwan. A total of 1342 usable questionnaires were collected for this study. The empirical results indicate that the recreation experience influences biospheric value and environmental attitude; subsequently, it then indirectly influences the general and site-specific environmentally responsible behavior of nature-based tourists. Our theoretical behavioral model elucidates previously proposed but unexamined behavioral models among nature-based tourists, and it offers a theoretical framework for researchers, decision makers, managers, and tourists in the field of nature-based tourism. We conclude that when an individual participates in nature-based tourism as described here, these recreation experiences strengthen their environmental attitude and biospheric value, and consequently increase their engagement in both general and site-specific environmentally responsible behaviors.

  5. On the uncertainty of phenological responses to climate change and its implication for terrestrial biosphere models

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Migliavacca

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Phenology, the timing of recurring life cycle events, controls numerous land surface feedbacks to the climate systems through the regulation of exchanges of carbon, water and energy between the biosphere and atmosphere. Land surface models, however, are known to have systematic errors in the simulation of spring phenology, which potentially could propagate to uncertainty in modeled responses to future climate change. Here, we analyzed the Harvard Forest phenology record to investigate and characterize the sources of uncertainty in phenological forecasts and the subsequent impacts on model forecasts of carbon and water cycling in the future. Using a model-data fusion approach, we combined information from 20 yr of phenological observations of 11 North American woody species with 12 phenological models of different complexity to predict leaf bud-burst.

    The evaluation of different phenological models indicated support for spring warming models with photoperiod limitations and, though to a lesser extent, to chilling models based on the alternating model structure.

    We assessed three different sources of uncertainty in phenological forecasts: parameter uncertainty, model uncertainty, and driver uncertainty. The latter was characterized running the models to 2099 using 2 different IPCC climate scenarios (A1fi vs. B1, i.e. high CO2 emissions vs. low CO2 emissions scenario. Parameter uncertainty was the smallest (average 95% CI: 2.4 day century−1 for scenario B1 and 4.5 day century−1 for A1fi, whereas driver uncertainty was the largest (up to 8.4 day century−1 in the simulated trends. The uncertainty related to model structure is also large and the predicted bud-burst trends as well as the shape of the smoothed projections varied somewhat among models (±7.7 day century−1 for A1fi, ±3.6 day century−1 for B1. The forecast sensitivity of bud-burst to

  6. Lithosphere-biosphere interaction at a shallow-sea hydrothermal vent site; Hot Lake, Panarea, Italy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Chia-I.; Amann, Rudolf; Amend, Jan P.; Bach, Wolfgang; Brunner, Benjamin; Meyerdierks, Anke; Price, Roy E.; Schubotz, Florence; Summons, Roger; Wenzhöfer, Frank

    2010-05-01

    Deep-Sea hydrothermal systems are unique habitats for microbial life with primary production based on chemosynthesis and are considered to be windows to the subsurface biosphere. It is often overlooked, however, that their far more accessible shallow-sea counterparts are also valuable targets to study the effects of hydrothermal activity on geology, seawater chemistry and finally, on microbial life. Such an area of shallow marine hydrothermal venting is observed approximately 2.5 km east of Panarea Island (Sicily, Italy). This system is characterized by fluid temperatures of up to 135° C, gas emissions dominated by CO2 and precipitation of elemental sulfur on the seafloor. In an interdisciplinary project to investigate the influence of geofuels on marine microbiota, sediment cores and pore fluids were sampled for geological and geochemical analyses. An attempt was made to link these geochemical data with a characterization of the microbial community. One of the investigated sites (Lago Caldo, Hot Lake) is an oval-shaped (~10 by 6 meters) shallow (~2.5 m deep) depression covered by elemental sulfur. The sediments in this depression are strongly affected by hydrothermal activity: the pH of pore fluids is in a range between 5 and 6; the salinity is approximately two times higher than seawater. In situ temperatures of 36° C and 74° C (10 cm sediment depth) at two different locations within Hot Lake indicate variability in hydrothermal flux. The sediment surface layer is anoxic, and with increasing depth from the sediment-water interface, sulfate concentrations decrease from ~30 mM to less than 10 mM, whereas sulfide concentrations increase from less than 50 μm to ~1000 μm at 25 cm sediment depth, thus suggesting a higher potential for energy gain based on sulfur disequilibrium. As indicated by the variability in the sediment temperatures at 10 cm, fluid fluxes and mixing with seawater is not found to be uniform at Hot Lake. This is reflected in variability of the

  7. Novel DNA Extraction Method Unveiled the Ancient Hot Deep Biosphere Concealed in Terrestrial Sedimentary Rocks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kouduka, M.; Suko, T.; Okuzawa, K.; Fukuda, A.; Nanba, K.; Yamamoto, M.; Sakata, S.; Ito, K.; Suzuki, Y.

    2009-12-01

    It has been proposed that the hot deep biosphere is distributed deeply in the crust of the Earth. Below the upper limit of life, prokaryotic habitats extend at a depth of 4 km within a typical range of thermal gradients (2.5-3°C/100m). In contrary, large geothermal gradients allow the hot deep biosphere approaching to the Earth’s surface. We conducted aseptic and deoxygenated drilling targeting Miocene marine siliceous rocks in a tectonically stable inland fore-arc basin in central Japan. Although the in-situ groundwater temperature was 30.2°C at a maximum drilling depth of 352 mbgl, opal-CT and clinoptilolite, which commonly form as a result of progressive burial at 30-60°C and over 70°C, respectively, were detected by XRD analysis. However, burial-driven degradation and transformation of sterols (sterene to sterane) was not evident in the core samples. As presented by Y. Suzuki et al. in this meeting, extant microbial populations were dominated by Pseudomonas spp. and Flavobacterium spp. with cell numbers ranging ~107-108 cells/cm3 rock. Despite the abundance of microbial cells, DNA were not extracted from the core samples by conventional methods. We developed a DNA extraction method to avoid binding of DNA onto the siliceous mineral matrix by heating under alkaline conditions, which resulted in the successful retrieval of PCR-amplifiable DNA. Unexpectedly, 16S rRNA gene sequences closely related thermophilic Geobacillus stearothermophilus and Thermus thermophilus were dominant in the clone libraries from 300- and 350-m deep core samples, while those almost identical to the Pseudomonas spp. were minor. Based on the correlation between the GC contents of 16S rRNA gene sequences and growth temperatures of prokaryotes, the estimated growth temperatures were 90.0°C (G+C=66.3%) and 67.5°C (G+C=61.3%) for G. stearothermophilus and T. thermophilus, respectively. From these results, it is implied that temperature rise in the past led to the colonization of

  8. Uncontacted Waorani in the Yasuni Biosphere Reserve: Geographical Validation of the Zona Intangible Tagaeri Taromenane (ZITT.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Salvatore Eugenio Pappalardo

    Full Text Available The Tagaeri Taromenane People are two indigenous groups belonging to the Waorani first nation living in voluntary isolation within the Napo region of the western Amazon rainforest. To protect their territory the Ecuadorean State has declared and geographically defined, by Decrees, the Zona Intangible Tagaeri Taromenane (ZITT. This zone is located within the UNESCO Yasuní Biosphere Reserve (1989, one of the most biodiverse areas in the world. Due to several hydrocarbon reserve exploitation projects running in the area and the advancing of a large-scale deforestation front, the survival of these groups is presently at risk. The general aim was to validate the ZITT boundary using the geographical references included in the Decree 2187 (2007 by analyzing the geomorphological characteristics of the area. Remote sensing data such as Digital Elevation Models (DEM, Landsat imagery, topographic cartography of IGM-Ecuador, and fieldwork geographical data have been integrated and processed by Geographical Information System (GIS. The ZITT presents two levels of geographic inconsistencies. The first dimension is about the serious cartographical weaknesses in the perimeter delimitation related to the impossibility of linking two rivers belonging to different basins while the second deals with the perimeter line not respecting the hydrographic network. The GIS analysis results clearly show that ZITT boundary is cartographically nonsense due to the impossibility of mapping out the perimeter. Furthermore, GIS analysis of anthropological data shows presence of Tagaeri Taromenane clans outside the ZITT perimeter, within oil production areas and in nearby farmer settlements, reflecting the limits of protection policies for non-contacted indigenous territory. The delimitation of the ZITT followed a traditional pattern of geometric boundary not taking into account the nomadic characteristic of Tagaeri Taromenane: it is necessary to adopt geographical approaches to

  9. Controlling factors of biosphere-atmosphere ammonia exchange at a semi-natural peatland site

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brummer, C.; Richter, U.; Smith, J. J.; Delorme, J. P.; Kutsch, W. L.

    2014-12-01

    Recent advancements in laser spectrometry offer new opportunities to investigate net biosphere-atmosphere exchange of ammonia. During a three month field campaign from February to May 2014, we tested the performance of a quantum cascade laser within an eddy-covariance setup. The laser was operated at a semi-natural peatland site that is surrounded by highly fertilized agricultural land and intensive livestock production (~1 km distance). Ammonia concentrations were highly variable between 2 and almost 100 ppb with an average value of 15 ppb. Different concentration patterns could be identified. The variability was closely linked to the timing of management practices and the prevailing local climate, particularly wind direction, temperature and surface wetness with the latter indicating higher non-stomatal uptake under wet conditions leading to decreased concentrations. Average ammonia fluxes were around -15 ng N m-2 s-1 at the beginning of the campaign in February and shifted towards a neutral average exchange regime of -1 to 0 ng N m-2 s-1 in April and May. Intriguingly, during the time of decreasing ammonia uptake, concentrations were considerably rising, which clearly indicated N saturation in the predominant vegetation such as bog heather, purple moor-grass, and cotton grass. The cumulative net uptake for the period of investigation was ~300 g N ha-1. This stresses the importance of a thorough method inter-comparison, e.g. with denuder systems in combination with dry deposition modeling. As previous results from the latter methods showed an annual uptake of ~9 kg N ha-1 for the same site, the implementation of adequate ammonia compensation point parameterizations become crucial in surface-atmosphere exchange schemes for bog vegetation. Through their high temporal resolution, robustness and continuous measurement mode, quantum cascade lasers will help assessing the effects of atmospheric N loads to vulnerable N-limited ecosystems such as peatlands.

  10. Population density and primate conservation in the Noroeste Biosphere Reserve, Tumbes, Peru

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cindy M. Hurtado

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available The Noroeste Biosphere Reserve (NBR is home to at least 22 species of medium and large mammals including the primates Alouatta palliata aequatorialis and Cebus albifrons aequatorialis. Previous estimates of A. p. aequatorialis population density vary from 2.3–8.6 ind/km2 in 1983 to 17–19 ind/km2 in 2005 and 2006, respectively. While for C. a. aequatorialis there are no estimates of population density in the NBR. In order to calculate the population density estimates for both species we installed six transects in 10.5 km2 within the Cerros de Amotape National Park (belonging to the NBR from August 2012 to March 2013. Based on 112.3 km of transects we obtained a population density of 8.3 ± 3.6 ind/km2 for A. p. aequatorialis. However, for the reduced number of Cebus albifrons aequatorialis sightings we were only able to calculate a group size from three to 12 individuals and an encounter rate of 0.3 ind/km. Even though A. p. aequatorialis has potentially increased in population density, it is not feasible to make comparisons with previous estimates in the same area because of the different employed methodologies and the lack of randomness in the data collection. We recommend a long-term monitoring plan, including C. a. aequatorialis which makes it a conservation priority for the NBR, this monitoring plan should include mitigation of potential threats such as illegal hunting and trapping for the pet trade.

  11. The Effect of Drought on Stomatal Conductance in the Biosphere 2 Rainforest

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gay, J. D.; Van Haren, J. L. M.

    2015-12-01

    Drought is a major climate change concern for the Earth's rainforests; however little is currently known about how these forests and individual plants will respond to water stress. At the individual level, the ability of plants to regulate their stomatal conductance is an important preservation mechanism that helps to cool leaves, regulate water loss, and uptake carbon dioxide. At the ecosystem level, transpiration in rainforests is a major contributor to the positive feedback loop that returns moisture to the atmosphere for continued precipitation cycles. Nearly 60% of atmospheric moisture in the Amazon rain forests has been traced back to origins of transpiration from its plants. In relation to current climatic conditions, stomatal conductance rates are highly variable across rainforest species and environmental conditions. It is still unknown to what extent these rates will decrease at leaf and forest level in response to periods of drought. The University of Arizona's Biosphere 2 (B2) served as the study site for a simulated 4-week long drought because of its ability to mimic the micrometeorology of an Amazonian rainforest. Three species of plants were chosen at various levels in the canopy: Clitoria racemosa, Cissus sicyoides, and Hibiscus elatus. These plants were selected based on their relative abundance and distribution in the B2 forest. It was revealed that two out of the three species exhibited decreases in H20 efflux at each elevation, while one species (C. racemosa) proved much more resistant, at each elevation, to H20 loss. These results may be useful for future integrative modeling of how individual leaf level responses extend to entire ecosystem scales. It will be important to better understand how rainforests conserve, recycle, and lose water to gauge their response to warming climate, and increased periods of drought in the tropics.

  12. Occurrence of culturable soil fungi in a tropical moist deciduous forest Similipal Biosphere Reserve, Odisha, India.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jena, Santanu K; Tayung, Kumanand; Rath, Chandi C; Parida, Debraj

    2015-03-01

    Similipal Biosphere Reserve (SBR) is a tropical moist deciduous forest dominated by the species Shorea robusta . To the best of our knowledge their rich biodiversity has not been explored in term of its microbial wealth. In the present investigation, soil samples were collected from ten selected sites inside SBR and studied for their physicochemical parameters and culturable soil fungal diversity. The soil samples were found to be acidic in nature with a pH ranging from of 5.1-6.0. Highest percentage of organic carbon and moisture content were observed in the samples collected from the sites, Chahala-1 and Chahala-2. The plate count revealed that fungal population ranged from 3.6 × 10 (4) -2.1 × 10 (5) and 5.1 × 10 (4) -4.7 × 10 (5) cfu/gm of soil in summer and winter seasons respectively. The soil fungus, Aspergillus niger was found to be the most dominant species and Species Important Values Index (SIVI) was 43.4 and 28.6 in summer and winter seasons respectively. Among the sites studied, highest fungal diversity indices were observed during summer in the sites, Natto-2 and Natto-1. The Shannon-Wiener and Simpson indices in these two sites were found to be 3.12 and 3.022 and 0.9425 and 0.9373 respectively. However, the highest Fisher's alpha was observed during winter in the sites Joranda, Natto-2, Chahala-1 and Natto-1 and the values were 3.780, 3.683, 3.575 and 3.418 respectively. Our investigation revealed that, fungal population was dependent on moisture and organic carbon (%) of the soil but its diversity was found to be regulated by sporulating species like Aspergillus and Penicillium.

  13. Occurrence of culturable soil fungi in a tropical moist deciduous forest Similipal Biosphere Reserve, Odisha, India

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Santanu K. Jena

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available Similipal Biosphere Reserve (SBR is a tropical moist deciduous forest dominated by the species Shorea robusta. To the best of our knowledge their rich biodiversity has not been explored in term of its microbial wealth. In the present investigation, soil samples were collected from ten selected sites inside SBR and studied for their physicochemical parameters and culturable soil fungal diversity. The soil samples were found to be acidic in nature with a pH ranging from of 5.1–6.0. Highest percentage of organic carbon and moisture content were observed in the samples collected from the sites, Chahala-1 and Chahala-2. The plate count revealed that fungal population ranged from 3.6 × 104–2.1 × 105 and 5.1 × 104–4.7 × 105 cfu/gm of soil in summer and winter seasons respectively. The soil fungus, Aspergillus niger was found to be the most dominant species and Species Important Values Index (SIVI was 43.4 and 28.6 in summer and winter seasons respectively. Among the sites studied, highest fungal diversity indices were observed during summer in the sites, Natto-2 and Natto-1. The Shannon-Wiener and Simpson indices in these two sites were found to be 3.12 and 3.022 and 0.9425 and 0.9373 respectively. However, the highest Fisher’s alpha was observed during winter in the sites Joranda, Natto-2, Chahala-1 and Natto-1 and the values were 3.780, 3.683, 3.575 and 3.418 respectively. Our investigation revealed that, fungal population was dependent on moisture and organic carbon (% of the soil but its diversity was found to be regulated by sporulating species like Aspergillus and Penicillium.

  14. Rural aquaculture as a sustainable alternative for forest conservation in the Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve, Mexico.

    Science.gov (United States)

    López-García, José; Manzo-Delgado, Lilia L; Alcántara-Ayala, Irasema

    2014-06-01

    Forest conservation plays a significant role in environmental sustainability. In Mexico only 8.48 million ha of forest are used for conservation of biodiversity. Payment for Environmental Services in the Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve, one of the most important national protected areas, contributes to the conservation of these forests. In the Reserve, production of rainbow trout has been important for the rural communities who need to conserve the forest cover in order to maintain the hibernation cycle of the butterfly. Aquaculture is a highly productive activity for these protected areas, since it harnesses the existing water resources. In this study, changes from 1999 to 2012 in vegetation and land-use cover in the El Lindero basin within the Reserve were evaluated in order to determine the conservation status and to consider the feasibility of aquaculture as a means of sustainable development at community level. Evaluation involved stereoscopic interpretation of digital aerial photographs from 1999 to 2012 at 1:10,000 scale, comparative analysis by orthocorrected mosaics and restitution on the mosaics. Between 1999 and 2012, forested land recovered by 28.57 ha (2.70%) at the expense of non-forested areas, although forest degradation was 3.59%. Forest density increased by 16.87%. In the 46 ha outside the Reserve, deforestation spread by 0.26%, and land use change was 0.11%. The trend towards change in forest cover is closely related to conservation programmes, particularly payment for not extracting timber, reforestation campaigns and surveillance, whose effects have been exploited for the development of rural aquaculture; this is a new way to improve the socio-economic status of the population, to avoid logging and to achieve environmental sustainability in the Reserve.

  15. Molecular characterization of local maize varieties from the Biosphere Reserve La Sepultura, Mexico.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Manuel Antonio Hernández-Ramos

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available The objective of this research was the molecular and phylogenetic characterization of local maize populations of the La Sepultura Biosphere Reserve (REBISE, Mexico. In nine communities from the REBISE, Mexico, nineteen populations of local maize were sampled during 2012-2013. Two improved commercial varieties (Vs-536 and V-424, a commercial hybrid (H-MX3, a local corn (Coastal recently introduced in the REBISE, two local materials from the state of Tlaxcala, Mexico; both from Chalqueño race and conical Elotes (young corns and a teosinte (Zea mays ssp. Mexicana were included. They totaled twenty six different samples. The characterization was done with the PCR technique and inter-type microsatellite genetic markers. In total 113, fragments were ampli ed and that ranged from 150-2200 bp, of which 85,8% were polymorphic. Sequences “AG”, “AC” and “GAA” showed a greater number of ampli ed bands and higher polymorphism. The primers comprised of UBC834, I9 and UBC868 ampli ed the best. The similarities found within the polymorphic bands may be due to their equality such as varieties, races, species or genetic combination effect, a result of their cross- pollination. The dendrogram obtained showed a relatively low cophenetic correlation (r= 0,721, with a low degree of reliability, however four major groups of varieties are clearly conformed. The rst was named Valles Altos Corns, integrated by the conical Chalqueño and the conical Elotes races; the second is identi ed as having a common ancestor with Teocintle; the third is an improved hybrid by the H-MX3; and the fourth includes the REBISE local maize varieties and other commercial varieties (Vs-536 y Vs-424.

  16. The terrestrial biosphere as a net source of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tian, Hanqin; Lu, Chaoqun; Ciais, Philippe; Michalak, Anna M; Canadell, Josep G; Saikawa, Eri; Huntzinger, Deborah N; Gurney, Kevin R; Sitch, Stephen; Zhang, Bowen; Yang, Jia; Bousquet, Philippe; Bruhwiler, Lori; Chen, Guangsheng; Dlugokencky, Edward; Friedlingstein, Pierre; Melillo, Jerry; Pan, Shufen; Poulter, Benjamin; Prinn, Ronald; Saunois, Marielle; Schwalm, Christopher R; Wofsy, Steven C

    2016-03-10

    The terrestrial biosphere can release or absorb the greenhouse gases, carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O), and therefore has an important role in regulating atmospheric composition and climate. Anthropogenic activities such as land-use change, agriculture and waste management have altered terrestrial biogenic greenhouse gas fluxes, and the resulting increases in methane and nitrous oxide emissions in particular can contribute to climate change. The terrestrial biogenic fluxes of individual greenhouse gases have been studied extensively, but the net biogenic greenhouse gas balance resulting from anthropogenic activities and its effect on the climate system remains uncertain. Here we use bottom-up (inventory, statistical extrapolation of local flux measurements, and process-based modelling) and top-down (atmospheric inversions) approaches to quantify the global net biogenic greenhouse gas balance between 1981 and 2010 resulting from anthropogenic activities and its effect on the climate system. We find that the cumulative warming capacity of concurrent biogenic methane and nitrous oxide emissions is a factor of about two larger than the cooling effect resulting from the global land carbon dioxide uptake from 2001 to 2010. This results in a net positive cumulative impact of the three greenhouse gases on the planetary energy budget, with a best estimate (in petagrams of CO2 equivalent per year) of 3.9 ± 3.8 (top down) and 5.4 ± 4.8 (bottom up) based on the GWP100 metric (global warming potential on a 100-year time horizon). Our findings suggest that a reduction in agricultural methane and nitrous oxide emissions, particularly in Southern Asia, may help mitigate climate change.

  17. Berlengas Biosphere Reserve - Plan for the assessment of ecosystem services and functions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sergio Miguel Leandro

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available The project Berlengas Biosphere Reserve - Plan for the Assessment of Ecosystem Services and Functions arises from the need to identify and assess ecosystem services, promoting sustainable uses of the services in the Reserve. The high degradation rate currently observed in the natural systems, thus reducing the level and quality of ecosystem services, is reflected in a negative effect on environmental quality, human well-being and in some economic activities. Thus, it becomes inevitable to promote the need to convey the importance of these services to society. It is also essential to contribute to the development of innovative and environmentally sustainable practices which will maintain the functioning of the local ecosystem and the sustainability of the services. Thus, the main goals of this project are i to identify and analyse the impacts and dependencies on ecosystem services in the Reserve; ii to analyse the trends of the priority services, iii to identify the risks and opportunities associated with these services; iv to evaluate their value and ultimately iv to disseminate the results improving conservation and management. Based on the results to be obtained through the evaluation and maintenance of these services it is expected an improvement on the environment in the region and the development of efficient mechanisms for the management of resources. Started in February 2014, over the past 3 months much research has already been conducted, with emphasis for the identification of services and opportunities in the Reserve. Ecosystem services in Berlengas can range from simply providing essential goods or support (e.g. fish to cultural services (e.g. field trips, diving. Work is also being done to develop, define and optimize the methods to assess ecosystems services trends and values.

  18. Multiple-host pathogens in domestic hunting dogs in Nicaragua's Bosawás Biosphere Reserve.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fiorello, Christine V; Straub, Mary H; Schwartz, Laura M; Liu, James; Campbell, Amanda; Kownacki, Alexa K; Foley, Janet E

    2017-03-01

    Nicaragua's Bosawás Biosphere Reserve is a vast forested area inhabited largely by indigenous Mayangna and Miskitu people. Most Bosawás residents rely on subsistence hunting and swidden agriculture, and hunting dogs are important for finding and securing wild game. We investigated the health of hunting dogs in three communities differing in location, size, and economy. Dogs in all communities were nutritionally compromised and experienced a heavy burden of disease. Seroprevalence of canine distemper, canine parvovirus, Rickettsia rickettsii, and Leptospira spp. exceeded 50% of dogs. At least one dog was actively shedding leptospires in urine, and many dogs were anemic and/or dehydrated. These dogs interact with wildlife in the forest and humans and domestic livestock in the communities, and may therefore serve as sources of zoonotic and wildlife diseases. Bosawás represents one of the largest intact tracts of habitat for jaguars (Panthera onca) in Central America, and given that these communities are located within the forest, jaguars may be at risk from disease spillover from hunting dogs. Dog owners reported that four of 49 dogs had been attacked and killed by jaguars in the past year, and that retaliatory killing of jaguars was sometimes practiced. Disease spillover from dogs to wildlife could occur both in the course of dogs' hunting activities as well as during jaguar attacks. A better understanding of dog depredation by jaguars, pathogen exposure in jaguars, and a management strategy for the hunting dog population, are urgently needed to mitigate these dual threats to jaguars, improve the lives of hunting dogs, and safeguard the health of their owners.

  19. Intracultural variation of knowledge about wild plant uses in the Biosphere Reserve Grosses Walsertal (Austria)

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-01-01

    Background Leading scholars in ethnobiology and ethnomedicine continuously stress the need for moving beyond the bare description of local knowledge and to additionally analyse and theorise about the characteristics and dynamics of human interactions with plants and related local knowledge. Analyses of the variation of local knowledge are thereby perceived as minimal standard. In this study we investigate the distribution and variation of wild plant knowledge in five domains: food, drinks, human medicine, veterinary medicine and customs. We assess relations between the wild plant knowledge of informants and their socio-demographic as well as geographic background. Method Research was conducted in the Biosphere Reserve Grosses Walsertal, Austria. Structured questionnaires were used to inquire wild plant knowledge from 433 informants with varying socio-demographic and geographic background. Children assisted in the data collection. Data was analysed using descriptive statistics and generalized linear models. Results and discussion A majority of respondents is familiar with wild plant uses, however to varying degrees. Knowledge variations depend on the socio-demographic and geographic background of the informants as well as on the domains of knowledge under investigation: women, older informants and homegardeners report more human medicinal applications and applications in drinks than men, younger informants and non-homegardeners; farmers know a greater variety of veterinary medicinal applications than non-farmers; the place of residence relates significantly to food and veterinary uses. Customs are difficult to investigate in standardized matrices. The household-related distribution of work and the general socio-cultural context are especially helpful in order to explain intracultural variation of knowledge in the Grosses Walsertal. Conclusions Research on the intracultural variation of local knowledge exposes cultural characteristics and highlights the cultural

  20. Including Tropical Croplands in a Terrestrial Biosphere Model: Application to West Africa

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berg, A.; Sultan, B.; de Noblet, N.

    2008-12-01

    Studying the large-scale relationships between climate and agriculture raises two different issues: the impact of climate on crops, and the potential feedbacks to climate from croplands. A relevant framework to consistently address this twofold issue is to extend existing Dynamic Global Vegetation Models, which can be coupled to climate models, in order to explicitly account for croplands. Here we present the first results of such a strategy applied to tropical croplands over West Africa. We introduce directly into the terrestrial biosphere model ORCHIDEE (IPSL) adequate processes and parametrizations taken from the crop model SARRAH (CIRAD), which is calibrated for millet over this region. The resulting model, ORCH-mil, realistically simulates the growth and yield of millet when tested on an experimental station in Senegal. The model is then applied over West Africa using a 36-year climate reanalysis dataset. First the model is tested in terms of yield simulation, against national millet yields from the FAO database. The ability of the model to reproduce the spatial and temporal variability of millet yields is assessed. Then, the effects on land surface fluxes of explicitly accounting for croplands are examined, by comparison between ORCH-mil and ORCHIDEE. These first simulations show consistent results, but underline the need for some further development and validation of the model if it is to simulate yields accurately. In terms of land surface fluxes, significant differences between ORCH-mil and ORCHIDEE appear, mainly via changes in evaporation and albedo. The potential impact on the west African monsoon system of such differences needs to be investigated by coupling ORCH-mil to a climate model: first results from such an experiment will be presented.

  1. Source of nutrient substrates for microbes in deep biosphere and characteristics of biogenic gas source rock

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2010-01-01

    To understand the biogas formation in geological basins, the present work investigated the reactive organic matter in sediments of the Sanhu depression of Qaidam Basin, a prolific region of biogenic gases with a proved reserve of 300 bil steres. The ROC (reactive organic carbon) was obtained by ultrasonic extraction from sediment samples in the solution of 6 mol/L HCl and 5% K2SO4. To investigate the effect of early diagenesis, parts of the samples were heated at 80°C before extraction. The results showed that the ROC content at a constant temperature decreased with increasing burial depths, which should be attributed to the microbial consumption. For the same sample, the ROC content heated at 80°C was dramatically higher than the unheated. The increment of the ROC content for some samples was as high as 200% in the experiment. The dramatically increasing ROC by thermal action should be the major nutrient substrate for the deep biospheres in most geological basins. There is a positive correlation between the reactive organic carbon (ROC) and the traditional insoluble organic carbon (TOC), not only for its absolute content of the ROC, but also for the ’ROC’ produced in thermal action, all of these are clearly related with TOC. These data showed that higher abundance of organic matter can contribute more to the reactive organic matter, and is more favorable to the formation of biogenic gases. In the Sanhu depression of Qaidam Basin, more than 85% of the biogenic gas reserves occur in the lower layers (K5-K13) with a relatively high abundance of organic matter. The exploration has provided further evidence that deposits with higher abundance of organic matter are effective biogas source rocks.

  2. Towards the Quantification of Organic Matter Degradation in the Deep Biosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Larowe, D.; Amend, J. P.

    2011-12-01

    The oxidative degradation of organic matter is a key process in the biogeochemical functioning of the earth system. Quantitative models of organic matter degradation are therefore essential for understanding the chemical state and evolution of the Earth's near-surface environment. In order for these models to capture large-scale patterns of change, the underlying formulations in them must account for organic matter transformations throughout a range of environments characterized by differing temperatures, pressures and compositions over short and long time scales. However, the complex nature of biologically produced organic matter, and it's evolution in the deep biosphere, represent a major obstacle to the development of such models. Here, a new energetic description of organic matter is combined with bioenergetic theory to rationalize observed patterns in the decomposition of natural organic matter by comparing the energetics of the oxidative degradation of a large number of naturally occurring organic compounds. By relating the Gibbs energies of half reactions describing the complete mineralization of the compounds to their average nominal carbon oxidation state, it becomes possible to estimate the energetic potential of the compounds based on major element (C, H, N, O, P, S) ratios. Furthermore, a new thermodynamic limiting function is introduced that can be used to model microbial metabolism throughout the range of conditions in which they are known to be active. This formulation is based upon a comparison of the amount of energy available from any redox reaction to the energy required to a maintain membrane potential, a proxy for the minimum amount of energy a microbe requires in order to be considered active. This function does not require species- or metabolism-specific parameters, and can be used to model metabolisms that capture any amount of energy. The proposed approaches open the way for the inclusion of the thermodynamic properties of organic compounds

  3. Design and development of a microwave multifrequency polarimetric scatterometer for biosphere remote sensing

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Stjernman, A.

    1995-05-01

    The main topic of this research report is the design and development of a multifrequency, polarimetric scatterometer for biosphere remote sensing. The system was developed using a standard HP network analyzer, a crossed log-periodic dipole antenna and a reflector. The scatterometer functions in a linear polarization basis between the L- and X-bands and gathers full-polarimetric information. The standard S-parameter measurements using the network analyzer were related to surface and volume scattering coefficients of rough surface, snow cover and vegetation media. The scatterometer measurements were carried out in the frequency domain to make use of narrow band filters in the receiver chain. The fast Fourier transform was used to convert the frequency domain measurements to the time domain. The range resolution of the system was 20 cm; azimuthal and elevation resolutions are determined by the antenna beam widths. Range side lobes were reduced by making use of appropriate weighting (Kaiser-Bessel window) functions. The accuracy of target characterization depends on the quality of scatterometer calibration. A novel technique to estimate the absolute gain and crosstalk of the radar system was developed. Using a distortion matrix approach, the cross-polarization response of the system was improved by 10 to 25 dB. The radar measurements were validated by comparing point target radar observations with the corresponding theoretical values. Also, measurements of fading decorrelation distance and decorrelation bandwidth or rough surfaces were in good agreement with the theory. Backscatter observations of vegetation and snow cover were comparable to earlier published values for a similar environment. 50 refs, 56 figs, 1 tab.

  4. Terrestrial biosphere changes over the last 120 kyr and their impact on ocean δ 13C

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    B. A. A. Hoogakker

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available A new global synthesis and biomization of long (>40 kyr pollen-data records is presented, and used with simulations from the HadCM3 and FAMOUS climate models to analyse the dynamics of the global terrestrial biosphere and carbon storage over the last glacial–interglacial cycle. Global modelled (BIOME4 biome distributions over time generally agree well with those inferred from pollen data. The two climate models show good agreement in global net primary productivity (NPP. NPP is strongly influenced by atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2 concentrations through CO2 fertilization. The combined effects of modelled changes in vegetation and (via a simple model soil carbon result in a global terrestrial carbon storage at the Last Glacial Maximum that is 210–470 Pg C less than in pre-industrial time. Without the contribution from exposed glacial continental shelves the reduction would be larger, 330–960 Pg C. Other intervals of low terrestrial carbon storage include stadial intervals at 108 and 85 ka BP, and between 60 and 65 ka BP during Marine Isotope Stage 4. Terrestrial carbon storage, determined by the balance of global NPP and decomposition, influences the stable carbon isotope composition (δ13C of seawater because terrestrial organic carbon is depleted in 13C. Using a simple carbon-isotope mass balance equation we find agreement in trends between modelled ocean δ13C based on modelled land carbon storage, and palaeo-archives of ocean δ13C, confirming that terrestrial carbon storage variations may be important drivers of ocean δ13C changes.

  5. Resuscitation of the rare biosphere contributes to pulses of ecosystem activity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aanderud, Zachary T; Jones, Stuart E; Fierer, Noah; Lennon, Jay T

    2015-01-01

    Dormancy is a life history trait that may have important implications for linking microbial communities to the functioning of natural and managed ecosystems. Rapid changes in environmental cues may resuscitate dormant bacteria and create pulses of ecosystem activity. In this study, we used heavy-water (H(18) 2O) stable isotope probing (SIP) to identify fast-growing bacteria that were associated with pulses of trace gasses (CO2, CH4, and N2O) from different ecosystems [agricultural site, grassland, deciduous forest, and coniferous forest (CF)] following a soil-rewetting event. Irrespective of ecosystem type, a large fraction (69-74%) of the bacteria that responded to rewetting were below detection limits in the dry soils. Based on the recovery of sequences, in just a few days, hundreds of rare taxa increased in abundance and in some cases became dominant members of the rewetted communities, especially bacteria belonging to the Sphingomonadaceae, Comamonadaceae, and Oxalobacteraceae. Resuscitation led to dynamic shifts in the rank abundance of taxa that caused previously rare bacteria to comprise nearly 60% of the sequences that were recovered in rewetted communities. This rapid turnover of the bacterial community corresponded with a 5-20-fold increase in the net production of CO2 and up to a 150% reduction in the net production of CH4 from rewetted soils. Results from our study demonstrate that the rare biosphere may account for a large and dynamic fraction of a community that is important for the maintenance of bacterial biodiversity. Moreover, our findings suggest that the resuscitation of rare taxa from seed banks contribute to ecosystem functioning.

  6. Modeling the biophysical impacts of global change in mountain biosphere reserves

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bugmann, H.K.M.; Bjornsen, F. Ewert; Haeberli, W.; Guisan, A.; Fagre, Daniel B.; Kaab, A.

    2007-01-01

    Mountains and mountain societies provide a wide range of goods and services to humanity, but they are particularly sensitive to the effects of global environmental change. Thus, the definition of appropriate management regimes that maintain the multiple functions of mountain regions in a time of greatly changing climatic, economic, and societal drivers constitutes a significant challenge. Management decisions must be based on a sound understanding of the future dynamics of these systems. The present article reviews the elements required for an integrated effort to project the impacts of global change on mountain regions, and recommends tools that can be used at 3 scientific levels (essential, improved, and optimum). The proposed strategy is evaluated with respect to UNESCO's network of Mountain Biosphere Reserves (MBRs), with the intention of implementing it in other mountain regions as well. First, methods for generating scenarios of key drivers of global change are reviewed, including land use/land cover and climate change. This is followed by a brief review of the models available for projecting the impacts of these scenarios on (1) cryospheric systems, (2) ecosystem structure and diversity, and (3) ecosystem functions such as carbon and water relations. Finally, the cross-cutting role of remote sensing techniques is evaluated with respect to both monitoring and modeling efforts. We conclude that a broad range of techniques is available for both scenario generation and impact assessments, many of which can be implemented without much capacity building across many or even most MBRs. However, to foster implementation of the proposed strategy, further efforts are required to establish partnerships between scientists and resource managers in mountain areas.

  7. Crustal fluid and ash alteration impacts on the biosphere of Shikoku Basin sediments, Nankai Trough, Japan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Torres, M E; Cox, T; Hong, W-L; McManus, J; Sample, J C; Destrigneville, C; Gan, H M; Gan, H Y; Moreau, J W

    2015-11-01

    We present data from sediment cores collected from IODP Site C0012 in the Shikoku Basin. Our site lies at the Nankai Trough, just prior to subduction of the 19 Ma Philippine Sea plate. Our data indicate that the sedimentary package is undergoing multiple routes of electron transport and that these differing pathways for oxidant supply generate a complex array of metabolic routes and microbial communities involved in carbon cycling. Numerical simulations matched to pore water data document that Ca(2+) and Cl(1-) are largely supplied via diffusion from a high-salinity (44.5 psu) basement fluid, which supports the presence of halophile Archean communities within the deep sedimentary package that are not observed in shallow sediments. Sulfate supply from basement supports anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM) at a rate of ~0.2 pmol cm(-3) day(-1) at ~400 mbsf. We also note the disappearance of δ-Proteobacteria at 434 mbsf, coincident with the maximum in methane concentration, and their reappearance at 463 mbsf, coinciding with the observed deeper increase in sulfate concentration toward the basement. We did not, however, find ANME representatives in any of the samples analyzed (from 340 to 463 mbsf). The lack of ANME may be due to an overshadowing effect from the more dominant archaeal phylotypes or may indicate involvement of unknown groups of archaea in AOM (i.e., unclassified Euryarchaeota). In addition to the supply of sulfate from a basement aquifer, the deep biosphere at this site is also influenced by an elevated supply of reactive iron (up to 143 μmol g(-1)) and manganese (up to 20 μmol g(-1)). The effect of these metal oxides on the sulfur cycle is inferred from an accompanying sulfur isotope fractionation much smaller than expected from traditional sulfate-reducing pathways. The detection of the manganese- and iron-reducer γ-Proteobacteria Alteromonas at 367 mbsf is consistent with these geochemical inferences.

  8. Multidimensional spatial characterization of plant invasions in 'El Pinacate y Gran Desierto de Altar' Biosphere Reserve

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sanchez Flores, Erick

    Invasive species are considered an agent of ecological change with more significant effects than global warming. Exotic plant invasions threaten biodiversity and ecosystem viability worldwide. Their effects in the Sonoran Desert ecosystems are a growing concern among ecologists and land managers. We hypothesized that highly dynamic desert environments are unstable, therefore more vulnerable to invasion by exotic plant species. To test this hypothesis we used a multidimensional approach to assess the spatial distribution of two exotic species: Brassica tournefortii (Saharan mustard) and Schismus arabicus (Arabian grass), in a portion of 'El Pinacate y Gran Desierto de Altar' Biosphere Reserve (PBR) in northwestern Sonora, Mexico. This approach combined genetic algorithms, geographic information systems, field methods, statistical analysis, and remote sensing modeling at multiple spatial and temporal scales to predict and test the current and potential distribution of the invasives over dynamic landscapes. Predicted probability of invasion was influenced strongly by human factors: Road networks were the strongest predictors of presence, revealing the potential importance of humans as vectors of invasiveness. Dynamic landscapes, associated mostly with vegetation losses, were detected spectrally in the eastern portion of the study area, very likely associated with past agricultural and current grazing activity. Combined models of high probability for invasion by B. tournefortii and S. arabicus over dynamic landscapes were tested against confirmed locations of the invasives and land cover types associated with invasion. Results confirmed the hypothesis of the study and suggest that more dynamic landscapes are more prone to invasion by these two exotic plants in the PBR. B. tournefortii was found associated mostly with landscapes occupied by microphyllous desert scrub and grassland, as well as sarcocaulescent desert scrub. S. arabicus was found more abundantly in the

  9. Latest developments on the modeling of the biosphere in the management of radioactive waste in Spain; Ultimos desarrollos sobre la modelizacion de la biosfera en la gestion de residuos radiactivos en Espana

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Perez Sanchez, D.; Trueba Alonso, C.

    2013-07-01

    In recent years, the CIEMAT has developed for ENRESA a methodology and tools for safety assessment of the biosphere in the management of radioactive waste. This methodology includes modeling of migration and accumulation of radionuclides in the biosphere to allow the assessment of the radiological impact of the distribution of radionuclides in the environment. The working group is developing projects related to the safety assessment of the biosphere, which comprise several studies. In this paper the latest results obtained are described. (Author)

  10. Exchange processes at geosphere-biosphere interface. Current SKB approach and example of coupled hydrological-ecological approach

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Woerman, Anders [Swedish Univ. of Agricultural Sciences, Uppsala (Sweden). Dept. of Biometry and Technology

    2003-09-01

    The design of the repository for final disposal of spent nuclear fuel proposed by SKB is based on a multi-barrier system, in which the geosphere and biosphere are the utmost barrier surrounding the engineer barriers. This report briefly reviews the current approach taken by SKB to account for hydrological and ecological processes at the geosphere-biosphere interface (GBI) and their future plans in this area. A simple analysis was performed to shift the focus of performance assessment involving geosphere-biosphere interface modelling from the very simplistic assumption that the quaternary sediments are bypassed to one in which a more detailed model for sub-surface flows is included. This study indicated that, for many assumed ecosystem descriptions, the presence of the GBI leads to lower maximum doses to individual humans compared to a case when the GBI is neglected. This effect is due to the additional 'barrier' offered by the GBI. The main exposure pathways were assumed to occur through the food web. However, particularly the leakage on land through the stream-network and lakes can lead to higher doses due to ecosystem interaction with arable land. A scenario that gives particularly long duration of doses occurs due to land rise and with the transformation of the former bay and lake bed sediments into agricultural land. This effect is due to the significant retention or accumulation in aquatic sediment, which causes high activities to build up with time. Particularly, in combination with changing conditions in climate, humans life-style or geographic conditions (land rise, deforestation,etc.) doses to individual humans can be large.

  11. Reservas de la Biosfera de Chile—Laboratorios para la Sustentabilidad [Biosphere Reserves in Chile—Laboratories for Sustainability

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Martin F. Price

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available Reviewed: Reservas de la Biosfera de Chile—Laboratorios para la Sustentabilidad [Biosphere Reserves in Chile—Laboratories for Sustainability] Edited by Andrés Moreira-MuñozAxel Borsdorf. Innsbruck, Austria and Santiago de Chile, Chile: Austrian Academy of Science and Pontificia Universidad de Chile, 2014. xvii + 321 pp. Print copies can be ordered via igf-office@oeaw.ac.at, at € 30.00. Free download at http://www.mountainresearch.at/index.php/de/institut/veroeffentlichungen/79-institut/344-reservas-de-la-biosfera-de-chile.html. ISBN 978-956-14-1390-0.

  12. Studies of the terrestrial O2 and carbon cycles in sand dune gases and in biosphere 2

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Severinghaus, Jeffrey Peck [Columbia Univ., New York, NY (United States)

    1995-01-01

    Molecular oxygen in the atmosphere is coupled tightly to the terrestrial carbon cycle by the processes of photosynthesis, respiration, and burning. This dissertation examines different aspects of this coupling in four chapters. Chapter 1 explores the feasibility of using air from sand dunes to reconstruct atmospheric O2 composition centuries ago. Such a record would reveal changes in the mass of the terrestrial biosphere, after correction for known fossil fuel combustion, and constrain the fate of anthropogenic CO2.

  13. Silicon's organic pool and biological cycle in moso bamboo community of Wuyishan Biosphere Reserve

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    LI Zhen-ji; LIN Peng; HE Jian-yuan; YANG Zhi-wei; LIN Yi-ming

    2006-01-01

    Biomineralization of Si by plants into phytolith formation and precipitation of Si into clays during weathering are two important processes of silicon's biogeochemical cycle. As a silicon-accumulating plant, the widely distributed and woody Phyllostachys heterocycla var. pubescens (moso bamboo) contributes to storing silicon by biomineralization and, thus, prevents eutrophication of nearby waterbodies through silicon's erosion of soil particles.A study on the organic pool and biological cycle of silicon (Si) of the moso bamboo community was conducted in Wuyishan Biosphere Reserve, China. The results showed that: (1) the standing crop of the moso bamboo community was 13355.4 g/m2, of which 53.61%, 45.82% and 0.56% are represented by the aboveground and belowground parts ofmoso bamboos, and the underaboveground part, belowground part, litterfalls, and other fractions, accounted for 55.86%, 35.30%, 4.50% and 4.34%, respectively; (3) silicon concentration in stem, branch, leaf, base of stem, root, whip of bamboos, and other plants was 0.15%, 0.79%,3.10%, 4.40%, 7.32%, 1.52% and 1.01%, respectively; (4) the total Si accumulated in the standing crop of moso bamboo community was 448.91 g/m2, with 99.83% of Si of the total community stored in moso bamboo populations; (5) within moso bamboo Si, which is the time an average atom of Si remains in the soil before it is recycled into the trees or shrubs, was 16.4 years; (7) the enrichment ratio of Si in the moso bamboo community, which is the ratio of the mean concentration of nutrients in the net primary production to the mean concentration of nutrients in the biomass of a community, was 0.64; and lastly, (8) moso bamboo plants stored about 1.26× 1010 kg of silicon in the organic pool made up by the moso bamboo forests in the subtropical area of China.

  14. Mercury in soils and microbial biomass of the South Kirgizstan subregion of the biosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vadim, Ermakov; Valentina, Danilova; Ul'yana, Gulyaeva

    2016-04-01

    The purpose of this investigation was to clear up the role of soil microflora in the mercury concentration by microorganisms as they are related to a problem of the soil remediation. To complete the tasks as assigned, 150 samples of both various soils formed over the ore bodies outside the ore occurrence zones and waste dumps have been taken in the areas of South Kirgizstan Some 45 soil samples (horizon A, 0-20 cm) and dumps were used for microbiological analyses [1, 2]. The soil cover as seen in the work areas is represented by Haplic Calcisols (gray) soils. All the soils are generally calcareous, in some cases salted, and have various compositions. To grow the microbial biomass in order to determine mercury content levels in there, some soil media characterized by natural concentrations, ratios and forms of the compounds of these metals were used The results showed that the mercury concentrations in soils of the sampling area varied from 0.028 to 357.3 mg/kg. The highest metal content indices (up to 357.3 mg/kg) were found for soils formed over ores, and waste dumps. The lowest mercury content (0.028 to 0.066 mg/kg) was found for soils of the control area. The data on mercury and/or antimony accumulation by the biomass of soil microorganisms grown in soil media are represented. The soil samples having various mercury levels were collected in the South Kirgizstan subregion of the biosphere. It was established that the accumulation of the metals by soil microflora depends on their content in the soil, the microorganism growth is strongly inhibited at mercury concentration of 300 mg/kg in soil. A direct and reliable correlation between the metal content level in soils and their concentration by microorganisms is found. Within the background sites a tendency of increase in mercury extraction from the soil with 1 M HCl solution, in particular from salted soils is observed. In contrast, in the conditions of an excess of mercury content in soils of ore grounds, a weak

  15. Advances in understanding, models and parameterizations of biosphere-atmosphere ammonia exchange

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C. R. Flechard

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available Atmospheric ammonia (NH3 dominates global emissions of total reactive nitrogen (Nr, while emissions from agricultural production systems contribute about two-thirds of global NH3 emissions; the remaining third emanates from oceans, natural vegetation, humans, wild animals and biomass burning. On land, NH3 emitted from the various sources eventually returns to the biosphere by dry deposition to sink areas, predominantly semi-natural vegetation, and by wet and dry deposition as ammonium (NH4+ to all surfaces. However, the land/atmosphere exchange of gaseous NH3 is in fact bi-directional over unfertilized as well as fertilized ecosystems, with periods and areas of emission and deposition alternating in time (diurnal, seasonal and space (patchwork landscapes. The exchange is controlled by a range of environmental factors, including meteorology, surface layer turbulence, thermodynamics, air and surface heterogeneous-phase chemistry, canopy geometry, plant development stage, leaf age, organic matter decomposition, soil microbial turnover, and, in agricultural systems, by fertilizer application rate, fertilizer type, soil type, crop type, and agricultural management practices. We review the range of processes controlling NH3 emission and uptake in the different parts of the soil-canopy-atmosphere continuum, with NH3 emission potentials defined at the substrate and leaf levels by different [NH4+] / [H+] ratios (Γ. Surface/atmosphere exchange models for NH3 are necessary to compute the temporal and spatial patterns of emissions and deposition at the soil, plant, field, landscape, regional and global scales, in order to assess the multiple environmental impacts of airborne and deposited NH3 and NH4+. Models of soil/vegetation/atmosphere NH3 exchange are reviewed from the substrate and leaf scales to the global scale. They range from simple steady-state, "big leaf" canopy resistance models, to dynamic, multi-layer, multi-process, multi

  16. Advances in understanding, models and parameterisations of biosphere-atmosphere ammonia exchange

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C. R. Flechard

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available Atmospheric ammonia (NH3 dominates global emissions of total reactive nitrogen (Nr, while emissions from agricultural production systems contribute about two thirds of global NH3 emissions; the remaining third emanates from oceans, natural vegetation, humans, wild animals and biomass burning. On land, NH3 emitted from the various sources eventually returns to the biosphere by dry deposition to sink areas, predominantly semi-natural vegetation, and by wet and dry deposition as ammonium (NH4+ to all surfaces. However, the land/atmosphere exchange of gaseous NH3 is in fact bi-directional over unfertilized as well as fertilized ecosystems, with periods and areas of emission and deposition alternating in time (diurnal, seasonal and space (patchwork landscapes. The exchange is controlled by a range of environmental factors, including meteorology, surface layer turbulence, thermodynamics, air and surface heterogeneous-phase chemistry, canopy geometry, plant development stage, leaf age, organic matter decomposition, soil microbial turnover, and, in agricultural systems, by fertilizer application rate, fertilizer type, soil type, crop type, and agricultural management practices. We review the range of processes controlling NH3 emission and uptake in the different parts of the soil-canopy-atmosphere continuum, with NH3 emission potentials defined at the substrate and leaf levels by different [NH4+] / [H+] ratios (Γ. Surface/atmosphere exchange models for NH3 are necessary to compute the temporal and spatial patterns of emissions and deposition at the soil, plant, field, landscape, regional and global scales, in order to assess the multiple environmental impacts of air-borne and deposited NH3 and NH4+. Models of soil/vegetation/atmosphereem NH3 exchange are reviewed from the substrate and leaf scales to the global scale. They range from simple steady-state, "big leaf" canopy resistance models, to dynamic, multi-layer, multi

  17. The Greatest Legacy of the Large Scale Biosphere Atmosphere Experiment in Amazonia (LBA): A Bibliometric Assessment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keller, M. M.

    2015-12-01

    The Large Scale Biosphere Atmosphere Experiment in Amazonia (LBA) is an international continental scale effort led by Brazil to understand how land use change and climate change affects the role of Amazonia in the Earth system. During the first decade of studies (1998-2007), LBA researchers generated new understanding of Amazonia and published over 1000 papers. However, most LBA participants agree that training and education of a large cohort of scientists, especially students from Brazil, was the greatest contribution of LBA. I analyzed bibliographic data from the NASA supported component project known as LBA-ECO. This component covered a large cross-section of the LBA subject areas highlighting land use and land cover change, carbon cycling, nutrient cycling and other aspects of terrestrial and aquatic ecology. I reviewed the complete bibliography of peer-reviewed papers reported by LBA-ECO researchers (http://www.lbaeco.org/cgi-bin/web/investigations/lbaeco_refs.pl). The researchers reported 691 contributions from 1996 through 2013 of which 24 were theses that were removed them from further analysis. Of 667 papers and book chapters, I tallied the first authors separating categories for Brazilians, all students, and Brazilian students. Numerically, LBA-ECO production of papers peaked in 2004. Publication by Brazilians, students, and Brazilian students generally followed the same pattern as publication in general. However, student and Brazilian student contributions as first authors showed clearly increasing proportions of the papers from project initiation through peak publication. Brazilian student participation as first authors averaged more than 20% of all publications from 2003 to 2010 and more than half of all student publications had Brazilians as first authors. Foreign researchers, some initially reluctant to invest in Brazilian students, almost universally adapted the belief that the greatest legacy of LBA would be the contribution to building a cadre of

  18. Biomass Burning: The Cycling of Gases and Particulates from the Biosphere to the Atmosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Levine, J. S.

    2003-12-01

    Biomass burning is both a process of geochemical cycling of gases and particulates from the biosphere to the atmosphere and a process of global change. In the preface to the book, One Earth, One Future: Our Changing Global Environment (National Academy of Sciences, 1990), Dr. Frank Press, the President of the National Academy of Sciences, writes: "Human activities are transforming the global environment, and these global changes have many faces: ozone depletion, tropical deforestation, acid deposition, and increased atmospheric concentrations of gases that trap heat and may warm the global climate."It is interesting to note that all four global change "faces" identified by Dr. Press have a common thread - they are all caused by biomass burning.Biomass burning or vegetation burning is the burning of living and dead vegetation and includes human-initiated burning and natural lightning-induced burning. The bulk of the world's biomass burning occurs in the tropics - in the tropical forests of South America and Southeast Asia and in the savannasof Africa and South America. The majority of the biomass burning, primarily in the tropics (perhaps as much as 90%), is believed to be human initiated for land clearing and land-use change. Natural fires triggered by atmospheric lightning only accounts for ˜10% of all fires (Andreae, 1991). As will be discussed, a significant amount of biomass burning occurs in the boreal forests of Russia, Canada, and Alaska.Biomass burning is a significant source of gases and particulates to the regional and global atmosphere (Crutzen et al., 1979; Seiler and Crutzen, 1980; Crutzen and Andreae, 1990; Levine et al., 1995). Its burning is truly a multidiscipline subject, encompassing the following areas: fire ecology, fire measurements, fire modeling, fire combustion, remote sensing, fire combustion gaseous and particulate emissions, the atmospheric transport of these emissions, and the chemical and climatic impacts of these emissions. Recently

  19. BIOPROTA Key Issues in Biosphere Aspects of Assessment of the Long-term Impact of Contaminant Releases Associated with Radioactive Waste Management Theme 2: Task 7:Modelling Processes in the Geosphere Biosphere Interface Zone

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Pinedo, P.; Smith, G.; Aguero, A.; Albrecht, A.; Bath, A.; Benhabderrahmane, H.; Van Dorp, F.; Kautsky, U.; Klos, R.; Laciok, A.; Milodowski, T.; Selroos, J.O.; Simon, I.; Texier, D.; Thorne, M.; Willans, M.

    2005-07-01

    This document reports on BIOPROTA Theme 2, task 7 which investigated modelling processes in the geosphere- biosphere interface zone (GBIZ) during performance assessments. Modelling issues in the treatment of the GBIZ are identified. A large proportion of the identified issues concern modelling radionuclide behaviour in near surface aquifers which are subject to relatively high gradients in chemical and other conditions. Other key issues concern transfer of radionuclides through the unsaturated zone above aquifers, bearing in mind the scope for erosion and variations in the level of the phreatic surface and also the consideration of environmental change. A number of research areas are highlighted that are aimed at addressing each of the identified issues in the treatment of GBIZ. These include (i) Developing of a current statement of continuing problems, and hence clarify and justify the need to do more; (ii) Conducting a review of site investigations as they have been done already, and determine whether they meet performance assessment requirements; (iii) Identifying scenarios and FEPs considered in current treatments; and, (iv) Conducting source-pathway-receptor analysis to demonstrate comprehensiveness of the overall scenario identification process. The objectives of these activities would be to determine the potential to reduce uncertainties and/or conservative assumptions in assessment of radionuclide transfer from the geosphere to biosphere domains, taking account of environmental change; and to develop guidance on site-characterisation needs at different types of site, as regards the near-surface features. (Author) 23 refs.

  20. Safety case for the disposal of spent nuclear fuel at Olkiluoto. Surface and near-surface hydrological modelling in the biosphere assessment BSA-2012

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Karvonen, T. [WaterHope, Helsinki (Finland)

    2013-05-15

    The Finnish nuclear waste disposal company, Posiva Oy, is planning an underground repository for spent nuclear fuel to be constructed on the island of Olkiluoto on the south-west coast of Finland. This study is part of the biosphere assessment (BSA-2012) within the safety case for the repository. The surface hydrological modelling described in this report is aimed at providing link between radionuclide transport in the geosphere and in the biosphere systems. The SVAT-model and Olkiluoto site scale surface hydrological model were calibrated and validated in the present day conditions using the input data provided by the Olkiluoto Monitoring Programme (OMO). During the next 10 000 years the terrain and ecosystem development is to a large extent driven by the postglacial crustal uplift. UNTAMO is a GIS toolbox developed for simulating land-uplift driven or other changes in the biosphere. All the spatial and temporal input data (excluding meteorological data) needed in the surface hydrological modelling were provided by the UNTAMO toolbox. The specific outputs given by UNTAMO toolbox are time-dependent evolution of the biosphere objects. They are continuous and sufficiently homogeneous sub-areas of the modelled area that could potentially receive radionuclides released from the repository. Possible ecosystem types for biosphere objects are coast, lake, river, forest, cropland, pasture and wetland. The primary goal of this study was to compute vertical and horizontal water fluxes in the biosphere objects. These data will be used in the biosphere radionuclide transport calculations. The method adopted here is based on calculating average vertical and horizontal fluxes for biosphere objects from the results of the full 3D-model. It was not necessary to develop any simplified hydrological model for the biosphere objects. This report includes modelling results from for the Reference Case (present day climate) and Terr{sub M}axAgri Case (maximum extent of agricultural areas

  1. Long term changes in forest cover and land use of Similipal Biosphere Reserve of India using satellite remote sensing data

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    K R L Saranya; C Sudhakar Reddy

    2016-04-01

    The spatial changes in forest cover of Similipal Biosphere Reserve, Odisha, India over seven decades(1930–2012) in the last century has been quantified by using multi-temporal data from different sources.Over the period, the forest cover reduced by 970.8 km2 (23.6% of the total forest), and most significantlyduring the period, 1930–1975. Human-induced activities like conversion of forest land for agriculture,construction of dams and mining activities have been identified as major drivers of deforestation. Spatialanalysis indicates that 399 grids (1 grid = 1 × 1 km) have undergone large-scale changes in forest cover(>75 ha) during 1930–1975, while only 3 grids have shown >75 ha loss during 1975–1990. Annual netrate of deforestation was 0.58 during 1930–1975, which has been reduced substantially during 1975–1990 (0.04). Annual gross rate of deforestation in 2006–2012 is indeed low (0.01) as compared to thenational and global average. This study highlights the impact and effectiveness of conservation practicesin minimizing the rate of deforestation and protecting the Similipal Biosphere Reserve.

  2. Food production and nutrition in biosphere 2: results from the first mission September 1991 to September 1993

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silverstone, S. E.; Nelson, M.

    The initial test of the Biosphere 2 agricultural system was to provide a nutritionally adequate diet for eight crew members during a two year closure experiment, 1991-1993. The overall results of that trial are presented in this paper. The 2000 m^2 cropping area provided about 80 percent of overall nutritional needs during the two years. Adaptation of the crew to the diet which averaged 2200 calories, 73 g. of protein and 32 g. of fat per person over the course of the two years. The diet was primarily vegetarian, with only small amounts of milk, meat and eggs from the system's domestic animals. The crew experienced 10-20 percent weight loss, most of which occurred in the first six months of the closure reflecting adaptation to the diet and lower caloric intake during that period. Since Biosphere 2 is a tightly sealed system, non-toxic methods of pest and disease control were employed and inedible plant material, domestic animal wastes and human waste-water were processed and nutrients returned to the soil. Crop pests and diseases, especially broad mites and rootknot nematode, reduced yields, and forced the use of alternative crops. Outstanding crops included rice, sweet potato, beets, banana, and papaya. The African pygmy goats were the most productive of the domestic animals. Overall, the agriculture and food processing required some 45% of the crew time.

  3. Probing the Rare Biosphere of the North-West Mediterranean Sea: An Experiment with High Sequencing Effort.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bibiana G Crespo

    Full Text Available High-throughput sequencing (HTS techniques have suggested the existence of a wealth of species with very low relative abundance: the rare biosphere. We attempted to exhaustively map this rare biosphere in two water samples by performing an exceptionally deep pyrosequencing analysis (~500,000 final reads per sample. Species data were derived by a 97% identity criterion and various parametric distributions were fitted to the observed counts. Using the best-fitting Sichel distribution we estimate a total species richness of 1,568-1,669 (95% Credible Interval and 5,027-5,196 for surface and deep water samples respectively, implying that 84-89% of the total richness in those two samples was sequenced, and we predict that a quadrupling of the present sequencing effort would suffice to observe 90% of the total richness in both samples. Comparing the HTS results with a culturing approach we found that most of the cultured taxa were not obtained by HTS, despite the high sequencing effort. Culturing therefore remains a useful tool for uncovering marine bacterial diversity, in addition to its other uses for studying the ecology of marine bacteria.

  4. Monitoring atmospheric pollutants in the biosphere reserve Wienerwald by a combined approach of biomonitoring methods and technical measurements.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krommer, Viktoria; Zechmeister, Harald G; Roder, Ingrid; Scharf, Sigrid; Hanus-Illnar, Andrea

    2007-05-01

    In this study a combined approach of bioindication results correlated with an extensive set of data on air pollution and climate was used to assess the pollution status of the Man and Biosphere Reserve Wienerwald (Austria). Bryophytes served as impact indicators (via the Index of Atmospheric Purity-method IAP) at 30 sites as well as accumulation monitors for airborne trace elements (Al, Pb, V, S, Zn, Fe, Cu, Cr, Ni, Co, Mo, Cd, As, Sb and 16 EPA-PAHs) at 10 sites within the reserve. The results of these bioindication methods were subsequently correlated with further pollution (NO(2), SO(2) and dust) and climate data (precipitation, temperature and humidity). The findings obtained clearly indicate the following: Bryophyte distribution is solely influenced by the status of air quality, without interference by climatic or site-related factors, which is in contrast to several previous investigations. IAP-values correlated significantly with NO(2) (0.553; P=0.004), SO(2) winter values (0.511; P=0.013) and PM10 (dust) (0.561; P=0.013). The results obtained via chemical analyses revealed a strong correlation with data derived from the IAP methodology. In terms of the overall air quality within the biosphere reserve Wienerwald, the north-eastern part appears to be the most affected one with a most likely pollution contribution emitted by the capital city Vienna, agriculture and neighbouring countries.

  5. Probing the Rare Biosphere of the North-West Mediterranean Sea: An Experiment with High Sequencing Effort.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crespo, Bibiana G; Wallhead, Philip J; Logares, Ramiro; Pedrós-Alió, Carlos

    2016-01-01

    High-throughput sequencing (HTS) techniques have suggested the existence of a wealth of species with very low relative abundance: the rare biosphere. We attempted to exhaustively map this rare biosphere in two water samples by performing an exceptionally deep pyrosequencing analysis (~500,000 final reads per sample). Species data were derived by a 97% identity criterion and various parametric distributions were fitted to the observed counts. Using the best-fitting Sichel distribution we estimate a total species richness of 1,568-1,669 (95% Credible Interval) and 5,027-5,196 for surface and deep water samples respectively, implying that 84-89% of the total richness in those two samples was sequenced, and we predict that a quadrupling of the present sequencing effort would suffice to observe 90% of the total richness in both samples. Comparing the HTS results with a culturing approach we found that most of the cultured taxa were not obtained by HTS, despite the high sequencing effort. Culturing therefore remains a useful tool for uncovering marine bacterial diversity, in addition to its other uses for studying the ecology of marine bacteria.

  6. Long term changes in forest cover and land use of Similipal Biosphere Reserve of India using satellite remote sensing data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saranya, K. R. L.; Reddy, C. Sudhakar

    2016-04-01

    The spatial changes in forest cover of Similipal biosphere reserve, Odisha, India over eight decades (1930-2012) has been quantified by using multi-temporal data from different sources. Over the period, the forest cover reduced by 970.8 km2 (23.6% of the total forest), and most significantly during the period, 1930-1975. Human-induced activities like conversion of forest land for agriculture, construction of dams and mining activities have been identified as major drivers of deforestation. Spatial analysis indicates that 399 grids (1 grid = 1 × 1 km) have undergone large-scale changes in forest cover (>75 ha) during 1930-1975, while only 3 grids have shown >75 ha loss during 1975-1990. Annual net rate of deforestation was 0.58 during 1930-1975, which has been reduced substantially during 1975-1990 (0.04). Annual gross rate of deforestation in 2006-2012 is indeed low (0.01) as compared to the national and global average. This study highlights the impact and effectiveness of conservation practices in minimizing the rate of deforestation and protecting the Similipal Biosphere Reserve.

  7. Bioaccumulation and distribution of metals in sediments and Avicenna marina tissues in the Hara Biosphere Reserve, Iran.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nowrouzi, Mohsen; Pourkhabbaz, Alireza; Rezaei, Mohammadreza

    2012-10-01

    The metal pollution in Sediments and Avicenna marina tissues in the Hara Biosphere Reserve was monitored for Lead (Pb), Cadmium (Cd), and Nickel (Ni) with atomic absorption spectrometer. The results showed that the mean concentration of Pb, Cd, and Ni in the water and sediments were much higher than the recommended threshold limits in the most stations, also the highest means of Pb, Cd, and Ni were observed in Avicenna roots and it were 25.26 ± 4.86, 2.17 ± 0.74, and 26.72 ± 6.17 (μg g(-1)) respectively. Calculating BCF (bioconcentration factor) index illustrates that A. marina accumulates Pb, Cd, and Ni 1.62, 1.52 and 0.73 times greater than sediment levels respectively, So it can show that A. marina may be employed as a biological indicator exposure of Cd, Pb, and Ni with temporal monitoring, also the factories were main sources of metals contamination in the Hara Biosphere Reserve.

  8. Human domination of the biosphere: Rapid discharge of the earth-space battery foretells the future of humankind.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schramski, John R; Gattie, David K; Brown, James H

    2015-08-01

    Earth is a chemical battery where, over evolutionary time with a trickle-charge of photosynthesis using solar energy, billions of tons of living biomass were stored in forests and other ecosystems and in vast reserves of fossil fuels. In just the last few hundred years, humans extracted exploitable energy from these living and fossilized biomass fuels to build the modern industrial-technological-informational economy, to grow our population to more than 7 billion, and to transform the biogeochemical cycles and biodiversity of the earth. This rapid discharge of the earth's store of organic energy fuels the human domination of the biosphere, including conversion of natural habitats to agricultural fields and the resulting loss of native species, emission of carbon dioxide and the resulting climate and sea level change, and use of supplemental nuclear, hydro, wind, and solar energy sources. The laws of thermodynamics governing the trickle-charge and rapid discharge of the earth's battery are universal and absolute; the earth is only temporarily poised a quantifiable distance from the thermodynamic equilibrium of outer space. Although this distance from equilibrium is comprised of all energy types, most critical for humans is the store of living biomass. With the rapid depletion of this chemical energy, the earth is shifting back toward the inhospitable equilibrium of outer space with fundamental ramifications for the biosphere and humanity. Because there is no substitute or replacement energy for living biomass, the remaining distance from equilibrium that will be required to support human life is unknown.

  9. The biosphere at Aberg, Beberg and Ceberg - a description based on literature concerning climate, physical geography, ecology, land use and environment

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lindborg, T.; Schueldt, R. [NaturRaadet, (Sweden)

    1998-12-01

    The current safety analysis, SR 97, compares three sites in Sweden. This report compares the biosphere for the three areas, Aespoe, Finnsjoen and Gideaa, which have been studied to describe the conditions at three hypothetical sites, Aberg, Beberg and Ceberg. Data from these sites will be used in analysis and to make realistic models of the biosphere development. The report is based on a literature study considering climate, physical geography, vegetation, ecology, land use, environment and population. Data from each site is presented separately and is compared for present conditions and from a future perspective. The locations of the sites along the south-north gradient influences the climate, temperature, vegetation period and precipitation. Aberg has a more humid climate with a longer vegetation period, a higher mean temperature, a higher diversity and a faster turn-over time than Beberg and Ceberg. There is also a difference in land use, where Beberg has the greatest potential for agriculture, because of the soil types and topography. Abergs location in the archipelago makes it very exposed to shore level displacement, compared to Beberg and Ceberg with a higher elevation. The highest population density is found in Aberg, but Beberg has the highest potential for increase. Simplified models made from present and future biosphere conditions, show that the sites have different prerequisite concerning biosphere factors. The parameters that may affect the ecosystem and the biosphere over time are more likely to change in Aberg due to position above sea level, climate, sea level displacement and land use. Biosphere changes are however in a long time perspective hard to predict. The models used in this report are a suggestion on how to evaluate biological data in a more thorough study. 99 refs, 14 figs, 31 tabs

  10. Access 1996: A directory of permanent plots which monitor flora, fauna, climate, hydrology, soil, geology, and the effects of anthropogenic changes at 132 biosphere reserves in 27 countries

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1996-07-01

    This directory summarizes information about environmental data collected in permanent monitoring and research plots in 132 biosphere reserves in Canada, the United States, and 25 European countries. The text of the directory is organized alphabetically by country and, within each country, alphabetically according to the name of the biosphere reserve. Tabular summaries of information on permanent plots are provided. The summaries are organized topically . A general summary of basic information on permanent plots is followed by more detailed information on permanent plots dedicated primarily to monitroing and research on particular topics.

  11. The Deep Cool Terrestrial Biosphere: Habitability of ancient fracture waters of the Canadian Shield (Invited)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sherwood Lollar, B.; Ballentine, C. J.; Holland, G.; Li, L.; Slater, G. F.; Moser, D. P.

    2013-12-01

    waters and gases with conservative noble gases (He, Ne, Ar, Kr, Xe) provided bulk residence times on the order of billions of years [3]. These results for the first time suggest a realm of the Earth's hydrosphere that preserves a geochemical (and potentially microbial) environment minimally impacted by hydrogeological mixing with the surface over geologic time scales. Ongoing research is investigating the potential for microbial life in these waters, and the timing of life's penetration of these environments relative to the residence times of the fracture waters. These frontiers of the deep cool biosphere may provide a window into the Earth's biodiversity. The saline fracture waters provide a critical environment in which to investigate habitability and to determine whether the types of chemolithotrophic life recognized at the vents and hot springs are supported in the much larger segments of the Earth's crust where lower temperatures and hence slower rates of water-rock reaction prevail. The deepest fracture water may even provide the opportunity to investigate controls on the biotic-abiotic transition and limits to life in the deep Earth. [1] Lin et al. (2006) Science 314, 479-482. [2] Lippmann-Pipke et al. (2011) Chemical Geology 283, 287-296. [3] Holland et al. (2013) Nature 497, 357-360.

  12. Nitrogen cycling in the subsurface biosphere: nitrate isotopes in porewaters underlying the oligotrophic North Atlantic

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wankel, S. D.; Buchwald, C.; Ziebis, W.; Wenk, C. B.; Lehmann, M. F.

    2015-08-01

    denitrification (15ϵDNF), parameters with high relevance to global ocean models of N cycling. Estimated values of δ15NNTR were generally lower than previously reported δ15N values for sinking PON in this region. We suggest that these values can be related to sedimentary N-fixation and remineralization of the newly fixed organic N. Values of δ18ONTR generally ranged between -2.8 and 0.0 ‰, consistent with recent estimates based on lab cultures of nitrifying bacteria. Notably, some δ18ONTR values were elevated, suggesting incorporation of 18O-enriched dissolved oxygen during nitrification, and possibly indicating a tight coupling of NH4+ and NO2- oxidation in this metabolically sluggish environment. Our findings indicate that the production of organic matter by in situ autotrophy (e.g., nitrification, nitrogen fixation) supply a large fraction of the biomass and organic substrate for heterotrophy in these sediments, supplementing the small organic matter pool derived from the overlying euphotic zone. This work sheds new light on an active nitrogen cycle operating, despite exceedingly low carbon inputs, in the deep sedimentary biosphere.

  13. Nitrogen cycling in the deep sedimentary biosphere: nitrate isotopes in porewaters underlying the oligotrophic North Atlantic

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wankel, S. D.; Buchwald, C.; Ziebis, W.; Wenk, C. B.; Lehmann, M. F.

    2015-12-01

    15NNTR (NTR, referring to nitrification) and δ18ONTR), as well as the isotope effect for denitrification (15ϵDNF) (DNF, referring to denitrification), parameters with high relevance to global ocean models of N cycling. Estimated values of δ15NNTR were generally lower than previously reported δ15N values for sinking particulate organic nitrogen in this region. We suggest that these values may be, in part, related to sedimentary N2 fixation and remineralization of the newly fixed organic N. Values of δ18ONTR generally ranged between -2.8 and 0.0 ‰, consistent with recent estimates based on lab cultures of nitrifying bacteria. Notably, some δ18ONTR values were elevated, suggesting incorporation of 18O-enriched dissolved oxygen during nitrification, and possibly indicating a tight coupling of NH4+ and NO2- oxidation in this metabolically sluggish environment. Our findings indicate that the production of organic matter by in situ autotrophy (e.g., nitrification, nitrogen fixation) supplies a large fraction of the biomass and organic substrate for heterotrophy in these sediments, supplementing the small organic-matter pool derived from the overlying euphotic zone. This work sheds new light on an active nitrogen cycle operating, despite exceedingly low carbon inputs, in the deep sedimentary biosphere.

  14. Nitrogen cycling in the subsurface biosphere: nitrate isotopes in porewaters underlying the oligotrophic North Atlantic

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. D. Wankel

    2015-08-01

    isotope effect for denitrification (15ϵDNF, parameters with high relevance to global ocean models of N cycling. Estimated values of δ15NNTR were generally lower than previously reported δ15N values for sinking PON in this region. We suggest that these values can be related to sedimentary N-fixation and remineralization of the newly fixed organic N. Values of δ18ONTR generally ranged between −2.8 and 0.0 ‰, consistent with recent estimates based on lab cultures of nitrifying bacteria. Notably, some δ18ONTR values were elevated, suggesting incorporation of 18O-enriched dissolved oxygen during nitrification, and possibly indicating a tight coupling of NH4+ and NO2− oxidation in this metabolically sluggish environment. Our findings indicate that the production of organic matter by in situ autotrophy (e.g., nitrification, nitrogen fixation supply a large fraction of the biomass and organic substrate for heterotrophy in these sediments, supplementing the small organic matter pool derived from the overlying euphotic zone. This work sheds new light on an active nitrogen cycle operating, despite exceedingly low carbon inputs, in the deep sedimentary biosphere.

  15. Transfer into the biosphere of radionuclides released from deep storage of radioactive wastes. Bibliographical study; Transfert dans la biosphere des radionucleides issus des stockages profonds de dechets radioactifs. Etude bibliographique

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Guedon, V.; Siclet, F.

    1995-03-01

    Most countries with civilian nuclear programs today are encountering difficulty in implementing a nuclear waste management policy that is both technically safe in the long term and accepted by the public. To meet both criteria, the solution most generally envisaged is deep storage either of untreated spent nuclear fuel or of highly radioactive wastes resulting from reprocessing. In order to predict the potential impact of such storage on man, one needs to understand the path followed by radionuclides in the geosphere, and later in the biosphere. Given the time scales involved and the critical nature of the elements concerned, it is indispensable to turn to mathematical modeling of the phenomena. This report presents what is hoped to be a complete inventory of the radionuclides contained in ``high level`` wastes (categories B AND C). The elements concerned in studies on deep storage are essentially long-life radionuclides (both actinides and certain fission and activation products). Their physico-chemical characteristics and their behavior in various ecological compartments are examined. Bibliographical data bearing on: solubility (in an oxidizing, reducing medium), distribution factors (water/rock-sediment-soil), concentration and transfer factors (in aquatic and terrestrial mediums), dose conversion factors (in the case of internal and external irradiation), principal paths of exposure for each radionuclide studied, are presented in this report. Initial results from international projects to model what happens to radionuclides in the biosphere are also presented. In general, they are optimistic as to the future, but nonetheless point to a need to improve the conceptual base of the models, to ensure that all major phenomena and processes are taken into consideration and to examine any possible amplification (author). 67 refs., 39 figs., 20 tabs.

  16. Modeling the impact of climate change in Germany with biosphere models for long-term safety assessment of nuclear waste repositories.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Staudt, C; Semiochkina, N; Kaiser, J C; Pröhl, G

    2013-01-01

    Biosphere models are used to evaluate the exposure of populations to radionuclides from a deep geological repository. Since the time frame for assessments of long-time disposal safety is 1 million years, potential future climate changes need to be accounted for. Potential future climate conditions were defined for northern Germany according to model results from the BIOCLIM project. Nine present day reference climate regions were defined to cover those future climate conditions. A biosphere model was developed according to the BIOMASS methodology of the IAEA and model parameters were adjusted to the conditions at the reference climate regions. The model includes exposure pathways common to those reference climate regions in a stylized biosphere and relevant to the exposure of a hypothetical self-sustaining population at the site of potential radionuclide contamination from a deep geological repository. The end points of the model are Biosphere Dose Conversion factors (BDCF) for a range of radionuclides and scenarios normalized for a constant radionuclide concentration in near-surface groundwater. Model results suggest an increased exposure of in dry climate regions with a high impact of drinking water consumption rates and the amount of irrigation water used for agriculture.

  17. A New ′Conservation Space′? Protected Areas, Environmental Economic Activities and Discourses in Two Yucatán Biosphere Reserves in Mexico

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sabrina Doyon

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available This article examines some of the local socioeconomic repercussions of two biosphere reserves on the Yucatán Peninsula-Ría Celestún and Ría Lagartos. We analyse aspects of the relationship that the residents of the six villages located within the two reserves have with their environment, by examining both the ′environmental economic activities′ residents are involved in and their discourses on, and interpretations of, the notion of environment and the conservation precepts put forward by the biosphere reserves. Our research explores how the objectives of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization′s Man and Biosphere Programme, disseminated by biosphere reserves, are put into practice on the ground. In particular, we look at how environmental economic activities are experienced and practised without necessarily being accompanied by the integration, acceptance, and internalisation of conservation principles-and how these activities contribute, or fail to contribute, to the crystallisation of a new ′conservation space′.

  18. Influence of prevailing disturbances on soil biology and biochemistry of montane habitats at Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve, India during wet and dry seasons

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Singh, S.K.; Singh, Anoop; Rai, J.P.N.

    2011-01-01

    The impact of prevailing disturbances in montane habitats of Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve (NDBR) was studied on soil microbial population, biomass, soil respiration and enzyme activities during wet and dry seasons. The physico-chemical characteristics of soils exhibited conspicuous variation in t...

  19. Temporary storage of carbon in the biosphere does have value for climate change mitigation: a response to the paper by Miko Kirschbaum

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Dornburg, V.; Marland, G.

    2008-01-01

    Kirschbaum (Mitig Adapt Strat Glob Change 11:1151–1164, 2006) explores the climatic impact over time of temporarily sequestering carbon from the atmosphere. He concludes that temporary storage of carbon in the terrestrial biosphere “achieves effectively no climate-change mitigation”. His strongly wo

  20. Intergovernmental Conference of Experts on the Scientific Basis for Rational Use and Conservation of the Resources of the Biosphere (Paris, France, September 4-13, 1968), Recommendations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization, Paris (France).

    This document contains twenty recommendations put forth at the Intergovernmental Conference of Experts on the Scientific Basis for Rational Use and Conservation of the Resources of the Biosphere under the direction of UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization). The conference was held at the UNESCO House, Paris,…

  1. Trends in deforestation and forest degradation after a decade of monitoring in the Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve in Mexico.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vidal, Omar; López-García, José; Rendón-Salinas, Eduardo

    2014-02-01

    We used aerial photographs, satellite images, and field surveys to monitor forest cover in the core zones of the Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve in Mexico from 2001 to 2012. We used our data to assess the effectiveness of conservation actions that involved local, state, and federal authorities and community members (e.g., local landowners and private and civil organizations) in one of the world's most iconic protected areas. From 2001 through 2012, 1254 ha were deforested (i.e., cleared areas had social and economic problems remain, and they must be addressed to ensure the reserve's long-term conservation. The monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus) overwintering colonies in Mexico-which engage in one of the longest known insect migrations-are threatened by deforestation, and a multistakeholder, regional, sustainable-development strategy is needed to protect the reserve.

  2. Response of Termite (Blattodea: Termitoidae) Assemblages to Lower Subtropical Forest Succession: A Case Study in Dinghushan Biosphere Reserve, China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Zhi-Qiang; Ke, Yun-Ling; Zeng, Wen-Hui; Zhang, Shi-Jun; Wu, Wen-Jing

    2016-02-01

    Termite (Blattodea: Termitoidae) assemblages have important ecological functions and vary in structure between habitats, but have not been studied in lower subtropical forests. To examine whether differences in the richness and relative abundance of termite species and functional groups occur in lower subtropical regions, termite assemblages were sampled in Dinghushan Biosphere Reserve, China, among pine forest, pine and broad-leaved mixed forest (mixed forest), and monsoon evergreen broad-leaved forest (monsoon forest). The dominant functional group was wood-feeding termites (family Termitidae), and the mixed forest hosted the greatest richness and relative abundance. Soil-feeding termites were absent from the lower subtropical system, while humus-feeding termites were sporadically distributed in mixed forest and monsoon forest. The species richness and functional group abundance of termites in our site may be linked to the forest succession. Altitude, soil temperature, air temperature, surface air relative humidity, and litter depth were significant influences on species and functional group diversity.

  3. Spatio-temporal dynamics of mosquitoes in stream pools of a biosphere reserve of Southern Western Ghats, India.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anbalagan, S; Arunprasanna, V; Kannan, M; Dinakaran, S; Krishnan, M

    2015-12-01

    The spatial and temporal dynamics of mosquitoes in stream pools were examined in a biosphere reserve of the Southern Western Ghats, India. The immature mosquitoes in stream pools were collected from stream substrates of bedrock pool, boulder cavity and sand puddle. The collected larvae and pupae were reared and identified. In total, 16 species from four genera of mosquitoes were collected. The mosquito species from Culex and Anopheles were predominantly occurred. The bedrock pool had the highest diversity and abundance of mosquitoes. The statistical analyses showed that the substrate specificity and the seasons were positively related to the distribution of mosquitoes rather than spatial pattern. This study described the spatial and temporal pattern of mosquitoes in stream pools of the Southern Western Ghats. This information would be helpful to National Vector borne disease control program for surveillance and control.

  4. Workplan for Catalyzing Collaboration with Amazonian Universities in the Large Scale Biosphere-Atmosphere Experiment in Amazonia (LBA)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, I. Foster; Moreira, Adriana

    1997-01-01

    Success of the Large-Scale Biosphere-Atmospheric Experiment in Amazonia (LBA) program depends on several critical factors, the most important being the effective participation of Amazonian researchers and institutions. Without host-county counterparts, particularly in Amazonia, many important studies cannot he undertaken due either to lack of qualified persons or to legal constraints. No less important, the acceptance of the LBA program in Amazonia is also dependent on what LBA can do for improving the scientific expertise in Amazonia. Gaining the active investment of Amazonian scientists in a comprehensive research program is not a trivial task. Potential collaborators are few, particularly where much of the research was to be originally focused - the southern arc of Brazilian Amazonia. The mid-term goals of the LBA Committee on Training and Education are to increase the number of collaborators and to demonstrate that LBA will be of benefit to the region.

  5. Nuclide documentation. Element specific parameter values used in the biospheric models of the safety assessments SR 97 and SAFE

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Karlsson, Sara; Bergstroem, Ulla [Studsvik Eco and Safety AB, Nykoeping (Sweden)

    2002-05-01

    In this report the element and nuclide specific parameter values used in the biospheric models of the safety assessments SR 97 and SAFE are presented. The references used are presented and where necessary the process of estimation of data is described. The parameters treated in this report are distribution coefficients in soil, organic soil and suspended matter in freshwater and brackish water, root uptake factors for pasturage, cereals, root crops and vegetables, bioaccumulation factors for freshwater fish, brackish water fish, freshwater invertebrates and marine water plants, transfer coefficients for transfer to milk and meat, translocation factors and dose coefficients for external exposure, ingestion (age-dependent values) and inhalation (age-dependent values). The radionuclides treated are those which could be of interest in the two safety assessments. Physical data such as half-lives and type of decay are also presented.

  6. Modelling of present and future hydrology and solute transport at Forsmark. SR-Site Biosphere

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bosson, Emma (Swedish Nuclear Fuel and Waste Management Co., Stocholm (Sweden)); Sassner, Mona; Sabel, Ulrika; Gustafsson, Lars-Goeran (DHI Sverige AB (Sweden))

    2010-10-15

    Radioactive waste from nuclear power plants in Sweden is managed by the Swedish Nuclear Fuel and Waste Management Co, SKB. SKB has performed site investigations at two different locations in Sweden, referred to as the Forsmark and Laxemar-Simpevarp areas, with the objective of siting a final repository for high-level radioactive waste. In 2009 a decision was made to focus on the Forsmark site. This decision was based on a large amount of empirical evidence suggesting Forsmark to be more suitable for a geological repository /SKB 2010b/. This report presents model results of numerical flow and transport modelling of surface water and near-surface groundwater at the Forsmark site for present and future conditions. Both temperate and periglacial climates have been simulated. Also different locations of the shoreline have been applied to the model, as well as different models of vegetation and Quaternary deposits. The modelling was performed using the modelling tool MIKE SHE and was based on the SDM-Site Forsmark MIKE SHE model (presented by Bosson et al. in SKB report R-08-09). The present work is a part of the biosphere modelling performed for the SR-Site safety assessment. The Forsmark area has a flat, small-scale topography. The study area is almost entirely below 20 m.a.s.l. (metres above sea level). There is a strong correlation between the topography of the ground surface and the ground water level in the Quaternary deposits (QD); thus, the surface water divides and the groundwater divides for the QD can be assumed to coincide. No major water courses flow through the catchment. Small brooks, which often dry out in the summer, connect the different sub-catchments with each other. The main lakes in the area, Lake Bolundsfjaerden, Lake Fiskarfjaerden, Lake Gaellsbotraesket and Lake Eckarfjaerden, all have sizes of less than one km2. The lakes are in general shallow. Approximately 70% of the catchment areas are covered by forest. Agricultural land is only present in

  7. Modelling of present and future hydrology and solute transport at Forsmark. SR-Site Biosphere

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bosson, Emma (Swedish Nuclear Fuel and Waste Management Co., Stocholm (Sweden)); Sassner, Mona; Sabel, Ulrika; Gustafsson, Lars-Goeran (DHI Sverige AB (Sweden))

    2010-10-15

    Radioactive waste from nuclear power plants in Sweden is managed by the Swedish Nuclear Fuel and Waste Management Co, SKB. SKB has performed site investigations at two different locations in Sweden, referred to as the Forsmark and Laxemar-Simpevarp areas, with the objective of siting a final repository for high-level radioactive waste. In 2009 a decision was made to focus on the Forsmark site. This decision was based on a large amount of empirical evidence suggesting Forsmark to be more suitable for a geological repository /SKB 2010b/. This report presents model results of numerical flow and transport modelling of surface water and near-surface groundwater at the Forsmark site for present and future conditions. Both temperate and periglacial climates have been simulated. Also different locations of the shoreline have been applied to the model, as well as different models of vegetation and Quaternary deposits. The modelling was performed using the modelling tool MIKE SHE and was based on the SDM-Site Forsmark MIKE SHE model (presented by Bosson et al. in SKB report R-08-09). The present work is a part of the biosphere modelling performed for the SR-Site safety assessment. The Forsmark area has a flat, small-scale topography. The study area is almost entirely below 20 m.a.s.l. (metres above sea level). There is a strong correlation between the topography of the ground surface and the ground water level in the Quaternary deposits (QD); thus, the surface water divides and the groundwater divides for the QD can be assumed to coincide. No major water courses flow through the catchment. Small brooks, which often dry out in the summer, connect the different sub-catchments with each other. The main lakes in the area, Lake Bolundsfjaerden, Lake Fiskarfjaerden, Lake Gaellsbotraesket and Lake Eckarfjaerden, all have sizes of less than one km2. The lakes are in general shallow. Approximately 70% of the catchment areas are covered by forest. Agricultural land is only present in

  8. Peat swamp forest types and their regeneration in Giam Siak Kecil-Bukit Batu Biosphere Reserve, Riau, East Sumatra, Indonesia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    H. Gunawan

    2012-04-01

    Full Text Available Although the ecology of tropical peat swamp forests is only now becoming understood, they are already under severe threat of conversion and degradation. Based on studies of the peat swamp forest of the Giam Siak Kecil–Bukit Batu Biosphere Reserve carried out between 2009 and 2010, this paper discusses forest types and regeneration processes in terms of promoting biodiversity conservation and sustainable management of the remaining peat swamp forest. Permanent plots covering a total area of three hectares were established in natural and disturbed forest areas. Within these plots, 135 tree species belonging to 34 families were identified. Mixed peat swamp forest and bintangur forest, which have different dominant species, were identified as the main forest types. The greatest species richness was in logged-over forest, with 82 species and a density of 2,492 stems ha-1. The success of regeneration varied between typical main species in the logged-over forest and in forest disturbed by wind and fire. All of the forest stands had high densities of trees with diameters at breast height (DBH of 3–10 cm, which are a potential source of recruitment to ensure the sustained regeneration of the forest remaining in the Biosphere Reserve. Regeneration is very important for improving the condition of disturbed peat swamp forest areas in the reserve, but natural regeneration will not be sufficient to restore the forest vegetation and conserve the associated biodiversity. Some form of human-assisted accelerated regeneration will be needed, such as enrichment planting of typical canopy species that have problems with establishment. It is important for the remaining natural peat swamp forests to be conserved because of their unique forest-type formations which have distinct dominant species, floristic composition, diversity and local environment characteristics. Improved management of secondary forest must be achieved through rehabilitation, halted forest

  9. Multiple steady-states in the terrestrial atmosphere-biosphere system: a result of a discrete vegetation classification?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Kleidon

    2007-08-01

    Full Text Available Multiple steady states in the atmosphere-biosphere system can arise as a consequence of interactions and positive feedbacks. While atmospheric conditions affect vegetation productivity in terms of available light, water, and heat, different levels of vegetation productivity can result in differing energy- and water partitioning at the land surface, thereby leading to different atmospheric conditions. Here we investigate the emergence of multiple steady states in the terrestrial atmosphere-biosphere system and focus on the role of how vegetation is represented in the model: (i in terms of a few, discrete vegetation classes, or (ii a continuous representation. We then conduct sensitivity simulations with respect to initial conditions and to the number of discrete vegetation classes in order to investigate the emergence of multiple steady states. We find that multiple steady states occur in our model only if vegetation is represented by a few vegetation classes. With an increased number of classes, the difference between the number of multiple steady states diminishes, and disappears completely in our model when vegetation is represented by 8 classes or more. Despite the convergence of the multiple steady states into a single one, the resulting climate-vegetation state is nevertheless less productive when compared to the emerging state associated with the continuous vegetation parameterization. We conclude from these results that the representation of vegetation in terms of a few, discrete vegetation classes can result (a in an artificial emergence of multiple steady states and (b in a underestimation of vegetation productivity. Both of these aspects are important limitations to be considered when global vegetation-atmosphere models are to be applied to topics of global change.

  10. Multiple steady-states in the terrestrial atmosphere-biosphere system: a result of a discrete vegetation classification?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Kleidon

    2007-02-01

    Full Text Available Multiple steady states in the atmosphere-biosphere system can arise as a consequence of interactions and positive feedbacks. While atmospheric conditions affect vegetation productivity in terms of available light, water, and heat, different levels of vegetation productivity can result in differing energy- and water partitioning at the land surface, thereby leading to different atmospheric conditions. Here we investigate the emergence of multiple steady states in the terrestrial atmosphere-biosphere system and focus on the role of how vegetation is represented in the model: (i in terms of a few, discrete vegetation classes, or (ii a continuous representation. We then conduct sensitivity simulations with respect to initial conditions and to the number of discrete vegetation classes in order to investigate the emergence of multiple steady states. We find that multiple steady states occur in our model only if vegetation is represented by a few vegetation classes. With an increased number of classes, the difference between the number of multiple steady states diminishes, and disappears completely in our model when vegetation is represented by 8 classes or more. Despite the convergence of the multiple steady states into a single one, the resulting climate-vegetation state is nevertheless less productive when compared to the emerging state associated with the continuous vegetation parameterization. We conclude from these results that the representation of vegetation in terms of a few, discrete vegetation classes can result (a in an artificial emergence of multiple steady states and (b in a underestimation of vegetation productivity. Both of these aspects are important limitations to be considered when global vegetation-atmosphere models are to be applied to topics of global change.

  11. Microbial diversity and methodological diversity: When standardized methods may or may not be beneficial in deep subseafloor biosphere research

    Science.gov (United States)

    Darch, P. T.

    2015-12-01

    Scientists are often encouraged, and sometimes required, to standardize methods for collecting, analyzing, managing, and reporting data. Methods standardization within and between scientific domains is often considered beneficial for collaboration, developing scientific tools, and curation and sharing of data. However, efforts to standardize are often resisted for a range of social and technical reasons. Here we present findings from a case study of a domain characterized by high methodological diversity. This domain, the deep subseafloor biosphere, studies interactions between subseafloor microbial communities and the physical environment they inhabit. We have conducted 49 interviews and observed practice over a period of 18 months; the study is still ongoing. Domain scientists depend on core samples and data obtained from International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP) cruises. During cruises, basic data are produced about the physical composition of cores, using standard methods. However, no comparable microbiological data is produced on cruises. Many leading deep subseafloor biosphere scientists are concerned that this lack of standardized microbiological data limits their domain's scientific progress. They have identified heterogeneity of methods for microbiological analyses of cores as the major barrier to including such analyses on cruises. Among the actions these scientists have taken to promote methods standardization are journal articles and an international workshop. Despite these efforts, the community is not fully embracing standardization. One of the tensions is between perceived benefits for the community vs. a lack of incentives for individuals to perform necessary standardization work. This work includes meta-analyses to compare methods. However, the community lacks infrastructure and reward structures to support individuals to conduct such work. Another tension is concern amongst some scientists that standardizing methods now will foreclose

  12. Activity and abundance of denitrifying bacteria in the subsurface biosphere of diffuse hydrothermal vents of the Juan de Fuca Ridge

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bourbonnais, A.; Juniper, S. K.; Butterfield, D. A.; Devol, A. H.; Kuypers, M. M. M.; Lavik, G.; Hallam, S. J.; Wenk, C. B.; Chang, B. X.; Murdock, S. A.; Lehmann, M. F.

    2012-11-01

    Little is known about fixed nitrogen (N) transformation and elimination at diffuse hydrothermal vents where anoxic fluids are mixed with oxygenated crustal seawater prior to discharge. Oceanic N sinks that remove bio-available N ultimately affect chemosynthetic primary productivity in these ecosystems. Using 15N paired isotope techniques, we determined potential rates of fixed N loss pathways (denitrification, anammox) and dissimilatory nitrate reduction to ammonium (DNRA) in sulfidic hydrothermal vent fluids discharging from the subsurface at several sites at Axial Volcano and the Endeavour Segment on the Juan de Fuca Ridge. We also measured physico-chemical parameters (i.e., temperature, pH, nutrients, H2S and N2O concentrations) as well as the biodiversity and abundance of chemolithoautotrophic nitrate-reducing, sulfur-oxidizing γ-proteobacteria (SUP05 cluster) using sequence analysis of amplified small subunit ribosomal RNA (16S rRNA) genes in combination with taxon-specific quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) assays. Denitrification was the dominant N loss pathway in the subsurface biosphere of the Juan de Fuca Ridge, with rates of up to ~1000 nmol N l-1 day-1. In comparison, anammox rates were always waters. Taxon-specific qPCR revealed that γ-proteobacteria of the SUP05 cluster sometimes dominated the microbial community (SUP05/total bacteria up to 38%). Significant correlations were found between fixed N loss (i.e., denitrification, anammox) rates and in situ nitrate and dissolved inorganic nitrogen (DIN) deficits in the fluids, indicating that DIN availability may ultimately regulate N loss in the subsurface. Based on our rate measurements, and on published data on hydrothermal fluid fluxes and residence times, we estimated that up to ~10 Tg N yr-1 could globally be removed in the subsurface biosphere of hydrothermal vents systems, thus, representing a small fraction of the total marine N loss (~275 to > 400 Tg N yr-1).

  13. Group Dynamics as a Critical Component of Successful Space Exploration: Conceptual Theory and Insights from the Biosphere 2 Closure Experiment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nelson, Mark; Allen, John P.

    As space exploration and eventually habitation achieves longer durations, successfully managing group dynamics of small, physically isolated groups will become vital. The paper summarizes important underlying research and conceptual theory and how these manifested in a well-documented example: the closure experiments of Biosphere 2. Key research breakthroughs in discerning the operation of small human groups comes from the pioneering work of W.R. Bion. He discovered two competing modalities of behavior. The first is the “task-oriented” or work group governed by shared acceptance of goals, reality-thinking in relation to time, resources and rational, and intelligent management of challenges presented. The opposing, usually unconscious, modality is what Bion called the “basic-assumption” group and alternates between three “group animal” groups: dependency/kill the leader; fight/flight and pairing. If not dealt with, these dynamics work to undermine and defeat the conscious task group’s goal achievement. The paper discusses crew training and selection, various approaches to structuring the work and hierarchy of the group, the importance of contact with a larger population through electronic communication and dealing with the “us-them” syndrome frequently observed between crew and Mission Control. The experience of the first two year closure of Biosphere 2 is drawn on in new ways to illustrate vicissitudes and management of group dynamics especially as both the inside team of biospherians and key members of Mission Control had training in working with group dynamics. Insights from that experience may help mission planning so that future groups in space cope successfully with inherent group dynamics challenges that arise.

  14. Unintended outcomes of farmers' adaptation to climate variability: deforestation and conservation in Calakmul and Maya biosphere reserves

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Claudia Rodriguez-Solorzano

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Minimizing the impact of climate change on farmer livelihoods is crucial, but adaptation efforts may have unintended consequences for ecosystems, with potential impacts on farmers' welfare. Unintended outcomes of climate adaptation strategies have been widely discussed, however, empirical exploration has been neglected. Grounded in scholarship on climate adaptation, environmental governance, social-ecological systems, and land-use change, this paper studies whether farmers' climate adaptation contributes to deforestation or forest conservation. The paper draws on interviews with 353 farmers from 46 communities in Calakmul Biosphere Reserve in Mexico and Maya Biosphere Reserve in Guatemala. Farmers in the area of study have implemented adaptation strategies that people around the world have used for centuries, including migration, diversification, savings, and pooling. The findings show that climate adaptation can increase deforestation or support forest conservation depending on the type of adaptation strategy farmers implement. Saving, based on cattle ranching, is a deforestation-driving strategy. The choice of this strategy is influenced by distance to the commercial and administrative center and cash benefits from the forest. Deforestation can have a negative impact on farmers' welfare, as well as harm biodiversity and contribute to increased climate change. Thus, deforestation-driving adaptation strategies may be ineffective. However, diversification, based on off-farm jobs and operating provision shops, is a conservation-driving strategy influenced by distance as well as by family size. Farmers who choose diversification to adapt may contribute to a virtuous circle in which livelihood improvement in the short term leads to enhanced social-ecological resilience in the longer term. The need for farmers to implement adaptation strategies thus represents great risk but also opportunities.

  15. Adapt or Die on the Highway To Hell: Metagenomic Insights into Altered Genomes of Firmicutes from the Deep Biosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Briggs, B. R.; Colwell, F. S.

    2014-12-01

    The ability of a microbe to persist in low-nutrient environments requires adaptive mechanisms to survive. These microorganisms must reduce metabolic energy and increase catabolic efficiency. For example, Escherichia coli surviving in low-nutrient extended stationary phase have mutations that confer a growth advantage in stationary phase (GASP) phenotype, thus allowing for persistence for years in low-nutrient environments. Based on the fact that subseafloor environments are characterized by energy flux decrease with time of burial we hypothesize that cells from older (deeper) sediment layers will have more altered genomes compared to sequenced surface relatives and that these differences reflect adaptations to a low-energy flux environment. To test this hypothesis, sediment samples were collected from the Andaman Sea from the depths of 21, 40 and 554 meters below seafloor, with the ages of 0.34, 0.66, and 8.76 million years, respectively. A single operational taxonomic unit within Firmicutes, based on full-length 16S rDNA, dominated these low diversity samples. This unique feature allowed for metagenomic sequencing using the Illumina HiSeq to identify nucleotide variations (NV) between the subsurface Firmicutes and the closest sequenced representative, Bacillus subtilis BEST7613. NVs were present at all depths in genes that code for proteins used in energy-dependent proteolysis, cell division, sporulation, and (similar to the GASP mutants) biosynthetic pathways for amino acids, nucleotides, and fatty acids. Conserved genes such as 16S rDNA did not contain NVs. More NVs were found in genes from deeper depths. These NV may be beneficial or harmful allowing them to survive for millions of years in the deep biosphere or may be latent deleterious gene alterations that are masked by the minimal-growth status of these deep microbes. Either way these results show that microbes present in the deep biosphere experience environmental forcing that alters the genome.

  16. Decadal time-scale monitoring of forest fires in Similipal Biosphere Reserve, India using remote sensing and GIS.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saranya, K R L; Reddy, C Sudhakar; Rao, P V V Prasada; Jha, C S

    2014-05-01

    Analyzing the spatial extent and distribution of forest fires is essential for sustainable forest resource management. There is no comprehensive data existing on forest fires on a regular basis in Biosphere Reserves of India. The present work have been carried out to locate and estimate the spatial extent of forest burnt areas using Resourcesat-1 data and fire frequency covering decadal fire events (2004-2013) in Similipal Biosphere Reserve. The anomalous quantity of forest burnt area was recorded during 2009 as 1,014.7 km(2). There was inconsistency in the fire susceptibility across the different vegetation types. The spatial analysis of burnt area shows that an area of 34.2 % of dry deciduous forests, followed by tree savannah, shrub savannah, and grasslands affected by fires in 2013. The analysis based on decadal time scale satellite data reveals that an area of 2,175.9 km(2) (59.6 % of total vegetation cover) has been affected by varied rate of frequency of forest fires. Fire density pattern indicates low count of burnt area patches in 2013 estimated at 1,017 and high count at 1,916 in 2004. An estimate of fire risk area over a decade identifies 12.2 km(2) is experiencing an annual fire damage. Summing the fire frequency data across the grids (each 1 km(2)) indicates 1,211 (26 %) grids are having very high disturbance regimes due to repeated fires in all the 10 years, followed by 711 grids in 9 years and 418 in 8 years and 382 in 7 years. The spatial database offers excellent opportunities to understand the ecological impact of fires on biodiversity and is helpful in formulating conservation action plans.

  17. Multi-model analysis of terrestrial carbon cycles in Japan: reducing uncertainties in model outputs among different terrestrial biosphere models using flux observations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    K. Ichii

    2009-08-01

    Full Text Available Terrestrial biosphere models show large uncertainties when simulating carbon and water cycles, and reducing these uncertainties is a priority for developing more accurate estimates of both terrestrial ecosystem statuses and future climate changes. To reduce uncertainties and improve the understanding of these carbon budgets, we investigated the ability of flux datasets to improve model simulations and reduce variabilities among multi-model outputs of terrestrial biosphere models in Japan. Using 9 terrestrial biosphere models (Support Vector Machine-based regressions, TOPS, CASA, VISIT, Biome-BGC, DAYCENT, SEIB, LPJ, and TRIFFID, we conducted two simulations: (1 point simulations at four flux sites in Japan and (2 spatial simulations for Japan with a default model (based on original settings and an improved model (based on calibration using flux observations. Generally, models using default model settings showed large deviations in model outputs from observation with large model-by-model variability. However, after we calibrated the model parameters using flux observations (GPP, RE and NEP, most models successfully simulated seasonal variations in the carbon cycle, with less variability among models. We also found that interannual variations in the carbon cycle are mostly consistent among models and observations. Spatial analysis also showed a large reduction in the variability among model outputs, and model calibration using flux observations significantly improved the model outputs. These results show that to reduce uncertainties among terrestrial biosphere models, we need to conduct careful validation and calibration with available flux observations. Flux observation data significantly improved terrestrial biosphere models, not only on a point scale but also on spatial scales.

  18. A comparison between the example reference biosphere model ERB 2B and a process-based model: simulation of a natural release scenario.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Almahayni, T

    2014-12-01

    The BIOMASS methodology was developed with the objective of constructing defensible assessment biospheres for assessing potential radiological impacts of radioactive waste repositories. To this end, a set of Example Reference Biospheres were developed to demonstrate the use of the methodology and to provide an international point of reference. In this paper, the performance of the Example Reference Biosphere model ERB 2B associated with the natural release scenario, discharge of contaminated groundwater to the surface environment, was evaluated by comparing its long-term projections of radionuclide dynamics and distribution in a soil-plant system to those of a process-based, transient advection-dispersion model (AD). The models were parametrised with data characteristic of a typical rainfed winter wheat crop grown on a sandy loam soil under temperate climate conditions. Three safety-relevant radionuclides, (99)Tc, (129)I and (237)Np with different degree of sorption were selected for the study. Although the models were driven by the same hydraulic (soil moisture content and water fluxes) and radiological (Kds) input data, their projections were remarkably different. On one hand, both models were able to capture short and long-term variation in activity concentration in the subsoil compartment. On the other hand, the Reference Biosphere model did not project any radionuclide accumulation in the topsoil and crop compartments. This behaviour would underestimate the radiological exposure under natural release scenarios. The results highlight the potential role deep roots play in soil-to-plant transfer under a natural release scenario where radionuclides are released into the subsoil. When considering the relative activity and root depth profiles within the soil column, much of the radioactivity was taken up into the crop from the subsoil compartment. Further improvements were suggested to address the limitations of the Reference Biosphere model presented in this paper.

  19. Studies on the radiological assessment and modeling of the biosphere in radioactive waste management in Spain; Estudio sobre la evaluacion radiologica y modelizacion de la biosfera en la gestion de residuos radioactivos en Espna

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Perez-Sanchez, D.; Trueba, C.; Robles, B.

    2011-07-01

    Assessments of long-term safety in radioactive waste management means that the annual radiation dose due to the possible release of radionuclides to the biosphere does not exceed regulatory limits for members of the public. To quantify these doses should first develop models that describe the behavior of radionuclides in the environment that could also calculate the concentrations in different compartments of the biosphere, then estimated radiation doses to humans and the environment through the different routes of exposure. This paper describes recent results obtained by developing projects related to safety assessment of the biosphere, which include several studies.

  20. Quantifying the importance of the rare biosphere for microbial community response to organic pollutants in a freshwater ecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Yuanqi; Hatt, Janet K; Tsementzi, Despina; Rodriguez-R, Luis M; Ruiz-Pérez, Carlos A; Weigand, Michael R; Kizer, Heidi; Maresca, Gina; Krishnan, Raj; Poretsky, Rachel; Spain, Jim C; Konstantinidis, Konstantinos T

    2017-03-03

    A single liter of water contains hundreds, if not thousands, of bacterial and archaeal species, each of which typically makes up a very small fraction of the total microbial community (microbial community response to environmental perturbations represent important, unanswered questions toward better understanding the value and modeling of microbial diversity. We tested whether rare species frequently responded to changing environmental conditions by establishing 20 liter, planktonic mesocosms with water from Lake Lanier (Georgia, USA), and perturbing them with organic compounds that are rarely detected in the lake, including 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D), 4-nitrophenol (4-NP), and caffeine. The populations of the degraders of these compounds were initially below detection limit of qPCR or metagenomic sequencing methods, but increased substantially in abundance after perturbation. Sequencing of several degraders (isolates) and time-series metagenomic datasets revealed distinct, co-occurring alleles of degradation genes, encoded frequently on transmissible plasmids, especially for the 2,4-D mesocosms, and distinct species dominating the post-enrichment microbial communities from each replicated mesocosm. This diversity of species and genes also underlay distinct degradation profiles among replicated mesocosms. Collectively, these results supported the hypothesis that the rare biosphere can serve as a genetic reservoir, which can be frequently missed by metagenomics but enables community response to changing environmental conditions caused by organic pollutants, and provided insights into the size of the pool of rare genes and species.IMPORTANCE A single liter of water or gram of soil contains hundreds of low-abundance bacterial and archaeal species, the so called "rare biosphere". The value of this astonishing biodiversity for ecosystem functioning remains poorly understood, primarily due to the fact that microbial community analysis frequently focuses on

  1. Wonder world of phages: potential biocontrol agents safeguarding biosphere and health of animals and humans- current scenario and perspectives.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tiwari, Ruchi; Chakraborty, Sandip; Dhama, Kuldeep; Wani, Mohd Yaqoob; Kumar, Amit; Kapoor, Sanjay

    2014-02-01

    Darwin's theory of natural selection and concept of survival of fittest of Wallace is a universal truth which derives the force of life among all live entities on this biosphere. Issues regarding food safety along with increased drug resistance and emerging zoonotic infections have proved that multidisciplinary efforts are in demand for human and animal welfare. This has led to development of various novel therapies the list of which remains incomplete without mentioning about phages. Homologous and non-homologous recombination along with point mutation and addition of new genes play role in their evolution. The rapid emergence of the antibiotic resistant strains of bacteria have created keen interest in finding necessary alternatives to check microbial infections and there comes the importance of phages. Phages kill the bacteria either by lysis or by releasing holins. Bacteriophages; the viruses that live on bacteria are nowadays considered as the best biocontrol agents. They are used as replacers of antibiotics; food industry promoter; guard of aquatic life as well as of plants; pre-slaughter treatment agents; Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS) food additives; Typing agent of bacteria; active tool of super bug therapy; in post harvest crops and food and during post infection and also to combat intracellular pathogens viz. Mycobacteria and Mycoplasma. Cyanophages/phycophages are particularly useful in controlling blooms produced by various genera of algae and cyanobacteria. By performing centrifugation studies and based on electron microscopy certain virus like particles containing ds RNA have been confirmed as mycophages. They are well proven as threat to pathogenic fungi (both fungal hyphae and yeast). Those that infect yeasts are called zymophages. Virophages have exquisite specificity for their viral host, hence can extensively be used for genetic studies and can also act as evolutionary link. After the discovery of very first virophage till now, a total of 3

  2. Soil and crop management experiments in the Laboratory Biosphere: An analogue system for the Mars on Earth ® facility

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silverstone, S.; Nelson, M.; Alling, A.; Allen, J. P.

    During the years 2002 and 2003, three closed system experiments were carried out in the "Laboratory Biosphere" facility located in Santa Fe, New Mexico. The program involved experimentation of "Hoyt" Soy Beans, (experiment #1) USU Apogee Wheat (experiment #2) and TU-82-155 sweet potato (experiment #3) using a 5.37 m 2 soil planting bed which was 30 cm deep. The soil texture, 40% clay, 31% sand and 28% silt (a clay loam), was collected from an organic farm in New Mexico to avoid chemical residues. Soil management practices involved minimal tillage, mulching, returning crop residues to the soil after each experiment and increasing soil biota by introducing worms, soil bacteria and mycorrhizae fungi. High soil pH of the original soil appeared to be a factor affecting the first two experiments. Hence, between experiments #2 and #3, the top 15 cm of the soil was amended using a mix of peat moss, green sand, humates and pumice to improve soil texture, lower soil pH and increase nutrient availability. This resulted in lowering the initial pH of 8.0-6.7 at the start of experiment #3. At the end of the experiment, the pH was 7.6. Soil nitrogen and phosphorus has been adequate, but some chlorosis was evident in the first two experiments. Aphid infestation was the only crop pest problem during the three experiments and was handled using an introduction of Hyppodamia convergens. Experimentation showed there were environmental differences even in this 1200 cubic foot ecological system facility, such as temperature and humidity gradients because of ventilation and airflow patterns which resulted in consequent variations in plant growth and yield. Additional humidifiers were added to counteract low humidity and helped optimize conditions for the sweet potato experiment. The experience and information gained from these experiments are being applied to the future design of the Mars On Earth ® facility (Silverstone et al., Development and research program for a soil

  3. Panel discussion--NASA Russia agreement/Earth applications. Summary of the panel discussion during the 1994 Life Support and Biosphere Science (LSB Science) Conference

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huff, W

    1994-01-01

    The panel at the Life Support and Biosphere (LSB) Science conference resulted in a discussion of the current issues facing this industry today. As the LSB Science industry looks to future space missions, joint Russian missions and Earth applications several quandaries arise, such as funding future work, developing practical workable standards and applying these systems to Earth applications. The panel members addressed these quandaries with some insightful comments.

  4. Regulator's Workshop on The Role of Future Society and Biosphere in Demonstrating Compliance with High-Level Radioactive Waste Disposal Standards and Regulations

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Avila, R. [Swedish Radiation Protection Authority, Stockholm (Sweden); Blommaert, W. [Agence Federale de Controle Nucleaire, Bruxelles (Belgium); Clark, R. [US Environmental Protection Agency (United States)] [and others

    2002-09-01

    This report summarizes the proceedings of a workshop, co-sponsored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) and the Swedish Radiation Protection Authority (SSI). The invitations to participate in the Workshop were primarily extended to authorities in countries with major nuclear waste programs involving geological disposal and using performance assessment methodology. The main objective of the Workshop was to develop a common understanding among regulators of the role of society and the biosphere in demonstrating compliance with regulations.

  5. The Role of Biosphere Reserves in Environmental Education and Training = Le Role des reserves de la biosphere dans l'education et la formation environnementales. Report of the Unesco/MAB Symposium Held During the Unesco/UNEP International Congress on Environmental Education and Training (Moscow, USSR, August 17-21, 1987). Report 20.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Francis, George, Ed.

    Environmental education and training have been key elements of Unesco's Program on Man and the Biosphere (MAB) since its inception in 1971. The MAB Program is an intergovernmental program of research, training, demonstration and distribution of information, aimed at providing the scientific background and the trained personnel to deal with…

  6. Solid phase evolution in the Biosphere 2 hillslope experiment as predicted by modeling of hydrologic and geochemical fluxes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    K. Dontsova

    2009-12-01

    Full Text Available A reactive transport geochemical modeling study was conducted to help predict the mineral transformations occurring over a ten year time-scale that are expected to impact soil hydraulic properties in the Biosphere 2 (B2 synthetic hillslope experiment. The modeling sought to predict the rate and extent of weathering of a granular basalt (selected for hillslope construction as a function of climatic drivers, and to assess the feedback effects of such weathering processes on the hydraulic properties of the hillslope. Flow vectors were imported from HYDRUS into a reactive transport code, CrunchFlow2007, which was then used to model mineral weathering coupled to reactive solute transport. Associated particle size evolution was translated into changes in saturated hydraulic conductivity using Rosetta software. We found that flow characteristics, including velocity and saturation, strongly influenced the predicted extent of incongruent mineral weathering and neo-phase precipitation on the hillslope. Results were also highly sensitive to specific surface areas of the soil media, consistent with surface reaction controls on dissolution. Effects of fluid flow on weathering resulted in significant differences in the prediction of soil particle size distributions, which should feedback to alter hillslope hydraulic conductivities.

  7. Advanced instrument system for real-time and time-series microbial geochemical sampling of the deep (basaltic) crustal biosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cowen, James P.; Copson, David A.; Jolly, James; Hsieh, Chih-Chiang; Lin, Huei-Ting; Glazer, Brian T.; Wheat, C. Geoffrey

    2012-03-01

    Integrated Ocean Drilling Program borehole CORK (Circulation Obviation Retrofit Kit) observatories provide long-term access to hydrothermal fluids circulating within the basaltic crust (basement), providing invaluable opportunities to study the deep biosphere. We describe the design and application parameters of the GeoMICROBE instrumented sled, an autonomous sensor and fluid sampling system. The GeoMICROBE system couples with CORK fluid delivery lines to draw large volumes of fluids from crustal aquifers to the seafloor. These fluids pass a series of in-line sensors and an in situ filtration and collection system. GeoMICROBE's major components include a primary valve manifold system, a positive displacement primary pump, sensors (e.g., fluid flow rate, temperature, dissolved O2, electrochemistry-voltammetry analyzer), a 48-port in situ filtration and fluid collection system, computerized controller, seven 24 V-40 A batteries and wet-mateable (ODI) communications with submersibles. This constantly evolving system has been successfully connected to IODP Hole 1301A on the eastern flank of the Juan de Fuca Ridge. Also described here is a mobile pumping system (MPS), which possesses many of the same components as the GeoMICROBE (e.g., pump, sensors, controller), but is directly powered and controlled in real time via submersible operations; the MPS has been employed repeatedly to collect pristine basement fluids for a variety of geochemical and microbial studies.

  8. Soil microbial population and enzyme activity related to grazing pressure in alpine meadows of Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Singh, Sanjeeva K; Rai, J P N

    2004-01-01

    The present study aims to analyze the interaction of prevailing biotic pressure on soil environment with emphasis on its physicochemical and microbiological characteristics determining soil fertility status and thus supporting plant and animal biodiversity in Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve (NDBR) which is located in northern part of Uttaranchal hills between 79 degrees 40'E to 80 degrees 05'E longitude and 30 degrees 17'N to 30 degrees 41'E latitude. The experimental results revealed that the physico-chemical characteristics (viz., moisture, pH, EC, C, N, P, K, CEC) of soil were maximum in moderately grazed meadow and minimum in intensively grazed meadow. Soil microbial analysis measured in terms of total viable count (TVC) exhibited grazing sensitivity trend being maximum population of bacteria > fungi > actinomycetes. The soil microbial population was positively correlated with soil respiration, dehydrogenase activity, acid phosphatase and microbial biomass, which exhibited uneven trend with grazing pressure. Soil from moderately grazed meadow showed highest microbial count and enzyme activities, whilst intensively grazed meadow showed lowest microbial count and enzyme activities. This depicts the beneficial role of prescribed grazing up to limited extent in management of soil fertility, which might have supported luxuriant growth of a variety of grasses.

  9. Population, Rural Development, and Land Use Among Settler Households in an Agricultural Frontier in Guatemala’s Maya Biosphere Reserve

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David Carr

    2009-11-01

    Full Text Available Guatemala was among the world’s leaders in deforestation during the 1990s at a rate of 2% per annum. Much of Guatemala’s recent forest loss has occurred in the emerging agricultural frontiers of the Maya Biosphere Reserve (MBR, the heart of the largest contiguous tropical forest in Central America—La Selva Maya. This paper presents data from 241 heads of households and 219 partners of household heads from a geographically stratified sample of eight (of 28 communities in the Sierra de Lacandón National Park (SLNP, the most ecologically biodiverse region in La Selva Maya and a core conservation zone of the MBR. Settler households are examined relative to a host of factors relating land use and land cover change. Specifically, demographic trends, political and socio-economic development, and ecological factors are described in this first detailed statistically-representative sample probing human population and environment interactions in an emerging agricultural frontier in Central America.

  10. Building ties: social capital network analysis of a forest community in a biosphere reserve in Chiapas, Mexico

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luis Rico García-Amado

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available Governance of the commons depends on the capacity to generate collective action. Networks and rules that foster that collective action have been defined as social capital. However, their causal link is still not fully understood. We use social network analysis to assess social capital, decision-making, and collective action in a forest-based common pool resource management in La Sepultura Biosphere Reserve (Chiapas, Mexico. Our research analyzes the productive networks and the evolution of coffee groups in one community. The network shows some centrality, with richer landholders tending to occupy core positions and poorer landless peasants occupying peripheral ones. This has fostered the community's environmentally oriented development but has also caused internal conflicts. Market requirements have shaped different but complementary productive networks, where organic coffee commercialization is the main source of bridging ties, which has resulted in more connectivity and resilience. Conservation attitudes, along with the institutional setting of the community, have promoted collective action. The unresolved conflicts, however, still leave some concerns about governance in the future.

  11. State-Led Ecotourism Development and Nature Conservation: a Case Study of the Changbai Mountain Biosphere Reserve, China

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Qingli Wang

    2008-12-01

    Full Text Available Faced with fiscal constraints and enormous population pressures, 80% of Chinese nature reserves have employed ecotourism as a support and development strategy. Assessing the actual effects of ecotourism at a nature reserve that has a relatively long history of ecotourism development experience may be instructive for other reserves. Therefore, we take Changbai Mountain Biosphere Reserve (CMBR in northeastern China as a case study, for it is one of the pioneers in embracing ecotourism in China. Personal interviews and informal group discussions were employed to understand local residents’ attitudes toward conservation. Factors affecting their attitudes were then analyzed using logistic regression. Results indicate that attitudes held by most farmers are not favorable toward the conservation of the CMBR. It is not ecotourism but rather income from collection of forest products, household crop lands, and migrant labor that actually influences their attitudes. We found that the 1-day-sightseeing tour style, the limited tourism period, and the low level of education and extreme poverty of the local residents, together with existing institutions and lagging regulations make it very difficult for ecotourism to engender local residents’ support. We concluded that institutional measures to guarantee local people’s sharing in the revenue generated by the reserve, as well as regulations to ensure involvement of the local community in the decision-making process are preconditions for ecotourism to engender local support in China. Providing educational opportunities for children and vocational training for young local residents can also contribute indirectly to enhanced conservation.

  12. Coupled modeling of hydrologic and geochemical fluxes for prediction of solid phase evolution in the Biosphere 2 hillslope experiment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dontsova, K.; Steefel, C. I.; Desilets, S.; Thompson, A.; Chorover, J.

    2009-06-01

    A reactive transport geochemical modeling study was conducted to help predict the mineral transformations occurring over a ten year time-scale that are expected to impact soil hydraulic properties in the Biosphere 2 (B2) synthetic hillslope experiment. The modeling sought to predict the rate and extent of weathering of a granular basalt (selected for hillslope construction) as a function of climatic drivers, and to assess the feedback effects of such weathering processes on the hydraulic properties of the hillslope. Flow vectors were imported from HYDRUS into a reactive transport code, CrunchFlow2007, which was then used to model mineral weathering coupled to reactive solute transport. Associated particle size evolution was translated into changes in saturated hydraulic conductivity using Rosetta software. We found that flow characteristics, including velocity and saturation, strongly influenced the predicted extent of incongruent mineral weathering and neo-phase precipitation on the hillslope. Results were also highly sensitive to specific surface areas of the soil media, consistent with surface reaction controls on dissolution. Effects of fluid flow on weathering resulted in significant differences in the prediction of soil particle size distributions, which should feedback to alter hillslope hydraulic conductivities.

  13. Measurement and Modeling on Flow Hydrodynamics in Crushed Basalt in Support of Constructed Hillslopes in Biosphere 2

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schaap, M. G.; Gallo, P.

    2009-12-01

    The University of Arizona has recently acquired Biosphere 2 (B2) as an environmental research and environmental facility. As part of a ten year management plan 3 hillslopes (12x30x1 meters) will be constructed within one of the B2 greenhouses. The general objective is to carry out ground-breaking integrated hydro-geo-ecological research that cannot be carried out anywhere else. The intended soil for the hillslopes will have a loamy sand texture and consist of crushed basalt to ensure both reasonable hydraulic properties and weatherability. At this point there is still significant uncertainty about how crushing and grinding basalt will affect the hydraulic characteristics of the soil material. To date some initial textural and saturated hydraulic conductivity analyses of different grindings have been carried out, but an integrated 1D flow experiment will provide much more definitive data about the hydrological and geochemical dynamics that can be expected in the final 3D hillslopes. To this end we will carry out drainage experiments on four (L=90, D=10 cm) columns holding material with different grinding times. Final results for water content, flow rate and pressure will be modeled with Hydrus-1D, while Hydrus 3D will be used to assess the hydrodynamics of the full 3D hillslopes

  14. Solid phase evolution in the Biosphere 2 hillslope experiment as predicted by modeling of hydrologic and geochemical fluxes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dontsova, K.; Steefel, C. I.; Desilets, S.; Thompson, A.; Chorover, J.

    2009-12-01

    A reactive transport geochemical modeling study was conducted to help predict the mineral transformations occurring over a ten year time-scale that are expected to impact soil hydraulic properties in the Biosphere 2 (B2) synthetic hillslope experiment. The modeling sought to predict the rate and extent of weathering of a granular basalt (selected for hillslope construction) as a function of climatic drivers, and to assess the feedback effects of such weathering processes on the hydraulic properties of the hillslope. Flow vectors were imported from HYDRUS into a reactive transport code, CrunchFlow2007, which was then used to model mineral weathering coupled to reactive solute transport. Associated particle size evolution was translated into changes in saturated hydraulic conductivity using Rosetta software. We found that flow characteristics, including velocity and saturation, strongly influenced the predicted extent of incongruent mineral weathering and neo-phase precipitation on the hillslope. Results were also highly sensitive to specific surface areas of the soil media, consistent with surface reaction controls on dissolution. Effects of fluid flow on weathering resulted in significant differences in the prediction of soil particle size distributions, which should feedback to alter hillslope hydraulic conductivities.

  15. Mechanistic insights on the responses of plant and ecosystem gas exchange to global environmental change: lessons from Biosphere 2.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gonzalez-Meler, Miquel A; Rucks, Jessica S; Aubanell, Gerard

    2014-09-01

    Scaling up leaf processes to canopy/ecosystem level fluxes is critical for examining feedbacks between vegetation and climate. Collectively, studies from Biosphere 2 Laboratory have provided important insight of leaf-to-ecosystem investigations of multiple environmental parameters that were not before possible in enclosed or field studies. B2L has been a testing lab for the applicability of new technologies such as spectral approaches to detect spatial and temporal changes in photosynthesis within canopies, or for the development of cavity ring-down isotope applications for ecosystem evapotranspiration. Short and long term changes in atmospheric CO2, drought or temperature allowed for intensive investigation of the interactions between photosynthesis and leaf, soil and ecosystem respiration. Experiments conducted in the rainforest biome have provided some of the most comprehensive dataset to date on the effects of climate change variables on tropical ecosystems. Results from these studies have been later corroborated in natural rainforest ecosystems and have improved the predictive capabilities of models that now show increased resilience of tropics to climate change. Studies of temperature and CO2 effects on ecosystem respiration and its leaf and soil components have helped reconsider the use of simple first-order kinetics for characterizing respiration in models. The B2L also provided opportunities to quantify the rhizosphere priming effect, or establish the relationships between net primary productivity, atmospheric CO2 and isoprene emissions.

  16. Cutaneous leishmaniasis caused by Leishmania donovani in the tribal population of the Agasthyamala Biosphere Reserve forest, Western Ghats, Kerala, India.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kumar, N Pradeep; Srinivasan, R; Anish, T S; Nandakumar, G; Jambulingam, P

    2015-02-01

    Cutaneous leishmaniasis (CL), a neglected tropical disease, is reported to be prevalent in tribal villages located in the Agasthyamala Biosphere Reserve forests of Western Ghats, Kerala state, India. We carried out an investigation to characterize the species of Leishmania parasites involved in these infections prevalent among one of the oldest human tribal populations in India. Skin aspirates collected from 13 clinically diagnosed cases were subjected to histopathological investigations, serological rapid tests using 'rk39' and molecular diagnostics. Clinical manifestations recorded among the patients were hypo-pigmented erythematous nodules/papules on limbs and other parts of the body. Histopathological investigations of these skin lesions among patients showed Leishman-Donovan bodies in macrophages. None of the patients were found to be positive for rk39 tests, which detect active visceral leishmaniasis. Using three different genetic markers [kinetoplast minicircle DNA, 3' UTR region of heat-shock protein 70 (Hsp70) and Hsp70 gene] we identified the parasite species involved in these infections to be Leishmania donovani. The 6-phosphogluconate (6-PGDH) gene sequences of the parasite isolates from Western Ghats indicated close genetic relatedness to L. donovani isolates reported from Sri Lanka, also causing CL. This could be cited as another instance of 'local endemism' of organisms in this single 'bio-geographic unit'.

  17. Observations of atmosphere-biosphere exchange of total and speciated peroxynitrates: nitrogen fluxes and biogenic sources of peroxynitrates

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    K.-E. Min

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available Peroxynitrates are responsible for global scale transport of reactive nitrogen. Recent laboratory observations suggest that they may also play an important role in delivery of nutrients to plant canopies. We measured eddy covariance fluxes of total peroxynitrates (ΣPNs and three individual peroxynitrates (APNs ≡ PAN + PPN + MPAN over a ponderosa pine forest during the Biosphere Effects on AeRosols and Photochemistry EXperiment 2009 (BEARPEX 2009. Concentrations of these species were also measured at multiple heights above and within the canopy. While the above-canopy daytime concentrations are nearly identical for ΣPNs and APNs, we observed the downward flux of ΣPNs to be 30–60% slower than the flux of APNs. The vertical concentration gradients of ΣPNs and APNs vary with time of day and exhibit different temperature dependencies. These differences can be explained by the production of peroxynitrates other than PAN, PPN, and MPAN within the canopy (presumably as a consequence of biogenic VOC emissions and upward fluxes of these PN species. The impact of this implied peroxynitrate flux on the interpretation of NOx fluxes and ecosystem N exchange is discussed.

  18. Observations of atmosphere-biosphere exchange of total and speciated peroxynitrates: nitrogen fluxes and biogenic sources of peroxynitrates

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    K.-E. Min

    2012-02-01

    Full Text Available Peroxynitrates are responsible for global scale transport of reactive nitrogen. Recent laboratory observations suggest that they may also play an important role in delivery of nutrients to plant canopies. We measured eddy covariance fluxes of total peroxynitrates (ΣPNs and three individual peroxynitrates (APNs ≡ PAN + PPN + MPAN over a ponderosa pine forest during the Biosphere Effects on AeRosols and Photochemistry EXperiment 2009 (BEARPEX 2009. Concentrations of these species were also measured at multiple heights above and within the canopy. While the above-canopy daytime concentrations are nearly identical for ΣPNs and APNs, we observed the downward flux of ΣPNs to be 30–60% slower than the flux of APNs. The vertical concentration gradients of ΣPNs and APNs vary with time of day and exhibit different temperature dependencies. These differences can be explained by the production of peroxynitrates other than PAN, PPN, and MPAN within the canopy (presumably as a consequence of biogenic VOC emissions and upward fluxes of these PN species. The impact of this implied peroxynitrate flux on the interpretation of NOx fluxes and ecosystem N exchange is discussed.

  19. Ethnomedicinal plant use by Lepcha tribe of Dzongu valley, bordering Khangchendzonga Biosphere Reserve, in North Sikkim, India

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Badola Hemant K

    2008-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Lepcha is the oldest and the first tribe reported from Sikkim, India; majority of its population inhabiting in Dzongu valley, an officially demarcated reserve for Lepcha community, bordering Khangchendzonga Biosphere Reserve, in north district. Lepchas of Dzongu are known for their retention of rich cultural heritage. In view of the on-going cultural and economic changes brought in by the process of globalization, the immediate need was felt to document in details the under-explored ethnomedicinal practices of Lepchas of Dzongu valley. This paper reports 118 species, belonging to 71 families and 108 genera, under ethnomedicinal utility by the Lepchas for curing approximately 66 ailments, which could be grouped under 14 broad categories. Zingiberaceae appeared as the most used family (8 species and 5 genera. As per use pattern, maximum of 30.50% species are to cure stomach related disorders/ailments, followed by 19.49% for curing cut, wounds, inflammation, sprains and joint pains. Administration of medicine orally is recorded in 75% cases. Root and rhizome harvesting targeted 30 species. The changing scenario over time both at socio-cultural front and passing traditional knowledge interests from older to younger generation and rich ethnomicinal wealth of the oldest tribe of Sikkim are discussed in the light of conservation strategies and techniques to adopt.

  20. Aquatic food webs in mangrove and seagrass habitats of Centla Wetland, a Biosphere Reserve in Southeastern Mexico

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Manuel Mendoza-Carranza

    Full Text Available Mangrove and seagrass habitats are important components of tropical coastal zones worldwide, and are conspicuous habitats of Centla Wetland Biosphere Reserve (CWBR in Tabasco, Mexico. In this study, we examine food webs in mangrove- and seagrass-dominated habitats of CWBR using stable isotope ratios of carbon and nitrogen. Our objective was to identify the importance of carbon derived from mangroves and seagrasses to secondary production of aquatic consumers in this poorly studied conservation area. Carbon and nitrogen isotope ratios of basal sources and aquatic consumers indicated that the species-rich food webs of both habitats are dependent on riparian production sources. The abundant Red mangrove Rhizophora mangle appears to be a primary source of carbon for the mangrove creek food web. Even though dense seagrass beds were ubiquitous, most consumers in the lagoon food web appeared to rely on carbon derived from riparian vegetation (e.g. Phragmites australis. The introduced Amazon sailfin catfish Pterygoplichthys pardalis had isotope signatures overlapping with native species (including high-value fisheries species, suggesting potential competition for resources. Future research should examine the role played by terrestrial insects in linking riparian and aquatic food webs, and impacts of the expanding P. pardalis population on ecosystem function and fisheries in CWBR. Our findings can be used as a baseline to reinforce the conservation and management of this important reserve in the face of diverse external and internal human impacts.

  1. Coupled Climate-Economy-Biosphere (CoCEB) model - Part 1: Abatement share and investment in low-carbon technologies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ogutu, K. B. Z.; D'Andrea, F.; Ghil, M.; Nyandwi, C.; Manene, M. M.; Muthama, J. N.

    2015-04-01

    The Coupled Climate-Economy-Biosphere (CoCEB) model described herein takes an integrated assessment approach to simulating global change. By using an endogenous economic growth module with physical and human capital accumulation, this paper considers the sustainability of economic growth, as economic activity intensifies greenhouse gas emissions that in turn cause economic damage due to climate change. Different types of fossil fuels and different technologies produce different volumes of carbon dioxide in combustion. The shares of different fuels and their future evolution are not known. We assume that the dynamics of hydrocarbon-based energy share and their replacement with renewable energy sources in the global energy balance can be modeled into the 21st century by use of logistic functions. Various climate change mitigation policy measures are considered. While many integrated assessment models treat abatement costs merely as an unproductive loss of income, we consider abatement activities also as an investment in overall energy efficiency of the economy and decrease of overall carbon intensity of the energy system. The paper shows that these efforts help to reduce the volume of industrial carbon dioxide emissions, lower temperature deviations, and lead to positive effects in economic growth.

  2. Atmospheric dynamics of combined crops of wheat, cowpea, pinto beans in the Laboratory Biosphere closed ecological system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dempster, W.; Nelson, M.; Silverstone, S.; Allen, J.; Alling, A.; van Thillo, M.

    A mixed crop consisting of cowpeas pinto beans and Apogee ultra-dwarf wheat was grown in Laboratory Biosphere a 40 m 3 closed life system equipped with 12000 watts of high pressure sodium lamps over planting beds with 5 37 m 2 of soil Similar to earlier reported experiments the concentration of carbon dioxide initially increased to 7860 ppm at 10 days after planting due to soil respiration plus CO 2 contributed from researchers breathing while in the chamber for brief periods before plant growth became substantial fell rapidly as plant growth increased up to 29 days after planting and then was maintained mostly in the range of about 200 -- 3000 ppm with a few excursions by CO 2 injections to feed plant growth Numerous analyses of rate of change of CO 2 concentration at many different concentrations and at many different days after planting reveals a strong dependence of fixation rates on CO 2 concentration In the middle period of growth days 31 -- 61 fixation rates doubled for CO 2 at 450 ppm compared to 270 ppm doubled again at 1000 ppm and increased a further 50 at 2040 ppm High productivity from these crops and the increase of fixation rates with elevated CO 2 concentration supports the concept that enhanced CO2 can be a useful strategy for remote life support systems

  3. Atmospheric Ozone And Its Biosphere - Atmosphere Exchange In A Mangrove Forest Ecosystem A Case Study From Sundarbans NE Coast Of India

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    Manab Kumar Dutta

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT Temporal variation of atmospheric O3 and its biosphere atmosphere exchange were monitored in the Sundarbans mangrove forest from January 2011 to December 2011 on bimonthly basis. O3 mixing ratios at 10 m and 20 m heights over the forest atmosphere ranged between 14.66 1.88 to 37.90 0.91 and 19.32 6.27 to 39.80 10.13 ppbv respectively having maximal premonsoon and minimal monsoon periods. Average daytime O3 mixing ratio was 1.69 times higher than nighttime indicates significant photo chemical production of O3 in forest atmosphere. Annual averaged O3 mixing ratio in 10 m height was 13.2 lower than 20 m height induces exchange of O3 across mangrove biosphere atmosphere interface depending upon micrometeorological conditions of the forest ecosystem. Annual average biosphere atmosphere O3 exchange flux in this mangrove forest environment was 0.441 g m-2 s-1. Extrapolating the value for entire forest surface area the mangrove ecosystem acts as a sink of 58.4GgO3 annually indicating significant contribution of Sundarbans mangroves towards regional atmospheric O3 budget as well as climate change.

  4. Safety case for the disposal of spent nuclear fuel at Olkiluoto. Terrain and ecosystems development modelling in the biosphere assessment BSA-2012

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    2013-12-15

    This report is one of the four supporting reports for the three main biosphere reports in the safety case for the disposal of spent nuclear fuel at Olkiluoto, 'TURVA-2012'. The focus of this report is to detail the scenario analysis of terrain and ecosystems development at the Olkiluoto repository site within a time frame of 10 000 years, whereas the input data to this modelling is detailed in the Data Basis report. The results are used further especially in the surface and near-surface hydrological modelling and in the biosphere radionuclide transport and dose modelling, both part of the biosphere assessment 'BSA-2012' feeding into the safety case. Based on the results of the 18 cases simulated in the scenario analysis, it can be outlined that the most significant differences in respect of the dose implications of the repository arise from the inputs and settings affecting the rate of coastline retreat (i.e. land uplift and sea level) and determining whether there are croplands or not in the area. (orig.)

  5. Towards global empirical upscaling of FLUXNET eddy covariance observations: validation of a model tree ensemble approach using a biosphere model

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    M. Jung

    2009-05-01

    Full Text Available Global, spatially and temporally explicit estimates of carbon and water fluxes derived from empirical up-scaling eddy covariance measurements would constitute a new and possibly powerful data stream to study the variability of the global terrestrial carbon and water cycle. This paper introduces and validates a machine learning approach dedicated to the upscaling of observations from the current global network of eddy covariance towers (FLUXNET. We present a new model TRee Induction ALgorithm (TRIAL that performs hierarchical stratification of the data set into units where particular multiple regressions for a target variable hold. We propose an ensemble approach (Evolving tRees with RandOm gRowth, ERROR where the base learning algorithm is perturbed in order to gain a diverse sequence of different model trees which evolves over time.

    We evaluate the efficiency of the model tree ensemble approach using an artificial data set derived from the the Lund-Potsdam-Jena managed Land (LPJmL biosphere model. We aim at reproducing global monthly gross primary production as simulated by LPJmL from 1998–2005 using only locations and months where high quality FLUXNET data exist for the training of the model trees. The model trees are trained with the LPJmL land cover and meteorological input data, climate data, and the fraction of absorbed photosynthetic active radiation simulated by LPJmL. Given that we know the "true result" in the form of global LPJmL simulations we can effectively study the performance of the model tree ensemble upscaling and associated problems of extrapolation capacity.

    We show that the model tree ensemble is able to explain 92% of the variability of the global LPJmL GPP simulations. The mean spatial pattern and the seasonal variability of GPP that constitute the largest sources of variance are very well reproduced (96% and 94% of variance explained respectively while the monthly interannual anomalies which occupy

  6. Challenges to conservation: land use change and local participation in the Al Reem Biosphere Reserve, West Qatar

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    Sillitoe Paul

    2010-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract One response to humanity's unsustainable use of natural resources and consequent degradation, even destruction of the environment, is to establish conservation areas to protect Nature and preserve biodiversity at least in selected regions. In Qatar, the government has shown strong support for this approach, confronted by the environmental consequences of oil and gas extraction and rapid urban development, by designating about one-tenth of the country a conservation area. Located in the west of the peninsula, it comprises the Al Reem Reserve, subsequently declared a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. Several approaches have figured in conservation, currently popular is co-management featuring participation of the local population, which recognises that people's activities often contribute to today's environment, with the promotion of bio-cultural diversity. However, these assumptions may not hold where rapid social and cultural change occurs, as in Qatar. We explore the implications of such change, notably in land use. We detail changes resulting with the move from nomadic to sedentary lifestyles: in land access, which now features tribal-state control, and herding strategies, which now feature migrant labour and depend on imported fodder and water, underwritten by the country's large gas and oil revenues. Current stocking arrangements - animals herded in much smaller areas than previously - are thought responsible for the degradation of natural resources. The place of animals, notably camels, in Qatari life, has also changed greatly, possibly further promoting overstocking. Many local people disagree. What are the implications of such changes for the participatory co-management of conservation areas? Do they imply turning the clock back to centrally managed approaches that seek to control access and local activities?

  7. Building a community of practice for sustainability: strengthening learning and collective action of Canadian biosphere reserves through a national partnership.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reed, Maureen G; Godmaire, Hélène; Abernethy, Paivi; Guertin, Marc-André

    2014-12-01

    Deliberation, dialogue and systematic learning are now considered attributes of good practice for organizations seeking to advance sustainability. Yet we do not know whether organizations that span spatial scales and governance responsibilities can establish effective communities of practice to facilitate learning and action. The purpose of this paper is to generate a framework that specifies actions and processes of a community of practice designed to instill collective learning and action strategies across a multi-level, multi-partner network. The framework is then used to describe and analyze a partnership among practitioners of Canada's 16 UNESCO biosphere reserves, and additional researchers and government representatives from across Canada. The framework is a cycle of seven action steps, beginning and ending with reflecting on and evaluating present practice. It is supported by seven characteristics of collaborative environmental management that are used to gauge the success of the partnership. Our results show that the partnership successfully built trust, established shared norms and common interest, created incentives to participate, generated value in information sharing and willingness to engage, demonstrated effective flow of information, and provided leadership and facilitation. Key to success was the presence of a multi-lingual facilitator who could bridge cultural differences across regions and academia-practitioner expectations. The project succeeded in establishing common goals, setting mutual expectations and building relations of trust and respect, and co-creating knowledge. It is too soon to determine whether changes in practices that support sustainability will be maintained over the long term and without the help of an outside facilitator.

  8. Land-Atmosphere Interactions in Cold Environments (LATICE): The role of Atmosphere - Biosphere - Cryosphere - Hydrosphere interactions in a changing climate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burkhart, J. F.; Tallaksen, L. M.; Stordal, F.; Berntsen, T.; Westermann, S.; Kristjansson, J. E.; Etzelmuller, B.; Hagen, J. O.; Schuler, T.; Hamran, S. E.; Lande, T. S.; Bryn, A.

    2015-12-01

    Climate change is impacting the high latitudes more rapidly and significantly than any other region of the Earth because of feedback processes between the atmosphere and the underlying surface. A warmer climate has already led to thawing of permafrost, reducing snow cover and a longer growing season; changes, which in turn influence the atmospheric circulation and the hydrological cycle. Still, many studies rely on one-way coupling between the atmosphere and the land surface, thereby neglecting important interactions and feedbacks. The observation, understanding and prediction of such processes from local to regional and global scales, represent a major scientific challenge that requires multidisciplinary scientific effort. The successful integration of earth observations (remote and in-situ data) and model development requires a harmonized research effort between earth system scientists, modelers and the developers of technologies and sensors. LATICE, which is recognized as a priority research area by the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences at the University of Oslo, aims to advance the knowledge base concerning land atmosphere interactions and their role in controlling climate variability and climate change at high northern latitudes. The consortium consists of an interdisciplinary team of experts from the atmospheric and terrestrial (hydrosphere, cryosphere and biosphere) research groups, together with key expertise on earth observations and novel sensor technologies. LATICE addresses critical knowledge gaps in the current climate assessment capacity through: Improving parameterizations of processes in earth system models controlling the interactions and feedbacks between the land (snow, ice, permafrost, soil and vegetation) and the atmosphere at high latitudes, including the boreal, alpine and artic zone. Assessing the influence of climate and land cover changes on water and energy fluxes. Integrating remote earth observations with in-situ data and

  9. Wild leafy vegetables: A study of their subsistence dietetic support to the inhabitants of Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve, India

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    Rao KS

    2008-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Consumption of greens is a major source of vitamins and micro-nutrients for people using only vegetarian diets rich in carbohydrates. In remote rural settlements where vegetable cultivation is not practiced and market supplies are not organized, local inhabitants depend on indigenous vegetables, both cultivated in kitchen gardens and wild, for enriching the diversity of food. Knowledge of such foods is part of traditional knowledge which is largely transmitted through participation of individuals of households. A total of 123 households in six villages of Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve buffer zone was surveyed using a schedule to assess the knowledge, availability and consumption pattern of wild leafy vegetables. Quantity estimations were done using regular visits with informants from 30 sample households of the six study villages during the collections. Monetization was used to see the value of wild leafy vegetables harvested during a year. The diversity of wild leafy vegetables being use by the local inhabitants is 21 species belonging to 14 genera and 11 families. This is far less than that being reported to be used by the communities from Western Ghats in India and some parts of Africa. Irrespective of social or economic status all households in the study villages had the knowledge and used wild leafy vegetables. The number of households reported to consume these wild leafy vegetables is greater than the number of households reporting to harvest them for all species except for Diplazium esculentum and Phytolacca acinosa. The availability and use period varied for the species are listed by the users. The study indicated that the knowledge is eroding due to changing social values and non participation of younger generation in collection and processing of such wild leafy vegetables.

  10. Population dynamics of Amur tigers (Panthera tigris altaica) in Sikhote-Alin Biosphere Zapovednik: 1966-2012.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miquelle, Dale G; Smirnov, Evgeny N; Zaumyslova, Olga Yu; Soutyrina, Svetlana V; Johnson, Douglas H

    2015-07-01

    In 2010, the world's tiger (Panthera tigris) range countries agreed to the goal of doubling tiger numbers over 12 years, but whether such an increase is biologically feasible has not been assessed. Long-term monitoring of tigers in Sikhote-Alin Biosphere Zapovednik (SABZ), Russia provided an opportunity to determine growth rates of a recovering population. A 41-year growth phase was followed by a rapid decline in tiger numbers. Annual growth rates during the growth phase averaged 4.6%, beginning near 10% in the earliest years but quickly dropping below 5%. Sex ratio (females per male) mirrored growth rates, declining as population size increased. The rapid decline from 2009 to 2012 appeared to be tied to multiple factors, including poaching, severe winters and disease. Reproductive indicators of this population are similar to those of Bengal tiger populations, suggesting that growth rates may be similar. These results suggest that, first, tiger populations likely in general grow slowly: 3-5% yearly increases are realistic and larger growth rates are likely only when populations are highly depressed, mortality rates are low and prey populations are high relative to numbers of adult females. Second, while more research is needed, it should not be assumed that tiger populations with high prey densities will necessarily grow more quickly than populations with low prey densities. Third, while growth is slow, decline can be rapid. Fourth, because declines can happen so quickly, there is a constant need to monitor populations and be ready to respond with appropriate and timely conservation interventions if tiger populations are to remain secure. Finally, an average annual growth rate across all tiger populations of 6%, required to reach the Global Tiger Initiative's goal of doubling tiger numbers in 12 years, is a noble but unlikely scenario.

  11. Evaluation of Some Physiochemical Parameters and Heavy Metal Contamination in Hara Biosphere Reserve, Iran, Using a New Pollution Index Approach

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    Iman Zarei

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available Background: The pollution of the aquatic environment with heavy metals has become a worldwide problem during recent years, due to their potential toxic effects and ability to bio-accumulate in aquatic ecosystems. Heavy metals are sensitive indicators for monitoring changes in the aquatic environment. Methods: In this study, total concentrations of Cr, Pb, Cu, Zn, and Fe were measured in water and sediments from nine sites, based on ecological conditions and human activities and the effects of sediment pH and sediment organic matter on bioavailability of selected metals were determined. Modified degree of contamination (mCd was computed in order to determine anthropogenically derived sediment contamination. Results: Mean concentration of metals in water found to be in the following order: Pb > Fe > Zn > Cu > Cr, while in sediment samples it was Fe > Cr > Zn > Pb > Cu. The average content of examined metals in water was higher than the chronic values in marine surface water guideline values. Mean content of Cr, Pb and Fe in sediments were higher than average of the less contaminated sample but Cu and Zn were lower than this guideline value. In the study area, mCd values were less than 1.5 with values ranging from 0.71 to 1.02. Conclusion: The results of this study indicated with a decrease in organic matter and pH in sediments, the concentration of copper and iron increased. Base on modified contamination degree, the sediments of Hara Biosphere Reserve are considered to be in the zero to very low contamination status.

  12. Geosphere-Biosphere Interactions in Bio-Activity Volcanic Lakes: Evidences from Hule and Rìo Cuarto (Costa Rica)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cabassi, Jacopo; Tassi, Franco; Mapelli, Francesca; Borin, Sara; Calabrese, Sergio; Rouwet, Dmitri; Chiodini, Giovanni; Marasco, Ramona; Chouaia, Bessem; Avino, Rosario; Vaselli, Orlando; Pecoraino, Giovannella; Capecchiacci, Francesco; Bicocchi, Gabriele; Caliro, Stefano; Ramirez, Carlos; Mora-Amador, Raul

    2014-01-01

    Hule and Río Cuarto are maar lakes located 11 and 18 km N of Poás volcano along a 27 km long fracture zone, in the Central Volcanic Range of Costa Rica. Both lakes are characterized by a stable thermic and chemical stratification and recently they were affected by fish killing events likely related to the uprising of deep anoxic waters to the surface caused by rollover phenomena. The vertical profiles of temperature, pH, redox potential, chemical and isotopic compositions of water and dissolved gases, as well as prokaryotic diversity estimated by DNA fingerprinting and massive 16S rRNA pyrosequencing along the water column of the two lakes, have highlighted that different bio-geochemical processes occur in these meromictic lakes. Although the two lakes host different bacterial and archaeal phylogenetic groups, water and gas chemistry in both lakes is controlled by the same prokaryotic functions, especially regarding the CO2-CH4 cycle. Addition of hydrothermal CO2 through the bottom of the lakes plays a fundamental priming role in developing a stable water stratification and fuelling anoxic bacterial and archaeal populations. Methanogens and methane oxidizers as well as autotrophic and heterotrophic aerobic bacteria responsible of organic carbon recycling resulted to be stratified with depth and strictly related to the chemical-physical conditions and availability of free oxygen, affecting both the CO2 and CH4 chemical concentrations and their isotopic compositions along the water column. Hule and Río Cuarto lakes were demonstrated to contain a CO2 (CH4, N2)-rich gas reservoir mainly controlled by the interactions occurring between geosphere and biosphere. Thus, we introduced the term of bio-activity volcanic lakes to distinguish these lakes, which have analogues worldwide (e.g. Kivu: D.R.C.-Rwanda; Albano, Monticchio and Averno: Italy; Pavin: France) from volcanic lakes only characterized by geogenic CO2 reservoir such as Nyos and Monoun (Cameroon). PMID

  13. Evaluating Biosphere Model Estimates of the Start of the Vegetation Active Season in Boreal Forests by Satellite Observations

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    Kristin Böttcher

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available The objective of this study was to assess the performance of the simulated start of the photosynthetically active season by a large-scale biosphere model in boreal forests in Finland with remote sensing observations. The start of season for two forest types, evergreen needle- and deciduous broad-leaf, was obtained for the period 2003–2011 from regional JSBACH (Jena Scheme for Biosphere–Atmosphere Hamburg runs, driven with climate variables from a regional climate model. The satellite-derived start of season was determined from daily Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (MODIS time series of Fractional Snow Cover and the Normalized Difference Water Index by applying methods that were targeted to the two forest types. The accuracy of the satellite-derived start of season in deciduous forest was assessed with bud break observations of birch and a root mean square error of seven days was obtained. The evaluation of JSBACH modelled start of season dates with satellite observations revealed high spatial correspondence. The bias was less than five days for both forest types but showed regional differences that need further consideration. The agreement with satellite observations was slightly better for the evergreen than for the deciduous forest. Nonetheless, comparison with gross primary production (GPP determined from CO2 flux measurements at two eddy covariance sites in evergreen forest revealed that the JSBACH-simulated GPP was higher in early spring and led to too-early simulated start of season dates. Photosynthetic activity recovers differently in evergreen and deciduous forests. While for the deciduous forest calibration of phenology alone could improve the performance of JSBACH, for the evergreen forest, changes such as seasonality of temperature response, would need to be introduced to the photosynthetic capacity to improve the temporal development of gross primary production.

  14. Using historical political ecology to understand the present: water, reeds, and biodiversity in the Camargue Biosphere Reserve, southern France

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    Raphael Mathevet

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Exploring both ecological and political-economic histories sheds light on the long-term effects of social and environmental changes. Wetlands provide an excellent context for examining the re-working of society-nature relations in a landscape over a long duration. Wetland conditions and social-ecological dynamics show changes rapidly and visibly because they are frequently re-engineered to account for changes in both technology and social preferences. Wetlands are subject to multiple, concurrent property and access regimes that have consequences for both management and ecosystem health. We discuss the social-natural history of the Scamandre Marshes in the western part of the Camargue Biosphere Reserve using a historical political ecology approach to analyze the shifting dynamics between power relations under a variety of political-economic arrangements, and the ecology of the marsh environment. The approach highlights how historical political ecology is a means of identifying historical socio-natures and how European or national conservation actors' constructions of a place as "natural" affect its use, conservation, and management. We show that contemporary ecological dynamics are best explained by past conflicts related to property claims, access to natural resources, and their effects on the flows and composition of water in the marsh. A general model of wetland transformation stresses repeated cycles of stability and upheaval, emphasizing that the lack of historical analysis threatens both wetlands and conflict resolution. No landscape is produced locally or ahistorically. We emphasize here that history is not only a hallmark of political ecology, but a way of understanding ecological changes that can help advance biodiversity conservation science and policy.

  15. Uncontacted Waorani in the Yasuní Biosphere Reserve: Geographical Validation of the Zona Intangible Tagaeri Taromenane (ZITT).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pappalardo, Salvatore Eugenio; De Marchi, Massimo; Ferrarese, Francesco

    2013-01-01

    The Tagaeri Taromenane People are two indigenous groups belonging to the Waorani first nation living in voluntary isolation within the Napo region of the western Amazon rainforest. To protect their territory the Ecuadorean State has declared and geographically defined, by Decrees, the Zona Intangible Tagaeri Taromenane (ZITT). This zone is located within the UNESCO Yasuní Biosphere Reserve (1989), one of the most biodiverse areas in the world. Due to several hydrocarbon reserve exploitation projects running in the area and the advancing of a large-scale deforestation front, the survival of these groups is presently at risk. The general aim was to validate the ZITT boundary using the geographical references included in the Decree 2187 (2007) by analyzing the geomorphological characteristics of the area. Remote sensing data such as Digital Elevation Models (DEM), Landsat imagery, topographic cartography of IGM-Ecuador, and fieldwork geographical data have been integrated and processed by Geographical Information System (GIS). The ZITT presents two levels of geographic inconsistencies. The first dimension is about the serious cartographical weaknesses in the perimeter delimitation related to the impossibility of linking two rivers belonging to different basins while the second deals with the perimeter line not respecting the hydrographic network. The GIS analysis results clearly show that ZITT boundary is cartographically nonsense due to the impossibility of mapping out the perimeter. Furthermore, GIS analysis of anthropological data shows presence of Tagaeri Taromenane clans outside the ZITT perimeter, within oil production areas and in nearby farmer settlements, reflecting the limits of protection policies for non-contacted indigenous territory. The delimitation of the ZITT followed a traditional pattern of geometric boundary not taking into account the nomadic characteristic of Tagaeri Taromenane: it is necessary to adopt geographical approaches to recognize the

  16. Detecting land-cover change using mappable vegetation related indices: A case study from Sinharaja Man and the Biosphere Reserve

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    BD Madurapperuma

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available This study evaluates multi-year changes of vegetation in the Sinharaja Man and the Biosphere (MAB reserve using mappable vegetation related indices viz., Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI and Burn Index (BI. Land-cover changes in the Sinharaja MAB reserve were detected using Landsat 7 ETM+ images for 1993, 2001, and 2005. Seven individual bands of each image were converted to new multiband files by layer stacking using ENVI® 4.5. Then the multiband files were re-projected to UTM Zone 44 North, WGS-84 Datum. Each data set was exported to ENVI® EX software package to detect the changes between time steps based on NDVI and BI using an image difference tool. Land-cover data, which were obtained from the DIVA GIS web portal, were compared with Landsat image data. Results of BI showed that the Sinharaja MAB reserve fringe was vulnerable to forest fire. For example, from 1993- 2001, 160 ha identified as burned area. In contrast, from 2001-2005, 79 ha burned, and for the entire period of 1993-2005, 10 ha burned. NDVI resulted in a 962 ha increase of vegetation prime at the western Sinharaja from 2001-2005. In addition, there was a 15 ha decrease in vegetation from 1993-2005. The results were visualized using an embedded 3D render window of Google Earth and 2D view of ArcGIS explorer online. In conclusion, in-situ ground truthing data is needed for the fire-influenced area for implementing sustainable forest resource management at the Sinharaja MAB reserve. Normal 0 false false false EN-GB X-NONE X-NONE

  17. Large-scale determination of sequence, structure, and function relationships in cytosolic glutathione transferases across the biosphere.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mashiyama, Susan T; Malabanan, M Merced; Akiva, Eyal; Bhosle, Rahul; Branch, Megan C; Hillerich, Brandan; Jagessar, Kevin; Kim, Jungwook; Patskovsky, Yury; Seidel, Ronald D; Stead, Mark; Toro, Rafael; Vetting, Matthew W; Almo, Steven C; Armstrong, Richard N; Babbitt, Patricia C

    2014-04-01

    The cytosolic glutathione transferase (cytGST) superfamily comprises more than 13,000 nonredundant sequences found throughout the biosphere. Their key roles in metabolism and defense against oxidative damage have led to thousands of studies over several decades. Despite this attention, little is known about the physiological reactions they catalyze and most of the substrates used to assay cytGSTs are synthetic compounds. A deeper understanding of relationships across the superfamily could provide new clues about their functions. To establish a foundation for expanded classification of cytGSTs, we generated similarity-based subgroupings for the entire superfamily. Using the resulting sequence similarity networks, we chose targets that broadly covered unknown functions and report here experimental results confirming GST-like activity for 82 of them, along with 37 new 3D structures determined for 27 targets. These new data, along with experimentally known GST reactions and structures reported in the literature, were painted onto the networks to generate a global view of their sequence-structure-function relationships. The results show how proteins of both known and unknown function relate to each other across the entire superfamily and reveal that the great majority of cytGSTs have not been experimentally characterized or annotated by canonical class. A mapping of taxonomic classes across the superfamily indicates that many taxa are represented in each subgroup and highlights challenges for classification of superfamily sequences into functionally relevant classes. Experimental determination of disulfide bond reductase activity in many diverse subgroups illustrate a theme common for many reaction types. Finally, sequence comparison between an enzyme that catalyzes a reductive dechlorination reaction relevant to bioremediation efforts with some of its closest homologs reveals differences among them likely to be associated with evolution of this unusual reaction

  18. Geosphere-biosphere interactions in bio-activity volcanic lakes: evidences from Hule and Rio Cuarto (Costa Rica.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jacopo Cabassi

    Full Text Available Hule and Río Cuarto are maar lakes located 11 and 18 km N of Poás volcano along a 27 km long fracture zone, in the Central Volcanic Range of Costa Rica. Both lakes are characterized by a stable thermic and chemical stratification and recently they were affected by fish killing events likely related to the uprising of deep anoxic waters to the surface caused by rollover phenomena. The vertical profiles of temperature, pH, redox potential, chemical and isotopic compositions of water and dissolved gases, as well as prokaryotic diversity estimated by DNA fingerprinting and massive 16S rRNA pyrosequencing along the water column of the two lakes, have highlighted that different bio-geochemical processes occur in these meromictic lakes. Although the two lakes host different bacterial and archaeal phylogenetic groups, water and gas chemistry in both lakes is controlled by the same prokaryotic functions, especially regarding the CO2-CH4 cycle. Addition of hydrothermal CO2 through the bottom of the lakes plays a fundamental priming role in developing a stable water stratification and fuelling anoxic bacterial and archaeal populations. Methanogens and methane oxidizers as well as autotrophic and heterotrophic aerobic bacteria responsible of organic carbon recycling resulted to be stratified with depth and strictly related to the chemical-physical conditions and availability of free oxygen, affecting both the CO2 and CH4 chemical concentrations and their isotopic compositions along the water column. Hule and Río Cuarto lakes were demonstrated to contain a CO2 (CH4, N2-rich gas reservoir mainly controlled by the interactions occurring between geosphere and biosphere. Thus, we introduced the term of bio-activity volcanic lakes to distinguish these lakes, which have analogues worldwide (e.g. Kivu: D.R.C.-Rwanda; Albano, Monticchio and Averno: Italy; Pavin: France from volcanic lakes only characterized by geogenic CO2 reservoir such as Nyos and Monoun

  19. Fluid mixing and the deep biosphere of a fossil Lost City-type hydrothermal system at the Iberia Margin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klein, Frieder; Humphris, Susan E; Guo, Weifu; Schubotz, Florence; Schwarzenbach, Esther M; Orsi, William D

    2015-09-29

    Subseafloor mixing of reduced hydrothermal fluids with seawater is believed to provide the energy and substrates needed to support deep chemolithoautotrophic life in the hydrated oceanic mantle (i.e., serpentinite). However, geosphere-biosphere interactions in serpentinite-hosted subseafloor mixing zones remain poorly constrained. Here we examine fossil microbial communities and fluid mixing processes in the subseafloor of a Cretaceous Lost City-type hydrothermal system at the magma-poor passive Iberia Margin (Ocean Drilling Program Leg 149, Hole 897D). Brucite-calcite mineral assemblages precipitated from mixed fluids ca. 65 m below the Cretaceous paleo-seafloor at temperatures of 31.7 ± 4.3 °C within steep chemical gradients between weathered, carbonate-rich serpentinite breccia and serpentinite. Mixing of oxidized seawater and strongly reducing hydrothermal fluid at moderate temperatures created conditions capable of supporting microbial activity. Dense microbial colonies are fossilized in brucite-calcite veins that are strongly enriched in organic carbon (up to 0.5 wt.% of the total carbon) but depleted in (13)C (δ(13)C(TOC) = -19.4‰). We detected a combination of bacterial diether lipid biomarkers, archaeol, and archaeal tetraethers analogous to those found in carbonate chimneys at the active Lost City hydrothermal field. The exposure of mantle rocks to seawater during the breakup of Pangaea fueled chemolithoautotrophic microbial communities at the Iberia Margin, possibly before the onset of seafloor spreading. Lost City-type serpentinization systems have been discovered at midocean ridges, in forearc settings of subduction zones, and at continental margins. It appears that, wherever they occur, they can support microbial life, even in deep subseafloor environments.

  20. Geosphere-biosphere interactions in bio-activity volcanic lakes: evidences from Hule and Rìo Cuarto (Costa Rica).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cabassi, Jacopo; Tassi, Franco; Mapelli, Francesca; Borin, Sara; Calabrese, Sergio; Rouwet, Dmitri; Chiodini, Giovanni; Marasco, Ramona; Chouaia, Bessem; Avino, Rosario; Vaselli, Orlando; Pecoraino, Giovannella; Capecchiacci, Francesco; Bicocchi, Gabriele; Caliro, Stefano; Ramirez, Carlos; Mora-Amador, Raul

    2014-01-01

    Hule and Río Cuarto are maar lakes located 11 and 18 km N of Poás volcano along a 27 km long fracture zone, in the Central Volcanic Range of Costa Rica. Both lakes are characterized by a stable thermic and chemical stratification and recently they were affected by fish killing events likely related to the uprising of deep anoxic waters to the surface caused by rollover phenomena. The vertical profiles of temperature, pH, redox potential, chemical and isotopic compositions of water and dissolved gases, as well as prokaryotic diversity estimated by DNA fingerprinting and massive 16S rRNA pyrosequencing along the water column of the two lakes, have highlighted that different bio-geochemical processes occur in these meromictic lakes. Although the two lakes host different bacterial and archaeal phylogenetic groups, water and gas chemistry in both lakes is controlled by the same prokaryotic functions, especially regarding the CO2-CH4 cycle. Addition of hydrothermal CO2 through the bottom of the lakes plays a fundamental priming role in developing a stable water stratification and fuelling anoxic bacterial and archaeal populations. Methanogens and methane oxidizers as well as autotrophic and heterotrophic aerobic bacteria responsible of organic carbon recycling resulted to be stratified with depth and strictly related to the chemical-physical conditions and availability of free oxygen, affecting both the CO2 and CH4 chemical concentrations and their isotopic compositions along the water column. Hule and Río Cuarto lakes were demonstrated to contain a CO2 (CH4, N2)-rich gas reservoir mainly controlled by the interactions occurring between geosphere and biosphere. Thus, we introduced the term of bio-activity volcanic lakes to distinguish these lakes, which have analogues worldwide (e.g. Kivu: D.R.C.-Rwanda; Albano, Monticchio and Averno: Italy; Pavin: France) from volcanic lakes only characterized by geogenic CO2 reservoir such as Nyos and Monoun (Cameroon).

  1. Role of forest conservation in lessening land degradation in a temperate region: the Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve, Mexico.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manzo-Delgado, Lilia; López-García, José; Alcántara-Ayala, Irasema

    2014-06-01

    With international concern about the rates of deforestation worldwide, particular attention has been paid to Latin America. Forest conservation programmes in Mexico include Payment for Environmental Services (PES), a scheme that has been successfully introduced in the Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve. To seek further evidence of the role of PES in lessening land degradation processes in a temperate region, the conservation state of the Cerro Prieto ejido within the Reserve was assessed by an analysis of changes in vegetation cover and land-use between 1971 and 2013. There were no changes in the total forest surface area, but the relative proportions of the different classes of cover density had changed. In 1971, closed and semi-closed forest occupied 247.81 ha and 5.38 ha, 82.33% and 1.79% of the total area of the ejido, respectively. By 2013, closed forest had decreased to 230.38 ha (76.54% of the ejido), and semi-closed cover was 17.23 ha (5.72% of the ejido), suggesting that some semi-closed forest had achieved closed status. The final balance between forest losses and recovery was: 29.63 ha were lost, whereas 13.72 ha were recovered. Losses were mainly linked to a sanitation harvest programme to control the bark beetle Scolytus mundus. Ecotourism associated with forest conservation in the Cerro Prieto ejido has been considered by inhabitants as a focal alternative for economic development. Consequently, it is essential to develop a well-planned and solidly structured approach based on social cohesion to foster a community-led sustainable development at local level.

  2. Biosphere 2 test module: A ground-based sunlight-driven prototype of a closed ecological life support system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nelson, Mark; Leigh, Linda; Alling, Abigail; MacCallum, Taber; Allen, John; Alvarez-Romo, Norberto

    Constructed in 1986, the Biosphere 2 Test Module has been used since the end of that year for closed ecological systems experiments. It is the largest closed ecological facility ever built, with a sealed variable volume of some 480 cubic meters. It is built with a skin of steel spaceframes with double-laminated glass panels admitting about 65 percent Photosynthetically Active Radiation (PAR). The floor is of welded steel and there is an underground atmospheric connection via an air duct to a variable volume chamber (``lung'') permitting expansion and contraction of the Test Module's air volume caused by changes in temperature and barometric pressure, which causes a slight positive pressure from inside the closed system to the outside thereby insuring that the very small leakage rate is outward. Several series of closed ecological system investigations have been carried out in this facility. One series of experiments investigated the dynamics of higher plants and associated soils with the atmosphere under varying light and temperature conditions. Another series of experiments included one human in the closed system for three, five and twenty-one days. During these experiments the Test Module had subsystems which completely recycled its water and atmosphere; all the human dietary needs were produced within the facility, and all wastes were recycled using a marsh plant/microbe system. Other experiments have examined the capability of individual component systems used, such as the soil bed reactors, to eliminate experimentally introduced trace gases. Analytic systems developed for these experiments include continuous monitors of eleven atmospheric gases in addition to the complete gas chromatography mass spectrometry (GCMS) examinations of potable, waste system and irrigation water quality.

  3. Carbon dioxide dynamics of combined crops of wheat, cowpea, pinto beans in the Laboratory Biosphere closed ecological system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dempster, William F.; Nelson, M.; Silverstone, S.; Allen, J. P.

    2009-04-01

    A mixed crop consisting of cowpeas, pinto beans and Apogee ultra-dwarf wheat was grown in the Laboratory Biosphere, a 40 m 3 closed life system equipped with 12,000 W of high pressure sodium lamps over planting beds with 5.37 m 2 of soil. Similar to earlier reported experiments, the concentration of carbon dioxide initially increased to 7860 ppm at 10 days after planting due to soil respiration plus CO 2 contributed from researchers breathing while in the chamber for brief periods before plant growth became substantial. Carbon dioxide concentrations then fell rapidly as plant growth increased up to 29 days after planting and subsequently was maintained mostly in the range of about 200-3000 ppm (with a few excursions) by CO 2 injections to feed plant growth. Numerous analyses of rate of change of CO 2 concentration at many different concentrations and at many different days after planting reveal a strong dependence of fixation rates on CO 2 concentration. In the middle period of growth (days 31-61), fixation rates doubled for CO 2 at 450 ppm compared to 270 ppm, doubled again at 1000 ppm and increased a further 50% at 2000 ppm. High productivity from these crops and the increase of fixation rates with elevated CO 2 concentration supports the concept that enhanced CO 2 can be a useful strategy for remote life support systems. The data suggests avenues of investigation to understand the response of plant communities to increasing CO 2 concentrations in the Earth's atmosphere. Carbon balance accounting and evapotranspiration rates are included.

  4. Cowpeas and pinto beans: yields and light efficiency of candidate space crops in the Laboratory Biosphere closed ecological system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nelson, M.; Dempster, W. F.; Silverstone, S.; Alling, A.; Allen, J. P.; van Thillo, M.

    An experiment utilizing cowpeas Vigna unguiculata pinto beans Phaseolus vulgaris L and Apogee ultra-dwarf wheat was conducted in the soil-based closed ecological facility Laboratory Biosphere from February to May 2005 The lighting regime was 13 hours light 11 hours dark at a light intensity of 960 mu mol m -2 s -1 45 moles m -2 day -1 supplied by high-pressure sodium lamps The pinto beans and cowpeas were grown at two different plant densities The pinto bean produced 710 g m -2 total aboveground biomass and 341 g m -2 at 33 5 plants per m 2 and at 37 5 plants per m 2 produced 1092 g m -2 total biomass and 537 g m -2 of dry seed an increase of almost 50 Cowpeas at 28 plants m -2 yielded 1060 g m -2 of total biomass and 387 g seed m -2 outproducing the less dense planting by more than double 209 in biomass and 86 more seed as the planting of 21 plants m -2 produced 508 g m-2 of total biomass and 209 g m-2 of seed Edible yield rate EYR for the denser cowpea bean was 4 6 g m -2 day -1 vs 2 5 g m -2 day -1 for the less dense stand average yield was 3 5 g m -2 day -1 EYR for the denser pinto bean was 8 5 g m -2 day -1 vs 5 3 g m -2 day -1 average EYR for the pinto beans was 7 0 g m -2 day -1 Yield efficiency rate YER the ratio of edible to non-edible biomass was 0 97 for the dense pinto bean 0 92 for the less dense pinto bean and average 0 94 for the entire crop The cowpeas

  5. Large-scale determination of sequence, structure, and function relationships in cytosolic glutathione transferases across the biosphere.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Susan T Mashiyama

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available The cytosolic glutathione transferase (cytGST superfamily comprises more than 13,000 nonredundant sequences found throughout the biosphere. Their key roles in metabolism and defense against oxidative damage have led to thousands of studies over several decades. Despite this attention, little is known about the physiological reactions they catalyze and most of the substrates used to assay cytGSTs are synthetic compounds. A deeper understanding of relationships across the superfamily could provide new clues about their functions. To establish a foundation for expanded classification of cytGSTs, we generated similarity-based subgroupings for the entire superfamily. Using the resulting sequence similarity networks, we chose targets that broadly covered unknown functions and report here experimental results confirming GST-like activity for 82 of them, along with 37 new 3D structures determined for 27 targets. These new data, along with experimentally known GST reactions and structures reported in the literature, were painted onto the networks to generate a global view of their sequence-structure-function relationships. The results show how proteins of both known and unknown function relate to each other across the entire superfamily and reveal that the great majority of cytGSTs have not been experimentally characterized or annotated by canonical class. A mapping of taxonomic classes across the superfamily indicates that many taxa are represented in each subgroup and highlights challenges for classification of superfamily sequences into functionally relevant classes. Experimental determination of disulfide bond reductase activity in many diverse subgroups illustrate a theme common for many reaction types. Finally, sequence comparison between an enzyme that catalyzes a reductive dechlorination reaction relevant to bioremediation efforts with some of its closest homologs reveals differences among them likely to be associated with evolution of this

  6. Satellite image based quantification of invasion and patch dynamics of mesquite (Prosopis juliflora) in Great Rann of Kachchh, Kachchh Biosphere Reserve, Gujarat, India

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    S Vazeed Pasha; K V Satish; C Sudhakar Reddy; P V V Prasada Rao; C S Jha

    2014-10-01

    The invasion of alien species is a significant threat to global biodiversity and the top driver of climate change. The present study was conducted in the Great Rann of Kachchh, part of Kachchh Biosphere Reserve, Gujarat, India, which has been severely affected by invasion of Prosopis juliflora. The invasive weed infestation has been identified using multi-temporal remote sensing datasets of 1977, 1990, 1999, 2005 and 2011. Spatial analyses of the transition matrix, extent of invasive colonies, patchiness, coalescence and rate of spread were carried out. During the study period of three and half decades, almost 295 km2 of the natural land cover was converted into Prosopis cover. This study has shown an increment of 42.9% of area under Prosopis cover in the Great Rann of Kachchh, part of the Kachchh Biosphere Reserve during 1977 to 2011. Spatial analysis indicates high occupancy of Prosopis cover with most of the invasion (95.9%) occurring in the grasslands and only 4.1% in other land cover types. The process of Prosopis invasion shows high patch initiation, followed by coalescence, indicating aggressive colonization of species. The number of patches within an area of > 1 km2 increased from 1977 to 2011, indicating the formation of new Prosopis habitats by replacing the grasslands. The largest patch of Prosopis cover increased from 144 km2 in 1977 to 430 km2 in 2011. The estimated mean patch size was 7.8 km2 in 1977. The mean patch size was largest during 2011, i.e., 9 km2. The annual spread rate for Prosopis has been estimated as 2.1% during 2005–2011. The present work has investigated the long term changes in Prosopis cover in the Great Rann of Kachchh, part of Kachchh Biosphere Reserve. The spatial database generated will be useful in preparing strategies for the management of Prosopis juliflora.

  7. Identifying and closing gaps in environmental monitoring by means of metadata, ecological regionalization and geostatistics using the UNESCO biosphere reserve Rhoen (Germany) as an example.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schröder, Winfried; Pesch, Roland; Schmidt, Gunther

    2006-03-01

    In Germany, environmental monitoring is intended to provide a holistic view of the environmental condition. To this end the monitoring operated by the federal states must use harmonized, resp., standardized methods. In addition, the monitoring sites should cover the ecoregions without any geographical gaps, the monitoring design should have no gaps in terms of ecologically relevant measurement parameters, and the sample data should be spatially without any gaps. This article outlines the extent to which the Rhoen Biosphere Reserve, occupying a part of the German federal states of Bavaria, Hesse and Thuringia, fulfills the listed requirements. The investigation considered collection, data banking and analysis of monitoring data and metadata, ecological regionalization and geostatistics. Metadata on the monitoring networks were collected by questionnaires and provided a complete inventory and description of the monitoring activities in the reserve and its surroundings. The analysis of these metadata reveals that most of the monitoring methods are harmonized across the boundaries of the three federal states the Rhoen is part of. The monitoring networks that measure precipitation, surface water levels, and groundwater quality are particularly overrepresented in the central ecoregions of the biosphere reserve. Soil monitoring sites are more equally distributed within the ecoregions of the Rhoen. The number of sites for the monitoring of air pollutants is not sufficient to draw spatially valid conclusions. To fill these spatial gaps, additional data on the annual average values of the concentrations of air pollutants from monitoring sites outside of the biosphere reserve had therefore been subject to geostatistical analysis and estimation. This yields valid information on the spatial patterns and temporal trends of air quality. The approach illustrated is applicable to similar cases, as, for example, the harmonization of international monitoring networks.

  8. Lessons Learned from Biosphere 2: When Viewed as a Ground Simulation/Analogue for Long Duration Human Space Exploration and Settlement

    Science.gov (United States)

    MacCallum, T.; Poynter, J.; Bearden, D.

    A human mission to Mars, or a base on the Moon or Mars, is a longer and more complex mission than any space endeavor undertaken to date. Ground simulations provide a relevant, analogous environment for testing technologies and learning how to manage complex, long duration missions, while addressing inherent mission risks. Multiphase human missions and settlements that may preclude a rapid return to Earth, require high fidelity, end-to-end, at least full mission duration tests in order to evaluate a system's ability to sustain the crew for the entire mission and return the crew safely to Earth. Moreover, abort scenarios are essentially precluded in many mission scenarios, though certain risks may only become evident late in the mission. Aging and compounding effects cannot be simulated through accelerated tests for all aspects of the mission. Until such high fidelity long duration simulations are available, and in order to help prepare those simulations and mission designs, it is important to extract as many lessons as possible from analogous environments. Possibly the best analogue for a long duration space mission is the two year mission of Biosphere 2. Biosphere 2 is a three-acre materially closed ecological system that supported eight crewmembers with food, air and water in a sunlight driven bioregenerative system for two years. It was designed for research applicable to environmental management on Earth and the development of human life support for space. A brief overview of the two-year Biosphere 2 mission is presented, followed by select data and lessons learned that are applicable to the design and operation of a long duration human space mission, settlement or test bed. These lessons include technical, programmatic, and psychological issues

  9. Satellite image based quantification of invasion and patch dynamics of mesquite ( Prosopis juliflora) in Great Rann of Kachchh, Kachchh Biosphere Reserve, Gujarat, India

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pasha, S. Vazeed; Satish, K. V.; Reddy, C. Sudhakar; Prasada Rao, P. V. V.; Jha, C. S.

    2014-10-01

    The invasion of alien species is a significant threat to global biodiversity and the top driver of climate change. The present study was conducted in the Great Rann of Kachchh, part of Kachchh Biosphere Reserve, Gujarat, India, which has been severely affected by invasion of Prosopis juliflora. The invasive weed infestation has been identified using multi-temporal remote sensing datasets of 1977, 1990, 1999, 2005 and 2011. Spatial analyses of the transition matrix, extent of invasive colonies, patchiness, coalescence and rate of spread were carried out. During the study period of three and half decades, almost 295 km2 of the natural land cover was converted into Prosopis cover. This study has shown an increment of 42.9% of area under Prosopis cover in the Great Rann of Kachchh, part of the Kachchh Biosphere Reserve during 1977 to 2011. Spatial analysis indicates high occupancy of Prosopis cover with most of the invasion (95.9%) occurring in the grasslands and only 4.1% in other land cover types. The process of Prosopis invasion shows high patch initiation, followed by coalescence, indicating aggressive colonization of species. The number of patches within an area of habitats by replacing the grasslands. The largest patch of Prosopis cover increased from 144 km2 in 1977 to 430 km2 in 2011. The estimated mean patch size was 7.8 km2 in 1977. The mean patch size was largest during 2011, i.e., 9 km2. The annual spread rate for Prosopis has been estimated as 2.1% during 2005-2011. The present work has investigated the long term changes in Prosopis cover in the Great Rann of Kachchh, part of Kachchh Biosphere Reserve. The spatial database generated will be useful in preparing strategies for the management of Prosopis juliflora.

  10. Phosphogenesis in the 2460 and 2728 million-year-old banded iron formations as evidence for biological cycling of phosphate in the early biosphere.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Yi-Liang; Sun, Si; Chan, Lung S

    2012-01-01

    The banded iron formation deposited during the first 2 billion years of Earth's history holds the key to understanding the interplay between the geosphere and the early biosphere at large geological timescales. The earliest ore-scale phosphorite depositions formed almost at ∼2.0-2.2 billion years ago bear evidence for the earliest bloom of aerobic life. The cycling of nutrient phosphorus and how it constrained primary productivity in the anaerobic world of Archean-Palaeoproterozoic eons are still open questions. The controversy centers about whether the precipitation of ultrafine ferric oxyhydroxide due to the microbial Fe(II) oxidation in oceans earlier than 1.9 billion years substantially sequestrated phosphate, and whether this process significantly limited the primary productivity of the early biosphere. In this study, we report apatite radial flowers of a few micrometers in the 2728 million-year-old Abitibi banded iron formation and the 2460 million-year-old Kuruman banded iron formation and their similarities to those in the 535 million-year-old Lower Cambrian phosphorite. The lithology of the 535 Million-year-old phosphorite as a biosignature bears abundant biomarkers that reveal the possible similar biogeochemical cycling of phosphorus in the Later Archean and Palaeoproterozoic oceans. These apatite radial flowers represent the primary precipitation of phosphate derived from the phytoplankton blooms in the euphotic zones of Neoarchean and Palaoeproterozoic oceans. The unbiased distributions of the apatite radial flowers within sub-millimeter bands do not support the idea of an Archean Crisis of Phosphate. This is the first report of the microbial mediated mineralization of phosphorus before the Great Oxidation Event when the whole biosphere was still dominated by anaerobic microorganisms.

  11. Bovine tuberculosis in Donana Biosphere Reserve: the role of wild ungulates as disease reservoirs in the last Iberian lynx strongholds.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christian Gortázar

    Full Text Available Doñana National Park (DNP in southern Spain is a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve where commercial hunting and wildlife artificial feeding do not take place and traditional cattle husbandry still exists. Herein, we hypothesized that Mycobacterium bovis infection prevalence in wild ungulates will depend on host ecology and that variation in prevalence will reflect variation in the interaction between hosts and environmental risk factors. Cattle bTB reactor rates increased in DNP despite compulsory testing and culling of infected animals. In this study, 124 European wild boar, 95 red deer, and 97 fallow deer were sampled from April 2006 to April 2007 and analyzed for M. bovis infection. Modelling and GIS were used to identify risk factors and intra and inter-species relationships. Infection with M. bovis was confirmed in 65 (52.4% wild boar, 26 (27.4% red deer and 18 (18.5% fallow deer. In the absence of cattle, wild boar M. bovis prevalence reached 92.3% in the northern third of DNP. Wild boar showed more than twice prevalence than that in deer (p<0.001. Modelling revealed that M. bovis prevalence decreased from North to South in wild boar (p<0.001 and red deer (p<0.01, whereas no spatial pattern was evidenced for fallow deer. Infection risk in wild boar was dependent on wild boar M. bovis prevalence in the buffer area containing interacting individuals (p<0.01. The prevalence recorded in this study is among the highest reported in wildlife. Remarkably, this high prevalence occurs in the absence of wildlife artificial feeding, suggesting that a feeding ban alone would have a limited effect on wildlife M. bovis prevalence. In DNP, M. bovis transmission may occur predominantly at the intra-species level due to ecological, behavioural and epidemiological factors. The results of this study allow inferring conclusions on epidemiological bTB risk factors in Mediterranean habitats that are not managed for hunting purposes. Our results support the need to

  12. Relevance of the Paraná River hydrology on the fluvial water quality of the Delta Biosphere Reserve.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Puig, Alba; Olguín Salinas, Héctor F; Borús, Juan A

    2016-06-01

    The increasing frequency of extreme events in large rivers may affect not only their flow, but also their water quality. In the present study, spatial and temporal changes in fluvial physico-chemical variables were analyzed in a mega-river delta during two extreme hydrological years (La Niña-El Niño) and related to potential explanatory factors. Basic water variables were evaluated in situ at 13 points (distant 2-35 km from each other) in watercourses of the Delta Biosphere Reserve (890 km(2)) in the Lower Paraná River (Argentina) in nine surveys (October 2008-July 2010) without meteorological tides. Samples for laboratory analyses were collected from each main river. Multivariate tests by permutations were applied. The period studied was influenced by a drought, within a long period dominated by low flows combined with dry weather and wildfires, and a large (10 years of recurrence) and prolonged (7 months) flood. The hydrological phase, followed by the season and the hydrological year (according to the ENSO event) were the principal explanatory factors of the main water quality changes, whereas the drainage sub-basin and the fluvial environment (river or stream) were secondary explanatory factors. During the drought period, conductivity, turbidity, and associated variables (e.g., major ions, silicon, and iron concentrations) were maximal, whereas real color was minimal. In the overbanking flood phase, pH and dissolved oxygen concentration were minimal, whereas real color was maximal. Dissolved oxygen saturation was also low in the receding flood phase and total major ion load doubled after the arrival of the overbanking stage. The water quality of these watercourses may be affected by the combination of several influences, such as the Paraná River flow, the pulses with sediments and solutes from the Bermejo River, the export of the Delta floodplain properties mainly by the flood, the season, and the saline tributaries to the Lower Paraná River. The high

  13. Cruise-based Multi-factorial Investigation of the Impact of Ocean Acidification on the Pelagic Biosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Young, J. R.; Tyrell, T.

    2012-12-01

    The pelagic ecosystem is a critical component of the earth's biosphere and biogeochemistry. It is also, however, a complex and in many respects poorly understood system. In consequence predicting the likely impact of ocean acidification on the pelagic realm is problematic and predicting the possible secondary biogeochemical effects of these impacts is "challenging". Nonetheless there is a major societal need to predict these impacts and outcomes. Within the UK Ocean Acidification Programme our consortium is tasked with "improving the understanding of the impact of ocean acidification on surface ocean biology, community structure, biogeochemistry and on feedbacks to the climate." To ensure complimentarity with other programmes we have adopted a cruise-based approach. Two cruises have been undertaken; Cruise D366 in summer 2011 around the north west european shelf and Cruise JR271 summer 2012 to the Arctic Ocean. A final cruise, to the Antarctic will be undertaken in January/February 2013. On each cruise we are combining extensive environmental observations, with deck-board incubation experiments. The environmental observations are being made with both continuous sampling techniques and CTD sampling. The cruise tracks have been designed to cross environmental gradients in ocean chemistry and especially in carbonate chemistry. The objective here is to produce a high quality matrix of multiple environmental parameters including fully characterised carbonate chemistry (pH, CO2, DIC and alkalinity are all measured), nutrient chemistry, trace elements, climatically active gases, and TEP, phytoplankton and zooplankton composition and biocalcification. The biocalcification studies include microfabric study of pteropods, in situ calcification rates and integrated morphometric and assemblage composition analysis of coccolithophores. The incubation experiments are being conducted using a dedicated culture facility constructed in a shipping-container lab. This allows large

  14. Linking canopy phenology to the seasonality of biosphere-atmosphere interactions in a temperate deciduous forest (Invited)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richardson, A. D.; Toomey, M. P.; Aubrecht, D.; Sonnentag, O.; Ryu, Y.; Hilker, T.

    2013-12-01

    the forest canopy. In this presentation I will discuss our efforts to use these data for model-based analyses that link phenology to biosphere-atmosphere interactions through the cycling of CO2, water and energy. As an example, I will describe how we are using a two-layer canopy model, in conjunction with both LAI data and narrowband reflectance indices, to improve model representation of the seasonal cycle of canopy photosynthesis and hence understanding of surface-atmosphere fluxes of CO2.

  15. Effect of the recent land use on the plant diversity and community structure of Omayed Biosphere Reserve, Egypt

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dalia A. Ahmed

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available The present study aims at describing and analysing the floristic composition and vegetation types, as well as determining the effect of recent land uses on the vegetation structure. It aims also at identifying the alien plants species and elucidating the impact of these species on the plant diversity and community structure of the study area. One hundred and ninety stands were selected monthly for this study, 145 species were recorded (69 perennials and 76 annuals related to 83 genera, 40 families in 9 identified habitats in El-Omayed Biosphere Reserve (coastal sand dunes, salt marshes, saline depression, non-saline depression, inland ridges, inland plateau, irrigation canals, road sides and cultivated lands. Therophytes were the most represented life form. Three habitat groups resulted after the application of TWINSPAN and DCA as classification and ordination techniques: 2 represented the natural habitats and one represented the urban and cultivated habitats. Group I represented coastal dunes and salt marshes GII: saline depressions, non-saline depressions, inland plateau and inland ridges and GIII: irrigation canals, road sides and cultivated lands. Coastal dunes had the highest species richness (α-diversity, followed by cultivated lands, while inland plateau had the lowest; but saline depressions had the highest species turnover (β-diversity. Non-saline depressions had the highest relative evenness, while saline depressions had the highest relative concentration of dominance. Coastal dunes had highest values of calcium carbonates and calcium ions, and salt marshes had the highest salinity, pH, potassium and sodium contents, but cultivated lands had the highest values of silt, clay and organic matter. The diagram resulting from CCA showed an influence of most soil variables, except nitrogen, calcium and potassium. Twenty two species were recorded for the first time in the study area. The recent land use (overgrazing, wood cutting and

  16. Estimation of vegetation photosynthetic capacity from space-based measurements of chlorophyll fluorescence for terrestrial biosphere models.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Yongguang; Guanter, Luis; Berry, Joseph A; Joiner, Joanna; van der Tol, Christiaan; Huete, Alfredo; Gitelson, Anatoly; Voigt, Maximilian; Köhler, Philipp

    2014-12-01

    Photosynthesis simulations by terrestrial biosphere models are usually based on the Farquhar's model, in which the maximum rate of carboxylation (Vcmax ) is a key control parameter of photosynthetic capacity. Even though Vcmax is known to vary substantially in space and time in response to environmental controls, it is typically parameterized in models with tabulated values associated to plant functional types. Remote sensing can be used to produce a spatially continuous and temporally resolved view on photosynthetic efficiency, but traditional vegetation observations based on spectral reflectance lack a direct link to plant photochemical processes. Alternatively, recent space-borne measurements of sun-induced chlorophyll fluorescence (SIF) can offer an observational constraint on photosynthesis simulations. Here, we show that top-of-canopy SIF measurements from space are sensitive to Vcmax at the ecosystem level, and present an approach to invert Vcmax from SIF data. We use the Soil-Canopy Observation of Photosynthesis and Energy (SCOPE) balance model to derive empirical relationships between seasonal Vcmax and SIF which are used to solve the inverse problem. We evaluate our Vcmax estimation method at six agricultural flux tower sites in the midwestern US using spaced-based SIF retrievals. Our Vcmax estimates agree well with literature values for corn and soybean plants (average values of 37 and 101 μmol m(-2)  s(-1) , respectively) and show plausible seasonal patterns. The effect of the updated seasonally varying Vcmax parameterization on simulated gross primary productivity (GPP) is tested by comparing to simulations with fixed Vcmax values. Validation against flux tower observations demonstrate that simulations of GPP and light use efficiency improve significantly when our time-resolved Vcmax estimates from SIF are used, with R(2) for GPP comparisons increasing from 0.85 to 0.93, and for light use efficiency from 0.44 to 0.83. Our results support the use of

  17. [Distribution and abundance of fish community in the littoral area of "Los Petenes" Biosphere Reserve, Campeche, Mexico].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muñoz-Rojas, Sandra; Ayala-Pérez, Luis Amado; Sosa-López, Atahualpa; Villalobos-Zapata, Guillermo Jorge

    2013-03-01

    "Los Petenes" Biosphere Reserve (RBLP) is a critical habitat for many aquatic and terrestrial species. It has the biggest and better conserved seagrass beds, and it represents an important habitat for food, protection and breeding of aquatic organisms, and a temporal refuge for migratory species. The objective of this study was to describe the ichthyofauna diversity in the littoral coastal area of the RBLP, to identify the ecological dominant species, and to analyze the abundance of the fish community and its temporal and spatial changes, and their relationship with some environmental variables. Monthly fish samples were obtained with the aid of trawl nets, from 24 samplings sites distributed along the reserve, between May 2009 and April 2010. The trawl net was operated 288 times and 21 795 individuals with 279.5kg of weight were collected. A total of 46 fish species grouped in 34 genera and 23 families were identified. In a spatial scale, the abundance showed the next ranges: 0.018-0.094ind./m2; 0.249-1.072 g/m2 and 9.75-19.32g/ind.; the diversity indexes obtained were: H'n=1.46-2.15, J'=0.45-0.71 and D'=2.08-3.92. In a temporal scale, the abundance and diversity ranged between: 0.026-0.066ind./m2; 0.342-0.764g/m2 and 6.49-22.98g/ind.; H'n=1.76-2.08; J'=0.52-0.64 and D'=3.07-4.18. Eleven dominant species were identified with a representation of the 94.39% in number of individuals, and 89.66% in weight of the total catch. From the total, eight species had economic or commercial importance, especially Lagodon rhomboides and Haemulon plumierii. The cluster analyses identified four fish associations; these results are discussed in order to identify relationships between habitat-species. Finally, the canonical correspondence analysis evidenced an association between H. plumierii with salinity and dissolved solids. The RBLP has high habitat diversity and its fish community has developed strategies to use all the spatial and temporal conditions and to satisfy the needs

  18. Constraining carbon budgets at a regional scale: fusing forest inventory data with a cohort-based biosphere model

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    Viskari, T.; Dietze, M.; Desai, A. R.

    2014-12-01

    Forest inventories play an essential role in carbon monitoring and REDD+, however they provide a sparse picture of the carbon cycle at a regional scale. Terrestrial Biosphere Models (TBMs) provide a complete picture of the carbon cycle, but efforts at combining inventory data with models have focused primarily on model calibration and purely model-based regional-scale carbon estimation, which ignore observed disturbances, management, and spatiotemporal variability in forest. Our approach is based on assimilating inventory observations in a size- and age-structured model, the Ecosystem Demography model (ED2). Assumptions of large homogenous areas in ecological models result in loss of details that hinder incorporation of observations. We address how to assimilate inventory data with model predictions in a practical way that is readily extensible to the simultaneous fusion of remote sensing and eddy covariance along with inventories. We updated ED2 predictions on forest growth with Forest Inventory and Analysis program (FIA) data. Data assimilation method was the Ensemble Adjustment Kalman Filter (EAKF) as implemented in Data Assimilation Research Testbed (DART) workflow. The study area is a 1° by 1° grid with the Willow Creek Ameriflux tower in Wisconsin at center. ED2 groups individual trees in cohorts so it captures the landscape-scale heterogeneity. Although this approach speeds up computations, it is not practical to estimate each FIA plot within a chosen area. We classified and averaged data for different plots according to their biomass based on number and size of trees within a plot, focusing on biomass changes over a measurement period. We separately calculated the average diameter at breast height (dbh) and stem density for plants over 5 cm for measured and modeled plots within a biomass class for different Plant Functional Types (PFTs). The results showed EAKF successfully adjusting the predicted changes in biomass according to observations. Variation in

  19. Cowpeas and pinto beans: Performance and yields of candidate space crops in the laboratory biosphere closed ecological system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nelson, M.; Dempster, W. F.; Allen, J. P.; Silverstone, S.; Alling, A.; Thillo, M. van

    An experiment utilizing cowpeas ( Vigna unguiculata L.), pinto beans ( Phaseolus vulgaris L.) and Apogee ultra-dwarf wheat ( Triticum sativa L.) was conducted in the soil-based closed ecological facility, Laboratory Biosphere, from February to May 2005. The lighting regime was 13 h light/11 h dark at a light intensity of 960 μmol m -2 s -1, 45 mol m -2 day -1 supplied by high-pressure sodium lamps. The pinto beans and cowpeas were grown at two different planting densities. Pinto bean production was 341.5 g dry seed m -2 (5.42 g m -2 day -1) and 579.5 dry seed m -2 (9.20 g m -2 day -1) at planted densities of 32.5 plants m -2 and 37.5 plants m -2, respectively. Cowpea yielded 187.9 g dry seed m -2 (2.21 g m -2 day -1) and 348.8 dry seed m -2 (4.10 g m -2 day -1) at planted densities of 20.8 plants m -2 and 27.7 plants m -2, respectively. The crop was grown at elevated atmospheric carbon dioxide levels, with levels ranging from 300-3000 ppm daily during the majority of the crop cycle. During early stages (first 10 days) of the crop, CO 2 was allowed to rise to 7860 ppm while soil respiration dominated, and then was brought down by plant photosynthesis. CO 2 was injected 27 times during days 29-71 to replenish CO 2 used by the crop during photosynthesis. Temperature regime was 24-28 °C day/deg 20-24 °C night. Pinto bean matured and was harvested 20 days earlier than is typical for this variety, while the cowpea, which had trouble establishing, took 25 days more for harvest than typical for this variety. Productivity and atmospheric dynamic results of these studies contribute toward the design of an envisioned ground-based test bed prototype Mars base.

  20. Bringing the Biosphere Home.

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    Thomashow, Mitchell

    2002-01-01

    Discusses an orientation to the local environment as the lens through which to detect global change. Discusses how students can relate to a structure that includes the intertemporal, interspatial, intergenerational, and interspecies realities of place leading to a comprehensive view of biology. Discusses the existential tensions intrinsic to…

  1. An Archean Biosphere Initiative

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anbar, A. D.; Boyd, E. S.; Buick, R.; Claire, M.; DesMarais, D.; Domagal-Goldman, D.; Eigenbrode, J.; Erwin, D.; Freeman, K.; Hazen, R.; Johnson, C.; Lyons, T.; Meadows, V.; Ohmoto, H.; Ono, S.; Peters, J. W.; Shapiro, B.; Summons, R.; Walter, M.

    2011-01-01

    The search for life on extrasolar planets will necessarily focus on the imprints of biolgy on the composition of planetary atmospheres. The most notable biological imprint on the modern terrestrial atmosphere is the presence of 21 % O2, However, during most of the past 4 billion years, life and the surface environments on Earth were profoundly different than they are today. It is therefore a major goal of the astrobiology community to ascertain how the O2 content of the atmosphere has varied with time. and to understand the causes of these variations. The NAI and NASA Exobiology program have played critical roles in developing our current understanding of the ancient Earth's atmosphere, supporting diverse observational, analytical, and computational research in geoscience, life science, and related fields. In the present incarnation of the NAI, ongoing work is investigating (i) variations in atmospheric O2 in the Archean to the Cambrian, (ii) characterization of the redox state of the oceans shortly before, during and after the Great Oxidation Event (GOE), and (iii) unraveling the complex connections between environmental oxygenation, global climate, and the evolution of life.

  2. Land-cover change in the Kruger to Canyons Biosphere Reserve (1993–2006: A first step towards creating a conservation plan for the subregion

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    E.T.F. Witkowski

    2010-07-01

    Full Text Available This paper is a first step towards a conservation plan for the Kruger to Canyons Biosphere Reserve (K2C on the South African Central Lowveld, quantifying the historical land-cover trends (1993–2006. During the analysis period, 36% of the biosphere reserve (BR underwent land-cover change. Settlement areas increased by 39.7%, mainly in rural areas, becoming denser, particularly along roadways. Human-Impacted Vegetation increased by 6.8% and Intact Vegetation declined by 7.3%, predominantly around settlement areas, which is testament to the interdependency between rural communities and the local environment. However, settlement expansion exceeded the rate of rangeland growth; in the long term, this may raise questions for sustainable resource extraction. Similarly, the block losses of intact vegetation are of concern; issues of fragmentation arise, with knock-on effects for ecosystem functioning. In the economic sector, agriculture increased by 51.9%, while forestry and mining declined by 7.1% and 6.3%, respectively. The future of these three sectors may also have significant repercussions for land-cover change in the BR. The identification of historical drivers, along with the chance that existing trends may continue, will have important implications for biodiversity protection in this landscape. Applied within a conservation-planning framework, these land-cover data, together with economic and biodiversity data, will help reconcile the spatial requirements of socio-economic development with those of conservation.

  3. The study of Forest Hara Biosphere Reserve in coast of Persian Gulf and the importance of heavy metal accumulation; Case study: feathers of great cormorant

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    MIR MEHRDAD MIRSANJARI

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available Mirsanjari MM, Sheybanifar F, Arjmand F. 2014. The study of forest Hara Biosphere Reserve in coast of Persian Gulf and the importance of heavy metal accumulation; Case study: feathers of great cormorant. Nusantara Bioscience 6: 159-164. In recent years, concerns about the long term effects of heavy metals as environmental polluters have arisen, since considerable quantities of heavy metals have been released into the environment as a result of extensive human activities. Heavy metal has been determined as a serious threat to the stability of ecosystems. In this study, we examined the levels of zinc‚ copper‚ lead, and cadmium in the feathers of twenty great cormorants (Phalacrocorax carbo, collected from Hara Biosphere Reserve during November and December in 2012. The results revealed that the mean concentration of heavy metals in the feathers of males is significantly higher than females (P < 0.05. In addition‚ no significant difference was observed in heavy metal concentration between juvenile and adult birds. Moreover, according to the results, the high concentration of heavy metals in some samples indicated this fact that birds are potentially exposed to the risk of heavy metals in their habitat.

  4. Conceptual and numerical modelling of radionuclide transport in near-surface systems at Forsmark. SR-Site Biosphere

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Pique, Angels; Grandia, Fidel; Sena, Clara; Arcos, David; Molinero, Jorge; Duro, Lara; Bruno, Jordi (Amphos21 Consulting S.L., Barcelona (Spain))

    2010-11-15

    In the framework of the SR-Site safety assessment, a conceptual and numerical modelling of radionuclide reactive transport in near-surface systems (including till and clay systems) at Forsmark has been carried out. The objective was to evaluate the retention capacity of the near-surface systems, composed of Quaternary deposits, which would be the last natural barrier for an eventual radionuclide release from the deep repository prior to reaching the biosphere. The studied radionuclides are 14C, 129I, 36Cl, 94Nb, 59Ni, 93Mo, 79Se, 99Tc, 230Th, 90Sr, 226Ra, 135Cs and U. Conceptual description and numerical simulations of radionuclide reactive transport show that cation exchange and surface complexation on illite are active processes for the retention of several radionuclides (U, Th, Ni, Cs, Sr, Ra). Surface complexation on iron hydroxide is an active process in the till system, able to effectively retain U and Ni. Another retention process of importance is the incorporation of the radionuclides into mineral phases, either by the precipitation of pure phases or solid solutions. Quantitative modelling has been useful to illustrate the incorporation of C and Sr in the carbonate solid solution in the considered model domains (till and clay), as well as the precipitation of uraninite in the clay sediments and the precipitation of native selenium and radiobarite in the till. Other mineral phases that could, a priori, retain U, Se, Nb and Tc do not precipitate in the simulations, either due to the pH-Eh conditions and/or because the dissolved concentration of the element is not high enough under the considered simulation conditions. It is important to keep in mind that changes in these parameters and in the boundary conditions could modify the predicted behaviour of these elements. The radionuclides that are most significantly retarded are Th, Ni and Cs, mainly through sorption onto illite. Therefore, if the amount of illite (or available sorption sites) decreases, the

  5. HUMIDIFICATION AS A FACTOR OF STRUCTURIAL ORGANIZATION OF BIRD POPULATIONS IN THE WOOD STANDS OF THE BIOSPHERE RESERVE ASKANIA NOVA

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    Listopadsky M. A.

    2014-04-01

    the spatial structure of bird communities. In relation to the stands for dryish soil compaction observed populations of species that nest there. The fort stands on fresh soil tend to be the emergence of new species for nesting communities. Despite the small area and the uneven spatial arrangement of belts that are caused the effect of irrigation, there are some places of nesting of small belts for species that occur there only because of the increased level of humidity and the presence of open temporary ponds used by waterbirds. These belts have a ‘hunchback’ profile, caused by the constant flooding, and as a result - a tall and dense stands in the center adjustment of reserve stands caused by the age and condition of vegetation diversity management techniques, moreover the "island" effect becomes characteristic is fewer birds – like dendrophilous. Under present conditions, it does not describe the dendrophilous features for the bird communities in general. Only a few species possess the most biocenotical selectively retain the characteristics inherent to the "island”type populations. The biosphere reserve "Askania Nova" represents the diversity loam with varying degrees of moisture and salinity. The most common are dark chestnut soils in the north of the reserve bordering the southern black soils. Most belts representing tree plantation reserve, located in dark chestnut soils with low humus content in loess loam. Also, the composition of the physical and chemical properties of soil contributes to some zoogenic factors. In relation to the spatial distribution of birds in the reserve, one of the leading factors of the spectrum is the nature of hydration. Directly or through the woody vegetation it determines the nature of the spatial distribution of bird dendrophilous complexes. Relatively high diversity was registered due to the variety of types of moisturizing various irrigation methods for soils. Protected steppe area, which is an indigenous prairie

  6. Gathering “tea” – from necessity to connectedness with nature. Local knowledge about wild plant gathering in the Biosphere Reserve Grosses Walsertal (Austria

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    Grasser Susanne

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Wild plant gathering is an essential element in livelihood strategies all over the world. However due to changing circumstances in Europe, the reason for gathering has altered from one of necessity in the past to a pleasurable activity today. Wild plant gathering has therefore also received renewed attention as a form of intangible cultural heritage expressing local preferences, habits and man’s relationship with nature. In the Biosphere Reserve Grosses Walsertal (Austria, local people’s knowledge of the gathering of wild plants and their perception of their own gathering activities are being documented. The focus of this paper is on the uses of herbal teas and the informal guidelines for gathering plants that have been issued by the Bergtee (mountain tea association. Methods Thirty-six free-list interviews were conducted with subsequent semi-structured interviews and three focus group meetings held with members of the Bergtee association. Participatory observation (gathering and processing plants, mixing and marketing tea also allowed for greater understanding of what had been reported. Results In total, 140 different gathered plant species were listed by respondents. Herbal tea is the most frequently mentioned use. The Bergtee association, founded by a young man and two middle-aged women in the valley, is a good example of the link between biological and cultural diversity, with the aim of sharing the biosphere reserve’s natural treasures as well as local plant-related knowledge in the form of herbal tea products. The association’s informal guidelines for gathering reflect people’s attitude to nature: monetary income does not play a major role in gathering plants; instead people’s appreciation of the value of the nature around them is to the fore. Conclusions Gathering wild plants can be seen as an expression of people’s regional identity. The conscious appreciation of nature and related local knowledge is

  7. Methodological Tools for the Assessment of Ecological and Socio-Economic Environment in the Region within the Limits of the Sustainability of Biosphere

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    Aleksey Yuryevich Davankov

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available The article is devoted to the study of ecological and socio-economic environment as well as the development of effective methodological tool for the assessment of its stability. This tool allows to ascertain the level of economic activity of the regions within the limits of the sustainability of biosphere. In the article, the regional system is considered as the total of industrial enterprises, social infrastructure and natural environment creating a specific territorial ecological and socio-economic environment, whose stability depends on the level of economic activity measured by the capacity of territorial ecosystem. The use of a technique for the comparative assessment of the energy indicators of economic activity creating a specific ecological and socio-economic environment of the region as well as of the indicator of the ecological capacity of the territory is proved. The ecological capacity of the territory enables to better estimate the level of the sustainability of the region within the limits of sustainability of biosphere. This method allows to forecast the development of the studied territory by the measurement of general energy flow on the basis of closed material and energy flows. The research revealed an indicator of the sustainability of ecological and socio-economic environment of Ural Federal District. Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous District is the most stable, the Chelyabinsk region is the least stable, which is associated with both natural conditions and the specificities of economic structure. The labour productivity indicator, expressed in energy units, has revealed regions with rich natural resources. It was found that in these regions, there are significant material flows in the electricity industry that leads to a large proportion of greenhouse gas emissions. The assessment of the demographic capacity fully correlates with the calculations of the stability indicator of the regional system and the analysis of labour

  8. The structure of mesofauna complexes in soils of the forest-park zone of Moscow and the Prioksko-Terrasnyi Biospheric Reserve

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buyvolova, A. Yu.; Rakhleeva, A. A.; Buyvolov, Yu. A.; Bykova, E. P.

    2016-12-01

    A comparative analysis of quantitative parameters of the complexes of large soil invertebrates (mesofauna) in slightly disturbed biotopes of the Kuz'minki-Lyublino natural forest park of Moscow and in natural biotopes of the Prioksko-Terrasnyi Biospheric Reserve as a representative territory of the zone of mixed forests. It is shown that soil mesofauna in forest cenoses of the urban park preserves its natural features, though significant changes take place in the dominant complex. An increase in the biomass (up to 43 g/m2) of invertebrates has been observed in the forest-park soils at the expense of a greater population density of earthworms; the portion of saprophages in them increases, whereas the portion of predators is smaller than that in the native soils of the reserve.

  9. Conservation, Conflict and the Governance of Fisher Wellbeing: Analysis of the Establishment of the Gulf of Mannar National Park and Biosphere Reserve

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bavinck, Maarten; Vivekanandan, Vriddagiri

    2011-04-01

    This article examines one MPA—the Gulf of Mannar National Park and Biosphere Reserve—located in southern India, and four types of social conflict that have surrounded its establishment. Taking the strength of wellbeing aspirations as point of departure, we focus on two themes: the implications of MPA embeddedness in wider societal systems, and the consequences of natural and social variety for governance. We conclude first of all that conflict resolution depends on MPA authorities' willingness to engage with the interferences that emerge from outside the MPA area. Secondly, we point out the varying wellbeing aspirations of the population and the need to develop governance partnerships. The latter are argued to contribute to more balanced decision making, as well as to a greater appreciation among the target population of the `fairness' of MPA policy.

  10. Spatio-temporal variability of hydro-chemical characteristics of coastal waters of Gulf of Mannar Marine Biosphere Reserve (GoMMBR), South India

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kathiravan, K.; Natesan, Usha; Vishnunath, R.

    2014-11-01

    The intention of this study was to appraise the spatial and temporal variations in the physico-chemical parameters of coastal waters of Rameswaram Island, Gulf of Mannar Marine Biosphere Reserve, south India, using multivariate statistical techniques, such as cluster analysis, factor analysis and principal component analysis. Spatio-temporal variations among the physico-chemical parameters are observed in the coastal waters of Gulf of Mannar, especially during northeast and post monsoon seasons. It is inferred that the high loadings of pH, temperature, suspended particulate matter, salinity, dissolved oxygen, biochemical oxygen demand, chlorophyll a, nutrient species of nitrogen and phosphorus strongly determine the discrimination of coastal water quality. Results highlight the important role of monsoonal variations to determine the coastal water quality around Rameswaram Island.

  11. Green synthesis and antimicrobial activity of silver nanoparticles using wild medicinal mushroom Ganoderma applanatum (Pers.) Pat. from Similipal Biosphere Reserve, Odisha, India.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mohanta, Yugal Kishore; Singdevsachan, Sameer Kumar; Parida, Umesh Kumar; Panda, Sujogya Kumar; Mohanta, Tapan Kumar; Bae, Hanhong

    2016-08-01

    In the present study, green synthesis and cost effective approach of silver nanoparticles using wild medicinal mushroom Ganoderma applanatum (Pers.) Pat. from Similipal Biosphere Reserve, Odisha, India is reported. The biosynthesised AgNPs were characterised using UV-visible spectroscopy, particle analyser and scanning electron microscopy studies. It was found by dynamic light scattering analysis, that the average size and charges of the AgNPs were 133.0 ± 0.361 nm and -6.01 ± 5.30 mV, respectively. Moreover, the Fourier transform infrared study was also conducted to identify the biomolecules or functional groups responsible for the reduction of Ag and stabilisation of the AgNPs. The potential biomedical application with reference to antimicrobial activity of the synthesised AgNPs was investigated against some pathogenic microorganisms viz. Escherichia coli, Bacillus subtilis, Staphylococcus epidermidis, Vibrio cholerae, Staphylococcus aureus and Shigella flexneri.

  12. CEPF Western Ghats Special Series Ecology, distribution and population status of Elaeocarpus venustus Bedd. (Oxalidales: Elaeocarpaceae, a threatened tree species from Agasthiyamalai Biosphere Reserve, southern Western Ghats, India

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    S.J. Irwin

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available This paper deals with the ecology, population size, status of regeneration, habitat degradation and threat status of Elaeocarpus venustus Bedd. An endemic and threatened tree species restricted to Agasthiyamalai Biosphere Reserve, southern Western Ghats, India. The population sites of this species in the study area were recorded using Global Positioning System and mapped using Arc GIS software. The population of this species is highly fragmented due to anthropogenic activities. The total stem count in all population sites from the study area was carried out to understand the population structure. A total of 181 saplings were recorded from the entire study area of which 180 are from a single site. Nearly 64% of the stems recorded in this study are mature stems. Poor regeneration was seen in population sites that were highly disturbed. In spite of good adult population, the low number of saplings shows poor germination of seeds and establishment of seedlings.

  13. Hongos tremeloides (Heterobasidiomycetes de la Reserva de la Biosfera de Calakmul, Campeche, México Tremelloid fungi (Heterobasidiomycetes from Calakmul Biosphere Reserve, Campeche, Mexico

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    Sigfrido Sierra

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available Se registran 7 especies de hongos tremeloides de la Reserva de la Biosfera de Calakmul: Auricularia cornea Ehrenb., A. delicata (Fr. Henn., A. mesenterica (Dicks. Pers., Dacryopinax elegans (Berk. et M.A. Curtis G.W. Martin, D. spathularia (Schwein. G.W. Martin, Tremella wrightii Berk. et M.A. Curtis y Tremelloscypha gelatinosa (Murrill Oberw. et K. Wells. Todas son registros nuevos para la reserva. Auricularia cornea y T. gelatinosa son nuevos registros para el estado de Campeche.Seven species of tremelloid fungi are recorded from Calakmul Biosphere Reserve: Auricularia cornea Ehrenb., A. delicata (Fr. Henn., A. mesenterica (Dicks. Pers., Dacryopinax elegans (Berk. et M.A. Curtis G.W. Martin, D. spathularia (Schwein. G.W. Martin, Tremella wrightii Berk. et M.A. Curtis and Tremelloscypha gelatinosa (Murrill Oberw. et K. Wells. All are new records for the reserve. Auricularia cornea and T. gelatinosa are new records for Campeche state.

  14. Validation of Traditional Therapeutic Claims through Phytochemical Screening and Antibacterial Assessment: A Study on Mahakaal (Trichosanthes tricuspidata L. From Similipal Biosphere Reserve Forest, Odisha, India

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    Prakash Kumar Tripathy

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available Similipal Biosphere Reserve forest is situated in the district Mayurbhanj, Odisha, enriched with the different types of vegetations along with aboriginals. These aboriginals have unique skills in using traditional therapeutic medicines. They use wild plant and their parts in traditional herbal formulations to cure different diseases. Trichosanthes tricuspidata, locally known as Mahakaal is very common to be used as herbal medicine. Fruits of Mahakaal have sound traditional therapeutic values, they have been used against asthma, skin infections, muscular pain and killing the head lice. Phytochemical screening of fruit extracts revealed the presence of major bioactive compounds such as Tannin, Saponin, Flavonoids, Phenolic compounds, Terpenoids etc which indicate its sound pharmacological properties. Antibacterial assessment of fruit extracts also showed excellent activity against two Gram-positive and three Gram-negative bacteria. Methanol extracts showed highest zone of inhibition (1.51 cm against Streptococcus pyogenes caused skin infections. The experimental works validate the traditional therapeutic claims.

  15. Aquatic food webs in mangrove and seagrass habitats of Centla Wetland, a Biosphere Reserve in Southeastern Mexico

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    Manuel Mendoza-Carranza

    2010-03-01

    Full Text Available Mangrove and seagrass habitats are important components of tropical coastal zones worldwide, and are conspicuous habitats of Centla Wetland Biosphere Reserve (CWBR in Tabasco, Mexico. In this study, we examine food webs in mangrove- and seagrass-dominated habitats of CWBR using stable isotope ratios of carbon and nitrogen. Our objective was to identify the importance of carbon derived from mangroves and seagrasses to secondary production of aquatic consumers in this poorly studied conservation area. Carbon and nitrogen isotope ratios of basal sources and aquatic consumers indicated that the species-rich food webs of both habitats are dependent on riparian production sources. The abundant Red mangrove Rhizophora mangle appears to be a primary source of carbon for the mangrove creek food web. Even though dense seagrass beds were ubiquitous, most consumers in the lagoon food web appeared to rely on carbon derived from riparian vegetation (e.g. Phragmites australis. The introduced Amazon sailfin catfish Pterygoplichthys pardalis had isotope signatures overlapping with native species (including high-value fisheries species, suggesting potential competition for resources. Future research should examine the role played by terrestrial insects in linking riparian and aquatic food webs, and impacts of the expanding P. pardalis population on ecosystem function and fisheries in CWBR. Our findings can be used as a baseline to reinforce the conservation and management of this important reserve in the face of diverse external and internal human impacts.Manguezais e pradarias de gramíneas são importantes componentes das zonas costeiras tropicais em todo o mundo, sendo habitats comuns nos ''Pântanos de Centla'', uma Reserva da Biosfera localizada em Tabasco, México. Nesse trabalho, são investigadas as teias alimentares de habitats dominados por manguezais e pradarias de gramíneas, através de isótopos estáveis de carbono e nitrogênio, tendo como

  16. Evolution of Earth-like Extrasolar Planetary Atmospheres: Assessing the Atmospheres and Biospheres of Early Earth Analog Planets with a Coupled Atmosphere Biogeochemical Model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gebauer, S.; Grenfell, J. L.; Stock, J. W.; Lehmann, R.; Godolt, M.; von Paris, P.; Rauer, H.

    2017-01-01

    Understanding the evolution of Earth and potentially habitable Earth-like worlds is essential to fathom our origin in the Universe. The search for Earth-like planets in the habitable zone and investigation of their atmospheres with climate and photochemical models is a central focus in exoplanetary science. Taking the evolution of Earth as a reference for Earth-like planets, a central scientific goal is to understand what the interactions were between atmosphere, geology, and biology on early Earth. The Great Oxidation Event in Earth's history was certainly caused by their interplay, but the origin and controlling processes of this occurrence are not well understood, the study of which will require interdisciplinary, coupled models. In this work, we present results from our newly developed Coupled Atmosphere Biogeochemistry model in which atmospheric O2 concentrations are fixed to values inferred by geological evidence. Applying a unique tool (Pathway Analysis Program), ours is the first quantitative analysis of catalytic cycles that governed O2 in early Earth's atmosphere near the Great Oxidation Event. Complicated oxidation pathways play a key role in destroying O2, whereas in the upper atmosphere, most O2 is formed abiotically via CO2 photolysis. The O2 bistability found by Goldblatt et al. (2006) is not observed in our calculations likely due to our detailed CH4 oxidation scheme. We calculate increased CH4 with increasing O2 during the Great Oxidation Event. For a given atmospheric surface flux, different atmospheric states are possible; however, the net primary productivity of the biosphere that produces O2 is unique. Mixing, CH4 fluxes, ocean solubility, and mantle/crust properties strongly affect net primary productivity and surface O2 fluxes. Regarding exoplanets, different "states" of O2 could exist for similar biomass output. Strong geological activity could lead to false negatives for life (since our analysis suggests that reducing gases remove O2 that

  17. Human factor observations of the Biosphere 2, 1991-1993, closed life support human experiment and its application to a long-term manned mission to Mars.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alling, Abigail; Nelson, Mark; Silverstone, Sally; Van Thillo, Mark

    2002-01-01

    Human factors are a key component to the success of long-term space missions such as those necessitated by the human exploration of Mars and the development of bioregenerative and eventually self-sufficient life support systems for permanent space outposts. Observations by participants living inside the 1991-1993 Biosphere 2 closed system experiment provide the following insights. (1) Crew members should be involved in the design and construction of their life support systems to gain maximum knowledge about the systems. (2) Individuals living in closed life support systems should expect a process of physiological and psychological adaptation to their new environment. (3) Far from simply being a workplace, the participants in such extended missions will discover the importance of creating a cohesive and satisfying life style. (4) The crew will be dependent on the use of varied crops to create satisfying cuisine, a social life with sufficient outlets of expression such as art and music, and to have down-time from purely task-driven work. (5) The success of the Biosphere 2 first 2-year mission suggests that crews with high cultural diversity, high commitment to task, and work democracy principles for individual responsibility may increase the probability of both mission success and personal satisfaction. (6) Remaining challenges are many, including the need for far more comprehensive real-time modeling and information systems (a "cybersphere") operating to provide real-time data necessary for decision-making in a complex life support system. (7) And, the aim will be to create a noosphere, or sphere of intelligence, where the people and their living systems are in sustainable balance.

  18. Fungal and Prokaryotic Activities in the Marine Subsurface Biosphere at Peru Margin and Canterbury Basin Inferred from RNA-Based Analyses and Microscopy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pachiadaki, Maria G; Rédou, Vanessa; Beaudoin, David J; Burgaud, Gaëtan; Edgcomb, Virginia P

    2016-01-01

    The deep sedimentary biosphere, extending 100s of meters below the seafloor harbors unexpected diversity of Bacteria, Archaea, and microbial eukaryotes. Far less is known about microbial eukaryotes in subsurface habitats, albeit several studies have indicated that fungi dominate microbial eukaryotic communities and fungal molecular signatures (of both yeasts and filamentous forms) have been detected in samples as deep as 1740 mbsf. Here, we compare and contrast fungal ribosomal RNA gene signatures and whole community metatranscriptomes present in sediment core samples from 6 and 95 mbsf from Peru Margin site 1229A and from samples from 12 and 345 mbsf from Canterbury Basin site U1352. The metatranscriptome analyses reveal higher relative expression of amino acid and peptide transporters in the less nutrient rich Canterbury Basin sediments compared to the nutrient rich Peru Margin, and higher expression of motility genes in the Peru Margin samples. Higher expression of genes associated with metals transporters and antibiotic resistance and production was detected in Canterbury Basin sediments. A poly-A focused metatranscriptome produced for the Canterbury Basin sample from 345 mbsf provides further evidence for active fungal communities in the subsurface in the form of fungal-associated transcripts for metabolic and cellular processes, cell and membrane functions, and catalytic activities. Fungal communities at comparable depths at the two geographically separated locations appear dominated by distinct taxa. Differences in taxonomic composition and expression of genes associated with particular metabolic activities may be a function of sediment organic content as well as oceanic province. Microscopic analysis of Canterbury Basin sediment samples from 4 and 403 mbsf produced visualizations of septate fungal filaments, branching fungi, conidiogenesis, and spores. These images provide another important line of evidence supporting the occurrence and activity of fungi in

  19. Linking Metabolism, Elemental Cycles, and Environmental Conditions in the Deep Biosphere: Growth of a Model Extremophile, Archaeoglobus fulgidus, Under High-Pressure Conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oliver, G. C. M.; Cario, A.; Rogers, K. L.

    2015-12-01

    A majority of Earth's biosphere is hosted in subsurface environments where global-scale biogeochemical and energy cycles are driven by diverse microbial communities that operate on and are influenced by micro-scale environmental variables. While the subsurface hosts a variety of geochemical and geothermal conditions, elevated pressures are common to all subsurface ecosystems. Understanding how microbes adapt to and thrive in high-pressure environments is essential to linking microbial subsurface processes with global-scale cycles. Here we are using a model extremophile, Archaeoglobus fulgidus, to determine how elevated pressures affect the growth, metabolism, and physiology of subsurface microorganisms. A. fulgidus cycles carbon and sulfur via heterotrophic and autotrophic sulfate reduction in various high temperature and high-pressure niches including shallow marine vents, deep-sea hydrothermal vents, and deep oil reservoirs. Here we report the results of A. fulgidus growth experiments at optimum temperature, 83°C, and pressures up to 600 bars. Exponential growth was observed over the entire pressure range, though growth rates were diminished at 500 and 600 bars compared to ambient pressure experimental controls. At pressures up to 400 bars, cell density yields and growth rates were at least as high as ambient pressure controls. Elevated pressures and extended incubation times stimulated cell flocculation, a common stress response in this strain, and cellular morphology was affected at pressures exceeding 400 bars. These results suggest that A. fulgidus continues carbon, sulfur and energy cycling unaffected by elevated pressures up to 400 bars, representing a variety of subsurface environments. The ability of subsurface organisms to drive biogeochemical cycles at elevated pressures is a critical link between the surface and subsurface biospheres and understanding how species-scale processes operate under these conditions is a vital part of global

  20. Towards understanding the variability in biospheric C