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Sample records for desert plant zygophyllum

  1. Dynamic responses of photosystem II in the Namib Desert shrub, Zygophyllum prismatocarpum, during and after foliar deposition of limestone dust

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Heerden, P.D.R. van; Krueger, G.H.J.; Kilbourn Louw, M.

    2007-01-01

    The effects of limestone dust deposition on vegetation in desert ecosystems have not yet been reported. We investigated these effects in a succulent shrub from the Namib Desert at a limestone quarry near Skorpion Zinc mine (Namibia). Effects of limestone dust were determined in Zygophyllum prismatocarpum (dollar bush) plants with heavy, moderate and no visible foliar dust cover by means of chlorophyll a fluorescence measurements. Limestone dust deposition decreased overall plant performance through loss of chlorophyll content, inhibition of CO 2 assimilation, uncoupling of the oxygen-evolving complex and decreased electron transport. Importantly, dynamic recovery occurred after termination of limestone extraction at the quarry. Recovery was accelerated by rainfall, mainly because of dust removal from leaves and stimulation of new growth. These results indicate that limestone dust has severe effects on photosynthesis in desert shrubs, but that recovery is possible and that, in arid environments, this process is modulated by rainfall. - Limestone dust deposition reduced photosynthetic capacity in the Namib Desert shrub, Zygophyllum prismatocarpum

  2. Variations in Vegetation Structure, Species Dominance and Plant Communities in South of the Eastern Desert-Egypt

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    Fawzy SALAMA

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available For two successive years, the floristic diversity and vegetation composition in the southern part of the Eastern Desert ofEgypt were investigated through four transects (3 crossing the Eastern Desert and one along the Red Sea. The data collected from 142 stands covering the study area included the species composition, functional groups, chorology and occurrences (Qvalues. A total of 94 plant species belonging to 33 different families were recorded, with Asteracea, Zygophyllaceae, Fabaceae,Poaceae, Chenopodiaceae and Brassicaceae as the largest families. Shrubs represented the largest functional group (39.4%, while perennial herbs represented the smallest ones (12.8%. Species occurrence (Q-value revealed that Zilla spinosa, Acacia tortilis subsp raddiana, Morettia philaeana, Caroxylon imbricatum, Zygophyllum coccineum and Citrullus colocynthis had wide ecological range of distribution (dominant species, Q-values 0.2. Saharo-Arabian chorotype was highly represented (72.6 % in the flora of this area, eventually as mono, bi or pluriregional. Classification of the data set yielded 7 vegetation groups included: (A Zilla spinosa-Morettia philaeana, (B1 Zilla spinosa-Citrullus colocynthis-Morettia philaeana, (B2 Zilla spinosa, (C1Zygophyllum album-Tamarix nilotica, (C2 Zygophyllum coccineum-Tamarix nilotica, (D1 Zilla spinosa-Zygophyllum coccineum and (D2 Zilla spinosa-Acacia tortilis subsp. raddiana-Tamarix aphylla-Balanites aegyptiaca. Certain vegetation groups were assigned to one or more transects. Detrended Correspondence Analysis (DCA revealed that electrical conductivity, sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium, chlorides, moisture content, sulphates, pH, organic matter and gravel were the soil variables that affect the species distribution in this study.

  3. Evolution of Asian Interior Arid-Zone Biota: Evidence from the Diversification of Asian Zygophyllum (Zygophyllaceae)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Hong-Lei; Yu, Sheng-Xiang; Zhang, Lin-Jing; Wang, Wei

    2015-01-01

    The Asian interior arid zone is the largest desert landform system in the Northern Hemisphere, and has high biodiversity. Little is currently known about the evolutionary history of its biota. In this study, we used Zygophyllum, an important and characteristic component of the Asian interior arid zone, to provide new insights into the evolution of this biota. By greatly enlarged taxon sampling, we present the phylogenetic analysis of Asian Zygophyllum based on two plastid and one nuclear markers. Our phylogenetic analyses indicate that Asian Zygophyllum and Sarcozygium form a clade and Sarcozygium is further embedded within the shrub subclade. An integration of phylogenetic, biogeographic, and molecular dating methods indicates that Zygophyllum successfully colonized the Asian interior from Africa in the early Oligocene, and Asian Zygophyllum became differentiated in the early Miocene and underwent a burst of diversification in the late Miocene associated with the expansion of Asian interior arid lands due to orogenetic and climatic changes. Combining diversification patterns of other important components of the Asian interior arid zone, we propose a multi-stage evolution model for this biota: the late Eocene–early Oligocene origin, the early Miocene expansion, and the middle-late Miocene rapid expansion to the whole Asian interior arid zone. This study also demonstrates that, for Zygophyllum and perhaps other arid-adapted organisms, arid biomes are evolutionary cradles of diversity. PMID:26393796

  4. Biology of the Central Desert of Oman

    OpenAIRE

    GHAZANFAR, Shahina A

    2004-01-01

    A biological survey of the central desert of Oman was done using long distance transects. Vegetation was sparse and consisted of 200+ plant species, 22 species of mammals, 17 species of reptiles and amphibians, and more than 50 species of birds (migratory and resident). Three main vegetation types were identified based on ground substrate and the dominance of species. These were communities with Acacia Willd., Zygophyllum L., and open woodlands of Prosopis cineraria (L.) Druce. Over-grazing a...

  5. Triterpenoidal saponins: bioactive secondary metabolites from Zygophyllum coccineum L

    Science.gov (United States)

    Phytochemical investigation of the aerial parts of Zygophyllum coccineum L., led to the isolation of nine ursane-type triterpene saponins (1-9) including one new: zygophylloside S (1), together with known flavonoid glycoside (10), and sterol glycoside (11). The isolated compounds were tested for ant...

  6. Pb-induced responses in Zygophyllum fabago plants are organ-dependent and modulated by salicylic acid.

    Science.gov (United States)

    López-Orenes, Antonio; Martínez-Pérez, Ascensión; Calderón, Antonio A; Ferrer, María A

    2014-11-01

    Zygophyllum fabago is a promising species for restoring heavy metal (HM) polluted soils, although the mechanisms involved in HM tolerance in this non-model plant remain largely unknown. This paper analyses the extent to which redox-active compounds and enzymatic antioxidants in roots, stems and leaves are responsible for Pb tolerance in a metallicolous ecotype of Z. fabago and the possible influence of salicylic acid (SA) pretreatment (24 h, 0.5 mM SA) in the response to Pb stress. SA pretreatment reduced both the accumulation of Pb in roots and even more so the concentration of Pb in aerial parts of the plants, although a similar drop in the content of chlorophylls and in the maximum quantum yield of photosystem II was observed in both Pb- and SA-Pb-treated plants. Pb increased the endogenous free SA levels in all organs and this response was enhanced in root tissues upon SA pretreatment. Generally, Pb induced a reduction in catalase, ascorbate peroxidase and glutathione reductase specific activities, whereas dehydroascorbate reductase was increased in all organs of control plants. SA pretreatment enhanced the Pb-induced H2O2 accumulation in roots by up-regulating Fe-superoxide dismutase isoenzymes. Under Pb stress, the GSH redox ratio remained highly reduced in all organs while the ascorbic acid redox ratio dropped in leaf tissues where a rise in lipid peroxidation products and electrolyte leakage was observed. Finally, an organ-dependent accumulation of proline and β-carboline alkaloids was found, suggesting these nitrogen-redox-active compounds could play a role in the adaptation strategies of this species to Pb stress. Copyright © 2014. Published by Elsevier Masson SAS.

  7. A New Ursane type Sulfated Saponin from Zygophyllum fabago Linn.

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    Saleha Suleman Khan

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available One new sulfated saponin 3β,23,30-trihydroxyurs-20-en-28-al-23-sulfate 3-O-β- D -xylopyranoside (Zygofaboside C; 1 was purified from the water soluble fraction of ethanolic extract of the aerial parts of Zygophyllum fabago Linn. The structure of the compound was elucidated through spectral studies, especially 1D- and 2D-NMR, HR-FAB mass spectrometry, and comparison with literature data.

  8. Concentration of plutonium in desert plants from contaminated area

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Xu Hui; Jin Yuren; Tian Mei; Li Weiping; Zeng Ke; Wang Yaoqin; Wang Yu

    2012-01-01

    The investigation of plutonium in desert plants from contaminated sites contributes to the evaluation of its pollution situation and to the survey of plutonium hyper accumulator. The concentration of 239 Pu in desert plants collected from a contaminated site was determined, and the influence factors were studied. The concentration of 239 Pu in plants was (1.8±4.9) Bq/kg in dry weight, and it means that the plants were contaminated, moreover, the resuspension results in dramatic plutonium pollution of plant surface. The concentration of plutonium in plants depends on species, live stages and the content of plutonium in the rhizosphere soil. The concentration of plutonium in herbage is higher than that in woody plant, and for the seven species of desert plants investigated, it decreases in the order of Hexinia polydichotoma, Phragmites australis, Halostashys caspica, Halogeton arachnoideus, Lycium ruthenicum, Tamarix hispida and Calligonum aphyllum. (authors)

  9. Some Physiological Adaptations to Drought in Xerohalophytic Plants Inhabiting Two Oases in Western Desert of Egypt

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rayan, A M; Farghali, K A

    2007-01-01

    Under natural drought, some physiological parameters were measured in some wild species inhabiting the western desert of Egypt. Seasonal changes of nitrogen metabolites and Na/K ratio were detected in the investigated species. Effect of seasons, species, and their interaction played an important role on total free amino acids, soluble proteins and Na/K ratio at two oases (Dakhla and Kharga). Species diversity showed more effective variable in regulating such metabolites at Kharga oasis. Plants responded to their environment in two ways, either by increasing their water binding molecules or by preventing the formation of amino acids into proteins. Some of the halophytic and xerophytic species may adjust osmotically to stress by the contribution of nitrogen metabolites. On the other hand, Zygophyllum coccineum, the succulent plant, may adapt to environmental conditions through the accumulation of free amino acids. Correlation analysis between Na+/K+ ratio with free amino acids, soluble proteins and water content in Tamarix aphylla, Salsola imbricata, Balanites aegyptiaca, Trichodesma africanum, and Z. coccineum (Kharga) indicated changes in ionic fraction or accumulating soluble organic compounds which were osmotically active and contribute to osmotic adjustment. Correlations were found between chlorophyll content, ionic and nitrogen metabolites. In Acacia nilotica, Suaeda monoica and Z. coccineum at Dakhla oasis, changes in soluble proteins or ionic ratio could be caused by chlorophyll response to stress, while S. imbricata and T. aphylla may control cellular protein contents. On the other hand, the sharing of both free amino acids and ionic fraction may play an important role of osmoregulation in S. imbricata, Citrullus colocynthis and Z. coccineum at Kharga oasis. (author)

  10. Growth responses of five desert plants as influenced by biological soil crusts from a temperate desert, China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Yuanming; Belnap, Jayne

    2015-01-01

    In almost all dryland systems, biological soil crusts (biocrusts) coexist alongside herbaceous and woody vegetation, creating landscape mosaics of vegetated and biocrusted patches. Results from past studies on the interaction between biocrusts and vascular plants have been contradictory. In the Gurbantunggut desert, a large temperate desert in northwestern China, well-developed lichen-dominated crusts dominate the areas at the base and between the sand dunes. We examined the influence of these lichen-dominated biocrusts on the germination, growth, biomass accumulation, and elemental content of five common plants in this desert: two shrubs (Haloxylon persicum, Ephedra distachya) and three herbaceous plants (Ceratocarpus arenarius, Malcolmia africana and Lappula semiglabra) under greenhouse conditions. The influence of biocrusts on seed germination was species-specific. Biocrusts did not affect percent germination in plants with smooth seeds, but inhibited germination of seeds with appendages that reduced or eliminated contact with the soil surface or prevented seeds from slipping into soil cracks. Once seeds had germinated, biocrusts had different influences on growth of shrub and herbaceous plants. The presence of biocrusts increased concentrations of nitrogen but did not affect phosphorus or potassium in tissue of all tested species, while the uptake of the other tested nutrients was species-specific. Our study showed that biocrusts can serve as a biological filter during seed germination and also can influence growth and elemental uptake. Therefore, they may be an important trigger for determining desert plant diversity and community composition in deserts.

  11. Physiological conjunction of allelochemicals and desert plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yosef Friedjung, Avital; Choudhary, Sikander Pal; Dudai, Nativ; Rachmilevitch, Shimon

    2013-01-01

    Plants exchange signals with other physical and biological entities in their habitat, a form of communication termed allelopathy. The underlying principles of allelopathy and secondary-metabolite production are still poorly understood, especially in desert plants. The coordination and role of secondary metabolites were examined as a cause of allelopathy in plants thriving under arid and semiarid soil conditions. Desert plant species, Origanum dayi, Artemisia sieberi and Artemisia judaica from two different sources (cultivar cuttings and wild seeds) were studied in their natural habitats. Growth rate, relative water content, osmotic potential, photochemical efficiency, volatile composition and vital factors of allelopathy were analyzed at regular intervals along four seasons with winter showing optimum soil water content and summer showing water deficit conditions. A comprehensive analysis of the volatile composition of the leaves, ambient air and soil in the biological niche of the plants under study was carried out to determine the effects of soil water conditions and sample plants on the surrounding flora. Significant morpho-physiological changes were observed across the seasons and along different soil water content. Metabolic analysis showed that water deficit was the key for driving selective metabolomic shifts. A. judaica showed the least metabolic shifts, while A. sieberi showed the highest shifts. All the species exhibited high allelopathic effects; A. judaica displayed relatively higher growth-inhibition effects, while O. dayi showed comparatively higher germination-inhibition effects in germination assays. The current study may help in understanding plant behavior, mechanisms underlying secondary-metabolite production in water deficit conditions and metabolite-physiological interrelationship with allelopathy in desert plants, and can help cull economic benefits from the produced volatiles.

  12. Physiological conjunction of allelochemicals and desert plants.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Avital Yosef Friedjung

    Full Text Available Plants exchange signals with other physical and biological entities in their habitat, a form of communication termed allelopathy. The underlying principles of allelopathy and secondary-metabolite production are still poorly understood, especially in desert plants. The coordination and role of secondary metabolites were examined as a cause of allelopathy in plants thriving under arid and semiarid soil conditions. Desert plant species, Origanum dayi, Artemisia sieberi and Artemisia judaica from two different sources (cultivar cuttings and wild seeds were studied in their natural habitats. Growth rate, relative water content, osmotic potential, photochemical efficiency, volatile composition and vital factors of allelopathy were analyzed at regular intervals along four seasons with winter showing optimum soil water content and summer showing water deficit conditions. A comprehensive analysis of the volatile composition of the leaves, ambient air and soil in the biological niche of the plants under study was carried out to determine the effects of soil water conditions and sample plants on the surrounding flora. Significant morpho-physiological changes were observed across the seasons and along different soil water content. Metabolic analysis showed that water deficit was the key for driving selective metabolomic shifts. A. judaica showed the least metabolic shifts, while A. sieberi showed the highest shifts. All the species exhibited high allelopathic effects; A. judaica displayed relatively higher growth-inhibition effects, while O. dayi showed comparatively higher germination-inhibition effects in germination assays. The current study may help in understanding plant behavior, mechanisms underlying secondary-metabolite production in water deficit conditions and metabolite-physiological interrelationship with allelopathy in desert plants, and can help cull economic benefits from the produced volatiles.

  13. Goods and services provided by native plants in desert ecosystems: Examples from the northwestern coastal desert of Egypt

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    Laila M. Bidak

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available About one third of the earth’s land surface is covered by deserts that have low and variable rainfall, nutrient-poor soils, and little vegetation cover. Here, we focus on the goods and services offered by desert ecosystems using the northwestern coastal desert of Egypt extending from Burg El-Arab to El-Salloum as an example. We conducted field surveys and collected other data to identify the goods services and provided by native plant species. A total of 322 native plant species were compiled. The direct services provided by these native plants included sources of food, medicine, and energy; indirect vegetation services included promotion of biodiversity, water storage, and soil fertility. The plant diversity in this ecosystem provided economic service benefits, such as sources of fodder, fuel-wood, and traditional medicinal plants. Changes in land use and recent ill-managed human activities may influence the availability of these services and strongly impact biodiversity and habitat availability. Although deserts are fragile and support low levels of productivity, they provide a variety of goods and services whose continuing availability is contingent upon the adoption of rational land management practices.

  14. The Plant Genetic Engineering Laboratory For Desert Adaptation

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    Kemp, John D.; Phillips, Gregory C.

    1985-11-01

    The Plant Genetic Engineering Laboratory for Desert Adaptation (PGEL) is one of five Centers of Technical Excellence established as a part of the state of New Mexico's Rio Grande Research Corridor (RGRC). The scientific mission of PGEL is to bring innovative advances in plant biotechnology to bear on agricultural productivity in arid and semi-arid regions. Research activities focus on molecular and cellular genetics technology development in model systems, but also include stress physiology investigations and development of desert plant resources. PGEL interacts with the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), a national laboratory participating in the RGRC. PGEL also has an economic development mission, which is being pursued through technology transfer activities to private companies and public agencies.

  15. Plant responses to an edaphic gradient across an active sand dune/desert boundary in the great basin desert.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rosenthal, D.M.; Ludwig, F.; Donovan, L.A.

    2005-01-01

    In arid ecosystems, variation in precipitation causes broad-scale spatial heterogeneity in soil moisture, but differences in soil texture, development, and plant cover can also create substantial local soil moisture heterogeneity. The boundary between inland desert sand dunes and adjacent desert

  16. Tree planting in deserts and utilization of atomic energy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hattori, Sadao; Minato, Akio; Hashizume, Kenichi; Handa, Norihiko.

    1991-01-01

    Global environment problems are discussed actively, concretely, those are the warming of the earth, the advance of desertification, the damage due to acid rain, the decrease of tropical forests, the pollution of sea, the depletion of ozone layer and so on. Most of these phenomena advance gradually. However, the advance of desertification is different from other phenomena in that the people in the areas concerned are deprived of their living space and even their lives are threatened at this moment. Desertification is advancing on global scale, and its rate is estimated to be 60,000 km 2 yearly. Especially the area where the advance is remarkable is the southern edge of Sahara Desert, which advances southward at 10-30 km in one year. Recently also in Japan, the interest in the prevention of desertification has become high, and the experiment on tree planting in a desert using a huge desert dome of the Institute of Physical and Chemical Research, 'Desert Aquanet concept' of Shimizu Construction Co., Ltd., 'Sahara green belt project' of the Ministry of International Trade and Industry and so on were published. Water and energy for tree planting in deserts, utilization of atomic energy for seawater desalination and the technical fields to which Japan can contribute are reported. (K.I.)

  17. Tree planting in deserts and utilization of atomic energy

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hattori, Sadao; Minato, Akio [Central Research Inst. of Electric Power Industry, Tokyo (Japan); Hashizume, Kenichi; Handa, Norihiko

    1991-06-01

    Global environment problems are discussed actively, concretely, those are the warming of the earth, the advance of desertification, the damage due to acid rain, the decrease of tropical forests, the pollution of sea, the depletion of ozone layer and so on. Most of these phenomena advance gradually. However, the advance of desertification is different from other phenomena in that the people in the areas concerned are deprived of their living space and even their lives are threatened at this moment. Desertification is advancing on global scale, and its rate is estimated to be 60,000 km{sup 2} yearly. Especially the area where the advance is remarkable is the southern edge of Sahara Desert, which advances southward at 10-30 km in one year. Recently also in Japan, the interest in the prevention of desertification has become high, and the experiment on tree planting in a desert using a huge desert dome of the Institute of Physical and Chemical Research, 'Desert Aquanet concept' of Shimizu Construction Co., Ltd., 'Sahara green belt project' of the Ministry of International Trade and Industry and so on were published. Water and energy for tree planting in deserts, utilization of atomic energy for seawater desalination and the technical fields to which Japan can contribute are reported. (K.I.).

  18. A demographic approach to study effects of climate change in desert plants

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    Salguero-Gómez, Roberto; Siewert, Wolfgang; Casper, Brenda B.; Tielbörger, Katja

    2012-01-01

    Desert species respond strongly to infrequent, intense pulses of precipitation. Consequently, indigenous flora has developed a rich repertoire of life-history strategies to deal with fluctuations in resource availability. Examinations of how future climate change will affect the biota often forecast negative impacts, but these—usually correlative—approaches overlook precipitation variation because they are based on averages. Here, we provide an overview of how variable precipitation affects perennial and annual desert plants, and then implement an innovative, mechanistic approach to examine the effects of precipitation on populations of two desert plant species. This approach couples robust climatic projections, including variable precipitation, with stochastic, stage-structured models constructed from long-term demographic datasets of the short-lived Cryptantha flava in the Colorado Plateau Desert (USA) and the annual Carrichtera annua in the Negev Desert (Israel). Our results highlight these populations' potential to buffer future stochastic precipitation. Population growth rates in both species increased under future conditions: wetter, longer growing seasons for Cryptantha and drier years for Carrichtera. We determined that such changes are primarily due to survival and size changes for Cryptantha and the role of seed bank for Carrichtera. Our work suggests that desert plants, and thus the resources they provide, might be more resilient to climate change than previously thought. PMID:23045708

  19. Phylogeographical structure inferred from cpDNA sequence variation of Zygophyllum xanthoxylon across north-west China.

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    Shi, Xiao-Jun; Zhang, Ming-Li

    2015-03-01

    Zygophyllum xanthoxylon, a desert species, displaying a broad east-west continuous distribution pattern in arid Northwestern China, can be considered as a model species to investigate the biogeographical history of this region. We sequenced two chloroplast DNA spacers (psbK-psbI and rpl32-trnL) in 226 individuals from 31 populations to explore the phylogeographical structure. Median-joining network was constructed and analysis of AMOVA, SMOVA, neutrality tests and distribution analysis were used to examine genetic structure and potential range expansion. Using species distribution modeling, the geographical distribution of Z. xanthoxylon was modeled during the present and at the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM). Among 26 haplotypes, one was widely distributed, but most was restricted to either the eastern or western region. The populations with the highest levels of haplotype diversity were found in the Tianshan Mountains and its surroundings in the west, and the Helan Mountains and Alxa Plateau in the east. AMOVA and SAMOVA showed that over all populations, the species lacks phylogeographical structure, which is speculated to be the result of its specific biology. Neutrality tests and mismatch distribution analysis support past range expansions of the species. Comparing the current distribution to those cold and dry conditions in LGM, Z. xanthoxylon had a shrunken and more fragmented range during LGM. Based on the evidences from phylogeographical patterns, distribution of genetic variability, and paleodistribution modeling, Z. xanthoxylon is speculated most likely to have originated from the east and migrated westward via the Hexi Corridor.

  20. Desert farming benefits from microbial potential in arid soils and promotes diversity and plant health.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Martina Köberl

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: To convert deserts into arable, green landscapes is a global vision, and desert farming is a strong growing area of agriculture world-wide. However, its effect on diversity of soil microbial communities, which are responsible for important ecosystem services like plant health, is still not known. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We studied the impact of long-term agriculture on desert soil in one of the most prominent examples for organic desert farming in Sekem (Egypt. Using a polyphasic methodological approach to analyse microbial communities in soil as well as associated with cultivated plants, drastic effects caused by 30 years of agriculture were detected. Analysing bacterial fingerprints, we found statistically significant differences between agricultural and native desert soil of about 60%. A pyrosequencing-based analysis of the 16S rRNA gene regions showed higher diversity in agricultural than in desert soil (Shannon diversity indices: 11.21/7.90, and displayed structural differences. The proportion of Firmicutes in field soil was significantly higher (37% than in the desert (11%. Bacillus and Paenibacillus play the key role: they represented 96% of the antagonists towards phytopathogens, and identical 16S rRNA sequences in the amplicon library and for isolates were detected. The proportion of antagonistic strains was doubled in field in comparison to desert soil (21.6%/12.4%; disease-suppressive bacteria were especially enriched in plant roots. On the opposite, several extremophilic bacterial groups, e.g., Acidimicrobium, Rubellimicrobium and Deinococcus-Thermus, disappeared from soil after agricultural use. The N-fixing Herbaspirillum group only occurred in desert soil. Soil bacterial communities were strongly driven by the a-biotic factors water supply and pH. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: After long-term farming, a drastic shift in the bacterial communities in desert soil was observed. Bacterial communities in agricultural

  1. Deserts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Belnap, Jayne; Webb, Robert H.; Esque, Todd; Brooks, Matthew L.; DeFalco, Lesley; MacMahon, James A.

    2016-01-01

    The deserts of California (Lead photo, Fig. 1) occupy approximately 38% of California’s landscape (Table 1) and consist of three distinct deserts: the Great Basin Desert, Mojave Desert, and Colorado Desert, the latter of which is a subdivision of the Sonoran Desert (Brown and Lowe 1980). The wide range of climates and geology found within each of these deserts result in very different vegetative communities and ecosystem processes and therefore different ecosystem services. In deserts, extreme conditions such as very high and low temperatures and very low rainfall result in abiotic factors (climate, geology, geomorphology, and soils) controlling the composition and function of ecosystems, including plant and animal distributions. This is in contrast to wetter and milder temperatures found in other ecosystems, where biotic interactions are the dominant driving force. However, despite the harsh conditions in deserts, they are home to a surprisingly large number of plants and animals. Deserts are also places where organisms display a wide array of adaptations to the extremes they encounter, providing some of the best examples of Darwinian selection (MacMahon and Wagner 1985, Ward 2009). Humans have utilized these regions for thousands of years, despite the relatively low productivity and harsh climates of these landscapes. Unlike much of California, most of these desert lands have received little high-intensity use since European settlement, leaving large areas relatively undisturbed. Desert landscapes are being altered, however, by the introduction of fire following the recent invasion of Mediterranean annual grasses. As most native plants are not fire-adapted, they Many do not recover, whereas the non-native grasses flourish. Because desert lands are slow to recover from disturbances, energy exploration and development, recreational use, and urban development will alter these landscapes for many years to come. This chapter provides a brief description of where the

  2. Bacterial Rhizosphere Biodiversity from Several Pioneer Desert Sand Plants Near Jizan, Saudi Arabia

    KAUST Repository

    Osman, Jorge R.; Zelicourt, Axel de; Bisseling, Ton; Geurts, Rene; Hirt, Heribert; DuBow, Michael S.

    2016-01-01

    Life in arid regions and, in particular, hot deserts is often limited due to their harsh environmental conditions, such as large temperature fluctuations and low amounts of water. These extreme environments can influence the microbial community present on the surface sands and any rhizosphere members surrounding desert plant roots. The Jizan desert area, located in Saudi Arabia, supports particular vegetation that grows in the large sandy flat terrain. We examined five different samples, four from the rhizosphere of pioneer plants plus a surface sand sample, and used pyrosequencing of PCR-amplified V1-V3 regions of 16S rDNA genes from total extracted DNA to reveal and compare the bacterial population diversity of the samples. The results showed a total of 3,530 OTUs in the five samples, calculated using ≥ 97% sequence similarity levels. The Chao1 estimation of the bacterial diversity fluctuated from 637 to 2,026 OTUs for a given sample. The most abundant members found in the samples belong to the Bacteroidetes, Firmicutes and Proteobacteria phyla. This work shows that the Jizan desert area of Saudi Arabia can contain a diverse bacterial community on the sand and surrounding the roots of pioneer desert plants. It also shows that desert sand microbiomes can vary depending on conditions, with broad implications for sandstone monument bacterial communities

  3. Bacterial Rhizosphere Biodiversity from Several Pioneer Desert Sand Plants Near Jizan, Saudi Arabia

    KAUST Repository

    Osman, Jorge R.

    2016-04-08

    Life in arid regions and, in particular, hot deserts is often limited due to their harsh environmental conditions, such as large temperature fluctuations and low amounts of water. These extreme environments can influence the microbial community present on the surface sands and any rhizosphere members surrounding desert plant roots. The Jizan desert area, located in Saudi Arabia, supports particular vegetation that grows in the large sandy flat terrain. We examined five different samples, four from the rhizosphere of pioneer plants plus a surface sand sample, and used pyrosequencing of PCR-amplified V1-V3 regions of 16S rDNA genes from total extracted DNA to reveal and compare the bacterial population diversity of the samples. The results showed a total of 3,530 OTUs in the five samples, calculated using ≥ 97% sequence similarity levels. The Chao1 estimation of the bacterial diversity fluctuated from 637 to 2,026 OTUs for a given sample. The most abundant members found in the samples belong to the Bacteroidetes, Firmicutes and Proteobacteria phyla. This work shows that the Jizan desert area of Saudi Arabia can contain a diverse bacterial community on the sand and surrounding the roots of pioneer desert plants. It also shows that desert sand microbiomes can vary depending on conditions, with broad implications for sandstone monument bacterial communities

  4. Ultrasound-assisted extraction of polyphenols from native plants in the Mexican desert.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wong Paz, Jorge E; Muñiz Márquez, Diana B; Martínez Ávila, Guillermo C G; Belmares Cerda, Ruth E; Aguilar, Cristóbal N

    2015-01-01

    Several plants that are rich in polyphenolic compounds and exhibit biological properties are grown in the desert region of Mexico under extreme climate conditions. These compounds have been recovered by classic methodologies in these plants using organic solvents. However, little information is available regarding the use of alternative extraction technologies, such as ultrasound. In this paper, ultrasound-assisted extraction (UAE) parameters, such as the liquid:solid ratio, solvent concentration and extraction time, were studied using response surface methodology (RSM) for the extraction of polyphenols from desert plants including Jatrophadioica,Flourensiacernua, Turneradiffusa and Eucalyptuscamaldulensis. Key process variables (i.e., liquid:solid ratio and ethanol concentration) exert the greatest influence on the extraction of all of the phenolic compounds (TPC) in the studied plants. The best conditions for the extraction of TPC involved an extraction time of 40min, an ethanol concentration of 35% and a liquid:solid ratio ranging from 8 to 12mlg(-1) depending on the plant. The highest antioxidant activity was obtained in the E. camaldulensis extracts. The results indicated the ability of UAE to obtain polyphenolic antioxidant preparations from desert plants. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  5. CO2 EFFECTS ON MOJAVE DESERT PLANT INTERACTIONS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    L. A. DEFALCO; G. C. FERNANDEZ; S. D. SMITH; R. S. NOWAK

    2004-01-01

    Seasonal and interannual droughts characteristic of deserts have the potential to modify plant interactions as atmospheric CO{sub 2} concentrations continue to rise. At the Nevada Desert FACE (free-air CO{sub 2} enrichment) facility in the northern Mojave Desert, the effects of elevated atmospheric C02 (550 vs. ambient {approx}360 {micro}mol mol{sup -1}) on plant interactions were examined during two years of high and low rainfall. Results suggest that CO{sub 2} effects on the interaction between native species and their understory herbs are dependent on the strength of competition when rainfall is plentiful, but are unimportant during annual drought. Seasonal rainfall for 1999 was 23% the long-term average for the area, and neither elevated CO{sub 2} nor the low production of herbaceous neighbors had an effect on relative growth rate (RGR, d{sup -1}) and reproductive effort (RE, number of flowers g{sup -1}) for Achnatherum hymenoides (early season perennial C{sub 3} grass), Pleuraphis rigida (late season perennial C{sub 4} grass), and Larrea tridentata (evergreen C{sub 3} shrub). In contrast, 1998 received 213% the average rainfall. Consequently, the decrease in RGR and increase in RE for Achnatherum, whose period of growth overlaps directly with that of its neighbors, was exaggerated at elevated CO{sub 2}. However, competitive effects of neighbors on Eriogonum trichopes (a winter annual growing in shrub interspaces), Pleuraphis and Larrea were not affected by elevated CO{sub 2}, and possible explanations are discussed. Contrary to expectations, the invasive annual neighbor Bromus madritensis ssp. rubens had little influence on target plant responses because densities in 1998 and 1999 at this site were well below those found in other studies where it has negatively affected perennial plant growth. The extent that elevated CO{sub 2} reduces the performance of Achnatherum in successive years to cause its loss from the plant community depends more on future pressure

  6. Regional signatures of plant response to drought and elevated temperature across a desert ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Munson, Seth M.; Muldavin, Esteban H.; Belnap, Jayne; Peters, Debra P.C.; Anderson, John P.; Reiser, M. Hildegard; Gallo, Kirsten; Melgoza-Castillo, Alicia; Herrick, Jeffrey E.; Christiansen, Tim A.

    2013-01-01

    The performance of many desert plant species in North America may decline with the warmer and drier conditions predicted by climate change models, thereby accelerating land degradation and reducing ecosystem productivity. We paired repeat measurements of plant canopy cover with climate at multiple sites across the Chihuahuan Desert over the last century to determine which plant species and functional types may be the most sensitive to climate change. We found that the dominant perennial grass, Bouteloua eriopoda, and species richness had nonlinear responses to summer precipitation, decreasing more in dry summers than increasing with wet summers. Dominant shrub species responded differently to the seasonality of precipitation and drought, but winter precipitation best explained changes in the cover of woody vegetation in upland grasslands and may contribute to woody-plant encroachment that is widespread throughout the southwestern United States and northern Mexico. Temperature explained additional variability of changes in cover of dominant and subdominant plant species. Using a novel empirically based approach we identified ‘‘climate pivot points’’ that were indicative of shifts from increasing to decreasing plant cover over a range of climatic conditions. Reductions in cover of annual and several perennial plant species, in addition to declines in species richness below the long-term summer precipitation mean across plant communities, indicate a decrease in the productivity for all but the most drought-tolerant perennial grasses and shrubs in the Chihuahuan Desert. Overall, our regional synthesis of long-term data provides a robust foundation for forecasting future shifts in the composition and structure of plant assemblages in the largest North American warm desert.

  7. Does a decade of elevated [CO2] affect a desert perennial plant community?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Newingham, Beth A; Vanier, Cheryl H; Kelly, Lauren J; Charlet, Therese N; Smith, Stanley D

    2014-01-01

    Understanding the effects of elevated [CO2 ] on plant community structure is crucial to predicting ecosystem responses to global change. Early predictions suggested that productivity in deserts would increase via enhanced water-use efficiency under elevated [CO2], but the response of intact arid plant communities to elevated [CO2 ] is largely unknown. We measured changes in perennial plant community characteristics (cover, species richness and diversity) after 10 yr of elevated [CO2] exposure in an intact Mojave Desert community at the Nevada Desert Free-Air CO2 Enrichment (FACE) Facility. Contrary to expectations, total cover, species richness, and diversity were not affected by elevated [CO2]. Over the course of the experiment, elevated [CO2] had no effect on changes in cover of the evergreen C3 shrub, Larrea tridentata; alleviated decreases in cover of the C4 bunchgrass, Pleuraphis rigida; and slightly reduced the cover of C3 drought-deciduous shrubs. Thus, we generally found no effect of elevated [CO2] on plant communities in this arid ecosystem. Extended drought, slow plant growth rates, and highly episodic germination and recruitment of new individuals explain the lack of strong perennial plant community shifts after a decade of elevated [CO2]. © 2013 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2013 New Phytologist Trust.

  8. Application of RAPD for molecular characterization of plant species of medicinal value from an arid environment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arif, I A; Bakir, M A; Khan, H A; Al Farhan, A H; Al Homaidan, A A; Bahkali, A H; Al Sadoon, M; Shobrak, M

    2010-11-09

    The use of highly discriminatory methods for the identification and characterization of genotypes is essential for plant protection and appropriate use. We utilized the RAPD method for the genetic fingerprinting of 11 plant species of desert origin (seven with known medicinal value). Andrachne telephioides, Zilla spinosa, Caylusea hexagyna, Achillea fragrantissima, Lycium shawii, Moricandia sinaica, Rumex vesicarius, Bassia eriophora, Zygophyllum propinquum subsp migahidii, Withania somnifera, and Sonchus oleraceus were collected from various areas of Saudi Arabia. The five primers used were able to amplify the DNA from all the plant species. The amplified products of the RAPD profiles ranged from 307 to 1772 bp. A total of 164 bands were observed for 11 plant species, using five primers. The number of well-defined and major bands for a single plant species for a single primer ranged from 1 to 10. The highest pair-wise similarities (0.32) were observed between A. fragrantissima and L. shawii, when five primers were combined. The lowest similarities (0) were observed between A. telephioides and Z. spinosa; Z. spinosa and B. eriophora; B. eriophora and Z. propinquum. In conclusion, the RAPD method successfully discriminates among all the plant species, therefore providing an easy and rapid tool for identification, conservation and sustainable use of these plants.

  9. Photosynthetic pathway types of evergreen rosette plants (Liliaceae) of the Chihuahuan desert.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kemp, Paul R; Gardetto, Pietra E

    1982-11-01

    Diurnal patterns of CO 2 exchange and titratable acidity were monitored in six species of evergreen rosette plants growing in controlled environment chambers and under outdoor environmental conditions. These patterns indicated that two of the species, Yucca baccata and Y. torreyi, were constituitive CAM plants while the other species, Y. elata, Y. campestris, Nolina microcarpa and Dasylirion wheeleri, were C 3 plants. The C 3 species did not exhibit CAM when grown in any of several different temperature, photoperiod, and moisture regimes. Both photosynthetic pathway types appear adapted to desert environments and all species show environmentally induced changes in their photosynthetic responses consistent with desert adaptation. The results of this study do not indicate that changes in the photosynthetic pathway type are an adaptation in any of these species.

  10. Water use, productivity and interactions among desert plants

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ehleringer, J.R.

    1992-11-17

    Productivity, stability, and competitive interactions among ecosystem components within aridlands are key processes related directly to water in deserts. This project assumes that integrated aspects of plant metabolism provide insight into the structure and function of plant communities and ecosystems. While it is difficult to extrapolate from instantaneous physiological observations to higher scales, such as whole plant performance or to the interactions between plants as components of ecosystems, several key aspects of plant metabolism are scalable. Analyses of stable isotopic composition in plant tissues at natural abundance levels provide a useful tool that can provide insight into the consequences of physiological processes over temporal and spatial scales. Some plant processes continuously fractionate among light and heavy stable isotopic forms of an element; over time this results in integrated measures of plant metabolism. For example, carbon isotope fractionation during photosynthesis results in leaf carbon isotopic composition that is a measure of the set-point for photosynthetic metabolism and of water-use efficiency. Thus it provides information on the temporal scaling of a key physiological process.

  11. Phytochemical and antibacterial activity of some unexplored medicinal plants of cholistan desert

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mustafa, G.; Ahmed, S.; Jamil, A.; Ahmed, N.

    2016-01-01

    Ethnobotanical survey plays a vital role for the discovery of novel crude drugs from reported medicinal plants. In folklore traditions the plant extracts or decoctions have been used to treat different diseases representing a basis of chemical entities but without knowledge of their nature. The present study was planned to conduct biochemical profiling of five indigenous medicinal plants of Cholistan desert of Pakistan to be used as potential chief constituents in the drug discovery practice. Qualitative phytochemical analysis of these plants confirmed the presence of various important secondary metabolites viz isoflavones, sesquiterpene lactones, phenolics, flavonoids and non-alkaloids. Methanolic extracts of Suaeda fruticosa and Solanum surattense showed significant antibacterial activities with mean halo diameters of 19.5 ± 0.3 mm and 14.8 ± 0.5 mm respectively, and inhibited the growth of Escherichia coli. Biochemical profiling of selected plants is reported for the first time. The methanolic extracts of Fagonia indica and S. fruticosa were found to have maximum numbers of phytochemicals. The occurrence of various bioactive compounds confirmed the studied plants against various diseases as local people of Cholistan desert still have a solid belief on herbal remedies for their elementary healthcare issues. Isolation of individual active constituents from each plant reported here may proceed to find some novel natural drugs. (author)

  12. Desert tortoises (Gopherus agassizii are selective herbivores that track the flowering phenology of their preferred food plants.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    W Bryan Jennings

    Full Text Available Previous studies of desert tortoise foraging ecology in the western Mojave Desert suggest that these animals are selective herbivores, which alter their diet according to the temporal availability of preferred food plants. These studies, however, did not estimate availability of potential food plants by taking into account the spatial and temporal variability in ephemeral plant abundance that occurs within the spring season. In this study, we observed 18 free-ranging adult tortoises take 35,388 bites during the spring foraging season. We also estimated the relative abundance of potential food plants by stratifying our sampling across different phenological periods of the 3-month long spring season and by different habitats and microhabitats. This methodology allowed us to conduct statistical tests comparing tortoise diet against plant abundance. Our results show that tortoises choose food plants non-randomly throughout the foraging season, a finding that corroborates the hypothesis that desert tortoises rely on key plants during different phenological periods of spring. Moreover, tortoises only consumed plants in a succulent state until the last few weeks of spring, at which time most annuals and herbaceous perennials had dried and most tortoises had ceased foraging. Many species of food plants--including several frequently eaten species--were not detected in our plant surveys, yet tortoises located these rare plants in their home ranges. Over 50% of bites consumed were in the group of undetected species. Interestingly, tortoises focused heavily on several leguminous species, which could be nutritious foods owing to their presumably high nitrogen contents. We suggest that herbaceous perennials, which were rare on our study area but represented ~30% of tortoise diet, may be important in sustaining tortoise populations during droughts when native annuals are absent. These findings highlight the vulnerability of desert tortoises to climate change

  13. Ethnobotany of medicinal plants in the Thar Desert (Sindh) of Pakistan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yaseen, Ghulam; Ahmad, Mushtaq; Sultana, Shazia; Suleiman Alharrasi, Ahmed; Hussain, Javid; Zafar, Muhammad; Shafiq-Ur-Rehman

    2015-04-02

    The traditional use of medicinal plants in health-care practices among the rural communities provides the basis for natural drug discovery development. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first quantitative ethnobotanical investigation on the use of medicinal plants in the Thar Desert (Sindh) of Pakistan. In total, 530 local informants and traditional healers were interviewed, using semistructured interviews. Various quantitative indices such as relative frequency of citation (RFC), use value (UV), informant consensus factor (ICF), fidelity level (FL), relative importance (RI), and the Jaccard Index (JI) were applied to the documented data. The traditional medical uses of 87 plant species belonging to 32 families were reported on. Amaranthaceae was the most-frequently cited (nine species), followed by Cucurbitaceae and Euphorbiaceae (six species each). The most dominant life form was herbs (73.56%). The most-used plant parts were leaves, with 65 reports (28.88%), followed by seeds (16%). The common mode of preparation reported was powder (25.75%), with 74% herbal medicines obtained from fresh plant materials. The ethnobotanical result documented in this study provides practical evidence about the use of medicinal plants among the inhabitants of the Thar Desert. Further, the findings revealed that the medicinal plants of the area are a major source of herbal drugs for primary health care used among the rural communities. This survey can be used as baseline information for further scientific investigation to develop new plant-based commercial drugs. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. Desert tortoises (Gopherus agassizii) are selective herbivores that track the flowering phenology of their preferred food plants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jennings, Bryan W.; Berry, Kristin H.

    2015-01-01

    Previous studies of desert tortoise foraging ecology in the western Mojave Desert suggest that these animals are selective herbivores, which alter their diet according to the temporal availability of preferred food plants. These studies, however, did not estimate availability of potential food plants by taking into account the spatial and temporal variability in ephemeral plant abundance that occurs within the spring season. In this study, we observed 18 free-ranging adult tortoises take 35,388 bites during the spring foraging season. We also estimated the relative abundance of potential food plants by stratifying our sampling across different phenological periods of the 3-month long spring season and by different habitats and microhabitats. This methodology allowed us to conduct statistical tests comparing tortoise diet against plant abundance. Our results show that tortoises choose food plants non-randomly throughout the foraging season, a finding that corroborates the hypothesis that desert tortoises rely on key plants during different phenological periods of spring. Moreover, tortoises only consumed plants in a succulent state until the last few weeks of spring, at which time most annuals and herbaceous perennials had dried and most tortoises had ceased foraging. Many species of food plants—including several frequently eaten species—were not detected in our plant surveys, yet tortoises located these rare plants in their home ranges. Over 50% of bites consumed were in the group of undetected species. Interestingly, tortoises focused heavily on several leguminous species, which could be nutritious foods owing to their presumably high nitrogen contents. We suggest that herbaceous perennials, which were rare on our study area but represented ~30% of tortoise diet, may be important in sustaining tortoise populations during droughts when native annuals are absent. These findings highlight the vulnerability of desert tortoises to climate change if such changes

  15. Draft Genome Sequence of the Plant Growth-Promoting Cupriavidus gilardii Strain JZ4 Isolated from the Desert Plant Tribulus terrestris

    KAUST Repository

    Lafi, Feras Fawzi; Bokhari, Ameerah; Alam, Intikhab; Bajic, Vladimir B.; Hirt, Heribert; Saad, Maged

    2016-01-01

    We isolated the plant endophytic bacterium Cupriavidus gilardii strain JZ4 from the roots of the desert plant Tribulus terrestris, collected from the Jizan region, Saudi Arabia. We report here the draft genome sequence of JZ4, together with several enzymes related to plant growth-promoting activity, environmental adaption, and antifungal activity.

  16. Draft Genome Sequence of the Plant Growth-Promoting Cupriavidus gilardii Strain JZ4 Isolated from the Desert Plant Tribulus terrestris

    KAUST Repository

    Lafi, Feras Fawzi

    2016-07-28

    We isolated the plant endophytic bacterium Cupriavidus gilardii strain JZ4 from the roots of the desert plant Tribulus terrestris, collected from the Jizan region, Saudi Arabia. We report here the draft genome sequence of JZ4, together with several enzymes related to plant growth-promoting activity, environmental adaption, and antifungal activity.

  17. Distribution of photosynthetically fixed 14C in perennial plant species of the northern Mojave Desert

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wallace, A.; Cha, J.W.; Romney, E.M.

    1980-01-01

    The distribution of photosynthate among plant parts subsequent to its production is needed to fully understand behavior of vegetation in any ecosystem. The present study, undertaken primarily to obtain information on transport of assimilates into roots of desert vegetation, was conducted in the northern Mojave Desert, where the mean annual rainfall is about 10 cm. Shoots of Ambrosia dumosa (A. Gray) Payne plants were exposed to 14 CO 2 in 1971, and the distribution of 14 C in roots, stems, and leaves was subsequently measured at 1 week, 2 months, and 5 months. Only about 12 percent of the 14 C photosynthate was stored in the root. Much of that stored in stems was available for new leaf growth. Photosynthate was labeled with 14 C for 24 plants representing eight species in 1972. Results showed that after 127 days the mean percentage of 14 C in roots as compared with the estimate of that originally fixed was 11.8; the percentage in stems was 43.8. To check the validity of the 14 C data, root growth of eight perennial desert plants grown in the glasshouse was followed as plants increased in size. The mean percent of the whole plant that was root for eight species was 17.7 percent. The mean proportion of the increase in plant weights that went below ground for the eight species was 19.5 percent. This value is higher than the fraction of 14 C found below ground, and therefore the 14 C technique underestimates the movement of C to roots. Results of an experiment designed to test the value of the 14 C-pulse technique for determining current root growth for some perennial species from the desert indicated that the transition part of roots where root growth continued after exposure to 14 C was highly labeled. Old growth contained less 14 C than new growth

  18. Impact of crop residues on seed germination of native desert plants ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Crop residues produce allelochemicals that may inhibit seed germination of many weeds. In this study, I assessed the effect of aqueous extracts of three crop residues (radish, rocket and rhodes) on final germination percentage and germination rate of four desert plants recorded as weeds in the United Arab Emirates farms ...

  19. Draft Genome Sequence of the Plant Growth–Promoting Rhizobacterium Acinetobacter radioresistens Strain SA188 Isolated from the Desert Plant Indigofera argentea

    KAUST Repository

    Lafi, Feras Fawzi; Alam, Intikhab; Bisseling, Ton; Geurts, Rene; Bajic, Vladimir B.; Hirt, Heribert; Saad, Maged

    2017-01-01

    Acinetobacter radioresistens strain SA188 is a plant endophytic bacterium, isolated from root nodules of the desert plants Indigofera spp., collected in Jizan, Saudi Arabia. Here, we report the 3.2-Mb draft genome sequence of strain SA188, highlighting characteristic pathways for plant growth–promoting activity and environmental adaptation.

  20. Draft Genome Sequence of the Plant Growth–Promoting Rhizobacterium Acinetobacter radioresistens Strain SA188 Isolated from the Desert Plant Indigofera argentea

    KAUST Repository

    Lafi, Feras Fawzi

    2017-03-03

    Acinetobacter radioresistens strain SA188 is a plant endophytic bacterium, isolated from root nodules of the desert plants Indigofera spp., collected in Jizan, Saudi Arabia. Here, we report the 3.2-Mb draft genome sequence of strain SA188, highlighting characteristic pathways for plant growth–promoting activity and environmental adaptation.

  1. Negative impacts of invasive plants on conservation of sensitive desert wildlife

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drake, K. Kristina; Bowen, Lizabeth; Nussear, Kenneth E.; Esque, Todd C.; Berger, Andrew J.; Custer, Nathan; Waters, Shannon C.; Johnson, Jay D.; Miles, A. Keith; Lewison, Rebecca L.

    2016-01-01

    Habitat disturbance from development, resource extraction, off-road vehicle use, and energy development ranks highly among threats to desert systems worldwide. In the Mojave Desert, United States, these disturbances have promoted the establishment of nonnative plants, so that native grasses and forbs are now intermixed with, or have been replaced by invasive, nonnative Mediterranean grasses. This shift in plant composition has altered food availability for Mojave Desert tortoises (Gopherus agassizii), a federally listed species. We hypothesized that this change in forage would negatively influence the physiological ecology, immune competence, and health of neonatal and yearling tortoises. To test this, we monitored the effects of diet on growth, body condition, immunological responses (measured by gene transcription), and survival for 100 captive Mojave tortoises. Tortoises were assigned to one of five diets: native forbs, native grass, invasive grass, and native forbs combined with either the native or invasive grass. Tortoises eating native forbs had better body condition and immune functions, grew more, and had higher survival rates (>95%) than tortoises consuming any other diet. At the end of the experiment, 32% of individuals fed only native grass and 37% fed only invasive grass were found dead or removed from the experiment due to poor body conditions. In contrast, all tortoises fed either the native forb or combined native forb and native grass diets survived and were in good condition. Health and body condition quickly declined for tortoises fed only the native grass (Festuca octoflora) or invasive grass (Bromus rubens) with notable loss of fat and muscle mass and increased muscular atrophy. Bromus rubens seeds were found embedded in the oral mucosa and tongue in most individuals eating that diet, which led to mucosal inflammation. Genes indicative of physiological, immune, and metabolic functions were transcribed at lower levels for individuals fed B

  2. An Annual Plant Growth Proxy in the Mojave Desert Using MODIS-EVI Data.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wallace, Cynthia S A; Thomas, Kathryn A

    2008-12-03

    In the arid Mojave Desert, the phenological response of vegetation is largely dependent upon the timing and amount of rainfall, and maps of annual plant cover at any one point in time can vary widely. Our study developed relative annual plant growth models as proxies for annual plant cover using metrics that captured phenological variability in Moderate-Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) Enhanced Vegetation Index (EVI) satellite images. We used landscape phenologies revealed in MODIS data together with ecological knowledge of annual plant seasonality to develop a suite of metrics to describe annual growth on a yearly basis. Each of these metrics was applied to temporally-composited MODIS-EVI images to develop a relative model of annual growth. Each model was evaluated by testing how well it predicted field estimates of annual cover collected during 2003 and 2005 at the Mojave National Preserve. The best performing metric was the spring difference metric, which compared the average of three spring MODIS-EVI composites of a given year to that of 2002, a year of record drought. The spring difference metric showed correlations with annual plant cover of R² = 0.61 for 2005 and R² = 0.47 for 2003. Although the correlation is moderate, we consider it supportive given the characteristics of the field data, which were collected for a different study in a localized area and are not ideal for calibration to MODIS pixels. A proxy for annual growth potential was developed from the spring difference metric of 2005 for use as an environmental data layer in desert tortoise habitat modeling. The application of the spring difference metric to other imagery years presents potential for other applications such as fuels, invasive species, and dust-emission monitoring in the Mojave Desert.

  3. An Annual Plant Growth Proxy in the Mojave Desert Using MODIS-EVI Data

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kathryn A. Thomas

    2008-12-01

    Full Text Available In the arid Mojave Desert, the phenological response of vegetation is largely dependent upon the timing and amount of rainfall, and maps of annual plant cover at any one point in time can vary widely. Our study developed relative annual plant growth models as proxies for annual plant cover using metrics that captured phenological variability in Moderate-Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS Enhanced Vegetation Index (EVI satellite images. We used landscape phenologies revealed in MODIS data together with ecological knowledge of annual plant seasonality to develop a suite of metrics to describe annual growth on a yearly basis. Each of these metrics was applied to temporally-composited MODIS-EVI images to develop a relative model of annual growth. Each model was evaluated by testing how well it predicted field estimates of annual cover collected during 2003 and 2005 at the Mojave National Preserve. The best performing metric was the spring difference metric, which compared the average of three spring MODIS-EVI composites of a given year to that of 2002, a year of record drought. The spring difference metric showed correlations with annual plant cover of R2 = 0.61 for 2005 and R2 = 0.47 for 2003. Although the correlation is moderate, we consider it supportive given the characteristics of the field data, which were collected for a different study in a localized area and are not ideal for calibration to MODIS pixels. A proxy for annual growth potential was developed from the spring difference metric of 2005 for use as an environmental data layer in desert tortoise habitat modeling. The application of the spring difference metric to other imagery years presents potential for other applications such as fuels, invasive species, and dust-emission monitoring in the Mojave Desert.

  4. Syrian bean-caper (Zygophyllum fabago L.) improves organic matter and other properties of mine wastes deposits.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kabas, S; Arocena, J M; Acosta, J A; Faz, A; Martínez-Martínez, S; Zornoza, R; Carmona, D M

    2014-01-01

    The omni-presence of Zygophyllum fabago L. (Syrian bean-caper) natural colonies in post mining areas prompted us to investigate its contributions to reclamation of mine wastes deposits in southeast Spain. Select plant-related (edaphic) characteristics and bio- and water soluble-Cd, Cu, Pb and Zn in rhizosphere of Z. fabago were compared to deposits one year since application of pig slurry and marble waste. Total N in rhizosphere increased up to a factor of 20X (339 vs 17 mg N kg(-1)) in El Gorguel and 27X (85 vs 3.1 mg N kg(-1)) in El Lirio sites. Organic matter accumulation in rhizosphere from litter and roots of Z. fabago increased organic C from 6.6 to 19.5 g kg(-1) in El Gorguel and from 2.1 to 5.7 g kg(-1) in El Lirio in one year. Dissolution of inorganic C takes place due to organic acids from root exudates of Z. fabago. Reduction in bio-available Cd, Cu, Pb, and Zn in rhizosphere of Z. fabago at El Lirio is attributed to increase in pH from 5.3 to 7.7 through marble waste addition, although increased cation exchange capacity may also have played a role. Addition of marble waste to encourage colonization by Z. fabago in acidic mine wastes deposits was recommended.

  5. Water use, productivity and interactions among desert plants. Final report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ehleringer, J.R.

    1992-11-17

    Productivity, stability, and competitive interactions among ecosystem components within aridlands are key processes related directly to water in deserts. This project assumes that integrated aspects of plant metabolism provide insight into the structure and function of plant communities and ecosystems. While it is difficult to extrapolate from instantaneous physiological observations to higher scales, such as whole plant performance or to the interactions between plants as components of ecosystems, several key aspects of plant metabolism are scalable. Analyses of stable isotopic composition in plant tissues at natural abundance levels provide a useful tool that can provide insight into the consequences of physiological processes over temporal and spatial scales. Some plant processes continuously fractionate among light and heavy stable isotopic forms of an element; over time this results in integrated measures of plant metabolism. For example, carbon isotope fractionation during photosynthesis results in leaf carbon isotopic composition that is a measure of the set-point for photosynthetic metabolism and of water-use efficiency. Thus it provides information on the temporal scaling of a key physiological process.

  6. Introduction and domestication of woody plants for sustainable agriculture in desert areas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shelef, Oren; Soloway, Elaine; Rachmilevitch, Shimon

    2014-05-01

    High radiation in hot deserts results in high salinity, especially in irrigated fields. Whenever not treated properly, this salinization may harm crops and eventually bring to soil destruction, field abandonment, or literally desertification. Furthermore, the range of crops that can be grown commercially in hot deserts is limited (Nerd et al. 1990). With the globalization of the last century, Introduction of exotic species for commercial use became more accessible. However, these attempts may involve extreme land changes including establishment of potential invasive species. Therefore domestication of native species should be preferred rather than introduction of exotics. In the last six years we did first steps of domesticating several native species, searching for commercial potential (pharmaceutics, food, biomass for energy and desalination of constructed wetlands). We studied aspects of desert plant physiology in drought and saline conditions. We wish to share the knowledge we gained regarding the physiology and commercial potential of the following desert plant species: 1) Bassia indica is an annual halophyte. We proposed to use it for salt phytoremediation in constructed wetlands for wastewater treatment and as feed for livestock; 2) Commiphora gileadensis is considered as the balm tree of Judea, praised for its use as holy oil and in perfumes but also considered as a cure for many diseases. C. gileadensis today grows naturally in southwest Arabia and Somaliland. We found anti-proliferative and apoptotic effect of C. gileadensis extracts on several human cancer cells. Ben Gurion University of the Negev has patented these findings. 3) Artemisia sieberi and A. judaica are both known for various therapeutic traits. While studying effects of irrigation intensity on these traits, some allopathic characters were discovered. 4) Fichus palmate disappeared from Israel, but remind in neighbouring Jordan and Egypt. This tree may serve as a robust stand for fig

  7. Reproductive allocation strategies in desert and Mediterranean populations of annual plants grown with and without water stress.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aronson, J; Kigel, J; Shmida, A

    1993-03-01

    Reproductive effort (relative allocation of biomass to diaspore production) was compared in matched pairs of Mediterranean and desert populations of three unrelated annual species, Erucaria hispanica (L.) Druce, Bromus fasciculatus C. Presl. and Brachypodium distachyon (L.) Beauv., grown under high and low levels of water availability in a common-environment experiment. Desert populations in all three species showed higher reproductive effort than corresponding Mediterranean populations, as expressed by both a reproductive index (RI= reproductive biomass/vegetative biomass), and a reproductive efficiency index (REI=number of diaspores/total plant biomass). Moreover, in E. hispanica and Brachypodium distachyon, inter-populational differences in reproductive effort were greater under water stress, the main limiting factor for plant growth in the desert. These results indicate that variability in reproductive effort in response to drought is a critical and dynamic component of life history strategies in annual species in heterogeneous, unpredictable xeric environments. When subjected to water stress the Mediterranean populations of E. hispanica and B. distachyon showed greater plasticity (e.g. had a greater reduction) in reproductive effort than the desert populations, while in Bromus fasciculatus both populations showed similar amounts of plasticity.

  8. Enhancing and restoring habitat for the desert tortoise

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abella, Scott R.; Berry, Kristin H.

    2016-01-01

    Habitat has changed unfavorably during the past 150 y for the desert tortoise Gopherus agassizii, a federally threatened species with declining populations in the Mojave Desert and western Sonoran Desert. To support recovery efforts, we synthesized published information on relationships of desert tortoises with three habitat features (cover sites, forage, and soil) and candidate management practices for improving these features for tortoises. In addition to their role in soil health and facilitating recruitment of annual forage plants, shrubs are used by desert tortoises for cover and as sites for burrows. Outplanting greenhouse-grown seedlings, protected from herbivory, has successfully restored (>50% survival) a variety of shrubs on disturbed desert soils. Additionally, salvaging and reapplying topsoil using effective techniques is among the more ecologically beneficial ways to initiate plant recovery after severe disturbance. Through differences in biochemical composition and digestibility, some plant species provide better-quality forage than others. Desert tortoises selectively forage on particular annual and herbaceous perennial species (e.g., legumes), and forage selection shifts during the year as different plants grow or mature. Nonnative grasses provide low-quality forage and contribute fuel to spreading wildfires, which damage or kill shrubs that tortoises use for cover. Maintaining a diverse “menu” of native annual forbs and decreasing nonnative grasses are priorities for restoring most desert tortoise habitats. Reducing herbivory by nonnative animals, carefully timing herbicide applications, and strategically augmenting annual forage plants via seeding show promise for improving tortoise forage quality. Roads, another disturbance, negatively affect habitat in numerous ways (e.g., compacting soil, altering hydrology). Techniques such as recontouring road berms to reestablish drainage patterns, vertical mulching (“planting” dead plant material

  9. Draft Genome Sequence of the Plant Growth–Promoting Pseudomonas punonensis Strain D1-6 Isolated from the Desert Plant Erodium hirtum in Jordan

    KAUST Repository

    Lafi, Feras Fawzi

    2017-01-13

    Pseudomonas punonensis strain D1-6 was isolated from roots of the desert plant Erodium hirtum, near the Dead Sea in Jordan. The genome of strain D1-6 reveals several key plant growth-promoting and herbicide-resistance genes, indicating a possible specialized role for this endophyte.

  10. Draft Genome Sequence of the Plant Growth–Promoting Pseudomonas punonensis Strain D1-6 Isolated from the Desert Plant Erodium hirtum in Jordan

    KAUST Repository

    Lafi, Feras Fawzi; AL Bladi, Maha Lafi Saleh; Salem, Nida M.; Al-Banna, Luma; Alam, Intikhab; Bajic, Vladimir B.; Hirt, Heribert; Saad, Maged

    2017-01-01

    Pseudomonas punonensis strain D1-6 was isolated from roots of the desert plant Erodium hirtum, near the Dead Sea in Jordan. The genome of strain D1-6 reveals several key plant growth-promoting and herbicide-resistance genes, indicating a possible specialized role for this endophyte.

  11. Draft genome sequence of Enterobacter sp. Sa187, an endophytic bacterium isolated from the desert plant Indigofera argentea

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lafi, Feras F.; Alam, Intikhab; Geurts, Rene; Bisseling, Ton; Bajic, Vladimir B.; Hirt, Heribert; Saad, Maged M.

    2017-01-01

    Enterobacter sp. Sa187 is a plant endophytic bacterium, isolated from root nodules of the desert plant Indigofera argentea, collected from the Jizan region of Saudi Arabia. Here, we report the genome sequence of Sa187, highlighting several genes involved in plant growth-promoting activity and

  12. HIGH FOLIAR NITROGEN IN DESERT SHRUBS: AN IMPORTANT ECOSYSTEM TRAIT OR DEFECTIVE DESERT DOCTRINE?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nitrogen concentrations in green and senesced leaves of perennial desert shrubs were compiled from a worldwide literature search to test the validity of the doctrine that desert shrubs produce foliage and leaf litter much richer in nitrogen than that in the foliage of plants from...

  13. Effectiveness of cuticular transpiration barriers in a desert plant at controlling water loss at high temperatures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schuster, Ann-Christin; Burghardt, Markus; Alfarhan, Ahmed; Bueno, Amauri; Hedrich, Rainer; Leide, Jana; Thomas, Jacob; Riederer, Markus

    2016-01-01

    Maintaining the integrity of the cuticular transpiration barrier even at elevated temperatures is of vital importance especially for hot-desert plants. Currently, the temperature dependence of the leaf cuticular water permeability and its relationship with the chemistry of the cuticles are not known for a single desert plant. This study investigates whether (i) the cuticular permeability of a desert plant is lower than that of species from non-desert habitats, (ii) the temperature-dependent increase of permeability is less pronounced than in those species and (iii) whether the susceptibility of the cuticular permeability barrier to high temperatures is related to the amounts or properties of the cutin or the cuticular waxes. We test these questions with Rhazya stricta using the minimum leaf water vapour conductance (gmin) as a proxy for cuticular water permeability. gmin of R. stricta (5.41 × 10(-5) m s(-1) at 25 °C) is in the upper range of all existing data for woody species from various non-desert habitats. At the same time, in R. stricta, the effect of temperature (15-50 °C) on gmin (2.4-fold) is lower than in all other species (up to 12-fold). Rhazya stricta is also special since the temperature dependence of gmin does not become steeper above a certain transition temperature. For identifying the chemical and physical foundation of this phenomenon, the amounts and the compositions of cuticular waxes and cutin were determined. The leaf cuticular wax (251.4 μg cm(-2)) is mainly composed of pentacyclic triterpenoids (85.2% of total wax) while long-chain aliphatics contribute only 3.4%. In comparison with many other species, the triterpenoid-to-cutin ratio of R. stricta (0.63) is high. We propose that the triterpenoids deposited within the cutin matrix restrict the thermal expansion of the polymer and, thus, prevent thermal damage to the highly ordered aliphatic wax barrier even at high temperatures. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the

  14. Comparisons of diazotrophic communities in native and agricultural desert ecosystems reveal plants as important drivers in diversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Köberl, Martina; Erlacher, Armin; Ramadan, Elshahat M; El-Arabi, Tarek F; Müller, Henry; Bragina, Anastasia; Berg, Gabriele

    2016-02-01

    Diazotrophs provide the only biological source of fixed atmospheric nitrogen in the biosphere. Although they are the key player for plant-available nitrogen, less is known about their diversity and potential importance in arid ecosystems. We investigated the nitrogenase gene diversity in native and agricultural desert soil as well as within root-associated microbiota of medicinal plants grown in Egypt through the combination of nifH-specific qPCR, fingerprints, amplicon pyrosequencing and fluorescence in situ hybridization-confocal laser scanning microscopy. Although the diazotrophic microbiota were characterized by generally high abundances and diversity, statistically significant differences were found between both soils, the different microhabitats, and between the investigated plants (Matricaria chamomilla L., Calendula officinalis L. and Solanum distichum Schumach. and Thonn.). We observed a considerable community shift from desert to agriculturally used soil that demonstrated a higher abundance and diversity in the agro-ecosystem. The endorhiza was characterized by lower abundances and only a subset of species when compared to the rhizosphere. While the microbiomes of the Asteraceae were similar and dominated by potential root-nodulating rhizobia acquired primarily from soil, the perennial S. distichum generally formed associations with free-living nitrogen fixers. These results underline the importance of diazotrophs in desert ecosystems and additionally identify plants as important drivers in functional gene pool diversity. © FEMS 2015.

  15. Water use, productivity and interactions among desert plants

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ehleringer, J.R.

    1992-11-17

    Water plays a central role affecting all aspects of the dynamics in aridland ecosystems. Productivity, stability, and competitive interactions among ecosystem components within aridlands are key processes related directly to water in deserts. The ecological studies in this project revolve around one fundamental premise: that integrated aspects of plant metabolism provide insight into the structure and function of plant communities and ecosystems. While it is difficult to extrapolate from instantaneous physiological observations to higher scales, such as whole plant performance or to interactions between plants as components of ecosystems, several key aspects of plant metabolism are scalable. Analyses of stable isotopic composition in plant tissues at natural abundance levels provide a useful tool that can provide insight into the consequences of physiological processes over temporal and spatial scales. Some plant processes continuously fractionate among light and heavy stable isotopic forms of an element; over time this results in integrated measures of plant metabolism. For example, carbon isotope fractionation during photosynthesis results in leaf carbon isotopic composition that is a measure of the set-point for photosynthetic metabolism and of water-use efficiency. Thus it provides information on the temporal scaling of a key physiological process. In contrast, hydrogen is not fractionated during water uptake through the root. Soil water availability in shallow, deep, and/or groundwater layers vary spatially; therefore hydrogen isotope ratios of xylem sap provide a direct measure of the water source currently used by a plant. The longer-term record of carbon and hydrogen isotope ratios is recorded annually in xylem tissues (tree rings). The research in this project addresses variation in stable isotopic composition of aridland plants and its consequences for plant performance and community-level interactions.

  16. Draft Genome Sequence of Enterobacter sp. Sa187, an Endophytic Bacterium Isolated from the Desert Plant Indigofera argentea

    KAUST Repository

    Lafi, Feras Fawzi; Alam, Intikhab; Geurts, Rene; Bisseling, Ton; Bajic, Vladimir B.; Hirt, Heribert; Saad, Maged

    2017-01-01

    Enterobacter sp. Sa187 is a plant endophytic bacterium, isolated from root nodules of the desert plant Indigofera argentea, collected from the Jizan region of Saudi Arabia. Here, we report the genome sequence of Sa187, highlighting several genes involved in plant growth–promoting activity and environmental adaption.

  17. Draft Genome Sequence of Enterobacter sp. Sa187, an Endophytic Bacterium Isolated from the Desert Plant Indigofera argentea

    KAUST Repository

    Lafi, Feras Fawzi

    2017-02-17

    Enterobacter sp. Sa187 is a plant endophytic bacterium, isolated from root nodules of the desert plant Indigofera argentea, collected from the Jizan region of Saudi Arabia. Here, we report the genome sequence of Sa187, highlighting several genes involved in plant growth–promoting activity and environmental adaption.

  18. Vegetation Analysis in the Red Sea-Eastern Desert Ecotone at the Area between Safaga and South Qusseir, Egypt

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mohamed G. Sheded

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available The current work is concerned with the studying the impact of environmental conditions on the vegetation in the arid ecotone located between Red Sea and Eastern Desert from Safaga to south Qusseir. Ninety eight quadrats inside 13 transects were selected to cover the environmental gradient across the ecotone, from the coastal region to the boundary of Eastern Desert. Forty five species were recorded belonged to 24 different families and 38 genera. The perennial species were 38 while the annuals were seven species. Zygophyllum coccineum had the highest presence value (89.8% followed by Tamarix nilotica (56.1% and Zilla spinosa (51.02%. Chamaephytes and Hemicryptophytes were the most prevailed life-forms. Chrological analysis exhibited that SaharoSindian and Sahro-Sindian with its extension to Sudano-Zambezian elements were the most dominant. TWINSPAN classification technique produced three vegetation groups include nine clusters at the fourth level. These groups identified according to the first and second dominant species as follows: Convolvulus hystrix - Panicum turgidum, Tamarix aphylla - Limonium pruinosum and Nitraria retusa - Tamarix nilotica. DECORANA results indicated a reasonable segregation among these groups along the ordination axis 1 and 2. Vegetation analysis showed that ecotonal clusters have highest number of species/cluster, high species richness and high species turnover. Therefore, the largest group existed in the ecotone (34 species while the desert group contained eight species and the coastal group included three species. Among the estimated soil variables in this study, pH, coarse sand, HCO3-, SO42- , clay and PO43- have the highest effect on species distribution. Sodium adsorption ratio (SAR was the effective factor in detecting the ecotonal species, Aeluropus lagopoides and Limonium pruinosum.

  19. The "Martian" flora: new collections of vascular plants, lichens, fungi, algae, and cyanobacteria from the Mars Desert Research Station, Utah

    Science.gov (United States)

    Freebury, Colin E.; Hamilton, Paul B.; Saarela, Jeffery M.

    2016-01-01

    Abstract The Mars Desert Research Station is a Mars analog research site located in the desert outside of Hanksville, Utah, U.S.A. Here we present a preliminary checklist of the vascular plant and lichen flora for the station, based on collections made primarily during a two-week simulated Mars mission in November, 2014. Additionally, we present notes on the endolithic chlorophytes and cyanobacteria, and the identification of a fungal genus also based on these collections. Altogether, we recorded 38 vascular plant species from 14 families, 13 lichen species from seven families, six algae taxa including both chlorophytes and cyanobacteria, and one fungal genus from the station and surrounding area. We discuss this floristic diversity in the context of the ecology of the nearby San Rafael Swell and the desert areas of Wayne and Emery counties in southeastern Utah. PMID:27350765

  20. Diversity of bacteria nesting the plant cover of north Sinai deserts, Egypt

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amira L. Hanna

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available North Sinai deserts were surveyed for the predominant plant cover and for the culturable bacteria nesting their roots and shoots. Among 43 plant species reported, 13 are perennial (e.g. Fagonia spp., Pancratium spp. and 30 annuals (e.g. Bromus spp., Erodium spp.. Eleven species possessed rhizo-sheath, e.g. Cyperus capitatus, Panicum turgidum and Trisetaria koelerioides. Microbiological analyses demonstrated: the great diversity and richness of associated culturable bacteria, in particular nitrogen-fixing bacteria (diazotrophs; the majority of bacterial residents were of true and/or putative diazotrophic nature; the bacterial populations followed an increasing density gradient towards the root surfaces; sizeable populations were able to reside inside the root (endorhizosphere and shoot (endophyllosphere tissues. Three hundred bacterial isolates were secured from studied spheres. The majority of nitrogen-fixing bacilli isolates belonged to Bacillus megaterium, Bacillus pumilus, Bacillus polymexa, Bacillus macerans, Bacillus circulans and Bacillus licheniformis. The family Enterobacteriaceae represented by Enterobacter agglomerans, Enterobacter sackazakii, Enterobacter cloacae, Serratia adorifera, Serratia liquefaciens and Klebsiella oxytoca. The non-Enterobacteriaceae population was rich in Pantoae spp., Agrobacterium rdiobacter, Pseudomonas vesicularis, Pseudomonas putida, Stenotrophomonas maltophilia, Ochrobactrum anthropi, Sphingomonas paucimobilis and Chrysemonas luteola. Gluconacetobacter diazotrophicus were reported inside root and shoot tissues of a number of tested plants. The dense bacterial populations reported speak well to the very possible significant role played by the endophytic bacterial populations in the survival, in respect of nutrition and health, of existing plants. Such groups of diazotrophs are good candidates, as bio-preparates, to support the growth of future field crops grown in deserts of north Sinai and irrigated by the

  1. Indigenous knowledge for plant species diversity: a case study of wild plants' folk names used by the Mongolians in Ejina desert area, Inner Mongolia, P. R. China

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Soyolt

    2008-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Folk names of plants are the roots of traditional plant biodiversity knowledge. This paper mainly records and analyses the wild plant folk names of the Mongolians in the Ejina desert area based on a field survey for collection and identification of voucher specimens. The results show that a total of 121 folk names of local plants have correspondence with 93 scientific species which belong to 26 families and 70 genera. The correspondence between plants' Mongol folk names and scientific species may be classified as one to one correspondence, multitude to one correspondence and one to multitude correspondence. The Ejina Mongolian plant folk names were formed on the basis of observations and an understanding of the wild plants growing in their desert environment. The high correspondence between folk names and scientific names shows the scientific meaning of folk botanical nomenclature and classification. It is very useful to take an inventory of biodiversity, especially among the rapid rural appraisal (RRA in studying biodiversity at the community level.

  2. [Water parameters of desert xeric shrubs in west Erdos region].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Xiao; Wang, Ying-chun; Zheng, Rong

    2007-05-01

    By using PV technique, this paper studied the turgor pressure (psi P), cell elastic modulus (epsilon), and relative cell volume (RCV) of super xerophytes Potaninia mongolica, Reaumuria soongorica, Tetraena mongolica and Zygophyllum xanthoxylon in west Alashan, with the relationships among the parameters analyzed. The results showed that R. soongorica had the strongest ability to maintain maximum turgor pressure (a = 2.4593). The four plants maintained their turgor pressure by different ways, i.e., P. mongolica maintained it by elastic adjustment (epsilon max = 8.4005 MPa), R. soongorica by osmotic adjustment (psi pi100 = -3.1302 MPa; psi0 = -3.5074 MPa), T. mongolica by both osmotic and elastic adjustment, and Z. xanthoxylon by osmotic adjustment, which had weak adjustment ability. The cell wall of P. mongolica was soft and highly elastic, benefiting to the water absorption by root and stem and to the fast water transmission. T. mongolica also had relatively soft and high elastic cell wall, and its psi P, and epsilon changed slowly with decreasing RCV, suggesting that this plant had strong ability of holding water and resisting dehydration.

  3. Antibacterial Activity of Mother Tinctures of Cholistan Desert Plants in Pakistan

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ahmad, M.; Ghafoor, Nazia; Aamir, M. N.

    2012-01-01

    The mother tinctures of desert were screened for antibacterial activity against bacterial strains of Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria. Mother tinctures were prepared by maceration process and antibacterial activity of different plants was evaluated and compared by measuring their zones of inhibition. The results indicated that Boerrhavia diffusa mother tincture had excellent activity only against Escherichia coli. Mother tincture of Chorozophora plicata showed highly effective results against Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli and Pseudomonas aeruginosa whereas Echinops echinatus mother tincture showed highly effectiveness only against Salmonella typhi. Heliotropium europaeum mother tincture exhibited highly effective results against Bacillus subtilis in all concentrations. Tamrix aphylla presented maximum activity only against Bacillus subtilis in all three concentrations. Among the selected species Heliotropium europaeum, Chorozophora plicata and Tamrix aphylla were more effective plants against many microorganisms. However, Boerrhavia diffusa and Echinops echinatus were less effective plants against tested pathogenic bacteria. PMID:23716878

  4. Mycorrhizal association between the desert truffle Terfezia boudieri and Helianthemum sessiliflorum alters plant physiology and fitness to arid conditions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Turgeman, Tidhar; Ben Asher, Jiftach; Roth-Bejerano, Nurit; Kagan-Zur, Varda; Kapulnik, Yoram; Sitrit, Yaron

    2011-10-01

    The host plant Helianthemum sessiliflorum was inoculated with the mycorrhizal desert truffle Terfezia boudieri Chatin, and the subsequent effects of the ectomycorrhizal relationship on host physiology were determined. Diurnal measurements revealed that mycorrhizal (M) plants had higher rates of photosynthesis (35%), transpiration (18%), and night respiration (49%) than non-mycorrhizal (NM) plants. Consequently, M plants exhibited higher biomass accumulation, higher shoot-to-root ratios, and improved water use efficiency compared to NM plants. Total chlorophyll content was higher in M plants, and the ratio between chlorophyll a to chlorophyll b was altered in M plants. The increase in chlorophyll b content was significantly higher than the increase in chlorophyll a content (2.58- and 1.52-fold, respectively) compared to control. Calculation of the photosynthetic activation energy indicated lower energy requirements for CO(2) assimilation in M plants than in NM plants (48.62 and 61.56 kJ mol(-1), respectively). Continuous measurements of CO(2) exchange and transpiration in M plants versus NM plants provided a complete picture of the daily physiological differences brought on by the ectomycorrhizal relationships. The enhanced competence of M plants to withstand the harsh environmental conditions of the desert is discussed in view of the mycorrhizal-derived alterations in host physiology. © Springer-Verlag 2011

  5. Spreaders, igniters, and burning shrubs: plant flammability explains novel fire dynamics in grass-invaded deserts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fuentes-Ramirez, Andres; Veldman, Joseph W; Holzapfel, Claus; Moloney, Kirk A

    2016-10-01

    Novel fire regimes are an important cause and consequence of global environmental change that involve interactions among biotic, climatic, and human components of ecosystems. Plant flammability is key to these interactions, yet few studies directly measure flammability or consider how multiple species with different flammabilities interact to produce novel fire regimes. Deserts of the southwestern United States are an ideal system for exploring how novel fire regimes can emerge when fire-promoting species invade ecosystems comprised of species that did not evolve with fire. In these deserts, exotic annual grasses provide fuel continuity across landscapes that did not historically burn. These fires often ignite a keystone desert shrub, the fire-intolerant creosote bush, Larrea tridentata (DC.) Coville. Ignition of Larrea is likely catalyzed by fuels produced by native plants that grow beneath the shrubs. We hypothesize that invasive and native species exhibit distinct flammability characteristics that in combination determine spatial patterns of fire spread and intensity. We measured flammability metrics of Larrea, two invasive grasses, Schismus arabicus and Bromus madritensis, and two native plants, the sub-shrub Ambrosia dumosa and the annual herb Amsinckia menziesii. Results of laboratory experiments show that the grasses carry fire quickly (1.32 cm/s), but burn for short duration (0.5 min) at low temperatures. In contrast, native plants spread fire slowly (0.12 cm/s), but burn up to eight times longer (4 min) and produced hotter fires. Additional experiments on the ignition requirements of Larrea suggest that native plants burn with sufficient temperature and duration to ignite dead Larrea branches (time to ignition, 2 min; temperature at ignition 692°C). Once burning, these dead branches ignite living branches in the upper portions of the shrub. Our study provides support for a conceptual model in which exotic grasses are "spreaders" of fire and native

  6. EFFECTS OF PLANT SIZE ON PHOTOSYNTHESIS AND WATER RELATIONS IN THE DESERT SHRUB PROSOPIS GLANDULOSA (FABACEAE)

    Science.gov (United States)

    The Jornada del Muerto basin of the Chihuahuan Desert of southern New Mexico, USA, has undergone a marked transition of plant communities. Shrubs such as mesquite (Prosopis glandulosa) have greatly increased or now dominate in areas that were previously dominated by perennial gra...

  7. Draft Genome Sequence of the Phosphate-Solubilizing Bacterium Pseudomonas argentinensis Strain SA190 Isolated from the Desert Plant Indigofera argentea

    KAUST Repository

    Lafi, Feras Fawzi; Alam, Intikhab; Geurts, Rene; Bisseling, Ton; Bajic, Vladimir B.; Hirt, Heribert; Saad, Maged

    2016-01-01

    Pseudomonas argentinensis strain SA190 is a plant endophytic-inhabiting bacterium that was isolated from root nodules of the desert plant Indigofera argentea collected from the Jizan region of Saudi Arabia. Here, we report the genome sequence of SA

  8. Microbial ecology of hot desert edaphic systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Makhalanyane, Thulani P; Valverde, Angel; Gunnigle, Eoin; Frossard, Aline; Ramond, Jean-Baptiste; Cowan, Don A

    2015-03-01

    A significant proportion of the Earth's surface is desert or in the process of desertification. The extreme environmental conditions that characterize these areas result in a surface that is essentially barren, with a limited range of higher plants and animals. Microbial communities are probably the dominant drivers of these systems, mediating key ecosystem processes. In this review, we examine the microbial communities of hot desert terrestrial biotopes (including soils, cryptic and refuge niches and plant-root-associated microbes) and the processes that govern their assembly. We also assess the possible effects of global climate change on hot desert microbial communities and the resulting feedback mechanisms. We conclude by discussing current gaps in our understanding of the microbiology of hot deserts and suggest fruitful avenues for future research. © FEMS 2015. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  9. Fog inhibition, satellite fauna and unusual leaf structure in a Namib Desert dune plant Trianthema hereroensis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Seely, M.K.; De Vos, M.P.; Louw, G.N.

    1977-01-01

    The plant Trianthema hereroensis, which is endemic to the Namib Desert, has been shown to absorb tritiated water rapidly through its leaves and translocate the labelled water to the root system. The unusual leaf structure and the associated satellite fauna have been described [af

  10. Draft Genome Sequence of the Phosphate-Solubilizing Bacterium Pseudomonas argentinensis Strain SA190 Isolated from the Desert Plant Indigofera argentea

    KAUST Repository

    Lafi, Feras Fawzi

    2016-12-23

    Pseudomonas argentinensis strain SA190 is a plant endophytic-inhabiting bacterium that was isolated from root nodules of the desert plant Indigofera argentea collected from the Jizan region of Saudi Arabia. Here, we report the genome sequence of SA190, highlighting several functional genes related to plant growth-promoting activity, environment adaption, and antifungal activity.

  11. Effects of an invasive plant on a desert sand dune landscape

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barrows, C.W.; Allen, E.B.; Brooks, M.L.; Allen, M.F.

    2009-01-01

    Given the abundance of non-native species invading wildland habitats, managers need to employ informed triage to focus control efforts on weeds with the greatest potential for negative impacts. Our objective here was to determine the level of threat Sahara mustard, Brassica tournefortii, represents to meeting regional goals for protecting biodiversity. Sahara mustard has spread throughout much of the Mojave and lower Sonoran Deserts. It has occurred in southern California's Coachella Valley for nearly 80 years, punctuated by years of extremely high abundance following high rainfall. In those years the mustard has clear negative impacts on the native flora. Using mustard removal experiments we identified reductions in native plant reproduction, shifting composition increasingly toward Sahara mustard while decreasing the fraction of native species. High between-year variance in precipitation may be a key to maintaining biodiversity as the mustard is less abundant in drier years. Sahara mustard impacts to the native fauna were much less evident. Of the animal species evaluated, only the Coachella Valley fringe-toed lizard, Uma inornata, demonstrated a negative response to mustard abundance; however the impacts were short-lived, lasting no more than a year after the mustard's dominance waned. Without control measures the long-term impacts to desert biodiversity may rest on the changing climate. Wetter conditions or increased periodicity of high rainfall years will favor Sahara mustard and result in reduced biodiversity, especially of native annual plants. Drier conditions will keep the mustard from becoming dominant but may have other negative consequences on the native flora and fauna. ?? 2008 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

  12. Gopherus agassizii (Desert Tortoise). Non-native seed dispersal

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ennen, J.R.; Loughran, Caleb L.; Lovich, Jeffrey E.

    2011-01-01

    Sahara Mustard (Brassica tournefortii) is a non-native, highly invasive weed species of southwestern U.S. deserts. Sahara Mustard is a hardy species, which flourishes under many conditions including drought and in both disturbed and undisturbed habitats (West and Nabhan 2002. In B. Tellman [ed.], Invasive Plants: Their Occurrence and Possible Impact on the Central Gulf Coast of Sonora and the Midriff Islands in the Sea of Cortes, pp. 91–111. University of Arizona Press, Tucson). Because of this species’ ability to thrive in these habitats, B. tournefortii has been able to propagate throughout the southwestern United States establishing itself in the Mojave and Sonoran Deserts in Arizona, California, Nevada, and Utah. Unfortunately, naturally disturbed areas created by native species, such as the Desert Tortoise (Gopherus agassizii), within these deserts could have facilitated the propagation of B. tournefortii. (Lovich 1998. In R. G. Westbrooks [ed.], Invasive Plants, Changing the Landscape of America: Fact Book, p. 77. Federal Interagency Committee for the Management of Noxious and Exotic Weeds [FICMNEW], Washington, DC). However, Desert Tortoises have never been directly observed dispersing Sahara Mustard seeds. Here we present observations of two Desert Tortoises dispersing Sahara Mustard seeds at the interface between the Mojave and Sonoran deserts in California.

  13. The Influence of Solar Power Plants on Microclimatic Conditions and the Biotic Community in Chilean Desert Environments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suuronen, Anna; Muñoz-Escobar, Christian; Lensu, Anssi; Kuitunen, Markku; Guajardo Celis, Natalia; Espinoza Astudillo, Pablo; Ferrú, Marcos; Taucare-Ríos, Andrés; Miranda, Marcelo; Kukkonen, Jussi V. K.

    2017-10-01

    The renewable energy sector is growing at a rapid pace in northern Chile and the solar energy potential is one of the best worldwide. Therefore, many types of solar power plant facilities are being built to take advantage of this renewable energy resource. Solar energy is considered a clean source of energy, but there are potential environmental effects of solar technology, such as landscape fragmentation, extinction of local biota, microclimate changes, among others. To be able to minimize environmental impacts of solar power plants, it is important to know what kind of environmental conditions solar power plants create. This study provides information about abiotic and biotic conditions in the vicinity of photovoltaic solar power plants. Herein, the influence of these power plants as drivers of new microclimate conditions and arthropods diversity composition in the Atacama Desert was evaluated. Microclimatic conditions between panel mounts was found to be more extreme than in the surrounding desert yet beneath the panels temperature is lower and relative humidity higher than outside the panel area. Arthropod species composition was altered in fixed-mount panel installations. In contrast, solar tracking technology showed less influence on microclimate and species composition between Sun and Shade in the power plant. Shady conditions provided a refuge for arthropod species in both installation types. For example, Dipterans were more abundant in the shade whereas Solifugaes were seldom present in the shade. The presented findings have relevance for the sustainable planning and construction of solar power plants.

  14. The Influence of Solar Power Plants on Microclimatic Conditions and the Biotic Community in Chilean Desert Environments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suuronen, Anna; Muñoz-Escobar, Christian; Lensu, Anssi; Kuitunen, Markku; Guajardo Celis, Natalia; Espinoza Astudillo, Pablo; Ferrú, Marcos; Taucare-Ríos, Andrés; Miranda, Marcelo; Kukkonen, Jussi V K

    2017-10-01

    The renewable energy sector is growing at a rapid pace in northern Chile and the solar energy potential is one of the best worldwide. Therefore, many types of solar power plant facilities are being built to take advantage of this renewable energy resource. Solar energy is considered a clean source of energy, but there are potential environmental effects of solar technology, such as landscape fragmentation, extinction of local biota, microclimate changes, among others. To be able to minimize environmental impacts of solar power plants, it is important to know what kind of environmental conditions solar power plants create. This study provides information about abiotic and biotic conditions in the vicinity of photovoltaic solar power plants. Herein, the influence of these power plants as drivers of new microclimate conditions and arthropods diversity composition in the Atacama Desert was evaluated. Microclimatic conditions between panel mounts was found to be more extreme than in the surrounding desert yet beneath the panels temperature is lower and relative humidity higher than outside the panel area. Arthropod species composition was altered in fixed-mount panel installations. In contrast, solar tracking technology showed less influence on microclimate and species composition between Sun and Shade in the power plant. Shady conditions provided a refuge for arthropod species in both installation types. For example, Dipterans were more abundant in the shade whereas Solifugaes were seldom present in the shade. The presented findings have relevance for the sustainable planning and construction of solar power plants.

  15. Organic Chemistry and the Native Plants of the Sonoran Desert: Conversion of Jojoba Oil to Biodiesel

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daconta, Lisa V.; Minger, Timothy; Nedelkova, Valentina; Zikopoulos, John N.

    2015-01-01

    A new, general approach to the organic chemistry laboratory is introduced that is based on learning about organic chemistry techniques and research methods by exploring the natural products found in local native plants. As an example of this approach for the Sonoran desert region, the extraction of jojoba oil and its transesterification to…

  16. PLUTONIUM UPTAKE AND BEHAVIOR IN PLANTS OF THE DESERT SOUTHWEST: A PRELIMINARY ASSESSMENT

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Caldwell, E.; Duff, M.; Ferguson, C.

    2011-03-01

    Eight species of desert vegetation and associated soils were collected from the Nevada National Security Site (N2S2) and analyzed for 238Pu and 239+240Pu concentrations. Amongst the plant species sampled were: atmospheric elemental accumulators (moss and lichen), the very slow growing, long-lived creosote bush and the rapidly growing, short-lived cheatgrass brome. The diversity of growth strategies provided insight into the geochemical behavior and bio-availability of Pu at the N2S2. The highest concentrations of Pu were measured in the onion moss (24.27 Bq kg-1 238Pu and 52.78 Bq kg-1 239+240Pu) followed by the rimmed navel lichen (8.18 Bq kg-1 and 18.4 Bq kg-1 respectively), pointing to the importance of eolian transport of Pu. Brome and desert globemallow accumulated between 3 and 9 times higher concentrations of Pu than creosote and sage brush species. These results support the importance of species specific elemental accumulation strategies rather than exposure duration as the dominant variable influencing Pu concentrations in these plants. Total vegetation elemental concentrations of Ce, Fe, Al, Sm and others were also analyzed. Strong correlations were observed between Fe and Pu. This supports the conclusion that Pu was accumulated as a consequence of the active accumulation of Fe and other plant required nutrients. Cerium and Pu are considered to be chemical analogs. Strong correlations observed in plants support the conclusion that these elements displayed similar geochemical behavior in the environment as it related to the biochemical uptake process of vegetation. Soils were also sampled in association with vegetation samples. This allowed for the calculation of a concentration ratio (CR). The CR values for Pu in plants were highly influenced by the heterogeneity of Pu distribution among sites. Results from the naturally occurring elements of concern were more evenly distributed between sample sites. This allowed for the development of a pattern of plant

  17. Jojoba could stop the desert creep

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    1982-03-25

    The Sahara desert is estimated to be expanding at a rate of 5km a year. The Sudanese government is experimenting with jojoba in six different regions as the bush has the potential to stop this ''desert creep''. The plant, a native to Mexico, is long known for its resistance to drought and for the versatile liquid wax that can be extracted from its seeds. It is estimated that one hectare of mature plants could produce 3000 kg of oil, currently selling at $50 per litre, and so earn valuable foreign currency.

  18. Egg laying site selection by a host plant specialist leaf miner moth at two intra-plant levels in the northern Chilean Atacama Desert

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    José Storey-Palma

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available Egg laying site selection by a host plant specialist leaf miner moth at two intra-plant levels in the northern Chilean Atacama Desert. The spatial distribution of the immature stages of the leaf miner Angelabella tecomae Vargas & Parra, 2005 was determined at two intra-plant levels (shoot and leaflet on the shrub Tecoma fulva fulva (Cav. D. Don (Bignoniaceae in the Azapa valley, northern Chilean Atacama Desert. An aggregated spatial pattern was detected for all the immature stages along the shoot, with an age dependent relative position: eggs and first instar larvae were clumped at apex; second, third and fourth instar larvae were mostly found at intermediate positions; meanwhile the spinning larva and pupa were clumped at basis. This pattern suggests that the females select new, actively growing leaflets for egg laying. At the leaflet level, the immature stages were found more frequently at underside. Furthermore, survivorship was higher for larvae from underside mines. All these results highlight the importance of an accurate selection of egg laying site in the life history of this highly specialized leaf miner. By contrast, eventual wrong choices in the egg laying site selection may be associated with diminished larval survivorship. The importance of the continuous availability of new plant tissue in this highly human modified arid environment is discussed in relation with the observed patterns.

  19. Study of potential impacts of using sewage sludge in the amendment of desert reclaimed soil on wheat and jews mallow plants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ahmed Mazen

    2010-08-01

    Full Text Available This investigation was conducted to study the impacts of using sewage sludge at different concentrations (0, 10, 25, 50, 75% in amendment of desert reclaimed soil properties and some physiological aspects in wheat and jews mallow plants. Generally adding sewage sludge to desert soil improved the soil texture, raised the organic matter contents, water holding capacity and lowered pH value. The contents of NPK gradually increased as the ratio of sewage sludge increased. The fresh and dry weights and biosyntheses of pigment contents of the variously treated test plants were increased by increasing the sewage sludge levels in the soil. Also, total carbohydrate and protein contents of sewage sludge-treated test plants were positively affected. With respect to the proline content and total free amino acids, in most cases, it decreased significantly, expect at 75% sewage sludge, which was higher than that of other concentrations. Also, the accumulation of metal was generally higher, especially in the root than that in the shoot system in the test plant tissues.

  20. Contrasting water use pattern of introduced and native plants in an alpine desert ecosystem, Northeast Qinghai–Tibet Plateau, China

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wu, Huawu; Li, Xiao-Yan; Jiang, Zhiyun; Chen, Huiying; Zhang, Cicheng; Xiao, Xiong

    2016-01-01

    Plant water use patterns reflect the complex interactions between different functional types and environmental conditions in water-limited ecosystems. However, the mechanisms underlying the water use patterns of plants in the alpine desert of the Qinghai–Tibet Plateau remain poorly understood. This study investigated seasonal variations in the water sources of herbs (Carex moorcroftii, Astragalus adsurgens) and shrubs (Artemisia oxycephala, Hippophae rhamnoides) using stable oxygen-18 isotope methods. The results indicated that the native herbs (C. moorcroftii, A. adsurgens) and one of the shrubs (A. oxycephala) mainly relied on water from the shallow layer (0–30 cm) throughout the growing season, while the introduced shrub (H. rhamnoides) showed plasticity in switching between water from shallow and deep soil layers depending on soil water availability. All studied plants primarily depended on water from shallow soil layers early in the season. The differences of water use patterns between the introduced and native plants are closely linked with the range of active root zones when competing for water. Our findings will facilitate the mechanistic understanding of plant–soil–water relations in alpine desert ecosystems and provide information for screening introduced species for sand fixation. - Highlights: • Stable oxygen-18 in soil water experienced great evaporation enrichment. • H. rhamnoides experiences a flexible plasticity to switch between shallow and deep soil water. • Native plants mostly relied on shallow and middle soil water. • Water-use patterns by introduced-native plants are controlled by root characteristics.

  1. Medicinal flora of the Cholistan desert: a review

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hmeed, M.; Ashraf, M.; Nawaz, T.; Naz, N.; Ahmad, M.S.A.; Al-Quriany, F.; Younis, A.

    2011-01-01

    The Cholistan desert can be divided into two distinct regions on the basis of topography, soil type and texture, and vegetation structure: the northern Lesser Cholistan and southern Greater Cholistan. The desert is characterized by large saline compacted areas with alluvial clay, sandy ridges and dunes, and semi-stabilized to frequently shifting dunes. The climate is subtropical, harsh, hot and arid, and influenced by seasonal monsoons. Vegetation cover on the sand dunes is comprised by a few tussock-forming grasses including Cenchrus ciliaris, Panicum turgidum and Lasiurus scindicus, along with perennial shrubs Calligonum polygonoides, Leptadenia pyrotechnica and Aerva javanica. Interdunal flats are dominated by grasses, mainly Cymbopogon jwarancusa, Sporobolus ioclados, Panicum antidotale, and Ochthochloa compressa, and tall shrubs Calligonum polygonoides and Capparis decidua. Vegetation of saline patches is specific, dominated by halophytes mainly belonging to family Chenopodiaceae (Amaranthaceae). Many plants of the Cholistan desert, including Neurada procumbens, Aerva javanica, Capparis decidua, Cleome brachycarpa, Dipterygium glaucum, Gisekia pharnacioides, Suaeda fruticosa, Achyranthes aspera, Aerva javanica, Alhagi maurorum, Calotropis procera, Capparis decidua, Zaleya pentandra, Mollugo cerviana, Ziziphus mauritiana, Boerhavia procumbens, Cressa cretica and Crotalaria burhia, are frequently used by the local inhabitants to cure chronic and acute diseases. A variety of medicinally important chemical compounds have been extracted and identified from the plants of the Cholistan desert, including terpenes and triterpenoids, sterols and steroids, phenolics, flavonoids, gums and resins, quinones, anthocyanidines, saponins, antioxidants and fatty acids. Habitat degradation, intensive agricultural practices and over exploitation of resources pose a serious threat to the diversity of ethno botanically important plant species. Allopathic medicines are generally

  2. Restoration of eroded soil in the Sonoran Desert with native leguminous trees using plant growth-promoting microorganisms and limited amounts of compost and water.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bashan, Yoav; Salazar, Bernardo G; Moreno, Manuel; Lopez, Blanca R; Linderman, Robert G

    2012-07-15

    Restoration of highly eroded desert land was attempted in the southern Sonoran Desert that had lost its natural capacity for self-revegetation. In six field experiments, the fields were planted with three native leguminous trees: mesquite amargo Prosopis articulata, and yellow and blue palo verde Parkinsonia microphylla and Parkinsonia florida. Restoration included inoculation with two of plant growth-promoting bacteria (PGPB; Azospirillum brasilense and Bacillus pumilus), native arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi, and small quantities of compost. Irrigation was applied, when necessary, to reach a rainy year (300 mm) of the area. The plots were maintained for 61 months. Survival of the trees was marginally affected by all supplements after 30 months, in the range of 60-90%. This variation depended on the plant species, where all young trees were established after 3 months. Plant density was a crucial variable and, in general, low plant density enhanced survival. High planting density was detrimental. Survival significantly declined in trees 61 months after planting. No general response of the trees to plant growth-promoting microorganisms and compost was found. Mesquite amargo and yellow palo verde responded well (height, number of branches, and diameter of the main stem) to inoculation with PGPB, AM fungi, and compost supplementation after three months of application. Fewer positive effects were recorded after 30 months. Blue palo verde did not respond to most treatments and had the lowest survival. Specific plant growth parameters were affected to varying degrees to inoculations or amendments, primarily depending on the tree species. Some combinations of tree/inoculant/amendment resulted in small negative effects or no response when measured after extended periods of time. Using native leguminous trees, this study demonstrated that restoration of severely eroded desert lands was possible. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. Abiotic drivers of Chihuahuan Desert plant communities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laura Marie Ladwig

    2014-01-01

    Within grasslands, precipitation, fire, nitrogen (N) addition, and extreme temperatures influence community composition and ecosystem function. The differential influences of these abiotic factors on Chihuahuan Desert grassland communities was examined within the Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge, located in central New Mexico, U.S.A. Although fire is a natural...

  4. Minimal watering regime impacts on desert adapted green roof plant performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kovachich, S.; Pavao-Zuckerman, M.; Templer, S.; Livingston, M.; Stoltz, R.; Smith, S.

    2011-12-01

    Roof tops can cover one-fifth of urban areas and can greatly alter the movement of matter and energy in cities. With traditional roofing methods and materials, roof tops readily absorb heat and as a result, buildings and the surrounding urban area heat to unnaturally high temperatures. It is hypothesized that extensive green roofs would have wide-ranging benefits for arid environments. However, little is known about the cost of water use associated with green roof installations and how to balance energy reduction needs with water costs in this water limited environment. We are conducting a pilot study to test whether a) green roofs with native plants and environmentally-responsible watering regimes will prove successful in arid environments and if b) green roofs provide ecosystem services with responsible water application. Three species of Sonoran Desert natives, Dyssodia pentachaeta (groundcover), Calliandra eriophylla (shrub), and Hesperaloe parviflora (succulent) have been planted in experimental plots [1 m2 model houses and roofs, replicated in triplicate] with two sandy, rocky desert soil mixtures (light mix: 60% expanded shale and heavy mix: organic and sandy mix with 50% shale) at the Biosphere 2 campus near Oracle, Az. The green roofs are watered by two different techniques. The first technique provides "smart watering", the minimal amount of water needed by green roof plants based on precipitation and historical data. The second watering technique is considered heavy and does not take into account environmental conditions. Preliminary data from the experimental plots shows a 30% decrease in daytime roof top temperatures on green roofs and a 10% decrease in interior temperatures in buildings with green roofs. This trend occurs with both watering regimes (heavy and light). This finding suggests that additional irrigation yields no extra heat reduction and energy savings. In order to explain this phenomenon more clearly, we use co-located temperature and

  5. Stable Isotopic Analysis on Water Utilization of Two Xerophytic Shrubs in a Revegetated Desert Area: Tengger Desert, China

    OpenAIRE

    Lei Huang; Zhishan Zhang

    2015-01-01

    Stable isotope studies on stable isotope ratios of hydrogen and oxygen in water within plants provide new information on water sources and water use patterns under natural conditions. In this study, the sources of water uptake for two typical xerophytic shrubs, Caragana korshinskii and Artemisia ordosica, were determined at four different-aged revegetated sites (1956, 1964, 1981, and 1987) in the Tengger Desert, a revegetated desert area in China. Samples from precipitation, soil water at dif...

  6. Oxalosis in wild desert tortoises, Gopherus agassizii

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jacobson, Elliott R.; Berry, Kristin H.; Stacy, Brian; Huzella, Louis M.; Kalasinsky, Victor F.; Fleetwood, Michelle L.; Mense, Mark G.

    2009-01-01

    We necropsied a moribund, wild adult male desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii) with clinical signs of respiratory disease and elevated plasma biochemical analytes indicative of renal disease (blood urea nitrogen [415 mg/dl], uric acid [11.8 mg/dl], sodium >180 mmol/l] and chloride [139 mmol/l]). Moderate numbers of birefringent oxalate crystals, based on infrared and electron microscopy, were present within renal tubules; small numbers were seen in colloid within thyroid follicles. A retrospective analysis of 66 additional cases of wild desert tortoises was conducted to determine whether similar crystals were present in thyroid and kidney. The tortoises, from the Mojave and Sonoran deserts, were necropsied between 1992 and 2003 and included juveniles and adults. Tortoises were classified as healthy (those that died due to trauma and where no disease was identified after necropsy and evaluation by standard laboratory tests used for other tortoises) or not healthy (having one or more diseases or lesions). For all 67 necropsied tortoises, small numbers of crystals of similar appearance were present in thyroid glands from 44 of 54 cases (81%) and in kidneys from three of 65 cases (5%). Presence of oxalates did not differ significantly between healthy and unhealthy tortoises, between age classes, or between desert region, and their presence was considered an incidental finding. Small numbers of oxalate crystals seen within the kidney of two additional tortoises also were considered an incidental finding. Although the source of the calcium oxalate could not be determined, desert tortoises are herbivores, and a plant origin seems most likely. Studies are needed to evaluate the oxalate content of plants consumed by desert tortoises, and particularly those in the area where the tortoise in renal failure was found.

  7. In vitro germination of desert rose varieties(

    OpenAIRE

    Tatiane Lemos Varella; Gizelly Mendes Silva; Kaliane Zaira Camacho Maximiliano da Cruz; Andréia Izabel Mikovski; Josué Ribeiro da Silva Nunes; Ilio Fealho Carvalho; Maurecilne Lemes Silva

    2015-01-01

    The drought stress resistance is a characteristic of the desert rose and its estimable beauty flowers, which gave it great relevance in the ornamental market. However, the desert rose production and germination is hampered by possible sterility of their male and female flowers and frequent problems in pollination, so the tissue culture is a promising alternative to the propagation of these plants. This study aimed to evaluate the effect of gibberellic acid on four commercial varieties of dese...

  8. Assessment of stress tolerance, productivity, and forage quality in T1 transgenic alfalfa co-overexpressing ZxNHX and ZxVP1-1 from Zygophyllum xanthoxylum

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peng Kang

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available Salinization, desertification, and soil nutrient deprivation are threatening the production of alfalfa (Medicago sativa L. in northern China. We have previously generated T0 transgenic alfalfa co-overexpressing Zygophyllum xanthoxylum ZxNHX and ZxVP1-1 genes with enhanced salt and drought tolerance. To further develop this excellent breeding material into the new forage cultivar, stress tolerance, productivity, and forage quality of T1 transgenic alfalfa (GM were assessed in this study. The GM inherited the traits of salt and drought tolerance from T0 generation. Most importantly, co-overexpression of ZxNHX and ZxVP1-1 enhanced the tolerance to Pi deficiency in GM, which was associated with more Pi accumulation in plants. Meanwhile, T1 transgenic alfalfa developed a larger root system with increased root size, root dry weight and root/shoot ratio, which may be one important reason for the improvement of phosphorus nutrition and high biomass accumulation in GM under various conditions. GM also accumulated more crude protein, crude fibre, crude fat, and crude ash than wild-type (WT plants, especially under stress conditions and in the field. More interestingly, the crude fat contents sharply dropped in WT (by 66%-74%, whereas showed no change or decreased less in GM, when subjected to salinity, drought or low-Pi. Our results indicate that T1 transgenic alfalfa co-overexpressing ZxNHX and ZxVP1-1 shows stronger stress tolerance, higher productivity and better forage quality. This study provides a solid foundation for creating the alfalfa cultivars with high yield, good quality and wide adaptability on saline, dry and nutrient-deprived marginal lands of northern China.

  9. Implications of human induced changes on the distribution of important plant species in the northwestern coastal desert of Egypt

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marwa Waseem Halmy

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available The application of species distribution modeling in deserts is a useful tool for mapping species and assessing the impact of human induced changes on individual species. Such applications are still rare, and this may be attributed to the fact that much of the arid lands and deserts around the world are located in inaccessible areas. Few studies have conducted spatially explicit modeling of plant species distribution in Egypt. The random forest modeling approach was applied to climatic and land-surface parameters to predict the distribution of ten important plant species in an arid landscape in the northwestern coastal desert of Egypt. The impact of changes in land use and climate on the distribution of the plant species was assessed. The results indicate that the changes in land use in the area have resulted in habitat loss for all the modeled species. Projected future changes in land use reveals that all the modeled species will continue to suffer habitat loss. The projected impact of modeled climate scenarios (A1B, A2A and B2A on the distribution of the modeled species by 2040 varied. Some of the species were projected to be adversely affected by the changes in climate, while other species are expected to benefit from these changes. The combined impact of the changes in land use and climate pose serious threats to most of the modeled species. The study found that all the species are expected to suffer loss in habitat, except Gymnocarpos decanderus. The study highlights the importance of assessing the impact of land use/climate change scenarios on other species of restricted distribution in the area and can help shape policy and mitigation measures directed toward biodiversity conservation in Egypt.

  10. Desert tortoise use of burned habitat in the Eastern Mojave desert

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drake, Karla K.; Esque, Todd C.; Nussear, Kenneth E.; DeFalco, Lesley; Scoles, Sara; Modlin, Andrew T.; Medica, Philip A.

    2015-01-01

    Wildfires burned 24,254 ha of critical habitat designated for the recovery of the threatened Mojave desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii) in southern Nevada during 2005. The proliferation of non-native annual grasses has increased wildfire frequency and extent in recent decades and continues to accelerate the conversion of tortoise habitat across the Mojave Desert. Immediate changes to vegetation are expected to reduce quality of critical habitat, yet whether tortoises will use burned and recovering habitat differently from intact unburned habitat is unknown. We compared movement patterns, home-range size, behavior, microhabitat use, reproduction, and survival for adult desert tortoises located in, and adjacent to, burned habitat to understand how tortoises respond to recovering burned habitat. Approximately 45% of home ranges in the post-fire environment contained burned habitat, and numerous observations (n = 12,223) corroborated tortoise use of both habitat types (52% unburned, 48% burned). Tortoises moved progressively deeper into burned habitat during the first 5 years following the fire, frequently foraging in burned habitats that had abundant annual plants, and returning to adjacent unburned habitat for cover provided by intact perennial vegetation. However, by years 6 and 7, the live cover of the short-lived herbaceous perennial desert globemallow (Sphaeralcea ambigua) that typically re-colonizes burned areas declined, resulting in a contraction of tortoise movements from the burned areas. Health and egg production were similar between burned and unburned areas indicating that tortoises were able to acquire necessary resources using both areas. This study documents that adult Mojave desert tortoises continue to use habitat burned once by wildfire. Thus, continued management of this burned habitat may contribute toward the recovery of the species in the face of many sources of habitat loss.

  11. Ethnomedicinal knowledge and relative importance of indigenous medicinal plants of Cholistan desert, Punjab Province, Pakistan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ahmed, Nadeem; Mahmood, Adeel; Tahir, S S; Bano, Asghari; Malik, Riffat Naseem; Hassan, Seema; Ashraf, Aisha

    2014-09-11

    Ethnomedicinal studies are significant for the discovery of new crude drugs from indigenous reported medicinal plants. The current study aimed to report the indigenous medicinal knowledge of plants and herbal remedies used as folk medicines in Cholistan desert, Punjab Province, Pakistan. Rapid appraisal approach (RAA), semi-structured interviews, group meetings with herbalists, landowners and local people having awareness about the medicinal action of plants were employed to collect the data. This study reports 70 medicinal plants belonging to 27 families that were disseminated among 60 different genera and Poaceae was the predominant family over others with 13 reported medicinal plants. Among plant parts, leaves were the dominant over others with 26.4% used in herbal preparations followed by the stem (25.2%), fruit (21.5%), flower (16.3%), seed (6.5%), bark and pod (02%). Haloxylon recurvum exhibited the highest use vale (UV) 0.83 while least UV was exhibited by Mollugo cerviana that was 0.16. Important medicinal plants, reported in this study have been screened for phytochemical and pharmaceutical activities in different parts of the globe. It is recommended that reported medicinal plants having potent action for cancer and hepatitis must be screened for pharmacological activities. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. Late Quaternary history of the Atacama Desert

    Science.gov (United States)

    Latorre, Claudio; Betancourt, Julio L.; Rech, Jason A.; Quade, Jay; Holmgren, Camille; Placzek, Christa; Maldonado, Antonio; Vuille, Mathias; Rylander, Kate A.; Smith, Mike; Hesse, Paul

    2005-01-01

    Of the major subtropical deserts found in the Southern Hemisphere, the Atacama Desert is the driest. Throughout the Quaternary, the most pervasive climatic influence on the desert has been millennial-scale changes in the frequency and seasonality of the scant rainfall, and associated shifts in plant and animal distributions with elevation along the eastern margin of the desert. Over the past six years, we have mapped modern vegetation gradients and developed a number of palaeoenvironmental records, including vegetation histories from fossil rodent middens, groundwater levels from wetland (spring) deposits, and lake levels from shoreline evidence, along a 1200-kilometre transect (16–26°S) in the Atacama Desert. A strength of this palaeoclimate transect has been the ability to apply the same methodologies across broad elevational, latitudinal, climatic, vegetation and hydrological gradients. We are using this transect to reconstruct the histories of key components of the South American tropical (summer) and extratropical (winter) rainfall belts, precisely at those elevations where average annual rainfall wanes to zero. The focus has been on the transition from sparse, shrubby vegetation (known as the prepuna) into absolute desert, an expansive hyperarid terrain that extends from just above the coastal fog zone (approximately 800 metres) to more than 3500 metres in the most arid sectors in the southern Atacama.

  13. Water Relations and Photosynthesis of a Desert CAM Plant, Agave deserti1

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nobel, Park S.

    1976-01-01

    The water relations and photosynthesis of Agave deserti Engelm., a plant exhibiting Crassulacean acid metabolism, were measured in the Colorado desert. Although no natural stomatal opening of A. deserti occurred in the summer of 1975, it could be induced by watering. The resistance for water vapor diffusion from a leaf (RWV) became less than 20 sec cm−1 when the soil water potential at 10 cm became greater than −3 bars, as would occur after a 7-mm rainfall. As a consequence of its shallow root system (mean depth of 8 cm), A. deserti responded rapidly to the infrequent rains, and the succulent nature of its leaves allowed stomatal opening to continue for up to 8 days after the soil became drier than the plant. When the leaf temperature at night was increased from 5 to 20 C, RWV increased 5-fold, emphasizing the importance of cool nighttime temperatures for gas exchange by this plant. Although most CO2 uptake occurred at night, a secondary light-dependent rise in CO2 influx generally occurred after dawn. The transpiration ratio (mass of water transpired/mass of CO2 fixed) had extremely low values of 18 for a winter day, and approximately 25 for an entire year. PMID:16659721

  14. Fire Impacts on the Mojave Desert Ecosystem: Literature Review

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fenstermaker Lynn

    2012-01-01

    The Nevada National Security Site (NNSS) is located within the Mojave Desert, which is the driest region in North America. Precipitation on the NNSS varies from an annual average of 130 millimeters (mm; 5.1 inches) with a minimum of 47 mm (1.9 inches) and maximum of 328 mm (12.9 inches) over the past 15 year period to an annual average of 205 mm (8.1 inches) with an annual minimum of 89 mm (3.5 inches) and maximum of 391 mm (15.4 inches) for the same time period; for a Frenchman Flat location at 970 meters (m; 3182 feet) and a Pahute Mesa location at 1986 m (6516 feet), respectively. The combination of aridity and temperature extremes has resulted in sparsely vegetated basins (desert shrub plant communities) to moderately vegetated mountains (mixed coniferous forest plant communities); both plant density and precipitation increase with increasing elevation. Whereas some plant communities have evolved under fire regimes and are dependent upon fire for seed germination, plant communities within the Mojave Desert are not dependent on a fire regime and therefore are highly impacted by fire (Brown and Minnich, 1986; Brooks, 1999). As noted by Johansen (2003) natural range fires are not prevalent in the Mojave and Sonoran Deserts because there is not enough vegetation present (too many shrub interspaces) to sustain a fire. Fire research and hence publications addressing fires in the Southwestern United States (U.S.) have therefore focused on forest, shrub-steppe and grassland fires caused by both natural and anthropogenic ignition sources. In the last few decades, however, invasion of mid-elevation shrublands by non-native Bromus madritensis ssp. rubens and Bromus tectorum (Hunter, 1991) have been highly correlated with increased fire frequency (Brooks and Berry, 2006; Brooks and Matchett, 2006). Coupled with the impact of climate change, which has already been shown to be playing a role in increased forest fires (Westerling et al., 2006), it is likely that the fire

  15. Disturbance and Plant Succession in the Mojave and Sonoran Deserts of the American Southwest

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Scott R. Abella

    2010-03-01

    Full Text Available Disturbances such as fire, land clearing, and road building remove vegetation and can have major influences on public health through effects on air quality, aesthetics, recreational opportunities, natural resource availability, and economics. Plant recovery and succession following disturbance are poorly understood in arid lands relative to more temperate regions. This study quantitatively reviewed vegetation reestablishment following a variety of disturbances in the Mojave and Sonoran Deserts of southwestern North America. A total of 47 studies met inclusion criteria for the review. The time estimated by 29 individual studies for full reestablishment of total perennial plant cover was 76 years. Although long, this time was shorter than an estimated 215 years (among 31 individual studies required for the recovery of species composition typical of undisturbed areas, assuming that recovery remains linear following the longest time since disturbance measurement made by the studies.

  16. Desert wildfire and severe drought diminish survivorship of the long-lived Joshua Tree (Yucca brevifolia; Agavaceae)

    Science.gov (United States)

    DeFalco, L.A.; Esque, T.C.; Scoles-Sciulla, S. J.; Rodgers, J.

    2010-01-01

    Extreme climate events are transforming plant communities in the desert Southwest of the United States. Abundant precipitation in 1998 associated with El Ni??o Southern Oscillation (ENSO) stimulated exceptional alien annual plant production in the Mojave Desert that fueled wildfires in 1999. Exacerbated by protracted drought, 80% of the burned Yucca brevifolia, a long-lived arborescent monocot, and 26% of unburned plants died at Joshua Tree National Park by 2004. Many burned plants old adults with fewer opportunities for plant recruitment, thus imperiling the persistence of this unique plant community.

  17. Plantation of desert and renewal of earth with small LMRs

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hattori, Sadao; Minato, Akio; Handa, Norihiko; Hashizume, Kenichi.

    1991-01-01

    Desertification is advancing at rapid rate on the earth. The technical development for preventing the desertification has been requested for advanced countries. Particularly in the southern hemisphere, the energy which can restore green in deserts and supply the electric power required for living is necessary. In this paper, the supply of electric power using the small fast reactors which are excellent in the safety and maintainability and the desalting plants required for tree planting in deserts, and further, the regeneration of the earth accompanying it, are discussed. By desertification, yearly 6 million ha of lands are devastated to unrecoverable extent, and those concentrate in the districts where yearly rainfall is little. In order to prevent desertification, it is necessary to stabilize surface soil by tree planting. Further, in order to prevent the deforestation for obtaining energy, the dual purpose plants for power generation and desalting are important. In this paper, the concept of obtaining water resources from sea, carrying out the desalting, supplying the water to the forefront of deserts and forming green belts there by using fast reactors is considered. The present status of desertification, the desalting of seawater by nuclear power, small fast reactors aiming at ultra-safety, the production of green, and the regeneration of the earth are described. (K.I.)

  18. Resource pulses in desert river habitats: productivity-biodiversity hotspots, or mirages?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Free, Carissa L; Baxter, Greg S; Dickman, Christopher R; Leung, Luke K P

    2013-01-01

    Resource pulses in the world's hot deserts are driven largely by rainfall and are highly variable in both time and space. However, run-on areas and drainage lines in arid regions receive more water more often than adjacent habitats, and frequently sustain relatively high levels of primary productivity. These landscape features therefore may support higher biotic diversity than other habitats, and potentially act as refuges for desert vertebrates and other biota during droughts. We used the ephemeral Field River in the Simpson Desert, central Australia, as a case study to quantify how resources and habitat characteristics vary spatially and temporally along the riparian corridor. Levels of moisture and nutrients were greater in the clay-dominated soils of the riverine corridor than in the surrounding sand dunes, as were cover values of trees, annual grasses, other annual plants and litter; these resources and habitat features were also greater near the main catchment area than in the distal reaches where the river channel runs out into extensive dune fields. These observations confirm that the riverine corridor is more productive than the surrounding desert, and support the idea that it may act as a refuge or as a channel for the ingress of peri-desert species. However, the work also demonstrates that species diversity of invertebrates and plants is not higher within the river corridor; rather, it is driven by rainfall and the accompanying increase in annual plants following a rain event. Further research is required to identify the biota that depend upon these resource pulses.

  19. Resource Pulses in Desert River Habitats: Productivity-Biodiversity Hotspots, or Mirages?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Free, Carissa L.; Baxter, Greg S.; Dickman, Christopher R.; Leung, Luke K. P.

    2013-01-01

    Resource pulses in the world's hot deserts are driven largely by rainfall and are highly variable in both time and space. However, run-on areas and drainage lines in arid regions receive more water more often than adjacent habitats, and frequently sustain relatively high levels of primary productivity. These landscape features therefore may support higher biotic diversity than other habitats, and potentially act as refuges for desert vertebrates and other biota during droughts. We used the ephemeral Field River in the Simpson Desert, central Australia, as a case study to quantify how resources and habitat characteristics vary spatially and temporally along the riparian corridor. Levels of moisture and nutrients were greater in the clay-dominated soils of the riverine corridor than in the surrounding sand dunes, as were cover values of trees, annual grasses, other annual plants and litter; these resources and habitat features were also greater near the main catchment area than in the distal reaches where the river channel runs out into extensive dune fields. These observations confirm that the riverine corridor is more productive than the surrounding desert, and support the idea that it may act as a refuge or as a channel for the ingress of peri-desert species. However, the work also demonstrates that species diversity of invertebrates and plants is not higher within the river corridor; rather, it is driven by rainfall and the accompanying increase in annual plants following a rain event. Further research is required to identify the biota that depend upon these resource pulses. PMID:24124446

  20. Carbon and Nitrogen Stable Isotope Values for Plants and Mammals in a Semi-Desert Region of Mongolia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hannah Davie

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Little information exists on the isotopic signatures of plants and animals in Mongolia, limiting the application of stable isotope analysis to wildlife biology studies. Here we present plant and mammal carbon (δ 13 C and nitrogen (δ 15 N isotope values from a desert-steppe region of southeastern Mongolia. We analyzed 11 samples from 11 plant species and 93 samples from 24 mammal species across Ikh Nart Nature Reserve, and compared these numbers to isotope values reported from other areas of Mongolia. Our plant and mammal 13 C and 15 N values were similar to those from a similar arid steppe region and more enriched than those from less arid habitats. Habitat variation within and between study sites has an important infl uence on δ 13 C and δ 15 N variation. Our results supplement current knowledge of isotopic variation in Mongolia and provide a reference for future stable isotope research in Mongolia and similar Asian steppe ecosystems.

  1. Nutritive value of the Range Plants in the Western Mediterranean Desert of Egypt

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    El-Din, A.S.; El-Kady, H.F.

    2001-01-01

    The present study assesses the nutritive value of the range plants in the Western Mediterranean Desert of Egypt to evaluate their usage as forage for domestic animals (mainly sheep and goats). Analysis of plant organs which represent the diet selected by the herbivores indicated that their mean protein content is about 1.1%. This is lower than the proper level, but it is ranked as acceptable protein content. The average digestible protein intake was about 46.4g 100kg live weight-1 day-1, which is inadequate for the protein needs of grazing animals. The amount of total digestible nutrient (TDN) was also lower than the normal requirements of the sheep. The shortfall in the forage nutrition may be attributed to the high stocking rate. If the stocking rate is about seven times lower than the present value, most of the requirements of energy and protein could be fulfilled in the range. The ratio of Ca: P was higher than the optimum, which may lead to lower utilization of both Ca and P by animals. (author)

  2. Variations in water balance and recharge potential at three western desert sites

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gee, G.W.; Fayer, M.J.; Rockhold, M.L.; Wierenga, P.J.; Young, M.H.; Andraski, B.J.

    1994-01-01

    Radioactive and hazardous waste landfills exist at numerous desert locations in the USA. At these locations, annual precipitation is low and soils are generally dry, yet little is known about recharge of water and transport of contaminants to the water table. Recent water balance measurements made at three desert locations, Las Cruces, NM, Beatty, NV, and the U.S. Department of Energy's Hanford Site in the state of Washington, provide information on recharge potential under three distinctly different climate and soil conditions. All three sites show water storage increases with time when soils are coarse textured and plants are removed from the surface, the rate of increase being influenced by climatic variables such as precipitation, radiation, temperature, and wind. Lysimeter data from Hanford and Las Cruces indicate that deep drainage (recharge) from bare, sandy soils can range from 10 to > 50% of the annual precipitation. At Hanford, when desert plants are present on sandy or gravelly surface soils, deep drainage is reduced but not eliminated. When surface soils are silt loams, deep drainage is eliminated whether plants are present or not. At Las Cruces and Beatty, the presence of plants eliminated deep drainage at the measurement sites. Differences in water balance between sites are attributed to precipitation quantity and distribution and to soil and vegetation types. The implication of waste management at desert locations is that surface soil properties and plant characteristics must be considered in waste site design in order to minimize recharge potential. 39 refs., 9 figs., 3 tabs

  3. Effects of high fire frequency in creosote bush scrub vegetation of the Mojave Desert

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brooks, M.L.

    2012-01-01

    Plant invasions can increase fire frequency in desert ecosystems where fires were historically infrequent. Although there are many resource management concerns associated with high frequency fire in deserts, fundamental effects on plant community characteristics remain largely unstudied. Here I describe the effects of fire frequency on creosote bush scrub vegetation in the Mojave Desert, USA. Biomass of the invasive annual grass Bromus rubens L. increased following fire, but did not increase further with additional fires. In contrast, density, cover and species richness of native perennial plants each decreased following fire and continued to decrease with subsequent fires, although not as dramatically as after the initial fire. Responses were similar 5 and 14 years post-fire, except that cover of Hymenoclea salsola Torr. & A. Gray and Achnatherum speciosa Trin. & Rupr. both increased in areas burnt once. These results suggest that control of B. rubens may be equally warranted after one, two or three fires, but revegetation of native perennial plants is most warranted following multiple fires. These results are valid within the scope of this study, which is defined as relatively short term vegetation responses (???14 years) to short fire return intervals (6.3 and 7.3 years for the two and three fire frequency levels) within creosote bush scrub of the Mojave Desert. ?? 2012 IAWF.

  4. Effects of artificial sand fixing on community characteristics of a rare desert shrub.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Huiliang; Tao, Ye; Qiu, Dong; Zhang, Daoyuan; Zhang, Yongkuan

    2013-10-01

    Eremosparton songoricum (Fabaceae) is a rare, native, clonal small shrub of the deserts of central Asia. Although human activities have greatly fragmented the distribution of E. songoricum, it occurs in areas where artificial sand fixing (AS) has been implemented. We sought to explore whether AS promotes survival and growth of E. songoricum. In the Gurbantunggut Desert of northwestern China in June 2010, we established 10 plots in an area where sand fixing occurred (5-10 years previously) and 11 plots on original sand substrate on which some plants had settled without fixing sand. Sand fixing changed soil properties and biological characteristics in sand-fixed plots. The soil surface where sand fixing occurred was covered by algal crusts and some lichen, but not bare sand (BS). Soil nutrients; water content of deep soil (30-150 cm); overall plant and herbaceous species richness, diversity, abundance, and cover; above- and belowground biomass; and cover, biomass, and height of E. songoricum in the sand-fixed plots were significantly greater than in plots of BS. However, distribution of E. songoricum individuals in the 2 types of plots did not differ. Our results indicate AS may enhance survival of E. songoricum and increase the overall diversity and stability of the desert plant community. We suggest AS as a way to protect this rare desert plant in situ. © 2013 Society for Conservation Biology.

  5. A mechanistic modeling and data assimilation framework for Mojave Desert ecohydrology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ng, Gene-Hua Crystal; Bedford, David R.; Miller, David M.

    2014-06-01

    This study demonstrates and addresses challenges in coupled ecohydrological modeling in deserts, which arise due to unique plant adaptations, marginal growing conditions, slow net primary production rates, and highly variable rainfall. We consider model uncertainty from both structural and parameter errors and present a mechanistic model for the shrub Larrea tridentata (creosote bush) under conditions found in the Mojave National Preserve in southeastern California (USA). Desert-specific plant and soil features are incorporated into the CLM-CN model by Oleson et al. (2010). We then develop a data assimilation framework using the ensemble Kalman filter (EnKF) to estimate model parameters based on soil moisture and leaf-area index observations. A new implementation procedure, the "multisite loop EnKF," tackles parameter estimation difficulties found to affect desert ecohydrological applications. Specifically, the procedure iterates through data from various observation sites to alleviate adverse filter impacts from non-Gaussianity in small desert vegetation state values. It also readjusts inconsistent parameters and states through a model spin-up step that accounts for longer dynamical time scales due to infrequent rainfall in deserts. Observation error variance inflation may also be needed to help prevent divergence of estimates from true values. Synthetic test results highlight the importance of adequate observations for reducing model uncertainty, which can be achieved through data quality or quantity.

  6. A mechanistic modeling and data assimilation framework for Mojave Desert ecohydrology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ng, Gene-Hua Crystal.; Bedford, David; Miller, David

    2014-01-01

    This study demonstrates and addresses challenges in coupled ecohydrological modeling in deserts, which arise due to unique plant adaptations, marginal growing conditions, slow net primary production rates, and highly variable rainfall. We consider model uncertainty from both structural and parameter errors and present a mechanistic model for the shrub Larrea tridentata (creosote bush) under conditions found in the Mojave National Preserve in southeastern California (USA). Desert-specific plant and soil features are incorporated into the CLM-CN model by Oleson et al. (2010). We then develop a data assimilation framework using the ensemble Kalman filter (EnKF) to estimate model parameters based on soil moisture and leaf-area index observations. A new implementation procedure, the “multisite loop EnKF,” tackles parameter estimation difficulties found to affect desert ecohydrological applications. Specifically, the procedure iterates through data from various observation sites to alleviate adverse filter impacts from non-Gaussianity in small desert vegetation state values. It also readjusts inconsistent parameters and states through a model spin-up step that accounts for longer dynamical time scales due to infrequent rainfall in deserts. Observation error variance inflation may also be needed to help prevent divergence of estimates from true values. Synthetic test results highlight the importance of adequate observations for reducing model uncertainty, which can be achieved through data quality or quantity.

  7. Substrates and irrigation levels for growing desert rose in pots

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ronan Carlos Colombo

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT In the past decades, desert rose has become a very popular ornamental plant, especially among collectors, due to its exotic and sculptural forms. However, it has been grown on a commercial scale only recently, and little is known about how to best manage it as a container-grown plant, or even which potting medium (substrate to recommend. Therefore, the aim of this study was to investigate the interactions between potting media and irrigation levels for growing desert rose as a potted ornamental plant. The experiment was conducted in a greenhouse using a 6 x 2 factorial arrangement with six replications, six potting media and two irrigation levels. The mixes were characterized by measuring their physical properties, specifically the density and water retention capacity (WRC, as well as chemical properties, such as the pH and electrical conductivity (EC. After 210 days, plant growth and plant water consumption were evaluated and measured. A lower dry density for the vermiculite mixes was observed in comparison to that for the sand mixes. However, WRC ranged from 428 to 528 mL L-1 among the mixes, values considered close to ideal. In general, plant growth exhibited higher increases in mixes consisting of coconut fiber + sand or vermiculite, regardless of the irrigation level. Mixes of vermiculite + coconut fiber and sand + coconut fiber can be used to grow desert rose in pots, as long as irrigation is used to maintain the moisture content of the potting medium (mix between 60-70% and 80-90% of the WRC.

  8. Winter precipitation and fire in the Sonoran Desert

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rogers, G.F.; Vint, M.K.

    1987-01-01

    Historical fire and climate records from the Arizona Upland portion of the Tonto National forest were used to test the hypothesis that fires burn larger areas in the Sonoran Desert after two wet winters than after one. We found that many more hectares burn in years following two winters that are wetter than normal, than during any other years. We agree with other ecologists, that desert fire occurrence is probably related to increased production of winter annual plants, and we suggest ways that the relationship may be clarified.

  9. [Water sources of Nitraria sibirica and response to precipitation in two desert habitats].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Hai; Zhao, Wen Zhi; He, Zhi Bin

    2017-07-18

    Nitraria sibirica usually exists in a form of nebkhas, and has strong ecological adaptability. The plant species has distinctive function for wind prevention and sand fixation, and resistance drought and salt. However, the water condition is still a limiting factor for the plant survival and development. In order to understand the water use strategy of the plant in different desert habitats, we selected the N. sibirica growing in sandy desert habitat and gravel desert habitat to study the seaso-nal variation of plant water sources and response to precipitation at the edge of the oasis of Linze in the Hexi Corridor. We measured the oxygen stable isotope of the plant stem water and the different potential water sources (precipitation, soil water and ground water), and used the IsoSource model to calculate the proportion of water sources from the potential water. The results showed that there were significant seasonal variation characteristics of δ 18 O value and water source of stem water for the plant in the two habitats. In the sandy habitat, the plant used more ground water in the less precipitation seasons including spring and fall, and more than 50% of the water sources absorbed from ground water. However, under the condition of gravel habitat, the plant could not achieve the ground water level depth of 11.5 m, and its water source was controlled by precipitation, which had large seasonal variability. The water sources of N. sibirica had significant responses to the change of precipitation in the two desert habitats. Following the rapid decrease of soil water content after the precipitation events, the plant in the sandy habitat turned to use the abundant ground water as the main sources of water, while the plant in the gravel habitat only used the less water from precipita-tion infiltration to the deep soil. Therefore, different water use strategies of the plant in the two habitats were the main reason for the difference in growth characteristics, and it had a

  10. Plant responses to precipitation in desert ecosystems: integrating functional types, pulses, thresholds, and delays.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ogle, Kiona; Reynolds, James F

    2004-10-01

    provide insight into how the timing, frequency, and magnitude of rainfall in deserts affect plants, plant communities, and ecosystems.

  11. Preliminary survey of bee (Hymenoptera: Anthophila) richness in the northwestern Chihuahuan Desert

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robert L. Minckley; John S. Ascher

    2013-01-01

    Museum records indicate that the peak number of bee species occurs around the Mediterranean Sea and in the warm desert areas of North America, whereas flowering plants are most diverse in the tropics. We examine this biogeographic pattern for the bee species known from a limited area of northeastern Chihuahuan Desert, Mexico/United States. This topographically complex...

  12. Molecular mechanisms of foliar water uptake in a desert tree.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yan, Xia; Zhou, Maoxian; Dong, Xicun; Zou, Songbing; Xiao, Honglang; Ma, Xiao-Fei

    2015-11-12

    Water deficits severely affect growth, particularly for the plants in arid and semiarid regions of the world. In addition to precipitation, other subsidiary water, such as dew, fog, clouds and small rain showers, may also be absorbed by leaves in a process known as foliar water uptake. With the severe scarcity of water in desert regions, this process is increasingly becoming a necessity. Studies have reported on physical and physiological processes of foliar water uptake. However, the molecular mechanisms remain less understood. As major channels for water regulation and transport, aquaporins (AQPs) are involved in this process. However, due to the regulatory complexity and functional diversity of AQPs, their molecular mechanism for foliar water uptake remains unclear. In this study, Tamarix ramosissima, a tree species widely distributed in desert regions, was investigated for gene expression patterns of AQPs and for sap flow velocity. Our results suggest that the foliar water uptake of T. ramosissima occurs in natural fields at night when the humidity is over a threshold of 85 %. The diurnal gene expression pattern of AQPs suggests that most AQP gene expressions display a circadian rhythm, and this could affect both photosynthesis and transpiration. At night, the PIP2-1 gene is also upregulated with increased relative air humidity. This gene expression pattern may allow desert plants to regulate foliar water uptake to adapt to extreme drought. This study suggests a molecular basis of foliar water uptake in desert plants. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Annals of Botany Company.

  13. Pollen spectrum, a cornerstone for tracing the evolution of the eastern Central Asian desert

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lu, Kai-Qing; Xie, Gan; Li, Min; Li, Jin-Feng; Trivedi, Anjali; Ferguson, David K.; Yao, Yi-Feng; Wang, Yu-Fei

    2018-04-01

    The temperate desert in arid Central Asia (ACA) has acted as a thoroughfare for the ancient Silk Road and today's Belt and Road, linking economic and cultural exchanges between East and West. The interaction between human sustainable development and the dynamic change in the desert ecosystem in this region is an area of concern for governments and scientific communities. Nevertheless, the lack of a pollen spectrum of the dominant taxa within the temperate desert vegetation and a corresponding relation between pollen assemblages and specific desert vegetation types is an obstacle to further understanding the formation and maintenance of this desert ecosystem. In this work, we link pollen assemblages to specific desert vegetation types with a new pollen spectrum with specific pollen grains, specific plant taxa and related habitats, providing a solid foundation for further tracing the evolution of the desert ecosystem in eastern arid Central Asia.

  14. Extrafloral nectar fuels ant life in deserts

    OpenAIRE

    Aranda-Rickert, Adriana; Diez, Patricia; Marazzi, Brigitte

    2014-01-01

    Interactions mediated by extrafloral nectary (EFN)-bearing plants that reward ants with a sweet liquid secretion are well documented in temperate and tropical habitats. However, their distribution and abundance in deserts are poorly known. In this study, we test the predictions that biotic interactions between EFN plants and ants are abundant and common also in arid communities and that EFNs are only functional when new vegetative and reproductive structures are developing. In a seasonal dese...

  15. Moderate irrigation intervals facilitate establishment of two desert shrubs in the Taklimakan Desert Highway Shelterbelt in China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Congjuan; Shi, Xiang; Mohamad, Osama Abdalla; Gao, Jie; Xu, Xinwen; Xie, Yijun

    2017-01-01

    Water influences various physiological and ecological processes of plants in different ecosystems, especially in desert ecosystems. The purpose of this study is to investigate the response of physiological and morphological acclimation of two shrubs Haloxylon ammodendron and Calligonum mongolicunl to variations in irrigation intervals. The irrigation frequency was set as 1-, 2-, 4-, 8- and 12-week intervals respectively from March to October during 2012-2014 to investigate the response of physiological and morphological acclimation of two desert shrubs Haloxylon ammodendron and Calligonum mongolicunl to variations in the irrigation system. The irrigation interval significantly affected the individual-scale carbon acquisition and biomass allocation pattern of both species. Under good water conditions (1- and 2-week intervals), carbon assimilation was significantly higher than other treatments; while, under water shortage conditions (8- and 12-week intervals), there was much defoliation; and under moderate irrigation intervals (4 weeks), the assimilative organs grew gently with almost no defoliation occurring. Both studied species maintained similar ecophysiologically adaptive strategies, while C. mongolicunl was more sensitive to drought stress because of its shallow root system and preferential belowground allocation of resources. A moderate irrigation interval of 4 weeks was a suitable pattern for both plants since it not only saved water but also met the water demands of the plants.

  16. The effect of lichen-dominated biological soil crusts on growth and physiological characteristics of three plant species in a temperate desert of northwest China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhuang, W W; Serpe, M; Zhang, Y M

    2015-11-01

    Biocrusts (biological soil crusts) cover open spaces between vascular plants in most arid and semi-arid areas. Information on effects of biocrusts on seedling growth is controversial, and there is little information on their effects on plant growth and physiology. We examined impacts of biocrusts on growth and physiological characteristics of three habitat-typical plants, Erodium oxyrhynchum, Alyssum linifolium and Hyalea pulchella, growing in the Gurbantunggut Desert, northwest China. The influence of biocrusts on plant biomass, leaf area, leaf relative water content, photosynthesis, maximum quantum efficiency of PSII (F(v)/F(m)), chlorophyll, osmotic solutes (soluble sugars, protein, proline) and antioxidant enzymes (superoxide dismutase, catalase, peroxidase) was investigated on sites with or without biocrust cover. Biomass, leaf area, leaf water content, photosynthesis, F(v)/F(m) and chlorophyll content in crusted soils were higher than in uncrusted soils during early growth and lower later in the growth period. Soluble sugars, proline and antioxidant enzyme activity were always higher in crusted than in uncrusted soils, while soluble protein content was always lower. These findings indicate that biocrusts have different effects on these three ephemeral species during growth in this desert, primarily via effects on soil moisture, and possibly on soil nutrients. The influence of biocrusts changes during plant development: in early plant growth, biocrusts had either positive or no effect on growth and physiological parameters. However, biocrusts tended to negatively influence plants during later growth. Our results provide insights to explain why previous studies have found different effects of biocrusts on vascular plant growth. © 2015 German Botanical Society and The Royal Botanical Society of the Netherlands.

  17. High-temperature sensitivity and its acclimation for photosynthetic electron reactions of desert succulents

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Chetti, M.B.; Nobel, P.S. (Univ. of California, Los Angeles (USA))

    1987-08-01

    Photosynthetic electron reactions of succulent plants from hot deserts are able to tolerate extremely high temperatures and to acclimate to seasonal increase in temperature. In this study, we report the influence of relatively long, in vivo, high-temperature treatments on electron transport reactions for two desert succulents, Agave deserti and Opuntia ficus-indica, species which can tolerate 60{degree}C. Whole chain electron transport averaged 3{degree}C more sensitive to a 1-hour high-temperature treatment than did PSII (Photosystem II) which in turn averaged 3{degree}C more sensitive than did PSI. For plants maintained at day/night air temperatures of 30{degree}C/20{degree}C, treatment at 50{degree}C cause these reactions to be inhibited an average of 39% during the first hour, an additional 31% during the next 4 hours, and 100% by 12 hours. Upon shifting the plants from 30{degree}C/20{degree}C to 45{degree}C/35{degree}C, the high temperatures where activity was inhibited 50% increased 3{degree}C to 8{degree}C for the three electron transport reactions, the half-times for acclimation averaging 5 days for A. deserti and 4 days for O. ficus-indica. For the 45{degree}C/35{degree}C plants treated at 60{degree}C for 1 hour, PSI activity was reduced by 54% for A. deserti and 36% for O. ficus-indica. Acclimation leads to a toleration of very high temperatures without substantial disruption of electron transport for these desert succulents, facilitating their survival in hot deserts. Indeed, the electron transport reactions of these species tolerate longer periods at higher temperatures than any other vascular plants so far reported.

  18. Palynology in a polar desert, eastern North Greenland

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Funder, Svend Visby; Abrahamsen, Niels

    1988-01-01

    history back to c. 7,000 years calBP (6,000 years convBP) in this·extreme environment, which presents the coldest thermal regime where vascular plants can grow. The diagram shows that polar desert developed from sparse high arctic tundra at c. 4,300 years calBP (3,900 years convBP), owing...... to reduced summer heat. Also adjacent parts of high arctic Greenland, Canada and Svalbard suffered environmental decline, and polar deserts- presently restricted to a narrow fringe of land at the shores of the Arctic Ocean-were even more restricted before this time. Like other arctic vegetation types, polar...... desert is highly sensitive to summer temperatures, and its southern limit coincides with the isotherm for mean July temperatures of 3.5'C, A comparison with the Northwest European ice-age pollen record shows no evidence of summers as cold as those now prevailing in the extreme north, and the results...

  19. Antiviral activity of some Tunisian medicinal plants against Herpes simplex virus type 1.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sassi, A Ben; Harzallah-Skhiri, F; Bourgougnon, N; Aouni, M

    2008-01-10

    Fifteen species of Tunisian traditional medicinal plants, belonging to 10 families, were selected for this study. They were Inula viscosa (L.) Ait and Reichardia tingitana (L.) Roth ssp. discolor (Pom.) Batt. (Asteraceae), Mesembryanthemum cristallinum L. and M. nodiflorum L. (Aizoaceae), Arthrocnemum indicum (Willd.) Moq., Atriplex inflata Muell., A. parvifolia Lowe var. ifiniensis (Caball) Maire, and Salicornia fruticosa L. (Chenopodiaceae), Cistus monspeliensis L. (Cistaceae), Juniperus phoenicea L. (Cupressaceae), Erica multiflora L. (Ericaceae), Frankenia pulverulenta L. (Frankeniaceae), Hypericum crispum L. (Hypericaceae), Plantago coronopus L. ssp. eu-coronopus Pilger var. vulgaris G.G. (Plantaginaceae) and Zygophyllum album L. (Zygophyllaceae). Fifty extracts prepared from those plants were screened in order to assay their antiviral activity against Herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1), using neutral red incorporation. Extracts from eight plants among these 15 showed some degree of antiviral activity, while the methanolic extract of E. multiflora was highly active with EC(50) of 132.6 microg mL(-1). These results corroborate that medicinal plants from Tunisia can be a rich source of potential antiviral compounds.

  20. Germination, survival and growth of three vascular plants on biological soil crusts from a Mexican tropical desert.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Godínez-Alvarez, H; Morín, C; Rivera-Aguilar, V

    2012-01-01

    Information about the effects of biological soil crusts (BSC) on germination, seedling survival and growth of vascular plants is controversial because they can have positive, neutral or negative effects. This controversy may be because most studies conducted until now have just analysed one or two recruitment stages independently. To understand the BSC effects on vascular plants, it is necessary to consider each stage of the recruitment process and synthesise all this information. The goal of this study was twofold. First, we analyse germination, seedling survival and growth of three vascular plants (Agave marmorata, Prosopis laevigata and Neobuxbaumia tetetzo) on BSC (cyanobacteria and mixed crust) from a tropical desert region of south-central México. Second, we synthesise the information to determine the total effect of BSC on plant species performance. We conducted experiments under controlled conditions to evaluate the proportion of germinated seeds, proportion of surviving seedlings and seedling dry weight in BSC and bare soil. Results showed that BSC have different effects on germination, seedling survival and growth of plant species. Plant species performance was qualitatively higher on BSC than bare soil. The highest performance of A. marmorata and P. laevigata was observed on cyanobacteria and mixed crusts, respectively. The highest performance of N. tetetzo was on both crust types. © 2011 German Botanical Society and The Royal Botanical Society of the Netherlands.

  1. Desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii dietary specialization decreases across a precipitation gradient.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ian W Murray

    Full Text Available We studied the plant resource use between and within populations of desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii across a precipitation gradient in the Sonoran Desert of Arizona. The carbon and nitrogen stable isotope values in animal tissues are a reflection of the carbon and nitrogen isotope values in diet, and consequently represent a powerful tool to study animal feeding ecology. We measured the δ(13C and δ(15N values in the growth rings on the shells of tortoises in different populations to characterize dietary specialization and track tortoise use of isotopically distinct C4/CAM versus C3 plant resources. Plants using C3 photosynthesis are generally more nutritious than C4 plants and these trait differences can have important growth and fitness consequences for consumers. We found that dietary specialization decreases in successively drier and less vegetated sites, and that broader population niche widths are accompanied by an increase in the dietary variability between individuals. Our results highlight how individual consumer plant resource use is bounded under a varying regime of precipitation and plant productivity, lending insight into how intra-individual dietary specialization varies over a spatial scale of environmental variability.

  2. Localization and Speciation of Arsenic in Soil and Desert Plant Parkinsonia florida using μXRF and μXANES

    Science.gov (United States)

    Castillo-Michel, Hiram; Hernandez-Viezcas, Jose; Dokken, Kenneth M.; Marcus, Matthew A.; Peralta-Videa, Jose R.; Gardea-Torresdey, Jorge L.

    2011-01-01

    Parkinsonia florida is a plant species native to the semi-desert regions of North America. The cultivation characteristics of this shrub/tree suggest that it could be used for phytoremediation purposes in semiarid regions. This work describes, through the use of synchrotron μXRF and μXANES techniques and ICP-OES, the arsenic (As) accumulation and distribution in P. florida plants grown in two soils spiked with As at 20 mg kg-1. Plants grown in a sandy soil accumulated at least twice more As in the roots compared to plants grown in a loamy soil. The lower As accumulation in plants grown in the loamy soil corresponded to a lower concentration of As in the water soluble fraction (WSF) of this soil. LC-ICP-MS speciation analysis showed only As(V) in the WSF from all treatments. In contrast, linear combination XANES speciation analysis from the root tissues showed As mainly present in the reduced As(III) form. Moreover, a fraction of the reduced As was found coordinating to S in a form consistent with As-Cys3. The percentage of As coordinated to sulfur was smaller for plants grown in the loamy soil when compared to the sandy soil. PMID:21842861

  3. Environmental Consequences of an Industry Based on Harvesting the Wild Desert Shrub Jojoba.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foster, Kennith E.

    1980-01-01

    Described are the economic and agricultural issues surrounding the cultivation of desert plants, principally the jojoba, as a source of fuel. The article examines the environmental impacts of an industry based on arid-region cultivation of such plants. (RE)

  4. Origins and ecological consequences of pollen specialization among desert bees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Minckley, R L; Cane, J H; Kervin, L

    2000-02-07

    An understanding of the evolutionary origins of insect foraging specialization is often hindered by a poor biogeographical and palaeoecological record. The historical biogeography (20,000 years before present to the present) of the desert-limited plant, creosote bush (Larrea tridentata), is remarkably complete. This history coupled with the distribution pattern of its bee fauna suggests pollen specialization for creosote bush pollen has evolved repeatedly among bees in the Lower Sonoran and Mojave deserts. In these highly xeric, floristically depauperate environments, species of specialist bees surpass generalist bees in diversity, biomass and abundance. The ability of specialist bees to facultatively remain in diapause through resource-poor years and to emerge synchronously with host plant bloom in resource-rich years probably explains their ecological dominance and persistence in these areas. Repeated origins of pollen specialization to one host plant where bloom occurs least predictably is a counter-example to prevailing theories that postulate such traits originate where the plant grows best and blooms most reliably Host-plant synchronization, a paucity of alternative floral hosts, or flowering attributes of creosote bush alone or in concert may account for the diversity of bee specialists that depend on this plant instead of nutritional factors or chemical coevolution between floral rewards and the pollinators they have evolved to attract.

  5. Population, desert expanding.

    Science.gov (United States)

    1992-01-01

    The conditions of desert expansion in the Sahara are highlighted. On the southern border the desert is growing at a rate of 3-6 miles/year. This growth is encroaching on arable land in Ethiopia and Mauritania. The region loses up to 28,000 sq miles/year of farmland. 33% of Africa's fertile land is threatened. Land-use patterns are responsible for the deterioration of the soil. Traditional practices are not effective because the practices are not suitable for permanent farming. Farmers also have stopped environmentally sound practices such as letting the fields remain fallow in order to renew soil fertility. Nomads overgraze areas before moving on. A recent study by the World Bank's Africa Region Office was released; the report details some of the links between rapid population growth, poor agricultural performance, and environmental degradation. Soil conditions are such that valuable topsoil is blow away by the wind because the layer is too thin. Vegetation at the desert's edge is used for cooking purposes or for heating fuel. Tropical and savannah areas are depleted when tree replacement is inadequate. Only 9 trees are planted for every 100 removed. The report emphasized the role of women and children in contributing to population pressure by increased fertility. Women's work load is heavy and children are a help in alleviating some of the burden of domestic and agricultural work. There is hope in meeting demographic, agricultural, food security, and environmental objectives over the next 30 years if the needs of women are met. The needs include access to education for young women, lessening the work loads of women, and decreasing child mortality through improved health care and access to safe water.

  6. Diel Behavioral Activity Patterns in Adult Solitarious Desert Locust, Schistocerca gregaria (Forskål

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sidi Ould Ely

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available The responses of adult solitarious desert locust to odors from a host plant were evaluated in a two-choice wind tunnel. Solitarious desert locusts collected from the field (Red Sea Coast were more attracted to volatiles from potted Heliotropium ovalifolium in scotophase than in photophase. The attraction towards the host plant odors rather than to clean air, in both photophase and scotophase, concurs with previous observations on oviposition preferences near these plants. Diel behavioral activity patterns of adult solitarious desert locusts Schistocerca gregaria (Forskål that were collected from the field in Port Sudan were investigated by monitoring, scanning, resting, taking off, and walking/running in a wind tunnel. Solitarious locusts that had been propagated in the laboratory for 20 generations were also observed for comparison. In both groups of locusts, insects were significantly more active after sunset and this activity attained peak level at 1-2 hours after dusk. Of the two groups, solitarious locusts collected from the field were significantly more active. In the scotophase, the former traversed distances that were about seven times those covered by laboratory-reared locusts. Overall, the results show that the repertoire of behavioral activities of solitarious locusts is maintained in laboratory-reared insects, albeit at a lower level. The implications of these observations in the behavioral ecology of the desert locust are discussed.

  7. Interactions between soil phototrophs and vascular plants in Himalayan cold deserts

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Řeháková, Klára; Čapková, Kateřina; Dvorský, M.; Kopecký, M.; Altman, J.; Šmilauer, P.; Doležal, J.

    2017-01-01

    Roč. 115, Dec (2017), s. 568-578 ISSN 0038-0717 Institutional support: RVO:60077344 Keywords : cold desert * Himalaya * interactions * soil phototrophs Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour OBOR OECD: Ecology Impact factor: 4.857, year: 2016

  8. Ecological implications and environment dependence of the seed germination of common species in cold deserts

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yuan, S.Y.; Tong, L.; Chi, L.Z.

    2016-01-01

    Vegetation is increasingly affected by climate change in cold deserts. Nonetheless, research is limited regarding the natural environmental demands of seed germination in such deserts. This study was conducted in Gurbantunggut Desert as a research base and 17 common species as subjects to investigate the moisture and temperature needs of seed germination in artificial settings, as well as the relationship between characteristics of seed germination and the local distribution of dune and shrubs. Results showed:(1) all tested species generally display low germination percentages that range between 2.9% and 79.6%. Winter snow melt dictates seed germination in cold deserts. Moreover, the subsequent spring rainfall can increase the survival rate of seedlings and significantly affect the process of seed germination. (2) seeds start to germinate only two days after snow melts at the average daily temperature (day/night) of 3.5 degree C (6.7 degree C/-0.5 degree C) and at a soil volumetric water content of 24.2%. Fifteen days after snow melt, all species germinate when the soil volumetric water content is 6.0% and the average daily temperature is 12.9 degree C (18.3 degree C/7.1 degree C). (3) The seed germination of the tested species can be divided into four patterns: rapid, transitional, slow, and low. Low-pattern plants mainly grow on upper dunes and are significantly associated with shrubs. Rapid- and slow-pattern plants distribute in middle and lower dunes. A few of these plants are significantly associated with shrubs. Transitional-pattern plants generally develop in the low land between hills and middle dunes. This study provides a reference for the actual environmental needs of seed germination in cold deserts and for the temperature and moisture requirements of this process in future experimental settings. (author)

  9. [Effects of different disturbance modes on the morphological characteristics and aboveground biomass of Alhagi sparsifolia in oasis-desert ecotone].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Hai-Feng; Zeng, Fan-Jiang; Gui, Dong-Wei; An, Gui-Xiang; Liu, Zhen; Zhang, Li-Gang; Liu, Bo

    2012-01-01

    Taking Cele oasis at the southern fringe of Taklimakan Desert as a case, this paper studied the effects of different disturbances (burning in spring, cutting in spring, and cutting in fall) on the morphological characteristics and aboveground biomass of natural vegetation Alhagi sparsifolia in the ecotone of oasis-desert. Burning in spring decreased the A. sparsifolia plant height, crown width, and biomass significantly, being harmful to the regeneration and growth of the vegetation. Cutting in spring decreased the A. sparsifolia plant height, crown width, and biomass but increased the leaf biomass, thorn length, and thorn diameter, whereas cutting in fall decreased the plant height and crown width but increased the ramification amount and biomass of A. sparsifolia. Moderate cutting in fall could benefit the protection of A. sparsifolia at the southern fringe of Taklimakan Desert.

  10. Community Characteristics and Leaf Stoichiometric Traits of Desert Ecosystems Regulated by Precipitation and Soil in an Arid Area of China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guan, Tianyu; Zhou, Jihua; Cai, Wentao; Gao, Nannan; Du, Hui; Jiang, Lianhe; Lai, Liming; Zheng, Yuanrun

    2018-01-01

    Precipitation is a key environmental factor determining plant community structure and function. Knowledge of how community characteristics and leaf stoichiometric traits respond to variation in precipitation is crucial for assessing the effects of global changes on terrestrial ecosystems. In this study, we measured community characteristics, leaf stoichiometric traits, and soil properties along a precipitation gradient (35–209 mm) in a desert ecosystem of Northwest China to explore the drivers of these factors. With increasing precipitation, species richness, aboveground biomass, community coverage, foliage projective cover (FPC), and leaf area index (LAI) all significantly increased, while community height decreased. The hyperarid desert plants were characterized by lower leaf carbon (C) and nitrogen/phosphorus (N/P) levels, and stable N and P, and these parameters did not change significantly with precipitation. The growth of desert plants was limited more by N than P. Soil properties, rather than precipitation, were the main drivers of desert plant leaf stoichiometric traits, whereas precipitation made the biggest contribution to vegetation structure and function. These results test the importance of precipitation in regulating plant community structure and composition together with soil properties, and provide further insights into the adaptive strategy of communities at regional scale in response to global climate change. PMID:29320458

  11. Community Characteristics and Leaf Stoichiometric Traits of Desert Ecosystems Regulated by Precipitation and Soil in an Arid Area of China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Xiaolong; Guan, Tianyu; Zhou, Jihua; Cai, Wentao; Gao, Nannan; Du, Hui; Jiang, Lianhe; Lai, Liming; Zheng, Yuanrun

    2018-01-10

    Precipitation is a key environmental factor determining plant community structure and function. Knowledge of how community characteristics and leaf stoichiometric traits respond to variation in precipitation is crucial for assessing the effects of global changes on terrestrial ecosystems. In this study, we measured community characteristics, leaf stoichiometric traits, and soil properties along a precipitation gradient (35-209 mm) in a desert ecosystem of Northwest China to explore the drivers of these factors. With increasing precipitation, species richness, aboveground biomass, community coverage, foliage projective cover (FPC), and leaf area index (LAI) all significantly increased, while community height decreased. The hyperarid desert plants were characterized by lower leaf carbon (C) and nitrogen/phosphorus (N/P) levels, and stable N and P, and these parameters did not change significantly with precipitation. The growth of desert plants was limited more by N than P. Soil properties, rather than precipitation, were the main drivers of desert plant leaf stoichiometric traits, whereas precipitation made the biggest contribution to vegetation structure and function. These results test the importance of precipitation in regulating plant community structure and composition together with soil properties, and provide further insights into the adaptive strategy of communities at regional scale in response to global climate change.

  12. Assessment of interspecific interactions in plant communities: an illustration from the cold desert saltbush grasslands of North America

    Science.gov (United States)

    Freeman, Carl D.; Emlen, John M.

    1995-01-01

    Interspecific interactions influence both the productivity and composition of plant communities. Here, we propose new field procedures and analytical approaches for assessing interspecific interactions in nature and apply these procedures to the salt desert shrub grasslands of western Utah. Data were collected from two grazing treatments over a period of 2 years. The proposed equations were fairly consistent across both treatments and years. In addition to illustrating how to assess interspecific interactions within a community, we also develop a new approach for projecting the community composition as a result of some alteration, i.e. increase or decrease in the abundance of one or more species. Results demonstrate competition both within and between plant life-form groups. While introduced annuals were found to depress profoundly the likelihood of perennial plants replacing themselves, perennials had little influence on annuals. Thus, as native perennials die, they are more likely to be replaced by perennials than for the reverse to occur. Our results suggest that unless conditions change, these communities will become increasingly dominated by introduced annuals.

  13. Landscape Sustainability in a Sonoran Desert City

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chris A. Martin

    2008-01-01

    Full Text Available The objective of this paper is to discuss concepts of landscape sustainability in the Phoenix metropolitan area. Phoenix is situated in the greater Salt River Valley of the lower Sonoran Desert in the southwest United States. In this paper I use the ecological frameworks of ecosystem services and resiliency as a metric for understanding landscape sustainability. An assessment of landscape sustainability performance benchmarks were made by surveying research findings of scientists affiliated with the Central Arizona Phoenix Long Term Ecological Research Project (CAP LTER. In Phoenix, present day emphases on cultural, aesthetic, and habitat formation ecosystem services within an arid ecoregion of low natural resilience coupled to a complex matrix of socioeconomic stratification, excessive landscape water use and pruning practices has had the undesired effect of degrading landscape sustainability. This has been measured as mixed patterns of plant diversity and human-altered patterns of carbon regulation, microclimate control, and trophic dynamics. In the future, sustainable residential landscaping in desert cities such as Phoenix may be fostered through use of water-conserving irrigation technologies, oasis-style landscape design motifs, recycling of landscape green waste, and conservative plant pruning strategies.

  14. Effects of desert wildfires on desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii) and other small vertebrates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Esque, T.C.; Schwalbe, C.R.; DeFalco, L.A.; Duncan, R.B.; Hughes, T.J.

    2003-01-01

    We report the results of standardized surveys to determine the effects of wildfires on desert tortoises (Gopherus agassizii) and their habitats in the northeastern Mojave Desert and northeastern Sonoran Desert. Portions of 6 burned areas (118 to 1,750 ha) were examined for signs of mortality of vertebrates. Direct effects of fire in desert habitats included animal mortality and loss of vegetation cover. A range of 0 to 7 tortoises was encountered during surveys, and live tortoises were found on all transects. In addition to desert tortoises, only small (reptiles (11 taxa) were found dead on the study areas. We hypothesize that indirect effects of fire on desert habitats might result in changes in the composition of diets and loss of vegetation cover, resulting in an increase in predation and loss of protection from temperature extremes. These changes in habitat also might cause changes in vertebrate communities in burned areas.

  15. Desert Perennial Shrubs Shape the Microbial-Community Miscellany in Laimosphere and Phyllosphere Space.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martirosyan, Varsik; Unc, Adrian; Miller, Gad; Doniger, Tirza; Wachtel, Chaim; Steinberger, Yosef

    2016-10-01

    Microbial function, composition, and distribution play a fundamental role in ecosystem ecology. The interaction between desert plants and their associated microbes is expected to greatly affect their response to changes in this harsh environment. Using comparative analyses, we studied the impact of three desert shrubs, Atriplex halimus (A), Artemisia herba-alba (AHA), and Hammada scoparia (HS), on soil- and leaf-associated microbial communities. DNA extracted from the leaf surface and soil samples collected beneath the shrubs were used to study associated microbial diversity using a sequencing survey of variable regions of bacterial 16S rRNA and fungal ribosomal internal transcribed spacer (ITS1). We found that the composition of bacterial and fungal orders is plant-type-specific, indicating that each plant type provides a suitable and unique microenvironment. The different adaptive ecophysiological properties of the three plant species and the differential effect on their associated microbial composition point to the role of adaptation in the shaping of microbial diversity. Overall, our findings suggest a link between plant ecophysiological adaptation as a "temporary host" and the biotic-community parameters in extreme xeric environments.

  16. Desert wetlands in the geologic record

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pigati, Jeff S.; Rech, Jason A.; Quade, Jay; Bright, Jordon; Edwards, L.; Springer, A.

    2014-01-01

    Desert wetlands support flora and fauna in a variety of hydrologic settings, including seeps, springs, marshes, wet meadows, ponds, and spring pools. Over time, eolian, alluvial, and fluvial sediments become trapped in these settings by a combination of wet ground conditions and dense plant cover. The result is a unique combination of clastic sediments, chemical precipitates, and organic matter that is preserved in the geologic record as ground-water discharge (GWD) deposits. GWD deposits contain information on the timing and magnitude of past changes in water-table levels and, therefore, are a potential source of paleohydrologic and paleoclimatic information. In addition, they can be important archeological and paleontological archives because desert wetlands provide reliable sources of fresh water, and thus act as focal points for human and faunal activities, in some of the world's harshest and driest lands. Here, we review some of the physical, sedimentological, and geochemical characteristics common to GWD deposits, and provide a contextual framework that researchers can use to identify and interpret geologic deposits associated with desert wetlands. We discuss several lines of evidence used to differentiate GWD deposits from lake deposits (they are commonly confused), and examine how various types of microbiota and depositional facies aid in reconstructing past environmental and hydrologic conditions. We also review how late Quaternary GWD deposits are dated, as well as methods used to investigate desert wetlands deeper in geologic time. We end by evaluating the strengths and limitations of hydrologic and climatic records derived from GWD deposits, and suggest several avenues of potential future research to further develop and utilize these unique and complex systems.

  17. Monitoring of some Wild Plant Species Grown on Natural Radioactive Soils, Wadi EI -Gemal Area, Southeastern Desert, Egypt

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Morsy, A.M.A.; Afifi, S.Y.

    2008-01-01

    Fore long time ago, human kind has relied on natural products of plants as a primary source for medicine. Herbs, flora, molt and even leeches were employed to bring up relief to the sick and infirmly. As a part of ongoing investigations for the effect of natural radionuclide radiations on biochemical constituents of plants, .two native species (Salvadora persica and Balanites aegyptiaca). grown on virgin radionuclide soils along with Wadi EI-Gemal area, Southeastern Desert, Egypt were collected. This study dealt with amounts of radionuclide taken by plants and their effects on their biochemical constituents, beneficiation uses on remedy of contaminated and even polluted soils and sick treatments as well as exploration of radioactive materials. These plant samples were subjected to certain analysis techniques for the amounts of uranium that were followed by determining carbohydrates, lipids and proteins. The results indicated that both plants uptake uranium but with different amounts. Uranium has a passive effect on the total soluble suger (T.S.S.) of Balanties aegyptiaca plant, while no clear trend appears on T.S.S. of Snlvndora persica root samples. No clear trend appeared for effect of uranium on both fatty acids and amino acids of the investigated plants. Meanwhile uranium has a passive effect on saponin in both plant species, alkaloid in S. persica root and flavonoids in B. aegyptiaca fruits, while showed a positive effect on alkaloids in B. aegyptiaca and no clear trend appeared for flavonoids in S. persica. As for diosgenin uranium has passive effect on its amount in B. aegyptiaca

  18. Effectiveness of post-fire seeding in desert tortoise Critical Habitat following the 2005 Southern Nevada Fire Complex

    Science.gov (United States)

    DeFalco, Lesley; Drake, Karla K.; Scoles-Sciulla, S. J.; Bauer, Kyla L.

    2010-01-01

    In June 2005, lightning strikes ignited multiple wildfires in southern Nevada. The Southern Nevada Fire Complex burned more than 32,000 acres of designated desert tortoise Critical Habitat and an additional 403,000 acres of Mojave Desert habitat characterized as potentially suitable for the tortoise. Mortalities of desert tortoises were observed after the fires, but altered habitat is likely to prolong and magnify the impacts of wildfire on desert tortoise populations. To accelerate the re-establishment of plants commonly used by tortoises for food and shelter, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) distributed seeds of native annual and perennial species in burned areas within desert tortoise Critical Habitat. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) established monitoring plots to evaluate broadcast seeding as a means to restore habitat and tortoise activity compared with natural recovery. Within the standard three-year Emergency and Stabilization Response (ESR) monitoring timeline, seeding augmented perennial seed banks by four to six-fold within a year of seed applications compared with unseeded areas. By the end of the three-year monitoring period, seedling densities of seeded perennial species were 33% higher in seeded areas than in unseeded areas, particularly for the disturbance-adapted desert globemallow (Sphaeralcea ambigua) and desert marigold (Baileya multiradiata). Seeded annuals, in contrast, did not increase significantly in seed banks or biomass production, likely due to low seeding rates of these species. Production of non-native annuals that helped carry the fires was not reduced by seeding efforts but instead was strongly correlated with site-specific rainfall, as were native annual species. The short-term vegetation changes measured in seeded areas were not yet associated with a return of tortoise activity to unburned levels. By focusing on a combination of native species that can withstand disturbance conditions, including species that are found in

  19. [Spatial variation of soil carbon and stable isotopes in the southern margin desert of Junggar Basin, China].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Na; Xu, Wen Qiang; Xu, Hua Jun; Feng, Yi Xing; Li, Chao Fan

    2017-07-18

    The southern margin desert of Junggar Basin in the central arid region of Asia was selec-ted as the study area. To gain insight into the distribution characteristic of stable carbon isotope and the relationship between the change of soil carbon and the distance to oasis of soil organic carbon (SOC) and soil inorganic carbon (SIC), three belt transects were set according to the distance between the desert and the oasis in edge, middle and hinterland of the desert respectively, and collected the soil profile samples with depth of 2 m. The results indicated that the SOC content reduced with the soil depth, and the variation with the distance to oasis was the edge> the middle> the hinterland. The δ 13 C value of SOC varied in the range of -21.92‰ to -17.41‰, and decreased with the depth; the range in the middle and hinterland was -25.20‰ to -19.30‰, and increased then declined with the depth. Therefore, we could infer that the C3 plants played a dominant role in the central of desert, and had experienced the succession from C3 plants to C4 plants. The average content of SIC was 38.98 g·kg -1 in the edge of desert, which was about 6.01 folds as large as the content in the hinterland. This indicated that a large number of SIC with 0-2 m depth were clustered in the edge of the desert. The δ 13 C value of SIC increased first then decreased with the soil depth, and enriched in the bottom layer, which was mainly affected by the original carbonate content and soil carbon dioxide.

  20. Trace elements assessment in agricultural and desert soils of Aswan area, south Egypt: Geochemical characteristics and environmental impacts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Darwish, Mohamed Abdallah Gad; Pöllmann, Hebert

    2015-12-01

    Determination of chemical elements, Al, Cd, Co, Cr, Cu, Fe, Li, Mn, Mo, Ni, P, Pb, Sc, Sr, Ti, Y, and Zn have been performed in agricultural and desert soils and alfalfa (Medicago sativa) at Aswan area. Consequently, the pollution indices, univariate and multivariate statistical methods have been applied, in order to assess the geochemical characteristics of these elements and their impact on soil environmental quality and plant, and to reach for their potential input sources. The investigation revealed that the mean and range values of all element concentrations in agricultural soil are higher than those in desert soil. Furthermore, the agricultural soil displayed various degrees of enrichment and pollution of Cd, Zn, Mo, Co, P, Ti, Pb. The geochemical pattern of integrated pollution indices gave a clear image of extreme and strong pollution in the agricultural soil stations, their poor quality with high risk to human health and considered as a tocsin for an alert. In contrast, the desert soil is the good environmental quality and safe for plant, animal and human health. Alfalfa is tolerant plant and considered as a biomarker for P and Mo in polluted agricultural soil. Four geochemical associations of analyzing elements in agricultural soil and three ones in desert soil have been generated, and their enhancements were essentially caused by various anthropogenic activities and geogenic sources. The investigation also revealed that the broad extended desert soil is fruitful and promising as cultivable lands for agricultural processes in the futures.

  1. Closed bioregenerative life support systems: Applicability to hot deserts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Polyakov, Yuriy S.; Musaev, Ibrahim; Polyakov, Sergey V.

    2010-09-01

    Water scarcity in hot deserts, which cover about one-fifth of the Earth's land area, along with rapid expansion of hot deserts into arable lands is one of the key global environmental problems. As hot deserts are extreme habitats characterized by the availability of solar energy with a nearly complete absence of organic life and water, space technology achievements in designing closed ecological systems may be applicable to the design of sustainable settlements in the deserts. This review discusses the key space technology findings for closed biogenerative life support systems (CBLSS), which can simultaneously produce food, water, nutrients, fertilizers, process wastes, and revitalize air, that can be applied to hot deserts. Among them are the closed cycle of water and the acceleration of the cycling times of carbon, biogenic compounds, and nutrients by adjusting the levels of light intensity, temperature, carbon dioxide, and air velocity over plant canopies. Enhanced growth of algae and duckweed at higher levels of carbon dioxide and light intensity can be important to provide complete water recycling and augment biomass production. The production of fertilizers and nutrients can be enhanced by applying the subsurface flow wetland technology and hyper-thermophilic aerobic bacteria for treating liquid and solid wastes. The mathematical models, optimization techniques, and non-invasive measuring techniques developed for CBLSS make it possible to monitor and optimize the performance of such closed ecological systems. The results of long-duration experiments performed in BIOS-3, Biosphere 2, Laboratory Biosphere, and other ground-based closed test facilities suggest that closed water cycle can be achieved in hot-desert bioregenerative systems using the pathways of evapotranspiration, condensation, and biological wastewater treatment technologies. We suggest that the state of the art in the CBLSS design along with the possibility of using direct sunlight for

  2. Lut Desert, Iran

    Science.gov (United States)

    1981-01-01

    Iran is a large country with several desert regions. In the Dasht-E-Lut (Lut Desert) (30.5N, 58.5E) an area known as Namak-Zar, about 100 miles east of the city of Kerman, is at the center of this photograph. Some of the world's most prominent Yardangs (very long, parallel ridges and depressions) have been wind eroded in these desert dry lake bed sediments. At the left of the photo is a large field of sand dunes at right angles to the wind.

  3. Livestock grazing and the desert tortoise in the Mojave Desert

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oldemeyer, John L.

    1994-01-01

    A large part of the Mojave Desert is not in pristine condition, and some current conditions can be related to past grazing-management practices. No information could be found on densities of the desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii) or on vegetative conditions of areas that had not been grazed to allow managers a comparison of range conditions with data on tortoises. Experimental information to assess the effect of livestock grazing on tortoises is lacking, and researchers have not yet examined whether the forage that remains after grazing is sufficient to meet the nutritional needs of desert tortoises.

  4. Grazing impact on desert plants and soil seed banks: Implications for seed-eating animals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pol, Rodrigo G.; Sagario, M. Cecilia; Marone, Luis

    2014-02-01

    We assess whether the knowledge of livestock diet helps to link grazing effects with changes in plant cover and soil seed bank size, aiming at inferring the consequences of grazing on seed-eating animals. Specifically, we test whether continuous and heavy grazing reduce the cover, number of reproductive structures and seed reserves of the same grass species whose seeds are selected and preferred by granivorous animals in the central Monte desert, Argentina. Grass cover and the number of grass spikes usually diminished under grazing conditions in the two localities studied (Telteca and Ñacuñán), and soil seed bank was consistently reduced in all three years evaluated owing to a decline of perennial grass and forb seeds. In particular, the abundance of those seeds selected and preferred by birds and ants (in all cases grass species) declined 70-92% in Ñacuñán, and 52-72% in Telteca. Reduction of perennial grass cover and spike number in grazed sites reinforced the causal link between livestock grazing and the decline of grass soil seed reserves throughout failed plant reproduction. Grass seed bank depletion suggests that grazing may trigger a "cascade" of mechanisms that affect the abundance and persistence of valuable fodder species as well as the availability of seed resources for granivorous animals.

  5. Soil texture drives responses of soil respiration to precipitation pulses in the sonoran desert: Implications for climate change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cable, J.M.; Ogle, K.; Williams, D.G.; Weltzin, J.F.; Huxman, T. E.

    2008-01-01

    Climate change predictions for the desert southwestern U.S. are for shifts in precipitation patterns. The impacts of climate change may be significant, because desert soil processes are strongly controlled by precipitation inputs ('pulses') via their effect on soil water availability. This study examined the response of soil respiration-an important biological process that affects soil carbon (C) storage-to variation in pulses representative of climate change scenarios for the Sonoran Desert. Because deserts are mosaics of different plant cover types and soil textures-which create patchiness in soil respiration-we examined how these landscape characteristics interact to affect the response of soil respiration to pulses. Pulses were applied to experimental plots of bare and vegetated soil on contrasting soil textures typical of Sonoran Desert grasslands. The data were analyzed within a Bayesian framework to: (1) determine pulse size and antecedent moisture (soil moisture prior to the pulse) effects on soil respiration, (2) quantify soil texture (coarse vs. fine) and cover type (bare vs. vegetated) effects on the response of soil respiration and its components (plant vs. microbial) to pulses, and (3) explore the relationship between long-term variation in pulse regimes and seasonal soil respiration. Regarding objective (1), larger pulses resulted in higher respiration rates, particularly from vegetated fine-textured soil, and dry antecedent conditions amplified respiration responses to pulses (wet antecedent conditions dampened the pulse response). Regarding (2), autotrophic (plant) activity was a significant source (???60%) of respiration and was more sensitive to pulses on coarse- versus fine-textured soils. The sensitivity of heterotrophic (microbial) respiration to pulses was highly dependent on antecedent soil water. Regarding (3), seasonal soil respiration was predicted to increase with both growing season precipitation and mean pulse size (but only for pulses

  6. [Analysis of spectral features based on water content of desert vegetation].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Zhao; Li, Xia; Yin, Ye-biao; Tang, Jin; Zhou, Sheng-bin

    2010-09-01

    By using HR-768 field-portable spectroradiometer made by the Spectra Vista Corporation (SVC) of America, the hyper-spectral data of nine types of desert plants were measured, and the water content of corresponding vegetation was determined by roasting in lab. The continuum of measured hyperspectral data was removed by using ENVI, and the relationship between the water content of vegetation and the reflectance spectrum was analyzed by using correlation coefficient method. The result shows that the correlation between the bands from 978 to 1030 nm and water content of vegetation is weak while it is better for the bands from 1133 to 1266 nm. The bands from 1374 to 1534 nm are the characteristic bands because of the correlation between them and water content is the best. By using cluster analysis and according to the water content, the vegetation could be marked off into three grades: high (>70%), medium (50%-70%) and low (<50%). The research reveals the relationship between water content of desert vegetation and hyperspectral data, and provides basis for the analysis of area in desert and the monitoring of desert vegetation by using remote sensing data.

  7. Temporal patterns in species flowering in Sky Islands of the Sonoran Desert ecoregion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Theresa M. Crimmins; Michael A. Crimmins; C. David. Bertelsen

    2013-01-01

    Highly variable moisture conditions in the Sonoran Desert play a significant role in shaping the composition and phenology of plants in this water-limited region. The flowering patterns of plants of the Finger Rock trail, located in the Santa Catalina Mountains of southern Arizona, have been very carefully documented on approximately a weekly basis for nearly three...

  8. In vitro efficacy of selected medicinal plants from Cholistan desert, Pakistan, against gastrointestinal helminths of sheep and goats

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Muhammad Asif Raza

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available Gastrointestinal helminths are a major constraint to small ruminants in extensive husbandry systems of tropical regions. Yet, unavailability, high prices, side effects, and development of parasite resistance often limit the use of synthetic anthelmintics. Traditional medicinal plants might be an effective low-cost alternative. Therefore the in vitro anthelmintic activity of leaf extracts of the ligneous plants Capparis decidua, Salsola foetida, Suaeda fruticosa, Haloxylon salicornicum, and Haloxylon recurvum from Cholistan, Pakistan, was investigated against adult worms of Haemonchus contortus, Trichuris ovis, and Paramphistomum cervi. Various concentrations (from 7.8 to 500 mg dry matter ml^(−1 of three extracts (aqueous, methanol, and aqueous-methanol of each plant were tested at different time intervals for their anthelmintic activity via adult motility assay. Plant species (p<=0.01, extract type (p<=0.001, parasite species (p<=0.001, extract concentration (p<=0.001, time of exposure (p<=0.001 and their interactions (p<=0.001 affected the number of immobile or dead helminths. The 50% lethal concentration (LC_(50 values indicated that the methanol and aqueous-methanol extracts of C. decidua, H. recurvum, and H. salicornicum as well as the methanol extract of S. fruticosa have the potential to be developed into plant-based remedies against the studied helminths. Further studies are needed to investigate the in vivo anthelmintic activity of these extracts, in order to develop effective, cheap and locally available anthelmintics for pastoralists in Cholistan and neighbouring desert regions.

  9. Plant communities can predict the distribution of solitarious desert locust Schistocerca gregaria

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Werf, van der W.; Woldewahid, G.; Huis, van A.; Butrous, M.; Sykora, K.V.

    2005-01-01

    1. The desert locust is a migratory pest whose population development in remote areas must be monitored to prevent outbreaks, upsurges and plagues. Monitoring would be very much facilitated if the area of search could be restricted to sites of likely population increase. 2. The spatial distribution

  10. Étude ethnobotanique des plantes médicinales utilisées dans le ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    SARAH

    29 févr. 2016 ... Tamarix aphylla. Tamaris. Takawet. 4. Thymelaeaceae. Daphne gnidium. Garou. Lzaze. 8. Verbenaceae. Lippia citriodora. Verveine. Louiza. 1. Zygophyllaceae. Zygophyllum gaetulum. Zygophylle. Äakaya. 2. Analyse floristique : Les espèces végétales inventoriées sont réparties en quarante-sept genres ...

  11. Tree establishment along an ENSO experimental gradient in the Atacama desert

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Squeo, F.A.; Holmgren, M.; Jimenez, L.; Alban, L.; Reyes, J.; Gutierrez, J.R.

    2007-01-01

    Questions: (1) What are the roles of regional climate and plant growth rate for seedling establishment during ENSO rainy pulses along the western coast of South America? (2) What is the water threshold for tree seedling establishment in these arid ecosystems? Location: Atacama Desert, western South

  12. Experimental study on water transport observations of desert riparian forests in the lower reaches of the Tarim River in China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Yaning; Li, Weihong; Zhou, Honghua; Chen, Yapeng; XinmingHao; Fu, Aihong; Ma, Jianxin

    2017-06-01

    Studying the water use processes of desert riparian vegetation in arid regions and analyzing the response and adaptation strategies of plants to drought stress are of great significance for developing ecological restoration measures. Based on field monitoring and test analyses of physiological ecological indicators of dominant species (Populus euphratica and Tamarix chinensis) in the desert riparian forest in the lower reaches of the Tarim River, the water relations of P. euphratica and T. chinensis under drought stress are discussed and some water use strategies put forward. The results show that (1) concerning plant water uptake, desert riparian forests depend mainly on groundwater to survive under long-term water stress. (2) Concerning plant water distribution, the survival of P. euphratica and nearby shallow root plants is mainly due to the hydraulic lift and water redistribution of P. euphratica under drought stress. (3) Concerning plant water transport, P. euphratica sustains the survival of competitive and advantageous branches by improving their ability to acquire water while restraining the growth of inferior branches. (4) Concerning plant transpiration, the sap flow curves of daily variations of P. euphratica and T. chinensis were wide-peak sin and narrower-peak respectively. T. chinensis has better environmental adaptability.

  13. Clean power from deserts. The DESERTEC concept for energy, water and climate security

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    2009-07-01

    The main challenge for the future is to reclaim energy from renewable and clean sources in environmentally compatible ways. Here the deserts of the earth can play a key role. They receive about 700 times more energy from the sun than humankind consumes by burning fossil fuels, day by day. Deserts are the places with the best solar radiation conditions and with the least possible impact of collector deployment onto the biosphere on earth. In deserts, clean power can be produced by solar thermal power plants (CSP) in a truly sustainable way and at any volume of conceivable demand. Power can be transmitted with low losses by high voltage direct current (HVDC) lines to more than 90% of the world's population. This gives the deserts a new role: Together with the many other forms of accessible renewable energy the newly utilized desert would enable us to replace fossil fuels and thus end the ongoing destruction of our natural living conditions. To put this into practice, countries with deserts, countries with high energy demand and countries with technology competence must cooperate. This is an opportunity for the Mediterranean riparian regions of Europe, the Middle East and North Africa (EUMENA) to form a community for energy, water and climate security. With the political will, EUMENA countries could now launch 'EUMENA-DESERTEC' Program, to bring humankind back into balance with its environment, by putting deserts and technology into service for energy, water and climate security. This would be an important step towards creating a truly sustainable civilization.

  14. Algae-production in the desert

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hildebrand, H.

    1988-11-01

    The company Koor Food Ltd. (Israel) developed in co-operation with the Weizmann-Institute (Israel) a production-plant for the industrial cultivation of algae in the desert area of Elat. For almost a year now, they succeed in harvesting large amounts of algae material with the help of the intensive sun and the Red Sea water. The alga Dunaliella with the natural US -carotine, as well as the alga Spirulina with the high content of protein find their market in the food-, cosmetic- and pharma-industry. This article will give a survey of a yet here unusual project.

  15. Evapotranspiration partitioning, stomatal conductance, and components of the water balance: A special case of a desert ecosystem in China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Wenzhi; Liu, Bing; Chang, Xuexiang; Yang, Qiyue; Yang, Yuting; Liu, Zhiling; Cleverly, James; Eamus, Derek

    2016-07-01

    Partitioning evapotranspiration (ET) into its components reveals details of the processes that underlie ecosystem hydrologic budgets and their feedback to the water cycle. We measured rates of actual evapotranspiration (ETa), canopy transpiration (Tc), soil evaporation (Eg), canopy-intercepted precipitation (EI), and patterns of stomatal conductance of the desert shrub Calligonum mongolicum in northern China to determine the water balance of this ecosystem. The ETa was 251 ± 8 mm during the growing period, while EI, Tc, and Eg accounted for 3.2%, 63.9%, and 31.3%, respectively, of total water use (256 ± 4 mm) during the growing period. In this unique ecosystem, groundwater was the main water source for plant transpiration and soil evaporation, Tc and exceeded 60% of the total annual water used by desert plants. ET was not sensitive to air temperature in this unique desert ecosystem. Partitioning ET into its components improves our understanding of the mechanisms that underlie adaptation of desert shrubs, especially the role of stomatal regulation of Tc as a determinant of ecosystem water balance.

  16. Response of aboveground carbon balance to long-term, experimental shifts in precipitation seasonality is contingent on plant community type in cold-desert rangelands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reinhardt, K.; McAbee, K.; Germino, M. J.; Bosworth, A.

    2016-12-01

    Semi-arid rangelands have been identified as potential carbon (C) sinks. However, the degree of net C storage or release in water-limited systems is a function of precipitation amount and timing, as well as plant community composition. In northern latitudes of western North America, climate models predict increases in wintertime precipitation and decreases in summertime precipitation. In theory, this should boost C storage in cold-desert ecosystems that have deep-rooted woody plants due to greater wintertime soil water storage that enhances summertime productivity. However, there are few long-term, manipulative field-based studies investigating how shrub- and grass-dominated rangelands will respond to changing precipitation patterns. We measured aboveground C pools and fluxes at leaf, soil, and ecosystem scales over the 2014 growing season on plots that had supplemental precipitation added in either winter or summer for 21 years, in shrub- and exotic-bunchgrass-dominated plots. We hypothesized that increased winter precipitation would stimulate aboveground C uptake and storage relative to ambient conditions, in our cold-desert-adapted plant species. We further hypothesized that long-term gains in aboveground C storage due to precipitation manipulations would be greater in plots containing shrubs. Our hypotheses were generally supported: ecosystem C uptake and long-term biomass accumulation were greater in winter- and summer-irrigated plots compared to control plots in both vegetation communities. However, substantial increases in aboveground biomass occurred only in winter-irrigated plots that contained shrubs. Our findings suggest that increases in winter precipitation will enhance C storage of this widespread ecosystem, provided that the ecosystems have resisted conversion to exotic grassland.

  17. Russian deserters of World War I

    OpenAIRE

    Os'kin Maksim

    2014-01-01

    Desertion is one of the most active forms of ordinary resistance of the people to the state pressure during the low-popular war which is conducting for the purposes unclear for the people. At the same time, mass desertion is a manifestation of «total» war in the world conflicts of the XX century. During World War I in all armies of the world there was the desertion often accepting mass character. In the Russian army, as well as in other, deserters appeared from the war beginning. Desertion sca...

  18. Seedling establishment in a masting desert shrub parallels the pattern for forest trees

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meyer, Susan E.; Pendleton, Burton K.

    2015-05-01

    The masting phenomenon along with its accompanying suite of seedling adaptive traits has been well studied in forest trees but has rarely been examined in desert shrubs. Blackbrush (Coleogyne ramosissima) is a regionally dominant North American desert shrub whose seeds are produced in mast events and scatter-hoarded by rodents. We followed the fate of seedlings in intact stands vs. small-scale disturbances at four contrasting sites for nine growing seasons following emergence after a mast year. The primary cause of first-year mortality was post-emergence cache excavation and seedling predation, with contrasting impacts at sites with different heteromyid rodent seed predators. Long-term establishment patterns were strongly affected by rodent activity in the weeks following emergence. Survivorship curves generally showed decreased mortality risk with age but differed among sites even after the first year. There were no detectable effects of inter-annual precipitation variability or site climatic differences on survival. Intraspecific competition from conspecific adults had strong impacts on survival and growth, both of which were higher on small-scale disturbances, but similar in openings and under shrub crowns in intact stands. This suggests that adult plants preempted soil resources in the interspaces. Aside from effects on seedling predation, there was little evidence for facilitation or interference beneath adult plant crowns. Plants in intact stands were still small and clearly juvenile after nine years, showing that blackbrush forms cohorts of suppressed plants similar to the seedling banks of closed forests. Seedling banks function in the absence of a persistent seed bank in replacement after adult plant death (gap formation), which is temporally uncoupled from masting and associated recruitment events. This study demonstrates that the seedling establishment syndrome associated with masting has evolved in desert shrublands as well as in forests.

  19. Antibacterial and antioxidant activities of the essential oils and ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The present study deals with the evaluation of the in vitro antioxidant and antibacterial activity of phenolic extracts and essential oils of two medicinal and aromatic plants Zygophyllum album and Myrtus communis by using the 2,2- diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl radical, total antioxidant power and agar diffusion methods and ...

  20. Remote sensing of Sonoran Desert vegetation structure and phenology with ground-based LiDAR

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sankey, Joel B.; Munson, Seth M.; Webb, Robert H.; Wallace, Cynthia S.A.; Duran, Cesar M.

    2015-01-01

    Long-term vegetation monitoring efforts have become increasingly important for understanding ecosystem response to global change. Many traditional methods for monitoring can be infrequent and limited in scope. Ground-based LiDAR is one remote sensing method that offers a clear advancement to monitor vegetation dynamics at high spatial and temporal resolution. We determined the effectiveness of LiDAR to detect intra-annual variability in vegetation structure at a long-term Sonoran Desert monitoring plot dominated by cacti, deciduous and evergreen shrubs. Monthly repeat LiDAR scans of perennial plant canopies over the course of one year had high precision. LiDAR measurements of canopy height and area were accurate with respect to total station survey measurements of individual plants. We found an increase in the number of LiDAR vegetation returns following the wet North American Monsoon season. This intra-annual variability in vegetation structure detected by LiDAR was attributable to a drought deciduous shrub Ambrosia deltoidea, whereas the evergreen shrub Larrea tridentata and cactus Opuntia engelmannii had low variability. Benefits of using LiDAR over traditional methods to census desert plants are more rapid, consistent, and cost-effective data acquisition in a high-resolution, 3-dimensional context. We conclude that repeat LiDAR measurements can be an effective method for documenting ecosystem response to desert climatology and drought over short time intervals and at detailed-local spatial scale.

  1. Screening the phytoremediation potential of desert broom (Baccharis sarothroides Gray) growing on mine tailings in Arizona, USA

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Haque, Nazmul [Environmental Science and Engineering PhD Program, University of Texas at El Paso, El Paso, TX 79968 (United States); Peralta-Videa, Jose R. [Department of Chemistry, University of Texas at El Paso, El Paso, TX 79968 (United States); Jones, Gary L. [Phelps Dodge Miami Inc, P.O. Box 4444, Claypool, AZ 85532 (United States); Gill, Thomas E. [Department of Geological Science, University of Texas at El Paso, El Paso, TX 79968 (United States); Gardea-Torresdey, Jorge L. [Environmental Science and Engineering PhD Program, University of Texas at El Paso, El Paso, TX 79968 (United States); Department of Chemistry, University of Texas at El Paso, El Paso, TX 79968 (United States)], E-mail: jgardea@utep.edu

    2008-05-15

    The metal concentrations in a copper mine tailings and desert broom (Baccharis sarothroides Gray) plants were investigated. The metal concentrations in plants, soil cover, and tailings were determined using ICP-OES. The concentration of copper, lead, molybdenum, chromium, zinc, arsenic, nickel, and cobalt in tailings was 526.4, 207.4, 89.1, 84.5, 51.7, 49.6, 39.7, and 35.6 mg kg{sup -1}, respectively. The concentration of all elements in soil cover was 10-15% higher than that of the tailings, except for molybdenum. The concentration of copper, lead, molybdenum, chromium, zinc, arsenic, nickel, and cobalt in roots was 818.3, 151.9, 73.9, 57.1, 40.1, 44.6, 96.8, and 26.7 mg kg{sup -1} and 1214.1, 107.3, 105.8, 105.5, 55.2, 36.9, 30.9, and 10.9 mg kg{sup -1} for shoots, respectively. Considering the translocation factor, enrichment coefficient, and the accumulation factor, desert broom could be a potential hyperaccumulator of Cu, Pb, Cr, Zn, As, and Ni. - Desert broom, a potential hyperaccumulating plant to clean up Cu, Pb, Cr, Zn, As, Ni and Co from the mine tailings in AZ, USA.

  2. Screening the phytoremediation potential of desert broom (Baccharis sarothroides Gray) growing on mine tailings in Arizona, USA

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Haque, Nazmul; Peralta-Videa, Jose R.; Jones, Gary L.; Gill, Thomas E.; Gardea-Torresdey, Jorge L.

    2008-01-01

    The metal concentrations in a copper mine tailings and desert broom (Baccharis sarothroides Gray) plants were investigated. The metal concentrations in plants, soil cover, and tailings were determined using ICP-OES. The concentration of copper, lead, molybdenum, chromium, zinc, arsenic, nickel, and cobalt in tailings was 526.4, 207.4, 89.1, 84.5, 51.7, 49.6, 39.7, and 35.6 mg kg -1 , respectively. The concentration of all elements in soil cover was 10-15% higher than that of the tailings, except for molybdenum. The concentration of copper, lead, molybdenum, chromium, zinc, arsenic, nickel, and cobalt in roots was 818.3, 151.9, 73.9, 57.1, 40.1, 44.6, 96.8, and 26.7 mg kg -1 and 1214.1, 107.3, 105.8, 105.5, 55.2, 36.9, 30.9, and 10.9 mg kg -1 for shoots, respectively. Considering the translocation factor, enrichment coefficient, and the accumulation factor, desert broom could be a potential hyperaccumulator of Cu, Pb, Cr, Zn, As, and Ni. - Desert broom, a potential hyperaccumulating plant to clean up Cu, Pb, Cr, Zn, As, Ni and Co from the mine tailings in AZ, USA

  3. Metabolomic response of Calotropis procera growing in the desert to changes in water availability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramadan, Ahmed; Sabir, Jamal S M; Alakilli, Saleha Y M; Shokry, Ahmed M; Gadalla, Nour O; Edris, Sherif; Al-Kordy, Magdy A; Al-Zahrani, Hassan S; El-Domyati, Fotouh M; Bahieldin, Ahmed; Baker, Neil R; Willmitzer, Lothar; Irgang, Susann

    2014-01-01

    Water availability is a major limitation for agricultural productivity. Plants growing in severe arid climates such as deserts provide tools for studying plant growth and performance under extreme drought conditions. The perennial species Calotropis procera used in this study is a shrub growing in many arid areas which has an exceptional ability to adapt and be productive in severe arid conditions. We describe the results of studying the metabolomic response of wild C procera plants growing in the desert to a one time water supply. Leaves of C. procera plants were taken at three time points before and 1 hour, 6 hours and 12 hours after watering and subjected to a metabolomics and lipidomics analysis. Analysis of the data reveals that within one hour after watering C. procera has already responded on the metabolic level to the sudden water availability as evidenced by major changes such as increased levels of most amino acids, a decrease in sucrose, raffinose and maltitol, a decrease in storage lipids (triacylglycerols) and an increase in membrane lipids including photosynthetic membranes. These changes still prevail at the 6 hour time point after watering however 12 hours after watering the metabolomics data are essentially indistinguishable from the prewatering state thus demonstrating not only a rapid response to water availability but also a rapid response to loss of water. Taken together these data suggest that the ability of C. procera to survive under the very harsh drought conditions prevailing in the desert might be associated with its rapid adjustments to water availability and losses.

  4. Minerals in deserts

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Smith, G.I.

    1982-01-01

    Almost any kind of mineral deposit can occur in desert areas, and the lack of vegetation and soil cover makes finding them easier. Some kinds of deposits, though, are more likely to occur in deserts than elsewhere. Some of these result from processes genetically related to the present desert climate that improved lower grade deposits of ore. One such process, termed secondary enrichment, is most effective in areas with deep water tables, and many low-grade copper, silver, and uranium deposits have been converted into mineable ore by the downward migration and redeposition of soluble metals. In a desert terrane, placer processes are effective whenever running water flowing over steep slopes erodes outcropping ore bodies and transports and concentrates the heavier ore minerals at lower levels, thus converting low-grade or hard-to-mine bedrock deposits into economically workable concentrations. Other kinds of deposits are better preserved in deserts because the lower rainfall at the surface, and the lower volume of flow and the greater depths to groundwater, result in less destruction of soluble ores; deposits of salines and phosphates are the most notable ores affected by these factors. Still other ore deposits are created as a consequence of the arid climate, mostly because the high evaporation rates operating on standing bodies of water produce brines that can lead directly to concentrations of salts and indirectly to secondary minerals, such as zeolites, that are produced by reaction of silicate minerals with saline waters

  5. Bio-preparates support the productivity of potato plants grown under desert farming conditions of north Sinai: Five years of field trials

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mohammed T. Abbas

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Organic agriculture as well as good agricultural practices (GAPs intrigues the concern of both consumers and producers of agricultural commodities. Bio-preparates of various rhizospheric microorganisms (RMOs are potential sources of biological inputs supporting plant nutrition and health. The response of open-field potatoes to the application of RMO bio-preparates, the biofertilizer “Biofertile” and the bioagent “Biocontrol”, were experimented over 5 successive years under N-hunger of north Sinai desert soils. Both vegetative and tuber yields of a number of tested cultivars were significantly improved due to rhizobacterial treatments. In the majority of cases, the biofertilizer “Biofertile” did successfully supply ca. 50% of plant N requirements, as the yield of full N-fertilized plants was comparable to those received 50% N simultaneously with bio-preparates treatment. The magnitude of inoculation was cultivar-dependent; cvs. Valor and Oceania were among the most responsive ones. Bio-preparate introduction to the plant–soil system was successful via soaking of tubers and/or spraying the plant canopy. The “Biocontrol” formulation was supportive in controlling plant pathogens and significantly increased the fruit yields. The cumulative effect of both bio-preparates resulted in tuber yield increases of ca. 25% over control.

  6. Russian deserters of World War I

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Os'kin Maksim

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available Desertion is one of the most active forms of ordinary resistance of the people to the state pressure during the low-popular war which is conducting for the purposes unclear for the people. At the same time, mass desertion is a manifestation of «total» war in the world conflicts of the XX century. During World War I in all armies of the world there was the desertion often accepting mass character. In the Russian army, as well as in other, deserters appeared from the war beginning. Desertion scales in the Russian army explained as objective factors - diffi cult fights, shortage of supply, defeat at the front, and subjective - unwillingness to participate in war, melancholy for the house, desire to help a family the work. Desertion in different years of war had various forms. If at the beginning of war there were mainly «self-arrows», in 1915, during defeats at the front - evasion from entrenchments. By the end of 1916, because of the general fatigue from war, desertion takes the real form - flight from the front to the back. After February revolution desertion becomes mass in which hundreds thousands military personnel take part already. Disorder of army and development of revolutionary process extremely strengthen desertion scales that is explained by the actual lack of punishment for this crime. Destruction of the Russian state during revolution became the main reason of coming to power of Bolsheviks, an exit of Russia from war and the army demobilization which essential part in 1917 already deserted from the front.

  7. Carbon isotopic composition of legumes with photosynthetic stems from Mediterranean and desert habitats

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nilsen, E.T.; Sharifi, M.R.

    1997-01-01

    The carbon isotopic compositions of leaves and stems of woody legumes growing in coastal mediterranean and inland desert sites in California were compared. The overall goal was to determine what factors were most associated with the carbon isotope composition of photosynthetic stems in these habitats. The carbon isotope signature (delta 13C) of photosynthetic stems was less negative than that of leaves on the same plants by an average of 1.51 +/- 0.42 per thousand. The delta 13C of bark (cortical chlorenchyma and epidermis) was more negative than that of wood (vascular tissue and pith) from the same plant for all species studied on all dates. Desert woody legumes had a higher delta 13C (less negative) and a lower intercellular CO2 concentration (Ci) (for both photosynthetic tissues) than that of woody legumes from mediterranean climate sites. Differences in the delta 13C of stems among sites could be entirely accounted for by differences among site air temperatures. Thus, the delta 13C composition of stems did not indicate a difference in whole-plant integrated water use efficiency (WUE) among sites. In contrast, stems on all plants had a lower stem Ci and a higher delta 13C than leaves on the same plant, indicating that photosynthetic stems improve long-term, whole-plant water use efficiency in a diversity of species

  8. Deficit irrigation of a landscape halophyte for reuse of saline waste water in a desert city

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glenn, E.P.; Mckeon, C.; Gerhart, V.; Nagler, P.L.; Jordan, F.; Artiola, J.

    2009-01-01

    Saline waste waters from industrial and water treatment processes are an under-utilized resource in desert urban environments. Management practices to safely use these water sources are still in development. We used a deeprooted native halophyte, Atriplex lentiformis (quailbush), to absorb mildly saline effluent (1800 mg l-1 total dissolved solids, mainly sodium sulfate) from a water treatment plant in the desert community of Twentynine Palms, California. We developed a deficit irrigation strategy to avoid discharging water past the root zone to the aquifer. The plants were irrigated at about one-third the rate of reference evapotranspiration (ETo) calculated from meteorological data over five years and soil moisture levels were monitored to a soil depth of 4.7 m at monthly intervals with a neutron hydroprobe. The deficit irrigation schedule maintained the soil below field capacity throughout the study. Water was presented on a more or less constant schedule, so that the application rates were less than ETo in summer and equal to or slightly greater than ETo in winter, but the plants were able to consume water stored in the profile in winter to support summer ET. Sodium salts gradually increased in the soil profile over the study but sulfate levels remained low, due to formation of gypsum in the calcic soil. The high salt tolerance, deep roots, and drought tolerance of desert halophytes such as A. lentiformis lend these plants to use as deficit-irrigated landscape plants for disposal of effluents in urban setting when protection of the aquifer is important. ?? 2008 Elsevier B.V.

  9. Nelson's big horn sheep (Ovis canadensis nelsoni) trample Agassiz's desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii) burrow at a California wind energy facility

    Science.gov (United States)

    Agha, Mickey; Delaney, David F.; Lovich, Jeffrey E.; Briggs, Jessica; Austin, Meaghan; Price, Steven J.

    2015-01-01

    Research on interactions between Agassiz's desert tortoises (Gopherus agassizii) and ungulates has focused exclusively on the effects of livestock grazing on tortoises and their habitat (Oldemeyer, 1994). For example, during a 1980 study in San Bernardino County, California, 164 desert tortoise burrows were assessed for vulnerability to trampling by domestic sheep (Ovis aries). Herds of grazing sheep damaged 10% and destroyed 4% of the burrows (Nicholson and Humphreys 1981). In addition, a juvenile desert tortoise was trapped and an adult male was blocked from entering a burrow due to trampling by domestic sheep. Another study found that domestic cattle (Bos taurus) trampled active desert tortoise burrows and vegetation surrounding burrows (Avery and Neibergs 1997). Trampling also has negative impacts on diversity of vegetation and intershrub soil crusts in the desert southwest (Webb and Stielstra 1979). Trampling of important food plants and overgrazing has the potential to create competition between desert tortoises and domestic livestock (Berry 1978; Coombs 1979; Webb and Stielstra 1979).

  10. Are biological effects of desert shrubs more important than physical effects on soil microorganisms?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berg, Naama; Steinberger, Yosef

    2010-01-01

    Vegetation cover plays a major role in providing organic matter and in acting as a physical barrier, with both together contributing to the formation of "fertile islands," which play an active role in prolonging biological activity in desert ecosystems. By undertaking this study, a longterm research, we designed an experiment to separate the two components-the physical and biotic parts of the perennial plants-and to identify the factor that contributes the most to the ecosystem. The study site was located in the northern Negev Desert, Israel, where 50 Hammada scoparia shrubs and 50 artificial plants were randomly marked. Soil samples were collected monthly over 3 years of research at three locations: under the canopy of H. scoparia shrubs, in the vicinity of the artificial plants, and between the shrubs (control). The contribution to microbial activity was measured by evaluation of the microbial community functions in soil. The functional aspects of the microbial community that were measured were CO2 evolution, microbial biomass, microbial functional diversity, and the physiological profile of the community. The results of this study are presented in two ways: (1) according to the three locations/treatments; and (2) according to the phenological situation of the vegetation (annual and perennial plants) in the research field: the growing phase, the drying process, and the absence of annual plants. The only parameters that were found to affect microbial activity were the contribution of the organic matter of perennial shrubs and the growth of vegetation (annual and perennial) during the growing seasons. The physical component was found to have no effect on soil microbial functional diversity, which elucidates the important contribution of the desert shrub in enhancing biological multiplicity and activity.

  11. SEASONALITY OF ANNUAL PLANT ESTABLISHMENT INFLUENCES THE INTERACTIONBETWEEN THE NON-NATIVE ANNUAL GRASS BROMUS MADRITENSIS SSP. RUBENS AND MOJAVE DESERT PERENNIALS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    L A. DEFALCO; G. C. FERNANDEZ; R. S. NOWAK

    2004-01-01

    Competition between native and non-native species can change the composition and structure of plant communities, but in deserts the timing of non-native plant establishment can modulate their impacts to native species. In a field experiment, we varied densities of the non-native annual grass Bromus madritensis ssp. rubens around individuals of three native perennials--Larrea iridentata, Achnatherum hymenoides, and Pleuraphis rigida--in either winter or spring. Additional plots were prepared for the Same perennial species and seasons, but with a mixture of native annual species. Relative growth rates of perennial shoots (RGRs) declined with increasing Bromus biomass when Bromus that was established in winter had 2-3 mo of growth and high water use before perennial growth began. However, this high water use did not significantly reduce water potentials for the perennials, suggesting Bromus that established earlier depleted other soil resources, such as N, otherwise used by perennial plants. Spring-established Bromus had low biomass even at higher densities and did not effectively reduce RGRs, resulting in an overall lower impact to perennials than when Bromus was established in winter. Similarly, growth and reproduction of perennials with mixed annuals as neighbors did not differ from those with Bromus neighbors of equivalent biomass, but densities of these annuals did not support the high biomass necessary to reduce perennial growth. Thus, impacts of native Mojave Desert annuals to perennials are expected to be lower than those of Bromus because seed dormancy and narrow requirements for seedling survivorship produce densities and biomass lower than those achieved by Bromus. In comparing the effects of Bromus among perennial species, the impact of increased Bromus biomass on RGR was lower for Larrea than for the two perennial grasses, probably because Lurrea maintains low growth rates throughout the year, even after Bromus has completed its life cycle. This contrasts

  12. Gopherus agassizii: Desert tortoise

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berry, Kristen H.; Swingland, Ian Richard; Klemens, Michael W.

    1989-01-01

    The desert tortoise is one of four allopatric North American tortoises. It occurs in the Mojave and Sonoran deserts of the southwestern United States and Mexico.Auffenberg (1976) divided the genus Gopherus (consisting of four species, G. agassizi, G. berlandieri, G.flavomarginatus, and G. polyphemus) in two osteological groups. Bramble (1982), using morphological and palaeontological data, divided the genus Gopherus into two separate complexes, each with two species. He established a new genus, Scaptochelys, for agassizi and berlandieri, retaining Gopherus for polyphemus and flavomarginatus. Bour and Dubois (1984) noted that Xerobates Agassiz had priority over Scaptochelys Bramble. Using mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA), Lamb et al. (1989) evaluated the evolutionary relationships of the North American tortoises, particularly the desert tortoise. They concluded that the mtDNA analysis provides strong support for generic recognition of the two distinct species groups described by Bramble (1982).Until a few decades ago, the desert tortoise was widespread at lower elevations throughout the Mojave and Sonoran deserts of the U.S.A. In the northern and western parts of the geographic range, large and relatively homogeneous populations with densities exceeding 1,000/sq km extended throughout parts of California, and probably into Nevada and Utah. In terms of biomass, the tortoise played an important role in the ecosystems. In most areas, numbers have declined dramatically and the extent of populations has been reduced. Most populations are now isolated and low in numbers. Conservation of the desert tortoise is a highly visible and political issue in the U.S.A., but not in Mexico.

  13. A review of public desert land lease policies for concentrated solar power plants and the impact on their economic performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smyrnakis, Christos; Phocas-Cosmetatos, Alex; Kynigalakis, Kostantinos

    2016-05-01

    Large scale Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) plants need large plots of land with very high solar resource and thus are often deployed in desert areas which are usually owned by the state or a municipal authority. This study discusses the implication and practices of land lease policies with regards to CSP development. The strategy followed on a land lease is examined by definition on a case-specific basis and this text is by no means exhaustive with regards to its content. The study also discusses the pricing of land in various cases, presents the governing types of land lease and their effect on the economic performance of hypothetical CSP projects under various cases.

  14. Impacts of tracked vehicles on sediment from a desert soil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Erek H. Fuchs; Karl M. Wood; Tim L. Jones; Brent Racher

    2003-01-01

    Off-road military vehicle traffic is a major consideration in the management of military lands. The objective of this study was to determine the impacts of military tracked M1A1 heavy combat tank vehicles on sediment loss from runoff, surface plant cover, and surface microtopography in a desert military training environment. A randomized block design was used which had...

  15. Respondence and feedback of modern sand deserts to climate change--A case study in Gurbantunggut Desert

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2000-01-01

    The research on the respondence and feedback of modern sand deserts to the climate change is an important component part in the studies on the global climate change. Deserts respond to the climate change, meanwhile, they affect the climate with their feedback of peculiar environment during the respondence. Many researches on desert climate have been carried out at home and abroad. However, there is little research on the respondence and feedback of modern fixed, semi-fixed and mobile deserts in arid areas to the climate change, in which the factor analysis as well as the parameter changing effects is especially the difficult problem all along. In this note, the parameters of the respondence and feedback of Gurbantunggut Desert to the climate change are measured and analyzed, some variable parameters of water-heat exchange are obtained, and a numerical model of desertification is developed according to a series of climate change of about 40 years and the variable relations of meteorological and physical features of the sand surface in Gurbantunggut Desert.

  16. Influence of surface roughness of a desert

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sud, Y. C.; Smith, W. E.

    1984-01-01

    A numerical simulation study, using the current GLAS climate GCM, was carried out to examine the influence of low bulk aerodynamic drag parameter in the deserts. The results illustrate the importance of yet another feedback effect of a desert on itself, that is produced by the reduction in surface roughness height of land once the vegetation dies and desert forms. Apart from affecting the moisture convergence, low bulk transport coefficients of a desert lead to enhanced longwave cooling and sinking which together reduce precipitation by Charney's (1975) mechanism. Thus, this effect, together with albedo and soil moisture influence, perpetuate a desert condition through its geophysical feedback effect. The study further suggests that man made deserts is a viable hypothesis.

  17. Reference Gene Selection in the Desert Plant Eremosparton songoricum

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dao-Yuan Zhang

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Eremosparton songoricum (Litv. Vass. (E. songoricum is a rare and extremely drought-tolerant desert plant that holds promise as a model organism for the identification of genes associated with water deficit stress. Here, we cloned and evaluated the expression of eight candidate reference genes using quantitative real-time reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reactions. The expression of these candidate reference genes was analyzed in a diverse set of 20 samples including various E. songoricum plant tissues exposed to multiple environmental stresses. GeNorm analysis indicated that expression stability varied between the reference genes in the different experimental conditions, but the two most stable reference genes were sufficient for normalization in most conditions. EsEF and Esα-TUB were sufficient for various stress conditions, EsEF and EsACT were suitable for samples of differing germination stages, and EsGAPDHand EsUBQ were most stable across multiple adult tissue samples. The Es18S gene was unsuitable as a reference gene in our analysis. In addition, the expression level of the drought-stress related transcription factor EsDREB2 verified the utility of E. songoricum reference genes and indicated that no single gene was adequate for normalization on its own. This is the first systematic report on the selection of reference genes in E. songoricum, and these data will facilitate future work on gene expression in this species.

  18. Solar energy conversion: an analysis of impacts on desert ecosystems. Progress report, June 1, 1977--December 31, 1977

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Patten, D.T.

    1977-09-01

    Some of the important potential ecological impacts that might occur when solar collector arrays are constructed and maintained in the desert Southwest are discussed. These impacts are categorized under major environmental consequences of solar collector development, that is, shading, wind deflection and site destruction and soil disturbance. Under these major categories secondary impacts are developed to show the significance of altering desert ecosystems with solar conversion systems. Some of the secondary impacts which include abiotic changes in radiation, temperature, heat flux, soil moisture and erosion, and biotic changes such as increased plant productivity and species diversity are discussed as to their short and long term significance in the desert system. A brief description of the solar collector simulator array being constructed in the desert to test many of the concepts developed during the early part of Phase I of this project is presented.

  19. Biological soil crusts as an integral component of desert environments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Belnap, Jayne; Weber, Bettina

    2013-01-01

    The biology and ecology of biological soil crusts, a soil surface community of mosses, lichens, cyanobacteria, green algae, fungi, and bacteria, have only recently been a topic of research. Most efforts began in the western U.S. (Cameron, Harper, Rushforth, and St. Clair), Australia (Rogers), and Israel (Friedmann, Evenari, and Lange) in the late 1960s and 1970s (e.g., Friedmann et al. 1967; Evenari 1985reviewed in Harper and Marble 1988). However, these groups worked independently of each other and, in fact, were often not aware of each other’s work. In addition, biological soil crust communities were seen as more a novelty than a critical component of dryland ecosystems. Since then, researchers have investigated many different aspects of these communities and have shown that although small to microscopic, biological soil crusts are critical in many ecological processes of deserts. They often cover most of desert soil surfaces and substantially mediate inputs and outputs from desert soils (Belnap et al. 2003). They can be a large source of biodiversity for deserts, as they can contain more species than the surrounding vascular plant community (Rosentreter 1986). These communities are important in reducing soil erosion and increasing soil fertility through the capture of dust and the fixation of atmospheric nitrogen and carbon into forms available to other life forms (Elbert et al. 2012). Because of their many effects on soil characteristics, such as external and internal morphological characteristics, aggregate stability, soil moisture, and permeability, they also affect seed germination and establishment and local hydrological cycles. Covering up to 70% of the surface area in many arid and semi-arid regions around the world (Belnap and Lange 2003), biological soil crusts are a key component within desert environments.

  20. Plant population and habitat characteristics of the endemic Sonoran Desert cactus Peniocereus striatus in Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, Arizona

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, Greta; Rutman, Sue; Munson, Seth M.

    2010-01-01

    Peniocereus striatus (Brandegee) Buxb. (Cactaceae) is an endemic Sonoran Desert cactus that reaches its northern range limit in southwestern Arizona. One U.S. population occupies a small area of Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument near the U.S./Mexico international boundary, which has been monitored since 1939. An extensive survey conducted in 2002, covering 177 ha, resulted in the discovery of 88 new plants, in addition to the relocation of 57 plants found in previous surveys. Despite potential increases in population size and spatial distribution, mean plant height and number of basal stems has not significantly changed in recent years. Bud scars revealed that a majority of the population was sexually mature. Peniocereus striatus occurrence increased with decreasing slope, spanned every slope aspect, and was highest on rocky soils, but was noticeably low on west and northwest slopes and areas where severe land degradation had previously occurred. Over half of P. striatus plants were nursed by shrubs and subshrubs, while 40% occurred under leguminous trees. A severe frost in January 2002 top-killed 19% of the population, with the greatest damage in drainage bottoms. However, long-term (1944–2002) climate records show that there has been an overall increase in the number of frost free days in the region, which, coupled with land use change, has implications for the future health of this population.

  1. Relationship between climate and vegetation and the stable carbon isotope chemistry of soils in the eastern Mojave Desert, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Amundson, R.G.; Chadwick, O.A.; Sowers, J.M.; Doner, H.E.

    1988-01-01

    The relationship between the stable C-isotope composition of the soil environment and modern climate and vegetation was determined empirically along a present-day climatic transect in the eastern Mojave Desert. The δ 13 C of the soil CO 2 and carbonates decreased with increasing elevation and plant density, even though plant assemblages at all elevations were isotopically similar. Several factors, including differences in the ratios of pedogenic of limestone calcite and differences in past vegetation, were considered as explanations of this trend, However, it appears that in the sparsely vegetated Mojave Desert, the δ 13 C of pedogenic carbonate is controlled by differences in plant density and biological activity. This relationship may provide a tool for assessing past vegetational densities, as long as the vegetation is isotopically homogeneous. (author)

  2. Remote Sensing of Sonoran Desert Vegetation Structure and Phenology with Ground-Based LiDAR

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joel B. Sankey

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Long-term vegetation monitoring efforts have become increasingly important for understanding ecosystem response to global change. Many traditional methods for monitoring can be infrequent and limited in scope. Ground-based LiDAR is one remote sensing method that offers a clear advancement to monitor vegetation dynamics at high spatial and temporal resolution. We determined the effectiveness of LiDAR to detect intra-annual variability in vegetation structure at a long-term Sonoran Desert monitoring plot dominated by cacti, deciduous and evergreen shrubs. Monthly repeat LiDAR scans of perennial plant canopies over the course of one year had high precision. LiDAR measurements of canopy height and area were accurate with respect to total station survey measurements of individual plants. We found an increase in the number of LiDAR vegetation returns following the wet North American Monsoon season. This intra-annual variability in vegetation structure detected by LiDAR was attributable to a drought deciduous shrub Ambrosia deltoidea, whereas the evergreen shrub Larrea tridentata and cactus Opuntia engelmannii had low variability. Benefits of using LiDAR over traditional methods to census desert plants are more rapid, consistent, and cost-effective data acquisition in a high-resolution, 3-dimensional context. We conclude that repeat LiDAR measurements can be an effective method for documenting ecosystem response to desert climatology and drought over short time intervals and at detailed-local spatial scale.

  3. Some biomedical applications of Balanites aegyptiaca grown naturally in radioactive area, Southeastern Desert, Egypt

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Morsy, A.M.A., E-mail: Ghostvolca@hotmail.com [Nuclear Materials Authority, P.O. Box 530, El Maadi, Cairo (Egypt); Ahmad, I.A. [Chemistry Department, Faculty of Science, Cairo University (Egypt); Kamel, A.M. [Labeled Compounds Department, Radioisotopes Production Division, Hot Labs Center, Atomic Energy Authority, Abou-Zaabal 13759 (Egypt)

    2010-06-15

    Balanites aegyptiaca is a naturally grown desert plant at some radioactive places in Wadi El-Gemal area, Southeastern Desert. The aim of the present study was to highlight on the B. aegyptiaca species grown naturally at radioactive places in Wadi El-Gemal area (fruit part) on the ability of using the fruit in some biomedical application (glucose, cholesterol, triglycerides, HDL-cholesterol, LDL-cholesterol and diabetes). The investigated plant was collected from different location at Wadi El-Gemal area. The uranium content was determined previously and different concentrations from the fruit with highest uranium content were used to examine the effect of B. aegyptiaca (fruit part) on the glucose, triglycerides, total cholesterol (HDL and LDL-cholesterol) levels using experimental rats. Different analysis techniques were used in order to determine different parameters. The obtained data suggest the beneficial role of B. aegyptiaca fruit as an anti-diabetic and hypo-lipidimic agent.

  4. Some biomedical applications of Balanites aegyptiaca grown naturally in radioactive area, Southeastern Desert, Egypt

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Morsy, A.M.A.; Ahmad, I.A.; Kamel, A.M.

    2010-01-01

    Balanites aegyptiaca is a naturally grown desert plant at some radioactive places in Wadi El-Gemal area, Southeastern Desert. The aim of the present study was to highlight on the B. aegyptiaca species grown naturally at radioactive places in Wadi El-Gemal area (fruit part) on the ability of using the fruit in some biomedical application (glucose, cholesterol, triglycerides, HDL-cholesterol, LDL-cholesterol and diabetes). The investigated plant was collected from different location at Wadi El-Gemal area. The uranium content was determined previously and different concentrations from the fruit with highest uranium content were used to examine the effect of B. aegyptiaca (fruit part) on the glucose, triglycerides, total cholesterol (HDL and LDL-cholesterol) levels using experimental rats. Different analysis techniques were used in order to determine different parameters. The obtained data suggest the beneficial role of B. aegyptiaca fruit as an anti-diabetic and hypo-lipidimic agent.

  5. Vascular plants of the Nevada Test Site and Central-Southern Nevada: ecologic and geographic distributions

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Beatley, J.C.

    1976-01-01

    The physical environment of the Nevada Test Site and surrounding area is described with regard to physiography, geology, soils, and climate. A discussion of plant associations is given for the Mojave Desert, Transition Desert, and Great Basin Desert. The vegetation of disturbed sites is discussed with regard to introduced species as well as endangered and threatened species. Collections of vascular plants were made during 1959 to 1975. The plants, belonging to 1093 taxa and 98 families are listed together with information concerning ecologic and geographic distributions. Indexes to families, genera, and species are included. (HLW)

  6. A Proteome Translocation Response to Complex Desert Stress Environments in Perennial Phragmites Sympatric Ecotypes with Contrasting Water Availability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Li; Chen, Xiaodan; Shi, Lu; Wang, Chuanjing; Fu, Bing; Qiu, Tianhang; Cui, Suxia

    2017-01-01

    After a long-term adaptation to desert environment, the perennial aquatic plant Phragmites communis has evolved a desert-dune ecotype. The desert-dune ecotype (DR) of Phragmites communis showed significant differences in water activity and protein distribution compared to its sympatric swamp ecotype (SR). Many proteins that were located in the soluble fraction of SR translocated to the insoluble fraction of DR, suggesting that membrane-associated proteins were greatly reinforced in DR. The unknown phenomenon in plant stress physiology was defined as a proteome translocation response. Quantitative 2D-DIGE technology highlighted these 'bound' proteins in DR. Fifty-eight kinds of proteins were identified as candidates of the translocated proteome in Phragmites . The majority were chloroplast proteins. Unexpectedly, Rubisco was the most abundant protein sequestered by DR. Rubisco activase, various chaperons and 2-cysteine peroxiredoxin were major components in the translocation response. Conformational change was assumed to be the main reason for the Rubisco translocation due to no primary sequence difference between DR and SR. The addition of reductant in extraction process partially reversed the translocation response, implying that intracellular redox status plays a role in the translocation response of the proteome. The finding emphasizes the realistic significance of the membrane-association of biomolecule for plant long-term adaptation to complex stress conditions.

  7. Landscape genetic approaches to guide native plant restoration in the Mojave Desert

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shryock, Daniel F.; Havrilla, Caroline A.; DeFalco, Lesley; Esque, Todd C.; Custer, Nathan; Wood, Troy E.

    2016-01-01

    Restoring dryland ecosystems is a global challenge due to synergistic drivers of disturbance coupled with unpredictable environmental conditions. Dryland plant species have evolved complex life-history strategies to cope with fluctuating resources and climatic extremes. Although rarely quantified, local adaptation is likely widespread among these species and potentially influences restoration outcomes. The common practice of reintroducing propagules to restore dryland ecosystems, often across large spatial scales, compels evaluation of adaptive divergence within these species. Such evaluations are critical to understanding the consequences of large-scale manipulation of gene flow and to predicting success of restoration efforts. However, genetic information for species of interest can be difficult and expensive to obtain through traditional common garden experiments. Recent advances in landscape genetics offer marker-based approaches for identifying environmental drivers of adaptive genetic variability in non-model species, but tools are still needed to link these approaches with practical aspects of ecological restoration. Here, we combine spatially-explicit landscape genetics models with flexible visualization tools to demonstrate how cost-effective evaluations of adaptive genetic divergence can facilitate implementation of different seed sourcing strategies in ecological restoration. We apply these methods to Amplified Fragment Length Polymorphism (AFLP) markers genotyped in two Mojave Desert shrub species of high restoration importance: the long-lived, wind-pollinated gymnosperm Ephedra nevadensis, and the short-lived, insect-pollinated angiosperm Sphaeralcea ambigua. Mean annual temperature was identified as an important driver of adaptive genetic divergence for both species. Ephedra showed stronger adaptive divergence with respect to precipitation variability, while temperature variability and precipitation averages explained a larger fraction of adaptive

  8. Maintenance of C sinks sustains enhanced C assimilation during long-term exposure to elevated [CO2] in Mojave Desert shrubs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aranjuelo, Iker; Ebbets, Allison L; Evans, R Dave; Tissue, David T; Nogués, Salvador; van Gestel, Natasja; Payton, Paxton; Ebbert, Volker; Adams, Williams W; Nowak, Robert S; Smith, Stanley D

    2011-10-01

    During the first few years of elevated atmospheric [CO(2)] treatment at the Nevada Desert FACE Facility, photosynthetic downregulation was observed in desert shrubs grown under elevated [CO(2)], especially under relatively wet environmental conditions. Nonetheless, those plants maintained increased A (sat) (photosynthetic performance at saturating light and treatment [CO(2)]) under wet conditions, but to a much lesser extent under dry conditions. To determine if plants continued to downregulate during long-term exposure to elevated [CO(2)], responses of photosynthesis to elevated [CO(2)] were examined in two dominant Mojave Desert shrubs, the evergreen Larrea tridentata and the drought-deciduous Ambrosia dumosa, during the eighth full growing season of elevated [CO(2)] treatment at the NDFF. A comprehensive suite of physiological processes were collected. Furthermore, we used C labeling of air to assess carbon allocation and partitioning as measures of C sink activity. Results show that elevated [CO(2)] enhanced photosynthetic performance and plant water status in Larrea, especially during periods of environmental stress, but not in Ambrosia. δ(13)C analyses indicate that Larrea under elevated [CO(2)] allocated a greater proportion of newly assimilated C to C sinks than Ambrosia. Maintenance by Larrea of C sinks during the dry season partially explained the reduced [CO(2)] effect on leaf carbohydrate content during summer, which in turn lessened carbohydrate build-up and feedback inhibition of photosynthesis. δ(13)C results also showed that in a year when plant growth reached the highest rates in 5 years, 4% (Larrea) and 7% (Ambrosia) of C in newly emerging organs were remobilized from C that was assimilated and stored for at least 2 years prior to the current study. Thus, after 8 years of continuous exposure to elevated [CO(2)], both desert perennials maintained their photosynthetic capacities under elevated [CO(2)]. We conclude that C storage, remobilization

  9. Desertions in nineteenth-century shipping: modelling quit behaviour

    OpenAIRE

    Jari Ojala; Jaakko Pehkonen; Jari Eloranta

    2013-01-01

    Ship jumping in foreign ports was widespread throughout the age of sail. Desertion by seamen was illegal, it occurred abroad, and men who deserted only seldom returned home. We analyse desertion quantitatively and link it to the broader question of quit behaviour and labour turnover. Though the better wages paid at the foreign ports were the main reason for desertion, the regression model of the determinants of desertion indicates that outside opportunities, such as migration, and monetary in...

  10. Rural childhoods in Egypt's desert lands

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Adriansen, Hanne Kirstine

    Based on fieldwork in Egypt’s desert lands, this paper discusses rural childhoods in an area experiencing rapid social and cultural change. Since 1987, the Egyptian Government has made new villages in the desert as a means to increase agricultural production and solving problems of unemployment....... Many settlers move to the Mubarak villages in order to give their children a good start in life. The desert villages are associated with a type of ‘rural idyll’. The process of settling in the desert impacts upon the children’s possible pathways to adulthood and their identities and social......’s new roles impact upon the children’s lives. The social contexts shaping the desert childhoods are in some ways more similar to contexts in ‘developed’ countries than in other parts of rural Egypt. The paper ends up by contrasting ideas of rural childhoods in Egypt with those found in ‘developed...

  11. Grazing exclusion, substrate type, and drought frequency affect plant community structure in rangelands of the arid unpredictable Arabian Deserts

    Science.gov (United States)

    El-Keblawy, Ali; El-Sheikh, Mohamed

    2017-04-01

    Grazing and drought can adversely affect the ecology and management of rangeland ecosystems. Several management actions have been applied to restore species diversity and community structure in degraded rangelands of the unpredictable arid environment. Protection from grazing is considered as a proper approach for restoration of degraded rangelands, but this depends on substrate type and sometime is hindered with water deficiency (drought). In this study, the effect of protection from grazing animals on species diversity and plant community structure was assessed after a dry and wet periods in both sandy and gravelly substrates in the Dubai Desert Conservation reserve (DDCR), United Arab Emirates. Two sites were selected during November 2012 on the two substrate types (fixed sandy flat and gravel plain) in the arid DDCR. An enclosure was established in each site. Plant community attributes (plant cover, density, frequency, species composition, and diversity indices) were assessed in a number of permanent plots laid inside and outside each enclosure during November 2012, April 2014 and April 2016. The results showed that protection improved clay content, but decreased the organic matters. Interestingly, the protection reduced the concentrations of most estimated nutrients, which could be attributed to the high turnover rate of nutrients associated grazing and low decomposition of accumulated dry plants of non-protected sites. Protection significantly increased all plant community attributes, but the only significant effect was for plant density. Plant density was almost twice greater inside than outside the enclosures. During the dry period, protection resulted in significantly greater deterioration in cover, density and all diversity indices in gravel, compared to sandy sites. Most of the grasses and shrubby plants had died in the gravel plains. However, plant community of the gravel plains was significantly restored after receiving considerable rainfalls. The

  12. A drought resistance-promoting microbiome is selected by root system under desert farming.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ramona Marasco

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Traditional agro-systems in arid areas are a bulwark for preserving soil stability and fertility, in the sight of "reverse desertification". Nevertheless, the impact of desert farming practices on the diversity and abundance of the plant associated microbiome is poorly characterized, including its functional role in supporting plant development under drought stress. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We assessed the structure of the microbiome associated to the drought-sensitive pepper plant (Capsicum annuum L. cultivated in a traditional Egyptian farm, focusing on microbe contribution to a crucial ecosystem service, i.e. plant growth under water deficit. The root system was dissected by sampling root/soil with a different degree of association to the plant: the endosphere, the rhizosphere and the root surrounding soil that were compared to the uncultivated soil. Bacterial community structure and diversity, determined by using Denaturing Gradient Gel Electrophoresis, differed according to the microhabitat, indicating a selective pressure determined by the plant activity. Similarly, culturable bacteria genera showed different distribution in the three root system fractions. Bacillus spp. (68% of the isolates were mainly recovered from the endosphere, while rhizosphere and the root surrounding soil fractions were dominated by Klebsiella spp. (61% and 44% respectively. Most of the isolates (95% presented in vitro multiple plant growth promoting (PGP activities and stress resistance capabilities, but their distribution was different among the root system fractions analyzed, with enhanced abilities for Bacillus and the rhizobacteria strains. We show that the C. annuum rhizosphere under desert farming enriched populations of PGP bacteria capable of enhancing plant photosynthetic activity and biomass synthesis (up to 40% under drought stress. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Crop cultivation provides critical ecosystem services in arid lands with the

  13. [Succession pattern of artificial vegetation community and its ecological mechanism in an arid desert region].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Cailin; Li, Zizhen

    2003-09-01

    Focusing on the artificial vegetation protection system of the Shapotou section of Baotou-Lanzhou railway in the arid desert region of China, this paper examined the dynamics of dominant plant species and the succession pattern of artificial plant community in the process of establishing and developing regional artificial vegetation. It also studied the driving force and the ecologically intrinsic mechanism of the community succession. The results demonstrated that the species composition of the artificial vegetation dramatically changed after 40 years of succession, from original artificial plant community of shrub and semi-shrub to artificial-natural desert plant community with annual herb dominated. During the process of succession, the importance values of artificial shrubs, such as Caragana korshinskii and Hedysarum scoparius, decreased and gradually retreated from the artificial plant community, while the naturally multiplied annual herb, such as Eragrostis poaeoides, Bassia dasyphylla, Salsola ruthenica, Chloris virgata and etc., were presented one after another and gradually became dominant. Besides, Artemisia ordosica always played a key role in the community due to its ability of naturally sowing and self-replacement. This type of succession pattern was closely related to the shortage of precipitation resource in this region and the formation of soil crust which inhibited the reproduction of shrub and perennial herb with deep root systems. This study provided a theoretical ground for realizing persistent development of artificial plant community.

  14. Seasonal variations in plant water status of four desert halophytes from semi-arid region of Karachi

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Aziz, I.; Gul, B.; Gulzar, S.; Khan, A

    2011-01-01

    Halophytes in arid and semi arid zones of the world are often subjected to extremely variable drought, salinity and temperature. These fluctuations may bring about changes in their osmoregulation and gas exchange responses besides other physiological and biochemical processes. The purpose of this study was to detect temporal changes in plant water status and osmotic adjustment in four desert halophytes viz., Suaeda fruticosa, Heliotropium curassavicum, Haloxylon stocksii and Atriplex stocksii from an inland community at Karachi University Campus. During the dry period (November to January) water and osmotic potentials of all test species increased with higher values in A. stocksii (salt secretor) than those of S. fruticosa and H. stocksii (salt includer) and H. curassavicum (salt excluder). Proline increased substantially and was highest in H. curassavicum followed by A. stocksii in comparison to the two salt includers. The lowering of osmotic potential corresponded to an increase in Na and Cl, lower stomatal conductance and chlorophyll content indicating reduced gas exchange during the dry period. The increase in proline may have little role in osmoreglation but could contribute in scavenging reactive oxygen species. (author)

  15. Cost estimates for Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm: a budgetary analysis

    OpenAIRE

    Johnson, J. Andrew.

    1991-01-01

    Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm (DS/DS) presented unique challenges for estimating the cost of that conflict. This analysis reviews the cost estimates and methodologies developed for that purpose by DoD, CBO and GAO. It considers the budget climate and the role of foreign cash and in-kind contributions. Finally, it reviews the budgeting innovations used to provide and monitor DS/DS defense spending. At the outset of the crisis, costs were estimated to determine the defense funding requir...

  16. Effects of germination season on life history traits and on transgenerational plasticity in seed dormancy in a cold desert annual.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lu, Juan J; Tan, Dun Y; Baskin, Carol C; Baskin, Jerry M

    2016-04-27

    The maternal environment can influence the intensity of seed dormancy and thus seasonal germination timing and post-germination life history traits. We tested the hypotheses that germination season influences phenotypic expression of post-germination life history traits in the cold desert annual Isatis violascens and that plants from autumn- and spring-germinating seeds produce different proportions of seeds with nondeep and intermediate physiological dormancy (PD). Seeds were sown in summer and flexibility in various life history traits determined for plants that germinated in autumn and in spring. A higher percentage of spring- than of autumn-germinating plants survived the seedling stage, and all surviving plants reproduced. Number of silicles increased with plant size (autumn- > spring-germinating plants), whereas percent dry mass allocated to reproduction was higher in spring- than in autumn-germinating plants. Autumn-germinating plants produced proportionally more seeds with intermediate PD than spring-germinating plants, while spring-germinating plants produced proportionally more seeds with nondeep PD than autumn-germinating plants. Flexibility throughout the life history and transgenerational plasticity in seed dormancy are adaptations of I. violascens to its desert habitat. Our study is the first to demonstrate that autumn- and spring-germinating plants in a species population differ in proportion of seeds produced with different levels of PD.

  17. Effect of water stress on in vitro mycelium cultures of two mycorrhizal desert truffles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Navarro-Ródenas, Alfonso; Lozano-Carrillo, M Cecilia; Pérez-Gilabert, Manuela; Morte, Asunción

    2011-05-01

    The ability of two species of desert truffle, Terfezia claveryi strain TcS2 and Picoa lefebvrei strain OL2, to tolerate water stress in pure culture has been investigated. Both T. claveryi and P. lefebvrei strains exhibited a mycelium growth pattern characteristic of drought tolerant species. However, they were only tolerant to moderate water stress, below -1.07 MPa, with the P. lefebvrei isolate being slightly more drought tolerant than the T. claveryi isolate. The increased alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activity observed in both fungi at moderate water stress with respect to the control indicated the functional adaptation of these mycelia to these drought conditions. ALP activity can be used as an indicator of the metabolic activity of these fungi. Slight water stress (-0.45 MPa) could improve mycelial inoculum production of these desert truffles. Moreover, P. lefebvrei could be a good candidate for further desert truffle mycorrhizal plant cultivation programmes in semiarid Mediterranean areas.

  18. A Study to Determine the Mental Models in Preschool Children’s Conceptualization of a Desert Environment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Berat AHİ

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available This study aimed to determine mental models and identify codes (schemes used in conceptualizing a desert environment. The sample for this study consisted of 184 – out of a total population of 3,630 - children in preschool education in the central district of Kastamonu, Turkey. Within the scope of this study, the children were initially asked to draw a desert-themed picture, followed by a semi-structured interview to seek their opinions about the drawing and clarify what a desert environment meant to them. According to the findings, the children referred to 38 different codes relevant to the conceptualization of a desert environment; the most frequently used were the sun (f= 160, 86.9%, sand (f= 100, 54.3%, cacti (f= 74, 35.3% and camels (f= 52, 28.6%. During the interview phase, 33 children described a desert as a place where there is no life, although a significant number of the children (f= 65, 39.1% did describe a desert as a place where plants and animals live. Moreover, the sun and its rays were disproportionately bigger in size, in order to emphasize the excessive heat associated with the specific ecosystem found in a desert environment; to reinforce this, humans drenched in sweat, the absence of trees and the prevalence of cacti and exotic wildlife, including camels, scorpions and lizards, were all features of the children’s drawings. Based on these findings, it was inferred that the mental models in some of the children (f= 72, 39.1% were scientifically informed, with a degree of accuracy, about a desert environment. On the basis of the findings, it is considered that determining mental models in children in relation to different ecological concepts can be beneficial to teachers and curriculum programmers involved in environmental education.

  19. A study to determine the mental models in preschool children’s conceptualization of a desert environment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Berat Ahi

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available This study aimed to determine mental models and identify codes (schemes used in conceptualizing a desert environment. The sample for this study consisted of 184 – out of a total population of 3,630 - children in preschool education in the central district of Kastamonu, Turkey. Within the scope of this study, the children were initially asked to draw a desert-themed picture, followed by a semi-structured interview to seek their opinions about the drawing and clarify what a desert environment meant to them. According to the findings, the children referred to 38 different codes relevant to the conceptualization of a desert environment; the most frequently used were the sun (f= 160, 86.9%, sand (f= 100, 54.3%, cacti (f= 74, 35.3% and camels (f= 52, 28.6%. During the interview phase, 33 children described a desert as a place where there is no life, although a significant number of the children (f= 65, 39.1% did describe a desert as a place where plants and animals live. Moreover, the sun and its rays were disproportionately bigger in size, in order to emphasize the excessive heat associated with the specific ecosystem found in a desert environment; to reinforce this, humans drenched in sweat, the absence of trees and the prevalence of cacti and exotic wildlife, including camels, scorpions and lizards, were all features of the children’s drawings. Based on these findings, it was inferred that the mental models in some of the children (f= 72, 39.1% were scientifically informed, with a degree of accuracy, about a desert environment. On the basis of the findings, it is considered that determining mental models in children in relation to different ecological concepts can be beneficial to teachers and curriculum programmers involved in environmental education.

  20. Transport of biologically important nutrients by wind in an eroding cold desert

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sankey, Joel B.; Germino, Matthew J.; Benner, Shawn G.; Glenn, Nancy F.; Hoover, Amber N.

    2012-01-01

    Wind erosion following fire is an important landscape process that can result in the redistribution of ecologically important soil resources. In this study we evaluated the potential for a fire patch in a desert shrubland to serve as a source of biologically important nutrients to the adjacent, downwind, unburned ecosystem. We analyzed nutrient concentrations (P, K, Ca, Mg, Cu, Fe, Mn, Al) in wind-transported sediments, and soils from burned and adjacent unburned surfaces, collected during the first to second growing seasons after a wildfire that burned in 2007 in Idaho, USA in sagebrush steppe; a type of cold desert shrubland. We also evaluated the timing of potential wind erosion events and weather conditions that might have contributed to nutrient availability in downwind shrubland. Findings indicated that post-fire wind erosion resulted in an important, but transient, addition of nutrients on the downwind shrubland. Aeolian sediments from the burned area were enriched relative to both the up- and down-wind soil and indicated the potential for a fertilization effect through the deposition of the nutrient-enriched sediment during the first, but not second, summer after wildfire. Weather conditions that could have produced nutrient transport events might have provided increased soil moisture necessary to make nutrients accessible for plants in the desert environment. Wind transport of nutrients following fire is likely important in the sagebrush steppe as it could contribute to pulses of resource availability that might, for example, affect plant species differently depending on their phenology, and nutrient- and water-use requirements.

  1. EFFECTS OF ELEVATED CO2 ON ROOT FUNCTION AND SOIL RESPIRATION IN A MOJAVE DESERT ECOSYSTEM

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Nowak, Robert S.

    2007-12-19

    Increases in atmospheric CO{sub 2} concentration during the last 250 years are unequivocal, and CO{sub 2} will continue to increase at least for the next several decades (Houghton et al. 2001, Keeling & Whorf 2002). Arid ecosystems are some of the most important biomes globally on a land surface area basis, are increasing in area at an alarming pace (Dregne 1991), and have a strong coupling with regional climate (Asner & Heidebrecht 2005). These water-limited ecosystems also are predicted to be the most sensitive to elevated CO{sub 2}, in part because they are stressful environments where plant responses to elevated CO{sub 2} may be amplified (Strain & Bazzaz 1983). Indeed, all C{sub 3} species examined at the Nevada Desert FACE Facility (NDFF) have shown increased A{sub net} under elevated CO{sub 2} (Ellsworth et al. 2004, Naumburg et al. 2003, Nowak et al. 2004). Furthermore, increased shoot growth for individual species under elevated CO{sub 2} was spectacular in a very wet year (Smith et al. 2000), although the response in low to average precipitation years has been smaller (Housman et al. 2006). Increases in perennial cover and biomass at the NDFF are consistent with long term trends in the Mojave Desert and elsewhere in the Southwest, indicating C sequestration in woody biomass (Potter et al. 2006). Elevated CO{sub 2} also increases belowground net primary production (BNPP), with average increases of 70%, 21%, and 11% for forests, bogs, and grasslands, respectively (Nowak et al. 2004). Although detailed studies of elevated CO{sub 2} responses for desert root systems were virtually non-existent prior to our research, we anticipated that C sequestration may occur by desert root systems for several reasons. First, desert ecosystems exhibit increases in net photosynthesis and primary production at elevated CO{sub 2}. If large quantities of root litter enter the ecosystem at a time when most decomposers are inactive, significant quantities of carbon may be stored

  2. Physiological adaptation in desert birds

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Williams, JB; Tieleman, BI; Williams, Joseph B.

    We call into question the idea that birds have not evolved unique physiological adaptations to desert environments. The rate at which desert larks metabolize energy is lower than in mesic species within the same family, and this lower rate of living translates into a lower overall energy requirement

  3. Phytosociological Survey on the Central Coastal Lowlands of Eastern Saudi Arabia

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Farghali, Kotb Amer; Zareh, Moumn Mustafa

    2005-01-01

    The vegetation composition of the central coastal low lands of Eastern Saudi Arabia was analyzed. The appearance and distribution of the studied plant groupings were affected by atmospheric, by edaphic conditions as well as topography. Eighty seven species belonging to (33) families of flowering plants were recorded in the following seven plant communities which are dominated and co-dominated by (Zygophyllum qatarense), (Lasiurus scindicus and Lycium shawii), (Alhagi graecorum and Cynodon dactylon), (Phoenix dactelifera and Tamarix aphylla),(Aeluropuslagopoides and Sporobolous ioclados), ( Halocnemum strobilacium and Arthrocenemum macrostachyum) and (Avicennia marina). (author)

  4. Dry limit to photosynthesis and cyanobacterial spatial pattern in the Atacama Desert

    Science.gov (United States)

    Warren-Rhodes, K. A.; Pointing, S. B.; Ewing, S.; Lacap, D.; Gomez-Silva, B.; Amundson, R.; Friedmann, E. I.; McKay, C. P.

    2005-12-01

    Hypolithic autotrophs inhabit translucent rocks in the world`'s most extreme hot and cold deserts. Across a rainfall gradient in the Atacama, we measured a three-fold decline in the molecular diversity of cyanobacterial communities and a drop in their abundance from 28% in relatively wet sites to 0.08% in the driest core. Like plants, hypoliths appear to exhibit traits of self-organized patchiness (aggregated spatial patterns) that tightly correlate with rainfall. Rare cyanobacteria in the core live slowly (3,200 y turnover times) and survive in spatially isolated patches of self-augmented fertility, with the dry limit to their survival occurring at ~Mars but may have existed in rare oases in the past. The spatial distributions of terrestrial desert microbes should be considered in the remote search for life on Mars.

  5. GOPHERUS AGASSIZII (Desert Tortoise)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    JAMES L. BOONE, DANNY L. RAKESTRAW, AND KURT R. RAUTENSTRAUCH

    1997-01-01

    GOPHERLTS AGAISSIZII (Desert Tortoise). Predation. A variety of predators, most notably coyotes (Canis Iatrans) and Common Ravens (Corvis corau) have been reported to prey on hatchling desert tortoises (Emst et al. 1994). Turtles of the United States and Canada (Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, D.C. 578 pp.). Here, we report an observation of a hatchling tortoise, fitted with a radiotransmitter, that was preyed upon by native fire ants (Solenopsis sp.) in the eastern Mojave Desert at Yucca Mountain, Nevada (36 degrees 50 minutes N, 116 degree 25 minutes E). On 8/27/94, tortoise No.9315 (carapace length = 45 mm, age = 5 d) was found alive with eyes, chin, and parts of the head and legs being eaten by ants. The tortoise was alive, but lethargic, and responded little when touched. Eight of 74 other radiomarked hatchlings monitored at Yucca Mountain during 1992-1994 were found dead with fire ants on their carcass 3-7 days after the hatchlings emerged from their nests. It is not known whether those tortoises were killed by ants or were being scavenged when found. While imported fire ants (S. invicta) have long been known to kill hatchling gopher tortoises (G. polyphemus; Mount 1981. J. Alabama Acad. Sci. 52: 71-78), native fire ants have previously not been implicated as predators of desert tortoises. However, only 1 of 75 (or at worst 9 of 75) was killed by fire ants, suggesting that although fire ants do kill hatchlings, they were not important predators on desert tortoises during this study. Tortoise specimens were deposited at the University of California at Berkeley

  6. VEGETATIVE GROWTH AND EARLY PRODUCTION OF SIX OLIVE CULTIVARS, IN SOUTHERN ATACAMA DESERT, CHILE

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Freddy MORA

    2007-12-01

    Full Text Available Tree survival, early fruit production, vegetative growth and alternate bearing were examined in six different olive cultivars (Barnea, Biancolilla, Coratina, Empeltre, Koroneiki and Leccino under intensive agronomic conditions i southern Atacama Desert, in the Coquimbo Region of Chile. The cultivars were evaluated over four successive years and had a high survival rate (93% confi rming their potential for these dry-lands. Fruit production (recorded over the growing seasons 2002-2003, vegetative growth (2000-2003 and alternate bearing differed signifi cantly among cultivars. Olive selection in intensively managed planting at the southern part of the Atacama Desert depends on matching specifi c cultivars to sites on which they perform the best.

  7. Potential for deserts to supply reliable renewable electric power

    Science.gov (United States)

    Labordena, Mercè; Lilliestam, Johan

    2015-04-01

    To avoid dangerous climate change, the electricity systems must be decarbonized by mid-century. The world has sufficient renewable electricity resources for complete power sector decarbonization, but an expansion of renewables poses several challenges for the electricity systems. First, wind and solar PV power are intermittent and supply-controlled, making it difficult to securely integrate this fluctuating generation into the power systems. Consequently, power sources that are both renewable and dispatchable, such as biomass, hydro and concentrating solar power (CSP), are particularly important. Second, renewable power has a low power density and needs vast areas of land, which is problematic both due to cost reasons and due to land-use conflicts, in particular with agriculture. Renewable and dispatchable technologies that can be built in sparsely inhabited regions or on land with low competition with agriculture would therefore be especially valuable; this land-use competition greatly limits the potential for hydro and biomass electricity. Deserts, however, are precisely such low-competition land, and are at the same time the most suited places for CSP generation, but this option would necessitate long transmission lines from remote places in the deserts to the demand centers such as big cities. We therefore study the potential for fleets of CSP plants in the large deserts of the world to produce reliable and reasonable-cost renewable electricity for regions with high and/or rapidly increasing electricity demand and with a desert within or close to its borders. The regions in focus here are the European Union, North Africa and the Middle East, China and Australia. We conduct the analysis in three steps. First, we identify the best solar generation areas in the selected deserts using geographic information systems (GIS), and applying restrictions to minimize impact on biodiversity, soils, human heath, and land-use and land-cover change. Second, we identify

  8. Unearthing Bacillus endophytes from desert plants that enhance growth of Arabidopsis thaliana under abiotic stress conditions

    KAUST Repository

    Bokhari, Ameerah M

    2018-04-01

    Here, we embarked a bioprospecting project that focuses on the isolation and characterization of plant root endophytes, collected from the Thar Desert. A total of 381 endophytes were isolated and based on their 16S rRNA gene sequences, genus Bacillus (58 strains) was identified as the major taxon and only endophytes from this genus were isolated from all plant types. Of the 58 Bacillus strains, only 16 strains were selected for screening of plant growth promotion traits such as P and Zn solubilization, indole-3-acetic acid and siderophore production, and antimicrobial activity. Based on the presence of specific plant growth promotion traits 10 strains were shortlisted for further in vitro screening with A. thaliana; to confirm that these bacteria can confer resilience to plants under salt stress conditions. B. circulans (PK3-15 and PK3-109), B. cereus (PK6-15) B. subtilis (PK3-9) and B. licheniformis (PK5-26) displayed the ability to increased the fresh weight of A. thaliana under salt stress conditions by more than 50 % compared to the uninoculated control. An interesting observation was that B. circulans (PK3-109) (shown to produce IAA exopolysaccharide) and B. circulans (PK3-138) (shown to produce IAA) in vitro results were substantially different as B. circulans (PK3-138) decreased the total fresh weight of A. thaliana by 47 %, whilst B. circulans (PK3-109) was one of the best performing strains. Thus, the genomes of these two strains were sequences to unravel the molecular versatility of B. circulans strains, specifically with respect to their interaction with plants. Most of the genome of these strains is identical but the most interesting feature was the presence of 1/ the DegS–DegU two-component system that is known to mediate the salt stress response and DegU also represses toxin wapA similar to antitoxin wapI, and 2/ YxiG, a gene in the unique orthogroup of PK3-109 was found to be linked to WapI. Thus, PK3-138 substantially decreasing the total fresh

  9. Molecular mechanisms of foliar water uptake in a desert tree

    OpenAIRE

    Yan, Xia; Zhou, Maoxian; Dong, Xicun; Zou, Songbing; Xiao, Honglang; Ma, Xiao-Fei

    2015-01-01

    Water deficits severely affect growth, particularly for the plants in arid and semiarid regions of the world. In addition to precipitation, other subsidiary water, such as dew, fog, clouds and small rain showers, may also be absorbed by leaves in a process known as foliar water uptake. With the severe scarcity of water in desert regions, this process is increasingly becoming a necessity. Studies have reported on physical and physiological processes of foliar water uptake. However, the molecul...

  10. Fog deposition to a Tillandsia carpet in the Atacama Desert

    Science.gov (United States)

    Westbeld, A.; Klemm, O.; Grießbaum, F.; Sträter, E.; Larrain, H.; Osses, P.; Cereceda, P.

    2009-09-01

    In the Atacama Desert, one of the driest places on earth, fog deposition plays an important role for the water balance and for the survival of vulnerable ecosystems. The eddy covariance method, previously applied for the quantification of fog deposition to forests in various parts of the world, was used for the first time to measure deposition of fog water to a desert. In this exploratory study we estimate the amount of water available for the ecosystem by deposition and determine the relevant processes driving fog deposition. This is especially important for the species Tillandsia landbecki living in coastal Atacama at the limit of plant existence with fog and dew being the only sources of water. Between 31 July and 19 August 2008 approximately 2.5 L m-2 of water were made available through deposition. Whole-year deposition was estimated as 25 L m-2. Turbulent upward fluxes occurred several times during the evenings and are explained by the formation of radiation fog. In connection with that, underestimates of the deposition are assumed. More detailed studies covering various seasons and all parameters and fluxes contributing to the local energy balance are suggested. This will help to further develop understanding about the processes of (i) deposition of water to the desert, and (ii) intensification of advection fog through additional formation of radiation fog.

  11. Fog deposition to a Tillandsia carpet in the Atacama Desert

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Westbeld, A.; Klemm, O.; Griessbaum, F.; Straeter, E. [Muenster Univ. (Germany). Inst. of Landscape Ecology; Larrain, H. [Pontificia Univ. Catolica de Chile (Chile). Atacama Desert Center ADC; Univ. Bolivariana, Iquique (Chile); Osses, P.; Cereceda, P. [Pontificia Univ. Catolica de Chile, Santiago de Chile (Chile). Inst. of Geography

    2009-07-01

    In the Atacama Desert, one of the driest places on earth, fog deposition plays an important role for the water balance and for the survival of vulnerable ecosystems. The eddy covariance method, previously applied for the quantification of fog deposition to forests in various parts of the world, was used for the first time to measure deposition of fog water to a desert. In this exploratory study we estimate the amount of water available for the ecosystem by deposition and determine the relevant processes driving fog deposition. This is especially important for the species Tillandsia landbecki living in coastal Atacama at the limit of plant existence with fog and dew being the only sources of water. Between 31 July and 19 August 2008 approximately 2.5 L m{sup -2} of water were made available through deposition. Whole-year deposition was estimated as 25 L m{sup -2}. Turbulent upward fluxes occurred several times during the evenings and are explained by the formation of radiation fog. In connection with that, underestimates of the deposition are assumed. More detailed studies covering various seasons and all parameters and fluxes contributing to the local energy balance are suggested. This will help to further develop understanding about the processes of (i) deposition of water to the desert, and (ii) intensification of advection fog through additional formation of radiation fog. (orig.)

  12. Fog deposition to a Tillandsia carpet in the Atacama Desert

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    P. Osses

    2009-09-01

    Full Text Available In the Atacama Desert, one of the driest places on earth, fog deposition plays an important role for the water balance and for the survival of vulnerable ecosystems. The eddy covariance method, previously applied for the quantification of fog deposition to forests in various parts of the world, was used for the first time to measure deposition of fog water to a desert. In this exploratory study we estimate the amount of water available for the ecosystem by deposition and determine the relevant processes driving fog deposition. This is especially important for the species Tillandsia landbecki living in coastal Atacama at the limit of plant existence with fog and dew being the only sources of water. Between 31 July and 19 August 2008 approximately 2.5 L m−2 of water were made available through deposition. Whole-year deposition was estimated as 25 L m−2. Turbulent upward fluxes occurred several times during the evenings and are explained by the formation of radiation fog. In connection with that, underestimates of the deposition are assumed. More detailed studies covering various seasons and all parameters and fluxes contributing to the local energy balance are suggested. This will help to further develop understanding about the processes of (i deposition of water to the desert, and (ii intensification of advection fog through additional formation of radiation fog.

  13. The microbiome of medicinal plants: diversity and importance for plant growth, quality and health.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Köberl, Martina; Schmidt, Ruth; Ramadan, Elshahat M; Bauer, Rudolf; Berg, Gabriele

    2013-12-20

    Past medicinal plant research primarily focused on bioactive phytochemicals, however, the focus is currently shifting due to the recognition that a significant number of phytotherapeutic compounds are actually produced by associated microbes or through interaction with their host. Medicinal plants provide an enormous bioresource of potential use in modern medicine and agriculture, yet their microbiome is largely unknown. The objective of this review is (i) to introduce novel insights into the plant microbiome with a focus on medicinal plants, (ii) to provide details about plant- and microbe-derived ingredients of medicinal plants, and (iii) to discuss possibilities for plant growth promotion and plant protection for commercial cultivation of medicinal plants. In addition, we also present a case study performed both to analyse the microbiome of three medicinal plants (Matricaria chamomilla L., Calendula officinalis L., and Solanum distichum Schumach. and Thonn.) cultivated on organically managed Egyptian desert farm and to develop biological control strategies. The soil microbiome of the desert ecosystem was comprised of a high abundance of Gram-positive bacteria of prime importance for pathogen suppression under arid soil conditions. For all three plants, we observed a clearly plant-specific selection of the microbes as well as highly specific diazotrophic communities that overall identify plant species as important drivers in structural and functional diversity. Lastly, native Bacillus spec. div. strains were able to promote plant growth and elevate the plants' flavonoid production. These results underline the numerous links between the plant-associated microbiome and the plant metabolome.

  14. Laboratory observations on the larvicidal efficacy of three plant species against mosquito vectors of malaria, dengue/dengue hemorrhagic fever (DF/DHF) and lymphatic filariasis in the semi-arid desert.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bansal, S K; Singh, Karam V; Sharma, Sapna; Sherwani, M R K

    2012-05-01

    Comparative larvicidal efficacy of aqueous and organic solvent extracts from seeds, leaves and flowers of three desert plants viz. Calotropis procera (Aiton), Tephrosia purpurea (L.) Pers. and Prosopis juliflora (Sw.) DC. was evaluated against Anopheles stephensi (Liston), Aedes aegypti (Linnaeus) and Culex quinquefasciatus (Say). For this purpose larvae of all the three mosquito species were reared in the laboratory and studies carried out on late 3rd or early 4th instars using standard WHO technique. Based on concentration mortality data 24 and 48 hr LC50and LC90 values along with their 95% fiducial limits, regression equation, chi-square (chi2)/ heterogeneity of the response were determined by log probit regression analysis. Experiments were carried out with different solvent extracts of seeds of C. procera which revealed that methanol (24 hr LC50: 127.2, 194.8, 361.0) and acetone (229.9, 368.1,193.0 mg l(-1)) extracts were more effective with the three mosquito species, respectively. Petroleum ether extract was effective only on An. stephensi while aqueous extracts were not effective at all with any of the mosquito species (mortality juliflora were 74.9, 63.2 and 47.0 and 96.2,128.1 and 118.8 mg l(-1) for the above three mosquito species, respectively. Experiments carried out up to 500 mg l-(1) with leaves (T. purpurea) and seeds (P. juliflora) extracts show only up to 10-30% mortality indicating that active larvicidal principle may be present only in the seeds of Tephrosia and leaves of Prosopis. In general, anophelines were found more susceptible than the culicines to the plant derived derivatives. More studies are being carried outon some other desert plants found in this arid region. The study would be of great importance while formulating vector control strategy based on alternative plant based insecticides in this semi-arid region.

  15. Final Technical Report: Effects of Changing Water and Nitrogen Inputs on a Mojave Desert Ecosystem

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Smith, Stanley, D.; Nowak, Robert S.; Fenstermaker, Lynn, F.; Young, Michael,H.

    2007-11-30

    In order to anticipate the effects of global change on ecosystem function, it is essential that predictive relationships be established linking ecosystem function to global change scenarios. The Mojave Desert is of considerable interest with respect to global change. It contains the driest habitats in North America, and thus most closely approximates the world’s great arid deserts. In order to examine the effects of climate and land use changes, in 2001 we established a long-term manipulative global change experiment, called the Mojave Global Change Facility. Manipulations in this study include the potential effects of (1) increased summer rainfall (75 mm over three discrete 25 mm events), (2) increased nitrogen deposition (10 and 40 kg ha-1), and (3) the disturbance of biological N-fixing crusts . Questions addressed under this grant shared the common hypothesis that plant and ecosystem performance will positively respond to the augmentation of the most limiting resources to plant growth in the Mojave Desert, e.g., water and nitrogen. Specific hypotheses include (1) increased summer rainfall will significantly increase plant production through an alleviation of moisture stress in the dry summer months, (2) N-deposition will increase plant production in this N-limited system, particularly in wet years or in concert with added summer rain, and (3) biological crust disturbance will gradually decrease bio-available N, with concomitant long-term reductions in photosynthesis and ANPP. Individual plant and ecosystem responses to global change may be regulated by biogeochemical processes and natural weather variability, and changes in plant and ecosystem processes may occur rapidly, may occur only after a time lag, or may not occur at all. During the first PER grant period, we observed changes in plant and ecosystem processes that would fall under each of these time-response intervals: plant and ecosystem processes responded rapidly to added summer rain, whereas most

  16. [Rainfall and soil moisture redistribution induced by xerophytic shrubs in an arid desert ecosystem].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Zheng Ning; Wang, Xin Ping; Liu, Bo

    2016-03-01

    Rainfall partitioning by desert shrub canopy modifies the redistribution of incident rainfall under the canopy, and may affect the distribution pattern of soil moisture around the plant. This study examined the distribution of rainfall and the response of soil moisture beneath the canopy of two dominant desert shrubs, Caragana korshinskii and Artemisia ordosica, in the revegetation area at the southeastern edge of the Tengger Desert. The results showed that throughfall and stemflow ave-ragely occupied 74.4%, 11.3% and 61.8%, 5.5% of the gross precipitation for C. korshinskii and A. ordosica, respectively. The mean coefficients of variation (CV) of throughfall were 0.25 and 0.30, respectively. C. korshinski were more efficient than A. ordosica on stemflow generation. The depth of soil wetting front around the stem area was greater than other areas under shrub canopy for C. korshinski, and it was only significantly greater under bigger rain events for A. ordosica. The shrub canopy could cause the unevenness of soil wetting front under the canopy in consequence of rainfall redistribution induced by xerophytic shrub.

  17. How desert varnish forms?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perry, Randall S.; Kolb, Vera M.; Lynne, Bridget Y.; Sephton, Mark A.; Mcloughlin, Nicola; Engel, Michael H.; Olendzenski, Lorraine; Brasier, Martin; Staley, James T., Jr.

    2005-09-01

    Desert varnish is a black, manganese-rich rock coating that is widespread on Earth. The mechanism underlying its formation, however, has remained unresolved. We present here new data and an associated model for how desert varnish forms, which substantively challenges previously accepted models. We tested both inorganic processes (e.g. clays and oxides cementing coatings) and microbial methods of formation. Techniques used in this preliminary study include SEM-EDAX with backscatter, HRTEM of focused ion beam prepared (FIB) wafers and several other methods including XRPD, Raman spectroscopy, XPS and Tof-SIMS. The only hypothesis capable of explaining a high water content, the presence of organic compounds, an amorphous silica phase (opal-A) and lesser quantities of clays than previously reported, is a mechanism involving the mobilization and redistribution of silica. The discovery of silica in desert varnish suggests labile organics are preserved by interaction with condensing silicic acid. Organisms are not needed for desert varnish formation but Bacteria, Archaea, Eukarya, and other organic compounds are passively incorporated and preserved as organominerals. The rock coatings thus provide useful records of past environments on Earth and possibly other planets. Additionally this model also helps to explain the origin of key varnish and rock glaze features, including their hardness, the nature of the "glue" that binds heterogeneous components together, its layered botryoidal morphology, and its slow rate of formation.

  18. VARIABILITY IN SOILS AND VEGETATION ASSOCIATED WITH HARVESTER ANT (POGONOMYRMEX RUGOSUS) NESTS ON A CHIHUAHUAN DESERT WATERSHED

    Science.gov (United States)

    The effects of harvester ant (Pogonomyrmex rugosus) nests on the density and cover of spring annual plants and on soil characteristics were measured at three locations characterized by different soils and dominant vegetation on a desert watershed. There were few differences in ve...

  19. Fog water chemistry in the Namib desert, Namibia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eckardt, Frank D.; Schemenauer, Robert S.

    This study documents the ion concentrations and ion enrichment relative to sea water, in Namib Desert fog water, with the purpose of establishing its suitability for future fogwater collection schemes, while also examining claims that Namib Desert fog water carries exceptionally high concentrations of sulphate, which may be responsible for the formation of gypsum deposits in the desert. The work suggests that Namibian fog water is at least as clean as has been reported from other coastal deserts in South America and Arabia, and provides a source of very clean water for the coastal desert region of south-western Africa. It does not appear that fog is an efficient sulphur source for the formation of the gypsum deposits, unless rare events with high concentrations of marine sulphur compounds occur.

  20. In situ metabolism in halite endolithic microbial communities of the hyperarid Atacama Desert

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alfonso F Davila

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available The Atacama Desert of northern Chile is one of the driest regions on Earth, with areas that exclude plants and where soils have extremely low microbial biomass. However, in the driest parts of the desert there are microorganisms that colonize the interior of halite nodules in fossil continental evaporites, where they are sustained by condensation of atmospheric water triggered by the salt substrate. Using a combination of in situ observations of variable chlorophyll fluorescence and controlled laboratory experiments, we show that this endolithic community is capable of carbon fixation both through oxygenic photosynthesis and potentially ammonia oxidation. We also present evidence that photosynthetic activity is finely tuned to moisture availability and solar insolation and can be sustained for days, and perhaps longer, after a wetting event. This is the first demonstration of in situ active metabolism in the hyperarid core of the Atacama Desert, and it provides the basis for proposing a self-contained, endolithic community that relies exclusively on non-rainfall sources of water. Our results contribute to an increasing body of evidence that even in hyperarid environments active metabolism, adaptation and growth can occur in highly specialized microhabitats.

  1. Vascular Plant and Vertebrate Inventory of Chiricahua National Monument

    Science.gov (United States)

    Powell, Brian F.; Schmidt, Cecilia A.; Halvorson, William L.; Anning, Pamela

    2009-01-01

    This report summarizes the results of the first comprehensive inventory of vascular plants and vertebrates at Chiricahua National Monument (NM) in Arizona. This project was part of a larger effort to inventory vascular plants and vertebrates in eight National Park Service units in the Sonoran Desert Network of parks in Arizona and New Mexico. In 2002, 2003, and 2004 we surveyed for plants and vertebrates (amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals) at Chiricahua NM to document the presence of species within the boundaries of the monument. Because we used repeatable study designs and standardized field methods, these inventories can serve as the first step in a biological monitoring program for the monument. This report is also the first summary of previous research from the monument and therefore it provides an important overview of survey efforts to date. We used data from our inventory and previous research to compile complete species lists for the monument and to assess inventory completeness. We recorded a total of 424 species, including 37 not previously found at the monument (Table 1). We found 10 species of non-native plants and one non-native mammal. Most non-native plants were found along the western boundary of the monument. Based on a review of our inventory and past research at the monument, there have been a total of 1,137 species of plants and vertebrates found at the monument. We believe the inventories of vascular plants and vertebrates are nearly complete and that the monument has one of the most complete inventories of any unit in the Sonoran Desert Network. The mammal community at the monument had the highest species richness (69 species) and the amphibian and reptile community was among the lowest species richness (33 species) of any park in the Sonoran Desert Network. Species richness of the plant and bird communities was intermediate. Among the important determinants of species richness for all groups is the geographic location of the monument

  2. Nationwide desert highway assessment: a case study in China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mao, Xuesong; Wang, Fuchun; Wang, Binggang

    2011-07-01

    The natural environment affects the construction of desert highways. Conversely, highway construction affects the natural environment and puts the ecological environment at a disadvantage. To satisfy the variety and hierarchy of desert highway construction and discover the spatio-temporal distribution of the natural environment and its effect on highway construction engineering, an assessment of the natural regional divisions of desert highways in China is carried out for the first time. Based on the general principles and method for the natural region division, the principles, method and index system for desert highway assessment is put forward by combining the desert highway construction features and the azonal differentiation law. The index system combines the dominant indicator and four auxiliary indicators. The dominant indicator is defined by the desert's comprehensive state index and the auxiliary indicators include the sand dune height, the blown sand strength, the vegetation coverage ratio and the annual average temperature difference. First the region is divided according to the dominant indicator. Then the region boundaries are amended according to the four auxiliary indicators. Finally the natural region division map for desert highway assessment is presented. The Chinese desert highways can be divided into three sections: the east medium effect region, the middle medium-severe effect region, and the west slight-medium effect region. The natural region division map effectively paves the way for the route planning, design, construction, maintenance and ongoing management of desert highways, and further helps environmental protection.

  3. Developing a stochastic parameterization to incorporate plant trait variability into ecohydrologic modeling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, S.; Ng, G. H. C.

    2017-12-01

    The global plant database has revealed that plant traits can vary more within a plant functional type (PFT) than among different PFTs, indicating that the current paradigm in ecohydrogical models of specifying fixed parameters based solely on plant functional type (PFT) could potentially bias simulations. Although some recent modeling studies have attempted to incorporate this observed plant trait variability, many failed to consider uncertainties due to sparse global observation, or they omitted spatial and/or temporal variability in the traits. Here we present a stochastic parameterization for prognostic vegetation simulations that are stochastic in time and space in order to represent plant trait plasticity - the process by which trait differences arise. We have developed the new PFT parameterization within the Community Land Model 4.5 (CLM 4.5) and tested the method for a desert shrubland watershed in the Mojave Desert, where fixed parameterizations cannot represent acclimation to desert conditions. Spatiotemporally correlated plant trait parameters were first generated based on TRY statistics and were then used to implement ensemble runs for the study area. The new PFT parameterization was then further conditioned on field measurements of soil moisture and remotely sensed observations of leaf-area-index to constrain uncertainties in the sparse global database. Our preliminary results show that incorporating data-conditioned, variable PFT parameterizations strongly affects simulated soil moisture and water fluxes, compared with default simulations. The results also provide new insights about correlations among plant trait parameters and between traits and environmental conditions in the desert shrubland watershed. Our proposed stochastic PFT parameterization method for ecohydrological models has great potential in advancing our understanding of how terrestrial ecosystems are predicted to adapt to variable environmental conditions.

  4. Bacterial community of cushion plant Thylacospermum ceaspitosum on elevational gradient in the Himalayan cold desert.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Řeháková, Klára; Chroňáková, Alica; Krištůfek, Václav; Kuchtová, Barbora; Čapková, Kateřina; Scharfen, Josef; Čapek, Petr; Doležal, Jiří

    2015-01-01

    Although bacterial assemblages are important components of soils in arid ecosystems, the knowledge about composition, life-strategies, and environmental drivers is still fragmentary, especially in remote high-elevation mountains. We compared the quality and quantity of heterotrophic bacterial assemblages between the rhizosphere of the dominant cushion-forming plant Thylacospermum ceaspitosum and its surrounding bulk soil in two mountain ranges (East Karakoram: 4850-5250 m and Little Tibet: 5350-5850 m), in communities from cold steppes to the subnival zone in Ladakh, arid Trans-Himalaya, northwest India. Bacterial communities were characterized by molecular fingerprinting in combination with culture-dependent methods. The effects of environmental factors (elevation, mountain range, and soil physico-chemical parameters) on the bacterial community composition and structure were tested by multivariate redundancy analysis and conditional inference trees. Actinobacteria dominate the cultivable part of community and represent a major bacterial lineage of cold desert soils. The most abundant genera were Streptomyces, Arthrobacter, and Paenibacillus, representing both r- and K-strategists. The soil texture is the most important factor for the community structure and the total bacteria counts. Less abundant and diverse assemblages are found in East Karakoram with coarser soils derived from leucogranite bedrock, while more diverse assemblages in Little Tibet are associated with finer soils derived from easily weathering gneisses. Cushion rhizosphere is in general less diverse than bulk soil, and contains more r-strategists. K-strategists are more associated with the extremes of the gradient, with drought at lowest elevations (4850-5000 m) and frost at the highest elevations (5750-5850 m). The present study illuminates the composition of soil bacterial assemblages in relation to the cushion plant T. ceaspitosum in a xeric environment and brings important information about

  5. Cumulative biological impacts framework for solar energy projects in the California Desert

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davis, Frank W.; Kreitler, Jason R.; Soong, Oliver; Stoms, David M.; Dashiell, Stephanie; Hannah, Lee; Wilkinson, Whitney; Dingman, John

    2013-01-01

    This project developed analytical approaches, tools and geospatial data to support conservation planning for renewable energy development in the California deserts. Research focused on geographical analysis to avoid, minimize and mitigate the cumulative biological effects of utility-scale solar energy development. A hierarchical logic model was created to map the compatibility of new solar energy projects with current biological conservation values. The research indicated that the extent of compatible areas is much greater than the estimated land area required to achieve 2040 greenhouse gas reduction goals. Species distribution models were produced for 65 animal and plant species that were of potential conservation significance to the Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan process. These models mapped historical and projected future habitat suitability using 270 meter resolution climate grids. The results were integrated into analytical frameworks to locate potential sites for offsetting project impacts and evaluating the cumulative effects of multiple solar energy projects. Examples applying these frameworks in the Western Mojave Desert ecoregion show the potential of these publicly-available tools to assist regional planning efforts. Results also highlight the necessity to explicitly consider projected land use change and climate change when prioritizing areas for conservation and mitigation offsets. Project data, software and model results are all available online.

  6. The microbiome of medicinal plants: diversity and importance for plant growth, quality and health

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Martina eKöberl

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Past medicinal plant research primarily focused on bioactive phytochemicals, however the focus is currently shifting due to the recognition that a significant number of phytotherapeutic compounds are actually produced by associated microbes or through interaction with their host. Medicinal plants provide an enormous bioresource of potential use in modern medicine and agriculture, yet their microbiome is largely unknown. The objective of this review is i to introduce novel insights into the plant microbiome with a focus on medicinal plants, ii to provide details about plant- and microbe-derived ingredients of medicinal plants, and iii to discuss possibilities for plant growth promotion and plant protection for commercial cultivation of medicinal plants. In addition, we also present a case study performed both to analyse the microbiome of three medicinal plants (Matricaria chamomilla L., Calendula officinalis L. and Solanum distichum Schumach. and Thonn. cultivated on organically managed Egyptian desert farm and to develop biological control strategies. The soil microbiome of the desert ecosystem was comprised of a high abundance of Gram-positive bacteria of prime importance for pathogen suppression under arid soil conditions. For all three plants, we observed a clearly plant-specific selection of the microbes as well as highly specific diazotrophic communities that overall identify plant species as important drivers in structural and functional diversity. Lastly, native Bacillus spec. div. strains were able to promote plant growth and elevate the plants’ flavonoid production. These results underline the numerous links between the plant-associated microbiome and the plant metabolome.

  7. Desert Pavement Studies

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Haff, Peter

    2003-01-01

    Combining plan view information from aerial photography showing details of stream channels on desert pavement surfaces with process-based erosion models, a high-resolution, synthetic topography DEM...

  8. Desert Pavement Studies

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Haff, P

    2003-01-01

    Combining plan view information from aerial photography showing details of stream channels on desert pavement surfaces with process-based erosion models, a high-resolution, "synthetic topography" DEM...

  9. Remote Sensing Field Guide - Desert

    Science.gov (United States)

    1991-09-01

    experienced boatmen. Most river water, even in deserts, contains Giardia micro -organisms that can cause serious diarrhea. Sich water should be boiled...water. The solutes and suspended micro -matter can be moved up and down by an oscillating water table and redeposited or precipitated at differ- ent...McCauley, U.S. Geological Survey, Desert Studies Group, Flagstaff, AZ, Nov 1973. B. Servicio Aerofotografia Nacional del Peru (on back). / ...... CONN:MFI

  10. Plant-associated microbiomes in arid lands: diversity, ecology and biotechnological potential

    KAUST Repository

    Soussi, Asma

    2015-08-28

    Background: Aridification is a worldwide serious threat directly affecting agriculture and crop production. In arid and desert areas, it has been found that microbial diversity is huge, built of microorganisms able to cope with the environmental harsh conditions by developing adaptation strategies. Plants growing in arid lands or regions facing prolonged abiotic stresses such as water limitation and salt accumulation have also developed specific physiological and molecular stress responses allowing them to thrive under normally unfavorable conditions. Scope: Under such extreme selection pressures, special root-associated bacterial assemblages, endowed with capabilities of plant growth promotion (PGP) and extremophile traits, are selected by the plants. In this review, we provide a general overview on the microbial diversity in arid lands and deserts versus specific microbial assemblages associated with plants. The ecological drivers that shape this diversity, how plant-associated microbiomes are selected, and their biotechnological potential are discussed. Conclusions: Selection and recruitment of the plant associated bacterial assemblages is mediated by the combination of the bio-pedo-agroclimatic conditions and the plant species or varieties. Diversity and functional redundancy of these associated PGPR makes them very active in supporting plant improvement, health and resistance to drought, salt and related stresses. Implementing proper biotechnological applications of the arid and desert-adapted PGPR constitute the challenge to be raised.

  11. Precipitation, density, and population dynamics of desert bighorn sheep on San Andres National Wildlife Refuge, New Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bender, L.C.; Weisenberger, M.E.

    2005-01-01

    Understanding the determinants of population size and performance for desert bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis mexicana) is critical to develop effective recovery and management strategies. In arid environments, plant communities and consequently herbivore populations are strongly dependent upon precipitation, which is highly variable seasonally and annually. We conducted a retrospective exploratory analysis of desert bighorn sheep population dynamics on San Andres National Wildlife Refuge (SANWR), New Mexico, 1941-1976, by modeling sheep population size as a function of previous population sizes and precipitation. Population size and trend of desert bighorn were best and well described (R 2=0.89) by a model that included only total annual precipitation as a covariate. Models incorporating density-dependence, delayed density-dependence, and combinations of density and precipitation were less informative than the model containing precipitation alone (??AlCc=8.5-22.5). Lamb:female ratios were positively related to precipitation (current year: F1,34=7.09, P=0.012; previous year: F1,33=3.37, P=0.075) but were unrelated to population size (current year. F1,34=0.04, P=0.843; previous year: F1,33 =0.14, P=0.715). Instantaneous population rate of increase (r) was related to population size (F1,33=5.55; P=0.025). Precipitation limited populations of desert bighorn sheep on SANWR primarily in a density-independent manner by affecting production or survival of lambs, likely through influences on forage quantity and quality. Habitat evaluations and recovery plans for desert bighorn sheep need to consider fundamental influences on desert bighorn populations such as precipitation and food, rather than focus solely on proximate issues such as security cover, predation, and disease. Moreover, the concept of carrying capacity for desert bighorn sheep may need re-evaluation in respect to highly variable (CV =35.6%) localized precipitation patterns. On SANWR carrying capacity for desert

  12. Biomass and nutrient allocation strategies in a desert ecosystem in the Hexi Corridor, northwest China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Ke; Su, YongZhong; Yang, Rong

    2017-07-01

    The allocation of biomass and nutrients in plants is a crucial factor in understanding the process of plant structures and dynamics to different environmental conditions. In this study, we present a comprehensive scaling analysis of data from a desert ecosystem to determine biomass and nutrient (carbon (C), nitrogen (N), and phosphorus (P)) allocation strategies of desert plants from 40 sites in the Hexi Corridor. We found that the biomass and levels of C, N, and P storage were higher in shoots than in roots. Roots biomass and nutrient storage were concentrated at a soil depth of 0-30 cm. Scaling relationships of biomass, C storage, and P storage between shoots and roots were isometric, but that of N storage was allometric. Results of a redundancy analysis (RDA) showed that soil nutrient densities were the primary factors influencing biomass and nutrient allocation, accounting for 94.5% of the explained proportion. However, mean annual precipitation was the primary factor influencing the roots biomass/shoots biomass (R/S) ratio. Furthermore, Pearson's correlations and regression analyses demonstrated that although the biomass and nutrients that associated with functional traits primarily depended on soil conditions, mean annual precipitation and mean annual temperature had greater effects on roots biomass and nutrient storage.

  13. One hundred and six years of population and community dynamics of Sonoran Desert Laboratory perennials

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodriguez-Buritica, Susana; Raichle, Helen; Webb, Robert H.; Turner, Raymond M.; Venable, Larry

    2013-01-01

    This data set constitutes all information associated with the Spalding-Shreve permanent vegetation plots from 1906 through 2012, which is the longest-running plant monitoring program in the world. The program consists of detailed maps of all Sonoran Desert perennial plants in 30 permanent plots located on Tumamoc Hill, near Tucson, Arizona, USA. Most of these plots are 10 m × 10 m quadrats that were established by Volney Spalding and Forrest Shreve between 1906 and 1928. Analyses derived from these data have been pivotal in testing early theories on plant community succession, plant life history traits, plant longevity, and population dynamics. One of the major contributions of this data set is the species-specific demographic traits that derived from estimating individual plant trajectories for more than 106 years. Further use of these data might shed light on spatially explicit population and community dynamics, as well as long-term changes attributable to global change. Data presented here consist of digital versions of original maps created between 1906 and 1984 and digital data from recent censuses between 1993 and 2012. Attributes associated with these maps include location and coverage of all shrubs, and in some cases, plant height. In addition, we present plot-specific summaries of plant cover and density for each census year and all other information collected, including seedling counts, grass coverage, and annual species enumerations. We reference the repeat photography of these plots, which began in 1906; these images are stored at the Desert Laboratory Collection of Repeat Photography in Tucson. Initial data collection consisted of grid-mapping the plots manually on graph paper; starting in 1993, Total Stations (which allow a direct digitalization, and more accurate mapping) were used to survey root crowns and canopies.

  14. Interacting vegetative and thermal contributions to water movement in desert soil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garcia, C.A.; Andraski, Brian J.; Stonestrom, David A.; Cooper, C.A.; Šimůnek, J.; Wheatcraft, S.W.

    2011-01-01

    Thermally driven water-vapor flow can be an important component of total water movement in bare soil and in deep unsaturated zones, but this process is often neglected when considering the effects of soil–plant–atmosphere interactions on shallow water movement. The objectives of this study were to evaluate the coupled and separate effects of vegetative and thermal-gradient contributions to soil water movement in desert environments. The evaluation was done by comparing a series of simulations with and without vegetation and thermal forcing during a 4.7-yr period (May 2001–December 2005). For vegetated soil, evapotranspiration alone reduced root-zone (upper 1 m) moisture to a minimum value (25 mm) each year under both isothermal and nonisothermal conditions. Variations in the leaf area index altered the minimum storage values by up to 10 mm. For unvegetated isothermal and nonisothermal simulations, root-zone water storage nearly doubled during the simulation period and created a persistent driving force for downward liquid fluxes below the root zone (total net flux ~1 mm). Total soil water movement during the study period was dominated by thermally driven vapor fluxes. Thermally driven vapor flow and condensation supplemented moisture supplies to plant roots during the driest times of each year. The results show how nonisothermal flow is coupled with plant water uptake, potentially influencing ecohydrologic relations in desert environments.

  15. Managing Fire in the Northern Chihuahuan Desert: A Review and Analysis of the Literature

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gebow, Brooke S.; Halvorson, William L.

    2005-01-01

    Executive Summary This report began as a literature review (Gebow and Halvorson 2001) conducted for fire planners at Carlsbad Caverns National Park who were seeking information about (1) the natural state of park vegetation, (2) northern Chihuahuan Desert natural fire regimes, and (3) fire effects on park plant species. It is the goal of managers there to continue to refine the wildland and prescribed fire program as they learn more about the ecosystems at the park.The park has a history of grazing and then fire suppression in the 20th century. The current effort revisits questions asked by earlier workers at the park, Walter Kittams and Gary Ahlstrand, who began fire studies in the 1970s. This document addresses ecosystems and historical change to those systems in Chihuahuan Desert areas of southeast Arizona, southern New Mexico, west Texas, or in neighboring regions that share the same plant species. It examines fire literature for situations possibly analogous to those at Carlsbad Caverns. It also includes papers that offer advice on extrapolating future ecological trends from past ones (Swetnam et al. 1999) and on resource management decision-making (Grumbine 1997), and other pieces that address broader aspects of fire or landscape change (Goldman 1994; Marston 1996; Mutch 1994, 1995). These more philosophical works were included in the original review at the park's request and have been retained here because they discuss other issues relevant to fire management. Individual reviews of 35 papers, as requested originally by Carlsbad Caverns, appear in Appendix 1. The results section-summary of key findings-discusses historical changes to plant communities then focuses on burn intervals observed or recommended by workers for particular plant communities. Results from a search of the USDA Forest Service's Fire Effects Information System (www.fs.fed.us/database/feis) are also included in this report, supplemented with information from a review conducted by Ahlstrand

  16. The draft genome sequence and annotation of the desert woodrat Neotoma lepida

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael Campbell

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available We present the de novo draft genome sequence for a vertebrate mammalian herbivore, the desert woodrat (Neotoma lepida. This species is of ecological and evolutionary interest with respect to ingestion, microbial detoxification and hepatic metabolism of toxic plant secondary compounds from the highly toxic creosote bush (Larrea tridentata and the juniper shrub (Juniperus monosperma. The draft genome sequence and annotation have been deposited at GenBank under the accession LZPO01000000.

  17. The impact of desert solar power utilization on sustainable development

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sadiq Ali Shah; Yang Zhang

    2011-01-01

    This paper evaluates the prospects of developing a solar based desert economy in the deserts of solar-rich countries. The potential deserts are analysed to study their positive impact on the sustainable development processes in these regions. The sustainability of the processes is established on the basis of self-contained nature of energy generation, environmental emission reduction and desert land reclamation. (authors)

  18. The Riparianness of a Desert Herpetofauna

    Science.gov (United States)

    Charles H. Lowe

    1989-01-01

    Within the Mojave, Sonoran, and Chihuahuan Desert subdivisions of the North American Desert in the U.S., more than half of 143 total amphibian and reptilian species perform as riparian and/or wetland taxa. For the reptiles, but not the amphibians, there is a significant inverse relationship between riparianness (obligate through preferential and facultative to...

  19. Variation in moisture duration as a driver of coexistence by the storage effect in desert annual plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holt, Galen; Chesson, Peter

    2014-03-01

    Temporal environmental variation is a leading hypothesis for the coexistence of desert annual plants. Environmental variation is hypothesized to cause species-specific patterns of variation in germination, which then generates the storage effect coexistence mechanism. However, it has never been shown how sufficient species differences in germination patterns for multispecies coexistence can arise from a shared fluctuating environment. Here we show that nonlinear germination responses to a single fluctuating physical environmental factor can lead to sufficient differences between species in germination pattern for the storage effect to yield coexistence of multiple species. We derive these nonlinear germination responses from experimental data on the effects of varying soil moisture duration. Although these nonlinearities lead to strong species asymmetries in germination patterns, the relative nonlinearity coexistence mechanism is minor compared with the storage effect. However, these asymmetries mean that the storage effect can be negative for some species, which then only persist in the face of interspecific competition through average fitness advantages. This work shows how a low dimensional physical environment can nevertheless stabilize multispecies coexistence when the species have different nonlinear responses to common conditions, as supported by our experimental data. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  20. Biological Soil Crusts: Webs of Life in the Desert

    Science.gov (United States)

    Belnap, Jayne

    2001-01-01

    Although the soil surface may look like dirt to you, it is full of living organisms that are a vital part of desert ecosystems. This veneer of life is called a biological soil crust. These crusts are found throughout the world, from hot deserts to polar regions. Crusts generally cover all soil spaces not occupied by green plants. In many areas, they comprise over 70% of the living ground cover and are key in reducing erosion, increasing water retention, and increasing soil fertility. In most dry regions, these crusts are dominated by cyanobacteria (previously called blue-green algae), which are one of the oldest known life forms. Communities of soil crusts also include lichens, mosses, microfungi, bacteria, and green algae. These living organisms and their by-products create a continuous crust on the soil surface. The general color, surface appearance, and amount of coverage of these crusts vary depending on climate and disturbance patterns. Immature crusts are generally flat and the color of the soil, which makes them difficult to distinguish from bare ground. Mature crusts, in contrast, are usually bumpy and dark-colored due to the presence of lichens, mosses, and high densities of cyanobacteria and other organisms.

  1. How much Carbon is Stored in Deserts? AN Approach for the Chilean Atacama Desert Using LANDSAT-8 Products

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hernández, H. J.; Acuña, T.; Reyes, P.; Torres, M.; Figueroa, E.

    2016-06-01

    The Atacama Desert in northern Chile is known as the driest place on Earth, with an average rainfall of about 15 mm per year. Despite these conditions, it contains a rich variety of flora with hundreds of species characterised by their extraordinary ability to adapt to this extreme environment. These biotic components have a direct link to important ecosystem services, especially those related to carbon storage and sequestration. No quantitative assessment is currently available for these services and the role of the desert in this matter remains unclear. We propose an approach to estimate above-ground biomass (AGB) using Landsat-8 data, which we tested in the Taparacá region, located in the northern section of the desert. To calibrate and validate the models, we used field data from 86 plots and several spectral indexes (NDVI, EVI and SAVI) obtained from the provisional Landsat-8 Surface-reflectance products. We applied randomised branch sampling and allometry principles (non-destructive methods) to collect biomass samples for all plant biological types: wetlands, steppes, shrubs and trees. All samples were dried in an oven until they reached constant weight and the final values were used to extrapolate dry matter content (AGB) to each plot in terms of kg m-2. We used all available scenes from September 2014 to August 2015 to calculate the maximum, minimum and average value for each index in each pixel within this period. For modeling, we used the method based on classification and regression trees called random forest (RF), available in the statistical software R-Project. The explained variance obtained by the RF algorithm was around 80-85%, and it improved when a wetland vector layer was used as the predictive factor in the model to reach the range 85-90%. The mean error was 1.45 kg m-2 of dry matter. The best model was obtained using the maximum and mean values of SAVI and EVI indexes. We were able to estimate total biomass storage of around 8 million tons

  2. Impact of the invasive species Elaeagnus Angustifolia L. on vegetation in Pontic desert steppe zone (Southern Ukraine)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Sudnik-Wojcikowska, B.; Moysiyenko, I.; Slim, P.A.; Moraczewski, I.R.

    2009-01-01

    The Irano-Turanian species – Russian olive (Elaeagnus angustifolia L.) – is one of most commonly planted tree in the shelterbelts in southern Ukraine. The consequences of introduction of the species from windbreaks, into areas of different land use in west and central Pontic desert steppe zone are

  3. Ethnopharmacological survey of medicinal plants with hallucinogenic effect and plants used against pain, inflammatory diseases, diabetes and urinary lithiasis in Zagora “Morocco”.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hicham Boufous

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Aim: The aim of this study was to identify different plants used in folk medicine for treating pain, inflammatory diseases, diabetes and kidney stones by the population of Zagora province, in southern east of Morocco. This investigation was undertaken during more than 2 years started in 2013 and ended in 2015. Methods: A total of 1400 person with different ages between 20 and 80 years, in twelve areas, was included in this survey; 348 were diabetes, 292 were suffering from kidney stones and 760 are healthy. Data collected was separated in two parts. The first part concerned interviewee information’s (age, sex and level of education and a second part was designed for plants uses (vernacular names, uses, parts used and mode of preparation.Use value (UV, fidelity level (FL and family use value (FUV were calculated. Results: We inventoried 83 plants species belonging to 40 families that were used, Ranunculaceae family family showed the highest significance (FUV= 0.36. Six species with the highest UV were Zygophyllum gaetulum L. (0.44, Nigella sativa (0.36, Rosmarinus officinalis L (0.36, Trigonella foenum-graecum L (0.35 and Thymus satureioides L (0.35. We identified 50 species used for treating or managing pain, 45 for diabetes, 19 for kidney stone, 7 for treating inflammatory diseases and only 3 species that were recognized with hallucinogenic effects. Conclusions: This study shows that folk medicine in Zagora still occupies a high level in primary health care. Data collected may help to preserve knowledge about different plants used and their mode of preparation. [J Complement Med Res 2017; 6(4.000: 342-350

  4. The effect of consumer pressure and abiotic stress on positive plant interactions are mediated by extreme climatic events.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Filazzola, Alessandro; Liczner, Amanda Rae; Westphal, Michael; Lortie, Christopher J

    2018-01-01

    Environmental extremes resulting from a changing climate can have profound implications for plant interactions in desert communities. Positive interactions can buffer plant communities from abiotic stress and consumer pressure caused by climatic extremes, but limited research has explored this empirically. We tested the hypothesis that the mechanism of shrub facilitation on an annual plant community can change with precipitation extremes in deserts. During years of extreme drought and above-average rainfall in a desert, we measured plant interactions and biomass while manipulating a soil moisture gradient and reducing consumer pressure. Shrubs facilitated the annual plant community at all levels of soil moisture through reductions in microclimatic stress in both years and herbivore protection in the wet year only. Shrub facilitation and the high rainfall year contributed to the dominance of a competitive annual species in the plant community. Precipitation patterns in deserts determine the magnitude and type of facilitation mechanisms. Moreover, shrub facilitation mediates the interspecific competition within the associated annual community between years with different rainfall amounts. Examining multiple drivers during extreme climate events is a challenging area of research, but it is a necessary consideration given forecasts predicting that these events will increase in frequency and magnitude. © 2017 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2017 New Phytologist Trust.

  5. Diet of desert tortoises at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, and implications for habitat reclamation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rakestraw, D.L.; Holt, E.A.; Rautenstrauch, K.R.

    1995-12-01

    The diet of desert tortoises at Yucca Mountain was assessed during 1992 to 1995 using a combination of feeding observations and scat analysis. Feeding observation data (1993 through 1995) showed that tortoises fed on a wide variety of items. The most frequently eaten items were forbs and annual grasses. These two forage groups comprised more than 90% of all bites taken. Analysis of scat (1992 and 1993) also showed that grasses and forbs were the most common groups, making up more than 80% of the composition of scat. Yearly differences between proportions of species in the diet were observed and were most likely attributable to differences in plant productivity, which is linked to rainfall patterns. Non-native species were an important component of the diet in all years, accounting for 13 to 50% of all bites observed and 6 to 24% of scat contents. A list of all items encountered in the diet is provided. To facilitate reclamation of desert tortoise habitat disturbed by the Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project, native forage species that should be included in reclamation seed mixes, when feasible, were identified. Although shrubs make up only a small proportion of the diet, they should also be included in reclamation efforts because they provide habitat structure. Tortoise cover sites, and microhabitats amenable to seed germination and seedling establishment. In addition, non-native species should not be planted on reclaimed sites and, if necessary, sites should be recontoured and soil compaction reduced prior to planting

  6. Phenological behaviour of desert plants in response to temperature change: a case study from turpan eremophytes botanical garden, northwest china

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wei, S.; Linke, Y.; Borong, P.

    2014-01-01

    The phenology of three genera of desert plants (viz., Calligonum L., Haloxylon L., and Tamarix L.) was investigated in response to temperature changes in Turpan. Eremophytes Botanical Garden The temperature was raised gradually from 1977 to 2006, while the phenophases of Calligonum L., Haloxylon L., and Tamarix L. genera were slowly and insignificantly changed in the study area. Their phenophase were similar and did not change significantly over the duration of the study except the beginning of flowering of the average of the three genera from 1977 to 1990 and 1991 to 2006, respectively. The summed temperature of the first four months was the major factor that affected the spring and flowering phenophases of the respective genera. The bud of Calligonum species was expanded during 1977 to 1990 and 1991 to 2006, the flower-buds in Tamarix species appeared during 1977 to 2006, the fruit setting of Haloxylon species started 1990 to 2006 and leaf discoloration of Tamarix species appeared during 1977 to 1990. (author)

  7. Draft Genome Sequence of Streptomyces sp. Strain Wb2n-11, a Desert Isolate with Broad-Spectrum Antagonism against Soilborne Phytopathogens

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Köberl, Martina; White, Richard A.; Erschen, Sabine; El-Arabi, Tarek F.; Jansson, Janet K.; Berg, Gabriele

    2015-08-06

    Streptomyces sp. strain Wb2n-11, isolated from native desert soil, exhibited broad-spectrum antagonism against plant pathogenic fungi, bacteria and nematodes. The 8.2 Mb draft genome reveals genes putatively responsible for its promising biocontrol activity and genes which enable the soil bacterium to directly interact beneficially with plants.

  8. Petrochemical plant in the desert

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sunnanaa, Dag

    2001-01-01

    Qatar Vinyl Company Ltd. (QVC), a new production plants for raw material for PVC production, was opened in Qatar on the 20. June 2000. The design capacity is 290 000 tonne of caustic soda, 175 000 tonne of ethylene dichloride and 230 000 tonne of vinyl chloride. Major customers are well established in Australia, India, Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand. Geographically, Qatar is favourably located with respect to the Asian markets. The company is owned by Qatar Petrochemical Company, Qatar Petroleum, Norsk Hydro and Atofina

  9. Plant species effects on soil nutrients and chemistry in arid ecological zones.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Brittany G; Verburg, Paul S J; Arnone, John A

    2016-09-01

    The presence of vegetation strongly influences ecosystem function by controlling the distribution and transformation of nutrients across the landscape. The magnitude of vegetation effects on soil chemistry is largely dependent on the plant species and the background soil chemical properties of the site, but has not been well quantified along vegetation transects in the Great Basin. We studied the effects of plant canopy cover on soil chemistry within five different ecological zones, subalpine, montane, pinyon-juniper, sage/Mojave transition, and desert shrub, in the Great Basin of Nevada all with similar underlying geology. Although plant species differed in their effects on soil chemistry, the desert shrubs Sarcobatus vermiculatus, Atriplex spp., Coleogyne ramosissima, and Larrea tridentata typically exerted the most influence on soil chemistry, especially amounts of K(+) and total nitrogen, beneath their canopies. However, the extent to which vegetation affected soil nutrient status in any given location was not only highly dependent on the species present, and presumably the nutrient requirements and cycling patterns of the plant species, but also on the background soil characteristics (e.g., parent material, weathering rates, leaching) where plant species occurred. The results of this study indicate that the presence or absence of a plant species, especially desert shrubs, could significantly alter soil chemistry and subsequently ecosystem biogeochemistry and function.

  10. Chemical constituents of Cenchrus ciliaris L. from the Cholistan desert, Pakistan

    OpenAIRE

    Ashraf Muhammad Aqeel; Mahmood Karamat; Yusoff Ismail; Qureshi Ahmad Kaleem

    2013-01-01

    The Cholistan Desert is an extension of the Great Indian Desert, covering an area of 26,330 km2. The desert can be divided into two main geomorphic regions: the northern region, known as Lesser Cholistan, constituting the desert margin and consisting of a series of saline alluvial flats alternating with low sand ridges/dunes; and the southern region, known as Greater Cholistan, a wind-resorted sandy desert comprised of a number of old Hakra River terraces w...

  11. Detecting leaf pulvinar movements on NDVI time series of desert trees: A new approach for water stress detection

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Chávez Oyanadel, R.O.; Clevers, J.G.P.W.; Verbesselt, J.; Naulin, P.; Herold, M.

    2014-01-01

    Heliotropic leaf movement or leaf ‘solar tracking’ occurs for a wide variety of plants, including many desert species and some crops. This has an important effect on the canopy spectral reflectance as measured from satellites. For this reason, monitoring systems based on spectral vegetation indices,

  12. The Use of Water During the Crew 144, Mars Desert Research Station, Utah Desert

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Morais Mendonca Teles, Antonio

    2016-07-01

    Well. from November 29th to December 14th, 2014, the author conducted astrobiological and geological surveys, as analog astronaut member of the international Crew 144, at the site of the Mars Society's Mars Desert Research Station, located at a remote location in the Utah desert, United States. The use of water for drinking, bathing, cleaning, etc., in the crew was a major issue for consideration for a human expedition to the planet Mars in the future. The author would like to tell about the factors of the rationalized use of water.

  13. In vitro germination of desert rose varieties(

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tatiane Lemos Varella

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available The drought stress resistance is a characteristic of the desert rose and its estimable beauty flowers, which gave it great relevance in the ornamental market. However, the desert rose production and germination is hampered by possible sterility of their male and female flowers and frequent problems in pollination, so the tissue culture is a promising alternative to the propagation of these plants. This study aimed to evaluate the effect of gibberellic acid on four commercial varieties of desert rose (Adenium obesum cultivated in vitro. The seeds of the varieties ‘Orange Pallet’, ‘Carnation violet’, ‘Diamond ring’ and ‘Vermiliont’ were sterilized and inoculated on Water + Agar (T0, medium MS (T1, ½ MS (T2, MS + 0.25 mg L-1 GA3 (T3, MS + 0.5 mg L-1 GA3 (T4, ½ MS + 0.25 mg L-1 GA3 (T5, ½ MS 0.5 mg L-1 GA3 (T6. The seeds germination of A. obesum was initiated on the fourth day of cultivation and on the tenth day was possible to observe the expansion of the cotyledons and leaf expansion with subsequent development of early secondary root. The ‘Orange pallet’ variety germinated 100% of seeds on water + agar and MS ½ + 0.5 mg L-1 of GA3. For ‘Diamond Ring’ and ‘Carnation violet’ the highest rate of germination occurred in treatments MS ½; 0.25 mg L-1 GA3; MS + 0.5 mg L-1 GA3 MS ½ + 0.5 mg L-1 GA3 averaging 80% and 70%, respectively. For ‘Vermiliont’ the best response was in MS and MS ½ + 0.5 mg L-1 GA3 ranging between 70-90% germinated embryos. It was registered different malformations in all treatments like absence of roots and apexes during seedling development. The concentrations of GA3 did not affect significantly the seed germination.

  14. Responses of Plant Community Composition to Long-term Changes in Snow Depth at the Great Basin Desert - Sierra Nevada ecotone.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loik, M. E.

    2015-12-01

    Snowfall is the dominant hydrologic input for many high-elevation ecosystems of the western United States. Many climate models envision changes in California's Sierra Nevada snow pack characteristics, which would severely impact the storage and release of water for one of the world's largest economies. Given the importance of snowfall for future carbon cycling in high elevation ecosystems, how will these changes affect seedling recruitment, plant mortality, and community composition? To address this question, experiments utilize snow fences to manipulate snow depth and melt timing at a desert-montane ecotone in eastern California, USA. Long-term April 1 snow pack depth averages 1344 mm (1928-2015) but is highly variable from year to year. Snow fences increased equilibrium drift snow depth by 100%. Long-term changes in snow depth and melt timing are associated with s shift from shurbs to graminoids where snow depth was increased for >50 years. Changes in snow have impacted growth for only three plant species. Moreover, annual growth ring increments of the conifers Pinus jeffreyi and Pi. contorta were not equally sensitive to snow depth. There were over 8000 seedlings of the shrubs Artemisia tridentata and Purshia tridentata found in 6300 m2 in summer 2009, following about 1400 mm of winter snow and spring rain. The frequency of seedlings of A. tridentata and P. tridentata were much lower on increased-depth plots compared to ambient-depth, and reduced-depth plots. Survival of the first year was lowest for A. tridentata. Survival of seedlings from the 2008 cohort was much higher for P. tridentata than A. tridentata during the 2011-2015 drought. Results indicate complex interactions between snow depth and plant community characteristics, and that responses of plants at this ecotone may not respond similarly to increases vs. decreases in snow depth. These changes portend altered carbon uptake in this region under future snowfall scenarios.

  15. Copper isotope fractionation by desert shrubs

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Navarrete, Jesica U.; Viveros, Marian; Ellzey, Joanne T.; Borrok, David M.

    2011-01-01

    Copper has two naturally occurring stable isotopes of masses 63 and 65 which can undergo mass dependent fractionation during various biotic and abiotic chemical reactions. These interactions and their resulting Cu isotope fractionations can be used to determine the mechanisms involved in the cycling of Cu in natural systems. In this study, Cu isotope changes were investigated at the organismal level in the metal-accumulating desert plant, Prosopis pubescens. Initial results suggest that the lighter Cu isotope was preferentially incorporated into the leaves of the plant, which may suggest that Cu was actively transported via intracellular proteins. The roots and stems show a smaller degree of Cu isotope fractionation and the direction and magnitude of the fractionations was dependent upon the levels of Cu exposure. Based on this and previous work with bacteria and yeast, a trend is emerging that suggests the lighter Cu isotope is preferentially incorporated into biological components, while the heavier Cu isotope tends to become enriched in aqueous solutions. In bacteria, plants and animals, intracellular Cu concentrations are strictly regulated via dozens of enzymes that can bind, transport, and store Cu. Many of these enzymes reduce Cu(II) to Cu(I). These initial results seem to fit into a broader picture of Cu isotope cycling in natural systems where oxidation/reduction reactions are fundamental in controlling the distributions of Cu isotopes.

  16. Comparative study fodder plant in desert condition submontane in semidesert and utilization of amelioration

    OpenAIRE

    Nazarov Xolmirza Tirkashovich; Yusupova Kamola

    2017-01-01

    The aim of our research was selection and in visitation of eco-biological and economically valuable peculiarities, more perspective prospects of food under their sorts, useful for creation of seed food agricultural lands and haymaking in piedmont semi desert of Uzbekistan. The task of the research contained comparative research of their rise and development, food and seed productivity, and food mass. Practical value of the work was concluded in that for the first time the condition of piedmon...

  17. Changes in the Pincate Reserve ecosystems: Invasion of non-native plants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Denise Z. Avila-Jimenez

    2005-01-01

    Over the years, humans have modified the Sonoran Desert by introducing invasive plants that prosper in disturbed and non-disturbed habitats. These invaders modify the dynamics and structure of populations and the composition of communities, which in turn can result in radical changes in wildlife habitat. The natural landscape of the Sonoran Desert is characterized by...

  18. Large-scale downy brome treatments alter plant-soil relationships and promote perennial grasses in salt desert shrublands

    Science.gov (United States)

    The interrelationship between invasive annual grass abundance and soil resource availability varies spatially and temporally within ecosystems and may be altered by land treatments. We evaluated these relationships in two salt desert landscapes where the local abundance of Bromus tectorum L. (downy...

  19. Liquid desiccant dehumidification and regeneration process to meet cooling and freshwater needs of desert greenhouses

    KAUST Repository

    Lefers, Ryan

    2016-04-19

    Agriculture accounts for ~70% of freshwater usage worldwide. Seawater desalination alone cannot meet the growing needs for irrigation and food production, particularly in hot, desert environments. Greenhouse cultivation of high-value crops uses just a fraction of freshwater per unit of food produced when compared with open field cultivation. However, desert greenhouse producers face three main challenges: freshwater supply, plant nutrient supply, and cooling of the greenhouse. The common practice of evaporative cooling for greenhouses consumes large amounts of fresh water. In Saudi Arabia, the most common greenhouse cooling schemes are fresh water-based evaporative cooling, often using fossil groundwater or energy-intensive desalinated water, and traditional refrigeration-based direct expansion cooling, largely powered by the burning of fossil fuels. The coastal deserts have ambient conditions that are seasonally too humid to support adequate evaporative cooling, necessitating additional energy consumption in the dehumidification process of refrigeration-based cooling. This project evaluates the use of a combined-system liquid desiccant dehumidifier and membrane distillation unit that can meet the dual needs of cooling and freshwater supply for a greenhouse in a hot and humid environment. © 2016 Balaban Desalination Publications. All rights reserved.

  20. Soil, Vegetation, and Seed Bank of a Sonoran Desert Ecosystem Along an Exotic Plant ( Pennisetum ciliare) Treatment Gradient

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abella, Scott R.; Chiquoine, Lindsay P.; Backer, Dana M.

    2013-10-01

    Ecological conditions following removal of exotic plants are a key part of comprehensive environmental management strategies to combat exotic plant invasions. We examined ecological conditions following removal of the management-priority buffelgrass ( Pennisetum ciliare) in Saguaro National Park of the North American Sonoran Desert. We assessed soil, vegetation, and soil seed banks on seven buffelgrass site types: five different frequencies of buffelgrass herbicide plus hand removal treatments (ranging from 5 years of annual treatment to a single year of treatment), untreated sites, and non-invaded sites, with three replicates for each of the seven site types. The 22 measured soil properties (e.g., pH) differed little among sites. Regarding vegetation, buffelgrass cover was low (≤1 % median cover), or absent, across all treated sites but was high (10-70 %) in untreated sites. Native vegetation cover, diversity, and composition were indistinguishable across site types. Species composition was dominated by native species (>93 % relative cover) across all sites except untreated buffelgrass sites. Most (38 species, 93 %) of the 41 species detected in soil seed banks were native, and native seed density did not differ significantly across sites. Results suggest that: (1) buffelgrass cover was minimal across treated sites; (2) aside from high buffelgrass cover in untreated sites, ecological conditions were largely indistinguishable across sites; (3) soil seed banks harbored ≥12 species that were frequent in the aboveground vegetation; and (4) native species dominated post-treatment vegetation composition, and removing buffelgrass did not result in replacement by other exotic species.

  1. Soil water availability and microsite mediate fungal and bacterial phospholipid fatty acid biomarker abundances in Mojave Desert soils exposed to elevated atmospheric CO2

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jin, V. L.; Schaeffer, S. M.; Ziegler, S. E.; Evans, R. D.

    2011-06-01

    Changes in the rates of nitrogen (N) cycling, microbial carbon (C) substrate use, and extracellular enzyme activities in a Mojave Desert ecosystem exposed to elevated atmospheric CO2 suggest shifts in the size and/or functional characteristics of microbial assemblages in two dominant soil microsites: plant interspaces and under the dominant shrub Larrea tridentata. We used ester-linked phospholipid fatty acid (PLFA) biomarkers as a proxy for microbial biomass to quantify spatial and temporal differences in soil microbial communities from February 2003 to May 2005. Further, we used the 13C signature of the fossil CO2 source for elevated CO2 plots to trace recent plant C inputs into soil organic matter (SOM) and broad microbial groups using δ13C (‰). Differences between individual δ13CPLFA and δ13CSOM for fungal biomarkers indicated active metabolism of newer C in elevated CO2 soils. Total PLFA-C was greater in shrub microsites compared to plant interspaces, and CO2 treatment differences within microsites increased under higher soil water availability. Total, fungal, and bacterial PLFA-C increased with decreasing soil volumetric water content (VWC) in both microsites, suggesting general adaptations to xeric desert conditions. Increases in fungal-to-bacterial PLFA-C ratio with decreasing VWC reflected functional group-specific responses to changing soil water availability. While temporal and spatial extremes in resource availability in desert ecosystems contribute to the difficulty in identifying common trends or mechanisms driving microbial responses in less extreme environments, we found that soil water availability and soil microsite interacted with elevated CO2 to shift fungal and bacterial biomarker abundances in Mojave Desert soils.

  2. Controls on plant functional surface cover types along a precipitation gradient in the Negev Desert of Israel

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Buis, E.; Veldkamp, A.; Boeken, B.; Breemen, van N.

    2009-01-01

    We studied the controls on functional surface cover types in four catchments along a semi-arid to arid precipitation gradient in the northern Negev Desert of Israel. First, we selected four functional types, based on their unique water use and redistribution functionality: shrubs, Asphodelus

  3. Fog deposition to the Atacama desert

    Science.gov (United States)

    Westbeld, A.; Klemm, O.; Griessbaum, F.; Sträter, E.; Larrain, H.; Osses, P.; Cereceda, P.

    2010-07-01

    In the Atacama Desert, one of the driest places on earth, fog deposition plays an important role for the water balance and for the survival of vulnerable ecosystems. The eddy covariance method, previously applied for the quantification of fog deposition to forests in various parts of the world, was used for the first time to measure deposition of fog water to a desert. We estimated the amount of water available for the ecosystem by deposition and determined the relevant processes driving fog deposition. This is especially important for the species Tillandsia landbecki living in coastal Atacama at the limit of plant existence with fog and dew being the only sources of liquid water. Between 31 July and 19 August, 2008, measurements were realized in a 31 ha large Tillandsia carpet at Cerro Guanaco, located 15 km south of Iquique, northern Chile. Several data quality assurance procedures were applied. For the values in compliance with the applied criteria, the mean total deposition per hour was determined (0.04 L per m2) for foggy periods. This number was applied to estimate the amount of water deposited during the measuring period, during the entire month of August 2008, and throughout a whole year. For August 2008, a frequency of fog of 16 %, as established during the measuring period, was assumed. The frequency for a whole year was estimated from the differences of the collected amount of water obtained with standard fog collectors installed at Cerro Guanaco in an earlier study. Calculations resulted in an amount of 2.5 L per m2 of deposited fog water for the measuring period. During the entire August, 4.4 L per m2 have likely been available, and for a whole year, a total of 25 L per m2 was estimated to have reached the surface. Inaccuracies could have been caused by the low amount of data applied, and by a possible underestimation of the deposition due to additional formation of radiation fog during the fog events. Three days were used for further analysis because

  4. Nutrient and water addition effects on day- and night-time conductance and transpiration in a C3 desert annual

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ludwig, F.; Jewitt, R.A.; Donovan, L.A.

    2006-01-01

    Recent research has shown that many C3 plant species have significant stomatal opening and transpire water at night even in desert habitats. Day-time stomatal regulation is expected to maximize carbon gain and prevent runaway cavitation, but little is known about the effect of soil resource

  5. Field studies on the photosynthesis of two desert Chilean plants: Prosopis chilensis and Prosopis tamarugo.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lehner, G; Delatorre, J; Lütz, C; Cardemil, L

    2001-11-01

    Photosynthetic parameters were investigated in relation to light intensity (PAR and UV-B) in two Chilean Prosopis sp., Prosopis chilensis and Prosopis tamarugo in their natural habitats. The objective of this work was to compare the photosynthetic responses and to determine the degree of adaptation of both species to visible- and UV-radiation stress. One of the study sites was Refresco in the Atacama Desert, where P. tamarugo is an endemic plant and P. chilensis was introduced, and the other was Peldehue in the valley of Central Chile where only P. chilensis is present. Due to latitude, light intensity (UV-B and PAR) is higher in Refresco than in Peldehue. The parameters investigated in both species were photosystem II fluorescence, CO(2) assimilation, stomatal conductance, photosynthetic pigment composition, flavonoid absorption patterns and composition of chlorophyll-protein complexes. Fluorescence studies, CO(2) assimilation and stomatal conductance studies demonstrated that photosynthetic activity is more efficient and stable throughout the day in P. tamarugo than in P. chilensis in Refresco. Chlorophyll-protein complexes also seemed to be more stable in P. tamarugo than in P. chilensis. Photosynthetic pigment analyses indicated possible photodamage in P. chilensis trees in Refresco, but not in Peldehue. Such photodamage was absent in P. tamarugo. There was a considerable change in the flavonoid pattern between noon and afternoon hours in both species at both study sites. The physiological implications of these changes indicate that P. tamarugo is more adapted to high solar radiation than P. chilensis.

  6. Water quality and hydrology of the Lac Vieux Desert watershed, Gogebic County, Michigan, and Vilas County, Wisconsin, 2002-04

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weaver, T.L.; Neff, B.P.; Ellis, J.M.

    2005-01-01

    , could result in considerable degradation in lake-water quality.The estimated water balance includes the following inputs from the surrounding watershed: direct precipitation (35 percent); runoff, composed of streamflow and overland flow (50 percent); and ground-water flow (15 percent). Outputs from Lac Vieux Desert include streamflow into the Wisconsin River (68 percent) and evaporation from the lake surface (32 percent). Seasonal regulation of Lac Vieux Desert outflow results in an artificially high lake stage throughout the year, except from late winter to very early spring, prior to snowmelt and runoff. Regulation of Lac Vieux Desert outflow causes Wisconsin River streamflow to be artificially low during spring and summer and artificially high in fall and winter.Recent studies indicate that lake-level regulation over the past century may have affected wild rice growth and propagation in Lac Vieux Desert. As per licensing agreement between the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and the Wisconsin Valley Improvement Company (operators of the dam at the outlet), the maximum lake level of Lac Vieux Desert was lowered about 0.8 feet to investigate the relation between lake-level regulation and propagation of wild rice from 2003 through 2012. Recent plantings of wild rice by the Lac Vieux Desert Band have been successful, indicating that suitable habitat and hydrologic regime were present in 2004-05.

  7. Screening the phytoremediation potential of desert broom (Baccharis sarothroides Gray) growing on mine tailings in Arizona, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haque, Nazmul; Peralta-Videa, Jose R.; Jones, Gary L.; Gill, Thomas E.; Gardea-Torresdey, Jorge L.

    2008-01-01

    The metal concentrations in a copper mine tailings and Desert broom (Baccharis sarothroides Gray) plants were investigated. The metal concentrations in plants, soil cover, and tailings were determined using ICP-OES. The concentration of copper, lead, molybdenum, chromium, zinc, arsenic, nickel, and cobalt in tailings was 526.4, 207.4, 89.1, 84.5, 51.7, 49.6, 39.7, and 35.6 mg kg−1, respectively. The concentration of all elements in soil cover was 10~15% higher than that of the tailings, except for molybdenum. The concentration of copper, lead, molybdenum, chromium, zinc, arsenic, nickel, and cobalt in roots was 818.3, 151.9, 73.9, 57.1, 40.1, 44.6, 96.8, and 26.7 mg kg−1 and 1214.1, 107.3, 105.8, 105.5, 55.2, 36.9, 30.9, and 10.9 mg kg−1 for shoots, respectively. Considering the translocation factor, enrichment coefficient, and the accumulation factor, desert broom could be a potential hyperaccumulator of Cu, Pb, Cr, Zn, As, and Ni. PMID:17964035

  8. Degradation of seed mucilage by soil microflora promotes early seedling growth of a desert sand dune plant.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Xuejun; Baskin, Carol C; Baskin, Jerry M; Zhang, Wenhao; Huang, Zhenying

    2012-05-01

    In contrast to the extensive understanding of seed mucilage biosynthesis, much less is known about how mucilage is biodegraded and what role it plays in the soil where seeds germinate. We studied seed mucilage biodegradation by a natural microbial community. High-performance anion-exchange chromatography (HPAEC) was used to determine monosaccharide composition in achene mucilage of Artemisia sphaerocephala. Mucilage degradation by the soil microbial community from natural habitats was examined by monosaccharide utilization tests using Biolog plates, chemical assays and phospholipid fatty acid (PLFA) analysis. Glucose (29.4%), mannose (20.3%) and arabinose (19.5%) were found to be the main components of achene mucilage. The mucilage was biodegraded to CO(2) and soluble sugars, and an increase in soil microbial biomass was observed during biodegradation. Fluorescence microscopy showed the presence of mucilage (or its derivatives) in seedling tissues after growth with fluorescein isothiocyanate (FITC)-labelled mucilage. The biodegradation also promoted early seedling growth in barren sand dunes, which was associated with a large soil microbial community that supplies substances promoting seedling establishment. We conclude that biodegradation of seed mucilage can play an ecologically important role in the life cycles of plants especially in harsh desert environments to which A. sphaerocephala is well-adapted. © 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  9. Tree water potentials supporting an explanation for the occurrence of Vachellia erioloba in the Namib Desert (Namibia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joachim H. A. Krug

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Background Site-vegetation relations of Vachellia erioloba, Faidherbia albida, Euclea pseudebenus and Tamarix usneoides in two contrasting locations in the Namib Desert (Namibia were evaluated with the goal to relate soil water availability to the occurrence of trees under hyper-arid conditions. Methods Plant water potentials were measured using a pressure chamber in the field. Pre-dawn water potentials were assessed to reflect the soil water potential of the rhizosphere. Midday water potentials were measured to assess the strongest negative water potential applied by the sample trees. Results Pre-dawn water potentials and midday water potentials indicated access to soil water in the rhizosphere and by this, provide an explanation for an occurrence of V. erioloba within the extreme environmental conditions of sand dunes in the Namib Desert. Diurnal ranges seem to reflect more and less suitable stands, in terms of soil water availability, within the sampling sites. While the impact of the ephemeral Kuiseb river on soil water availability was assessed through the four species’ plant-internal water relations, comparable pre-dawn water potentials of V. erioloba at both sites indicate soil water availability also in the dunes of Namibrand. The extreme midday water potentials of the dune plants possibly show the upper limit of tolerance for V. erioloba. Conclusions The preliminary data provide an explanation of the occurrence and distribution of the investigated species in beds of ephemeral rivers and on dunes under the hyper-arid climatic conditions of the Namib Desert and qualify suitability within the assessed sites. Understanding the plant-physiological processes and assessing the plant-internal water potential provides a valuable tool to evaluate soil water availability within the rhizosphere and to describe an adaptation potential of investigated species. The comparability of pre-dawn water potentials at both sites indicates unexpected soil

  10. A Systematic Review of Wild Burro Grazing Effects on Mojave Desert Vegetation, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abella, Scott R.

    2008-06-01

    Wild burros ( Equus asinus), protected by the 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horse and Burro Act on some federal lands but exotic animals many ecologists and resource mangers view as damaging to native ecosystems, represent one of the most contentious environmental management problems in American Southwest arid lands. This review synthesizes the scattered literature about burro effects on plant communities of the Mojave Desert, a center of burro management contentions. I classified 24 documents meeting selection criteria for this review into five categories of research: (i) diet analyses directly determining which plant species burros consume, (ii) utilization studies of individual species, (iii) control-impact comparisons, (iv) exclosure studies, and (v) forage analyses examining chemical characteristics of forage plants. Ten diet studies recorded 175 total species that burros consumed. However, these studies and two exclosure studies suggested that burros preferentially eat graminoid and forb groups over shrubs. One study in Death Valley National Park, for example, found that Achnatherum hymenoides (Indian ricegrass) was 11 times more abundant in burro diets than expected based on its availability. Utilization studies revealed that burros also exhibit preferences within the shrub group. Eighty-three percent of reviewed documents were produced in a 12-year period, from 1972 to 1983, with the most recent document produced in 1988. Because burros remain abundant on many federal lands and grazing may interact with other management concerns (e.g., desert wildfires fueled by exotic grasses), rejuvenating grazing research to better understand both past and present burro effects could help guide revegetation and grazing management scenarios.

  11. Long-Term Observations of Dust Storms in Sandy Desert Environments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yun, Hye-Won; Kim, Jung-Rack; Choi, Yun-Soo

    2015-04-01

    Mineral dust occupies the largest portion of atmospheric aerosol. Considering the numerous risks that dust poses for socioeconomic and anthropogenic activities, it is crucial to understand sandy desert environments, which frequently generate dust storms and act as a primary source of atmospheric aerosol. To identify mineral aerosol mechanisms, it is essential to monitor desert environmental factors involving dust storm generation in the long term. In this study, we focused on two major environmental factors: local surface roughness and soil moisture. Since installments of ground observation networks in sandy deserts are unfeasible, remote sensing techniques for mining desert environmental factors were employed. The test area was established within the Badain Jaran and Kubuqi Deserts in Inner Mongolia, China, where significant seasonal aeolian processes emit mineral dust that influences all of East Asia. To trace local surface roughness, we employed a multi-angle imaging spectroradiometer (MISR) image sequence to extract multi-angle viewing (MAV) topographic parameters such as normalized difference angular index, which represents characteristics of the target desert topography. The backscattering coefficient from various space-borne SAR and stereotopography were compared with MAV observations to determine calibrated local surface roughness. Soil moisture extraction techniques from InSAR-phase coherence stacks were developed and compiled with advanced scatterometer (ASCAT) soil moisture data. Combined with metrological information such as the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) ERA interim, correlations between intensity of sand dune activity as a proxy of aeolian processes in desert environments, surface wind conditions, and surface soil moisture were traced. Overall, we have confirmed that tracking sandy desert aeolian environments for long-term observations is feasible with space-borne, multi-sensor observations when combined with

  12. Defining a regional approach for invasive plant research and management.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steven R. Radosevich; Bryan A. Endress; Catherine G. Parks

    2005-01-01

    Invasive plants are now recognized as a serious threat to most extensive management systems, such as forests, meadows, deserts, and riparian areas [1-3]. Vitousek et al. [3] described exotic plant invasion as a significant element of global environmental change because exotic plants can alter primary productivity, decomposition, hydrology, nutrient cycling, and natural...

  13. HOW MUCH CARBON IS STORED IN DESERTS? AN APPROACH FOR THE CHILEAN ATACAMA DESERT USING LANDSAT-8 PRODUCTS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    H. J. Hernández

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available The Atacama Desert in northern Chile is known as the driest place on Earth, with an average rainfall of about 15 mm per year. Despite these conditions, it contains a rich variety of flora with hundreds of species characterised by their extraordinary ability to adapt to this extreme environment. These biotic components have a direct link to important ecosystem services, especially those related to carbon storage and sequestration. No quantitative assessment is currently available for these services and the role of the desert in this matter remains unclear. We propose an approach to estimate above-ground biomass (AGB using Landsat-8 data, which we tested in the Taparacá region, located in the northern section of the desert. To calibrate and validate the models, we used field data from 86 plots and several spectral indexes (NDVI, EVI and SAVI obtained from the provisional Landsat-8 Surface-reflectance products. We applied randomised branch sampling and allometry principles (non-destructive methods to collect biomass samples for all plant biological types: wetlands, steppes, shrubs and trees. All samples were dried in an oven until they reached constant weight and the final values were used to extrapolate dry matter content (AGB to each plot in terms of kg m-2. We used all available scenes from September 2014 to August 2015 to calculate the maximum, minimum and average value for each index in each pixel within this period. For modeling, we used the method based on classification and regression trees called random forest (RF, available in the statistical software R-Project. The explained variance obtained by the RF algorithm was around 80-85%, and it improved when a wetland vector layer was used as the predictive factor in the model to reach the range 85-90%. The mean error was 1.45 kg m-2 of dry matter. The best model was obtained using the maximum and mean values of SAVI and EVI indexes. We were able to estimate total biomass storage of around 8

  14. Plant Mounds as Concentration and Stabilization Agents for Actinide Soil Contaminants in Nevada

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    D.S. Shafer; J. Gommes

    2009-02-03

    Plant mounds or blow-sand mounds are accumulations of soil particles and plant debris around the base of shrubs and are common features in deserts in the southwestern United States. An important factor in their formation is that shrubs create surface roughness that causes wind-suspended particles to be deposited and resist further suspension. Shrub mounds occur in some plant communities on the Nevada Test Site, the Nevada Test and Training Range (NTTR), and Tonopah Test Range (TTR), including areas of surface soil contamination from past nuclear testing. In the 1970s as part of early studies to understand properties of actinides in the environment, the Nevada Applied Ecology Group (NAEG) examined the accumulation of isotopes of Pu, 241Am, and U in plant mounds at safety experiment and storage-transportation test sites of nuclear devices. Although aerial concentrations of these contaminants were highest in the intershrub or desert pavement areas, the concentration in mounds were higher than in equal volumes of intershrub or desert pavement soil. The NAEG studies found the ratio of contaminant concentration of actinides in soil to be greater (1.6 to 2.0) in shrub mounds than in the surrounding areas of desert pavement. At Project 57 on the NTTR, 17 percent of the area was covered in mounds while at Clean Slate III on the TTR, 32 percent of the area was covered in mounds. If equivalent volumes of contaminated soil were compared between mounds and desert pavement areas at these sites, then the former might contain as much as 34 and 62 percent of the contaminant inventory, respectively. Not accounting for radionuclides associated with shrub mounds would cause the inventory of contaminants and potential exposure to be underestimated. In addition, preservation of shrub mounds could be important part of long-term stewardship if these sites are closed by fencing and posting with administrative controls.

  15. Aborigines of the nuclear desert

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rujula, A. de

    1985-01-01

    The chart of 'stable nuclides' extends from Hydrogen, to Z proportional 98, A proportional 263. It contains another island of stability - neutron stars - in a narrow range around Z proportional 10 56 , A proportional 10 57 . In between lies a supposedly barren region encompassing more than 50 orders of magnitude. This desert may be populated by strange quark balls: Stable single bags containing similar proportions of u, d and s quarks. These balls are candidates for the constituency of the 'dark mass' in galaxies and in the Universe. We describe seven ways to search for these possible inhabitants of the nuclear desert. (orig.)

  16. Natural recovery of different areas of a deserted quarry in South China

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    DUAN Wenjun; REN Hai; FU Shenglei; WANG Jun; YANG Long; ZHANG Jinping

    2008-01-01

    A quarry is a surface mining operated place, which produces enormous quantities of gravel, limestone, and other materials for industrial and construction applications. Restoration and revegetation of deserted quarries are becoming increasingly important. Three areas of a typical quarry in South China: terrace for crushed materials (terrace), spoiled mound, and remaining side slope, were investigated, to compare the existing plant species and to study the relationship between environmental factors and revegetation. The plant species composition of these three areas was found to differ significantly after eight years of natural recovery. The typical plant communities found over them were composed of gramineous herbs, fems, and shrubs. Soil organic matter, soil moisture, and soil bulk density were considered to be the major determining factors for vegetation succession. There existed abiotic and biotic thresholds during quarrying restoration. Suggestions had been presented that could have accelerated the process of natural recovery in quarries.

  17. EFFICIENT MICROPROPAGATION FROM COTYLEDONARY NODE CULTURES OF COMMIPHORA WIGHTII (ARN. BHANDARI, AN ENDANGERED MEDICINALLY IMPORTANT DESERT PLANT

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    TARUN KANT

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available Commiphora wightii (Arn. Bhandari, is a medicinal important desert species of the family Burseraceae. It is a well known for its valuable active principle found in its oleo-gum-resin (guggulsterone E and Z, which are used in drugs preparation for lowering the cholesterol level in human body. Due to its overexploitation, poor natural regeneration this valuable plant is on the verge of extinction and thus a IUCN Red listed species. In the present study we report development of an efficient micropropagation protocol from cotyledonary node of Commiphora wightii. Cotyledonary nodes were used as an explants and multiple microshoots were obtained on Murashige & Skoog (MS medium supplemented with 2.68 µM a-Naphthalene acetic acid (NAA and 4.44 µM 6-Benzylamino purine (BAP and on 2.68 µM NAA; 4.44 µM BAP with additives (glutamine 684.2 µM; thiamine 29.65 µM; activated charcoal 0.3% and various other hormonal combinations. Elongation of microshoot was significantly observed on the 2.46 µM Indole-3-butyric acid (IBA and 2.22 µM BAP supplemented MS medium. Efficient rooting was obtained on pretreated microshoot (4.92 µM IBA for 24 hours and followed by transfer to White’s medium without Plant Growth Regulators (PGR and high concentration of activated charcoal (AC. Rooted micro-shoots were transferred to vermiculite and wetted with Hoagland’s solution for primary hardening for 4-5 weeks and then finally transferred to plastic cups containing vermiculite, placed in mist chamber. Plantlets were transferred to soil: FYM 1:1 containing poly-bags, then to green shade house for complete acclimatization and finally transplanted to the experimental field.

  18. Feasibility study for international collaboration on photovoltaic power generation and long-distance energy transmission technologies utilizing desert areas environment; Sabaku chiiki wo riyoshita taiyoko hatsuden chokyori yuso gijutsu ni kakawaru kokusai kyoryoku kanosei chosa

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1997-03-01

    A workshop was held at Tokyo in March, 1997 on the research and development and feasibility study for international collaboration on photovoltaic (PV) power generation and long-distance energy transmission technologies utilizing desert areas environment. Two speakers from the USA, one from Italy, and two from China were invited, and four speakers in Japan presented papers. A total of 48 persons participated. In the technical sessions, `World energy demand and PV system potential` by Prof. Kurokawa, `Long distance transmission of PV power` by Mr. A. Invenizzi, `Case studies of large scale PV systems distributed throughout desert areas of the world` by Mr. Hirasawa, `Linking renewable energy resources around the world` by Mr. P. Meisen, `Properties of large scale PV plant in the USA` by Mr. J. Benner, `Future prospect of PV electrification in China` by Mr. Kong Li, `Application of large-scale PV systems in deserts in China` by Mr. Isomura, and `Effects of large-scale PV power plant in a climatic desert areas` by Prof. Ihara were presented. 38 refs., 62 figs., 29 tabs.

  19. Dry cooling with night cool storage to enhance solar power plants performance in extreme conditions areas

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Muñoz, J.; Martínez-Val, J.M.; Abbas, R.; Abánades, A.

    2012-01-01

    Highlights: ► Solar thermo-electric power plants with thermal storage for condenser cooling. ► Technology to mitigate the negative effect on Rankine cycles of the day-time high temperatures in deserts. ► Electricity production augmentation in demand-peak hours by the use of day-night temperature difference. -- Abstract: Solar thermal power plants are usually installed in locations with high yearly average solar radiation, often deserts. In such conditions, cooling water required for thermodynamic cycles is rarely available. Moreover, when solar radiation is high, ambient temperature is very high as well; this leads to excessive condensation temperature, especially when air-condensers are used, and decreases the plant efficiency. However, temperature variation in deserts is often very high, which drives to relatively low temperatures during the night. This fact can be exploited with the use of a closed cooling system, so that the coolant (water) is chilled during the night and store. Chilled water is then used during peak temperature hours to cool the condenser (dry cooling), thus enhancing power output and efficiency. The present work analyzes the performance improvement achieved by night thermal cool storage, compared to its equivalent air cooled power plant. Dry cooling is proved to be energy-effective for moderately high day–night temperature differences (20 °C), often found in desert locations. The storage volume requirement for different power plant efficiencies has also been studied, resulting on an asymptotic tendency.

  20. Water and water quality management in the cholistan desert

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kahlown, M.A.; Chaudhry, M.A.

    2005-01-01

    Water scarcity is the main problem in Cholistan desert. Rainfall is scanty and sporadic and groundwater is saline in most of the area. Rainwater is collected in man made small storages, locally called tobas during rainy season for human and livestock consumption. These tobas usually retain rainwater for three to four months at the maximum, due to small storage capacity and unfavorable location. After the tobas become dry, people use saline groundwater for human and livestock consumption where marginal quality groundwater is available. In complete absence of water they migrate towards canal irrigated areas till the next rains. During migration humans and livestock suffer from hunger, thirst and diseases. In order to overcome this problem Pakistan Council of Research in Water Resources (PCRWR) has introduced improved designs of tobas. The PCRWR is collecting more than 13.0 million cubic meter rainwater annually from only ninety hectare catchment area. As a result, water is available for drinking of human and livestock population as well as to wild life through out the year for the village of Dingarh in Cholistan desert. However, water collected in these tobas is usually muddy and full of impurities. To provide good quality drinking water to the residents of Cholistan, PCRWR has launched a Project under which required quantity of drinkable water will be provided at more than seventy locations by rainwater harvesting, pumping of good and marginal quality groundwater and desalination of moderately saline water through Reverse Osmosis Plants. After the completion of project, more then 380 million gallons of fresh rainwater and more than 1300 million gallons of good and marginal quality groundwater will be available annually. Intervention to collect the silt before reaching to the tobas are also introduced, low cost filter plants are designed and constructed on the tobas for purification of water. (author)

  1. Lizard burrows provide thermal refugia for larks in the Arabian desert

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Williams, JB; Tieleman, BI; Shobrak, M

    A common perception is that desert birds experience greater extremes of heat and aridity than their mammalian counterparts, in part, because birds do not use burrows as a refuge from the desert environment. We report observations of Dunn's Larks (Eremalauda dunni), Bar-tailed Desert Larks (Ammomanes

  2. Oasis desert farming selects environment-specific date palm root endophytic communities and cultivable bacteria that promote resistance to drought

    KAUST Repository

    Cherif, Hanene; Marasco, Ramona; Rolli, Eleonora; Ferjani, Raoudha; Fusi, Marco; Soussi, Asma; Mapelli, Francesca; Blilou, Ikram; Borin, Sara; Boudabous, Abdellatif; Cherif, Ameur; Daffonchio, Daniele; Ouzari, Hadda

    2015-01-01

    Oases are desert-farming agro-ecosystems, where date palm (Phoenix dactyliferaL.) plays a keystone role in offsetting the effects of drought and maintaining a suitable microclimate for agriculture. At present, abundance, diversity and plant growth promotion (PGP) of date palm root-associated bacteria remain unknown. Considering the environmental pressure determined by the water scarcity in the desert environments, we hypothesized that bacteria associated with date palm roots improve plant resistance to drought. Here, the ecology of date palm root endophytes from oases in the Tunisian Sahara was studied with emphasis on their capacity to promote growth under drought. Endophytic communities segregated along a north-south gradient in correlation with geo-climatic parameters. Screening of 120 endophytes indicated that date palm roots select for bacteria with multiple PGP traits. Bacteria rapidly cross-colonized the root tissues of different species of plants, including the original Tunisian date palm cultivar, Saudi Arabian cultivars and Arabidopsis. Selected endophytes significantly increased the biomass of date palms exposed to repeated drought stress periods during a 9-month greenhouse experiment. Overall, results indicate that date palm roots shape endophytic communities that are capable to promote plant growth under drought conditions, thereby contributing an essential ecological service to the entire oasis ecosystem. © 2015 Society for Applied Microbiology and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  3. Oasis desert farming selects environment-specific date palm root endophytic communities and cultivable bacteria that promote resistance to drought

    KAUST Repository

    Cherif, Hanene

    2015-07-21

    Oases are desert-farming agro-ecosystems, where date palm (Phoenix dactyliferaL.) plays a keystone role in offsetting the effects of drought and maintaining a suitable microclimate for agriculture. At present, abundance, diversity and plant growth promotion (PGP) of date palm root-associated bacteria remain unknown. Considering the environmental pressure determined by the water scarcity in the desert environments, we hypothesized that bacteria associated with date palm roots improve plant resistance to drought. Here, the ecology of date palm root endophytes from oases in the Tunisian Sahara was studied with emphasis on their capacity to promote growth under drought. Endophytic communities segregated along a north-south gradient in correlation with geo-climatic parameters. Screening of 120 endophytes indicated that date palm roots select for bacteria with multiple PGP traits. Bacteria rapidly cross-colonized the root tissues of different species of plants, including the original Tunisian date palm cultivar, Saudi Arabian cultivars and Arabidopsis. Selected endophytes significantly increased the biomass of date palms exposed to repeated drought stress periods during a 9-month greenhouse experiment. Overall, results indicate that date palm roots shape endophytic communities that are capable to promote plant growth under drought conditions, thereby contributing an essential ecological service to the entire oasis ecosystem. © 2015 Society for Applied Microbiology and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  4. Community adaptations to an impending food desert in rural Appalachia, USA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Wayne C; Rogalla, Denver; Spencer, Dustin; Zia, Nida; Griffith, Brian N; Heinsberg, Haylee B

    2016-01-01

    The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) describes a food desert as an urban neighborhood or rural town without ready access to fresh, healthy, and affordable food. An estimated 2.3 million rural Americans live in food deserts. One goal of the USDA is to eliminate food deserts. However, at a time when some food deserts are being eliminated, hundreds of grocery stores are closing, causing other food deserts to arise. The literature is scarce on how a community adapts to an impending food desert. Alderson, West Virginia, USA (population 1184) rallied to face an impending food desert when the only grocery store in town closed in December 2014. This study investigated how this small rural community adapted to its oncoming food desert. A community member survey was administered to 155 Alderson families (49%) to determine how the new food desert affected family food acquisition and storage behaviors. A restaurant survey was given to the town's four restaurants to determine how the food desert affected their businesses. Sales data for a new food hub (Green Grocer) was obtained to see if this new initiative offset the negative effects of the food desert. ANOVA and t-tests were used to compare group numerical data. Two group response rates were compared by testing the equality of two proportions. Categorical data were analyzed with the χ2 or frequency distribution analysis. Group averages are reported as mean ± standard error of the mean. Significance for all analyses was set at pp=0.16) from the number before the food desert (2.8±0.3). Price comparisons among the Green Grocer and three distant supermarkets showed a 30% savings by traveling to distant supermarkets. Frequency of monthly restaurant visits did not change after the emergence of the food desert (2.98±0.54 vs 3.05±0.51, p=0.85). However, restaurant patrons requested to buy fresh produce and dairy from the restaurants to use for their own home cooking. Food pantry use increased by 43%, with

  5. Airborne particle accumulation and composition at different locations in the northern Negev desert.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Offer, Z.Y.; Goossens, D.

    2001-01-01

    Atmospheric desert dust was collected over 36 months in ground-level collectors at four stations in the northern Negev desert, Israel. Three stations (Shivta, Sede Boqer and Avdat) are located in the desert itself whereas the fourth station (Sayeret Shaked) is situated at the desert fringe, in the

  6. The politics of accessing desert land in Jordan

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Naber, Al Majd; Molle, Francois

    2016-01-01

    With the dramatic increase of the population in Jordan, the value of land has rocketed up. Urban sprawl into semi-desert or desert areas, initially not surveyed or settled by the British and considered as state land, has brought to the surface the problematic status of those lands. Likewise, the

  7. Biodiversity conservation and a conception for a national desert park in Dzungaria Basin, Xinjiang

    OpenAIRE

    Xinshi Zhang; Haiping Tang; Lijuan Yan

    2008-01-01

    Dzungaria Basin in Xinjiang possesses the most abundant biological resources of animals and plants among the temperate deserts in the world. It has been influenced negatively by the human disturbance such as overgrazing, farming, wood harvesting, digging herbs and illegal hunting as well as by the rapid industrial development for mineral and energy resources such as oil and coal. A plan for biodiversity conservation is so urgent for the basin that the contradiction between biodiversity protec...

  8. Pleistocene climate change and the origin of two desert plant species, Pugionium cornutum and Pugionium dolabratum (Brassicaceae), in northwest China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Qian; Abbott, Richard J; Yu, Qiu-Shi; Lin, Kao; Liu, Jian-Quan

    2013-07-01

    Pleistocene climate change has had an important effect in shaping intraspecific genetic variation in many species; however, its role in driving speciation is less clear. We examined the possibility of a Pleistocene origin of the only two representatives of the genus Pugionium (Brassicaceae), Pugionium cornutum and Pugionium dolabratum, which occupy different desert habitats in northwest China. We surveyed sequence variation for internal transcribed spacer (ITS), three chloroplast (cp) DNA fragments, and eight low-copy nuclear genes among individuals sampled from 11 populations of each species across their geographic ranges. One ITS mutation distinguished the two species, whereas mutations in cpDNA and the eight low-copy nuclear gene sequences were not species-specific. Although interspecific divergence varied greatly among nuclear gene sequences, in each case divergence was estimated to have occurred within the Pleistocene when deserts expanded in northwest China. Our findings point to the importance of Pleistocene climate change, in this case an increase in aridity, as a cause of speciation in Pugionium as a result of divergence in different habitats that formed in association with the expansion of deserts in China. © 2013 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2013 New Phytologist Trust.

  9. An Integrated Multi-Sensor Approach to Monitor Desert Environments by UAV and Satellite Sensors: Case Study Kubuqi Desert, China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, J.; Lin, C. W.; vanGasselt, S.; Lin, S.; Lan, C. W.

    2017-12-01

    Expanding deserts have been causing significant socio-economical threats by, e.g., hampering anthropogenic activities or causing decline of agricultural productivity. Countries in the Asian-Pacific regions in particular have been suffering from dust storms originating in the arid deserts of China, Mongolia and central Asia. In order to mitigate such environmental interferences by means of, e.g. combat desertification activities and early warning systems, the establishment of reliable desert monitoring schemes is needed. In this study, we report on a remote sensing data fusion approach to constantly and precisely monitor desert environments. We have applied this approach over a test site located in the Kubuqi desert located in Northeast China and which is considered to be a major contributor of dust storms today. In order to understand spatial and temporal trends of desertification, the planimetric distribution and 3D shape and size of sand dunes were reconstructed using Digital Terrain Models (DTM) derived from stereo observations made by Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV). Based on this, the volumetric change of sand dunes was directly estimated through co-registered DTMs. We furthermore derived and investigated topographic parameters, such as the aerodynamic roughness length, the protrusion coefficient, the Normalized Difference Angular Index, and the phase coherence derived from spaceborne optical/synthetic aperture radar (SAR) remote sensing assets with the calibration index from UAV observation. Throughout such a multi-data approach, temporal changes of a target's environmental parameters can be traced, analyzed and correlated with weather conditions. An improved understanding of aeolian processes in sand deserts will be a valuable contribution for desertification combat activities and early warning systems for dust storm generation. Future research needs to be conducted over more extensive spatial and temporal domains, also by combining investigations on the

  10. Reference intervals and physiologic alterations in hematologic and biochemical values of free-ranging desert tortoises in the Mojave Desert

    Science.gov (United States)

    Christopher, Mary M.; Berry, Kristin H.; Wallis, I.R.; Nagy, K.A.; Henen, B.T.; Peterson, C.C.

    1999-01-01

    Desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii) populations have experienced precipitous declines resulting from the cumulative impact of habitat loss, and human and disease-related mortality. Evaluation of hematologic and biochemical responses of desert tortoises to physiologic and environmental factors can facilitate the assessment of stress and disease in tortoises and contribute to management decisions and population recovery. The goal of this study was to obtain and analyze clinical laboratory data from free-ranging desert tortoises at three sites in the Mojave Desert (California, USA) between October 1990 and October 1995, to establish reference intervals, and to develop guidelines for the interpretation of laboratory data under a variety of environmental and physiologic conditions. Body weight, carapace length, and venous blood samples for a complete blood count and clinical chemistry profile were obtained from 98 clinically healthy adult desert tortoises of both sexes at the Desert Tortoise Research Natural area (western Mojave), Goffs (eastern Mojave) and Ivanpah Valley (northeastern Mojave). Samples were obtained four times per year, in winter (February/March), spring (May/June), summer (July/August), and fall (October). Years of near-, above- and below-average rainfall were represented in the 5 yr period. Minimum, maximum and median values, and central 95 percentiles were used as reference intervals and measures of central tendency for tortoises at each site and/or season. Data were analyzed using repeated measures analysis of variance for significant (P < 0.01) variation on the basis of sex, site, season, and interactions between these variables. Significant sex differences were observed for packed cell volume, hemoglobin concentration, aspartate transaminase activity, and cholesterol, triglyceride, calcium, and phosphorus concentrations. Marked seasonal variation was observed in most parameters in conjunction with reproductive cycle, hibernation, or seasonal

  11. Effects of altered temperature and precipitation on desert protozoa associated with biological soil crusts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Darby, Brian J; Housman, David C; Zaki, Amr M; Shamout, Yassein; Adl, Sina M; Belnap, Jayne; Neher, Deborah A

    2006-01-01

    Biological soil crusts are diverse assemblages of bacteria, cyanobacteria, algae, fungi, lichens, and mosses that cover much of arid land soils. The objective of this study was to quantify protozoa associated with biological soil crusts and test the response of protozoa to increased temperature and precipitation as is predicted by some global climate models. Protozoa were more abundant when associated with cyanobacteria/lichen crusts than with cyanobacteria crusts alone. Amoebae, flagellates, and ciliates originating from the Colorado Plateau desert (cool desert, primarily winter precipitation) declined 50-, 10-, and 100-fold, respectively, when moved in field mesocosms to the Chihuahuan Desert (hot desert, primarily summer rain). However, this was not observed in protozoa collected from the Chihuahuan Desert and moved to the Sonoran desert (hot desert, also summer rain, but warmer than Chihuahuan Desert). Protozoa in culture began to encyst at 37 degrees C. Cysts survived the upper end of daily temperatures (37-55 degrees C), and could be stimulated to excyst if temperatures were reduced to 15 degrees C or lower. Results from this study suggest that cool desert protozoa are influenced negatively by increased summer precipitation during excessive summer temperatures, and that desert protozoa may be adapted to a specific desert's temperature and precipitation regime.

  12. Evaluation of great deserts of the world for perpetual radiowaste storage

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Libby, L.M.; Wurtele, M.G.; Whipple, C.G.

    1982-01-01

    Desert sites with a history of seismic stability were studied for storage of radioactive wastes because of the attractive meteorology, proven longterm geological stability, and distance from human population centers. Specific deserts were to be representative of various kinds of world deserts, if substantial information about each desert was available, to examine with respect to transporting, handling, storing, and cooling the radioactive waste, and the site suitability as to geological conditions, water availability, alternative land use, airborne emissions of heat, accidental radioactive emission, and possible socioeonomic impacts. No significant technical obstacles to the use of the world deserts as sites for a retrievable storage facility for 500 years were found. However, given the relatively low level of effort that was allocated between the many technical issues listed above, this study is neither a full risk assessment nor a full environmental impact analysis of such a facility. Assessments for siting the facility were made for five deserts, chosen to be representative of Old World, New World, Australian, interior, coastal, foggy, hot and cold: the Nullarbor Plain of Australia, the Namib in Africa, the Great Basin of the United States represented by the Nevada Test Site, the North Slope of Alaska and Canada, and the Egyptian desert

  13. Water use sources of desert riparian Populus euphratica forests.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Si, Jianhua; Feng, Qi; Cao, Shengkui; Yu, Tengfei; Zhao, Chunyan

    2014-09-01

    Desert riparian forests are the main body of natural oases in the lower reaches of inland rivers; its growth and distribution are closely related to water use sources. However, how does the desert riparian forest obtains a stable water source and which water sources it uses to effectively avoid or overcome water stress to survive? This paper describes an analysis of the water sources, using the stable oxygen isotope technique and the linear mixed model of the isotopic values and of desert riparian Populus euphratica forests growing at sites with different groundwater depths and conditions. The results showed that the main water source of Populus euphratica changes from water in a single soil layer or groundwater to deep subsoil water and groundwater as the depth of groundwater increases. This appears to be an adaptive selection to arid and water-deficient conditions and is a primary reason for the long-term survival of P. euphratica in the desert riparian forest of an extremely arid region. Water contributions from the various soil layers and from groundwater differed and the desert riparian P. euphratica forests in different habitats had dissimilar water use strategies.

  14. Compositions and methods for providing plants with tolerance to abiotic stress conditions

    KAUST Repository

    Hirt, Heribert; De Zelicourt, Axel; Saad, Maged

    2017-01-01

    It has been discovered that the desert endophytic bacterium SA187 SA187 can provide resistance or tolerance to abiotic stress conditions to seeds or plants. Compositions containing SA187 can be used to enhance plant development and yield under

  15. Biological soil crusts in deserts: A short review of their role in soil fertility, stabilization, and water relations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Belnap, Jayne

    2003-01-01

    Cyanobacteria and cyanolichens dominate most desert soil surfaces as the major component of biological soil crusts (BSC). BSCs contribute to soil fertility in many ways. BSC can increase weathering of parent materials by up to 100 times. Soil surface biota are often sticky, and help retain dust falling on the soil surface; this dust provides many plant-essential nutrients including N, P, K, Mg, Na, Mn, Cu, and Fe. BSCs also provide roughened soil surfaces that slow water runoff and aid in retaining seeds and organic matter. They provide inputs of newly-fixed carbon and nitrogen to soils. They are essential in stabilizing soil surfaces by linking soil particles together with filamentous sheaths, enabling soils to resist both water and wind erosion. These same sheaths are important in keeping soil nutrients from becoming bound into plant-unavailable forms. Experimental disturbances applied in US deserts show soil surface impacts decrease N and C inputs from soil biota by up to 100%. The ability to hold aeolian deposits in place is compromised, and underlying soils are exposed to erosion. While most undisturbed sites show little sediment production, disturbance by vehicles or livestock produces up to 36 times more sediment production, with soil movement initiated at wind velocities well below commonly-occurring wind speeds. Winds across disturbed areas can quickly remove this material from the soil surface, thereby potentially removing much of current and future soil fertility. Thus, reduction in the cover of cyanophytes in desert soils can both reduce fertility inputs and accelerate fertility losses.

  16. Geology and geochemistry of the Atacama Desert.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tapia, J; González, R; Townley, B; Oliveros, V; Álvarez, F; Aguilar, G; Menzies, A; Calderón, M

    2018-02-14

    The Atacama Desert, the driest of its kind on Earth, hosts a number of unique geological and geochemical features that make it unlike any other environment on the planet. Considering its location on the western border of South America, between 17 and 28 °S, its climate has been characterized as arid to hyperarid for at least the past 10 million years. Notably dry climatic conditions of the Atacama Desert have been related to uplift of the Andes and are believed to have played an important role in the development of the most distinctive features of this desert, including: (i) nitrates and iodine deposits in the Central Depression, (ii) secondary enrichment in porphyry copper deposits in the Precordillera, (iii) Li enrichment in salt flats of the Altiplano, and (iv) life in extreme habitats. The geology and physiography of the Atacama Desert have been largely shaped by the convergent margin present since the Mesozoic era. The geochemistry of surface materials is related to rock geochemistry (Co, Cr, Fe, Mn, V, and Zn), salt flats, and evaporite compositions in endorheic basins (As, B, and Li), in addition to anthropogenic activities (Cu, Mo, and Pb). The composition of surface water is highly variable, nonetheless in general it presents a circumneutral pH with higher conductivity and total dissolved solids in brines. Major water constituents, with the exception of HCO 3 - , are generally related to the increase of salinity, and despite the fact that trace elements are not well-documented, surface waters of the Atacama Desert are enriched in As, B, and Li when compared to the average respective concentrations in rivers worldwide.

  17. Liquid Water Restricts Habitability in Extreme Deserts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cockell, Charles S; Brown, Sarah; Landenmark, Hanna; Samuels, Toby; Siddall, Rebecca; Wadsworth, Jennifer

    2017-04-01

    Liquid water is a requirement for biochemistry, yet under some circumstances it is deleterious to life. Here, we show that liquid water reduces the upper temperature survival limit for two extremophilic photosynthetic microorganisms (Gloeocapsa and Chroococcidiopsis spp.) by greater than 40°C under hydrated conditions compared to desiccated conditions. Under hydrated conditions, thermal stress causes protein inactivation as shown by the fluorescein diacetate assay. The presence of water was also found to enhance the deleterious effects of freeze-thaw in Chroococcidiopsis sp. In the presence of water, short-wavelength UV radiation more effectively kills Gloeocapsa sp. colonies, which we hypothesize is caused by factors including the greater penetration of UV radiation into hydrated colonies compared to desiccated colonies. The data predict that deserts where maximum thermal stress or irradiation occurs in conjunction with the presence of liquid water may be less habitable to some organisms than more extreme arid deserts where organisms can dehydrate prior to being exposed to these extremes, thus minimizing thermal and radiation damage. Life in extreme deserts is poised between the deleterious effects of the presence and the lack of liquid water. Key Words: Deserts-Extremophiles-Stress-High temperatures-UV radiation-Desiccation. Astrobiology 17, 309-318.

  18. Water/Pasture Assessment of Registan Desert (Kandahar and Helmand Provinces)

    OpenAIRE

    Toderich, Kristina; Tsukatani, Tsuneo

    2005-01-01

    The desolate desert in Afghanistan's Kandahar and Helmand Provinces was previously populated by thousands of pastoralists until a devastating drought decimated animal herds and forced them to live as IDPs (Internally Displaced Persons) on land bordering the desert. Through funding from UNAMA (United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan), this report assesses conditions in the Registan Desert and border regions to devise solutions to the problems facing Registan Kuchi nomads. A work plan ...

  19. Effect of plant growth regulators on regeneration of the endangered ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Development of an efficient in vitro regeneration protocol of Calligonum comosum is important and that has achieved to protect the endangered multipurpose medicinally important desert plant in the Kingdom of Bahrain. Nodal segments were used as explants source and the effect of various plant growth regulators (PGRs) ...

  20. Strategy for the development and management of deserts

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    1978-02-01

    Recommendations from the June 1977 Conference on Alternative Strategies for Desert Development and Management apply primarily to arid lands, although some can be applied to true desert with no vegetation as well. The causes of desertification are reviewed and corrective measures suggested for both developed and developing countries. A range of strategies is proposed, but all are based on the efficient use of water and most are concerned with water used for agricultural purposes. The conference papers also addressed water management, agricultural development, field crops versus animal husbandry, grazing, land use and allocation, wild life resources, industry coastal resources, tourism, energy and minerals, and establishing the infrastructure needed to improve and retain desert health.

  1. The provenance of Taklamakan desert sand

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rittner, Martin; Vermeesch, Pieter; Carter, Andrew; Bird, Anna; Stevens, Thomas; Garzanti, Eduardo; Andò, Sergio; Vezzoli, Giovanni; Dutt, Ripul; Xu, Zhiwei; Lu, Huayu

    2016-03-01

    Sand migration in the vast Taklamakan desert within the Tarim Basin (Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous region, PR China) is governed by two competing transport agents: wind and water, which work in diametrically opposed directions. Net aeolian transport is from northeast to south, while fluvial transport occurs from the south to the north and then west to east at the northern rim, due to a gradual northward slope of the underlying topography. We here present the first comprehensive provenance study of Taklamakan desert sand with the aim to characterise the interplay of these two transport mechanisms and their roles in the formation of the sand sea, and to consider the potential of the Tarim Basin as a contributing source to the Chinese Loess Plateau (CLP). Our dataset comprises 39 aeolian and fluvial samples, which were characterised by detrital-zircon U-Pb geochronology, heavy-mineral, and bulk-petrography analyses. Although the inter-sample differences of all three datasets are subtle, a multivariate statistical analysis using multidimensional scaling (MDS) clearly shows that Tarim desert sand is most similar in composition to rivers draining the Kunlun Shan (south) and the Pamirs (west), and is distinctly different from sediment sources in the Tian Shan (north). A small set of samples from the Junggar Basin (north of the Tian Shan) yields different detrital compositions and age spectra than anywhere in the Tarim Basin, indicating that aeolian sediment exchange between the two basins is minimal. Although river transport dominates delivery of sand into the Tarim Basin, wind remobilises and reworks the sediment in the central sand sea. Characteristic signatures of main rivers can be traced from entrance into the basin to the terminus of the Tarim River, and those crossing the desert from the south to north can seasonally bypass sediment through the sand sea. Smaller ephemeral rivers from the Kunlun Shan end in the desert and discharge their sediment there. Both river run

  2. From Fireproof Desert to Flammable Grassland: Buffelgrass Invasion in the Sonoran Desert

    Science.gov (United States)

    Betancourt, J. L.

    2007-12-01

    Only a few decades ago, the Sonoran Desert of northwestern Mexico and southern Arizona was considered mostly fireproof, a case of not enough fine fuel to connect the dominant shrubs and cacti. This has changed with invasions by non-native, winter annual and summer-flower perennial grasses that are rapidly transforming fireproof desert into flammable grassland. Of particular concern is buffelgrass, Pennisetum ciliare, a fire-prone and invasive African perennial grass that has already converted millions of hectares across Sonora since the mid-1960s and has made quick headway in southern and central Arizona beginning in the 1980s. Near Tucson and Phoenix, AZ, buffelgrass invasion is proceeding exponentially, with population expansion (and the costs of mitigation) more than doubling every year. As this conversion progresses, there will be increased fire risks, lost tourist revenue, diminished property values, insurmountable setbacks to conservation efforts, and the threat of large ignition fronts in desert valleys routinely spreading into the mountains. Although somewhat belated, an integrated, multi-jurisdictional effort is being organized to reduce ecological and economic impacts. My presentation will summarize the history and context of buffelgrass introduction and invasion, the disconnect in attitudes and policies across state and international boundaries, ongoing management efforts, the role of science and responsibilities of scientists, accelerated spread with changing climate, and impacts to regional ecosystems and economies. This narrative may serve as a template for other semi-arid lands where buffelgrass and similar grasses have become invasive, including Australia, South America, and many islands in the Pacific Ocean (including Hawaii), Indian Ocean, and Caribbean Sea.

  3. Relationships between annual plant productivity, nitrogen deposition and fire size in low-elevation California desert scrub

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rao, Leela E.; Matchett, John R.; Brooks, Matthew L.; Johns, Robert; Minnich, Richard A.; Allen, Edith B.

    2014-01-01

    Although precipitation is correlated with fire size in desert ecosystems and is typically used as an indirect surrogate for fine fuel load, a direct link between fine fuel biomass and fire size has not been established. In addition, nitrogen (N) deposition can affect fire risk through its fertilisation effect on fine fuel production. In this study, we examine the relationships between fire size and precipitation, N deposition and biomass with emphasis on identifying biomass and N deposition thresholds associated with fire spreading across the landscape. We used a 28-year fire record of 582 burns from low-elevation desert scrub to evaluate the relationship of precipitation, N deposition and biomass with the distribution of fire sizes using quantile regression. We found that models using annual biomass have similar predictive ability to those using precipitation and N deposition at the lower to intermediate portions of the fire size distribution. No distinct biomass threshold was found, although within the 99th percentile of the distribution fire size increased with greater than 125 g m–2 of winter fine fuel production. The study did not produce an N deposition threshold, but did validate the value of 125 g m–2 of fine fuel for spread of fires.

  4. Global Warming: The Instability of Desert Climate is Enhancing in the Northwest Area in China: A Case Study in the Desert Area in Northwestern China

    OpenAIRE

    Zhao-Feng Chang; Shu-Juan Zhu; Fu-Gui Han; Sheng-Nnian Zhong; Qiang-Qiang Wang; Jian-Hui Zhang

    2013-01-01

    To disclose the relation between the sandstorms change and the temperature changes, a case study in the desert area in northwestern china is investigated. The results showed that: the instability of climate in Minqin desert area is enhancing in the arid desert region in northwest China. Mainly as follows: Variation the annual extreme maximum temperature increasing. Variation of extreme minimum temperature also an increasing trend. Average visibility of sandstorms significantly reduced and the...

  5. Compositions and methods for providing plants with tolerance to abiotic stress conditions

    KAUST Repository

    Hirt, Heribert

    2017-07-27

    It has been discovered that the desert endophytic bacterium SA187 SA187 can provide resistance or tolerance to abiotic stress conditions to seeds or plants. Compositions containing SA187 can be used to enhance plant development and yield under environmental stress conditions.

  6. Birds and conservation significance of the Namib Desert's least ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    -long Namib Desert and it remains the least known coastal wetland on a desert coast rich in shorebirds. Two surveys of the Baia dos Tigres region in 1999 and 2001 indicated a rich wetland bird diversity consisting of 25 species, with a total of ...

  7. [Effects of highway on the vegetation species composition along a distance gradient from road edge in southeastern margin of Tengeer Desert].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feng, Li; Li, Xin-Rong; Guo, Qun; Zhang, Jing-Guang; Zhang, Zhi-Shan

    2011-05-01

    Aimed to examine the effects of highway on the vegetation species composition in arid desert area, forty-eight transects perpendicular to the provincial highway 201 from Shapotou to Jing-tai in the southeastern margin of Tengger Desert were installed, with the vegetation species distribution along a distance gradient from the road edge investigated. The results showed that with increasing distance from the road edge, the species number, coverage, biomass, and alpha-diversity of herbaceous plants declined, but had no significant differences with the control beyond 5 m. Within 0-6 m to the road edge, the herbaceous plant height was greater than that of the control, but their density had less change. Within 0-2 m to the road edge, the species turnover rate of herbaceous plants was lower; at 2-5m, this rate was the highest; while beyond 10 m, the species composition of herbaceous plants was similar to that of the control. The herbaceous plant community at the road edge was dominated by gramineous plants, with the disturbance-tolerant species Pennisetum centrasiaticum, Chloris virgata, and Agropyron cristatum accounting for 68.6% of the total. C. virgata beyond 1 m to the road edge had a rapid decrease in its individual number and presence frequency, P. centrasiaticum and A. cristatum beyond 2 m also showed a similar trend, while the composite plants Artemisia capillaris and A. frigida beyond 2 m from the road edge had a rapid increase in its individual number, accounting for 70% of the herbaceous plants. At the road edge, the coverage and density of shrubs were significantly lower than those of the control, but the species composition had no significant difference.

  8. The occurrence of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi in soil and root of medicinal plants in Bu-Ali Sina garden in Hamadan, Iran

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ali Akbar Safari Sinegani

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Introduction: The study of symbiotic relationship between arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF and medicinal plants is very important. Information about the symbiosis of medicinal plant species with AMF in the semi-arid regions of Iran is rare. This information allows increasing knowledge of the biology and ecology of these plant species. Materials and methods: The existence of AM symbiosis in 48 medicinal plant species (belonging to 9 families was studied by root staining. Soil around the root of each species was sampled and analyzed for all soil properties which may be interrelated to AM symbiosis. The importance of different soil properties in AMF and plant biological relationship and the dependency of root colonization and spore formation by AMF on soil properties were statistically analyzed. Results: Among them Lepidium sativum, Brassica oleracea, Cheiranthus cheiri, Beta vulgaris, Spinacia oleracea, Malva sylvestris, Zygophyllum fabago, Arctium Lappa have not been colonized by AM fungi. Colonization and spore density of perennial plants were slightly higher than those of annual plants and were varied among different plant families. Soil texture and available phosphorous were the most important soil properties affecting fungal root colonization and spore numbers. Discussion and conclusion: Although in accordance with other researches, most of the medicinal plants from Brassicaceae family had no mycorrhizal symbiosis, a few of them had this type of symbiosis. Dependency of spore formation by AM fungi on soil properties was higher than dependency of root colonization percentage on soil properties. Increasing root colonization and spore numbers with increasing the percentage of sand and decreasing the percentage of clay and available phosphorous in soils show that plants are more depended on mycorrhizal symbiosis in hard environments and less productive soils.

  9. Screening the Egyptian desert actinomycetes as candidates for new ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    In a screening program to study the antimicrobial activities of desert actinomycetes as potential producers of active metabolites, 75 actinomycete strains were isolated from the Egyptian desert habitats and tested. Out of the isolated 75 organisms, 32 (42.67%) showed activity against the used test organisms.

  10. Analysis of mercury in rock varnish samples in areas impacted by coal-fired power plants

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nowinski, Piotr; Hodge, Vernon F.; Gerstenberger, Shawn; Cizdziel, James V.

    2013-01-01

    Rock varnish is a manganese–iron rich coating that forms on rocks, most often in arid climates. To assess its utility as an environmental monitor of mercury contamination, cold vapor atomic absorption spectrometry (CVAAS) was used for analysis. Samples were collected in the fallout patterns of two coal-fired power plants in southern Nevada: the defunct Mohave Power Plant (MPP) and the operating Reid Gardner Power Plant (RGPP). The resultant Hg concentrations in rock varnishes were plotted as a function of the distance from each power plant. The highest concentrations of Hg occurred at locations that suggest the power plants are the main source of pollutants. In addition, past tracer plume studies carried out at MPP show that the highest tracer concentrations coincide with the highest rock varnish Hg concentrations. However, additional samples are required to further demonstrate that power plants are indeed the sources of mercury in varnishes. -- Highlights: •We analyze desert varnish samples collected in the fallout patterns of two coal-fired and analyzed for Hg by CVAA. •The resultant Hg concentrations in the desert varnish samples were plotted as a function of the distance from each power plant. •The highest concentrations of Hg occurred at locations that suggest the power plants are the main source of pollutants. •Data indicate the utility of desert varnish as a passive environmental monitor for Hg atmospheric pollution. -- Cold vapor atomic absorption spectrometry (CVAAS) was used for analysis of mercury in varnished rocks collected in the fallout zones of two coal-fired power plants

  11. Camelid genomes reveal evolution and adaptation to desert environments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Huiguang; Guang, Xuanmin; Al-Fageeh, Mohamed B; Cao, Junwei; Pan, Shengkai; Zhou, Huanmin; Zhang, Li; Abutarboush, Mohammed H; Xing, Yanping; Xie, Zhiyuan; Alshanqeeti, Ali S; Zhang, Yanru; Yao, Qiulin; Al-Shomrani, Badr M; Zhang, Dong; Li, Jiang; Manee, Manee M; Yang, Zili; Yang, Linfeng; Liu, Yiyi; Zhang, Jilin; Altammami, Musaad A; Wang, Shenyuan; Yu, Lili; Zhang, Wenbin; Liu, Sanyang; Ba, La; Liu, Chunxia; Yang, Xukui; Meng, Fanhua; Wang, Shaowei; Li, Lu; Li, Erli; Li, Xueqiong; Wu, Kaifeng; Zhang, Shu; Wang, Junyi; Yin, Ye; Yang, Huanming; Al-Swailem, Abdulaziz M; Wang, Jun

    2014-10-21

    Bactrian camel (Camelus bactrianus), dromedary (Camelus dromedarius) and alpaca (Vicugna pacos) are economically important livestock. Although the Bactrian camel and dromedary are large, typically arid-desert-adapted mammals, alpacas are adapted to plateaus. Here we present high-quality genome sequences of these three species. Our analysis reveals the demographic history of these species since the Tortonian Stage of the Miocene and uncovers a striking correlation between large fluctuations in population size and geological time boundaries. Comparative genomic analysis reveals complex features related to desert adaptations, including fat and water metabolism, stress responses to heat, aridity, intense ultraviolet radiation and choking dust. Transcriptomic analysis of Bactrian camels further reveals unique osmoregulation, osmoprotection and compensatory mechanisms for water reservation underpinned by high blood glucose levels. We hypothesize that these physiological mechanisms represent kidney evolutionary adaptations to the desert environment. This study advances our understanding of camelid evolution and the adaptation of camels to arid-desert environments.

  12. Bidirectional recovery patterns of Mojave Desert vegetation in an aqueduct pipeline corridor after 36 years: I. Perennial shrubs and grasses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berry, Kristin H.; Weigand, James F.; Gowan, Timothy A.; Mack, Jeremy S.

    2015-01-01

    We studied recovery of 21 perennial plant species along a severely disturbed aqueduct corridor in a Larrea tridentata-Ambrosia dumosa plant alliance in the Mojave Desert 36 years after construction. The 97-m wide corridor contained a central dirt road and buried aqueduct pipeline. We established transects at 0 m (road verge), 20 m and 40 m into the disturbance corridor, and at 100 m in undisturbed habitat (the control). Although total numbers of shrubs per transect did not vary significantly with distance from the verge, canopy cover of shrubs, species richness, and species diversity were higher in the control than at the verge and other distances. Canopy cover of common shrubs (Ericameria nauseosa, Ambrosia salsola, A. dumosa, L. tridentata, Grayia spinosa) and perennial grasses (Elymus elymoides, Poa secunda) also varied significantly by location. Discriminant analysis clearly separated the four distances based on plant composition. Patterns of recovery were bidirectional: secondary succession from the control into the disturbance corridor and inhibition from the verge in the direction of the control. Time estimated for species composition to resemble the control is dependent on location within the disturbance corridor and could be centuries at the road verge. Our findings have applications to other deserts.

  13. Investigating water resources of the desert: How isotopes can help

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gonfiantini, R.

    1992-01-01

    Newspapers and magazines from time to time write about the enormous reserves of water stored underground in the Sahara, whose rational exploitation would allow the agricultural development of the desert. Although the practical implementation of such projects is rather problematic, it is true that groundwater is relatively abundant under most of the Sahara (as well as in other deserts in the world), but it is seldom easily accessible. What do we really know about these resources of groundwater and how they have accumulated in areas where rainfall is so scarce. What do we know of the hydrological history of the desert. These problems are important for the correct evaluation and use of the groundwater in the desert. Isotope techniques help in their solution, and are described in this document. 6 figs

  14. Investigating water resources of the desert: how isotopes can help

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gonfiantini, R.

    1981-01-01

    Newspapers and magazines from time to time write about the enormous reserves of water stored underground in the Sahara, whose rational exploitation would allow the agricultural development of the desert. Although the practical implementation of such projects is rather problematic, it is true that groundwater is relatively abundant under most of the Sahara (as well as in other deserts in the world), but it is seldom easily accessible. What do we really know about these resources of groundwater and how they have accumulated in areas where rainfall is so scarce. What do we know of the hydrological history of the desert. These problems are important for the correct evaluation and use of the groundwater in the desert. Isotope techniques help in their solution, and are described in this document

  15. Reclaiming freshwater sustainability in the Cadillac Desert

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sabo, John L.; Sinha, Tushar; Bowling, Laura C.; Schoups, Gerrit H.W.; Wallender, Wesley W.; Campana, Michael E.; Cherkauer, Keith A.; Fuller, Pam L.; Graf, William L.; Hopmans, Jan W.; Kominoski, John S.; Taylor, Carissa; Trimble, Stanley W.; Webb, Robert H.; Wohl, Ellen E.

    2010-01-01

    Increasing human appropriation of freshwater resources presents a tangible limit to the sustainability of cities, agriculture, and ecosystems in the western United States. Marc Reisner tackles this theme in his 1986 classic Cadillac Desert: The American West and Its Disappearing Water. Reisner's analysis paints a portrait of region-wide hydrologic dysfunction in the western United States, suggesting that the storage capacity of reservoirs will be impaired by sediment infilling, croplands will be rendered infertile by salt, and water scarcity will pit growing desert cities against agribusiness in the face of dwindling water resources. Here we evaluate these claims using the best available data and scientific tools. Our analysis provides strong scientific support for many of Reisner's claims, except the notion that reservoir storage is imminently threatened by sediment. More broadly, we estimate that the equivalent of nearly 76% of streamflow in the Cadillac Desert region is currently appropriated by humans, and this figure could rise to nearly 86% under a doubling of the region's population. Thus, Reisner's incisive journalism led him to the same conclusions as those rendered by copious data, modern scientific tools, and the application of a more genuine scientific method. We close with a prospectus for reclaiming freshwater sustainability in the Cadillac Desert, including a suite of recommendations for reducing region-wide human appropriation of streamflow to a target level of 60%.

  16. The Desert and the Sown Project in Northern Jordan

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kerner, Susanne

    2014-01-01

    The desert and sown project, which started in 1999 and continued in 2008-2009, studied the region between the settled areas east of Irbid and Ramtha and the surrounding desert at Mafraq (northern Jordan). Large parts of the material comes from the Palaeolithic period, while some smaller tells date...

  17. Observed 20th Century Desert Dust Variability: Impact on Climate and Biogeochemistry

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mahowald, Natalie [Cornell University; Kloster, Silvia [Cornell University; Engelstaedter, S. [Cornell University; Moore, Jefferson Keith [University of California, Irvine; Mukhopadhyay, S. [Harvard University; McConnell, J. R. [Desert Research Institute, Reno, NV; Albani, S. [Cornell University; Doney, Scott C. [Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), Woods Hole, MA; Bhattacharya, A. [Harvard University; Curran, M. A. J. [Antarctic Climate and Ecosystems Cooperative Research Centre; Flanner, Mark G. [University of Michigan; Hoffman, Forrest M [ORNL; Lawrence, David M. [National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR); Lindsay, Keith [National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR); Mayewski, P. A. [University of Maine; Neff, Jason [University of Colorado, Boulder; Rothenberg, D. [Cornell University; Thomas, E. [British Antarctic Survey, Cambridge, UK; Thornton, Peter E [ORNL; Zender, Charlie S. [University of California, Irvine

    2010-01-01

    Desert dust perturbs climate by directly and indirectly interacting with incoming solar and outgoing long wave radiation, thereby changing precipitation and temperature, in addition to modifying ocean and land biogeochemistry. While we know that desert dust is sensitive to perturbations in climate and human land use, previous studies have been unable to determine whether humans were increasing or decreasing desert dust in the global average. Here we present observational estimates of desert dust based on paleodata proxies showing a doubling of desert dust during the 20th century over much, but not all the globe. Large uncertainties remain in estimates of desert dust variability over 20th century due to limited data. Using these observational estimates of desert dust change in combination with ocean, atmosphere and land models, we calculate the net radiative effect of these observed changes (top of atmosphere) over the 20th century to be -0.14 {+-} 0.11 W/m{sup 2} (1990-1999 vs. 1905-1914). The estimated radiative change due to dust is especially strong between the heavily loaded 1980-1989 and the less heavily loaded 1955-1964 time periods (-0.57 {+-} 0.46 W/m{sup 2}), which model simulations suggest may have reduced the rate of temperature increase between these time periods by 0.11 C. Model simulations also indicate strong regional shifts in precipitation and temperature from desert dust changes, causing 6 ppm (12 PgC) reduction in model carbon uptake by the terrestrial biosphere over the 20th century. Desert dust carries iron, an important micronutrient for ocean biogeochemistry that can modulate ocean carbon storage; here we show that dust deposition trends increase ocean productivity by an estimated 6% over the 20th century, drawing down an additional 4 ppm (8 PgC) of carbon dioxide into the oceans. Thus, perturbations to desert dust over the 20th century inferred from observations are potentially important for climate and biogeochemistry, and our understanding

  18. Water-use efficiency and relative growth rate mediate competitive interactions in Sonoran Desert winter annual plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gremer, Jennifer R; Kimball, Sarah; Keck, Katie R; Huxman, Travis E; Angert, Amy L; Venable, D Lawrence

    2013-10-01

    A functional approach to investigating competitive interactions can provide a mechanistic understanding of processes driving population dynamics, community assembly, and the maintenance of biodiversity. In Sonoran Desert annual plants, a trade-off between relative growth rate (RGR) and water-use efficiency (WUE) contributes to species differences in population dynamics that promote long-term coexistence. Traits underlying this trade-off explain variation in demographic responses to precipitation as well as life history and phenological patterns. Here, we ask how these traits mediate competitive interactions. • We conducted competition trials for three species occupying different positions along the RGR-WUE trade-off axis and compared the effects of competition at high and low soil moisture. We compared competitive effect (ability to suppress neighbors) and competitive response (ability to withstand competition from neighbors) among species. • The RGR-WUE trade-off predicted shifts in competitive responses at different soil moistures. The high-RGR species was more resistant to competition in high water conditions, while the opposite was true for the high-WUE species. The intermediate RGR species tended to have the strongest impact on all neighbors, so competitive effects did not scale directly with differences in RGR and WUE among competitors. • Our results reveal mechanisms underlying long-term variation in fitness: high-RGR species perform better in years with large, frequent rain events and can better withstand competition under wetter conditions. The opposite is true for high-WUE species. Such resource-dependent responses strongly influence community dynamics and can promote coexistence in variable environments.

  19. Phenotypic selection on leaf water use efficiency and related ecophysiological traits for natural populations of desert sunflowers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Donovan, Lisa A; Dudley, Susan A; Rosenthal, David M; Ludwig, Fulco

    2007-05-01

    Plant water-use efficiency (WUE) is expected to affect plant fitness and thus be under natural selection in arid habitats. Although many natural population studies have assessed plant WUE, only a few related WUE to fitness. The further determination of whether selection on WUE is direct or indirect through functionally related traits has yielded no consistent results. For natural populations of two desert annual sunflowers, Helianthus anomalus and H. deserticola, we used phenotypic selection analysis with vegetative biomass as the proxy for fitness to test (1) whether there was direct and indirect selection on WUE (carbon isotope ratio) and related traits (leaf N, area, succulence) and (2) whether direct selection was consistent with hypothesized drought/dehydration escape and avoidance strategies. There was direct selection for lower WUE in mesic and dry H. anomalus populations, consistent with dehydration escape, even though it is the longer lived of the two species. For mesic H. anomalus, direct selection favored lower WUE and higher N, suggesting that plants may be "wasting water" to increase N delivery via the transpiration stream. For the shorter lived H. deserticola in the direr habitat, there was indirect selection for lower WUE, inconsistent with drought escape. There was also direct selection for higher leaf N, succulence and leaf size. There was no direct selection for higher WUE consistent with dehydration avoidance in either species. Thus, in these natural populations of two desert dune species higher fitness was associated with some combination direct and indirect selection for lower WUE, higher leaf N and larger leaf size. Our understanding of the adaptive value of plant ecophysiological traits will benefit from further consideration of related traits such as leaf nitrogen and more tests in natural populations.

  20. Functional identification of a GORK potassium channel from the ancient desert shrub Ammopiptanthus mongolicus (Maxim.) Cheng f.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Junlin; Zhang, Huanchao; Lei, Han; Jin, Man; Yue, Guangzhen; Su, Yanhua

    2016-04-01

    A GORK homologue K(+) channel from the ancient desert shrub Ammopiptanthus mongolicus (Maxim.) Cheng f. shows the functional conservation of the GORK channels among plant species. Guard cell K(+) release through the outward potassium channels eventually enables the closure of stomata which consequently prevents plant water loss from severe transpiration. Early patch-clamp studies with the guard cells have revealed many details of such outward potassium currents. However, genes coding for these potassium-release channels have not been sufficiently characterized from species other than the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana. We report here the functional identification of a GORK (for Gated or Guard cell Outward Rectifying K(+) channels) homologue from the ancient desert shrub Ammopiptanthus mongolicus (Maxim.) Cheng f. AmGORK was primary expressed in shoots, where the transcripts were regulated by stress factors simulated by PEG, NaCl or ABA treatments. Patch-clamp measurements on isolated guard cell protoplasts revealed typical depolarization voltage gated outward K(+) currents sensitive to the extracelluar K(+) concentration and pH, resembling the fundamental properties previously described in other species. Two-electrode voltage-clamp analysis in Xenopus lavies oocytes with AmGORK reconstituted highly similar characteristics as assessed in the guard cells, supporting that the function of AmGORK is consistent with a crucial role in mediating stomatal closure in Ammopiptanthus mongolicus. Furthermore, a single amino acid mutation D297N of AmGORK eventually abolishes both the voltage-gating and its outward rectification and converts the channel into a leak-like channel, indicating strong involvement of this residue in the gating and voltage dependence of AmGORK. Our results obtained from this anciently originated plant support a strong functional conservation of the GORK channels among plant species and maybe also along the progress of revolution.

  1. Desert and groundwater dynamics of the Jurassic Navajo Sandstone, southeast Utah

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chan, M. A.; Hasiotis, S. T.; Parrish, J. T.

    2017-12-01

    The Jurassic Navajo Sandstone of southeastern Utah is a rich archive of a desert complex with an active groundwater system, influenced by climate changes and recharge from the Uncompahgre Uplift of the Ancestral Rocky Mountains. This eastern erg margin was dominated by dune deposits of large (>10 m thick) and small (m-scale) crossbedded sandstone sets. Within these porous deposits, common soft sediment deformation is expressed as contorted and upturned bedding, fluid escape structures, concentrations of clastic pipes with ring faults, and thick intervals of massive sandstone embedded in crossbedded sandstone. Collectively, these deformation features reflect changes and/or overpressure in the groundwater system. Interdune deposits record laterally variable bounding surfaces, resulting from the change in position of and proximity to the water table. Interdune modification by pedogenesis from burrows, roots, and trees suggest stable periods of moisture and water supply, as well as periodic drying expressed as polygonal cracked mud- to sand-cracked layers. Freshwater bedded and platy limestone beds represent lakes of decameter to kilometer extent, common in the upper part of the formation. Some carbonate springs that fed the lakes are preserved as limestone buildups (tufa mounds) with microbial structures. Extradunal deposits of rivers to small ephemeral streams show channelized and lenticular, subhorizontal, cm- to m-scale sandstone bodies with basal scours and rip-up clasts. Proxy records of the active hydrology imply a changing landscape at the Navajo desert's edge, punctuated by periods of significant rainfall, runoff, rivers, lakes, and springs, fed by high water table conditions to sustain periods of flourishing communities of plants, arthropods, reptiles, mammals, and dinosaurs. Strong ground motion perturbations periodically disrupted porous, water-saturated sands with possible surface eruptions, adding to the dynamic activity of the desert regime.

  2. Pastoralist rock art in the Black Desert of Jordan

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Brusgaard, N.O.

    2015-01-01

    This paper discusses the current problems that exist with the rock art research of the Black Desert in Jordan and presents some preliminary field results of the author’s research on the petroglyphs. It also explore the possibilities that the rock art affords to learn more about the elusive desert

  3. Are There High Meteorite Concentrations in the Atacama Desert/Chile?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scherer, P.; Delisle, G.

    1992-07-01

    We have visited numerous regions of the Atacama desert between Copiapo (27 degrees, 15'S) and Calama (22 degrees, 25'S) to assess their potential as a high-yield meteorite concentration surface, easily exploitable by search efforts within a reasonable time frame. According to our observations, this desert is characterized by the following features: a) A high percentage of the desert consists of sloping surfaces on which soil movement occurs, presumably by very infrequent, though heavy rain. b) Vast areas of the desert are covered by a dm-thick sand layer of dark colour. Since the sand is too coarse-grained to be transported by wind it presumably resulted from in-situ weathering of rock debris derived from nearby mountains. We suspect that impacting smaller objects can easily penetrate the sand layer. c) The sand layer is typically dotted by rocks, fist-size or smaller, that are covered by a thick layer of desert paint (reddish-brown to black colour). Most country rocks are of volcanic origin (rhyolite, andesite, basalt) and are typically of grey to black colour. A noticeable colour contrast in particular to potential stony meteorites is almost nonexistent. d) Soil salts with a potential to speed up weathering processes are ubiquitous near the surface. e) The Pampa de Mejillones, 45 km north of Antofagasta, is one of the few light-coloured areas in the Atacama desert. The surface, being of Mio-Pliocene age, consists of an almost continuous layer of light-brown fossil shells (bivalves and gastropodes). Fluvially transported dark rocks from adjacent outcrops rest on top. The latter material is covered again by desert paint. Few meteorite discoveries have been reported from this area (Pampa (a),(b),(c)). f) Numerous old tire tracks, in particular around mines in operation, crisscross most areas of the Atacama. Undetected objects such as large masses of iron bodies are not likely to have remained undiscovered in great numbers any more. We conclude that the potential of

  4. Effects of Simulated Nitrogen Deposition on Soil Respiration in a Populus euphratica Community in the Ebinur Lake Area, a Desert Ecosystem of Northwestern China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    He, Xuemin; Lv, Guanghui; Qin, Lu; Chang, Shunli; Yang, Min; Yang, Jianjun; Yang, Xiaodong

    2015-01-01

    One of the primary limiting factors for biological activities in desert ecosystems is nitrogen (N). This study therefore examined the effects of N and investigated the responses of an arid ecosystem to global change. We selected the typical desert plant Populus euphratica in a desert ecosystem in the Ebinur Lake area to evaluate the effects of N deposition on desert soil respiration. Three levels of N deposition (0, 37.5 and 112.5 kg·N·ha-1·yr-1) were randomly artificially provided to simulate natural N deposition. Changes in the soil respiration rates were measured from July to September in both 2010 and 2013, after N deposition in April 2010. The different levels of N deposition affected the total soil N, soil organic matter, soil C/N ratio, microorganism number, and microbial community structure and function. However, variable effects were observed over time in relation to changes in the magnitude of N deposition. Simulated high N deposition significantly reduced the soil respiration rate by approximately 23.6±2.5% (Pdesert ecosystem of the Ebinur Lake area, N deposition indirectly changes the soil respiration rate by altering soil properties.

  5. 76 FR 8730 - Desert Southwest Customer Service Region-Rate Order No. WAPA-151

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-02-15

    ... DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Western Area Power Administration Desert Southwest Customer Service Region.... Jack Murray, Rates Manager, Desert Southwest Customer Service Region, Western Area Power Administration... ancillary service rates for the Desert Southwest Customer Service Region in accordance with section 302 of...

  6. Molecular characterization of endophytic fungi associated with the roots of Chenopodium quinoa inhabiting the Atacama Desert, Chile.

    Science.gov (United States)

    González-Teuber, M; Vilo, C; Bascuñán-Godoy, L

    2017-03-01

    Plant roots can be highly colonized by fungal endophytes. This seems to be of particular importance for the survival of plants inhabiting stressful habitats. This study focused on the Identification of the fungal endophytic community associated with the roots of quinoa plants ( Chenopodium quinoa ) growing near the salt lakes of the Atacama Desert, Chile. One hundred endophytic fungi were isolated from healthy quinoa roots, and the internal transcribed spacer (ITS) region was sequenced for phylogenetic and taxonomic analysis. The isolates were classified into eleven genera and 21 distinct operational taxonomic units (OTUs). Despite a relatively high diversity of root endophytic fungi associated with quinoa plants, the fungal community was dominated by only the Ascomycota phyla. In addition, the most abundant genera were Penicillium , Phoma and Fusarium , which are common endophytes reported in plant roots. This study shows that roots of C . quinoa harbor a diverse group of endophytic fungi. Potential roles of these fungi in plant host tolerance to stressful conditions are discussed.

  7. Production of desert rose seedlings in different potting media

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ronan Carlos Colombo

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Over the past decade the desert rose received fame in the flower market due to its striking and sculptural forms; however, the commercial production of these species is quite recent and little is known about its crop management, including substrates recommendation. The objectives of this study were to investigate the effect of different substrates on desert rose seed germination and production of its seedlings. Experiment I: freshly harvested seeds of desert rose were sown in different substrates e.g. sand, coconut fiber, semi-composted pine bark, sand + coconut fiber, semi-composted pine bark + sand and coconut fiber + semicomposted pine bark. These substrates were evaluated to study the emergence percentage of seeds, initial growth of seedlings and seedling emergence speed index (ESI. Experiment II: desert rose from the experiment I were transferred to plastic pots filled with the same substrates as in experiment I. The pH and electrical conductivity (EC of the substrates were noted every 30 days while the growth parameters of seedlings were recorded after 240 days. Results from experiment I showed higher germination rate and seedling growth in substrates containing semi-composted pine bark. Similarly, in experiment II, better quality seedlings were observed in substrates containing semi-composted pine bark. Thus, for desert rose seed germination and seedling growth, it is recommended to use substrates containing semi-composted pine bark.

  8. Ecosystem responses to warming and watering in typical and desert steppes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Zhenzhu; Hou, Yanhui; Zhang, Lihua; Liu, Tao; Zhou, Guangsheng

    2016-10-01

    Global warming is projected to continue, leading to intense fluctuations in precipitation and heat waves and thereby affecting the productivity and the relevant biological processes of grassland ecosystems. Here, we determined the functional responses to warming and altered precipitation in both typical and desert steppes. The results showed that watering markedly increased the aboveground net primary productivity (ANPP) in a typical steppe during a drier year and in a desert steppe over two years, whereas warming manipulation had no significant effect. The soil microbial biomass carbon (MBC) and the soil respiration (SR) were increased by watering in both steppes, but the SR was significantly decreased by warming in the desert steppe only. The inorganic nitrogen components varied irregularly, with generally lower levels in the desert steppe. The belowground traits of soil total organic carbon (TOC) and the MBC were more closely associated with the ANPP in the desert than in the typical steppes. The results showed that the desert steppe with lower productivity may respond strongly to precipitation changes, particularly with warming, highlighting the positive effect of adding water with warming. Our study implies that the habitat- and year-specific responses to warming and watering should be considered when predicting an ecosystem’s functional responses under climate change scenarios.

  9. Monitoring of desert dune topography by multi angle sensors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yun, J.; Kim, J.; Choi, Y.; Yun, H.

    2011-12-01

    Nowadays, the sandy desert is rapidly expanding world widely and results in a lot of risks in the socio-econimical aspects as well as the anthropogenic activities. For example, the increasing occurrences of mineral dust storm which presumably originated from the sandy deserts in northwest China become a serious threat in human activities as well as public health over Far East Asian area as the interpretation by the MODIS analysis (Zhang et al., 2007) and the particle trajectory simulation with HYSPLYT (HYbrid Single-Particle Lagrangian Integrated Trajectory) (Kim et al., 2011) identified. Since the sand dune activity has been recognized as an essential indicator of the progressive desertification, it is important to establish the monitoring method for the variations of topographic properties by the dune activities such as local roughness. Thus it will provide the crucial data about the extent and the transition of sandy desert. For example, it is well known the aerodynamic roughness lengths Zo which can be driven from the specialized sensor such as POLDER (POLarization and Directionality of the Earth's Reflectances) is essential to understand desert dune characteristics. However, for the multi temporal observation of dune fields, the availability of data set to extract Zo is limited. Therefore, we employed MISR (Multi angle imaging Spectro Radiometer) image sequence to extract multi angle topographic parameters such as NDAI (Normalized Difference Angular Index) or the variation of radiance with the viewing geometry which are representing the characteristics of target desert topography instead of Zo. In our approach, NDAI were expanded to the all viewing angles and then compared over the target sandy desert and the surrounding land covers. It showed very strong consistencies according to the land cover type and especially over the dynamic dune fields. On the other hands, the variation of NDAIs of sandy desert combining with the metrological observations were

  10. CAMEL REARING IN CHOLISTAN DESERT OF PAKISTAN

    OpenAIRE

    I. ALI, M. SHAFIQ CHAUDHRY1 AND U. FAROOQ

    2009-01-01

    The camel is one of the typical and the best adopted animals of the desert, capable of enduring thirst and hunger for days and is the most patient of land animals. For desert nomads of Pakistani Cholistan, it is a beloved companion, a source of milk and meat, transport facility provider and a racing/dancing animal, thus, playing an important role in the socioeconomic uplift of the local community. Camels of Marrecha or Mahra breed are mainly used for riding and load carrying but may be traine...

  11. The evolution of deserts with climatic changes in China since 150 ka B.P.

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    董光荣; 陈惠忠; 王贵勇; 李孝泽; 邵亚军; 金炯

    1997-01-01

    According to the bioclimatic zones, dune mobility and the fabric characteristics of stratigraphic sedimentary facies, the deserts in China are divided into Eastern, Western, Central and Northwestern deserts. Based on the records of stratigraphical facies, climatic proxies, historical data, etc. in each desert region, the evolution of deserts with climatic changes in time and space since 150 ka B. P. in China are dealt with; then the evolution of deserts in relation to the glacial climatic fluctuations caused by solar radiation changes, underlying surface variation and their feedback mechanism is discussed through comparison with global records; finally, in consideration of global wanning due to increasing of greenhouse gases such as CO2, the possible tendency of the evolution of deserts and the climatic changes is discussed.

  12. Assessing degradation of abandoned farmlands for conservation of the Monte Desert biome in Argentina.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yannelli, Florencia A; Tabeni, Solana; Mastrantonio, Leandro E; Vezzani, Nazareth

    2014-01-01

    Land abandonment is a major issue worldwide. In Argentina, the Monte Desert is the most arid rangeland, where the traditional conservation practices are based on successional management of areas excluded to disturbances or abandoned. Some areas subjected to this kind of management may be too degraded, and thus require active restoration. Therefore, the aim of this study was to assess whether passive succession-based management is a suitable approach by evaluating the status of land degradation in a protected area after 17-41 years of farming abandonment. Soil traits and plant growth forms were quantified and compared between sites according to time since abandonment and former land use (cultivation and grazing). Two variables were calculated using the CORINE-CEC method, i.e., potential (PSER) and actual (ASER) soil erosion risk. PSER indicates the erosion risk when no vegetation is present, while ASER includes the protective role of vegetation cover. Results showed that land use history had no significant effect on plant growth forms or soil traits (p > 0.05). After more than 25 years since abandonment of farming activities, soil conditions and vegetation cover had improved, thus having a lower ASER. Nevertheless, the present soil physical crusts may have delayed the full development of vegetation, enhancing erosion processes. Overall, this study indicates that succession-based management may not be the best practice in terms of conservation. Therefore, any effort for conservation in the Monte Desert should contemplate the current status of land degradation and potential vegetation recovery.

  13. Aeromycobiota of Western Desert of Egypt | Ismail | African Journal ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The prevalence of airborne mycobiota at six different regions of Western desert (5 regions) and Eastern desert (1) of Egypt was determined using the exposed-plate method. A total of 44 genera, 102 species and one variety in addition to some unidentified yeasts and dark sterile mycelia were collected. Of the above, only 5 ...

  14. Spatial and temporal structure of the spider community in the clay semi-desert of western Kazakhstan

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Piterkina, Tatyana V.

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available The spatial and temporal structure of spider communities was studied in the clay semi-desert of the north-western Caspian Lowland, western Kazakhstan (49°23' N, 46°47' E. The soils and vegetation are complex, being composed of a mosaic of desert and steppe plant communities. Besides the native associations, there are plantations of different tree species. The ground-dwelling spider assemblages in the native habitats are the most diverse. The number of species inhabiting forest plantations is three times as small. Gnaphosidae is the leading family in the ground layer. They show high abundance and diversity levels during the whole season. Thomisidae, Lycosidae, Philodromidae, and Salticidae are abundant as well. The species diversity of herbage-dwelling spiders in different open native habitats is very similar. The spectrum of dominant families (Thomisidae, Oxyopidae, Araneidae, and Salticidae and the seasonal dynamics of their ratio in desert and steppe associations have much in common. Spider assemblages of native and artificial habitats are characterised by change from multispecies polydominant spring-summer communities to impoverished imbalanced autumn ones. Seasonal changes in the species structure of mature spider groupings in native habitats are well pronounced, while the impact of seasonal conditions is even stronger than between-habitat differences. Complexes of typical species with different levels of habitat preference are revealed.

  15. Extensive summer water pulses do not necessarily lead to canopy growth of Great Basin and northern Mojave Desert shrubs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Snyder, K A; Donovan, L A; James, J J; Tiller, R L; Richards, J H

    2004-10-01

    Plant species and functionally related species groups from arid and semi-arid habitats vary in their capacity to take up summer precipitation, acquire nitrogen quickly after summer precipitation, and subsequently respond with ecophysiological changes (e.g. water and nitrogen relations, gas exchange). For species that respond ecophysiologically, the use of summer precipitation is generally assumed to affect long-term plant growth and thus alter competitive interactions that structure plant communities and determine potential responses to climate change. We assessed ecophysiological and growth responses to large short-term irrigation pulses over one to three growing seasons for several widespread Great Basin and northern Mojave Desert shrub species: Chrysothamnus nauseosus, Sarcobatus vermiculatus, Atriplex confertifolia, and A. parryi. We compared control and watered plants in nine case studies that encompassed adults of all four species, juveniles for three of the species, and two sites for two of the species. In every comparison, plants used summer water pulses to improve plant water status or increase rates of functioning as indicated by other ecophysiological characters. Species and life history stage responses of ecophysiological parameters (leaf N, delta15N, delta13C, gas exchange, sap flow) were consistent with several previous short-term studies. However, use of summer water pulses did not affect canopy growth in eight out of nine comparisons, despite the range of species, growth stages, and site conditions. Summer water pulses affected canopy growth only for C. nauseosus adults. The general lack of growth effects for these species might be due to close proximity of groundwater at these sites, co-limitation by nutrients, or inability to respond due to phenological canalization. An understanding of the connections between short-term ecophysiological responses and growth, for different habitats and species, is critical for determining the significance of

  16. [Academic stress, desertion, and retention strategies for students in higher education].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suárez-Montes, Nancy; Díaz-Subieta, Luz B

    2015-04-01

    A systematic review was performed to specify the characteristics of academic stress that affect the mental health of the university population. To do this, recent publications regarding academic stress, student desertion, and retention strategies were examined. Throughout this text, we present the results of the review in terms of the definitions of academic stress, student desertion, and retention strategies. In the same way, we examine the interpretative models with regard to student desertion and approach retention strategies in higher education. We also review retention experiences of several other countries. In terms of Colombia, we present aspects related to student desertion and retention programs from the point of view of the National Ministry of Education and from the experience of some universities with consolidated programs.

  17. Water use patterns of co-occurring C3 and C4 shrubs in the Gurbantonggut desert in northwestern China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tiemuerbieke, Bahejiayinaer; Min, Xiao-Jun; Zang, Yong-Xin; Xing, Peng; Ma, Jian-Ying; Sun, Wei

    2018-09-01

    In water-limited ecosystems, spatial and temporal partitioning of water sources is an important mechanism that facilitates plant survival and lessens the competition intensity of co-existing plants. Insights into species-specific root functional plasticity and differences in the water sources of co-existing plants under changing water conditions can aid in accurate prediction of the response of desert ecosystems to future climate change. We used stable isotopes of soil water, groundwater and xylem water to determine the seasonal and inter- and intraspecific differences variations in the water sources of six C 3 and C 4 shrubs in the Gurbantonggut desert. We also measured the stem water potentials to determine the water stress levels of each species under varying water conditions. The studied shrubs exhibited similar seasonal water uptake patterns, i.e., all shrubs extracted shallow soil water recharged by snowmelt water during early spring and reverted to deeper water sources during dry summer periods, indicating that all of the studied shrubs have dimorphic root systems that enable them to obtain water sources that differ in space and time. Species in the C 4 shrub community exhibited differences in seasonal water absorption and water status due to differences in topography and rooting depth, demonstrating divergent adaptations to water availability and water stress. Haloxylon ammodendron and T. ramosissima in the C 3 /C 4 mixed community were similar in terms of seasonal water extraction but differed with respect to water potential, which indicated that plant water status is controlled by both root functioning and shoot eco-physiological traits. The two Tamarix species in the C 3 shrub community were similar in terms of water uptake and water status, which suggests functional convergence of the root system and physiological performance under same soil water conditions. In different communities, Haloxylon ammodendron differed in terms of summer water extraction

  18. Female offspring desertion and male-only care increase with natural and experimental increase in food abundance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eldegard, Katrine; Sonerud, Geir A

    2009-05-07

    In species with biparental care, one parent may escape the costs of parental care by deserting and leaving the partner to care for the offspring alone. A number of theoretical papers have suggested a link between uniparental offspring desertion and ecological factors, but empirical evidence is scarce. We investigated the relationship between uniparental desertion and food abundance in a natural population of Tengmalm's owl Aegolius funereus, both by means of a 5-year observational study and a 1-year experimental study. Parents and offspring were fitted with radio-transmitters in order to reveal the parental care strategy (i.e. care or desert) of individual parents, and to keep track of the broods post-fledging. We found that 70 per cent of the females from non-experimental nests deserted, while their partner continued to care for their joint offspring alone. Desertion rate was positively related to natural prey population densities and body reserves of the male partner. In response to food supplementation, a larger proportion of the females deserted, and females deserted the offspring at an earlier age. Offspring survival during the post-fledging period tended to be lower in deserted than in non-deserted broods. We argue that the most important benefit of deserting may be remating (sequential polyandry).

  19. Effects of subsidized predators, resource variability, and human population density on desert tortoise populations in the Mojave Desert, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Esque, Todd C.; Nussear, Kenneth E.; Drake, K. Kristina; Walde, Andrew D.; Berry, Kristin H.; Averill-Murray, Roy C.; Woodman, A. Peter; Boarman, William I.; Medica, Phil A.; Mack, Jeremy S.; Heaton, Jill S.

    2010-01-01

    Understanding predator–prey relationships can be pivotal in the conservation of species. For 2 decades, desert tortoise Gopherus agassizii populations have declined, yet quantitative evidence regarding the causes of declines is scarce. In 2005, Ft. Irwin National Training Center, California, USA, implemented a translocation project including 2 yr of baseline monitoring of desert tortoises. Unusually high predation on tortoises was observed after translocation occurred. We conducted a retrospective analysis of predation and found that translocation did not affect the probability of predation: translocated, resident, and control tortoises all had similar levels of predation. However, predation rates were higher near human population concentrations, at lower elevation sites, and for smaller tortoises and females. Furthermore, high mortality rates were not limited to the National Training Center. In 2008, elevated mortality (as high as 43%) occurred throughout the listed range of the desert tortoise. Although no temporal prey base data are available for analysis from any of the study sites, we hypothesize that low population levels of typical coyote Canis latrans prey (i.e. jackrabbits Lepus californicus and other small animals) due to drought conditions influenced high predation rates in previous years. Predation may have been exacerbated in areas with high levels of subsidized predators. Many historical reports of increased predation, and our observation of a range-wide pattern, may indicate that high predation rates are more common than generally considered and may impact recovery of the desert tortoise throughout its range.

  20. Observed 20th century desert dust variability: impact on climate and biogeochemistry

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    N. M. Mahowald

    2010-11-01

    Full Text Available Desert dust perturbs climate by directly and indirectly interacting with incoming solar and outgoing long wave radiation, thereby changing precipitation and temperature, in addition to modifying ocean and land biogeochemistry. While we know that desert dust is sensitive to perturbations in climate and human land use, previous studies have been unable to determine whether humans were increasing or decreasing desert dust in the global average. Here we present observational estimates of desert dust based on paleodata proxies showing a doubling of desert dust during the 20th century over much, but not all the globe. Large uncertainties remain in estimates of desert dust variability over 20th century due to limited data. Using these observational estimates of desert dust change in combination with ocean, atmosphere and land models, we calculate the net radiative effect of these observed changes (top of atmosphere over the 20th century to be −0.14 ± 0.11 W/m2 (1990–1999 vs. 1905–1914. The estimated radiative change due to dust is especially strong between the heavily loaded 1980–1989 and the less heavily loaded 1955–1964 time periods (−0.57 ± 0.46 W/m2, which model simulations suggest may have reduced the rate of temperature increase between these time periods by 0.11 °C. Model simulations also indicate strong regional shifts in precipitation and temperature from desert dust changes, causing 6 ppm (12 PgC reduction in model carbon uptake by the terrestrial biosphere over the 20th century. Desert dust carries iron, an important micronutrient for ocean biogeochemistry that can modulate ocean carbon storage; here we show that dust deposition trends increase ocean productivity by an estimated 6% over the 20th century, drawing down an additional 4 ppm (8 PgC of carbon dioxide into the oceans. Thus, perturbations to desert dust over the 20th century inferred from observations are potentially important for climate and

  1. Chemical mass balance source apportionment of fine and PM10 in the Desert Southwest, USA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrea L. Clements

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available The Desert Southwest Coarse Particulate Matter Study was undertaken in Pinal County, Arizona, to better understand the origin and impact of sources of fine and coarse particulate matter (PM in rural, arid regions of the U.S. southwestern desert. The desert southwest experiences some of the highest PM10 mass concentrations in the country. To augment previously reported results, 6-week aggregated organic speciation data that included ambient concentrations of n-alkanes, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, organic acids, and saccharides were used in chemical mass balance modeling (CMB. A set of re-suspended soil samples were analyzed for specific marker species to provide locally-appropriate source profiles for the CMB analysis. These profiles, as well as previously collected plant and fungal spore profiles from the region, were combined with published source profiles for other relevant sources and used in the CMB analysis. The six new region-specific source profiles included both organic and inorganic species for four crustal material sources, one plant detritus source, and one fungal spore source.Results indicate that up to half of the ambient PM2.5 was apportioned to motor vehicles with the highest regional contribution observed in the small urban center of Casa Grande. Daily levels of apportioned crustal material accounted for up to 50% of PM2.5 mass with the highest contributions observed at the sites closest to active agricultural areas. Apportioned secondary PM, biomass burning, and road dust typically contributed less than 35% as a group to the apportioned PM2.5 mass. Crustal material was the primary source apportioned to PM10 and accounted for between 50–90% of the apportioned mass. Of the other sources apportioned to PM10, motor vehicles and road dust were the largest contributors at the urban and one of the rural sites, whereas road dust and meat cooking operations were the largest contributors at the other rural site.

  2. Observation of water and heat fluxes in the Badain Jaran desert, China

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Zhang, T.; Wen, J.; Su, Z.; Tian, H.; Zeng, Y.

    Badain Jaran Desert lie in the northwest of the Alashan plateau in western Inner Mongolia of China, between39o20'N to 41o30'N and 100oE to 104oE. It is the 4th largest desert in the world and the second largest desert in China, with an area of 49000 square kilometers and an altitude between 900 and

  3. Biparentally deserted offspring are viable in a species with intense sexual conflict over care.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pogány, Ákos; Kosztolányi, András; Miklósi, Ádám; Komdeur, Jan; Székely, Tamás

    2015-07-01

    Desertion of clutch (or brood) by both parents often leads to breeding failure, since in vast majority of birds care by at least one parent is required for any young to fledge. Recent works in a highly polygamous passerine bird, the Eurasian penduline tit (Remiz pendulinus), suggest that biparental clutch desertion is due to intense sexual conflict over care. However, an alternative yet untested hypothesis for biparental desertion is low offspring viability so that the parents abandon the offspring that have poor prospect for survival. Here we test the latter hypothesis in a common garden experiment by comparing the viability of deserted and cared for eggs. We show that embryonic development does not differ between deserted and cared for eggs. Therefore, sexual conflict over care remains the best supported hypothesis for biparental clutch desertion in penduline tits. Our work points out that conflict over care is a potential - yet rarely considered - cause of biparental nest desertion, and a strong alternative for the traditional explanations of low offspring viability, human disturbance or deteriorating ambient environment. Apart from a handful of species, the intensity of sexual conflict has not been quantified, and we call for further studies to consider sexual conflict as a cause of nest desertion. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  4. CAMEL REARING IN CHOLISTAN DESERT OF PAKISTAN

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    I. ALI, M. SHAFIQ CHAUDHRY1 AND U. FAROOQ

    2009-05-01

    Full Text Available The camel is one of the typical and the best adopted animals of the desert, capable of enduring thirst and hunger for days and is the most patient of land animals. For desert nomads of Pakistani Cholistan, it is a beloved companion, a source of milk and meat, transport facility provider and a racing/dancing animal, thus, playing an important role in the socioeconomic uplift of the local community. Camels of Marrecha or Mahra breed are mainly used for riding and load carrying but may be trained for dancing or racing. Berella is another heavy and milch breed of camel famous for milk production and can produce upto 10-15 liters of milk per day. This breed is also suitable for draught purpose, though comparatively slow due to heavy body. The present paper also describes the traditional camel rearing system used by nomads of Cholistan desert. Some aspects of camel health, production, feeding, socio-economic values, marketing and some constraints and suggestions are also given so that the policy makers may consider them for the welfare of this animal.

  5. Pastoralist rock art in the Black Desert of Jordan

    OpenAIRE

    Brusgaard, N.O.

    2015-01-01

    This paper discusses the current problems that exist with the rock art research of the Black Desert in Jordan and presents some preliminary field results of the author’s research on the petroglyphs. It also explore the possibilities that the rock art affords to learn more about the elusive desert societies and the limitations about studying rock art in archaeologically unfamiliar territories.

  6. The role of fire on soil mounds and surface roughness in the Mojave Desert

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soulard, Christopher E.; Esque, Todd C.; Bedford, David R.; Bond, Sandra

    2013-01-01

    A fundamental question in arid land management centers on understanding the long-term effects of fire on desert ecosystems. To assess the effects of fire on surface topography, soil roughness, and vegetation, we used terrestrial (ground-based) LiDAR to quantify the differences between burned and unburned surfaces by creating a series of high-resolution vegetation structure and bare-earth surface models for six sample plots in the Grand Canyon-Parashant National Monument, Arizona. We find that 11 years following prescribed burns, mound volumes, plant heights, and soil-surface roughness were significantly lower on burned relative to unburned plots. Results also suggest a linkage between vegetation and soil mounds, either through accretion or erosion mechanisms such as wind and/or water erosion. The biogeomorphic implications of fire-induced changes are significant. Reduced plant cover and altered soil surfaces from fire likely influence seed residence times, inhibit seed germination and plant establishment, and affect other ecohydrological processes.

  7. Condition-dependent clutch desertion in Great Tit (Parus major) females subjected to human disturbance

    OpenAIRE

    2011-01-01

    Abstract Nest desertion behaviour in relation to body condition and timing of breeding was studied in Great Tit (Parus major) females during two breeding seasons. Desertion, most likely unintentionally provoked by catching females during the incubation period, occurred at a very high rate with 41.2 and 25.6% of deserted first clutches in the two study years. The association between desertion probability, body condition (index calculated as residuals from the regression of body mass...

  8. Genotoxic Assessment of Some Inorganic Compounds in Desert Pupfish (Cyprinodon macularius) in the Evaporation Pond from a Geothermal Plant.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flores-Galván, Miguel; Arellano-García, Evarista; Ruiz-Campos, Gorgonio; Daesslé, Luis Walter

    2017-08-01

    The frequency of micro nucleated erythrocytes in peripheral blood of the desert pupfish (Cyprinodon macularius) from a geothermal effluent pond is determined and compared to organisms kept in an aquarium. The frequency of micronucleated erythrocytes found in pupfish from the geothermal pond is 2.75 (±2.09) and only 0.44 (±0.52) in captivity organisms. Dissolved As in the ponds doubles the 340 µg L -1 US-EPA acute quality criteria for aquatic life and Hg equals the 1.77 µg L -1 chronic criteria. The organisms with high MNE also have significantly high Se, As and Hg concentrations in muscle and liver. Compared to international maximum allowable limits for fish consumption, there is 81× enrichment for Se, 6× for As and 5× for Hg. Although Se is not significantly enriched in water, it is likely that its bioaccumulation occurs via feeding of detritus. The desert pupfish has a significant resistance to extreme metal accumulations and to recover under unpolluted conditions.

  9. Hydrological indications of aeolian salts in mid-latitude deserts of ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Hydrological indications of aeolian salts in mid-latitude deserts of northwestern China. B Q Zhu. Supplementary data. Figure S1. Photograph views of Quaternary and modern sediments of aeolian and lacustrine/fluvial facies that consisted of clay and sand/silt sand alternations in the Taklamakan and Badanjilin Deserts.

  10. Mineral compositions and sources of the riverbed sediment in the desert channel of Yellow River.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jia, Xiaopeng; Wang, Haibing

    2011-02-01

    The Yellow River flows through an extensive, aeolian desert area and extends from Xiaheyan, Ningxia Province, to Toudaoguai, Inner Mongolia Province, with a total length of 1,000 km. Due to the construction and operation of large reservoirs in the upstream of the Yellow River, most water and sediment from upstream were stored in these reservoirs, which leads to the declining flow in the desert channel that has no capability to scour large amount of input of desert sands from the desert regions. By analyzing and comparing the spatial distribution of weight percent of mineral compositions between sediment sources and riverbed sediment of the main tributaries and the desert channel of the Yellow River, we concluded that the coarse sediment deposited in the desert channel of the Yellow River were mostly controlled by the local sediment sources. The analyzed results of the Quartz-Feldspar-Mica (QFM) triangular diagram and the R-factor models of the coarse sediment in the Gansu reach and the desert channel of the Yellow River further confirm that the Ningxia Hedong desert and the Inner Mongolian Wulanbuhe and Kubuqi deserts are the main provenances of the coarse sediment in the desert channel of the Yellow River. Due to the higher fluidity of the fine sediment, they are mainly contributed by the local sediment sources and the tributaries that originated from the loess area of the upper reach of the Yellow River.

  11. A preliminaryfloristic checklist of thal desert punjab, pakistan

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Shaheen, H.; Qureshi, R.

    2014-01-01

    The floristic survey of the Thal desert, Punjab, Pakistan was carried out during 2010 to 2013. So far, 248 species distributed across 166 genera and 38 families were identified during the report period. Besides, one species viz., Themeda triandra was recorded for the first time from Pakistan. Of them, one fern, 4 monocots and 33 dicots families were determined. The most dominating family was Poaceae that contributed 52 species (21.49%), followed by Fabaceae (34 spp., 13.05%) and Amaranthaceae and Asteraceae (17 spp., 7.02% each). The largest genera were Euphorbia (6 spp.), Cyperus, Eragrostis and Solanum (5 spp. each), Mollugo, Heliotropium and Cenchrus (4 spp. each), Acacia, Prosopis, Tephrosia, Corchorus, Boerhavia and Ziziphus (3 spp. each). This checklist consists of updated systematic families and plants names that will provide a useful starting point for further ecological and bioprospective research of the area under study. (author)

  12. Advanced Photogrammetry to Assess Lichen Colonization in the Hyper-Arid Namib Desert.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hinchliffe, Graham; Bollard-Breen, Barbara; Cowan, Don A; Doshi, Ashray; Gillman, Len N; Maggs-Kolling, Gillian; de Los Rios, Asuncion; Pointing, Stephen B

    2017-01-01

    The hyper-arid central region of the Namib Desert is characterized by quartz desert pavement terrain that is devoid of vascular plant covers. In this extreme habitat the only discernible surface covers are epilithic lichens that colonize exposed surfaces of quartz rocks. These lichens are highly susceptible to disturbance and so field surveys have been limited due to concerns about disturbing this unusual desert feature. Here we present findings that illustrate how non-destructive surveys based upon advanced photogrammetry techniques can yield meaningful and novel scientific data on these lichens. We combined 'structure from motion analysis,' computer vision and GIS to create 3-dimensional point clouds from two-dimensional imagery. The data were robust in its application to estimating absolute lichen cover. An orange Stellarangia spp. assemblage had coverage of 22.8% of available substrate, whilst for a black Xanthoparmelia spp. assemblage coverage was markedly lower at 0.6% of available substrate. Hyperspectral signatures for both lichens were distinct in the near-infra red range indicating that Xanthoparmelia spp. was likely under relatively more moisture stress than Stellarangia spp. at the time of sampling, and we postulate that albedo effects may have contributed to this in the black lichen. Further transformation of the data revealed a colonization preference for west-facing quartz surfaces and this coincides with prevailing winds for marine fog that is the major source of moisture in this system. Furthermore, a three-dimensional 'fly through' of the lichen habitat was created to illustrate how the application of computer vision in microbiology has further potential as a research and education tool. We discuss how advanced photogrammetry could be applied in astrobiology using autonomous rovers to add quantitative ecological data for visible surface colonization on the surface of Mars.

  13. Advanced Photogrammetry to Assess Lichen Colonization in the Hyper-Arid Namib Desert

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Graham Hinchliffe

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available The hyper-arid central region of the Namib Desert is characterized by quartz desert pavement terrain that is devoid of vascular plant covers. In this extreme habitat the only discernible surface covers are epilithic lichens that colonize exposed surfaces of quartz rocks. These lichens are highly susceptible to disturbance and so field surveys have been limited due to concerns about disturbing this unusual desert feature. Here we present findings that illustrate how non-destructive surveys based upon advanced photogrammetry techniques can yield meaningful and novel scientific data on these lichens. We combined ‘structure from motion analysis,’ computer vision and GIS to create 3-dimensional point clouds from two-dimensional imagery. The data were robust in its application to estimating absolute lichen cover. An orange Stellarangia spp. assemblage had coverage of 22.8% of available substrate, whilst for a black Xanthoparmelia spp. assemblage coverage was markedly lower at 0.6% of available substrate. Hyperspectral signatures for both lichens were distinct in the near-infra red range indicating that Xanthoparmelia spp. was likely under relatively more moisture stress than Stellarangia spp. at the time of sampling, and we postulate that albedo effects may have contributed to this in the black lichen. Further transformation of the data revealed a colonization preference for west-facing quartz surfaces and this coincides with prevailing winds for marine fog that is the major source of moisture in this system. Furthermore, a three-dimensional ‘fly through’ of the lichen habitat was created to illustrate how the application of computer vision in microbiology has further potential as a research and education tool. We discuss how advanced photogrammetry could be applied in astrobiology using autonomous rovers to add quantitative ecological data for visible surface colonization on the surface of Mars.

  14. Plant-associated microbiomes in arid lands: diversity, ecology and biotechnological potential

    KAUST Repository

    Soussi, Asma; Ferjani, Raoudha; Marasco, Ramona; Guesmi, Amel; Cherif, Hanene; Rolli, Eleonora; Mapelli, Francesca; Ouzari, Hadda Imene; Daffonchio, Daniele; Cherif, Ameur

    2015-01-01

    Selection and recruitment of the plant associated bacterial assemblages is mediated by the combination of the bio-pedo-agroclimatic conditions and the plant species or varieties. Diversity and functional redundancy of these associated PGPR makes them very active in supporting plant improvement, health and resistance to drought, salt and related stresses. Implementing proper biotechnological applications of the arid and desert-adapted PGPR constitute the challenge to be raised.

  15. Crayfish impact desert river ecosystem function and litter-dwelling invertebrate communities through association with novel detrital resources.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eric K Moody

    Full Text Available Shifts in plant species distributions due to global change are increasing the availability of novel resources in a variety of ecosystems worldwide. In semiarid riparian areas, hydric pioneer tree species are being replaced by drought-tolerant plant species as water availability decreases. Additionally, introduced omnivorous crayfish, which feed upon primary producers, allochthonous detritus, and benthic invertebrates, can impact communities at multiple levels through both direct and indirect effects mediated by drought-tolerant plants. We tested the impact of both virile crayfish (Orconectes virilis and litter type on benthic invertebrates and the effect of crayfish on detrital resources across a gradient of riparian vegetation drought-tolerance using field cages with leaf litter bags in the San Pedro River in Southeastern Arizona. Virile crayfish increased breakdown rate of novel drought-tolerant saltcedar (Tamarix ramosissima, but did not impact breakdown of drought-tolerant seepwillow (Baccharis salicifolia or hydric Fremont cottonwood (Populus fremontii and Gooding's willow (Salix goodingii. Effects on invertebrate diversity were observed at the litter bag scale, but no effects were found at the cage scale. Crayfish decreased alpha diversity of colonizing macroinvertebrates, but did not affect beta diversity. In contrast, the drought-tolerant litter treatment decreased beta diversity relative to hydric litter. As drought-tolerant species become more abundant in riparian zones, their litter will become a larger component of the organic matter budget of desert streams which may serve to homogenize the litter-dwelling community and support elevated populations of virile crayfish. Through impacts at multiple trophic levels, crayfish have a significant effect on desert stream ecosystems.

  16. Antimicrobial Activity of 22 Plants Used in Urolithiasis Medicine in Western Algeria

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    F. Bouabdelli

    2012-05-01

    Full Text Available Objective: Our investigation is about the determination of the antibacterial efficiency of 22 medicinal plants on the four most frequent bacteria in urinary infections. These infections are responsible for more than 15% of urinary stones formation. Methods: We have initiated an extraction liquid/solid. In this respect, we have used water extractions according to the standard methods utilized by the local population, i.e: (i the d écoction, (ii the infusion, (iii the mac ération and (iiii the percolation. The microorganisms used are Staphylooccus aureus, Escherichia coli, Proteus mirabilis and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. The strains were isolated from patients having urinary infections. The antibiotic disks Kanamicin, Colistin, Amoxicillin, Gentamicin, Ampicillin were applied to the reference bacteria at concentrations of 30 毺 g, 50毺 g, 25毺 g, 10毺 g et 10毺 g respectively. Results: These studies showed that decoction (d had the higher effect with 43.3 % followed by percolation (p (28.3% and maceration (m (16.7%. Infusion (i had a limited effect (11.7%. Escherichia coli (E.coli, Proteus mirabilis, Staphylococcus aureus showed an average sensitivity of 28% in each case. However, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a highly pathogenic and resistant bacteria showed up to 17.5% of sensitivity. 16.3% of the plant extracts showed a high antimicrobial activity. Pseudomonas aeruginosa was highly resistant to Kanamycin, Amoxicillin and Ampicillin and at a lower extent to Colistin and Gentamicin. However, it was sensitive to some plant extracts such as Allium sativum, Artemesia compestris(p,m, Citrus aurantium(p, Cotula cinerea(p, Lavandula officinalis (d , Globularia alypum (d , Juniperus phoeniceae (m , Olea europaea (p, Pistacia lentiscus (m , Trachyspermum ammi (m, Zygophyllum album (p and Zingiber officinalis (d. Conclusion: The present work shows that most of the studied plants are potentially a good source of antimicrobial agents and it proves the

  17. New BRDF Model for Desert and Gobi Using Equivalent Mirror Plane Method, Establishment and Validation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Y.; Rong, Z.

    2017-12-01

    The surface Bidirectional Reflectance Distribution Function (BRDF) is a key parameter that affects the vicarious calibration accuracy of visible channel remote sensing instrument. In the past 30 years, many studies have been made and a variety of models have been established. Among them, the Ross-li model was highly approved and widely used. Unfortunately, the model doesn't suitable for desert and Gobi quite well because of the scattering kernel it contained, needs the factors such as plant height and plant spacing. A new BRDF model for surface without vegetation, which is mainly used in remote sensing vicarious calibration, is established. That was called Equivalent Mirror Plane (EMP) BRDF. It is used to characterize the bidirectional reflectance of the near Lambertian surface. The accuracy of the EMP BRDF model is validated by the directional reflectance data measured on the Dunhuang Gobi and compared to the Ross-li model. Results show that the regression accuracy of the new model is 0.828, which is similar to the Ross-li model (0.825). Because of the simple form (contains only four polynomials) and simple principle (derived by the Fresnel reflection principle, don't include any vegetation parameters), it is more suitable for near Lambertian surface, such as Gobi, desert, Lunar and reference panel. Results also showed that the new model could also maintain a high accuracy and stability in sparse observation, which is very important for the retrieval requirements of daily updating BRDF remote sensing products.

  18. Effects of Simulated Nitrogen Deposition on Soil Respiration in a Populus euphratica Community in the Ebinur Lake Area, a Desert Ecosystem of Northwestern China

    Science.gov (United States)

    He, Xuemin; Lv, Guanghui; Qin, Lu; Chang, Shunli; Yang, Min; Yang, Jianjun; Yang, Xiaodong

    2015-01-01

    One of the primary limiting factors for biological activities in desert ecosystems is nitrogen (N). This study therefore examined the effects of N and investigated the responses of an arid ecosystem to global change. We selected the typical desert plant Populus euphratica in a desert ecosystem in the Ebinur Lake area to evaluate the effects of N deposition on desert soil respiration. Three levels of N deposition (0, 37.5 and 112.5 kg·N·ha-1·yr-1) were randomly artificially provided to simulate natural N deposition. Changes in the soil respiration rates were measured from July to September in both 2010 and 2013, after N deposition in April 2010. The different levels of N deposition affected the total soil N, soil organic matter, soil C/N ratio, microorganism number, and microbial community structure and function. However, variable effects were observed over time in relation to changes in the magnitude of N deposition. Simulated high N deposition significantly reduced the soil respiration rate by approximately 23.6±2.5% (Psoil respiration rate by approximately 66.7±2.7% (Psoil moisture, whereas N deposition significantly increased the soil temperature in the 0–5 cm layer (Psoil respiration rate by altering soil properties. PMID:26379186

  19. Vegetation - Central Mojave Desert [ds166

    Data.gov (United States)

    California Natural Resource Agency — The Department of Defense and the other desert managers are developing and organizing scientific information needed to better manage the natural resources of the...

  20. Biotic Processes Regulating the Carbon Balance of Desert Ecosystems - Final Report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Nowak, Robert S [UNR; Smith, Stanley D [UNLV; Evans, Dave [WSU; Ogle, Kiona [ASU; Fenstermaker, Lynn [DRI

    2012-12-13

    Our results from the 10-year elevated atmospheric CO{sub 2} concentration study at the Nevada Desert FACE (Free-air CO{sub 2} Enrichment) Facility (NDFF) indicate that the Mojave Desert is a dynamic ecosystem with the capacity to respond quickly to environmental changes. The Mojave Desert ecosystem is accumulating carbon (C), and over the 10-year experiment, C accumulation was significantly greater under elevated [CO{sub 2}] than under ambient, despite great fluctuations in C inputs from year to year and even apparent reversals in which [CO{sub 2}] treatment had greater C accumulations.

  1. The Ocean deserts:salt budgets of northern subtropical oceans and their

    KAUST Repository

    Carton, Jim

    2011-04-09

    The Ocean deserts: salt budgets of northern subtropical oceans and their relationship to climate variability The high salinity near surface pools of the subtropical oceans are the oceanic deserts, with high levels of evaporation and low levels of precip

  2. Mapping of Grocery Stores in Slovak Countryside in Context of Food Deserts

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kristína Bilková

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available The paper is focused on mapping grocery stores in the Slovak countryside with an emphasis on identifying potential food deserts in rural areas. Grocery stores are analyzed in the time period 2001–2011. Food deserts in rural areas are identified by two accessibility measures. The results show the development of food retailing in the Slovak countryside and in potentially threatened localities which can be defined as food deserts.

  3. Soil seed bank in different habitats of the Eastern Desert of Egypt.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gomaa, Nasr H

    2012-04-01

    The floristic composition and species diversity of the germinable soil seed bank were studied in three different habitats (desert salinized land, desert wadi, and reclaimed land) in the Eastern Desert of Egypt. Moreover, the degree of similarity between the seed bank and the above-ground vegetation was determined. The seed bank was studied in 40 stands representing the three habitats. Ten soil samples (each 25 × 20 cm and 5 cm depth) were randomly taken per stand. The seed bank was investigated by the seedling emergence method. Some 61 species belonging to 21 families and 54 genera were identified in the germinable seed bank. The recorded species include 43 annuals and 18 perennials. Ordination of stands by Detrended Correspondence Analysis (DCA) indicates that the stands of the three habitats are markedly distinguishable and show a clear pattern of segregation on the ordination planes. This indicates variations in the species composition among habitats. The results also demonstrate significant associations between the floristic composition of the seed bank and edaphic factors such as CaCO3, electrical conductivity, organic carbon and soil texture. The reclaimed land has the highest values of species richness, Shannon-index of diversity and the density of the germinable seed bank followed by the habitats of desert wadi and desert salinized land. Motyka's similarity index between the seed bank and the above-ground vegetation is significantly higher in reclaimed land (75.1%) compared to desert wadi (38.4%) and desert salinized land (36.5%).

  4. Tamarisk control on public lands in the desert of southern California: two case studies

    Science.gov (United States)

    1994-01-01

    As a land manager, the Federal Government faces enormous challenges from exotic pest invasions and associated changes to the structure and stability of native ecosystems (Bureau of Land Management, 1988). On public lands administered by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) alone, it is estimated that almost three million hectares are occupied by invasive exotic plant species (weeds). Assuming an annual rate of invasion of 14 percent, 930 hectares of BLM-administered land are infested everyday by weeds (Jerry Asher, personal communication). When one considers the fact that BLM administers only about one-third of the public land in the United States (The Keystone Center, 1991), the magnitude of the problem assumes staggering proportions. The scenario described in the quote above portrays only some of the problems associated with the spread of the exotic plant tamarisk, a species on the California Exotic Pest Plant Council’s list of exotic pest plants of greatest concern (California Exotic Pest Plant Council, 1993). In this paper we review the threats posed by tamarisk invasion and proliferation and examine the traits that make the plant such a successful competitor. In addition, we highlight two tamarisk control efforts conducted by the Bureau of Land Management in the southern California desert.

  5. Root distribution of Nitraria sibirica with seasonally varying water sources in a desert habitat.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Hai; Zhao, Wenzhi; Zheng, Xinjun; Li, Shoujuan

    2015-07-01

    In water-limited environments, the water sources used by desert shrubs are critical to understanding hydrological processes. Here we studied the oxygen stable isotope ratios (δ (18)O) of stem water of Nitraria sibirica as well as those of precipitation, groundwater and soil water from different layers to identify the possible water sources for the shrub. The results showed that the shrub used a mixture of soil water, recent precipitation and groundwater, with shallow lateral roots and deeply penetrating tap (sinker) roots, in different seasons. During the wet period (in spring), a large proportion of stem water in N. sibirica was from snow melt and recent precipitation, but use of these sources declined sharply with the decreasing summer rain at the site. At the height of summer, N. sibirica mainly utilized deep soil water from its tap roots, not only supporting the growth of shoots but also keeping the shallow lateral roots well-hydrated. This flexibility allowed the plants to maintain normal metabolic processes during prolonged periods when little precipitation occurs and upper soil layers become extremely dry. With the increase in precipitation that occurs as winter approaches, the percentage of water in the stem base of a plant derived from the tap roots (deep soil water or ground water) decreased again. These results suggested that the shrub's root distribution and morphology were the most important determinants of its ability to utilize different water sources, and that its adjustment to water availability was significant for acclimation to the desert habitat.

  6. [Spatial change of the grain-size of aeolian sediments in Qira oasis-desert ecotone, Northwest China].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lin, Yong Chong; Xu, Li Shuai

    2017-04-18

    In order to understand the environmental influence of oasis-desert ecotone to oasis ecological system, we comparatively analyzed the grain size characteristics of various aeolian sediments, including the sediments in oasis-desert ecotone, shelterbelt and the inside oasis and in Qira River valley. The results showed that the grain size characteristics (including grain-size distribution curve, grain size parameters, and content of different size classes) of sediments in the oasis-desert ecotone were consistent along the prevailing wind direction with a grain-size range of 0.3-200 μm and modal size of 67 μm. All of the sediments were good sorting and mainly composed of suspension components and saltation components, but not denatured saltation and creeping components (>200 μm). They were typically aeolian deposits being short-range transported. The grain sizes of sediments in oasis-desert ecotone were smaller than that in the material sources of Qira River valley and desert (0.3-800 μm), but very similar to those of the modern aeolian deposits in oasis-desert ecotone, shelterbelt and the inside oasis. The denatured saltation and creep components (>200 μm) were suppressed to transport into oasis-desert ecotone because of the high vegetation cover in oasis-desert ecotone. Therefore, like the shelterbelts, the oasis-desert ecotone could also block the invasion of desert. They safeguarded the oasis ecological environment together.

  7. Desert Net-Structure and Aims of an International Network for Desertification Research

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Akhtar-Schuster, M.; San Juan Mesonada, C.

    2009-01-01

    Desert Net://www.european-desert net.eu) is an interdisciplinary scientific network which was established in October 2006 at the UN premises in Bonn, Germany, by a group of international scientists. The network strives to generate and enhance scientific knowledge and understanding of the biophysical and socio-economic processes of desertification. This international scientific network provides an international platform for scientifically based discussions and exchange of ideas, addressing knowledge gaps, and identifying research areas. Desert Net is also a think tank community which identifies issues and priorities for the sustainable development of dry lands. the paper outlines the current role of Desert Net in the international scientific community and it delineates its role to strengthen the Science/Policy Interface. (Author) 2 refs.

  8. Interactive effects of warming and increased precipitation on community structure and composition in an annual forb dominated desert steppe.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yanhui Hou

    Full Text Available To better understand how warming, increased precipitation and their interactions influence community structure and composition, a field experiment simulating hydrothermal interactions was conducted at an annual forb dominated desert steppe in northern China over 2 years. Increased precipitation increased species richness while warming significantly decreased species richness, and their effects were additive rather than interactive. Although interannual variations in weather conditions may have a major affect on plant community composition on short term experiments, warming and precipitation treatments affected individual species and functional group composition. Warming caused C4 grasses such as Cleistogenes squarrosa to increase while increased precipitation caused the proportions of non-perennial C3 plants like Artemisia capillaris to decrease and perennial C4 plants to increase.

  9. Cytogeography of Larrea tridentata at the Chihuahuan-Sonoran Desert ecotone

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robert G. Laport; Robert L.. Minckley

    2013-01-01

    The long separation of the Chihuahuan and Sonoran Deserts is reflected in the high species richness and endemism of their floras. Although many endemic species from both deserts reach their distributional limits where the Sierra Madre Occidental massif fragments into smaller mountain complexes in northern Mexico and adjoining areas of the United States, indicator...

  10. Water appropriation and ecosystem stewardship in the Baja desert

    OpenAIRE

    de las Heras Alejandro; Rodriguez Mario A.; Islas-Espinoza Marina

    2014-01-01

    The UNESCO San Francisco Rock Paintings polygon within El Vizcaino Biosphere Reserve in the Baja California Peninsula derives its moisture from the North American monsoon. There, ranchers have depended on the desert since the 18th century. More recently, the desert has depended on the environmental stewardship of the ranchers who have allayed mining exploitation and archaeological looting. Using a Rapid Assessment Procedure (RAP), climate data, and geographical informa...

  11. MX Siting Investigation. Gravity Survey - Sevier Desert Valley, Utah.

    Science.gov (United States)

    1981-01-24

    Cheyenne, Wyoming. DMAHTC reduces the data to Simple Bouguer Anomaly (see Section A1.4, Appendix Al.0). The Defense Mapping Agency Aerospace Center...Desert Valley, Utah ......... 2 2 Topographic Setting - Sevier Desert Valley, Utah . 3 LIST OF DRAWINGS Drawing Number 1 Complete Bouguer Anomaly...gravity stations were distributed throughout the valley at an approxi- mate interval of 1.4 miles (2.3 km). Drawing 1 is a Complete Bouguer Anomaly

  12. Reestablishing healthy food retail: changing the landscape of food deserts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karpyn, Allison; Young, Candace; Weiss, Stephanie

    2012-02-01

    The term "food desert" was formally introduced into the lexicon in 1995 and has come to describe areas with limited access to affordable nutritious foods, particularly areas in lower-income neighborhoods. The definition has led to the development of national and regional maps that focus efforts on equity in food access. Recognition of food deserts also marks a strategic change in public health's approach to obesity prevention. Today's emphasis on prevention has shifted away from individual responsibility to the role of the environment in health promotion. A number of solutions are underway to address food deserts, including public–private financing programs, industry commitments, as well as local and regional efforts to put healthy food within reach. The promise of financing programs to facilitate development of healthy food markets in underserved communities is rooted in their potential to alleviate the grocery gap and address underlying environmental contributors to obesity and diet-related diseases, such as obesity and diabetes. As food desert mapping and related interventions expand, there remains a need for ongoing investigation of impacts and the mechanisms by which impacts are achieved.

  13. Plant regeneration through indirect organogenesis of chestnut ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Mehrcedeh

    2013-12-18

    Dec 18, 2013 ... Druce-A multiple desert tree. Researcher 1:28-32. Kvaalen H, Gram Daehlen O, Tove Rognstad A, Grǿnstad B,. Egertsdotter U (2005). Somatic embryogenesis for plant production of. Abies lasiocarpa. Can. J. For. Res. 35:1053-1060. Liu CZ, Murch SJ, Demerdash MEL, Saxena PK (2003). Regeneration.

  14. Polarization signatures for abandoned agricultural fields in the Manix Basin area of the Mojave Desert - Can polarimetric SAR detect desertification?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ray, Terrill W.; Farr, Tom G.; Van Zyl, Jakob J.

    1992-01-01

    Radar backscatter from abandoned circular alfalfa fields in the Manix Basin area of the Mojave desert shows systematic changes with length of abandonment. The obliteration of circular planting rows by surface processes could account for the disappearance of bright spokes, which seem to be reflection patterns from remnants of the planting rows, with increasing length of abandonment. An observed shift in the location of the maximum L-band copolarization return away from VV, as well as an increase in surface roughness, both occurring with increasing age of abandonment, seems to be attributable to the formation of wind ripples on the relatively vegetationless fields.

  15. Liquid Water Restricts Habitability in Extreme Deserts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cockell, Charles S.; Brown, Sarah; Landenmark, Hanna; Samuels, Toby; Siddall, Rebecca; Wadsworth, Jennifer

    2017-04-01

    Liquid water is a requirement for biochemistry, yet under some circumstances it is deleterious to life. Here, we show that liquid water reduces the upper temperature survival limit for two extremophilic photosynthetic microorganisms (Gloeocapsa and Chroococcidiopsis spp.) by greater than 40°C under hydrated conditions compared to desiccated conditions. Under hydrated conditions, thermal stress causes protein inactivation as shown by the fluorescein diacetate assay. The presence of water was also found to enhance the deleterious effects of freeze-thaw in Chroococcidiopsis sp. In the presence of water, short-wavelength UV radiation more effectively kills Gloeocapsa sp. colonies, which we hypothesize is caused by factors including the greater penetration of UV radiation into hydrated colonies compared to desiccated colonies. The data predict that deserts where maximum thermal stress or irradiation occurs in conjunction with the presence of liquid water may be less habitable to some organisms than more extreme arid deserts where organisms can dehydrate prior to being exposed to these extremes, thus minimizing thermal and radiation damage. Life in extreme deserts is poised between the deleterious effects of the presence and the lack of liquid water.

  16. Effects of Simulated Nitrogen Deposition on Soil Respiration in a Populus euphratica Community in the Ebinur Lake Area, a Desert Ecosystem of Northwestern China.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xuemin He

    Full Text Available One of the primary limiting factors for biological activities in desert ecosystems is nitrogen (N. This study therefore examined the effects of N and investigated the responses of an arid ecosystem to global change. We selected the typical desert plant Populus euphratica in a desert ecosystem in the Ebinur Lake area to evaluate the effects of N deposition on desert soil respiration. Three levels of N deposition (0, 37.5 and 112.5 kg·N·ha-1·yr-1 were randomly artificially provided to simulate natural N deposition. Changes in the soil respiration rates were measured from July to September in both 2010 and 2013, after N deposition in April 2010. The different levels of N deposition affected the total soil N, soil organic matter, soil C/N ratio, microorganism number, and microbial community structure and function. However, variable effects were observed over time in relation to changes in the magnitude of N deposition. Simulated high N deposition significantly reduced the soil respiration rate by approximately 23.6±2.5% (P<0.05, whereas low N deposition significantly increased the soil respiration rate by approximately 66.7±2.7% (P<0.05. These differences were clearer in the final growth stage (September. The different levels of N deposition had little effect on soil moisture, whereas N deposition significantly increased the soil temperature in the 0-5 cm layer (P<0.05. These results suggest that in the desert ecosystem of the Ebinur Lake area, N deposition indirectly changes the soil respiration rate by altering soil properties.

  17. Gopherus Agassizii (Desert Tortoise). Predation/Mountain Lions (Pre-Print)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Paul D. Greger and Philip A. Medica

    2009-01-01

    During a long-term study on tortoise growth within 3 fenced 9-ha enclosures in Rock Valley, Nevada Test Site (NTS), Nye County, Nevada, USA, tortoises have been captured annually since 1964 (Medica et al. 1975. Copeia 1975:630-643; Turner et al. 1987. Copeia 1987:974-979). Between early August and mid October 2003 we observed a significant mortality event. The Rock Valley enclosures were constructed of 6 x 6 mm mesh 1.2 m wide hardware cloth, buried 0.3 m in the soil with deflective flashing on both sides on the top to restrict the movement of small mammals and lizards from entering or leaving the enclosures (Rundel and Gibson 1996, Ecological communities and process in a Mojave Desert ecosystem: Rock Valley, Nevada, Cambridge University Press, Great Britain. 369 pp.). On August 6, 2003, the carcass of an adult female Desert Tortoise No.1411 (carapace length 234 mm when alive) was collected while adult male tortoise No.4414 (carapace length 269 mm) was observed alive and in good health on the same day. Subsequently the carcass of No.4414 was found on October 16, 2003. Between October 16-17, 2003, the remains of 6 (5 adult and 1 juvenile) Desert Tortoises were found, some within each of the 3 enclosures in Rock Valley. A seventh adult tortoise was found on September 26, 2006, its death also attributed to the 2003 mortality event based upon the forensic evidence. Each of the 7 adult Desert Tortoises had the central portion of their carapace broken open approximately to the dorsal portion of the marginal scutes while the plastron was still intact (Figure 1A). Adjacent to 7 of the 8 remains we located numerous bone fragments including parts of the carapace and limbs as well as dried intestines in a nearby Range Rhatany (Krameria parvifolia) shrub. The significance of the frequent use of this shrub is puzzling. Three of the Desert Tortoise shell remains possessed distinctive intercanine punctures measuring 55-60 mm center to center indicating that this was an adult

  18. The economics of hybrid power systems for sustainable desert agriculture in Egypt

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kamel, S.M.; Dahl, C.

    2005-01-01

    Egypt has embarked on an ambitious desert land reclamation program in order to increase total food production. Energy planners for these desert agriculture locations have chosen diesel generation power technology because minimization of the initial capital cost of a power supply system is their top...... priority. This heavy reliance on diesel generation has negative effects on the surrounding environment including soil, groundwater, and air pollution. Although good solar and wind resource prospects exist for the use of cleaner hybrid power systems in certain desert locations, little research has been done...... to investigate the economic potential of such systems in Egypt’s desert agriculture sector. Using optimization software, we assess the economics of hybrid power systems versus the present diesel generation technology in a remote agricultural development area. We also consider the emission reduction advantages...

  19. Naturalisation, Desert, and the Symbolic Meaning of Citizenship

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lægaard, Sune

    2012-01-01

    of naturalisation requirements as involving notions of desert and asks what these developments imply about the meaning of citizenship. Naturalisation marks the boundary of society understood as a political community, i.e. a civic rather than territorial boundary. How this boundary is policed and on the basis...... that the introduction of naturalisation tests and other desert-based naturalisation requirements imply that citizenship comes to have different symbolic meanings for native born citizens and naturalised citizens because such requirements distinguish between volitional or ‘earned’ and ascriptive or ‘natural’ citizenship...

  20. Sonoran Desert winter annuals affected by density of red brome and soil nitrogen

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salo, L.F.; McPherson, G.R.; Williams, D.G.

    2005-01-01

    Red brome [Bromus madritensis subsp. rubens (L.) Husn.] is a Mediterranean winter annual grass that has invaded Southwestern USA deserts. This study evaluated interactions among 13 Sonoran Desert annual species at four densities of red brome from 0 to the equivalent of 1200 plants ma??2. We examined these interactions at low (3 I?g) and high (537 I?g NO3a?? g soila??1) nitrogen (N) to evaluate the relative effects of soil N level on survival and growth of native annuals and red brome. Red brome did not affect emergence or survival of native annuals, but significantly reduced growth of natives, raising concerns about effects of this exotic grass on the fecundity of these species. Differences in growth of red brome and of the three dominant non nitrogen-fixing native annuals at the two levels of soil N were similar. Total species biomass of red brome was reduced by 83% at low, compared to high, N levels, whereas that of the three native species was reduced by from 42 to 95%. Mean individual biomass of red brome was reduced by 87% at low, compared to high, N levels, whereas that of the three native species was reduced by from 72 to 89%.

  1. Australian wild rice reveals pre-domestication origin of polymorphism deserts in rice genome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krishnan S, Gopala; Waters, Daniel L E; Henry, Robert J

    2014-01-01

    Rice is a major source of human food with a predominantly Asian production base. Domestication involved selection of traits that are desirable for agriculture and to human consumers. Wild relatives of crop plants are a source of useful variation which is of immense value for crop improvement. Australian wild rices have been isolated from the impacts of domestication in Asia and represents a source of novel diversity for global rice improvement. Oryza rufipogon is a perennial wild progenitor of cultivated rice. Oryza meridionalis is a related annual species in Australia. We have examined the sequence of the genomes of AA genome wild rices from Australia that are close relatives of cultivated rice through whole genome re-sequencing. Assembly of the resequencing data to the O. sativa ssp. japonica cv. Nipponbare shows that Australian wild rices possess 2.5 times more single nucleotide polymorphisms than in the Asian wild rice and cultivated O. sativa ssp. indica. Analysis of the genome of domesticated rice reveals regions of low diversity that show very little variation (polymorphism deserts). Both the perennial and annual wild rice from Australia show a high degree of conservation of sequence with that found in cultivated rice in the same 4.58 Mbp region on chromosome 5, which suggests that some of the 'polymorphism deserts' in this and other parts of the rice genome may have originated prior to domestication due to natural selection. Analysis of genes in the 'polymorphism deserts' indicates that this selection may have been due to biotic or abiotic stress in the environment of early rice relatives. Despite having closely related sequences in these genome regions, the Australian wild populations represent an invaluable source of diversity supporting rice food security.

  2. Australian wild rice reveals pre-domestication origin of polymorphism deserts in rice genome.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gopala Krishnan S

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Rice is a major source of human food with a predominantly Asian production base. Domestication involved selection of traits that are desirable for agriculture and to human consumers. Wild relatives of crop plants are a source of useful variation which is of immense value for crop improvement. Australian wild rices have been isolated from the impacts of domestication in Asia and represents a source of novel diversity for global rice improvement. Oryza rufipogon is a perennial wild progenitor of cultivated rice. Oryza meridionalis is a related annual species in Australia. RESULTS: We have examined the sequence of the genomes of AA genome wild rices from Australia that are close relatives of cultivated rice through whole genome re-sequencing. Assembly of the resequencing data to the O. sativa ssp. japonica cv. Nipponbare shows that Australian wild rices possess 2.5 times more single nucleotide polymorphisms than in the Asian wild rice and cultivated O. sativa ssp. indica. Analysis of the genome of domesticated rice reveals regions of low diversity that show very little variation (polymorphism deserts. Both the perennial and annual wild rice from Australia show a high degree of conservation of sequence with that found in cultivated rice in the same 4.58 Mbp region on chromosome 5, which suggests that some of the 'polymorphism deserts' in this and other parts of the rice genome may have originated prior to domestication due to natural selection. CONCLUSIONS: Analysis of genes in the 'polymorphism deserts' indicates that this selection may have been due to biotic or abiotic stress in the environment of early rice relatives. Despite having closely related sequences in these genome regions, the Australian wild populations represent an invaluable source of diversity supporting rice food security.

  3. The water economy of South American desert rodents: from integrative to molecular physiological ecology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bozinovic, Francisco; Gallardo, Pedro

    2006-01-01

    Rodents from arid and semi-arid habitats live under conditions where the spatial and temporal availability of free water is limited, or scarce, thus forcing these rodents to deal with the problem of water conservation. The response of rodents to unproductive desert environments and water deficits has been intensively investigated in many deserts of the world. However, current understanding of the cellular, systemic and organismal physiology of water economy relies heavily on short-term, laboratory-oriented experiments, which usually focus on responses at isolated levels of biological organization. In addition, studies in small South American mammals are scarce. Indeed xeric habitats have existed in South America for a long time and it is intriguing why present day South American desert rodents do not show the wide array of adaptive traits to desert life observed for rodents on other continents. Several authors have pointed out that South American desert rodents lack physiological and energetic specialization for energy and water conservation, hypothesizing that their success is based more on behavioral and ecological strategies. We review phenotypic flexibility and physiological diversity in water flux rate, urine osmolality, and expression of water channels in South American desert-dwelling rodents. As far as we know, this is the first review of integrative studies at cellular, systemic and organismal levels. Our main conclusion is that South American desert rodents possess structural as well as physiological systems for water conservation, which are as remarkable as those found in "classical" rodents inhabiting other desert areas of the world.

  4. Are Wildlife Detector Dogs or People Better at Finding Desert Tortoises (Gopherus Agassizii)?

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Nussear, Kenneth E; Esque, Todd C; Heaton, Jill S; Cablk, Mary E; Drake, Kristina K; Valentin, Cindee; Yee, Julie L; Medica, Philip A

    2008-01-01

    .... Recent studies highlight the effectiveness of trained detector dogs to locate wildlife during field surveys, including Desert Tortoises in a semi-natural setting. Desert Tortoises (Gopherus agassizii...

  5. Are wildlife detector dogs or people better at finding Desert Tortoises (Gopherus agassizii)?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nussear, K.E.; Esque, T.C.; Heaton, J.S.; Cablk, Mary E.; Drake, K.K.; Valentin, C.; Yee, J.L.; Medica, P.A.

    2008-01-01

    Our ability to study threatened and endangered species depends on locating them readily in the field. Recent studies highlight the effectiveness of trained detector dogs to locate wildlife during field surveys, including Desert Tortoises in a semi-natural setting. Desert Tortoises (Gopherus agassizii) are cryptic and difficult to detect during surveys, especially the smaller size classes. We conducted comparative surveys to determine whether human or detector dog teams were more effective at locating Desert Tortoises in the wild. We compared detectability of Desert Tortoises and the costs to deploy human and dog search teams. Detectability of tortoises was not statistically different for either team, and was estimated to be approximately 70% (SE = 5%). Dogs found a greater proportion of tortoises located in vegetation than did humans. The dog teams finished surveys 2.5 hours faster than the humans on average each day. The human team cost was approximately $3,000 less per square kilometer sampled. Dog teams provided a quick and effective method for surveying for adult Desert Tortoises; however, we were unable to determine-their effectiveness at locating smaller size classes. Detection of smaller size classes during surveys would improve management of the species and should be addressed by future research using Desert Tortoise detector dogs.

  6. The relationship between soil physical properties and alpine plant diversity on Qinghai-Tibet Plateau

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lin Tang

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available Through a large-scale research, we examined the heterogeneity of soil properties and plant diversity, as well as their relationships across alpine grassland types on Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. The soil pH and EC value increased with the constant deepening of the soil in all the three alpine grassland types which in order of absolute value in every soil layer were alpine desert steppe, alpine steppe and alpine meadow. Among the three grassland types, the alpine meadow possessed the highest SM but the lowest SBD. For plant diversity, alpine meadow was the highest, alpine desert steppe ranked the second and alpine steppe was the last. SM and SBD were the highest influential soil physical properties to species richness, but with opposite effects.

  7. Genomic characterization of Ensifer aridi, a proposed new species of nitrogen-fixing rhizobium recovered from Asian, African and American deserts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Le Quéré, Antoine; Tak, Nisha; Gehlot, Hukam Singh; Lavire, Celine; Meyer, Thibault; Chapulliot, David; Rathi, Sonam; Sakrouhi, Ilham; Rocha, Guadalupe; Rohmer, Marine; Severac, Dany; Filali-Maltouf, Abdelkarim; Munive, Jose-Antonio

    2017-01-14

    Nitrogen fixing bacteria isolated from hot arid areas in Asia, Africa and America but from diverse leguminous plants have been recently identified as belonging to a possible new species of Ensifer (Sinorhizobium). In this study, 6 strains belonging to this new clade were compared with Ensifer species at the genome-wide level. Their capacities to utilize various carbon sources and to establish a symbiotic interaction with several leguminous plants were examined. Draft genomes of selected strains isolated from Morocco (Merzouga desert), Mexico (Baja California) as well as from India (Thar desert) were produced. Genome based species delineation tools demonstrated that they belong to a new species of Ensifer. Comparison of its core genome with those of E. meliloti, E. medicae and E. fredii enabled the identification of a species conserved gene set. Predicted functions of associated proteins and pathway reconstruction revealed notably the presence of transport systems for octopine/nopaline and inositol phosphates. Phenotypic characterization of this new desert rhizobium species showed that it was capable to utilize malonate, to grow at 48 °C or under high pH while NaCl tolerance levels were comparable to other Ensifer species. Analysis of accessory genomes and plasmid profiling demonstrated the presence of large plasmids that varied in size from strain to strain. As symbiotic functions were found in the accessory genomes, the differences in symbiotic interactions between strains may be well related to the difference in plasmid content that could explain the different legumes with which they can develop the symbiosis. The genomic analysis performed here confirms that the selected rhizobial strains isolated from desert regions in three continents belong to a new species. As until now only recovered from such harsh environment, we propose to name it Ensifer aridi. The presented genomic data offers a good basis to explore adaptations and functionalities that enable them

  8. Groundwater Depth Affects Phosphorus But Not Carbon and Nitrogen Concentrations of a Desert Phreatophyte in Northwest China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Bo; Gao, Xiaopeng; Li, Lei; Lu, Yan; Shareef, Muhammad; Huang, Caibian; Liu, Guojun; Gui, Dongwei; Zeng, Fanjiang

    2018-01-01

    Ecological stoichiometry is an important aspect in the analysis of the changes in ecological system composition, structure, and function and understanding of plant adaptation in habitats. Leaf carbon (C), nitrogen (N), and phosphorus (P) concentrations in desert phreatophytes can be affected by different depths of groundwater through its effect on the adsorption and utilization of nutrient and plant biomass. We examined the biomass, soil organic C, available (mineral) N, and available P, and leaf C, N, and P concentrations of Alhagi sparsifolia grown at varying groundwater depths of 2.5, 4.5, and 11.0 m in 2015 and 2016 growing seasons in a desert-oasis ecotone in northwest China. The biomass of A. sparsifolia and the C, N, and P concentrations in soil and A. sparsifolia showed different responses to various groundwater depths. The leaf P concentration of A. sparsifolia was lower at 4.5 m than at 2.5 and 11.0 m likely because of a biomass dilution effect. By contrast, leaf C and N concentrations were generally unaffected by groundwater depth, thereby confirming that C and N accumulations in A. sparsifolia were predominantly determined by C fixation through the photosynthesis and biological fixation of atmospheric N 2 , respectively. Soil C, N, and P concentrations at 4.5 m were significantly lower than those at 11.0 m. Leaf P concentration was significantly and positively correlated with soil N concentration at all of the groundwater depths. The C:N and C:P mass ratios of A. sparsifolia at 4.5 m were higher than those at the other groundwater depths, suggesting a defensive life history strategy. Conversely, A. sparsifolia likely adopted a competitive strategy at 2.5 and 11.0 m as indicated by the low C:N and C:P mass ratios. To our knowledge, this study is the first to elucidate the variation in the C, N, and P stoichiometry of a desert phreatophyte at different groundwater depths in an arid ecosystem.

  9. Water Sources for Cyanobacteria Below Desert Rocks in the Negev Desert Determined by Conductivity

    Science.gov (United States)

    McKay, Christopher P.

    2016-01-01

    We present year round meteorological and conductivity measurements of colonized hypolithic rocks in the Arava Valley, Negev Desert, Israel. The data indicate that while dew is common in the Negev it is not an important source of moisture for hypolithic organisms at this site. The dominance of cyanobacteria in the hypolithic community are consistent with predictions that cyanobacteria are confined to habitats supplied by rain. To monitor the presence of liquid water under the small Negev rocks we developed and tested a simple field conductivity system based on two wires placed about 0.5 cm apart. Based on 21 replicates recorded for one year in the Negev we conclude that in natural rains (0.25 mm to 6 mm) the variability between sensor readings is between 20 and 60% decreasing with increasing rain amount. We conclude that the simple small electrical conductivity system described here can be used effectively to monitor liquid water levels in lithic habitats. However, the natural variability of these sensors indicates that several replicates should be deployed. The results and method presented have use in arid desert reclamation programs.

  10. Remote sensing analysis of riparian vegetation response to desert marsh restoration in the Mexican Highlands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Norman, Laura M.; Villarreal, Miguel; Pulliam, H. Ronald; Minckley, Robert L.; Gass, Leila; Tolle, Cindy; Coe, Michelle

    2014-01-01

    Desert marshes, or cienegas, are extremely biodiverse habitats imperiled by anthropogenic demands for water and changing climates. Given their widespread loss and increased recognition, remarkably little is known about restoration techniques. In this study, we examine the effects of gabions (wire baskets filled with rocks used as dams) on vegetation in the Cienega San Bernardino, in the Arizona, Sonora portion of the US-Mexico border, using a remote-sensing analysis coupled with field data. The Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI), used here as a proxy for plant biomass, is compared at gabion and control sites over a 27-year period during the driest months (May/June). Over this period, green-up occurred at most sites where there were gabions and at a few of the control sites where gabions had not been constructed. When we statistically controlled for differences among sites in source area, stream order, elevation, and interannual winter rainfall, as well as comparisons of before and after the initiation of gabion construction, vegetation increased around gabions yet did not change (or decreased) where there were no gabions. We found that NDVI does not vary with precipitation inputs prior to construction of gabions but demonstrates a strong response to precipitation after the gabions are built. Field data describing plant cover, species richness, and species composition document increases from 2000 to 2012 and corroborate reestablished biomass at gabions. Our findings validate that gabions can be used to restore riparian vegetation and potentially ameliorate drought conditions in a desert cienega.

  11. Ethno-botanical remedies used by pastoralists for the treatment of livestock diseases in Cholistan desert, Pakistan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raza, Muhammad Asif; Younas, Muhammad; Buerkert, Andreas; Schlecht, Eva

    2014-01-01

    Account of the traditional plant based viz. ethno-botanical remedies used by the pastoralists of Cholistan desert, Pakistan, for the control and treatment of livestock diseases and ailments. The study was conducted across five locations in Cholistan desert, Pakistan, using a structured questionnaire to collect data from 100 livestock farmers (LF) and 20 livestock healers (LH). From correlation analyses 3 least correlated variables were identified among 5, which were representative of LFs. Cluster analysis was performed on the basis of these 3 variables and LFs were grouped into 3 logically different clusters. Kruskal-Wallis test and crosstab analyses were used to detect significant differences between clusters and effects of various variables on their use of ethno-botanical remedies. Most of the male only interviewees (LF 78%; LH 70%) were married and illiterate (LF 66%; LH 70%). LH had larger herds (average 109 animals) than LF (average 85 animals) and were more experienced in livestock husbandry and management. LF spent about 162.5 Euros annually on the treatment of their livestock, but there was great variability in expenditures. Average animal treatment experience of LH was 29 years; all were experts in treatment of all types of diseases (100%) and animal species (70%). Eighty-six traditional remedies based on 64 plants belonging to 43 families were used. Capparaceae was the botanical family with the largest number of used species (4), followed by Chenopodiaceae, Poaceae, Solanaceae and Zygophyllaceae (3). Aerial parts (43%), leaves (26%), fruits (9%), seeds and seed oils (9%) were frequently used parts, while flowers, roots, bulbs and pods were less frequently used (medicinal plants against the most prevalent livestock diseases should be evaluated, in order to recommend effective preparations and treatments to this poor population group. © 2013 Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd.

  12. Plant-water relationships in the Great Basin Desert of North America derived from Pinus monophylla hourly dendrometer records

    Science.gov (United States)

    Biondi, Franco; Rossi, Sergio

    2015-08-01

    Water is the main limiting resource for natural and human systems, but the effect of hydroclimatic variability on woody species in water-limited environments at sub-monthly time scales is not fully understood. Plant-water relationships of single-leaf pinyon pine ( Pinus monophylla) were investigated using hourly dendrometer and environmental data from May 2006 to October 2011 in the Great Basin Desert, one of the driest regions of North America. Average radial stem increments showed an annual range of variation below 1.0 mm, with a monotonic steep increase from May to July that yielded a stem enlargement of about 0.5 mm. Stem shrinkage up to 0.2 mm occurred in late summer, followed by an abrupt expansion of up to 0.5 mm in the fall, at the arrival of the new water year precipitation. Subsequent winter shrinkage and enlargement were less than 0.3 mm each. Based on 4 years with continuous data, diel cycles varied in both timing and amplitude between months and years. Phase shifts in circadian stem changes were observed between the growing season and the dormant one, with stem size being linked to precipitation more than to other water-related indices, such as relative humidity or soil moisture. During May-October, the amplitude of the phases of stem contraction, expansion, and increment was positively related to their duration in a nonlinear fashion. Changes in precipitation regime, which affected the diel phases especially when lasting more than 5-6 h, could substantially influence the dynamics of water depletion and replenishment in single-leaf pinyon pine.

  13. ON PHYTOCOENOTICAL MAPPING OF CASPIAN DESERT REGION

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    I. SAFRONOVA

    2004-05-01

    Full Text Available The phytoecological map (l :2.500.000 for Desert Region, including the Caspian Lowland and the Mangyshlak. has been compiled. It gives an idea of latitudinal differentiation cf vegetation. Edaphic variants and lithological composition in low mountains. The legend has been constructed according to zonal-typological principle e using an ecological-phytocoenotic classification. Heterogeneity of vegetation is reflected by means of territoria1 units (complex, series, combination and additional marks above the vegetation background. In the northern subzone vegetation is fairly monotonous and characterized by prevalence of wormwood communities (Artemisia of subgenus Seriphidium, joined in three formations: Artemisia lerchiana, A. arenaria. A. pauciflora. Small areas are occupied by shrub deserts of Calligollum aphyllum and Tamarix ramosissima. To southward of 47° N in the middle subzone on the Caspian Lowland the communities of halophyte perennial saltworts essential1y dominate, and to less extent-wormwood communities of hemipsammophytic Artemisia terrae-albae and psammophytic Artemisia arenaria and A. lerchiana. Deserts of Mangyshlak are much diverse. Dwarf semishrubs are presented by species of perennial saltworts (Anabasis salsa, Nanophyton erinaceum,Arthrophytum lehnwnianum, Salsola orientaUs and wonnwood (Artemisia terrae-albae, A. gurganica. A. santolina. To southward of 43° N in the southern subzone dwarf semishrub Salsola gemmascens and Artemisia kemrudica corrnnunities prevail.

  14. ON PHYTOCOENOTICAL MAPPING OF CASPIAN DESERT REGION

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    I. SAFRONOVA

    2004-01-01

    Full Text Available The phytoecological map (l :2.500.000 for Desert Region, including the Caspian Lowland and the Mangyshlak. has been compiled. It gives an idea of latitudinal differentiation cf vegetation. Edaphic variants and lithological composition in low mountains. The legend has been constructed according to zonal-typological principle e using an ecological-phytocoenotic classification. Heterogeneity of vegetation is reflected by means of territoria1 units (complex, series, combination and additional marks above the vegetation background. In the northern subzone vegetation is fairly monotonous and characterized by prevalence of wormwood communities (Artemisia of subgenus Seriphidium, joined in three formations: Artemisia lerchiana, A. arenaria. A. pauciflora. Small areas are occupied by shrub deserts of Calligollum aphyllum and Tamarix ramosissima. To southward of 47° N in the middle subzone on the Caspian Lowland the communities of halophyte perennial saltworts essential1y dominate, and to less extent-wormwood communities of hemipsammophytic Artemisia terrae-albae and psammophytic Artemisia arenaria and A. lerchiana. Deserts of Mangyshlak are much diverse. Dwarf semishrubs are presented by species of perennial saltworts (Anabasis salsa, Nanophyton erinaceum,Arthrophytum lehnwnianum, Salsola orientaUs and wonnwood (Artemisia terrae-albae, A. gurganica. A. santolina. To southward of 43° N in the southern subzone dwarf semishrub Salsola gemmascens and Artemisia kemrudica corrnnunities prevail.

  15. The Palm Desert renewable [hydrogen] transportation system

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Chamberlin, C.E.; Lehman, P. [Humboldt State Univ., Arcata, CA (United States). Schatz Energy Research Center

    1998-08-01

    This paper describes the Schatz Energy Research Center (SERC) progress on the Palm Desert Renewable Hydrogen Transportation System Project for the period June 1997 through May 1998. The project began in March 1996. The goal of the Palm Desert Project is to develop a clean and sustainable transportation system for a community. The project demonstrates the practical utility of hydrogen as a transportation fuel and the proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell as a vehicle power system. The project includes designing and building 4 fuel cell powered vehicles, a solar hydrogen generating and refueling station, and a fuel cell vehicle diagnostic center. Over this last year, SERC has built a fuel cell powered neighborhood electric vehicle and delivered it to the City of Palm Desert. The design of the hydrogen refueling station is near completion and it is anticipated that construction will be complete in the fall of 1998. The vehicles are currently being refueled at a temporary refueling station. The diagnostic center is being designed and maintenance procedures as well as computer diagnostic programs for the fuel cell vehicles are being developed. City employees are driving the vehicles daily and monitoring data are being collected. The drivers are pleased with the performance of the vehicles.

  16. Use of space photographs in deciphering the origin and evolution of the desert

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    El-Baz, F.

    1989-01-01

    Space photographs provide a very useful tool to study deserts and semiarid land because of their coverage and the amount of data they portray about vegetation-free terrain. This is a welcome contribution because we do not understand the desert as we do other types of terrain. Results of wind action, erosion and deposition are clearly portrayed in images obtained from spacecraft. They are indications of the state of the environment and should be studied well in all cases where economic development projects are instituted in deserts and semiarid lands. Furthermore, the history of evolution of the arid landscape in space and time must be considered in order to be able to use more of the desert for the benefit of mankind. (author). 33 refs, 14 figs

  17. Study on Biodiesel plants growth performance and tolerance to ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Abstract. In this research, we studied the growth performance and tolerance of three biodiesel plants namely; Jatropha curcas, Moringa oleifera and Ricinus communis to water stress. Research conducted on the three different soils from Kaita, Jibiya and Mai'adua in the semi-desert environments of Katsina State, Nigeria.

  18. Vascular Plant and Vertebrate Inventory of Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmidt, Cecilia A.; Powell, Brian F.; Halvorson, William L.

    2007-01-01

    Executive Summary We summarized inventory and monitoring efforts for plants and vertebrates at Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument (NM) in Arizona. We used data from previous research to compile complete species lists for the monument and to assess inventory completeness. There have been 1,031 species of plants and vertebrates observed at the monument. Most of the species on the list are documented by voucher specimens. There are 59 non-native species established in the monument: one mammal, three birds, and 55 non-native plants. Most non-native plant species were first recorded along roads. In each taxon-specific chapter, we highlight areas that contribute disproportionately to species richness or that have unique species for the monument. Of particular importance are Quitobaquito Springs and Pond, which are responsible for the monument having one of the highest number of bird species in the Sonoran Desert Network of parks. Quitobaquito also contains the only fish in the monument, the endangered Quitobaquito pupfish (Cyprinodon eremus). Other important resources for the plants and vertebrates include the xeroriparian washes (e.g., Alamo Canyon) and the Ajo Mountains. Based on the review of past studies, we believe the inventories of vascular plants and vertebrates are nearly complete and that the monument has one of the most complete inventories of any unit in the Sonoran Desert Network.

  19. Loess deposits since early Pleistocene in northeast China and implications for desert evolution in east China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Miao; Zhang, Xujiao; Tian, Mingzhong; Liu, Ru; He, Zexin; Qi, Lin; Qiao, Yansong

    2018-04-01

    Loess deposits and deserts are regarded as coupled geological systems and loess deposits on the periphery of deserts can often be used to reconstruct desert evolution. Previous studies of desert evolution in Asia are mainly concentrated in northwest China and the China Loess Plateau, and little is known about long-term desert evolution in east China. In this study, we selected the Sishijiazi loess section in the Chifeng area in northeast China to study the long-term evolution of the desert in east China. A high-resolution magnetostratigraphy combined with optically stimulated luminescence dating indicated that the age of the section base is approximately 1.02 Ma. The Brunhes-Matuyama boundary is at the depth of 39.8 m in loess unit L8, and the upper boundary of the Jaramillo Subchron is at the depth of 60.8 m in paleosol S10. The results of grain-size analysis indicate a coarsening grain-size trend in the past 1.0 Ma. In addition, based on grain-size variations, the desert evolution in east China since ∼1.0 Ma can be divided into three stages: stability from 1.0 to 0.8 Ma, desert recession from 0.8 to 0.5 Ma, and gradual expansion since 0.5 Ma. Our results further indicate that the evolution of desert in east China was mainly controlled by changes in global ice volume, and that the uplift of the Tibetan Plateau may have had an additional effect.

  20. Temporal 222Rn distributions to reveal groundwater discharge into desert lakes: Implication of water balance in the Badain Jaran Desert, China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luo, Xin; Jiao, Jiu Jimmy; Wang, Xu-sheng; Liu, Kun

    2016-03-01

    How lake systems are maintained and water is balanced in the lake areas in the Badain Jaran Desert (BJD), northeast of China have been debated for about a decade. In this study, continuous 222Rn measurement is used to quantify groundwater discharge into two representative fresh and brine water lakes in the desert using a steady-state mass-balance model. Two empirical equations are used to calculate atmospheric evasion loss crossing the water-air interface of the lakes. Groundwater discharge rates yielded from the radon mass balance model based on the two empirical equations are well correlated and of almost the same values, confirming the validity of the model. The fresh water and brine lakes have a daily averaged groundwater discharge rate of 7.6 ± 1.7 mm d-1 and 6.4 ± 1.8 mm d-1, respectively. The temporal fluctuations of groundwater discharge show similar patterns to those of the lake water level, suggesting that the lakes are recharged from nearby groundwater. Assuming that all the lakes have the same discharge rate as the two studied lakes, total groundwater discharge into all the lakes in the desert is estimated to be 1.59 × 105 m3 d-1. A conceptual model of water balance within a desert lake catchment is proposed to characterize water behaviors within the catchment. This study sheds lights on the water balance in the BJD and is of significance in sustainable regional water resource utilization in such an ecologically fragile area.

  1. Boosting Alfalfa (Medicago sativa L. Production With Rhizobacteria From Various Plants in Saudi Arabia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ihsanullah Daur

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available This study focused on rhizobacteria to promote sustainable crop production in arid regions of Saudi Arabia. The study isolated 17 tightly root-adhering rhizobacteria from various plants at Hada Al Sham in Saudi Arabia. All 17 rhizobacterial isolates were confirmed as plant growth promoting rhizobacteria by classical biochemical tests. Using 16S rDNA gene sequence analyses, the strains were identified as Bacillus, Acinetobacter and Enterobacter. Subsequently, the strains were assessed for their ability to improve the physiology, nutrient uptake, growth, and yield of alfalfa plants grown under desert agriculture conditions. The field trials were conducted in a randomized complete block design. Inoculation of alfalfa with any of these 17 strains improved the relative water content; chlorophyll a; chlorophyll b; carotenoid contents; nitrogen (N, phosphorus, and potassium contents; plant height; leaf-to-stem ratio; and fresh and dry weight. Acinetobacter pittii JD-14 was most effective to increase fresh and dry weight of alfalfa by 41 and 34%, respectively, when compared to non-inoculated control plants. Nevertheless, all strains enhanced crop traits when compared to controls plants, indicating that these desert rhizobacterial strains could be used to develop an eco-friendly biofertilizer for alfalfa and possibly other crop plants to enhance sustainable production in arid regions.

  2. Boosting Alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) Production With Rhizobacteria From Various Plants in Saudi Arabia

    KAUST Repository

    Daur, Ihsanullah; Saad, Maged; Eida, Abdul Aziz; Ahmad, Shakeel; Shah, Zahid Hussain; Ihsan, Muhammad Z.; Muhammad, Yasir; Sohrab, Sayed S.; Hirt, Heribert

    2018-01-01

    This study focused on rhizobacteria to promote sustainable crop production in arid regions of Saudi Arabia. The study isolated 17 tightly root-adhering rhizobacteria from various plants at Hada Al Sham in Saudi Arabia. All 17 rhizobacterial isolates were confirmed as plant growth promoting rhizobacteria by classical biochemical tests. Using 16S rDNA gene sequence analyses, the strains were identified as Bacillus, Acinetobacter and Enterobacter. Subsequently, the strains were assessed for their ability to improve the physiology, nutrient uptake, growth, and yield of alfalfa plants grown under desert agriculture conditions. The field trials were conducted in a randomized complete block design. Inoculation of alfalfa with any of these 17 strains improved the relative water content; chlorophyll a; chlorophyll b; carotenoid contents; nitrogen (N), phosphorus, and potassium contents; plant height; leaf-to-stem ratio; and fresh and dry weight. Acinetobacter pittii JD-14 was most effective to increase fresh and dry weight of alfalfa by 41 and 34%, respectively, when compared to non-inoculated control plants. Nevertheless, all strains enhanced crop traits when compared to controls plants, indicating that these desert rhizobacterial strains could be used to develop an eco-friendly biofertilizer for alfalfa and possibly other crop plants to enhance sustainable production in arid regions.

  3. Boosting Alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) Production With Rhizobacteria From Various Plants in Saudi Arabia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daur, Ihsanullah; Saad, Maged M; Eida, Abdul Aziz; Ahmad, Shakeel; Shah, Zahid Hussain; Ihsan, Muhammad Z; Muhammad, Yasir; Sohrab, Sayed S; Hirt, Heribert

    2018-01-01

    This study focused on rhizobacteria to promote sustainable crop production in arid regions of Saudi Arabia. The study isolated 17 tightly root-adhering rhizobacteria from various plants at Hada Al Sham in Saudi Arabia. All 17 rhizobacterial isolates were confirmed as plant growth promoting rhizobacteria by classical biochemical tests. Using 16S rDNA gene sequence analyses, the strains were identified as Bacillus, Acinetobacter and Enterobacter . Subsequently, the strains were assessed for their ability to improve the physiology, nutrient uptake, growth, and yield of alfalfa plants grown under desert agriculture conditions. The field trials were conducted in a randomized complete block design. Inoculation of alfalfa with any of these 17 strains improved the relative water content; chlorophyll a; chlorophyll b; carotenoid contents; nitrogen (N), phosphorus, and potassium contents; plant height; leaf-to-stem ratio; and fresh and dry weight. Acinetobacter pittii JD-14 was most effective to increase fresh and dry weight of alfalfa by 41 and 34%, respectively, when compared to non-inoculated control plants. Nevertheless, all strains enhanced crop traits when compared to controls plants, indicating that these desert rhizobacterial strains could be used to develop an eco-friendly biofertilizer for alfalfa and possibly other crop plants to enhance sustainable production in arid regions.

  4. Boosting Alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) Production With Rhizobacteria From Various Plants in Saudi Arabia

    KAUST Repository

    Daur, Ihsanullah

    2018-04-04

    This study focused on rhizobacteria to promote sustainable crop production in arid regions of Saudi Arabia. The study isolated 17 tightly root-adhering rhizobacteria from various plants at Hada Al Sham in Saudi Arabia. All 17 rhizobacterial isolates were confirmed as plant growth promoting rhizobacteria by classical biochemical tests. Using 16S rDNA gene sequence analyses, the strains were identified as Bacillus, Acinetobacter and Enterobacter. Subsequently, the strains were assessed for their ability to improve the physiology, nutrient uptake, growth, and yield of alfalfa plants grown under desert agriculture conditions. The field trials were conducted in a randomized complete block design. Inoculation of alfalfa with any of these 17 strains improved the relative water content; chlorophyll a; chlorophyll b; carotenoid contents; nitrogen (N), phosphorus, and potassium contents; plant height; leaf-to-stem ratio; and fresh and dry weight. Acinetobacter pittii JD-14 was most effective to increase fresh and dry weight of alfalfa by 41 and 34%, respectively, when compared to non-inoculated control plants. Nevertheless, all strains enhanced crop traits when compared to controls plants, indicating that these desert rhizobacterial strains could be used to develop an eco-friendly biofertilizer for alfalfa and possibly other crop plants to enhance sustainable production in arid regions.

  5. Polarization signatures for abandoned agricultural fields in the Manix Basin area of the Mojave Desert

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ray, Terrill W.; Farr, Tom G.; Vanzyl, Jakob J.

    1991-01-01

    Polarimetric signatures from abandoned circular alfalfa fields in the Manix Basin area of the Mojave desert show systematic changes with length of abandonment. The obliteration of circular planting rows by surface processes could account for the disappearance of bright 'spokes', which seems to be reflection patterns from remnants of the planting rows, with increasing length of abandonment. An observed shift in the location of the maximum L-band copolarization return away from VV, as well as an increase in surface roughness, both occurring with increasing age of abandonment, seems to be attributable to the formation of wind ripple on the relatively vegetationless fields. A Late Pleistocene/Holocene sand bar deposit, which can be identified in the radar images, is probably responsible for the failure of three fields to match the age sequence patterns in roughness and peak shift.

  6. Lithium abundance patterns of late-F stars: an in-depth analysis of the lithium desert

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aguilera-Gómez, Claudia; Ramírez, Iván; Chanamé, Julio

    2018-06-01

    Aims: We address the existence and origin of the lithium (Li) desert, a region in the Li-Teff plane sparsely populated by stars. Here we analyze some of the explanations that have been suggested for this region, including mixing in the late main sequence, a Li dip origin for stars with low Li abundances in the region, and a possible relation with the presence of planets. Methods: To study the Li desert, we measured the atmospheric parameters and Li abundance of 227 late-F dwarfs and subgiants, chosen to be in the Teff range of the desert and without previous Li abundance measurements. Subsequently, we complemented those with literature data to obtain a homogeneous catalog of 2318 stars, for which we compute masses and ages. We characterize stars surrounding the region of the Li desert. Results: We conclude that stars with low Li abundances below the desert are more massive and more evolved than stars above the desert. Given the unexpected presence of low Li abundance stars in this effective temperature range, we concentrate on finding their origin. We conclude that these stars with low Li abundance do not evolve from stars above the desert: at a given mass, stars with low Li (i.e., below the desert) are more metal-poor. Conclusions: Instead, we suggest that stars below the Li desert are consistent with having evolved from the Li dip, discarding the need to invoke additional mixing to explain this feature. Thus, stars below the Li desert are not peculiar and are only distinguished from other subgiants evolved from the Li dip in that their combination of atmospheric parameters locates them in a range of effective temperatures where otherwise only high Li abundance stars would be found (i.e., stars above the desert). Full Tables 1 and 3 are only available at the CDS via anonymous ftp to http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (http://130.79.128.5) or via http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz-bin/qcat?J/A+A/614/A55This paper includes observations collected at The McDonald Observatory and

  7. Hominin dispersal into the Nefud Desert and Middle palaeolithic settlement along the Jubbah Palaeolake, Northern Arabia.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael D Petraglia

    Full Text Available The Arabian Peninsula is a key region for understanding hominin dispersals and the effect of climate change on prehistoric demography, although little information on these topics is presently available owing to the poor preservation of archaeological sites in this desert environment. Here, we describe the discovery of three stratified and buried archaeological sites in the Nefud Desert, which includes the oldest dated occupation for the region. The stone tool assemblages are identified as a Middle Palaeolithic industry that includes Levallois manufacturing methods and the production of tools on flakes. Hominin occupations correspond with humid periods, particularly Marine Isotope Stages 7 and 5 of the Late Pleistocene. The Middle Palaeolithic occupations were situated along the Jubbah palaeolake-shores, in a grassland setting with some trees. Populations procured different raw materials across the lake region to manufacture stone tools, using the implements to process plants and animals. To reach the Jubbah palaeolake, Middle Palaeolithic populations travelled into the ameliorated Nefud Desert interior, possibly gaining access from multiple directions, either using routes from the north and west (the Levant and the Sinai, the north (the Mesopotamian plains and the Euphrates basin, or the east (the Persian Gulf. The Jubbah stone tool assemblages have their own suite of technological characters, but have types reminiscent of both African Middle Stone Age and Levantine Middle Palaeolithic industries. Comparative inter-regional analysis of core technology indicates morphological similarities with the Levantine Tabun C assemblage, associated with human fossils controversially identified as either Neanderthals or Homo sapiens.

  8. Drawing a line in the sand: Effectiveness of off-highway vehicle management in California's Sonoran desert

    Science.gov (United States)

    Custer, Nathan; Defalco, Lesley A.; Nussear, Kenneth E.; Esque, Todd C.

    2017-01-01

    Public land policies manage multiple uses while striving to protect vulnerable plant and wildlife habitats from degradation; yet the effectiveness of such policies are infrequently evaluated, particularly for remote landscapes that are difficult to monitor. We assessed the use and impacts of recreational vehicles on Mojave Desert washes (intermittent streams) in the Chemehuevi Desert Wildlife Management Area (DWMA) of southern California. Wash zones designated as open and closed to off-highway vehicle (OHV) activity were designed in part to protect Mojave desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii) habitat while allowing recreation in designated areas. OHV tracks were monitored in washes located near access roads during winter and early spring holidays – when recreation is typically high – and at randomly dispersed locations away from roads. Washes near access roads had fewer vehicle tracks within closed than open zones; further away from roads, OHV tracks were infrequent and their occurrence was not different between wash designations. Washes were in better condition in closed zones following major holidays as indicated by less vegetation damage, presence of trash, and wash bank damage. Furthermore, the frequency of washes with live tortoises and their sign was marginally greater in closed than open wash zones. Collectively, these results suggest that low impacts to habitats in designated closed wash zones reflect public compliance with federal OHV policy and regulations in the Chemehuevi DWMA during our study. Future monitoring to contrast wash use and impacts during other seasons as well as in other DWMAs will elucidate spatial and temporal patterns of recreation in these important conservation areas.

  9. Atmospheric Surface Layer Characterization: Preliminary Desert Lapse Rate Study 22-25 August 2000

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Elliott, Doyle

    2003-01-01

    Results of the August 2000 Desert Lapse Rate (DLR) Experiment are presented. The DLR Experiment was performed to document the night-to-day transition effects on the desert Atmospheric Surface Layer (ASL...

  10. Soil stabilization by a prokaryotic desert crust - Implications for Precambrian land biota

    Science.gov (United States)

    Campbell, S. E.

    1979-01-01

    The ecology of the cyanophyte-dominated stromatolitic mat forming the ground cover over desert areas of Utah and Colorado is investigated and implications for the formation of mature Precambrian soils are discussed. The activation of the growth of the two species of filamentous cyanophyte identified and the mobility of their multiple trichromes upon wetting are observed, accompanied by the production and deposition of a sheath capable of accreting and stabilizing sand and clay particles. The formation of calcium carbonate precipitates upon the repeated wetting and drying of desert crust is noted, and it is suggested that the desert crust community may appear in fossil calcrete deposits as lithified microscopic tubes and cellular remains of algal trichromes. The invasion of dry land by both marine and freshwater algae on the model of the desert crust is proposed to be responsible for the accumulation, stabilization and biogenic modification of mature Precambrian soils.

  11. Epifluorescent direct counts of bacteria and viruses from topsoil of various desert dust storm regions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gonzalez-Martin, Cristina; Teigell-Perez, Nuria; Lyles, Mark; Valladares, Basilio; Griffin, Dale W.

    2013-01-01

    Topsoil from arid regions is the main source of dust clouds that move through the earth's atmosphere, and microbial communities within these soils can survive long-range dispersion. Microbial abundance and chemical composition were analyzed in topsoil from various desert regions. Statistical analyses showed that microbial direct counts were strongly positively correlated with calcium concentrations and negatively correlated with silicon concentrations. While variance between deserts was expected, it was interesting to note differences between sample sites within a given desert region, illustrating the 'patchy' nature of microbial communities in desert environments.

  12. Ploidy race distributions since the Last Glacial Maximum in the North American desert shrub, Larrea tridentata

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hunter, K.L.; Betancourt, J.L.; Riddle, B.R.; Van Devender, T. R.; Cole, K.L.; Geoffrey, Spaulding W.

    2000-01-01

    1 A classic biogeographic pattern is the alignment of diploid, tetraploid and hexaploid races of creosote bush (Larrea tridentata) across the Chihuahuan, Sonoran and Mohave Deserts of western North America. We used statistically robust differences in guard cell size of modern plants and fossil leaves from packrat middens to map current and past distributions of these ploidy races since the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM). 2 Glacial/early Holocene (26-10 14C kyr BP or thousands of radiocarbon years before present) populations included diploids along the lower Rio Grande of west Texas, 650 km removed from sympatric diploids and tetraploids in the lower Colorado River Basin of south-eastern California/south-western Arizona. Diploids migrated slowly from lower Rio Grande refugia with expansion into the northern Chihuahuan Desert sites forestalled until after ???4.0 14C kyr BP. Tetraploids expanded from the lower Colorado River Basin into the northern limits of the Sonoran Desert in central Arizona by 6.4 14C kyr BP. Hexaploids appeared by 8.5 14C kyr BP in the lower Colorado River Basin, reaching their northernmost limits (???37??N) in the Mohave Desert between 5.6 and 3.9 14C kyr BP. 3 Modern diploid isolates may have resulted from both vicariant and dispersal events. In central Baja California and the lower Colorado River Basin, modern diploids probably originated from relict populations near glacial refugia. Founder events in the middle and late Holocene established diploid outposts on isolated limestone outcrops in areas of central and southern Arizona dominated by tetraploid populations. 4 Geographic alignment of the three ploidy races along the modern gradient of increasingly drier and hotter summers is clearly a postglacial phenomenon, but evolution of both higher ploidy races must have happened before the Holocene. The exact timing and mechanism of polyploidy evolution in creosote bush remains a matter of conjecture. ?? 2001 Blackwell Science Ltd.

  13. 77 FR 65133 - Revisions to the California State Implementation Plan, Mojave Desert Air Quality Management District

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-10-25

    ... the California State Implementation Plan, Mojave Desert Air Quality Management District AGENCY... limited disapproval of revisions to the Mojave Desert Air Quality Management District (MDAQMD) portion of.... * * * * * (c) * * * (379) * * * (i) * * * (E) Mojave Desert Air Quality Management District. (1) Rule 1159...

  14. Food deserts in Winnipeg, Canada: a novel method for measuring a complex and contested construct

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joyce Slater

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Introduction: "Food deserts" have emerged over the past 20 years as spaces of concern for communities, public health authorities and researchers because of their potential negative impact on dietary quality and subsequent health outcomes. Food deserts are residential geographic spaces, typically in urban settings, where low-income residents have limited or no access to retail food establishments with sufficient variety at affordable cost. Research on food deserts presents methodological challenges including retail food store identification and classification, identification of low-income populations, and transportation and proximity metrics. Furthermore, the complex methods often used in food desert research can be difficult to reproduce and communicate to key stakeholders. To address these challenges, this study sought to demonstrate the feasibility of implementing a simple and reproducible method of identifying food deserts using data easily available in the Canadian context. Methods: This study was conducted in Winnipeg, Canada in 2014. Food retail establishments were identified from Yellow Pages and verified by public health dietitians. We calculated two scenarios of food deserts based on location of the lowest-income quintile population: (a living ≥ 500 m from a national chain grocery store, or (b living ≥ 500 m from a national chain grocery store or a full-service grocery store. Results: The number of low-income residents living in a food desert ranged from 64 574 to 104 335, depending on the scenario used. Conclusion: This study shows that food deserts affect a significant proportion of the Winnipeg population, and while concentrated in the urban core, exist in suburban neighbourhoods also. The methods utilized represent an accessible and transparent, reproducible process for identifying food deserts. These methods can be used for costeffective, periodic surveillance and meaningful engagement with communities, retailers and policy

  15. Plant volatiles in extreme terrestrial and marine environments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rinnan, Riikka; Steinke, Michael; McGenity, Terry; Loreto, Francesco

    2014-08-01

    This review summarizes the current understanding on plant and algal volatile organic compound (VOC) production and emission in extreme environments, where temperature, water availability, salinity or other environmental factors pose stress on vegetation. Here, the extreme environments include terrestrial systems, such as arctic tundra, deserts, CO₂ springs and wetlands, and marine systems such as sea ice, tidal rock pools and hypersaline environments, with mangroves and salt marshes at the land-sea interface. The emission potentials at fixed temperature and light level or actual emission rates for phototrophs in extreme environments are frequently higher than for organisms from less stressful environments. For example, plants from the arctic tundra appear to have higher emission potentials for isoprenoids than temperate species, and hypersaline marine habitats contribute to global dimethyl sulphide (DMS) emissions in significant amounts. DMS emissions are more widespread than previously considered, for example, in salt marshes and some desert plants. The reason for widespread VOC, especially isoprenoid, emissions from different extreme environments deserves further attention, as these compounds may have important roles in stress resistance and adaptation to extremes. Climate warming is likely to significantly increase VOC emissions from extreme environments both by direct effects on VOC production and volatility, and indirectly by altering the composition of the vegetation. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  16. Further investigations of aquaponics using brackish water resources of the Negev desert

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Samuel Appelbaum

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available Outdoor, floating raft aquaponic systems using the brackish waters of the Negev Desert in Israel and a fresh water control are described. 7 m2 of vegetables and herbs were grown in each recirculating system with Tilapia sp. fish. Plant growth was excellent for species such as celery, Swiss chard, spring onions and watercress, and fish health and growth were good. Growth rates for fish were, however, low, with an upper limit of 1.1 g per day and would have increased with ad libitum feeding. Water quality was well controlled, and iron chelate was added to correct chlorosis problems. Leafy growth was very good, but fruiting could be improved with the addition of potassium (K and other micronutrients.

  17. Composition of soil seed bank over cholistan desert microhabitats at dingarh for area, pakistan

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hamid, A.; Arshad, M.; Ghazali, H.M.Z.

    2016-01-01

    Soil seed banks were assessed in three soil layers (L1, from 0 to 2 cm, L2, 2 to 4 cm and L3, 4 to 6 cm depth ) from five microhabitats i.e., Lee-ward side of sand dune (S1), Wind-ward side of sand dune (S2), Clayey area covered with sand (S3), Interdunal sandy area (S4) and Shifting sand dune of site Dingarh Fort area (S5) in Cholistan desert of Pakistan to analyse differences of soil seed bank among these habitats. Ten soil samples were collected from each microhabitat and from each layer i.e., 0-2 cm depth (L1), 2-4 cm depth (L2) and 4-6 cm depth (L3) by using 15*15*6 cm metallic sampler. Consistent differences in seed composition were observed among these microhabitats. Seedling emergence approach was used to assess the soil seed bank of Cholistan desert. Canonical correspondence analysis (CCA) was used for the soil seed bank and the plant species analysis. The microhabitats S3 (Clayey area covered with sand) and S4 (Interdunal sandy area) contributed prominently to the total variance in the species and had maximum density of seed bank and soil layer L1 contained maximum number of seeds. (author)

  18. Metabolic rate, evaporative water loss and thermoregulatory state in four species of bats in the Negev desert.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muñoz-Garcia, Agustí; Larraín, Paloma; Ben-Hamo, Miriam; Cruz-Neto, Ariovaldo; Williams, Joseph B; Pinshow, Berry; Korine, Carmi

    2016-01-01

    Life in deserts is challenging for bats because of their relatively high energy and water requirements; nevertheless bats thrive in desert environments. We postulated that bats from desert environments have lower metabolic rates (MR) and total evaporative water loss (TEWL) than their mesic counterparts. To test this idea, we measured MR and TEWL of four species of bats, which inhabit the Negev desert in Israel, one species mainly restricted to hyper-arid deserts (Otonycteris hemprichii), two species from semi-desert areas (Eptesicus bottae and Plecotus christii), and one widespread species (Pipistrellus kuhlii). We also measured separately, in the same individuals, the two components of TEWL, respiratory water loss (RWL) and cutaneous evaporative water loss (CEWL), using a mask. In all the species, MR and TEWL were significantly reduced during torpor, the latter being a consequence of reductions in both RWL and CEWL. Then, we evaluated whether MR and TEWL in bats differ according to their geographic distributions, and whether those rates change with Ta and the use of torpor. We did not find significant differences in MR among species, but we found that TEWL was lowest in the species restricted to desert habitats, intermediate in the semi-desert dwelling species, and highest in the widespread species, perhaps a consequence of adaptation to life in deserts. Our results were supported by a subsequent analysis of data collected from the literature on rates of TEWL for 35 bat species from desert and mesic habitats. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  19. 76 FR 29153 - Revisions to the California State Implementation Plan, Mojave Desert Air Quality Management District

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-05-20

    ... the California State Implementation Plan, Mojave Desert Air Quality Management District AGENCY... approve revisions to the Mojave Desert Air Quality Management District (MDAQMD) portion of the California... approving with the dates that they were adopted by the Mojave Desert Air Quality Management District (MDAQMD...

  20. Who Needs Religion When You Have The Desert?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sørensen, Bent

    In my paper I propose to read so-called ‘post-ironic’ texts by authors associated with the Blank Generation and Generation X (including Bret Easton Ellis and Douglas Coupland, as well as less well-known authors such as K.S. Haddock) and examine their use of the desert as a trope for identity...... testing and summation. Perhaps surprisingly, one finds in novels such as Ellis’ Less Than Zero (1984) and Coupland’s Generation X (1991) a reliance on desert locations to provide an alternative to the numerous non-places (in Marc Augé’s sense of the term) that otherwise make up the setting of these works....

  1. Recovery of compacted soils in Mojave Desert ghost towns.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Webb, R.H.; Steiger, J.W.; Wilshire, H.G.

    1986-01-01

    Residual compaction of soils was measured at seven sites in five Mojave Desert ghost towns. Soils in these Death Valley National Monument townsites were compacted by vehicles, animals, and human trampling, and the townsites had been completely abandoned and the buildings removed for 64 to 75 yr. Recovery times extrapolated using a linear recovery model ranged from 80 to 140 yr and averaged 100 yr. The recovery times were related to elevation, suggesting freeze-thaw loosening as an important factor in ameliorating soil compaction in the Mojave Desert. -from Authors

  2. Natural product diversity of actinobacteria in the Atacama Desert.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rateb, Mostafa E; Ebel, Rainer; Jaspars, Marcel

    2018-02-14

    The Atacama Desert of northern Chile is considered one of the most arid and extreme environment on Earth. Its core region was described as featuring "Mars-like" soils that were at one point deemed too extreme for life to exist. However, recent investigations confirmed the presence of diverse culturable actinobacteria. In the current review, we discuss a total of 46 natural products isolated to date representing diverse chemical classes characterized from different actinobacteria isolated from various locations in the Atacama Desert. Their reported biological activities are also discussed.

  3. Effect of water and nitrogen additions on free-living nitrogen fixer populations in desert grass root zones.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herman, R P; Provencio, K R; Torrez, R J; Seager, G M

    1993-01-01

    In this study we measured changes in population levels of free-living N2-fixing bacteria in the root zones of potted Bouteloua eriopoda and Sporobolus flexuosus plants as well as the photosynthetic indices of the plants in response to added nitrogen, added water, and added water plus nitrogen treatments. In addition, N2 fixer population changes in response to added carbon source and nitrogen were measured in plant-free soil columns. There were significant increases in the numbers of N2 fixers associated with both plant species in the water and the water plus nitrogen treatments. Both treatments increased the photosynthetic index, suggesting that plant exudates were driving N2 fixer population changes. Population increases were greatest in the water plus nitrogen treatments, indicating that added nitrogen was synergistic with added water and suggesting that nitrogen addition spared bacteria the metabolic cost of N2 fixation, allowing greater reproduction. Plant-free column studies demonstrated a synergistic carbon-nitrogen effect when carbon levels were limiting (low malate addition) but not when carbon was abundant (high malate), further supporting this hypothesis. The results of this study indicate the presence of N2 fixer populations which interact with plants and which may play a role in the nitrogen balance of desert grasslands. PMID:8215373

  4. Adherence to a Mediterranean diet in a rural Appalachian food desert.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hardin-Fanning, F

    2013-01-01

    Rural Appalachian food deserts have disproportionately high cardiovascular disease (CVD) rates. The Mediterranean diet, consisting of plant-based dishes prepared with unsaturated fatty acids, contributes to decreased risk of CVD. Several factors can affect dietary choices in rural food deserts. The purpose of this exploratory study was to identify predisposing, reinforcing and enabling factors that affect eating a Mediterranean diet in a rural Appalachian food desert with disproportionately high rates of cardiovascular disease. The PRECEDE-PROCEED model was used as an assessment framework in this study. Volunteers (n=43) were recruited from four churches in a rural Appalachian county to participate in this mixed methods convergent parallel design study. During each of four sessions with 8-12 participants each, a Mediterranean-style meal was prepared by a local caterer and included plant-based dishes prepared with unsaturated fatty acids. The nature of a Mediterranean diet was explained to participants using an illustrated pamphlet. Nominal group process was used to determine predisposing, reinforcing and enabling factors that would affect adherence to a Mediterranean diet. Multivariate ANOVA and t-tests, using SPSS 18, were performed to determine factors associated with potential future adoption and adherence to a Mediterranean diet among a sample of rural residents and assess whether the factors varied based on age, gender and socioeconomic status. All p values of ≤0.05 were considered significant. Factors affecting future adherence to a Mediterranean diet included difficulty changing personal habits, limited access to healthy foods, cost, difficulty of preparation, limited knowledge of the health benefits of foods, family attitudes toward food and difficulty determining how to incorporate healthy foods into meals. Younger participants and those with lower incomes were more likely to identify food cost as a barrier to adherence compared to those who were older

  5. Water sources for cyanobacteria below desert rocks in the Negev Desert determined by conductivity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christopher P. McKay

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available We present year round meteorological and conductivity measurements of colonized hypolithic rocks in the Arava Valley, Negev Desert, Israel. The data indicate that while dew is common in the Negev it is not an important source of moisture for hypolithic organisms at this site. The dominance of cyanobacteria in the hypolithic community is consistent with predictions that cyanobacteria are confined to habitats supplied by rain. To monitor the presence of liquid water under the small Negev rocks we developed and tested a simple field conductivity system based on two wires placed about 0.5 cm apart. Based on 21 replicates recorded for one year in the Negev we conclude that in natural rains (0.25 mm to 6 mm the variability between sensor readings is between 20 and 60% decreasing with increasing rain amount. We conclude that the simple small electrical conductivity system described here can be used effectively to monitor liquid water levels in lithic habitats. However, the natural variability of these sensors indicates that several replicates should be deployed. The results and method presented have use in arid desert reclamation programs.

  6. Transcriptomic analysis of a tertiary relict plant, extreme xerophyte Reaumuria soongorica to identify genes related to drought adaptation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yong Shi

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Reaumuria soongorica is an extreme xerophyte shrub widely distributed in the desert regions including sand dune, Gobi and marginal loess of central Asia which plays a crucial role to sustain and restore fragile desert ecosystems. However, due to the lacking of the genomic sequences, studies on R. soongorica had mainly limited in physiological responses to drought stress. Here, a deep transcriptomic sequencing of R. soongorica will facilitate molecular functional studies and pave the path to understand drought adaptation for a desert plant. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: A total of 53,193,660 clean paired-end reads was generated from the Illumina HiSeq™ 2000 platform. By assembly with Trinity, we got 173,700 contigs and 77,647 unigenes with mean length of 677 bp and N50 of 1109 bp. Over 55% (43,054 unigenes were successfully annotated based on sequence similarity against public databases as well as Rfam and Pfam database. Local BLAST and Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG maps were used to further exhausting seek for candidate genes related to drought adaptation and a set of 123 putative candidate genes were identified. Moreover, all the C4 photosynthesis genes existed and were active in R. soongorica, which has been regarded as a typical C3 plant. CONCLUSION/SIGNIFICANCE: The assembled unigenes in present work provide abundant genomic information for the functional assignments in an extreme xerophyte R. soongorica, and will help us exploit the genetic basis of how desert plants adapt to drought environment in the near future.

  7. Source apportionment of PM₁₀ and PM₂.₅ in a desert region in northern Chile.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jorquera, Héctor; Barraza, Francisco

    2013-02-01

    Estimating contributions of anthropogenic sources to ambient particulate matter (PM) in desert regions is a challenging issue because wind erosion contributions are ubiquitous, significant and difficult to quantify by using source-oriented, dispersion models. A receptor modeling analysis has been applied to ambient PM(10) and PM(2.5) measured in an industrial zone ~20 km SE of Antofagasta (23.63°S, 70.39°W), a midsize coastal city in northern Chile; the monitoring site is within a desert region that extends from northern Chile to southern Perú. Integrated 24-hour ambient samples of PM(10) and PM(2.5) were taken with Harvard Impactors; samples were analyzed by X Ray Fluorescence, ionic chromatography (NO(3)(-) and SO(4)(=)), atomic absorption (Na(+), K(+)) and thermal optical transmission for elemental and organic carbon determination. Receptor modeling was carried out using Positive Matrix Factorization (US EPA Version 3.0); sources were identified by looking at specific tracers, tracer ratios, local winds and wind trajectories computed from NOAA's HYSPLIT model. For the PM(2.5) fraction, six contributions were found - cement plant, 33.7 ± 1.3%; soil dust, 22.4 ± 1.6%; sulfates, 17.8 ± 1.7%; mineral stockpiles and brine plant, 12.4 ± 1.2%; Antofagasta, 8.5 ± 1.3% and copper smelter, 5.3 ± 0.8%. For the PM(10) fraction five sources were identified - cement plant, 38.2 ± 1.5%; soil dust, 31.2 ± 2.3%; mineral stockpiles and brine plant, 12.7 ± 1.7%; copper smelter, 11.5 ± 1.6% and marine aerosol, 6.5 ± 2.4%. Therefore local sources contribute to ambient PM concentrations more than distant sources (Antofagasta, marine aerosol) do. Soil dust is enriched with deposition of marine aerosol and calcium, sulfates and heavy metals from surrounding industrial activities. The mean contribution of suspended soil dust to PM(10) is 50 μg/m(3) and the peak daily value is 104 μg/m(3). For the PM(2.5) fraction, suspended soil dust contributes with an average of 9.3

  8. Serologic and molecular evidence for testudinid herpesvirus 2 infection in wild Agassiz’s desert tortoise, Gopherus agassizii

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jacobson, Elliott R.; Berry, Kristin H.; Wellehan, James F. X.; Origgi, Francesco; Childress, April L.; Braun, Josephine; Schrenzel, Mark; Yee, Julie; Rideout, Bruce

    2012-01-01

    Following field observations of wild Agassiz’s desert tortoises (Gopherus agassizii) with oral lesions similar to those seen in captive tortoises with herpesvirus infection, we measured the prevalence of antibodies to Testudinid herpesvirus (TeHV) 3 in wild populations of desert tortoises in California. The survey revealed 30.9% antibody prevalence. In 2009 and 2010, two wild adult male desert tortoises, with gross lesions consistent with trauma and puncture wounds, respectively, were necropsied. Tortoise 1 was from the central Mojave Desert and tortoise 2 was from the northeastern Mojave Desert. We extracted DNA from the tongue of tortoise 1 and from the tongue and nasal mucosa of tortoise 2. Sequencing of polymerase chain reaction products of the herpesviral DNA-dependent DNA polymerase gene and the UL39 gene respectively showed 100% nucleotide identity with TeHV2, which was previously detected in an ill captive desert tortoise in California. Although several cases of herpesvirus infection have been described in captive desert tortoises, our findings represent the first conclusive molecular evidence of TeHV2 infection in wild desert tortoises. The serologic findings support cross-reactivity between TeHV2 and TeHV3. Further studies to determine the ecology, prevalence, and clinical significance of this virus in tortoise populations are needed.

  9. Giant desiccation fissures on the Black Rock and Smoke Creek Deserts, Nevada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Willden, R.; Mabey, D.R.

    1961-01-01

    Open fissures, from 100 to several hundred feet apart, that have produced polygonal patterns on the Black Rock Desert, Nevada, are believed to be giant desiccation cracks resulting from a secular trend toward aridity in the last few decades. Similar features on the Smoke Creek Desert probably have the same origin.

  10. Butterflies of the high altitude Atacama Desert: habitat use and conservation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emma eDespland

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available The butterfly fauna of the high-altitude desert of Northern Chile, though depauperate, shows high endemism, is poorly known and is of considerable conservation concern. This study surveys butterflies along the Andean slope between 2400 and 500 m asl (prepuna, puna and Andean steppe habitats as well as in high and low altitude wetlands and in the neoriparian vegetation of agricultural sites. We also include historical sightings from museum records. We compare abundances between altitudes, between natural and impacted sites, as well as between two sampling years with different precipitation regimes. The results confirm high altitudinal turnover and show greatest similarity between wetland and slope faunas at similar altitudes. Results also underscore vulnerability to weather fluctuations, particularly in the more arid low-altitude sites, where abundances were much lower in the low precipitation sampling season and several species were not observed at all. Finally, we show that some species have shifted to the neoriparian vegetation of the agricultural landscape, whereas others were only observed in less impacted habitats dominated by native plants. These results suggest that acclimation to novel habitats depends on larval host plant use. The traditional agricultural environment can provide habitat for many, but not all, native butterfly species, but an estimation of the value of these habitats requires better understanding of butterfly life-history strategies and relationships with host plants.

  11. Comparison of trailside degradation across a gradient of trail use in the Sonoran Desert.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rowe, Helen Ivy; Tluczek, Melanie; Broatch, Jennifer; Gruber, Dan; Jones, Steve; Langenfeld, Debbie; McNamara, Peggy; Weinstein, Leona

    2018-02-01

    As recreational visitation to the Sonoran Desert increases, the concern of scientists, managers and advocates who manage its natural resources deepens. Although many studies have been conducted on trampling of undisturbed vegetation and the effects of trails on adjacent plant and soil communities, little such research has been conducted in the arid southwest. We sampled nine 450-m trail segments with different visitation levels in Scottsdale's McDowell Sonoran Preserve over three years to understand the effects of visitation on soil erosion, trailside soil crusts and plant communities. Soil crust was reduced by 27-34% near medium and high use trails (an estimated peak rate of 13-70 visitors per hour) compared with control plots, but there was less than 1% reduction near low use trails (peak rate of two to four visitors per hour). We did not detect soil erosion in the center 80% of the trampled area of any of the trails. The number of perennial plant species dropped by less than one plant species on average, but perennial plant cover decreased by 7.5% in trailside plots compared with control plots 6 m off-trail. At the current levels of visitation, the primary management focus should be keeping people on the originally constructed trail tread surface to reduce impact to adjacent soil crusts. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. Desert rose: building material of cupolas in the Souf in Algeria

    Science.gov (United States)

    Azil, C.; Djebri, B.; Rovero, L.

    2018-05-01

    In the Souf of Algeria, the roofs of all constructions are arranged like corbelled domes, built with local particular material to this region, which is the desert rose. These cupolas describe a unique landscape of historic centres. Such constructions include a widespread and precious heritage that deserves protection to save this urban landscape which constitutes an element of identity of heritage built upon the material as well as the immaterial of the local know-how. Unfortunately, these architectural elements have undergone alterations that devalue the urban landscape and destabilize the buildings. However, the structural system that provides stability and endurance to this day remains an open question. In this, paper, we describe the role of desert rose cupolas in the construction of a single urban landscape and we contribute to this knowledge. Then, we explain the role of the availability of the materials locals (desert rose and tafza) to appearance ad emergence of construction with cupolas typology. In addition, we describe these materials locals, and the method to them usage. In the end, we have traced the process of construction of these cupolas by corbelling which is mounted by successive courses of the desert rose and the plaster mortar.

  13. Reconstructing the origin of Helianthus deserticola: Survival and selection on the desert floor

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gross, B.L.; Kane, D.L.; Lexer, C.; Ludwig, F.; Rosenthal, D.R.; Donovan, L.A.; Rieseberg, L.H.

    2004-01-01

    The diploid hybrid species Helianthus deserticola inhabits the desert floor, an extreme environment relative to its parental species Helianthus annuus and Helianthus petiolaris. Adaptation to the desert floor may have occurred via selection acting on transgressive, or extreme, traits in early

  14. Ecological Observations of Native Geocoris pallens and G. punctipes Populations in the Great Basin Desert of Southwestern Utah

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Meredith C. Schuman

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Big-eyed bugs (Geocoris spp. Fallén, Hemiptera: Lygaeidae are ubiquitous, omnivorous insect predators whose plant feeding behavior raises the question of whether they benefit or harm plants. However, several studies have investigated both the potential of Geocoris spp. to serve as biological control agents in agriculture and their importance as agents of plant indirect defense in nature. These studies have demonstrated that Geocoris spp. effectively reduce herbivore populations and increase plant yield. Previous work has also indicated that Geocoris spp. respond to visual and olfactory cues when foraging and choosing their prey and that associative learning of prey and plant cues informs their foraging strategies. For these reasons, Geocoris spp. have become models for the study of tritrophic plant-herbivore-predator interactions. Here, we present detailed images and ecological observations of G. pallens Stål and G. punctipes (Say native to the Great Basin Desert of southwestern Utah, including observations of their life histories and color morphs, dynamics of their predatory feeding behavior and prey choice over space and time, and novel aspects of Geocoris spp.’s relationships to their host plants. These observations open up new areas to be explored regarding the behavior of Geocoris spp. and their interactions with plant and herbivore populations.

  15. ETHNO-VETERINARY MEDICINAL USAGE OF FLORA OF GREATER CHOLISTAN DESERT (PAKISTAN

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    FRAZ M. KHAN

    2009-05-01

    Full Text Available A study on the ethno-veterinary usage of wild medicinal plants of Greater Cholistan desert of Pakistan was conducted from January, 2007 to December, 2008. Information regarding 35 plant species was collected. According to the results, Blepharis sindica was used as galactagogue. Butea monosperma, Calotropis procera and Phyllanthus nirurii were used as emollient, demulcent and antiphlogistic. Amaranthus trilocular, Capparis decidua, Clerodendron phlomoides, Phyllanthus nirurii and Ricinus communis were used as carminative and stomachic. Capparis decidua and Calotropis procera were used as appetizer. Prosopis glandulosa had anodyne properties, Achyranthes aspera had antilithic, while Pedalium murex, Tribulus terrestris and Barleria prionites had diuretic value. Achyranthes aspera, Argemone mexicana, Balanites aegyptiaca, Butea monosperma, Cassia senna, Citrullus colocynthis and Vitex negundo were used as vermifuge. Alhagi camelorum and Balanites aegyptiaca had aperient properties. Barleria prionites and Mollugo nudicaulis had their role in the ripening of an abscess. Ricinus communis and Salvadora oleoides aided in the removal of placenta and lochia. Anamitra cocculus and Argemone mexicana were used as febrifuge. Aerva javanica, Ailanthus excelsa, Amaranthus trilocular, Capparis decidua were used in diarrhoea and dysentery. Argemone mexicana and Ailanthus excelsa were used in ague.

  16. Microbial communities in a High Arctic polar desert landscape

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Clare M McCann

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available The High Arctic is dominated by polar desert habitats whose microbial communities are poorly understood. In this study, we used next generation sequencing to describe the α- and β-diversity of polar desert soils from the Kongsfjorden region of Svalbard. Ten phyla consistently dominated the soils and accounted for 95 % of all sequences, with Proteobacteria, Actinobacteria and Chloroflexi being the dominant lineages. In contrast to previous investigations of Arctic soils, Acidobacterial relative abundances were low as were the Archaea throughout the Kongsfjorden polar desert landscape. Lower Acidobacterial abundances were attributed to the circumneutral soil pH in this region which has resulted from the weathering of the underlying carbonate geology. In addition, we correlated previously measured geochemical variables to determine potential controls on the communities. Soil phosphorus, pH, nitrogen and calcium significantly correlated with β-diversity indicating a landscape scale lithological control of soil nutrients which in turn influenced community composition. In addition, soil phosphorus and pH significantly correlated with α- diversity, specifically the Shannon diversity and Chao 1 richness indices.

  17. Baboquivari Mountain plants: Identification, ecology, and ethnobotany [Book Review

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosemary L. Pendleton

    2011-01-01

    The Sky Islands of southern Arizona and northwestern Mexico make up a region that is rich, both biologically and culturally. These isolated mountain ranges, separated by desert "seas," contain a unique and diverse flora and have long been home to indigenous peoples of the southwestern US. This book, Baboquivari Mountain Plants: Identification, Ecology, and...

  18. 76 FR 28767 - Desert Southwest Customer Service Region-Rate Order No. WAPA-152

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-05-18

    ... DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Western Area Power Administration Desert Southwest Customer Service Region..., Desert Southwest Customer Service Region, Western Area Power Administration, P.O. Box 6457, Phoenix, AZ... Customer Service Region, Western Area Power Administration, P.O. Box 6457, Phoenix, AZ 85005-6457, (602...

  19. Urban particle size distributions during two contrasting dust events originating from Taklimakan and Gobi Deserts

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zhao, Suping; Yu, Ye; Xia, Dunsheng; Yin, Daiying; He, Jianjun; Liu, Na; Li, Fang

    2015-01-01

    The dust origins of the two events were identified using HYSPLIT trajectory model and MODIS and CALIPSO satellite data to understand the particle size distribution during two contrasting dust events originated from Taklimakan and Gobi deserts. The supermicron particles significantly increased during the dust events. The dust event from Gobi desert affected significantly on the particles larger than 2.5 μm, while that from Taklimakan desert impacted obviously on the particles in 1.0–2.5 μm. It is found that the particle size distributions and their modal parameters such as VMD (volume median diameter) have significant difference for varying dust origins. The dust from Taklimakan desert was finer than that from Gobi desert also probably due to other influencing factors such as mixing between dust and urban emissions. Our findings illustrated the capacity of combining in situ, satellite data and trajectory model to characterize large-scale dust plumes with a variety of aerosol parameters. - Highlights: • Dust particle size distributions had large differences for varying origins. • Dust originating from Taklimakan Desert was finer than that from Gobi Desert. • Effect of dust on the supermicron particles was obvious. • PM_1_0 concentrations increased by a factor of 3.4–25.6 during the dust event. - Dust particle size distributions had large differences for varying origins, which may be also related to other factors such as mixing between dust and urban emissions.

  20. Spatial probability models of fire in the desert grasslands of the southwestern USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fire is an important driver of ecological processes in semiarid environments; however, the role of fire in desert grasslands of the Southwestern US is controversial and the regional fire distribution is largely unknown. We characterized the spatial distribution of fire in the desert grassland region...

  1. Site selection and directional models of deserts used for ERBE validation targets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Staylor, W. F.

    1986-01-01

    Broadband shortwave and longwave radiance measurements obtained from the Nimbus 7 Earth Radiation Budget scanner were used to develop reflectance and emittance models for the Sahara, Gibson, and Saudi Deserts. These deserts will serve as in-flight validation targets for the Earth Radiation Budget Experiment being flown on the Earth Radiation Budget Satellite and two National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration polar satellites. The directional reflectance model derived for the deserts was a function of the sum and product of the cosines of the solar and viewing zenith angles, and thus reciprocity existed between these zenith angles. The emittance model was related by a power law of the cosine of the viewing zenith angle.

  2. Exploring the Limits to Photosynthetic Life in the Hyperarid Atacama (Chile) and Taklimakan (China) Deserts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Warren-Rhodes, K.; Ewing, S.; McKay, C. P.; Rhodes, K. L.

    2003-12-01

    Photosynthetic microbes inhabiting the cracks or fissures (chasmoendoliths) and undersides (hypoliths) of translucent stones function as the sole primary producers in the world's driest deserts. This poster reports on our studies of the distribution and survival of these microorganisms in the hyperarid core of the Atacama Desert--an extreme environment previously considered too dry to support photosynthetic life--and the Taklimakan Desert in China--one of the oldest and driest deserts on the Earth. In both deserts, we measured colonization rates and microclimate variables across natural precipitation gradients in order to investigate the role of moisture in the ecology and survival of hypolithic and chasmoendolithic microorganisms. Our results show 1000-fold variations in colonization rates--from 12% in the wettest portions of the Taklimakan Desert to 3000 y. At slightly wetter sites in the Atacama, Δ 14C of hypolith soils was progressively more enriched in proportion to increased MAP, with corresponding turnover times of >600 y (Δ 14C = -73 ‰ at sites with ˜5-10 mm MAP and ˜1 y Δ 14C = +12 ‰ ) as annual rainfall increased to ˜25 mm. At all sites, Δ 14C signatures of non-hypolith soils corresponded to turnover times that were longer by an order of magnitude, indicating significantly slower OC cycling by non-hypoliths. In the hyperarid core of the Atacama Desert, the prolonged lack of rainfall (decadal scales of a few millimeters) is responsible for possibly the lowest hypolithic and chasmoendolithic colonization rates observed in deserts on the Earth. Microclimate data for rock and soil surface moisture from rainfall, dew and frost suggest the particular form of moisture and its frequency may also explain observed differences in hypolithic versus chasmoendolithic colonization modes. These results hold theoretical and practical considerations for both terrestrial ecology and as analogs for possible life on Mars.

  3. Cyanobacteria and cyanotoxins are present in drinking water impoundments and groundwater wells in desert environments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chatziefthimiou, Aspassia D; Metcalf, James S; Glover, W Broc; Banack, Sandra A; Dargham, Soha R; Richer, Renee A

    2016-05-01

    Desert environments and drylands experience a drastic scarcity of water resources. To alleviate dependence on freshwater for drinking water needs, countries have invested in infrastructure development of desalination plants. Collectively, the countries of the Arabian Gulf produce 45% of the world's desalinated water, which is stored in dams, mega-reservoirs and secondary house water tanks to secure drinking water beyond daily needs. Improper storage practices of drinking water in impoundments concomitant with increased temperatures and light penetration may promote the growth of cyanobacteria and accumulation of cyanotoxins. To shed light on this previously unexplored research area in desert environments, we examined drinking and irrigation water of urban and rural environments to determine whether cyanobacteria and cyanotoxins are present, and what are the storage and transportation practices as well as the environmental parameters that best predict their presence. Cyanobacteria were present in 80% of the urban and 33% of the rural water impoundments. Neurotoxins BMAA, DAB and anatoxin-a(S) were not detected in any of the water samples, although they have been found to accumulate in the desert soils, which suggests a bioaccumulation potential if they are leached into the aquifer. A toxic BMAA isomer, AEG, was found in 91.7% of rural but none of the urban water samples and correlated with water-truck transportation, light exposure and chloride ions. The hepatotoxic cyanotoxin microcystin-LR was present in the majority of all sampled impoundments, surpassing the WHO provisional guideline of 1 μg/l in 30% of the urban water tanks. Finally, we discuss possible management strategies to improve storage and transportation practices in order to minimize exposure to cyanobacteria and cyanotoxins, and actions to promote sustainable use of limited water resources. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. Supersymmetry without the Desert

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nomura, Yasunori; Poland, David

    2006-01-01

    Naturalness of electroweak symmetry breaking in weak scale supersymmetric theories may suggest the absence of the conventional supersymmetric desert. We present a simple, realistic framework for supersymmetry in which (most of) the virtues of the supersymmetric desert are naturally reproduced without having a large energy interval above the weak scale. The successful supersymmetric prediction for the low-energy gauge couplings is reproduced due to a gauged R symmetry present in the effective theory at the weak scale. The observable sector superpotential naturally takes the form of the next-to-minimal supersymmetric standard model, but without being subject to the Landau pole constraints up to the conventional unification scale. Supersymmetry breaking masses are generated by the F-term and D-term VEVs of singlet and U(1) R gauge fields, as well as by anomaly mediation, at a scale not far above the weak scale. We study the resulting pattern of supersymmetry breaking masses in detail, and find that it can be quite distinct. We construct classes of explicit models within this framework, based on higher dimensional unified theories with TeV-sized extra dimensions. A similar model based on a non-R symmetry is also presented. These models have a rich phenomenology at the TeV scale, and allow for detailed analyses of, e.g., electroweak symmetry breaking

  5. Simmondsia chinensis - a plant with a future

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hoeppe, C

    1975-10-01

    S. chinensis could become a new crop plant for the semi-arid tropics. Its seeds produce a liquid wax which is similar to sperm whale oil. S. chinensis is a permanent, evergreen, dioecious bush, growing up to 3 m in height and developing a deep taproot. The seed weight ranges from 0.3 to 1.1 g, they contain 43 to 56% of the wax. Places of origin are the deserts of Southwest USA and Northwest Mexico. Presently only seeds from wild populations are collected. The establishment of plantations is possible. Economic crops can be expected about 10 years after planting.

  6. Radiatively-driven processes in forest fire and desert dust plumes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Weinzierl, Bernadett Barbara

    2008-07-01

    The absorption of solar radiation by atmospheric aerosol particles is important for the climate effects of aerosols. Absorption by aerosol particles heats atmospheric layers, even though the net effect for the entire atmospheric column may still be a cooling. Most experimental studies on absorbing aerosols so far focussed mainly on the aerosol properties and did not consider the influence of the aerosols on the thermodynamic structure of the atmosphere. In this study, data from two international aircraft field experiments, the Intercontinental Transport of Ozone and Precursors study (ITOP) 2004 and the Saharan Mineral Dust Experiment (SAMUM) 2006 are investigated. The ITOP data were collected before the work on this thesis started, while the logistics and the instrument preparation of the SAMUM campaign, the weather forecast during SAMUM and the in-situ aerosol measurements during SAMUM were done within this thesis. The experimental data are used to explore the impact of layers containing absorbing forest fire and desert dust aerosol particles on the atmospheric stability and the implications of a changed stability on the development of the aerosol microphysical and optical properties during long-range transport. For the first time, vertical profiles of the Richardson number Ri are used to assess the stability and mixing in forest fire and desert dust plumes. Also for the first time, the conclusions drawn from the observations of forest fire and desert dust aerosol, at first glance apparently quite different aerosol types, are discussed from a common perspective. Two mechanisms, the selfstabilising and the sealed ageing effect, acting in both forest fire and desert dust aerosol layers, are proposed to explain the characteristic temperature structure as well as the aerosol properties observed in lofted forest fire and desert dust plumes. The proposed effects impact on the ageing of particles within the plumes and reduce the plume dilution, therefore extending the

  7. Total vertical sediment flux and PM10 emissions from disturbed Chihuahuan Desert Surfaces

    Science.gov (United States)

    Desert surfaces are typically stable and represent some of the oldest landforms on Earth. For surfaces without vegetation, the evolution of a desert pavements of gravel protects the surface from erosive forces and vegetation further protects the surface in arid and semi-arid rangelands. The suscep...

  8. Water subsidies from mountains to deserts: their role in sustaining groundwater-fed oases in a sandy landscape.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jobbágy, E G; Nosetto, M D; Villagra, P E; Jackson, R B

    2011-04-01

    In arid regions throughout the world, shallow phreatic aquifers feed natural oases of much higher productivity than would be expected solely from local rainfall. In South America, the presence of well-developed Prosopis flexuosa woodlands in the Monte Desert region east of the Andes has puzzled scientists for decades. Today these woodlands provide crucial subsistence to local populations, including descendants of the indigenous Huarpes. We explore the vulnerability and importance of phreatic groundwater for the productivity of the region, comparing the contributions of local rainfall to that of remote mountain recharge that is increasingly being diverted for irrigated agriculture before it reaches the desert. We combined deep soil coring, plant measurements, direct water-table observations, and stable-isotopic analyses (2H and 18O) of meteoric, surface, and ground waters at three study sites across the region, comparing woodland stands, bare dunes, and surrounding shrublands. The isotopic composition of phreatic groundwaters (delta2H: -137 per thousand +/- 5 per thousand) closely matched the signature of water brought to the region by the Mendoza River (-137 per thousand +/- 6 per thousand), suggestin that mountain-river infiltration rather than in situ rainfall deep drainage (-39 per thousand +/- 19 per thousand) was the dominant mechanism of recharge. Similarly, chloride mass balances determined from deep soil profiles (> 6 m) suggested very low recharge rates. Vegetation in woodland ecosystems, where significant groundwater discharge losses, likely >100 mm/yr occurred, relied on regionally derived groundwater located from 6.5 to 9.5 m underground. At these locations, daily water-table fluctuations of 10 mm, and stable-isotopic measurements of plant water, indicated groundwater uptake rates of 200-300 mm/yr. Regional scaling suggests that groundwater evapotranspiration reaches 18-42 mm/yr across the landscape, accounting for 7 17% of the Mendoza River flow

  9. Spatial and temporal changes in desertification in the southern region of the Tengger Desert from 1973 to 2009

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guan, Qingyu; Guan, Wenqian; Yang, Jing; Zhao, Shilei; Pan, Baotian; Wang, Lei; Song, Na; Lu, Min; Li, Fuchun

    2017-07-01

    The sandy land in the southern region of the Tengger Desert is adjacent to cities and towns, and land desertification poses a threat to the livelihood and production of local residents. To determine dynamic changes in local desertification, five periods (1973, 1987, 1992, 2001, and 2009) of remote sensing data are studied by remote sensing (RS) and geographic information system (GIS). The desert contraction area is primarily centered around three units (Wuwei, Gulang, and Jingtai) and nearby regions of Zhongwei City. The primary desert expansion areas include the west side of Helan Mountain (WSHM), the Central Mountainous Area (CMA), and the eastern and western Zhongwei units far from towns. From 1973 to 2009, the degree of change in the contracting part of the primary desert expansion unit showed an increasing trend; in brief, most of the desert (especially after 2001) has been developing in a direction in which desertification has been gradually controlled. The primary desert expansion areas are less affected by human activity, but they are primarily controlled by natural factors (especially wind and terrain). The desert contraction areas occur around the towns and nearby regions with frequent human activity; desertification is primarily controlled by human factors. With rapid economic development (especially after 2000), the scale of the cultivated area, town, and ecological protection engineering has gradually expanded, and the latter two are primarily built on a previous desert, which is the root cause of the reduction in the desert areas around the towns and the shrinkage toward north of border. Therefore, reasonable and effective human activity in the southern region of the Tengger Desert is playing a crucial role in preventing desertification.

  10. Water consumption in artificial desert oasis based on net primary productivity

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2010-01-01

    Analysis of the water consumption is the basis for water allocation in oasis. However, the method of estimating oasis water consumption remains a great challenge. Based on net primary productivity (NPP) and the transpiration coefficient, a vegetation water consumption model was developed to estimate the water consumption in desert oasis in ERDAS environment. Our results demonstrated that the ecosystem in the middle reaches of the Heihe oasis consumed water of 18.41×108-21.9×108 m3 for irrigation. Without taking precipitation into account, the water consumption in farmland accounted for 77.1%-77.8% (or about 13.97×108-16.84×108 m3) of the oasis vegetation water consumption and in the farmland protection system accounting for 22%. The growing period precipitation in desert environments is about 7.02×108 m3, and the total annual precipitation is about 8.29×108 m3. The modeled water consumption of desert vegetation, however, is about 4.57×108 m3, equivalent to only 65% of the growing period precipitation or 55% of the total annual precipitation. The modeled value equals to the cumulative precipitation of greater than 5 mm, which is defined as the effective precipitation in arid desert.

  11. Validation of SWEEP for creep, saltation, and suspension in a desert-oasis ecotone

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wind erosion in the desert-oasis ecotone can accelerate desertification and thus impacts oasis ecological security. Little is known about the susceptibility of the desert-oasis ecotone to wind erosion in the Tarim Basin even though the ecotone is a major source of windblown dust in China. The object...

  12. Rainfall in the Negev Desert during the middle Holocene, based on 13C of organic matter in land snail shells

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goodfriend, Glenn A.

    1990-09-01

    Analysis of stable carbon isotope ratios ( {13C}/{12C}) of organic matter in land snail shells is used to infer middle Holocene rainfall amounts in the Negev Desert by reconstructing the distribution of C 4 plants in the family Chenopodiaceae. The organics are derived from the diet of the snails, which consists of plant material, and are enriched in 13C where C 4 plants are present. A survey of modern plant communities indicates that in areas receiving ≥300 mm mean annual rainfall, nearly all plant communities consist of C 3 species only (no C 4 chenopodes), whereas in areas under ≤230 mm rainfall, most plant communities contain one or more C 4 chenopode species. In between is a transition zone consisting of a mosaic of both pure C 3 and mixed C 3 + C 4 plant communities. Isotopic results for fossil land snails indicate a consistent geographic pattern throughout the middle Holocene, from ca. 6500 to 3000 yr B.P., with the transition zone located ca. 20 km south of its present position. This implies a near doubling of rainfall within this region as compared to present.

  13. Ecosystem responses to warming and watering in typical and desert steppes

    OpenAIRE

    Zhenzhu Xu; Yanhui Hou; Lihua Zhang; Tao Liu; Guangsheng Zhou

    2016-01-01

    Global warming is projected to continue, leading to intense fluctuations in precipitation and heat waves and thereby affecting the productivity and the relevant biological processes of grassland ecosystems. Here, we determined the functional responses to warming and altered precipitation in both typical and desert steppes. The results showed that watering markedly increased the aboveground net primary productivity (ANPP) in a typical steppe during a drier year and in a desert steppe over two ...

  14. Vegetation - Anza-Borrego Desert State Park [ds165

    Data.gov (United States)

    California Natural Resource Agency — The Anza Borrego Desert State Park (ABDSP) Vegetation Map depicts vegetation within the Park and its surrounding environment. The map was prepared by the Department...

  15. Resistance to invasion and resilience to fire in desert shrublands of North America

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matthew L. Brooks; Jeanne C. Chambers

    2011-01-01

    Settlement by Anglo-Americans in the desert shrublands of North America resulted in the introduction and subsequent invasion of multiple nonnative grass species. These invasions have altered presettlement fire regimes, resulted in conversion of native perennial shrublands to nonnative annual grasslands, and placed many native desert species at risk. Effective...

  16. Seeing desert as wilderness and as landscape—an exercise in visual thinking approaches

    Science.gov (United States)

    John Opie

    1979-01-01

    Based on the components and program of VRVA (Visual Resources Values Assessment), a behavioral history of the visitor's perception of the American desert is examined. Emphasis is placed upon contrasts between traditional eastern "garden-park" viewpoints and contemporary desert scenery experiences. Special attention is given to the influence of John...

  17. Abiotic gradients drive floristic composition and structure of plant communities in the Monte Desert Gradientes abióticos dirigen la composición florística y la estructura de las comunidades de plantas en el Desierto del Monte

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    PABLO ACEBES

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Defining plant communities in desert zones is difficult due to large scale homogeneity and small scale heterogeneity, thus making provision of systematic information for conservation decisions problematic. We analysed plant communities of the most arid sector of Monte Desert for structure, plant composition and environmental variables. Small-scale variables such as slope, rock cover, bare ground and litter, as well as large-scale ones such as species diversity, composition and similarity within and between sites were included. Analyses of floristic composition showed the difficulty of segregating distinct communities due to high internal heterogeneity and overlap between the different sites. Only mesquite woodlands, a community situated at the extreme of the soil moisture-gradient was segregated. Ordination on structural variables was somewhat more successful in segregating communities on the basis of substrate type and of tree and shrub cover. Our results showed the difficulty distinguishing plant communities in temperate deserts, suggesting the existence of relatively stable assemblages of species at the extremes of the gradients and of great heterogeneity within and between sites. They cannot be defined by floristic variables solely, but require environmental information also.La definición de comunidades discretas de plantas en zonas desérticas es complejo debido tanto a su homogeneidad a gran escala como a su heterogeneidad a pequeña escala, lo que acaba generando dificultades para la toma de decisiones de conservación. En este trabajo analizamos las comunidades de plantas del sector más árido del Desierto del Monte en función de su estructura y composición florística. Se han utilizado también variables ambientales estimadas a pequeña escala como la pendiente o la superficie de roca, suelo desnudo y hojarasca, así como variables que operan a mayor escala como la diversidad de especies, la composición florística y la similitud

  18. Geospatial techniques to Identify the Location of Farmers Markets and Community Gardens within Food Deserts in Virginia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sriharan, S.; Meekins, D.; Comar, M.; Bradshaw, S.; Jackson, L.

    2017-12-01

    Specifically, a food desert is defined as an area where populations live more than one mile from a supermarket or large grocery store if in an urban area or more than 10 miles from a supermarket or large grocery store if in a rural area (Ver Ploeg et al. 2012). According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, a food desert is "an area in the United States with limited access to affordable and nutritious food, particularly such an area composed of predominately lower-income neighborhoods and communities" (110th Congress 2008). Three fourths of these food deserts are urban. In the Commonwealth of Virginia, Petersburg City is among the eight primary localities, where its population is living in a food desert. This project will compare those identified food deserts in Virginia (areas around Virginia State University) with focus to where farmers markets and community gardens are being established. The hypothesis of this study is that these minority groups do not get healthy food due to limited access to grocery stores and superstores. To address this problem, the community development activities should focus on partnering local Petersburg convenience stores with farmers and community gardeners to sell fresh produce. Existing data was collected on convenient stores and community gardens in Petersburg City and Chesterfield County. Rare data was generated for Emporia, Lynchburg and Hopewell. The data was compiled through field work and mapping with ArcGIS where markets and gardens are being established, and create a spatial analysis of their location We have localities that reflect both rural and urban areas. The project provides educational support for students who will find solution to community problems by developing activities to: (a) define and examine characteristics of food deserts, (b) identify causes and consequences of food deserts and determine if their community is a food desert, (c) research closest food desert to their school, and (d) design solutions to help

  19. Thermal design of a fully equipped solar-powered desert home

    KAUST Repository

    Serag-Eldin, M.A.

    2010-03-01

    The paper presents a conceptual design and thermodynamic analysis of a solar-powered desert home. The home is airconditioned and provides all modern comforts and facilities. Electrical power, which drives the entire energy system, is generated by roof mounted photovoltaic modules. A detailed dynamic heat transfer analysis is conducted for the building envelope, coupled with a solar radiation model. A dynamic heat balance for a typical Middle-Eastern desert site, reveals that indeed such a design is feasible with present day technology; and should be even more attractive with future advances in technology.

  20. A New Infrared Desert Dust Index over French Guyana Rain forest: First results

    Science.gov (United States)

    Molinie, J.; Barnacin, E.; Henry, J. L.; Gobinddass, M. L.; Panechou-Pulcherie, K.; Feuillard, T.; Nagau, J.

    2017-12-01

    Recently a NASA researcher showed the role of desert dust contribution for the Amazonian rain forest. In another hand, desert dust impact population health when PM 10 level reached values around and upper the PM 10 threshold of the 50 µg m-3, established by the World Health Organization (WHO). Infrared Desert Dust Index (IDDI) developed by Legrand with Meteosat infrared images, allow the following of desert dust plumes over semi-arid land. In French Guiana the WHO threshold is currently overpass in measurements done by ORA air quality network, in the two main towns located close to the coast. For inland population, it is very difficult to have continuous dust measures due to the low infrastructure supplies. We need to develop a tools in order to follow the crossing of desert dust over the French Guyana rain forest, from the coast to inland villages. Following the IDDI concept and comparing with VIIRS AOT EDR result over the same area, a modified IDDI for Amazonian region (IDDI_A) has been proposed to identify the dusty pixels over the forest. Despite of high cloud presence, a good correlation between AOT EDR and IDDI_A was obtained. The IDDI_A calculation has been applied over French Guiana area for different PM 10 level at Cayenne, a town along the coast.

  1. Characterizing dust aerosols in the atmospheric boundary layer over the deserts in Northwest China: monitoring network and field observation

    Science.gov (United States)

    He, Q.; Matimin, A.; Yang, X.

    2016-12-01

    TheTaklimakan, Gurbantunggut and BadainJaran Deserts with the total area of 43.8×104 km2 in Northwest China are the major dust emission sources in Central Asia. Understanding Central Asian dust emissions and the interaction with the atmospheric boundary layer has an important implication for regional and global climate and environment changes. In order to explore these scientific issues, a monitoring network of 63 sites was established over the vast deserts (Taklimakan Desert, Gurbantunggut Desert and Badain Jaran Desert) in Northwest China for the comprehensive measurements of dust aerosol emission, transport and deposition as well as the atmospheric boundary layer including the meteorological parameters of boundary layer, surface radiation, surface heat fluxes, soil parameters, dust aerosol properties, water vapor profiles, and dust emission. Based on the monitoring network, the field experiments have been conducted to characterize dust aerosols and the atmospheric boundary layer over the deserts. The experiment observation indicated that depth of the convective boundary layer can reach 5000m on summer afternoons. In desert regions, the diurnal mean net radiation was effected significantly by dust weather, and sensible heat was much greater than latent heat accounting about 40-50% in the heat balance of desert. The surface soil and dust size distributions of Northwest China Deserts were obtained through widely collecting samples, results showed that the dominant dust particle size was PM100within 80m height, on average accounting for 60-80% of the samples, with 0.9-2.5% for PM0-2.5, 3.5-7.0% for PM0-10 and 5.0-14.0% for PM0-20. The time dust emission of Taklimakan Desert, Gurbantunggut Desert and Badain Jaran Desert accounted for 0.48%, 7.3%×10-5and 1.9% of the total time within a year, and the threshold friction velocity for dust emission were 0.22-1.06m/s, 0.29-1.5m/s and 0.21-0.59m/s, respectively.

  2. [Seasonal variation of Tamarix ramosissima and Populus euphratica water potentials in southern fringe of Taklamakan Desert].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zeng, Fanjiang; Zhang, Ximing; Li, Xiangyi; Foetzki, Andrea; Runge, Michael

    2005-08-01

    The measurement of the seasonal and diurnal variations of Tamarix ramosissima and Populus euphratica water potentials in the southern fringe of Taklamakan Desert indicated that there was no apparent water stress for the two species during their growth period, with little change of predawn water potential and some extent decrease of midday water potential. Irrigation once or thinning had no significant effects on the water status of the plants, while groundwater appeared to be a prerequisite for the survival and growth of these species. It is very important to ensure a stable groundwater table for the restoration of Tamarix ramosissima and Populus euphratica in this area.

  3. Translocation as a conservation tool for Agassiz's desert tortoises: Survivorship, reproduction, and movements

    Science.gov (United States)

    K. E. Nussear; C. R. Tracy; P. A. Medica; D. S. Wilson; R. W. Marlow; P. S. Corn

    2012-01-01

    We translocated 120 Agassiz's desert tortoises to 5 sites in Nevada and Utah to evaluate the effects of translocation on tortoise survivorship, reproduction, and habitat use. Translocation sites included several elevations, and extended to sites with vegetation assemblages not typically associated with desert tortoises in order to explore the possibility of moving...

  4. 78 FR 143 - Desert Mining, Inc., Eagle Broadband, Inc., Endovasc, Inc., Environmental Oil Processing...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-01-02

    ... SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION [File No. 500-1] Desert Mining, Inc., Eagle Broadband, Inc., Endovasc, Inc., Environmental Oil Processing Technology Corp., Falcon Ridge Development, Inc., Fellows... that there is a lack of current and accurate information concerning the securities of Desert Mining...

  5. ERTS-1 imagery and native plant distributions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Musick, H. B.; Mcginnies, W.; Haase, E.; Lepley, L. K.

    1974-01-01

    A method is developed for using ERTS spectral signature data to determine plant community distribution and phenology without resolving individual plants. An Exotech ERTS radiometer was used near ground level to obtain spectral signatures for a desert plant community, including two shrub species, ground covered with live annuals in April and dead ones in June, and bare ground. It is shown that comparisons of scene types can be made when spectral signatures are expressed as a ratio of red reflectivity to IR reflectivity or when they are plotted as red reflectivity vs. IR reflectivity, in which case the signature clusters of each component are more distinct. A method for correcting and converting the ERTS radiance values to reflectivity values for comparison with ground truth data is appended.

  6. Ozone Transport Aloft Drives Surface Ozone Maxima Across the Mojave Desert

    Science.gov (United States)

    VanCuren, R. A.

    2014-12-01

    A persistent layer of polluted air in the lower free troposphere over the Mojave Desert (California and Nevada) drives spring and summer surface ozone maxima as deep afternoon mixing delivers ozone and ozone precursors to surface measurement sites 200 km or more downwind of the mountains that separate the deserts from the heavily populated coastal areas of California. Pollutants in this elevated layer derive from California source regions (the Los Angeles megacity region and the intensive agricultural region of the San Joaquin Valley), and from long-range transport from Asia. Recognition of this poorly studied persistent layer explains and expands the significance of previously published reports of ozone and other pollutants observed in and over the Mojave Desert, resolves an apparent paradox in the timing of ozone peaks due to transport from the upwind basins, and provides a new perspective on the long-range downwind impacts of megacity pollution plumes.

  7. Influence of shrubs on soil chemical properties in Alxa desert steppe, China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hua Fu; Shifang Pei; Yaming Chen; Changgui Wan

    2007-01-01

    Alxa desert steppe is one of severely the degraded rangelands in the Northwest China. Shrubs, as the dominant life form in the desert steppe, play an important role in protecting this region from further desertification. Chemical properties of three soil layers (0 to 10, 10 to 20 and 20 to 30 cm) at three locations (the clump center [A], in the periphery of shrub...

  8. The geochemical associations of nitrate and naturally formed perchlorate in the Mojave Desert, California, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lybrand, Rebecca A.; Michalski, Greg; Graham, Robert C.; Parker, David R.

    2013-03-01

    Perchlorate is a widely studied environmental contaminant that may adversely affect human health, and whose natural occurrence has emerged as a subject of great interest. Naturally formed perchlorate has been found to co-occur with nitrate in arid environments worldwide, but the relationship is not fully understood in the desert soils of the southwestern United States. The main objective of this research was to explore the origin, pedogenic distribution, and possible preservation of perchlorate and nitrate in the Mojave Desert mud hill deposits of California and to determine if the co-occurrence of putatively natural perchlorate was significantly correlated with nitrate in these soils. We identified 39 soil horizons in the Mojave Desert, California that contained reportable levels of perchlorate (MRL >165 μg kg-1) with a maximum concentration of 23 mg kg-1. A weak yet significant correlation was observed between perchlorate and nitrate (r2 = 0.321∗∗∗), which could be indicative of similar mechanisms of accumulation. When compared to published data for the Atacama Desert, the Mojave Desert perchlorate concentrations were remarkably lower for a given nitrate concentration. Oxygen isotopes in the nitrate were examined to identify variation within the Mojave Desert field sites, and to compare with the available literature for the Atacama Desert. The Mojave Desert Δ17O values ranged from 7‰ to 13‰, indicating a mixture of biologically and atmospherically-derived nitrate. An investigation of the distribution of perchlorate among soil horizons revealed that over sixty percent of the samples containing perchlorate were from C horizons while only twenty percent of the samples were from B horizons and even fewer in the overlying A horizons. Soil chemical, morphologic, and geologic characteristics of the soils suggest that the perchlorate, nitrate and/or other soluble salts have moved in a "bottom-up" manner wherein the salts were deposited in strata through

  9. Should I stay or should I go? Female brood desertion and male counterstrategy in rock sparrows

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Griggio, Matteo; Matessi, Giuliano; Pilastro, Andrea

    2005-01-01

    petronia), a species in which females can desert their first brood before the nestlings from the first brood leave the nest. We predicted that the male would either desert the brood first or stay even if this implied the risk of caring for the brood alone. We found that males mated to loaded females did...... not leave but stayed and significantly increased their courtship rate and mate guarding. Unexpectedly, they also increased their food provisioning to the nestlings, even though loaded females did not reduce their nestling-feeding rate. The increase in male feeding rate may be explained as a way for the male...... to reduce the female's propensity to switch mate and desert or to increase her propensity to copulate with the male to obtain paternity in her next brood. Altogether, our results demonstrate that the perception of the risk of being deserted by the female does not necessarily induce males to desert first...

  10. Landscape-scale distribution and density of raptor populations wintering in anthropogenic-dominated desert landscapes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duerr, Adam E.; Miller, Tricia A.; Cornell Duerr, Kerri L; Lanzone, Michael J.; Fesnock, Amy; Katzner, Todd E.

    2015-01-01

    Anthropogenic development has great potential to affect fragile desert environments. Large-scale development of renewable energy infrastructure is planned for many desert ecosystems. Development plans should account for anthropogenic effects to distributions and abundance of rare or sensitive wildlife; however, baseline data on abundance and distribution of such wildlife are often lacking. We surveyed for predatory birds in the Sonoran and Mojave Deserts of southern California, USA, in an area designated for protection under the “Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan”, to determine how these birds are distributed across the landscape and how this distribution is affected by existing development. We developed species-specific models of resight probability to adjust estimates of abundance and density of each individual common species. Second, we developed combined-species models of resight probability for common and rare species so that we could make use of sparse data on the latter. We determined that many common species, such as red-tailed hawks, loggerhead shrikes, and especially common ravens, are associated with human development and likely subsidized by human activity. Species-specific and combined-species models of resight probability performed similarly, although the former model type provided higher quality information. Comparing abundance estimates with past surveys in the Mojave Desert suggests numbers of predatory birds associated with human development have increased while other sensitive species not associated with development have decreased. This approach gave us information beyond what we would have collected by focusing either on common or rare species, thus it provides a low-cost framework for others conducting surveys in similar desert environments outside of California.

  11. Baseline studies in the desert ecosystem at East Mesa Geothermal Test Site, Imperial Valley, California

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Romney, E.M.; Wallace, A.; Lunt, O.R.; Ackerman, T.A.; Kinnear, J.E.

    1977-09-01

    Baseline data reported herein for soil, vegetation, and small mammal components of the East Mesa desert ecosystem represent a collection period from October 1975 to September 1977. Inasmuch as changes in salt balance from geothermal brine sources are of potential impact upon the ecosystem, considerable analytical effort was given to the determination of element constituents in soil, plant, and animal samples. A preliminary synthesis of data was done to investigate the heterogeneity of element constituents among the sampled population and to summarize results. Findings indicate that periodic sampling and chemical analysis of vegetation around an industrialized geothermal energy source is probably the best way to monitor the surrounding ecosystem for assuring containment of any resource pollutants.

  12. 76 FR 50493 - Notice of Availability of the Record of Decision for the Desert Sunlight Holdings, LLC, Desert...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-08-15

    ... DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Bureau of Land Management [CACA-48649, LLCAD06000 L51010000 ER0000... right-of-way (ROW) application CACA-48649 for the Desert Sunlight Solar Farm Project (DSSF). The DSSF is... (CACA-052682) where the project would interconnect with the SCE regional transmission system. The DSSF...

  13. Mapping Palaeohydrography in Deserts: Contribution from Space-Borne Imaging Radar

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Philippe Paillou

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available Space-borne Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR has the capability to image subsurface features down to several meters in arid regions. A first demonstration of this capability was performed in the Egyptian desert during the early eighties, thanks to the first Shuttle Imaging Radar mission. Global coverage provided by recent SARs, such as the Japanese ALOS/PALSAR sensor, allowed the mapping of vast ancient hydrographic systems in Northern Africa. We present a summary of palaeohydrography results obtained using PALSAR data over large deserts such as the Sahara and the Gobi. An ancient river system was discovered in eastern Lybia, connecting in the past the Kufrah oasis to the Mediterranean Sea, and the terminal part of the Tamanrasett river was mapped in western Mauritania, ending with a large submarine canyon. In southern Mongolia, PALSAR images combined with topography analysis allowed the mapping of the ancient Ulaan Nuur lake. We finally show the potentials of future low frequency SAR sensors by comparing L-band (1.25 GHz and P-band (435 MHz airborne SAR acquisitions over a desert site in southern Tunisia.

  14. Preventing desert locust plagues: optimizing management interventions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Huis, van A.; Cressman, K.; Magor, J.I.

    2007-01-01

    Solitarious desert locusts, Schistocerca gregaria (Forskål) (Orthoptera: Acrididae), inhabit the central, arid, and semi-arid parts of the species¿ invasion area in Africa, the Middle East, and South-West Asia. Their annual migration circuit takes them downwind to breed sequentially where winter,

  15. Divining Jordan's desert waters | IDRC - International Development ...

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

    ... in the area have a long history of being water-conservers, and the idea of using the ... Dr Abu-Jaber examined is covered by an ancient, volcanic rock called basalt. ... When a desert cloudburst drops rain on the area, the raindrops quickly roll ...

  16. A Proposal for Desert House Design in Egypt Using Passive Ground Cooling Techniques

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mohamed Medhat Dorra

    2018-06-01

    Full Text Available An area less than 5.5% of Egyptian territory is where most of Egypt‘s population lives in. A narrow strip of land forms the Nile Valley and Delta sector.The National Project for Desert Hinterlands is one of the urban projects targeting rehabilitation of the poor in alternative villages in the near desert to stop urban sprawl over agricultural land and decrease the congestion in the old habitats. Low cost energy efficient houses are the aim of the architect in similar projects taking in consideration the high electricity consumption of Egypt’s residential sector. Based on a literature review, this paper presents a proposal for designing desert dwellings   that accommodates the hot dry climate by incorporating passive elements and using stabilized earth blocks as a local building material. Furthermore, simulation is used to test alternative proposals. The results show that an underground constructed house with a sunken courtyard incorporating an Earth to Air Heat Exchanger System (EAHE can reduce between 42-72% of energy consumption used to achieve thermal comfort compared to contemporary desert housing projects.

  17. Difference in luminescence sensitivity of coarse-grained quartz from deserts of northern China

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zheng, C.X.; Zhou, L.P.; Qin, J.T.

    2009-01-01

    The luminescence sensitivity of coarse quartz extracted from desert sands in northern China was investigated. In general, the western deserts' samples are shown to be less sensitive than samples from the eastern deserts with respect to both OSL and the 110 deg. C TL peak. However, internal scatter among different aliquots of the same sample is observed for these two signals, which have already been normalized by weight. Laboratory dosing/bleach experiments indicate that earth surface processes, such as repeated burial and transportation can cause the sensitivity change and suggest that they may be responsible for the internal scatter. An intrinsic property of quartz was explored via the luminescence response to thermal activation to a maximum temperature of 700 deg. C. The thermal activation curves obtained with quartz from western and central deserts are similar, except one sample from Gurbantungut, which follows the pattern of eastern samples. The differences in quartz luminescence sensitivity exhibited by OSL/110 deg. C TL sensitivity and response to thermal activation are in accordance with the published results of geochemical studies.

  18. Water sources for cyanobacteria below desert rocks in the Negev Desert determined by conductivity

    OpenAIRE

    McKay, Christopher P.

    2016-01-01

    We present year round meteorological and conductivity measurements of colonized hypolithic rocks in the Arava Valley, Negev Desert, Israel. The data indicate that while dew is common in the Negev it is not an important source of moisture for hypolithic organisms at this site. The dominance of cyanobacteria in the hypolithic community is consistent with predictions that cyanobacteria are confined to habitats supplied by rain. To monitor the presence of liquid water under the small Negev rocks ...

  19. Water relations and photosynthesis in the cryptoendolithic microbial habitat of hot and cold deserts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Palmer, R. J. Jr; Friedmann, E. I.

    1990-01-01

    Two cryptoendolithic microbial communities, lichens in the Ross Desert of Antarctica and cyanobacteria in the Negev Desert, inhabit porous sandstone rocks of similar physical structure. Both rock types adsorb water vapor by physical mechanisms unrelated to biological processes. Yet the two microbial communities respond differently to water stress: cryptoendolithic lichens begin to photosynthesize at a matric water potential of -46.4 megaPascals (MPa) [70% relative humidity (RH) at 8 degrees C], resembling thallose desert lichens. Cryptoendolithic cyanobacteria, like other prokaryotes, photosynthesize only at very high matric water potentials [> -6.9 MPa, 90% RH at 20 degrees C].

  20. Windblown sediment transport and loss in a desert-oasis ecotone in the Tarim Basin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pi, Huawei; Sharratt, Brenton; Lei, Jiaqiang

    2017-08-10

    The Tarim Basin is regarded as one of the most highly erodible areas in China. Desert comprises 64% of the land use in the Basin, but the desert-oasis ecotone plays a prominent role in maintaining oasis ecological security and stability. Yet, little is known concerning the magnitude of windblown sediment transport in a desert-oasis ecotone. Therefore, aeolian sediment transport and loss was assessed from a desert-oasis experimental site located near Alaer City in the northwestern Tarim Basin. Sediment transport and factors governing transport were measured during three high wind events in 2012 and four events in 2013. Sediment transport was measured to a height of 10 m using passive aeolian airborne sediment samplers. The mass flux profile over the eroding surface was well represented by the power-law (R 2  > 0.77). Sediment loss from the site ranged from 118 g m -2 for the 20-24Apr 2012 wind event to 2925 g m -2 for the 31Mar-11Apr 2012 event. Suspension accounted for 67.4 to 84.8% of sediment loss across all high wind events. Our results indicate the severity of wind erosion in a desert-oasis ecotone and thus encourage adoption of management practices that will enhance oasis ecological security.

  1. [Risk factors for students desertion from the UASLP School of Medicine, México].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hernández-Mata, José María; Hernández-Castro, Rodrigo; Nieto-Caraveo, Amado; Hernández-Sierra, Juan Francisco

    2005-01-01

    To obtain the profile of students that deserted from the Faculty of Medicine of the Autonomous University of San Luis Potosi, México. Cases and controls nested in a cohort. All students that voluntarily deserted between 1992 and 2002 were consulted. Each student was compared in an aleatory form with a regular student and a proper questionnaire was applied. The significantly associated factors to abandon the Faculty of Medicine were: high school of origin (OR=2.43), extra-ordinary exam (OR=3.13), and lack of vocation (OR=2.41). The subjacent factors for not deserting from the Faculty of Medicine were: study habits, capacity for sustained effort, and tolerance to frustration.

  2. Disturbance to desert soil ecosystems contributes to dust-mediated impacts at regional scales

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pointing, Stephen B.; Belnap, Jayne

    2014-01-01

    This review considers the regional scale of impacts arising from disturbance to desert soil ecosystems. Deserts occupy over one-third of the Earth’s terrestrial surface, and biological soil covers are critical to stabilization of desert soils. Disturbance to these can contribute to massive destabilization and mobilization of dust. This results in dust storms that are transported across inter-continental distances where they have profound negative impacts. Dust deposition at high altitudes causes radiative forcing of snowpack that leads directly to altered hydrological regimes and changes to freshwater biogeochemistry. In marine environments dust deposition impacts phytoplankton diazotrophy, and causes coral reef senescence. Increasingly dust is also recognized as a threat to human health.

  3. Desert Peak East Enhanced Geothermal Systems (EGS) Project

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zemach, Ezra [Ormat Technologies Inc., Reno, NV (United States); Drakos, Peter [Ormat Technologies Inc., Reno, NV (United States); Spielman, Paul [Ormat Technologies Inc., Reno, NV (United States); Akerley, John [Ormat Technologies Inc., Reno, NV (United States)

    2013-09-30

    This manuscript is a draft to replaced with a final version at a later date TBD. A summary of activities pertaining to the Desert Peak EGS project including the planning and resulting stimulation activities.

  4. Biochemical and phyto chemical analysis of dipterygium glaucum collected from Cholistan desert

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mehmood, K.; Mehmood, S.; Ramzan, M.

    2010-01-01

    The present study evaluates the Biochemical and phyto chemical analysis of Dipterygium Glaucum from Cholistan desert. Ash contents, carbohydrates, crude fibers, crude fats, were carried out along with the estimation of minerals. Determination of biochemical constituents indicate the presence of total carbohydrates 0.156% (0.174 reducing sugars and O.041 % non reducing),starch contents 0.053%, crude fibers 26.83%, crude fats 13.30% and nitrogen contents 0.0 14%. Concentration of sodium was 3.3%,Potassium 37.6%, lithium 0.1 %, Calcium 0.01 %, Magnesium 0.022%, nickel 0.764%, copper 2.372%, manganese 0.003%, sulphur 0.8%, Phosphorous 1.60%. Moisture and ash contents were 5.60% and 4.75% respectively. alkaloids, glycoside, cardiac glycoside, bound anthraquinones and saponins were present while flavonoids and unbound anthraquinones were absent. no anti bacterial activity was found in this plant extract. (author)

  5. Ground-water quality and geochemistry, Carson Desert, western Nevada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lico, Michael S.; Seiler, R.L.

    1994-01-01

    Aquifers in the Carson Desert are the primary source of drinking water, which is highly variable in chemical composition. In the shallow basin-fill aquifers, water chemistyr varies from a dilute calcium bicarbonate-dominated water beneath the irrigated areas to a saline sodium chloride- dominated water beneath unirrigated areas. Water samples from the shallow aquifers commonly have dissolved solids, chloride, magnesium, sulfate, arsenic, and manganese concentrations that exceed State of Nevada drinking-water standards. Water in the intermediante basin-fill aquifers is a dilute sodium bicarbonate type in the Fallon area and a distinctly more saline sodium chloride type in the Soda Lake-Upsal Hogback area. Dissolved solids, chloride, arsenic, fluoride, and manganese concen- trations commonly exceed drinking-water standards. The basalt aquifer contains a dilute sodium bicarbonate chloride water. Arsenic concentrations exceed standards in all sampled wells. The concen- trations of major constituents in ground water beneath the southern Carson Desert are the result of evapotranspiration and natural geochemical reactions with minerals derived mostly from igneous rocks. Water with higher concentrations of iron and manganese is near thermodynamic equilibrium with siderite and rhodochrosite and indicates that these elements may be limited by the solubility of their respective carbonate minerals. Naturally occurring radionuclides (uranium and radon-222) are present in ground water from the Carson Desert in concen- tratons higher than proposed drinking-water standards. High uranium concentrations in the shallow aquifers may be caused by evaporative concentration and the release of uranium during dissolution of iron and manganese oxides or the oxidation of sedimentary organic matter that typically has elevated uranium concentrations. Ground water in the Carson Desert does not appear to have be contaminated by synthetic organic chemicals.

  6. Out of the Desert: My Journey from Nomadic Bedouin to the Heart of Global Oil

    KAUST Repository

    Al-Naimi, Ali Ibrahim

    2017-01-01

    Arabian deserts. From his first job as a shepherd boy to his appointment to one of the most powerful political and economic jobs in the world, Out of the Desert charts Al-Naimi's extraordinary rise to power.

  7. Biotechnological Applications Derived from Microorganisms of the Atacama Desert

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Armando Azua-Bustos

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available The Atacama Desert in Chile is well known for being the driest and oldest desert on Earth. For these same reasons, it is also considered a good analog model of the planet Mars. Only a few decades ago, it was thought that this was a sterile place, but in the past years fascinating adaptations have been reported in the members of the three domains of life: low water availability, high UV radiation, high salinity, and other environmental stresses. However, the biotechnological applications derived from the basic understanding and characterization of these species, with the notable exception of copper bioleaching, are still in its infancy, thus offering an immense potential for future development.

  8. Temporal dynamics of hot desert microbial communities reveal structural and functional responses to water input.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Armstrong, Alacia; Valverde, Angel; Ramond, Jean-Baptiste; Makhalanyane, Thulani P; Jansson, Janet K; Hopkins, David W; Aspray, Thomas J; Seely, Mary; Trindade, Marla I; Cowan, Don A

    2016-09-29

    The temporal dynamics of desert soil microbial communities are poorly understood. Given the implications for ecosystem functioning under a global change scenario, a better understanding of desert microbial community stability is crucial. Here, we sampled soils in the central Namib Desert on sixteen different occasions over a one-year period. Using Illumina-based amplicon sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene, we found that α-diversity (richness) was more variable at a given sampling date (spatial variability) than over the course of one year (temporal variability). Community composition remained essentially unchanged across the first 10 months, indicating that spatial sampling might be more important than temporal sampling when assessing β-diversity patterns in desert soils. However, a major shift in microbial community composition was found following a single precipitation event. This shift in composition was associated with a rapid increase in CO 2 respiration and productivity, supporting the view that desert soil microbial communities respond rapidly to re-wetting and that this response may be the result of both taxon-specific selection and changes in the availability or accessibility of organic substrates. Recovery to quasi pre-d