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Sample records for gene deserts explain

  1. Deserts

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  2. Invited Commentary: More Surprises From a Gene Desert

    OpenAIRE

    Wacholder, Sholom; Yeager, Meredith; Liao, Linda M.

    2012-01-01

    Pleiotropy across the 8q24 region is perhaps the most intriguing of the genome-wide association findings relating to cancer. This region of chromosome 8 is a gene desert, far from any recognized genes. Guarrera et al., whose work is reported in this issue (Am J Epidemiol. 2012;175(6):479–487), took an epidemiologic approach to learn more about the 8q24 region. They capitalized on their ascertainment of other endpoints in members of the cohort at the Turin site of the European Prospective Inve...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-10-01

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

  4. Unpredictability of escape trajectory explains predator evasion ability and microhabitat preference of desert rodents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moore, Talia Y; Cooper, Kimberly L; Biewener, Andrew A; Vasudevan, Ramanarayan

    2017-09-05

    Mechanistically linking movement behaviors and ecology is key to understanding the adaptive evolution of locomotion. Predator evasion, a behavior that enhances fitness, may depend upon short bursts or complex patterns of locomotion. However, such movements are poorly characterized by existing biomechanical metrics. We present methods based on the entropy measure of randomness from Information Theory to quantitatively characterize the unpredictability of non-steady-state locomotion. We then apply the method by examining sympatric rodent species whose escape trajectories differ in dimensionality. Unlike the speed-regulated gait use of cursorial animals to enhance locomotor economy, bipedal jerboa (family Dipodidae) gait transitions likely enhance maneuverability. In field-based observations, jerboa trajectories are significantly less predictable than those of quadrupedal rodents, likely increasing predator evasion ability. Consistent with this hypothesis, jerboas exhibit lower anxiety in open fields than quadrupedal rodents, a behavior that varies inversely with predator evasion ability. Our unpredictability metric expands the scope of quantitative biomechanical studies to include non-steady-state locomotion in a variety of evolutionary and ecologically significant contexts.Biomechanical understanding of animal gait and maneuverability has primarily been limited to species with more predictable, steady-state movement patterns. Here, the authors develop a method to quantify movement predictability, and apply the method to study escape-related movement in several species of desert rodents.

  5. 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.

  6. Multiple loci with different cancer specificities within the 8q24 gene desert

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ghoussaini, M.; Song, H.; Koessler, T.

    2008-01-01

    this gene desert were specifically associated with risks of different cancers. One block was solely associated with risk of breast cancer, three others were associated solely with the risk of prostate cancer, and a fifth was associated with the risk of prostate, colorectal, and ovarian cancer...

  7. Reference Gene Selection in the Desert Plant Eremosparton songoricum

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dao-Yuan Zhang

    2012-06-01

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

  8. Seasonal changes in antifreeze protein gene transcription and water content of beetle Microdera punctipennis (Coleoptera, Tenebrionidae) from Gurbantonggut desert in Central Asia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hou, F; Ma, J; Liu, X; Wang, Y; Liu, X N; Zhang, F C

    2010-01-01

    Desert beetle Microdera punctipennis (Coleoptera: Tenebriondae) is a special species in Gurbantonggut Desert in Central Asia. To investigate the possible strategy it employs for cold survival, seasonal changes in supercooling point (SCP), body water content, haemolymph osmolality and antifreeze protein gene (Mpafp) expression were measured over 13 months. Our results show SCPs in M. punctipennis adults changed from -8.0°C in summer to -18.7°C in winter. During winter, adults endured modest water loss; total water decreased from 65.4 percent in summer to 55.9% in winter. Mpafp mRNAs level increased by 13.1 fold from summer to early winter, and haemolymph osmolality increased accordingly from 550 mOsm to 1486 mOsm. Correlation coefficient of Mpafp mRNAs level and SCP indicates that Mpafp mRNA explained 65.3 percent of the variation in SCPs. The correlation between Mpafp mRNA level and total water reflected an indirect influence of antifreeze protein on water content via reducing SCP.

  9. In Silico Gene-Level Evolution Explains Microbial Population Diversity through Differential Gene Mobility

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Dijk, Bram; Hogeweg, P.

    2016-01-01

    Microbial communities can show astonishing ecological and phylogenetic diversity. What is the role of pervasive horizontal gene transfer (HGT) in shaping this diversity in the presence of clonally expanding "killer strains"? Does HGT of antibiotic production and resistance genes erase phylogenetic

  10. Co-regulation of metabolic genes is better explained by flux coupling than by network distance.

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    Richard A Notebaart

    2008-01-01

    Full Text Available To what extent can modes of gene regulation be explained by systems-level properties of metabolic networks? Prior studies on co-regulation of metabolic genes have mainly focused on graph-theoretical features of metabolic networks and demonstrated a decreasing level of co-expression with increasing network distance, a naïve, but widely used, topological index. Others have suggested that static graph representations can poorly capture dynamic functional associations, e.g., in the form of dependence of metabolic fluxes across genes in the network. Here, we systematically tested the relative importance of metabolic flux coupling and network position on gene co-regulation, using a genome-scale metabolic model of Escherichia coli. After validating the computational method with empirical data on flux correlations, we confirm that genes coupled by their enzymatic fluxes not only show similar expression patterns, but also share transcriptional regulators and frequently reside in the same operon. In contrast, we demonstrate that network distance per se has relatively minor influence on gene co-regulation. Moreover, the type of flux coupling can explain refined properties of the regulatory network that are ignored by simple graph-theoretical indices. Our results underline the importance of studying functional states of cellular networks to define physiologically relevant associations between genes and should stimulate future developments of novel functional genomic tools.

  11. Interplay of Noisy Gene Expression and Dynamics Explains Patterns of Bacterial Operon Organization

    Science.gov (United States)

    Igoshin, Oleg

    2011-03-01

    Bacterial chromosomes are organized into operons -- sets of genes co-transcribed into polycistronic messenger RNA. Hypotheses explaining the emergence and maintenance of operons include proportional co-regulation, horizontal transfer of intact ``selfish'' operons, emergence via gene duplication, and co-production of physically interacting proteins to speed their association. We hypothesized an alternative: operons can reduce or increase intrinsic gene expression noise in a manner dependent on the post-translational interactions, thereby resulting in selection for or against operons in depending on the network architecture. We devised five classes of two-gene network modules and show that the effects of operons on intrinsic noise depend on class membership. Two classes exhibit decreased noise with co-transcription, two others reveal increased noise, and the remaining one does not show a significant difference. To test our modeling predictions we employed bioinformatic analysis to determine the relationship gene expression noise and operon organization. The results confirm the overrepresentation of noise-minimizing operon architectures and provide evidence against other hypotheses. Our results thereby suggest a central role for gene expression noise in selecting for or maintaining operons in bacterial chromosomes. This demonstrates how post-translational network dynamics may provide selective pressure for organizing bacterial chromosomes, and has practical consequences for designing synthetic gene networks. This work is supported by National Institutes of Health grant 1R01GM096189-01.

  12. Genome-wide Identification of WRKY Genes in the Desert Poplar Populus euphratica and Adaptive Evolution of the Genes in Response to Salt Stress.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ma, Jianchao; Lu, Jing; Xu, Jianmei; Duan, Bingbing; He, Xiaodong; Liu, Jianquan

    2015-01-01

    WRKY transcription factors play important roles in plant development and responses to various stresses in plants. However, little is known about the evolution of the WRKY genes in the desert poplar species Populus euphratica, which is highly tolerant of salt stress. In this study, we identified 107 PeWRKY genes from the P. euphratica genome and examined their evolutionary relationships with the WRKY genes of the salt-sensitive congener Populus trichocarpa. Ten PeWRKY genes are specific to P. euphratica, and five of these showed altered expression under salt stress. Furthermore, we found that two pairs of orthologs between the two species showed evidence of positive evolution, with dN/dS ratios>1 (nonsynonymous/synonymous substitutions), and both of them altered their expression in response to salinity stress. These findings suggested that both the development of new genes and positive evolution in some orthologs of the WRKY gene family may have played an important role in the acquisition of high salt tolerance by P. euphratica.

  13. Evaluation of Appropriate Reference Genes for Reverse Transcription-Quantitative PCR Studies in Different Tissues of a Desert Poplar via Comparision of Different Algorithms

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hou-Ling Wang

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available Despite the unshakable status of reverse transcription-quantitative PCR in gene expression analysis, it has certain disadvantages, including that the results are highly dependent on the reference genes selected for data normalization. Since inappropriate endogenous control genes will lead to inaccurate target gene expression profiles, the validation of suitable internal reference genes is essential. Given the increasing interest in functional genes and genomics of Populus euphratica, a desert poplar showing extraordinary adaptation to salt stress, we evaluated the expression stability of ten candidate reference genes in P. euphratica roots, stems, and leaves under salt stress conditions. We used five algorithms, namely, ΔCt, NormFinder, geNorm, GrayNorm, and a rank aggregation method (RankAggreg to identify suitable normalizers. To support the suitability of the identified reference genes and to compare the relative merits of these different algorithms, we analyzed and compared the relative expression levels of nine P. euphratica functional genes in different tissues. Our results indicate that a combination of multiple reference genes recommended by GrayNorm algorithm (e.g., a combination of Actin, EF1α, GAPDH, RP, UBQ in root should be used instead of a single reference gene. These results are valuable for research of gene identification in different P. euphratica tissues.

  14. How desert varnish forms?

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2005-09-01

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

  15. Polymorphisms of the OXTR gene explain why sales professionals love to help customers

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    W.J.M.I. Verbeke (Willem); R.P. Bagozzi (Richard); W.E. van den Berg (Wouter); A. Lemmens (Aurélie)

    2013-01-01

    textabstractPolymorphisms of the OXTR gene affect people's social interaction styles in various social encounters: carriers of the OXTR GG, compared to the OXTR AA/AG in general, are more motivated to interact socially and detect social salience. We focus on sales professionals operating in

  16. Polymorphisms of the OXTR Gene to explain why sales professionals love to help customers

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Verbeke, W.; Bagozzi, R.P.; van den Berg, W.E.; Lemmens, A.

    2013-01-01

    Polymorphisms of the OXTR gene affect people’s social interaction styles in various social encounters: carriers of the OXTR GG, compared to the OXTR AA/AG in general, are more motivated to interact socially and detect social salience. We focus on sales professionals operating in knowledge intensive

  17. Altered amygdalar resting-state connectivity in depression is explained by both genes and environment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Córdova-Palomera, Aldo; Tornador, Cristian; Falcón, Carles; Bargalló, Nuria; Nenadic, Igor; Deco, Gustavo; Fañanás, Lourdes

    2015-10-01

    Recent findings indicate that alterations of the amygdalar resting-state fMRI connectivity play an important role in the etiology of depression. While both depression and resting-state brain activity are shaped by genes and environment, the relative contribution of genetic and environmental factors mediating the relationship between amygdalar resting-state connectivity and depression remain largely unexplored. Likewise, novel neuroimaging research indicates that different mathematical representations of resting-state fMRI activity patterns are able to embed distinct information relevant to brain health and disease. The present study analyzed the influence of genes and environment on amygdalar resting-state fMRI connectivity, in relation to depression risk. High-resolution resting-state fMRI scans were analyzed to estimate functional connectivity patterns in a sample of 48 twins (24 monozygotic pairs) informative for depressive psychopathology (6 concordant, 8 discordant and 10 healthy control pairs). A graph-theoretical framework was employed to construct brain networks using two methods: (i) the conventional approach of filtered BOLD fMRI time-series and (ii) analytic components of this fMRI activity. Results using both methods indicate that depression risk is increased by environmental factors altering amygdalar connectivity. When analyzing the analytic components of the BOLD fMRI time-series, genetic factors altering the amygdala neural activity at rest show an important contribution to depression risk. Overall, these findings show that both genes and environment modify different patterns the amygdala resting-state connectivity to increase depression risk. The genetic relationship between amygdalar connectivity and depression may be better elicited by examining analytic components of the brain resting-state BOLD fMRI signals. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  18. Passive larval transport explains recent gene flow in a Mediterranean gorgonian

    Science.gov (United States)

    Padrón, Mariana; Costantini, Federica; Baksay, Sandra; Bramanti, Lorenzo; Guizien, Katell

    2018-06-01

    Understanding the patterns of connectivity is required by the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 and will be used to guide the extension of marine protection measures. Despite the increasing accuracy of ocean circulation modelling, the capacity to model the population connectivity of sessile benthic species with dispersal larval stages can be limited due to the potential effect of filters acting before or after dispersal, which modulates offspring release or settlement, respectively. We applied an interdisciplinary approach that combined demographic surveys, genetic methods (assignment tests and coalescent-based analyses) and larval transport simulations to test the relative importance of demographics and ocean currents in shaping the recent patterns of gene flow among populations of a Mediterranean gorgonian ( Eunicella singularis) in a fragmented rocky habitat (Gulf of Lion, NW Mediterranean Sea). We show that larval transport is a dominant driver of recent gene flow among the populations, and significant correlations were found between recent gene flow and larval transport during an average single dispersal event when the pelagic larval durations (PLDs) ranged from 7 to 14 d. Our results suggest that PLDs that efficiently connect populations distributed over a fragmented habitat are filtered by the habitat layout within the species competency period. Moreover, a PLD ranging from 7 to 14 d is sufficient to connect the fragmented rocky substrate of the Gulf of Lion. The rocky areas located in the centre of the Gulf of Lion, which are currently not protected, were identified as essential hubs for the distribution of migrants in the region. We encourage the use of a range of PLDs instead of a single value when estimating larval transport with biophysical models to identify potential connectivity patterns among a network of Marine Protected Areas or even solely a seascape.

  19. Epigenetic modifications and chromatin loop organization explain the different expression profiles of the Tbrg4, WAP and Ramp3 genes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Montazer-Torbati, Mohammad Bagher; Hue-Beauvais, Cathy; Droineau, Stephanie; Ballester, Maria; Coant, Nicolas; Aujean, Etienne; Petitbarat, Marie; Rijnkels, Monique; Devinoy, Eve

    2008-01-01

    Whey Acidic Protein (WAP) gene expression is specific to the mammary gland and regulated by lactogenic hormones to peak during lactation. It differs markedly from the more constitutive expression of the two flanking genes, Ramp3 and Tbrg4. Our results show that the tight regulation of WAP gene expression parallels variations in the chromatin structure and DNA methylation profile throughout the Ramp3-WAP-Tbrg4 locus. Three Matrix Attachment Regions (MAR) have been predicted in this locus. Two of them are located between regions exhibiting open and closed chromatin structures in the liver. The third, located around the transcription start site of the Tbrg4 gene, interacts with topoisomerase II in HC11 mouse mammary cells, and in these cells anchors the chromatin loop to the nuclear matrix. Furthermore, if lactogenic hormones are present in these cells, the chromatin loop surrounding the WAP gene is more tightly attached to the nuclear structure, as observed after a high salt treatment of the nuclei and the formation of nuclear halos. Taken together, our results point to a combination of several epigenetic events that may explain the differential expression pattern of the WAP locus in relation to tissue and developmental stages

  20. Accounting for horizontal gene transfers explains conflicting hypotheses regarding the position of aquificales in the phylogeny of Bacteria

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gouy Manolo

    2008-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Despite a large agreement between ribosomal RNA and concatenated protein phylogenies, the phylogenetic tree of the bacterial domain remains uncertain in its deepest nodes. For instance, the position of the hyperthermophilic Aquificales is debated, as their commonly observed position close to Thermotogales may proceed from horizontal gene transfers, long branch attraction or compositional biases, and may not represent vertical descent. Indeed, another view, based on the analysis of rare genomic changes, places Aquificales close to epsilon-Proteobacteria. Results To get a whole genome view of Aquifex relationships, all trees containing sequences from Aquifex in the HOGENOM database were surveyed. This study revealed that Aquifex is most often found as a neighbour to Thermotogales. Moreover, informational genes, which appeared to be less often transferred to the Aquifex lineage than non-informational genes, most often placed Aquificales close to Thermotogales. To ensure these results did not come from long branch attraction or compositional artefacts, a subset of carefully chosen proteins from a wide range of bacterial species was selected for further scrutiny. Among these genes, two phylogenetic hypotheses were found to be significantly more likely than the others: the most likely hypothesis placed Aquificales as a neighbour to Thermotogales, and the second one with epsilon-Proteobacteria. We characterized the genes that supported each of these two hypotheses, and found that differences in rates of evolution or in amino-acid compositions could not explain the presence of two incongruent phylogenetic signals in the alignment. Instead, evidence for a large Horizontal Gene Transfer between Aquificales and epsilon-Proteobacteria was found. Conclusion Methods based on concatenated informational proteins and methods based on character cladistics led to different conclusions regarding the position of Aquificales because this lineage

  1. Molecular Ecology of nifH Genes and Transcripts Along a Chronosequence in Revegetated Areas of the Tengger Desert.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Jin; Bao, Jing-Ting; Li, Xin-Rong; Liu, Yu-Bing

    2016-01-01

    The colonization and succession of diazotrophs are essential for the development of organic soil layers in desert. We examined the succession of diazotrophs in the well-established revegetated areas representing a chronosequence of 0 year (control), 22 years (restored artificially since 1981), 57 years (restored artificially since 1956), and more than 100 years (restored naturally) to determine the community assembly and active expression of diazotrophs. The pyrosequencing data revealed that Alphaproteobacteria-like diazotrophs predominated in the topsoil of our mobile dune site, while cyanobacterial diazotrophs predominated in the revegetated sites. The cyanobacterial diazotrophs were primarily composed of the heterocystous genera Anabaena, Calothrix, Cylindrospermum, Nodularia, Nostoc, Trichormus, and Mastigocladus. Almost all the nifH sequences belonged to the Cyanobacteria phylum (all the relative abundance values >99.1 %) at transcript level and all the active cyanobacterial diazotrophs distributed in the families Nostocaceae and Rivulariaceae. The most dominant active cyanobacterial genus was Cylindrospermum in all the samples. The rank abundance and community analyses demonstrated that most of the diazotrophic diversity originated from the "rare" species, and all the DNA-based diazotrophic libraries were richer and more diverse than their RNA-based counterparts in the revegetated sites. Significant differences in the diazotrophic community and their active population composition were observed among the four research sites. Samples from the 1981-revegetating site (predominated by cyanobacterial crusts) showed the highest nitrogenase activity, followed by samples from the naturally revegetating site (predominated by lichen crusts), the 1956-revegetating site (predominated by moss crusts), and the mobile dune site (without crusts). Collectively, our data highlight the importance of nitrogen fixation by the primary successional desert topsoil and suggest

  2. Polymorphisms of the OXTR Gene Explain Why Sales Professionals Love to Help Customers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Willem J.M.I. Verbeke

    2013-11-01

    Full Text Available Polymorphisms of the OXTR gene affect people’s social interaction styles in various social encounters: carriers of the OXTR GG, compared to the OXTR AA/AG in general, are more motivated to interact socially and detect social salience. We focus on sales professionals operating in knowledge intensive organizations. Study 1, with a sample of 141 sales people, shows that carriers of the OXTR GG allele, compared to the OXTR AA/AG allele, are more motivated to help customers than to manipulatively impose goods/services on them. Study 2, using genomic functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI on a sample of 21 sales professionals processing facial pictures with different emotional valences, investigates key nuclei of social brain regions (SBRs. Compared to OXTR AA/AG carriers, OXTR GG carriers experience greater effective connectivity between SBRs of interest measured by Granger causality tests using univariate Haugh tests. In addition, the multivariate El-Himdi and Roy tests demonstrate that the amygdala, prefrontal cortex, and pars opercularis (inferior frontal gyrus play key roles when processing emotional expressions. The bilateral amygdala and medial prefrontal cortex show significantly greater clout – influence on other brain regions – for GG allele carriers than non-carriers; likewise, the bilateral pars opercularis, left amygdala, and left medial prefrontal cortex are more receptive to activity in other brain regions among GG allele carriers than AG/AA allele carriers are. Thus, carriers of the OXTR GG allele are more sensitive to changes in emotional cues, enhancing social salience. To our knowledge, this is the first study on how insights from imaging genetics help understanding of the social motivation of people operating in a professional setting.

  3. Polymorphisms of the OXTR gene explain why sales professionals love to help customers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Verbeke, Willem; Bagozzi, Richard P; van den Berg, Wouter E; Lemmens, Aurelie

    2013-01-01

    Polymorphisms of the OXTR gene affect people's social interaction styles in various social encounters: carriers of the OXTR GG, compared to the OXTR AA/AG in general, are more motivated to interact socially and detect social salience. We focus on sales professionals operating in knowledge intensive organizations. Study 1, with a sample of 141 sales people, shows that carriers of the OXTR GG allele, compared to the OXTR AA/AG allele, are more motivated to help customers than to manipulatively impose goods/services on them. Study 2, using genomic functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) on a sample of 21 sales professionals processing facial pictures with different emotional valences, investigates key nuclei of social brain regions (SBRs). Compared to OXTR AA/AG carriers, OXTR GG carriers experience greater effective connectivity between SBRs of interest measured by Granger causality tests using univariate Haugh tests. In addition, the multivariate El-Himdi and Roy tests demonstrate that the amygdala, prefrontal cortex, and pars opercularis (inferior frontal gyrus) play key roles when processing emotional expressions. The bilateral amygdala and medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) show significantly greater clout-influence on other brain regions-for GG allele carriers than non-carriers; likewise, the bilateral pars opercularis, left amygdala, and left mPFC are more receptive to activity in other brain regions among GG allele carriers than AG/AA allele carriers are. Thus, carriers of the OXTR GG allele are more sensitive to changes in emotional cues, enhancing social salience. To our knowledge, this is the first study on how insights from imaging genetics help understanding of the social motivation of people operating in a professional setting.

  4. Polymorphisms of the OXTR gene explain why sales professionals love to help customers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Verbeke, Willem; Bagozzi, Richard P.; van den Berg, Wouter E.; Lemmens, Aurelie

    2013-01-01

    Polymorphisms of the OXTR gene affect people's social interaction styles in various social encounters: carriers of the OXTR GG, compared to the OXTR AA/AG in general, are more motivated to interact socially and detect social salience. We focus on sales professionals operating in knowledge intensive organizations. Study 1, with a sample of 141 sales people, shows that carriers of the OXTR GG allele, compared to the OXTR AA/AG allele, are more motivated to help customers than to manipulatively impose goods/services on them. Study 2, using genomic functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) on a sample of 21 sales professionals processing facial pictures with different emotional valences, investigates key nuclei of social brain regions (SBRs). Compared to OXTR AA/AG carriers, OXTR GG carriers experience greater effective connectivity between SBRs of interest measured by Granger causality tests using univariate Haugh tests. In addition, the multivariate El-Himdi and Roy tests demonstrate that the amygdala, prefrontal cortex, and pars opercularis (inferior frontal gyrus) play key roles when processing emotional expressions. The bilateral amygdala and medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) show significantly greater clout—influence on other brain regions—for GG allele carriers than non-carriers; likewise, the bilateral pars opercularis, left amygdala, and left mPFC are more receptive to activity in other brain regions among GG allele carriers than AG/AA allele carriers are. Thus, carriers of the OXTR GG allele are more sensitive to changes in emotional cues, enhancing social salience. To our knowledge, this is the first study on how insights from imaging genetics help understanding of the social motivation of people operating in a professional setting. PMID:24348351

  5. Novel Familial Variant of the Desert Hedgehog Gene: Clinical Findings in Two Sisters with 46,XY Gonadal Dysgenesis or 46,XX Karyotype and Literature Review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baldinotti, Fulvia; Cavallaro, Tiziana; Dati, Eleonora; Baroncelli, Giampiero I; Bertini, Veronica; Valetto, Angelo; Massart, Francesco; Fabrizi, Gian Maria; Zanette, Giampietro; Peroni, Diego; Bertelloni, Silvano

    2018-01-01

    In humans, Desert Hedgehog (DHH) gene mutations are a very rare cause of 46,XY gonadal dysgenesis (GD), eventually associated with peripheral neuropathy. Clinical records of 12 patients with 46,XY GD and unknown genetic background were reviewed and a 46,XY woman with peripheral neuropathy was individuated. Her 46,XX sister affected by similar neuropathy was also investigated. Genomic DNA was extracted and DHH exons sequenced and analyzed. A comparative genomic hybridization array was also performed. In both the 46,XY and 46,XX sisters, a homozygous c.554C>A mutation in exon 2 of the DHH gene was found, determining a premature termination codon (p.Ser 185*). Heterozygous consanguineous carrier parents showed neither reproductive problems nor peripheral neuropathy. In the proband and her sister, a 499-kb duplication in 9p22.1 was also found. A 46,XY European woman with 46,XY GD and a novel homozygous DHH pathogenic variant is reported, confirming that this gene plays a key role in male gonadal development. Her 46,XX sister, harboring the same mutation, showed normal internal and external female phenotype. Thus, DHH seems not to be involved in the ovarian development pathway or its postpubertal function. Homozygous DHH mutations cause a specific peripheral neuropathy in humans with both 46,XY and 46,XX karyotypes. © 2018 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  6. Russian deserters of World War I

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Os'kin Maksim

    2014-10-01

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

  7. De Novo Transcriptome Sequencing of Desert Herbaceous Achnatherum splendens (Achnatherum Seedlings and Identification of Salt Tolerance Genes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jiangtao Liu

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Achnatherum splendens is an important forage herb in Northwestern China. It has a high tolerance to salinity and is, thus, considered one of the most important constructive plants in saline and alkaline areas of land in Northwest China. However, the mechanisms of salt stress tolerance in A. splendens remain unknown. Next-generation sequencing (NGS technologies can be used for global gene expression profiling. In this study, we examined sequence and transcript abundance data for the root/leaf transcriptome of A. splendens obtained using an Illumina HiSeq 2500. Over 35 million clean reads were obtained from the leaf and root libraries. All of the RNA sequencing (RNA-seq reads were assembled de novo into a total of 126,235 unigenes and 36,511 coding DNA sequences (CDS. We further identified 1663 differentially-expressed genes (DEGs between the salt stress treatment and control. Functional annotation of the DEGs by gene ontology (GO, using Arabidopsis and rice as references, revealed enrichment of salt stress-related GO categories, including “oxidation reduction”, “transcription factor activity”, and “ion channel transporter”. Thus, this global transcriptome analysis of A. splendens has provided an important genetic resource for the study of salt tolerance in this halophyte. The identified sequences and their putative functional data will facilitate future investigations of the tolerance of Achnatherum species to various types of abiotic stress.

  8. Heritability of blood pressure traits and the genetic contribution to blood pressure variance explained by four blood-pressure-related genes.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rijn, M.J. van; Schut, A.F.; Aulchenko, Y.S.; Deinum, J.; Sayed-Tabatabaei, F.A.; Yazdanpanah, M.; Isaacs, A.; Axenovich, T.I.; Zorkoltseva, I.V.; Zillikens, M.C.; Pols, H.A.; Witteman, J.C.; Oostra, B.A.; Duijn, C.M. van

    2007-01-01

    OBJECTIVE: To study the heritability of four blood pressure traits and the proportion of variance explained by four blood-pressure-related genes. METHODS: All participants are members of an extended pedigree from a Dutch genetically isolated population. Heritability and genetic correlations of

  9. Lineage diversification of fringe-toed lizards (Phrynosomatidae: Uma notata complex) in the Colorado Desert: Delimiting species in the presence of gene flow

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gottscho, Andrew D.; Wood, Dustin A.; Vandergast, Amy; Lemos Espinal, Julio A.; Gatesy, John; Reeder, Tod

    2017-01-01

    Multi-locus nuclear DNA data were used to delimit species of fringe-toed lizards of theUma notata complex, which are specialized for living in wind-blown sand habitats in the deserts of southwestern North America, and to infer whether Quaternary glacial cycles or Tertiary geological events were important in shaping the historical biogeography of this group. We analyzed ten nuclear loci collected using Sanger sequencing and genome-wide sequence and single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) data collected using restriction-associated DNA (RAD) sequencing. A combination of species discovery methods (concatenated phylogenies, parametric and non-parametric clustering algorithms) and species validation approaches (coalescent-based species tree/isolation-with-migration models) were used to delimit species, infer phylogenetic relationships, and to estimate effective population sizes, migration rates, and speciation times. Uma notata, U. inornata, U. cowlesi, and an undescribed species from Mohawk Dunes, Arizona (U. sp.) were supported as distinct in the concatenated analyses and by clustering algorithms, and all operational taxonomic units were decisively supported as distinct species by ranking hierarchical nested speciation models with Bayes factors based on coalescent-based species tree methods. However, significant unidirectional gene flow (2NM >1) from U. cowlesi and U. notata into U. rufopunctata was detected under the isolation-with-migration model. Therefore, we conservatively delimit four species-level lineages within this complex (U. inornata, U. notata, U. cowlesi, and U. sp.), treating U. rufopunctata as a hybrid population (U. notata x cowlesi). Both concatenated and coalescent-based estimates of speciation times support the hypotheses that speciation within the complex occurred during the late Pleistocene, and that the geological evolution of the Colorado River delta during this period was an important process shaping the observed phylogeographic patterns.

  10. Genetic changes of MLH1 and MSH2 genes could explain constant findings on microsatellite instability in intracranial meningioma.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pećina-Šlaus, Nives; Kafka, Anja; Bukovac, Anja; Vladušić, Tomislav; Tomas, Davor; Hrašćan, Reno

    2017-07-01

    Postreplicative mismatch repair safeguards the stability of our genome. The defects in its functioning will give rise to microsatellite instability. In this study, 50 meningiomas were investigated for microsatellite instability. Two major mismatch repair genes, MLH1 and MSH2, were analyzed using microsatellite markers D1S1611 and BAT26 amplified by polymerase chain reaction and visualized by gel electrophoresis on high-resolution gels. Furthermore, genes DVL3 (D3S1262), AXIN1 (D16S3399), and CDH1 (D16S752) were also investigated for microsatellite instability. Our study revealed constant presence of microsatellite instability in meningioma patients when compared to their autologous blood DNA. Altogether 38% of meningiomas showed microsatellite instability at one microsatellite locus, 16% on two, and 13.3% on three loci. The percent of detected microsatellite instability for MSH2 gene was 14%, and for MLH1, it was 26%, for DVL3 22.9%, for AXIN1 17.8%, and for CDH1 8.3%. Since markers also allowed for the detection of loss of heterozygosity, gross deletions of MLH1 gene were found in 24% of meningiomas. Genetic changes between MLH1 and MSH2 were significantly positively correlated (p = 0.032). We also noted a positive correlation between genetic changes of MSH2 and DVL3 genes (p = 0.034). No significant associations were observed when MLH1 or MSH2 was tested against specific histopathological meningioma subtype or World Health Organization grade. However, genetic changes in DVL3 were strongly associated with anaplastic histology of meningioma (χ 2  = 9.14; p = 0.01). Our study contributes to better understanding of the genetic profile of human intracranial meningiomas and suggests that meningiomas harbor defective cellular DNA mismatch repair mechanisms.

  11. Complexity explained

    CERN Document Server

    Erdi, Peter

    2008-01-01

    This book explains why complex systems research is important in understanding the structure, function and dynamics of complex natural and social phenomena. Readers will learn the basic concepts and methods of complex system research.

  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. Desert Pavement Studies

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Haff, P

    2003-01-01

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

  15. Expression Differences of Pigment Structural Genes and Transcription Factors Explain Flesh Coloration in Three Contrasting Kiwifruit Cultivars

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yanfei Liu

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Fruits of kiwifruit cultivars (Actinidia chinensis and A. deliciosa generally have green or yellow flesh when ripe. A small number of genotypes have red flesh but this coloration is usually restricted to the inner pericarp. Three kiwifruit cultivars having red (‘Hongyang’, or yellow (‘Jinnong-2’, or green (‘Hayward’ flesh were investigated for their color characteristics and pigment contents during development and ripening. The results show the yellow of the ‘Jinnong-2’ fruit is due to the combined effects of chlorophyll degradation and of beta-carotene accumulation. The red inner pericarps of ‘Hongyang’ fruit are due to anthocyanin accumulation. Expression differences of the pathway genes in the inner pericarps of the three different kiwifruits suggest that stay-green (SGR controls the degradation of chlorophylls, while lycopene beta-cyclase (LCY-β controls the biosynthesis of beta-carotene. The abundance of anthocyanin in the inner pericarps of the ‘Hongyang’ fruit is the results of high expressions of UDP flavonoid glycosyltransferases (UFGT. At the same time, expressions of anthocyanin transcription factors show that AcMYBF110 expression parallels changes in anthocyanin concentration, so seems to be a key R2R3 MYB, regulating anthocyanin biosynthesis. Further, transient color assays reveal that AcMYBF110 can autonomously induce anthocyanin accumulation in Nicotiana tabacum leaves by activating the transcription of dihydroflavonol 4-reductase (NtDFR, anthocyanidin synthase (NtANS and NtUFGT. For basic helix-loop-helix proteins (bHLHs and WD-repeat proteins (WD40s, expression differences show these may depend on AcMYBF110 forming a MYB-bHLH-WD40 complex to regulate anthocyanin biosynthesis, instead of it having a direct involvement.

  16. Do changes in connectivity explain desertification?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Desertification, broad-scale land degradation in drylands, is a major environmental hazard facing inhabitants of the world’s deserts as well as an important component of global change. There is no unifying framework that simply and effectively explains different forms of desertification. Here we arg...

  17. SPSS explained

    CERN Document Server

    Hinton, Perry R; Brownlow, Charlotte

    2014-01-01

    SPSS Explained provides the student with all that they need to undertake statistical analysis using SPSS. It combines a step-by-step approach to each procedure with easy to follow screenshots at each stage of the process. A number of other helpful features are provided: regular advice boxes with tips specific to each test explanations divided into 'essential' and 'advanced' sections to suit readers at different levels frequently asked questions at the end of each chapter. The first edition of this popular book has been fully updated for IBM SPSS version 21 and also includes: chapters that expl

  18. Minerals in deserts

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Smith, G.I.

    1982-01-01

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

  19. Natural selection in a population of Drosophila melanogaster explained by changes in gene expression caused by sequence variation in core promoter regions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sato, Mitsuhiko P; Makino, Takashi; Kawata, Masakado

    2016-02-09

    Understanding the evolutionary forces that influence variation in gene regulatory regions in natural populations is an important challenge for evolutionary biology because natural selection for such variations could promote adaptive phenotypic evolution. Recently, whole-genome sequence analyses have identified regulatory regions subject to natural selection. However, these studies could not identify the relationship between sequence variation in the detected regions and change in gene expression levels. We analyzed sequence variations in core promoter regions, which are critical regions for gene regulation in higher eukaryotes, in a natural population of Drosophila melanogaster, and identified core promoter sequence variations associated with differences in gene expression levels subjected to natural selection. Among the core promoter regions whose sequence variation could change transcription factor binding sites and explain differences in expression levels, three core promoter regions were detected as candidates associated with purifying selection or selective sweep and seven as candidates associated with balancing selection, excluding the possibility of linkage between these regions and core promoter regions. CHKov1, which confers resistance to the sigma virus and related insecticides, was identified as core promoter regions that has been subject to selective sweep, although it could not be denied that selection for variation in core promoter regions was due to linked single nucleotide polymorphisms in the regulatory region outside core promoter regions. Nucleotide changes in core promoter regions of CHKov1 caused the loss of two basal transcription factor binding sites and acquisition of one transcription factor binding site, resulting in decreased gene expression levels. Of nine core promoter regions regions associated with balancing selection, brat, and CG9044 are associated with neuromuscular junction development, and Nmda1 are associated with learning

  20. Astronomy Explained

    Science.gov (United States)

    North, Gerald

    Every year large numbers of people take up the study of astronomy, mostly at amateur level. There are plenty of elementary books on the market, full of colourful photographs, but lacking in proper explanations of how and why things are as they are. Many people eventually wish to go beyond the 'coffee-table book' stage and study this fascinating subject in greater depth. This book is written for them. In addition, many people sit for public examinations in this subject each year and this book is also intended to be of use to them. All the topics from the GCSE syllabus are covered here, with sample questions at the end of each chapter. Astronomy Explained provides a comprehensive treatment of the subject in more depth than is usually found in elementary works, and will be of interest to both amateur astronomers and students of astronomy.

  1. Gopherus agassizii: Desert tortoise

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1989-01-01

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

  2. WAP explained

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kaiser, M.J.; Pulsipher, A.G.

    2004-01-01

    The Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) is a federal block grant program administered by all 50 states and the District of Columbia through community action agencies, state energy offices, local government, and other nonprofit organizations to provide weatherization services to eligible households. The WAP was established in 1976 to increase the energy efficiency, reduce the energy expenditures, and improve the health and safety of low-income households, especially those households that are particularly vulnerable such as families with children, persons with disabilities, and the elderly. The manner in which WAP funds have been allocated to states, however, has been a contentious issue since the inception of the program. Southern states have argued that too much of the federal funding goes to cold-climate and rural states. Northern states disagree. In 1990, Congress amended the Energy Conservation and Production Act and required the Department of Energy to develop a new funding formula. The Department of Energy currently uses a three-factor formula developed in 1995 in conjunction with a two-factor formula developed in 1977 and a hold-harmless provision to allocate WAP funding. The purpose of this paper is to explain the WAP allocation mechanism and the assumptions associated with the 1977 and the 1995 funding formula. The factors that compose each funding formula are critically assessed and various implementation issues are reviewed, including the selection of the trigger point and program capacity levels. It is not possible to define the need for weatherization assistance objectively and in a unique manner, and this ambiguity is the main reason why the WAP allocation mechanism is expected to remain a lively topic of debate and contention

  3. Brood desertion by female shorebirds : a test of the differential parental capacity hypothesis on Kentish plovers

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Amat, JA; Visser, GH; Perez-Hurtado, A; Arroyo, GM

    2000-01-01

    The aim of this study was to examine whether the energetic costs of reproduction explain offspring desertion by female shorebirds, as is suggested by the differential parental capacity hypothesis. A prediction of the hypothesis is that, in species with biparental incubation in which females desert

  4. GOPHERUS AGASSIZII (Desert Tortoise)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1997-01-01

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

  5. Genetic diversity in the desert watermelon Citrullus colocynthis and its relationship with Citrullus species as determined by high-frequency oligonucleotides-targeting active gene markers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Citrullus colocynthis (L.) Schrad. is a viable source of genes for enhancing disease and pest resistance in the cultivated watermelon. However, there is little information in the literature about genetic diversity within C. colocynthis (CC) or the relationship of specific genotypes of CC to C. lanat...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-11-12

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

  7. Population, desert expanding.

    Science.gov (United States)

    1992-01-01

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

  8. 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

  9. Supersymmetry without the Desert

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nomura, Yasunori; Poland, David

    2006-01-01

    Naturalness of electroweak symmetry breaking in weak scale supersymmetric theories may suggest the absence of the conventional supersymmetric desert. We present a simple, realistic framework for supersymmetry in which (most of) the virtues of the supersymmetric desert are naturally reproduced without having a large energy interval above the weak scale. The successful supersymmetric prediction for the low-energy gauge couplings is reproduced due to a gauged R symmetry present in the effective theory at the weak scale. The observable sector superpotential naturally takes the form of the next-to-minimal supersymmetric standard model, but without being subject to the Landau pole constraints up to the conventional unification scale. Supersymmetry breaking masses are generated by the F-term and D-term VEVs of singlet and U(1) R gauge fields, as well as by anomaly mediation, at a scale not far above the weak scale. We study the resulting pattern of supersymmetry breaking masses in detail, and find that it can be quite distinct. We construct classes of explicit models within this framework, based on higher dimensional unified theories with TeV-sized extra dimensions. A similar model based on a non-R symmetry is also presented. These models have a rich phenomenology at the TeV scale, and allow for detailed analyses of, e.g., electroweak symmetry breaking

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oldemeyer, John L.

    1994-01-01

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

  11. Association between expression of random gene sets and survival is evident in multiple cancer types and may be explained by sub-classification

    Science.gov (United States)

    2018-01-01

    One of the goals of cancer research is to identify a set of genes that cause or control disease progression. However, although multiple such gene sets were published, these are usually in very poor agreement with each other, and very few of the genes proved to be functional therapeutic targets. Furthermore, recent findings from a breast cancer gene-expression cohort showed that sets of genes selected randomly can be used to predict survival with a much higher probability than expected. These results imply that many of the genes identified in breast cancer gene expression analysis may not be causal of cancer progression, even though they can still be highly predictive of prognosis. We performed a similar analysis on all the cancer types available in the cancer genome atlas (TCGA), namely, estimating the predictive power of random gene sets for survival. Our work shows that most cancer types exhibit the property that random selections of genes are more predictive of survival than expected. In contrast to previous work, this property is not removed by using a proliferation signature, which implies that proliferation may not always be the confounder that drives this property. We suggest one possible solution in the form of data-driven sub-classification to reduce this property significantly. Our results suggest that the predictive power of random gene sets may be used to identify the existence of sub-classes in the data, and thus may allow better understanding of patient stratification. Furthermore, by reducing the observed bias this may allow more direct identification of biologically relevant, and potentially causal, genes. PMID:29470520

  12. Should I stay or should I go? Female brood desertion and male counterstrategy in rock sparrows

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Griggio, Matteo; Matessi, Giuliano; Pilastro, Andrea

    2005-01-01

    petronia), a species in which females can desert their first brood before the nestlings from the first brood leave the nest. We predicted that the male would either desert the brood first or stay even if this implied the risk of caring for the brood alone. We found that males mated to loaded females did...... not leave but stayed and significantly increased their courtship rate and mate guarding. Unexpectedly, they also increased their food provisioning to the nestlings, even though loaded females did not reduce their nestling-feeding rate. The increase in male feeding rate may be explained as a way for the male...... to reduce the female's propensity to switch mate and desert or to increase her propensity to copulate with the male to obtain paternity in her next brood. Altogether, our results demonstrate that the perception of the risk of being deserted by the female does not necessarily induce males to desert first...

  13. Evolution of hepatic glucose metabolism: liver-specific glucokinase deficiency explained by parallel loss of the gene for glucokinase regulatory protein (GCKR.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhao Yang Wang

    Full Text Available Glucokinase (GCK plays an important role in the regulation of carbohydrate metabolism. In the liver, phosphorylation of glucose to glucose-6-phosphate by GCK is the first step for both glycolysis and glycogen synthesis. However, some vertebrate species are deficient in GCK activity in the liver, despite containing GCK genes that appear to be compatible with function in their genomes. Glucokinase regulatory protein (GCKR is the most important post-transcriptional regulator of GCK in the liver; it participates in the modulation of GCK activity and location depending upon changes in glucose levels. In experimental models, loss of GCKR has been shown to associate with reduced hepatic GCK protein levels and activity.GCKR genes and GCKR-like sequences were identified in the genomes of all vertebrate species with available genome sequences. The coding sequences of GCKR and GCKR-like genes were identified and aligned; base changes likely to disrupt coding potential or splicing were also identified.GCKR genes could not be found in the genomes of 9 vertebrate species, including all birds. In addition, in multiple mammalian genomes, whereas GCKR-like gene sequences could be identified, these genes could not predict a functional protein. Vertebrate species that were previously reported to be deficient in hepatic GCK activity were found to have deleted (birds and lizard or mutated (mammals GCKR genes. Our results suggest that mutation of the GCKR gene leads to hepatic GCK deficiency due to the loss of the stabilizing effect of GCKR.

  14. Remote Sensing Field Guide - Desert

    Science.gov (United States)

    1991-09-01

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

  15. 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...

  16. The dominantly expressed class I molecule of the chicken MHC is explained by coevolution with the polymorphic peptide transporter (TAP) genes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Walker, Brian A; Hunt, Lawrence G; Sowa, Anna K

    2011-01-01

    In most mammals, the MHC class I molecules are polymorphic and determine the specificity of peptide presentation, whereas the transporter associated with antigen presentation (TAP) heterodimers are functionally monomorphic. In chickens, there are two classical class I genes but only one is expres...

  17. The strong selective sweep candidate gene ADRA2C does not explain domestication related changes in the stress response of chickens.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Magnus Elfwing

    Full Text Available Analysis of selective sweeps to pinpoint causative genomic regions involved in chicken domestication has revealed a strong selective sweep on chromosome 4 in layer chickens. The autoregulatory α-adrenergic receptor 2C (ADRA2C gene is the closest to the selective sweep and was proposed as an important gene in the domestication of layer chickens. The ADRA2C promoter region was also hypermethylated in comparison to the non-selected ancestor of all domesticated chicken breeds, the Red Junglefowl, further supporting its relevance. In mice the receptor is involved in the fight-or-flight response as it modulates epinephrine release from the adrenals. To investigate the involvement of ADRA2C in chicken domestication, we measured gene expression in the adrenals and radiolabeled receptor ligand in three brain regions comparing the domestic White Leghorn strain with the wild ancestor Red Junglefowl. In adrenals ADRA2C was twofold greater expressed than the related receptor gene ADRA2A, indicating that ADRA2C is the predominant modulator of epinephrine release but no strain differences were measured. In hypothalamus and amygdala, regions associated with the stress response, and in striatum, receptor binding pIC50 values ranged between 8.1-8.4, and the level was not influenced by the genotyped allele. Because chicken strains differ in morphology, physiology and behavior, differences attributed to a single gene may be lost in the noise caused by the heterogeneous genetic background. Therefore an F10 advanced intercross strain between White Leghorn and Red Junglefowl was used to investigate effects of ADRA2C alleles on fear related behaviors and fecundity. We did not find compelling genotype effects in open field, tonic immobility, aerial predator, associative learning or fecundity. Therefore we conclude that ADRA2C is probably not involved in the domestication of the stress response in chicken, and the strong selective sweep is probably caused by selection

  18. Enhanced Botrytis cinerea resistance of Arabidopsis plants grown in compost may be explained by increased expression of defense-related genes, as revealed by microarray analysis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Guillem Segarra

    Full Text Available Composts are the products obtained after the aerobic degradation of different types of organic matter waste and can be used as substrates or substrate/soil amendments for plant cultivation. There is a small but increasing number of reports that suggest that foliar diseases may be reduced when using compost, rather than standard substrates, as growing medium. The purpose of this study was to examine the gene expression alteration produced by the compost to gain knowledge of the mechanisms involved in compost-induced systemic resistance. A compost from olive marc and olive tree leaves was able to induce resistance against Botrytis cinerea in Arabidopsis, unlike the standard substrate, perlite. Microarray analyses revealed that 178 genes were differently expressed, with a fold change cut-off of 1, of which 155 were up-regulated and 23 were down-regulated in compost-grown, as against perlite-grown plants. A functional enrichment study of up-regulated genes revealed that 38 Gene Ontology terms were significantly enriched. Response to stress, biotic stimulus, other organism, bacterium, fungus, chemical and abiotic stimulus, SA and ABA stimulus, oxidative stress, water, temperature and cold were significantly enriched, as were immune and defense responses, systemic acquired resistance, secondary metabolic process and oxireductase activity. Interestingly, PR1 expression, which was equally enhanced by growing the plants in compost and by B. cinerea inoculation, was further boosted in compost-grown pathogen-inoculated plants. Compost triggered a plant response that shares similarities with both systemic acquired resistance and ABA-dependent/independent abiotic stress responses.

  19. High performance of histidine-rich protein 2 based rapid diagnostic tests in French Guiana are explained by the absence of pfhrp2 gene deletion in P. falciparum.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mélanie Trouvay

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Care for malaria patients in endemic areas has been improved through the increasing use of Rapid Diagnostic Tests (RDTs. Most RDTs target the histidine-rich protein-2 antigen (PfHRP2 to detect P. falciparum, as it is abundant and shows great heat stability. However, their use in South America has been widely questioned following a recent publication that pinpoints the high prevalence of Peruvian field isolates lacking the gene encoding this protein. In the remote rural health centers of French Guiana, RDTs are the main diagnosis tools. Therefore, a study of PfHRP2 RDT performances and pfhrp2 genotyping was conducted to determine whether a replacement of the current pLDH-based kit could be considered. METHODS: The performance study compared the SD Malaria Ag test P.f/Pan® kit with the current gold standard diagnosis by microscopy. The prevalence of pfhrp2 and pfhrp3 deletions were evaluated from 221 P. falciparum isolates collected between 2009 and 2011 in French Guiana. RESULTS: Between January 2010 and August 2011, 960 suspected cases of malaria were analyzed using microscopy and RDTs. The sensitivity of the SD Malaria Ag test P.f/Pan® for detection of P. falciparum was 96.8% (95% CI: 90.9-99.3, and 86.0% (95% CI: 78.9-91.5 for the detection of P. vivax. No isolates (95% CI: 0-4.5 lacking either exon of the pfhrp2 gene were identified among the 221 P. falciparum isolates analyzed, but 7.4% (95% CI: 2.8-15.4 lacked the exon 2 part of the pfhrp3 gene. CONCLUSIONS: Field isolates lacking either exon of the pfhrp2 gene are absent in this western part of South America. Despite its sensibility to detect P. vivax, the SD Malaria Ag test P.f/Pan® kit is a satisfying alternative to microscopy in remote health centers, where it is difficult to provide highly skilled microscopists and to maintain the necessary equipment.

  20. Aborigines of the nuclear desert

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rujula, A. de

    1985-01-01

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

  1. Russian deserters of World War I

    OpenAIRE

    Os'kin Maksim

    2014-01-01

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

  2. 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.

  3. Explaining Away Intuitions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jonathan Ichikawa

    2009-12-01

    Full Text Available What is it to explain away an intuition? Philosophers regularly attempt to explain intuitions away, but it is often unclear what the success conditions for their project consist in. I attempt to articulate some of these conditions, taking philosophical case studies as guides, and arguing that many attempts to explain away intuitions underestimate the challenge the project of explaining away involves. I will conclude, therefore, that explaining away intuitions is a more difficult task than has sometimes been appreciated; I also suggest, however, that the importance of explaining away intuitions has often been exaggerated.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. Phylogeography and Ecological Niche Modeling of the Desert Iguana (Dipsosaurus dorsalis, Baird & Girard 1852) in the Baja California Peninsula.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Valdivia-Carrillo, Tania; García-De León, Francisco J; Blázquez, Ma Carmen; Gutiérrez-Flores, Carina; González Zamorano, Patricia

    2017-09-01

    Understanding the factors that explain the patterns of genetic structure or phylogeographic breaks at an intraspecific level is key to inferring the mechanisms of population differentiation in its early stages. These topics have been well studied in the Baja California region, with vicariance and the dispersal ability of individuals being the prevailing hypothesis for phylogeographic breaks. In this study, we evaluated the phylogeographic patterns in the desert iguana (Dipsosaurus dorsalis), a species with a recent history in the region and spatial variation in life history traits. We analyzed a total of 307 individuals collected throughout 19 localities across the Baja California Peninsula with 15 microsatellite DNA markers. Our data reveal the existence of 3 geographically discrete genetic populations with moderate gene flow and an isolation-by-distance pattern presumably produced by the occurrence of a refugium in the Cape region during the Pleistocene Last Glacial Maximum. Bayesian methods and ecological niche modeling were used to assess the relationship between population genetic structure and present and past climatic preferences of the desert iguana. We found that the present climatic heterogeneity of the Baja California Peninsula has a marked influence on the population genetic structure of the species, suggesting that there are alternative explanations besides vicariance. The information obtained in this study provides data allowing a better understanding of how historical population processes in the Baja California Peninsula can be understood from an ecological perspective. © The American Genetic Association 2017. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  7. 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.

  8. Evolutionary history of the alpha2,8-sialyltransferase (ST8Sia) gene family: tandem duplications in early deuterostomes explain most of the diversity found in the vertebrate ST8Sia genes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harduin-Lepers, Anne; Petit, Daniel; Mollicone, Rosella; Delannoy, Philippe; Petit, Jean-Michel; Oriol, Rafael

    2008-09-23

    The animal sialyltransferases, which catalyze the transfer of sialic acid to the glycan moiety of glycoconjugates, are subdivided into four families: ST3Gal, ST6Gal, ST6GalNAc and ST8Sia, based on acceptor sugar specificity and glycosidic linkage formed. Despite low overall sequence identity between each sialyltransferase family, all sialyltransferases share four conserved peptide motifs (L, S, III and VS) that serve as hallmarks for the identification of the sialyltransferases. Currently, twenty subfamilies have been described in mammals and birds. Examples of the four sialyltransferase families have also been found in invertebrates. Focusing on the ST8Sia family, we investigated the origin of the three groups of alpha2,8-sialyltransferases demonstrated in vertebrates to carry out poly-, oligo- and mono-alpha2,8-sialylation. We identified in the genome of invertebrate deuterostomes, orthologs to the common ancestor for each of the three vertebrate ST8Sia groups and a set of novel genes named ST8Sia EX, not found in vertebrates. All these ST8Sia sequences share a new conserved family-motif, named "C-term" that is involved in protein folding, via an intramolecular disulfide bridge. Interestingly, sequences from Branchiostoma floridae orthologous to the common ancestor of polysialyltransferases possess a polysialyltransferase domain (PSTD) and those orthologous to the common ancestor of oligosialyltransferases possess a new ST8Sia III-specific motif similar to the PSTD. In osteichthyans, we have identified two new subfamilies. In addition, we describe the expression profile of ST8Sia genes in Danio rerio. Polysialylation appeared early in the deuterostome lineage. The recent release of several deuterostome genome databases and paralogons combined with synteny analysis allowed us to obtain insight into events at the gene level that led to the diversification of the ST8Sia genes, with their corresponding enzymatic activities, in both invertebrates and vertebrates. The

  9. Evolutionary history of the alpha2,8-sialyltransferase (ST8Sia gene family: Tandem duplications in early deuterostomes explain most of the diversity found in the vertebrate ST8Sia genes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Petit Jean-Michel

    2008-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The animal sialyltransferases, which catalyze the transfer of sialic acid to the glycan moiety of glycoconjugates, are subdivided into four families: ST3Gal, ST6Gal, ST6GalNAc and ST8Sia, based on acceptor sugar specificity and glycosidic linkage formed. Despite low overall sequence identity between each sialyltransferase family, all sialyltransferases share four conserved peptide motifs (L, S, III and VS that serve as hallmarks for the identification of the sialyltransferases. Currently, twenty subfamilies have been described in mammals and birds. Examples of the four sialyltransferase families have also been found in invertebrates. Focusing on the ST8Sia family, we investigated the origin of the three groups of α2,8-sialyltransferases demonstrated in vertebrates to carry out poly-, oligo- and mono-α2,8-sialylation. Results We identified in the genome of invertebrate deuterostomes, orthologs to the common ancestor for each of the three vertebrate ST8Sia groups and a set of novel genes named ST8Sia EX, not found in vertebrates. All these ST8Sia sequences share a new conserved family-motif, named "C-term" that is involved in protein folding, via an intramolecular disulfide bridge. Interestingly, sequences from Branchiostoma floridae orthologous to the common ancestor of polysialyltransferases possess a polysialyltransferase domain (PSTD and those orthologous to the common ancestor of oligosialyltransferases possess a new ST8Sia III-specific motif similar to the PSTD. In osteichthyans, we have identified two new subfamilies. In addition, we describe the expression profile of ST8Sia genes in Danio rerio. Conclusion Polysialylation appeared early in the deuterostome lineage. The recent release of several deuterostome genome databases and paralogons combined with synteny analysis allowed us to obtain insight into events at the gene level that led to the diversification of the ST8Sia genes, with their corresponding enzymatic

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Martina Köberl

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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Plagiarism explainer for students

    OpenAIRE

    Barba, Lorena A.

    2016-01-01

    A slide deck to serve as an explainer of plagiarism in academic settings, with a personal viewpoint. For my students.Also on SpeakerDeck:https://speakerdeck.com/labarba/plagiarism-explainer-for-students(The slide viewer on SpeakerDeck is much nicer.)

  14. 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…

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

    KAUST Repository

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

    2016-01-01

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

  16. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-09-01

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

  18. 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.)

  19. 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.

  20. The Riparianness of a Desert Herpetofauna

    Science.gov (United States)

    Charles H. Lowe

    1989-01-01

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

  1. Rural childhoods in Egypt's desert lands

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Adriansen, Hanne Kirstine

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

  2. Computer jargon explained

    CERN Document Server

    Enticknap, Nicholas

    2014-01-01

    Computer Jargon Explained is a feature in Computer Weekly publications that discusses 68 of the most commonly used technical computing terms. The book explains what the terms mean and why the terms are important to computer professionals. The text also discusses how the terms relate to the trends and developments that are driving the information technology industry. Computer jargon irritates non-computer people and in turn causes problems for computer people. The technology and the industry are changing so rapidly; it is very hard even for professionals to keep updated. Computer people do not

  3. Ozone Transport Aloft Drives Surface Ozone Maxima Across the Mojave Desert

    Science.gov (United States)

    VanCuren, R. A.

    2014-12-01

    A persistent layer of polluted air in the lower free troposphere over the Mojave Desert (California and Nevada) drives spring and summer surface ozone maxima as deep afternoon mixing delivers ozone and ozone precursors to surface measurement sites 200 km or more downwind of the mountains that separate the deserts from the heavily populated coastal areas of California. Pollutants in this elevated layer derive from California source regions (the Los Angeles megacity region and the intensive agricultural region of the San Joaquin Valley), and from long-range transport from Asia. Recognition of this poorly studied persistent layer explains and expands the significance of previously published reports of ozone and other pollutants observed in and over the Mojave Desert, resolves an apparent paradox in the timing of ozone peaks due to transport from the upwind basins, and provides a new perspective on the long-range downwind impacts of megacity pollution plumes.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sadiq Ali Shah; Yang Zhang

    2011-01-01

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

  5. The wireless internet explained

    CERN Document Server

    Rhoton, John

    2001-01-01

    The Wireless Internet Explained covers the full spectrum of wireless technologies from a wide range of vendors, including initiatives by Microsoft and Compaq. The Wireless Internet Explained takes a practical look at wireless technology. Rhoton explains the concepts behind the physics, and provides an overview that clarifies the convoluted set of standards heaped together under the umbrella of wireless. It then expands on these technical foundations to give a panorama of the increasingly crowded landscape of wireless product offerings. When it comes to actual implementation the book gives abundant down-to-earth advice on topics ranging from the selection and deployment of mobile devices to the extremely sensitive subject of security.Written by an expert on Internet messaging, the author of Digital Press''s successful Programmer''s Guide to Internet Mail and X.400 and SMTP: Battle of the E-mail Protocols, The Wireless Internet Explained describes and evaluates the current state of the fast-growing and crucial...

  6. Self-explaining roads

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Horst, A.R.A. van der; Kaptein, N.

    1999-01-01

    As a means to a sustainable safe traffic environment the concept of Self-Explaining Roads (SER) has been developed. The SER concept advocates a traffic environment that elicits safe driving behaviour simply by its design. In order to support safe driving behaviour and appropriate speed choice,

  7. Deserts

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Graulund, Rune

    2016-01-01

    , comic sketches and lyrical reveries; travel writing is now a crucial focus for discussion across many subjects within the humanities and social sciences. An ideal starting point for beginners, but also offering new perspectives for those familiar with the field, The Routledge Companion to Travel Writing...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2003-01-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

    Jari Ojala; Jaakko Pehkonen; Jari Eloranta

    2013-01-01

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

  10. Desert potholes: Ephemeral aquatic microsystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chan, M.A.; Moser, K.; Davis, J.M.; Southam, G.; Hughes, K.; Graham, T.

    2005-01-01

    An enigma of the Colorado Plateau high desert is the "pothole", which ranges from shallow ephemeral puddles to deeply carved pools. The existence of prokaryotic to eukaryotic organisms within these pools is largely controlled by the presence of collected rainwater. Multivariate statistical analysis of physical and chemical limnologic data variables measured from potholes indicates spatial and temporal variations, particularly in water depth, manganese, iron, nitrate and sulfate concentrations and salinity. Variation in water depth and salinity are likely related to the amount of time since the last precipitation, whereas the other variables may be related to redox potential. The spatial and temporal variations in water chemistry affect the distribution of organisms, which must adapt to daily and seasonal extremes of fluctuating temperature (0-60 ??C), pH changes of as much as 5 units over 12 days, and desiccation. For example, many species become dormant when potholes dry, in order to endure intense heat, UV radiation, desiccation and freezing, only to flourish again upon rehydration. But the pothole organisms also have a profound impact on the potholes. Through photosynthesis and respiration, pothole organisms affect redox potential, and indirectly alter the water chemistry. Laboratory examination of dried biofilm from the potholes revealed that within 2 weeks of hydration, the surface of the desiccated, black biofilm became green from cyanobacterial growth, which supported significant growth in heterotrophic bacterial populations. This complex biofilm is persumably responsible for dissolving the cement between the sandstone grains, allowing the potholes to enlarge, and for sealing the potholes, enabling them to retain water longer than the surrounding sandstone. Despite the remarkable ability of life in potholes to persist, desert potholes may be extremely sensitive to anthropogenic effects. The unique limnology and ecology of Utah potholes holds great scientific

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Armstrong, Alacia; Valverde, Angel; Ramond, Jean-Baptiste; Makhalanyane, Thulani P; Jansson, Janet K; Hopkins, David W; Aspray, Thomas J; Seely, Mary; Trindade, Marla I; Cowan, Don A

    2016-09-29

    The temporal dynamics of desert soil microbial communities are poorly understood. Given the implications for ecosystem functioning under a global change scenario, a better understanding of desert microbial community stability is crucial. Here, we sampled soils in the central Namib Desert on sixteen different occasions over a one-year period. Using Illumina-based amplicon sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene, we found that α-diversity (richness) was more variable at a given sampling date (spatial variability) than over the course of one year (temporal variability). Community composition remained essentially unchanged across the first 10 months, indicating that spatial sampling might be more important than temporal sampling when assessing β-diversity patterns in desert soils. However, a major shift in microbial community composition was found following a single precipitation event. This shift in composition was associated with a rapid increase in CO 2 respiration and productivity, supporting the view that desert soil microbial communities respond rapidly to re-wetting and that this response may be the result of both taxon-specific selection and changes in the availability or accessibility of organic substrates. Recovery to quasi pre-disturbance community composition was achieved within one month after rainfall.

  12. 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.

  13. 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...

  14. 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.

  15. In vitro germination of desert rose varieties(

    OpenAIRE

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

    2015-01-01

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

  16. MAGMADIM: Young Explainers Program

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Paltiel, Z.

    2005-01-01

    Full Text:Physics teachers and educators constantly face the problem of inspiring their students to major in physics. On the other hand, science museums are designed to provide a pleasant environment which will stimulate and encourage a science associated experience to the general public. Typically, there is no intention to teach science as such in science museums. One may, however, use the science museum to teach and inspire certain groups of students in a much deeper sense. In fact they may actually enthusiastically learn much of the school physics curriculum at the museum. This report discusses the Magmadim program through which 10th graders are trained to be young explainers at the Weizmann Institutes Clore Garden of Science. To this end they study the physics underlying its exhibits in an after-school course. The ultimate goal is for the 'magmadim' to become the best possible explainers and be able to face all sorts of museum visitors. Along with learning how to instruct visitors, they must learn the physics behind the exhibits to give a full explanation of the exhibit and be able to answer any question that may arise. Our 5 year experience with the program shows that its self-selected participants not only study a lot of science, but also like it and learn how to explain the content to other people. This program, along with similar programs at the Bloomfield Science Museum and the Madatzim (young physics tutors) program of Ort, help in promoting the interest in science in general and physics in particular among school students. Various ways to expand the programs will also be discussed

  17. Linear Algebra Thoroughly Explained

    CERN Document Server

    Vujičić, Milan

    2008-01-01

    Linear Algebra Thoroughly Explained provides a comprehensive introduction to the subject suitable for adoption as a self-contained text for courses at undergraduate and postgraduate level. The clear and comprehensive presentation of the basic theory is illustrated throughout with an abundance of worked examples. The book is written for teachers and students of linear algebra at all levels and across mathematics and the applied sciences, particularly physics and engineering. It will also be an invaluable addition to research libraries as a comprehensive resource book for the subject.

  18. Late Quaternary history of the Atacama Desert

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2005-01-01

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

  19. Gene

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Department of Health & Human Services — Gene integrates information from a wide range of species. A record may include nomenclature, Reference Sequences (RefSeqs), maps, pathways, variations, phenotypes,...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  1. Matlab for engineers explained

    CERN Document Server

    Gustafsson, Fredrik

    2003-01-01

    This book is written for students at bachelor and master programs and has four different purposes, which split the book into four parts: 1. To teach first or early year undergraduate engineering students basic knowledge in technical computations and programming using MATLAB. The first part starts from first principles and is therefore well suited both for readers with prior exposure to MATLAB but lacking a solid foundational knowledge of the capabilities of the system and readers not having any previous experience with MATLAB. The foundational knowledge gained from these interactive guided tours of the system will hopefully be sufficient for an effective utilization of MATLAB in the engineering profession, in education and in research. 2. To explain the foundations of more advanced use of MATLAB using the facilities added the last couple of years, such as extended data structures, object orientation and advanced graphics. 3. To give an introduction to the use of MATLAB in typical undergraduate courses in elec...

  2. Transport aloft drives peak ozone in the Mojave Desert

    Science.gov (United States)

    VanCuren, Richard

    2015-05-01

    Transport of anthropogenic pollution eastward out of the Los Angeles megacity region in California has been periodically observed to reach the Colorado River and the Colorado Plateau region beyond. In the 1980s, anthropogenic halocarbon tracers measured in and near the Las Angeles urban area and at a mountain-top site near the Colorado River, 400 km downwind, were shown to have a correlated seven-day cycle explainable by transport from the urban area with a time lag of 1-2 days. Recent short term springtime intensive studies using aircraft observations and regional modeling of long range transport of ozone from the Southern California megacity region showed frequent and persistent ozone impacts at surface sites across the Colorado Plateau and Southern Rocky Mountain region, at distances up to 1500 km, also with time lags of 1-2 days. However, the timing of ozone peaks at low altitude monitoring sites within the Mojave Desert, at distances from 100 to 400 km from the South Coast and San Joaquin Valley ozone source regions, does not show the expected time-lag behavior seen in the larger transport studies. This discrepancy is explained by recognizing ozone transport across the Mojave Desert to occur in a persistent layer of polluted air in the lower free troposphere with a base level at approximately 1 km MSL. This layer impacts elevated downwind sites directly, but only influences low altitude surface ozone maxima through deep afternoon mixing. Pollutants in this elevated layer derive from California source regions (the Los Angeles megacity region and the intensive agricultural region of the San Joaquin Valley), from long-range transport from Asia, and stratospheric down-mixing. Recognition of the role of afternoon mixing during spring and summer over the Mojave explains and expands the significance of previously published reports of ozone and other pollutants observed in and over the Mojave Desert, and resolves an apparent paradox in the timing of ozone peaks due to

  3. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2000-02-07

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

  5. Lithium abundance patterns of late-F stars: an in-depth analysis of the lithium desert

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aguilera-Gómez, Claudia; Ramírez, Iván; Chanamé, Julio

    2018-06-01

    Aims: We address the existence and origin of the lithium (Li) desert, a region in the Li-Teff plane sparsely populated by stars. Here we analyze some of the explanations that have been suggested for this region, including mixing in the late main sequence, a Li dip origin for stars with low Li abundances in the region, and a possible relation with the presence of planets. Methods: To study the Li desert, we measured the atmospheric parameters and Li abundance of 227 late-F dwarfs and subgiants, chosen to be in the Teff range of the desert and without previous Li abundance measurements. Subsequently, we complemented those with literature data to obtain a homogeneous catalog of 2318 stars, for which we compute masses and ages. We characterize stars surrounding the region of the Li desert. Results: We conclude that stars with low Li abundances below the desert are more massive and more evolved than stars above the desert. Given the unexpected presence of low Li abundance stars in this effective temperature range, we concentrate on finding their origin. We conclude that these stars with low Li abundance do not evolve from stars above the desert: at a given mass, stars with low Li (i.e., below the desert) are more metal-poor. Conclusions: Instead, we suggest that stars below the Li desert are consistent with having evolved from the Li dip, discarding the need to invoke additional mixing to explain this feature. Thus, stars below the Li desert are not peculiar and are only distinguished from other subgiants evolved from the Li dip in that their combination of atmospheric parameters locates them in a range of effective temperatures where otherwise only high Li abundance stars would be found (i.e., stars above the desert). Full Tables 1 and 3 are only available at the CDS via anonymous ftp to http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (http://130.79.128.5) or via http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz-bin/qcat?J/A+A/614/A55This paper includes observations collected at The McDonald Observatory and

  6. 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.

  7. Genomic characterization of Ensifer aridi, a proposed new species of nitrogen-fixing rhizobium recovered from Asian, African and American deserts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Le Quéré, Antoine; Tak, Nisha; Gehlot, Hukam Singh; Lavire, Celine; Meyer, Thibault; Chapulliot, David; Rathi, Sonam; Sakrouhi, Ilham; Rocha, Guadalupe; Rohmer, Marine; Severac, Dany; Filali-Maltouf, Abdelkarim; Munive, Jose-Antonio

    2017-01-14

    Nitrogen fixing bacteria isolated from hot arid areas in Asia, Africa and America but from diverse leguminous plants have been recently identified as belonging to a possible new species of Ensifer (Sinorhizobium). In this study, 6 strains belonging to this new clade were compared with Ensifer species at the genome-wide level. Their capacities to utilize various carbon sources and to establish a symbiotic interaction with several leguminous plants were examined. Draft genomes of selected strains isolated from Morocco (Merzouga desert), Mexico (Baja California) as well as from India (Thar desert) were produced. Genome based species delineation tools demonstrated that they belong to a new species of Ensifer. Comparison of its core genome with those of E. meliloti, E. medicae and E. fredii enabled the identification of a species conserved gene set. Predicted functions of associated proteins and pathway reconstruction revealed notably the presence of transport systems for octopine/nopaline and inositol phosphates. Phenotypic characterization of this new desert rhizobium species showed that it was capable to utilize malonate, to grow at 48 °C or under high pH while NaCl tolerance levels were comparable to other Ensifer species. Analysis of accessory genomes and plasmid profiling demonstrated the presence of large plasmids that varied in size from strain to strain. As symbiotic functions were found in the accessory genomes, the differences in symbiotic interactions between strains may be well related to the difference in plasmid content that could explain the different legumes with which they can develop the symbiosis. The genomic analysis performed here confirms that the selected rhizobial strains isolated from desert regions in three continents belong to a new species. As until now only recovered from such harsh environment, we propose to name it Ensifer aridi. The presented genomic data offers a good basis to explore adaptations and functionalities that enable them

  8. 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.

  9. Desert rose: building material of cupolas in the Souf in Algeria

    Science.gov (United States)

    Azil, C.; Djebri, B.; Rovero, L.

    2018-05-01

    In the Souf of Algeria, the roofs of all constructions are arranged like corbelled domes, built with local particular material to this region, which is the desert rose. These cupolas describe a unique landscape of historic centres. Such constructions include a widespread and precious heritage that deserves protection to save this urban landscape which constitutes an element of identity of heritage built upon the material as well as the immaterial of the local know-how. Unfortunately, these architectural elements have undergone alterations that devalue the urban landscape and destabilize the buildings. However, the structural system that provides stability and endurance to this day remains an open question. In this, paper, we describe the role of desert rose cupolas in the construction of a single urban landscape and we contribute to this knowledge. Then, we explain the role of the availability of the materials locals (desert rose and tafza) to appearance ad emergence of construction with cupolas typology. In addition, we describe these materials locals, and the method to them usage. In the end, we have traced the process of construction of these cupolas by corbelling which is mounted by successive courses of the desert rose and the plaster mortar.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. CAMEL REARING IN CHOLISTAN DESERT OF PAKISTAN

    OpenAIRE

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

    2009-01-01

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

  13. Severe acute dehydration in a desert rodent elicits a transcriptional response that effectively prevents kidney injury.

    Science.gov (United States)

    MacManes, Matthew David

    2017-08-01

    Animals living in desert environments are forced to survive despite severe heat, intense solar radiation, and both acute and chronic dehydration. These animals have evolved phenotypes that effectively address these environmental stressors. To begin to understand the ways in which the desert-adapted rodent Peromyscus eremicus survives, reproductively mature adults were subjected to 72 h of water deprivation, during which they lost, on average, 23% of their body weight. The animals reacted via a series of changes in the kidney, which included modulating expression of genes responsible for reducing the rate of transcription and maintaining water and salt balance. Extracellular matrix turnover appeared to be decreased, and apoptosis was limited. In contrast to the canonical human response, serum creatinine and other biomarkers of kidney injury were not elevated, suggesting that changes in gene expression related to acute dehydration may effectively prohibit widespread kidney damage in the cactus mouse. Copyright © 2017 the American Physiological Society.

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

    KAUST Repository

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  16. Streptomyces asenjonii sp. nov., isolated from arid Atacama Desert soils and emended description of Streptomyces viridosporus Pridham et al. 1958

    Science.gov (United States)

    A polyphasic study was undertaken to establish the taxonomic status of Streptomyces strains isolated from arid Atacama Desert soils. Analysis of the 16S rRNA gene sequences of the isolates showed that they formed a well-defined lineage that was loosely associated with the type strains of several Str...

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

    KAUST Repository

    Lafi, Feras Fawzi

    2017-02-17

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

  18. Thermophilic bacteria in Moroccan hot springs, salt marshes and desert soils

    OpenAIRE

    Aanniz,Tarik; Ouadghiri,Mouna; Melloul,Marouane; Swings,Jean; Elfahime,Elmostafa; Ibijbijen,Jamal; Ismaili,Mohamed; Amar,Mohamed

    2015-01-01

    The diversity of thermophilic bacteria was investigated in four hot springs, three salt marshes and 12 desert sites in Morocco. Two hundred and forty (240) thermophilic bacteria were recovered, identified and characterized. All isolates were Gram positive, rod-shaped, spore forming and halotolerant. Based on BOXA1R-PCR and 16S rRNA gene sequencing, the recovered isolates were dominated by the genus Bacillus (97.5%) represented by B. licheniformis (119), B. aerius (44), B. sonorensis (33), B. ...

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

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

    ... in the area have a long history of being water-conservers, and the idea of using the ... Dr Abu-Jaber examined is covered by an ancient, volcanic rock called basalt. ... When a desert cloudburst drops rain on the area, the raindrops quickly roll ...

  20. Liquid Water Restricts Habitability in Extreme Deserts.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-04-01

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

  1. 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,

  2. 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...

  3. 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%.

  4. Deciphering the Role of Desert Dust in the Climate Puzzle: The Mediterranean Israeli Dust Experiment (MEIDEX)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Levin, Zev; Joseph, Joachim; Mekler, Yuri; Israelevich, Peter; Ganor, Eli; Hilsenrath, Ernest; Janz, Scott

    2002-01-01

    Numerous studies have shown that aerosol particles may be one of the primary agents that can offset the climate warming induced by the increase in the amount of atmospheric greenhouse gases. Desert aerosols are probably the most abundant and massive type of aerosol particles that are present in the atmosphere worldwide. These aerosols are carried over large distances and have various global impacts. They interact with clouds, impact the efficiency of their rain production and change their optical properties. They constitute one of the primary sources of minerals for oceanic life and influence the health of coral reefs. They have direct effects on human health, especially by inducing breathing difficulties in children. It was lately discovered that desert particles carry pathogens from the Sahara desert over the Atlantic Ocean, a fact that may explain the migration of certain types of diseases. Aerosols not only absorb solar radiation but also scatter it, so that their climatic effect is influenced not only by their physical properties and height distribution but also by the reflectivity of the underlying surface. This latter property changes greatly over land and is low over ocean surfaces. Aerosol plumes are emitted from discrete, sporadic sources in the desert areas of the world and are transported worldwide by the atmosphere's wind systems. For example, Saharan dust reaches Mexico City, Florida, Ireland, Switzerland and the Mediterranean region, while Asian dust reaches Alaska, Hawaii and the continental United States. This means that in order to assess its global effects, one must observe dust from space. The Space Shuttle is a unique platform, because it flies over the major deserts of our planet, enabling measurements and remote sensing of the aerosols as they travel from source to sink regions. Such efforts must always be accompanied by in-situ data for validation and calibration, with direct sampling of the airborne particles. MEIDEX is a joint project of

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2015-08-06

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

  6. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  8. Explaining Physics – What Skills does a good Explainer Need?

    CERN Multimedia

    CERN. Geneva; Bartels, Hauke

    2018-01-01

    Explaining physics in a way that it is both scientifically correct and comprehensible is a highly demanding practice. But are explanations an effective way to teach physics? Under which circumstances should a physics teacher explain – and is there such a thing as a guideline for effective instructional explanations? Of course, explaining is more than just presenting content knowledge in clear language – but what more? In our talk, we want to discuss empirical studies on instructional explanations from science education and psychology to address these questions. Among other things, we will refer to results from a large study aiming to research whether teacher education contributes to the development of explaining skills. Besides, we will give insights into a project that seeks to measure explaining skills with an interactive online test instrument.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-06-01

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

  10. 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

  11. Desert wetlands in the geologic record

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  12. 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...

  13. Joint by Design: The Western Desert Campaign

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-05-21

    Introduction Seated in a dusty tent, finally cooling in the Egyptian night, the “Desert Fox” had a serious problem. German Lieutenant General Erwin...Complexity: A Platform for Designing Business Architecture , 2nd ed. (Amsterdam: Elsevier, 2006), 30-32. 65 Lewin, Montgomery, 121. 29 Allies...Benghazi and Tobruk, and the Egyptian port of Matruh were operating at 60 percent of their potential capacity. By the end of August, the Axis loss rate of

  14. Extrafloral nectar fuels ant life in deserts

    OpenAIRE

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

    2014-01-01

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

  15. Liquid Water Restricts Habitability in Extreme Deserts

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-04-01

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

  16. The Palm Desert renewable [hydrogen] transportation system

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Chamberlin, C.E.; Lehman, P. [Humboldt State Univ., Arcata, CA (United States). Schatz Energy Research Center

    1998-08-01

    This paper describes the Schatz Energy Research Center (SERC) progress on the Palm Desert Renewable Hydrogen Transportation System Project for the period June 1997 through May 1998. The project began in March 1996. The goal of the Palm Desert Project is to develop a clean and sustainable transportation system for a community. The project demonstrates the practical utility of hydrogen as a transportation fuel and the proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell as a vehicle power system. The project includes designing and building 4 fuel cell powered vehicles, a solar hydrogen generating and refueling station, and a fuel cell vehicle diagnostic center. Over this last year, SERC has built a fuel cell powered neighborhood electric vehicle and delivered it to the City of Palm Desert. The design of the hydrogen refueling station is near completion and it is anticipated that construction will be complete in the fall of 1998. The vehicles are currently being refueled at a temporary refueling station. The diagnostic center is being designed and maintenance procedures as well as computer diagnostic programs for the fuel cell vehicles are being developed. City employees are driving the vehicles daily and monitoring data are being collected. The drivers are pleased with the performance of the vehicles.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Comparative phylogeography reveals deep lineages and regional evolutionary hotspots in the Mojave and Sonoran Deserts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wood, Dustin A.; Vandergast, Amy G.; Barr, Kelly R.; Inman, Richard D.; Esque, Todd C.; Nussear, Kenneth E.; Fisher, Robert N.

    2013-01-01

    Aim: We explored lineage diversification within desert-dwelling fauna. Our goals were (1) to determine whether phylogenetic lineages and population expansions were consistent with younger Pleistocene climate fluctuation hypotheses or much older events predicted by pre-Pleistocene vicariance hypotheses, (2) to assess concordance in spatial patterns of genetic divergence and diversity among species and (3) to identify regional evolutionary hotspots of divergence and diversity and assess their conservation status. Location: Mojave, Colorado, and Sonoran Deserts, USA. Methods: We analysed previously published gene sequence data for twelve species. We used Bayesian gene tree methods to estimate lineages and divergence times. Within each lineage, we tested for population expansion and age of expansion using coalescent approaches. We mapped interpopulation genetic divergence and intra-population genetic diversity in a GIS to identify hotspots of highest genetic divergence and diversity and to assess whether protected lands overlapped with evolutionary hotspots. Results: In seven of the 12 species, lineage divergence substantially predated the Pleistocene. Historical population expansion was found in eight species, but expansion events postdated the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) in only four. For all species assessed, six hotspots of high genetic divergence and diversity were concentrated in the Colorado Desert, along the Colorado River and in the Mojave/Sonoran ecotone. At least some proportion of the land within each recovered hotspot was categorized as protected, yet four of the six also overlapped with major areas of human development. Main conclusions: Most of the species studied here diversified into distinct Mojave and Sonoran lineages prior to the LGM – supporting older diversification hypotheses. Several evolutionary hotspots were recovered but are not strategically paired with areas of protected land. Long-term preservation of species-level biodiversity would

  1. 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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mao, Xuesong; Wang, Fuchun; Wang, Binggang

    2011-07-01

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

  3. The provenance of Taklamakan desert sand

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-03-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Morais Mendonca Teles, Antonio

    2016-07-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

    Johnson, J. Andrew.

    1991-01-01

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

  6. The diversity and abundance of bacteria and oxygenic phototrophs in saline biological desert crusts in Xinjiang, northwest China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Ke; Liu, Ruyin; Zhang, Hongxun; Yun, Juanli

    2013-07-01

    Although microorganisms, particularly oxygenic phototrophs, are known as the major players in the biogeochemical cycles of elements in desert soil ecosystems and have received extensive attention, still little is known about the effects of salinity on the composition and abundances of microbial community in desert soils. In this study, the diversity and abundance of bacteria and oxygenic phototrophs in biological desert crusts from Xinjiang province, which were under different salinity conditions, were investigated by using clone library and quantitative PCR (qPCR). The 16S rRNA gene phylogenetic analysis showed that cyanobacteria, mainly Microcoleus vagnitus of the order Oscillatoriales, were predominant in the low saline crusts, while other phototrophs, such as diatom, were the main microorganism group responsible for the oxygenic photosynthesis in the high saline crusts. Furthermore, the higher salt content in crusts may stimulate the growth of other bacteria, including Deinococcus-Thermus, Bacteroidetes, and some subdivisions of Proteobacteria (β-, γ-, and δ-Proteobacteria). The cpcBA-IGS gene analysis revealed the existence of novel M. vagnitus strains in this area. The qPCR results showed that the abundance of oxygenic phototrophs was significantly higher under lower saline condition than that in the higher saline crusts, suggesting that the higher salinity in desert crusts could suppress the numbers of total bacteria and phototrophic bacteria but did highly improve the diversity of salt-tolerant bacteria.

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    User

    2016-11-12

    Nov 12, 2016 ... divided by an intron of 1126 base pairs. The exons code for a ... nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) cause amino acid substitutions, and some of them have an effect on ovulation rate and .... MgCl2, 20 pmol of each primer, 1.5 U Go Taq Flexi Polymerase in 1-fold Colourless GoTaq Flexi buffer. (Promega ...

  8. Your Radiologist Explains Nuclear Medicine

    Medline Plus

    Full Text Available ... Disorders Video: The Basketball Game: An MRI Story Radiology and You Sponsored by Image/Video Gallery Your Radiologist Explains Nuclear Medicine Transcript Welcome to Radiology Info dot org Hello! I’m Dr. Ramji ...

  9. Your Radiologist Explains Nuclear Medicine

    Medline Plus

    Full Text Available ... by Image/Video Gallery Your Radiologist Explains Nuclear Medicine Transcript Welcome to Radiology Info dot org Hello! ... d like to talk to you about nuclear medicine. Nuclear medicine offers the potential to identify disease ...

  10. Your Radiologist Explains Nuclear Medicine

    Medline Plus

    Full Text Available ... An MRI Story Radiology and You Sponsored by Image/Video Gallery Your Radiologist Explains Nuclear Medicine Transcript ... by a special camera and computer to create images of the inside of your body. If you’ ...

  11. Your Radiologist Explains Nuclear Medicine

    Medline Plus

    Full Text Available ... Sponsored by Image/Video Gallery Your Radiologist Explains Nuclear Medicine Transcript Welcome to Radiology Info dot org ... I’d like to talk to you about nuclear medicine. Nuclear medicine offers the potential to identify ...

  12. Explaining variation in nascent entrepreneurship

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    A.J. van Stel (André); A.R.M. Wennekers (Sander); P. Reynolds (Paul); A.R. Thurik (Roy)

    2004-01-01

    textabstractThis paper aims at explaining cross-country variation in nascent entrepreneurship. Regression analysis is applied using various explanatory variables derived from three different approaches. We make use of the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor database, including nascent entrepreneurship

  13. Explaining nascent entrepreneurship across countries

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    A.R. Thurik (Roy); A.J. van Stel (André); A.R.M. Wennekers (Sander); P. Reynolds (Paul)

    2003-01-01

    textabstractThis paper aims at explaining cross-country variation in nascent entrepreneurship. Regression analysis is applied using various explanatory variables derived from three different approaches. We make use of the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor database, including nascent entrepreneurship

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  15. Diversity of bacterial communities along a petroleum contamination gradient in desert soils.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abed, Raeid M M; Al-Kindi, Sumaiya; Al-Kharusi, Samiha

    2015-01-01

    Microbial communities in oil-polluted desert soils have been rarely studied compared to their counterparts from freshwater and marine environments. We investigated bacterial diversity and changes therein in five desert soils exposed to different levels of oil pollution. Automated rRNA intergenic spacer (ARISA) analysis profiles showed that the bacterial communities of the five soils were profoundly different (analysis of similarities (ANOSIM), R = 0.45, P pollution levels. Multivariate analyses of ARISA profiles revealed that the microbial communities in the S soil, which contains the highest level of contamination, were different from the other soils and formed a completely separate cluster. A total of 16,657 ribosomal sequences were obtained, with 42-89 % of these sequences belonging to the phylum Proteobacteria. While sequences belonging to Betaproteobacteria, Gammaproteobacteria, Bacilli, and Actinobacteria were encountered in all soils, sequences belonging to anaerobic bacteria from the classes Deltaproteobacteria, Clostridia, and Anaerolineae were only detected in the S soil. Sequences belonging to the genus Terriglobus of the class Acidobacteria were only detected in the B3 soil with the lowest level of contamination. Redundancy analysis (RDA) showed that oil contamination level was the most determinant factor that explained variations in the microbial communities. We conclude that the exposure to different levels of oil contamination exerts a strong selective pressure on bacterial communities and that desert soils are rich in aerobic and anaerobic bacteria that could potentially contribute to the degradation of hydrocarbons.

  16. Evaluation of the desert dust effects on global, direct and diffuse spectral ultraviolet irradiance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R. Román

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available This paper presents a study of a strong desert dust episode over the Iberian Peninsula, and its effect on the spectral ultraviolet (UV irradiance in Granada, Spain. Remote sensing measurements, forecast models, and synoptic analysis are used to identify a Saharan desert dust outbreak that affected the Iberian Peninsula starting 20 July 2009. Additionally, a Bentham DMc150 spectroradiometer is employed to obtain global, direct and diffuse spectral UV irradiances every 15 minutes in Granada. The desert dust caused a large attenuation of the direct UV irradiance (up to 55%, while the diffuse UV irradiance increased up to 40% at 400 nm. The UVSPEC/LibRadtran radiative transfer model is used to study the spectral dependence of the experimental UV irradiance ratios (ratios of spectral irradiance for the day with the highest aerosol load to that measured in days with low–moderate load. The spectral increase or decrease of the UV direct irradiance ratios depends on a new parameter: a threshold wavelength. The spectral dependence of the UV diffuse irradiance ratio can be explained because under the influence of the intense dust outbreak, the Mie scattering by aerosols at shorter wavelengths is stronger than the Rayleigh scattering by gases. Finally, the sensitivity analysis of the aerosol absorption properties shows a substantial attenuation of UV spectral irradiance with a weak spectral dependence.

  17. 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...

  18. Desert Cyanobacteria under simulated space and Martian conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Billi, D.; Ghelardini, P.; Onofri, S.; Cockell, C. S.; Rabbow, E.; Horneck, G.

    2008-09-01

    isolated from hot desert after prolonged exposure to space and Martian conditions if shielded by few mm of rocky material. In addition, these results further corroborate evidences for the existence in Chroococcidiopsis of mechanisms to both avoid (or limit) and repair DNA damage, which must take place, not only during its prolonged dry storage - when oxidative processes continue even in absence of metabolic activity - but also when dried cells experience additional environmental stressors, including those present in space or on Mars. Indeed, unravelling the DNA repair systems in a desiccation-, radiation- tolerant desert strain of Chroococcidiopsis is the task of ongoing researches at Department of Biology, Università of Rome "Tor Vergata", carried out in the framework of the MoMa project (ASI). Hence, in order to overcome impairments due to the lack of its genome sequence, two genetic approaches were developed, which take advantage of sequenced cyanobacterial genomes. The first one aims to the screening of a prey genomic library of Chroococcidiopsis by using DNA repair baits obtained from Synechocystis PCC 6803. While the second one aims to identify DNA repair genes in the Chroococcidiopsis genome by using evolutionary PCR. Finally, in order to visualize DNA repair factories in Chroococcidiopsis, a GFP-tagging genetic system was developed (Fig. 1). These efforts will contribute to future astrobiological experiments by providing Chroococcidiopsis DNA repair mutants and by offering a real-time monitoring of DNA damaging conditions by using proper GFP fusions.

  19. Characterizing the reproductive transcriptomic correlates of acute dehydration in males in the desert-adapted rodent, Peromyscus eremicus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kordonowy, Lauren; MacManes, Matthew

    2017-06-23

    The understanding of genomic and physiological mechanisms related to how organisms living in extreme environments survive and reproduce is an outstanding question facing evolutionary and organismal biologists. One interesting example of adaptation is related to the survival of mammals in deserts, where extreme water limitation is common. Research on desert rodent adaptations has focused predominantly on adaptations related to surviving dehydration, while potential reproductive physiology adaptations for acute and chronic dehydration have been relatively neglected. This study aims to explore the reproductive consequences of acute dehydration by utilizing RNAseq data in the desert-specialized cactus mouse (Peromyscus eremicus). We exposed 22 male cactus mice to either acute dehydration or control (fully hydrated) treatment conditions, quasimapped testes-derived reads to a cactus mouse testes transcriptome, and then evaluated patterns of differential transcript and gene expression. Following statistical evaluation with multiple analytical pipelines, nine genes were consistently differentially expressed between the hydrated and dehydrated mice. We hypothesized that male cactus mice would exhibit minimal reproductive responses to dehydration; therefore, this low number of differentially expressed genes between treatments aligns with current perceptions of this species' extreme desert specialization. However, these differentially expressed genes include Insulin-like 3 (Insl3), a regulator of male fertility and testes descent, as well as the solute carriers Slc45a3 and Slc38a5, which are membrane transport proteins that may facilitate osmoregulation. These results suggest that in male cactus mice, acute dehydration may be linked to reproductive modulation via Insl3, but not through gene expression differences in the subset of other a priori tested reproductive hormones. Although water availability is a reproductive cue in desert-rodents exposed to chronic drought

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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 ...

  3. 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.

  4. Pastoralist rock art in the Black Desert of Jordan

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Brusgaard, N.O.

    2015-01-01

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

  5. Pastoralist rock art in the Black Desert of Jordan

    OpenAIRE

    Brusgaard, N.O.

    2015-01-01

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

  6. The politics of accessing desert land in Jordan

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Naber, Al Majd; Molle, Francois

    2016-01-01

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

  7. 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 ...

  8. The Desert and the Sown Project in Northern Jordan

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kerner, Susanne

    2014-01-01

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

  9. Phylogeography of the Cactophilic Drosophila and Other Arthropods Associated with Cactus Necroses in the Sonoran Desert

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Therese A. Markow

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available Studies on the population genetics, phylogenetic relationships, systematics and evolution of arthropods that inhabit necrotic tissue of cacti in the Sonoran Desert of North America are reviewed. These studies have focused upon several species of insects (orders Diptera and Coleoptera and arachnids (order Pseudoscorpiones. For most taxa studied, little genetic structure and high dispersal ability are found in populations inhabiting the mainland and Baja California peninsula regions of the Sonoran Desert, consistent with the availability of the rotting cactus microhabitat which is patchily distributed and ephemeral. There is evidence, however, that the Gulf of California, which bisects the Sonoran Desert, has played a role in limiting gene flow and promoting speciation in several taxa, including histerid beetles, whereas other taxa, especially Drosophila nigrospiracula and D. mettleri, apparently are able to freely cross the Gulf, probably by taking advantage of the Midriff Islands in the northern Gulf as dispersal “stepping stones”. Genetic evidence has also been found for historical population expansions dating to the Pleistocene and late Pliocene in several taxa. Overall, these studies have provided important insights into how arthropods with different life history traits, but generally restricted to a necrotic cactus microhabitat, have evolved in an environmentally harsh and tectonically active region. In addition, they suggest some taxa for further, and more detailed, hypothesis driven studies of speciation.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  11. Algae-production in the desert

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hildebrand, H.

    1988-11-01

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

  12. Background aerosol composition in the Namib desert

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Annegarn, H.J.; Sellschop, J.P.F.; Van Grieken, R.E.; Winchester, J.W.

    The sulfur content of atmospheric particulate matter in non-urban areas is apparently rising above natural levels in the Northern Hemisphere. Sulfur emissions to the atmosphere are also increasing with increasing combustion of fossil fuels. Current research is being focussed not only on gaseous sulfur dioxide, but also on particulate forms, including sulfates and sulfuric acid. A global network of non urban studies using proton induced X-ray emission (PIXE) of which the sampling site at Gobabeb in the Namib desert is one, are developing a data base on which questions of natural levels of sulfur can be answered

  13. 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.

  14. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  16. Journalism and Explaining News Content

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Albæk, E.; Skovsgaard, M.; de Vreese, C.H.; Nussbaum, J.F.

    Three models are presented to explain variation in news content. In the first model the explanation is based on the individual journalist, in the second model on the professional journalist, and in the third model on the organized journalist. The individual journalist model focuses on how the

  17. Can Marxism Explain America's Racism?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Willhelm, Sidney M.

    1980-01-01

    The Marxist interpretation of the Black experience in America has always had difficulty explaining various noneconomic aspects of racism. A perspective is needed that can blend racism as a variable in relationship with economic variables. To reach this perspective, the labor process within capitalism must be more fully understood. (Author/GC)

  18. Does market competition explain fairness?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Descioli, Peter

    2013-02-01

    The target article by Baumard et al. uses their previous model of bargaining with outside options to explain fairness and other features of human sociality. This theory implies that fairness judgments are determined by supply and demand but humans often perceive prices (divisions of surplus) in competitive markets to be unfair.

  19. Spatial distribution of microbial communities associated with dune landform in the Gurbantunggut Desert, China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Ruyin; Li, Ke; Zhang, Hongxun; Zhu, Junge; Joshi, DevRaj

    2014-11-01

    The microbial community compositions and potential ammonia oxidation in the topsoil at different positions of sand dune (stoss slope, crest, lee slope, and interdune) from the Gurbantunggut Desert, the largest semi-fixed desert in China, were investigated using several molecular methods. Actinobacteria and Proteobacteria (especially Alphaproteobacteria) were commonly the dominant taxa across all soil samples. Bacterial communities were similar in soils collected from the stoss slopes and interdunes (HC-BSCs, biological soil crusts with a high abundance of cyanobacteria), containing more abundant cyanobacterial populations (16.9-24.5%) than those (0.2-0.7% of Cyanobacteria) in the crests and lee slopes (LC-BSCs, biological soil crusts with a low abundance of cyanobacteria). The Cyanobacteria were mainly composed of Microcoleus spp., and quantitative PCR analysis revealed that 16S rRNA gene copy numbers of Cyanobacteria (especially genus Microcoleus) were at least two orders of magnitude higher in HC-BSCs than in LC-BSCs. Heterotrophic Geodermatophilus spp. frequently occurred in HC-BSCs (2.5-8.0%), whereas genera Arthrobacter, Bacillus, and Segetibacter were significantly abundant in LC-BSC communities. By comparison, the desert archaeal communities were less complex, and were dominated by Nitrososphaera spp. The amoA gene abundance of ammonia-oxidizing archaea (AOA) was higher than that of ammonia-oxidizing bacteria (AOB) in all soil samples, particularly in the interdunal soils (10(6)-10(8) archaeal amoA gene copies per gram dry soil), indicating that AOA possibly dominate the ammonia oxidation at the interdunes.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

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

    KAUST Repository

    Lafi, Feras Fawzi

    2017-01-13

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

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

    KAUST Repository

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    KAUST Repository

    Lafi, Feras Fawzi

    2016-12-23

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

  5. Characterization of the transcriptome, nucleotide sequence polymorphism, and natural selection in the desert adapted mouse Peromyscus eremicus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthew D. MacManes

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available As a direct result of intense heat and aridity, deserts are thought to be among the most harsh of environments, particularly for their mammalian inhabitants. Given that osmoregulation can be challenging for these animals, with failure resulting in death, strong selection should be observed on genes related to the maintenance of water and solute balance. One such animal, Peromyscus eremicus, is native to the desert regions of the southwest United States and may live its entire life without oral fluid intake. As a first step toward understanding the genetics that underlie this phenotype, we present a characterization of the P. eremicus transcriptome. We assay four tissues (kidney, liver, brain, testes from a single individual and supplement this with population level renal transcriptome sequencing from 15 additional animals. We identified a set of transcripts undergoing both purifying and balancing selection based on estimates of Tajima’s D. In addition, we used the branch-site test to identify a transcript—Slc2a9, likely related to desert osmoregulation—undergoing enhanced selection in P. eremicus relative to a set of related non-desert rodents.

  6. Multi-scale forcing and the formation of subtropical desert and monsoon

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    G. X. Wu

    2009-09-01

    Full Text Available This study investigates three types of atmospheric forcing across the summertime subtropics that are shown to contribute in various ways to the occurrence of dry and wet climates in the subtropics. To explain the formation of desert over the western parts of continents and monsoon over the eastern parts, we propose a new mechanism of positive feedback between diabatic heating and vorticity generation that occurs via meridional advection of planetary vorticity and temperature. Monsoon and desert are demonstrated to coexist as twin features of multi-scale forcing, as follows. First, continent-scale heating over land and cooling over ocean induce the ascent of air over the eastern parts of continents and western parts of oceans, and descent over eastern parts of oceans and western parts of continents. Second, local-scale sea-breeze forcing along coastal regions enhances air descent over eastern parts of oceans and ascent over eastern parts of continents. This leads to the formation of the well-defined summertime subtropical LOSECOD quadruplet-heating pattern across each continent and adjacent oceans, with long-wave radiative cooling (LO over eastern parts of oceans, sensible heating (SE over western parts of continents, condensation heating (CO over eastern parts of continents, and double dominant heating (D: LO+CO over western parts of oceans. Such a quadruplet heating pattern corresponds to a dry climate over the western parts of continents and a wet climate over eastern parts. Third, regional-scale orographic-uplift-heating generates poleward ascending flow to the east of orography and equatorward descending flow to the west. The Tibetan Plateau (TP is located over the eastern Eurasian continent. The TP-forced circulation pattern is in phase with that produced by continental-scale forcing, and the strongest monsoon and largest deserts are formed over the Afro-Eurasian Continent. In contrast, the Rockies and the Andes are located over the western

  7. Multi-scale forcing and the formation of subtropical desert and monsoon

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    G. X. Wu

    2009-09-01

    Full Text Available This study investigates three types of atmospheric forcing across the summertime subtropics that are shown to contribute in various ways to the occurrence of dry and wet climates in the subtropics. To explain the formation of desert over the western parts of continents and monsoon over the eastern parts, we propose a new mechanism of positive feedback between diabatic heating and vorticity generation that occurs via meridional advection of planetary vorticity and temperature. Monsoon and desert are demonstrated to coexist as twin features of multi-scale forcing, as follows.

    First, continent-scale heating over land and cooling over ocean induce the ascent of air over the eastern parts of continents and western parts of oceans, and descent over eastern parts of oceans and western parts of continents. Second, local-scale sea-breeze forcing along coastal regions enhances air descent over eastern parts of oceans and ascent over eastern parts of continents. This leads to the formation of the well-defined summertime subtropical LOSECOD quadruplet-heating pattern across each continent and adjacent oceans, with long-wave radiative cooling (LO over eastern parts of oceans, sensible heating (SE over western parts of continents, condensation heating (CO over eastern parts of continents, and double dominant heating (D: LO+CO over western parts of oceans. Such a quadruplet heating pattern corresponds to a dry climate over the western parts of continents and a wet climate over eastern parts. Third, regional-scale orographic-uplift-heating generates poleward ascending flow to the east of orography and equatorward descending flow to the west.

    The Tibetan Plateau (TP is located over the eastern Eurasian continent. The TP-forced circulation pattern is in phase with that produced by continental-scale forcing, and the strongest monsoon and largest deserts are formed over the Afro-Eurasian Continent. In contrast, the Rockies and the Andes are

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Offer, Z.Y.; Goossens, D.

    2001-01-01

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

  9. Explaining Disparities in Unemployment Dynamics

    OpenAIRE

    Karanassou, Marika; Snower, Dennis J.

    1993-01-01

    This paper attempts to explain disparities among the unemployment experiences of different OECD countries in terms of the `fragility' of the short-run unemployment equilibrium (the impact of labour market shocks on the short-run unemployment rate) and the lag structure of the employment determination, wage setting, and labour force participation decisions. The effects of this lag structure on unemployment dynamics are captured through two general measures of `unemployment persistence' (occurr...

  10. 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.

  11. Explaining the Gender Wealth Gap

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruel, Erin; Hauser, Robert M.

    2013-01-01

    To assess and explain the United States’ gender wealth gap, we use the Wisconsin Longitudinal Study to examine wealth accumulated by a single cohort over 50 years by gender, by marital status, and limited to the respondents who are their family’s best financial reporters. We find large gender wealth gaps between currently married men and women, and never-married men and women. The never-married accumulate less wealth than the currently married, and there is a marital disruption cost to wealth accumulation. The status-attainment model shows the most power in explaining gender wealth gaps between these groups explaining about one-third to one-half of the gap, followed by the human-capital explanation. In other words, a lifetime of lower earnings for women translates into greatly reduced wealth accumulation. A gender wealth gap remains between married men and women after controlling for the full model that we speculate may be related to gender differences in investment strategies and selection effects. PMID:23264038

  12. Factors controlling As and U in shallow ground water, southern Carson Desert, Nevada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Welch, A.H.; Lico, M.S.

    1998-01-01

    Unusually high As and U concentrations (> 100 ??g/L) are widespread in shallow ground water beneath the southern Carson Desert. The high concentrations, which locally exceed 1000 ??g/L, are of concern from a human health standpoint because the shallow ground water is used for domestic supply. Possible affects on wildlife are also of concern because the ground water flows into shallow lakes and marshes within wildlife refuges. Arsenic and U concentrations in ground water of the southern Carson Desert appear to be affected by evaporative concentration, redox reactions, and adsorption. The relation of these elements with Cl suggest that most of the high concentrations can be attributed to evaporative concentration of Carson River water, the primary source of recharge. Some ground water contains higher As and U concentrations that cannot be explained by evaporative concentration alone. Oxidation-reduction reactions, involving metal oxides and sedimentary-organic matter, appear to contribute As, U, inorganic C, Fe and Mn to the ground water. Arsenic in Fe-oxide was confirmed by chemical extraction and is consistent with laboratory adsorption studies. Uranium in both sedimentary-organic C and Fe-oxide coatings has been confirmed by fission tracks and petrographic examination. Arsenic concentrations in the ground water and chemical extracts of aquifer sediments are broadly consistent with adsorption as a control on some dissolved As concentrations. An apparent loss of As from some ground water as evaporative concentration proceeds is consistent with adsorption as a control on As. However, evidence for adsorption should be viewed with caution, because the adsorption model used values for the adsorbent that have not been shown to be valid for the aquifer sediments throughout the southern Carson Desert. Hydrologic and geochemical conditions in the Carson Desert are similar to other areas with high As and U concentrations in ground water, including the Salton Sea basin and

  13. Factors controlling As and U in shallow ground water, southern Carson Desert, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lico, M.S.; Welch, A.H.

    1998-01-01

    100 μg/L) are widespread in shallow ground water beneath the southern Carson Desert. The high concentrations, which locally exceed 1000 μg/L, are of concern from a human health standpoint because the shallow ground water is used for domestic supply. Possible affects on wildlife are also of concern because the ground water flows into shallow lakes and marshes within wildlife refuges. Arsenic and U concentrations in ground water of the southern Carson Desert appear to be affected by evaporative concentration, redox reactions, and adsorption. The relation of these elements with Cl suggest that most of the high concentrations can be attributed to evaporative concentration of Carson River water, the primary source of recharge.Some ground water contains higher As and U concentrations that cannot be explained by evaporative concentration alone. Oxidation-reduction reactions, involving metal oxides and sedimentary-organic matter, appear to contribute As, U, inorganic C, Fe and Mn to the ground water. Arsenic in Fe-oxide was confirmed by chemical extraction and is consistent with laboratory adsorption studies. Uranium in both sedimentary-organic C and Fe-oxide coatings has been confirmed by fission tracks and petrographic examination.Arsenic concentrations in the ground water and chemical extracts of aquifer sediments are broadly consistent with adsorption as a control on some dissolved As concentrations. An apparent loss of As from some ground water as evaporative concentration proceeds is consistent with adsorption as a control on As. However, evidence for adsorption should be viewed with caution, because the adsorption model used values for the adsorbent that have not been shown to be valid for the aquifer sediments throughout the southern Carson Desert.Hydrologic and geochemical conditions in the Carson Desert are similar to other areas with high As and U concentrations in ground water, including the Salton Sea basin and southern San Joaquin Valley of California

  14. Water sources for cyanobacteria below desert rocks in the Negev Desert determined by conductivity

    OpenAIRE

    McKay, Christopher P.

    2016-01-01

    We present year round meteorological and conductivity measurements of colonized hypolithic rocks in the Arava Valley, Negev Desert, Israel. The data indicate that while dew is common in the Negev it is not an important source of moisture for hypolithic organisms at this site. The dominance of cyanobacteria in the hypolithic community is consistent with predictions that cyanobacteria are confined to habitats supplied by rain. To monitor the presence of liquid water under the small Negev rocks ...

  15. Integrating Army Aviation into the Combined Arms Team: Operational Art in Desert Shield and Desert Storm

    Science.gov (United States)

    2017-05-25

    King of Saudi Arabia. The conversation took place prior to an Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) meeting of Arab Gulf members...Blumberg and Christopher C. French, eds., The Persian Gulf War: Views from the Social and Behavioral Sciences (Lanham, MD: University Press of America...1994), 17. 72 Blumberg and French, The Persian Gulf War, 29. 20 building up forces in northeast Saudi Arabia during Operation Desert Shield, in

  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. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Microarray-based transcriptomic analysis of differences between long-term gregarious and solitarious desert locusts.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Liesbeth Badisco

    Full Text Available Desert locusts (Schistocerca gregaria show an extreme form of phenotypic plasticity and can transform between a cryptic solitarious phase and a swarming gregarious phase. The two phases differ extensively in behavior, morphology and physiology but very little is known about the molecular basis of these differences. We used our recently generated Expressed Sequence Tag (EST database derived from S. gregaria central nervous system (CNS to design oligonucleotide microarrays and compare the expression of thousands of genes in the CNS of long-term gregarious and solitarious adult desert locusts. This identified 214 differentially expressed genes, of which 40% have been annotated to date. These include genes encoding proteins that are associated with CNS development and modeling, sensory perception, stress response and resistance, and fundamental cellular processes. Our microarray analysis has identified genes whose altered expression may enable locusts of either phase to deal with the different challenges they face. Genes for heat shock proteins and proteins which confer protection from infection were upregulated in gregarious locusts, which may allow them to respond to acute physiological challenges. By contrast the longer-lived solitarious locusts appear to be more strongly protected from the slowly accumulating effects of ageing by an upregulation of genes related to anti-oxidant systems, detoxification and anabolic renewal. Gregarious locusts also had a greater abundance of transcripts for proteins involved in sensory processing and in nervous system development and plasticity. Gregarious locusts live in a more complex sensory environment than solitarious locusts and may require a greater turnover of proteins involved in sensory transduction, and possibly greater neuronal plasticity.

  20. 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...

  1. Functional characterization of cytochromes P450 2B from the desert woodrat Neotoma lepida

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wilderman, P. Ross; Jang, Hyun-Hee; Malenke, Jael R.; Salib, Mariam; Angermeier, Elisabeth; Lamime, Sonia; Dearing, M. Denise; Halpert, James R.

    2014-01-01

    Mammalian detoxification processes have been the focus of intense research, but little is known about how wild herbivores process plant secondary compounds, many of which have medicinal value or are drugs. cDNA sequences that code for three enzymes of the cytochrome P450 (CYP) 2B subfamily, here termed 2B35, 2B36, and 2B37 have been recently identified from a wild rodent, the desert woodrat (Malenke et al., 2012). Two variant clones of each enzyme were engineered to increase protein solubility and to facilitate purification, as reported for CYP2B enzymes from multiple species. When expressed in Escherichia coli each of the woodrat proteins gave the characteristic maximum at 450 nm in a reduced carbon monoxide difference spectrum but generally expressed at lower levels than rat CYP2B1. Two enzymes, 2B36 and 2B37, showed dealkylation activity with the model substrates 7-ethoxy-4-(trifluoromethyl)coumarin and 7-benzyloxyresorufin, whereas 2B35 was inactive. Binding of the monoterpene (+)-α-pinene produced a Type I shift in the absorbance spectrum of each enzyme. Mutation of 2B37 at residues 114, 262, or 480, key residues governing ligand interactions with other CYP2B enzymes, did not significantly change expression levels or produce the expected functional changes. In summary, two catalytic and one ligand-binding assay are sufficient to distinguish among CYP2B35, 2B36, and 2B37. Differences in functional profiles between 2B36 and 2B37 are partially explained by changes in substrate recognition site residue 114, but not 480. The results advance our understanding of the mechanisms of detoxification in wild mammalian herbivores and highlight the complexity of this system. - Highlights: • Three CYP2B enzymes from Neotoma lepida were cloned, engineered, and expressed. • A mix of catalytic and binding assays yields unique results for each enzyme. • Mutational analysis indicates CYP 2 B substrate recognition remains to be clarified. • Reported N. lepida gene

  2. Functional characterization of cytochromes P450 2B from the desert woodrat Neotoma lepida

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wilderman, P. Ross, E-mail: pwilderman@ucsd.edu [Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA (United States); Jang, Hyun-Hee [Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA (United States); Malenke, Jael R. [Department of Biology, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT (United States); Salib, Mariam; Angermeier, Elisabeth; Lamime, Sonia [Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA (United States); Dearing, M. Denise [Department of Biology, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT (United States); Halpert, James R. [Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA (United States)

    2014-02-01

    Mammalian detoxification processes have been the focus of intense research, but little is known about how wild herbivores process plant secondary compounds, many of which have medicinal value or are drugs. cDNA sequences that code for three enzymes of the cytochrome P450 (CYP) 2B subfamily, here termed 2B35, 2B36, and 2B37 have been recently identified from a wild rodent, the desert woodrat (Malenke et al., 2012). Two variant clones of each enzyme were engineered to increase protein solubility and to facilitate purification, as reported for CYP2B enzymes from multiple species. When expressed in Escherichia coli each of the woodrat proteins gave the characteristic maximum at 450 nm in a reduced carbon monoxide difference spectrum but generally expressed at lower levels than rat CYP2B1. Two enzymes, 2B36 and 2B37, showed dealkylation activity with the model substrates 7-ethoxy-4-(trifluoromethyl)coumarin and 7-benzyloxyresorufin, whereas 2B35 was inactive. Binding of the monoterpene (+)-α-pinene produced a Type I shift in the absorbance spectrum of each enzyme. Mutation of 2B37 at residues 114, 262, or 480, key residues governing ligand interactions with other CYP2B enzymes, did not significantly change expression levels or produce the expected functional changes. In summary, two catalytic and one ligand-binding assay are sufficient to distinguish among CYP2B35, 2B36, and 2B37. Differences in functional profiles between 2B36 and 2B37 are partially explained by changes in substrate recognition site residue 114, but not 480. The results advance our understanding of the mechanisms of detoxification in wild mammalian herbivores and highlight the complexity of this system. - Highlights: • Three CYP2B enzymes from Neotoma lepida were cloned, engineered, and expressed. • A mix of catalytic and binding assays yields unique results for each enzyme. • Mutational analysis indicates CYP{sub 2}B substrate recognition remains to be clarified. • Reported N. lepida gene

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  4. Fog deposition to the Atacama desert

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-07-01

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

  5. 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.

  6. Diversity of ionizing radiation-resistant bacteria obtained from the Taklimakan Desert.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, Li Zhi-Han; Luo, Xue-Song; Liu, Ming; Huang, Qiaoyun

    2015-01-01

    So far, little is known about the diversity of the radiation-resistant microbes of the hyperarid Taklimakan Desert. In this study, ionizing radiation (IR)-resistant bacteria from two sites in Xinjiang were investigated. After exposing the arid (water content of 0.8 ± 0.3%) and non-arid (water content of 21.3 ± 0.9%) sediment samples to IR of 3000 Gy using a (60)Co source, a total of 52 γ-radiation-resistant bacteria were isolated from the desert sample. The 16S rRNA genes of all isolates were sequenced. The phylogenetic tree places these isolates into five groups: Cytophaga-Flavobacterium-Bacteroides, Proteobacteria, Deinococcus-Thermus, Firmicutes, and Actinobacteria. Interestingly, this is the first report of radiation-resistant bacteria belonging to the genera Knoellia, Lysobacter, Nocardioides, Paracoccus, Pontibacter, Rufibacter and Microvirga. The 16s rRNA genes of four isolates showed low sequence similarities to those of the published species. Phenotypic analysis showed that all bacteria in this study are able to produce catalase, suggesting that these bacteria possess reactive oxygen species (ROS)-scavenging enzymes. These radiation-resistant bacteria also displayed diverse metabolic properties. Moreover, their radiation resistances were found to differ. The diversity of the radiation-resistant bacteria in the desert provides further ecological support for the hypothesis that the ionizing-radiation resistance phenotype is a consequence of the evolution of ROS-scavenging systems that protect cells against oxidative damage caused by desiccation. © 2015 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  7. Explaining the Evolution of Poverty

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Arndt, Channing; Hussain, Azhar; Jones, Edward Samuel

    2012-01-01

    We provide a comprehensive approach for analyzing the evolution of poverty using Mozambique as a case study. Bringing together data from disparate sources, we develop a novel “back-casting” framework that links a dynamic computable general equilibrium model to a micro-simulation poverty module....... This framework provides a new approach to explaining and decomposing the evolution of poverty, as well as to examining rigorously the coherence between poverty, economic growth, and inequality outcomes. Finally, various simple but useful and rarely-applied approaches to considering regional changes in poverty...

  8. Radiatively-driven processes in forest fire and desert dust plumes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Weinzierl, Bernadett Barbara

    2008-07-01

    The absorption of solar radiation by atmospheric aerosol particles is important for the climate effects of aerosols. Absorption by aerosol particles heats atmospheric layers, even though the net effect for the entire atmospheric column may still be a cooling. Most experimental studies on absorbing aerosols so far focussed mainly on the aerosol properties and did not consider the influence of the aerosols on the thermodynamic structure of the atmosphere. In this study, data from two international aircraft field experiments, the Intercontinental Transport of Ozone and Precursors study (ITOP) 2004 and the Saharan Mineral Dust Experiment (SAMUM) 2006 are investigated. The ITOP data were collected before the work on this thesis started, while the logistics and the instrument preparation of the SAMUM campaign, the weather forecast during SAMUM and the in-situ aerosol measurements during SAMUM were done within this thesis. The experimental data are used to explore the impact of layers containing absorbing forest fire and desert dust aerosol particles on the atmospheric stability and the implications of a changed stability on the development of the aerosol microphysical and optical properties during long-range transport. For the first time, vertical profiles of the Richardson number Ri are used to assess the stability and mixing in forest fire and desert dust plumes. Also for the first time, the conclusions drawn from the observations of forest fire and desert dust aerosol, at first glance apparently quite different aerosol types, are discussed from a common perspective. Two mechanisms, the selfstabilising and the sealed ageing effect, acting in both forest fire and desert dust aerosol layers, are proposed to explain the characteristic temperature structure as well as the aerosol properties observed in lofted forest fire and desert dust plumes. The proposed effects impact on the ageing of particles within the plumes and reduce the plume dilution, therefore extending the

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gonfiantini, R.

    1992-01-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gonfiantini, R.

    1981-01-01

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

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

    Data.gov (United States)

    California Natural Resource Agency — The Anza Borrego Desert State Park (ABDSP) Vegetation Map depicts vegetation within the Park and its surrounding environment. The map was prepared by the Department...

  12. The potential of energy farming in the southeastern California desert

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lew, V.

    1980-04-01

    The use of energy forms to provide future sources of energy for California is considered. Marginal desert lands in southeastern California are proposed for the siting of energy farms using acacia, eucalyptus, euphorbia, guayule, jojoba, mesquite, or tamarisk.

  13. 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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-10-21

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

  15. 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.

  16. Yeast prion architecture explains how proteins can be genes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wickner, Reed

    2013-03-01

    Prions (infectious proteins) transmit information without an accompanying DNA or RNA. Most yeast prions are self-propagating amyloids that inactivate a normally functional protein. A single protein can become any of several prion variants, with different manifestations due to different amyloid structures. We showed that the yeast prion amyloids of Ure2p, Sup35p and Rnq1p are folded in-register parallel beta sheets using solid state NMR dipolar recoupling experiments, mass-per-filament-length measurements, and filament diameter measurements. The extent of beta sheet structure, measured by chemical shifts in solid-state NMR and acquired protease-resistance on amyloid formation, combined with the measured filament diameters, imply that the beta sheets must be folded along the long axis of the filament. We speculate that prion variants of a single protein sequence differ in the location of these folds. Favorable interactions between identical side chains must hold these structures in-register. The same interactions must guide an unstructured monomer joining the end of a filament to assume the same conformation as molecules already in the filament, with the turns at the same locations. In this way, a protein can template its own conformation, in analogy to the ability of a DNA molecule to template its sequence by specific base-pairing. Bldg. 8, Room 225, NIH, 8 Center Drive MSC 0830, Bethesda, MD 20892-0830, wickner@helix.nih.gov, 301-496-3452

  17. Water appropriation and ecosystem stewardship in the Baja desert

    OpenAIRE

    de las Heras Alejandro; Rodriguez Mario A.; Islas-Espinoza Marina

    2014-01-01

    The UNESCO San Francisco Rock Paintings polygon within El Vizcaino Biosphere Reserve in the Baja California Peninsula derives its moisture from the North American monsoon. There, ranchers have depended on the desert since the 18th century. More recently, the desert has depended on the environmental stewardship of the ranchers who have allayed mining exploitation and archaeological looting. Using a Rapid Assessment Procedure (RAP), climate data, and geographical informa...

  18. MX Siting Investigation. Gravity Survey - Sevier Desert Valley, Utah.

    Science.gov (United States)

    1981-01-24

    Cheyenne, Wyoming. DMAHTC reduces the data to Simple Bouguer Anomaly (see Section A1.4, Appendix Al.0). The Defense Mapping Agency Aerospace Center...Desert Valley, Utah ......... 2 2 Topographic Setting - Sevier Desert Valley, Utah . 3 LIST OF DRAWINGS Drawing Number 1 Complete Bouguer Anomaly...gravity stations were distributed throughout the valley at an approxi- mate interval of 1.4 miles (2.3 km). Drawing 1 is a Complete Bouguer Anomaly

  19. Explaining the harmonic sequence paradox.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmidt, Ulrich; Zimper, Alexander

    2012-05-01

    According to the harmonic sequence paradox, an expected utility decision maker's willingness to pay for a gamble whose expected payoffs evolve according to the harmonic series is finite if and only if his marginal utility of additional income becomes zero for rather low payoff levels. Since the assumption of zero marginal utility is implausible for finite payoff levels, expected utility theory - as well as its standard generalizations such as cumulative prospect theory - are apparently unable to explain a finite willingness to pay. This paper presents first an experimental study of the harmonic sequence paradox. Additionally, it demonstrates that the theoretical argument of the harmonic sequence paradox only applies to time-patient decision makers, whereas the paradox is easily avoided if time-impatience is introduced. ©2011 The British Psychological Society.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-02-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

    Lei Huang; Zhishan Zhang

    2015-01-01

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

  2. Sensitivity of Sahelian Precipitation to Desert Dust under ENSO variability: a regional modeling study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jordan, A.; Zaitchik, B. F.; Gnanadesikan, A.

    2016-12-01

    Mineral dust is estimated to comprise over half the total global aerosol burden, with a majority coming from the Sahara and Sahel region. Bounded by the Sahara Desert to the north and the Sahelian Savannah to the south, the Sahel experiences high interannual rainfall variability and a short rainy season during the boreal summer months. Observation-based data for the past three decades indicates a reduced dust emission trend, together with an increase in greening and surface roughness within the Sahel. Climate models used to study regional precipitation changes due to Saharan dust yield varied results, both in sign convention and magnitude. Inconsistency of model estimates drives future climate projections for the region that are highly varied and uncertain. We use the NASA-Unified Weather Research and Forecasting (NU-WRF) model to quantify the interaction and feedback between desert dust aerosol and Sahelian precipitation. Using nested domains at fine spatial resolution we resolve changes to mesoscale atmospheric circulation patterns due to dust, for representative phases of El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO). The NU-WRF regional earth system model offers both advanced land surface data and resolvable detail of the mechanisms of the impact of Saharan dust. Results are compared to our previous work assessed over the Western Sahel using the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory (GFDL) CM2Mc global climate model, and to other previous regional climate model studies. This prompts further research to help explain the dust-precipitation relationship and recent North African dust emission trends. This presentation will offer a quantitative analysis of differences in radiation budget, energy and moisture fluxes, and atmospheric dynamics due to desert dust aerosol over the Sahel.

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

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2000-01-01

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

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. Modification of REE distribution of ordinary chondrites from Atacama (Chile) and Lut (Iran) hot deserts: Insights into the chemical weathering of meteorites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pourkhorsandi, Hamed; D'Orazio, Massimo; Rochette, Pierre; Valenzuela, Millarca; Gattacceca, Jérôme; Mirnejad, Hassan; Sutter, Brad; Hutzler, Aurore; Aboulahris, Maria

    2017-09-01

    The behavior of rare earth elements (REEs) during hot desert weathering of meteorites is investigated. Ordinary chondrites (OCs) from Atacama (Chile) and Lut (Iran) deserts show different variations in REE composition during this process. Inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) data reveal that hot desert OCs tend to show elevated light REE concentrations, relative to OC falls. Chondrites from Atacama are by far the most enriched in REEs and this enrichment is not necessarily related to their degree of weathering. Positive Ce anomaly of fresh chondrites from Atacama and the successive formation of a negative Ce anomaly with the addition of trivalent REEs are similar to the process reported from Antarctic eucrites. In addition to REEs, Sr and Ba also show different concentrations when comparing OCs from different hot deserts. The stability of Atacama surfaces and the associated old terrestrial ages of meteorites from this region give the samples the necessary time to interact with the terrestrial environment and to be chemically modified. Higher REE contents and LREE-enriched composition are evidence of contamination by terrestrial soil. Despite their low degrees of weathering, special care must be taken into account while working on the REE composition of Atacama meteorites for cosmochemistry applications. In contrast, chondrites from the Lut desert show lower degrees of REE modification, despite significant weathering signed by Sr content. This is explained by the relatively rapid weathering rate of the meteorites occurring in the Lut desert, which hampers the penetration of terrestrial material by forming voluminous Fe oxide/oxyhydroxides shortly after the meteorite fall.

  7. Phylogeographic patterns of the desert poplar in Northwest China shaped by both geology and climatic oscillations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zeng, Yan-Fei; Zhang, Jian-Guo; Abuduhamiti, Bawerjan; Wang, Wen-Ting; Jia, Zhi-Qing

    2018-05-25

    The effects of historical geology and climatic events on the evolution of plants around the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau region have been at the center of debate for years. To identify the influence of the uplift of the Tianshan Mountains and/or climatic oscillations on the evolution of plants in arid northwest China, we investigated the phylogeography of the Euphrates poplar (Populus euphratica) using chloroplast DNA (cpDNA) sequences and nuclear microsatellites, and estimated its historical distribution using Ecological Niche Modeling (ENM). We found that the Euphrates poplar differed from another desert poplar, P. pruinosa, in both nuclear and chloroplast DNA. The low clonal diversity in both populations reflected the low regeneration rate by seed/seedlings in many locations. Both cpDNA and nuclear markers demonstrated a clear divergence between the Euphrates poplar populations from northern and southern Xinjiang regions. The divergence time was estimated to be early Pleistocene based on cpDNA, and late Pleistocene using an Approximate Bayesian Computation analysis based on microsatellites. Estimated gene flow was low between these two regions, and the limited gene flow occurred mainly via dispersal from eastern regions. ENM analysis supported a wider distribution of the Euphrates poplar at 3 Ma, but a more constricted distribution during both the glacial period and the interglacial period. These results indicate that the deformation of the Tianshan Mountains has impeded gene flow of the Euphrates poplar populations from northern and southern Xinjiang, and the distribution constriction due to climatic oscillations further accelerated the divergence of populations from these regions. To protect the desert poplars, more effort is needed to encourage seed germination and seedling establishment, and to conserve endemic gene resources in the northern Xinjiang region.

  8. 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

  9. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mohammadipanah, Fatemeh; Wink, Joachim

    2016-01-01

    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

  11. Phenotypic variance explained by local ancestry in admixed African Americans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shriner, Daniel; Bentley, Amy R; Doumatey, Ayo P; Chen, Guanjie; Zhou, Jie; Adeyemo, Adebowale; Rotimi, Charles N

    2015-01-01

    We surveyed 26 quantitative traits and disease outcomes to understand the proportion of phenotypic variance explained by local ancestry in admixed African Americans. After inferring local ancestry as the number of African-ancestry chromosomes at hundreds of thousands of genotyped loci across all autosomes, we used a linear mixed effects model to estimate the variance explained by local ancestry in two large independent samples of unrelated African Americans. We found that local ancestry at major and polygenic effect genes can explain up to 20 and 8% of phenotypic variance, respectively. These findings provide evidence that most but not all additive genetic variance is explained by genetic markers undifferentiated by ancestry. These results also inform the proportion of health disparities due to genetic risk factors and the magnitude of error in association studies not controlling for local ancestry.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. Status of the Desert Fireball Network

    Science.gov (United States)

    Devillepoix, H. A. R.; Bland, P. A.; Towner, M. C.; Cupák, M.; Sansom, E. K.; Jansen-Sturgeon, T.; Howie, R. M.; Paxman, J.; Hartig, B. A. D.

    2016-01-01

    A meteorite fall precisely observed from multiple locations allows us to track the object back to the region of the Solar System it came from, and sometimes link it with a parent body, providing context information that helps trace the history of the Solar System. The Desert Fireball Network (DFN) is built in arid areas of Australia: its observatories get favorable observing conditions, and meteorite recovery is eased thanks to the mostly featureless terrain. After the successful recovery of two meteorites with 4 film cameras, the DFN has now switched to a digital network, operating 51 cameras, covering 2.5 million km2 of double station triangulable area. Mostly made of off-the-shelf components, the new observatories are cost effective while maintaining high imaging performance. To process the data (~70TB/month), a significant effort has been put to writing an automated reduction pipeline so that all events are reduced with little human intervention. Innovative techniques have been implemented for this purpose: machine learning algorithms for event detection, blind astrometric calibration, and particle filter simulations to estimate both physical properties and state vector of the meteoroid. On 31 December 2015, the first meteorite from the digital systems was recovered: Murrili (the 1.68 kg H5 ordinary chondrite was observed to fall on 27 November 2015). Another 11 events have been flagged as potential meteorites droppers, and are to be searched in the coming months.

  15. Australian wild rice reveals pre-domestication origin of polymorphism deserts in rice genome.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gopala Krishnan S

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Rice is a major source of human food with a predominantly Asian production base. Domestication involved selection of traits that are desirable for agriculture and to human consumers. Wild relatives of crop plants are a source of useful variation which is of immense value for crop improvement. Australian wild rices have been isolated from the impacts of domestication in Asia and represents a source of novel diversity for global rice improvement. Oryza rufipogon is a perennial wild progenitor of cultivated rice. Oryza meridionalis is a related annual species in Australia. RESULTS: We have examined the sequence of the genomes of AA genome wild rices from Australia that are close relatives of cultivated rice through whole genome re-sequencing. Assembly of the resequencing data to the O. sativa ssp. japonica cv. Nipponbare shows that Australian wild rices possess 2.5 times more single nucleotide polymorphisms than in the Asian wild rice and cultivated O. sativa ssp. indica. Analysis of the genome of domesticated rice reveals regions of low diversity that show very little variation (polymorphism deserts. Both the perennial and annual wild rice from Australia show a high degree of conservation of sequence with that found in cultivated rice in the same 4.58 Mbp region on chromosome 5, which suggests that some of the 'polymorphism deserts' in this and other parts of the rice genome may have originated prior to domestication due to natural selection. CONCLUSIONS: Analysis of genes in the 'polymorphism deserts' indicates that this selection may have been due to biotic or abiotic stress in the environment of early rice relatives. Despite having closely related sequences in these genome regions, the Australian wild populations represent an invaluable source of diversity supporting rice food security.

  16. Australian wild rice reveals pre-domestication origin of polymorphism deserts in rice genome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krishnan S, Gopala; Waters, Daniel L E; Henry, Robert J

    2014-01-01

    Rice is a major source of human food with a predominantly Asian production base. Domestication involved selection of traits that are desirable for agriculture and to human consumers. Wild relatives of crop plants are a source of useful variation which is of immense value for crop improvement. Australian wild rices have been isolated from the impacts of domestication in Asia and represents a source of novel diversity for global rice improvement. Oryza rufipogon is a perennial wild progenitor of cultivated rice. Oryza meridionalis is a related annual species in Australia. We have examined the sequence of the genomes of AA genome wild rices from Australia that are close relatives of cultivated rice through whole genome re-sequencing. Assembly of the resequencing data to the O. sativa ssp. japonica cv. Nipponbare shows that Australian wild rices possess 2.5 times more single nucleotide polymorphisms than in the Asian wild rice and cultivated O. sativa ssp. indica. Analysis of the genome of domesticated rice reveals regions of low diversity that show very little variation (polymorphism deserts). Both the perennial and annual wild rice from Australia show a high degree of conservation of sequence with that found in cultivated rice in the same 4.58 Mbp region on chromosome 5, which suggests that some of the 'polymorphism deserts' in this and other parts of the rice genome may have originated prior to domestication due to natural selection. Analysis of genes in the 'polymorphism deserts' indicates that this selection may have been due to biotic or abiotic stress in the environment of early rice relatives. Despite having closely related sequences in these genome regions, the Australian wild populations represent an invaluable source of diversity supporting rice food security.

  17. Desert springs: deep phylogeographic structure in an ancient endemic crustacean (Phreatomerus latipes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michelle T Guzik

    Full Text Available Desert mound springs of the Great Artesian Basin in central Australia maintain an endemic fauna that have historically been considered ubiquitous throughout all of the springs. Recent studies, however, have shown that several endemic invertebrate species are genetically highly structured and contain previously unrecognised species, suggesting that individuals may be geographically 'stranded in desert islands'. Here we further tested the generality of this hypothesis by conducting genetic analyses of the obligate aquatic phreatoicid isopod Phreatomerus latipes. Phylogenetic and phylogeographic relationships amongst P. latipes individuals were examined using a multilocus approach comprising allozymes and mtDNA sequence data. From the Lake Eyre region in South Australia we collected data for 476 individuals from 69 springs for the mtDNA gene COI; in addition, allozyme electrophoresis was conducted on 331 individuals from 19 sites for 25 putative loci. Phylogenetic and population genetic analyses showed three major clades in both allozyme and mtDNA data, with a further nine mtDNA sub-clades, largely supported by the allozymes. Generally, each of these sub-clades was concordant with a traditional geographic grouping known as spring complexes. We observed a coalescent time between ∼2-15 million years ago for haplotypes within each of the nine mtDNA sub-clades, whilst an older total time to coalescence (>15 mya was observed for the three major clades. Overall we observed that multiple layers of phylogeographic history are exemplified by Phreatomerus, suggesting that major climate events and their impact on the landscape have shaped the observed high levels of diversity and endemism. Our results show that this genus reflects a diverse fauna that existed during the early Miocene and appears to have been regionally restricted. Subsequent aridification events have led to substantial contraction of the original habitat, possibly over repeated Pleistocene

  18. Groundwater geochemistry of nile delta-desert interface 1.isotope hydrology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hussein, M.F.; Nada, A.A.; Awad, M.A.

    1995-01-01

    Sustenance and environmental protection of groundwater supply is of major concern in the integral environmental development in the arid to sub-arid regions in the Nile basin. Isotope data ( 18O , 2H and 3H ) of groundwater in the west of the Nile delta indicates the contribution of palaeo groundwater component (in the range 0.1 - 0.8 with means of 0.39 and 0.52 for tahrir and khatatbah, respectively) along with sub recent recharge from the delta aquifer and recent recharge from irrigation conveyance canals in desert. Isotope mixing model (developed as Two-input table using excel TM spreads heat on apple Macintosh TM) is proposed to explain the apparent discrepancies in groundwater isotopic composition of khatatbah and tahrir areas assuming the contribution of two isotopically different palaeo-oples with two isotopically similar maind delta groundwater poles. About 0.30% 1 8 O depletion per 10 Km downstream is detected and low northward groundwater recharge is suggested along 75 Km of the western strip of rosetta Nile. Higher sub-recent recharge from the main delta aquifer is believed to take place in khatatbah than tahrir whereas the last is believed to be replenished at present from the irrigation/ drainage network and irrigated fields with higher pollution risk for groundwater system in tahrir aquifer is exposed to northern marine intrusion. Lowering of the piezo metric level is to be expected in the newly exploited desertic areas under over pumping. 9 figs

  19. Survival of a planet in short-period Neptunian desert under effect of photoevaporation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ionov, Dmitry E.; Pavlyuchenkov, Yaroslav N.; Shematovich, Valery I.

    2018-06-01

    Despite the identification of a great number of Jupiter-like and Earth-like planets at close-in orbits, the number of `hot Neptunes' - the planets with 0.6-18 times of Neptune mass and orbital periods less than 3 d - turned out to be very small. The corresponding region in the mass-period distribution was assigned as the `short-period Neptunian desert'. The common explanation of this fact is that the gaseous planet with few Neptune masses would not survive in the vicinity of host star due to intensive atmosphere outflow induced by heating from stellar radiation. To check this hypothesis, we performed numerical simulations of atmosphere dynamics for a hot Neptune. We adopt the previously developed self-consistent 1D model of hydrogen-helium atmosphere with suprathermal electrons accounted. The mass-loss rates as a function of orbital distances and stellar ages are presented. We conclude that the desert of short-period Neptunes could not be entirely explained by evaporation of planet atmosphere caused by the radiation from a host star. For the less massive Neptune-like planet, the estimated upper limits of the mass-loss may be consistent with the photoevaporation scenario, while the heavier Neptune-like planets could not lose the significant mass through this mechanism. We also found the significant differences between our numerical results and widely used approximate estimates of the mass-loss.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Ke; Su, YongZhong; Yang, Rong

    2017-07-01

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

  1. Habitat Effect on Allometry of a Xeric Shrub (Artemisia ordosica Krasch in the Mu Us Desert of Northern China

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Weiwei She

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Allometric models are useful for assessment of aboveground net primary productivity (ANPP and aboveground biomass (AGB of forests and shrubs, and are widely implemented in forest inventory and management. Multiple forms of allometric models have been used to estimate vegetation carbon storage for desert shrubland, but their validity for biomass estimation has not been tested at a region scale with different habitats. To verify the validity of habitat-specific models, general models (combining data from all habitats/sites, and previously developed models for biomass prediction, we developed both general models and habitat-specific models for aboveground biomass and ANPP of Artemisia ordosica Krasch, a dominant shrub of the Mu Us Desert. Our results showed that models based on crown area or canopy volume consistently explained large parts of the variations in aboveground biomass and ANPP. Model fitting highlighted that general allometric models were inadequate across different habitats, and habitat-specific models were useful for that specific habitat. Previous models might be inappropriate for other sites because of site quality differences. There was a strong habitat effect on the allometric relationships of A. ordosica. Although our study is a case in point, the results indicate that allometric models for desert shrubs should be used with caution and require robust validation if adopted from other studies or applied to different sites/habitats.

  2. Desert dust and anthropogenic aerosol interactions in the Community Climate System Model coupled-carbon-climate model

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    N. Mahowald

    2011-02-01

    Full Text Available Coupled-carbon-climate simulations are an essential tool for predicting the impact of human activity onto the climate and biogeochemistry. Here we incorporate prognostic desert dust and anthropogenic aerosols into the CCSM3.1 coupled carbon-climate model and explore the resulting interactions with climate and biogeochemical dynamics through a series of transient anthropogenic simulations (20th and 21st centuries and sensitivity studies. The inclusion of prognostic aerosols into this model has a small net global cooling effect on climate but does not significantly impact the globally averaged carbon cycle; we argue that this is likely to be because the CCSM3.1 model has a small climate feedback onto the carbon cycle. We propose a mechanism for including desert dust and anthropogenic aerosols into a simple carbon-climate feedback analysis to explain the results of our and previous studies. Inclusion of aerosols has statistically significant impacts on regional climate and biogeochemistry, in particular through the effects on the ocean nitrogen cycle and primary productivity of altered iron inputs from desert dust deposition.

  3. 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.

  4. Water sources for cyanobacteria below desert rocks in the Negev Desert determined by conductivity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christopher P. McKay

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available We present year round meteorological and conductivity measurements of colonized hypolithic rocks in the Arava Valley, Negev Desert, Israel. The data indicate that while dew is common in the Negev it is not an important source of moisture for hypolithic organisms at this site. The dominance of cyanobacteria in the hypolithic community is consistent with predictions that cyanobacteria are confined to habitats supplied by rain. To monitor the presence of liquid water under the small Negev rocks we developed and tested a simple field conductivity system based on two wires placed about 0.5 cm apart. Based on 21 replicates recorded for one year in the Negev we conclude that in natural rains (0.25 mm to 6 mm the variability between sensor readings is between 20 and 60% decreasing with increasing rain amount. We conclude that the simple small electrical conductivity system described here can be used effectively to monitor liquid water levels in lithic habitats. However, the natural variability of these sensors indicates that several replicates should be deployed. The results and method presented have use in arid desert reclamation programs.

  5. 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

  6. Tree planting in deserts and utilization of atomic energy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1991-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-09-01

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

  8. Tree planting in deserts and utilization of atomic energy

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1991-06-01

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

  9. 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.

  10. Atmospheric Surface Layer Characterization: Preliminary Desert Lapse Rate Study 22-25 August 2000

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Elliott, Doyle

    2003-01-01

    Results of the August 2000 Desert Lapse Rate (DLR) Experiment are presented. The DLR Experiment was performed to document the night-to-day transition effects on the desert Atmospheric Surface Layer (ASL...

  11. 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

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

    KAUST Repository

    Al-Naimi, Ali Ibrahim

    2017-01-01

    Arabian deserts. From his first job as a shepherd boy to his appointment to one of the most powerful political and economic jobs in the world, Out of the Desert charts Al-Naimi's extraordinary rise to power.

  13. X-36 in Flight over Mojave Desert

    Science.gov (United States)

    1997-01-01

    The unusual lines of the X-36 technology demonstrator contrast sharply with the desert floor as the remotely piloted aircraft scoots across the California desert at low altitude during a research flight on October 30, 1997. The NASA/Boeing X-36 Tailless Fighter Agility Research Aircraft program successfully demonstrated the tailless fighter design using advanced technologies to improve the maneuverability and survivability of possible future fighter aircraft. The program met or exceeded all project goals. For 31 flights during 1997 at the Dryden Flight Research Center, Edwards, California, the project team examined the aircraft's agility at low speed / high angles of attack and at high speed / low angles of attack. The aircraft's speed envelope reached up to 206 knots (234 mph). This aircraft was very stable and maneuverable. It handled very well. The X-36 vehicle was designed to fly without the traditional tail surfaces common on most aircraft. Instead, a canard forward of the wing was used as well as split ailerons and an advanced thrust-vectoring nozzle for directional control. The X-36 was unstable in both pitch and yaw axes, so an advanced, single-channel digital fly-by-wire control system (developed with some commercially available components) was put in place to stabilize the aircraft. Using a video camera mounted in the nose of the aircraft and an onboard microphone, the X-36 was remotely controlled by a pilot in a ground station virtual cockpit. A standard fighter-type head-up display (HUD) and a moving-map representation of the vehicle's position within the range in which it flew provided excellent situational awareness for the pilot. This pilot-in-the-loop approach eliminated the need for expensive and complex autonomous flight control systems and the risks associated with their inability to deal with unknown or unforeseen phenomena in flight. Fully fueled the X-36 prototype weighed approximately 1,250 pounds. It was 19 feet long and three feet high with

  14. Dynamic cyanobacterial response to hydration and dehydration in a desert biological soil crust.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rajeev, Lara; da Rocha, Ulisses Nunes; Klitgord, Niels; Luning, Eric G; Fortney, Julian; Axen, Seth D; Shih, Patrick M; Bouskill, Nicholas J; Bowen, Benjamin P; Kerfeld, Cheryl A; Garcia-Pichel, Ferran; Brodie, Eoin L; Northen, Trent R; Mukhopadhyay, Aindrila

    2013-11-01

    Biological soil crusts (BSCs) cover extensive portions of the earth's deserts. In order to survive desiccation cycles and utilize short periods of activity during infrequent precipitation, crust microorganisms must rely on the unique capabilities of vegetative cells to enter a dormant state and be poised for rapid resuscitation upon wetting. To elucidate the key events involved in the exit from dormancy, we performed a wetting experiment of a BSC and followed the response of the dominant cyanobacterium, Microcoleus vaginatus, in situ using a whole-genome transcriptional time course that included two diel cycles. Immediate, but transient, induction of DNA repair and regulatory genes signaled the hydration event. Recovery of photosynthesis occurred within 1 h, accompanied by upregulation of anabolic pathways. Onset of desiccation was characterized by the induction of genes for oxidative and photo-oxidative stress responses, osmotic stress response and the synthesis of C and N storage polymers. Early expression of genes for the production of exopolysaccharides, additional storage molecules and genes for membrane unsaturation occurred before drying and hints at preparedness for desiccation. We also observed signatures of preparation for future precipitation, notably the expression of genes for anaplerotic reactions in drying crusts, and the stable maintenance of mRNA through dormancy. These data shed light on possible synchronization between this cyanobacterium and its environment, and provides key mechanistic insights into its metabolism in situ that may be used to predict its response to climate, and or, land-use driven perturbations.

  15. 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.

  16. Condition-dependent clutch desertion in Great Tit (Parus major) females subjected to human disturbance

    OpenAIRE

    2011-01-01

    Abstract Nest desertion behaviour in relation to body condition and timing of breeding was studied in Great Tit (Parus major) females during two breeding seasons. Desertion, most likely unintentionally provoked by catching females during the incubation period, occurred at a very high rate with 41.2 and 25.6% of deserted first clutches in the two study years. The association between desertion probability, body condition (index calculated as residuals from the regression of body mass...

  17. Characteristics and significance of uranium bearing pan african younger granite in the eastern desert, Egypt

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hassan, M.A.; Dabbour, G.A.; Mohammden, T.F.

    1998-01-01

    Surficial uranium mineralization was discovered in four pan african younger granite plutons in the eastern desert of egypt. The present study revealed great similarity between these plutons both in petrography and geochemistry. They are two-feldspar, two-mica peraluminous granites which have been formed by melting of crustal materials and emplaced during the late stage stage of a late proterozoic orogenic cycle. Radiometric and geochemical investigations indicate that these granites are fertile with respect to U and form a potential target for primary uranium deposits. Four models are suggested to explain the source and mechanism of the surficial uranium mineralization in these granites. The most applicable model is the oxidation of U +4 found in minute disseminated uraninite grains and its subsequent mobilization. This is supported by petrographic and autoradiographic studies. The bearings of the present study on further exploration for uranium deposits in granites of the arabian- Nubian shield in general are discussed

  18. Dead Reckoning in the Desert Ant: A Defence of Connectionist Models.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mole, Christopher

    2014-01-01

    Dead reckoning is a feature of the navigation behaviour shown by several creatures, including the desert ant. Recent work by C. Randy Gallistel shows that some connectionist models of dead reckoning face important challenges. These challenges are thought to arise from essential features of the connectionist approach, and have therefore been taken to show that connectionist models are unable to explain even the most primitive of psychological phenomena. I show that Gallistel's challenges are successfully met by one recent connectionist model, proposed by Ulysses Bernardet, Sergi Bermúdez i Badia, and Paul F.M.J. Verschure. The success of this model suggests that there are ways to implement dead reckoning with neural circuits that fall within the bounds of what many people regard as neurobiologically plausible, and so that the wholesale dismissal of the connectionist modelling project remains premature.

  19. Ripples and ripples: from sandy deserts to ion-sputtered surfaces

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Aste, T; Valbusa, U

    2005-01-01

    We study the morphological evolution of surfaces during ion sputtering and we compare their dynamical corrugation with aeolian ripple formation in sandy deserts. We show that, although the two phenomena are physically different, they must obey similar geometrical constraints and therefore they can be described within the same theoretical framework. The present theory distinguishes between atoms that stay bounded in the bulk and others that are mobile on the surface. We describe the excavation mechanisms, the adsorption and the surface mobility by means of a continuous equation derived from the study of dune formation on sand. We explore the spontaneous development of ordered nanostructures and explain the different dynamical behaviours experimentally observed in metals or in semiconductors or in amorphous systems. We also show that this novel approach can describe the occurrence of rotation in the ripple direction and the formation of other kinds of self-organized patterns induced by changes in the sputtering incidence angle

  20. 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.

  1. Strategy for the development and management of deserts

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    1978-02-01

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

  2. 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)

  3. Differential Gene Expression in Response to Salinity and Temperature in a Haloarcula Strain from Great Salt Lake, Utah

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Swati Almeida-Dalmet

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Haloarchaea that inhabit Great Salt Lake (GSL, a thalassohaline terminal lake, must respond to the fluctuating climate conditions of the elevated desert of Utah. We investigated how shifting environmental factors, specifically salinity and temperature, affected gene expression in the GSL haloarchaea, NA6-27, which we isolated from the hypersaline north arm of the lake. Combined data from cultivation, microscopy, lipid analysis, antibiotic sensitivity, and 16S rRNA gene alignment, suggest that NA6-27 is a member of the Haloarcula genus. Our prior study demonstrated that archaea in the Haloarcula genus were stable in the GSL microbial community over seasons and years. In this study, RNA arbitrarily primed PCR (RAP-PCR was used to determine the transcriptional responses of NA6-27 grown under suboptimal salinity and temperature conditions. We observed alteration of the expression of genes related to general stress responses, such as transcription, translation, replication, signal transduction, and energy metabolism. Of the ten genes that were expressed differentially under stress, eight of these genes responded in both conditions, highlighting this general response. We also noted gene regulation specific to salinity and temperature conditions, such as osmoregulation and transport. Taken together, these data indicate that the GSL Haloarcula strain, NA6-27, demonstrates both general and specific responses to salinity and/or temperature stress, and suggest a mechanistic model for homeostasis that may explain the stable presence of this genus in the community as environmental conditions shift.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Williams, JB; Tieleman, BI; Shobrak, M

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-02-15

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

  6. 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...

  7. Explaining human uniqueness: genome interactions with environment, behaviour and culture.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Varki, Ajit; Geschwind, Daniel H; Eichler, Evan E

    2008-10-01

    What makes us human? Specialists in each discipline respond through the lens of their own expertise. In fact, 'anthropogeny' (explaining the origin of humans) requires a transdisciplinary approach that eschews such barriers. Here we take a genomic and genetic perspective towards molecular variation, explore systems analysis of gene expression and discuss an organ-systems approach. Rejecting any 'genes versus environment' dichotomy, we then consider genome interactions with environment, behaviour and culture, finally speculating that aspects of human uniqueness arose because of a primate evolutionary trend towards increasing and irreversible dependence on learned behaviours and culture - perhaps relaxing allowable thresholds for large-scale genomic diversity.

  8. Recovery of compacted soils in Mojave Desert ghost towns.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Webb, R.H.; Steiger, J.W.; Wilshire, H.G.

    1986-01-01

    Residual compaction of soils was measured at seven sites in five Mojave Desert ghost towns. Soils in these Death Valley National Monument townsites were compacted by vehicles, animals, and human trampling, and the townsites had been completely abandoned and the buildings removed for 64 to 75 yr. Recovery times extrapolated using a linear recovery model ranged from 80 to 140 yr and averaged 100 yr. The recovery times were related to elevation, suggesting freeze-thaw loosening as an important factor in ameliorating soil compaction in the Mojave Desert. -from Authors

  9. 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.

  10. Winter precipitation and fire in the Sonoran Desert

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1987-01-01

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

  11. Naturalisation, Desert, and the Symbolic Meaning of Citizenship

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lægaard, Sune

    2012-01-01

    of naturalisation requirements as involving notions of desert and asks what these developments imply about the meaning of citizenship. Naturalisation marks the boundary of society understood as a political community, i.e. a civic rather than territorial boundary. How this boundary is policed and on the basis...... that the introduction of naturalisation tests and other desert-based naturalisation requirements imply that citizenship comes to have different symbolic meanings for native born citizens and naturalised citizens because such requirements distinguish between volitional or ‘earned’ and ascriptive or ‘natural’ citizenship...

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. Apparent Brecciation Gradient, Mount Desert Island, Maine

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hawkins, A. T.; Johnson, S. E.

    2004-05-01

    Mount Desert Island, Maine, comprises a shallow level, Siluro-Devonian igneous complex surrounded by a distinctive breccia zone ("shatter zone" of Gilman and Chapman, 1988). The zone is very well exposed on the southern and eastern shores of the island and provides a unique opportunity to examine subvolcanic processes. The breccia of the Shatter Zone shows wide variation in percent matrix and clast, and may represent a spatial and temporal gradient in breccia formation due to a single eruptive or other catastrophic volcanic event. The shatter zone was divided into five developmental stages based on the extent of brecciation: Bar Harbor Formation, Sols Cliffs breccia, Seeley Road breccia, Dubois breccia, and Great Head breccia. A digital camera was employed to capture scale images of representative outcrops using a 0.5 m square Plexiglas frame. Individual images were joined in Adobe Photoshop to create a composite image of each outcrop. The composite photo was then exported to Adobe Illustrator, which was used to outline the clasts and produce a digital map of the outcrop for analysis. The fractal dimension (Fd) of each clast was calculated using NIH Image and a Euclidean distance mapping method described by Bérubé and Jébrak (1999) to quantify the morphology of the fragments, or the complexity of the outline. The more complex the fragment outline, the higher the fractal dimension, indicating that the fragment is less "mature" or has had less exposure to erosional processes, such as the injection of an igneous matrix. Sols Cliffs breccia has an average Fd of 1.125, whereas Great Head breccia has an average Fd of 1.040, with the stages between having intermediate values. The more complex clasts of the Sols Cliffs breccia with a small amount (26.38%) of matrix material suggests that it is the first stage in a sequence of brecciation ending at the more mature, matrix-supported (71.37%) breccia of Great Head. The results of this study will be used to guide isotopic

  15. Distance-decay relationships partially determine diversity patterns of phyllosphere bacteria on Tamarix trees across the Sonoran Desert [corrected].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Finkel, Omri M; Burch, Adrien Y; Elad, Tal; Huse, Susan M; Lindow, Steven E; Post, Anton F; Belkin, Shimshon

    2012-09-01

    Dispersal limitation in phyllosphere communities was measured on the leaf surfaces of salt-excreting Tamarix trees, which offer unique, discrete habitats for microbial assemblages. We employed 16S rRNA gene pyrosequencing to measure bacterial community dissimilarity on leaves of spatially dispersed Tamarix specimens in sites with uniform climatic conditions across the Sonoran Desert in the Southwestern United States. Our analyses revealed diverse bacterial communities with four dominant phyla that exhibited differential effects of environmental and geographic variables. Geographical distance was the most important parameter that affected community composition, particularly that of betaproteobacteria, which displayed a statistically significant, distance-decay relationship.

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2013-01-01

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

  17. Metagenomic sequence of saline desert microbiota from wild ass sanctuary, Little Rann of Kutch, Gujarat, India.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Patel, Rajesh; Mevada, Vishal; Prajapati, Dhaval; Dudhagara, Pravin; Koringa, Prakash; Joshi, C G

    2015-03-01

    We report Metagenome from the saline desert soil sample of Little Rann of Kutch, Gujarat State, India. Metagenome consisted of 633,760 sequences with size 141,307,202 bp and 56% G + C content. Metagenome sequence data are available at EBI under EBI Metagenomics database with accession no. ERP005612. Community metagenomics revealed total 1802 species belonged to 43 different phyla with dominating Marinobacter (48.7%) and Halobacterium (4.6%) genus in bacterial and archaeal domain respectively. Remarkably, 18.2% sequences in a poorly characterized group and 4% gene for various stress responses along with versatile presence of commercial enzyme were evident in a functional metagenome analysis.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-07-01

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

  19. 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.

  20. A genome-wide gene expression signature of environmental geography in leukocytes of Moroccan Amazighs.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Youssef Idaghdour

    2008-04-01

    Full Text Available The different environments that humans experience are likely to impact physiology and disease susceptibility. In order to estimate the magnitude of the impact of environment on transcript abundance, we examined gene expression in peripheral blood leukocyte samples from 46 desert nomadic, mountain agrarian and coastal urban Moroccan Amazigh individuals. Despite great expression heterogeneity in humans, as much as one third of the leukocyte transcriptome was found to be associated with differences among regions. Genome-wide polymorphism analysis indicates that genetic differentiation in the total sample is limited and is unlikely to explain the expression divergence. Methylation profiling of 1,505 CpG sites suggests limited contribution of methylation to the observed differences in gene expression. Genetic network analysis further implies that specific aspects of immune function are strongly affected by regional factors and may influence susceptibility to respiratory and inflammatory disease. Our results show a strong genome-wide gene expression signature of regional population differences that presumably include lifestyle, geography, and biotic factors, implying that these can play at least as great a role as genetic divergence in modulating gene expression variation in humans.

  1. Pollination ecology of the rare desert species Eremosparton songoricum (Fabaceae

    Science.gov (United States)

    The pollination ecology of Eremosparton songoricum (Litv.) Vass., a rare desert species endemic to central Asia, was examined by a series of observational studies and manipulative experiments in two natural populations during 2007–2008. Results showed that the duration of flowering lasted 21 and 23 ...

  2. 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

  3. 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...

  4. Electricity from the desert; Strom aus der Wueste

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Schwarzburger, Heiko; Ullrich, Sven

    2013-06-15

    The North African sun seems ideal for photovoltaic use. However, photovoltaic modules must withstand extreme loads in the desert. [German] Die Sonne Nordafrikas scheint ideal fuer die Photovoltaik-Nutzung. Jedoch muessen Photovoltaik-Module in der Wueste extremen Belastungen standhalten.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Energetics and water relations ofN amib desert rodents

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    and the possible effects of advective fog on the water balance of the .... Table 2 Energy balance of Namib desert rodents in the laboratory on a diet of air-dried bird seed and with, and with, ad lib water. .... responding mercury thermometer.

  8. 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…

  9. 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…

  10. 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.

  11. 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 ...

  12. Learning Desert Geomorphology Virtually versus in the Field

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stumpf, Richard J., II; Douglass, John; Dorn, Ronald I.

    2008-01-01

    Statistical analyses of pre-test and post-test results, as well as qualitative insight obtained by essays, compared introductory physical geography college students who learned desert geomorphology only virtually, in the field and both ways. With the exception of establishing geographic context, the virtual field trip was statistically…

  13. 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…

  14. Is climate change mitigation the best use of desert shrublands?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Susan E. Meyer

    2011-01-01

    In a world where the metrics of the carbon economy have become a major issue, it may come as a surprise that intact cold desert shrublands can sequester significant amounts of carbon, both as biomass and in the form of SOC (soil organic carbon). Xerophytic shrubs invest heavily in belowground biomass, placing fixed carbon in an environment where it turns over only very...

  15. Ecology and utilization of desert shrub rangelands in Iraq

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Thalen, Derk Catharinus Peter

    1979-01-01

    When grazing is the accepted land use, vegetation is the key resource. The present study deals with the desert shrub rangelands of lraq, which contain the major characteristics of such an area, having been under grazing for many centuries. Emphasis is given to the ecology and utilization of the

  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. 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...

  18. Genetic population structure of the desert shrub species lycium ruthenicum inferred from chloroplast dna

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chen, H.; Yonezawa, T.

    2014-01-01

    Lycium ruthenicum (Solananeae), a spiny shrub mostly distributed in the desert regions of north and northwest China, has been shown to exhibit high tolerance to the extreme environment. In this study, the phylogeography and evolutionary history of L. ruthenicum were examined, on the basis of 80 individuals from eight populations. Using the sequence variations of two spacer regions of chloroplast DNA (trnH-psbA and rps16-trnK) , the absence of a geographic component in the chloroplast DNA genetic structure was identified (GST = 0.351, NST = 0.304, NST< GST), which was consisted with the result of SAMOVA, suggesting weak phylogeographic structure of this species. Phylogenetic and network analyses showed that a total of 10 haplotypes identified in the present study clustered into two clades, in which clade I harbored the ancestral haplotypes that inferred two independent glacial refugia in the middle of Qaidam Basin and the western Inner Mongolia. The existence of regional evolutionary differences was supported by GENETREE, which revealed that one of the population in Qaidam Basin and the two populations in Tarim Basin had experienced rapid expansion, and the other populations retained relatively stable population size during the Pleistocene . Given the results of long-term gene flow and pairwise differences, strong gene flow was insufficient to reduce the genetic differentiation among populations or within populations, probably due to the genetic composition containing a common haplotype and the high number of private haplotypes fixed for most of the population. The divergence times of different lineages were consistent with the rapid uplift phases of the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau and the initiation and expansion of deserts in northern China, suggesting that the origin and evolution of L. ruthenicum were strongly influenced by Quaternary environment changes. (author)

  19. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-10-01

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

  1. Effects of sand burial on dew deposition on moss soil crust in a revegetated area of the Tennger Desert, Northern China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jia, Rong-liang; Li, Xin-rong; Liu, Li-chao; Pan, Yan-xia; Gao, Yan-hong; Wei, Yong-ping

    2014-11-01

    Sand burial and dew deposition are two fundamental phenomena profoundly influencing biological soil crusts in desert areas. However, little information is available regarding the effects of sand burial on dew deposition on biological soil crusts in desert ecosystems. In this study, we evaluated the effects of sand burial at depths of 0 (control), 0.5, 1, 2 and 4 mm on dew formation and evaporation of three dominant moss crusts in a revegetated area of the Tengger Desert (Northern China) in 2010. The results revealed that sand burial significantly decreased the amount of dew deposited on the three moss crust types by acting as a semi-insulator retarding the dew formation and evaporation rates. The changes in surface temperature cannot fully explain the variations of the formation and evaporation rates of dew by moss crusts buried by sand. The extension of dew retention time was reflected by the higher dew ratios (the ratio of dew amount at a certain time to the maximum value in a daily course) in the daytime, and may to some extent have acted as compensatory mechanisms that diminished the negative effects of the reduction of dew amount induced by sand burial of moss crusts. The resistances to reduction of dewfall caused by sand burial among the three moss crusts were also compared and it was found that Bryum argenteum crust showed the highest tolerance, followed by crusts dominated by Didymodon vinealis and Syntrichia caninervis. This sequence corresponds well with the successional order of the three moss crusts in the revegetated area, thereby suggesting that resistance to reduction of dewfall may act as one mechanism by which sand burial drives the succession of moss crusts in desert ecosystems. This side effect of dew reduction induced by sand burial on biological soil crusts should be considered in future ecosystem construction and management of desert area.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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...

  6. Groundwater geochemistry of nile delta-desert interface 1.isotope hydrology

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hussein, M F [Cairo University, Dept., of Soil and water, Giza, Gamma Street, (Egypt); Nada, A A; Awad, M A [Atomic Energy Authority, Nuclear Chemistry Dept., P.o. Box 13759, Cairo, (Egypt)

    1995-10-01

    Sustenance and environmental protection of groundwater supply is of major concern in the integral environmental development in the arid to sub-arid regions in the Nile basin. Isotope data ({sup 18O}, {sup 2H} and {sup 3H}) of groundwater in the west of the Nile delta indicates the contribution of palaeo groundwater component (in the range 0.1 - 0.8 with means of 0.39 and 0.52 for tahrir and khatatbah, respectively) along with sub recent recharge from the delta aquifer and recent recharge from irrigation conveyance canals in desert. Isotope mixing model (developed as Two-input table using excel{sup TM} spreads heat on apple Macintosh{sup TM)} is proposed to explain the apparent discrepancies in groundwater isotopic composition of khatatbah and tahrir areas assuming the contribution of two isotopically different palaeo-oples with two isotopically similar maind delta groundwater poles. About 0.30% {sup 1}8{sup O} depletion per 10 Km downstream is detected and low northward groundwater recharge is suggested along 75 Km of the western strip of rosetta Nile. Higher sub-recent recharge from the main delta aquifer is believed to take place in khatatbah than tahrir whereas the last is believed to be replenished at present from the irrigation/ drainage network and irrigated fields with higher pollution risk for groundwater system in tahrir aquifer is exposed to northern marine intrusion. Lowering of the piezo metric level is to be expected in the newly exploited desertic areas under over pumping. 9 figs.

  7. Effects of sand burial and wind disturbances on moss soil crusts in a revegetated area of the Tennger Desert, Northern China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jia, R. L.; Li, X. R.; Liu, L. C.; Gao, Y. H.

    2012-04-01

    Sand burial and wind are two predominant natural disturbances in the desert ecosystems worldwide. However, the effects of sand burial and wind disturbances on moss soil crusts are still largely unexplored. In this study, two sets of experiments were conducted separately to evaluated the effects of sand burial (sand depth of 0, 1, 2, 3 and 4 mm) and wind blowing (wind speed of 0.2, 3, 6 and 9ms-1) on ecophysiological variables of two moss soil crusts collected from a revegetated area of the Tengger Desert, Northern China. Firstly, the results from the sand burial experiment revealed that respiration rate was significantly decreased and that moss shoot elongation was significantly increased after burial. In addition, Bryum argenteum crust showed the fastest speed of emergence and highest tolerance index, followed by Didymodon vinealis crust. This sequence was consistent with the successional order of the two moss crusts that happened in our study area, indicating that differential sand burial tolerance explains their succession sequence. Secondly, the results from the wind experiment showed that CO2 exchange, PSII photochemical efficiency, photosynthetic pigments, shoot upgrowth, productivity and regeneration potential of the two moss soil crust mentioned above were all substantially depressed. Furthermore, D. vinealis crust exhibited stronger wind resistance than B. argenteum crust from all aspects mentioned above. And this is comparison was identical with their contrasting microhabitats with B. argenteum crust being excluded from higher wind speed microsites in the windward slopes, suggesting that the differential wind resistance of moss soil crusts explains their microdistribution pattern. In conclusion, the ecogeomorphological processes of moss soil crusts in desert ecosystems can be largely determined by natural disturbances caused by sand burial and wind blowing in desert ecosystems.

  8. 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.

  9. Genetic pleiotropy explains associations between musical auditory discrimination and intelligence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mosing, Miriam A; Pedersen, Nancy L; Madison, Guy; Ullén, Fredrik

    2014-01-01

    Musical aptitude is commonly measured using tasks that involve discrimination of different types of musical auditory stimuli. Performance on such different discrimination tasks correlates positively with each other and with intelligence. However, no study to date has explored these associations using a genetically informative sample to estimate underlying genetic and environmental influences. In the present study, a large sample of Swedish twins (N = 10,500) was used to investigate the genetic architecture of the associations between intelligence and performance on three musical auditory discrimination tasks (rhythm, melody and pitch). Phenotypic correlations between the tasks ranged between 0.23 and 0.42 (Pearson r values). Genetic modelling showed that the covariation between the variables could be explained by shared genetic influences. Neither shared, nor non-shared environment had a significant effect on the associations. Good fit was obtained with a two-factor model where one underlying shared genetic factor explained all the covariation between the musical discrimination tasks and IQ, and a second genetic factor explained variance exclusively shared among the discrimination tasks. The results suggest that positive correlations among musical aptitudes result from both genes with broad effects on cognition, and genes with potentially more specific influences on auditory functions.

  10. 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

  11. Genes and Gene Therapy

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... correctly, a child can have a genetic disorder. Gene therapy is an experimental technique that uses genes to ... or prevent disease. The most common form of gene therapy involves inserting a normal gene to replace an ...

  12. The stage of soil development modulates rhizosphere effect along a High Arctic desert chronosequence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mapelli, Francesca; Marasco, Ramona; Fusi, Marco; Scaglia, Barbara; Tsiamis, George; Rolli, Eleonora; Fodelianakis, Stilianos; Bourtzis, Kostas; Ventura, Stefano; Tambone, Fulvia; Adani, Fabrizio; Borin, Sara; Daffonchio, Daniele

    2018-05-01

    In mature soils, plant species and soil type determine the selection of root microbiota. Which of these two factors drives rhizosphere selection in barren substrates of developing desert soils has, however, not yet been established. Chronosequences of glacier forelands provide ideal natural environments to identify primary rhizosphere selection factors along the changing edaphic conditions of a developing soil. Here, we analyze changes in bacterial diversity in bulk soils and rhizospheres of a pioneer plant across a High Arctic glacier chronosequence. We show that the developmental stage of soil strongly modulates rhizosphere community assembly, even though plant-induced selection buffers the effect of changing edaphic factors. Bulk and rhizosphere soils host distinct bacterial communities that differentially vary along the chronosequence. Cation exchange capacity, exchangeable potassium, and metabolite concentration in the soil account for the rhizosphere bacterial diversity. Although the soil fraction (bulk soil and rhizosphere) explains up to 17.2% of the variation in bacterial microbiota, the soil developmental stage explains up to 47.7% of this variation. In addition, the operational taxonomic unit (OTU) co-occurrence network of the rhizosphere, whose complexity increases along the chronosequence, is loosely structured in barren compared with mature soils, corroborating our hypothesis that soil development tunes the rhizosphere effect.

  13. The stage of soil development modulates rhizosphere effect along a High Arctic desert chronosequence

    KAUST Repository

    Mapelli, Francesca

    2018-01-09

    In mature soils, plant species and soil type determine the selection of root microbiota. Which of these two factors drives rhizosphere selection in barren substrates of developing desert soils has, however, not yet been established. Chronosequences of glacier forelands provide ideal natural environments to identify primary rhizosphere selection factors along the changing edaphic conditions of a developing soil. Here, we analyze changes in bacterial diversity in bulk soils and rhizospheres of a pioneer plant across a High Arctic glacier chronosequence. We show that the developmental stage of soil strongly modulates rhizosphere community assembly, even though plant-induced selection buffers the effect of changing edaphic factors. Bulk and rhizosphere soils host distinct bacterial communities that differentially vary along the chronosequence. Cation exchange capacity, exchangeable potassium, and metabolite concentration in the soil account for the rhizosphere bacterial diversity. Although the soil fraction (bulk soil and rhizosphere) explains up to 17.2% of the variation in bacterial microbiota, the soil developmental stage explains up to 47.7% of this variation. In addition, the operational taxonomic unit (OTU) co-occurrence network of the rhizosphere, whose complexity increases along the chronosequence, is loosely structured in barren compared with mature soils, corroborating our hypothesis that soil development tunes the rhizosphere effect.

  14. The stage of soil development modulates rhizosphere effect along a High Arctic desert chronosequence

    KAUST Repository

    Mapelli, Francesca; Marasco, Ramona; Fusi, Marco; Scaglia, Barbara; Tsiamis, George; Rolli, Eleonora; Fodelianakis, Stylianos; Bourtzis, Kostas; Ventura, Stefano; Tambone, Fulvia; Adani, Fabrizio; Borin, Sara; Daffonchio, Daniele

    2018-01-01

    In mature soils, plant species and soil type determine the selection of root microbiota. Which of these two factors drives rhizosphere selection in barren substrates of developing desert soils has, however, not yet been established. Chronosequences of glacier forelands provide ideal natural environments to identify primary rhizosphere selection factors along the changing edaphic conditions of a developing soil. Here, we analyze changes in bacterial diversity in bulk soils and rhizospheres of a pioneer plant across a High Arctic glacier chronosequence. We show that the developmental stage of soil strongly modulates rhizosphere community assembly, even though plant-induced selection buffers the effect of changing edaphic factors. Bulk and rhizosphere soils host distinct bacterial communities that differentially vary along the chronosequence. Cation exchange capacity, exchangeable potassium, and metabolite concentration in the soil account for the rhizosphere bacterial diversity. Although the soil fraction (bulk soil and rhizosphere) explains up to 17.2% of the variation in bacterial microbiota, the soil developmental stage explains up to 47.7% of this variation. In addition, the operational taxonomic unit (OTU) co-occurrence network of the rhizosphere, whose complexity increases along the chronosequence, is loosely structured in barren compared with mature soils, corroborating our hypothesis that soil development tunes the rhizosphere effect.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Aircraft and satellite remote sensing of desert soils and landscapes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Petersen, G. W.; Connors, K. F.; Miller, D. A.; Day, R. L.; Gardner, T. W.

    1987-01-01

    Remote sensing data on desert soils and landscapes, obtained by the Landsat TM, Heat Capacity Mapping Mission (HCMM), Simulated SPOT, and Thermal IR Multispectral Scanner (TIMS) aboard an aircraft, are discussed together with the analytical techniques used in the studies. The TM data for southwestern Nevada were used to discriminate among the alluvial fan deposits with different degrees of desert pavement and varnish, and different vegetation cover. Thermal-IR data acquired from the HCMM satellite were used to map the spatial distribution of diurnal surface temperatures and to estimate mean annual soil temperatures in central Utah. Simulated SPOT data for northwestern New Mexico identified geomorphic features, such as differences in eolian sand cover and fluvial incision, while the TIMS data depicted surface geologic features of the Saline Valley in California.

  20. 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

  1. Who Needs Religion When You Have The Desert?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sørensen, Bent

    In my paper I propose to read so-called ‘post-ironic’ texts by authors associated with the Blank Generation and Generation X (including Bret Easton Ellis and Douglas Coupland, as well as less well-known authors such as K.S. Haddock) and examine their use of the desert as a trope for identity...... testing and summation. Perhaps surprisingly, one finds in novels such as Ellis’ Less Than Zero (1984) and Coupland’s Generation X (1991) a reliance on desert locations to provide an alternative to the numerous non-places (in Marc Augé’s sense of the term) that otherwise make up the setting of these works....

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Field Performance of Photovoltaic Systems in the Tucson Desert

    Science.gov (United States)

    Orsburn, Sean; Brooks, Adria; Cormode, Daniel; Greenberg, James; Hardesty, Garrett; Lonij, Vincent; Salhab, Anas; St. Germaine, Tyler; Torres, Gabe; Cronin, Alexander

    2011-10-01

    At the Tucson Electric Power (TEP) solar test yard, over 20 different grid-connected photovoltaic (PV) systems are being tested. The goal at the TEP solar test yard is to measure and model real-world performance of PV systems and to benchmark new technologies such as holographic concentrators. By studying voltage and current produced by the PV systems as a function of incident irradiance, and module temperature, we can compare our measurements of field-performance (in a harsh desert environment) to manufacturer specifications (determined under laboratory conditions). In order to measure high-voltage and high-current signals, we designed and built reliable, accurate sensors that can handle extreme desert temperatures. We will present several benchmarks of sensors in a controlled environment, including shunt resistors and Hall-effect current sensors, to determine temperature drift and accuracy. Finally we will present preliminary field measurements of PV performance for several different PV technologies.

  5. Localized extinction of an arboreal desert lizard caused by habitat fragmentation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Munguia-Vega, Adrian; Rodriguez-Estrella, Ricardo; Shaw, William W.; Culver, Melanie

    2013-01-01

    We adopted a species’ perspective for predicting extinction risk in a small, endemic, and strictly scansorial lizard (Urosaurus nigricaudus), in an old (∼60 year) and highly fragmented (8% habitat remaining) agricultural landscape from the Sonoran Desert, Mexico. We genotyped 10 microsatellite loci in 280 individuals from 11 populations in fragmented and continuous habitat. Individual dispersal was restricted to less than 400 m, according to analyses of spatial autocorrelation and spatially explicit Bayesian assignment methods. Within this scale, continuous areas and narrow washes with native vegetation allowed high levels of gene flow over tens of kilometers. In the absence of the native vegetation, cleared areas and highways were identified as partial barriers. In contrast, outside the scale of dispersal, cleared areas behaved as complete barriers, and surveys corroborated the species went extinct after a few decades in all small (less than 45 ha), isolated habitat fragments. No evidence for significant loss of genetic diversity was found, but results suggested fragmentation increased the spatial scale of movements, relatedness, genetic structure, and potentially affected sex-biased dispersal. A plausible threshold of individual dispersal predicted only 23% of all fragments in the landscape were linked with migration from continuous habitat, while complete barriers isolated the majority of fragments. Our study suggested limited dispersal, coupled with an inability to use a homogeneous and hostile matrix without vegetation and shade, could result in frequent time-delayed extinctions of small ectotherms in highly fragmented desert landscapes, particularly considering an increase in the risk of overheating and a decrease in dispersal potential induced by global warming.

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2015-01-01

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

  7. Desert Wadis and Smoke from Kuwait Oil Fires, Saudi Arabia

    Science.gov (United States)

    1991-01-01

    Smoke from the Kuwait Oil Fires obscures the view of the desert wadis, Saudi Arabia (29.5N, 42.5E). During the brief Gulf war between Iraq and the Allied forces, many of the oil wells in Kuwait were destroyed and set afire. For several months, those fires burned out of control, spewing smoke and ash for hundreds of miles in many directions depending on the altitude, time of year and the prevailing winds.

  8. 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).

  9. Precipitation Dynamics and Feedback mechanisms of the Arabian Desert

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burger, Roelof; Kucera, Paul; Piketh, Stuart; Axisa, Duncan; Chapman, Michael; Krauss, Terry; Ghulam, Ayman

    2010-05-01

    The subtropical Arabian desert extends across the entire Peninsula. The Arabian desert finds itself in the downward branch of the Hadley cell with persistent subsidence. This stabilizes the atmosphere and lowers the relative humidity. The result is a strongly capped convective boundary layer and an extremely dry mid troposphere. Most of the area experience very little rainfall, generally below 100 mm per year, resulting in the largest uninterrupted sand desert in the world. However, local factors such as an unbroken 1000 km escarpment along the Red Sea, rocky mountains between 2000 and 3000 m, and gravel plains cut by wadis, causes micro climates with significant altered precipitation characteristics. Altitude oases with annual rainfall between 200 mm and 500 mm are found on the Asir mountains in the south west and over the Jebel Akdhar mountains on the Gulf coast of Oman. This region receives most of its rainfall in the Northern Hemisphere summer driven by a monsoon trough and the ITCZ. During summer, moist surface winds from the Red Sea converges with dry easterlies triggering convection along the Asir escarpment on a daily basis. Clear mornings grow into a layer of Altocumulus stratiformis cumulogenites by noon, which usually last until sunset. This cloud deck interacts with large severe convective cells which grow to the top of the troposphere by mid afternoon. The north experience a mediterranean climate with eastward propagating midlatitude cyclones causing wintertime rainfall. Characteristic cloud bands form over the northern interior. Vertically layered embedded convective cells that are not coupled with the surface propagate on north easterly tracks. This result in another oasis with annual rainfall exceeding 200 mm. Surface based convection causes isolated thunderstorms during spring and early summer, but cloud bases increase as the season progress until the evaporating downdraft causes dust storms. In-situ measurements, WRF model runs, radiosonde ascends

  10. 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.

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

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    董光荣; 陈惠忠; 王贵勇; 李孝泽; 邵亚军; 金炯

    1997-01-01

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

  12. Molecular responses and expression analysis of genes in a ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    STORAGESEVER

    2009-06-17

    Jun 17, 2009 ... Molecular responses and expression analysis of genes in a xerophytic desert shrub Haloxylon ammodendron .... physiological determination and cDNA-AFLP analysis, three groups of seeds were sowed in pots with sand and .... HaDR27. U. 234. PDR-like ABC transporter. AT1G59870. HaDR28. U. 135.

  13. Molecular responses and expression analysis of genes in a ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Haloxylon ammodendron (C.A Mey.) Bunge is a xero-halophytic desert shrub with excellent drought resistance and salt tolerance. To decipher the molecular responses involved in its drought resistance, the cDNA-AFLP (amplified fragment length polymorphism) technique was employed to identify genes expressed ...

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1991-01-01

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

  15. Colonization patterns of soil microbial communities in the Atacama Desert.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crits-Christoph, Alexander; Robinson, Courtney K; Barnum, Tyler; Fricke, W Florian; Davila, Alfonso F; Jedynak, Bruno; McKay, Christopher P; Diruggiero, Jocelyne

    2013-11-20

    The Atacama Desert is one of the driest deserts in the world and its soil, with extremely low moisture, organic carbon content, and oxidizing conditions, is considered to be at the dry limit for life. Analyses of high throughput DNA sequence data revealed that bacterial communities from six geographic locations in the hyper-arid core and along a North-South moisture gradient were structurally and phylogenetically distinct (ANOVA test for observed operating taxonomic units at 97% similarity (OTU0.03), P microbial communities' diversity metrics (least squares linear regression for observed OTU0.03 and air RH and soil conductivity, P PCoA Spearman's correlation for air RH and soil conductivity, P <0.0001), indicating that water availability and salt content are key factors in shaping the Atacama soil microbiome. Mineralization studies showed communities actively metabolizing in all soil samples, with increased rates in soils from the southern locations. Our results suggest that microorganisms in the driest soils of the Atacama Desert are in a state of stasis for most of the time, but can potentially metabolize if presented with liquid water for a sufficient duration. Over geological time, rare rain events and physicochemical factors potentially played a major role in selecting micro-organisms that are most adapted to extreme desiccating conditions.

  16. Controls on the variability of net infiltration to desert sandstone

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heilweil, Victor M.; McKinney, Tim S.; Zhdanov, Michael S.; Watt, Dennis E.

    2007-01-01

    As populations grow in arid climates and desert bedrock aquifers are increasingly targeted for future development, understanding and quantifying the spatial variability of net infiltration becomes critically important for accurately inventorying water resources and mapping contamination vulnerability. This paper presents a conceptual model of net infiltration to desert sandstone and then develops an empirical equation for its spatial quantification at the watershed scale using linear least squares inversion methods for evaluating controlling parameters (independent variables) based on estimated net infiltration rates (dependent variables). Net infiltration rates used for this regression analysis were calculated from environmental tracers in boreholes and more than 3000 linear meters of vadose zone excavations in an upland basin in southwestern Utah underlain by Navajo sandstone. Soil coarseness, distance to upgradient outcrop, and topographic slope were shown to be the primary physical parameters controlling the spatial variability of net infiltration. Although the method should be transferable to other desert sandstone settings for determining the relative spatial distribution of net infiltration, further study is needed to evaluate the effects of other potential parameters such as slope aspect, outcrop parameters, and climate on absolute net infiltration rates.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. Palynology in a polar desert, eastern North Greenland

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Funder, Svend Visby; Abrahamsen, Niels

    1988-01-01

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

  20. 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.

  1. Topology Explains Why Automobile Sunshades Fold Oddly

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feist, Curtis; Naimi, Ramin

    2009-01-01

    Automobile sunshades always fold into an "odd" number of loops. The explanation why involves elementary topology (braid theory and linking number, both explained in detail here with definitions and examples), and an elementary fact from algebra about symmetric group.

  2. Your Radiologist Explains Magnetic Resonance Angiography (MRA)

    Medline Plus

    Full Text Available ... Disorders Video: The Basketball Game: An MRI Story Radiology and You Sponsored by Image/Video Gallery Your ... Explains Magnetic Resonance Angiography (MRA) Transcript Welcome to Radiology Info dot org Hello, I’m Dr. Elliot ...

  3. Explorers Presentation: Explaining the Tides to Children

    OpenAIRE

    Institute, Marine

    2015-01-01

    Explaining the tides to children Presentation includes information about: Orbits of the Earth, Moon and Sun; Moon phases and the lunar cycle; Gravity; Gravity and the tide; Types of tides; The tides and me!; Tide tables; Extra insight

  4. Your Radiologist Explains Magnetic Resonance Angiography (MRA)

    Medline Plus

    Full Text Available ... An MRI Story Radiology and You Sponsored by Image/Video Gallery Your Radiologist Explains Magnetic Resonance Angiography ( ... posted: How to Obtain and Share Your Medical Images Movement Disorders Video: The Basketball Game: An MRI ...

  5. A model to explain human voice production

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vilas Bôas, C. S. N.; Gobara, S. T.

    2018-05-01

    This article presents a device constructed with low-cost material to demonstrate and explain voice production. It also provides a contextualized, interdisciplinary approach to introduce the study of sound waves.

  6. Using Expectancy Theory to Explain Performance Appraisal ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    pc

    2018-03-05

    Mar 5, 2018 ... appraisal conducting style, the relation between the performance appraisal system and task ... the article first explains the theory model which is based expectancy theory. II. ... which in return lead to rewards. According to [12],.

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

    OpenAIRE

    Toderich, Kristina; Tsukatani, Tsuneo

    2005-01-01

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

  8. Observation of water and heat fluxes in the Badain Jaran desert, China

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Zhang, T.; Wen, J.; Su, Z.; Tian, H.; Zeng, Y.

    Badain Jaran Desert lie in the northwest of the Alashan plateau in western Inner Mongolia of China, between39o20'N to 41o30'N and 100oE to 104oE. It is the 4th largest desert in the world and the second largest desert in China, with an area of 49000 square kilometers and an altitude between 900 and

  9. 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.

  10. Rhythmic Degradation Explains and Unifies Circadian Transcriptome and Proteome Data

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sarah Lück

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available The rich mammalian cellular circadian output affects thousands of genes in many cell types and has been the subject of genome-wide transcriptome and proteome studies. The results have been enigmatic because transcript peak abundances do not always follow the peaks of gene-expression activity in time. We posited that circadian degradation of mRNAs and proteins plays a pivotal role in setting their peak times. To establish guiding principles, we derived a theoretical framework that fully describes the amplitudes and phases of biomolecules with circadian half-lives. We were able to explain the circadian transcriptome and proteome studies with the same unifying theory, including cases in which transcripts or proteins appeared before the onset of increased production rates. Furthermore, we estimate that 30% of the circadian transcripts in mouse liver and Drosophila heads are affected by rhythmic posttranscriptional regulation.

  11. Epifluorescent direct counts of bacteria and viruses from topsoil of various desert dust storm regions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gonzalez-Martin, Cristina; Teigell-Perez, Nuria; Lyles, Mark; Valladares, Basilio; Griffin, Dale W.

    2013-01-01

    Topsoil from arid regions is the main source of dust clouds that move through the earth's atmosphere, and microbial communities within these soils can survive long-range dispersion. Microbial abundance and chemical composition were analyzed in topsoil from various desert regions. Statistical analyses showed that microbial direct counts were strongly positively correlated with calcium concentrations and negatively correlated with silicon concentrations. While variance between deserts was expected, it was interesting to note differences between sample sites within a given desert region, illustrating the 'patchy' nature of microbial communities in desert environments.

  12. 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...

  13. 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

  14. Strategic sustainable development of groundwater in Thar desert of Pakistan

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zaigham, N.A.

    2002-01-01

    Thar Desert forms the extreme southeastern part of Pakistan, covering about 50,000 km/sup 2/ area. It is one of the densely populated deserts of the world. Population of Thar is living primarily on limited agricultural products and by raising goats, sheep, cattle, and camels. The region is characterized by parallel chains of the NE-SW trending parabolic stable sanddunes having desertic varieties of vegetation, generally on windward sides, up to the crests. Interdunal areas are favourable for agricultural activities, where crops are mainly dependent on rainwater. Average rainfall is significant but inconsistent, due to recurrent drought-cycles causing inverse impact on food-production and socio-economic development. In spite of extensive groundwater- exploration projects, accomplished by a number of organizations, the water-crisis of the region could not be controlled, most probably due to lack of systematic exploration and development of deep groundwater potential. Management of the available water- resources is also not adequate, even to sustain a short period of drought-cycle. On recurrence of a drought-cycle, a significant section of the population is compelled to migrate towards other parts of the Sindh province, which affects their socio-economic stability. An integrated research study, based on geo-electric scanning, drilling and seismic-data analyses, has been carried out to delineate subsurface hydro-geological conditions beneath the Thar Desert. Regional gradient maps of surface elevation, top of subsurface Oxidized Zone, top of coal-bearing formation(s) and the deeply buried basement have been prepared, covering almost the whole of That Desert. These gradient maps, analyzed in conjunction with the annual rainfall data, reveal the existence of encouraging subsurface hydrogeological conditions, associated with the sedimentary sequences and the basement. From the results of the study, it is observed that perch water aquifers, commonly being utilized

  15. 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

  16. Potential for deserts to supply reliable renewable electric power

    Science.gov (United States)

    Labordena, Mercè; Lilliestam, Johan

    2015-04-01

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

  17. Autochthonous bioaugmentation with environmental samples rich in hydrocarbonoclastic bacteria for bench-scale bioremediation of oily seawater and desert soil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ali, Nedaa; Dashti, Narjes; Salamah, Samar; Al-Awadhi, Husain; Sorkhoh, Naser; Radwan, Samir

    2016-05-01

    Oil-contaminated seawater and desert soil batches were bioaugmented with suspensions of pea (Pisum sativum) rhizosphere and soil with long history of oil pollution. Oil consumption was measured by gas-liquid chromatography. Hydrocarbonoclastic bacteria in the bioremediation batches were counted using a mineral medium with oil vapor as a sole carbon source and characterized by their 16S ribosomal RNA (rRNA)-gene sequences. Most of the oil was consumed during the first 2-4 months, and the oil-removal rate decreased or ceased thereafter due to nutrient and oxygen depletion. Supplying the batches with NaNO3 (nitrogen fertilization) at a late phase of bioremediation resulted in reenhanced oil consumption and bacterial growth. In the seawater batches bioaugmented with rhizospheric suspension, the autochthonous rhizospheric bacterial species Microbacterium oxidans and Rhodococcus spp. were established and contributed to oil-removal. The rhizosphere-bioaugmented soil batches selectively favored Arthrobacter nitroguajacolicus, Caulobacter segnis, and Ensifer adherens. In seawater batches bioaugmented with long-contaminated soil, the predominant oil-removing bacterium was the marine species Marinobacter hydrocarbonoclasticus. In soil batches on the other hand, the autochthonous inhabitants of the long-contaminated soil, Pseudomonas and Massilia species were established and contributed to oil removal. It was concluded that the use of rhizospheric bacteria for inoculating seawater and desert soil and of bacteria in long-contaminated soil for inoculating desert soil follows the concept of "autochthonous bioaugmentation." Inoculating seawater with bacteria in long-contaminated soil, on the other hand, merits the designation "allochthonous bioaugmentation."

  18. Molecular analysis of a 11 700-year-old rodent midden from the Atacama Desert, Chile

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuch, M.; Rohland, N.; Betancourt, J.L.; Latorre, C.; Steppan, S.; Poinar, H.N.

    2002-01-01

    DNA was extracted from an 11 700-year-old rodent midden from the Atacama Desert, Chile and the chloroplast and animal mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) gene sequences were analysed to investigate the floral environment surrounding the midden, and the identity of the midden agent. The plant sequences, together with the macroscopic identifications, suggest the presence of 13 plant families and three orders that no longer exist today at the midden locality, and thus point to a much more diverse and humid climate 11 700 years ago. The mtDNA sequences suggest the presence of at least four different vertebrates, which have been putatively identified as a camelid (vicuna), two rodents (Phyllotis and Abrocoma), and a cardinal bird (Passeriformes). To identify the midden agent, DNA was extracted from pooled faecal pellets, three small overlapping fragments of the mitochondrial cytochrome b gene were amplified and multiple clones were sequenced. These results were analysed along with complete cytochrome b sequences for several modern Phyllotis species to place the midden sequence phylogenetically. The results identified the midden agent as belonging to an ancestral P. limatus. Today, P. limatus is not found at the midden locality but it can be found 100 km to the north, indicating at least a small range shift. The more extensive sampling of modern Phyllotis reinforces the suggestion that P. limatus is recently derived from a peripheral isolate.

  19. Dispersal ability and habitat requirements determine landscape-level genetic patterns in desert aquatic insects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Phillipsen, Ivan C; Kirk, Emily H; Bogan, Michael T; Mims, Meryl C; Olden, Julian D; Lytle, David A

    2015-01-01

    Species occupying the same geographic range can exhibit remarkably different population structures across the landscape, ranging from highly diversified to panmictic. Given limitations on collecting population-level data for large numbers of species, ecologists seek to identify proximate organismal traits-such as dispersal ability, habitat preference and life history-that are strong predictors of realized population structure. We examined how dispersal ability and habitat structure affect the regional balance of gene flow and genetic drift within three aquatic insects that represent the range of dispersal abilities and habitat requirements observed in desert stream insect communities. For each species, we tested for linear relationships between genetic distances and geographic distances using Euclidean and landscape-based metrics of resistance. We found that the moderate-disperser Mesocapnia arizonensis (Plecoptera: Capniidae) has a strong isolation-by-distance pattern, suggesting migration-drift equilibrium. By contrast, population structure in the flightless Abedus herberti (Hemiptera: Belostomatidae) is influenced by genetic drift, while gene flow is the dominant force in the strong-flying Boreonectes aequinoctialis (Coleoptera: Dytiscidae). The best-fitting landscape model for M. arizonensis was based on Euclidean distance. Analyses also identified a strong spatial scale-dependence, where landscape genetic methods only performed well for species that were intermediate in dispersal ability. Our results highlight the fact that when either gene flow or genetic drift dominates in shaping population structure, no detectable relationship between genetic and geographic distances is expected at certain spatial scales. This study provides insight into how gene flow and drift interact at the regional scale for these insects as well as the organisms that share similar habitats and dispersal abilities. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  20. 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

  1. Correlation of Aerogravity and BHT Data to Develop a Geothermal Gradient Map of the Northern Western Desert of Egypt using an Artificial Neural Network

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mohamed, Haby S.; Abdel Zaher, Mohamed; Senosy, Mahmoud M.; Saibi, Hakim; El Nouby, Mohamed; Fairhead, J. Derek

    2015-06-01

    The northern part of the Western Desert of Egypt represents the second most promising area of hydrocarbon potential after the Gulf of Suez province. An artificial neural network (ANN) approach was used to develop a new predictive model for calculation of the geothermal gradients in this region based on gravity and corrected bottom-hole temperature (BHT) data. The best training data set was obtained with an ANN architecture composed of seven neurons in the hidden layer, which made it possible to predict the geothermal gradient with satisfactory efficiency. The BHT records of 116 deep oil wells (2,000-4,500 m) were used to evaluate the geothermal resources in the northern Western Desert. Corrections were applied to the BHT data to obtain the true formation equilibrium temperatures, which can provide useful constraints on the subsurface thermal regime. On the basis of these corrected data, the thermal gradient was computed for the linear sections of the temperature-versus-depth data at each well. The calculated geothermal gradient using temperature log data was generally 30 °C/km, with a few local high geothermal gradients in the northwestern parts of the study area explained by potential local geothermal fields. The Bouguer gravity values from the study area ranged from -60 mGal in the southern parts to 120 mGal in the northern areas, and exhibited NE-SW and E-W trends associated with geological structures. Although the northern Western Desert of Egypt has low regional temperature gradients (30 °C/km), several potential local geothermal fields were found (>40 °C/km). The heat flow at each well was also computed by combining sets of temperature gradients and thermal conductivity data. Aerogravity data were used to delineate the subsurface structures and tectonic framework of the region. The result of this study is a new geothermal gradient map of the northern Western Desert developed from gravity and BHT log data.

  2. Should I stay or should I go? Dispersal and population structure in small, isolated desert populations of West African crocodiles.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Guillermo Velo-Antón

    Full Text Available The maintenance of both spatial and genetic connectivity is paramount to the long-term persistence of small, isolated populations living in environments with extreme climates. We aim to identify the distribution of genetic diversity and assess population sub-structuring and dispersal across dwarfed desert populations of Crocodylus suchus, which occur in isolated groups, usually less than five individuals, along the mountains of Mauritania (West Africa. We used both invasive and non-invasive sampling methods and a combination of mitochondrial DNA (12 S and ND4 and microsatellite markers (32 loci and a subset of 12 loci. Our results showed high genetic differentiation and geographic structure in Mauritanian populations of C. suchus. We identified a metapopulation system acting within four river sub-basins (high gene flow and absence of genetic structure and considerable genetic differentiation between sub-basins (FST range: 0.12-0.24 with rare dispersal events. Effective population sizes tend to be low within sub-basins while genetic diversity is maintained. Our study suggests that hydrographic networks (temporal connections along seasonal rivers during rainy periods allow C. suchus to disperse and maintain metapopulation dynamics within sub-basins, which attenuate the loss of genetic diversity and the risk of extinction. We highlight the need of hydrographic conservation to protect vulnerable crocodiles isolated in small water bodies. We propose C. suchus as an umbrella species in Mauritania based on ecological affinities shared with other water-dependent species in desert environments.

  3. Water deprivation induces appetite and alters metabolic strategy in Notomys alexis: unique mechanisms for water production in the desert.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Takei, Yoshio; Bartolo, Ray C; Fujihara, Hiroaki; Ueta, Yoichi; Donald, John A

    2012-07-07

    Like many desert animals, the spinifex hopping mouse, Notomys alexis, can maintain water balance without drinking water. The role of the kidney in producing a small volume of highly concentrated urine has been well-documented, but little is known about the physiological mechanisms underpinning the metabolic production of water to offset obligatory water loss. In Notomys, we found that water deprivation (WD) induced a sustained high food intake that exceeded the pre-deprivation level, which was driven by parallel changes in plasma leptin and ghrelin and the expression of orexigenic and anorectic neuropeptide genes in the hypothalamus; these changed in a direction that would stimulate appetite. As the period of WD was prolonged, body fat disappeared but body mass increased gradually, which was attributed to hepatic glycogen storage. Switching metabolic strategy from lipids to carbohydrates would enhance metabolic water production per oxygen molecule, thus providing a mechanism to minimize respiratory water loss. The changes observed in appetite control and metabolic strategy in Notomys were absent or less prominent in laboratory mice. This study reveals novel mechanisms for appetite regulation and energy metabolism that could be essential for desert rodents to survive in xeric environments.

  4. Can the inherence heuristic explain vitalistic reasoning?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bastian, Brock

    2014-10-01

    Inherence is an important component of psychological essentialism. By drawing on vitalism as a way in which to explain this link, however, the authors appear to conflate causal explanations based on fixed features with those based on general causal forces. The disjuncture between these two types of explanatory principles highlights potential new avenues for the inherence heuristic.

  5. Explaining probalistic risk assessment in common language

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wong, J.W.

    1994-01-01

    Probabilistic human health risk assessment is explained in ordinary language using a hypothetical example and the ingestion equation from EPA's Risk Assessment Guidance for Superfund. A section on understanding probabilities and probability distributions used in a Monte Carlo simulation is included as well as an appendix showing the computer run and the technical assumptions behind it

  6. Explaining Violence in Sierra Leone's Civil War

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Explaining the violence of civil war is never a simple task for the scholar. In the case of the Sierra Leone, paradoxically, the task has in some ways been rendered more difficult by the sheer variety of compelling scholarship on the question. This paper seeks to identify the most useful of the explanations offered thus far, and ...

  7. Measuring and explaining house price developments

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    De Vries, P.

    2010-01-01

    This study discusses ways of measuring and explaining the development of house prices. The goal of the research underpinning this dissertation was to develop a methodological framework for studying these developments. This framework relates, first, to correcting for changes in the composition of

  8. Adaptive hatching hypotheses do not explain asynchronous ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    At the core of the suite of adaptive hatching hypotheses advanced to explain asynchronous hatching in birds is the assumption that if food is not limited then all the hatchlings will develop normally to adulthood. In this study Brown-headed Parrot Poicephalus cryptoxanthus chicks were hand fed and weighed on a daily basis.

  9. Explaining convergence of oecd welfare states

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Schmitt, C.; Starke, Peter

    2011-01-01

    of conditional convergence helps to both better describe and explain the phenomenon. By applying error correction models, we examine conditional convergence of various types of social expenditure in 21 OECD countries between 1980 and 2005. Our empirical findings go beyond the existing literature in two respects...

  10. Explaining the VET Applied Research Developmental Framework

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simon, Linda; Beddie, Francesca M.

    2017-01-01

    This document explains the VET Applied Research Developmental Framework, created as part of a project that explored how the vocational education and training (VET) sector could broaden its engagement in Australia's research and development (R&D) and innovation systems. Achieving this engagement will rely significantly on building the…

  11. Explaining Teachers' Use of Textbooks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reichenberg, Monica

    2016-01-01

    In educational systems without comprehensive systems for regulating textbooks, teachers can exert considerable influence on the use of textbooks. However, existing research has not yet identified the mechanisms of this use. Accordingly, the aim of this article is to examine and explain teachers' strategic use of textbooks. I administered a…

  12. Your Radiologist Explains Magnetic Resonance Angiography (MRA)

    Medline Plus

    Full Text Available ... Sponsored by Image/Video Gallery Your Radiologist Explains Magnetic Resonance Angiography (MRA) Transcript Welcome to Radiology Info dot ... I’d like to talk with you about magnetic resonance angiography, or as it’s commonly known, MRA. MRA ...

  13. Metagenomic Signatures of Bacterial Adaptation to Life in the Phyllosphere of a Salt-Secreting Desert Tree.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Finkel, Omri M; Delmont, Tom O; Post, Anton F; Belkin, Shimshon

    2016-05-01

    The leaves of Tamarix aphylla, a globally distributed, salt-secreting desert tree, are dotted with alkaline droplets of high salinity. To successfully inhabit these organic carbon-rich droplets, bacteria need to be adapted to multiple stress factors, including high salinity, high alkalinity, high UV radiation, and periodic desiccation. To identify genes that are important for survival in this harsh habitat, microbial community DNA was extracted from the leaf surfaces of 10 Tamarix aphylla trees along a 350-km longitudinal gradient. Shotgun metagenomic sequencing, contig assembly, and binning yielded 17 genome bins, six of which were >80% complete. These genomic bins, representing three phyla (Proteobacteria,Bacteroidetes, and Firmicutes), were closely related to halophilic and alkaliphilic taxa isolated from aquatic and soil environments. Comparison of these genomic bins to the genomes of their closest relatives revealed functional traits characteristic of bacterial populations inhabiting the Tamarix phyllosphere, independent of their taxonomic affiliation. These functions, most notably light-sensing genes, are postulated to represent important adaptations toward colonization of this habitat. Plant leaves are an extensive and diverse microbial habitat, forming the main interface between solar energy and the terrestrial biosphere. There are hundreds of thousands of plant species in the world, exhibiting a wide range of morphologies, leaf surface chemistries, and ecological ranges. In order to understand the core adaptations of microorganisms to this habitat, it is important to diversify the type of leaves that are studied. This study provides an analysis of the genomic content of the most abundant bacterial inhabitants of the globally distributed, salt-secreting desert tree Tamarix aphylla Draft genomes of these bacteria were assembled, using the culture-independent technique of assembly and binning of metagenomic data. Analysis of the genomes reveals traits that

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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...

  1. The water economy of South American desert rodents: from integrative to molecular physiological ecology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bozinovic, Francisco; Gallardo, Pedro

    2006-01-01

    Rodents from arid and semi-arid habitats live under conditions where the spatial and temporal availability of free water is limited, or scarce, thus forcing these rodents to deal with the problem of water conservation. The response of rodents to unproductive desert environments and water deficits has been intensively investigated in many deserts of the world. However, current understanding of the cellular, systemic and organismal physiology of water economy relies heavily on short-term, laboratory-oriented experiments, which usually focus on responses at isolated levels of biological organization. In addition, studies in small South American mammals are scarce. Indeed xeric habitats have existed in South America for a long time and it is intriguing why present day South American desert rodents do not show the wide array of adaptive traits to desert life observed for rodents on other continents. Several authors have pointed out that South American desert rodents lack physiological and energetic specialization for energy and water conservation, hypothesizing that their success is based more on behavioral and ecological strategies. We review phenotypic flexibility and physiological diversity in water flux rate, urine osmolality, and expression of water channels in South American desert-dwelling rodents. As far as we know, this is the first review of integrative studies at cellular, systemic and organismal levels. Our main conclusion is that South American desert rodents possess structural as well as physiological systems for water conservation, which are as remarkable as those found in "classical" rodents inhabiting other desert areas of the world.

  2. 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...

  3. 75 FR 13805 - Aspen Group Resources Corp., Commercial Concepts, Inc., Desert Health Products, Inc., Equalnet...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-03-23

    ... Concepts, Inc., Desert Health Products, Inc., Equalnet Communications Corp., Geneva Steel Holdings Corp... securities of Commercial Concepts, Inc. because it has not filed any periodic reports since the period ended... accurate information concerning the securities of Desert Health Products, Inc. because it has not filed any...

  4. 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...

  5. Validation of SWEEP for creep, saltation, and suspension in a desert-oasis ecotone

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wind erosion in the desert-oasis ecotone can accelerate desertification and thus impacts oasis ecological security. Little is known about the susceptibility of the desert-oasis ecotone to wind erosion in the Tarim Basin even though the ecotone is a major source of windblown dust in China. The object...

  6. 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...

  7. 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...

  8. 76 FR 45606 - Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan, Habitat Conservation Plan and Possible Land Use Plan...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-07-29

    ...-N131; 80221-1112-80221-F2] Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan, Habitat Conservation Plan and Possible Land Use Plan Amendment, Southern California: Environmental Impact Statement AGENCY: Fish and..., as amended, for the proposed Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan (DRECP). The EIS will be a...

  9. 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...

  10. 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...

  11. 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...

  12. 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...

  13. 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.

  14. Reconstructing the origin of Helianthus deserticola: Survival and selection on the desert floor

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gross, B.L.; Kane, D.L.; Lexer, C.; Ludwig, F.; Rosenthal, D.R.; Donovan, L.A.; Rieseberg, L.H.

    2004-01-01

    The diploid hybrid species Helianthus deserticola inhabits the desert floor, an extreme environment relative to its parental species Helianthus annuus and Helianthus petiolaris. Adaptation to the desert floor may have occurred via selection acting on transgressive, or extreme, traits in early

  15. 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/...

  16. Landscape-scale distribution and density of raptor populations wintering in anthropogenic-dominated desert landscapes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adam E. Duerr; Tricia A. Miller; Kerri L. Cornell Duerr; Michael J. Lanzone; Amy Fesnock; Todd E. Katzner

    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...

  17. Spatial probability models of fire in the desert grasslands of the southwestern USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fire is an important driver of ecological processes in semiarid environments; however, the role of fire in desert grasslands of the Southwestern US is controversial and the regional fire distribution is largely unknown. We characterized the spatial distribution of fire in the desert grassland region...

  18. 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.

  19. 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...

  20. 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...

  1. 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.

  2. 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...

  3. Geology of wadi atalla - el missikat area, eastern desert, egypt.

    OpenAIRE

    El Kassas, I. A. [ابراهيم علي القصاص; Bakhit, F. S.

    1989-01-01

    Wadi Atalla-El Missikat area covers about 2,000 Km2 in the central Eastern Desert of Egypt, between latitudes 26° 10' and 26° 40' N, and longitudes 33° 15' and 33° 40' E. The area is mainly formed of basement complex except its extreme south-western corner where it is covered by foreland sediments of Nubian sandstone. The area is structurally complicated where it has been subjected to various stages of successive tectonic movements since the Precambrian times. The basement complex in the stud...

  4. Analysis of desert rose using PIXE and RBS techniques

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Al-Kofahi, M.M.; Hallak, A.B.; Al-Juwair, H.A.; Saafin, A.K.

    1993-01-01

    Particle-induced x-ray emission (PIXE) and Rutherford backscattering spectrometry (RBS) were used to analyse desert rose geological samples. Samples from the rose core and from the rose peripherals were studied. All samples were found to contain C, N, O, Na, Mg, Si, S, Cl, K, Ca, Ti, Mn, Fe and Sr. Core samples were found to contain more silicon than peripheral samples. The extra silicon in the rose core may suggest a mechanism for the formation of the rose through crystal growth on a seed of silicon. (author)

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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 ...

  8. Radon and 'King Solomon's Miners'. Faynan Orefield, Jordanian Desert

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Grattan, J.P.; Gillmore, G.K.; Gilbertson, D.D.; Pyatt, F.B.; Hunt, C.O.; McLaren, S.J.; Phillips, P.S.; Denman, A.

    2004-01-01

    Concentrations of 222 Rn were measured in ancient copper mines which exploited the Faynan Orefield in the South-Western Jordanian Desert. The concentrations of radon gas detected indicate that the ancient metal workers would have been exposed to a significant health risk and indicate that any future attempt to exploit the copper ores must deal with the hazard identified. Seasonal variations in radon concentrations are noted and these are linked to the ventilation of the mines. These modern data are used to explore the differential exposure to radon and the health of ancient mining communities

  9. Desert pioneers go high tech in uranium project

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1988-01-01

    The Kintyre uranium deposit discovered in 1985 in Western Australia's Great Sandy Desert by CRA Exploration is a highly competitive, easy to mine deposit, estimated at 35,000 tonnes of uranium oxide. Since its discovery CRA has spent $20 million on evaluation drilling and exploration and will spend another $10 million in 1988. Despite its remoteness the latest technology is being used, with sophisticated computer and assaying facilities, including an automatic X-ray fluorescence spectrometer, being established on site. A CRA-built radiometric ore sorter is being tested there which could cut ore processing costs

  10. Variation of Desert Soil Hydraulic Properties with Pedogenic Maturity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nimmo, J. R.; Perkins, K. S.; Mirus, B. B.; Schmidt, K. M.; Miller, D. M.; Stock, J. D.; Singha, K.

    2006-12-01

    Older alluvial desert soils exhibit greater pedogenic maturity, having more distinct desert pavements, vesicular (Av) horizons, and more pronounced stratification from processes such as illuviation and salt accumulation. These and related effects strongly influence the soil hydraulic properties. Older soils have been observed to have lower saturated hydraulic conductivity, and possibly greater capacity to retain water, but the quantitative effect of specific pedogenic features on the soil water retention or unsaturated hydraulic conductivity (K) curves is poorly known. With field infiltration/redistribution experiments on three different-aged soils developed within alluvial wash deposits in the Mojave National Preserve, we evaluated effective hydraulic properties over a scale of several m horizontally and to 1.5 m depth. We then correlated these properties with pedogenic features. The selected soils are (1) recently deposited sediments, (2) a soil of early Holocene age, and (3) a highly developed soil of late Pleistocene age. In each experiment we ponded water in a 1-m-diameter infiltration ring for 2.3 hr. For several weeks we monitored subsurface water content and matric pressure using surface electrical resistance imaging, dielectric-constant probes, heat-dissipation probes, and tensiometers. Analysis of these data using an inverse modeling technique gives the water retention and K properties needed for predictive modeling. Some properties show a consistent trend with soil age. Progressively more developed surface and near-surface features such as desert pavement and Av horizons are the likely cause of an observed consistent decline of infiltration capacity with soil age. Other properties, such as vertical flow retardation by layer contrasts, appear to have a more complicated soil-age dependence. The wash deposits display distinct depositional layering that has a retarding effect on vertical flow, an effect that may be less pronounced in the older Holocene soil

  11. Four loci explain 83% of size variation in the horse.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shokouh Makvandi-Nejad

    Full Text Available Horse body size varies greatly due to intense selection within each breed. American Miniatures are less than one meter tall at the withers while Shires and Percherons can exceed two meters. The genetic basis for this variation is not known. We hypothesize that the breed population structure of the horse should simplify efforts to identify genes controlling size. In support of this, here we show with genome-wide association scans (GWAS that genetic variation at just four loci can explain the great majority of horse size variation. Unlike humans, which are naturally reproducing and possess many genetic variants with weak effects on size, we show that horses, like other domestic mammals, carry just a small number of size loci with alleles of large effect. Furthermore, three of our horse size loci contain the LCORL, HMGA2 and ZFAT genes that have previously been found to control human height. The LCORL/NCAPG locus is also implicated in cattle growth and HMGA2 is associated with dog size. Extreme size diversification is a hallmark of domestication. Our results in the horse, complemented by the prior work in cattle and dog, serve to pinpoint those very few genes that have played major roles in the rapid evolution of size during domestication.

  12. Born dry in the photoevaporation desert: Kepler's ultra-short-period planets formed water-poor

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lopez, Eric D.

    2017-11-01

    Recent surveys have uncovered an exciting new population of ultra-short-period (USP) planets with orbital periods less than a day. These planets typically have radii ≲1.5 R⊕, indicating that they likely have rocky compositions. This stands in contrast to the overall distribution of planets out to ∼100 d, which is dominated by low-density sub-Neptunes above 2 R⊕, which must have gaseous envelopes to explain their size. However, on the USP orbits, planets are bombarded by intense levels of photoionizing radiation and consequently gaseous sub-Neptunes are extremely vulnerable to losing their envelopes to atmospheric photoevaporation. Using models of planet evolution, I show that the rocky USP planets can easily be produced as the evaporated remnants of sub-Neptunes with H/He envelopes and that we can therefore understand the observed dearth of USP sub-Neptunes as a natural consequence of photoevaporation. Critically however, planets on USP orbits could often retain their envelopes if they are formed with very high-metallicity water-dominated envelopes. Such water-rich planets would commonly be ≳2 R⊕ today, which is inconsistent with the observed evaporation desert, indicating that most USP planets likely formed from water-poor material within the snow-line. Finally, I examine the special case of 55 Cancri e and its possible composition in the light of recent observations, and discuss the prospects for further characterizing this population with future observations.

  13. Increased Male-Male Mounting Behaviour in Desert Locusts during Infection with an Entomopathogenic Fungus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clancy, Lisa M; Cooper, Amy L; Griffith, Gareth W; Santer, Roger D

    2017-07-18

    Same-sex sexual behaviour occurs across diverse animal taxa, but adaptive explanations can be difficult to determine. Here we investigate male-male mounting (MMM) behaviour in female-deprived desert locust males infected with the entomopathogenic fungus Metarhizium acridum. Over a four-week period, infected locusts performed more MMM behaviours than healthy controls. Among infected locusts, the probability of MMM, and the duration of time spent MMM, significantly increased with the mounting locust's proximity to death. In experimental trials, infected locusts were also significantly more likely than controls to attempt to mount healthy males. Therefore, we demonstrate that MMM is more frequent among infected than healthy male locusts, and propose that this may be explained by terminal reproductive effort and a lowered mate acceptance threshold in infected males. However, during experimental trials mounting attempts were more likely to be successful if the mounted locusts were experimentally manipulated to have a reduced capacity to escape. Thus, reduced escape capability resulting from infection may also contribute to the higher frequency of MMM among infected male locusts. Our data demonstrate that pathogen infection can affect same-sex sexual behaviour, and suggest that the impact of such behaviours on host and pathogen fitness will be a novel focus for future research.

  14. Maternal habitat affects germination requirements of Anabasis setifera, a succulent shrub of the Arabian deserts

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ali El-Keblawy

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available The effects of maternal habitat on light and temperature requirements during germination were assessed for the succulent desert shrub Anabasis setifera. Seeds were collected from the Mediterranean habitats of Egypt and the hyper-arid subtropical habitats of the United Arab Emirates (UAE. Seeds from the two populations were germinated in three temperature treatments in both a light/dark regime and continuous darkness. Seeds from the Egyptian population germinated significantly greater and faster than those of UAE. Seeds stored for four months at room temperatures have little dormancy and germinate at wide range of temperatures and light conditions, but seeds stored four months in the natural habitat lost their ability to germinate and rotted 10 days after incubation. The germination response to temperature depended on the habitat type. Seeds of the Egyptian population attained a significantly greater germination at lower temperatures, compared with seeds from the UAE population, but there was no difference in germination between the two populations at higher temperatures. Germination of A. setifera was very fast; most seeds germinated within four days. These results reflect the adaptive strategy of germination in both populations, and may help explain the wide distribution of this species in different climatic regions.

  15. Novel water source for endolithic life in the hyperarid core of the Atacama Desert

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. Wierzchos

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available The hyperarid core of the Atacama Desert, Chile, is possibly the driest and most life-limited place on Earth, yet endolithic microorganisms thrive inside halite pinnacles that are part of ancient salt flats. The existence of this microbial community in an environment that excludes any other life forms suggests biological adaptation to high salinity and desiccation stress, and indicates an alternative source of water for life other than rainfall, fog or dew. Here, we show that halite endoliths obtain liquid water through spontaneous capillary condensation at relative humidity (RH much lower than the deliquescence RH of NaCl. We describe how this condensation could occur inside nano-pores smaller than 100 nm, in a newly characterized halite phase that is intimately associated with the endolithic aggregates. This nano-porous phase helps retain liquid water for long periods of time by preventing its evaporation even in conditions of utmost dryness. Our results explain how life has colonized and adapted to one of the most extreme environments on our planet, expanding the water activity envelope for life on Earth, and broadening the spectrum of possible habitats for life beyond our planet.

  16. Distance to Store, Food Prices, and Obesity in Urban Food Deserts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ghosh-Dastidar, Bonnie; Cohen, Deborah; Hunter, Gerald; Zenk, Shannon N.; Huang, Christina; Beckman, Robin; Dubowitz, Tamara

    2014-01-01

    Background Lack of access to healthy foods may explain why residents of low-income neighborhoods and African Americans in the U.S. have high rates of obesity. The findings on where people shop and how that may influence health are mixed. However, multiple policy initiatives are underway to increase access in communities that currently lack healthy options. Few studies have simultaneously measured obesity, distance, and prices of the store used for primary food shopping. Purpose To examine the relationship among distance to store, food prices, and obesity. Methods The Pittsburgh Hill/Homewood Research on Eating, Shopping, and Health study conducted baseline interviews with 1,372 households between May and December 2011 in two low-income, majority African American neighborhoods without a supermarket. Audits of 16 stores where participants reported doing their major food shopping were conducted. Data were analyzed between February 2012 and February 2013. Results Distance to store and prices were positively associated with obesity (pfood prices were jointly modeled, only prices remained significant (pjunk foods relative to healthy foods. Conclusions Placing supermarkets in food deserts to improve access may not be as important as simultaneously offering better prices for healthy foods relative to junk foods, actively marketing healthy foods, and enabling consumers to resist the influence of junk food marketing. PMID:25217097

  17. 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

  18. Explaining money creation by commercial banks

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ravn, Ib

    2015-01-01

    Educators and economists concerned with monetary reform face the extraordinary challenge of explaining to the public and its elected representatives not only what a reformed system would look like, but also how the current system works. Centrally, the point that in a modern economy money is largely...... created by commercial banks, as explained by the Bank of England recently (McLeay, Radia & Thomas, 2014b), is often met with incredulity: “What do you mean, created?” This paper introduces five easy-to-grasp analogies that educators and reformers may use to convey key money-creation concepts to a lay...... audience. The analogies offered include (1) money as patches in an expandable patchwork quilt that covers a nation’s real assets, (2) the money supply as water in a bathtub with a faucet and a drain, (3) money understood as debt in a model economy run by schoolchildren, (4) the misleading concept of a bank...

  19. HIV As Trojan Exosome: Immunological Paradox Explained?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hildreth, James E K

    2017-01-01

    The HIV pandemic is still a major global challenge, despite the widespread availability of antiretroviral drugs. An effective vaccine would be the ideal approach to bringing the pandemic to an end. However, developing an effective HIV vaccine has proven to be an elusive goal. Three major human HIV vaccine trials revealed a strong trend toward greater risk of infection among vaccine recipients versus controls. A similar observation was made in a macaque SIV vaccine study. The mechanism explaining this phenomenon is not known. Here, a model is presented that may explain the troubling results of vaccine studies and an immunological paradox of HIV pathogenesis: preferential infection of HIV-specific T cells. The central hypothesis of this perspective is that as "Trojan exosomes" HIV particles can directly activate HIV-specific T cells enhancing their susceptibility to infection. Understanding the biology of HIV as an exosome may provide insights that enable novel approaches to vaccine development.

  20. Children's Theories and the Drive to Explain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schwitzgebel, Eric

    Debate has been growing in developmental psychology over how much the cognitive development of children is like theory change in science. Useful debate on this topic requires a clear understanding of what it would be for a child to have a theory. I argue that existing accounts of theories within philosophy of science and developmental psychology either are less precise than is ideal for the task or cannot capture everyday theorizing of the sort that children, if they theorize, must do. I then propose an account of theories that ties theories and explanation very closely together, treating theories primarily as products of a drive to explain. I clarify some of the positions people have taken regarding the theory theory of development, and I conclude by proposing that psychologists interested in the ''theory theory'' look for patterns of affect and arousal in development that would accompany the existence of a drive to explain.

  1. Explaining the Allocation of Regional Structural Funds

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Charron, Nicholas

    2016-01-01

    What regional factors can explain the heterogeneity in Structural Funds distribution to European Union regions? Past studies have shown that aside from the level of economic development and rates of unemployment, other political, and economic factors systematically explain why certain European...... Union regions receive greater funding than others, in particular where there is room for bargaining. In this article, a novel theory is posited which argues that the determination of Structural Funds is based on an interaction between a region’s formal institutions (the level of a regional autonomy......) and informal institutions (its level of quality of government). In cases of low regional autonomy, member states and European Union level actors prefer to allocate greater levels of Funds to regions with lower quality of government in order to increase cohesion. Yet in cases of high regional autonomy, risks...

  2. IEE wiring regulations explained and illustrated

    CERN Document Server

    Scaddan, Brian

    2013-01-01

    The IEE Wiring Regulations Explained and Illustrated, Second Edition discusses the recommendations of the IEE Regulations for the Electrical Equipment of Buildings for the safe selection or erection of wiring installations. The book emphasizes earthing, bonding, protection, and circuit design of electrical wirings. The text reviews the fundamental requirements for safety, earthing systems, the earth fault loop impedance, and supplementary bonding. The book also describes the different types of protection, such as protection against mechanical damage, overcurrent, under voltage (which prevents

  3. A More Practical Method for Explaining Equilibrium

    OpenAIRE

    Yi-Jang Yu

    2014-01-01

    The aim of this study is to suggest a more practical method for explaining market equilibrium in a two-dimensional risk-return world. Its main difference from textbook contents is to define, in both qualitative and quantitative ways, the environment or the system factor and treat it as an endogenous variable. Once the two-dimensional framework that is capable of managing uncertainty and environmental relationship can be reasonably established, a greater number of economic issues can be effect...

  4. "Explaining the Gender Wage Gap in Georgia"

    OpenAIRE

    Tamar Khitarishvili

    2009-01-01

    This paper evaluates gender wage differentials in Georgia between 2000 and 2004. Using ordinary least squares, we find that the gender wage gap in Georgia is substantially higher than in other transition countries. Correcting for sample selection bias using the Heckman approach further increases the gender wage gap. The Blinder Oaxaca decomposition results suggest that most of the wage gap remains unexplained. The explained portion of the gap is almost entirely attributed to industrial variab...

  5. Explaining seeing? Disentangling qualia from perceptual organization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ibáñez, Agustin; Bekinschtein, Tristan

    2010-09-01

    Abstract Visual perception and integration seem to play an essential role in our conscious phenomenology. Relatively local neural processing of reentrant nature may explain several visual integration processes (feature binding or figure-ground segregation, object recognition, inference, competition), even without attention or cognitive control. Based on the above statements, should the neural signatures of visual integration (via reentrant process) be non-reportable phenomenological qualia? We argue that qualia are not required to understand this perceptual organization.

  6. Effect of desertification on productivity in a desert steppe.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tang, Zhuangsheng; An, Hui; Deng, Lei; Wang, Yingying; Zhu, Guangyu; Shangguan, Zhouping

    2016-06-14

    Desertification, one of the most severe types of land degradation in the world, is of great importance because it is occurring, to some degree, on approximately 40% of the global land area and is affecting more than 1 billion people. In this study, we used a space-for-time method to quantify the impact of five different desertification regimes (potential (PD), light (LD), moderate (MD), severe (SD), and very severe (VSD)) on a desert steppe ecosystem in northern China to examine the relationship between the productivity of the vegetation and soil properties and to determine the mechanism underlying the effects of desertification on productivity. Our results showed that the effects of desertification on TP (total phosphorus) and AP (available phosphorus) were not significant, and desertification decreased productivity in the desert steppe as a result of direct changes to soil physical properties, which can directly affect soil chemical properties. Therefore, intensive grassland management to improve soil quality may result in the long-term preservation of ecosystem functions and services.

  7. Radiative forcing of the desert aerosol at Ouarzazate (Morocco)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tahiri, Abdelouahid; Diouri, Mohamed

    2018-05-01

    The atmospheric aerosol contributes to the definition of the climate with direct effect, the diffusion and absorption of solar and terrestrial radiations, and indirect, the cloud formation process where aerosols behave as condensation nuclei and alter the optical properties. Satellites and ground-based networks (solar photometers) allow the terrestrial aerosol observation and the determination of impact. Desert aerosol considered among the main types of tropospheric aerosols whose optical property uncertainties are still quite important. The analysis concerns the optical parameters recorded in 2015 at Ouarzazate solar photometric station (AERONET/PHOTONS network, http://aeronet.gsfc.nasa.gov/) close to Saharan zone. The daily average aerosol optical depthτaer at 0.5μm, are relatively high in summer and less degree in spring (from 0.01 to 1.82). Daily average of the Angstrom coefficients α vary between 0.01 and 1.55. The daily average of aerosol radiative forcing at the surface range between -150W/m2 and -10 W/m2 with peaks recorded in summer, characterized locally by large loads of desert aerosol in agreement with the advections of the Southeast of Morocco. Those recorded at the Top of the atmosphere show a variation from -74 W/m2 to +24 W/m2

  8. Orbital radar studies of paleodrainages in the central Namib Desert

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lancaster, N.; Schaber, G.G.; Teller, J.T.

    2000-01-01

    Orbital radar images of the central Namib Desert show clearly the extent of relict fluvial deposits associated with former courses of the Tsondab and Kuiseb rivers. South of the Kuiseb River, radar data show the existence of a drainage network developed in calcrete-cemented late Tertiary fluvial deposits. The sand-filled paleovalleys are imaged as radar-dark tones in contrast to the radar-bright interfluves where the calcreted gravels occur. The drainage network developed as a result of local runoff from indurated gravels and channeled surface and subsurface flow to the sites of the many interdune lacustrine deposits found in the area. (C) Elsevier Science Inc., 2000.Orbital radar images of the central Namib Desert show clearly the extent of relict fluvial deposits associated with former courses of the Tsondab and Kuiseb rivers. South of the Kuiseb River, radar data show the existence of a drainage network developed in calcrete-cemented late Tertiary fluvial deposits. The sand-filled paleovalleys are imaged as radar-dark tones in contrast to the radar-bright interfluves where the calcreted gravels occur. The drainage network developed as a result of local runoff from indurated gravels and channeled surface and subsurface flow to the sites of the many interdune lacustrine deposits found in the area.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Al-Mustafa, Hanan [Women College, P. O. Box 838, Dammam 31113 (Saudi Arabia); Al-Jarallah, M.I. [Department of Physics, King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals, Dhahran 31261 (Saudi Arabia)]. E-mail: mibrahim@kfupm.edu.sa; Fazal-ur-Rehman [Department of Physics, King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals, Dhahran 31261 (Saudi Arabia); Abu-Jarad, F. [Radiation Protection Unit, Environmental Protection Department, Saudi Aramco P.O. Box 13027, Dhahran 31311 (Saudi Arabia)

    2005-11-15

    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{sup -3}. The average radon concentration in four of the caves was low in the range 74-114Bqm{sup -3}. However, one cave showed an average radon concentration of 451Bqm{sup -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.

  12. 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.

  13. High Arctic summer warming tracked by increased Cassiope tetragona growth in the world's northernmost polar desert.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weijers, Stef; Buchwal, Agata; Blok, Daan; Löffler, Jörg; Elberling, Bo

    2017-11-01

    Rapid climate warming has resulted in shrub expansion, mainly of erect deciduous shrubs in the Low Arctic, but the more extreme, sparsely vegetated, cold and dry High Arctic is generally considered to remain resistant to such shrub expansion in the next decades. Dwarf shrub dendrochronology may reveal climatological causes of past changes in growth, but is hindered at many High Arctic sites by short and fragmented instrumental climate records. Moreover, only few High Arctic shrub chronologies cover the recent decade of substantial warming. This study investigated the climatic causes of growth variability of the evergreen dwarf shrub Cassiope tetragona between 1927 and 2012 in the northernmost polar desert at 83°N in North Greenland. We analysed climate-growth relationships over the period with available instrumental data (1950-2012) between a 102-year-long C. tetragona shoot length chronology and instrumental climate records from the three nearest meteorological stations, gridded climate data, and North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) and Arctic Oscillation (AO) indices. July extreme maximum temperatures (JulT emx ), as measured at Alert, Canada, June NAO, and previous October AO, together explained 41% of the observed variance in annual C. tetragona growth and likely represent in situ summer temperatures. JulT emx explained 27% and was reconstructed back to 1927. The reconstruction showed relatively high growing season temperatures in the early to mid-twentieth century, as well as warming in recent decades. The rapid growth increase in C. tetragona shrubs in response to recent High Arctic summer warming shows that recent and future warming might promote an expansion of this evergreen dwarf shrub, mainly through densification of existing shrub patches, at High Arctic sites with sufficient winter snow cover and ample water supply during summer from melting snow and ice as well as thawing permafrost, contrasting earlier notions of limited shrub growth sensitivity to

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Miloslav Devetter

    Full Text Available High-elevation cold deserts in Tibet and Himalaya are one of the most extreme environments. One consequence is that the diversity of macrofauna in this environment is often limited, and soil microorganisms have a more influential role in governing key surface and subsurface bioprocesses. High-elevation soil microfauna represent important components of cold ecosystems and dominant consumers of microbial communities. Still little is known about their diversity and distribution on the edge of their reproductive and metabolic abilities. In this study, we disentangle the impact of elevation and soil chemistry on diversity and distribution of rotifers, nematodes and tardigrades and their most frequent feeding strategies (microbial filter-feeders, bacterivores, fungivores, root-fungal feeders, omnivores along two contrasting altitudinal gradients in Indian NW Himalaya (Zanskar transect from 3805 to 4714 m a.s.l. and southwestern Tibet (Tso Moriri transect from 4477 to 6176 m a.s.l., using a combination of multivariate analysis, variation partitioning and generalized additive models. Zanskar transect had higher precipitation, soil moisture, organic matter and available nutrients than dry Tso Moriri transect. In total, 40 species of nematodes, 19 rotifers and 1 tardigrade were discovered. Species richness and total abundance of rotifers and nematodes showed mid-elevation peaks in both investigated transects. The optimum for rotifers was found at higher elevation than for nematodes. Diversity and distribution of soil microfauna was best explained by soil nitrogen, phosphorus and organic matter. More fertile soils hosted more diverse and abundant faunal communities. In Tso Moriri, bacterivores represented 60% of all nematodes, fungivores 35%, root-fungal feeders 1% and omnivores 3%. For Zanskar the respective proportions were 21%, 13%, 56% and 9%. Elevational optima of different feeding strategies occurred in Zanskar in one elevation zone (4400-4500 m

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-12-01

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

  16. Life at the hyperarid margin: novel bacterial diversity in arid soils of the Atacama Desert, Chile

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neilson, Julia W.; Quade, Jay; Ortiz, Marianyoly; Nelson, William M.; Legatzki, Antje; Tian, Fei; LaComb, Michelle; Betancourt, Julio L.; Wing, Rod A.; Soderlund, Carol A.; Maier, Raina M.

    2012-01-01

    Nearly half the earth's surface is occupied by dryland ecosystems, regions susceptible to reduced states of biological productivity caused by climate fluctuations. Of these regions, arid zones located at the interface between vegetated semiarid regions and biologically unproductive hyperarid zones are considered most vulnerable. The objective of this study was to conduct a deep diversity analysis of bacterial communities in unvegetated arid soils of the Atacama Desert, to characterize community structure and infer the functional potential of these communities based on observed phylogenetic associations. A 454-pyrotag analysis was conducted of three unvegetated arid sites located at the hyperarid-arid margin. The analysis revealed communities with unique bacterial diversity marked by high abundances of novel Actinobacteria and Chloroflexi and low levels of Acidobacteria and Proteobacteria, phyla that are dominant in many biomes. A 16S rRNA gene library of one site revealed the presence of clones with phylogenetic associations to chemoautotrophic taxa able to obtain energy through oxidation of nitrite, carbon monoxide, iron, or sulfur. Thus, soils at the hyperarid margin were found to harbor a wealth of novel bacteria and to support potentially viable communities with phylogenetic associations to non-phototrophic primary producers and bacteria capable of biogeochemical cycling.

  17. Cyanobacterial Diversity in Biological Soil Crusts along a Precipitation Gradient, Northwest Negev Desert, Israel.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hagemann, Martin; Henneberg, Manja; Felde, Vincent J M N L; Drahorad, Sylvie L; Berkowicz, Simon M; Felix-Henningsen, Peter; Kaplan, Aaron

    2015-07-01

    Cyanobacteria occur worldwide but play an important role in the formation and primary activity of biological soil crusts (BSCs) in arid and semi-arid ecosystems. The cyanobacterial diversity in BSCs of the northwest Negev desert of Israel was surveyed at three fixed sampling stations situated along a precipitation gradient in the years 2010 to 2012. The three stations also are characterized by marked differences in soil features such as soil carbon, nitrogen, or electrical conductivity. The cyanobacterial biodiversity was analyzed by sequencing inserts of clone libraries harboring partial 16S rRNA gene sequences obtained with cyanobacteria-specific primers. Filamentous, non-diazotrophic strains (subsection III), particularly Microcoleus-like, dominated the cyanobacterial community (30% proportion) in all years. Specific cyanobacterial groups showed increased (e.g., Chroococcidiopsis, Leptolyngbya, and Nostoc strains) or decreased (e.g., unicellular strains belonging to the subsection I and Scytonema strains) abundances with declining water availability at the most arid, southern station, whereas many cyanobacterial strains were frequently found in the soils of all three stations. The cyanobacterial diversity at the three sampling stations appears dependent on the available precipitation, whereas the differences in soil chemistry were of lower importance.

  18. Jet-Suspended, Calcite-Ballasted Cyanobacterial Waterwarts in a Desert Spring

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pichel-Garcia, Ferran; Wade, Bman D.; Farmer, Jack D.

    2002-01-01

    We describe a population of colonial cyanobacteria (waterwarts) that develops as the dominant primary producer in a bottom-fed, warm spring in the Cuatro Cienegas karstic region of the Mexican Chihuahuan Desert. The centimeter-sized waterwarts were suspended within a central, conically shaped, 6-m deep well by upwelling waters. Waterwarts were built by an unicellular cyanobacterium and supported a community of epiphytic filamentous cyanobacteria and diatoms but were free of heterotrophic bacteria inside. Sequence analysis of genes revealed that this cyanobacterium is only distantly related to several strains of other unicellular teria Cyanothece, Waterwarts contained orderly arrangements of mineral made up of microcrystalline low-magnesium calcite with high levels of strontium and sulfur. Waterwarts were 95.9% (v/v) glycan, 2.8% cells, and 1.3% mineral grains and had a buoyant density of 1.034 kg/L. An analysis of the hydrological properties of the spring well and the waterwarts demonstrated that both large colony size and the presence of controlled amounts of mineral ballast are required to prevent the population from being washed out of the well. The unique hydrological characteristics of the spring have likely selected for both traits. The mechanisms by which controlled nucleation of extracellular calcite is achieved remain to be explored.

  19. Bacterial Diversity within the Extreme Arid Atacama Desert Soils of the Yungay Region, Chile

    Science.gov (United States)

    Connon, S. A.; Lester, E. D.; Shafaat, H. S.; Obenhuber, D. C.; Ponce, A.

    2006-12-01

    Surface and subsurface soil samples analyzed for this study were collected from the hyper-arid Yungay region of the Atacama Desert, Chile. This is the first report of microbial diversity from DNA extracted directly from these extremely desiccated soils. Our data shows that 94% of the 16S rRNA genes cloned from these soils belong to the Actinobacteria phylum. A 24-hour time course series showed a diurnal water activity (aw) cycle that peaked at 0.52 in the early predawn hours, and ranged from 0.08 0.01 during the day. All measured water activity values were below the level required for microbial growth or enzyme activity. Total organic carbon (TOC) levels in this region were just above the limits of detection and ranged from 220 660 μg/g of soil. Phospholipid fatty acid (PLFA) levels indicated cellular biomass ranging from 2 ×105 to 7 ×106 cell equivalents per gram of soil. The culturable counts were low with most samples showing no growth on standard plates of R2A medium; the highest single count was 47 colony forming units (CFU) per gram.

  20. Life at the hyperarid margin: novel bacterial diversity in arid soils of the Atacama Desert, Chile.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neilson, Julia W; Quade, Jay; Ortiz, Marianyoly; Nelson, William M; Legatzki, Antje; Tian, Fei; LaComb, Michelle; Betancourt, Julio L; Wing, Rod A; Soderlund, Carol A; Maier, Raina M

    2012-05-01

    Nearly half the earth's surface is occupied by dryland ecosystems, regions susceptible to reduced states of biological productivity caused by climate fluctuations. Of these regions, arid zones located at the interface between vegetated semiarid regions and biologically unproductive hyperarid zones are considered most vulnerable. The objective of this study was to conduct a deep diversity analysis of bacterial communities in unvegetated arid soils of the Atacama Desert, to characterize community structure and infer the functional potential of these communities based on observed phylogenetic associations. A 454-pyrotag analysis was conducted of three unvegetated arid sites located at the hyperarid-arid margin. The analysis revealed communities with unique bacterial diversity marked by high abundances of novel Actinobacteria and Chloroflexi and low levels of Acidobacteria and Proteobacteria, phyla that are dominant in many biomes. A 16S rRNA gene library of one site revealed the presence of clones with phylogenetic associations to chemoautotrophic taxa able to obtain energy through oxidation of nitrite, carbon monoxide, iron, or sulfur. Thus, soils at the hyperarid margin were found to harbor a wealth of novel bacteria and to support potentially viable communities with phylogenetic associations to non-phototrophic primary producers and bacteria capable of biogeochemical cycling.

  1. Cesiribacter roseus sp. nov., a pink-pigmented bacterium isolated from desert sand.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Ming; Qi, Huan; Luo, Xuesong; Dai, Jun; Peng, Fang; Fang, Chengxiang

    2012-01-01

    A pink-pigmented, Gram-negative, rod-shaped, motile, strictly aerobic bacterium, designated strain 311(T), was isolated from desert sand in Xinjiang, China. Phylogenetic analyses based on 16S rRNA gene sequences showed that strain 311(T) was related closely to Cesiribacter andamanensis AMV16(T) (94.6% similarity). The DNA G+C content of strain 311(T) was 47.1 mol% and the major respiratory quinone was menaquinone 7 (MK-7). The main cellular fatty acids were C(16:1)ω5c (29.9%), iso-C(15:0) (21.9%), iso-C(17:0) 3-OH (13.3%) and summed feature 4 (iso-C(17:1) I and/or anteiso-C(17:1) B; 13.0%). Based on phenotypic and chemotaxonomic data and phylogenetic analysis, strain 311(T) is considered to represent a novel species of the genus Cesiribacter, for which the name Cesiribacter roseus sp. nov. is proposed. The type strain is 311(T) (=CCTCC AB 207142(T) =KACC 15456(T)).

  2. Thermophilic bacteria in Moroccan hot springs, salt marshes and desert soils.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aanniz, Tarik; Ouadghiri, Mouna; Melloul, Marouane; Swings, Jean; Elfahime, Elmostafa; Ibijbijen, Jamal; Ismaili, Mohamed; Amar, Mohamed

    2015-06-01

    The diversity of thermophilic bacteria was investigated in four hot springs, three salt marshes and 12 desert sites in Morocco. Two hundred and forty (240) thermophilic bacteria were recovered, identified and characterized. All isolates were Gram positive, rod-shaped, spore forming and halotolerant. Based on BOXA1R-PCR and 16S rRNA gene sequencing, the recovered isolates were dominated by the genus Bacillus (97.5%) represented by B. licheniformis (119), B. aerius (44), B. sonorensis (33), B. subtilis (subsp. spizizenii (2) and subsp. inaquosurum (6)), B. amyloliquefaciens (subsp. amyloliquefaciens (4) and subsp. plantarum (4)), B. tequilensis (3), B. pumilus (3) and Bacillus sp. (19). Only six isolates (2.5%) belonged to the genus Aeribacillus represented by A. pallidus (4) and Aeribacillus sp. (2). In this study, B. aerius and B. tequilensis are described for the first time as thermophilic bacteria. Moreover, 71.25%, 50.41% and 5.41% of total strains exhibited high amylolytic, proteolytic or cellulolytic activity respectively.

  3. Thermophilic bacteria in Moroccan hot springs, salt marshes and desert soils

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tarik Aanniz

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available The diversity of thermophilic bacteria was investigated in four hot springs, three salt marshes and 12 desert sites in Morocco. Two hundred and forty (240 thermophilic bacteria were recovered, identified and characterized. All isolates were Gram positive, rod-shaped, spore forming and halotolerant. Based on BOXA1R-PCR and 16S rRNA gene sequencing, the recovered isolates were dominated by the genus Bacillus (97.5% represented by B. licheniformis (119, B. aerius (44, B. sonorensis (33, B. subtilis (subsp. spizizenii (2 and subsp. inaquosurum (6, B. amyloliquefaciens (subsp. amyloliquefaciens (4 and subsp. plantarum (4, B. tequilensis (3, B. pumilus (3 and Bacillus sp. (19. Only six isolates (2.5% belonged to the genus Aeribacillus represented by A. pallidus (4 and Aeribacillus sp. (2. In this study, B. aerius and B. tequilensis are described for the first time as thermophilic bacteria. Moreover, 71.25%, 50.41% and 5.41% of total strains exhibited high amylolytic, proteolytic or cellulolytic activity respectively.

  4. Variability in working memory performance explained by epistasis vs polygenic scores in the ZNF804A pathway

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Nicodemus, Kristin K.; Hargreaves, April; Morris, Derek; Anney, Richard; Gill, Michael; Corvin, Aiden; Donohoe, Gary; Ripke, Stephan; Sanders, Alan R.; Kendler, Kenneth S.; Levinson, Douglas F.; Sklar, Pamela; Holmans, Peter A.; Lin, Dan-Yu; Duan, Jubao; Ophoff, Roel A.; Andreassen, Ole A.; Scolnick, Edward; Cichon, Sven; St Clair, David; Gurling, Hugh; Werge, Thomas; Rujescu, Dan; Blackwood, Douglas H. R.; Pato, Carlos N.; Malhotra, Anil K.; Purcell, Shaun; Dudbridge, Frank; Neale, Benjamin M.; Rossin, Lizzy; Visscher, Peter M.; Posthuma, Danielle; Ruderfer, Douglas M.; Fanous, Ayman; Stefansson, Hreinn; Steinberg, Stacy; Mowry, Bryan J.; Golimbet, Vera; de Hert, Marc; Jönsson, Erik G.; Bitter, István; Pietiläinen, Olli P. H.; Collier, David A.; Tosato, Sarah; Agartz, Ingrid; Albus, Margot; Alexander, Madeline; Amdur, Richard L.; de Haan, Lieuwe; Linszen, Don H.

    2014-01-01

    We investigated the variation in neuropsychological function explained by risk alleles at the psychosis susceptibility gene ZNF804A and its interacting partners using single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), polygenic scores, and epistatic analyses. Of particular importance was the relative

  5. Variability in working memory performance explained by epistasis vs polygenic scores in the ZNF804A pathway.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Nicodemus, K.K.; Hargreaves, A.; Morris, D.; Anney, R.; Gill, M.; Corvin, A.; Posthuma, D.; Donohoe, G.

    2014-01-01

    IMPORTANCE We investigated the variation in neuropsychological function explained by risk alleles at the psychosis susceptibility gene ZNF804A and its interacting partners using single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), polygenic scores, and epistatic analyses. Of particular importance was the

  6. Microeconomic principles explain an optimal genome size in bacteria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ranea, Juan A G; Grant, Alastair; Thornton, Janet M; Orengo, Christine A

    2005-01-01

    Bacteria can clearly enhance their survival by expanding their genetic repertoire. However, the tight packing of the bacterial genome and the fact that the most evolved species do not necessarily have the biggest genomes suggest there are other evolutionary factors limiting their genome expansion. To clarify these restrictions on size, we studied those protein families contributing most significantly to bacterial-genome complexity. We found that all bacteria apply the same basic and ancestral 'molecular technology' to optimize their reproductive efficiency. The same microeconomics principles that define the optimum size in a factory can also explain the existence of a statistical optimum in bacterial genome size. This optimum is reached when the bacterial genome obtains the maximum metabolic complexity (revenue) for minimal regulatory genes (logistic cost).

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  8. Female offspring desertion and male-only care increase with natural and experimental increase in food abundance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eldegard, Katrine; Sonerud, Geir A

    2009-05-07

    In species with biparental care, one parent may escape the costs of parental care by deserting and leaving the partner to care for the offspring alone. A number of theoretical papers have suggested a link between uniparental offspring desertion and ecological factors, but empirical evidence is scarce. We investigated the relationship between uniparental desertion and food abundance in a natural population of Tengmalm's owl Aegolius funereus, both by means of a 5-year observational study and a 1-year experimental study. Parents and offspring were fitted with radio-transmitters in order to reveal the parental care strategy (i.e. care or desert) of individual parents, and to keep track of the broods post-fledging. We found that 70 per cent of the females from non-experimental nests deserted, while their partner continued to care for their joint offspring alone. Desertion rate was positively related to natural prey population densities and body reserves of the male partner. In response to food supplementation, a larger proportion of the females deserted, and females deserted the offspring at an earlier age. Offspring survival during the post-fledging period tended to be lower in deserted than in non-deserted broods. We argue that the most important benefit of deserting may be remating (sequential polyandry).

  9. Adherence to a Mediterranean diet in a rural Appalachian food desert.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hardin-Fanning, F

    2013-01-01

    Rural Appalachian food deserts have disproportionately high cardiovascular disease (CVD) rates. The Mediterranean diet, consisting of plant-based dishes prepared with unsaturated fatty acids, contributes to decreased risk of CVD. Several factors can affect dietary choices in rural food deserts. The purpose of this exploratory study was to identify predisposing, reinforcing and enabling factors that affect eating a Mediterranean diet in a rural Appalachian food desert with disproportionately high rates of cardiovascular disease. The PRECEDE-PROCEED model was used as an assessment framework in this study. Volunteers (n=43) were recruited from four churches in a rural Appalachian county to participate in this mixed methods convergent parallel design study. During each of four sessions with 8-12 participants each, a Mediterranean-style meal was prepared by a local caterer and included plant-based dishes prepared with unsaturated fatty acids. The nature of a Mediterranean diet was explained to participants using an illustrated pamphlet. Nominal group process was used to determine predisposing, reinforcing and enabling factors that would affect adherence to a Mediterranean diet. Multivariate ANOVA and t-tests, using SPSS 18, were performed to determine factors associated with potential future adoption and adherence to a Mediterranean diet among a sample of rural residents and assess whether the factors varied based on age, gender and socioeconomic status. All p values of ≤0.05 were considered significant. Factors affecting future adherence to a Mediterranean diet included difficulty changing personal habits, limited access to healthy foods, cost, difficulty of preparation, limited knowledge of the health benefits of foods, family attitudes toward food and difficulty determining how to incorporate healthy foods into meals. Younger participants and those with lower incomes were more likely to identify food cost as a barrier to adherence compared to those who were older

  10. Strange history: the fall of Rome explained in Hereditas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bengtsson, Bengt O

    2014-12-01

    In 1921 Hereditas published an article on the fall of Rome written by the famous classical scholar Martin P:son Nilsson. Why was a paper on this unexpected topic printed in the newly founded journal? To Nilsson, the demise of the Roman Empire was explained by the "bastardization" occurring between "races" from different parts of the realm. Offspring from mixed couples were of a less stable "type" than their parents, due to the breaking up by recombination of the original hereditary dispositions, which led to a general loss of competence to rule and govern. Thus, the "hardness" of human genes, together with their recombination, was - according to Nilsson - the main cause of the fall of Rome. Nilsson's argument is not particularly convincingly presented. Human "races" are taken to have the same genetic structure as inbred crop strains, and Nilsson believes in a metaphysical unity between the individual and the race to which it belongs. However, in my view, Martin P:son Nilsson and his friend Herman Nilsson-Ehle had wider aims with the article than to explain a historical event. The article can be read as indicating strong support from the classical human sciences to the ambitious new science of genetics. Support is also transferred from genetics to the conservative worldview, where the immutability and inflexibility of the Mendelian genes are used to strengthen the wish for greater stability in politics and life. The strange article in Hereditas can, thus, be read as an early instance in the - still ongoing - tug-of-war between the conservative and the liberal ideological poles over how genetic results best are socially interpreted. © 2015 The Authors.

  11. 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

  12. Urban particle size distributions during two contrasting dust events originating from Taklimakan and Gobi Deserts

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zhao, Suping; Yu, Ye; Xia, Dunsheng; Yin, Daiying; He, Jianjun; Liu, Na; Li, Fang

    2015-01-01

    The dust origins of the two events were identified using HYSPLIT trajectory model and MODIS and CALIPSO satellite data to understand the particle size distribution during two contrasting dust events originated from Taklimakan and Gobi deserts. The supermicron particles significantly increased during the dust events. The dust event from Gobi desert affected significantly on the particles larger than 2.5 μm, while that from Taklimakan desert impacted obviously on the particles in 1.0–2.5 μm. It is found that the particle size distributions and their modal parameters such as VMD (volume median diameter) have significant difference for varying dust origins. The dust from Taklimakan desert was finer than that from Gobi desert also probably due to other influencing factors such as mixing between dust and urban emissions. Our findings illustrated the capacity of combining in situ, satellite data and trajectory model to characterize large-scale dust plumes with a variety of aerosol parameters. - Highlights: • Dust particle size distributions had large differences for varying origins. • Dust originating from Taklimakan Desert was finer than that from Gobi Desert. • Effect of dust on the supermicron particles was obvious. • PM_1_0 concentrations increased by a factor of 3.4–25.6 during the dust event. - Dust particle size distributions had large differences for varying origins, which may be also related to other factors such as mixing between dust and urban emissions.

  13. Explaining variation in Down's syndrome screening uptake

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Crombag, Neeltje M T H; Vellinga, Ynke E; Kluijfhout, Sandra A

    2014-01-01

    ), in an attempt to explain the observed variation in national uptake rates. METHODS: We used a mixed methods approach with an embedded design: a) documentary analysis and b) expert stakeholder analysis. National central statistical offices and legal documents were studied first to gain insight in demographic....... RESULTS: There were many similarities in the demographics, healthcare systems, government abortion legislation and Down's syndrome screening policy across the studied countries. However, the additional cost for Down's syndrome screening over and above standard antenatal care in the Netherlands...

  14. SOME THEORETICAL MODELS EXPLAINING ADVERTISING EFFECTS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vasilica Magdalena SOMEŞFĂLEAN

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Persuade clients is still the main focus of the companies, using a set of methods and techniques designed to influence their behavior, in order to obtain better results (profits over a longer period of time. Since the late nineteenth - early twentieth century, the american E.St.Elmo Lewis, considered a pioneer in advertising and sales, developed the first theory, AIDA model, later used by marketers and advertisers to develop a marketing communications strategy. Later studies have developed other models that are the main subject of this research, which explains how and why persuasive communication works, to understand why some approaches are effective and others are not.

  15. Weaker dental enamel explains dental decay.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vieira, Alexandre R; Gibson, Carolyn W; Deeley, Kathleen; Xue, Hui; Li, Yong

    2015-01-01

    Dental caries continues to be the most prevalent bacteria-mediated non-contagious disease of humankind. Dental professionals assert the disease can be explained by poor oral hygiene and a diet rich in sugars but this does not account for caries free individuals exposed to the same risk factors. In order to test the hypothesis that amount of amelogenin during enamel development can influence caries susceptibility, we generated multiple strains of mice with varying levels of available amelogenin during dental development. Mechanical tests showed that dental enamel developed with less amelogenin is "weaker" while the dental enamel of animals over-expressing amelogenin appears to be more resistant to acid dissolution.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. EXPLAINING THE ASSOCIATION BETWEEN INCARCERATION AND DIVORCE*

    Science.gov (United States)

    Siennick, Sonja E.; Stewart, Eric A.; Staff, Jeremy

    2014-01-01

    Recent studies have suggested that incarceration dramatically increases the odds of divorce, but we know little about the mechanisms that explain the association. This study uses prospective longitudinal data from a subset of married young adults in the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (N = 1,919) to examine whether incarceration is associated with divorce indirectly via low marital love, economic strain, relationship violence, and extramarital sex. The findings confirmed that incarcerations occurring during, but not before, a marriage were associated with an increased hazard of divorce. Incarcerations occurring during marriage also were associated with less marital love, more relationship violence, more economic strain, and greater odds of extramarital sex. Above-average levels of economic strain were visible among respondents observed preincarceration, but only respondents observed postincarceration showed less marital love, more relationship violence, and higher odds of extramarital sex than did respondents who were not incarcerated during marriage. These relationship problems explained approximately 40 percent of the association between incarceration and marital dissolution. These findings are consistent with theoretical predictions that a spouse’s incarceration alters the rewards and costs of the marriage and the relative attractiveness of alternative partners. PMID:25598544

  1. Water relations and photosynthesis in the cryptoendolithic microbial habitat of hot and cold deserts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Palmer, R. J. Jr; Friedmann, E. I.

    1990-01-01

    Two cryptoendolithic microbial communities, lichens in the Ross Desert of Antarctica and cyanobacteria in the Negev Desert, inhabit porous sandstone rocks of similar physical structure. Both rock types adsorb water vapor by physical mechanisms unrelated to biological processes. Yet the two microbial communities respond differently to water stress: cryptoendolithic lichens begin to photosynthesize at a matric water potential of -46.4 megaPascals (MPa) [70% relative humidity (RH) at 8 degrees C], resembling thallose desert lichens. Cryptoendolithic cyanobacteria, like other prokaryotes, photosynthesize only at very high matric water potentials [> -6.9 MPa, 90% RH at 20 degrees C].

  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. A preliminaryfloristic checklist of thal desert punjab, pakistan

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Shaheen, H.; Qureshi, R.

    2014-01-01

    The floristic survey of the Thal desert, Punjab, Pakistan was carried out during 2010 to 2013. So far, 248 species distributed across 166 genera and 38 families were identified during the report period. Besides, one species viz., Themeda triandra was recorded for the first time from Pakistan. Of them, one fern, 4 monocots and 33 dicots families were determined. The most dominating family was Poaceae that contributed 52 species (21.49%), followed by Fabaceae (34 spp., 13.05%) and Amaranthaceae and Asteraceae (17 spp., 7.02% each). The largest genera were Euphorbia (6 spp.), Cyperus, Eragrostis and Solanum (5 spp. each), Mollugo, Heliotropium and Cenchrus (4 spp. each), Acacia, Prosopis, Tephrosia, Corchorus, Boerhavia and Ziziphus (3 spp. each). This checklist consists of updated systematic families and plants names that will provide a useful starting point for further ecological and bioprospective research of the area under study. (author)

  4. 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)

  5. Endocrine responses to water restriction in desert sheep

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ahmed, Muna M.M.

    1994-01-01

    For ruminants grazing in semi-arid areas, the maintenance of balanced water and energy metabolism is challenging to productivity.The metabolic effects of water restriction usually stimulate endocrine which control metabolic activity depending on the thermal environment.Radioimmunoasay technique was used to determine the level of endocrine hormones, namely thyroid stimulating hormone(TSH),thyroxine(T4) and cortisol in desert sheep.Intermittent watering every 24h, 48h and 72h increased TSH level during the morning but decreased it during the afternoon.T4 level decreased during both morning and afternoon.The cortisol level was depressed by water restriction during the morning and afternoon but showed an overlapping pattern with that of the control during the afternoon. (Author)

  6. 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

  7. Subcritical Water Extraction of Amino Acids from Atacama Desert Soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amashukeli, Xenia; Pelletier, Christine C.; Kirby, James P.; Grunthaner, Frank J.

    2007-01-01

    Amino acids are considered organic molecular indicators in the search for extant and extinct life in the Solar System. Extraction of these molecules from a particulate solid matrix, such as Martian regolith, will be critical to their in situ detection and analysis. The goals of this study were to optimize a laboratory amino acid extraction protocol by quantitatively measuring the yields of extracted amino acids as a function of liquid water temperature and sample extraction time and to compare the results to the standard HCl vapor- phase hydrolysis yields for the same soil samples. Soil samples from the Yungay region of the Atacama Desert ( Martian regolith analog) were collected during a field study in the summer of 2005. The amino acids ( alanine, aspartic acid, glutamic acid, glycine, serine, and valine) chosen for analysis were present in the samples at concentrations of 1 - 70 parts- per- billion. Subcritical water extraction efficiency was examined over the temperature range of 30 - 325 degrees C, at pressures of 17.2 or 20.0 MPa, and for water- sample contact equilibration times of 0 - 30 min. None of the amino acids were extracted in detectable amounts at 30 degrees C ( at 17.2 MPa), suggesting that amino acids are too strongly bound by the soil matrix to be extracted at such a low temperature. Between 150 degrees C and 250 degrees C ( at 17.2 MPa), the extraction efficiencies of glycine, alanine, and valine were observed to increase with increasing water temperature, consistent with higher solubility at higher temperatures, perhaps due to the decreasing dielectric constant of water. Amino acids were not detected in extracts collected at 325 degrees C ( at 20.0 MPa), probably due to amino acid decomposition at this temperature. The optimal subcritical water extraction conditions for these amino acids from Atacama Desert soils were achieved at 200 degrees C, 17.2 MPa, and a water- sample contact equilibration time of 10 min.

  8. 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)

  9. 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)

  10. 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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Garty, J [Department of Plant Sciences and Institute for Nature Conservation Research, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv (Israel)

    1999-07-01

    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)

  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. 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

  14. 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.

  15. Explaining the democratic anchorage of governance networks

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Skelcher, Chris; Klijn, Erik-Hans; Kübler, Daniel

    2011-01-01

    Advances in understanding the democratic anchorage of governance networks require carefully designed and contextually grounded empirical analysis that take into account contextual factors. The article uses a conjectural framework to study the impact of the national democratic milieu...... on the relationship between network governance and representative institutions in four European countries: the United Kingdom, Switzerland, the Netherlands, and Denmark. The article shows that the distinction between majoritarian and consensus democracy as well as the varying strength of voluntary associations...... are important contextual factors that help explain cross-national differences in the relationship between governance networks and representative institutions. We conclude that a context of weak associationalism in majoritarian democracies facilitates the instrumentalization of networks by government actors...

  16. Explaining CMS lepton excesses with supersymmetry

    CERN Multimedia

    CERN. Geneva; Prof. Allanach, Benjamin

    2014-01-01

    1) Kostas Theofilatos will give an introduction to CMS result 2) Ben Allanach: Several CMS analyses involving di-leptons have recently reported small 2.4-2.8 sigma local excesses: nothing to get too excited about, but worth keeping an eye on nonetheless. In particular, a search in the $lljj p_T$(miss) channel, a search for $W_R$ in the $lljj$ channel and a di-leptoquark search in the $lljj$ channel and $ljj p_T$(miss) channel have all yielded small excesses. We interpret the first excess in the MSSM, showing that the interpretation is viable in terms of other constraints, despite only having squark masses of around 1 TeV. We can explain the last three excesses with a single R-parity violating coupling that predicts a non-zero contribution to the neutrinoless double beta decay rate.

  17. Explaining the moral of the story.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walker, Caren M; Lombrozo, Tania

    2017-10-01

    Although storybooks are often used as pedagogical tools for conveying moral lessons to children, the ability to spontaneously extract "the moral" of a story develops relatively late. Instead, children tend to represent stories at a concrete level - one that highlights surface features and understates more abstract themes. Here we examine the role of explanation in 5- and 6-year-old children's developing ability to learn the moral of a story. Two experiments demonstrate that, relative to a control condition, prompts to explain aspects of a story facilitate children's ability to override salient surface features, abstract the underlying moral, and generalize that moral to novel contexts. In some cases, generating an explanation is more effective than being explicitly told the moral of the story, as in a more traditional pedagogical exchange. These findings have implications for moral comprehension, the role of explanation in learning, and the development of abstract reasoning in early childhood. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  18. Explaining NDVI trends in northern Burkina Faso

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rasmussen, Kjeld; Fensholt, Rasmus; Fog, Bjarne

    2014-01-01

    by a distinct spatial pattern and strongly dominated by negative trends in Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI). The aim of the paper is to explain this distinct pattern. When studied over the period 2000–2012, using NDVI data from the MODIS sensor the spatial pattern of NDVI trends indicates that non......-climatic factors are involved. By relating NDVI trends to landscape elements and land use change we demonstrate that NDVI trends in the north-western parts of the study area are mostly related to landscape elements, while this is not the case in the south-eastern parts, where rapidly changing land use, including....... expansion of irrigation, plays a major role. It is inferred that a process of increased redistribution of fine soil material, water and vegetation from plateaus and slopes to valleys, possibly related to higher grazing pressure, may provide an explanation of the observed pattern of NDVI trends. Further work...

  19. Can molecular cell biology explain chromosome motions?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gagliardi L

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Mitotic chromosome motions have recently been correlated with electrostatic forces, but a lingering "molecular cell biology" paradigm persists, proposing binding and release proteins or molecular geometries for force generation. Results Pole-facing kinetochore plates manifest positive charges and interact with negatively charged microtubule ends providing the motive force for poleward chromosome motions by classical electrostatics. This conceptual scheme explains dynamic tracking/coupling of kinetochores to microtubules and the simultaneous depolymerization of kinetochore microtubules as poleward force is generated. Conclusion We question here why cells would prefer complex molecular mechanisms to move chromosomes when direct electrostatic interactions between known bound charge distributions can accomplish the same task much more simply.

  20. Explaining fast radio bursts through Dicke's superradiance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Houde, Martin; Mathews, Abhilash; Rajabi, Fereshteh

    2018-03-01

    Fast radio bursts (FRBs), characterized by strong bursts of radiation intensity at radio wavelengths lasting on the order of a millisecond, have yet to be firmly associated with a family, or families, of astronomical sources. It follows that despite the large number of proposed models, no well-defined physical process has been identified to explain this phenomenon. In this paper, we demonstrate how Dicke's superradiance, for which evidence has recently been found in the interstellar medium, can account for the characteristics associated with FRBs. Our analysis and modelling of previously detected FRBs suggest they could originate from regions in many ways similar to those known to harbour masers or megamasers, and result from the coherent radiation emanating from populations of molecules associated with large-scale entangled quantum mechanical states. We estimate this entanglement to involve as many as ˜1030 to ˜1032 molecules over distances spanning 100-1000 au.

  1. Explaining mutualism variation: a new evolutionary paradox?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heath, Katy D; Stinchcombe, John R

    2014-02-01

    The paradox of mutualism is typically framed as the persistence of interspecific cooperation, despite the potential advantages of cheating. Thus, mutualism research has tended to focus on stabilizing mechanisms that prevent the invasion of low-quality partners. These mechanisms alone cannot explain the persistence of variation for partner quality observed in nature, leaving a large gap in our understanding of how mutualisms evolve. Studying partner quality variation is necessary for applying genetically explicit models to predict evolution in natural populations, a necessary step for understanding the origins of mutualisms as well as their ongoing dynamics. An evolutionary genetic approach, which is focused on naturally occurring mutualist variation, can potentially synthesize the currently disconnected fields of mutualism evolution and coevolutionary genetics. We outline explanations for the maintenance of genetic variation for mutualism and suggest approaches necessary to address them. © 2013 The Author(s). Evolution © 2013 The Society for the Study of Evolution.

  2. Explaining excess morbidity amongst homeless shelter users

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Benjaminsen, Lars; Birkelund, Jesper Fels

    2018-01-01

    AIMS: This article analyses excess morbidity amongst homeless shelter users compared to the general Danish population. The study provides an extensive control for confounding and investigates to what extent excess morbidity is explained by homelessness or other risk factors. METHODS: Data set...... includes administrative micro-data for 4,068,926 Danes who were 23 years or older on 1 January 2007. Nationwide data on shelter use identified 14,730 individuals as shelter users from 2002 to 2006. Somatic diseases were measured from 2007 to 2011 through diagnosis data from hospital discharges. The risk...... of somatic diseases amongst shelter users was analysed through a multivariate model that decomposed the total effect into a direct effect and indirect effects mediated by other risk factors. RESULTS: The excess morbidity associated with shelter use is substantially lower than in studies that did not include...

  3. GWAS for male-pattern baldness identifies 71 susceptibility loci explaining 38% of the risk

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Pirastu, Nicola; Joshi, Peter K.; de Vries, Paul S.; Cornelis, Marilyn C.; McKeigue, Paul M.; Keum, NaNa; Franceschini, Nora; Colombo, Marco; Giovannucci, Edward L.; Spiliopoulou, Athina; Franke, Lude; North, Kari E.; Kraft, Peter; Morrison, Alanna C.; Esko, Tonu; Wilson, James F.

    2017-01-01

    Male pattern baldness (MPB) or androgenetic alopecia is one of the most common conditions affecting men, reaching a prevalence of similar to 50% by the age of 50; however, the known genes explain little of the heritability. Here, we present the results of a genome-wide association study including

  4. Linking stream flow and groundwater to avian habitat in a desert riparian system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Merritt, David M; Bateman, Heather L

    2012-10-01

    Increasing human populations have resulted in aggressive water development in arid regions. This development typically results in altered stream flow regimes, reduced annual flow volumes, changes in fluvial disturbance regimes, changes in groundwater levels, and subsequent shifts in ecological patterns and processes. Balancing human demands for water with environmental requirements to maintain functioning ecosystems requires quantitative linkages between water in streams and ecosystem attributes. Streams in the Sonoran Desert provide important habitat for vertebrate species, including resident and migratory birds. Habitat structure, food, and nest-building materials, which are concentrated in riparian areas, are provided directly or indirectly by vegetation. We measured riparian vegetation, groundwater and surface water, habitat structure, and bird occurrence along Cherry Creek, a perennial tributary of the Salt River in central Arizona, USA. The purpose of this work was to develop an integrated model of groundwater-vegetation-habitat structure and bird occurrence by: (1) characterizing structural and provisioning attributes of riparian vegetation through developing a bird habitat index (BHI), (2) validating the utility of our BHI through relating it to measured bird community composition, (3) determining the riparian plant species that best explain the variability in BHI, (4) developing predictive models that link important riparian species to fluvial disturbance and groundwater availability along an arid-land stream, and (5) simulating the effects of changes in flow regime and groundwater levels and determining their consequences for riparian bird communities. Riparian forest and shrubland vegetation cover types were correctly classified in 83% of observations as a function of fluvial disturbance and depth to water table. Groundwater decline and decreased magnitude of fluvial disturbance caused significant shifts in riparian cover types from riparian forest to

  5. Metabolic rate, evaporative water loss and thermoregulatory state in four species of bats in the Negev desert.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muñoz-Garcia, Agustí; Larraín, Paloma; Ben-Hamo, Miriam; Cruz-Neto, Ariovaldo; Williams, Joseph B; Pinshow, Berry; Korine, Carmi

    2016-01-01

    Life in deserts is challenging for bats because of their relatively high energy and water requirements; nevertheless bats thrive in desert environments. We postulated that bats from desert environments have lower metabolic rates (MR) and total evaporative water loss (TEWL) than their mesic counterparts. To test this idea, we measured MR and TEWL of four species of bats, which inhabit the Negev desert in Israel, one species mainly restricted to hyper-arid deserts (Otonycteris hemprichii), two species from semi-desert areas (Eptesicus bottae and Plecotus christii), and one widespread species (Pipistrellus kuhlii). We also measured separately, in the same individuals, the two components of TEWL, respiratory water loss (RWL) and cutaneous evaporative water loss (CEWL), using a mask. In all the species, MR and TEWL were significantly reduced during torpor, the latter being a consequence of reductions in both RWL and CEWL. Then, we evaluated whether MR and TEWL in bats differ according to their geographic distributions, and whether those rates change with Ta and the use of torpor. We did not find significant differences in MR among species, but we found that TEWL was lowest in the species restricted to desert habitats, intermediate in the semi-desert dwelling species, and highest in the widespread species, perhaps a consequence of adaptation to life in deserts. Our results were supported by a subsequent analysis of data collected from the literature on rates of TEWL for 35 bat species from desert and mesic habitats. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. [Spatial change of the grain-size of aeolian sediments in Qira oasis-desert ecotone, Northwest China].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lin, Yong Chong; Xu, Li Shuai

    2017-04-18

    In order to understand the environmental influence of oasis-desert ecotone to oasis ecological system, we comparatively analyzed the grain size characteristics of various aeolian sediments, including the sediments in oasis-desert ecotone, shelterbelt and the inside oasis and in Qira River valley. The results showed that the grain size characteristics (including grain-size distribution curve, grain size parameters, and content of different size classes) of sediments in the oasis-desert ecotone were consistent along the prevailing wind direction with a grain-size range of 0.3-200 μm and modal size of 67 μm. All of the sediments were good sorting and mainly composed of suspension components and saltation components, but not denatured saltation and creeping components (>200 μm). They were typically aeolian deposits being short-range transported. The grain sizes of sediments in oasis-desert ecotone were smaller than that in the material sources of Qira River valley and desert (0.3-800 μm), but very similar to those of the modern aeolian deposits in oasis-desert ecotone, shelterbelt and the inside oasis. The denatured saltation and creep components (>200 μm) were suppressed to transport into oasis-desert ecotone because of the high vegetation cover in oasis-desert ecotone. Therefore, like the shelterbelts, the oasis-desert ecotone could also block the invasion of desert. They safeguarded the oasis ecological environment together.

  7. Use of space photographs in deciphering the origin and evolution of the desert

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    El-Baz, F.

    1989-01-01

    Space photographs provide a very useful tool to study deserts and semiarid land because of their coverage and the amount of data they portray about vegetation-free terrain. This is a welcome contribution because we do not understand the desert as we do other types of terrain. Results of wind action, erosion and deposition are clearly portrayed in images obtained from spacecraft. They are indications of the state of the environment and should be studied well in all cases where economic development projects are instituted in deserts and semiarid lands. Furthermore, the history of evolution of the arid landscape in space and time must be considered in order to be able to use more of the desert for the benefit of mankind. (author). 33 refs, 14 figs

  8. 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.

  9. Application of Space Technology to Discovery of Ancient Desert Trade Routes in the Southern Arabian Peninsula

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blom, Ronald; Crippen, Robert; Hedges, George; Zarins, Juris

    1997-01-01

    Over the last decade, an unusual combination of historical research, traditional archaeology, and application of space technolgy has demonstrated the existence of trans-desert trade routes in the sourthern Arabian peninsula.

  10. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foster, Kennith E.

    1980-01-01

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

  12. Thermal design of a fully equipped solar-powered desert home

    KAUST Repository

    Serag-Eldin, M.A.

    2010-01-01

    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

  13. Surface Run-off as a Source of Water Supply in a Desert

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vyacheslav V. Zharkov

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available The article looks into methods of obtaining water in the deserts of Central Asia with the help of precipitation. To accomplish this goal, researchers used simple but unconventional structures

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-04-01

    A systematic review was performed to specify the characteristics of academic stress that affect the mental health of the university population. To do this, recent publications regarding academic stress, student desertion, and retention strategies were examined. Throughout this text, we present the results of the review in terms of the definitions of academic stress, student desertion, and retention strategies. In the same way, we examine the interpretative models with regard to student desertion and approach retention strategies in higher education. We also review retention experiences of several other countries. In terms of Colombia, we present aspects related to student desertion and retention programs from the point of view of the National Ministry of Education and from the experience of some universities with consolidated programs.

  15. 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

  16. Lessons learned on solar powered wireless sensor network deployments in urban, desert environments

    KAUST Repository

    Dehwah, Ahmad H.; Mousa, Mustafa; Claudel, Christian G.

    2015-01-01

    The successful deployment of a large scale solar powered wireless sensor network in an urban, desert environment is a very complex task. Specific cities of such environments cause a variety of operational problems, ranging from hardware faults

  17. Desert Net-Structure and Aims of an International Network for Desertification Research

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Akhtar-Schuster, M.; San Juan Mesonada, C.

    2009-01-01

    Desert Net://www.european-desert net.eu) is an interdisciplinary scientific network which was established in October 2006 at the UN premises in Bonn, Germany, by a group of international scientists. The network strives to generate and enhance scientific knowledge and understanding of the biophysical and socio-economic processes of desertification. This international scientific network provides an international platform for scientifically based discussions and exchange of ideas, addressing knowledge gaps, and identifying research areas. Desert Net is also a think tank community which identifies issues and priorities for the sustainable development of dry lands. the paper outlines the current role of Desert Net in the international scientific community and it delineates its role to strengthen the Science/Policy Interface. (Author) 2 refs.

  18. 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.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kamel, S.M.; Dahl, C.

    2005-01-01

    Egypt has embarked on an ambitious desert land reclamation program in order to increase total food production. Energy planners for these desert agriculture locations have chosen diesel generation power technology because minimization of the initial capital cost of a power supply system is their top...... priority. This heavy reliance on diesel generation has negative effects on the surrounding environment including soil, groundwater, and air pollution. Although good solar and wind resource prospects exist for the use of cleaner hybrid power systems in certain desert locations, little research has been done...... to investigate the economic potential of such systems in Egypt’s desert agriculture sector. Using optimization software, we assess the economics of hybrid power systems versus the present diesel generation technology in a remote agricultural development area. We also consider the emission reduction advantages...

  20. Prescribed burning to affect a state transition in a shrub-encroached desert grassland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prescribed burning is a commonly advocated and historical practice for control of woody species encroachment into grasslands on all continents. However, desert grasslands of the southwestern United States often lack needed herbaceous fuel loads for effective prescriptions, dominant perennial gramin...