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Sample records for edwardsii desert massasauga

  1. Distribution of Centruroides edwardsii CENTRUROIDES EDWARDSII (GERVAIS, 1843 in the Aantioquia Province, Colombia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    SEBASTIAN ESTRADA GÓMEZ

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available We report the distribution of the Centruroides edwardsii (Gervais, 1843 in the Antioquia province, and the urban area of the capital, Medellín, Colombia, based in the material examined in the collection of the Universidad de Antioquia Serpentarium (SUA. A sexual dimporphism were established in C. edwardsii when a multidimensional analysis and using for the statistical significance the ANOSIM model were performed founding higher measurments in males. An important colony of this scorpion is reported in the central and nor-oriental zone of Medellín, aspect that is very relevant since this scorpion is clinically importance. The species distribution rank is also expanded from the sea level, up to 2200 m. a. s. l. DISTRIBUCIÓN DE Ccentruroides edwardsii (GERVAIS, 1843 EN EL DEPARTAMENTO EN ANTIOQUIA, COLOMBIA. Se reporta la distribución de Centruroides edwardsii (Gervais, 1843 para el departamento de Antioquia, y el área urbana de su capital político-administrativa, la ciudad de Medellín, Colombia, con base a material depositado en la colección del Serpentario de la Universidad de Antioquia (SUA. Se estableció dimorfismo sexual en C. edwardsii, mediante análisis de escalamiento multidimensional y el modelo ANOSIM, encontrando que los machos son más grandes que las hembras. Se reporta para el área zona centro y nor-oriental de Medellín una importante colonia de este escorpión, hecho de gran relecvanciarelevancia debido a la importancia clínica de este escorpión. Se amplía además el rango de distribución desde el nivel del mar hasta los 2200 m.s.n.m.

  2. 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

  3. Climatic and geographic predictors of life history variation in Eastern Massasauga (Sistrurus catenatus: A range-wide synthesis.

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    Eric T Hileman

    Full Text Available Elucidating how life history traits vary geographically is important to understanding variation in population dynamics. Because many aspects of ectotherm life history are climate-dependent, geographic variation in climate is expected to have a large impact on population dynamics through effects on annual survival, body size, growth rate, age at first reproduction, size-fecundity relationship, and reproductive frequency. The Eastern Massasauga (Sistrurus catenatus is a small, imperiled North American rattlesnake with a distribution centered on the Great Lakes region, where lake effects strongly influence local conditions. To address Eastern Massasauga life history data gaps, we compiled data from 47 study sites representing 38 counties across the range. We used multimodel inference and general linear models with geographic coordinates and annual climate normals as explanatory variables to clarify patterns of variation in life history traits. We found strong evidence for geographic variation in six of nine life history variables. Adult female snout-vent length and neonate mass increased with increasing mean annual precipitation. Litter size decreased with increasing mean temperature, and the size-fecundity relationship and growth prior to first hibernation both increased with increasing latitude. The proportion of gravid females also increased with increasing latitude, but this relationship may be the result of geographically varying detection bias. Our results provide insights into ectotherm life history variation and fill critical data gaps, which will inform Eastern Massasauga conservation efforts by improving biological realism for models of population viability and climate change.

  4. Genetic and Morphometric Evidence for the Conspecific Status of the Bumble Bees, Bombus melanopygus and Bombus edwardsii

    Science.gov (United States)

    Owen, Robin E.; Whidden, Troy L.; Plowright, R.C.

    2010-01-01

    The taxonomic status of closely related bumble bee species is often unclear. The relationship between the two nominate taxa, Bombus melanopygus Nylander (Hymenoptera: Apidae) and Bombus edwardsii Cresson (Hymenoptera: Apidae), was investigated using genetic (enzyme electrophoretic) and morphometric analyses. The taxa differ in the color of the abdominal terga two and three, being ferruginous in B. melanopygus and black in B. edwardsii. B. edwardsii occurs throughout California, while B. melanopygus extends north through Oregon, to Alaska and Canada. They are sympatric only in southern Oregon and northern California. The taxonomic status of these taxa was questioned when Owen and Plowright (1980) reared colonies from queens collected in the area of sympatry, and discovered that pile coloration was due to a single, biallelic Mendelian gene, with the red (R) allele dominant to the black (r). Here it is shown that all the taxa, whether from California, Oregon, or Alberta, have the same electrophoretic profile and cannot be reliably distinguished by wing morphometrics. This strongly supports the conclusion that B. melanopygus and B. edwardsii are conspecific and should be synonymized under the name B. melanopygus. Hence, there is a gene frequency cline running from north to south, where the red allele is completely replaced by the black allele over a distance of about 600 km. PMID:20874396

  5. The impact of seismic air gun exposure on the haemolymph physiology and nutritional condition of spiny lobster, Jasus edwardsii.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fitzgibbon, Quinn P; Day, Ryan D; McCauley, Robert D; Simon, Cedric J; Semmens, Jayson M

    2017-12-15

    There is a critical knowledge gap regarding the impacts of seismic air gun signals on the physiology of adult crustaceans. We conducted four controlled field experiments to examine the impact of seismic acoustic signals on spiny lobster, Jasus edwardsii. Seismic air gun exposure suppressed total haemocyte count (THC) for up to 120days post-exposure, suggesting a chronic negative impact of immune competency. THC levels after 365days post-exposure, were elevated two fold, potentially indicating an immune response to infection. Haemolymph refractive index was reduced after 120days post exposure in one experiment, suggesting a chronic impairment of nutritional condition. There was no effect of air gun exposure on 24 haemolymph biochemical parameters, hepatopancreas index or survival. Collectively these results indicate that the biochemical haematological homeostasis of J. edwardsii is reasonably resilient to seismic acoustic signals, however, air gun exposure may negatively influence the lobster's nutritional condition and immunological capacity. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. PLASMA ELECTROPHORETIC PROFILES IN THE EASTERN MASSASAUGA (SISTRURUS CATENATUS) AND INFLUENCES OF AGE, SEX, YEAR, LOCATION, AND SNAKE FUNGAL DISEASE.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allender, Matthew C; Junge, Randall E; Baker-Wylie, Sarah; Hileman, Eric T; Faust, Lisa J; Cray, Carolyn

    2015-12-01

    The purpose of this study was to establish reference intervals of the protein electrophoretic fractions and the acute-phase proteins hemoglobin binding protein (as determined by the haptoglobin assay) and C-reactive protein (CRP) and assess any possible correlations between varying age class, sex, location (Illinois or Michigan), year, or presence of snake fungal disease (SFD). Banked plasma samples were assayed from 130 eastern massasaugas from 2009 to 2014 in Illinois and Michigan. Snakes from Michigan had higher total protein (mean: 5.50 g/dl), albumin/globulin ratio (0.42), albumin (1.59 g/dl), and gamma globulins (0.55 g/dl) than from snakes in Illinois (4.72 g/dl, 0.29, 1.03 g/dl, 0.38 g/dl, respectively). Snakes in Illinois (22.19 g/ml) had higher CRP than snakes in Michigan (10.89 mg/ml). Adults had higher gamma globulins (0.47 g/dl) than juveniles (0.28 g/dl). Males had higher alpha-2 globulins (0.98 g/dl) and CRP (21.4 mg/ml) than females (0.85, 11.6, respectively). There were no significant differences in absolute plasma proteins in SFD-positive snakes, but the percentage of gamma globulins was significantly higher in positive snakes. Future research in this area can now build on this data to determine changes in population health over time or due to specific environmental or disease threats.

  7. Spatial variation in size at onset of maturity of female southern rock lobster Jasus edwardsii around Tasmania, Australia

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    Caleb Gardner

    2006-09-01

    Full Text Available P align=justify>The size at onset of maturity (SOM of female Jasus edwardsii (Hutton, 1875 was estimated at 50 sites around Tasmania, Australia, based on the presence of ovigerous setae. There was a distinct spatial cline with the largest SOM being found at northwestern sites and the smallest at southwestern sites. Variation in SOM between sites was substantial and ranged from 59 mm to 112 mm carapace length. The observed decline in SOM from north to south was the reverse of that described for the same species at similar latitudes in New Zealand, which suggests that SOM in J. edwardsii is regulated by factors in addition to temperature. The effect of density on female SOM was investigated by comparing SOM estimates from two marine reserves with adjacent fished sites; however, there was no evidence of a decline in SOM with increasing density as predicted. A model of SOM predicted by latitude and longitude is described to facilitate spatial modelling of lobster stocks. The substantial and predictable spatial variation in SOM implies that management of this fishery would be improved by incorporating spatial elements, such as regional legal minimum size limits.

  8. Interrogating the Venom of the Viperid Snake Sistrurus catenatus edwardsii by a Combined Approach of Electrospray and MALDI Mass Spectrometry.

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    Alex Chapeaurouge

    Full Text Available The complete sequence characterization of snake venom proteins by mass spectrometry is rather challenging due to the presence of multiple isoforms from different protein families. In the present study, we investigated the tryptic digest of the venom of the viperid snake Sistrurus catenatus edwardsii by a combined approach of liquid chromatography coupled to either electrospray (online or MALDI (offline mass spectrometry. These different ionization techniques proved to be complementary allowing the identification a great variety of isoforms of diverse snake venom protein families, as evidenced by the detection of the corresponding unique peptides. For example, ten out of eleven predicted isoforms of serine proteinases of the venom of S. c. edwardsii were distinguished using this approach. Moreover, snake venom protein families not encountered in a previous transcriptome study of the venom gland of this snake were identified. In essence, our results support the notion that complementary ionization techniques of mass spectrometry allow for the detection of even subtle sequence differences of snake venom proteins, which is fundamental for future structure-function relationship and possible drug design studies.

  9. Reef Sound as an Orientation Cue for Shoreward Migration by Pueruli of the Rock Lobster, Jasus edwardsii.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hinojosa, Ivan A; Green, Bridget S; Gardner, Caleb; Hesse, Jan; Stanley, Jenni A; Jeffs, Andrew G

    2016-01-01

    The post-larval or puerulus stage of spiny, or rock, lobsters (Palinuridae) swim many kilometres from open oceans into coastal waters where they subsequently settle. The orientation cues used by the puerulus for this migration are unclear, but are presumed to be critical to finding a place to settle. Understanding this process may help explain the biological processes of dispersal and settlement, and be useful for developing realistic dispersal models. In this study, we examined the use of reef sound as an orientation cue by the puerulus stage of the southern rock lobster, Jasus edwardsii. Experiments were conducted using in situ binary choice chambers together with replayed recording of underwater reef sound. The experiment was conducted in a sandy lagoon under varying wind conditions. A significant proportion of puerulus (69%) swam towards the reef sound in calm wind conditions. However, in windy conditions (>25 m s-1) the orientation behaviour appeared to be less consistent with the inclusion of these results, reducing the overall proportion of pueruli that swam towards the reef sound (59.3%). These results resolve previous speculation that underwater reef sound is used as an orientation cue in the shoreward migration of the puerulus of spiny lobsters, and suggest that sea surface winds may moderate the ability of migrating pueruli to use this cue to locate coastal reef habitat to settle. Underwater sound may increase the chance of successful settlement and survival of this valuable species.

  10. Thar Desert

    Science.gov (United States)

    2001-01-01

    This ASTER sub-scene covers an area of 12 x 15 km in NW India in the Thar Desert. The sand dunes of the Thar Desert constantly shift and take on new shapes. Located in northwestern India and eastern Pakistan, the desert is bounded on the south by a salt marsh known as the Rann of Kutch, and on the west by the Indus River plain. About 800 kilometers long and about 490 kilometers wide, the desert's terrain is mainly rolling sandhills with scattered growths of shrub and rock outcroppings. Only about 12 to 25 centimeters of rain fall on the desert each year, and temperatures rise as high as 52 degrees Celsius. Much of the population is pastoral, raising sheep for their wool. The image is located at 24.4 degrees north latitude and 69.3 degrees east longitude. The U.S. science team is located at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. The Terra mission is part of NASA's Science Mission Directorate.

  11. Are Food Deserts Also Play Deserts?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cohen, Deborah A; Hunter, Gerald; Williamson, Stephanie; Dubowitz, Tamara

    2016-04-01

    Although food deserts are areas that lack easy access to food outlets and considered a barrier to a healthy diet and a healthy weight among residents, food deserts typically comprise older urban areas which may have many parks and street configurations that could facilitate more physical activity. However, other conditions may limit the use of available facilities in these areas. This paper assesses the use of parks in two Pittsburgh food desert neighborhoods by using systematic observation. We found that while the local parks were accessible, they were largely underutilized. We surveyed local residents and found that only a minority considered the parks unsafe for use during the day, but a substantial proportion suffered from health limitations that interfered with physical activity. Residents also felt that parks lacked programming and other amenities that could potentially draw more park users. Parks programming and equipment in food desert areas should be addressed to account for local preferences and adjusted to meet the needs and limitations of local residents, especially seniors.

  12. 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.

  13. 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...

  14. Remote Sensing Field Guide - Desert

    Science.gov (United States)

    1991-09-01

    kankar, kunkur, silcrete, gres polymorphe, porcellanite, sarsen, puddingstone, meulieres. SUMMARY ShEET - DESER ’ DURICRUSTS SPECIAL AND MINOR FEATURES...especially in Tunisia, Algeria, and in the coastal Namib Desert (Africa); in the Rajasthan Desert of west India; in various Middle Eastern deserts...Iran, and in crystalline rocks (granites and metamorphic rocks) in the southern coast- al Namib Desert of southwest Africa. All of these occurrences

  15. Jeeps Penetrating a Hostile Desert

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    Bailey, Herb

    2009-01-01

    Several jeeps are poised at base camp on the edge of a desert aiming to escort one of them as far as possible into the desert, while the others return to camp. They all have full tanks of gas and share their fuel to maximize penetration. In a friendly desert it is best to leave caches of fuel along the way to help returning jeeps. We solve the…

  16. Food Deserts and Childhood Obesity

    OpenAIRE

    Pedro A. Alviola; Rodolfo M. Nayga; Michael Thomsen

    2013-01-01

    We utilize a panel data set from 2007 to 2009 on the state of Arkansas to identify and determine the effect of food deserts on school district obesity rates. We define food deserts as low-income areas with limited food access. Using both classical panel data models and spatial error models, we find no statistically significant relationship between school district obesity rates and the existence of food deserts in Arkansas. This finding is consistent across different model specifications, in s...

  17. 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

  18. Root communication among desert shrubs.

    OpenAIRE

    Mahall, B E; Callaway, R M

    1991-01-01

    Descriptive and experimental studies of desert shrub distributions have revealed important questions about the mechanisms by which plants interact. For example, do roots interact by mechanisms other than simple competition for limiting resources? We investigated this question using the desert shrubs Ambrosia dumosa and Larrea tridentata grown in chambers that allowed observation of roots during intraplant and intra- and interspecific interplant encounters. Two types of root "communication" we...

  19. Moving the Force: Desert Storm and Beyond

    Science.gov (United States)

    1994-12-01

    Desert Shield~ Desert Storm, we could have met our airlift deployment requirements 20 to 35 percent faster. ~° Similar analyses of the Somalian Restore...DATE DEC 1994 2. REPORT TYPE 3. DATES COVERED - 4. TITLE AND SUBTITLE Moving The Force: Desert Storm and Beyond 5a. CONTRACT NUMBER 5b...MOVING THE FORCE: Desert Storm and Beyond SCOTT W. CONRAD McNair Paper 32 December 1994 INSTITUTE FOR NATIONAL STRATEGIC STUDIES NATIONAL DEFENSE

  20. Integrated Desert Terrain Forecasting for Military Operations

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-02-15

    McDonald, Todd Caldwell. Root patterns for Larrea tridentata in relation to soil morphology in Mojave desert soils of different ages, The Mojave Desert...McDonald, E.V., and Caldwell, T.G., 2009, Root patterns for Larrea tridentata in relation to soil morphology in Mojave desert soils of different ages, in

  1. On a Crowded Desert Island.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rothstein, Samuel

    1989-01-01

    Suggests reference sources most appropriate for a desert island. In addition to "Robinson Crusoe" (Daniel Defoe) and a reference guide to the literature of travel, the list includes basic books on reference work, guides to reference sources, journals, an almanac, encyclopedias, a guide to English usage, and a book of quotations. (14 references)…

  2. Food insecurity and food deserts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Camp, Nadine L

    2015-08-15

    Food insecurity has been steadily increasing in the United States with prevalence at nearly 15% of all households. Nurse practitioners can assess for food insecurity and provide local resources for families living in neighborhoods without easy access to healthy foods, otherwise known as food deserts.

  3. Desert Pathfinder at Work

    Science.gov (United States)

    2005-09-01

    The Atacama Pathfinder Experiment (APEX) project celebrates the inauguration of its outstanding 12-m telescope, located on the 5100m high Chajnantor plateau in the Atacama Desert (Chile). The APEX telescope, designed to work at sub-millimetre wavelengths, in the 0.2 to 1.5 mm range, passed successfully its Science Verification phase in July, and since then is performing regular science observations. This new front-line facility provides access to the "Cold Universe" with unprecedented sensitivity and image quality. After months of careful efforts to set up the telescope to work at the best possible technical level, those involved in the project are looking with satisfaction at the fruit of their labour: APEX is not only fully operational, it has already provided important scientific results. "The superb sensitivity of our detectors together with the excellence of the site allow fantastic observations that would not be possible with any other telescope in the world," said Karl Menten, Director of the group for Millimeter and Sub-Millimeter Astronomy at the Max-Planck-Institute for Radio Astronomy (MPIfR) and Principal Investigator of the APEX project. ESO PR Photo 30/05 ESO PR Photo 30/05 Sub-Millimetre Image of a Stellar Cradle [Preview - JPEG: 400 x 627 pix - 200k] [Normal - JPEG: 800 x 1254 pix - 503k] [Full Res - JPEG: 1539 x 2413 pix - 1.3M] Caption: ESO PR Photo 30/05 is an image of the giant molecular cloud G327 taken with APEX. More than 5000 spectra were taken in the J=3-2 line of the carbon monoxide molecule (CO), one of the best tracers of molecular clouds, in which star formation takes place. The bright peak in the north of the cloud is an evolved star forming region, where the gas is heated by a cluster of new stars. The most interesting region in the image is totally inconspicuous in CO: the G327 hot core, as seen in methanol contours. It is a truly exceptional source, and is one of the richest sources of emission from complex organic molecules in the

  4. Dust Availability in Desert Terrains

    Science.gov (United States)

    1985-01-01

    RAVIKOVIrCIl, 1953: KAPLAN , 19119. Si ATKINE. 1960). From Yaalon & Ginzhourg (1988). B.8 AMOUNTS AND CONCENTRATIONS OFl DUST IN THE ATMOSPHERE (see also...deposits of comparable origin and age further north along the Dead Sea Rift. Another exampie is the lava flows of latest Pleisto- cene age in the Cima ...the Cima Volcanic Field in the southern Mojave Desert, located downwind of extensive dust-producing playa surfaces. More than 1 m of a gravel-free B

  5. 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.

  6. Does protection of desert tortoise habitat generate other ecological benefits in the Mojave Desert?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matthew L. Brooks

    2000-01-01

    This paper summarizes the ecological effects of fenced habitat protection for the desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii) at the Desert Tortoise Research Natural Area in the Mojave Desert. The following were higher inside than outside the natural area: (1) annual and perennial plant biomass, cover, diversity and dominance by natives, (2) soil seed...

  7. Global Diversity of Desert Hypolithic Cyanobacteria

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Donnabella C. Lacap-Bugler

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Global patterns in diversity were estimated for cyanobacteria-dominated hypolithic communities that colonize ventral surfaces of quartz stones and are common in desert environments. A total of 64 hypolithic communities were recovered from deserts on every continent plus a tropical moisture sufficient location. Community diversity was estimated using a combined t-RFLP fingerprinting and high throughput sequencing approach. The t-RFLP analysis revealed desert communities were different from the single non-desert location. A striking pattern also emerged where Antarctic desert communities were clearly distinct from all other deserts. Some overlap in community similarity occurred for hot, cold and tundra deserts. A further observation was that the producer-consumer ratio displayed a significant negative correlation with growing season, such that shorter growing seasons supported communities with greater abundance of producers, and this pattern was independent of macroclimate. High-throughput sequencing of 16S rRNA and nifH genes from four representative samples validated the t-RFLP study and revealed patterns of taxonomic and putative diazotrophic diversity for desert communities from the Taklimakan Desert, Tibetan Plateau, Canadian Arctic and Antarctic. All communities were dominated by cyanobacteria and among these 21 taxa were potentially endemic to any given desert location. Some others occurred in all but the most extreme hot and polar deserts suggesting they were relatively less well adapted to environmental stress. The t-RFLP and sequencing data revealed the two most abundant cyanobacterial taxa were Phormidium in Antarctic and Tibetan deserts and Chroococcidiopsis in hot and cold deserts. The Arctic tundra displayed a more heterogenous cyanobacterial assemblage and this was attributed to the maritime-influenced sampling location. The most abundant heterotrophic taxa were ubiquitous among samples and belonged to the Acidobacteria

  8. Rural childhoods in Egypt's desert lands

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Adriansen, Hanne Kirstine

    . 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...

  9. Divining Jordan's desert waters | IDRC - International Development ...

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

    To most people, a desert — by definition — is a place where water is practically nonexistent. But a team of researchers studying Jordan's badia — a large desert in the country's northwest corner — has uncovered a secret moving slowly beneath the area's vast arid expanses. Using satellite photos, knowledge of the local ...

  10. Russian deserters of World War I

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    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.

  11. Desert(ed geographies: cartographies of nuclear testing

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joe Lockard

    2000-03-01

    Full Text Available The paper analyses cartographies of nuclearism and colonial-native relations in terms of the exclusions in nuclear testing maps. It considers maps from French and British nuclear tests at Mururoa in the South Pacific and Maralinga in Australia. The paper argues that these maps rely on older Euro-American cartographic and narrative traditions of imagining empty and deserted territories in order to advance political arguments for the displacement and deterritorialisation of native peoples who occupy nuclear testing areas. Such official government nuclear cartography reproduces a colonial narrative of native abandonment. The explicit spatial expansionism of nuclear testing maps emphasises that control of place is the crux of the struggle for an anti-nuclear narrative strategy.

  12. Deserts

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Graulund, Rune

    2016-01-01

    geographies, and the relationship between travel writing and the social, ideological and occasionally fictional constructs through which we view the different regions of the world. Covering all of the major topics and debates, this is an essential overview of the field, which will also encourage new...... and exciting directions for study. Contributors: Simon Bainbridge, Anthony Bale, Shobhana Bhattacharji, Dúnlaith Bird, Elizabeth A. Bohls, Wendy Bracewell, Kylie Cardell, Daniel Carey, Janice Cavell, Simon Cooke, Matthew Day, Kate Douglas, Justin D. Edwards, David Farley, Charles Forsdick, Corinne Fowler...

  13. Simulated climate effects of desert irrigation geoengineering

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cheng, Wei; Moore, John C.; Cao, Long; Ji, Duoying; Zhao, Liyun

    2017-04-01

    Geoengineering, the deliberate large-scale manipulation of earth’s energy balance to counteract global warming, is an attractive proposition for sparsely populated deserts. We use the BNU and UVic Earth system models to simulate the effects of irrigating deserts under the RCP8.5 scenario. Previous studies focused on increasing desert albedo to reduce global warming; in contrast we examine how extending afforestation and ecological projects, that successfully improve regional environments, fair for geoengineering purposes. As expected desert irrigation allows vegetation to grow, with bare soil or grass gradually becoming shrub or tree covered, with increases in terrestrial carbon storage of 90.3 Pg C (UVic-ESCM) - 143.9 Pg C (BNU-ESM). Irrigating global deserts makes the land surface temperature decrease by 0.48 °C and land precipitation increase by 100 mm yr-1. In the irrigated areas, BNU-ESM simulates significant cooling of up to 4.2 °C owing to the increases in low cloud and latent heat which counteract the warming effect due to decreased surface albedo. Large volumes of water would be required to maintain global desert irrigation, equivalent 10 mm/year of global sea level (BNU-ESM) compensate for evapotranspiration losses. Differences in climate responses between the deserts prompt research into tailored albedo-irrigation schemes.

  14. Microphytic crusts: 'topsoil' of the desert

    Science.gov (United States)

    Belnap, Jayne

    1990-01-01

    Deserts throughout the world are the home of microphytic, or cryptogamic, crusts. These crusts are dominated by cyanobacteria, previously called blue-green algae, and also include lichens, mosses, green algae, microfungi and bacteria. They are critical components of desert ecosystems, significantly modifying the surfaces on which they occur. In the cold deserts of the Colorado Plateau (including parts of Utah, Arizona, Colorado, and New Mexico), these crusts are extraordinarily well-developed, and may represent 70-80% of the living ground cover.

  15. Does a Nutritious Diet Cost More in Food Deserts?

    OpenAIRE

    Fan, Linlin; Baylis, Kathy; Gundersen, Craig; Ver Ploeg, Michele

    2015-01-01

    Food deserts and their potential effects on diet and nutrition have received much attention from policymakers. While some research has found correlations between food deserts and consumer outcomes, it is unclear whether food deserts truly affect consumption behavior. In this paper, we compare food prices in food deserts and non-food deserts to check whether lack of access is associated with higher food prices of a complete diet, which could constrain the consumption of healthy foods in food d...

  16. Desert Dust and Monsoon Rain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lau, William K. M.; Kim, Kyu-Myong

    2014-01-01

    For centuries, inhabitants of the Indian subcontinent have know that heavy dust events brought on by strong winds occur frequently in the pre-monsoon season, before the onset of heavy rain. Yet scientists have never seriously considered the possibility that natural dust can affect monsoon rainfall. Up to now, most studies of the impacts of aerosols on Indian monsoon rainfall have focused on anthropogenic aerosols in the context of climate change. However, a few recent studies have show that aerosols from antropogenic and natural sources over the Indian subcontinent may affect the transition from break to active monsoon phases on short timescales of days to weeks. Writing in Nature Geoscience, Vinoj and colleagues describe how they have shown that desert dust aerosols over the Arabian Sea and West Asia can strenghten the summer monsoon over the Indial subcontinent in a matter of days.

  17. 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.

  18. 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...

  19. Vegetation - Central Mojave Desert [ds166

    Data.gov (United States)

    California Department of Resources — 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. Productivity and Energy Management in Desert Urban

    OpenAIRE

    Masoud Nasri; Rahele Hekmatpanah

    2010-01-01

    Growing world population has fundamental impacts and often catastrophic on natural habitat. The immethodical consumption of energy, destruction of the forests and extinction of plant and animal species are the consequence of this experience. Urban sustainability and sustainable urban development, that is so spoken these days, should be considered as a strategy, goal and policy, beyond just considering environmental issues and protection. The desert-s climate has made a bu...

  1. Desert Shield Leader’s Safety Guide

    Science.gov (United States)

    1990-12-01

    lasers. • Caution personnel to fire lasers only at designated targets and to never fire at specular surfaces such as glass , mirrors, and windows ... windstorms ) Q Large fluctuations in day/night temperatures (up to 70°F.) • Sandy deserts Q Poor wheeled vehicle off-road mobility/stability...34 desert during the day. • Monitor shadows cast by near objects such as landing gear or skid shadows during hover. • Keep windscreen and door windows

  2. Food deserts and nutritional risk in Paraguay.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gartin, Meredith

    2012-01-01

    The purpose of this case study in San Lorenzo, Paraguay is to identify a food desert in a developing context and to test if food deserts shape residential obesity risk. This article reviews some of the debate surrounding whether food deserts really exist; and, if so, what are the dietary implications of living in a food desert. The research is an exploratory/explanatory design. The author mapped the downtown food retail district and the neighborhood food environment to identify what stores/markets. The author assessed each type of food store using an adapted version of the Nutrition Environment Measure Survey for Stores (NEMS-S) for Paraguay. Body mass index and household characteristics were collected with 68 households in a small neighborhood; and, the author matched the NEMS-S scores to the store reported by households as their primary grocery store for regression tests. The results suggest that a tradeoff exists in the local food environment between food stores which negatively impact obesity risk for local residents. Exposure to this tradeoff appears to worsen as people live longer in the food desert. Thus, the results support the location of a food desert finding in Paraguay. The underlying factors of a food desert extend beyond food access to focus on the issues of justice. A way to improve upon future research to build scholarship on the relationship between deprivation and obesity requires that sample sizes are either large or representative of the population and that the research should be based on multiple neighborhood and city sites. Copyright © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  3. Desert Amplification in a Warming Climate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Liming

    2016-01-01

    Here I analyze the observed and projected surface temperature anomalies over land between 50°S-50°N for the period 1950–2099 by large-scale ecoregion and find strongest warming consistently and persistently seen over driest ecoregions such as the Sahara desert and the Arabian Peninsula during various 30-year periods, pointing to desert amplification in a warming climate. This amplification enhances linearly with the global mean greenhouse gases(GHGs) radiative forcing and is attributable primarily to a stronger GHGs-enhanced downward longwave radiation forcing reaching the surface over drier ecoregions as a consequence of a warmer and thus moister atmosphere in response to increasing GHGs. These results indicate that desert amplification may represent a fundamental pattern of global warming associated with water vapor feedbacks over land in low- and mid- latitudes where surface warming rates depend inversely on ecosystem dryness. It is likely that desert amplification might involve two types of water vapor feedbacks that maximize respectively in the tropical upper troposphere and near the surface over deserts, with both being very dry and thus extremely sensitive to changes of water vapor. PMID:27538725

  4. Desert Amplification in a Warming Climate.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Liming

    2016-08-19

    Here I analyze the observed and projected surface temperature anomalies over land between 50°S-50°N for the period 1950-2099 by large-scale ecoregion and find strongest warming consistently and persistently seen over driest ecoregions such as the Sahara desert and the Arabian Peninsula during various 30-year periods, pointing to desert amplification in a warming climate. This amplification enhances linearly with the global mean greenhouse gases(GHGs) radiative forcing and is attributable primarily to a stronger GHGs-enhanced downward longwave radiation forcing reaching the surface over drier ecoregions as a consequence of a warmer and thus moister atmosphere in response to increasing GHGs. These results indicate that desert amplification may represent a fundamental pattern of global warming associated with water vapor feedbacks over land in low- and mid- latitudes where surface warming rates depend inversely on ecosystem dryness. It is likely that desert amplification might involve two types of water vapor feedbacks that maximize respectively in the tropical upper troposphere and near the surface over deserts, with both being very dry and thus extremely sensitive to changes of water vapor.

  5. Desert basins of the Southwest

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leake, Stanley A.; Konieczki, Alice D.; Rees, Julie A.H.

    2000-01-01

    Ground water is among the Nation’s most important natural resources. It provides drinking water to urban and rural communities, supports irrigation and industry, sustains the flow of streams and rivers, and maintains riparian and wetland ecosystems. In many areas of the Nation, the future sustainability of ground-water resources is at risk from overuse and contamination. Because ground-water systems typically respond slowly to human actions, a long-term perspective is needed to manage this valuable resource. This publication is one in a series of fact sheets that describe ground-water-resource issues across the United States, as well as some of the activities of the U.S. Geological Survey that provide information to help others develop, manage, and protect ground-water resources in a sustainable manner. Ground-water resources in the Southwest are among the most overused in the United States. Natural recharge to aquifers is low and pumping in many areas has resulted in lowering of water tables. The consequences of large-scale removal of water from storage are becoming increasingly evident. These consequences include land subsidence; loss of springs, streams, wetlands and associated habitat; and degradation of water quality. Water managers are now seeking better ways of managing ground-water resources while looking for supplemental sources of water. This fact sheet reviews basic information on ground water in the desert basins of the Southwest. Also described are some activities of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) that are providing scientific information for sustainable management of ground-water resources in the Southwest. Ground-water sustainability is defined as developing and using ground water in a way that can be maintained for an indefinite time without causing unacceptable environmental, economic, or social consequences.

  6. Ephemeral lakes and desert dust sources

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mahowald, Natalie M.; Bryant, Robert G.; del Corral, John; Steinberger, Linda

    2003-01-01

    The processes that determine which areas are strong sources of mineral aerosols are not well known. In this study we consider the role of ephemeral lakes in modulating emissions of atmospheric mineral aerosols. We focus on two ephemeral lake regions that have been identified as source regions: the zone of Chotts in Tunisia and Algeria, and Etosha Pan in Namibia. Comparisons of satellite retrieved inundation data and the TOMS absorbing aerosol index suggest that during some periods of inundation, desert dust loadings are reduced. There is some indication that after flooded areas have dried there is increased dust loading. However, the role of the inundated ephemeral lake compared with nearby regions in modulating desert dust sources is unclear, in addition, problems with interpreting the TOMS AI make conclusions difficult. More research is required to understand the small-scale sources of atmospheric desert dust in dry, unvegetated, topographic lows.

  7. 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.

  8. Mate desertion in response to female promiscuity in the socially ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Here we report a case of such a mate desertion in the aardwolf Proteles cristatus. We suggest, however, that mate desertion should occur only rarely in response to female promiscuity. This is because a cuckolded male may still be raising some of his own offspring, and should desert only on the rare occasions when an ...

  9. An Economic View of Food Deserts in the United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bitler, Marianne; Haider, Steven J.

    2011-01-01

    Considerable policy and academic attention has been focused on the topic of food deserts. We consider this topic from an economic perspective. First, we consider how the components of a standard economic analysis apply to the study of food deserts. Second, using this economic lens, we revisit the empirical literature on food deserts to assess the…

  10. 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.

  11. 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%.

  12. Habitat selection by juvenile Mojave Desert tortoises

    Science.gov (United States)

    Todd, Brian D; Halstead, Brian J.; Chiquoine, Lindsay P.; Peaden, J. Mark; Buhlmann, Kurt A.; Tuberville, Tracey D.; Nafus, Melia G.

    2016-01-01

    Growing pressure to develop public lands for renewable energy production places several protected species at increased risk of habitat loss. One example is the Mojave desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii), a species often at the center of conflicts over public land development. For this species and others on public lands, a better understanding of their habitat needs can help minimize negative impacts and facilitate protection or restoration of habitat. We used radio-telemetry to track 46 neonate and juvenile tortoises in the Eastern Mojave Desert, California, USA, to quantify habitat at tortoise locations and paired random points to assess habitat selection. Tortoise locations near burrows were more likely to be under canopy cover and had greater coverage of perennial plants (especially creosote [Larrea tridentata]), more coverage by washes, a greater number of small-mammal burrows, and fewer white bursage (Ambrosia dumosa) than random points. Active tortoise locations away from burrows were closer to washes and perennial plants than were random points. Our results can help planners locate juvenile tortoises and avoid impacts to habitat critical for this life stage. Additionally, our results provide targets for habitat protection and restoration and suggest that diverse and abundant small-mammal populations and the availability of creosote bush are vital for juvenile desert tortoises in the Eastern Mojave Desert.

  13. Gopherus agassizii (desert tortoise). Burrow collapse

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loughran, Caleb L.; Ennen, Joshua; Lovich, Jeffrey E.

    2011-01-01

    In the deserts of the southwestern U.S., burrows are utilized by the Desert Tortoise to escape environmental extremes (reviewed by Ernst and Lovich 2009. Turtles of the United States and Canada. 2nd ed. Johns Hopkins Univ. Press, Baltimore, Maryland. 827 pp.). However, the potential for mortality through burrow collapse and entrapment is poorly documented. Nicholson and Humphreys (1981. Proceedings of the Desert Tortoise Council, pp. 163−194) suggested that collapse due to livestock trampling may cause mortality. In addition, Lovich et al. (2011. Chelon. Cons. Biol. 10[1]:124–129) documented a Desert Tortoise that used a steel culvert as a burrow surrogate. The culvert filled completely with sediment following a significant rain event, entombing the animal and ultimately resulting in its death. We note that this mortality was associated with an anthropogenic structure; because tortoises are prodigious diggers, one might hypothesize that they have the ability to dig out of collapsed natural burrows in most situations. Circumstances described here presented us with an opportunity to test this hypothesis.

  14. The Desert Tortoise: A Delicate Balance

    Science.gov (United States)

    1992-01-01

    This award winning program looks at the efforts to preserve the desert tortoise in and around the Edwards Air Force Base, CA area. It also explains what people should do if they come in contact with a tortoise. This video was produced in cooperation with Edwards Air Force Base.

  15. 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,

  16. 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...

  17. [The relationship between teenage pregnancy and school desertion].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Molina, Marta; Ferrada, Cristina; Pérez, Ruth; Cid, Luis; Casanueva, Víctor; García, Apolinaria

    2004-01-01

    In Chile, the prevalence of teenage pregnancy is 17%. To assess relationship between adolescent pregnancy and school desertion. At the Hospital Guillermo Grant Benavente's Departament of Obstetrics and Gynecology, in Concepción, Chile, 2001 a comparative, cross sectional and correlational study was conducted. The study group were pregnant adolescents who deserted from school system, divided in two subgroups: 86 adolescents who deserted before pregnancy and 130 who deserted during pregnancy. Twenty percent of teenagers that deserted from school before pregnancy belonged to a sublevel of poverty, compared with 5% of those who deserted during pregnancy. Flunk was frequent in both but higher in girls that deserted before pregnancy (46.5 and 36.9% respectively, (ppregnancy (27.6%). Shame (41.6%) and obstetric complications (31.7%) were the main reasons for deserting during pregnancy. Seventy percent of adolescents who deserted before pregnancy had no educational, working or recreational activities. The parental educational level of both groups was low. There is a relationship between teenage pregnancy and school desertion. Adolescents who deserted from school before pregnancy are more vulnerable.

  18. Wood decay in desert riverine environments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andersen, Douglas; Stricker, Craig A.; Nelson, S. Mark

    2016-01-01

    Floodplain forests and the woody debris they produce are major components of riverine ecosystems in many arid and semiarid regions (drylands). We monitored breakdown and nitrogen dynamics in wood and bark from a native riparian tree, Fremont cottonwood (Populus deltoides subsp. wislizeni), along four North American desert streams. We placed locally-obtained, fresh, coarse material [disks or cylinders (∼500–2000 cm3)] along two cold-desert and two warm-desert rivers in the Colorado River Basin. Material was placed in both floodplain and aquatic environments, and left in situ for up to 12 years. We tested the hypothesis that breakdown would be fastest in relatively warm and moist aerobic environments by comparing the time required for 50% loss of initial ash-free dry matter (T50) calculated using exponential decay models incorporating a lag term. In cold-desert sites (Green and Yampa rivers, Colorado), disks of wood with bark attached exposed for up to 12 years in locations rarely inundated lost mass at a slower rate (T50 = 34 yr) than in locations inundated during most spring floods (T50 = 12 yr). At the latter locations, bark alone loss mass at a rate initially similar to whole disks (T50 = 13 yr), but which subsequently slowed. In warm-desert sites monitored for 3 years, cylinders of wood with bark removed lost mass very slowly (T50 = 60 yr) at a location never inundated (Bill Williams River, Arizona), whereas decay rate varied among aquatic locations (T50 = 20 yr in Bill Williams River; T50 = 3 yr in Las Vegas Wash, an effluent-dominated stream warmed by treated wastewater inflows). Invertebrates had a minor role in wood breakdown except at in-stream locations in Las Vegas Wash. The presence and form of change in nitrogen content during exposure varied among riverine environments. Our results suggest woody debris breakdown in desert riverine ecosystems is primarily a microbial process with rates determined by landscape position

  19. 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.

  20. 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...

  1. Desert Shield - Leader’s Safety Guide

    Science.gov (United States)

    1990-08-01

    surfaces such as glass , mirrors, and windows . • Ensure laser safety filters are installed on binoculars and other optical devices when observing...wadis Q Strong winds (30 mph in p.m.; 75 mph in windstorms ) Q Large fluctuations in day/night temperatures (up to 70°F.) • Sandy deserts a Poor...Monitor shadows cast by near objects such as landing gear or skid shadows during hover. • Keep windscreen and door windows clean of sand and dust

  2. Landscape Sustainability in a Sonoran Desert City

    OpenAIRE

    Chris A. Martin

    2008-01-01

    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 ...

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Contraction of the Gobi Desert, 2000–2012

    OpenAIRE

    Sternberg, Troy; Rueff, Henri; Middleton, Nick

    2015-01-01

    Deserts are critical environments because they cover 41% of the world’s land surface and are home to 2 billion residents. As highly dynamic biomes desert expansion and contraction is influenced by climate and anthropogenic factors with variability being a key part of the desertification debate across dryland regions. Evaluating a major world desert, the Gobi in East Asia, with high resolution satellite data and the meteorologically-derived Aridity Index from 2000 to 2012 identified a r...

  7. 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...

  8. 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.

  9. 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...

  10. Characterization of Morphology, Volatile Profiles, and Molecular Markers in Edible Desert Truffles from the Negev Desert.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kamle, Madhu; Bar, Einat; Lewinsohn, Dalia; Shavit, Elinoar; Roth-Bejerano, Nurit; Kagan-Zur, Varda; Barak, Ze'ev; Guy, Ofer; Zaady, Eli; Lewinsohn, Efraim; Sitrit, Yaron

    2017-03-28

    Desert truffles are mycorrhizal, hypogeous fungi considered a delicacy. On the basis of morphological characters, we identified three desert truffle species that grow in the same habitat in the Negev desert. These include Picoa lefebvrei (Pat.), Tirmania nivea (Desf.) Trappe, and Terfezia boudieri (Chatain), all associated with Helianthemum sessiliflorum. Their taxonomy was confirmed by PCR-RFLP. The main volatiles of fruit bodies of T. boudieri and T. nivea were 1-octen-3-ol and hexanal; however, volatiles of the latter species further included branched-chain amino acid derivatives such as 2-methylbutanal and 3-methylbutanal, phenylalanine derivatives such as benzaldehyde and benzenacetaldehyde, and methionine derivatives such as methional and dimethyl disulfide. The least aromatic truffle, P. lefebvrei, contained low levels of 1-octen-3-ol as the main volatile. Axenic mycelia cultures of T. boudieri displayed a simpler volatile profile compared to its fruit bodies. This work highlights differences in the volatile profiles of desert truffles and could hence be of interest for selecting and cultivating genotypes with the most likable aroma.

  11. The total cost of father desertion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Winking, Jeffrey; Gurven, Michael

    2011-01-01

    The benefits of paternal investment have long been explored by assessing the impact of father's presence on child wellbeing. Previous studies, however, have only examined the average effect of father's presence on child survivorship. Here we assess the total fitness cost to men of deserting (or the benefit of staying), by considering effects on the entire progeny. We estimate the total number of children that a deserting father can expect to lose due to reduced survivorship over the life course in five populations, and compare this loss to the benefit gains from remarrying a younger wife. We compiled the observed impacts of father's absence, as well as mortality and fertility schedules, for five foraging or foraging/horticultural populations. We calculate how many additional children a man can expect to lose due to father's absence throughout a marriage. We then calculate the minimum age difference between a first and second spouse that would be necessary to overcome this cost. Because child mortality rates drop so rapidly, the costs that men experience from desertion due to augmented child mortality are modest throughout marriage. Even hypothetically inflated father effects can be overcome with modest age differences between first and second spouses. Returns to paternal investment in terms of increased child survival are not substantial compared to those received by successfully practicing a serial mating strategy. This suggests that factors other than the ability to enhance child survival, such as female choice, are important to the evolutionary history and continued adaptive functioning of men's unique reproductive strategies. Copyright © 2011 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Nationwide Desert Highway Assessment: A Case Study in China

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Binggang Wang

    2011-06-01

    Full Text Available 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.

  15. Spreading Deserts--The Hand of Man. Worldwatch Paper 13.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eckholm, Erik; Brown, Lester R.

    The report identifies regions in which deserts and arid zones are increasing; discusses social and climatic causes of deserts; and suggests ways to cope with and reverse problems of famine, malnutrition, and drought. Increasingly, land is being sapped of its ability to sustain agriculture and human habitation north and south of the Sahara, in…

  16. 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

  17. Negev: Land, Water, and Life in a Desert Environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Back, William

    In view of the continuing increased concern about the extreme fragility of deserts and desert margins, Negev provides a timely discussion of land-use practices compatible with the often conflicting goals of preservation and development. The success o f agricultural and hydrologic experiments in the Negev desert of Israel offers hope to the large percentage of the world's population that lives with an unacceptably low quality of life in desert margins. Deserts are the one remaining type of open space that, with proper use, has the potential for alleviating the misery often associated with expanding population.In addition to the science in the book, the author repeatedly reinforces the concept that “western civilization is inextricably bound to the Negev and its environs, from which it has drawn, via its desert-born religions—Judasium, Christianity, and Islam—many of the mores and concepts, and much of the imagery and love of the desert, including man's relation to nature and to ‘God’.” Deserts often are erroneously perceived to be areas of no water: In reality, these are areas in which a little rainfall occurs sporadically and unpredictably over time. This meager water supply can be meticulously garnered to produce nutritious crops and forage.

  18. 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.

  19. Food Deserts and Overweight Schoolchildren: Evidence from Pennsylvania

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schafft, Kai A.; Jensen, Eric B.; Hinrichs, C. Clare

    2009-01-01

    The concept of the "food desert", an area with limited access to retail food stores, has increasingly been used within social scientific and public health research to explore the dimensions of spatial inequality and community well-being. While research has demonstrated that food deserts are frequently characterized by higher levels of…

  20. 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 ...

  1. 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 ...

  2. 75 FR 19246 - Safety Zone; Desert Storm, Lake Havasu, AZ

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-04-14

    ... navigable waters of the Colorado River in Lake Havasu, Lake Havasu City, Arizona in support of the Desert..., which is to be held on Thompson Bay region of the Colorado River in Lake Havasu City, Arizona. A...-AA00 Safety Zone; Desert Storm, Lake Havasu, AZ AGENCY: Coast Guard, DHS. ACTION: Temporary final rule...

  3. 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.

  4. Elevation Derivatives for Mojave Desert Tortoise Habitat

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wallace, Cynthia S.A.; Gass, Leila

    2008-01-01

    This report describes the methods used to derive various elevation-derivative grids that were inputted to the Mojave Desert Tortoise Habitat model (L. Gass and others, unpub. data). These grids, which capture information on surface roughness and topographic characteristics, are a subset of the environmental datasets evaluated for the tortoise habitat model. This habitat model is of major importance to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which is charged with management of this threatened population, including relocating displaced tortoises to areas identified as suitable habitat.

  5. NASA Desert RATS 2011 Education Pilot Project and Classroom Activities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gruener, J. E.; McGlone, M.; Allen, J.; Tobola, K.; Graff, P.

    2012-01-01

    The National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA's) Desert Research and Technology Studies (Desert RATS) is a multi-year series of tests of hardware and operations carried out annually in the high desert of Arizona, as an analog to future exploration activities beyond low Earth orbit [1]. For the past several years, these tests have occurred in the San Francisco Volcanic Field, north of Flagstaff. For the 2011 Desert RATS season, the Exploration Systems Mission Directorate (ESMD) at NASA headquarters provided support to develop an education pilot project that would include student activities to parallel the Desert RATS mission planning and exploration activities in the classroom, and educator training sessions. The development of the pilot project was a joint effort between the NASA Johnson Space Center (JSC) Astromaterials Research and Exploration Science (ARES) Directorate and the Aerospace Education Services Project (AESP), managed at Penn State University.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. Evolutionary hotspots in the Mojave Desert

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vandergast, Amy G.; Inman, Richard D.; Barr, Kelly R.; Nussear, Kenneth E.; Esque, Todd C.; Hathaway, Stacie A.; Wood, Dustin A.; Medica, Philip A.; Breinholt, Jesse W.; Stephen, Catherine L.; Gottscho, Andrew D.; Marks, Sharyn B.; Jennings, W. Bryan; Fisher, Robert N.

    2013-01-01

    Genetic diversity within species provides the raw material for adaptation and evolution. Just as regions of high species diversity are conservation targets, identifying regions containing high genetic diversity and divergence within and among populations may be important to protect future evolutionary potential. When multiple co-distributed species show spatial overlap in high genetic diversity and divergence, these regions can be considered evolutionary hotspots. We mapped spatial population genetic structure for 17 animal species across the Mojave Desert, USA. We analyzed these in concurrence and located 10 regions of high genetic diversity, divergence or both among species. These were mainly concentrated along the western and southern boundaries where ecotones between mountain, grassland and desert habitat are prevalent, and along the Colorado River. We evaluated the extent to which these hotspots overlapped protected lands and utility-scale renewable energy development projects of the Bureau of Land Management. While 30–40% of the total hotspot area was categorized as protected, between 3–7% overlapped with proposed renewable energy project footprints, and up to 17% overlapped with project footprints combined with transmission corridors. Overlap of evolutionary hotspots with renewable energy development mainly occurred in 6 of the 10 identified hotspots. Resulting GIS-based maps can be incorporated into ongoing landscape planning efforts and highlight specific regions where further investigation of impacts to population persistence and genetic connectivity may be warranted.

  9. Desert tortoise hibernation: Temperatures, timing, and environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nussear, K.E.; Esque, T.C.; Haines, D.F.; Tracy, C.R.

    2007-01-01

    This research examined the onset, duration, and termination of hibernation in Desert Tortoises (Gopherus agassizii) over several years at multiple sites in the northeastern part of their geographic range, and recorded the temperatures experienced by tortoises during winter hibernation. The timing of hibernation by Desert Tortoises differed among sites and years. Environmental cues acting over the short-term did not appear to influence the timing of the hibernation period. Different individual tortoises entered hibernation over as many as 44 days in the fall and emerged from hibernation over as many as 49 days in the spring. This range of variation in the timing of hibernation indicates a weak influence at best of exogenous cues hypothesized to trigger and terminate hibernation. There do appear to be regional trends in hibernation behavior as hibernation tended to begin earlier and continue longer at sites that were higher in elevation and generally cooler. The emergence date was generally more similar among study sites than the date of onset. While the climate and the subsequent timing of hibernation differed among sites, the average temperatures experienced by tortoises while hibernating differed by only about five degrees from the coldest site to the warmest site. ?? 2007 by the American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Observational Evidence for Desert Amplification Using Multiple Satellite Datasets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wei, Nan; Zhou, Liming; Dai, Yongjiu; Xia, Geng; Hua, Wenjian

    2017-05-17

    Desert amplification identified in recent studies has large uncertainties due to data paucity over remote deserts. Here we present observational evidence using multiple satellite-derived datasets that desert amplification is a real large-scale pattern of warming mode in near surface and low-tropospheric temperatures. Trend analyses of three long-term temperature products consistently confirm that near-surface warming is generally strongest over the driest climate regions and this spatial pattern of warming maximizes near the surface, gradually decays with height, and disappears in the upper troposphere. Short-term anomaly analyses show a strong spatial and temporal coupling of changes in temperatures, water vapor and downward longwave radiation (DLR), indicating that the large increase in DLR drives primarily near surface warming and is tightly associated with increasing water vapor over deserts. Atmospheric soundings of temperature and water vapor anomalies support the results of the long-term temperature trend analysis and suggest that desert amplification is due to comparable warming and moistening effects of the troposphere. Likely, desert amplification results from the strongest water vapor feedbacks near the surface over the driest deserts, where the air is very sensitive to changes in water vapor and thus efficient in enhancing the longwave greenhouse effect in a warming climate.

  13. Browning in Desert Boundaries in Asia in Recent Decades

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jeong, Su-Jong; Ho, Chang-Hoi; Brown, Molly E.; Kug, Jong-Seong; Piao, Shilong

    2011-01-01

    In this study, the changes in desert boundaries in Asia (Gobi, Karakum, Lut, Taklimakan, and Thar deserts) during the growing season (April October) in the years 1982 2008 were investigated by analyzing the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI), precipitation, and temperature. In the desert boundary regions, the domain mean NDVI values increased by 7.2% per decade in 1982 1998 but decreased by 6.8% per decade thereafter. Accordingly, the bare soil areas (or nonvegetated areas) of the inside of the desert boundaries contracted by 9.8% per decade in the 1990s and expanded by 8.7% per decade in the 2000s. It is noted that the five deserts experience nearly simultaneous NDVI changes although they cover a very diverse area of Asia. In contrast, changes in temperature and precipitation in the deserts show rather diverse results. In desert boundaries located along 40 N (Gobi, Taklimakan, and Karakum), the decadal changes in vegetation greenness were mainly related to regional climate during the entire analysis period. Precipitation increased in the 1990s, providing favorable conditions for vegetation growth (i.e., greening), but precipitation reduced (19 mm per decade) and warming intensified (0.7 C per decade) in the 2000s, causing less moisture to be available for vegetation growth (i.e., browning). In desert boundaries below 40 N (Lut and Thar), although an increase in precipitation (8 mm per decade) led to greening in the 1990s, local changes in precipitation and temperature did not necessarily cause browning in the 2000s. Observed multidecadal changes in vegetation greenness in the present study suggest that under significant global and/or regional warming, changes in moisture availability for vegetation growth in desert boundaries are an important factor when understanding decadal changes in areas vulnerable to desertification over Asia.

  14. Browning in desert boundaries in Asia in recent decades

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jeong, Su-Jong; Ho, Chang-Hoi; Brown, Molly E.; Kug, Jong-Seong; Piao, Shilong

    2011-01-01

    In this study, the changes in desert boundaries in Asia (Gobi, Karakum, Lut, Taklimakan, and Thar deserts) during the growing season (April-October) in the years 1982-2008 were investigated by analyzing the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI), precipitation, and temperature. In the desert boundary regions, the domain mean NDVI values increased by 7.2% per decade in 1982-1998 but decreased by 6.8% per decade thereafter. Accordingly, the bare soil areas (or nonvegetated areas) of the inside of the desert boundaries contracted by 9.8% per decade in the 1990s and expanded by 8.7% per decade in the 2000s. It is noted that the five deserts experience nearly simultaneous NDVI changes although they cover a very diverse area of Asia. In contrast, changes in temperature and precipitation in the deserts show rather diverse results. In desert boundaries located along 40°N (Gobi, Taklimakan, and Karakum), the decadal changes in vegetation greenness were mainly related to regional climate during the entire analysis period. Precipitation increased in the 1990s, providing favorable conditions for vegetation growth (i.e., greening), but precipitation reduced (19 mm per decade) and warming intensified (0.7°C per decade) in the 2000s, causing less moisture to be available for vegetation growth (i.e., browning). In desert boundaries below 40°N (Lut and Thar), although an increase in precipitation (8 mm per decade) led to greening in the 1990s, local changes in precipitation and temperature did not necessarily cause browning in the 2000s. Observed multidecadal changes in vegetation greenness in the present study suggest that under significant global and/or regional warming, changes in moisture availability for vegetation growth in desert boundaries are an important factor when understanding decadal changes in areas vulnerable to desertification over Asia.

  15. Properties of Desert Sand and CMAS Glass

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bansal, Narottam P.; Choi, Sung R.

    2014-01-01

    As-received desert sand from a Middle East country has been characterized for its phase composition and thermal stability. X-ray diffraction analysis showed the presence of quartz (SiO2), calcite (CaCO3), gypsum (CaSO4.2H2O), and NaAlSi3O8 phases in as-received desert sand and showed weight loss of approx. 35 percent due to decomposition of CaCO3 and CaSO4.2H2O when heated to 1400 C. A batch of as-received desert sand was melted into calcium magnesium aluminosilicate (CMAS) glass at approx. 1500 C. From inductively coupled plasma-atomic emission spectrometry, chemical composition of the CMAS glass was analyzed to be 27.8CaO-4MgO-5Al2O3-61.6SiO2-0.6Fe2O3-1K2O (mole percent). Various physical, thermal and mechanical properties of the glass have been evaluated. Bulk density of CMAS glass was 2.69 g/cc, Young's modulus 92 GPa, Shear modulus 36 GPa, Poisson's ratio 0.28, dilatometric glass transition temperature (T (sub g)) 706 C, softening point (T (sub d)) 764 C, Vickers microhardness 6.3 +/- 0.4 GPa, indentation fracture toughness 0.75 +/- 0.15 MPa.m (sup 1/2), and coefficient of thermal expansion (CTE) 9.8 x 10 (exp -6)/degC in the temperature range 25 to 700 C. Temperature dependence of viscosity has also been estimated from various reference points of the CMAS glass using the Vogel-Fulcher-Tamman (VFT) equation. The glass remained amorphous after heat treating at 850 C for 10 hr but crystallized into CaSiO3 and Ca-Mg-Al silicate phases at 900 C or higher temperatures. Crystallization kinetics of the CMAS glass has also been investigated by differential thermal analysis (DTA). Activation energies for the crystallization of two different phases in the glass were calculated to be 403 and 483 kJ/mol, respectively.

  16. 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.

  17. ORIGIN OF THE FOG IN NAMIB DESERT IN DRY SEASON

    OpenAIRE

    KIMURA, Keiji

    2005-01-01

    The origin of the fog in the Namib Desert was generally considered the westerly advection fog over the Benguela cold current. When the author went to the Namib Desert in dry seasons in 2003 and 2004, the fog in the early morning, however, moved easterly from the inland to the Atlantic Ocean. It was the opposite direction of so called the sea fog. In addition to that, the fog in the Namib Desert showed the diurnal change: the fog arises in the early morning and disappeared before noon. The fog...

  18. How to identify food deserts in Amazonian cities?

    OpenAIRE

    Davies, Gemma; Frausin Bustamante, Gina Giovanna; Parry, Luke Thomas Wyn

    2016-01-01

    Food deserts are areas without affordable access to healthy foods. This paper explores whether food deserts are present within urban areas of the Brazilian Amazon. The availability and price of a variety of food products was surveyed in a total of 304 shops, across 3 cities in 2015. Least-cost distances were calculated to estimate travel distance to access products, with map overlay used to help identify areas with poor access to a variety of healthy food - these were defined as food deserts.

  19. 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...

  20. Thermodynamic and pedogenic differences between desert microsites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Young, Michael; Caldwell, Todd; Lin, Henry

    2014-05-01

    Feedbacks exist between soil properties, climate and ecological productivity. In arid alluvial fan deposits common to the southwestern United States, the strength of these complex feedbacks change slowly over long time frames (e.g., 10s to 100s of millennia) as the climate has become drier and warmer. The feedbacks are also influenced by relatively short-time-frame processes of shrub establishment and subshrub processes that create distinct interspace and sub-canopy microsites. Pedogenic processes in both cases proceed at different rates—slowly in interspaces and rapidly beneath canopies—yet both are subject to similar energy and mass inputs entering the system from above the canopy. In this study, we apply a branch of non-equilibrium (open system) thermodynamics to explain desert pedogenic processes and how the two microsites are tied together. The general concept is that energy and mass flow naturally in directions that minimize gradients, hence maximizing randomness and entropy. We hypothesize that younger soils begin as random bodies, but that energy input from the sun, and mass input from water, dust and vegetation create gradients over time, leading to microsites of pavements and canopies. These features eventually reach metastability and the potential for self-destruction increases (i.e., desert pavements eventually fall apart and erode). We seek to apply these concepts to Mojave Desert soils/ecosystems that have been studied in the field and the laboratory, with the goal of explaining and/or predicting the pathways of pedogenesis in these environments. Of particular interest is how these concepts might be applied in microsite locations influence the two-way coupling of pedologic development and ecosystem functions, and whether we can predict the strength of these feedbacks and processes using knowledge of soil systems today. The field site is found in the Mojave Natural Preserve, CA, USA, where high spatial resolution infiltrometer measurements were

  1. NUWAX-83: nucleonics in the desert

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lyon, W.S.

    1983-01-01

    The 6-day NUWAX-83 (Nuclear Weapon Accident Exercise) held in May 1983, formally at Port Gaston, Virginia, actually in Nevada, was organized by several Federal organizations. A helicopter crash and consequent nuclear explosion contaminating a large area with 239 Pu and 241 Am was simulated. For 239 Pu, a mixture of 223 Ra and 103 Pd was used. The author participating as a member of the ORNL staff describes his experiences, with special reference to the on-site chemical analytical work and human conditions. The author refers to the deficiencies of the analytical capability and equipment, furthermore, he doubts the transferability of surveying and analytical experiences gained in the desert to an Eastern seaboard region. (A.L.)

  2. Desert ants learn vibration and magnetic landmarks.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cornelia Buehlmann

    Full Text Available The desert ants Cataglyphis navigate not only by path integration but also by using visual and olfactory landmarks to pinpoint the nest entrance. Here we show that Cataglyphis noda can additionally use magnetic and vibrational landmarks as nest-defining cues. The magnetic field may typically provide directional rather than positional information, and vibrational signals so far have been shown to be involved in social behavior. Thus it remains questionable if magnetic and vibration landmarks are usually provided by the ants' habitat as nest-defining cues. However, our results point to the flexibility of the ants' navigational system, which even makes use of cues that are probably most often sensed in a different context.

  3. Ethnomycological survey of traditional usage and indigenous knowledge on desert truffles among the native Sahara Desert people of Algeria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bradai, Lyès; Neffar, Souad; Amrani, Khaled; Bissati, Samia; Chenchouni, Haroun

    2015-03-13

    Desert truffles are edible hypogeous fungi, highly appreciated by the inhabitants of hot-desert settlements. Native Saharan people use truffles for food, promoting tourism, increasing fertility, and treatment of eye diseases and fatigue. This study consists of a cross-sectional survey focusing on the knowledge, use and ethnomycological practices of desert truffles among the native people of the Algerian Northern Sahara. The study was conducted through direct interviews with 60 truffle-hunters in the regions of Ouargla and Ghardaia. Three species were harvested and consumed by the surveyed subjects: Terfezia claveryi was the most appreciated and most expensive species, followed by Terfezia areanaria moderately preferred, then Tirmania nivea the least appreciated and least expensive. Among the 60 interviewees, 90% rely on the abundance of symbiotic plants (Helianthemum lippii) to harvest truffles, 65% begin harvesting from mid-February to March, after rains of the autumn (38%) and winter (36%), particularly in the Wadi beds (37%) and Daya landscapes (32%). Interviewees harvested truffles mainly for home consumption; however 26.7% sell any harvest surplus, and of those only 15% generate significant revenue from this source, and 73% considered the sale of desert truffles to have low financial value. Desert truffles are used in traditional medicine, especially against eye infections (22%), weakness (19%) and to promote male fertility (19%). In the case of desert truffles for consumption, the surveyed population preferred to prepare the truffles with couscous and meat, or in porridge. Respondents used price as the main criterion for deciding whether to purchase desert truffles. The surveyed trufflers use the knowledge passed from one generation to the next to help ensure a good harvest of truffles during each foray into the desert. Our findings highlight the various uses of truffles in the Sahara Desert, and how these relate to the lifestyle of local people. Copyright

  4. Military Geography: The Interaction of Desert Geomorphology and Military Operations

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Gilewitch, Daniel

    2003-01-01

    .... Battles throughout history were fought in desert regions and the future is certain to hold additional conflicts, particularly in the Middle East where Operation Iraqi Freedom currently rages at the time of this writing...

  5. 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.

  6. Vegetation - Anza-Borrego Desert State Park [ds165

    Data.gov (United States)

    California Department of Resources — 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...

  7. Modeling Agassiz's Desert Tortoise Population Response to Anthropogenic Stressors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mojave Desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii) populations are exposed to a variety of anthropogenic threats, which vary in nature, severity, and frequency. Tortoise management in conservation areas can be compromised when the relative importance of these threats is not well underst...

  8. Assessing the Benefits of Urban Forestry in Mojave Desert Communities

    Science.gov (United States)

    As the climate and environment change due to human activity, an understanding of the existing natural resources becomes paramount. Urban forests of Mojave Desert communities have the potential to reduce air pollution, heat island effects, and energy consumption. Regions throughou...

  9. Biotic Processes Regulating the Carbon Balance of Desert Ecosystems

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    R. S. Nowak; J. Arnone; L. Fenstermaker; and S. D. Smith

    2005-07-26

    This project provided the funding to operate and maintain the Nevada Desert FACE Facility. This support funds the CO{sub 2}, system repairs and maintenance, basic physical and biological site information, and personnel that are essential for the experiment to continue. They have continued to assess the effects of elevated CO{sub 2} on three key processes: (1) leaf- to plant-level responses of desert vegetation to elevated atmospheric CO{sub 2}; (2) ecosystem-level responses; and (3) integration of plant and ecosystem processes to understand carbon balance of deserts. The focus is the seminal interactions among atmospheric CO{sub 2}, water, and nitrogen that drive desert responses to elevated CO{sub 2} and explicitly address processes that occur across scales (biological, spatial, and temporal).

  10. Lateral migration of linear dunes in the Strzelecki Desert, Australia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rubin, D.M.

    1990-01-01

    Preferential accumulation of sand on east-facing flanks indicates that the dunes migrated eastward several metres during the Holocene. Moreover, the west-facing flanks of some dunes have experienced a minimum of tens of metres of erosion. This asymmetric erosion and deposition were caused by dune obliquity and lateral migration that may have begun as early as the Pleistocene. Dunes in the Strzelecki Desert and in the adjacent Simpson Desert display a variety of grossly different internal structures. -from Author

  11. Contraction of the Gobi Desert, 2000–2012

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Troy Sternberg

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Deserts are critical environments because they cover 41% of the world’s land surface and are home to 2 billion residents. As highly dynamic biomes desert expansion and contraction is influenced by climate and anthropogenic factors with variability being a key part of the desertification debate across dryland regions. Evaluating a major world desert, the Gobi in East Asia, with high resolution satellite data and the meteorologically-derived Aridity Index from 2000 to 2012 identified a recent contraction of the Gobi. The fluctuation in area, primarily driven by precipitation, is at odds with numerous reports of human-induced desertification in Mongolia and China. There are striking parallels between the vagueness in defining the Gobi and the imprecision and controversy surrounding the Sahara desert’s southern boundary in the 1980s and 1990s. Improved boundary definition has implications fGobi; desert boundary; expansion and contraction; Aridity Index; NDVI; Mongolia; China or understanding desert “greening” and “browning”, human action and land use, ecological productivity and changing climate parameters in the region. The Gobi’s average area of 2.3 million km2 in the 21st century places it behind only the Sahara and Arabian deserts in size.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. Workshop on Extraterrestrial Materials from Cold and Hot Deserts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schultz, Ludolf (Editor); Franchi, Ian A. (Editor); Reid, Arch M. (Editor); Zolensky, Michael E. (Editor)

    1999-01-01

    Since 1969 expeditions from Japan, the United States, and European countries have recovered more than 20,000 meteorite specimens from remote ice fields of Antarctica. They represent approximately 4000-6000 distinct falls, more than all non-Antarctic meteorite falls and finds combined. Recently many meteorite specimens of a new "population" have become available: meteorites from hot deserts. It turned out that suitable surfaces in hot deserts, like the Sahara in Africa, the Nullarbor Plain in Western and South Australia, or desert high plains of the U.S. (e.g., Roosevelt County, New Mexico), contain relatively high meteorite concentrations. For example, the 1985 Catalog of Meteorites of the British Museum lists 20 meteorites from Algeria and Libya. Today, 1246 meteorites finds from these two countries have been published in MetBase 4.0. Four workshops in 1982, 1985, 1988, and 1989 have discussed the connections between Antarctic glaciology and Antarctic meteorites, and the differences between Antarctic meteorites and modern falls. In 1995, a workshop addressed differences between meteorites from Antarctica, hot deserts, and modem falls, and the implications of possible different parent populations, infall rates, and weathering processes. Since 1995 many more meteorites have been recovered from new areas of Antarctica and hot deserts around the world. Among these finds are several unusual and interesting specimens like lunar meteorites or SNCs of probable martian origin. The Annual Meeting of the Meteoritical Society took place in 1999 in Johannesburg, South Africa. As most of the recent desert finds originate from the Sahara, a special workshop was planned prior to this meeting in Africa. Topics discussed included micrometeorites, which have been collected in polar regions as well as directly in the upper atmosphere. The title "Workshop on Extraterrestrial Materials from Cold and Hot Deserts" was chosen and the following points were emphasized: (1) weathering

  17. Workshop on Extraterrestrial Materials from Cold and Hot Deserts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schultz, Ludolf (Editor); Franchi, Ian A. (Editor); Reid, Arch M. (Editor); Zolensky, Michael E. (Editor)

    2000-01-01

    Since 1969 expeditions from Japan, the United States, and European countries have recovered more than 20,000 meteorite specimens from remote ice fields of Antarctica. They represent approximately 4000-6000 distinct falls, more than all non-Antarctic meteorite falls and finds combined. Recently many meteorite specimens of a new "population" have become available: meteorites from hot deserts. It turned out that suitable surfaces in hot deserts, like the Sahara in Africa, the Nullarbor Plain in Western and South Australia, or desert high plains of the U.S. (e.g., Roosevelt County, New Mexico), contain relatively high meteorite concentrations. For example, the 1985 Catalogue of Meteorites of the British Museum lists 20 meteorites from Algeria and Libya. Today, 1246 meteorites finds from these two countries have been published in MetBase 4.0. Four workshops in 1982, 1985, 1988, and 1989 have discussed the connections between Antarctic glaciology and Antarctic meteorites, and the differences between Antarctic meteorites and modem falls. In 1995, a workshop addressed differences between meteorites from Antarctica, hot deserts, and modem falls, and the implications of possible different parent populations, infall rates, and weathering processes. Since 1995 many more meteorites have been recovered from new areas of Antarctica and hot deserts around the world. Among these finds are several unusual and interesting specimens like lunar meteorites or SNCs of probable martian origin. The Annual Meeting of the Meteoritical Society took place in 1999 in Johannesburg, South Africa. As most of the recent desert finds originate from the Sahara, a special workshop was planned prior to this meeting in Africa. Topics discussed included micrometeorites, which have been collected in polar regions as well as directly in the upper atmosphere. The title "Workshop on Extraterrestrial Materials from Cold and Hot Deserts" was chosen and the following points were emphasized: (1) weathering

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. A systematic review of food deserts, 1966-2007.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beaulac, Julie; Kristjansson, Elizabeth; Cummins, Steven

    2009-07-01

    "Food deserts," areas characterized by poor access to healthy and affordable food, may contribute to social and spatial disparities in diet and diet-related health outcomes. However, the extent to which food deserts exist is debated. We review the evidence for the existence of food deserts in socioeconomically disadvantaged areas. We conducted a systematic review of primary, quantitative, observational studies, published in English or French, that used geographic or market-basket approaches in high-income countries. The literature search included electronic and hand searches and peer-reviewed and grey literature from 1966 through 2007. We also contacted key researchers to identify other studies. We analyzed the findings and quality of the studies qualitatively. Forty-nine studies in 5 countries met inclusion criteria; the amount and consistency of the evidence varied by country. These studies were a mix of geographic and market-basket approaches, but the methodologic quality of studies and completeness of reported findings were mixed. We found clear evidence for disparities in food access in the United States by income and race. Findings from other high-income countries were sparse and equivocal. This review suggests that food deserts exist in the United States, where area-level deprivation compounds individual disadvantage. Evidence for the existence of food deserts in other high-income nations is weak.

  2. 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

  3. Cryophenomena in the Cold Desert of Atacama

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buchroithner, Dr.; Trombotto, Dr.

    2012-04-01

    The study area of the Valle de Barrancas Blancas in the High Atacama Andes of Chile (68°39' W, 27°02' S), a kind of Patagonian "bajo sin salida", shows well preserved landforms resulting from a combination of slope, eolian, lacustrine/litoral, fluvial, glacial and periglacial regimes. They permit the reconstruction of geomorphological processes within this isolated catchment of approximately 160 km2. The mean annual air temperature varies between -2 and -4 °C and the precipitation is approximately 150 mm/a. Snowfall is frequent but the snow is quickly sublimated, redeposited and/or covered by cryosediments, i.e. mainly pumice pebbles. Water bodies present icings, even in summer. Regarding its climatic conditions the study area represents an extremely cold desertic region. Extremophile microfauna was also found. The area displays both in situ mountain permafrost and creeping permafrost. The active layer is 30 to 45 cm thick. It is a periglacial macro-environment where interdependent processes, and not only cryogenic processes but also erosion and eolian deposition and the action of fluvial washout mainly caused by precipitation, accumulation, retransportation/redeposition and melting of snow, play an important role. The cryogenic geomorphology of the Valle de Barrancas Blancas is varied and contains microforms such as patterned ground and microforms caused by cryoturbation, as well as mesoforms like rockglaciers and cryoplanation surfaces. Slopes are strongly affected by gelifluction. New cryoforms in South America and in the Southern Hemisphere like the Atacama Pingo (Pingo atacamensis) and Permafrosted Dunes ("Dunas heladas") were found. Intense niveo-eolian processes participate in the erosion of preexisting landforms, in the formation of subterraneous ice layers, and the retransportation/redeposition of snow and sediments. Studies of this periglacial environment are crucial for the understanding of Tundrean paleoenvironments and Martian conditions.

  4. 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.

  5. 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)

  6. [Ecophysiological Characteristics of actinomycetes of desert soils of Mongolia].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zenova, G M; Kozhevin, P A; Manucharova, N A; Lubsanova, D A; Dubrova, M S

    2014-01-01

    It is shown that the actinomycete complex in steppe-desert light brown salty soil of desert steppes of Mongolia is represented by the genera Streptomyces and Micromonospora. The species diversity of the genus Streptomyces, which dominates the complex, decreases with increasing osmolarity of the medium. The influence of environmental factors--temperature and osmolarity of medium--on the development of metabolically active members of the phylum Actinobacteria in the domain Bacteria of the prokaryotic microbial soil community was established. The proportion of metabolically active bacteria belonging to Actinobacteria increases with increasing osmolarity and incubation temperature of soil. The dominance of the filamentous metabolically active members of the phylum Actinobacteria over the unicellular organisms was shown. The halotolerant actinomycetes isolated from the steppe-desert soils were alkalotolerant, xerophilic, and thermotolerant and exhibited antimicrobial activity with respect to Gram-positive bacteria and actinomycetes.

  7. 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...

  8. A comparison of Bromus tectorum growth and mycorrhizal colonization in salt desert versus sagebrush habitat

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cheatgrass has recently invaded marginal low elevation salt desert habitats across the Great Basin, USA. We tested the hypothesis that cheatgrass seed produced in populations from the more stressful salt desert versus upland sagebrush habitats should grow differently in salt desert soils compared to...

  9. Desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii): Status-of-knowledge outline with references

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mark C. Grover; Lesley A. DeFalco

    1995-01-01

    Provides an overview of extant desert tortoise literature, summarizing literature on taxonomy, morphology, genetics, and paleontology and paleoecology of the desert tortoise, as well as its general ecology. Literature on desert tortoise ecology encompasses distribution and habitat, burrows and dens, reproduction, growth, physiology, feeding and nutrition, mortality...

  10. 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...

  11. 76 FR 45606 - Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan, Habitat Conservation Plan and Possible Land Use Plan...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-07-29

    ... biological resource conservation across the Mojave and Colorado Desert regions of southern California. The...-N131; 80221-1112-80221-F2] Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan, Habitat Conservation Plan and..., as amended, for the proposed Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan (DRECP). The EIS will be a...

  12. 76 FR 21402 - Notice of Availability of the Final Environmental Impact Statement for the Desert Sunlight...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-04-15

    ... DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Bureau of Land Management [CACA 048649, LLCAD06000, L51010000.FX0000, LVRWB09B2490] Notice of Availability of the Final Environmental Impact Statement for the Desert Sunlight Holdings, LLC, Desert Sunlight Solar Farm and Proposed California Desert Conservation Area Plan Amendment...

  13. 75 FR 52776 - Notice of Availability of the Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the Desert Sunlight...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-08-27

    ... DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Bureau of Land Management [CACA 048649, LLCAD06000, L51010000.FX0000, LVRWB09B2490] Notice of Availability of the Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the Desert Sunlight Holdings, LLC Desert Sunlight Solar Farm Project and Possible California Desert Conservation Area Plan...

  14. 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.

  15. Multiple factors affect a population of Agassiz's desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii) in the Northwestern Mojave Desert

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berry, Kristin H.; Yee, Julie L.; Coble, Ashley A.; Perry, William M.; Shields, Timothy A.

    2013-01-01

    Numerous factors have contributed to declines in populations of the federally threatened Agassiz's Desert Tortoise (Gopherus agassizii) and continue to limit recovery. In 2010, we surveyed a low-density population on a military test facility in the northwestern Mojave Desert of California, USA, to evaluate population status and identify potential factors contributing to distribution and low densities. Estimated densities of live tortoises ranged spatially from 1.2/km2 to 15.1/km2. Although only one death of a breeding-age tortoise was recorded for the 4-yr period prior to the survey, remains of 16 juvenile and immature tortoises were found, and most showed signs of predation by Common Ravens (Corvus corax) and mammals. Predation may have limited recruitment of young tortoises into the adult size classes. To evaluate the relative importance of different types of impacts to tortoises, we developed predictive models for spatially explicit densities of tortoise sign and live tortoises using topography (i.e., slope), predators (Common Raven, signs of mammalian predators), and anthropogenic impacts (distances from paved road and denuded areas, density of ordnance fragments) as covariates. Models suggest that densities of tortoise sign increased with slope and signs of mammalian predators and decreased with Common Ravens, while also varying based on interaction effects involving these predictors as well as distances from paved roads, denuded areas, and ordnance. Similarly, densities of live tortoises varied by interaction effects among distances to denuded areas and paved roads, density of ordnance fragments, and slope. Thus multiple factors predict the densities and distribution of this population.

  16. Provenance and recycling of Arabian desert sand

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garzanti, Eduardo; Vermeesch, Pieter; Andò, Sergio; Vezzoli, Giovanni; Valagussa, Manuel; Allen, Kate; Kadi, Khalid A.; Al-Juboury, Ali I. A.

    2013-05-01

    This study seeks to determine the ultimate origin of aeolian sand in Arabian deserts by high-resolution petrographic and heavy-mineral techniques combined with zircon U-Pb geochronology. Point-counting is used here as the sole method by which unbiased volume percentages of heavy minerals can be obtained. A comprehensive analysis of river and wadi sands from the Red Sea to the Bitlis-Zagros orogen allowed us to characterize all potential sediment sources, and thus to quantitatively constrain provenance of Arabian dune fields. Two main types of aeolian sand can be distinguished. Quartzose sands with very poor heavy-mineral suites including zircon occupy most of the region comprising the Great Nafud and Rub' al-Khali Sand Seas, and are largely recycled from thick Lower Palaeozoic quartzarenites with very minor first-cycle contributions from Precambrian basement, Mesozoic carbonate rocks, or Neogene basalts. Instead, carbonaticlastic sands with richer lithic and heavy-mineral populations characterize coastal dunes bordering the Arabian Gulf from the Jafurah Sand Sea of Saudi Arabia to the United Arab Emirates. The similarity with detritus carried by the axial Tigris-Euphrates system and by transverse rivers draining carbonate rocks of the Zagros indicates that Arabian coastal dunes largely consist of far-travelled sand, deposited on the exposed floor of the Gulf during Pleistocene lowstands and blown inland by dominant Shamal northerly winds. A dataset of detrital zircon U-Pb ages measured on twelve dune samples and two Lower Palaeozoic sandstones yielded fourteen identical age spectra. The age distributions all show a major Neoproterozoic peak corresponding to the Pan-African magmatic and tectonic events by which the Arabian Shield was assembled, with minor late Palaeoproterozoic and Neoarchean peaks. A similar U-Pb signature characterizes also Jafurah dune sands, suggesting that zircons are dominantly derived from interior Arabia, possibly deflated from the Wadi al

  17. Ground-water data, Sevier Desert, Utah

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mower, Reed W.; Feltis, Richard D.

    1964-01-01

    This report is intended to serve two purposes: (1) to make available to the public basic ground-water data useful in planning and studying development of water resources, and (2) to supplement an interpretive report that will be published later.Records were collected during the period 1935-64 by the U.S. Geological survey in cooperation with the Utah State Engineer as part of the investigation of ground-water conditions in the Sevier Desert, in Juab and Millard Counties, Utah. The interpretive material will be published in a companion report by R. W. Mower and R. D. Feltis.This report is most useful in predicting conditions likely to be found in areas that are being considered as well sites. The person considering the new well can spot the proposed site on plate 1 and examine the records of nearby wells as shown in the tables and figures. From table 1 he can note such things as depth, diameter, water level, yield, use of water, temperature of water, and depth of perforations. By comparing the depth of perforations with the drillers' logs in table 3 he can note the type of material that yields water to the wells. Table 2 and figure 2 show the historic fluctuations and trends of water levels in the vicinity. From table 4 he can note the chemical quality of the water from wells in the vicinity. Table 5 shows the amount of water discharged during 1951-63 from the pumped irrigation, public supply, and industrial wells. If the reader decides from his examination that conditions are favorable, he can place an application to drill a well with the state Engineer. If the State Engineer believes unappropriated water is available, the application may be approved after minimum statutory requirements have been satisfied.The report is also useful when planning large-scale developments of water supply. This and other uses of the report will be helped by use of the interpretive report upon its release.

  18. Amphibians and land use in the Chihuahuan Desert border region

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paulette L. Ford; Deborah M. Finch

    1999-01-01

    The pressures of growing borderland populations, increased land use, and Increased water use are threatening amphibians in the Chihuahuan Desert border area. In this paper, we describe potential direct threats such as loss or contamination of aquatic habitats, and indirect threats such as the sublethal effects of pesticides on developing larvae and tadpoles. More...

  19. Characterization of natural habitats and diversity of Libyan desert truffles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bouzadi, Mozidi; Grebenc, Tine; Turunen, Ossi; Kraigher, Hojka; Taib, Hassan; Alafai, Abdulhafied; Sbissi, Imed; Assad, Mamdouh El Haj; Bedade, Dattatray; Shamekh, Salem

    2017-10-01

    Desert truffles have traditionally been used as food in Libya. Desert truffle grows and gives fruit sporadically when adequate and properly distributed rainfall occurs with existence of suitable soil and mycorrhizal host plant. The present study aimed to identify and characterize two kinds of wild desert truffles from ecological and nutritional points that were collected from the studied area. The truffle samples were identified as Terfezia (known as red or black truffle) and Tirmania (known as white truffle). The nutritional values (protein, lipid and carbohydrate) of both Libyan wild truffle ( Terfezia and Tirmania) were determined on a dry weight basis and result showed that Tirmania and Terfezia contained 16.3 and 18.5% protein, 6.2 and 5.9% lipid, 67.2 and 65% carbohydrate, respectively, in ascocarp biomass. The soil pH of the upper and lower regions of the Hamada Al-Hamra ranged between 8.2 and 8.5 giving suitable conditions for fructification. The plants, Helianthemum kahiricum and Helianthemum lippii were the dominant plants in Hamada Al-Hamra region found to form a mycorrhiza with desert truffles. The phylogenetic analysis of the genomic rDNA ITS region showed that, out of five collections three represented Tirmania pinoyi (Maire) Malencon, one Tirmania nivea (Desf.) Trappe, and one Terfezia boudieri Chatin.

  20. Erosion resistance of bionic functional surfaces inspired from desert scorpions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhiwu, Han; Junqiu, Zhang; Chao, Ge; Li, Wen; Ren, Luquan

    2012-02-07

    In this paper, a bionic method is presented to improve the erosion resistance of machine components. Desert scorpion (Androctonus australis) is a typical animal living in sandy deserts, and may face erosive action of blowing sand at a high speed. Based on the idea of bionics and biologic experimental techniques, the mechanisms of the sand erosion resistance of desert scorpion were investigated. Results showed that the desert scorpions used special microtextures such as bumps and grooves to construct the functional surfaces to achieve the erosion resistance. In order to understand the erosion resistance mechanisms of such functional surfaces, the combination of computational and experimental research were carried out in this paper. The Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) method was applied to predict the erosion performance of the bionic functional surfaces. The result demonstrated that the microtextured surfaces exhibited better erosion resistance than the smooth surfaces. The further erosion tests indicated that the groove surfaces exhibited better erosion performance at 30° injection angle. In order to determine the effect of the groove dimensions on the erosion resistance, regression analysis of orthogonal multinomials was also performed under a certain erosion condition, and the regression equation between the erosion rate and groove distance, width, and height was established.

  1. Cultural and religious unification through music in Desert Rose's ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Silence of the Musicis a musical theatre piece produced by Desert Rose in 2010. The production not only addresses themes of prejudice and intercultural discrepancies in post-apartheid South Africa, but also carries a message of love and unity. The unifying factor in the show is music – the fusing together of the musics of ...

  2. Zimbabwean army deserters in South Africa: military bonding and survival

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Maringira, G.; Richters, A.; Gibson, D.

    2013-01-01

    Accounts of Zimbabwe's political crisis have mostly presented soldiers in the army as defenders of President Robert Mugabe's regime without any mention of the regime's victimization of its own soldiers. To escape further victimization many of these soldiers deserted and migrated to South Africa. In

  3. Book Review Nomadic Desert Birds By D Oschadleus (2004 ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Abstract. Adaptations of Desert Organisms series, Springer-Verlag, Berlin, Germany ISBN 3540403930 e-mail: orders@springer.de 185 pages, hardcover: EUR 99.95; £77.00; sFr 166. Ostrich 2005, 76(1&2): 93 ...

  4. Forager abundance and dietary relationships Namib Desert ant ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    variation in diet through time and no consistent patterns were apparent. Diet niche breadth and overlap also exhibited considerable variation between species at anyone time and within a species through time. There was no consistent relationship between ant size and the size of food particle utilized. Namib Desert ants are ...

  5. Ecological and evolutionary physiology of desert birds : A progress report

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Williams, JB; Tieleman, BI

    The adaptive significance of mechanisms of energy and water conservation among species of desert rodents, which avoid temperature extremes by remaining within a burrow during the day, is well established. Conventional wisdom holds that arid-zone birds, diurnal organisms that endure the brunt of

  6. Solar power at the edge of the Sahara desert

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bresler, Ines

    2012-07-01

    In Morocco, the turn in the energy sector is overseen by His Majesty the King himself: in 2009, the King introduced the Moroccan Solar Plan and created the Moroccan Agency for Solar Energy (MASEN) for its implementation. This year, the construction work for the first project complex will commence at the edge of the Sahara desert. (orig.)

  7. Academic Performance, School Desertion and Emotional Paradigm in University Students

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sosa, Emma Rosa Cruz; Barrientos, Laura Gática; Castro, Patricia Eugenia García; García, Jesús Hernández

    2010-01-01

    The present work aims to describe academic performance, school desertion and the emotional paradigm of the university students of the accounting school of the Benemérita Universidad Autónoma de Puebla (FCPBUAP). We have found that low academic performance is related to students' economic deficiency, which affects their concentration on their…

  8. i SOME ASPECTS OF ADAPTATION IN DESERT MAMMALS I ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    adaptation to environment, mostly in desert mammals. There does not appear to be ... Waddington (1959) then took the problem of the apparently Lamarckian adaptations further, and showed in ..... food resources is generally a bad thing since it leads to violent fluctuations in numbers, perhaps. R ep rod u ced b y Sa b in.

  9. Cutaneous adenocarcinoma in a desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ashraf Abu-Seida

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available This report describes the clinical and histopathological findings of a rare case of cutaneous adenocarcinoma in a 40-year-old desert tortoise. Surgical excision of the neoplasm improved the general health condition and locomotion of the tortoise although recurrence of the neoplasm had been recorded 1 year post-surgery.

  10. Biology of larks (Aves: Alaudidae) in the central Namib Desert ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The biology of six species of larks in the Namib Desert near Walvis Bay, South West Africa, was studied in 1964, 1965 and 1966. 2. All species reproduced following rainfall in summer and autumn months, with the appearance of green grass and abundant insects on which the birds fed. 3. The primarily insectivorous species ...

  11. Analysis of "The Wonderful Desert." Technical Report No. 170.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Green, G. M.; And Others

    This report presents a text analysis of "The Wonderful Desert," a brief selection from the "Reader's Digest Skill Builder" series. (The techniques used in arriving at the analysis are presented in a Reading Center Technical Report, Number 168, "Problems and Techniques of Text Analysis.") Tables are given for a…

  12. Forager abundance and dietary relationships in a Namib Desert ant ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Thirteen ant species coexist on a barren gravel plain habitat in the central Namib Desert. Numerical density of foragers of all species fluctuated considerably over a 17-month period. Peaks in abundance correlated to rainfall events and hence primary production pulses. The majority of foragers were nocturnal in summer and ...

  13. Activity of the Namib Desert dune ant, Camponotus detritus | Curtis ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The activity of the ant Camponotus detritus was studied in the dunes of the central Namib Desert. Activity was divided into two components: transit activity and honeydew collection. Temperature governed both forms, but light controlled the initiation and termination of transit activity, which was bimodal in warm conditions and ...

  14. Trajectory and rate of desert vegetation response following cattle removal

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robert L. Minckley

    2013-01-01

    Cattle have grazed continuously over the past three centuries in the Sky Island region and most work has focused on how these grazers have affected riparian and grassland habitats. I examined the effects of grazing on a fuller spectrum of desert habitats that occur in the close proximity to the San Bernardino Valley of Mexico and the United States. Plots in each of...

  15. 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...

  16. Dynamic response of desert wetlands to abrupt climate change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Springer, Kathleen; Manker, Craig; Pigati, Jeffrey S.

    2015-01-01

    Desert wetlands are keystone ecosystems in arid environments and are preserved in the geologic record as groundwater discharge (GWD) deposits. GWD deposits are inherently discontinuous and stratigraphically complex, which has limited our understanding of how desert wetlands responded to past episodes of rapid climate change. Previous studies have shown that wetlands responded to climate change on glacial to interglacial timescales, but their sensitivity to short-lived climate perturbations is largely unknown. Here, we show that GWD deposits in the Las Vegas Valley (southern Nevada, United States) provide a detailed and nearly complete record of dynamic hydrologic changes during the past 35 ka (thousands of calibrated 14C years before present), including cycles of wetland expansion and contraction that correlate tightly with climatic oscillations recorded in the Greenland ice cores. Cessation of discharge associated with rapid warming events resulted in the collapse of entire wetland systems in the Las Vegas Valley at multiple times during the late Quaternary. On average, drought-like conditions, as recorded by widespread erosion and the formation of desert soils, lasted for a few centuries. This record illustrates the vulnerability of desert wetland flora and fauna to abrupt climate change. It also shows that GWD deposits can be used to reconstruct paleohydrologic conditions at millennial to submillennial timescales and informs conservation efforts aimed at protecting these fragile ecosystems in the face of anthropogenic warming.

  17. Calcretes in the Thar desert: Genesis, chronology and ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    R. Narasimhan (Krishtel eMaging) 1461 1996 Oct 15 13:05:22

    The calcretes in the Thar desert occur in a variety of settings, including the piedmonts, sheet- wash aggraded plains; and this study adds calcretes in regolith and colluvio-alluvial plains to the group of settings in which calcretes occur in the region. Field logs, morphological details and analytical data such as petrographic, ...

  18. 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 test...

  19. Mechanisms for maintenance of dominance in a nonclonal desert shrub

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stanley G. Kitchen; Susan E. Meyer; Stephanie L. Carlson

    2015-01-01

    Blackbrush (Coleogyne ramosissima: Rosaceae) is a slow-growing, non-clonal shrub that is regionally dominant on xeric, shallow soils in the North American Mojave Desert-Great Basin transition zone and southern Colorado Plateau. Blackbrush seed production is concentrated in mast years, and most seeds are cached and later consumed by heteromyid rodents....

  20. The meaning of desert color in earth orbital photographs

    Science.gov (United States)

    El-Baz, F.

    1978-01-01

    The color of desert surfaces as seen in earth orbital photographs is indicative of soil composition. Apollo-Soyuz photographs of the Sturt and Simpson Deserts of Australia confirm that sand grains become redder as the distance from the source increases. Reddening is caused by a thin iron-oxide coating on individual sand grains and can be used, in some cases, to map relative-age zones. Photographs of the Western (Libyan) Desert of Egypt indicate three distinct and nearly parallel color zones that have been correlated in the field with: (1) arable soil composed of quartz, clay, and calcium carbonate particles; (2) relatively active sand with or without sparse vegetation; and (3) relatively inactive sand mixed with dark (desert-varnished) pebbles. The youngest sands are in the form of longitudinal dunes, which are migrating to the south-southeast along the prevailing wind direction. Some of the young dune fields are encroaching on the western boundary of the fertile Nile Valley.

  1. The aeolian sedimentation record of the Thar desert

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    R. Narasimhan (Krishtel eMaging) 1461 1996 Oct 15 13:05:22

    Quaternary geology. Studies by the Geological Survey of India sug- gest that the Quaternary sedimentation in west- ern Rajasthan occurred in three large basins on ... Aeolian activity in the Thar desert is mainly restricted to the period of summer winds associ- ated with the south west monsoon. The north east- ern wind of ...

  2. 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...

  3. Sandgrouse as models of avian adaptations to deserts

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    desert environments: dry atmospheres allow large upward and downward radiant heat fluxes (Figure 1), which are expressed mostly in extremes of ambient temperature, since there is lit- tle moisture in the environment to act as a temperature buffer by absorbing or releasing latent heat of vaporization. Low biological ...

  4. Antimicrobial Screening of Some Exotic Tree Species of Rajasthan Desert

    OpenAIRE

    B.B.S. Kapoor* and Shelja Pandita

    2013-01-01

    Antimicrobial screening of ethyl ether and alcoholic extracts of leaves of four selected exotic tree species growing inRajasthan Desert was carried out. Colophospermum mopane, Holoptelea integrifolia, Kigelia pinnata andPutranjiva roxburghii showed positive reactions against bacterial pathogens i.e. Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichiacoli and a fungal pathogen Candida albicans.

  5. Growth differentiation factor 9 gene variants in Sudanese desert ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Certain variants in the growth differentiation factor 9 (GDF9) gene have major effects on the ovulation rate in sheep. The aim of this study was to analyse GDF9 variability in the Sudanese desert sheep ecotypes Ashgar, Dubasi and Watish, and to test identified variants for association with litter size. For this purpose, ewes of ...

  6. Nutritional value of commonly consumed desert date tree products ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The desert date (Balanites aegyptiaca, Del. L.) is one of the neglected staple crops of growing importance in the drought and famine-prone areas of Uganda. Unfortunately, information on its nutritional composition is still lacking, thus limiting their wider use and promotion. This study was designed to determine the nutritional ...

  7. Chronology of Desert Margin in Western India using Improved ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    27

    Chronology of Desert Margin in Western India using Improved. Luminescence Dating Protocols. Naveen Chauhan*1, P. Morthekai1,2,#. 1 AMOPH, Physical Research Laboratory, Navrangpura, Ahmedabad - 380 009, India. 2 Institute of Seismological Research, Raisan, Gandhinagar - 382 009, India. # Present Address: ...

  8. Nadine Gordimer's The Pickup and the Desert Romance Tradition in ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The paper shows how Nadine Gordimer's novel The Pickup can be read as a radical reworking of the traditions of romance, most specifically of the colonial desert romance. E M Hull's novel The Sheik is discussed in order to highlight key patterns of this genre, particularly with reference to Rachel Blau DuPlessis' distinction ...

  9. Aggregation pheromone complex of the desert locust, Schistocerca ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The most striking feature of the desert locust, Schistocerca gregaria (Forskal), is its ability to reversibly transform between two morphologically, physiologically and behaviourlly distinct phases: solitaria and gregaria. The solitary phase prevails in the recession areas as dispersed individuals in very low densities in scattered ...

  10. 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...

  11. Extreme Arthropods: Exploring Evolutionary Adaptations to Polar and Temperate Deserts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sandro, Luke; Constible, Juanita M.; Lee, Richard E., Jr.

    2007-01-01

    In this activity, Namib and Antarctic arthropods are used to illustrate several important biological principles. Among these are the key ideas that form follows function and that the environment drives evolution. In addition, students will discover that the climates of the Namib Desert and the Antarctic Peninsula are similar in several ways, and…

  12. (Teleostei: Mormyridae), a mormyrid fish from the Namib desert

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    We critically compared Marcusenius specimens from the mouth of the Cunene River on the Namibia/Angola border, a harsh desert environment on the Atlantic Ocean coast virtually devoid of aerial insects with aquatic larvae which are an important food item, with Marcusenius multisquamatus Kramer & Wink, 2013 from the ...

  13. Identifying rural food deserts: Methodological considerations for food environment interventions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lebel, Alexandre; Noreau, David; Tremblay, Lucie; Oberlé, Céline; Girard-Gadreau, Maurie; Duguay, Mathieu; Block, Jason P

    2016-06-09

    Food insecurity in an important public health issue and affects 13% of Canadian households. It is associated with poor accessibility to fresh, diverse and affordable food products. However, measurement of the food environment is challenging in rural settings since the proximity of food supply sources is unevenly distributed. The objective of this study was to develop a methodology to identify food deserts in rural environments. In-store evaluations of 25 food products were performed for all food stores located in four contiguous rural counties in Quebec. The quality of food products was estimated using four indices: freshness, affordability, diversity and the relative availability. Road network distance between all residences to the closest food store with a favourable score on the four dimensions was mapped to identify residential clusters located in deprived communities without reasonable access to a "good" food source. The result was compared with the food desert parameters proposed by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), as well as with the perceptions of a group of regional stakeholders. When food quality was considered, food deserts appeared more prevalent than when only the USDA definition was used. Objective measurements of the food environment matched stakeholders' perceptions. Food stores' characteristics are different in rural areas and require an in-store estimation to identify potential rural food deserts. The objective measurements of the food environment combined with the field knowledge of stakeholders may help to shape stronger arguments to gain the support of decision-makers to develop relevant interventions.

  14. 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.

  15. Resource inventory techniques used in the California Desert Conservation Area

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mcleod, R. G.; Johnson, H. B.

    1981-01-01

    A variety of conventional and remotely sensed data for the 25 million acre California Desert Conservation Area (CDCA) have been integrated and analyzed to estimate range carrying capacity. Multispectral classification was performed on a digital mosaic of ten Landsat frames. Multispectral classes were correlated with low level aerial photography, quantified and aggregated by grazing allotment, land ownership, and slope.

  16. Distribution and status of the desert-dwelling giraffe ( Giraffa ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The population density and distribution of desert dwelling giraffes was estimated in three study areas in the Hoanib River catchment, northwestern Namibia. Giraffe population densities (0.01 giraffe/km2) were equal to the lowest recorded in Africa with population numbers fluctuating over past decades. Sex ratios, herd sizes ...

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. The effect of drought on four plant communities in the northern Mojave Desert

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Schultz, B.W. [Desert Research Inst., Reno, NV (United States); Ostler, W.K. [EG and G Energy Measurements, Inc., Las Vegas, NV (United States)

    1993-12-31

    Desert plant communities contain many perennial plant species that are well adapted to arid environments; therefore, one would intuitively believe that perennial desert species readily survive drought conditions. Abundant research on plant-soil-water relationships in North American deserts has shown that many species can maintain water uptake and growth when the soil-water potential is low. Little research, however, has focused on how prolonged drought conditions affect plant species in vegetation associations in desert ecosystems. A prolonged and widespread drought occurred in much of the western United States, including the Northern Mojave Desert, from 1987 through 1991. During this drought period vegetation characterization studies, initiated in 1990, by the US Department of Energy (DOE) at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, allowed EG and G Energy Measurements to collect data that could be used to infer how both desert vegetation associations and desert plant species reacted to a prolonged drought. This paper presents the preliminary results.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  3. 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...

  4. Impact and monitoring of dust storms in Taklimakan desert

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feng, G. G.; Li, X.; Zheng, Z.

    2012-12-01

    The Taklimakan is China's largest, driest, and warmest desert in total area of 338000km^2 with perimeter of 436 km, it is also known as one of the world's largest shifting-sand deserts. Fully 85 percent of the total area consists of mobile, crescent-shaped sand dunes and are virtually devoid of vegetation. The abundant sand provides material for frequent intense dust storms. The Taklimakan desert fills the expansive Tarim Basin between the Kunlun Mountains and the Tibet Plateau to the south and the Tian Shan Mountains to the north. The Tarim River flows across the basin from west-to-east. In these places, the oases created by fresh surface water support agriculture. Studies outside Xinjiang indicated that 80% dust source of storms was from farmland. Dust storms in the Tarim Basin occur for 20 to 59 days, mainly in spring every year. However, little effort was taken to investigate soil wind erosion and dust emission around the desert. Quantitative understanding of individual dust events in the arid Taklimakan desert, for example, the dust emission rates and the long-range transport, are still incomplete. Therefore, the dust events were observed through routine satellite sensors, lidar instruments, airborne samplers, and surface-based aerosol monitors. Soil wind erosion and suspended particulates emission of four major dust storms from the desert and the typical oasis farmlands at the north rim of the desert were measured using creep sampler, BSNE and TSP at eight heights in 2012. In addition, Aqua satellite AOD data, the NAAPS Global Aeosol model, the CALIPSO satellite products, EPA's AirNow AQI of PM2.5 and HYSPLIT Back Trajectory model were applied to analyze dust transport across the Pacific. Four significant dust storms were observed at the north rim of Taklimakan desert in the spring, 2012. During those events, predominant wind direction ranged from 296 to 334°, wind speed over 7 m/s at 2 m lasted for 471-1074 min, gust wind speed ranged from 11-18m/s. It was

  5. 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.

  6. Dramatic Demand Reduction In The Desert Southwest

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Boehm, Robert [Univ. of Nevada, Las Vegas, NV (United States); Hsieh, Sean [Univ. of Nevada, Las Vegas, NV (United States); Lee, Joon [Univ. of Nevada, Las Vegas, NV (United States); Baghzouz, Yahia [Univ. of Nevada, Las Vegas, NV (United States); Cross, Andrew [Univ. of Nevada, Las Vegas, NV (United States); Chatterjee, Sarah [NV Energy, Las Vegas, NV (United States)

    2015-07-06

    This report summarizes a project that was funded to the University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV), with subcontractors Pulte Homes and NV Energy. The project was motivated by the fact that locations in the Desert Southwest portion of the US demonstrate very high peak electrical demands, typically in the late afternoons in the summer. These high demands often require high priced power to supply the needs, and the large loads can cause grid supply problems. An approach was proposed through this contact that would reduce the peak electrical demands to an anticipated 65% of what code-built houses of the similar size would have. It was proposed to achieve energy reduction through four approaches applied to a development of 185 homes in northwest part of Las Vegas named Villa Trieste. First, the homes would all be highly energy efficient. Secondly, each house would have a PV array installed on it. Third, an advanced demand response technique would be developed to allow the resident to have some control over the energy used. Finally, some type of battery storage would be used in the project. Pulte Homes designed the houses. The company considered initial cost vs. long-term savings and chose options that had relatively short paybacks. HERS (Home Energy Rating Service) ratings for the homes are approximately 43 on this scale. On this scale, code-built homes rate at 100, zero energy homes rate a 0, and Energy Star homes are 85. In addition a 1.764 Wp (peak Watt) rated PV array was used on each house. This was made up of solar shakes that were in visual harmony with the roofing material used. A demand response tool was developed to control the amount of electricity used during times of peak demand. While demand response techniques have been used in the utility industry for some time, this particular approach is designed to allow the customer to decide the degree of participation in the response activity. The temperature change in the residence can be decided by the residents by

  7. 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

  8. Ancient photosynthetic eukaryote biofilms in an Atacama Desert coastal cave

    Science.gov (United States)

    Azua-Bustos, A.; Gonzalez-Silva, C.; Mancilla, R.A.; Salas, L.; Palma, R.E.; Wynne, J.J.; McKay, C.P.; Vicuna, R.

    2009-01-01

    Caves offer a stable and protected environment from harsh and changing outside prevailing conditions. Hence, they represent an interesting habitat for studying life in extreme environments. Here, we report the presence of a member of the ancient eukaryote red algae Cyanidium group in a coastal cave of the hyperarid Atacama Desert. This microorganism was found to form a seemingly monospecific biofilm growing under extremely low photon flux levels. Our work suggests that this species, Cyanidium sp. Atacama, is a new member of a recently proposed novel monophyletic lineage of mesophilic "cave" Cyanidium sp., distinct from the remaining three other lineages which are all thermo-acidophilic. The cave described in this work may represent an evolutionary island for life in the midst of the Atacama Desert. ?? Springer Science + Business Media, LLC 2009.

  9. Relative abundance of desert tortoises on the Nevada Test Site

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rautenstrauch, K.R.; O'Farrell, T.P.

    1993-01-01

    Seven hundred fifty-nine transects having a total length of 1,191 km were walked during 1981--1986 to determine the distribution and relative abundance of desert tortoises (Gopherus agassizii) on the Nevada Test Site (NTS). The abundance of tortoises on NTS was low to very low relative to other populations in the Mojave Desert. Sign of tortoises was found from 880 to 1,570 m elevation and was more abundant above 1,200 m than has been reported previously for Nevada. Tortoises were more abundant on NTS on the upper alluvial fans and slopes of mountains than in valley bottoms. They also were more common on or near limestone and dolomite mountains than on mountains of volcanic origin

  10. 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.

  11. The Plant Genetic Engineering Laboratory For Desert Adaptation

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  12. Relative abundance of desert tortoises on the Nevada Test Site

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rautenstrauch, K.R.; O`Farrell, T.P.

    1993-12-31

    Seven hundred fifty-nine transects having a total length of 1,191 km were walked during 1981--1986 to determine the distribution and relative abundance of desert tortoises (Gopherus agassizii) on the Nevada Test Site (NTS). The abundance of tortoises on NTS was low to very low relative to other populations in the Mojave Desert. Sign of tortoises was found from 880 to 1,570 m elevation and was more abundant above 1,200 m than has been reported previously for Nevada. Tortoises were more abundant on NTS on the upper alluvial fans and slopes of mountains than in valley bottoms. They also were more common on or near limestone and dolomite mountains than on mountains of volcanic origin.

  13. DESERT ECOSYSTEMS: MAPPING, MONITORING & ASSESSMENT USING SATELLITE REMOTE SENSING

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. S. Arya

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available Desert ecosystems are unique but fragile ecosystems , mostly vulnerable to a variety of degradational processes like water erosion, vegetal degradation, salinity, wind erosion , water logging etc. Some researchers consider desertification to be a process of change, while others view it as the end result of a process of change. There is an urgent need to arrest the process of desertification and combat land degradation. Under the auspices of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD, Space Applications Centre, Ahmedabad has undertaken the task of mapping, monitoring and assessment of desertification carrying out pilot project in hot and cold desert regions in drylands on 1:50,000 scale followed by systematic Desertification Status Mappaing (DSM of India on 1:500,000 scale.

  14. |XAM SKYLORE OF THE KAROO DESERT, SOUTH AFRICA

    OpenAIRE

    Holbrook, J.; de Prada-Samper, J. Μ.

    2016-01-01

    The Square Kilometre Array (SKA) will be the largest radio telescope facility in Africa when it is completed which is estimated to be a decade into the future. The |Xam group of the San people of South Africa lived in the region of the Karoo Desert where the Square Kilometre Array is being built. Several European countries are part of the SKA collaboration (Spain, Sweden, Italy, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Portugal, Malta, France), Asian countries (China, India, Japan, and South Kore...

  15. Desert ‘trash’ : posthumanism, border struggles, and humanitarian politics

    OpenAIRE

    Squire, Vicki

    2014-01-01

    What is the political significance of humanitarian activist engagements with the discarded belongings of migrants? This article explores how bordering practices between states resonate with bordering practices between the human and non-human. It argues that attempts to transform ‘desert/ed trash’ into objects of value are nothing less than struggles over the very category of ‘the human’ itself. Focusing on humanitarian engagements with the objects that migrants leave behind across the Mexico-...

  16. Study on Biopesticidal Potential of Some Desert Plants.

    OpenAIRE

    Meera Srivastava; Amandeep Kaur Mann

    2013-01-01

    This study was conducted to determine the biopesticidal potential of extracts of some desert plants against mortality of three stored grain pests Tribolium castaneum Herbst., Rhizopertha dominica Fab. and Callasobruchus chinensis Linn. The study was done by treating them with various formulations of different parts (leaf, stem, root and fruit) of plants Aerva tomentosa Linn, Peganum harmala Linn. and Fagonia critica Linn. using ether extract, aqueous extract and aqueous suspension at various ...

  17. 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 redu...

  18. Impacts of feral horses on a desert environment

    OpenAIRE

    Hendrickson Larry E; Rubin Esther S; Atwill Edward A; Ostermann-Kelm Stacey D; Boyce Walter M

    2009-01-01

    Abstract Background Free-ranging horses (Equus caballus) in North America are considered to be feral animals since they are descendents of non-native domestic horses introduced to the continent. We conducted a study in a southern California desert to understand how feral horse movements and horse feces impacted this arid ecosystem. We evaluated five parameters susceptible to horse trampling: soil strength, vegetation cover, percent of nonnative vegetation, plant species diversity, and macroin...

  19. Density and diversity of the desert Arthropoda of Qatar

    OpenAIRE

    Abu Shama, F. T. [فيصل تاج الدين ابو شامة

    1997-01-01

    Density and diversity of arthropods were studied at different habitats of the Qatari desert. Diurnal sampling was conducted at two seasons of the year, the end of the dry season, at the beginning of autumn (October) in 1995-1996, and in spring (April) in 1996-1997. The habitats selected included land-depressions (roda), sand dunes (nijyan) and salt mud flats (sabkha). Variations in macroclimate were apparent in the records of air temperature, relative humidity, soil surface temperature and wi...

  20. The Mystery of the Gun Turret in the Desert

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hoffman, R. D. [Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States)

    2015-11-30

    The mystery of the gun turret in the desert began with an ingenious idea: to develop a reusable open-air line of sight diagnostic device to support LLNL’s early nuclear weapons development efforts. Obtained from the Mare Island Navy Shipyard (MINS) in January 1957, the gun turret traveled by ship to the Naval Construction Battalion base at Port Hueneme, California, and then by truck to Area 2 in the Yucca Flats valley at the Nevada Nuclear Security Site (NNSS).

  1. Corps G-2 Staff Competencies: A Desert Storm Case Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    2017-06-09

    need. Written accounts highlight challenges analyzing near-real-time information, producing updated analysis products, informing decision makers, and... Accounting Education.” Accounting Education 4, no. 1 (March):43-53. Cross, C. F. 1995. The Dragon Lady Meets the Challenge : The U-2 in Desert...Approved for Public Release; Distribution is Unlimited 13. SUPPLEMENTARY NOTES An Army Warfighting Challenge asks what Soldier, leader, and unit

  2. 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.

  3. Variation in annual clutch phenology of desert tortoises (Gopherus morafkai) in the Sonoran Desert of Arizona

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lovich, Jeffrey E.; Averill-Murray, Roy C.; Agha, Mickey; Ennen, Joshua R.; Austin, Meaghan

    2017-01-01

    The phenology of egg production and oviposition in organisms affects survival and development of neonates and thus, both offspring and maternal fitness. In addition, in organisms with environmental sex determination, clutch phenology can affect hatchling sex ratios with attendant effects on population demography. The rapid rate of contemporary climate change might disrupt reproductive phenologies that evolved to match environmental conditions. To better understand the response of clutch phenology to annual and long-term changes in climate, we studied a population of Sonoran Desert Tortoises (Gopherus morafkai) in Arizona in 1993 and 1997–2005, specifically quantifying three phenophases, including (1) the estimated time of appearance of shelled eggs in females, (2) the estimated time that eggs were last visible in X-radiographs, and (3) the duration of the interval between the first two events. The mean date for appearance of shelled eggs was 6 June, and the mean date they were last visible was 26 June. After controlling for individual female effects, these dates were different among years. The total number of days that eggs were visible across all females within a year differed among years, but the mean duration of time that clutches were visible, after controlling for individual female effects, was similar among years. Three of 18 females exhibited interannual egg retention on 5 occasions from 52 clutches. Although G. morafkai ovulates only one clutch per year, they might oviposit up to two because of interannual egg retention. Most females produced shelled eggs through heat-unit accumulation achieving 8.3 degree days within a 14-d moving average. The ability to vary the timing of egg formation and oviposition might buffer G. morafkai from some of the effects of predicted increases in temperatures, but species-specific information on developmental temperatures and nesting behavior are needed to determine whether or not the species will be able to produce viable

  4. Interannual variations of the Gobi Desert area from 1982-1999

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, Fangfang; Price, Kevin P.; Ellis, James; Feddema, Johannes J.

    2003-07-01

    There continues to be controversies among scientists whether humans are contributing to land degradation (desertification) in arid and semi-arid regions of the world. One area of considerable interest is the Gobi desert of central Asia, which is one of the largest deserts on Earth. The Gobi Desert is of particular value for addressing this question because it is divided by two countries that employ vastly different land management practices. Land use in China is high intensity and in Mongolia land use is of low intensity. In this study, climate and satellite remotely sensed data from 1982-1999 were used to investigate interannual variations in the areal extent the Gobi Desert boundary. Our results show substantial year-to-year variations in the size of the Gobi desert which was strongly correlated with annual precipitation (R2 = 0.81, PGobi Desert boundary response to interannual climatic variation will require studies extended over a longer time period.

  5. 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.

  6. Study of the microwave emissivity characteristics over Gobi Desert

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yubao, Qiu; Lijuan, Shi; Wenbo, Wu

    2014-01-01

    The microwave emissivity represents the capacity of the thermal radiation of the surface, and it is the significant parameter for understanding the geophysical processes such as surface energy budget and surface radiation. Different land covers have different emissivity properties, and the Gobi Desert in Central Asia seriously impact the sandstorms occur and develop in China, because of its special geographical environment and surface soil characteristics. In this study half-month averaged microwave emissivity from March 2003 to February 2004 over the Gobi Desert has been estimated. Emissivities in this area at different frequencies, polarization and their seasonal variations are discussed respectively. The results showed that emissivity polarization difference decrease as the frequency increases, and the polarization difference is large (0.03–0.127). The H polarization emissivity increases with increasing frequency, but the V-polarized microwave emissivity is reduced with increasing frequency because of the body scattering. In winter, emissivity decreases sharply in snow covered area, especially for higher frequencies (such as 89GHz). In addition, we compared emissivity with MODIS NDVI data at the same time in the Gobi Desert, and the results indicate that NDVI derived the good negative correlation with microwave emissivity polarization difference at 37GHz

  7. 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.)

  8. Energy-efficiency urban center in the Egyptian desert

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Albis, A.H.A.

    1985-01-01

    This research effort is concerned with the identification and utilization of practical design guidelines to meet the demand for guidance in innovative planning and building design for Egyptian desert conditions. An energy-conscious design can be realized with a minimum expenditure of exhaustible energy resources and maximum utilization of the natural energies for cooling and heating. The energy design guidelines developed will be applied to an Urban Center, on a site selected to alleviate the stress on Cairo, which has been suffering for over two decades from housing shortages due to overpopulation. Design criteria to meet the challenges of this research include: neighborhood planning; orientation; building details; shading; colors of walls and roofs; materials; and massing configuration. In this research, desert construction and its aspects, use of building materials, approaches to energy conservation, and architectural principles for neighborhood planning are identified. The human requirement for thermal comfort specific to desert environments are analyzed and related to diurnal and annual patterns of outdoor conditions, and to the potential for modifying indoor thermal conditions by designs suitable to prevailing climatic conditions.

  9. Transitory microbial habitat in the hyperarid Atacama Desert

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schulze-Makuch, Dirk; Wagner, Dirk; Kounaves, Samuel P.; Mangelsdorf, Kai; Devine, Kevin G.; de Vera, Jean-Pierre; Schmitt-Kopplin, Philippe; Grossart, Hans-Peter; Parro, Victor; Kaupenjohann, Martin; Galy, Albert; Schneider, Beate; Airo, Alessandro; Frösler, Jan; Davila, Alfonso F.; Arens, Felix L.; Cáceres, Luis; Solís Cornejo, Francisco; Carrizo, Daniel; Dartnell, Lewis; DiRuggiero, Jocelyne; Flury, Markus; Ganzert, Lars; Gessner, Mark O.; Grathwohl, Peter; Guan, Lisa; Heinz, Jacob; Hess, Matthias; Keppler, Frank; Maus, Deborah; McKay, Christopher P.; Meckenstock, Rainer U.; Montgomery, Wren; Oberlin, Elizabeth A.; Probst, Alexander J.; Sáenz, Johan S.; Sattler, Tobias; Schirmack, Janosch; Sephton, Mark A.; Schloter, Michael; Uhl, Jenny; Valenzuela, Bernardita; Vestergaard, Gisle; Wörmer, Lars; Zamorano, Pedro

    2018-03-01

    Traces of life are nearly ubiquitous on Earth. However, a central unresolved question is whether these traces always indicate an active microbial community or whether, in extreme environments, such as hyperarid deserts, they instead reflect just dormant or dead cells. Although microbial biomass and diversity decrease with increasing aridity in the Atacama Desert, we provide multiple lines of evidence for the presence of an at times metabolically active, microbial community in one of the driest places on Earth. We base this observation on four major lines of evidence: (i) a physico-chemical characterization of the soil habitability after an exceptional rain event, (ii) identified biomolecules indicative of potentially active cells [e.g., presence of ATP, phospholipid fatty acids (PLFAs), metabolites, and enzymatic activity], (iii) measurements of in situ replication rates of genomes of uncultivated bacteria reconstructed from selected samples, and (iv) microbial community patterns specific to soil parameters and depths. We infer that the microbial populations have undergone selection and adaptation in response to their specific soil microenvironment and in particular to the degree of aridity. Collectively, our results highlight that even the hyperarid Atacama Desert can provide a habitable environment for microorganisms that allows them to become metabolically active following an episodic increase in moisture and that once it decreases, so does the activity of the microbiota. These results have implications for the prospect of life on other planets such as Mars, which has transitioned from an earlier wetter environment to today’s extreme hyperaridity.

  10. 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.

  11. [Research advance in seed germination of desert woody plants].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chang, Wei; Wu, Jian-guo; Liu, Yan-hong

    2007-02-01

    This paper reviewed the research methods of desert woody plants seed germination, and the effects of internal and external ecological factors on it. Most researchers use incubator and artificial climate chamber to dispose the seeds, while field investigation was few involved. Seed dormancy is the important physiological factor affecting germination, while seed size, mass and color are closely correlated with its maturity and vigor. The poor permeability of seed capsule is a barrier that restrains the germination, which can be weakened or eliminated by shaving, cutting, treating with low temperature, and dipping in chemical reagent, etc. Seed water content has a close correlation with its storage life and water-absorbing capability. Suitable temperature is the prerequisite of seed germination, while changing temperature can accelerate the germination. Soil moisture content is a limiting factor, while illumination is not so essential to the seed germination of most desert woody plants. Sand-burying plays an important role in the seed germination through regulating illumination, temperature, and soil moisture content. Salinity stress restrains the seed germination of desert woody plants observably. In further studies, the effects of multi-factors and the eco-physiological and molecular biological mechanisms of germination should be more concerned.

  12. 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.

  13. diurnal and seasonal water relations of the desert phreatophyte prosopis-glandulosa (honey mesquite) in the Sonoran Desert of California

    OpenAIRE

    Nilsen, E. T.; Sharifi, M. R.; Rundel, P. W.; Jarrell, W. M.; Virginia, R. A.

    1983-01-01

    Diurnal and Seasonal water relations were monitored in a population of Prosopis glandulosa var. torreyana in the Sonoran Desert of southern California. Prosopis glandulosa at this research site acquired its water from a ground water source 4-6 m deep. Measurements of diurnal and seasonal cycles of aboveground environmental conditions, soil moisture, and soil water potential (to 6 m depth) were taken to ascertain environmental water availability and water stress. Leaf water potential, leaf con...

  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. 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

  16. 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.

  17. Tritium water as a marker for the measurement of body water turnover rates in desert livestock, rodent and bird species

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Khan, M.S.; Ghosh, P.K.; Bohra, R.C.

    1990-01-01

    Tritiated water has been used for estimating body water turnover rates (BWTRs) in desert livestock, rodent and birds. BWTRs in relation to adaption of these animal species to desert environment have been discussed. (author). 5 refs., 2 tabs

  18. Risk assessment of desert pollution on composite high voltage insulators.

    Science.gov (United States)

    El-Shahat, Mohammed; Anis, Hussein

    2014-09-01

    Transmission lines located in the desert are subjected to desert climate, one of whose features is sandstorms. With long accumulation of sand and with the advent of moisture from rain, ambient humidity and dew, a conductive layer forms and the subsequent leakage current may lead to surface discharge, which may shorten the insulator life or lead to flashover thus interrupting the power supply. Strategically erected power lines in the Egyptian Sinai desert are typically subject to such a risk, where sandstorms are known to be common especially in the spring. In view of the very high cost of insulator cleaning operation, composite (silicon rubber) insulators are nominated to replace ceramic insulators on transmission lines in Sinai. This paper examines the flow of leakage current on sand-polluted composite insulators, which in turn enables a risk assessment of insulator failure. The study uses realistic data compiled and reported in an earlier research project about Sinai, which primarily included grain sizes of polluting sand as well as their salinity content. The paper also uses as a case study an ABB-designed composite insulator. A three-dimensional finite element technique is used to simulate the insulator and seek the potential and electric field distribution as well as the resulting leakage current flow on its polluted surface. A novel method is used to derive the probabilistic features of the insulator's leakage current, which in turn enables a risk assessment of insulator failure. This study is expected to help in critically assessing - and thus justifying - the use of this type of insulators in Sinai and similar critical areas.

  19. Reduced wind speed improves plant growth in a desert city.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christofer Bang

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available The often dramatic effects of urbanization on community and ecosystem properties, such as primary productivity, abundances, and diversity are now well-established. In most cities local primary productivity increases and this extra energy flows upwards to alter diversity and relative abundances in higher trophic levels. The abiotic mechanisms thought to be responsible for increases in urban productivity are altered temperatures and light regimes, and increased nutrient and water inputs. However, another abiotic factor, wind speed, is also influenced by urbanization and well known for altering primary productivity in agricultural systems. Wind effects on primary productivity have heretofore not been studied in the context of urbanization.We designed a field experiment to test if increased plant growth often observed in cities is explained by the sheltering effects of built structures. Wind speed was reduced by protecting Encelia farinosa (brittlebush plants in urban, desert remnant and outlying desert localities via windbreaks while controlling for water availability and nutrient content. In all three habitats, we compared E. farinosa growth when protected by experimental windbreaks and in the open. E. farinosa plants protected against ambient wind in the desert and remnant areas grew faster in terms of biomass and height than exposed plants. As predicted, sheltered plants did not differ from unprotected plants in urban areas where wind speed is already reduced.Our results indicate that reductions in wind speed due to built structures in cities contribute to increased plant productivity and thus also to changes in abundances and diversity of higher trophic levels. Our study emphasizes the need to incorporate wind speed in future urban ecological studies, as well as in planning for green space and sustainable cities.

  20. Reduced wind speed improves plant growth in a desert city.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bang, Christofer; Sabo, John L; Faeth, Stanley H

    2010-06-10

    The often dramatic effects of urbanization on community and ecosystem properties, such as primary productivity, abundances, and diversity are now well-established. In most cities local primary productivity increases and this extra energy flows upwards to alter diversity and relative abundances in higher trophic levels. The abiotic mechanisms thought to be responsible for increases in urban productivity are altered temperatures and light regimes, and increased nutrient and water inputs. However, another abiotic factor, wind speed, is also influenced by urbanization and well known for altering primary productivity in agricultural systems. Wind effects on primary productivity have heretofore not been studied in the context of urbanization. We designed a field experiment to test if increased plant growth often observed in cities is explained by the sheltering effects of built structures. Wind speed was reduced by protecting Encelia farinosa (brittlebush) plants in urban, desert remnant and outlying desert localities via windbreaks while controlling for water availability and nutrient content. In all three habitats, we compared E. farinosa growth when protected by experimental windbreaks and in the open. E. farinosa plants protected against ambient wind in the desert and remnant areas grew faster in terms of biomass and height than exposed plants. As predicted, sheltered plants did not differ from unprotected plants in urban areas where wind speed is already reduced. Our results indicate that reductions in wind speed due to built structures in cities contribute to increased plant productivity and thus also to changes in abundances and diversity of higher trophic levels. Our study emphasizes the need to incorporate wind speed in future urban ecological studies, as well as in planning for green space and sustainable cities.

  1. Spectral identification and quantification of salts in the Atacama Desert

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harris, J. K.; Cousins, C. R.; Claire, M. W.

    2016-10-01

    Salt minerals are an important natural resource. The ability to quickly and remotely identify and quantify salt deposits and salt contaminated soils and sands is therefore a priority goal for the various industries and agencies that utilise salts. The advent of global hyperspectral imagery from instruments such as Hyperion on NASA's Earth-Observing 1 satellite has opened up a new source of data that can potentially be used for just this task. This study aims to assess the ability of Visible and Near Infrared (VNIR) spectroscopy to identify and quantify salt minerals through the use of spectral mixture analysis. The surface and near-surface soils of the Atacama Desert in Chile contain a variety of well-studied salts, which together with low cloud coverage, and high aridity, makes this region an ideal testbed for this technique. Two forms of spectral data ranging 0.35 - 2.5 μm were collected: laboratory spectra acquired using an ASD FieldSpec Pro instrument on samples from four locations in the Atacama desert known to have surface concentrations of sulfates, nitrates, chlorides and perchlorates; and images from the EO-1 satellite's Hyperion instrument taken over the same four locations. Mineral identifications and abundances were confirmed using quantitative XRD of the physical samples. Spectral endmembers were extracted from within the laboratory and Hyperion spectral datasets and together with additional spectral library endmembers fed into a linear mixture model. The resulting identification and abundances from both dataset types were verified against the sample XRD values. Issues of spectral scale, SNR and how different mineral spectra interact are considered, and the utility of VNIR spectroscopy and Hyperion in particular for mapping specific salt concentrations in desert environments is established. Overall, SMA was successful at estimating abundances of sulfate minerals, particularly calcium sulfate, from both hyperspectral image and laboratory sample spectra

  2. The corrosive well waters of Egypt's western desert

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clarke, Frank Eldridge

    1979-01-01

    The discovery that ground waters of Egypt's Western Desert are highly corrosive is lost in antiquity. Inhabitants of the oases have been aware of the troublesome property for many decades and early investigators mention it in their reports concerning the area. Introduction of modern well-drilling techniques and replacements of native wood casing with steel during the 20th century increased corrosion problems and, in what is called the New Valley Project, led to an intense search for causes and corrective treatments. This revealed that extreme corrosiveness results from combined effects of relatively acidic waters with significant concentrations of destructive sulfide ion; unfavorable ratios of sulfate and chloride to less aggressive ions; mineral equilibria and electrode potential which hinder formation of protective films; relative high chemical reaction rates because of abnormal temperatures, and high surface velocities related to well design. There is general agreement among investigators that conventional corrosion control methods such as coating metal surfaces, chemical treatment of the water, and electrolytic protection with impressed current and sacrificial electrodes are ineffective or impracticable for wells in the Western Desert's New Valley. Thus, control must be sought through the use of materials more resistant to corrosion than plain carbon steel wherever well screens and casings are necessary. Of the alternatives considered, stainless steel appears to. be the most promising where high strength and long-term services are required and the alloy's relatively high cost is acceptable. Epoxy resin-bonded fiberglass and wood appear to be practicable, relatively inexpensive alternatives for installations which do. not exceed their strength limitations. Other materials such as high strength aluminum and Monel Metal have shown sufficient promise to. merit their consideration in particular locations and uses. The limited experience with pumping in these desert

  3. 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.

  4. Transitory microbial habitat in the hyperarid Atacama Desert.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schulze-Makuch, Dirk; Wagner, Dirk; Kounaves, Samuel P; Mangelsdorf, Kai; Devine, Kevin G; de Vera, Jean-Pierre; Schmitt-Kopplin, Philippe; Grossart, Hans-Peter; Parro, Victor; Kaupenjohann, Martin; Galy, Albert; Schneider, Beate; Airo, Alessandro; Frösler, Jan; Davila, Alfonso F; Arens, Felix L; Cáceres, Luis; Cornejo, Francisco Solís; Carrizo, Daniel; Dartnell, Lewis; DiRuggiero, Jocelyne; Flury, Markus; Ganzert, Lars; Gessner, Mark O; Grathwohl, Peter; Guan, Lisa; Heinz, Jacob; Hess, Matthias; Keppler, Frank; Maus, Deborah; McKay, Christopher P; Meckenstock, Rainer U; Montgomery, Wren; Oberlin, Elizabeth A; Probst, Alexander J; Sáenz, Johan S; Sattler, Tobias; Schirmack, Janosch; Sephton, Mark A; Schloter, Michael; Uhl, Jenny; Valenzuela, Bernardita; Vestergaard, Gisle; Wörmer, Lars; Zamorano, Pedro

    2018-03-13

    Traces of life are nearly ubiquitous on Earth. However, a central unresolved question is whether these traces always indicate an active microbial community or whether, in extreme environments, such as hyperarid deserts, they instead reflect just dormant or dead cells. Although microbial biomass and diversity decrease with increasing aridity in the Atacama Desert, we provide multiple lines of evidence for the presence of an at times metabolically active, microbial community in one of the driest places on Earth. We base this observation on four major lines of evidence: ( i ) a physico-chemical characterization of the soil habitability after an exceptional rain event, ( ii ) identified biomolecules indicative of potentially active cells [e.g., presence of ATP, phospholipid fatty acids (PLFAs), metabolites, and enzymatic activity], ( iii ) measurements of in situ replication rates of genomes of uncultivated bacteria reconstructed from selected samples, and ( iv ) microbial community patterns specific to soil parameters and depths. We infer that the microbial populations have undergone selection and adaptation in response to their specific soil microenvironment and in particular to the degree of aridity. Collectively, our results highlight that even the hyperarid Atacama Desert can provide a habitable environment for microorganisms that allows them to become metabolically active following an episodic increase in moisture and that once it decreases, so does the activity of the microbiota. These results have implications for the prospect of life on other planets such as Mars, which has transitioned from an earlier wetter environment to today's extreme hyperaridity. Copyright © 2018 the Author(s). Published by PNAS.

  5. Diversity and Community Composition of Vertebrates in Desert River Habitats

    Science.gov (United States)

    Free, C. L.; Baxter, G. S.; Dickman, C. R.; Lisle, A.; Leung, L. K.-P.

    2015-01-01

    Animal species are seldom distributed evenly at either local or larger spatial scales, and instead tend to aggregate in sites that meet their resource requirements and maximise fitness. This tendency is likely to be especially marked in arid regions where species could be expected to concentrate at resource-rich oases. In this study, we first test the hypothesis that productive riparian sites in arid Australia support higher vertebrate diversity than other desert habitats, and then elucidate the habitats selected by different species. We addressed the first aim by examining the diversity and composition of vertebrate assemblages inhabiting the Field River and adjacent sand dunes in the Simpson Desert, western Queensland, over a period of two and a half years. The second aim was addressed by examining species composition in riparian and sand dune habitats in dry and wet years. Vertebrate species richness was estimated to be highest (54 species) in the riverine habitats and lowest on the surrounding dune habitats (45 species). The riverine habitats had different species pools compared to the dune habitats. Several species, including the agamid Gowidon longirostris and tree frog Litoria rubella, inhabited the riverine habitats exclusively, while others such as the skinks Ctenotus ariadnae and C. dux were captured only in the dune habitats. The results suggest that, on a local scale, diversity is higher along riparian corridors and that riparian woodland is important for tree-dependent species. Further, the distribution of some species, such as Mus musculus, may be governed by environmental variables (e.g. soil moisture) associated with riparian corridors that are not available in the surrounding desert environment. We conclude that inland river systems may be often of high conservation value, and that management should be initiated where possible to alleviate threats to their continued functioning. PMID:26637127

  6. Sympatric cattle grazing and desert bighorn sheep foraging

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garrison, Kyle R.; Cain, James W.; Rominger, Eric M.; Goldstein, Elise J.

    2015-01-01

    Foraging behavior affects animal fitness and is largely dictated by the resources available to an animal. Understanding factors that affect forage resources is important for conservation and management of wildlife. Cattle sympatry is proposed to limit desert bighorn population performance, but few studies have quantified the effect of cattle foraging on bighorn forage resources or foraging behavior by desert bighorn. We estimated forage biomass for desert bighorn sheep in 2 mountain ranges: the cattle-grazed Caballo Mountains and the ungrazed San Andres Mountains, New Mexico. We recorded foraging bout efficiency of adult females by recording feeding time/step while foraging, and activity budgets of 3 age-sex classes (i.e., adult males, adult females, yearlings). We also estimated forage biomass at sites where bighorn were observed foraging. We expected lower forage biomass in the cattle-grazed Caballo range than in the ungrazed San Andres range and lower biomass at cattle-accessible versus inaccessible areas within the Caballo range. We predicted bighorn would be less efficient foragers in the Caballo range. Groundcover forage biomass was low in both ranges throughout the study (Jun 2012–Nov 2013). Browse biomass, however, was 4.7 times lower in the Caballo range versus the San Andres range. Bighorn in the Caballo range exhibited greater overall daily travel time, presumably to locate areas of higher forage abundance. By selecting areas with greater forage abundance, adult females in the Caballo range exhibited foraging bout efficiency similar to their San Andres counterparts but lower overall daily browsing time. We did not find a significant reduction in forage biomass at cattle-accessible areas in the Caballo range. Only the most rugged areas in the Caballo range had abundant forage, potentially a result of intensive historical livestock use in less rugged areas. Forage conditions in the Caballo range apparently force bighorn to increase foraging effort by

  7. Desert bighorn sheep lambing habitat: Parturition, nursery, and predation sites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karsch, Rebekah C.; Cain, James W.; Rominger, Eric M.; Goldstein, Elise J.

    2016-01-01

    Fitness of female ungulates is determined by neonate survival and lifetime reproductive success. Therefore, adult female ungulates should adopt behaviors and habitat selection patterns that enhance survival of neonates during parturition and lactation. Parturition site location may play an important role in neonatal mortality of desert bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis mexicana) when lambs are especially vulnerable to predation, but parturition sites are rarely documented for this species. Our objectives were to assess environmental characteristics at desert bighorn parturition, lamb nursery, and predation sites and to assess differences in habitat characteristics between parturition sites and nursery group sites, and predation sites and nursery group sites. We used vaginal implant transmitters (VITs) to identify parturition sites and capture neonates. We then compared elevation, slope, terrain ruggedness, and visibility at parturition, nursery, and lamb predation sites with paired random sites and compared characteristics of parturition sites and lamb predation sites to those of nursery sites. When compared to random sites, odds of a site being a parturition site were highest at intermediate slopes and decreased with increasing female visibility. Odds of a site being a predation site increased with decreasing visibility. When compared to nursery group sites, odds of a site being a parturition site had a quadratic relationship with elevation and slope, with odds being highest at intermediate elevations and intermediate slopes. When we compared predation sites to nursery sites, odds of a site being a predation were highest at low elevation areas with high visibility and high elevation areas with low visibility likely because of differences in hunting strategies of coyote (Canis latrans) and puma (Puma concolor). Parturition sites were lower in elevation and slope than nursery sites. Understanding selection of parturition sites by adult females and how habitat

  8. 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.

  9. 77 FR 11990 - Revisions to the California State Implementation Plan, Mojave Desert Air Quality Management...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-02-28

    ... the California State Implementation Plan, Mojave Desert Air Quality Management District and Yolo-Solano Air Quality Management District AGENCY: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). ACTION: Proposed rule. SUMMARY: EPA is proposing to approve revisions to the Mojave Desert Air Quality Management...

  10. 77 FR 11992 - Revisions to the California State Implementation Plan, Mojave Desert Air Quality Management District

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-02-28

    ... 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...,'' Northeast States for Coordinated Air Use Management, December 2000. B. Does the rule meet the evaluation...

  11. 76 FR 29182 - Revisions to the California State Implementation Plan, Mojave Desert Air Quality Management District

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-05-20

    ... ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R09-OAR-2011-0030; FRL-9308-4] Revisions to the California State Implementation Plan, Mojave Desert Air Quality Management District AGENCY... the Mojave Desert Air Quality Management District (MDAQMD) portion of the California State...

  12. 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...

  13. Effects of climate on the productivity of desert truffles beneath hyper-arid conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bradai, Lyès; Bissati, Samia; Chenchouni, Haroun; Amrani, Khaled

    2015-07-01

    Desert truffles are edible hypogenous fungi that are very well adapted to conditions of aridity in arid and semi-arid regions. This study aims to highlight the influence of climatic factors on the productivity of desert truffles under hyper-arid climatic conditions of the Sahara Desert in Algeria, with assumptions that the more varying climatic factors, mainly rainfall, are more crucial for the development and production of desert truffles. At seven separate sites, desert truffles were collected by systematic sampling between 2006 and 2012. The effects of climate parameters of each site on the productivities (g/ha/year) of desert truffle species were tested using generalized linear models (GLMs). The annual mean of the total production recorded for all three harvested species ( Terfezia arenaria, Terfezia claveryi, and Tirmania nivea) was 785.43 ± 743.39 g/ha. Tirmania nivea was commonly present over the sampled sites with an occurrence of 70 ± 10.1 %. GLMs revealed that total and specific productivities were closely positively related to autumnal precipitations occurring during October-December, which is the critical pre-breeding period for both desert truffles and host plant species. The other climatic parameters have statistically no effect on the annual variation of desert truffle productivity.

  14. 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...

  15. 76 FR 51053 - Meeting of the California Desert District Advisory Council

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-08-17

    ... California Desert District Advisory Council SUMMARY: Notice is hereby given, in accordance with Public Laws 92-463 and 94-579, that the California Desert District Advisory Council (DAC) to the Bureau of Land... field trip on Friday, Sept. 9, that will include Sawtooth Canyon Campground and El Mirage Dry Lake Off...

  16. Wilderness restoration: Bureau of Land Management and the Student Conservation Association in the California Desert District

    Science.gov (United States)

    J. Dan Abbe

    2007-01-01

    The California Desert Protection Act of 1994 was the largest park and wilderness legislation passed in the Lower 48 States since the Wilderness Act of 1964. It designated three national parks and 69 Bureau of Land Management wilderness areas. The California Desert and Wilderness Restoration Project is working to restore and revitalize these lands through a public/...

  17. 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...

  18. 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...

  19. 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...

  20. 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...

  1. 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...

  2. Clutch desertion and re-nesting in pied flycatchers: an experiment with progressive clutch removal

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bauchau, V.; Seinen, I.

    1997-01-01

    Clutch desertion and re-nesting are important components of fitness when predation is frequent. In nestbox populations however, nest predation and desertion are rare but can be studied by experimental manipulations. We experimentally reduced clutches of pied flycatcher, Ficedula hypoleuca, by

  3. Coyote Creek (San Diego County) Management and Restoration at Anza-Borrego Desert State Park

    Science.gov (United States)

    David H. Van Cleve; Lyann A. Comrack; Wier Harold A.

    1989-01-01

    Coyote Creek, along with its associated watershed in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, is an extremely rich riparian system in the Colorado Desert of California. It provides habitat for the least Bell's vireo (Vireo bellii pusillus), is used as a critical summer watering site for the peninsular bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis cremnobates), and was...

  4. Hydrological indications of aeolian salts in mid-latitude deserts of ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Figure S2. Sketch maps of the sedimentary profiles studied in this study. (a) Lacustrine sediments interbedded by aeolian sand layers with 14C ages at the Arerjilin-I section in the Badanjilin Desert, (b) interbedding of aeolian and lacustrine deposits and their OSL ages at the Tazhong-XIII section in the Taklamakan Desert, ...

  5. 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.

  6. 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...

  7. 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.

  8. 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...

  9. 77 FR 67662 - Notice of Availability of the Desert Harvest Solar Project Final Environmental Impact Statement...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-11-13

    ... DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Bureau of Land Management [LLCAD06000 L51010000.FX0000.LVRWB12B4920 CACA 49491] Notice of Availability of the Desert Harvest Solar Project Final Environmental Impact Statement, Riverside County, CA and the Proposed California Desert Conservation Area Plan Amendment AGENCY...

  10. Responses of desert bighorn sheep to increased human recreation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Papouchis, C.M.; Singer, F.J.; Sloan, W.B.

    2001-01-01

    Human recreation has been implicated in the decline of several populations of desert bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis nelsoni). Managers are concerned about the impact of increased recreation on desert bighorn sheep in Canyonlands National Park (NP), Utah, USA, where visitation increased 325% from 1979 to 1994. We compared behavioral responses of sheep to recreational activity between a low visitor use area and a high visitor use area during 1993 and 1994 by observing behavioral responses, distances moved, and duration of responses to vehicles, mountain bikers, and humans on foot. Hikers caused the most severe responses in desert bighorn sheep (animals fled in 61% of encounters), followed by vehicles (17% fled) and mountain bikers (6% fled), apparently because hikers were more likely to be in unpredictable locations and often directly approached sheep. We observed considerable individual heterogeneity in responses of bighorn sheep to the greater human use: some animals lived close to the road corridor and were apparently habituated to the human activities, but other animals avoided the road corridor. In the high-use area, we observed 3 radiocollared sheep that lived closer to the road than expected and found evidence of fewer responses to vehicles by females in spring, less response time of all sheep to vehicles in spring, and fewer responses to mountain bikers compared to the low-use area. Overall, there was an avoidance of the road corridor by most other bighorn sheep in the high-use area where all animals, on average, were found 39% farther from roads (490 ± 19 m vs. 354 ± 36 m) than in the low-use area. This avoidance of the road corridor by some animals represented 15% less use of potential suitable habitat in the high-use area over the low-use area. Increased sensitivity to hikers in the high-use area was suggested by a greater responsiveness by males in autumn and greater distance fled by females in spring. Responses of bighorn sheep were greater when human

  11. Science synergism study for EOS on evolution of desert surfaces

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farr, Tom G.

    1987-01-01

    The effectiveness of EOS data as a basis for the study of desert surfaces' evolution is presently evaluated for both long and short term geomorphic evolution. Attention is given to the usefulness of such sensor systems planned for EOS as MODIS for regional vegetation distribution/variability monitoring, HIRIS for visible-near IR observations, TIMS for lithological identification, HMMR and SSMI for soil characteristics, LASA for atmospheric profiles, SAR for surface roughness, ALT for two-dimensional topography, ACR for the calibration of imaging sensors, and ERBE for climate modeling and regional surface albedo variation determinations.

  12. Robot Science Autonomy in the Atacama Desert and Beyond

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thompson, David R.; Wettergreen, David S.

    2013-01-01

    Science-guided autonomy augments rovers with reasoning to make observations and take actions related to the objectives of scientific exploration. When rovers can directly interpret instrument measurements then scientific goals can inform and adapt ongoing navigation decisions. These autonomous explorers will make better scientific observations and collect massive, accurate datasets. In current astrobiology studies in the Atacama Desert we are applying algorithms for science autonomy to choose effective observations and measurements. Rovers are able to decide when and where to take follow-up actions that deepen scientific understanding. These techniques apply to planetary rovers, which we can illustrate with algorithms now used by Mars rovers and by discussing future missions.

  13. Impact of Precipitation Fluctuation on Desert-Grassland ANPP

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Liangxu Liu

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Precipitation change has significantly influenced annual net primary productivity (ANPP at either annual or seasonal scales in desert steppes in arid and semi-arid regions. In order to reveal the process of precipitation driving ANPP at different time scales, responses of different ANPP levels to the inter-annual and intra-annual precipitation fluctuations were analyzed. ANPP was reversed by building a ground reflectance spectrum model, from 2000 to 2015, using the normalized differential vegetation index of the Moderate-Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS-NDVI data at 250 m × 250 m spatial resolution. Since the description of the differently expressing forms of precipitation are not sufficient in former studies in order to overcome the deficiency of former studies, in this study, intra-annual precipitation fluctuations were analyzed not only with precipitation of May–August, June–August, July–August, and August, respectively, which have direct influence on vegetation productivity within the year, but quantitative description, vector precipitation (R, concentration ratio (Cd, and concentration period (D, were also used to describe the overall characteristics of intra-annual precipitation fluctuations. The concentration ratio and the maximum precipitation period of the intra-annual precipitation were represented by using monthly precipitation. The results showed that: (1 in the period from 1971 to 2015, the maximum annual precipitation is 3.76 times that of the minimum in the Urat desert steppe; (2 vector precipitation is more significantly related to ANPP (r = 0.7724, p = 0.000 compared to meteorological annual precipitation and real annual precipitation influence; and (3 annual precipitation is almost concentrated in 5–8 months and monthly precipitation accumulation has significantly effected ANPP, especially in the period of June–August, since the vegetation composition in the study area was mainly sub-shrubs and perennial

  14. Geophysical Reservoir Evaluation of Obaiyed Field, Western Desert, Egypt

    OpenAIRE

    Farag, Mohamed Ibrahim Abdel-Fattah Ibrahim

    2010-01-01

    Die Obaiyed-Gaslagerstätte liegt in der westlichen Wüste Ägyptens, etwa 50 km südlich der Mittelmeerküste. Das produzierte Gas entstammt dem oberen Safa-Member der Khatatba Formation (Mitteljura). Das obere Safa Reservoir ist zu einem wichtigen Ziel in der Erforschung des Obaiyed-Feldes geworden und hat dazu beigetragen, die Exploration im nordwestlichen Teil der Western Desert in Ägypten neu zu beleben. Daher ist das Hauptziel dieser Arbeit ist die Bewertung des Kohlenwasserstoff-Potentials ...

  15. Atmospheric movement of microorganisms in clouds of desert dust and implications for human health

    Science.gov (United States)

    Griffin, Dale W.

    2007-01-01

    Billions of tons of desert dust move through the atmosphere each year. The primary source regions, which include the Sahara and Sahel regions of North Africa and the Gobi and Takla Makan regions of Asia, are capable of dispersing significant quantities of desert dust across the traditionally viewed oceanic barriers. While a considerable amount of research by scientists has addressed atmospheric pathways and aerosol chemistry, very few studies to determine the numbers and types of microorganisms transported within these desert dust clouds and the roles that they may play in human health have been conducted. This review is a summary of the current state of knowledge of desert dust microbiology and the health impact that desert dust and its microbial constituents may have in downwind environments both close to and far from their sources.

  16. 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

  17. NASA's Desert RATS Science Backroom: Remotely Supporting Planetary Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cohen, Barbara A.; Eppler, Dean; Gruener, John; Horz, Fred; Ming, Doug; Yingst, R. Aileen

    2012-01-01

    NASA's Desert Research and Technology Studies (Desert RATS) is a multi-year series of tests designed to exercise planetary surface hardware and operations in conditions where long-distance, multi-day roving is achievable. In recent years, a D-RATS science backroom has conducted science operations and tested specific operational approaches. Approaches from the Apollo, Mars Exploration Rovers and Phoenix missions were merged to become the baseline for these tests. In 2010, six days of lunar-analog traverse operations were conducted during each week of the 2-week test, with three traverse days each week conducted with voice and data communications continuously available, and three traverse days conducted with only two 1-hour communications periods per day. In 2011, a variety of exploration science scenarios that tested operations for a near-earth asteroid using several small exploration vehicles and a single habitat. Communications between the ground and the crew in the field used a 50-second one-way delay, while communications between crewmembers in the exploration vehicles and the habitat were instantaneous. Within these frameworks, the team evaluated integrated science operations management using real-time science operations to oversee daily crew activities, and strategic level evaluations of science data and daily traverse results. Exploration scenarios for Mars may include architectural similarities such as crew in a habitat communicating with crew in a vehicle, but significantly more autonomy will have to be given to the crew rather than step-by-step interaction with a science backroom on Earth.

  18. Radon concentration measurements in the desert caves of Saudi Arabia

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Al-Mustafa, Hanan; Al-Jarallah, M.I.; Fazal-ur-Rehman; Abu-Jarad, F.

    2005-01-01

    Beneath the harsh deserts of Saudi Arabia lie dark chambers and complex mazes filled with strange shapes and wondrous beauty. Radon concentration measurements have been carried out in the desert caves of Al-Somman Plateau in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia. Passive radon dosimeters, based on alpha particle etch track detectors with an inlet filter, were used in this study. A total of 59 dosimeters were placed in five caves for a period of six months. Out of 59 dosimeters, 37 could be collected for analysis. Measurements showed significant variations in radon concentrations in caves depending upon their natural ventilation. The results of the study show that the average radon concentration in the different caves ranges from 74 up to 451Bqm -3 . The average radon concentration in four of the caves was low in the range 74-114Bqm -3 . However, one cave showed an average radon concentration of 451Bqm -3 . Radon is not a problem for tourists in the majority of caves. However, sometimes it may imply some limitation to the working time of guides

  19. Some ice nucleation characteristics of Asian and Saharan desert dust

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    P. R. Field

    2006-01-01

    Full Text Available The large (7 m×4 m cylinder, 84 m3 AIDA (Aerosol Interactions and Dynamics in the Atmosphere cloud chamber facility at Forschungszentrum, Karlsruhe, Germany was used to test the ice nucleating ability of two desert dust samples from the Sahara and Asia. Aerosol samples were lognormally distributed with a mode diameter of 0.4(±0.1 μm and geometric standard deviation of ~1.7(±0.2. At temperatures warmer than −40°C droplets were formed before ice crystals formed and there was generally no deposition nucleation observed. At temperatures colder than −40°C both dust samples exhibited dual nucleation events that were observed during the same expansion experiment. The primary nucleation event occurred at ice saturation ratios of 1.1 to 1.3 and is likely to be a deposition nucleation mode. The secondary nucleation event occurred at ice saturation ratios between 1.35 and 1.5. We cannot categorically determine whether this ice nucleation event is via a further deposition mode or a condensation mode, but the presence of some soluble material in the dust samples leads us to favour the latter process. The activated fractions of desert dust ranged from ~5–10% at −20°C to 20–40% at temperatures colder than −40°C. There was no obvious difference between the nucleation behaviour of the two dust samples.

  20. Hybridogenesis through thelytokous parthenogenesis in two Cataglyphis desert ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eyer, P A; Leniaud, L; Darras, H; Aron, S

    2013-02-01

    Hybridogenesis is a sexual reproductive system, whereby parents from different genetic origin hybridize. Both the maternal and paternal genomes are expressed in somatic tissues, but the paternal genome is systematically excluded from the germ line, which is therefore purely maternal. Recently, a unique case of hybridogenesis at a social level was reported in the desert ant Cataglyphis hispanica. All workers are sexually produced hybridogens, whereas sexual forms (new queens and males) are produced by queens through parthenogenesis. Thus, only maternal genes are perpetuated across generations. Here, we show that such an unusual reproductive strategy also evolved in two other species of Cataglyphis belonging to the same phylogenetic group, Cataglyphis velox and Cataglyphis mauritanica. In both species, queens mate exclusively with males originating from a different genetic lineage than their own to produce hybrid workers, while they use parthenogenesis to produce the male and female reproductive castes. In contrast to single-queen colonies of C. hispanica, colonies of C. velox and C. mauritanica are headed by several queens. Most queens within colonies share the same multilocus genotype and never transmit their mates' alleles to the reproductive castes. Social hybridogenesis in the desert ants has direct consequences on the genetic variability of populations and on caste determination. We also discuss the maintenance of this reproductive strategy within the genus Cataglyphis. © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  1. Injury occurrence and mood states during a desert ultramarathon.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Graham, Scott M; McKinley, Mairi; Chris, Connaboy C; Westbury, Tony; Baker, Julien S; Kilgore, Lon; Florida-James, Geraint

    2012-11-01

    To describe injuries and illnesses presented and profile mood states and sleep patterns during a desert environment ultramarathon. Prospective study gathering data on mood states and injury patterns. : Gobi Desert, Mongolia. Eleven male competitors (mean mass, 83.7 ± 7.1 kg; body mass index, 24 ± 1.79 kg/m; age, 33 ± 11 years). Injuries were clinically assessed and recorded each day. Mood state was assessed using the Brunel Mood Scale. All subjects presented with abrasion injuries, dehydration, and heat stress. Vigor decreased over the first 6 days while fatigue increased (P mood alterations (P < 0.05). Increased anger and fatigue correlated strongly with sleep disruption (r = 0.736 and 0.768, respectively). Vigor and depression displayed a moderately strong correlation to sleep (r = 0.564 and -0.530). Injury patterns were similar to those reported in other adventure/ultradistance events. Consistent with previous work, data show increased fatigue and reduced vigor in response to an arduous physical challenge.

  2. Does translocation influence physiological stress in the desert tortoise?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drake, K.K.; Nussear, K.E.; Esque, T.C.; Barber, A.M.; Vittum, K.M.; Medica, P.A.; Tracy, C.R.; Hunter, K.W.

    2012-01-01

    Wildlife translocation is increasingly used to mitigate disturbances to animals or habitat due to human activities, yet little is known about the extent to which translocating animals causes stress. To understand the relationship between physiological stress and translocation, we conducted a multiyear study (2007–2009) using a population of desert tortoises (Gopherus agassizii) near Fort Irwin, California. Blood samples were collected from adult tortoises in three treatment groups (resident, translocated and control) for 1 year prior to and 2 years after translocation. Samples were analyzed by radioimmunoassay for plasma total corticosterone (CORT), a glucocorticoid hormone commonly associated with stress responses in reptiles. CORT values were analyzed in relation to potential covariates (animal sex, date, behavior, treatment, handling time, air temperature, home-range size, precipitation and annual plant production) among seasons and years. CORT values in males were higher than in females, and values for both varied monthly throughout the activity season and among years. Year and sex were strong predictors of CORT, and translocation explained little in terms of CORT. Based on these results, we conclude that translocation does not elicit a physiological stress response in desert tortoises.

  3. Renal lithiasis: addressing the risks of austere desert deployments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cramer, J Steven; Forrest, Kelly

    2006-06-01

    Renal lithiasis affects approximately 5% of the general population, with higher risks for men and increasing risks with increasing age. The forward deployment of the Air Force into austere desert environments with integration of the active duty, Reserves, and Guard presents increasing risks to mission accomplishment with the increased risk of developing renal lithiasis. This paper describes seven cases of presumed renal lithiasis in a deployed desert setting in Air Force personnel on flying status. Their status and the location of the base acted as a focus for a review of the literature on kidney stone causation, prevention, diagnosis, and management. A review of the literature revealed that current military recommendations to hydrate in the field may not be sufficient for the primary prevention of kidney stones. Beverage choice may prove more useful for prevention. Situations precipitating voluntary dehydration need to be prevented. Although there are superior ways to diagnose renal lithiasis, in the deployed setting patient history and physical examination are usually the only available means. Ultrasound is a viable diagnostic option for use in the deployed setting based on its portability, affordability, and ease of use. Additions to the standard management of renal lithiasis, such as subcutaneous Lidocaine and heat may have value in the deployed setting if the supply of narcotics is limited. In the deployed setting, hydration choices, the addition of portable ultrasound to the diagnostic process, and pain management with nontraditional therapies need to be explored.

  4. Microfossils in the Antarctic cold desert: Possible implications for Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Friedmann, E. I.; Ocampo-Friedmann, R.

    1986-01-01

    In the Ross Desert of Antarctica, the principal life form is the cryptoendolithic microbial community in the near-surface layers of porous sandstone rocks. Biological, geological, and climatic factors interact in a complex and precarious balance, making life possible in an otherwise hostile environment. Once this balance is tipped, fossilization sets in. In the reverse case, new colonization of the rock surface may be initiated. As a result, fossilization is contemporary with modern life and both may be simultaneously present in a mosaic pattern. Also, different stages of fossilization are present. The process of fossilization takes place in a nonaquatic environment. If primitive life ever appeared on Mars, it is possible that with increasing aridity, life withdrew into an endolithic niche similar to that in the Antarctic desert. Fossilization in a nonaquatic environment may have set in with the result that traces of past life could be preserved. If such was the case, the study of the fossilization process in Antarctica may hold useful information for the analysis of Martian samples for microfossils.

  5. Microenvironments and microscale productivity of cyanobacterial desert crusts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garcia-Pichel, F.; Belnap, Jayne

    1996-01-01

    We used microsensors to characterize physicochemical microenvironments and photosynthesis occurring immediately after water saturation in two desert soil crusts from southeastern Utah, which were formed by the cyanobacteria Microcoleus vaginatus Gomont, Nostoc spp., and Scytonema sp. The light fields within the crusts presented steep vertical gradients in magnitude and spectral composition. Near-surface light-trapping zones were formed due to the scattering nature of the sand particles, but strong light attenuation resulted in euphotic zones only ca. 1 mm deep, which were progressively enriched in longer wavelengths with depth. Rates of gross photosynthesis (3.4a??9.4 mmol O2A?ma??2A?ha??1) and dark respiration (0.81a??3.1 mmol Oa??2A?ma??2A?ha??1) occurring within 1 to several mm from the surface were high enough to drive the formation of marked oxygen microenvironments that ranged from oxygen supersaturation to anoxia. The photosynthetic activity also resulted in localized pH values in excess of 10, 2a??3 units above the soil pH. Differences in metabolic parameters and community structure between two types of crusts were consistent with a successional pattern, which could be partially explained on the basis of the microenvironments. We discuss the significance of high metabolic rates and the formation of microenvironments for the ecology of desert crusts, as well as the advantages and limitations of microsensor-based methods for crust investigation.

  6. Seed mucilage improves seedling emergence of a sand desert shrub.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xuejun Yang

    Full Text Available The success of seedling establishment of desert plants is determined by seedling emergence response to an unpredictable precipitation regime. Sand burial is a crucial and frequent environmental stress that impacts seedling establishment on sand dunes. However, little is known about the ecological role of seed mucilage in seedling emergence in arid sandy environments. We hypothesized that seed mucilage enhances seedling emergence in a low precipitation regime and under conditions of sand burial. In a greenhouse experiment, two types of Artemisia sphaerocephala achenes (intact and demucilaged were exposed to different combinations of burial depth (0, 5, 10, 20, 40 and 60 mm and irrigation regimes (low, medium and high, which simulated the precipitation amount and frequency in May, June and July in the natural habitat, respectively. Seedling emergence increased with increasing irrigation. It was highest at 5 mm sand burial depth and ceased at burial depths greater than 20 mm in all irrigation regimes. Mucilage significantly enhanced seedling emergence at 0, 5 and 10 mm burial depths in low irrigation, at 0 and 5 mm burial depths in medium irrigation and at 0 and 10 mm burial depths in high irrigation. Seed mucilage also reduced seedling mortality at the shallow sand burial depths. Moreover, mucilage significantly affected seedling emergence time and quiescence and dormancy percentages. Our findings suggest that seed mucilage plays an ecologically important role in successful seedling establishment of A. sphaerocephala by improving seedling emergence and reducing seedling mortality in stressful habitats of the sandy desert environment.

  7. Prevalence of Mycoplasma ovipneumoniae in desert bighorn sheep in Arizona

    Science.gov (United States)

    Justice-Allen, Anne E.; Luedtke, Clint J.; Overstreet, Matthew; Cain, James W.; Stephenson, Thomas R.

    2011-01-01

    To assess the potential for an epizootic of pneumonia to result from either natural immigration or translocation, we compared the seroprevalence to Mycoplasma ovipneumoniae in several populations of desert bighorn sheep in Arizona. We collected blood samples and nasal or oropharyngeal swabs from 124 desert bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis nelsoni) from 6 populations in Arizona in 2009 and 2010. M. ovipneumoniae organisms were detected by PCR in 22%, whereas antibodies to M. ovipneumoniae were detected in 47% of tested bighorn sheep. Mycoplasma antibodies were not found in 2 of 6 populations, indicating some bighorn sheep populations in Arizona are naïve to this bacterium. In contrast, others had seroprevalence rates up to 80%. We were able to compare seroprevalence rates and titers over time in 9 individuals (7 individuals included in the 124 bighorn sheep sampled in 2009 and 2010, and 2 individuals originally captured in 2006). Antibody titers persisted for 12 months in individuals from the Kofa National Wildlife Refuge (n = 7) while antibody titers appeared to decline in the Kanab Creek population (n = 2). M. ovipneumoniae is present or has been present in several, but not all, populations of bighorn sheep in Arizona. The results demonstrate the importance of routine health testing for future translocation efforts to reduce disease risk for naive populations.

  8. Food Environments and Obesity: Household Diet Expenditure Versus Food Deserts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Danhong; Jaenicke, Edward C; Volpe, Richard J

    2016-05-01

    To examine the associations between obesity and multiple aspects of the food environments, at home and in the neighborhood. Our study included 38,650 individuals nested in 18,381 households located in 2104 US counties. Our novel home food environment measure, USDAScore, evaluated the adherence of a household's monthly expenditure shares of 24 aggregated food categories to the recommended values based on US Department of Agriculture food plans. The US Census Bureau's County Business Patterns (2008), the detailed food purchase information in the IRi Consumer Panel scanner data (2008-2012), and its associated MedProfiler data set (2012) constituted the main sources for neighborhood-, household-, and individual-level data, respectively. After we controlled for a number of confounders at the individual, household, and neighborhood levels, USDAScore was negatively linked with obesity status, and a census tract-level indicator of food desert status was positively associated with obesity status. Neighborhood food environment factors, such as food desert status, were associated with obesity status even after we controlled for home food environment factors.

  9. 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.

  10. Desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii) survival at two eastern Mojave Desert sites: Death by short-term drought?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Longshore, Kathleen M.; Jaeger, Jef R.; Sappington, J. Mark

    2003-01-01

    Survival of adult Desert Tortoises (Gopherus agassizii) appears related to site-specific variation in precipitation and productivity of annual plants. We studied adult tortoise survival rates at two closely situated, but physiographically different, sites in the eastern Mojave Desert over a nine-year period (spring 1992 to spring 2001). Survival rates were initially derived from population surveys conducted over a three-year period and by radio-telemetry monitoring over a seven-year period beginning in 1994. After a period of initial stability, survival rates on the two sites diverged over the study period, and seven-year survival rates estimated from radio-telemetry monitoring were 0.900 and 0.269, respectively. A die-off in 1996 on the latter site appears to have been triggered by a period of drought, which began in the summer of 1995, coupled with a failure of annual vegetation production in 1996. Depressed survival rates on this site were associated with drought conditions during three of four years. Although the decline had the appearance of an epizootic, there were no clinical signs of disease. Relatively short-term drought, combined with little or no annual biomass, appears to have caused severe reductions in tortoise survival. If periods of drought-induced low survival are common over relatively small areas, then source-sink population dynamics may be an important factor determining tortoise population densities.

  11. Characteristics of moisture and salinity of soil in Taklimakan Desert, China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Zhimin; Li, Guomin; Li, Xue; Shan, Shuo; Zhang, Jiangyi; Li, Shengyu; Fan, Jinglong

    2012-01-01

    The Taklimakan desert is known as the largest dunefield in China and also as the world's second largest shifting sand desert. The Tarim Desert Highway, which is the first highway to cross the Taklimakan desert, was built for the purpose of oil and gas resources extraction in the Tarim area, as well as for the development of the southern area of the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. Shelterbelts have been planted along the highway to prevent shifting sand from burying the road. This paper analyzes the variations of moisture and salinity of the unirrigated desert soil under natural conditions in the center of Taklimakan Desert. A number of important findings indicating the moisture and salinity of the soil at capillary saturation zone were determined by the groundwater and related to the evaporation on the top. Salinity could be affected by vegetation, which was different from moisture in the soil. Meanwhile, clay layer played an important role in water preservation in the soil, which was also beneficial to the accumulation of salinity in soil. Compared with clay layer, vegetation was a decisive factor for the gathering of salinity. The findings were significant for reasonable adjustment of irrigation in the shelterbelts for the further development of the Tarim Desert Highway.

  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. Identification of debris-flow hazards in warm deserts through analyzing past occurrences: Case study in South Mountain, Sonoran Desert, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dorn, Ronald I.

    2016-11-01

    After recognition that debris flows co-occur with human activities, the next step in a hazards analysis involves estimating debris-flow probability. Prior research published in this journal in 2010 used varnish microlamination (VML) dating to determine a minimum occurrence of 5 flows per century over the last 8100 years in a small mountain range of South Mountain adjacent to neighborhoods of Phoenix, Arizona. This analysis led to the conclusion that debris flows originating in small mountain ranges in arid regions like the Sonoran Desert could pose a hazard. Two major precipitation events in the summer of 2014 generated 35 debris flows in the same study area of South Mountain-providing support for the importance of probability analysis as a key step in a hazards analysis in warm desert settings. Two distinct mechanisms generated the 2014 debris flows: intense precipitation on steep slopes in the first storm; and a firehose effect whereby runoff from the second storm was funneled rapidly by cleaned-out debris-flow chutes to remobilize Pleistocene debris-flow deposits. When compared to a global database on debris flows, the 2014 storms were among the most intense to generate desert debris flows - indicating that storms of lesser intensity are capable of generating debris flows in warm desert settings. The 87Sr/86Sr analyses of fines and clasts in South Mountain debris flows of different ages reveal that desert dust supplies the fines. Thus, wetter climatic periods of intense rock decay are not needed to resupply desert slopes with fines; instead, a combination of dust deposition supplying fines and dirt cracking generating coarse clasts can re-arm chutes in a warm desert setting with abundant dust.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. Food deserts in Winnipeg, Canada: a novel method for measuring a complex and contested construct.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Slater, Joyce; Epp-Koop, Stefan; Jakilazek, Megan; Green, Chris

    2017-10-01

    "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. 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. The number of low-income residents living in a food desert ranged from 64 574 to 104 335, depending on the scenario used. 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 makers.

  17. The Landscape Evolution of Ulan Buh Desert in North China during Late Quaternary

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Fahu; Li, Guoqiang; Zhao, Hui; Jin, Ming; Fan, Yuxin; Madsen, David; Chun, Xi

    2013-04-01

    Desert evolution was one of the major environmental changes in northern China during Quaternary. Ulan Buh Desert (UBD), at margin of present summer monsoon, is one of main desert fields and dust source areas in the north and northwest China. In this paper we present the results of lithology, Optical Stimulated Luminescence (OSL) dates, grain-size, carbonate content, organic content and pollen analysis from the drilling cores in the different parts of UBD. Our results show that most area of the present Ulan Buh desert was covered by the Jilantai-Hetao mage-paleolake before ~90 ka ago, a uniform paleolake of about 34,000 km2 covering the whole Hetai palin, and sevrious eolian and desert environment was prevailing during the last glacial and early Holoccene. Then an Ulan Buh paleolake (UB paleolake), likely a desert-wetland enviroment, formed in the northern part of UBD and Jilantai salt lake at around 8-7 ka, leaving dry lake bed landform in northern UBD, while high dune landscape probably prevailed in south UBD. After that, the mordern UBD landscape formed. The Jilantai Salt Lake in western UBD continued to exist until present with high lake level during UB paleolake preiod. During the recent 2000 years aeolian sand from Badan Jaran desert invaded the north UBD through Langshan mountain to form dune landform covered on dry UB paleolake bed and seperated main Ulan Buh desert and Jilantai Salt Lake. Human activities such as changing low wetland to farmland and following abandonment resulted the formation of easten Ulan Buh desert in Han dynasty since 200 BC. The formation of UBD landfporms was suggedted to be relate to disintegration of Jilantai-Hetao mage-paleolake, and was also likely to corresponding to summer monsoon changes during during last glacial and Holocene.

  18. Holocene Paleoecology of the Western Tenere Desert, Niger, Africa

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sereno, P. C.; Caran, S. C.; Housh, T. B.

    2007-12-01

    Multiple paleontological, sedimentological, and isotopic/ionic geochemical indicators permit reconstruction of the Holocene ecology of the western Tenere Desert (southern Sahara hyper-desert). Modern precipitation is highly erratic, averaging 25 mm yearly, and vegetative cover is negligible. From the early to middle Holocene, however, grassland-shrublands and seasonal to permanent lakes and wetlands predominated, supporting diverse limnic, riparian, and upland communities. Annual precipitation probably was comparable to that of the modern southern Sahel, exceeding 350 mm. Coarse-grained sediment washed into the large lacustrine basin from exposures of metamorphic, plutonic, and volcanic rocks in the nearby Air Massif highland. Lake margins fluctuated in response to runoff and limited ground-water discharge. The water was non-saline and there is no evidence of evaporite deposition. Aquatic and riparian macrophytes thrived, as did an extensive lacustrine-palustrine macrofauna. A Sahelian flora of mixed grasses, thorn shrubs, and perhaps some larger woodland species occupied the contiguous uplands, supporting resident and migratory mammalian and avian faunas. Lake levels were high until 6300 to 5200 BP, possibly as late as 4800 BP locally. Deflation of lacustrine deposits during a subsequent dry period provided finer-grained eolian sediment accreting as proximal dunes. The composition of mineral sediment within the middle to late Holocene dunes is different from, but clearly a subset of the lacustrine deposits. Organic matter reworked from the lake sediment was deposited in the dunes and oxidized in situ, generating CO2 that dissolved in soil moisture, producing bicarbonate. The bicarbonate reacted with calcium from weathered minerals, producing calcic cementation about 5100 BP. The resulting petrocalcic horizon was later exposed, weathered, and colonized by sparse terrestrial vegetation for one or more brief periods. A late phase of pedogenesis concurrent with or

  19. Health effects of particulate air pollution and airborne desert dust

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lelieveld, J.; Pozzer, A.; Giannadaki, D.; Fnais, M.

    2013-12-01

    Air pollution by fine particulate matter (PM2.5) has increased strongly with industrialization and urbanization. In the past decades this increase has taken place at a particularly high pace in South and East Asia. We estimate the premature mortality and the years of human life lost (YLL) caused by anthropogenic PM2.5 and airborne desert dust (DU2.5) on regional and national scales (Giannadaki et al., 2013; Lelieveld et al., 2013). This is based on high-resolution global model calculations that resolve urban and industrial regions in relatively great detail. We apply an epidemiological health impact function and find that especially in large countries with extensive suburban and rural populations, air pollution-induced mortality rates have been underestimated given that previous studies largely focused on the urban environment. We calculate a global premature mortality by anthropogenic aerosols of 2.2 million/year (YLL ≈ 16 million/year) due to lung cancer and cardiopulmonary disease. High mortality rates by PM2.5 are found in China, India, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Indonesia. Desert dust DU2.5 aerosols add about 0.4 million/year (YLL ≈ 3.6 million/year). Particularly significant mortality rates by DU2.5 occur in Pakistan, China and India. The estimated global mean per capita mortality caused by airborne particulates is about 0.1%/year (about two thirds of that caused by tobacco smoking). We show that the highest premature mortality rates are found in the Southeast Asia and Western Pacific regions (about 25% and 46% of the global rate, respectively) where more than a dozen of the most highly polluted megacities are located. References: Giannadaki, D., A. Pozzer, and J. Lelieveld, Modeled global effects of airborne desert dust on air quality and premature mortality, Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss. (submitted), 2013. Lelieveld, J., C. Barlas, D. Giannadaki, and A. Pozzer, Model calculated global, regional and megacity premature mortality due to air pollution by ozone

  20. 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

  1. An ecological study of food desert prevalence and 4th grade academic achievement in new york state school districts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frndak, Seth E

    2014-12-02

    This ecological study examines the relationship between food desert prevalence and academic achievement at the school district level. Sample included 232 suburban and urban school districts in New York State. Multiple open-source databases were merged to obtain: 4(th) grade science, English and math scores, school district demographic composition (NYS Report Card), regional socioeconomic indicators (American Community Survey), school district quality (US Common Core of Data), and food desert data (USDA Food Desert Atlas). Multiple regression models assessed the percentage of variation in achievement scores explained by food desert variables, after controlling for additional predictors. The proportion of individuals living in food deserts significantly explained 4th grade achievement scores, after accounting for additional predictors. School districts with higher proportions of individuals living in food desert regions demonstrated lower 4th grade achievement across science, English and math. Food deserts appear to be related to academic achievement at the school district level among urban and suburban regions. Further research is needed to better understand how food access is associated with academic achievement at the individual level. Significance for public healthThe prevalence of food deserts in the United States is of national concern. As poor nutrition in United States children continues to spark debate, food deserts are being evaluated as potential sources of low fruit and vegetable intake and high obesity rates. Cognitive development and IQ have been linked to nutrition patterns, suggesting that children in food desert regions may have a disadvantage academically. This research evaluates if an ecological relationship between food desert prevalence and academic achievement at the school district level can be demonstrated. Results suggest that food desert prevalence may relate to poor academic performance at the school district level. Significant variation in

  2. 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.

  3. Quaternary climate change on the northern margins of Saharo-Arabian Desert with possible impact on human evolution, evidence from Negev Desert speleothems, Israel

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vaks, A.; Bar-Matthews, M.; Ayalon, A.; Matthews, A.; Halicz, L.; Frumkin, A.

    2006-12-01

    The Saharo-Arabian Desert belt is the largest and driest desert in the world and its margins are vulnerable to climatic change. The paleoclimate of the northern margins of Saharo-Arabian Desert is not yet fully understood, and it is the subject of our study. The Negev Desert, southern Israel, located in the northern part of the Saharo-Arabian Desert is ideal for paleoclimate research, because of its very steep north-south precipitation gradient and numerous caves rich with carbonate cave deposits (speleothems). Speleothems grow only when precipitation is high enough to enable meteoric water to reach the caves. No present day speleothem deposition occurs in the Negev Desert. The aims of the study were: timing of the humid periods by U-Th dating of the speleothem deposition periods; origin of the rainfall by speleothem δ18O and fluid inclusions δ2H; correlations between local and global climate changes and between the climate changes to out of Africa dispersals of Early Modern Humans (EMH). Speleothems were collected from 7 caves located on the north-south transect of the Negev Desert, between 300 mm to 30 mm isohyets. Whereas in the Mediterranean climate zone (>350 mm) of central and northern Israel the speleothem deposition was continuous, in the Negev Desert periods of speleothem deposition alternated with multiple hiatuses. In the mildly arid transition zone of northern Negev (300 to 150 mm) speleothem deposition occurred most of the time during the last 210 ka, with hiatuses at 150-144 ka, ~140 ka, 117-96 ka, 93-85 ka, 25- 23 ka, and 14-0 ka. In present-day arid and hyper-arid zone of central and southern Negev (150 to 30 mm) no speleothem deposition occurred most of the last 350 ka, with humid intervals at 350-290 ka, 220-190 ka, 137- 110 ka, and ~85 ka. The origin of the precipitation in the Negev Desert during these intervals was from Eastern Mediterranean Sea, i. e. mid-latitude cyclones (as present day). The latter conclusion is based on three evidences

  4. [Microbial diversity of salt lakes in Badain Jaran desert].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Lu; Hao, Chunbo; Wang, Lihua; Pei, Lixin

    2015-04-04

    We characterized procaryotic biodiversity, community structure and the relationship between the community structure and environmental factors of salt lakes in Badain Jaran desert, Inner Mongolia, China. We constructed 16S rRNA gene clone libraries by molecular biology techniques to analyze the procaryotic phylogenetic relationships, and used R language to compare the community structure of haloalkalophiles in the salt lakes. Water in this region has a high salinity ranging from 165 to 397 g/L. The water is strongly alkaline with pH value above 10. The microbial diversity and community structure of the salt lakes are obviously different. The diversity of bacteria is more abundant than that of archaea. The main categories of bacteria in the samples are Gammaproteobacteria, Bacteroidetes, Alphaproteobacteria, Firmicute and Verrucomicrobia, whereas all archaea only belong to Halobacteriaceae of Euryarchaeota. Salinity is the most important environmental factor influencing the bacterial community structure, whereas the archaea community structure was influenced comprehensively by multiple environmental factors.

  5. Irregular fog as a water source for desert dune beetles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seely, M K

    1979-09-01

    Three methods of fog-water uptake have been observed in three tribes of Namib desert dune tenebrionid beetles, Adesmiini, Eurychorini and Zophosini. The methods used correlate with distribution and gross morphology of each species but cut across phylogenetic affinities. Of the three methods described, none involve obvious fine anatomical or physical adaptations of the beetles for fog-water uptake. Rather, the beetles have evolved specific behavioural patterns for drinking water condensed on vegetation, their own dorsum or sand.Use of fog-water necessitates surface activity at times when surface temperatures and wind velocities are not optimal for these diurnal or crepuscular species. Behavioural adaptation has enabled these beetles to use irregular and unpredictable fogs as a moisture source.

  6. Increasing of Mechanical Parameters of Desert Sand Using Pozzolanic Materia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mahdi Sajjadi, Seyed; Fakhraldin Sajjadi, Seyed; Beheshti, Seyed Mohammad; Mehmannavaz, Taha

    2016-04-01

    Research on roads to increase the resistance of weak soils to build structures on it has been increased in recent years. The present article provide the effects of different mixtures containing microsilica, cement, polypropylene waste fiber and dune sand on mechanical parameters such as, compressibility, compressive strength, bending strength and durability characteristic. In this study also is investigated evaluation the effect of road subgrade based on proposed material. The used dune sand in this research was obtained from Kashan city where is located in central desert of Iran. The obtained results show that the microsilica and cement could play a major role in reducing the cost and required time for building roads and also building foundation on these types of soils.

  7. The desert environmental effect on the photovoltaic performance analyzing

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Al Khuffash, K.; Lamont, L.A.; El Chaar, L.

    2014-01-01

    Solar power is commonly accepted to have the highest potential among other renewable energy sources. As a photovoltaic (PV) panel directly converts light into electricity it is preferred over concentrated solar power. However, PV modules are affected by the surrounding climate and implementing it in a desert location may cause an undesired effect. Therefore, this research studies the effect of different weather aspects on the performance of the PV panels, by obtaining a relation between each weather aspect and the performance of the panel. In addition, coating is tested in order to evaluate its effectiveness as a feasible solution for locations which have high dust accumulation. The results showed that coating can be a solution for dust accumulation at high irradiation levels. (author)

  8. VANET Clustering Based Routing Protocol Suitable for Deserts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mohammed Nasr, Mohammed Mohsen; Abdelgader, Abdeldime Mohamed Salih; Wang, Zhi-Gong; Shen, Lian-Feng

    2016-01-01

    In recent years, there has emerged applications of vehicular ad hoc networks (VANETs) towards security, safety, rescue, exploration, military and communication redundancy systems in non-populated areas, besides its ordinary use in urban environments as an essential part of intelligent transportation systems (ITS). This paper proposes a novel algorithm for the process of organizing a cluster structure and cluster head election (CHE) suitable for VANETs. Moreover, it presents a robust clustering-based routing protocol, which is appropriate for deserts and can achieve high communication efficiency, ensuring reliable information delivery and optimal exploitation of the equipment on each vehicle. A comprehensive simulation is conducted to evaluate the performance of the proposed CHE and routing algorithms. PMID:27058539

  9. Ground-water hydrology of the Sevier Desert, Utah

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mower, R.W.; Feltis, R.D.

    1968-01-01

    The Sevier Desert, as used in this report, comprises the main part of the Sevier Desert, the Tintic Valley, and the southeastern part of the Old River Bed. It covers an area of about 3,000 square miles and occupies a large basin in the eastern part of the Basin and Range physiographic province.Large alluvial fans extend from the mountain fronts into the basin where they interfinger with eolian and lacustrine deposits and with fluvial deposits of the Sevier River. These unconsolidated deposits form a multiaquifer artesian system that is more than 1,000 feet thick and that extends from near the area of main recharge along the east side of the basin to Sevier Lake.Most of the recharge to the ground-water reservoir results from water entering alluvial fans as percolation from streams, irrigation ditches, and irrigated fields. Another important source may be water in the limestone, quartzite, and other consolidated rocks in the mountains that border the basin. Leakage from the Central Utah Canal is a major source of recharge to the water-table aquifer.Flowing wells are common in the central lowland part of the Sevier Desert, but as a result of below-normal precipitation and an increase in withdrawals from wells during 1950-64, the area of flowing wells has decreased. The quantity of ground water being wasted from flowing wells is not more than a few hundred acre-feet a year.The amount of water discharged by withdrawal from wells has increased nearly 15 times since 1950 (from 2,000 acre-feet in 1950 to 30,000 acre-feet in 1964). As a result of this increasing withdrawal, the water levels in observation wells have declined 4 feet in areas of small withdrawals to more than 7 feet near centers of pumping for public supplies and irrigation.An estimated 135,000-175,000 acre-feet of ground water is consumed by evapotranspiration each year in the 440,000 acres of desert that mainly support phreatophytes. This rate of discharge has changed little since 1950. The consumptive

  10. Air biomonitoring by transplanted lichens in the Negev Desert, Israel

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Garty, J.

    1999-01-01

    Thalli of the lichen Ramalina maciformis (Del.) Bory were collected in the Negev Desert in August 1997 and transplanted with their substrate, flintstones, to 24 bio-monitoring sites in the Negev Desert. An assessment of the impact of anthropogenic activities was made by measurements of the concentration of mineral elements in the lichen and by an examination of its physiological status. After a transplantation period of nine months, the lichens were retrieved in April 1998 and the concentration of 22 mineral elements in the thallus was determined by ICP-AES. In addition we examined the following parameters determining the status of the lichen: 1. Electric conductivity indicative of cell membrane integrity; 2. Spectral reflectance response of the thallus expressed as normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) indicative of greenness and health of the thallus; 3. Production of ethylene indicative of stress, 4. Chlorophyll a fluorescence as a means to monitor aspects of photosystem II (PSII) activities in the lichen. Preliminary results show that lichens exposed to air contaminants at a site of toxic waste deposition contain high concentrations of Ca, Cu, Pb and Mn and significant low K concentrations due to leakage of this element from injured cell membranes. Conductivity measurements performed to test the integrity of cell membranes corroborated this assumption. NDVI values indicating damage to chlorophyll were relative low in lichens retrieved from sites near Beer Sheba. The stress-ethylene production was the highest in one site near Beer Sheba. The maximum quantum yield of PSII expressed as fluorescence ratio Fv/Fm was low in two sites in the Ramat Hovav Industrial Area. (author)

  11. 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)

  12. The Holocene Geoarchaeology of the Desert Nile in Northern Sudan

    Science.gov (United States)

    Woodward, Jamie; Macklin, Mark; Spencer, Neal; Welsby, Derek; Dalton, Matthew; Hay, Sophie; Hardy, Andrew

    2016-04-01

    Invited Paper Forty years ago Colin Renfrew declared that "every archaeological problem starts as a problem in geoarchaeology" (Renfrew, 1976 p. 2). With this assertion in mind, this paper draws upon the findings from field research in two sectors of the Nile Valley of Northern Sudan dedicated to the exploration of human-environment interactions during the middle and late Holocene. This part of the Nile corridor contains a rich cultural record and an exceptionally well preserved Holocene fluvial archive. A distinctive feature of these records is the variety of evidence for interaction between desert and river over a range of spatial and temporal scales. This interaction presented both challenges and opportunities for its ancient inhabitants. This paper will present evidence for large-scale landscape changes driven by shifts in global climate. It will also show how we have integrated the archaeological and geological records in the Northern Dongola Reach and at Amara West - where long-term field projects led by archaeologists from the British Museum have recognised the importance of a sustained commitment to interdisciplinary research to achieve a fully integrated geoarchaeological approach across a range of scales. The former project is a large-scale landscape survey with multiple sites across an 80 km reach of the Nile whilst the latter has a strong focus on a single New Kingdom town site and changes in its environmental setting. By combining multiple archaeological and geological datasets - and pioneering the use of OSL dating and strontium isotope analysis in the Desert Nile - we have developed a new understanding of human responses to Holocene climate and landscape change in this region. Renfrew, C. (1976) Archaeology and the earth sciences. In: D.A. Davidson and M.I. Shackley (eds) Geoarchaeology: Earth Science and the Past, Duckworth, London, 1-5.

  13. Physiological adaptation for milk production in desert ruminants

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Shkolnik, A.

    1981-08-01

    The authors have shown that the black goats herded by the Bedouins in the deserts of Israel can graze in sun-scorched conditions even when still 2 days walking distance from any water source. Upon their arrival at a water hole, they consumed volumes of water which were greater than 40% of their dehydrated body weight. After drinking, their body water content was 76% of body weight; after grazing for 4 days with no water, the water content of their body was still within the normal range for ruminants and their body solids were also well maintained. It was concluded that the amount of water consumed by the goats after grazing was not only sufficient to replenish the loss of water incurred by grazing, but to re-establish the body water content at a higher than normal level and thereby provide a water store. Using 51 Cr EDTA to measure the flow of liquid out of the reticulo-rumen, the authors showed that this increased from 73 ml/hr to 250 ml/hr between the 1st and 5th hour after drinking, but even by 5 hours after drinking over 80% of the volume consumed was still in the reticulo-rumen. It is suggested that the rumen plays a major role in the water economy of desert ruminants in that it provides an essential mechanism by which they can store water and circumvent the hazards likely to follow rapid rehydration. Similar findings were obtained in the wild ruminants mentioned above

  14. Controls on sediment production in two U.S. deserts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Belnap, Jayne; Walker, Beau J.; Munson, Seth M.; Gill, Richard A.

    2014-01-01

    Much of the world’s airborne sediment originates from dryland regions. Soil surface disturbances in these regions are ever-increasing due to human activities such as energy and mineral exploration and development, recreation, suburbanization, livestock grazing and cropping. Sediment production can have significant impacts to human health with particles potentially carrying viruses such as Valley Fever or causing asthma or other respiratory diseases. Dust storms can cause decreased visibility at the ground level, resulting in highway accidents, and reduced visual quality in park and wildland airsheds. Sediment production and deposition is also detrimental to ecosystem health, as production reduces soil fertility at its source and can bury plants and other organisms where it is deposited. Therefore, it is important to understand how we can predict what areas are prone to producing sediment emissions both before and after soil surface disturbance. We visited 87 sites in two deserts of the western U.S. that represented a range of soil texture and surface cover types. We used a portable wind tunnel to estimate the threshold friction velocity (TFV) required to initiate sediment transport and the amount of sediment produced by the tunnel at a set wind speed. Wind tunnel runs were done before and after soil surface disturbance with a four-wheel drive vehicle. Results show that most undisturbed desert soils are very stable, especially if covered by rocks or well-developed biological soil crusts, which make them virtually wind-erosion proof. Particles at disturbed sites, in contrast, moved at relatively low wind speeds and produced high amounts of sediment. Silt was an important predictor of TFV and sediment production across all sites, whereas the influence of rock cover and biological soil crusts was site-dependent. Understanding the vulnerability of a site after disturbance is important information for land managers as they plan land use activities and attempt to

  15. Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (Glomales, Zygomycota of the Bledowska Desert, Poland

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Janusz Błaszkowski

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available The occurrence of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF; Glomales, Zygomycetes associated with plants growing in sand dune soils of the Blędowska Desert, Poland, was investigated in 1995-1997. A total of 134 mixtures of soils and roots were sampled. The mixtures represented 26 plant species in 14 families and one unrecognized plant. Spores of AMF were found in 118 soil-root mixtures. The AMF spore populations comprised 20 described species of the genera Acaulospora, Gigaspora, Glomus and Scutellospora, as well as two undescribed morphospecies of the genus Glomus. The AMF most frequently occurring in the field-collected soils were members of the genus Scutellospora The AMF spore populations comprised 20 described species in the genera Acaulospora, Gigaspora, Glomus and Scutellospora, as well as two undescribed morpho-species of the genus Glomus. The fungal species most frequently and numerously found was Scutellospora armeniaca. The fungi relatively frequently present also were A. rugosa, A. lacunosa, G. aggregatum, an undescribed Glomus 142 and Sc. dipurpurescens. The overall spore abundance of AMF averaged 69.1 and ranged from 0 to 837 in 100 g dry soil. The highest abundance of spores occurred among roots of the families Cupressaceae, followed by the Rosaceae, Asteraceae and Poaceae. Of the plant species investigated two and more times, most spores harboured Juniperus communis. The overall average species richness was 2.4 and ranged from 0 to 6 in 100 g dry soil. Of the plant species sampled at lest two times, the highest average species diversity was found in the root zone of Salix arenaria. The plant species that hosted the highest overall number of species of AMF was Festuca rubra. Trap pot cultures with soilroot mixtures collected in 1997 revealed 10 species of AMF that were not found in field soils sampled in the same year. This suggests that a great part of AMF of Błędowska Desert is represented by rarely or non-sporulating species.

  16. Cacti supply limited nutrients to a desert rodent community.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Orr, Teri J; Newsome, Seth D; Wolf, Blair O

    2015-08-01

    In the Sonoran Desert, cacti represent a potentially important source of nutrients and water for consumers. Columnar cacti, in particular, produce a large pulse of flowers and succulent fruit during hot summer months. The importance of cactus stems, flowers and fruit to the small mammal community has not been quantified. We exploited natural variation in the carbon isotope (δ(13)C) values of cacti (CAM) versus C3 plants to quantify the relative use of these resources by a diverse desert small mammal community. We also estimated trophic level by measuring nitrogen isotope (δ(15)N) values. We hypothesized that (H1) granivorous heteromyids (kangaroo rats, pocket mice) would exploit the summer pulse of seeds and pulp; (H2) folivorous and omnivorous cactus mice, wood rats, and ground squirrels would exploit cacti stems year-round and seeds when available; and (H3) kangaroo rats and pocket mice would shift from seeds to insects during hot dry months. We found that heteromyids made minimal use of seeds during the period of heavy seed rain. Of the cricetids, only the folivore Neotoma albigula made continuous but highly variable use of cacti resources (annual mean = 32%, range 0-81%), whereas the omnivore Peromyscus eremicus ignored cacti except during the summer, when it exploited seeds and/or fruit pulp (June-July mean = 39%, range 20-64%). We also found little evidence for a shift to greater consumption of insects by heteromyids during the hot dry months. Overall, use of cactus resources by the small mammal community is very limited and highly variable among species.

  17. Controls on sediment production in two U.S. deserts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Belnap, Jayne; Walker, Beau J.; Munson, Seth M.; Gill, Richard A.

    2014-09-01

    Much of the world’s airborne sediment originates from dryland regions. Soil surface disturbances in these regions are ever-increasing due to human activities such as energy and mineral exploration and development, recreation, suburbanization, livestock grazing and cropping. Sediment production can have significant impacts to human health with particles potentially carrying viruses such as Valley Fever or causing asthma or other respiratory diseases. Dust storms can cause decreased visibility at the ground level, resulting in highway accidents, and reduced visual quality in park and wildland airsheds. Sediment production and deposition is also detrimental to ecosystem health, as production reduces soil fertility at its source and can bury plants and other organisms where it is deposited. Therefore, it is important to understand how we can predict what areas are prone to producing sediment emissions both before and after soil surface disturbance. We visited 87 sites in two deserts of the western U.S. that represented a range of soil texture and surface cover types. We used a portable wind tunnel to estimate the threshold friction velocity (TFV) required to initiate sediment transport and the amount of sediment produced by the tunnel at a set wind speed. Wind tunnel runs were done before and after soil surface disturbance with a four-wheel drive vehicle. Results show that most undisturbed desert soils are very stable, especially if covered by rocks or well-developed biological soil crusts, which make them virtually wind-erosion proof. Particles at disturbed sites, in contrast, moved at relatively low wind speeds and produced high amounts of sediment. Silt was an important predictor of TFV and sediment production across all sites, whereas the influence of rock cover and biological soil crusts was site-dependent. Understanding the vulnerability of a site after disturbance is important information for land managers as they plan land use activities and attempt to

  18. Density currents as a desert dust mobilization mechanism

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. Solomos

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available The formation and propagation of density currents are well studied processes in fluid dynamics with many applications in other science fields. In the atmosphere, density currents are usually meso-β/γ phenomena and are often associated with storm downdrafts. These storms are responsible for the formation of severe dust episodes (haboobs over desert areas. In the present study, the formation of a convective cool pool and the associated dust mobilization are examined for a representative event over the western part of Sahara desert. The physical processes involved in the mobilization of dust are described with the use of the integrated atmospheric-air quality RAMS/ICLAMS model. Dust is effectively produced due to the development of near surface vortices and increased turbulent mixing along the frontal line. Increased dust emissions and recirculation of the elevated particles inside the head of the density current result in the formation of a moving "dust wall". Transport of the dust particles in higher layers – outside of the density current – occurs mainly in three ways: (1 Uplifting of preexisting dust over the frontal line with the aid of the strong updraft (2 Entrainment at the upper part of the density current head due to turbulent mixing (3 Vertical mixing after the dilution of the system. The role of the dust in the associated convective cloud system was found to be limited. Proper representation of convective processes and dust mobilization requires the use of high resolution (cloud resolving model configuration and online parameterization of dust production. Haboob-type dust storms are effective dust sources and should be treated accordingly in dust modeling applications.

  19. 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

  20. Results and Recommendations from a Survey of Army Deserters and Leaders

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Ramsberger, Peter

    2004-01-01

    ... could have been avoided. A sample of 241 Army supervisors completed a survey in which they provided information about a specific case of desertion with which they were familiar, as well as general opinions...

  1. 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.

  2. Radiotracer technique for studying the fate of methyl parathion in desert locust

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Garg, A.K.; Sethi, G.R.; Bhatia, Parvathy

    1988-01-01

    The present study, using 14 C-labelled methyl parathion was intended for standardising the procedure of analysis of the insecticide and its metabolites in the desert locust, Schistocerca gregaria Forskal. (author). 5 refs

  3. 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

    Brood desertion involves a series of interactions between the members of a pair. This process is likely to be based on either member's perception of the other's propensity to desert. We manipulated this perception in males by experimentally increasing female body mass in the rock sparrow (Petronia...... 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...

  4. Moving Beyond "Food Deserts": Reorienting United States Policies to Reduce Disparities in Diet Quality.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jason P Block

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Jason Block and S. V. Subramanian explore avenues for improving the health of Americans through reducing dietary inequalities and look at whether concern over "food deserts" has been taken too far.

  5. 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

  6. Response of lizard community structure to desert grassland restoration mediated by a keystone rodent

    Science.gov (United States)

    Many grasslands in the Chihuahuan Desert have transformed to shrublands dominated by creosotebush (Larrea tridentata). Grassland restoration efforts have been directed at controlling creosotebush by applying herbicide over large spatial scales. However, we have a limited understanding of how landsca...

  7. 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.

  8. Investigating the Locomotion of the Sandfish in Desert Sand Using NMR-Imaging

    OpenAIRE

    Baumgartner, Werner; Fidler, Florian; Weth, Agnes; Habbecke, Martin; Jakob, Peter; Butenweg, Christoph; Böhme, Wolfgang

    2008-01-01

    The sandfish (Scincus scincus) is a lizard having the remarkable ability to move through desert sand for significant distances. It is well adapted to living in loose sand by virtue of a combination of morphological and behavioural specializations. We investigated the bodyform of the sandfish using 3D-laserscanning and explored its locomotion in loose desert sand using fast nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) imaging. The sandfish exhibits an in-plane meandering motion with a frequency of about 3...

  9. A Numerical Modeling Study on Desert Oasis Self-Supporting Mechanisms

    Science.gov (United States)

    2005-01-01

    soil, and biological resources have led to drought, salinization, and desertification and conse- quently have hindered the development of sustainable...water vapor flux is downward over the Gobi desert (Wang and Mitsuta, 1992). As part of HEIFE, the fundamental observational period observations were...NW–SE) by 25 km (NE–SW), and is surrounded by sandy and Gobi deserts. Small sensible heat-flux and dominating latent heat-flux in the surface energy

  10. An endangered oasis of aquatic microbial biodiversity in the Chihuahuan desert

    OpenAIRE

    Souza, Valeria; Espinosa-Asuar, Laura; Escalante, Ana E.; Eguiarte, Luis E.; Farmer, Jack; Forney, Larry; Lloret, Lourdes; Rodríguez-Martínez, Juan M.; Soberón, Xavier; Dirzo, Rodolfo; Elser, James J.

    2006-01-01

    The Cuatro Cienegas basin in the Chihuahuan desert is a system of springs, streams, and pools. These ecosystems support >70 endemic species and abundant living stromatolites and other microbial communities, representing a desert oasis of high biodiversity. Here, we combine data from molecular microbiology and geology to document the microbial biodiversity of this unique environment. Ten water samples from locations within the Cuatro Cienegas basin and two neighboring valleys as well as three ...

  11. 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 ...

  12. Scenario analysis of land use change in Horqin Desert and its surrounding area

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Zhang, Y.M.; Zhao, S.; Verburg, P.H.

    2004-01-01

    Horqin desert and its surrounding area(41°17'~45°24' N,116°21'~123°30' E),loca-ted in the eastern part of agro-pas ture transitional zone in northern China,is an area sensitive to environmental change due to transitional location and the high potential for sandy desert-if ication.During the past

  13. Dynamics of penetration of 14C-labelled parathion in desert locust, Schistocerca gregaria Forskal

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Garg, A.K.; Bhatia, Parvathy; Sethi, G.R.

    1991-01-01

    Studies on the rate of disappearance of 14 C ring labelled parathion, after topical application on the mesosternum of desert locust, Schistocerca gregaria Forskal, indicated that penetration of the toxicant was linear and followed first order kinetics. The first order constant (k) for parathion on desert locust was 18.42x10 -2 per hr and half-life (Tsub(0.5)) was about 226 min. (author). 26 refs ., 1 fig

  14. Effect of radiophosphorus on the haematology of Indian desert gerbil (Meriones hurrianae, Jerdon)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Malhotra, N.

    1985-01-01

    The effect of 32 P (55.5 kBq/g body weight) has been studied on the hematology of the Indian desert gerbil (Meriones hurrianae) up to a maximum period of 28 d. The investigation reveals induction of leukocytopenia after a brief and transient leukocytosis. The changes in red blood cells, hemoglobin and hematocrit levels are not significant. The desert gerbil appears to be fairly radioresistant at this dose level. (author)

  15. A comparison between desert and Mediterranean antlion populations: differences in life history and morphology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scharf, I; Filin, I; Golan, M; Buchshtav, M; Subach, A; Ovadia, O

    2008-01-01

    We performed a transplant experiment to compare the life histories and morphologies of five geographically representative antlion Myrmeleon hyalinus populations along a sharp climatic gradient, from a Mediterranean climate in Israel's north to a desert climate in the south. Larvae were raised in two environmental chambers simulating Mediterranean and desert climates to investigate the extent to which the different populations exhibit phenotypic plasticity. Along the north-to-south climatic gradient, we observed a gradient in body mass prior to pupation and in pupation rate. Mediterranean populations suffered higher mortality rate when exposed to desert conditions, whereas the mortality rate of desert populations was consistent between Mediterranean and desert conditions. Our results regarding body mass, pupation rate and mortality rate suggest that Mediterranean populations had a more flexible response compared with desert populations. An analysis of digital photographs was used to measure population morphological differences, which were usually indicative of a decrease in trait size along the north-to-south gradient. We show how climatic gradients translate into phenotypic differences in an antlion population and provide a morphometric tool to distinguish between instar stages.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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).

  20. Sources of strontium and calcium in desert soil and calcrete

    Science.gov (United States)

    Capo, Rosemary C.; Chadwick, Oliver A.

    1999-06-01

    The carbon-cycle significance of soil carbonate fluxes is subject to large uncertainties because it is not clear precisely how much calcium is derived from atmospheric sources compared with that from the chemical weathering of silicate minerals. In the petrocalcic horizon (calcrete) of a Pleistocene soil from the USDA-SCS Desert Project area near Las Cruces, NM, approximately 1.5 g Ca/cm 3 has been added, with an associated expansion of the profile of ˜200%. Strontium isotope values for the labile cations and carbonate from the A, B and K soil horizons have 87Sr/ 86Sr values that range from 0.7087 to 0.7093, similar to the values for easily soluble local dust and rain. The parent material, non-calcareous Camp Rice alluvial sediment, has a 87Sr/ 86Sr ratio of ˜0.7165. Mixing calculations indicate a minimum atmospheric contribution to soil carbonate calcium of ˜94%; the more likely scenarios indicate at least 98% of the Ca originated from atmospheric input. The variations in 87Sr/ 86Sr ratios of soil silicate (0.7131 to 0.7173) are consistent with weathering of volcanogenic sediments and neoformation of clay minerals in the petrocalcic horizon. Moreover, the Sr isotope data suggest that 50-70% of silicate in the uppermost 25 cm of the profile could be atmosphere-derived. The isotopic composition of labile strontium in the A horizon and the mass distribution of silicon and calcium indicate that the uppermost portion of the profile is the present zone for the release of cations due to silicate weathering. Steady-state models of the whole profile yield a Sr weathering flux ranging from ˜200 to 400 μg cm -2 Ma -1. The results indicate that both the present-day and long-term contribution of calcium from silicate weathering is less than 2% of that supplied from the atmosphere, and confirm that desert soil formation is not a significant sink for atmospheric carbon.

  1. Rehabilitation of gypsum-mined lands in the Indian desert

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sharma, K.D.; Kumar, S.; Gough, L.P.

    2001-01-01

    The economic importance of mining in the Indian Desert is second only to agriculture. Land disturbed by mining, however, has only recently been the focus of rehabilitation efforts. This research assesses the success of rehabilitation plans used to revegetate gypsum mine spoils within the environmental constraints of the north-west Indian hot-desert ecosystem. The rehabilitation plan first examined both mined and unmined areas and established assessments of existing vegetative cover and the quality of native soils and mine spoils. Tests were made on the effect of the use, and conservation, of available water through rainwater harvesting, amendment application (for physical and chemical spoil modification), plant establishment protocols, and the selection of appropriate germ plasm. Our results show that the resulting vegetative cover is capable of perpetuating itself under natural conditions while concurrently meeting the needs of farmers. Although the mine spoils are deficient in organic matter and phosphorus, they possess adequate amounts of all other nutrients. Total boron concentrations (>5.0 mg kg-1) in both the topsail and mine spoil indicate potentially phytotoxic conditions. Electrical conductance of mine spoil is 6-10 times higher than for topsail with a near-neutral pH. Populations of spoil fungi, Azotobactor, and nitrifying bacteria are low. The soil moisture storage in rainwater harvesting plots increased by 8% over the control and 48% over the unmined area. As a result of rehabilitation efforts, mine spoils show a steady buildup in organic carbon, and P and K due to the decomposition of farmyard manure and the contribution of nitrogen fixation by the established leguminous plant species. The rehabilitation protocol used at the site appears to have been successful. Following revegetation of the area with a mixture of trees, shrubs, and grasses, native implanted species have become established. Species diversity, measured in terms of species richness

  2. From Desert to Dessert: Why Australian Dust Matters.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hunter, K. A.; Mackie, D. S.; Boyd, P. W.; McTainsh, G. H.

    2006-12-01

    The growth of some types of phytoplankton in several parts of the world ocean, including much of the Southern Ocean, is limited by the supply of iron. Large Australian dust storms uplift, transport and abrade soils, to produce aeolian dust that is a significant source iron to the Southern Ocean. Atmospheric processes that enhance the dissolution of iron from aeolian dusts are of interest and have been studied for material from major dust producing regions like the Sahara, Gobi and Australian deserts; the reported solubility of iron from aeolian dusts ranges from <0.01% to 80%. The characteristic red soils, sands and dusts from Australia are generally believed to consist of quartz grains with a coating of fine grains and crystals of iron oxides, primarily hematite and goethite. The precise mineralogy of soil and dust grain coatings is poorly understood and it also not well known how the coatings are altered during uplift and transport to the ocean. Current models to understand the processes operating during the transport and atmospheric processing of dust include some generalisations and simplifications that are not always warranted and our work has shown the overlooked complexity of the system. Models for aeolian-iron dissolution based on Northern Hemisphere data commonly include the pollutants SOx and NOx. The modern Southern Hemisphere is less polluted and thus resembles past environmental systems. The dissolution of iron from soils of the Saharan, Gobi and Australian deserts in the presence of protons only (i.e. without SOx and NOx) occurs in two phases. The first, faster phase, representing up to 20% of total iron is via a surface-controlled mechanism. The rate determining variable is the exposed surface area of the iron oxides and not the size of the underlying quartz grain. The second, slower, phase of dissolution occurs via the transport-controlled formation of a leached layer. During the simulated aeolian abrasion of Australian soils from dust producing

  3. Model development and calibration for investigating climate, soil, and plant physiological controls on desert ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ng, G. C.; Bedford, D.; Miller, D. M.

    2011-12-01

    Arid ecosystems have adapted to cope with extreme temperatures and unreliable moisture inputs. Understanding desert vegetation dynamics through seasonal to inter-annual meteorological variability is important for assessing how further intensification of the hydrological system under climate change may impact desert ecosystems. Furthermore, due to world-wide problems with desertification, proper ecological characterization of deserts, which already cover a fifth of the world's land surface, is increasingly critical for monitoring global-scale ecology. We present a model-based study that examines spatio-temporal dynamics of desert vegetation in a research watershed located in the Mojave Desert. Moving from the basin floor to higher elevations, the study area covers a range of meteorological and soil conditions, allowing us to explore how various climate, soil, and plant physiological factors interact to affect desert ecosystems. The first stage of this work entails developing a model appropriate for simulating desert ecological systems. NCAR's CLM-CN model fully couples dynamics within the soil-vegetation-atmosphere continuum. It includes parameterizations for diverse vegetation types, making it a flexible and accessible tool for ecohydrological studies. The dominant plant-type in our study area is Larrea tridentata, a shrub abundantly found in deserts of North and South America. We find that the current CLM-CN sub-model for (semi-)arid region shrubs may not be suitable for the extreme conditions found in parts of the study area. Model modifications representing various adaptations of drought-resistant Larrea are crucial for properly simulating vegetation growth. Changes to CLM's soil hydraulic property functions are also needed to represent gravelly soils typical of the region. After developing a suitable parameterization for desert shrubs and soils, we calibrate the model to soil moisture and vegetation measurements in the study area. This includes soil moisture

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. Data measured on water collected from eastern Mojave Desert, California

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rose, Tim P. [Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States)

    2017-08-17

    In March of 2000 field collection of water from the Eastern Mojave Desert resulted in the measurement of stable isotope, radiocarbon, tritium, and limited dissolved noble gases. This work was follow-on to previous studies on similar systems in southern Nevada associated with the Nevada Test Site (Davisson et al., 1999; Rose and Davisson, 2003). The data for groundwater from wells and springs was never formally published and is therefore tabulated in Table 1 in order to be recorded in public record. In addition 4 years of remote precipitation data was collected for stable isotopes and is included in Table 2. These studies, along with many parallel and subsequent ones using isotopes and elemental concentrations, are all related to the general research area of tracing sources and quantifying transport times of natural and man-made materials in the environment. This type of research has direct relevance in characterizing environmental contamination, understanding resource development and protection, designing early detection in WMD related terrorism, and application in forensics analysis.

  7. Determination of Oxygen Production by Cyanobacteria in Desert Environment Soil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bueno Prieto, J. E.

    2009-12-01

    The cyanobacteria have been characterized for being precursor in the production of oxygen. By means of photosynthetic reactions, they provide oxygen to the environment that surrounds them and they capture part of surrounding dioxide of carbon. This way it happened since the primitive Earth until today. Besides, these microorganisms can support the harmful effects of ultraviolet radiation. The presence of cyanobacterias in an environment like a dry tropical bioma, such as the geographical location called Desert of The Tatacoa (Huila - Colombia), is determinant to establish parameters in the search of biological origin of atmospheric oxygen detected in Mars. In that case, I work with a random sample of not rhizospheric soil, taken to 15 cm of depth. After determining the presence of cyanobacterias in the sample, this one was in laboratory to stimulate the oxygen production. The presence of oxygen in Mars is very interesting. Since oxygen gas is very reactive, it disappear if it is not renewed; the possibility that this renovation of oxygen has a biological origin is encouraging, bearing in mind that in a dry environment and high radiation such as the studied one, the production of oxygen by cyanobacterias is notable. Also it is necessary to keep in mind that the existence of cyanobacterias would determine water presence in Mars subsoil and the nutrients cycles renovation. An interesting exploration possibility for some future space probe to Mars might be the study of worldwide distribution of oxygen concentration in this planet and this way, indentify zones suitable for microbian life.

  8. Satellite Observations of Desert Dust-induced Himalayan Snow Darkening

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gautam, Ritesh; Hsu, N. Christina; Lau, William K.-M.; Yasunari, Teppei J.

    2013-01-01

    The optically thick aerosol layer along the southern edge of the Himalaya has been subject of several recent investigations relating to its radiative impacts on the South Asian summer monsoon and regional climate forcing. Prior to the onset of summer monsoon, mineral dust from southwest Asian deserts is transported over the Himalayan foothills on an annual basis. Episodic dust plumes are also advected over the Himalaya, visible as dust-laden snow surface in satellite imagery, particularly in western Himalaya. We examined spectral surface reflectance retrieved from spaceborne MODIS observations that show characteristic reduction in the visible wavelengths (0.47 nm) over western Himalaya, associated with dust-induced solar absorption. Case studies as well as seasonal variations of reflectance indicate a significant gradient across the visible (0.47 nm) to near-infrared (0.86 nm) spectrum (VIS-NIR), during premonsoon period. Enhanced absorption at shorter visible wavelengths and the resulting VIS-NIR gradient is consistent with model calculations of snow reflectance with dust impurity. While the role of black carbon in snow cannot be ruled out, our satellite-based analysis suggests the observed spectral reflectance gradient dominated by dust-induced solar absorption during premonsoon season. From an observational viewpoint, this study underscores the importance of mineral dust deposition toward darkening of the western Himalayan snow cover, with potential implications to accelerated seasonal snowmelt and regional snow albedo feedbacks.

  9. Mycoplasma agassizii in Morafka's desert tortoise (Gopherus morafkai) in Mexico.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berry, Kristin H; Brown, Mary B; Vaughn, Mercy; Gowan, Timothy A; Hasskamp, Mary Ann; Torres, Ma Cristina Meléndez

    2015-01-01

    We conducted health evaluations of 69 wild and 22 captive Morafka's desert tortoises (Gopherus morafkai) in Mexico between 2005 and 2008. The wild tortoises were from 11 sites in the states of Sonora and Sinaloa, and the captive tortoises were from the state-managed Centro Ecológico de Sonora Zoo in Hermosillo and a private residence in the town of Alamos. We tested 88 tortoises for mycoplasmal upper respiratory tract disease (URTD) using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays for specific antibody and by culture and PCR for detection of Mycoplasma agassizii and Mycoplasma testudineum. Fifteen of 22 captive tortoises had one or more positive diagnostic test results for M. agassizii whereas no wild tortoises had positive tests. Tortoises with positive tests also had significantly more moderate and severe clinical signs of mycoplasmosis on beaks and nares compared to tortoises with negative tests. Captive tortoises also exhibited significantly more clinical signs of illness than did wild tortoises, including lethargy and moderate to severe ocular signs. The severity of trauma and diseases of the shell and integument did not differ significantly among tortoises by site; however, clinical signs of moderate to severe trauma and disease were more prevalent in older tortoises. Similar to research findings for other species in the genus Gopherus in the US, we found that URTD is an important disease in captive tortoises. If they escape or are released by intention or accident to the wild, captive tortoises are likely to pose risks to healthy, naïve wild populations.

  10. Impacts of feral horses on a desert environment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hendrickson Larry E

    2009-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Free-ranging horses (Equus caballus in North America are considered to be feral animals since they are descendents of non-native domestic horses introduced to the continent. We conducted a study in a southern California desert to understand how feral horse movements and horse feces impacted this arid ecosystem. We evaluated five parameters susceptible to horse trampling: soil strength, vegetation cover, percent of nonnative vegetation, plant species diversity, and macroinvertebrate abundance. We also tested whether or not plant cover and species diversity were affected by the presence of horse feces. Results Horse trailing resulted in reduced vegetation cover, compacted soils, and in cases of intermediate intensity disturbance, increased plant species diversity. The presence of horse feces did not affect plant cover, but it did increase native plant diversity. Conclusion Adverse impacts, such as soil compaction and increased erosion potential, were limited to established horse trails. In contrast, increased native plant diversity near trails and feces could be viewed as positive outcomes. Extensive trailing can result in a surprisingly large impact area: we estimate that 25 km2 of trails in our study area.

  11. Impacts of feral horses on a desert environment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ostermann-Kelm, Stacey D; Atwill, Edward A; Rubin, Esther S; Hendrickson, Larry E; Boyce, Walter M

    2009-11-10

    Free-ranging horses (Equus caballus) in North America are considered to be feral animals since they are descendents of non-native domestic horses introduced to the continent. We conducted a study in a southern California desert to understand how feral horse movements and horse feces impacted this arid ecosystem. We evaluated five parameters susceptible to horse trampling: soil strength, vegetation cover, percent of nonnative vegetation, plant species diversity, and macroinvertebrate abundance. We also tested whether or not plant cover and species diversity were affected by the presence of horse feces. Horse trailing resulted in reduced vegetation cover, compacted soils, and in cases of intermediate intensity disturbance, increased plant species diversity. The presence of horse feces did not affect plant cover, but it did increase native plant diversity. Adverse impacts, such as soil compaction and increased erosion potential, were limited to established horse trails. In contrast, increased native plant diversity near trails and feces could be viewed as positive outcomes. Extensive trailing can result in a surprisingly large impact area: we estimate that horses used > 25 km2 of trails in our study area.

  12. Seasonal variation of indoor radon concentration in a desert climate.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Al-Khateeb, H M; Nuseirat, M; Aljarrah, K; Al-Akhras, M-Ali H; Bani-Salameh, H

    2017-12-01

    Radon is one of the sources that negatively affect dwellings air quality and is ranked as a main cause of lung cancer after cigarette smoking. The indoor radon concentrations usually affected by the conditions of the environment surrounding the dwellings. Seasonal variations can have a significant impact on the indoor radon concentrations. In this article, we studied the seasonal variations of indoor radon concentration in a desert climate, particularly in gulf countries that usually leave the windows and doors closed all over the time. Four hundred dosimeters containing CR-39 detectors were planted for three months to measure the variation in radon concentration between winter and summer seasons. Our measurements showed that a building with a basement revealed a significant variation between radon concentration in winter (44.3 ± 3.1Bqm -3 ) and in summer (26.1 ± 1.7Bqm -3 ). Buildings without basements showed that the indoor radon concentration in winter (16.1 ± 1.7Bqm -3 ) is very much close to that in summer (16.7 ± 1.8Bqm -3 ). Our results indicated that seasonal variations can significantly affect indoor radon concentration for buildings established with basements. However; in the study region, the average indoor radon concentration as well as the annual effective dose rate are found to be below the action level recommended by ICRP. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. Assessing water stress of desert vegetation using remote sensing : the case of the Tamarugo forest in the Atacama Desert (Northern Chile)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Chávez Oyanadel, R.O.

    2014-01-01

    Water stress assessment of natural vegetation plays a key role in water management of desert ecosystems. It allows scientists and managers to relate water extraction rates to changes in vegetation water condition, and consequently to define safe water extraction rates for maintaining a healthy

  14. Surgical deserts in California: an analysis of access to surgical care.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Uribe-Leitz, Tarsicio; Esquivel, Micaela M; Garland, Naomi Y; Staudenmayer, Kristan L; Spain, David A; Weiser, Thomas G

    2018-03-01

    Areas of minimal access to surgical care, often called "surgical deserts", are of particular concern when considering the need for urgent surgical and anesthesia care. We hypothesized that California would have an appropriate workforce density but that physicians would be concentrated in urban areas, and surgical deserts would exist in rural counties. We used a benchmark of six general surgeons, six orthopedists, and eight anesthesiologists per 100,000 people per county to define a "desert". The number and location of these providers were obtained from the Medical Board of California for 2015. ArcGIS, version 10.3, was used to geocode the data and were analyzed in Redivis. There were a total of 3268 general surgeons, 3188 orthopedists, and 5995 anesthesiologists in California in 2015, yielding a state surgeon-to-population ratio of 7.2, 6.7, and 10.2 per 100,000 people, respectively; however, there was wide geographic variability. Of the 58 counties in California, 18 (31%) have a general surgery desert, 27 (47%) have an orthopedic desert, and 22 (38%) have an anesthesiology desert. These counties account for 15%, 25%, and 13% of the state population, respectively. Five, seven, and nine counties, respectively, have none in the corresponding specialty. Overall, California has an adequate ratio of surgical and anesthesia providers to population. However, because of their uneven distribution, significant surgical care deserts exist. Limited access to surgical and anesthesia providers may negatively impact patient outcome in these counties. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  15. 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%).

  16. A Systematic Review of Global Desert Dust and Associated Human Health Effects

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xuelei Zhang

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Dust storms and sandy dust events originating in arid and semi-arid areas can transport particulate material, pollutants, and potential transport long distances from their sources. Exposure to desert dust particles is generally acknowledged to endanger human health. However, most studies have examined anthropogenic particulate sources, with few studies considering contributions from natural desert dust. A systematic literature review was undertaken using the ISI Web of Knowledge and PubMed databases with the objective of identifying all studies presenting results on the potential health impact from desert dust particles across the world. This review reveals an imbalance between the areas most exposed to dust and the areas most studied in terms of health effects. Among the human health effects of dust storms are mortality and morbidity, arising from respiratory system, circulatory system, and other diseases. We summarize the quantitative results of current scientific health research and possible pathological mechanisms, and describe some of the many challenges related to understanding health effects from exposures to desert dust particles. Overall, for respiratory and circulatory mortality, both positive and negative associations have been reported for PM10 of desert dust, but only a positive relationship was reported between PM2.5–10 and mortality, and a positive relationship was also reported between PM2.5 and human mortality. Future pathological studies should continue to focus on those mechanisms causing the most harmful effect of desert dust on respiratory and cardiovascular diseases. More attention should also be paid to the association between desert dust and the morbidity of other diseases, such as those affecting the reproductive system and nervous system.

  17. Molecular markers of biomass burning, fungal spores and biogenic SOA in the Taklimakan desert aerosols

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fu, Pingqing; Zhuang, Guoshun; Sun, Yele; Wang, Qiongzhen; Chen, Jing; Ren, Lujie; Yang, Fan; Wang, Zifa; Pan, Xiaole; Li, Xiangdong; Kawamura, Kimitaka

    2016-04-01

    Biogenic primary organic aerosols (POA) and secondary organic aerosols (SOA) are important organic constituents of atmospheric particulate matter (PM). In order to better understand the atmospheric abundances, molecular compositions and sources of the desert aerosols, biomass-burning tracers (e.g. levoglucosan), primary saccharides including fungal spore tracers, and SOA tracers from the oxidation of biogenic volatile organic compounds (e.g. isoprene, monoterpenes and sesquiterpene) have been studied in ambient aerosols from the Taklimakan desert, using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. Results showed that the total concentrations of biomass-burning tracers at Hetian (177-359 ng m-3, mean 233 ng m-3 in PM2.5) in the south rim of the desert were much higher than those at Tazhong (1.9-8.8 ng m-3 in PM2.5 and 5.9-32 ng m-3 in TSP) in the central Taklimakan desert. Molecular markers of fungal spores were also detected in all the desert aerosols, highlighting the importance of primary bioaerosols in the Asian dust particles. A specific pattern of the dominance of 2-methylglyceric acid over 2-methyltetrols and C5-alkene triols was found in the Taklimakan desert aerosols, especially during the dust storm events, which is different from the 2-methyltetrols-dominated pattern in other ambient aerosols. Our results provide direct evidence on the biogenic POA and SOA tracers in the Taklimakan desert region, which help to better understand their impact on the aerosol chemistry in the down-wind regions.

  18. Phylogeography of Beck's Desert Scorpion, Paruroctonus becki, reveals Pliocene diversification in the Eastern California Shear Zone and postglacial expansion in the Great Basin Desert.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Graham, Matthew R; Jaeger, Jef R; Prendini, Lorenzo; Riddle, Brett R

    2013-12-01

    The distribution of Beck's Desert Scorpion, Paruroctonus becki (Gertsch and Allred, 1965), spans the 'warm' Mojave Desert and the western portion of the 'cold' Great Basin Desert. We used genetic analyses and species distribution modeling to test whether P. becki persisted in the Great Basin Desert during the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM), or colonized the area as glacial conditions retreated and the climate warmed. Phylogenetic and network analyses of mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase 1 (cox1), 16S rDNA, and nuclear internal transcribed spacer (ITS-2) DNA sequences uncovered five geographically-structured groups in P. becki with varying degrees of statistical support. Molecular clock estimates and the geographical arrangement of three of the groups suggested that Pliocene geological events in the tectonically dynamic Eastern California Shear Zone may have driven diversification by vicariance. Diversification was estimated to have continued through the Pleistocene, during which a group endemic to the western Great Basin diverged from a related group in the eastern Mojave Desert and western Colorado Plateau. Demographic and network analyses suggested that P. becki underwent a recent expansion in the Great Basin. According to a landscape interpolation of genetic distances, this expansion appears to have occurred from the northwest, implying that P. becki may have persisted in part of the Great Basin during the LGM. This prediction is supported by species distribution models which suggest that climate was unsuitable throughout most of the Great Basin during the LGM, but that small patches of suitable climate may have remained in areas of the Lahontan Trough. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  19. Investigation of microbial diversity in a desert Mars-like environment: Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS), Utah

    Science.gov (United States)

    Direito, Maria Susana; Staats, Martijn; Foing, Bernard H.; Ehrenfreund, Pascale; Roling, Wilfred

    The Utah Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS) harbours geo-morphology and geo-processes analogues to the planet Mars. Soil samples were collected during the EuroGeoMars campaign (from 24 January to 1 March 2009) from different locations and depths [1]. Samples were distributed among scientific collaborator institutes for analysis of microbial diversity, amino acid content and degradation, content of PAH or larger organic molecules, and respective soil properties. Our sample analysis had the objective of characterizing the microbial communities in this Mars analogue: DNA isolation, PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) using primers for DNA amplification of Bacteria, Archaea and Eukarya ribosomal RNA (rRNA) gene fragments, DGGE (Denaturing Gradient Gel Electrophoresis) and clone library construction with the final aim of sequencing. Results indicate that life is present in all the three domains of life (Archaea, Bacteria and Eukarya), while the most diversity was found in the domain Bacteria. Microorgan-isms are heterogeneously present and their identities are currently investigated. The obtained information will be later related to the other scientific analysis in order to obtain a better understanding of this Mars analogue site, which in turn will provide important information for the search for life on Mars. [1] Foing, B.H. et al . (2009). Exogeolab lander/rover instruments and EuroGeoMars MDRS campaign. LPI, 40, 2567.

  20. Temporal dynamics of hot desert microbial communities reveal structural and functional responses to water input

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    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 CO2 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-disturbance community composition was achieved within one month after rainfall.

  1. 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.

  2. The Agassiz's desert tortoise genome provides a resource for the conservation of a threatened species.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marc Tollis

    Full Text Available Agassiz's desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii is a long-lived species native to the Mojave Desert and is listed as threatened under the US Endangered Species Act. To aid conservation efforts for preserving the genetic diversity of this species, we generated a whole genome reference sequence with an annotation based on deep transcriptome sequences of adult skeletal muscle, lung, brain, and blood. The draft genome assembly for G. agassizii has a scaffold N50 length of 252 kbp and a total length of 2.4 Gbp. Genome annotation reveals 20,172 protein-coding genes in the G. agassizii assembly, and that gene structure is more similar to chicken than other turtles. We provide a series of comparative analyses demonstrating (1 that turtles are among the slowest-evolving genome-enabled reptiles, (2 amino acid changes in genes controlling desert tortoise traits such as shell development, longevity and osmoregulation, and (3 fixed variants across the Gopherus species complex in genes related to desert adaptations, including circadian rhythm and innate immune response. This G. agassizii genome reference and annotation is the first such resource for any tortoise, and will serve as a foundation for future analysis of the genetic basis of adaptations to the desert environment, allow for investigation into genomic factors affecting tortoise health, disease and longevity, and serve as a valuable resource for additional studies in this species complex.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. The Agassiz's desert tortoise genome provides a resource for the conservation of a threatened species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tollis, Marc; DeNardo, Dale F; Cornelius, John A; Dolby, Greer A; Edwards, Taylor; Henen, Brian T; Karl, Alice E; Murphy, Robert W; Kusumi, Kenro

    2017-01-01

    Agassiz's desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii) is a long-lived species native to the Mojave Desert and is listed as threatened under the US Endangered Species Act. To aid conservation efforts for preserving the genetic diversity of this species, we generated a whole genome reference sequence with an annotation based on deep transcriptome sequences of adult skeletal muscle, lung, brain, and blood. The draft genome assembly for G. agassizii has a scaffold N50 length of 252 kbp and a total length of 2.4 Gbp. Genome annotation reveals 20,172 protein-coding genes in the G. agassizii assembly, and that gene structure is more similar to chicken than other turtles. We provide a series of comparative analyses demonstrating (1) that turtles are among the slowest-evolving genome-enabled reptiles, (2) amino acid changes in genes controlling desert tortoise traits such as shell development, longevity and osmoregulation, and (3) fixed variants across the Gopherus species complex in genes related to desert adaptations, including circadian rhythm and innate immune response. This G. agassizii genome reference and annotation is the first such resource for any tortoise, and will serve as a foundation for future analysis of the genetic basis of adaptations to the desert environment, allow for investigation into genomic factors affecting tortoise health, disease and longevity, and serve as a valuable resource for additional studies in this species complex.

  6. 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.

  7. Reconstructing palaeoenvironments on desert margins: New perspectives from Eurasian loess and Australian dry lake shorelines

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fitzsimmons, Kathryn E.

    2017-09-01

    Desert margins preserve evidence of more extensive arid conditions in the past and represent global hot spots with respect to climate change. The balance of scientific evidence now suggests that dryland landscape reactivation did not correspond simply to ice age aridity peaks as previously assumed. This paper provides a new perspective on, and more nuanced understanding of, desert marginal landscapes as palaeoenvironmental archives. The two case studies represent ends of a sediment availability spectrum. Both environments experience substantial spatial and temporal variability in deposition, with implications for reconstructing past environments at individual sites. Recently generated chronostratigraphic data from the dry subhumid Dobrogea loess, Romania, are synthesised to provide quantitative insights into the spatial and temporal organisation of loess plateaux. Loess accumulation peaks during the LGM and MIS4, but not at all sites. Accumulation rates vary substantially between sites. Comparison of geographical context yields no clear driving mechanism for this variability. Secondly, two transverse lunette dunes in semi-arid Willandra Lakes, Australia, yield comparable chronostratigraphies and distribution of stratigraphic units. A first attempt is made to identify changes in wind regime through time on the Australian desert margins, and suggests that high latitude climate forcing may have acted upon semi-arid Australia over millennial scales. The novel perspectives generated from the new datasets provide unprecedented insights into past climate circulation and land surface processes along desert margins. These new perspectives, coupled with the new geochronological and quantitative palaeoclimate proxy tools now available, represent the next frontier for palaeoenvironmental research on desert margins.

  8. Genetic connectivity across marginal habitats: the elephants of the Namib Desert.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ishida, Yasuko; Van Coeverden de Groot, Peter J; Leggett, Keith E A; Putnam, Andrea S; Fox, Virginia E; Lai, Jesse; Boag, Peter T; Georgiadis, Nicholas J; Roca, Alfred L

    2016-09-01

    Locally isolated populations in marginal habitats may be genetically distinctive and of heightened conservation concern. Elephants inhabiting the Namib Desert have been reported to show distinctive behavioral and phenotypic adaptations in that severely arid environment. The genetic distinctiveness of Namibian desert elephants relative to other African savanna elephant (Loxodonta africana) populations has not been established. To investigate the genetic structure of elephants in Namibia, we determined the mitochondrial (mt) DNA control region sequences and genotyped 17 microsatellite loci in desert elephants (n = 8) from the Hoanib River catchment and the Hoarusib River catchment. We compared these to the genotypes of elephants (n = 77) from other localities in Namibia. The mtDNA haplotype sequences and frequencies among desert elephants were similar to those of elephants in Etosha National Park, the Huab River catchment, the Ugab River catchment, and central Kunene, although the geographically distant Caprivi Strip had different mtDNA haplotypes. Likewise, analysis of the microsatellite genotypes of desert-dwelling elephants revealed that they were not genetically distinctive from Etosha elephants, and there was no evidence for isolation by distance across the Etosha region. These results, and a review of the historical record, suggest that a high learning capacity and long-distance migrations allowed Namibian elephants to regularly shift their ranges to survive in the face of high variability in climate and in hunting pressure.

  9. NOUR. Daylighting and thermal effects of windows in desert houses

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ouahrani, Djamel

    1999-07-01

    This study is on a combined effect of window, the daylighting and the thermal effects, in desert houses. It is comprised of two complementary studies. In the introduction a historical review on the development of using daylight has been carried out in order to place the case study in a historical perspective. The first study is comprehensive and contains two main parts. In the first part a study was carried out on the people and history of the town of Ghardaia in Southern Algeria. This was done in order to understand the architectural form of that region. The second part is experimental and consists of two field studies carried out in Ghardaia. Their aim was to investigate the influence of daylight and temperature on the use of residential houses. This investigation included both traditional and 'modern' houses, the modern having relatively large windows similar to those of the northern part of Algeria, the traditional ones having small or no windows. The second study is also experimental consisting of computer parametric studies on window design from two standpoints, namely daylighting level and thermal effects of windows in desert houses. A typical traditional house is described as it was observed. Then the recorded light values are presented and commented upon. In the second part, three types of modern houses observed in the field studies are presented and compared to the traditional archetype. The comparison especially dwells on the relative effectiveness of the two systems of daylighting. In the third part, focusing on various issues of lighting, the results of interviews with the inhabitants are presented. The historical studies indicate that the process of housing development, in several respects, has reached a certain quality (social, technology, and adaptation to climate) appropriate to the local original context, but that development has slowed down. The results of the lighting study indicate that the use of more windows in modern houses

  10. 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.

  11. Synthesis, Characterization, and Application of Superhydrophobic Sands in Desert Agriculture

    KAUST Repository

    Reihmer, Joel W.

    2017-04-01

    A sustainable supply of fresh water for the human population is a global concern. Intriguingly, about 70% of the total fresh water consumed in the world annually is claimed by agriculture alone; this fraction is even higher in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, where natural regeneration of groundwater is the slowest. Thus, there is a serious need for innovative materials and technologies to enhance the efficiency water usage in agriculture. To this end, plastic mulches have been employed across the developed world to minimize evaporative loss of water from top-soils. While plastic mulches are inexpensive, they do require specialized farm machinery for installation and long processing times. On one hand, plastic mulches have proven to increase crop yields, but on the other their non-biodegradability poses serious environmental concerns. In response, development of low-cost bio-/photo-degradable artificial mulches remains an area of intense research. In this thesis, we report on a novel superhydrophobic material exploiting inexpensive simple components to reduce the amount of water required for irrigation in agriculture by suppressing evaporative losses from the top-soil. Our material consists of ordinary beach sand coated with < 20 nm thick layer of paraffin wax. We synthesized and extensively characterized our material and applied them as mulches for tomato and barley plants at the KAUST greenhouse. We found that when a ~5 mm thick layer of superhydrophobic sand was placed onto the top-soil in pots, it dramatically suppressed evaporative losses and significantly enhanced the yields. Our preliminary field-scale experiments with tomatoes and barley crops at the Hada Al Sham site corroborate these results. Our approach might find applications in desert agriculture and other fields and alleviate water stress in the MENA region.

  12. Threshold Velocity for Saltation Activity in the Taklimakan Desert

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Xinghua; He, Qing; Matimin, Ali; Yang, Fan; Huo, Wen; Liu, Xinchun; Zhao, Tianliang; Shen, Shuanghe

    2017-12-01

    The threshold velocity is an indicator of a soil's susceptibility to saltation activity and is also an important parameter in dust emission models. In this study, the saltation activity, atmospheric conditions, and soil conditions were measured from 1 August 2008 to 31 July 2009 in the Taklimakan Desert, China. the threshold velocity was estimated using the Gaussian time fraction equivalence method. At 2 m height, the 1-min averaged threshold velocity varied between 3.5 and 10.9 m/s, with a mean of 5.9 m/s. Threshold velocities varying between 4.5 and 7.5 m/s accounted for about 91.4% of all measurements. The average threshold velocity displayed clear seasonal variations in the following sequence: winter (5.1 m/s) regression equation of threshold velocity was established based on the relations between daily mean threshold velocity and air temperature, specific humidity, and soil volumetric moisture content. High or moderate positive correlations were found between threshold velocity and air temperature, specific humidity, and soil volumetric moisture content (air temperature r = 0.75; specific humidity r = 0.59; and soil volumetric moisture content r = 0.55; sample size = 251). In the study area, the observed horizontal dust flux was 4198.0 kg/m during the whole period of observation, while the horizontal dust flux calculated using the threshold velocity from the regression equation was 4675.6 kg/m. The correlation coefficient between the calculated result and the observations was 0.91. These results indicate that atmospheric and soil conditions should not be neglected in parameterization schemes for threshold velocity.

  13. Actinobacteria from arid and desert habitats: diversity and biological activity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joachim eWink

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract The lack of new antibiotics in the pharmaceutical pipeline guides more and more researchers to leave the classical isolation procedures and to look in special niches and ecosystems. Bioprospecting of extremophilic Actinobacteria through mining untapped strains and avoiding resiolation of known biomolecules is among the most promising strategies for this purpose. With this approach, members of acidtolerant, alkalitolerant, psychrotolerant, thermotolerant, halotolerant and xerotolerant Actinobacteria have been obtained from respective habitats. Among these, little survey exists on the diversity of Actinobacteria in arid areas, which are often adapted to relatively high temperatures, salt concentrations, and radiation. Therefore, arid and desert habitats are special ecosystems which can be recruited for the isolation of uncommon Actinobacteria with new metabolic capability.At the time of this writing, members of Streptomyces, Micromonospora, Saccharothrix, Streptosporangium, Cellulomonas, Amycolatopsis, Geodermatophilus, Lechevalieria, Nocardia and Actinomadura are reported from arid habitats. However, metagenomic data present dominant members of the communities in desiccating condition of areas with limited water availability that are not yet isolated. Furthermore, significant diverse types of polyketide synthase (PKS and nonribosomal peptide synthetase (NRPS genes are detected in xerophilic and xerotolerant Actinobacteria and some bioactive compounds are reported from them. Rather than pharmaceutically active metabolites, molecules with protection activity against drying such as Ectoin and Hydroxyectoin with potential application in industry and agriculture have also been identified from xerophilic Actinobacteria. In addition, numerous biologically active small molecules are expected to be discovered from arid adapted Actinobacteria in the future. In the current survey, the diversity and biotechnological potential of Actinobacteria

  14. Actinobacteria from Arid and Desert Habitats: Diversity and Biological Activity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mohammadipanah, Fatemeh; Wink, Joachim

    2015-01-01

    The lack of new antibiotics in the pharmaceutical pipeline guides more and more researchers to leave the classical isolation procedures and to look in special niches and ecosystems. Bioprospecting of extremophilic Actinobacteria through mining untapped strains and avoiding resiolation of known biomolecules is among the most promising strategies for this purpose. With this approach, members of acidtolerant, alkalitolerant, psychrotolerant, thermotolerant, halotolerant and xerotolerant Actinobacteria have been obtained from respective habitats. Among these, little survey exists on the diversity of Actinobacteria in arid areas, which are often adapted to relatively high temperatures, salt concentrations, and radiation. Therefore, arid and desert habitats are special ecosystems which can be recruited for the isolation of uncommon Actinobacteria with new metabolic capability. At the time of this writing, members of Streptomyces, Micromonospora, Saccharothrix, Streptosporangium, Cellulomonas, Amycolatopsis, Geodermatophilus, Lechevalieria, Nocardia, and Actinomadura are reported from arid habitats. However, metagenomic data present dominant members of the communities in desiccating condition of areas with limited water availability that are not yet isolated. Furthermore, significant diverse types of polyketide synthase (PKS) and non-ribosomal peptide synthetase (NRPS) genes are detected in xerophilic and xerotolerant Actinobacteria and some bioactive compounds are reported from them. Rather than pharmaceutically active metabolites, molecules with protection activity against drying such as Ectoin and Hydroxyectoin with potential application in industry and agriculture have also been identified from xerophilic Actinobacteria. In addition, numerous biologically active small molecules are expected to be discovered from arid adapted Actinobacteria in the future. In the current survey, the diversity and biotechnological potential of Actinobacteria obtained from arid ecosystems

  15. Biodiversity of Rock Varnish at Yungay, Atacama Desert, Chile

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuhlman, K.; Venkat, P.; La Duc, M.; Kuhlman, G.; McKay, C.

    2007-12-01

    Rock varnish is a very slow-growing nanostratigraphic coating consisting of approximately 70% clay and 30% iron and manganese oxides of fine-grained clay minerals rich in manganese and iron oxides, which forms on the surfaces of rocks in most semi-arid to hyper-arid climates. Rock varnish has even been postulated to exist on Mars based on surface imagery from several landed missions, and is considered a potential biomarker. However, the mechanism of varnish nucleation and growth remains unknown. Whether or not microbes are involved in the nucleation and growth of rock varnish, the detection of microbes using cultivation or cultivation- independent techniques has demonstrated that varnish provides a microhabitat for microbes. We hypothesized that rock varnish in the Mars-like Yungay region of the Atacama Desert may provide such a microhabitat for microbial life where none has been found to date in the surface soil (< 1 cm). The presence of microbes was investigated using adenosine triphosphate (ATP) assay techniques and culture-independent biomolecular methods. High levels of both total and intracellular ATP were associated with the rock varnish while negligible ATP was found in the surrounding surface soil, suggesting that viable organisms were present. Total DNA was extracted from ground varnish and surrounding surface soil and subjected to trifurcate polymerase chain reactions (PCR). No DNA was recovered from the soil. Amplicons were used to generate ribosomal DNA (rDNA) clone libraries, which suggest the presence of numerous phylogenetically distinct microorganisms in eight Eubacterial clades, Alphaproteobacteria, Betaproteobacteria, Gammaproteobacteria, Cytophaga-Flavobacterium- Bacteroides (CFB), Chloroflexi (green non-sulfur bacteria (GNS)), Gemmatimonadetes, Actinobacteria and Cyanobacteria. The diversity of bacteria found and presence of cyanobacteria suggests that rock varnish provides a niche environment for a cryptoendolithic microbial community where

  16. Fusion: Crossing the desert between basic research to ITER

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jacquinot, J.

    2007-01-01

    Full text: Le 21st November 2006 seven partners (UE, Japan, China, India, RF, South Korea, USA) signed in Paris the documents of the treaty creating the ITER organisation. The treaty is expected is now being ratified by the concerned parliaments. This will constitute the last step of a very long process conducted under the auspices of the IAEA and developed in 3 phases: ITER conceptual design, engineering design, negotiations for organisation and site construction arrangements. ITER is a large research facility for the demonstration of fusion at a level of 500MW. Its construction is planned to take 10 years and will be followed by a 20 year operation phase. It constitutes a worldwide collaboration of unprecedented size. Over the last decades the fusion research programme went through drastically different phases: well supported in the eighties, it obtained good success with the first fusion power produced by JET; it then went down to an all time low in 2000 when the European Commission considered terminating the programme altogether. This talk will examine the key elements for first crossing the desert and then for the resurrection with a very ambitious programme. No doubt that the galloping cost of petrol and the setting-up of a meaningful project are dominant features. However, one should not overlook other key factors: consensus building of the scientific community focussing on key issues, close cooperation with the academic world which ensures the progress and the transfer of knowledge, collaboration with industry to keep alive the technical knowledge, public information notably at school level and last but not least active international collaborations under the auspices of IAEA and IEA to make the best use of facilities and human resources in the tough conditions of diminishing budgets. It is hoped that this limited experience of fusion to 'knowledge management in nuclear facilities' might be useful to other fields. (author)

  17. Pre-treating Seed to Enhance Germination of Desert Shrubs

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    W. K. Ostler; D. C. Anderson; D. J. Hansen

    2002-06-01

    Creosotebush [Larrea tridentata (D.C.) Cav.] and white bursage [Ambrosia dumosa (A. Gray) W.W. Payne] seeds were subjected to pre-treatments of rinsing and soaking in water and thiourea to enhance germination in laboratory experiments. The effects of darkness, temperature, seed source, and soil moisture were also evaluated in the laboratory. The best pre-treatment from the laboratory experiments, rinsing with water for 36 hours followed by drying, was field-tested at Fort Irwin, California. Two sites and two seeding dates (early March and mid April) were determined for each site. Five mulch treatments (no mulch, straw, gravel, chemical stabilizer, and plastic) were evaluated in combination with the seed pre-treatments. Field emergence was greatly enhanced with the seed pre-treatment for white bursage during the March (18-42% increase in germination) and April seedings (16-23% increase in germination). Creosotebush showed poor germination during March (2-5%) when soil temperatures averaged 15 C, but germination increased during the April trials (6-43%) when soil temperatures averaged 23 C. The seed pre-treatment during the April trials increased germination from 16-23%. The plastic mulch treatment increased germination dramatically during both the March and April trials. The plastic mulch increased soil temperatures (8-10 C)and maintained high humidity during germination. Both the chemical stabilizer and the gravel mulches improved germination over the control while the straw mulch decreased germination. These results suggest that seed pre-treatments combined with irrigation and mulch are effective techniques to establish these two dominant Mojave Desert species from seed.

  18. The observed cooling effect of desert blooms based on high-resolution Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer products

    Science.gov (United States)

    He, Bin; Huang, Ling; Liu, Junjie; Wang, Haiyan; Lż, Aifeng; Jiang, Weiguo; Chen, Ziyue

    2017-05-01

    Desert greening through planting or irrigation is a potential approach to mitigate desertification and climate warming, but its influence on regional climate is unclear due to scarcity of observations. "Desert blooms," which are natural phenomena usually associated with the El Niño-Southern Oscillation, regularly occur in the world's driest desert, the Atacama Desert. This sudden conversion of land cover likely has a large impact on regional climate through alteration of local energy budgets and provides a unique opportunity to study the potential climatic and environmental consequences of desert greening. Here we evaluated the land surface effects of blooms in the Atacama Desert using vegetation and climate data acquired from remote sensing. The rapid vegetation growth during blooms led to an increase in evapotranspiration and a decrease in albedo. These two processes caused a 0.31°C ± 0.05°C decrease in daytime land surface temperature. During nighttime, we observed a 0.02°C ± 0.02°C increase in land surface temperature due to enhanced heat capacity associated with blooms. This asymmetric diurnal variation in land surface temperature produced a net decrease in daily land surface temperature of 0.29°C ± 0.07°C. Our observations demonstrate the potential benefits of desert blooms on local climate. Results from this study also provide new evidence for plausible climate consequences expected from local "desert greening" strategies.

  19. 75 FR 28642 - Limiting Mountain Lion Predation on Desert Bighorn Sheep on Kofa National Wildlife Refuge, Yuma...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-05-21

    ...] Limiting Mountain Lion Predation on Desert Bighorn Sheep on Kofa National Wildlife Refuge, Yuma and La Paz... assessment (EA) for limiting mountain lion (Puma concolor) predation on desert bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis... describe how we will manage mountain lion predation to help achieve bighorn sheep population objectives on...

  20. 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.

  1. Polyphasic characterization of Trichocoleus desertorum sp. nov. (Pseudanabaenales, Cyanobacteria) from desert soils and phylogenetic placement of the genus Trichocoleus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Radka Muhlsteinova; Jeffrey R. Johansen; Nicole Pietrasiak; Michael P. Martin; Karina Osorio-Santos; Steven D. Warren

    2014-01-01

    Little is known about the taxonomic diversity of cyanobacteria in deserts, despite their important ecological roles in these ecosystems. In this study, cyanobacterial strains from the Atacama, Colorado, and Mojave Deserts were isolated and characterized using molecular, morphological, and ecological information. Phylogenetic placement of these strains was revealed...

  2. Utilizing genetic diversity in the desert watermelon citrullus colocynthis for enhancing watermelon cultivars for resistance to biotic and abiotic stress

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wide genetic diversity exists among the desert watermelon Citrullus colocynthis (L.) Schrad. (CC) accessions collected in the deserts of northern Africa, the Middle East, and Asia. Because of their resistance to biotic and abiotic stresses, there can be a viable source of genes used for enhancing wa...

  3. 75 FR 27383 - Culturally Significant Objects Imported for Exhibition Determinations: “A Gift From the Desert...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-05-14

    ... Desert: The Art, History and Culture of the Arabian Horse,'' imported from abroad for temporary... Culturally Significant Objects Imported for Exhibition Determinations: ``A Gift From the Desert: The Art, History and Culture of the Arabian Horse'' SUMMARY: Notice is hereby given of the following determinations...

  4. Nine-year spatial and temporal evolution of desert dust aerosols over South and East Asia as revealed by CALIOP

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Proestakis, Emmanouil; Amiridis, Vassilis; Marinou, Eleni; Georgoulias, Aristeidis K.; Solomos, Stavros; Kazadzis, Stelios; Chimot, J.J.; Che, Huizheng; Alexandri, Georgia; Binietoglou, Ioannis; Daskalopoulou, Vasiliki; Kourtidis, Konstantinos A.; Johannes Van Der A, Ronald

    2018-01-01

    We present a 3-D climatology of the desert dust distribution over South and East Asia derived using CALIPSO (Cloud-Aerosol Lidar and Infrared Pathfinder Satellite Observation) data. To distinguish desert dust from total aerosol load we apply a methodology developed in the framework of EARLINET

  5. Interactions among climate and soil properties influence current and future geographic distribution of an invasive grass in the Chihuahuan Desert

    Science.gov (United States)

    Background/Question/Methods: Lehmann lovegrass (Eragrostis lehmanniana) is an invasive exotic perennial grass throughout the Sonoran Desert. However, in the neighboring Chihuahuan Desert, this species is generally present in low abundance, although data on its geographic distribution are scarce. Our...

  6. 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.

  7. Physiological ecology of desert iguana (Dipsosaurus dorsalis) eggs: temperature and water relations

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Muth, A.

    1980-12-01

    The soil environment imposes constraints on the timing of oviposition and the location of suitable sites for egg burrows of the desert iguana (Dipsosaurus dorsalis). The effects of temperature and water potential on the developmental period and hatching success of eggs were determined. Eggs hatch normally between 28/sup 0/ and 38/sup 0/C at environmental water potentials between -50 and -1500 kPa. Predictions were derived for the timing and placement of egg clutches based on soil water potential and temperature profiles measured in the field and on the results of laboratory incubation experiments. The results suggest that egg burrows should be located at depths >22 cm in washes or possibly in sparsely vegetated areas away from creosote bushes. The biogeography of desert iguanas within the United States is discussed in relation to soil environments and tolerances of eggs. The physical factors affecting incubation may limit the geographical range of desert iguanas.

  8. Out of the Desert: My Journey from Nomadic Bedouin to the Heart of Global Oil

    KAUST Repository

    Al-Naimi, Ali Ibrahim

    2017-01-08

    His Excellency Ali Ibrahim Al-Naimi, former Ministry of Oil in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, will comment on his forthcoming autobiography "Out of the Desert: My Journey from Nomadic Bedouin to the Heart of Global Oil". Ali Ibrahim Al-Naimi is the former Saudi oil minister - and OPEC kingpin - a position he held for the two decades between August 1995 and May 2016. He was born into extreme poverty as a nomadic Bedouin in the 1930s, just as US companies were discovering vast quantities of oil under 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.

  9. High Resolution Mapping of Soils and Landforms for the Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan (DRECP)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Potter, Christopher S.; Li, Shuang

    2014-01-01

    The Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan (DRECP), a major component of California's renewable energy planning efforts, is intended to provide effective protection and conservation of desert ecosystems, while allowing for the sensible development of renewable energy projects. This NASA mapping report was developed to support the DRECP and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). We outline in this document remote sensing image processing methods to deliver new maps of biological soils crusts, sand dune movements, desert pavements, and sub-surface water sources across the DRECP area. We focused data processing first on the largely unmapped areas most likely to be used for energy developments, such as those within Renewable Energy Study Areas (RESA) and Solar Energy Zones (SEZs). We used imagery (multispectral and radar) mainly from the years 2009-2011.

  10. 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.

  11. When are food deserts? Integrating time into research on food accessibility.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Widener, Michael J; Shannon, Jerry

    2014-11-01

    The food desert concept is used as a means for defining regions as having inadequate spatial and socioeconomic access to vendors selling nutritious foods. This primarily aggregate-level and static method for understanding the food environment is commonly used by researchers and policy makers seeking to improve health outcomes of those affected by reduced access. However, recent research findings have brought the association between living in a food desert and adverse health outcomes into question. In this viewpoint, we put forward the idea that the food desert concept, and food accessibility research more generally, should be expanded to include a temporal component, and note potential avenues for future research. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. Thermal design of a modern, air-conditioned, single-floor, solar-powered desert house

    KAUST Repository

    Serag-Eldin, M. A.

    2011-12-01

    The paper presents a thermal analysis of a single-floor, solar-powered desert house. The house is air-conditioned and provides all modern comforts and facilities. Electrical power, which drives the entire energy system, is generated by roof-mounted photovoltaic modules. The modules are fixed on special cradles which fold at night to expose the roof to the night sky, thereby enhancing night-time cooling, which is substantial in the desert environment. A detailed dynamic heat transfer analysis is conducted for the building envelope, coupled with a solar radiation model. Application to 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. © 2011 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.

  13. Gravity, magnetic, and physical property data in the Smoke Creek Desert area, northwest Nevada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tilden, Janet E.; Ponce, David A.; Glen, Jonathan M.G.; Chuchel, Bruce A.; Tushman, Kira; Duvall, Alison

    2006-01-01

    The Smoke Creek Desert, located approximately 100 km (60 mi) north of Reno near the California-Nevada border, is a large basin situated along the northernmost parts of the Walker Lane Belt (Stewart, 1988), a physiographic province defined by northwest-striking topographic features and strike-slip faulting. Because geologic framework studies play an important role in understanding the hydrology of the Smoke Creek Desert, a geologic and geophysical effort was begun to help determine basin geometry, infer structural features, and estimate depth to Pre-Cenozoic rocks, or basement. In May and June of 2004, and June of 2005, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) collected 587 new gravity stations, more than 160 line-kilometers (100 line-miles) of truck-towed magnetometer data, and 111 rock property samples in the Smoke Creek Desert and vicinity in northwest Nevada, as part of an effort to characterize its hydrogeologic framework. In the Smoke Creek Desert area, gravity highs occur over rocks of the Skedaddle Mountains, Fox Range, Granite Range, and over portions of Tertiary volcanic rocks in the Buffalo Hills. These gravity highs likely reflect basement rocks, either exposed at the surface or buried at shallow depths. The southern Smoke Creek Desert corresponds to a 25-mGal isostatic gravity low, which corresponds with a basin depth of approximately 2 km. Magnetic highs are likely due to granitic, andesitic, and metavolcanic rocks, whereas magnetic lows are probably associated with less magnetic gneiss and metasedimentary rocks in the region. Three distinctive patterns of magnetic anomalies occur throughout the Smoke Creek Desert and Squaw Creek Valley, likely reflecting three different geological and structural settings.

  14. 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.

  15. Water stress monitoring using NDWI around deserts of China and Mongolia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Ga-Lam; Han, Kyung-Soo; Yeom, Jong-Min; Pi, Kyoung-Jin; Park, Soo-Jae

    2009-09-01

    The fluctuation of vegetation water condition around desert area is one of most important parameters to interpret the desertification expansion. United Nations reported that about 35 million square kilometers of land are subject to desertification. Historically, many parts of China have been suffered from severe desertification. This paper attempts an analysis for spatio-temporal variation characteristics of vegetation drought status around China and Mongolia desert with remotely sensed data. Time series images (1 January, 1999 - 31 December 2006) obtained from SPOT/VEGETATION were used to monitor inter-annual variability of water condition. SPOT/VEGETATION satellite, which has a fine temporal resolution and sensitive to vegetation growth, could be very useful to detect large scale dynamics of environmental changes and desertification progress. The main objective of the study is analyzing water status around China and Mongolia desert and predicting a risk area of desertification. In this study, NDWI (Normalized Difference Water Index) is used to monitor vegetation water condition (drought status) over the study area. To interpret the relationship between vegetation drought status and vigor, NDVI (Normalized Difference Vegetation Index) was employed in ensemble with NDWI. Annual total precipitation from NCEP/NCAR reanalysis data is used as subsidiary data. The study area from 73°36´E to 120°41´E longitude and from 30°81´N to 52°13´N longitude in northern China and whole Mongolia. NDWI value around desert has a range from -0.05 to -0.35 and NDWI values are decreased during the study period. Each year precipitation patterns are similar to yearly mean NDWI value. The study detected several areas where NDWI is dramatically decreased for 8 years, especially northeast part of Mongolian Gobi desert and southeast part of China Taklamakan desert.

  16. Environmental conditions and soils of natural oases in the Alashan Gobi Desert, Mongolia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pankova, E. I.

    2008-08-01

    Environmental conditions and soils of nine natural oases in the Alashan Gobi Desert of Mongolia are characterized. All these oases are allocated to the zones of tectonic faults, where the discharge of slightly saline groundwater takes place. The absolute heights are about 1500 m a.s.l. The oases are found on piedmont plains or in hilly areas occupied by true deserts with fragments of extremely arid deserts. With respect to geomorphological conditions, four types of oases can be distinguished: isolated (isle-type) oases, oases in large mesodepressions, oases formed in naturally ponded areas, and oases within terraced valleys. Each of these types is characterized by specific soil cover patterns controlled by the geomorphological features of the territory, the character of parent materials, and the groundwater depth. At the same time, some common soil properties are typical of all the oases. Hydromorphic soils—peat meadow-swampy soils, dark-colored nonsaline meadow soils, oasis solonchaks that developed in areas with shallow nonsaline groundwater, solonchaks with different degrees of hydromorphism that developed from mottled-colored salt-bearing Cretaceous and Paleogene deposits, and soddy alluvial (floodplain) soils—predominate in the central parts of the oases. Under conditions of deep groundwater, takyric and sandy desert soils are formed. The oases are encircled by desert ecosystems with gray-brown desert and extremely arid soils and with poorly developed stony soils that formed on the low residual mounts. In the period of the study (1991), irrigated farming was only developed within one of the studied oases. The main part of the land was used for pasturing. In some cases, the high grazing pressure led to degradation (desertification) of oasis ecosystems. A comparison of the oases studied in the Alashan Gobi with the Ekhiin-Gol oasis in the Transaltai Gobi attests to the similarity of their nature.

  17. Cyanobacterial composition and spatial distribution based on pyrosequencing data in the Gurbantunggut Desert, Northwestern China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Bingchang; Li, Renhui; Xiao, Peng; Su, Yangui; Zhang, Yuanming

    2016-03-01

    Cyanobacteria are the primary colonizers and form a dominant component of soil photosynthetic communities in biological soil crusts. They are crucial in improving soil environments, namely accumulating soil carbon and nitrogen. Many classical studies have examined cyanobacterial diversity in desert crusts, but relatively few comprehensive molecular surveys have been conducted. We used 454 pyrosequencing of 16S rRNA to investigate cyanobacterial composition and distribution on regional scales in the Gurbantunggut Desert. The relationship between cyanobacterial distribution and environmental factors was also explored. A total of 24,973 cyanobacteria partial 16S rRNA gene sequences were obtained, and 507OTUs were selected, as most OTUs had very few reads. Among these, 347 OTU sequences were of cyanobacteria origin, belonging to Oscillatoriales, Nostocales, Chroococcales, and uncultured cyanobacterium clone, respectively. Microcoleus vaginatus, Chroococcidiopsis spp. and M. steenstrupii were the dominant species in most areas of the Gurbantunggut Desert. Compared with other desert, the Gurbantunggut Desert differed in the prominence of Chroococcidiopsis spp. and lack of Pseudanabaenales. Species composition and abundance of cyanobacteria also showed distinct variations. Soil texture, precipitation, and nutrients and salt levels affected cyanobacterial distribution. Increased precipitation was helpful in improving cyanobacterial diversity. A higher content of coarse sand promoted the colonization and growth of Oscillatoriales and some phylotypes of Chroococcales. The fine-textured soil with higher nutrients and salts supported more varied populations of cyanobacteria, namely some heterocystous cyanobacteria. The results suggested that the Gurbantunggut Desert was rich in cyanobacteria and that precipitation was a primary regulating factor for cyanobacterial composition on a regional scale. © 2016 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  18. Two closely related species of Caloplaca (Teloschistaceae, Lichenes from the Namib Desert

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    I. Kärnefelt

    1988-10-01

    Full Text Available The anatomical and reproductive adaptations of two closely related lichen species.  Caloplaca elegantissima (Nyl. Zahlbr. and C. namibensis Karnef., sp. nov., occurring in the outer Namib fog desert, are discussed. Both species belong to the cmstose forms, frequently found in the remarkably rich lichen communities, which largely depend on fog precipitation for their water supply. Both species are endemic to the Namib Desert. They are mainly distributed in South West Africa/Namibia but also extend into south-western Angola. The asexual isidiate species.  C. namibensis Karnef., is described as new.

  19. Isotopic and hydrochemical evidence of groundwater recharge in the Hopq Desert, NW China

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jian Ge; Tao Wang; Yafei Chen; Jiansheng Chen; Hohai University, Nanjing, Jiangsu Province; Lu Ge; Chao Wang

    2016-01-01

    Artesian wells and lakes are found in the hinterland of the Hopq Desert, China. Analysis of soil profiles has revealed that the local vadose zone is always in a state of water deficit because of strong evaporation, and precipitation cannot infiltrate into the groundwater. This research indicated that soil water and surface water are recharged by groundwater and that the groundwater is recharged via an external source. Analyses of the stable isotopes in precipitation and of the water budget suggested that surface water in the Qiangtang Basin on the Tibetan Plateau might correspond to the groundwater in the Hopq Desert. (author)

  20. Microbial trace-fossil formation, biogenous, and abiotic weathering in the Antarctic cold desert

    Science.gov (United States)

    Friedmann, E. Imre; Weed, Rebecca

    1987-01-01

    In the Antarctic cold desert (Ross Desert), the survival of the cryptoendolithic microorganisms that colonize the near-surface layer of porous sandstone rocks depends on a precarious equilibrium of biological and geological factors. An unfavorable shift of this equilibrium results in death, and this may be followed by formation of trace fossils that preserve the characteristic iron-leaching pattern caused by microbial activity. Similar microbial trace fossils may exist in the geological record. If life ever arose on early Mars, similar processes may have occurred there and left recognizable traces.

  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. Mineralogy and Chemistry of Desert Roses, Ayn Dar Area, Abqaiq, Eastern Province, Saudi Arabia

    OpenAIRE

    Al Mohandis, Ahmed A. [احمد عبد القادر المهندس

    2002-01-01

    Desert roses are crystals which usually take the form of rose petal. They have definite crystal shapes, and enclose sand grains. The desert roses were scattered along an area of about 500m2 in the Ayn Dar area, near Abqaiq, about 80km southwest of Ad Dammam, Eastern Province, Saudi Arabia. They are made up of gypsum crystals included sand grains in the from of rosettes, with distinctive petal morphology. Most quartz grains are cemented by gypsum crystals which show a fibrous structure. ...

  3. Gardening in the desert: a spatial optimization approach to locating gardens in rapidly expanding urban environments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mack, Elizabeth A; Tong, Daoqin; Credit, Kevin

    2017-10-16

    Food access is a global issue, and for this reason, a wealth of studies are dedicated to understanding the location of food deserts and the benefits of urban gardens. However, few studies have linked these two strands of research together to analyze whether urban gardening activity may be a step forward in addressing issues of access for food desert residents. The Phoenix, Arizona metropolitan area is used as a case to demonstrate the utility of spatial optimization models for siting urban gardens near food deserts and on vacant land. The locations of urban gardens are derived from a list obtained from the Maricopa County Cooperative Extension office at the University of Arizona which were geo located and aggregated to Census tracts. Census tracts were then assigned to one of three categories: tracts that contain a garden, tracts that are immediately adjacent to a tract with a garden, and all other non-garden/non-adjacent census tracts. Analysis of variance is first used to ascertain whether there are statistical differences in the demographic, socio-economic, and land use profiles of these three categories of tracts. A maximal covering spatial optimization model is then used to identify potential locations for future gardening activities. A constraint of these models is that gardens be located on vacant land, which is a growing problem in rapidly urbanizing environments worldwide. The spatial analysis of garden locations reveals that they are centrally located in tracts with good food access. Thus, the current distribution of gardens does not provide an alternative food source to occupants of food deserts. The maximal covering spatial optimization model reveals that gardens could be sited in alternative locations to better serve food desert residents. In fact, 53 gardens may be located to cover 96.4% of all food deserts. This is an improvement over the current distribution of gardens where 68 active garden sites provide coverage to a scant 8.4% of food desert

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. Environmental considerations in a high desert, crude oil pipeline spill

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lowe, M.A.; Mancini, E.R.; Chamberlain, D.W.; Albright, G.R.

    1993-01-01

    A road grader punctured a high-pressure crude oil pipeline in the California high desert resulting in the release of approximately 4,200 barrels of Alaska North Slope crude oil. Oil sprayed over a steeply sloped hillside and flowed into an adjacent, densely vegetated ephemeral stream channel which carried secondary treatment sewage discharge. Three underflow dams were constructed in the channel within 2.8 km of the site. To ensure containment at the first dam, the sewage discharge was diverted from the channel, eventually to an upland impulse sprinkler irrigation system. Channel water and phase-separated ANS crude oil, impounded behind the first dam, percolated through alluvial sands/gravels to a depth of about five meters. The oil percolated through the soils on the receding surface of the water, affecting soils to an equivalent depth and saturating a horizontally narrow band of stream-bank soils as much as two to four meters into the bank. Stream channel undergrowth and a small number of mature trees were cleared to provide access for cleanup and/or to remove oiled plants. A large number of trees experienced partial leaf-drop within 25 days of the spill while two heavily oiled trees died. New vegetative growth was evident within five weeks of the spill. Site restoration included planting cuttings of five riparian tree species and hydroseeding exposed banks. Total petroleum hydrocarbon concentrations ranged from not detectable to 203,000 parts per million and averaged approximately 25,000 ppm in affected soils as sampled in place and in stockpiles. Approximately 30,000 tons of hydrocarbon-contaminated soil was excavated from the length of the stream channel (3,600 tons) as well as the area behind the first dam and spill site (26,400 tons). All soils were staged on site for waste profiling and final disposition. After treatment, the contaminated soil was beneficially reused as daily cover at a southern California landfill at a turnkey cost of approximately $57/ton

  9. Rehabilitation of lands mined for limestone in the Indian desert

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sharma, K.D.; Kumar, S.; Gough, L.P.

    2000-01-01

    In the Indian desert, the economics of mining is second only to agriculture in importance. However, research on the rehabilitation of land disturbed by mining has only recently received serious attention. An attempt has been made to determine both the qualitative and quantitative success of rehabilitation plans used to revegetate limestone mine spoils in an area near Barna, northwest arid India. Rehabilitation success was achieved using a combination of rainwater harvesting techniques, soil amendment application approaches, plant establishment methods and the selection of appropriate germplasm material (trees, shrubs and grasses). It is expected that the resulting vegetative cover will be capable of self-perpetuation under natural conditions while at the same time meeting the land-use needs of the local people. The minespoils have adequate levels of the major nutrients (except P, Mo and Se) for proper plant and grazing animal health. Levels of organic matter are low whereas total B concentrations are exceptionally high. Also, the population of soil fungi, Azotobactor, and nitrifying bacteria is negligible. Enhanced plant growth was achieved in treated plots, compared to control plots, where spoil moisture storage was improved by 5-45 per cent. Due to the decomposition of farmyard manure and nitrogen fixation by planted leguminous plant species, the electrical conductance of treated mine spoils increased threefold, CaCO3 content decreased from 20??0 to 5??2 per cent, and organic carbon, P, K, and biological activity increased significantly. The rehabilitation protocol used at the site appears to have been successful because plant self-regeneration is occurring. The increased diversity of woody perennials resulted in 'dominance' being better shared among species and 'evenness' being increased within the plant community elements. The early to mid-successional trends are continuing for six years following initial rehabilitation. This study developed methods for the

  10. Remontant erosion in desert soils of Tamaulipas, México.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rivera-Ortiz, P.; Andrade-Limas, E.; De la Garza-Requena, F.; Castro-Meza, B.

    2012-04-01

    REMONTANT EROSION IN DESERT SOILS OF TAMAULIPAS MÉXICO Rivera-Ortiz, P.1; Andrade-Limas, E.1; De la Garza-Requena, F.1 and Castro-Meza, B.1 1Facultad de Ingeniería y Ciencias, Universidad Autónoma de Tamaulipas, México The degradation of soil reduces the capacity of soils to produce food and sustain life. Erosion is one of the main types of soil degradation. Hydric erosion of remontant type can occur in soils located close to the channel of a river through the expansion of a gully that begins as a fluvial incision over the ravine of one side of the river. The incision takes place at the point of greatest flow of runoff from areas adjacent to empty into the river. The depth of the incision causes the growth of the gully by collapse to move their heads back, upstream. The soil loss by remontant erosion on land use in agriculture and livestock was estimated in order to understand the evolution of gullies formed by this type of erosion. Through measurements on satellite images and GPS (Global Positioning System) two gullies, developed on alluvial soils which drain into the river Chihue, were studied. The investigation was conducted during 2003 to 2010 period in the municipality of Jaumave, Tamaulipas, in northeastern Mexico. Soil loss in gullies developed by remontant erosion was large and it was caused by soil collapse and drag of soil on the headers. The estimated loss of soil by remontant erosion was 3500 t in the deeper gully during 2010 and nearly 1200 t per year in the period 2003-2009. New sections of gully of about 20 m length, with more than 3 m deep and up to 13 m wide, were formed each year. This degradation has significantly reduced the productive surface of soil that for many years has been used to the cultivation of maize (Zea mays) and beans (Phaseolus vulgaris) as well as pasture production.

  11. Association Between Living in Food Deserts and Cardiovascular Risk.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kelli, Heval M; Hammadah, Muhammad; Ahmed, Hina; Ko, Yi-An; Topel, Matthew; Samman-Tahhan, Ayman; Awad, Mossab; Patel, Keyur; Mohammed, Kareem; Sperling, Laurence S; Pemu, Priscilla; Vaccarino, Viola; Lewis, Tene; Taylor, Herman; Martin, Greg; Gibbons, Gary H; Quyyumi, Arshed A

    2017-09-01

    Food deserts (FD), neighborhoods defined as low-income areas with low access to healthy food, are a public health concern. We evaluated the impact of living in FD on cardiovascular risk factors and subclinical cardiovascular disease (CVD) with the hypothesis that people living in FD will have an unfavorable CVD risk profile. We further assessed whether the impact of FD on these measures is driven by area income, individual household income, or area access to healthy food. We studied 1421 subjects residing in the Atlanta metropolitan area who participated in the META-Health study (Morehouse and Emory Team up to Eliminate Health Disparities; n=712) and the Predictive Health study (n=709). Participants' zip codes were entered into the United States Food Access Research Atlas for FD status. Demographic data, metabolic profiles, hs-CRP (high-sensitivity C-reactive protein) levels, oxidative stress markers (glutathione and cystine), and arterial stiffness were evaluated. Mean age was 49.4 years, 38.5% male and 36.6% black. Compared with those not living in FD, subjects living in FD (n=187, 13.2%) had a higher prevalence of hypertension and smoking, higher body mass index, fasting glucose, and 10-year risk for CVD. They also had higher hs-CRP ( P =0.014), higher central augmentation index ( P =0.015), and lower glutathione level ( P =0.003), indicative of increased oxidative stress. Area income and individual income, rather than food access, were associated with CVD risk measures. In a multivariate analysis that included food access, area income and individual income, both low-income area and low individual household income, were independent predictors of a higher 10-year risk for CVD. Only low individual income was an independent predictor of higher hs-CRP and augmentation index. Although living in FD is associated with a higher burden of cardiovascular risk factors and preclinical indices of CVD, these associations are mainly driven by area income and individual income

  12. Δ17O Isotopic Investigation of Nitrate Salts Found in Co-Occurrence with Naturally Formed Perchlorate in the Mojave Desert, California, USA and the Atacama Desert, Chile

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lybrand, R. A.; Parker, D.; Rech, J.; Prellwitz, J.; Michalski, G.

    2009-12-01

    Perchlorate is both a naturally occurring and manmade contaminant that has been identified in soil, groundwater and surface water. Perchlorate directly affects human health by interfering with iodide uptake in the thyroid gland, which may in turn lower the production of key hormones that are needed for proper growth and development. Until recently, the Atacama Desert, Chile was thought to be the only location where perchlorate salts formed naturally. Recent work has documented the occurrence of these salts in several semi-arid regions of the United States. This study identified putatively natural sources of perchlorate in the Mojave Desert of California. Soil samples were collected from six field sites varying in geologic age. The co-occurrence of perchlorate and nitrate in caliches from the Atacama Desert and soils from the Mojave Desert was also investigated. Although the former are richer in NO3-, near-ore-grade (~5%) deposits occur in the vicinity of Death Valley National Park. Weak but significant correlations exist between ClO4- and NO3- at both locations, but the perchlorate levels are much higher (up to 800 mg/kg) in the Chilean samples than in California (atmospheric origin for the Atacama nitrate salts, and a mixture between biological nitrate and atmospherically-derived nitrate for the Mojave samples. When corrected for the percentage of atmospheric nitrate measured in the Atacama samples, the Mojave samples still contain much lower perchlorate concentrations than would be expected if the occurrence of perchlorate correlated strictly with atmospherically derived nitrate. These results indicate that the variation in the origins of the nitrate salts is not the only factor influencing perchlorate distribution in these environments. These findings suggest that there are other geologic differences in landform age and stability that are crucial to understanding the co-occurrence of nitrate and perchlorate between the two locations.

  13. Photovoltaic at Hollywood and Desert Breeze Recreational Centers

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ammerman, Shane [Clark County Comprehensive Planning Department, NV (United States)

    2015-09-24

    Executive Summary Renewable Energy Initiatives for Clark County Parks and Recreation Solar Project DOE grant # DE-EE0003180 In accordance with the goals of the Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy for promoting solar energy as clean, carbon-free and cost-effective, the County believed that a recreational center was an ideal place to promote solar energy technologies to the public. This project included the construction of solar electricity generation facilities (40kW) at two Clark County facility sites, Desert Breeze Recreational Center and Hollywood Recreational Center, with educational kiosks and Green Boxes for classroom instruction. The major objectives and goals of this Solar Project include demonstration of state of the art technologies for the generation of electricity from solar technology and the creation of an informative and educational tool in regards to the benefits and process of generating alternative energy. Clark County partnered with Anne Johnson (design architect/consultant), Affiliated Engineers Inc. (AEI), Desert Research Institute (DRI), and Morse Electric. The latest photovoltaic technologies were used in the project to help create the greatest expected energy savings for60443 each recreational center. This coupled with the data created from the monitoring system will help Clark County and NREL further understand the real time outputs from the system. The educational portion created with AEI and DRI incorporates material for all ages with a focus on K - 12. The AEI component is an animated story telling the fundamentals of how sunlight is turned into electricity and DRI‘s creation of Solar Green Boxes brings environmental education into the classroom. In addition to the educational component for the public, the energy that is created through the photovoltaic system also translates into saved money and health benefits for the general public. This project has helped Clark County to further add to its own

  14. Application of science-based restoration planning to a desert river system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laub, Brian G; Jimenez, Justin; Budy, Phaedra

    2015-06-01

    Persistence of many desert river species is threatened by a suite of impacts linked to water infrastructure projects that provide human water security where water is scarce. Many desert rivers have undergone regime shifts from spatially and temporally dynamic ecosystems to more stable systems dominated by homogenous physical habitat. Restoration of desert river systems could aid in biodiversity conservation, but poses formidable challenges due to multiple threats and the infeasibility of recovery to pre-development conditions. The challenges faced in restoring desert rivers can be addressed by incorporating scientific recommendations into restoration planning efforts at multiple stages, as demonstrated here through an example restoration project. In particular, use of a watershed-scale planning process can identify data gaps and irreversible constraints, which aid in developing achievable restoration goals and objectives. Site-prioritization focuses limited the resources for restoration on areas with the greatest potential to improve populations of target organisms. Investment in research to understand causes of degradation, coupled with adoption of a guiding vision is critical for identifying feasible restoration actions that can enhance river processes. Setting monitoring as a project goal, developing hypotheses for expected outcomes, and implementing restoration as an experimental design will facilitate adaptive management and learning from project implementation. Involvement of scientists and managers during all planning stages is critical for developing process-based restoration actions and an implementation plan to maximize learning. The planning process developed here provides a roadmap for use of scientific recommendations in future efforts to recover dynamic processes in imperiled riverine ecosystems.

  15. Community-based restoration of desert wetlands: the case of the Colorado River delta

    Science.gov (United States)

    Osvel Hinojosa-Huerta; Mark Briggs; Yamilett Carrillo-Guerroro; Edward P. Glenn; Miriam Lara-Flores; Martha Roman-Rodriguez

    2005-01-01

    Wetland areas have been drastically reduced through the Pacific Flyway and the Sonoran Desert, with severe consequences for avian populations. In the Colorado River delta, wetlands have been reduced by 80 percent due to water management practices in the Colorado River basin. However, excess flows and agricultural drainage water has restored some areas, providing...

  16. Evaluation of evidence supporting the effectiveness of desert tortoise recovery actions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boarman, William I.; Kristan, William B.

    2006-01-01

    As a federally threatened species, the desert tortoise's (Gopherus agassizii) recovery is required under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). According to the criteria established by the Desert Tortoise Recovery Plan (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 1994) for delisting the tortoise from ESA protection, the species as a whole will be considered recovered when tortoises have exhibited a statistically significant upward trend for at least one tortoise generation (25 years), enough habitat is protected to allow persistence, provisions are in place to maintain discrete population growth rates at or above 1.0, regulatory measures are in place to ensure continued management of tortoise habitat, and there is no longer reason to believe that the species will require ESA protection in the future. Just as species extinction can be thought of as the cumulative extinction of all populations, species recovery can be thought of as recovery of constituent populations; management efforts for recovery generally are implemented and assessed at the population level. A recent review of the Desert Tortoise Recovery Plan, including an exhaustive literature search, has been compiled by the Desert Tortoise Recovery Plan Assessment Committee (Tracy et al. 2004).

  17. Nest site selection in a hot desert : Trade-off between microclimate and predation risk?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Tieleman, B. Irene; van Noordwijk, Hendrika J.; Williams, Joseph B.

    Nest placement affects the risk of predation on both eggs and incubating parents and determines the microclimate for incubation, two functions that may be in conflict, especially in hot deserts. We studied the roles of microclimate and nest predation on nest site selection by Hoopoe Larks (Alaemon

  18. Landscape position moderates how ant nests affect hydrology and soil chemistry across a Chihuahuan Desert watershed

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ants moderate the supply of critical resources such as water and nutrients in desert environments by changing the physical arrangement of soils during nest construction. We measured water infiltration and soil physical and chemical properties on and off the nests of two ant species (Pogonomyrmex rug...

  19. Has climatic warming altered spring flowering date of Sonoran Desert shrubs?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bowers, Janice E.

    2007-01-01

    With global warming, flowering at many locations has shifted toward earlier dates of bloom. A steady increase in average annual temperature since the late 1890s makes it likely that flowering also has advanced in the northern Sonoran Desert of the southwestern United States and northwestern Mexico. In this study, phenological models were used to predict annual date of spring bloom in the northern Sonoran Desert from 1894 to 2004; then, herbarium specimens were assessed for objective evidence of the predicted shift in flowering time. The phenological models were derived from known flowering requirements (triggers and heat sums) of Sonoran Desert shrubs. According to the models, flowering might have advanced by 20-41 d from 1894 to 2004. Analysis of herbarium specimens collected during the 20th century supported the model predictions. Over time, there was a significant increase in the proportion of shrub specimens collected in flower in March and a significant decrease in the proportion collected in May. Thus, the flowering curve - the proportion of individuals in flower in each spring month - shifted toward the start of the calendar year between 1900 and 1999. This shift could not be explained by collection activity: collectors showed no tendency to be active earlier in the year as time went on, nor did activity toward the end of spring decline in recent decades. Earlier bloom eventually could have substantial impacts on plant and animal communities in the Sonoran Desert, especially on migratory hummingbirds and population dynamics of shrubs.

  20. Qumran as Scroll Storehouse in Times of Crisis? : A Comparative Perspective on Judaean Desert Manuscript Collections

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Popović, Mladen

    2012-01-01

    This article takes a material and comparative approach to the Qumran collection. Distinctive features set the Qumran manuscripts apart from other Judaean Desert collections, suggesting a scholarly, school-like collection of predominantly literary texts. The few literary texts from other Judaean

  1. The relative abundance of desert tortoises on the Nevada Test Site within ecological landform units

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Woodward, R.; Rautenstrauch, K.R.; Hall, D.B.; Ostler, W.K.

    1998-09-01

    Sign-survey transects were sampled in 1996 to better determine the relative abundance of desert tortoises on the Nevada Test Site (NTS). These transects were sampled within ecological land-form units (ELUs), which are small, ecologically homogeneous units of land. Two-hundred and six ELUs were sampled by walking 332 transects totaling 889 kilometers (km). These ELUs covered 528 km 2 . Two-hundred and eight-one sign were counted. An average of 0.32 sign was found per km walked. Seventy percent of the area sampled had a very low abundance of tortoises, 29% had a low abundance, and 1% had a moderate abundance. A revised map of the relative abundance of desert tortoise on the NTS is presented. Within the 1,330 km 2 of desert tortoise habitat on the NTS, 49% is classified as having no tortoises or a very low abundance, 18% has a low or moderate abundance, 12% is unclassified land being used by the Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project, and the remaining 21% still has an unknown abundance of desert tortoises. Based on the results of this work, the amount of tortoise habitat previously classified as having an unknown or low-moderate abundance, and on which clearance surveys and on-site monitoring was required, has been reduced by 20%

  2. Deaths in the Desert: The Human Rights Crisis on the U.S.--Mexico Border

    Science.gov (United States)

    Androff, David K.; Tavassoli, Kyoko Y.

    2012-01-01

    Many would acknowledge that immigration is a major issue in the United States and that immigration reform should be a priority. However, there is little attention to the human rights crisis on the U.S.-Mexican border. As a result of tightened border security since 1994, it is estimated that over 5,000 migrants have died in the Sonoran desert. The…

  3. 77 FR 39181 - Revisions to the California State Implementation Plan, Mojave Desert Air Quality Management...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-07-02

    ... the California State Implementation Plan, Mojave Desert Air Quality Management District (MDAQMD) and Yolo-Solano Air Quality Management District (YSAQMD) AGENCY: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA... Air Quality Management District. (1) Rule 1165, ``Glass Melting Furnaces,'' amended on August 25, 2008...

  4. The Australian Desert Fireball Network: a new era for planetary science

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Bland, P.A.; Spurný, Pavel; Bevan, A.W.R.; Howard, K.T.; Towner, M.C.; Benedix, G.K.; Greenwood, R.C.; Shrbený, Lukáš; Franchi, I.A.; Deacon, G.; Borovička, Jiří; Ceplecha, Zdeněk; Vaughan, D.; Hough, R.M.

    2012-01-01

    Roč. 59, č. 2 (2012), s. 177-187 ISSN 0812-0099 R&D Projects: GA ČR GA205/08/0411 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z10030501 Keywords : desert fireball network * nullarbor region * observed meteorite falls Subject RIV: BN - Astronomy, Celestial Mechanics, Astrophysics Impact factor: 1.468, year: 2012

  5. 75 FR 13805 - Aspen Group Resources Corp., Commercial Concepts, Inc., Desert Health Products, Inc., Equalnet...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-03-23

    ... COMMISSION Aspen Group Resources Corp., Commercial Concepts, Inc., Desert Health Products, Inc., Equalnet Communications Corp., Geneva Steel Holdings Corp., Orderpro Logistics, Inc. (n/k/a Securus Renewable Energy, Inc... Aspen Group Resources Corp. because it has not filed any periodic reports since the period ended...

  6. 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

  7. Microbial Diversity in Soil, Sand Dune and Rock Substrates of the Thar Monsoon Desert, India.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rao, Subramanya; Chan, Yuki; Bugler-Lacap, Donnabella C; Bhatnagar, Ashish; Bhatnagar, Monica; Pointing, Stephen B

    2016-03-01

    A culture-independent diversity assessment of archaea, bacteria and fungi in the Thar Desert in India was made. Six locations in Ajmer, Jaisalmer, Jaipur and Jodhupur included semi-arid soils, arid soils, arid sand dunes, plus arid cryptoendolithic substrates. A real-time quantitative PCR approach revealed that bacteria dominated soils and cryptoendoliths, whilst fungi dominated sand dunes. The archaea formed a minor component of all communities. Comparison of rRNA-defined community structure revealed that substrate and climate rather than location were the most parsimonious predictors. Sequence-based identification of 1240 phylotypes revealed that most taxa were common desert microorganisms. Semi-arid soils were dominated by actinobacteria and alpha proteobacteria, arid soils by chloroflexi and alpha proteobacteria, sand dunes by ascomycete fungi and cryptoendoliths by cyanobacteria. Climatic variables that best explained this distribution were mean annual rainfall and maximum annual temperature. Substrate variables that contributed most to observed diversity patterns were conductivity, soluble salts, Ca(2+) and pH. This represents an important addition to the inventory of desert microbiota, novel insight into the abiotic drivers of community assembly, and the first report of biodiversity in a monsoon desert system.

  8. Application of science-based restoration planning to a desert river system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laub, Brian G.; Jimenez, Justin; Budy, Phaedra

    2015-01-01

    Persistence of many desert river species is threatened by a suite of impacts linked to water infrastructure projects that provide human water security where water is scarce. Many desert rivers have undergone regime shifts from spatially and temporally dynamic ecosystems to more stable systems dominated by homogenous physical habitat. Restoration of desert river systems could aid in biodiversity conservation, but poses formidable challenges due to multiple threats and the infeasibility of recovery to pre-development conditions. The challenges faced in restoring desert rivers can be addressed by incorporating scientific recommendations into restoration planning efforts at multiple stages, as demonstrated here through an example restoration project. In particular, use of a watershed-scale planning process can identify data gaps and irreversible constraints, which aid in developing achievable restoration goals and objectives. Site-prioritization focuses limited the resources for restoration on areas with the greatest potential to improve populations of target organisms. Investment in research to understand causes of degradation, coupled with adoption of a guiding vision is critical for identifying feasible restoration actions that can enhance river processes. Setting monitoring as a project goal, developing hypotheses for expected outcomes, and implementing restoration as an experimental design will facilitate adaptive management and learning from project implementation. Involvement of scientists and managers during all planning stages is critical for developing process-based restoration actions and an implementation plan to maximize learning. The planning process developed here provides a roadmap for use of scientific recommendations in future efforts to recover dynamic processes in imperiled riverine ecosystems.

  9. Diversity and feeding strategies of soil microfauna along elevation gradients in Himalayan cold deserts

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Devetter, Miloslav; Háněl, Ladislav; Řeháková, Klára; Doležal, J.

    2017-01-01

    Roč. 12, č. 11 (2017), č. článku e0187646. E-ISSN 1932-6203 R&D Projects: GA MŠk(CZ) LTC17019 Institutional support: RVO:60077344 Keywords : diversity * feeding strategies * soil microfauna * Himalayan cold deserts Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour OBOR OECD: Ecology Impact factor: 2.806, year: 2016

  10. Phylogeography of Declining Relict and Lowland Leopard Frogs in the Desert Southwest of North America

    Science.gov (United States)

    We investigated the phylogeography of the closely related relict leopard frog (Rana onca) and lowland leopard frog (R. yavapaiensis) – two declining anurans from the warm-desert regions of southwestern North America. We used sequence data from two mitochondrial DNA genes to asses...

  11. The Toshka mirage in the Egyptian desert - river diversion as political diversion

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Warner, J.F.

    2013-01-01

    Egypt's geography renders it vulnerable to water scarcity, but also enables it to control its inflow. After a run of high influx years from the Nile, Egypt embarked on a project to utilise the surplus water by planning a gigantic desert development project, Toshka, in the late 1990s. The present

  12. The economics of hybrid power systems for sustainable desert agriculture in Egypt

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kamel, S.M.; Dahl, C.

    2005-01-01

    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...

  13. Complex Adaptive Systems: The Theater Air Control System in Desert Storm

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-05-22

    needs through effective leadership that encourages innovation and diversity of ideas. iii ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS I would like to thank my beautiful ...desert were clearly “visible” with infrared sensors, especially between sunset and midnight .161 The intent of Night Camel was to determine whether

  14. Linking Populus euphratica hydraulic redistribution to diversity assembly in the arid desert zone of Xinjiang, China.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiao-Dong Yang

    Full Text Available The hydraulic redistribution (HR of deep-rooted plants significantly improves the survival of shallow-rooted shrubs and herbs in arid deserts, which subsequently maintain species diversity. This study was conducted in the Ebinur desert located in the western margin of the Gurbantonggut Desert. Isotope tracing, community investigation and comparison analysis were employed to validate the HR of Populus euphratica and to explore its effects on species richness and abundance. The results showed that, P. euphratica has HR. Shrubs and herbs that grew under the P. euphratica canopy (under community: UC showed better growth than the ones growing outside (Outside community: OC, exhibiting significantly higher species richness and abundance in UC than OC (p<0.05 along the plant growing season. Species richness and abundance were significantly logarithmically correlated with the P. euphratica crown area in UC (R² = 0.51 and 0.84, p<0.001. In conclusion, P. euphratica HR significantly ameliorates the water conditions of the shallow soil, which then influences the diversity assembly in arid desert communities.

  15. 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 ...

  16. Desert environment and agriculture in the Central Negev and Kadesh-Barnea during historical times

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bruins, H.J.

    1986-01-01

    A description is given of historic land-use and ancient agriculture in the arid desert environment of the central Negev and adjacent northeastern Sinai, based on archeaeological research and soil research.

    Relationships between the landscape, climatic and agricultural

  17. Modeling population response to anthropogenic threats for a long-lived reptile, the desert tortoise

    Science.gov (United States)

    Background/Question/Methods The decline in desert tortoise population densities and abundances since the 1970s has been attributed to numerous threats, leading scientists, land managers, and conservationists to describe the plight of the species as a “death by a thousand cuts.” ...

  18. Gopherus agassizii (desert tortoise) and Crotalus ruber (red diamond rattlesnake). Burrow co-occupancy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lovich, Jeffrey E.

    2011-01-01

    I observed an adult Desert Tortoise and an adult Red Diamond Rattlesnake (sexes unknown) in a shallow tortoise burrow on 6 January 1997 at a wind energy generation facility near Palm Springs, Riverside Co., California, USA (33.9599°N, 116.6613°W).

  19. Integrating Gene Transcription-Based Biomarkers to Understand Desert Tortoise and Ecosystem Health.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bowen, Lizabeth; Miles, A Keith; Drake, K Kristina; Waters, Shannon C; Esque, Todd C; Nussear, Kenneth E

    2015-09-01

    Tortoises are susceptible to a wide variety of environmental stressors, and the influence of human disturbances on health and survival of tortoises is difficult to detect. As an addition to current diagnostic methods for desert tortoises, we have developed the first leukocyte gene transcription biomarker panel for the desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii), enhancing the ability to identify specific environmental conditions potentially linked to declining animal health. Blood leukocyte transcript profiles have the potential to identify physiologically stressed animals in lieu of clinical signs. For desert tortoises, the gene transcript profile included a combination of immune or detoxification response genes with the potential to be modified by biological or physical injury and consequently provide information on the type and magnitude of stressors present in the animal's habitat. Blood from 64 wild adult tortoises at three sites in Clark County, NV, and San Bernardino, CA, and from 19 captive tortoises in Clark County, NV, was collected and evaluated for genes indicative of physiological status. Statistical analysis using a priori groupings indicated significant differences among groups for several genes, while multidimensional scaling and cluster analyses of transcription C T values indicated strong differentiation of a large cluster and multiple outlying individual tortoises or small clusters in multidimensional space. These analyses highlight the effectiveness of the gene panel at detecting environmental perturbations as well as providing guidance in determining the health of the desert tortoise.

  20. 76 FR 28450 - Meeting of the California Desert District Advisory Council

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-05-17

    ... DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Bureau of Land Management [LLCAD01000 L12200000.AL 0000] Meeting of the California Desert District Advisory Council SUMMARY: Notice is hereby given, in accordance with Public Laws..., from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Handlery Hotel, 950 Hotel Circle North, San Diego, CA 92108. There will be...

  1. Cosmogenic Radionuclides in Hot Desert Chondrites With Low C-14 Activities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Welten, K. C.; Nishiizumi, K.; Caffee, M. W.

    2000-01-01

    Terrestrial ages of meteorites from hot deserts provide an important tool to estimate meteorite fluxes to the Earth. Most desert meteorites have terrestrial ages less than 40 ky, but a few achondrites from the Sahara region were recently shown to have significantly higher ages, up to approx.100 ky. In general, C-14 (half-life = 5730 y) is the most suited radionuclide to determine terrestrial ages for desert meteorites. However for meteorites with ages >35 ky, the concentration of cosmogenic C-14 has decreased to a level at which it becomes difficult to distinguish between cosmogenic C-14 and terrestrial contamination. These meteorites may therefore be much older than 35 ky. We selected chondrites with low C-14 activities (less than or equal to 2 dpm/kg) for measurements of the concentrations of cosmogenic Cl-36 (half-life= 3.01 x 10(exp 5) y) and Ca-41 (half-life= 1.04 x 10(exp 5) y) in the metal phase. Since the ratio of Ca-41/Cl-36 in the metal phase of chondrites is relatively constant and well known, the measured ratio is a direct measure of the terrestrial age]. A major problem is that most or sometimes all. of the metal in these old "hot desert" meteorites has been oxidized to hydrated Fe-Ni-oxides. Therefore, we also measured the concentrations of Be-10, Al-26 and Cl-36 in the stony phase in order to constrain the terrestrial age as much as possible.

  2. Cosmogenic Radionuclides in Hot Desert Chondrites with Low C-14 Activities: A Progress Report

    Science.gov (United States)

    Welten, Kees; Nishiizumi, Kunihiko; Caffee, Marc W.

    1999-01-01

    Terrestrial ages of meteorites from hot deserts provide an important tool to estimate meteorite fluxes to the Earth. Most desert meteorites have terrestrial ages less than 40 ky, but a few achondrites from the Sahara region were recently shown to have significantly higher ages, up to approx. 100 ky. In general, C-14 (half-life = 5730 y) is the most suited radionuclide to determine terrestrial ages for desert meteorites. However for meteorites with ages greater than 35 ky, the concentration of cosmogenic C-14 has decreased to a level at which it becomes difficult to distinguish between cosmogenic C-14 and terrestrial contamination. These meteorites may therefore be much older than 35 ky. We selected chondrites with low C-14 activities (less than or equal to 2 dpm/kg) for measurements of the concentrations of cosmogenic Cl-36 (half-life= 3.01 x 10 (exp 5) y) and Ca-41 (half-life= 1.04 x 10 (exp 5) y) in the metal phase. Since the ratio of Ca-14/Cl-36 in the metal phase of chondrites is relatively constant and well known, the measured ratio is a direct measure of the terrestrial age. A major problem is that most or sometimes all of the metal in these old "hot desert" meteorites has been oxidized to hydrated Fe-Ni-oxides. Therefore, we also measured the concentrations of Be-10, Al-26 and Cl-36 in the stony phase in order to constrain the terrestrial age as much as possible.

  3. Neutron and photon activation analyses in geochemical characterization of Libyan Desert Glass

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Mizera, Jiří; Řanda, Z.; Krausová, I.

    2017-01-01

    Roč. 311, č. 2 (2017), s. 1465-1471 ISSN 0236-5731. [International Conference on Radioanalytical and Nuclear Chemistry (RANC) /1./. Budapest, 10.04.2016-15.04.2016] Institutional support: RVO:67985891 Keywords : Libyan Desert Glass * INAA * IPAA * impact origin * Nubian sandstone * volatilization Subject RIV: DD - Geochemistry OBOR OECD: Geology Impact factor: 1.282, year: 2016

  4. Foraging behavior of heritage versus recently introduced herbivores on desert landscapes of the American Southwest

    Science.gov (United States)

    Since the 1800s managed grasslands and shrublands of the arid American Southwest have been grazed predominantly by cattle originally bred for temperate climates in northern Europe. A heritage breed, the criollo cattle, has survived in northern Mexico for more than 400 years under desert-like conditi...

  5. Water quality monitoring for high-priority water bodies in the Sonoran Desert network

    Science.gov (United States)

    Terry W. Sprouse; Robert M. Emanuel; Sara A. Strorrer

    2005-01-01

    This paper describes a network monitoring program for “high priority” water bodies in the Sonoran Desert Network of the National Park Service. Protocols were developed for monitoring selected waters for ten of the eleven parks in the Network. Park and network staff assisted in identifying potential locations of testing sites, local priorities, and how water quality...

  6. Integrating gene transcription-based biomarkers to understand desert tortoise and ecosystem health

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bowen, Lizabeth; Miles, A. Keith; Drake, Karla K.; Waters, Shannon C.; Esque, Todd C.; Nussear, Kenneth E.

    2015-01-01

    Tortoises are susceptible to a wide variety of environmental stressors, and the influence of human disturbances on health and survival of tortoises is difficult to detect. As an addition to current diagnostic methods for desert tortoises, we have developed the first leukocyte gene transcription biomarker panel for the desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii), enhancing the ability to identify specific environmental conditions potentially linked to declining animal health. Blood leukocyte transcript profiles have the potential to identify physiologically stressed animals in lieu of clinical signs. For desert tortoises, the gene transcript profile included a combination of immune or detoxification response genes with the potential to be modified by biological or physical injury and consequently provide information on the type and magnitude of stressors present in the animal’s habitat. Blood from 64 wild adult tortoises at three sites in Clark County, NV, and San Bernardino, CA, and from 19 captive tortoises in Clark County, NV, was collected and evaluated for genes indicative of physiological status. Statistical analysis using a priori groupings indicated significant differences among groups for several genes, while multidimensional scaling and cluster analyses of transcriptionC T values indicated strong differentiation of a large cluster and multiple outlying individual tortoises or small clusters in multidimensional space. These analyses highlight the effectiveness of the gene panel at detecting environmental perturbations as well as providing guidance in determining the health of the desert tortoise.

  7. Biological Communities in Desert Varnish and Potential Implications for Varnish Formation Mechanisms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lang-Yona, Naama; Maier, Stefanie; Macholdt, Dorothea; Rodriguez-Caballero, Emilio; Müller-Germann, Isabell; Yordanova, Petya; Jochum, Klaus-Peter; Andreae, Meinrat O.; Pöschl, Ulrich; Weber, Bettina; Fröhlich-Nowoisky, Janine

    2017-04-01

    Desert varnishes are thin, orange to black coatings found on rocks in arid and semi-arid environments on Earth. The formation mechanisms of rock varnish are still under debate and the involvement of microorganisms in this process remains unclear. In this work we aimed to identify the microbial community occurring in rock varnish to potentially gain insights into the varnish formation mechanism. For this purpose, rocks coated with desert varnish were collected from the Anza-Borrego Desert, California, USA, as well as soils from underneath the rocks. DNA from both varnish coatings and soil samples was extracted and subsequently used for metagenomic analysis, as well as for q-PCR analyses for specific species quantification. The element composition of the varnish coatings was analyzed and compared to the soil samples. Rock varnish shows similar depleted elements, compared to soil, but Mn and Pb are 50-60 times enriched compared to the soil samples, and about 100 times enriched compared to the upper continental crust. Our genomic analyses suggest unique populations and different protein functional groups occurring in the varnish compared to soil samples. We discuss these differences and try to shed light on the mechanism of Mn oxyhydroxide production in desert varnish formation.

  8. Surviving in a Marine Desert: The Sponge Loop Retains Resources Within Coral Reefs

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Goeij, de J.M.; Oevelen, van D.; Vermeij, M.J.A.; Osinga, R.; Middelburg, J.J.; Goeij, de A.F.P.M.; Admiraal, W.

    2013-01-01

    Ever since Darwin’s early descriptions of coral reefs, scientists have debated how one of the world’s most productive and diverse ecosystems can thrive in the marine equivalent of a desert. It is an enigma how the flux of dissolved organic matter (DOM), the largest resource produced on reefs, is

  9. Biological effects of desert dust in respiratory epithelial cells and a murine model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abstract As a result of the challenge of recent dust storms to public health, we tested the postulate that desert dust collected in the southwestern United States could impact a biological effect in respiratory epithelial cells and an animal model. Two samples of surface sedime...

  10. The effects of drying following heat shock exposure of the desert moss Syntrichia caninervis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Xu Shujun; Liu Chunjiang; Jiang Pingan; Cai Weimin; Wang Yan

    2009-01-01

    Desert mosses are components of biological soil crusts (BSCs) and their ecological functions make assessment and protection of these mosses a high-ranking management priority in desert regions. Drying is thought to be useful for desert mosses surviving heat shock. In this study, we investigated the role of drying by monitoring the responses of physiological characters and asexual reproduction in the typical desert moss Syntrichia caninervis. Heat significantly decreased chlorophyll content and weakened rapid recovery of photochemical activity, and increased carotenoid content and membrane permeability. Lethal temperatures significantly destroyed shoot regeneration potential. In comparison with heat alone, drying significantly increased protonema emergence time and depressed protonema emergence area. Drying combined with heat accelerated water loss, followed by a decrease of photosynthetic activity. Drying had different influences on membrane permeability at different temperatures. When moss leaves were subjected to a combined stress of drying and heat shock, photosynthesis was maintained mainly due to the effects of drying on physiological activity although the cellular morphological integrity was affected. Drying caused opposing effects on moss physiological and reproductive characteristics. On the one hand, drying caused a positive synergistic effect with heat shock when the temperature was below 40 deg. C. On the other hand, drying showed antagonism with heat shock when the moss was subjected to temperatures higher than 40 deg. C. These findings may help in understanding the survival mechanism of dessert mosses under heat shock stress which will be helpful for the artificial reconstruction of BSCs

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. An easily reversible structural change underlies mechanisms enabling desert crust cyanobacteria to survive desiccation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bar-Eyal, Leeat; Eisenberg, Ido; Faust, Adam; Raanan, Hagai; Nevo, Reinat; Rappaport, Fabrice; Krieger-Liszkay, Anja; Sétif, Pierre; Thurotte, Adrien; Reich, Ziv; Kaplan, Aaron; Ohad, Itzhak; Paltiel, Yossi; Keren, Nir

    2015-10-01

    Biological desert sand crusts are the foundation of desert ecosystems, stabilizing the sands and allowing colonization by higher order organisms. The first colonizers of the desert sands are cyanobacteria. Facing the harsh conditions of the desert, these organisms must withstand frequent desiccation-hydration cycles, combined with high light intensities. Here, we characterize structural and functional modifications to the photosynthetic apparatus that enable a cyanobacterium, Leptolyngbya sp., to thrive under these conditions. Using multiple in vivo spectroscopic and imaging techniques, we identified two complementary mechanisms for dissipating absorbed energy in the desiccated state. The first mechanism involves the reorganization of the phycobilisome antenna system, increasing excitonic coupling between antenna components. This provides better energy dissipation in the antenna rather than directed exciton transfer to the reaction center. The second mechanism is driven by constriction of the thylakoid lumen which limits diffusion of plastocyanin to P700. The accumulation of P700(+) not only prevents light-induced charge separation but also efficiently quenches excitation energy. These protection mechanisms employ existing components of the photosynthetic apparatus, forming two distinct functional modes. Small changes in the structure of the thylakoid membranes are sufficient for quenching of all absorbed energy in the desiccated state, protecting the photosynthetic apparatus from photoinhibitory damage. These changes can be easily reversed upon rehydration, returning the system to its high photosynthetic quantum efficiency. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  14. Quadrulella texcalense sp nov from a Mexican desert: An unexpected new environment for hyalospheniid testate amoebae

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Perez-Juarez, H.; Serrano-Vazquez, A.; Kosakyan, Anush; Mitchell, E.A.D.; Rivera Aguilar, V. M.; Lahr, D. J. G.; Hernandez Moreno, M. M.; Macías Cuellar, H.; Eguiarte, L. E.; Lara, E.

    2017-01-01

    Roč. 61, 17 July (2017), s. 253-264 ISSN 0932-4739 Institutional support: RVO:60077344 Keywords : Adaptation * Biological soil crust desert * Protist * Tehuacain-Cuicatlain Biosphere Reserve * Testate amoebae Subject RIV: EG - Zoology OBOR OECD: Zoology Impact factor: 2.581, year: 2016

  15. Surviving in a marine desert: The sponge loop retains resources within coral reefs

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    de Goeij, J.M.; van Oevelen, D.; Vermeij, M.J.A.; Osinga , R.; Middelburg, J.J.; de Goeij, A.F.P.M.; Admiraal, W.

    2013-01-01

    Ever since Darwin’s early descriptions of coral reefs, scientists have debated how one of the world’s most productive and diverse ecosystems can thrive in the marine equivalent of a desert. It is an enigma how the flux of dissolved organic matter (DOM), the largest resource produced on reefs, is

  16. Surviving in a marine desert: the sponge loop retains resources within coral reefs

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    de Goei, J.M.; van Oevelen, D.; Vermeij, M.J.A.; Osinga, R.; Middelburg, J.J.; de Goei, A.F.P.M.; Admiraal, W.

    2013-01-01

    Ever since Darwin’s early descriptions of coral reefs, scientists have debated how one of the world’s most productive and diverse ecosystems can thrive in the marine equivalent of a desert. It is an enigma how the flux of dissolved organic matter (DOM), the largest resource produced on reefs, is

  17. Desert ethics, myths of nature and novel form in the narratives of ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Desert ethics, myths of nature and novel form in the narratives of Ibrahim al-Koni. This broadly comparative essay contrasts environmentalism in the fiction in English translation of the Libyan writer, Ibrahim al- Koni, with dominant trends in contemporary environmentalism. An analysis of three of the most ecocritically ...

  18. Hydrological indications of aeolian salts in mid-latitude deserts of ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    A great difference in salt composition between aeolian and lacustrinesediments suggests that the inorganic salt is a latent geoproxy in revealing local hydrological variationsand climate change in the desert areas. But the environmental indications could be amphibolous for thesedimentary sequences with dual/multiple ...

  19. 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…

  20. Physico-chemical characteristics and fatty acid profile of desert date ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The desert date (Balanites aegyptiaca (L.) Del.) is an indigenous fruit tree, common in the arid and semi-arid lands of Africa. Its fruits, available in the height of the dry season, contain edible pulp which is an important food for both humans and livestock. Balanites kernel is a source of highly regarded edible and medicinal oil.

  1. Little Ice Age Wetting of Interior Asian Deserts and the Rise of the Mongol Empire

    Science.gov (United States)

    Putnam, A. E.; Putnam, D.; Andreu-Hayles, L.; Cook, E. R.; Palmer, J. G.; Clark, E. H.; WANG, C.; Chen, F.; Denton, G.; Boyle, D. P.; Bassett, S.; Birkel, S. D.; Martin Fernandez, J.; Hajdas, I.; Southon, J. R.; Garner, C.; Broecker, W. S.

    2015-12-01

    Documenting hydrological responses to past climate changes may provide insights into how ongoing warming will alter the distribution of Earth's water resources. Here we report evidence suggesting that wetter-than-present conditions persisted during the past millennium in the deserts of the Tarim Basin, western China, located at the heart of Asia - Earth's largest and most populous continent. Our assessment is based on observations of landforms composed of waterlain sediments occurring throughout the Taklamakan and Lop Deserts of the Tarim Basin. These landforms are associated with subfossil phreatophyte trees, reeds, and mollusk shells. We applied 14C and dendrochronological dating techniques to construct a chronology for when the Tarim Basin was wetter than today. We also employed hydrological modeling to estimate plausible climatic conditions under which the observed wet environment could have been sustained. Our results indicate that the core of the Asian desert belt was dominantly wetter than today during the last major cold spell of the Holocene: The Little Ice Age. Wetter conditions in the Tarim Basin deserts accompanied northern cooling, snowline lowering, a strengthened boreal jet, and coeval weakening of south Asian monsoons. Southward migration of grasslands in response to wetter conditions may have aided the spread of the Mongol Empire across Asian drylands. On the other hand, net drying over the 20th century has led to drought that is unprecedented for at least the past ~830 years, and which could intensify with further warming.

  2. The effects of drying following heat shock exposure of the desert moss Syntrichia caninervis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Shu-Jun; Liu, Chun-Jiang; Jiang, Ping-An; Cai, Wei-Min; Wang, Yan

    2009-03-15

    Desert mosses are components of biological soil crusts (BSCs) and their ecological functions make assessment and protection of these mosses a high-ranking management priority in desert regions. Drying is thought to be useful for desert mosses surviving heat shock. In this study, we investigated the role of drying by monitoring the responses of physiological characters and asexual reproduction in the typical desert moss Syntrichia caninervis. Heat significantly decreased chlorophyll content and weakened rapid recovery of photochemical activity, and increased carotenoid content and membrane permeability. Lethal temperatures significantly destroyed shoot regeneration potential. In comparison with heat alone, drying significantly increased protonema emergence time and depressed protonema emergence area. Drying combined with heat accelerated water loss, followed by a decrease of photosynthetic activity. Drying had different influences on membrane permeability at different temperatures. When moss leaves were subjected to a combined stress of drying and heat shock, photosynthesis was maintained mainly due to the effects of drying on physiological activity although the cellular morphological integrity was affected. Drying caused opposing effects on moss physiological and reproductive characteristics. On the one hand, drying caused a positive synergistic effect with heat shock when the temperature was below 40 degrees C. On the other hand, drying showed antagonism with heat shock when the moss was subjected to temperatures higher than 40 degrees C. These findings may help in understanding the survival mechanism of dessert mosses under heat shock stress which will be helpful for the artificial reconstruction of BSCs.

  3. 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...

  4. Role of biological soil crusts in desert hydrology and geomorphology: Implications for military training operations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steven D. Warren

    2014-01-01

    Biological soil crusts, composed of soil surfaces stabilized by a consortium of cyanobacteria, algae, fungi, lichens, and/or bryophytes, are common in most deserts and perform functions of primary productivity, nitrogen fixation, nutrient cycling, water redistribution, and soil stabilization. The crusts are highly susceptible to disturbance. The degree of perturbation...

  5. 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. Bing-Qi Zhu∗. Key Laboratory of Water Cycle and Related Land Surface Processes, Institute of Geographic Sciences and. Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China. ∗. Corresponding author.

  6. Variation in allocation of time, water and energy in Hoopoe Larks from the Arabian Desert

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Tieleman, BI; Williams, JB; Visser, GH

    2003-01-01

    1. Patterns of resource allocation in different times of the year can provide insights into the effects of simultaneous environmental constraints on reproduction and survival of desert birds. Field metabolic rate (FMR), water influx rate (WIR) and patterns of time allocation of Hoopoe Larks (Alaemon

  7. Solving the Problems of Iowa Food Deserts: Food Insecurity and Civic Structure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morton, Lois Wright; Bitto, Ella Annette; Oakland, Mary Jane; Sand, Mary

    2005-01-01

    Rural regions include places where food sources are not evenly distributed, leading to areas of concentration and food desert--places where few or no grocery stores exist. Individuals are hypothesized to depend on personal connections and the civic structure of where they live to help them solve the problem of food insecurity. We find that…

  8. Rural Food Deserts: Low-Income Perspectives on Food Access in Minnesota and Iowa

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Chery; Morton, Lois W.

    2009-01-01

    Objective: To investigate how low-income rural residents living in food deserts access the normal food system and food safety net services within their communities, and explore how social, personal, and environment drives food access and food choice. Design: Seven focus groups (90 minutes each) were conducted with 2 moderators present and were…

  9. Biparentally deserted offspring are viable in a species with intense sexual conflict over care

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Pogány, Ákos; Kosztolányi, András; Miklósi, Ádám; Komdeur, Jan; Székely, Tamás

    2015-01-01

    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

  10. Diversity and feeding strategies of soil microfauna along elevation gradients in Himalayan cold deserts

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Devetter, M.; Háněl, L.; Řeháková, Klára; Doležal, Jiří

    2007-01-01

    Roč. 12, č. 11 (2007), č. článku e0187646. E-ISSN 1932-6203 R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GA17-19376S; GA ČR GA13-13368S Institutional support: RVO:67985939 Keywords : soil microfauna * Himalayas * cold desert Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour OBOR OECD: Ecology

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ahi, Berat

    2016-01-01

    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…

  12. Economic Determinants of Academic Failure and School Desertion in the Guatemala Highlands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carvajal, Manuel J.; And Others

    1993-01-01

    Explores, from an economic perspective, elementary school system adequacy in the rural, indigenous Guatemalan highlands. Estimates least-squares coefficients and elasticities separately for academic failure and school abandonment for each of four indigenous groups. The model explains academic failure better than school desertion. A national policy…

  13. Adaptive responses reveal contemporary and future ecotypes in a desert shrub

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bryce A. Richardson; Stanley G. Kitchen; Rosemary L. Pendleton; Burton K. Pendleton; Matthew J. Germino; Gerald E. Rehfeldt; Susan E. Meyer

    2014-01-01

    Interacting threats to ecosystem function, including climate change, wildfire, and invasive species necessitate native plant restoration in desert ecosystems. However, native plant restoration efforts often remain unguided by ecological genetic information. Given that many ecosystems are in flux from climate change, restoration plans need to account for both...

  14. 75 FR 53877 - Proposed Establishment of the Antelope Valley of the California High Desert Viticultural Area

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-09-02

    ... climate, desert soils, and a valley geomorphology. History of Agriculture and Viticulture in the Antelope... uses heat accumulation during the growing season to define climatic regions for viticulture (``General.... Climatic region I has less than 2,500 growing degree days per year; region II, 2,501 to 3,000; region III...

  15. Response of a keystone rodent to landscape-scale restoration of desert grasslands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Over the last century, many grasslands in the Chihuahuan Desert have converted to shrublands dominated by creosotebush (Larrea tridentata). The loss and spatial isolation of perennial grasslands has led to declines of grassland-dependent wildlife species. Grassland restoration efforts have been domi...

  16. Community ecology, climate change and ecohydrology in desert grassland and shrubland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mathew Daniel Petrie

    2014-01-01

    This dissertation explores the climate, ecology and hydrology of Chihuahuan Desert ecosystems in the context of global climate change. In coming decades, the southwestern United States is projected to experience greater temperature-driven aridity, possible small decreases in annual precipitation, and a later onset of summer monsoon rainfall. These changes may have...

  17. Vegetation selection by Angus crossbred vs. Raramuri Criollo nursing cows grazing Chihuauan Desert rangeland in summer

    Science.gov (United States)

    We examined vegetation selection patterns of nursing Angus X Hereford crossbred (AH) and Raramuri Criollo (RC) cows grazing Chihuahuan Desert vegetation during the growing season. Eleven cows of each group grazed separately in two large pastures (1190ha, 1165ha) from mid-July until mid-August 2015 (...

  18. Process-based management approaches for salt desert shrublands dominated by downy brome

    Science.gov (United States)

    Downy brome grass (Bromus tectorum L.) invasion has severely altered key ecological processes such as disturbance regimes, soil nutrient cycling, community assembly, and successional pathways in semi-arid Great Basin salt desert shrublands. Restoring the structure and function of these severly alte...

  19. Regional Landscape System Protection in the Urbanising Desert Southwest: Lessons from the Phoenix Metropolitan Region, USA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laura Musacchio

    2004-12-01

    Full Text Available Through the lens of holistic landscape ecology, the authors present for public consideration a desert landscape typology and plan assessment criteria. As a case study, historical trends in open space planning and two contrasting examples of recent open space plans from the Phoenix metropolitan area were analysed and compared to the typology in order to understand how successfully the open space planning efforts had addressed protection of the regional landscape system in the Sonoran Desert. We also developed an approach for the analysis of the landscape ecological component of plans that was based on Baer's general plan assessment criteria (1997. Our results indicate the desert landscape typology is a valuable step as part of a plan assessment of two regional, open space plans, but more importantly, the assessment criteria presented in this paper could be used as the foundation for a more thorough assessment method of the landscape ecological component of plans. The desert landscape typology and plan assessment criteria presented in this paper can be used to increase understanding about how the decision making of planners and designers has influenced the temporal and spatial dimensions of landscape legacies, trajectories and transformations, such as connectivity and fragmentation of open space.

  20. 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.

  1. 75 FR 47619 - Notice of Availability of the Proposed California Desert Conservation Area Plan Amendment and...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-08-06

    ... DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Bureau of Land Management [CACA-48668, 49502, 49503, 49504, LLCAD09000.L51010000.FX0000, LVRWB09B2400] Notice of Availability of the Proposed California Desert Conservation Area Plan Amendment and Final Environmental Impact Statement for the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating...

  2. Physical aspects and determination of evaporation in deserts applying remote sensing techniques

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Menenti, M.

    1984-01-01

    In the deserts of the world groundwater losses by evaporation are shown to be a very important and almost unknown quantity in the water balance of aquifers present.

    After establishing a new combination formula to calculate actual evaporation from within the soil, the evaporational soil

  3. 78 FR 17869 - Safety Zone; Desert Storm Shootout; Lake Havasu, Lake Havasu City, AZ

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-03-25

    ... navigable waters of the Colorado River in Lake Havasu, Lake Havasu City, Arizona in support of the Desert... Storm Shootout, which is to be held on the Colorado River in Lake Havasu City, Arizona. This temporary... of Lake Havasu on the Colorado River and is bound by the following coordinates: 34[deg]26'51'' N, 114...

  4. Glacially derived material in an Inner Mongolian desert lake during Marine Isotope Stage 2

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Selvaraj, K.; Chen, C-T.A.; PrakashBabu, C.; Lou, J-Y.; Liu, C-L.; Hsu, K.J.

    glacial source. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first time glacier-derived materials have been detected in any desert lake in the Yellow River basin. The occurrence of granite clasts roughly correlates with Heinrich events in the North Atlantic...

  5. Mechanisms of range expansion and removal of mesquite in desert grasslands of the Southwestern United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomas B. Wilson; Robert H. Webb; Thomas L. Thompson

    2001-01-01

    During the last 150 years, two species of mesquite trees in the Southwestern United States have become increasingly common in what formerly was desert grassland. These trees have spread from nearby watercourses onto relatively xeric upland areas, decreasing rangeland grass production. Management attempts to limit or reverse this spread have been largely unsuccessful....

  6. Shrubland carbon sink depends upon winter water availability in the warm deserts of North America

    Science.gov (United States)

    Biederman, Joel A.; Scott, Russell L.; John A. Arnone,; Jasoni, Richard L.; Litvak, Marcy E.; Moreo, Michael T.; Papuga, Shirley A.; Ponce-Campos, Guillermo E.; Schreiner-McGraw, Adam P.; Vivoni, Enrique R.

    2018-01-01

    Global-scale studies suggest that dryland ecosystems dominate an increasing trend in the magnitude and interannual variability of the land CO2 sink. However, such model-based analyses are poorly constrained by measured CO2 exchange in open shrublands, which is the most common global land cover type, covering ∼14% of Earth’s surface. Here we evaluate how the amount and seasonal timing of water availability regulate CO2 exchange between shrublands and the atmosphere. We use eddy covariance data from six US sites across the three warm deserts of North America with observed ranges in annual precipitation of ∼100–400mm, annual temperatures of 13–18°C, and records of 2–8 years (33 site-years in total). The Chihuahuan, Sonoran and Mojave Deserts present gradients in both mean annual precipitation and its seasonal distribution between the wet-winter Mojave Desert and the wet-summer Chihuahuan Desert. We found that due to hydrologic losses during the wettest summers in the Sonoran and Chihuahuan Deserts, evapotranspiration (ET) was a better metric than precipitation of water available to drive dryland CO2 exchange. In contrast with recent synthesis studies across diverse dryland biomes, we found that NEP could not be directly predicted from ET due to wintertime decoupling of the relationship between ecosystem respiration (Reco) and gross ecosystem productivity (GEP). Ecosystem water use efficiency (WUE=GEP/ET) did not differ between winter and summer. Carbon use efficiency (CUE=NEP/GEP), however, was greater in winter because Reco returned a smaller fraction of carbon to the atmosphere (23% of GEP) than in summer (77%). Combining the water-carbon relations found here with historical precipitation since 1980, we estimate that lower average winter precipitation during the 21st century reduced the net carbon sink of the three deserts by an average of 6.8TgC yr1. Our results highlight that winter precipitation is critical to the annual carbon balance of these

  7. Geochemical registers of Late Quaternary paleoclimatic conditions at Sonora and Chihuahua Deserts, Mexico: comparison and synthesis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roy, P.; Perez-Cruz, L. L.; Lozano-Garcia, S.

    2011-12-01

    Sonora and Chihuahua Deserts form the southwestern and southeastern parts of North American Desert system and spread over at least 5 different states in the northern Mexico. Presently, Sonora Desert receives annual precipitation in a bi-modal distribution, whereas Chihuahua Desert receives dominant summer precipitation. Paleoclimatic registers from Mojave Desert suggest that the spatial extent and magnitude of both the summer and winter precipitation varied during the last glacial period and such fluctuations were linked to the volume of the Laurentide ice sheet, changing winter-summer insolation, North Atlantic climatic variability and ENSO dynamics. We present multi-elemental concentrations, magnetic susceptibility, organic and inorganic carbon from 750 cm long sediment core collected from paleolake San Felipe (31°N, western Sonora Desert) and 970 cm long sediment core collected from paleolake Babicora (29°N, western Chihuahua Desert) in order to understand the paleohydrological and paleoclimatic evolution in the arid region of northern Mexico. 6 AMS 14C dates constrain the San Felipe sediment core between 49 cal kyr BP and present. Similarly, 8 AMS 14C dates put the Babicora core in the age bracket between 76 cal kyr BP and present with two different hiatus at 4-8 cal kyr BP and 40-45 cal kyr BP. Due to the special geomorphology of San Felipe basin, Ti concentration was used as a proxy for pluvial discharge and to differentiate regimes of dominant summer and winter precipitation. Aeolian deposition was constrained at >48 cal kyr BP. Period of lower pluvial discharge during 14-48 cal kyr BP is related to a regime of dominant winter frontal storms. During 3-14 cal kyr BP, higher catchment erosion and transportation of REE bearing heavy minerals into the basin are possibly as a result of higher pluvial discharge related to a regime of dominant summer precipitation. In paleolake Babicora, high resolution Ti suggests higher pluvial inflow prior to 60 cal kyr BP (H

  8. Chronology, sedimentology, and microfauna of groundwater discharge deposits in the central Mojave Desert, Valley Wells, California

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pigati, Jeffrey S.; Miller, David M.; Bright, Jordon E.; Mahan, Shannon; Nekola, Jeffrey C.; Paces, James B.

    2011-01-01

    During the late Pleistocene, emergent groundwater supported persistent and long-lived desert wetlands in many broad valleys and basins in the American Southwest. When active, these systems provided important food and water sources for local fauna, supported hydrophilic and phreatophytic vegetation, and acted as catchments for eolian and alluvial sediments. Desert wetlands are represented in the geologic record by groundwater discharge deposits, which are also called spring or wetland deposits. Groundwater discharge deposits contain information on the timing and magnitude of past changes in water-table levels and, thus, are a source of paleohydrologic and paleoclimatic information. Here, we present the results of an investigation of extensive groundwater discharge deposits in the central Mojave Desert at Valley Wells, California. We used geologic mapping and stratigraphic relations to identify two distinct wetland sequences at Valley Wells, which we dated using radiocarbon, luminescence, and uranium-series techniques. We also analyzed the sediments and microfauna (ostracodes and gastropods) to reconstruct the specific environments in which they formed. Our results suggest that the earliest episode of high water-table conditions at Valley Wells began ca. 60 ka (thousands of calendar yr B.P.), and culminated in peak discharge between ca. 40 and 35 ka. During this time, cold (4–12 °C) emergent groundwater supported extensive wetlands that likely were composed of a wet, sedge-rush-tussock meadow mixed with mesic riparian forest. After ca. 35 ka, the water table dropped below the ground surface but was still shallow enough to support dense stands of phreatophytes through the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM). The water table dropped further after the LGM, and xeric conditions prevailed until modest wetlands returned briefly during the Younger Dryas cold event (13.0–11.6 ka). We did not observe any evidence of wet conditions during the Holocene at Valley Wells. The timing

  9. An ecological study of food desert prevalence and 4th grade academic achievement in New York State school districts

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Seth E. Frndak

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Background. This ecological study examines the relationship between food desert prevalence and academic achievement at the school district level. Design and methods. Sample included 232 suburban and urban school districts in New York State. Multiple open-source databases were merged to obtain: 4th grade science, English and math scores, school district demographic composition (NYS Report Card, regional socioeconomic indicators (American Community Survey, school district quality (US Common Core of Data, and food desert data (USDA Food Desert Atlas. Multiple regression models assessed the percentage of variation in achievement scores explained by food desert variables, after controlling for additional predictors.Results. The proportion of individuals living in food deserts significantly explained 4th grade achievement scores, after accounting for additional predictors. School districts with higher proportions of individuals living in food desert regions demonstrated lower 4th grade achievement across science, English and math. Conclusions. Food deserts appear to be related to academic achievement at the school district level among urban and suburban regions. Further research is needed to better understand how food access is associated with academic achievement at the individual level.

  10. Origin of water in the Badain Jaran Desert, China: new insight from isotopes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Xiujie; Wang, Xu-Sheng; Wang, Yang; Hu, Bill X.

    2017-09-01

    To better understand the origin of water in the Badain Jaran Desert, China, water samples were collected from lakes, a spring and local unconfined aquifer for analyses of radiocarbon (14C), tritium (3H), stable hydrogen and oxygen isotope ratios (δ2H - δ18O), and d-excess values ( = δ2H - 8δ18O). A series of evaporation experiments were also conducted in the desert to examine how the isotopic signature of water may change during evaporation and infiltration under local environmental conditions. The results show that the lakes in the southeastern sand dune area are fed by groundwater discharging into the lakes and that local groundwater, on the other hand, is derived primarily from modern meteoric precipitation in the region. Although dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) in groundwater yielded very old radiocarbon ages, the presence of detectable amounts of tritium in groundwater samples, together with their δ2H, δ18O and d-excess characteristics, strongly suggests that the old radiocarbon ages of DIC do not represent the residence time of water in the aquifer but are the result of addition of old DIC derived from dissolution of ancient carbonates in the aquifer. The data do not support the hypothesis that the water in the Badain Jaran Desert was sourced in remote mountains on the northern Tibetan Plateau. This study also finds no support for the hypothesis that present-day water resources in the desert were recharged by the precipitation that fell in the past during the early Holocene when the climate was much wetter than today. Instead, this study shows that both groundwater and lake water originated from meteoric precipitation in the region including mountainous areas adjacent to the desert under the modern climatic condition.

  11. Spatial variability and stocks of soil organic carbon in the Gobi desert of Northwestern China.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pingping Zhang

    Full Text Available Soil organic carbon (SOC plays an important role in improving soil properties and the C global cycle. Limited attention, though, has been given to assessing the spatial patterns and stocks of SOC in desert ecosystems. In this study, we quantitatively evaluated the spatial variability of SOC and its influencing factors and estimated SOC storage in a region (40 km2 of the Gobi desert. SOC exhibited a log-normal depth distribution with means of 1.6, 1.5, 1.4, and 1.4 g kg(-1 for the 0-10, 10-20, 20-30, and 30-40 cm layers, respectively, and was moderately variable according to the coefficients of variation (37-42%. Variability of SOC increased as the sampling area expanded and could be well parameterized as a power function of the sampling area. Significant correlations were detected between SOC and soil physical properties, i.e. stone, sand, silt, and clay contents and soil bulk density. The relatively coarse fractions, i.e. sand, silt, and stone contents, had the largest effects on SOC variability. Experimental semivariograms of SOC were best fitted by exponential models. Nugget-to-sill ratios indicated a strong spatial dependence for SOC concentrations at all depths in the study area. The surface layer (0-10 cm had the largest spatial dependency compared with the other layers. The mapping revealed a decreasing trend of SOC concentrations from south to north across this region of the Gobi desert, with higher levels close to an oasis and lower levels surrounded by mountains and near the desert. SOC density to depths of 20 and 40 cm for this 40 km2 area was estimated at 0.42 and 0.68 kg C m(-2, respectively. This study provides an important contribution to understanding the role of the Gobi desert in the global carbon cycle.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carissa L Free

    Full Text Available 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.

  13. 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)

  14. 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

  15. Endocrinology of osmoregulation and thermoregulation of Australian desert tetrapods: A historical perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cooper, Christine Elizabeth

    2017-04-01

    Many Australian tetrapods inhabit desert environments characterised by low productivity, unpredictable rainfall, high temperatures and high incident solar radiation. Maintaining a homeostatic milieu intérieur by osmoregulation and thermoregulation are two physiological challenges faced by tetrapods in deserts, and the endocrine system plays an important role in regulating these processes. There is a considerable body of work examining the osmoregulatory role of antidiuretic hormones for Australian amphibians, reptiles and mammals, with particular contributions concerning their role and function for wild, free-living animals in arid environments. The osmoregulatory role of the natriuretic peptide system has received some attention, while the role of adrenal corticosteroids has been more thoroughly investigated for reptiles and marsupials. The endocrinology of thermoregulation has not received similar attention. Reptiles are best-studied, with research examining the influence of arginine vasotocin and melatonin on body temperature, the role of prostaglandins in heart rate hysteresis and the effect of melanocyte-stimulating hormone on skin reflectivity. Australian mammals have been under-utilised in studies examining the regulation, development and evolution of endothermy, and there is little information concerning the endocrinology of thermoregulation for desert species. There is a paucity of data concerning the endocrinology of osmoregulation and thermoregulation for Australian desert birds. Studies of Australian desert fauna have made substantial contributions to endocrinology, but there is considerable scope for further research. A co-ordinated approach to examine arid-habitat adaptations of the endocrine system in an environmental and evolutionary context would be of particular value. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  16. Emission of sunscreen salicylic esters from desert vegetation and their contribution to aerosol formation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matsunaga, S. N.; Guenther, A. B.; Potosnak, M. J.; Apel, E. C.

    2008-12-01

    Biogenic volatile organic compounds (BVOC) produced by plants are known to have an important role in atmospheric chemistry. However, our knowledge of the range of BVOCs produced by different plant processes is still expanding, and there remain poorly understood categories of BVOCs. In this study, emissions of a novel class of BVOC emissions were investigated in a desert region. Our study considered 8 species of common desert plants: blackbrush (Coleogyne ramosissima), desert willow (Chilopsis linearis), mesquite (Prosopis glandulosa), mondel pine (Pinus eldarica), pinyon pine (Pinus monophylla), cottonwood (Populus deltoides), saguaro cactus (Carnegiea gigantea) and yucca (Yucca baccata). The measurements focused on BVOCs with relatively high molecular weight (>C15) and/or an oxygenated functional group. Significantly high emission rates of two salicylic esters were found for blackbrush, desert willow and mesquite with emission rates of 3.1, 1.0 and 4.8μgC dwg-1 h-1, respectively (dwg; dry weight of the leaves in gram). The salicylic esters were identified as 2-ethylhexenyl salicylate (2-EHS) and 3,3,5-trimethylcyclohexenyl salicylate (homosalate) and are known as effective ultraviolet (UV) absorbers. We propose that the plants derive a protective benefit against UV radiation from the salicylic esters and that the emission process is driven by the physical evaporation of the salicylic esters due to the high ambient temperatures. In addition, the salicylic esters are predicted to be an effective precursor of secondary organic aerosol (SOA) because they probably produce oxidation products that can condense onto the aerosol phase. We estimated the contribution of the sunscreen esters themselves and their oxidation products on the SOA formation for the Las Vegas area using a BVOC emission model. The contribution was estimated to reach 50% of the biogenic terpenoid emission in the landscapes dominated by desert willow and mesquite and 13% in the Las Vegas area. The

  17. The case of Montréal's missing food deserts: evaluation of accessibility to food supermarkets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Apparicio, Philippe; Cloutier, Marie-Soleil; Shearmur, Richard

    2007-02-12

    Access to varied, healthy and inexpensive foods is an important public health concern that has been widely documented. Consequently, there is an increasing interest in identifying food deserts, that is, socially deprived areas within cities that have poor access to food retailers. In this paper we propose a methodology based on three measures of accessibility to supermarkets calculated using geographic information systems (GIS), and on exploratory multivariate statistical analysis (hierarchical cluster analysis), which we use to identify food deserts in Montréal. First, the use of three measures of accessibility to supermarkets is very helpful in identifying food deserts according to several dimensions: proximity (distance to the nearest supermarket), diversity (number of supermarkets within a distance of less than 1000 metres) and variety in terms of food and prices (average distance to the three closest different chain-name supermarkets). Next, the cluster analysis applied to the three measures of accessibility to supermarkets and to a social deprivation index demonstrates that there are very few problematic food deserts in Montréal. In fact, census tracts classified as socially deprived and with low accessibility to supermarkets are, on average, 816 metres away from the nearest supermarket and within 1.34 kilometres of three different chain-name supermarkets. We conclude that food deserts do not represent a major problem in Montréal. Since geographic accessibility to healthy food is not a major issue in Montréal, prevention efforts should be directed toward the understanding of other mechanisms leading to an unhealthy diet, rather than attempting to promote an even spatial distribution of supermarkets.

  18. The case of Montréal's missing food deserts: Evaluation of accessibility to food supermarkets

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cloutier Marie-Soleil

    2007-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Access to varied, healthy and inexpensive foods is an important public health concern that has been widely documented. Consequently, there is an increasing interest in identifying food deserts, that is, socially deprived areas within cities that have poor access to food retailers. In this paper we propose a methodology based on three measures of accessibility to supermarkets calculated using geographic information systems (GIS, and on exploratory multivariate statistical analysis (hierarchical cluster analysis, which we use to identify food deserts in Montréal. Results First, the use of three measures of accessibility to supermarkets is very helpful in identifying food deserts according to several dimensions: proximity (distance to the nearest supermarket, diversity (number of supermarkets within a distance of less than 1000 metres and variety in terms of food and prices (average distance to the three closest different chain-name supermarkets. Next, the cluster analysis applied to the three measures of accessibility to supermarkets and to a social deprivation index demonstrates that there are very few problematic food deserts in Montréal. In fact, census tracts classified as socially deprived and with low accessibility to supermarkets are, on average, 816 metres away from the nearest supermarket and within 1.34 kilometres of three different chain-name supermarkets. Conclusion We conclude that food deserts do not represent a major problem in Montréal. Since geographic accessibility to healthy food is not a major issue in Montréal, prevention efforts should be directed toward the understanding of other mechanisms leading to an unhealthy diet, rather than attempting to promote an even spatial distribution of supermarkets.

  19. Determination of the Shortwave Anisotropic Function for Clear-Sky Desert Scenes from Meteosat Data.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Capderou, Michel; Kandel, Robert

    1995-06-01

    Determination of planetary albedo on the basis of satellite observations of reflected shortwave (SW) radiances requires taking into account the anisotropic (non-Lambertian) reflectance properties of the earth atmosphere system, depending both on the cloud cover and the nature of the underlying, surface. One approach frequently used has been to represent these properties by a limited set of normalized bidirectional reflectance functions (BDRF) for different scene types. The construction of the normalized BDRFs used to process the Earth Radiation Budget Experiment (ERBE) measurements was based mostly on data from the sun-synchronous Nimbus-7 mission, observing close to local noon. Consequently, because desert zones are fairly restricted in latitude, only a small range of solar zenith angles was sampled. Here the authors consider, for clear-sky desert areas, the improvements that can be made using data from the geostationary satellite Meteosat, which samples all solar zenith angles that occur.The authors define BDRF ratios (between two instants on the same day for the same area) that depend on viewing geometry (five angles for a geostationary satellite) and that together with infrared window radiance measurements allow to distinguish clear and cloudy desert scenes. Using three to five Meteosat images per day over the year 1985, and considering 42 areas in desert zones, the authors compute roughly 12 500 clear-sky BDRF ratios (representing 4.5 million B2 pixels), and sort these into bins in five-dimensional angular space. Values of the BDRF ratio are well defined and stable in each of these bins. Application of the Helmholtz reciprocity principle yields data for angular bins not directly observed. After spectral corrections and normalizations, the authors obtain a completely defined SW angular model (i.e., normalized anisotropic function and directional albedo) for clear-sky desert scenes. This model is quite different from that used in the ERBE analyses. The authors

  20. Geochemical water signature in the Bahariya Depression, Western Desert, Egypt

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sciarra, Alessandra; Mazzini, Adriano; Lupi, Matteo; Hammed, Mohammed S.

    2017-04-01

    The Bahariya Oasis is located about 200 km SW of Cairo in the central part of the Western Desert of Egypt. It occupies a sub-elliptic 40 km wide depression stretching NE-SW for approximately 90 km. The Bahariya Oasis has been targeted for numerous geological studies on structural geology, stratigraphy, and iron ore deposits. The oasis was characterized since the Roman times by the presence of natural hydrothermal springs venting water from the relatively shallow Nubia Sandstone formation. Inside the depression are visible numerous circular concentric features that morphologically resemble the hydrothermal vent complexes observed at igneous provinces in other localities of the planet. In order to investigate the origin and the mechanisms of formation of these features, we conducted a fieldwork survey as well as fluids sampling from the available well sites. The aim was to constrain the origin of the fluids that potentially triggered or facilitated the formation of the concentric structures observed on the field. This study presents the geochemical results of groundwaters and soil gas samples. Ten samples were collected from deep wells present in the area. In particular, 8 warm waters were collected by wells between 800 m and 1200 m deep. The measured temperatures at these sites range from 36.5 °C to 52.3°C, while the coldest wells have temperatures ranging from 27.9 °C to 36.5°C. For each sample collected from the wells we analyzed the major, minor and trace elements, dissolved gases (He, Ne, H2, O2, N2, CH4, CO2, Rn), and relative isotopic values. In the areas around the wells we measured CO2 and CH4 fluxes as well as radon activity. Overall, the water showed a high value of dissolved Rn, ranging from 9 to 43 Bq/l, and dissolved CO2 ranging from 5.9 to 17.4 cc/l. The waters show a radiogenic signature of isotopic helium, highlighting very prolonged interaction with local crust enriched in radiogenic elements. The isotopic values of δ18O and δD show a clear

  1. An Analysis of the United States-Led Coalition Air Campaign Conducted During the 1991 War with IRAQ: Desert Storm

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Murphy, John

    2002-01-01

    Evaluation of the 1991 United States led coalition Persian Gulf War (DESERT STORM) Air Campaign is performed to measure its adherence to basic principles of war and to determine the potential implications for the future conduct of war...

  2. Dune mobility and aridity at the desert margin of northern China at a time of peak monsoon strength

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mason, J.A.; Lu, H.; Zhou, Y.; Miao, X.; Swinehart, J.B.; Liu, Z.; Goble, R.J.; Yi, S.

    2009-01-01

    Wind-blown sands were mobile at many sites along the desert margin in northern China during the early Holocene (11.5-8 ka ago), based on extensive new numerical dating. This mobility implies low effective moisture at the desert margin, in contrast to growing evidence for greater than modern monsoon precipitation at the same time in central and southern China. Dry conditions in the early Holocene at the desert margin can be explained through a dynamic link between enhanced diabatic heating in the core region of the strengthened monsoon and increased subsidence in drylands to the north, combined with high evapotranspiration rates due to high summer temperatures. After 8 ka ago, as the monsoon weakened and lower temperatures reduced evapotranspiration, eolian sands were stabilized by vegetation. Aridity and dune mobility at the desert margin and a strengthened monsoon can both be explained as responses to high summer insolation in the early Holocene. ?? 2009 Geological Society of America.

  3. State of California; Mojave Desert AQMD; Approval of Air Plan Revisions; VOCs from Marine and Pleasure Craft Coating Operations

    Science.gov (United States)

    EPA is finalizing action on a revision to the Mojave Desert Air Quality Management District (MDAQMD) portion of the California SIP relating to emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from marine and pleasure craft coating operations.

  4. 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.

  5. Evaluation of distribution and trans-highway movement of desert bighorn sheep : Arizona Highway 68, final report 588.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2008-08-01

    The authors monitored desert bighorn sheep via satellite telemetry, remote cameras, and track beds between 2006 and 2007 to evaluate the effectiveness of the three design features (underpasses) incorporated to facilitate wildlife movement under State...

  6. Nest guarding by female Agassiz's desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii) at a wind-energy facility near Palm Springs, California

    Science.gov (United States)

    Agha, Mickey; Lovich, Jeffrey E.; Ennen, Joshua R.; Wilcox, Ethan

    2013-01-01

    We observed behavior consistent with nest-guarding in Agassiz's desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii) at two nests in a large wind-energy-generation facility near Palm Springs, California, locally known as the Mesa Wind Farm. As researchers approached the nests, female desert tortoises moved to the entrance of their burrows and positioned themselves sideways, directly over their nests. One female stretched her limbs outward and wedged herself into the burrow (her plastron directly above the nest). Guarding of nests is rarely observed in Agassiz's desert tortoise but can occur as a result of attempted predation on eggs by Gila monsters (Heloderma suspectum) or in direct response to the perceived threat posed by researchers. This is the first report of nest-guarding for G. agassizii in the Sonoran Desert ecosystem of California.

  7. [Study on estimation of deserts soil total phosphorus content from thermal-infrared emissivity].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hou, Yan-jun; Tiyip, Tashpolat; Zhang, Fei; Sawut, Mamat; Nurmemet, Ilyas

    2015-02-01

    Soil phosphorus provides nutrient elements for plants, is one of important parameters for evaluating soil quality. The traditional method for soil total phosphorus content (STPC) measurement is not effective and time-consuming. However, remote sensing (RS) enables us to determine STPC in a fast and efficient way. Studies on the estimation of STPC in near-infrared spectroscopy have been developed by scholars, but model accuracy is still poor due to the low absorption coefficient and unclear absorption peak of soil phosphorus in near-infrared. In order to solve the deficiency which thermal-infrared emissivity estimate desert soil total phosphorus content, and could improve precision of estimation deserts soil total phosphorus. In this paper, characteristics of soil thermal-infrared emissivity are analyzed on the basis of laboratory processing and spectral measurement of deserts soil samples from the eastern Junggar Basin. Furthermore, thermal-infrared emissivity based RS models for STPC estimation are established and accuracy assessed. Results show that: when STPC is higher than 0.200 g x kg(-1), the thermal-infrared emissivity increases with the increase of STPC on the wavelength between 8.00 microm and 13 microm, and the emissivity is more sensitive to STPC on the wavelength between 9.00 and 9.6 microm; the estimate mode based on multiple stepwise regression was could not to estimate deserts soil total phosphorus content from thermal-infrared emissivity because the estimation effects of them were poor. The estimation accuracy of model based on partial least squares regression is higher than the model based on multiple stepwise regression. However, the accuracy of second-order differential estimation model based on partial least square regression is higher than based on multiple stepwise regression; The first differential of continuous remove estimation model based on partial least squares regression is the best model with R2 of correction and verification are up to

  8. Fluvial-aeolian interactions in sediment routing and sedimentary signal buffering: an example from the Indus Basin and Thar Desert

    Science.gov (United States)

    East, Amy E.; Clift, Peter D.; Carter, Andrew; Alizai, Anwar; VanLaningham, Sam

    2015-01-01

    Sediment production and its subsequent preservation in the marine stratigraphic record offshore of large rivers are linked by complex sediment-transfer systems. To interpret the stratigraphic record it is critical to understand how environmental signals transfer from sedimentary source regions to depositional sinks, and in particular to understand the role of buffering in obscuring climatic or tectonic signals. In dryland regions, signal buffering can include sediment cycling through linked fluvial and eolian systems. We investigate sediment-routing connectivity between the Indus River and the Thar Desert, where fluvial and eolian systems exchanged sediment over large spatial scales (hundreds of kilometers). Summer monsoon winds recycle sediment from the lower Indus River and delta northeastward, i.e., downwind and upstream, into the desert. Far-field eolian recycling of Indus sediment is important enough to control sediment provenance at the downwind end of the desert substantially, although the proportion of Indus sediment of various ages varies regionally within the desert; dune sands in the northwestern Thar Desert resemble the Late Holocene–Recent Indus delta, requiring short transport and reworking times. On smaller spatial scales (1–10 m) along fluvial channels in the northern Thar Desert, there is also stratigraphic evidence of fluvial and eolian sediment reworking from local rivers. In terms of sediment volume, we estimate that the Thar Desert could be a more substantial sedimentary store than all other known buffer regions in the Indus basin combined. Thus, since the mid-Holocene, when the desert expanded as the summer monsoon rainfall decreased, fluvial-eolian recycling has been an important but little recognized process buffering sediment flux to the ocean. Similar fluvial-eolian connectivity likely also affects sediment routing and signal transfer in other dryland regions globally.

  9. Identification and interpretation of tectonic features from Skylab imagery. [Mojave Desert block of Texas, Arizona, and Chihuahua, Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abdel-Gawad, M. (Principal Investigator)

    1975-01-01

    The author has identified the following significant results. Two alternate models for the extension of the Texas zone through the Mojave Desert block have been developed: (1) along the Pisgah Line, and (2) along the eastern Transverse Ranges; this model suggests a counterclockwise rotation of the Mojave block. Analysis of S190B photographs of the western Mojave Desert provides strong evidence for the feasibility of identifying recent fault breaks.

  10. 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.

  11. Novel Deployment of Mobile Eddy Covariance Tower Observations Across Variations in the Built Environment in a Desert Urban Area

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-11-03

    Desert Urban Area Enrique R. Vivoni, Nicole A. Pierini, Adam P. Schreiner-McGraw and Ivan Lopez-Castrillo School of Sustainable Engineering...exchanges between the urban surface and the overlying atmosphere. Urban water and energy exchanges can be particularly important in desert cities ...Semiarid Ecosystems of the Southwestern U.S. Masters of Science in Civil, Environmental and Sustainable Engineering, Arizona State University, 243 pp

  12. 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

  13. Identification of ergonomic issues that affect workers in oilrigs in desert environments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shikdar, Ashraf A

    2004-01-01

    The main objective of this research was to conduct an assessment of ergonomic-related problems in oilrigs in a desert environment. A checklist, physical audit and medical records were used in the investigation. The results showed significant health, environment and work-related problems that could be attributed to ergonomic deficiencies in the work system of the oilrig. Some major ergonomic issues identified were hard physical work, back pain, discomfort, hot environment, long shift, and diverse schedule. Ninety-four percent of the employees perceived the workday as very long, 79% were dissatisfied with the work schedule, while 61% of the employees perceived the summer work environment as extremely hot. Ergonomics should be considered in the work system design so as to reduce or eliminate problems in oilrigs in hot desert environments.

  14. A Waste of a Desert: Nevada and the Cold War Chemical Legacy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cinzia Scarpino

    2009-12-01

    Full Text Available Taking the lead from Don DeLillo’s epic novel Underworld (1997 – with its overarching theme of “waste” functioning as its unifying metaphor and its picture of the American deserts turned into hazardous waste dumps or missile depots – this essay provides a close reading of the empty spaces of the Nevada desert, spaces that bear the mark left by the nuclear exploitation and the hazardous waste which have plagued Nevada since the Fifties. By linking the history of Nevada to the Cold War, and to the chemical legacy of those years, with its notions of “containment” and “weather control”, Scarpino argues that they be read as interwoven threads of the same discourse.

  15. Ion beam study of a possible extraterrestrial body signature in Libyan desert glass

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cipriani, Curzio; Corazza, Marcello; Giuli, Gabriele; Moggi Cecchi, Vanni; Pratesi, Giovanni E-mail: gpratesi@geo.unifi.it; Rossi, Paolo; Vittone, Ettore

    2000-09-01

    Ion beams have been employed to get micro-PIXE measurements and ionoluminescence analyses on a natural silica glass, known as Libyan desert glass (LDG), representing a probable fusion product of desert sandstone due to the impact of an extraterrestrial body. In particular some brown streaks, which are present in a few specimens and considered as traces of the impactor, have been characterized. The presence of discrete bands with different luminescence intensity has been revealed by both ionoluminescence and cathodoluminescence. Several hypotheses have been proposed in order to explain the luminescence properties of this material. Finally, the usefulness of the synergic combination of ionoluminescence and micro-PIXE, to characterize LDG, has been showed.

  16. Population characteristics of haloxylon ammodendron (c.a.mey) bunge in gurbantunggut desert, china

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Abino, A.

    2014-01-01

    Haloxylon ammodendron (C.A. Mey) Bunge is a desert shrub with ecological and economic importance. Because of the severe drought and the over-exploitation for firewood and livestock, the species is threatened. The survivor and mortality were studied in six populations distributed along the margin of Gurbantunggut desert. The size structures, life tables and survivor curves were constructed for the studied populations. Populations were dominated by juvenile individuals and the seedling recruitment was extremely limited. Size distributions were skewed towards larger size classes in all populations. The survivorship curves approached Deevey type III in which the highest mortality occurs in the early life stages. The results indicated that the populations of H. ammodendron are threatened and efforts are required to minimize uncontrolled exploitation. Due to the very limited seedling recruitment, conservation efforts are required to protect and develop the extant populations. For this purpose, in situ and ex situ conservation of H. ammodendron populations are strongly recommended. (author)

  17. The biological factors influence on the conversion of mineral components of Extremely Arid Desert Soils (Kazakhstan)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kutovaya, Olga; Vasilenko, Elena; Lebedeva, Marina; Tkhakakhova, Azida

    2013-04-01

    Extremely arid soils of stony deserts (hamadas) along the southern periphery of the Ili Depression are considered to be analogous to extremely arid soils of Mongolia, also named as "ultra-arid primitive gray-brown soils." In general, the morphology of extremely arid soils of hamadas in the Ili Depression is similar to that of the soils of stony deserts in other parts of the world, including the Gobi, Atacama, and Tarim deserts. The diagnostics of the active communities of microorganisms were performed according to the method of Rybalkina-Kononenko. The exact identification of the living forms of microorganisms to the species level is not always possible with the use of this method. However, it allows us to study the physiological role of the microorganisms and their ecological functions, including the relationships with the soil matrix and other organisms. In particular, it is possible to estimate the contribution of the microorganisms to the transformation of mineral soil components. The obtained materials allow us to conclude that the extremely arid desert soils are characterized by the very high biological activity during short periods of the increased soil moistening after rare and strong rains. The diversity of living forms is very considerable; both prokaryotes (cyanobacteria, actinomycetes, and iron bacteria) and protists (green algae, diatoms, and dinoflagellates) are developed in the soil. Thus, during a short period after the rains, these microorganisms pass from the stage of anabiosis to the stage of active growth and reproduction. Then, upon drying of the soil, the biotic activity of the soil slows down and, finally, terminates. The organisms remain in the state of anabiosis until the next rain. During the period of active growth, the microorganisms compose a specific consortium of different species and exert a profound impact on the soil properties. They participate in the transformation of the soil minerals with the formation of amorphous substances

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Ethnobotany of plants used by the Thari people of Nara Desert, Pakistan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qureshi, Rahmatullah; Raza Bhatti, G

    2008-09-01

    This paper reports the results of an ethnobotanical survey of medicinal plants used by the Thari people of the Nara Desert, Sindh, Pakistan. Fifty-one plant species distributed across 28 families and 43 genera were discovered to have medicinal uses by local inhabitants of the Nara Desert. Twenty-one of those species are proposed to have new uses not recorded in the Indo-Pak folk herbal medicinal literature. Boraginaceae and Amaranthaceae were the most dominant families (5 species; 2 and 4 genera, respectively) of medicinal plants, followed by Asteraceae, Capparidaceae, Convolvulaceae, Poaceae, Scrophulariacea and Zygophyllaceae. About 44 types of ailments were treated with various parts of the 51 medicinal plant species. For treating ailments, the use of the whole plant was higher (53%) than leaves (18%), roots (14%) and fruits (10%) alone.