WorldWideScience

Sample records for grass prairie ecosystem

  1. State of the prairies of marine grasses

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Barrios, Lina M; Gomez, Diana I

    2002-01-01

    At the end of the year 2000, INVEMAR gave beginning to the project Distribution, it structures and classification of the prairies of marine flowering in the Colombian Caribbean, guided to characterize ecological and environmentally the ecosystems in this Colombian sector, particularly as for its distribution, extension, structures, associate biota and intervention degree. The above-mentioned like answer to the lack of information that was presented to the date in almost all the levels (line bases and ecology) for this ecosystem, required to implement monitoring programs and to adopt conservation strategies for the same one. The information that is presented is based primarily on the results obtained during the execution of the project in mention. An diagnostic is done, a characterization of the prairies, epiphytes covering, associate fauna and it structures of the prairies

  2. Power and limitation of soil properties as predictors of rangeland health and ecosystem functioning in a Northern mixed-grass prairie[Abstract

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soil properties are thought to affect rangeland ecosystem functioning (e.g. primary productivity, hydrology), and thus soil variables that are consistently correlated with key ecosystem functions may be general indicators of rangeland health. We summarize results from several studies in mixed-grass...

  3. Ecosystem engineering varies spatially: a test of the vegetation modification paradigm for prairie dogs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baker, Bruce W.; Augustine, David J.; Sedgwick, James A.; Lubow, Bruce C.

    2013-01-01

    Colonial, burrowing herbivores can be engineers of grassland and shrubland ecosystems worldwide. Spatial variation in landscapes suggests caution when extrapolating single-place studies of single species, but lack of data and the need to generalize often leads to ‘model system’ thinking and application of results beyond appropriate statistical inference. Generalizations about the engineering effects of prairie dogs (Cynomys sp.) developed largely from intensive study at a single complex of black-tailed prairie dogs C. ludovicianus in northern mixed prairie, but have been extrapolated to other ecoregions and prairie dog species in North America, and other colonial, burrowing herbivores. We tested the paradigm that prairie dogs decrease vegetation volume and the cover of grasses and tall shrubs, and increase bare ground and forb cover. We sampled vegetation on and off 279 colonies at 13 complexes of 3 prairie dog species widely distributed across 5 ecoregions in North America. The paradigm was generally supported at 7 black-tailed prairie dog complexes in northern mixed prairie, where vegetation volume, grass cover, and tall shrub cover were lower, and bare ground and forb cover were higher, on colonies than at paired off-colony sites. Outside the northern mixed prairie, all 3 prairie dog species consistently reduced vegetation volume, but their effects on cover of plant functional groups varied with prairie dog species and the grazing tolerance of dominant perennial grasses. White-tailed prairie dogs C. leucurus in sagebrush steppe did not reduce shrub cover, whereas black-tailed prairie dogs suppressed shrub cover at all complexes with tall shrubs in the surrounding habitat matrix. Black-tailed prairie dogs in shortgrass steppe and Gunnison's prairie dogs C. gunnisoni in Colorado Plateau grassland both had relatively minor effects on grass cover, which may reflect the dominance of grazing-tolerant shortgrasses at both complexes. Variation in modification of

  4. Flora and fauna associated with prairie dog colonies and adjacent ungrazed mixed-grass prairie in western South Dakota

    Science.gov (United States)

    William Agnew; Daniel W. Uresk; Richard M. Hansen

    1986-01-01

    Vegetation, small rodents, and birds were sampled during the growing seasons of 2 years on prairie dog (Cynomys ludovicianus) colonies and adjacent mixed-grass prairie in western South Dakota. Prairie dog grazing decreased mulch cover, maximum height of vegetation, plant species richness, and tended to decrease live plant canopy cover compared to...

  5. Urban Rights-of-Way as Reservoirs for Tall-Grass Prairie Plants and Butterflies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leston, Lionel; Koper, Nicola

    2016-03-01

    Urban rights-of-way may be potential reservoirs of tall-grass prairie plants and butterflies. To determine if this is true, in 2007-2008, we conducted vegetation surveys of species richness and cover, and butterfly surveys of species richness and abundance, along 52 transmission lines and four remnant prairies in Winnipeg, Manitoba. We detected many prairie plants and butterflies within transmission lines. Some unmowed and infrequently managed transmission lines had native plant species richness and total percent cover of native plants comparable to that of similar-sized remnant tall-grass prairies in the region. Although we did not find significant differences in overall native butterfly numbers or species richness between rights-of-way and remnant prairies, we found lower numbers of some prairie butterflies along frequently mowed rights-of-way than within remnant tall-grass prairies. We also observed higher butterfly species richness along sites with more native plant species. By reducing mowing and spraying and reintroducing tall-grass prairie plants, urban rights-of-way could serve as extensive reservoirs for tall-grass prairie plants and butterflies in urban landscapes. Eventually, managing urban rights-of-way as reservoirs for tall-grass prairie plants and animals could contribute to the restoration of tall-grass prairie in the North American Midwest.

  6. Urban Rights-of-Way as Reservoirs for Tall-Grass Prairie Plants and Butterflies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leston, Lionel; Koper, Nicola

    2016-03-01

    Urban rights-of-way may be potential reservoirs of tall-grass prairie plants and butterflies. To determine if this is true, in 2007-2008, we conducted vegetation surveys of species richness and cover, and butterfly surveys of species richness and abundance, along 52 transmission lines and four remnant prairies in Winnipeg, Manitoba. We detected many prairie plants and butterflies within transmission lines. Some unmowed and infrequently managed transmission lines had native plant species richness and total percent cover of native plants comparable to that of similar-sized remnant tall-grass prairies in the region. Although we did not find significant differences in overall native butterfly numbers or species richness between rights-of-way and remnant prairies, we found lower numbers of some prairie butterflies along frequently mowed rights-of-way than within remnant tall-grass prairies. We also observed higher butterfly species richness along sites with more native plant species. By reducing mowing and spraying and reintroducing tall-grass prairie plants, urban rights-of-way could serve as extensive reservoirs for tall-grass prairie plants and butterflies in urban landscapes. Eventually, managing urban rights-of-way as reservoirs for tall-grass prairie plants and animals could contribute to the restoration of tall-grass prairie in the North American Midwest.

  7. Evaluation of the greenhouse effect gases (CO2, CH4, N2O) in grass land and in the grass breeding. Greenhouse effect gases prairies. report of the first part of the project December 2002

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Soussana, J.F.

    2002-12-01

    In the framework of the Kyoto protocol on the greenhouse effect gases reduction, many ecosystems as the prairies can play a main role for the carbon sequestration in soils. The conservation of french prairies and their management adaptation could allow the possibility of carbon sequestration in the soils but also could generate emissions of CO 2 and CH 4 (by the breeding animals on grass) and N 2 O (by the soils). This project aims to establish a detailed evaluation of the contribution of the french prairies to the the greenhouse effect gases flux and evaluate the possibilities of reduction of the emissions by adaptation of breeding systems. (A.L.B.)

  8. Linking phenology and biomass productivity in South Dakota mixed-grass prairie

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rigge, Matthew; Smart, Alexander; Wylie, Bruce; Gilmanov, Tagir; Johnson, Patricia

    2013-01-01

    Assessing the health of rangeland ecosystems based solely on annual biomass production does not fully describe plant community condition; the phenology of production can provide inferences on species composition, successional stage, and grazing impacts. We evaluate the productivity and phenology of western South Dakota mixed-grass prairie using 2000 to 2008 Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (MODIS) normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) satellite imagery at 250 m spatial resolution. Growing season NDVI images were integrated weekly to produce time-integrated NDVI (TIN), a proxy of total annual biomass production, and integrated seasonally to represent annual production by cool (C3) and warm (C4) season species. Additionally, a variety of phenological indicators including cool season percentage of TIN were derived from the seasonal profiles of NDVI. Cool season percentage and TIN were combined to generate vegetation classes, which served as proxies of plant community condition. TIN decreased with precipitation from east to west across the study area. Alternatively, cool season percentage increased from east to west, following patterns related to the reliability (interannual coefficient of variation [CV]) and quantity of mid-summer precipitation. Cool season TIN averaged 76.8% of total. Seasonal accumulation of TIN corresponded closely (R2 > 0.90) to that of gross photosynthesis data from a carbon flux tower. Field-collected biomass and community composition data were strongly related to the TIN and cool season percentage products. The patterns of vegetation classes were responsive to topographic, edaphic, and land management influences on plant communities. Accurate maps of biomass production, cool/warm season composition, and vegetation classes can improve the efficiency of land management by adjusting stocking rates and season of use to maximize rangeland productivity and achieve conservation objectives. Further, our results clarify the spatial and

  9. COMPARISON OF THE POPULATIONS OF COMMON WOOD-NYMPH BUTTERFLIES IN BURNED PRAIRIE, UNBURNED PRAIRIE AND OLD FIELD GRASSES

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hahn, M.; Walton, R.

    2007-01-01

    Common wood-nymph butterfl ies are found throughout the United States and Canada. However, not much is known about how they overwinter or their preferences for particular grasses and habitats. In this study, the impact of prairie management plans on the abundance of the wood-nymph population was assessed, as well as the preference of these butterfl ies for areas with native or non-native grasses. The abundance of common wood-nymph butterfl ies was determined using Pollard walks; more common wood-nymph butterfl ies were found in the European grasses than were found in the burned and unburned prairie sites. The majority of the vegetation at each of the three sites was identifi ed and documented. Using a 1 X 3 ANOVA analysis, it was determined there were signifi cantly more butterfl ies in the European grasses than in the burned and unburned prairie sites (p < 0.0005). There was no signifi cant difference between the burned and unburned treatments of the prairie on the common wood-nymph population. A multiple variable linear regression model described the effect of temperature and wind speed on the number of observed common wood-nymph butterfl ies per hour (p = 0.026). These preliminary results need to be supplemented with future studies. Quadrat analysis of the vegetation from all three sites should be done to search for a correlation between common wood-nymph butterfl y abundance per hour and the specifi c types or quantity of vegetation at each site. The effect of vegetation height and density on the observer’s visual fi eld should also be assessed.

  10. Checklist of Serengeti Ecosystem Grasses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ficinski, Paweł; Vorontsova, Maria

    2016-01-01

    Abstract We present the first taxonomic checklist of the Poaceae species of the Serengeti, Tanzania. A review of the literature and herbarium specimens recorded 200 species of grasses, in line with similar studies in other parts of East Africa. The checklist is supported by a total of 939 herbarium collections. Full georeferenced collection data is made available alongside a summary checklist in pdf format. More than a quarter of the species are known from a single collection highlighting the need for further research, especially concerning the rare species and their distribution. PMID:27226761

  11. Checklist of Serengeti Ecosystem Grasses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, Emma Victoria; Elia Ntandu, John; Ficinski, Paweł; Vorontsova, Maria

    2016-01-01

    We present the first taxonomic checklist of the Poaceae species of the Serengeti, Tanzania. A review of the literature and herbarium specimens recorded 200 species of grasses, in line with similar studies in other parts of East Africa. The checklist is supported by a total of 939 herbarium collections. Full georeferenced collection data is made available alongside a summary checklist in pdf format. More than a quarter of the species are known from a single collection highlighting the need for further research, especially concerning the rare species and their distribution.

  12. Uptake of C14-atrazine by prairie grasses in a phytoremediation setting.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khrunyk, Yuliya; Schiewer, Silke; Carstens, Keri L; Hu, Dingfei; Coats, Joel R

    2017-02-01

    Agrochemicals significantly contribute to environmental pollution. In the USA, atrazine is a widely used pesticide and commonly found in rivers, water systems, and rural wells. Phytoremediation can be a cost-effective means of removing pesticides from soil. The objective of this project was to investigate the ability of prairie grasses to remove atrazine. 14 C-labeled atrazine was added to sterilized sand and water/nutrient cultures, and the analysis was performed after 21 days. Switchgrass and big bluestem were promising species for phytoremediation, taking up about 40% of the applied [ 14 C] in liquid hydroponic cultures, and between 20% and 33% in sand cultures. Yellow Indiangrass showed low resistance to atrazine toxicity and low uptake of [ 14 C] atrazine in liquid hydroponic cultures. Atrazine degradation increased progressively from sand to roots and leaves. Most atrazine taken up by prairie grasses from sand culture was degraded to metabolites, which accounted for 60-80% of [ 14 C] detected in leaves. Deisopropylatrazine (DIA) was the main metabolite detected in sand and roots, whereas in leaves further metabolism took place, forming increased amounts of didealkylatrazine (DDA) and an unidentified metabolite. In conclusion, prairie grasses achieved high atrazine removal and degradation, showing a high potential for phytoremediation.

  13. A model for backscattering characteristics of tall prairie grass canopies at microwave frequencies

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bakhtiari, S.; Zoughi, R.

    1991-01-01

    We have developed a discrete microwave scattering model, describing the radar backscattering coefficient from two treatments (burned and unburned) of tall prairie grass canopies at VV (electric field vector of the transmitted and received signals are vertically oriented) and HH (electric field vector of the transmitted and received signals and horizontally oriented) polarizations, based on the physical, biophysical, and geometrical characteristics of such canopies. Grass blades are modeled as thin and finite dielectric ellipsoids with arbitrary orientations. Scattering by an individual grass blade is formulated using a generalization of the Rayleigh—Gans approximation with a quasistatic solution for the expansion of the interior field. By associating, with each grass blade, various appropriate distribution functions, the relative orientation, location, height, cross section, and permittivity of each grass blade is taken into account. This makes for a more realistic overall description of the canopy. Kirchhoff's surface scattering is used to model the backscatter from the soil surface. An incoherent summation of the effect of grass blades and soil surface is adopted to obtain the total canopy backscattering coefficient, taking into account the attenuation experienced by the signal as it travels through the canopy. The results of this model are given for 1.5, 5, and 10 GHz (L-, C-, and X-band). Although for the shorter wavelengths (X-band) the Rayleigh—Gans criteria is not totally satisfied, nevertheless, the limited available measured X-band data compare relatively well with the results of this model both quantitatively and qualitatively. (author)

  14. Convex relationships in ecosystems containing mixtures of trees and grass

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Scholes, RJ

    2003-12-01

    Full Text Available The relationship between grass production and the quantity of trees in mixed tree-grass ecosystems (savannas) is convex for all or most of its range. In other words, the grass production declines more steeply per unit increase in tree quantity...

  15. Bud-bank and tiller dynamics of co-occurring C3 caespitose grasses in mixed-grass prairie.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ott, Jacqueline P; Hartnett, David C

    2015-09-01

    Tiller recruitment from the belowground bud bank of caespitose grasses influences their ability to monopolize local resources and, hence, their genet fitness. Differences in bud production and outgrowth among tiller types within a genet and among species may explain co-occurrence of caespitose grasses. This study aimed to characterize genet bud-bank and tiller production and dynamics in two co-occurring species and compare their vegetative reproductive strategies. Bud-bank and tiller dynamics of Hesperostipa comata and Nassella viridula, dominant C3 caespitose grasses in the northern mixed-grass prairie of North America, were assessed throughout an annual cycle. The two species showed similar strategies, maintaining polycyclic tillers and thus creating mixed-age genet bud banks comprising multiple bud cohorts produced in different years. Vegetative tillers produced the majority of buds, whereas flowering tillers contributed little to the bud bank. Buds lived for at least 2 yr and were maintained in multiple developmental stages throughout the year. Because bud longevity rarely exceeded tiller longevity, tiller longevity drove turnover within the bud bank. Tiller population dynamics, more than bud production per tiller, determined the differential contribution of tiller types to the bud bank. Nassella viridula had higher bud production per tiller, a consistent annual tiller recruitment density, and greater longevity of buds on senesced and flowering tillers than H. comata. Co-occurring C3 caespitose grasses had similar bud-bank and tiller dynamics contributing to genet persistence but differed in bud characteristics that could affect genet longevity and species coexistence. © 2015 Botanical Society of America.

  16. Comparing the hydrology of grassed and cultivated catchments in the semi-arid Canadian prairies

    Science.gov (United States)

    van der Kamp, G.; Hayashi, M.; Gallén, D.

    2003-02-01

    At the St Denis National Wildlife Area in the prairie region of southern Saskatchewan, Canada, water levels in wetlands have been monitored since 1968. In 1980 and 1983 a total of about one-third of the 4 km2 area was converted from cultivation to an undisturbed cover of brome grass. A few years after this conversion all the wetlands within the area of grass dried out; they have remained dry since, whereas wetlands in adjacent cultivated lands have held water as before. Field measurements show that introduction of undisturbed grass reduces water input to the wetlands mainly through a combination of efficient snow trapping and enhanced infiltration into frozen soil. In winter, the tall brome grass traps most of the snowfall, whereas in the cultivated fields more wind transport of snow occurs, especially for short stubble and fallow fields. Single-ring infiltration tests were conducted during snowmelt, while the soil was still frozen, and again in summer. The infiltrability of the frozen soil in the grassland is high enough to absorb most or all of the snowmelt, whereas in the cultivated fields the infiltration into the frozen soil is limited and significant runoff occurs. In summer, the infiltrability increases for the cultivated fields, but the grassland retains a much higher infiltrability than the cultivated land. The development of enhanced infiltrability takes several years after the conversion from cultivation to grass, and is likely due to the gradual development of macropores, such as root holes, desiccation cracks, and animal burrows.

  17. Prairie dog decline reduces the supply of ecosystem services and leads to desertification of semiarid grasslands.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lourdes Martínez-Estévez

    Full Text Available Anthropogenic impacts on North American grasslands, a highly endangered ecosystem, have led to declines of prairie dogs, a keystone species, over 98% of their historical range. While impacts of this loss on maintenance of grassland biodiversity have been widely documented, much less is known about the consequences on the supply of ecosystem services. Here we assessed the effect of prairie dogs in the supply of five ecosystem services by comparing grasslands currently occupied by prairie dogs, grasslands devoid of prairie dogs, and areas that used to be occupied by prairie dogs that are currently dominated by mesquite scrub. Groundwater recharge, regulation of soil erosion, regulation of soil productive potential, soil carbon storage and forage availability were consistently quantitatively or qualitatively higher in prairie dog grasslands relative to grasslands or mesquite scrub. Our findings indicate a severe loss of ecosystem services associated to the absence of prairie dogs. These findings suggest that contrary to a much publicize perception, especially in the US, prairie dogs are fundamental in maintaining grasslands and their decline have strong negative impacts in human well - being through the loss of ecosystem services.

  18. Arbuscular common mycorrhizal networks mediate intra- and interspecific interactions of two prairie grasses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weremijewicz, Joanna; da Silveira Lobo O'Reilly Sternberg, Leonel; Janos, David P

    2018-01-01

    Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi form extensive common mycorrhizal networks (CMNs) that may interconnect neighboring root systems of the same or different plant species, thereby potentially influencing the distribution of limiting mineral nutrients among plants. We examined how CMNs affected intra- and interspecific interactions within and between populations of Andropogon gerardii, a highly mycorrhiza dependent, dominant prairie grass and Elymus canadensis, a moderately dependent, subordinate prairie species. We grew A. gerardii and E. canadensis alone and intermixed in microcosms, with individual root systems isolated, but either interconnected by CMNs or with CMNs severed weekly. CMNs, which provided access to a large soil volume, improved survival of both A. gerardii and E. canadensis, but intensified intraspecific competition for A. gerardii. When mixed with E. canadensis, A. gerardii overyielded aboveground biomass in the presence of intact CMNs but not when CMNs were severed, suggesting that A. gerardii with intact CMNs most benefitted from weaker interspecific than intraspecific interactions across CMNs. CMNs improved manganese uptake by both species, with the largest plants receiving the most manganese. Enhanced growth in consequence of improved mineral nutrition led to large E. canadensis in intact CMNs experiencing water-stress, as indicated by 13 C isotope abundance. Our findings suggest that in prairie plant communities, CMNs may influence mineral nutrient distribution, water relations, within-species size hierarchies, and between-species interactions.

  19. Arthropod consumption by small mammals on prairie dog colonies and adjacent ungrazed mixed grass prairie in western South Dakota

    Science.gov (United States)

    W. Agnew; Daniel W. Uresk; R. M. Hansen

    1988-01-01

    The percentage of arthropods and plants in the diets of seven small rodents captured on prairie dog colonies and adjacent mixed grasslands were estimated by microhistological techniques. Arthropod composition over the two year study averaged 51% and 37% on prairie dog colonies and mixed grasslands, respectively. Composition of arthropods on prairie dog colonies was...

  20. The scale dependence of optical diversity in a prairie ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gamon, J. A.; Wang, R.; Stilwell, A.; Zygielbaum, A. I.; Cavender-Bares, J.; Townsend, P. A.

    2015-12-01

    Biodiversity loss, one of the most crucial challenges of our time, endangers ecosystem services that maintain human wellbeing. Traditional methods of measuring biodiversity require extensive and costly field sampling by biologists with extensive experience in species identification. Remote sensing can be used for such assessment based upon patterns of optical variation. This provides efficient and cost-effective means to determine ecosystem diversity at different scales and over large areas. Sampling scale has been described as a "fundamental conceptual problem" in ecology, and is an important practical consideration in both remote sensing and traditional biodiversity studies. On the one hand, with decreasing spatial and spectral resolution, the differences among different optical types may become weak or even disappear. Alternately, high spatial and/or spectral resolution may introduce redundant or contradictory information. For example, at high resolution, the variation within optical types (e.g., between leaves on a single plant canopy) may add complexity unrelated to specie richness. We studied the scale-dependence of optical diversity in a prairie ecosystem at Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve, Minnesota, USA using a variety of spectrometers from several platforms on the ground and in the air. Using the coefficient of variation (CV) of spectra as an indicator of optical diversity, we found that high richness plots generally have a higher coefficient of variation. High resolution imaging spectrometer data (1 mm pixels) showed the highest sensitivity to richness level. With decreasing spatial resolution, the difference in CV between richness levels decreased, but remained significant. These findings can be used to guide airborne studies of biodiversity and develop more effective large-scale biodiversity sampling methods.

  1. Ducks and passerines nesting in northern mixed-grass prairie treated with fire

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grant, Todd A.; Shaffer, Terry L.; Madden, Elizabeth M.; Berkey, Gordon B.

    2011-01-01

    Prescribed fire is an important, ecology-driven tool for restoration of grassland systems. However, prescribed fire remains controversial for some grassland managers because of reported reductions in bird use of recently burned grasslands. Few studies have evaluated effects of fire on grassland bird populations in the northern mixed-grass prairie region. Fewer studies yet have examined the influence of fire on nest density or survival. In our review, we found no studies that simultaneously examined effects of fire on duck and passerine nesting. During 1998—2003, we examined effects of prescribed fire on the density of upland-nesting ducks and passerines nesting in north-central North Dakota, USA. Apparent nest densities of gadwall (Anas strepera), mallard (A. platyrhynchos), and all duck species combined, were influenced by fire history of study units, although the degree of influence was not compelling. Fire history was not related to nest densities of blue-winged teal (A. discors), northern shoveler (A. clypeata), or northern pintail (A. acuta); however, apparent nest densities in relation to the number of postfire growing seasons exhibited a strikingly similar pattern among all duck species. When compared to ducks, fire history strongly influenced apparent nest densities of clay-colored sparrow (Spizella pallida), Savannah sparrow (Passerculus sandwichensis), and bobolink (Dolichonyx oryzivorus). For most species examined, apparent nest densities were lowest in recently burned units, increased during the second postfire growing season, and stabilized or, in some cases, decreased thereafter. Prescribed fire is critical for restoring the ecology of northern mixed-grass prairies and our findings indicate that reductions in nest densities are limited mostly to the first growing season after fire. Our results support the premise that upland-nesting ducks and several grassland passerine species are adapted to periodic fires occurring at a frequency similar to that

  2. An experimental analysis of grasshopper community responses to fire and livestock grazing in a northern mixed-grass prairie.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Branson, David H; Sword, Gregory A

    2010-10-01

    The outcomes of grasshopper responses to both vertebrate grazing and fire vary across grassland ecosystems, and are strongly influenced by local climactic factors. Thus, the possible application of grazing and fire as components of an ecologically based grasshopper management strategy must be investigated in regional studies. In this study, we examined the effects of grazing and fire on grasshopper population density and community composition in a northern Great Plains mixed-grass prairie. We employed a large-scale, replicated, and fully-factorial manipulative experimental design across 4 yr to examine the separate and interactive effects of three grazing systems in burned and unburned habitats. Grasshopper densities were low throughout the 4-yr study and 1 yr of pretreatment sampling. There was a significant fire by grazing interaction effect on cumulative density and community composition, resulting from burned season long grazing pastures having higher densities than unburned pastures. Shannon diversity and grasshopper species richness were significantly higher with twice-over rotational livestock grazing. The ability to draw strong conclusions regarding the nature of species composition shifts and population changes in the presence of fire and grazing is complicated by the large site differences and low grasshopper densities. The results reinforce the importance of long-term research to examine the effects of habitat manipulation on grasshopper population dynamics.

  3. Investigation of the Transcriptome of Prairie Cord Grass, a New Cellulosic Biomass Crop

    KAUST Repository

    Gedye, Kristene; Gonzalez-Hernandez, Jose; Ban, Yuguang; Ge, Xijin; Thimmapuram, Jyothi; Sun, Fengjie; Wright, Chris; Ali, Shahjahan; Boe, Arvid; Owens, Vance

    2010-01-01

    in this paper describes the first investigation of the transcriptome of prairie cordgrass via Next Generation Sequencing Technology, 454 GS FLX. A total of 556,198 expressed sequence tags (ESTs) were produced from four prairie cordgrass tissues: roots, rhizomes

  4. Evaluation of the greenhouse effect gases (CO{sub 2}, CH{sub 4}, N{sub 2}O) in grass land and in the grass breeding. Greenhouse effect gases prairies. report of the first part of the project December 2002; Bilan des emissions de gaz a effet de serre (CO{sub 2}, CH{sub 4}, N{sub 2}O) en prairie paturee et dans des exploitations d'elevage herbager. GES-Prairies. Rapport de la premiere tranche du projet Decembre 2002

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Soussana, J.F

    2002-12-15

    In the framework of the Kyoto protocol on the greenhouse effect gases reduction, many ecosystems as the prairies can play a main role for the carbon sequestration in soils. The conservation of french prairies and their management adaptation could allow the possibility of carbon sequestration in the soils but also could generate emissions of CO{sub 2} and CH{sub 4} (by the breeding animals on grass) and N{sub 2}O (by the soils). This project aims to establish a detailed evaluation of the contribution of the french prairies to the the greenhouse effect gases flux and evaluate the possibilities of reduction of the emissions by adaptation of breeding systems. (A.L.B.)

  5. Alien plant invasion in mixed-grass prairie: Effects of vegetation type and anthropogenic disturbance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Larson, D.L.; Anderson, P.J.; Newton, W.

    2001-01-01

    The ability of alien plant species to invade a region depends not only on attributes of the plant, but on characteristics of the habitat being invaded. Here, we examine characteristics that may influence the success of alien plant invasion in mixed-grass prairie at Theodore Roosevelt National Park, in western North Dakota, USA. The park consists of two geographically separate units with similar vegetation types and management history, which allowed us to examine the effects of native vegetation type, anthropogenic disturbance, and the separate park units on the invasion of native plant communities by alien plant species common to counties surrounding both park units. If matters of chance related to availability of propagules and transient establishment opportunities determine the success of invasion, park unit and anthropogenic disturbance should better explain the variation in alien plant frequency. If invasibility is more strongly related to biotic or physical characteristics of the native plant communities, models of alien plant occurrence should include vegetation type as an explanatory variable. We examined >1300 transects across all vegetation types in both units of the park. Akaike's Information Criterion (AIC) indicated that the fully parameterized model, including the interaction among vegetation type, disturbance, and park unit, best described the distribution of both total number of alien plants per transect and frequency of alien plants on transects where they occurred. Although all vegetation types were invaded by alien plants, mesic communities had both greater numbers and higher frequencies of alien plants than did drier communities. A strong element of stochasticity, reflected in differences in frequencies of individual species between the two park units, suggests that prediction of risk of invasion will always involve uncertainty. In addition, despite well-documented associations between anthropogenic disturbance and alien plant invasion, five of

  6. Sparrow nest survival in relation to prescribed fire and woody plant invasion in a northern mixed-grass prairie

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murphy, Robert K.; Shaffer, Terry L.; Grant, Todd A.; Derrig, James L.; Rubin, Cory S.; Kerns, Courtney K.

    2017-01-01

    Prescribed fire is used to reverse invasion by woody vegetation on grasslands, but managers often are uncertain whether influences of shrub and tree reduction outweigh potential effects of fire on nest survival of grassland birds. During the 2001–2003 breeding seasons, we examined relationships of prescribed fire and woody vegetation to nest survival of clay-colored sparrow (Spizella pallida) and Savannah sparrow (Passerculus sandwichensis) in mixed-grass prairie at Des Lacs National Wildlife Refuge in northwestern North Dakota, USA. We assessed relationships of nest survival to 1) recent fire history, in terms of number of breeding seasons (2, 3, or 4–5) since the last prescribed fire, and 2) prevalence of trees and tall (>1.5 m) shrubs in the landscape and of low (≤1.5 m) shrubs within 5 m of nests. Nest survival of both species exhibited distinct patterns related to age of the nest and day of year, but bore no relationship to fire history. Survival of clay-colored sparrow nests declined as the amount of trees and tall shrubs within 100 m increased, but we found no relationship to suggest nest parasitism by brown-headed cowbirds (Molothrus ater) as an underlying mechanism. We found little evidence linking nest survival of Savannah sparrow to woody vegetation. Our results suggest that fire can be used to restore northern mixed-grass prairies without adversely affecting nest survival of ≥2 widespread passerine species. Survival of nests of clay-colored sparrow may increase when tall woody cover is reduced by fire. Our data lend support to the use of fire for reducing scattered patches of tall woody cover to enhance survival of nests of ≥1 grassland bird species in northern mixed-grass prairies, but further study is needed that incorporates experimental approaches and assessments of shorter term effects of fire on survival of nests of grassland passerines.

  7. A proposal to conserve black-footed ferrets and the prairie dog ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Brian; Wemmer, Christen; Biggins, Dean; Reading, Richard

    1990-11-01

    Prairie dogs ( Cynomys spp.) have been poisoned throughout this century because of grazing competition with livestock. Recent evidence showed these early claims were exaggerated, but animal control was already entrenched in government policy. As a result, ongoing government subsidized poisoning has reduced prairie dogs to about 2% of their former distribution. The reduction of prairie dogs diminished species diversity in the arid grasslands of North America, including the potential extinction of the black-footed ferret ( Mustela nigripes). Cost-benefit analysis revealed that poisoning costs more than any grazing benefits accrued. This analysis did not consider the long-term costs of reversing ecosystem degradation, the intangible value of biological diversity as a public benefit, or the depletion of biotic resources as a loss of actual or potential wealth. The government presently finances the poisoning policy and the preservation of endangered species like the black-footed ferret, two apparently conflicting programs. We, therefore, propose an integrated management plan that considers both interests. We propose that federal monies allocated to the poisoning program be converted into a rebate for ranchers who manage livestock while preserving the prairie dog community. This would redirect funds and personnel already allocated to prairie dog eradication to an incentive for ranchers who manage for livestock and wildlife. Livestock interests and grassland biotic diversity would both benefit.

  8. Investigation of the Transcriptome of Prairie Cord Grass, a New Cellulosic Biomass Crop

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kristene Gedye

    2010-09-01

    Full Text Available Prairie cordgrass ( Bosc ex Link is being developed as a cellulosic biomass crop. Development of this species will require numerous steps, including breeding, agronomy, and characterization of the species genome. The research in this paper describes the first investigation of the transcriptome of prairie cordgrass via Next Generation Sequencing Technology, 454 GS FLX. A total of 556,198 expressed sequence tags (ESTs were produced from four prairie cordgrass tissues: roots, rhizomes, immature inflorescence, and hooks. These ESTs were assembled into 26,302 contigs and 71,103 singletons. From these data were identified, EST–SSR (simple sequence repeat regions and cell wall biosynthetic pathway genes suitable for the development of molecular markers which can aid the breeding process of prairie cordgrass by means of marker assisted selection.

  9. Investigation of the Transcriptome of Prairie Cord Grass, a New Cellulosic Biomass Crop

    KAUST Repository

    Gedye, Kristene

    2010-09-15

    Prairie cordgrass (Spartina pectinata Bosc ex Link) is being developed as a cellulosic biomass crop. Development of this species will require numerous steps, including breeding, agronomy, and characterization of the species genome. The research in this paper describes the first investigation of the transcriptome of prairie cordgrass via Next Generation Sequencing Technology, 454 GS FLX. A total of 556,198 expressed sequence tags (ESTs) were produced from four prairie cordgrass tissues: roots, rhizomes, immature inflorescence, and hooks. These ESTs were assembled into 26,302 contigs and 71,103 singletons. From these data were identified, EST-SSR (simple sequence repeat) regions and cell wall biosynthetic pathway genes suitable for the development of molecular markers which can aid the breeding process of prairie cordgrass by means of marker assisted selection.

  10. The role of ecotypic variation and the environment on biomass and nitrogen in a dominant prairie grass.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mendola, Meredith L; Baer, Sara G; Johnson, Loretta C; Maricle, Brian R

    2015-09-01

    , and lower N storage in the central Kansas ecotype relative to the southern Illinois ecotype suggests that introducing ecotypes of A. gerardii from much drier regions into highly mesic prairie would reduce productivity and alter belowground ecosystem processes under a wide range of conditions.

  11. Effects of prescribed burning and litter type on litter decomposition and nutrient release in mixed-grass prairie in Eastern Montana

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fire can affect litter decomposition and carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) dynamics. Here, we examined the effect of summer fire and three litter types on litter decomposition and litter C and N dynamics in a northern mixed-grass prairie over a 24 month period starting ca. 14 months after fire. Over all...

  12. Sonoran Desert ecosystem transformation by a C4 grass without the grass/fire cycle

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olsson, Aaryn D.; Betancourt, Julio; McClaran, Mitchel P.; Marsh, Stuart E.

    2012-01-01

    Aim Biological invasions facilitate ecosystem transformation by altering the structure and function, diversity, dominance and disturbance regimes. A classic case is the grass–fire cycle in which grass invasion increases the frequency, scale and/or intensity of wildfires and promotes the continued invasion of invasive grasses. Despite wide acceptance of the grass–fire cycle, questions linger about the relative roles that interspecific plant competition and fire play in ecosystem transformations. Location Sonoran Desert Arizona Upland of the Santa Catalina Mountains, Arizona, USA. Methods We measured species cover, density and saguaro (Carnegiea gigantea) size structure along gradients of Pennisetum ciliare invasion at 10 unburned/ungrazed P. ciliare patches. Regression models quantified differences in diversity, cover and density with respect to P. ciliare cover, and residence time and a Fisher's exact test detected demographic changes in saguaro populations. Because P. ciliare may have initially invaded locations that were both more invasible and less diverse, we ran analyses with and without the plots in which initial infestations were located. Results Richness and diversity decreased with P. ciliare cover as did cover and density of most dominant species. Richness and diversity declined with increasing time since invasion, suggesting an ongoing transformation. The proportion of old-to-young Carnegiea gigantea was significantly lower in plots with dominant P. ciliare cover. Main conclusions Rich desert scrub (15–25 species per plot) was transformed into depauperate grassland (2–5 species per plot) within 20 years following P. ciliare invasion without changes to the fire regime. While the onset of a grass–fire cycle may drive ecosystem change in the later stages and larger scales of grass invasions of arid lands, competition by P. ciliare can drive small-scale transformations earlier in the invasion. Linking competition-induced transformation rates with

  13. Understanding the Impacts of AFEX™ Pretreatment and Densification on the Fast Pyrolysis of Corn Stover, Prairie Cord Grass, and Switchgrass.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sundaram, Vijay; Muthukumarappan, Kasiviswanathan; Gent, Stephen

    2017-03-01

    Lignocellulosic feedstocks corn stover, prairie cord grass, and switchgrass were subjected to ammonia fiber expansion (AFEX™) pretreatment and densified using extrusion pelleting and ComPAKco densification technique. The effects of AFEX™ pretreatment and densification were studied on the fast pyrolysis product yields. Feedstocks were milled in a hammer mill using three different screen sizes (2, 4, and 8 mm) and were subjected to AFEX™ pretreatment. The untreated and AFEX™-pretreated feedstocks were moisture adjusted at three levels (5, 10, and 15 % wb) and were extruded using a lab-scale single screw extruder. The barrel temperature of the extruder was maintained at 75, 100, and 125 °C. Durability of the extruded pellets made from AFEX™-pretreated corn stover, prairie cord grass, and switchgrass varied from 94.5 to 99.2, 94.3 to 98.7, and 90.1 to 97.5 %, respectively. Results of the thermogravimetric analysis showed the decrease in the decomposition temperature of the all the feedstocks after AFEX™ pretreatment indicating the increase in thermal stability. Loose and densified feedstocks were subjected to fast pyrolysis in a lab-scale reactor, and the yields (bio-oil and bio-char) were measured. Bio-char obtained from the AFEX™-pretreated feedstocks exhibited increased bulk and particle density compared to the untreated feedstocks. The properties of the bio-oil were statistically similar for the untreated, AFEX™-pretreated, and AFEX™-pretreated densified feedstocks. Based on the bio-char and bio-oil yields, the AFEX™-pretreated feedstocks and the densified AFEX™-pretreated feedstocks (pellets and PAKs) exhibited similar behavior. Hence, it can be concluded that densifying the AFEX™-pretreated feedstocks could be a viable option in the biomass-processing depots to reduce the transportation costs and the logistical impediments without affecting the product yields.

  14. Germination sensitivities to water potential among co-existing C3 and C4 grasses of cool semi-arid prairie grasslands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mollard, F P O; Naeth, M A

    2015-03-01

    An untested theory states that C4 grass seeds could germinate under lower water potentials (Ψ) than C3 grass seeds. We used hydrotime modelling to study seed water relations of C4 and C3 Canadian prairie grasses to address Ψ divergent sensitivities and germination strategies along a risk-spreading continuum of responses to limited water. C4 grasses were Bouteloua gracilis, Calamovilfa longifolia and Schizachyrium scoparium; C3 grasses were Bromus carinatus, Elymus trachycaulus, Festuca hallii and Koeleria macrantha. Hydrotime parameters were obtained after incubation of non-dormant seeds under different Ψ PEG 6000 solutions. A t-test between C3 and C4 grasses did not find statistical differences in population mean base Ψ (Ψb (50)). We found idiosyncratic responses of C4 grasses along the risk-spreading continuum. B. gracilis showed a risk-taker strategy of a species able to quickly germinate in a dry soil due to its low Ψb (50) and hydrotime (θH ). The high Ψb (50) of S. scoparium indicates it follows the risk-averse strategy so it can only germinate in wet soils. C. longifolia showed an intermediate strategy: the lowest Ψb (50) yet the highest θH . K. macrantha, a C3 grass which thrives in dry habitats, had the highest Ψb (50), suggesting a risk-averse strategy for a C3 species. Other C3 species showed intermediate germination patterns in response to Ψ relative to C4 species. Our results indicate that grasses display germination sensitivities to Ψ across the risk-spreading continuum of responses. Thus seed water relations may be poor predictors to explain differential recruitment and distribution of C3 and C4 grasses in the Canadian prairies. © 2014 German Botanical Society and The Royal Botanical Society of the Netherlands.

  15. Brant Prairie : Union Gas customer service centre, Brantford, Ontario

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hensel, M.J.; Thompson, J. [The Walter Fedy Partnership, Kitchener, ON (Canada)

    1998-12-31

    The four-acre ecological restoration of tall grass prairie, wetland and Savannah ecosystems within the Union Gas Customer Service Centre in Brantford, Ontario is discussed. The restoration of the Brant Prairie site was instigated three years ago through Union Gas` land stewardship and environmental action initiative which tried to encourage the diversity and dynamics of each ecosystem, while creating a community resource for visitors to learn about natural heritage. The Brantford initiative includes: (1) protecting the sedge wetland which contained regionally rare species, (2) maintaining the dynamic water budget while protecting the sedge wetland from roadway contaminants, (3) creating a tall grass prairie similar in diversity and aesthetics to Brantford`s surviving prairie remnants, (4) creating a wildlife habitat for butterflies, birds and aquatic species, and (5) rediscovering partridge pea by uncovering a historic seed bank.

  16. Restoring fire as an ecological process in shortgrass prairie ecosystems: initial effects of prescribed burning during the dormant and growing seasons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brockway, Dale G; Gatewood, Richard G; Paris, Randi B

    2002-06-01

    Prior to Anglo-European settlement, fire was a major ecological process influencing the structure, composition and productivity of shortgrass prairie ecosystems on the Great Plains. However during the past 125 years, the frequency and extent of grassland fire has dramatically declined as a result of the systematic heavy grazing by large herds of domestic cattle and sheep which reduced the available levels of fine fuel and organized fire suppression efforts that succeeded in altering the natural fire regime. The greatly diminished role of recurrent fire in these ecosystems is thought to be responsible for ecologically adverse shifts in the composition, structure and diversity of these grasslands, leading specifically to the rise of ruderal species and invasion by less fire-tolerant species. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the ecological effects of fire season and frequency on the shortgrass prairie and to determine the means by which prescribed fire can best be restored in this ecosystem to provide the greatest benefit for numerous resource values. Plant cover, diversity, biomass and nutrient status, litter cover and soil chemistry were measured prior to and following fire treatments on a buffalograss-blue grama shortgrass prairie in northeastern New Mexico. Dormant-season fire was followed by increases in grass cover, forb cover, species richness and concentrations of foliar P, K, Ca, Mg and Mn. Growing-season fire produced declines in the cover of buffalograss, graminoids and forbs and increases in litter cover and levels of foliar P, K, Ca and Mn. Although no changes in soil chemistry were observed, both fire treatments caused decreases in herbaceous production, with standing biomass resulting from growing-season fire approximately 600 kg/ha and dormant-season fire approximately 1200 kg/ha, compared with controls approximately 1800 kg/ha. The initial findings of this long-term experiment suggest that dormant-season burning may be the preferable method

  17. Valuing ecosystem and economic services across land-use scenarios in the Prairie Pothole Regions of the Dakotas, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gascoigne, William R.; Hoag, Dana; Koontz, Lynne; Tangen, Brian A.; Shaffer, Terry L.; Gleason, Robert A.

    2011-01-01

    This study uses biophysical values derived for the Prairie Pothole Region (PPR) of North and South Dakota, in conjunction with value transfer methods, to assess environmental and economic tradeoffs under different policy-relevant land-use scenarios over a 20-year period. The ecosystem service valuation is carried out by comparing the biophysical and economic values of three focal services (i.e. carbon sequestration, reduction in sedimentation, and waterfowl production) across three focal land uses in the region [i.e. native prairie grasslands, lands enrolled in the Conservation Reserve and Wetlands Reserve Programs (CRP/WRP), and cropland]. This study finds that CRP/WRP lands cannot mitigate (hectare for hectare) the loss of native prairie from a social welfare standpoint. Land use scenarios where native prairie loss was minimized, and CRP/WRP lands were increased, provided the most societal benefit. The scenario modeling projected native prairie conversion to cropland over the next 20 years would result in a social welfare loss valued at over $4 billion when considering the study's three ecosystem services, and a net loss of about $3.4 billion when reductions in commodity production are accounted for.

  18. Effects of Altered Seasonality of Precipitation on Grass Production and Grasshopper Performance in a Northern Mixed Prairie.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Branson, David H

    2017-06-01

    Climatic changes are leading to differing patterns and timing of precipitation in grassland ecosystems, with the seasonal timing of precipitation affecting plant biomass and plant composition. No previous studies have examined how drought seasonality affects grasshopper performance and the impact of herbivory on vegetation. We modified seasonal patterns of precipitation and grasshopper density in a manipulative experiment to examine if seasonality of drought combined with herbivory affected plant biomass, nitrogen content, and grasshopper performance. Grass biomass was affected by both precipitation and grasshopper density treatments, while nitrogen content of grass was higher with early-season drought. Proportional survival was negatively affected by initial density, while survival was higher with early drought than with full-season drought. Drought timing affected the outcome, with early summer drought increasing grass nitrogen content and grasshopper survival, while season-long and late-season drought did not. The results support arguments that our knowledge of plant responses to seasonal short-term variation in climate is limited and illustrate the importance of experiments manipulating precipitation phenology. The results confirm that understanding the season of drought is critical for predicting grasshopper population dynamics, as extreme early summer drought may be required to strongly affect Melanoplus sanguinipes (F.) performance. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America 2017. This work is written by US Government employees and is in the public domain in the US.

  19. Soil modification by invasive plants: Effects on native and invasive species of mixed-grass prairies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jordan, N.R.; Larson, D.L.; Huerd, S.C.

    2008-01-01

    Invasive plants are capable of modifying attributes of soil to facilitate further invasion by conspecifics and other invasive species. We assessed this capability in three important plant invaders of grasslands in the Great Plains region of North America: leafy spurge (Euphorbia esula), smooth brome (Bromus inermis) and crested wheatgrass (Agropyron cristatum). In a glasshouse, these three invasives or a group of native species were grown separately through three cycles of growth and soil conditioning in both steam-pasteurized and non-pasteurized soils, after which we assessed seedling growth in these soils. Two of the three invasive species, Bromus and Agropyron, exhibited significant self-facilitation via soil modification. Bromus and Agropyron also had significant facilitative effects on other invasives via soil modification, while Euphorbia had significant antagonistic effects on the other invasives. Both Agropyron and Euphorbia consistently suppressed growth of two of three native forbs, while three native grasses were generally less affected. Almost all intra- and interspecific effects of invasive soil conditioning were dependent upon presence of soil biota from field sites where these species were successful invaders. Overall, these results suggest that that invasive modification of soil microbiota can facilitate plant invasion directly or via 'cross-facilitation' of other invasive species, and moreover has potential to impede restoration of native communities after removal of an invasive species. However, certain native species that are relatively insensitive to altered soil biota (as we observed in the case of the forb Linum lewisii and the native grasses), may be valuable as 'nurse'species in restoration efforts. ?? 2007 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

  20. Relative effects of precipitation variability and warming on tallgrass prairie ecosystem function

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    P. A. Fay

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available Precipitation and temperature drive many aspects of terrestrial ecosystem function. Climate change scenarios predict increasing precipitation variability and temperature, and long term experiments are required to evaluate the ecosystem consequences of interannual climate variation, increased growing season (intra-annual rainfall variability, and warming. We present results from an experiment applying increased growing season rainfall variability and year round warming in native tallgrass prairie. During ten years of study, total growing season rainfall varied 2-fold, and we found ~50–200% interannual variability in plant growth and aboveground net primary productivity (ANPP, leaf carbon assimilation (ACO2, and soil CO2 efflux (JCO2 despite only ~40% variation in mean volumetric soil water content (0–15 cm, Θ15. Interannual variation in soil moisture was thus amplified in most measures of ecosystem response. Differences between years in Θ15 explained the greatest portion (14–52% of the variation in these processes. Experimentally increased intra-annual season rainfall variability doubled the amplitude of intra-annual soil moisture variation and reduced Θ15 by 15%, causing most ecosystem processes to decrease 8–40% in some or all years with increased rainfall variability compared to ambient rainfall timing, suggesting reduced ecosystem rainfall use efficiency. Warming treatments increased soil temperature at 5 cm depth, particularly during spring, fall, and winter. Warming advanced canopy green up in spring, increased winter JCO2, and reduced summer JCO2 and forb ANPP, suggesting that the effects of warming differed in cooler versus warmer parts of the year. We conclude that (1 major ecosystem processes in this grassland may be substantially altered by predicted changes in

  1. Alien plant invasion in mixed-grass prairie: effects of vegetation type, stochiasticity, and anthropogenic disturbance in two park units

    Science.gov (United States)

    Larson, Diane L.; Anderson, Patrick J.; Newton, Wesley E.

    2001-01-01

    The ability of alien plant species to invade a region depends not only on attributes of the plant, but on characteristics of the habitat being invaded. Here, we examine characteristics that may influence the success of alien plant invasion in mixed-grass prairie at Theodore Roosevelt National Park, in western North Dakota, USA. The park consists of two geographically separate units with similar vegetation types and management history, which allowed us to examine the effects of native vegetation type, anthropogenic disturbance, and the separate park units on the invasion of native plant communities by alien plant species common to counties surrounding both park units. If matters of chance related to availability of propagules and transient establishment opportunities determine the success of invasion, park unit and anthropogenic disturbance should better explain the variation in alien plant frequency. If invasibility is more strongly related to biotic or physical characteristics of the native plant communities, models of alien plant occurrence should include vegetation type as an explanatory variable. We examined >1300 transects across all vegetation types in both units of the park. Akaike's Information Criterion (AIC) indicated that the fully parameterized model, including the interaction among vegetation type, disturbance, and park unit, best described the distribution of both total number of alien plants per transect and frequency of alien plants on transects where they occurred. Although all vegetation types were invaded by alien plants, mesic communities had both greater numbers and higher frequencies of alien plants than did drier communities. A strong element of stochasticity, reflected in differences in frequencies of individual species between the two park units, suggests that prediction of risk of invasion will always involve uncertainty. In addition, despite well-documented associations between anthropogenic disturbance and alien plant invasion, five of

  2. Summer water use by California coastal prairie grasses: fog, drought, and community composition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Corbin, Jeffrey D; Thomsen, Meredith A; Dawson, Todd E; D'Antonio, Carla M

    2005-10-01

    Plants in the Mediterranean climate region of California typically experience summer drought conditions, but correlations between zones of frequent coastal fog inundation and certain species' distributions suggest that water inputs from fog may influence species composition in coastal habitats. We sampled the stable H and O isotope ratios of water in non-photosynthetic plant tissue from a variety of perennial grass species and soil in four sites in northern California in order to determine the proportion of water deriving from winter rains and fog during the summer. The relationship between H and O stable isotopes from our sample sites fell to the right of the local meteoric water line (LMWL) during the summer drought, providing evidence that evaporation of water from the soil had taken place prior to the uptake of water by vegetation. We developed a novel method to infer the isotope values of water before it was subjected to evaporation in which we used experimental data to calculate the slope of the deltaH versus deltaO line versus the LMWL. After accounting for evaporation, we then used a two-source mixing model to evaluate plant usage of fog water. The model indicated that 28-66% of the water taken up by plants via roots during the summer drought came from fog rather than residual soil water from winter rain. Fog use decreased as distance from the coast increased, and there were significant differences among species in the use of fog. Rather than consistent differences in fog use by species whose distributions are limited to the coast versus those with broader distributions, species responded individualistically to summer fog. We conclude that fogwater inputs can mitigate the summer drought in coastal California for many species, likely giving an advantage to species that can use it over species that cannot.

  3. Soil Aggregate Stability and Grassland Productivity Associations in a Northern Mixed-Grass Prairie.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kurt O Reinhart

    Full Text Available Soil aggregate stability data are often predicted to be positively associated with measures of plant productivity, rangeland health, and ecosystem functioning. Here we revisit the hypothesis that soil aggregate stability is positively associated with plant productivity. We measured local (plot-to-plot variation in grassland community composition, plant (aboveground biomass, root biomass, % water-stable soil aggregates, and topography. After accounting for spatial autocorrelation, we observed a negative association between % water-stable soil aggregates (0.25-1 and 1-2 mm size classes of macroaggregates and dominant graminoid biomass, and negative associations between the % water-stable aggregates and the root biomass of a dominant sedge (Carex filifolia. However, variation in total root biomass (0-10 or 0-30 cm depths was either negatively or not appreciably associated with soil aggregate stabilities. Overall, regression slope coefficients were consistently negative thereby indicating the general absence of a positive association between measures of plant productivity and soil aggregate stability for the study area. The predicted positive association between factors was likely confounded by variation in plant species composition. Specifically, sampling spanned a local gradient in plant community composition which was likely driven by niche partitioning along a subtle gradient in elevation. Our results suggest an apparent trade-off between some measures of plant biomass production and soil aggregate stability, both known to affect the land's capacity to resist erosion. These findings further highlight the uncertainty of plant biomass-soil stability associations.

  4. Exotic plant infestation is associated with decreased modularity and increased numbers of connectors in mixed-grass prairie pollination networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Larson, Diane L.; Rabie, Paul A.; Droege, Sam; Larson, Jennifer L.; Haar, Milton

    2016-01-01

    The majority of pollinating insects are generalists whose lifetimes overlap flowering periods of many potentially suitable plant species. Such generality is instrumental in allowing exotic plant species to invade pollination networks. The particulars of how existing networks change in response to an invasive plant over the course of its phenology are not well characterized, but may shed light on the probability of long-term effects on plant-pollinator interactions and the stability of network structure. Here we describe changes in network topology and modular structure of infested and non-infested networks during the flowering season of the generalist non-native flowering plant, Cirsium arvense in mixed-grass prairie at Badlands National Park, South Dakota, USA. Objectives were to compare network-level effects of infestation as they propagate over the season in infested and non-infested (with respect to C. arvense) networks. We characterized plant-pollinator networks on 5 non-infested and 7 infested 1-ha plots during 4 sample periods that collectively covered the length of C. arvense flowering period. Two other abundantly-flowering invasive plants were present during this time: Melilotus officinalis had highly variable floral abundance in both C. arvense-infested and non-infested plots andConvolvulus arvensis, which occurred almost exclusively in infested plots and peaked early in the season. Modularity, including roles of individual species, and network topology were assessed for each sample period as well as in pooled infested and non-infested networks. Differences in modularity and network metrics between infested and non-infested networks were limited to the third and fourth sample periods, during flower senescence of C. arvenseand the other invasive species; generality of pollinators rose concurrently, suggesting rewiring of the network and a lag effect of earlier floral abundance. Modularity was lower and number of connectors higher in infested

  5. DEPENDENCE OF GRASS COVER TAXONOMIC AND ECOLOGICAL STRUCTURE ON THE ANTHROPOGENIC IMPACT IN FOREST ECOSYSTEMS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    N. V. Miroshnik

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Pine forests Chigirinsky Bor grow on fresh sod-podzolic soils formed on ancient alluvial deposits. Pine forests are characterized by stringent moisture regimes and constantly suffer from lack of productive moisture in soil.  Industrial development of Cherkasy in 60th years of ХХ century leaded air pollution and emissions of SO2, NOx, NH3, and dust. This contributed to significant negative influence on the surrounding forest ecosystems from enterprises of  Cherkassy industrial agglomeration. The grass cover in pine stands of Chigirinsky Bor transforms into xerophytic grasses and ruderal communities under the impact of negative biotic and abiotic factors. They are namely the anthropogenic violation of forest conditions, stands decline, recreational and industrial tree crowns understocking, xerophytic and heliophytic transformations of forest conditions. All the above mentioned caused strong ruderal and adventive transformation of grass cover. We registered the changes in nitrophilous plant spread regards the Cherkasy industrial agglomeration approaching which emits toxic with nitrogen-containing gases. Adventive and other non-forest species displace ferns and mosses, the ratio of ecomorfs is also changes due to increase of the quantity and development activation of annuals, xerophytic, ruderal, and nitrofil plants. The Asteraceae/Brassicaceae 3:1 ratio indicates significant anthropogenic violations in the region. We fixed the xerophytic, ruderal, and adventive transformation of grass cover in forest ecosystems. It is also founded the tendency of expanding the fraction of mesophilic plant species due to alterations in water regime (creation of Kremenchug reservoir and draining of floodplain Tyasmyn. When approaching the Cherkasy industrial agglomeration the grass cover degradation is clearly observed on the environmental profile. All this causes the forest ecosystem degradation and gradual loss of forest vegetation typical characteristics. We

  6. Effect of frame size and season on enteric methane (CH4) and carbon dioxide (CO2)emissions in Angus brood cows grazing native tall-grass prairie in central Oklahoma USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Effect of frame size and season on enteric methane (CH4) and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in Angus brood cows grazing native tall-grass prairie in central Oklahoma, USA J.P.S. Neel USDA ARS, El Reno, OK A reduction in enteric CH4 production in ruminants is associated with improved production effic...

  7. Study of atmospheric stratification influence on pollutants dispersion using a numerical fluid mechanics model. Code-Saturne validation with the Prairie Grass experiment/Study of atmospheric stratification influence on pollutants dispersion using a numerical fluid mechanics software

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Coulon, Fanny

    2010-09-01

    A validation of Code-Saturne, a computational fluids dynamics model developed by EDF, is proposed for stable conditions. The goal is to guarantee the performance of the model in order to use it for impacts study. A comparison with the Prairie Grass data field experiment and with two Gaussian plume models will be done [fr

  8. The determination of radionuclides in grass ecosystem samples

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    LaBrecque, J.J.; Schelenz, R.; Perkins, R.W.

    1987-07-01

    The radioactive debris cloud from the Chernobyl reactor accident resulted in some deposition over essentially all of the Northern Hemisphere. Shortly after the accident invitations were sent out by the IAEA to Member States to collect grass samples according to specific instructions so that the ratio of the various radionuclides in the fallout debris could be established over a wide area of Europe. In response to this request, 20 grass samples were provided by Member States. To establish a protocol for analysis of these valuable samples and to recommend a protocol for future sample collection, a Consultants Meeting was called by the IAEA for 23-25 September 1986. This document contains the considerations and recommendations of the consultants

  9. Evaluation of Turf-Grass and Prairie-Vegetated Rain Gardens in a Clay and Sand Soil, Madison, Wisconsin, Water Years 2004-08

    Science.gov (United States)

    Selbig, William R.; Balster, Nicholas

    2010-01-01

    The U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with a consortium of 19 cities, towns, and villages in Dane County, Wis., undertook a study to compare the capability of rain gardens with different vegetative species and soil types to infiltrate stormwater runoff from the roof of an adjacent structure. Two rain gardens, one planted with turf grass and the other with native prairie species, were constructed side-by-side in 2003 at two locations with different dominant soil types, either sand or clay. Each rain garden was sized to a ratio of approximately 5:1 contributing area to receiving area and to a depth of 0.5 foot. Each rain garden, regardless of vegetation or soil type, was capable of storing and infiltrating most of the runoff over the 5-year study period. Both rain gardens in sand, as well as the prairie rain garden in clay, retained and infiltrated 100 percent of all precipitation and snowmelt events during water years 2004-07. The turf rain garden in clay occasionally had runoff exceed its confining boundaries, but was still able to retain 96 percent of all precipitation and snowmelt events during the same time period. Precipitation intensity and number of antecedent dry days were important variables that influenced when the storage capacity of underlying soils would become saturated, which resulted in pooled water in the rain gardens. Because the rooftop area that drained runoff to each rain garden was approximately five times larger than the area of the rain garden itself, evapotranspiration was a small percentage of the annual water budget. For example, during water year 2005, the maximum evapotranspiration of total influent volume ranged from 21 percent for the turf rain garden in clay to 25 percent for the turf rain garden in sand, and the minimum ranged from 12 percent for the prairie rain garden in clay to 19 percent for the prairie rain garden in sand. Little to no runoff left each rain garden as effluent and a small percentage of runoff returned to the

  10. Divergent evapotranspiration partition dynamics between shrubs and grasses in a shrub-encroached steppe ecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Pei; Li, Xiao-Yan; Wang, Lixin; Wu, Xiuchen; Hu, Xia; Fan, Ying; Tong, Yaqin

    2018-06-04

    Previous evapotranspiration (ET) partitioning studies have usually neglected competitions and interactions between antagonistic plant functional types. This study investigated whether shrubs and grasses have divergent ET partition dynamics impacted by different water-use patterns, canopy structures, and physiological properties in a shrub-encroached steppe ecosystem in Inner Mongolia, China. The soil water-use patterns of shrubs and grasses have been quantified by an isotopic tracing approach and coupled into an improved multisource energy balance model to partition ET fluxes into soil evaporation, grass transpiration, and shrub transpiration. The mean fractional contributions to total ET were 24 ± 13%, 20 ± 4%, and 56 ± 16% for shrub transpiration, grass transpiration, and soil evaporation respectively during the growing season. Difference in ecohydrological connectivity and leaf development both contributed to divergent transpiration partitioning between shrubs and grasses. Shrub-encroachment processes result in larger changes in the ET components than in total ET flux, which could be well explained by changes in canopy resistance, an ecosystem function dominated by the interaction of soil water-use patterns and ecosystem structure. The analyses presented here highlight the crucial effects of vegetation structural changes on the processes of land-atmosphere interaction and climate feedback. © 2018 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2018 New Phytologist Trust.

  11. Effects of a large scale nitrogen and phosphorous fertilization on the ecosystem functioning of a Mediterranean tree-grass ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Migliavacca, Mirco; El Madany, Tarek; Perez-Priego, Oscar; Carrara, Arnaud; Hammer, Tiana; Henkel, Kathin; Kolle, Olaf; Luo, Yunpeng; Moreno, Gerardo; Morris, Kendalynn; Nair, Richard; Schrumpf, Marion; Wutzler, Thomas; Reichstein, Markus

    2017-04-01

    Recent studies have shown how human induced N/P imbalances affect essential ecosystem processes, and might be particularly important in water-limited ecosystems. In this contribution we will present results from an ecosystem scale nutrient manipulation experiment on a Mediterranean tree-grass ecosystem (Majadas del Tietar, Spain). Specifically, we will show how ecosystem functioning (e.g. light use efficiency, water use efficiency - WUE, albedo) changes as consequence of N and NP fertilization. A cluster of eddy covariance (EC) flux towers has been set up beside a long-term EC site (Control site) to measured high temporal resolution C and water fluxes between the ecosystem and the atmosphere. The sites were selected in a way to have similar pre-treatment conditions. Two out of three EC footprint areas (18 Ha) were fertilized with N and NP at the beginning of 2015 and 2016. To interpret the variations in C and water fluxes measured with the EC systems we monitored spatial and temporal variations in phenology, plant traits, species richness, and tree transpiration by using sap-flow meters, digital repeat photography, as well as soil sampling. The results show a consistent increase ( 15% compared to the Control site) in net ecosystem production (NEP) observed both in the N and the NP treatments. An increase of evapotranspiration (ET) of about 15% and 10% is observed in the N and NP site, respectively, indicating an increase of WUE in the NP treatment. The partitioning of the NEP into its gross components, the gross primary production (GPP) and the total ecosystem respiration (TER), show that the fertilization stimulated more GPP rather than TER, increasing therefore the capability of the ecosystem to act as carbon sink. The effects of fertilization are pronounced in spring and autumn and negligible in summer. This indicates that grass reacted much more than trees to N and NP addition. An increase of greenness and also an earlier green-up of grass in the N and NP sites

  12. Report on the grass ecosystem project: results for 1986

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Perkins, R.W.; Baron, Y.; Bernard, J.

    1989-01-01

    Shortly after the Chernobyl accident, some 20 grass samples were collected over a wide area of Europe by a carefully prescribed protocol. The samples were dried, homogenized, and distributed by the IAEA to Member States who had expressed an interest in participating in their analysis. Thirteen radionuclides were measured in these samples, and the range in activity ratios for some radionuclides was over a hundredfold. This variability appears to be associated with particulate versus vaporized radionuclide releases from the reactor core, and/or the physicochemical nature of the radionuclide source term at the time of the release. The radionuclide concentrations observed by the various laboratories generally indicated good analytical consistency, and the few cases where consistency does not seem to hold may possibly be attributed to inhomogeneity of aliquots (hot particles) of the grass samples. The wide geographic coverage of this sampling programme, together with multiple laboratory analyses, provides a data resource which should be valuable for comparing and understanding the nature of Chernobyl fallout which was deposited at selected sites throughout Europe. (author). Figs and tabs

  13. Preferential production and transport of grass-derived pyrogenic carbon in NE-Australian savanna ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saiz, Gustavo; Goodrick, Iain; Wurster, Christopher; Nelson, Paul N.; Wynn, Jonathan; Bird, Michael

    2017-12-01

    Understanding the main factors driving fire regimes in grasslands and savannas is critical to better manage their biodiversity and functions. Moreover, improving our knowledge on pyrogenic carbon (PyC) dynamics, including formation, transport and deposition, is fundamental to better understand a significant slow-cycling component of the global carbon cycle, particularly as these ecosystems account for a substantial proportion of the area globally burnt. However, a thorough assessment of past fire regimes in grass-dominated ecosystems is problematic due to challenges in interpreting the charcoal record of sediments. It is therefore critical to adopt appropriate sampling and analytical methods to allow the acquisition of reliable data and information on savanna fire dynamics. This study uses hydrogen pyrolysis (HyPy) to quantify PyC abundance and stable isotope composition (δ13C) in recent sediments across 38 micro-catchments covering a wide range of mixed C3/C4 vegetation in north Queensland, Australia. We exploited the contrasting δ13C values of grasses (i.e. C4; δ13C >-15‰) and woody vegetation (i.e. C3; δ13C <-24‰) to assess the preferential production and transport of grass-derived PyC in savanna ecosystems. Analyses were conducted on bulk and size-fractionated samples to determine the fractions into which PyC preferentially accumulates. Our data show that the δ13C value of PyC in the sediments is decoupled from the δ13C value of total organic carbon, which suggests that a significant component of PyC may be derived from incomplete grass combustion, even when the proportion of C4 grass biomass in the catchment was relatively small. Furthermore, we conducted 16 experimental burns that indicate that there is a comminution of PyC produced in-situ to smaller particles, which facilitates the transport of this material, potentially affecting its preservation potential. Savanna fires preferentially burn the grass understory rather than large trees, leading to

  14. Fire and nitrogen effects on Purple Threeawn (Aristida purpurea)abundance in northern mixed-grass prairie old fields

    Science.gov (United States)

    Purple threeawn (Aristida purpurea Nutt. varieties) is a native grass capable of increasing on rangelands, forming near monocultures, and creating a stable state. Productive rangelands throughout the Great Plains and Intermountain West have experienced increases in purple threeawn abundance, reduci...

  15. Incorporating historical ecosystem diversity into conservation planning efforts in grass and shrub ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amy C. Ganguli; Johathan B. Haufler; Carolyn A. Mehl; Jimmie D. Chew

    2011-01-01

    Understanding historical ecosystem diversity and wildlife habitat quality can provide a useful reference for managing and restoring rangeland ecosystems. We characterized historical ecosystem diversity using available empirical data, expert opinion, and the spatially explicit vegetation dynamics model SIMPPLLE (SIMulating Vegetative Patterns and Processes at Landscape...

  16. Evidence for a climate-induced ecohydrological state shift in wetland ecosystems of the southern Prairie Pothole Region

    Science.gov (United States)

    McKenna, Owen; Mushet, David M.; Rosenberry, Donald O.; LaBaugh, James W.

    2017-01-01

    Changing magnitude, frequency, and timing of precipitation can influence aquatic-system hydrological, geochemical, and biological processes, in some cases resulting in system-wide shifts to an alternate state. Since the early 1990s, the southern Prairie Pothole Region has been subjected to an extended period of increased wetness resulting in marked changes to aquatic systems defining this region. We explored numerous lines of evidence to identify: (1) how the recent wet period compared to historical variability, (2) hydrological, geochemical, and biological responses, and (3) how these responses might represent a state shift in the region’s wetland ecosystems. We analyzed long-term climate records and compared how different hydrological variables responded in this wet period compared to decades before the observed shift. Additionally, we used multi-decadal records of waterfowl population and subsurface tile drain records to explore wildlife and human responses to a shifting climate. Since 1993, a novel precipitation regime corresponded with increased pond numbers, ponded-water depths, lake levels, stream flows, groundwater heights, soil-moisture, waterfowl populations, and installation of subsurface tile drains in agricultural fields. These observed changes reflect an alteration in water storage and movement across the landscape that in turn has altered solute sources and concentrations of prairie-pothole wetlands and has increased pond permanence. Combined, these changes represent significant evidence for a state shift in the ecohydrological functioning of the region’s wetland ecosystems, a shift that may require a significant refinement of the previously developed “wetland continuum” concept.

  17. Carbon storage potential increases with increasing ratio of C4 to C3 grass cover and soil productivity in restored tallgrass prairies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spiesman, Brian J; Kummel, Herika; Jackson, Randall D

    2018-02-01

    Long-term soil carbon (C) storage is essential for reducing CO 2 in the atmosphere. Converting unproductive and environmentally sensitive agricultural lands to grasslands for bioenergy production may enhance C storage. However, a better understanding of the interacting effects of grass functional composition (i.e., relative abundance of C 4 and C 3 grass cover) and soil productivity on C storage will help guide sustainable grassland management. Our objective was to examine the relationship between grass functional composition and potential C storage and how it varies with potential soil productivity. We estimated C inputs from above- and belowground net primary productivity (ANPP and BNPP), and heterotrophic respiration (R H ) to calculate net ecosystem production (NEP), a measure of potential soil C storage, in grassland plots of relatively high- and low-productivity soils spanning a gradient in the ratio of C 4 to C 3 grass cover (C 4 :C 3 ). NEP increased with increasing C 4 :C 3 , but only in potentially productive soils. The positive relationship likely stemmed from increased ANPP, rather than BNPP, which was possibly related to efficient resource-use and physiological/anatomical advantages of C 4 plants. R H was negatively correlated with C 4 :C 3 , possibly because of changes in microclimate or plant-microbe interactions. It is possible that in potentially productive soils, C storage can be enhanced by favoring C 4 over C 3 grasses through increased ANPP and BNPP and reduced R H . Results also suggest that potential C storage gains from C 4 productivity would not be undermined by a corresponding increase in R H .

  18. Preferential Production and Transport of Grass-Derived Pyrogenic Carbon in NE-Australian Savanna Ecosystems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gustavo Saiz

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Understanding the main factors driving fire regimes in grasslands and savannas is critical to better manage their biodiversity and functions. Moreover, improving our knowledge on pyrogenic carbon (PyC dynamics, including formation, transport and deposition, is fundamental to better understand a significant slow-cycling component of the global carbon cycle, particularly as these ecosystems account for a substantial proportion of the area globally burnt. However, a thorough assessment of past fire regimes in grass-dominated ecosystems is problematic due to challenges in interpreting the charcoal record of sediments. It is therefore critical to adopt appropriate sampling and analytical methods to allow the acquisition of reliable data and information on savanna fire dynamics. This study uses hydrogen pyrolysis (HyPy to quantify PyC abundance and stable isotope composition (δ13C in recent sediments across 38 micro-catchments covering a wide range of mixed C3/C4 vegetation in north Queensland, Australia. We exploited the contrasting δ13C values of grasses (i.e., C4; δ13C > −15‰ and woody vegetation (i.e., C3; δ13C < −24‰ to assess the preferential production and transport of grass-derived PyC in savanna ecosystems. Analyses were conducted on bulk and size-fractionated samples to determine the fractions into which PyC preferentially accumulates. Our data show that the δ13C value of PyC in the sediments is decoupled from the δ13C value of total organic carbon, which suggests that a significant component of PyC may be derived from incomplete grass combustion, even when the proportion of C4 grass biomass in the catchment was relatively small. Furthermore, we conducted 16 experimental burns that indicate that there is a comminution of PyC produced in-situ to smaller particles, which facilitates the transport of this material, potentially affecting its preservation potential. Savanna fires preferentially burn the grass understory rather than

  19. Dynamics of a grassland ecosystem: botanical equilibrium in the Park Grass Experiment

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Silvertown, J

    1980-01-01

    The published results of the Park Grass Experiment (PGE), begun in 1856, provide up to 30 yr of annual data which may be used to determine whether the botanical composition of these grasslands was at equilibrium. Data covering a period exceeding 80 yr are available to test for relationships between hay yield (biomass), species diversity, species number and time. Species diversity and species number show negative relationships with plot biomass and with pH. These relationships were constant over time. The effects of biomass and pH on species number and species diversity were additive. Analysis of the flora of nine plots, each divided into grasses, legumes and a miscellaneous component showed that these components were at equilibrium. The effect of various endogenous factors on this botanical equilibrium was examined. No regular or irregular cycles of component biomass operating between years were detected and it is inferred that populations were regulated by processes operating within individual years. The biomasses of all three components were positively correlated within an unfertilized plot but the floristic components of plots receiving a fertilizer treatment showed few within-plot correlations. By contrast between-plot correlations of components were common for all plots with the exception of those receiving nitrogen fertilizer. The mechanisms of population regulation which maintained the park grass ecosystem at equilibrium are discussed and tests for these are proposed.

  20. Elevated CO2 and warming induce substantial and persistent declines in forage quality irrespective of warming in mixed grass prairie

    Science.gov (United States)

    Increasing atmospheric [CO2] and temperature are expected to affect the productivity, species composition, biogeochemistry, and therefore the quantity and quality of forage available to herbivores in rangeland ecosystems. Both elevated CO2 (eCO2) and warming affect plant tissue chemistry through mul...

  1. The effects of black-tailed prairie dogs on plant communities within a complex urban landscape: an ecological surprise?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beals, Stower C; Hartley, Laurel M; Prevéy, Janet S; Seastedt, Timothy R

    2014-05-01

    Historically, prairie dogs (Cynomys spp.) have been considered essential keystone species of western United States grassland ecosystems because they provide unique services and increase vegetation community richness, evenness, and diversity. However, the effects of black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus) on lands adjacent to or surrounded by urban areas may not result in the same ecosystem benefits historically associated with their presence. An urban landscape presents prairie dogs with movement challenges unparalleled in natural landscapes, as well as suites of nonnative plant species that are more common in disturbed areas. This study examined a complex ecosystem where vegetation communities are being influenced by directional environmental change, and quantified the synergistic effects resulting from the protective management of a native keystone species. The data set for this analysis was comprised of 71 paired (occupied by prairie dogs vs. unoccupied) vegetation surveys and 156 additional unpaired surveys collected from around the city of Boulder, Colorado, USA for 14 yr. Linear mixed models were used to compare data from transects occupied and unoccupied by prairie dogs, as well as to evaluate the effect of prairie dog occupation duration. In the absence of prairie dogs, vegetation in this region exhibited declines in native grasses, no changes in introduced grasses, and increases in native and nonnative forbs and bare soil over the study interval. In the presence of prairie dogs, these observed directional changes were nearly all amplified at rates four to 10 times greater than when prairie dogs were absent. Areas in Boulder occupied by prairie dogs also had significantly lower richness, evenness, and diversity of plant species, compared to unoccupied areas. Analysis of plant functional groups revealed the significant reduction of perennial native grasses, as well as a significantly higher cover of introduced forbs in occupied areas. Prairie dogs

  2. Prairie strips improve biodiversity and the delivery of multiple ecosystem services from corn-soybean croplands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Losses of biodiversity and ecosystem services from industrial agricultural lands are persistent and growing challenges in the United States despite decades of spending on natural resource management. Most investments have been targeted toward engineered practices (e.g., sediment control basins, terr...

  3. Potential and limitations of using digital repeat photography to track structural and physiological phenology in Mediterranean tree-grass ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luo, Yunpeng; EI-Madany, Tarek; Filippa, Gianluca; Carrara, Arnaud; Cremonese, Edoardo; Galvagno, Marta; Hammer, Tiana; Pérez-Priego, Oscar; Reichstein, Markus; Martín Isabel, Pilar; González Cascón, Rosario; Migliavacca, Mirco

    2017-04-01

    Tree-Grass ecosystems are global widely distributed (16-35% of the land surface). However, its phenology (especially in water-limited areas) has not yet been well characterized and modeled. By using commercial digital cameras, continuous and relatively vast phenology data becomes available, which provides a good opportunity to monitor and develop a robust method used to extract the important phenological events (phenophases). Here we aimed to assess the usability of digital repeat photography for three Tree-Grass Mediterranean ecosystems over two different growing seasons (Majadas del Tietar, Spain) to extract critical phenophases for grass and evergreen broadleaved trees (autumn regreening of grass- Start of growing season; resprouting of tree leaves; senescence of grass - End of growing season), assess their uncertainty, and to correlate them with physiological phenology (i.e. phenology of ecosystem scale fluxes such as Gross Primary Productivity, GPP). We extracted green chromatic coordinates (GCC) and camera based normalized difference vegetation index (Camera-NDVI) from an infrared enabled digital camera using the "Phenopix" R package. Then we developed a novel method to retrieve important phenophases from GCC and Camera-NDVI from various region of interests (ROIs) of the imagery (tree areas, grass, and both - ecosystem) as well as from GPP, which was derived from Eddy Covariance tower in the same experimental site. The results show that, at ecosystem level, phenophases derived from GCC and Camera-NDVI are strongly correlated (R2 = 0.979). Remarkably, we observed that at the end of growing season phenophases derived from GCC were systematically advanced (ca. 8 days) than phenophase from Camera-NDVI. By using the radiative transfer model Soil Canopy Observation Photochemistry and Energy (SCOPE) we demonstrated that this delay is related to the different sensitivity of GCC and NDVI to the fraction of green/dry grass in the canopy, resulting in a systematic

  4. Use of ecological sites in managing wildlife and livestock: An example with prairie dogs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prairie dogs are a native rodent found in the mixed grass prairie of the northern Great Plains. Prairie dogs can have an adverse impact on the amount of forages available for grazing livestock. In the Native American community, prairie dogs are often valued as a cultural resource and as an importan...

  5. Integrating environmental and in situ hyperspectral remote sensing variables for grass nitrogen estimation in savannah ecosystems

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Ramoelo, Abel

    2011-04-01

    Full Text Available Information about the distribution of grass nitrogen (N) concentration is crucial in understanding rangeland vitality and facilitates effective management of wildlife and livestock. A challenge in estimating grass N concentration using remote...

  6. Hyperspectral remote sensing techniques for grass nutrient estimations in savannah ecosystems

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Ramoelo, Abel

    2010-03-01

    Full Text Available Information on the distribution of grass quality (nutrient concentration) is crucial in understanding rangeland vitality and facilitates effective management of wildlife and livestock. The spatial distribution of grass nutrient concentration occurs...

  7. Growing C4 perennial grass for bioenergy using a new Agro-BGC ecosystem model

    Science.gov (United States)

    di Vittorio, A. V.; Anderson, R. S.; Miller, N. L.; Running, S. W.

    2009-12-01

    Accurate, spatially gridded estimates of bioenergy crop yields require 1) biophysically accurate crop growth models and 2) careful parameterization of unavailable inputs to these models. To meet the first requirement we have added the capacity to simulate C4 perennial grass as a bioenergy crop to the Biome-BGC ecosystem model. This new model, hereafter referred to as Agro-BGC, includes enzyme driven C4 photosynthesis, individual live and dead leaf, stem, and root carbon/nitrogen pools, separate senescence and litter fall processes, fruit growth, optional annual seeding, flood irrigation, a growing degree day phenology with a killing frost option, and a disturbance handler that effectively simulates fertilization, harvest, fire, and incremental irrigation. There are four Agro-BGC vegetation parameters that are unavailable for Panicum virgatum (switchgrass), and to meet the second requirement we have optimized the model across multiple calibration sites to obtain representative values for these parameters. We have verified simulated switchgrass yields against observations at three non-calibration sites in IL. Agro-BGC simulates switchgrass growth and yield at harvest very well at a single site. Our results suggest that a multi-site optimization scheme would be adequate for producing regional-scale estimates of bioenergy crop yields on high spatial resolution grids.

  8. Book title: Exotic brome grasses in arid and semi-arid ecosystems of the western US: causes, consequences, and management implications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Exotic invasive annual grass research and management in arid and semiarid ecosystems of the western US have historically focused on the outcome of efforts to reduce weed abundance. Given the current impact of invasive annual grasses and their continued spread in this region, we assessed components ...

  9. Sound transmission at ground level in a short-grass prairie habitat and its implications for long-range communication in the swift fox Vulpes velox

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Darden, Safi K; Pedersen, Simon B; Larsen, Ole N

    2008-01-01

    The acoustic environment of swift foxes Vulpes velox vocalizing close to the ground and the effect of propagation on individual identity information in vocalizations were quantified in a transmission experiment in prairie habitat. Sounds were propagated (0.45 m above the ground) at distances up t...

  10. Exotic Annual Grasses in Western Rangelands: Predicting Resistance and Resilience of Native Ecosystems to Invasion (Draft)

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Belnap, Jayne; Evans, R. D; Phillips, Susan L; Reheis, Merith; Reynolds, Rich; Sanford, Robert; Webb, Bruce

    2004-01-01

    Bromus tectorum (hereafter referred to as Bromus) is a non-native annual grass from the Mediterranean region that arrived in the United States in the late 19th century and soon spread throughout the western states...

  11. Invasive Andropogon gayanus (gamba grass) is an ecosystem transformer of nitrogen relations in Australian savanna.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rossiter-Rachor, N A; Setterfield, S A; Douglas, M M; Hutley, L B; Cook, G D; Schmidt, S

    2009-09-01

    Invasion by the African grass Andropogon gayanus is drastically altering the understory structure of oligotrophic savannas in tropical Australia. We compared nitrogen (N) relations and phenology of A. gayanus and native grasses to examine the impact of invasion on N cycling and to determine possible reasons for invasiveness of A. gayanus. Andropogon gayanus produced up to 10 and four times more shoot phytomass and root biomass, with up to seven and 2.5 times greater shoot and root N pools than native grass understory. These pronounced differences in phytomass and N pools between A. gayanus and native grasses were associated with an altered N cycle. Most growth occurs in the wet season when, compared with native grasses, dominance of A. gayanus was associated with significantly lower total soil N pools, lower nitrification rates, up to three times lower soil nitrate availability, and up to three times higher soil ammonium availability. Uptake kinetics for different N sources were studied with excised roots of three grass species ex situ. Excised roots of A. gayanus had an over six times higher-uptake rate of ammonium than roots of native grasses, while native grass Eriachne triseta had a three times higher uptake rate of nitrate than A. gayanus. We hypothesize that A. gayanus stimulates ammonification but inhibits nitrification, as was shown to occur in its native range in Africa, and that this modification of the soil N cycle is linked to the species' preference for ammonium as an N source. This mechanism could result in altered soil N relations and could enhance the competitive superiority and persistence of A. gayanus in Australian savannas.

  12. Prairie Chicken

    Data.gov (United States)

    Kansas Data Access and Support Center — An outline of the general range occupied by greayter and lesser prairie chickens. The range was delineated by expert opinion, then varified by local wildlife...

  13. Effects on the equine colon ecosystem of grass silage and haylage diets after an abrupt change from hay.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muhonen, S; Julliand, V; Lindberg, J E; Bertilsson, J; Jansson, A

    2009-07-01

    The objective of this study was to investigate the effect of an abrupt change from grass hay (81% DM) to grass silage (36% DM) or grass haylage (55% DM), fed at similar DM intakes, and to compare the effects of silage and haylage on the composition and activities of the colon microflora. The forages were from the same swath harvested on the same day. Four adult colon-fistulated geldings were randomly assigned to diets in a crossover design. The study started with a preperiod when all 4 horses received the hay diet, followed by an abrupt feed change to the haylage diet for 2 horses and the silage diet for 2 horses. All 4 horses then had a new second preperiod of hay, followed by an abrupt feed change to the opposite haylage and silage diet. The periods were 21 d long, and the forage-only diets were supplemented with minerals and salt. The abrupt feed changes were made at 0800 h. Colon samples were taken before the abrupt feed change, 4 and 28 h after the feed change, and 8, 15, and 21 d after the feed change, all at 1200 h. Colon bacterial counts, VFA, pH, and DM concentrations were unchanged throughout the first 28 h after the abrupt feed change from hay to haylage and silage. Also, fecal pH and DM concentrations were unchanged during the first 28 h. During the weekly observations, colon lactobacilli counts increased (P = 0.023) in horses receiving the silage diet and were greater than on the haylage diet at 21 d. Streptococci counts decreased (P = 0.046) in horses receiving the haylage diet and were less than on the silage diet at 15 and 21 d. Total VFA concentrations and colon and fecal pH did not differ between diets and were unchanged throughout the weekly observations. The DM concentration of colon digesta and feces decreased (P = 0.030 and 0.049, respectively) on both diets during the weekly observations. The results suggest that in horses fed at the maintenance level of energy intake, an abrupt feed change from grass hay to grass silage or grass haylage from

  14. Biochemical parameters in the blood of grass snakes (Natrix natrix in ecosystems under varying degrees of anthropogenic influence

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    V. Y. Gasso

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available The grass snake Natrix natrix (Linnaeus, 1758 is a partly hygrophilous species, distributed throughoutUkraine. This snake may be considered as a test object for environmental biomonitoring. Modern biochemical methods make it possible to obtain new scientific data on the effects of anthropogenic pressure on reptiles. Blood is a sensitive and informative indicator of the condition of an organism as it responds quickly to most changes in exogenous and endogenous factors, and reflects negative influences on both individual and, indirectly, populations. Changes in biochemical parameters may be used as biomarkers of the state of health of reptiles in ecosystems under varying degrees of anthropogenic pressure. Due the increase in anthropogenic influence the development and introduction of new methods of perceptual research, collection of up-to-date information and development of a database of reptile biochemical parameters have become an urgent priority. We collected mature individuals of the grass snake in floodplain ecosystems on the right bank of the Dnieper River in Dnipropetrovsk city. Grass snakes from floodplain habitats on the left bank of theSamaraRiver (O.L. Belgard Prysamarskii International Biosphere Station, Novomoskovsk district, Dnipropetrovsk province were studied as the control specimens. Our study demonstrated statistically significant differences between snakes from the study sites in the amount of albumin, urea and urea nitrogen, and inorganic phosphorus, as well as in alanine aminotransferase (ALT and alkaline phosphatise (AP activity. The amount of albumin in the blood serum of specimens from the anthropogenically transformed areas was significantly lower (by 25% than in that of the snakes caught in the control habitats. Decrease of the albumin concentration usually indicates abnormal processes in the kidneys and liver. According to the changes observed in the concentration of albumin, a corresponding increase in the albumin to

  15. Establishment of prairies

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lotero Cadavid, J.

    2001-01-01

    Are analyzed the establishment of prairies, such as the selection of the species, the factors of the environment, the impact in the establishment and forage production and its relation to the soil, the precipitation, the temperature, the light and the biotic factors. It is indicated that the selection of the species to settle down, is directly related with the climate and the soil and they group to be tolerant to drought, tolerant to flood soils, tolerant to humid soils, tolerant to soils very acids, moderately acids and saline. It is noticed that a bad establishment of the grasses can be due to the bad quality of the seed, a temperature and unfavorable humidity can cause low germination; equally seeds planted very deeply in heavy soils with excess of humidity. Considerations are made about the establishment and growth of the prairies in connection with the germination, cultures, sowing density and sowing on time, as well as for the soil preparation, the sowing in terrestrial mechanic and non mechanic and the use of cultivations forms of low cost and fertilization systems; equally the establishment of leguminous in mixture with gramineous, the renovation of prairies and the establishment of pastures

  16. Contribution of trees and grasses to ecosystem fluxes of water, carbon, and energy throughout the seasons under different nutrient availability

    Science.gov (United States)

    El-Madany, T. S.; Migliavacca, M.; Perez-Priego, O.; Luo, Y.; Moreno, G.; Carrara, A.; Kolle, O.; Reichstein, M.

    2017-12-01

    In semi-arid savanna type ecosystems, the carbon and water cycle are closely related to each other. Water availability is the main driver for the development and phenology of the vegetation, especially for annual plants. Depending on tree density, nutrient availability and species the contribution of the tree- and the herbaceous layer to ecosystem fluxes can vary substantially. We present data from an ecosystem scale nutrient manipulation experiment within a Mediterranean savanna type ecosystem which is used for cattle. The footprint areas of two out of three ecosystem eddy co-variance (EC) towers were fertilized with nitrogen (NT) and nitrogen plus phosphorous (NPT) while the third one served as the control tower (CT). At each ecosystem EC-tower an additional herbaceous layer tower was installed that only sampled fluxes from the herbaceous layer. Under certain assumptions flux differences between the ecosystem EC and the herbaceous layer EC systems can be considered as the contribution of the trees to the ecosystem fluxes. Based on phenology of the herbaceous layer estimated through green-chromatic-coordinates from digital imagery the year was separated into spring, senescence, regreening, and winter. The focus of the analysis is (i) the evaluation of the method and how it works throughout the different seasons and (ii) the quantification of the contribution of trees and grasses to ecosystem fluxes of water, carbon, and energy under different environmental conditions and nutrient stoichiometry. The contribution of the trees to total ecosystem fluxes is variable in time. Especially, during the beginning of the senescence period high evapotranspiration rates and largest carbon uptake are measured while the contribution to sensible heat fluxes is largest during the end of the summer. During the regreening and winter the contribution of ET is relatively constant around 0.25 mm d-1. During the peak of the greenness ET and carbon flux of the herbaceous EC tower are

  17. Restoration and winter avian use of isolated prairies in eastern Texas

    Science.gov (United States)

    D. Craig Rudolph; Dave E. Plair; Dan Jones; J. Howard Williamson; Clifford E. Shackelford; Richard R. Schaefer; Joshua B. Pierce

    2014-01-01

    Numerous isolated prairies exist, or existed, on the West Gulf Coastal Plain east of the main distribution of the prairie ecosystem. Changing land-use patterns and suppression of wildfire have destroyed almost all of these small prairie occurrences. Intensified restoration and management of degraded prairie habitat on the Sam Houston National Forest in southeastern...

  18. Community structure affects annual grass weed invasion during restoration of a shrub-steppe ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Phil S. Allen; Susan E. Meyer

    2014-01-01

    Ecological restoration of shrub-steppe communities in the western United States is often hampered by invasion of exotic annual grasses during the process. An important question is how to create restored communities that can better resist reinvasion by these weeds. One hypothesis is that communities comprised of species that are functionally similar to the invader will...

  19. NPP Grassland: Konza Prairie, USA, 1984-1990, R1

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — This data set contains three ASCII files (.txt format). Two files contain above-ground biomass and productivity data for a humid temperate tall-grass prairie...

  20. The prairie dog as a keystone species

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kotliar, Natasha B.; Miller, Brian J.; Reading, Richard P.; Clark, Timothy W.; Hoogland, John L.

    2006-01-01

    The prairie dog has a pronounced impact on its grassland ecosystem (King 1955; Uresk and Bjugstad 1983; Miller et al. 1994; Society for Conservation Biology 1994; Wuerthner 1997; Johnsgard 2005). They maintain short vegetation by their grazing and by selective removal of tall plants and shrubs; provide shelter, foraging grounds, and nesting habitat for a diverse array of animals; serve as prey for many predators; and alter soil chemistry.Do these impacts mean that the prairie dog is a keystone species? To investigate, we first scrutinize the definition for a keystone species. We then document both vertebrates and invertebrates that associate with prairie dogs and their colony-sites. We examine ecosystem processes at colony-sites, and then assess whether the prairie dog is a legitimate keystone species. Finally, we explore the implications of keystone status for the conservation of prairie dogs.

  1. Using resistance and resilience concepts to reduce impacts of invasive annual grasses and altered fire regimes on the sagebrush ecosystem and greater sage-grouse: A strategic multi-scale approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jeanne C. Chambers; David A. Pyke; Jeremy D. Maestas; Mike Pellant; Chad S. Boyd; Steven B. Campbell; Shawn Espinosa; Douglas W. Havlina; Kenneth E. Mayer; Amarina Wuenschel

    2014-01-01

    This Report provides a strategic approach for conservation of sagebrush ecosystems and Greater Sage- Grouse (sage-grouse) that focuses specifically on habitat threats caused by invasive annual grasses and altered fire regimes. It uses information on factors that influence (1) sagebrush ecosystem resilience to disturbance and resistance to invasive annual grasses and (2...

  2. Prairie revegetation of a strip mine in Illinois: fifteen years after establishment

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Corbett, E.A.; Anderson, R.C.; Rodgers, C.S. [Illinois State University, Normal, IL (United States). Dept. of Biological Sciences

    1996-12-01

    The long-term success of prairie planting on a former strip mine in northeastern Illinois was investigated. The site was reclaimed and planted with prairie species in the 1970s. Total biomass increased over time, largely as a result of an increase in biomass of non-prairie species. Biomass of prairie species remained unchanged because of an increase in Panicum virgatum (switchgrass) offsetting decreases in Sorghastrum nutans (Indian grass).

  3. Microbial production and consumption of dimethyl sulfide (DMS) in a sea grass (Zostera noltii)-dominated marine intertidal sediment ecosystem (Bassin d'Arcachon, France)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Jonkers, HM; van Bergeijk, SA; van Gemerden, H

    The relation between net dimethyl sulfide (DMS) production and changes in near surface (0-5 mm) oxygen concentrations in a sea grass (Zostera noltii Hornem)-covered intertidal sediment ecosystem was examined during a diel cycle. Sediment covered with Zostera was found to be more oxygenated than

  4. Final State of Ecosystem Containing Grass, Sheep and Wolves with Aging

    Science.gov (United States)

    He, Mingfeng; Pan, Qiu-Hui; Wang, Shuang

    This paper describes a cellular automata model containing movable wolves, sheep and reproducible grass. Each wolf or sheep is characterized by Penna bitstrings. In addition, we introduce the energy rule and the predator-prey mechanism for wolf and sheep. With considering age-structured, genetic strings, minimum reproduction age, cycle of the reproduction, number of offspring, we get three possible states of a predator-prey system: the coexisting one with predators and prey, the absorbing one with prey only, and the empty one where no animal survived. In this paper, we mainly discuss the effect of the number of poor genes, the energy supply (food), the minimum reproduction age, the reproductive cycle and the birth rate on the above three possible final states.

  5. Elevated CO2 induces substantial and persistent declines in forage digestibility and protein content irrespective of warming in mixed-grass prairie

    Science.gov (United States)

    Increasing atmospheric [CO2] and temperature are expected to affect the productivity, species composition, biogeochemistry, and therefore the quantity and quality of forage available to herbivores in rangeland ecosystems. Both elevated CO2 (eCO2) and warming affect plant tissue chemistry through mul...

  6. Effects of a copper-tolerant grass (Agrostis capillaris) on the ecosystem of a copper-contaminated arable soil

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Boon, G.T. [State Univ. Groningen (Netherlands); Bouwman, L.A.; Bloem, J.; Roemkens, P.F.A.M. [Research Inst. for Agrobiology and Soil Fertility, Haren (Netherlands)

    1998-10-01

    To test how a dysfunctioning ecosystem of a severely metal-polluted soil responds to renewed plant growth, a pot experiment was conducted with soil from an experimental arable field with pH and copper gradients imposed 13 years ago. In this experiment, four pH/copper combinations from this field were either planted with a pH- and copper-resistant grass cultivar or remained fallow. During a 10-week period, the dynamics of the microbial activity and of the abundances of bacteria, protozoa. and nematodes were measured, as were the dynamics of several chemical soil parameters. After 13 years of copper, which had resulted in severely reduced crop growth, no effects were observed on bacterial numbers, respiration, or protozoan numbers, but bacterial growth was strongly reduced in the low pH plots, and even more so in low pH plots enriched with copper. Of the organisms, only nematodes were negatively affected under conditions of high copper load at low pH. In these plots, numbers belonging to all feeding categories were strongly reduced. Planting of a copper-tolerant grass variety, Agrostis capillaris L. var. Parys Mountain, resulted within 10 weeks in faster bacterial growth and more protozoa and bacterivorous nematodes in comparison with fallow controls; these effects were markedly strongest in the acidic, copper-enriched soils. During incubation, fungivorous nematodes increased in all treatments, in fallow and in planted pots and in the pots with high-copper, low-pH soil. The results of this experiment suggest that introduction of plant growth is one of the major causes of increased biological activity in acidic contaminated soils. Planting such soils with metal-tolerant plant species can reestablish the necessary food base to support soil organism growth, and this can lead to numerous positive effects, reversing the loss of soil functions due to the high copper levels under acidic conditions.

  7. Plant composition in oak savanna and woodland restoration at Prairie Fork Conservation Area in Missouri

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nadia E. Navarrete-Tindall; J.W. Van Sambeek; Jamie Coe; Warren Taylor

    2007-01-01

    The wooded areas of the Prairie Fork Conservation Area in central Missouri are typical of the oak/hickory forest/prairie transition zone that will require active management to restore pre-settlement, grass dominated savannas and open woodlands to improve habitat for wildlife. We initiated a management program to restore savannas and woodlands by reducing the midstory (...

  8. Transfer factor of caesium-137 in natural and agricultural grass ecosystems in the area of Plavsk radioactive spot, Russia

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Paramonova, Tatiana A.; Machaeva, Ekaterina N. [Radioecology and Ecotoxicology Department of Soil Science Faculty, Lomonosov Moscow State University, 119234 Moscow (Russian Federation); Belyaev, Vladimir R. [Laboratory of soil erosion and fluvial processes of Geography Faculty, Lomonosov Moscow State University, 119234 Moscow (Russian Federation)

    2014-07-01

    Root uptake and translocation of ¹³⁷Cs from soil to plant is the key for estimation of general ecological situation and land use on radioactive contaminated territories. There are numerous researches concerning the relationship between the level of the radionuclide presence in soils and its accumulation in vegetation that usually describes as transfer factor (TF) for ¹³⁷Cs (the ratio of the specific ¹³⁷Cs activity in the plant tissue and the soil). But in most cases only edible organs or above-ground parts of plants are taken into account in evaluating TF. It is reasonable from the standpoint of practical use, but does not provide accurate information in the study of ¹³⁷Cs biogeochemical cycle features. The study of the ¹³⁷Cs root uptake from the radioactive contaminated chernozem soil and its distribution between above-ground and below-ground fractions of grass vegetation was conducted in the natural conditions on the territory of Plavsk radioactive spot (Tula region, Russia)~25 years after Chernobyl accident. The main crops of field rotation in this landscape (wheat, barley, potatoes, rape, maize) which occupy watersheds and slopes with arable chernozems contaminated at a level 460-670 Bq/kg (170-220 kBq/m²) and natural grassland ecosystems which occupy lower parts of slopes and flood plains with dry and wet meadows contaminated at a level 620-710 Bq/kg (210-250 kBq/m²) were examined. Total accumulation of ¹³⁷Cs in vegetation strongly depends on the level of soil radioactive contamination (correlation coefficient 0.87). So specific ¹³⁷Cs activity in vegetation of meadows (103-160 Bq/kg) in general more than one in agricultural crops (9-92 Bq/kg). Other reason may be the predominance of perennial herbs in natural meadows whereas agricultural systems contain annual crops. The values of ¹³⁷Cs TF in the studied ecosystems vary within a relatively narrow range: from 0.01 (rape) to 0.20 (wet meadow), that confirms the discrimination of

  9. The effect of pineapple waste (Ananas comosus (L. Merr subtitution on mixed basal diet of Elephant grass and calliandra on rumen ecosystem of sheep

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Y. Widiawati

    2009-12-01

    Full Text Available The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of pineapple waste substitution to mixed basal diet of Elephant grass and calliandra on rumen ecosystem. Pineapple waste was substituted to basal of Elephant grass and calliandra leaves (3:2 at the level of 0% (RA; 10% (RB; 20% (RC; 30% (RD; 40% (RE and 50% (RF. In this experiment 24 Indonesian local male sheep (9-10 months old, 15.3 kg average body weight were used, and were divided into 6 groups of dietary treatment (4 sheep each. Every group was offered one of the experimental diets (RA to RF in a Completely Randomized Design. Pineapple waste was offered gradually for one month until the level of 50% (RF was reached. The animals were adapted to experimental diets for about 14 days prior to the data collection period. Rumen fluids from each animal was taken (5 hours after morning feeding for pH, ammonia concentration; bacteria and protozoa population analysis. The results showed that substitution of pineapple waste up to 30% had no effect on pH, but when the level was increased up to 40 and 50%, the pH (P0.05. Increasing pineapple waste given increased population of amyllolytic bacteria but decreased the population of cellulolytic bacteria. On the Elephant grass and calliandra basal diet with the proportion of 3 : 2, the best substitution of pineapple waste was up to 20%.

  10. Invasive plants affect prairie soil biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Non-native or exotic plants often cause ecological and environmental damage in ecosystems where they invade and become established. These invasive plants may be the most serious threat to plant diversity in prairies, especially those in scattered remnants, which may be particularly vulnerable to rap...

  11. Land use history, ecosystem type and species composition drive water use efficiency in annual maize and perennial grasslands in a humid temperate climate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gelfand, I.; Abraha, M.; Chen, J.; Shao, C.; Su, Y. J.; Hamilton, S. K.; Robertson, G. P.

    2015-12-01

    Water use efficiency (WUE), carbon gained per unit water lost, is a fundamental plant and ecosystem function that regulates plant productivity, global hydrology and carbon cycles. We examined ecosystem (E) and intrinsic (i) WUEs derived from eddy covariance (EC) measurements and plant carbon isotope discrimination, respectively, to study how WUE is affected by land-use history, ecosystem type, and plants community composition. We measured EWUE and iWUE of three perennial grasslands planted to mixed-prairie, switchgrass and brome grass as compared to a fields planted to corn. Each of studied ecosystems was replicated on two fields with contrasting land-use histories: one field was managed under the USDA Conservation Reserve Program (CRP, planted to bromgrass) and another was in conventional agriculture (AGR) corn/soybean rotation for few decades before start of the experiment. In 2009, all but one CRP field were converted to no-till soybean. In 2010, the converted CRP and AGR fields were planted to mixed-prairie (C3 and C4 grasses), switchgrass (C4 grass), and no-till corn (C4 grass). During 2009-2013, we measured carbon and water exchange over each field using an EC technique and sampled plant tissue for 13C isotopes analysis. Land-use history, ecosystem type, and species composition had large effects on EWUEs. Intrinsic WUE of individual C3 grass species, however, was similar across the study period, despite drought in 2012. Corn and brome grass had the highest and lowest overall mean EWUE, 4.1 and 2.2 g C kg-1 H2O, respectively. Restored prairie on former AGR land had a mean EWUE of 3.0 g C kg-1 H2O, significantly greater than on former CRP land with a EWUE of 2.5 g C kg-1 H2O. Land use history had no effect on interannual variability of EWUE of corn. Prairie and switchgrass established on former CRP land exhibited no change of EWUE, as well. Same ecosystems established on former AGR land, oppositely, increased their WUEs over the study period from ~ 2.5 g C kg-1

  12. Estimating grass nutrients and biomass as an indicator of rangeland (forage) quality and quantity using remote sensing in Savanna ecosystems

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Ramoelo, Abel

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available and grass quantity, respectively. The objective of the study is to estimate and map leaf N and biomass as an indicator of rangeland quality and quantity using vegetation indices derived from one RapidEye image taken at peak productivity. The study...

  13. Prairie Monitoring Protocol Development: North Coast and Cascades Network

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCoy, Allen; Dalby, Craig

    2009-01-01

    The purpose of the project was to conduct research that will guide development of a standard approach to monitoring several components of prairies within the North Coast and Cascades Network (NCCN) parks. Prairies are an important element of the natural environment at many parks, including San Juan Island National Historical Park (NHP) and Ebey's Landing National Historical Reserve (NHR). Forests have been encroaching on these prairies for many years, and so monitoring of the prairies is an important resource issue. This project specifically focused on San Juan Island NHP. Prairies at Ebey's Landing NHR will be monitored in the future, but that park was not mapped as part of this prototype project. In the interest of efficiency, the Network decided to investigate two main issues before launching a full protocol development effort: (1) the imagery requirements for monitoring prairie components, and (2) the effectiveness of software to assist in extracting features from the imagery. Several components of prairie monitoring were initially identified as being easily tracked using aerial imagery. These components included prairie/forest edge, broad prairie composition (for example, shrubs, scattered trees), and internal exclusions (for example, shrubs, bare ground). In addition, we believed that it might be possible to distinguish different grasses in the prairies if the imagery were of high enough resolution. Although the areas in question at San Juan Island NHP are small enough that mapping on the ground with GPS (Global Positioning System) would be feasible, other applications could benefit from aerial image acquisition on a regular, recurring basis and thereby make the investment in aerial imagery worthwhile. The additional expense of orthorectifying the imagery also was determined to be cost-effective.

  14. Photosynthetic responses to temperature across leaf-canopy-ecosystem scales: a 15-year study in a Californian oak-grass savanna.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ma, Siyan; Osuna, Jessica L; Verfaillie, Joseph; Baldocchi, Dennis D

    2017-06-01

    Ecosystem CO 2 fluxes measured with eddy-covariance techniques provide a new opportunity to retest functional responses of photosynthesis to abiotic factors at the ecosystem level, but examining the effects of one factor (e.g., temperature) on photosynthesis remains a challenge as other factors may confound under circumstances of natural experiments. In this study, we developed a data mining framework to analyze a set of ecosystem CO 2 fluxes measured from three eddy-covariance towers, plus a suite of abiotic variables (e.g., temperature, solar radiation, air, and soil moisture) measured simultaneously, in a Californian oak-grass savanna from 2000 to 2015. Natural covariations of temperature and other factors caused remarkable confounding effects in two particular conditions: lower light intensity at lower temperatures and drier air and soil at higher temperatures. But such confounding effects may cancel out. At the ecosystem level, photosynthetic responses to temperature did follow a quadratic function on average. The optimum value of photosynthesis occurred within a narrow temperature range (i.e., optimum temperature, T opt ): 20.6 ± 0.6, 18.5 ± 0.7, 19.2 ± 0.5, and 19.0 ± 0.6 °C for the oak canopy, understory grassland, entire savanna, and open grassland, respectively. This paradigm confirms that photosynthesis response to ambient temperature changes is a functional relationship consistent across leaf-canopy-ecosystem scales. Nevertheless, T opt can shift with variations in light intensity, air dryness, or soil moisture. These findings will pave the way to a direct determination of thermal optima and limits of ecosystem photosynthesis, which can in turn provide a rich resource for baseline thresholds and dynamic response functions required for predicting global carbon balance and geographic shifts of vegetative communities in response to climate change.

  15. Soil nitrogen mineralization not affected by grass species traits

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maged Ikram Nosshi; Jack Butler; M. J. Trlica

    2007-01-01

    Species N use traits was evaluated as a mechanism whereby Bromus inermis (Bromus), an established invasive, might alter soil N supply in a Northern mixed-grass prairie. We compared soils under stands of Bromus with those from three representative native grasses of different litter C/N: Andropogon...

  16. Lesser prairie-chicken nest site selection, microclimate, and nest survival in association with vegetation response to a grassland restoration program

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boal, Clint W.; Grisham, Blake A.; Haukos, David A.; Zavaleta, Jennifer C.; Dixon, Charles

    2014-01-01

    captured at individual leks, and then for all leks pooled. There was no clear pattern of selection for treatment type for nest placement among hens associated with individual leks; however, when hens from all leks were pooled, we found nesting lesser prairie-chickens selected control plots for nesting over plots that were grazed, treated with tebuthiuron, or were both grazed and treated with tebuthiuron. Overall, the probability of a nest surviving the incubation period was 0.57 for this study and did not vary significantly among treatment types. In contrast to nesting preference for untreated habitats, lek use exhibited no noticeable selection of treatment type. Over the 10 years of the habitat management study, there was 91 percent less sand shinnery oak (Quercus havardii) in treated areas than untreated areas. The removal of sand shinnery oak made environmental soil moisture more available for grasses and forbs to germinate and grow. Grasses increased by 149 percent and forbs increased by 257 percent in treated areas as compared to untreated areas throughout the study period. Our combined results, including our habitat selection analysis at the individual lek level, indicated that reduced rates of herbicide and short-duration grazing treatments were not detrimental to nesting lesser prairie-chickens and that populations of lesser prairie-chickens in shrub-dominated ecosystems may benefit from reduced rates of herbicide application and short duration of grazing that results in increased habitat heterogeneity.

  17. Parallel ecological networks in ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olff, Han; Alonso, David; Berg, Matty P.; Eriksson, B. Klemens; Loreau, Michel; Piersma, Theunis; Rooney, Neil

    2009-01-01

    In ecosystems, species interact with other species directly and through abiotic factors in multiple ways, often forming complex networks of various types of ecological interaction. Out of this suite of interactions, predator–prey interactions have received most attention. The resulting food webs, however, will always operate simultaneously with networks based on other types of ecological interaction, such as through the activities of ecosystem engineers or mutualistic interactions. Little is known about how to classify, organize and quantify these other ecological networks and their mutual interplay. The aim of this paper is to provide new and testable ideas on how to understand and model ecosystems in which many different types of ecological interaction operate simultaneously. We approach this problem by first identifying six main types of interaction that operate within ecosystems, of which food web interactions are one. Then, we propose that food webs are structured among two main axes of organization: a vertical (classic) axis representing trophic position and a new horizontal ‘ecological stoichiometry’ axis representing decreasing palatability of plant parts and detritus for herbivores and detrivores and slower turnover times. The usefulness of these new ideas is then explored with three very different ecosystems as test cases: temperate intertidal mudflats; temperate short grass prairie; and tropical savannah. PMID:19451126

  18. Using resistance and resilience concepts to reduce impacts of annual grasses and altered fire regimes on the sagebrush ecosystem and sage-grouse- A strategic multi-scale approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chambers, Jeanne C.; Pyke, David A.; Maestas, Jeremy D.; Boyd, Chad S.; Campbell, Steve; Espinosa, Shawn; Havlina, Doug; Mayer, Kenneth F.; Wuenschel, Amarina

    2014-01-01

    This Report provides a strategic approach for conservation of sagebrush ecosystems and Greater Sage- Grouse (sage-grouse) that focuses specifically on habitat threats caused by invasive annual grasses and altered fire regimes. It uses information on factors that influence (1) sagebrush ecosystem resilience to disturbance and resistance to invasive annual grasses and (2) distribution, relative abundance, and persistence of sage-grouse populations to develop management strategies at both landscape and site scales. A sage-grouse habitat matrix links relative resilience and resistance of sagebrush ecosystems with sage-grouse habitat requirements for landscape cover of sagebrush to help decision makers assess risks and determine appropriate management strategies at landscape scales. Focal areas for management are assessed by overlaying matrix components with sage-grouse Priority Areas for Conservation (PACs), breeding bird densities, and specific habitat threats. Decision tools are discussed for determining the suitability of focal areas for treatment and the most appropriate management treatments.

  19. Effects of a copper tolerant grass (Agrostis capillaris) on the ecosystem of a copper-contaminated arable soil

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Boon, G.T.; Bouwman, L.A.; Bloem, J.; Römkens, P.F.A.M.

    1998-01-01

    To test how a dysfunctioning ecosystem of a severely metal-polluted soil responds to renewed plant growth, a pot experiment was conducted with soil from an experimental arable field with pH and copper gradients imposed 13 years ago. In this experimentfour pH/copper combinations from this field were

  20. Cluster fescue (Festuca paradoxa Desv.): A multipurpose native cool-season grass

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nadia E. Navarrete-Tindall; J.W. Van Sambeek; R.A. Pierce

    2005-01-01

    Native cool-season grasses (NCSG) are adapted to a wide range of habitats and environmental conditions, and cluster fescue (Festuca paradoxa Desv.) is no exception. Cluster fescue can be found in unplowed upland prairies, prairie draws, savannas, forest openings, and glades (Aiken et al. 1996). Although its range includes 23 states in the continental...

  1. Assessing the grass Schizachyrium gracile for capacity to ecologically restore the polluted soils of ecosystems in a bauxite mining area

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Pastor, J.; Alexis, S.; Hernandez, A. J.

    2009-07-01

    Abandoned bauxite mines in the tropical forest of the Dominican Republics only biosphere reserve are leaving behind extensive areas and landfills, whose negative impacts need restoring because of the ecological interest of the sites they occupy. Given that any realistic recovery program should be based on knowledge of the ecological succession, in this report we present the results derived from the study of two populations of a pioneer species of these ecosystems. (Author)

  2. Assessing the grass Schizachyrium gracile for capacity to ecologically restore the polluted soils of ecosystems in a bauxite mining area

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pastor, J.; Alexis, S.; Hernandez, A. J.

    2009-01-01

    Abandoned bauxite mines in the tropical forest of the Dominican Republics only biosphere reserve are leaving behind extensive areas and landfills, whose negative impacts need restoring because of the ecological interest of the sites they occupy. Given that any realistic recovery program should be based on knowledge of the ecological succession, in this report we present the results derived from the study of two populations of a pioneer species of these ecosystems. (Author)

  3. Rangewide genetic analysis of Lesser Prairie-Chicken reveals population structure, range expansion, and possible introgression

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oyler-McCance, Sara J.; DeYoung, Randall W; Fike, Jennifer; Hagen, Christian A.; Johnson, Jeff A.; Larsson, Lena C.; Patten, Michael

    2016-01-01

    The distribution of the Lesser Prairie-Chicken (Tympanuchus pallidicinctus) has been markedly reduced due to loss and fragmentation of habitat. Portions of the historical range, however, have been recolonized and even expanded due to planting of conservation reserve program (CRP) fields that provide favorable vegetation structure for Lesser Prairie-Chickens. The source population(s) feeding the range expansion is unknown, yet has resulted in overlap between Lesser and Greater Prairie-Chickens (T. cupido) increasing the potential for hybridization. Our objectives were to characterize connectivity and genetic diversity among populations, identify source population(s) of recent range expansion, and examine hybridization with the Greater Prairie-Chicken. We analyzed 640 samples from across the range using 13 microsatellites. We identified three to four populations corresponding largely to ecoregions. The Shinnery Oak Prairie and Sand Sagebrush Prairie represented genetically distinct populations (F ST > 0.034 and F ST > 0.023 respectively). The Shortgrass/CRP Mosaic and Mixed Grass ecoregions appeared admixed (F ST = 0.009). Genetic diversity was similar among ecoregions and N e ranged from 142 (95 % CI 99–236) for the Shortgrass/CRP Mosaic to 296 (95 % CI 233–396) in the Mixed Grass Prairie. No recent migration was detected among ecoregions, except asymmetric dispersal from both the Mixed Grass Prairie and to a lesser extent the Sand Sagebrush Prairie north into adjacent Shortgrass/CRP Mosaic (m = 0.207, 95 % CI 0.116–0.298, m = 0.097, 95 % CI 0.010–0.183, respectively). Indices investigating potential hybridization in the Shortgrass/CRP Mosaic revealed that six of the 13 individuals with hybrid phenotypes were significantly admixed suggesting hybridization. Continued monitoring of diversity within and among ecoregions is warranted as are actions promoting genetic connectivity and range expansion.

  4. Ecology of fire in shortgrass prairie of the southern Great Plains

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paulette L. Ford; Guy R. McPherson

    1996-01-01

    The ecology of fire in shortgrass prairie of the southern Great Plains includes a complex interaction between the shortgrass prairie ecosystem and its inhabitants, all inextricably linked to land-use patterns. The history of the relationship between man and fire has been filled with ambivalence and mistrust, along with an appreciation of the power of fire as a...

  5. Review of black-tailed prairie dog reintroduction strategies and site selection: Arizona reintroduction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sarah L. Hale; John L. Koprowski; Holly Hicks

    2013-01-01

    The black-tailed prairie dog (Cynomys ludovicianus) was once widely distributed throughout the western United States; however, anthropogenic influences have reduced the species’ numbers to 2 percent of historical populations. Black-tailed prairie dogs are described as a keystone species in the grassland ecosystem, and provide many unique services, including burrows for...

  6. Citizen knowledge and perception of black-tailed prairie dog management: Report to respondents

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sexton, Natalie R.; Brinson, Ayeisha; Ponds, Phadrea D.; Cline, Kurt; Lamb, Berton L.

    2001-01-01

    What do citizens know about black-tailed prairie dogs, and where do they get their information? When management decisions need to be made regarding an animal such as the black-tailed prairie dog, an understanding of the species and its relationship to humans is necessary. This includes knowing the biology of the animal, where it lives, and how it interacts with other animals. But it is equally important for those making decisions about the species to understand citizens’ knowledge and perceptions so managers can effectively communicate with the public and help the public participate in planning and decision making activities. Unfortunately, what is known about public knowledge, perception, and preferences concerning prairie dog management is limited to data from only a few areas. This study attempts to answer the question: What do people in the short-grass prairie region of the United States know and think about black-tailed prairie dogs?

  7. Prairie Conservation in Canada: The Prairie Conservation Action Plan Experience

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dean Nernberg; David Ingstrup

    2005-01-01

    In Canada, grassland conservation has been mobilized and directed through the development of Prairie Conservation Action Plans and Action Plan Committees in the three prairie provinces of Alberta (45 partner agencies and organizations), Saskatchewan (26 partners), and Manitoba (26 partners). In Alberta, 43 percent of the native prairie remains; in Saskatchewan and...

  8. Preserving prairies: Understanding temporal and spatial patterns of invasive annual bromes in the Northern Great Plains

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ashton, Isabel; Symstad, Amy J.; Davis, Christopher; Swanson, Daniel J.

    2016-01-01

    Two Eurasian invasive annual brome grasses, cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum) and Japanese brome (Bromus japonicus), are well known for their impact in steppe ecosystems of the western United States where these grasses have altered fire regimes, reduced native plant diversity and abundance, and degraded wildlife habitat. Annual bromes are also abundant in the grasslands of the Northern Great Plains (NGP), but their impact and ecology are not as well studied. It is unclear whether the lessons learned from the steppe will translate to the mixed-grass prairie where native plant species are adapted to frequent fires and grazing. Developing a successful annual brome management strategy for National Park Service units and other NGP grasslands requires better understanding of (1) the impact of annual bromes on grassland condition; (2) the dynamics of these species through space and time; and (3) the relative importance of environmental factors within and outside managers' control for these spatiotemporal dynamics. Here, we use vegetation monitoring data collected from 1998 to 2015 in 295 sites to relate spatiotemporal variability of annual brome grasses to grassland composition, weather, physical environmental characteristics, and ecological processes (grazing and fire). Concern about the impact of these species in NGP grasslands is warranted, as we found a decline in native species richness with increasing annual brome cover. Annual brome cover generally increased over the time of monitoring but also displayed a 3- to 5-yr cycle of reduction and resurgence. Relative cover of annual bromes in the monitored areas was best predicted by park unit, weather, extant plant community, slope grade, soil composition, and fire history. We found no evidence that grazing reduced annual brome cover, but this may be due to the relatively low grazing pressure in our study. By understanding the consequences and patterns of annual brome invasion, we will be better able to preserve and restore

  9. Modern parameters of caesium-137 root uptake in natural and agricultural grass ecosystems of contaminated post-Chernobyl landscape, Russia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tatiana Paramonova

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available The estimation of modern parameters of 137Cs root uptake was conducted in natural meadow and agricultural ecosystems of post-Chernobyl landscapes of Tula region. The agrosystems with main crops of field rotation (barley, potatoes, rape, maize occupying watersheds and slopes with arable chernozems are contaminated at a level 460-670 Bq/kg (4.7-6.0 Ci/km2; natural meadow ecosystems occupying lower parts of slopes and floodplains are contaminated at a level 620-710 Bq/kg (5.8-7.6 Ci/km2. In the arable soils 137Cs uniformly distributed to a depth of Ap horizon (20-30 cm of thickness, while in meadow soils 70-80% of the radionuclide is concentrated within the top Ad horizon (9-13 cm of thickness. These topsoil layer accords with rhizosphere zone, where >80-90% of plant roots are concentrated, and from which 137Cs is mostly consumed by vegetation. Total amount of 137Cs root uptake depends on the level of soil radioactive contamination (correlation coefficient 0.61. So 137Cs activity in meadow vegetation (103-160 Bq/kg is generally more than one in agricultural vegetation (9-92 Bq/kg. The values of 137Cs transfer factor in the studied ecosystems vary from 0.01 (rape to 0.20 (wet meadow, that confirms the discrimination of the radionuclide’s root uptake. The larger are the volume of roots and their absorbing surface, the higher are the values of transfer factor from soil to plant (correlation coefficients 0.71 and 0.64 respectively. 137Cs translocation from roots to shoots is also determined by biological features of plants. At the same level of soil contamination above-ground parts of meadow herbs accumulate more 137Cs than Gramineae species, and in agrosystems above-ground parts of weeds concentrate more 137Cs than cultivated cereals. Thus, the level of soil radioactive pollution and biological features of plants are determinants in the process of 137Cs root uptake and translocation and should be considered in land use policy.

  10. Large and Small Scale Nitrogen and Phosporous Manipulation Experiment in a Tree-Grass Ecosystem: first year of results

    Science.gov (United States)

    Migliavacca, Mirco; Perez Priego, Oscar; El-Madany, Tarek; Guan, JinHong; Carrara, Arnaud; Fava, Francesco; Moreno, Gerardo; Kolle, Olaf; Rossini, Micol; Schrumpf, Marion; Julitta, Tommaso; Reichstein, Markus

    2015-04-01

    Recent studies have shown how human induced N/P imbalances affect essential ecosystem processes (e.g. photosynthesis, plant growth rate, respiration), and might be particularly important in water-limited ecosystems. In this contribution we will present the experimental design and the results of the first year of two nutrient manipulation experiments conducted at different spatial scale. In the first experiment a cluster of 2 eddy covariance (EC) flux towers has been set up beside a long-term EC site (Las Majadas del Tietar, Spain). Sites are selected in a way to have similar nutrient conditions, canopy structure, and stoichiometry of the different vegetation and soil pools. Two of the three footprints will be manipulated with addition of N and NP fertilizer at the beginning of 2015. The comparison of the three EC flux towers installed during the first year of the experiment (without fertilization) will be shown. We characterized the differences of the responses of carbon and water fluxes measured by the EC systems to environmental drivers, and structural and biophysical properties of the canopy. The second experiment was conducted over a Mediterranean grassland, where 16 plots of 10x10 meters that were manipulated by adding nutrient (N, P, and NP). The overall objective was to investigate the response of the gross primary productivity (GPP), assessed by using transparent transient-state canopy chambers, to different nutrient availability. The second objective was to evaluate the capability of hyperspectral data and Solar induced fluorescence to track short- and long-term GPP and light use efficiency variation under different N and P fertilization treatments. Spectral vegetation indices (VIs) were acquired manually using high resolution spectrometers (HR4000, OceanOptics, USA) along a phenological cycle. The VIs used included photochemical reflectance index (PRI), MERIS terrestrial-chlorophyll index (MTCI) and normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI). Solar

  11. Climatic sensitivity of hydrology and carbon exchanges in boreal peatland ecosystems, with implications on sustainable management of reed canary grass (Phalaris arundinacea, L.) on cutaway peatlands

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gong Jinnan

    2013-11-01

    The aim of the study was to investigate the effects of climate change on soil hydrology and carbon (C) fluxes in boreal peatland ecosystems, with implications for the feasibility of cultivating reed canary grass (Phalaris arundinacea, L; RCG) as a way to restore the C sink in cutaway peatlands under Finnish conditions. First, hydrological models were developed for pristine peatland ecosystems and the cutaway peatlands under RCG cultivation. Concurrently, the hydrological responses to varying climatic forcing and mire types were investigated for these ecosystems. Thereafter, process-based models for estimating the seasonal and annual C exchanges were developed for the pristine mires and cutaway peatlands. The C models incorporated the hydrological models for corresponding ecosystems. Model simulations based on the climate scenarios (ACCLIM, developed by the Finnish Meteorological Institute, FMI) were further carried out to study the impacts of climate change on the C exchanges in the peatland ecosystems during the 21st century. The simulation showed that the water table (WT) in the pristine Finnish mires would draw down slightly during the 21st century. Such a chance in WT would be related to a decrease in the CO{sub 2} sink but an increase in the CH{sub 4} source at the country scale, as driven mainly by the rising temperature (Ta) and increasing precipitation (P). These changes in CO{sub 2}/ CH{sub 4} fluxes would decrease the total C-greenhouse gas (GHG) sink (CO{sub 2} equilibrium) by 68% at the country scale, and the changes would be more pronounced toward the end of the century. The majority of pristine fens in southern and western Finland and the pristine bogs near the coastal areas would become centurial CO{sub 2} sources under the changing climate. On the other hand, the major distribution of fens in northern Finland would act to increase the CH{sub 4} source at the country scale, whereas the CH{sub 4} emission would tend to decrease with WT in the southern

  12. Influence of resource availability on Juniperus virginiana expansion in a forest–prairie ecotone

    Science.gov (United States)

    Despite being native to the United States, Juniperus virginiana has rapidly expanded in prairie ecosystems bringing detrimental ecological effects and increased wildfire risk. We transplanted J. virginiana seedlings in three plant communities to investigate mechanisms driving J. ...

  13. Interspecific nutrient transfer in a tallgrass prairie plant community

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Walter, L.E.F.; Hartnett, D.C.; Hetrick, B.A.D.; Schwab, A.P.

    1996-01-01

    Interplant nutrient transfer may be an important ecological process in grasslands, and may significantly influence plant neighborhood interactions. We investigated the potential for phosphorus transfer between the dominant grass Andropogon gerardii and several neighboring plant species in tallgrass prairie via a field 32PO4 labelling experiment. The mean amount of 32P received from donor shoots differed significantly among neighboring species and decreased with increasing distance from the donor. In general, forbs and cool-season C3 grasses received more labelled 32P than warm-season C4 grasses. Phosphorus transfer occurred over distances up to 0.5 m. The effects of species and distance on movement of phosphorus changed with increasing time after labelling. The relative mass of receiver and donor shoots did not affect amounts of 32P transfer. A benomyl fungicide treatment, applied to suppress mycorrhizal activity, likely did not affect existing vegetative hyphae and did not affect the amount of 32P transferred. These studies demonstrate that: (1) phosphorus is transferred among neighboring species in tallgrass prairie plant communities, (2) phosphorus may be transferred over significantly greater distances than reported in other grasslands, and (3) there is differential transfer among co-occurring species. Hypothesized mechanisms accounting for these patterns in tallgrass prairie include mycorrhizal hyphal interconnections and/or extensive and differential root and rhizosphere overlap among neighboring species

  14. Recommended methods for range-wide monitoring of prairie dogs in the United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    McDonald, Lyman L.; Stanley, Thomas R.; Otis, David L.; Biggins, Dean E.; Stevens, Patricia D.; Koprowski, John L.; Ballard, Warren

    2011-01-01

    One of the greatest challenges for conserving grassland, prairie scrub, and shrub-steppe ecosystems is maintaining prairie dog populations across the landscape. Of the four species of prairie dogs found in the United States, the Utah prairie dog (Cynomys parvidens) is listed under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) as threatened, the Gunnison's prairie dog (C. gunnisoni) is a candidate for listing in a portion of its range, and the black-tailed prairie dog (C. ludovicianus) and white-tailed prairie dog (C. leucurus) have each been petitioned for listing at least once in recent history. Although the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) determined listing is not warranted for either the black-tailed prairie dog or white-tailed prairie dog, the petitions and associated reviews demonstrated the need for the States to monitor and manage for self-sustaining populations. In response to these findings, a multi-State conservation effort was initiated for the nonlisted species which included the following proposed actions: (1) completing an assessment of each prairie dog species in each State, (2) developing a range-wide monitoring protocol for each species using a statistically valid sampling procedure that would allow comparable analyses across States, and (3) monitoring prairie dog status every 3-5 years depending upon the species. To date, each State has completed an assessment and currently is monitoring prairie dog status; however, for some species, the inconsistency in survey methodology has made it difficult to compare data year-to-year or State-to-State. At the Prairie Dog Conservation Team meeting held in November 2008, there was discussion regarding the use of different methods to survey prairie dogs. A recommendation from this meeting was to convene a panel in a workshop-type forum and have the panel review the different methods being used and provide recommendations for range-wide monitoring protocols for each species of prairie dog. Consequently, the Western

  15. Interactive effects between nest microclimate and nest vegetation structure confirm microclimate thresholds for Lesser Prairie-Chicken nest survival

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grisham, Blake A.; Godar, Alixandra J.; Boal, Clint W.; Haukos, David A.

    2016-01-01

    The range of Lesser Prairie-Chickens (Tympanuchus pallidicinctus) spans 4 unique ecoregions along 2 distinct environmental gradients. The Sand Shinnery Oak Prairie ecoregion of the Southern High Plains of New Mexico and Texas is environmentally isolated, warmer, and more arid than the Short-Grass, Sand Sagebrush, and Mixed-Grass Prairie ecoregions in Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, and the northeast panhandle of Texas. Weather is known to influence Lesser Prairie-Chicken nest survival in the Sand Shinnery Oak Prairie ecoregion; regional variation may also influence nest microclimate and, ultimately, survival during incubation. To address this question, we placed data loggers adjacent to nests during incubation to quantify temperature and humidity distribution functions in 3 ecoregions. We developed a suite of a priori nest survival models that incorporated derived microclimate parameters and visual obstruction as covariates in Program MARK. We monitored 49 nests in Mixed-Grass, 22 nests in Sand Shinnery Oak, and 30 nests in Short-Grass ecoregions from 2010 to 2014. Our findings indicated that (1) the Sand Shinnery Oak Prairie ecoregion was hotter and drier during incubation than the Mixed- and Short-Grass ecoregions; (2) nest microclimate varied among years within ecoregions; (3) visual obstruction was positively associated with nest survival; but (4) daily nest survival probability decreased by 10% every half-hour when temperature was greater than 34°C and vapor pressure deficit was less than −23 mmHg during the day (about 0600–2100 hours). Our major finding confirmed microclimate thresholds for nest survival under natural conditions across the species' distribution, although Lesser Prairie-Chickens are more likely to experience microclimate conditions that result in nest failures in the Sand Shinnery Oak Prairie ecoregion. The species would benefit from identification of thermal landscapes and management actions that promote cooler, more humid nest microclimates.

  16. Use of vegetation sampling and analysis to detect a problem within a portion of a prairie restoration project.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Franson, Raymond; Scholes, Chad; Krabbe, Stephen

    2017-01-02

    In June 2005, the Department of Energy (DOE) began establishing the 60-ha Howell Prairie around the disposal cell at the DOE Weldon Spring Site (WSS). Prairies were historically present in the area of the site. Quantitative Cover sampling was used to quantify Total Cover, Native Grass Cover, Non-Native Grass Cover, Native Forb Cover, Non-Native Forb Cover, Warm Season (C 4 Grass), Cool Season (C 3 Grass), Perennial Cover and Annual Cover, Litter, and Bare Ground. Four permanent vegetation sampling plots were established. The first 4 years of vegetation measurements at Howell Prairie were made during above-average rainfall years on burned and unburned plots. The fifth-year (2012) vegetation measurements were made after below-average rainfall. Five years of results not only document the consistency of the restoration effort in three areas, but also demonstrate deficiencies in Grass Cover in a fourth area. The results are not only useful for Howell Prairie, but will be useful for restoration work throughout the region. Restoration work suffers from a lack of success monitoring and in this case from a lack of available reference areas. Floristic Quality Indices are used to make qualitative comparisons of the site to Konza Prairie sites.

  17. Overview of Prairie Planting Techniques and Maintenance Requirements

    Science.gov (United States)

    2007-02-01

    districts have these drills 6 ERDC TN-EMRRP-ER-05 February 2007 available for rent. A three-point broadcast seeder or a fertilizer spreader can...lengthens the growing season for prairie plants but shortens it for many weedy species (Pauly 1997). Fire allows for nutrient recycling in the ecosystem by

  18. Macroinvertebrates in North American tallgrass prairie soils: effects of fire, mowing, and fertilization on density and biomass

    Science.gov (United States)

    M.A. Callaham; J.M. Blair; T.C. Todd; D.J. Kitchen; M.R. Whiles

    2003-01-01

    The responses of tallgrass prairie plant communities and ecosystem processes to fire and grazing are well characterized. However, responses of invertebrate consumer groups. and particularly soil-dwelling organisms, to these disturbances are not well known. At Konza Prairie Biological Station. we sampled soil macroinvertebrates in 1994 and 1999 as part of a long-term...

  19. Bison grazing increases arthropod abundance and diversity in a tallgrass prairie.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moran, Matthew D

    2014-10-01

    How grazing-induced ecosystem changes by ungulates indirectly affect other consumers is a question of great interest. I investigated the effect of grazing by American Bison (Bos bison L.) on an arthropod community in tallgrass prairie. Grazing increased the abundance of arthropods, an increase that was present in both herbivorous and carnivorous assemblages, but not in detritivores. The increase in herbivores and reduction in plant biomass from grazing resulted in an arthropod herbivore load almost three times higher in grazed plots compared with controls. Among herbivores, the sap-feeding insect guild was dramatically more abundant, while chewing herbivores were not affected. Herbivorous and carnivorous arthropod richness was higher in grazed plots, although the response was strongest among herbivores. Arthropod abundance on individual grasses and forbs was significantly higher in grazed areas, while plant type had no effect on abundance, indicating that the change was ecosystem-wide and not simply in response to a reduction in grass biomass from grazing. The response of arthropods to grazing was strongest in the early part of the growing season. Published research shows that ungulate grazing, although decreasing available biomass to other consumers, enhances plant quality by increasing nitrogen level in plants. The arthropod results of this study suggest higher plant quality outweighs the potential negative competitive effects of plant biomass removal, although other activities of bison could not be ruled out as the causative mechanism. Because arthropods are extremely abundant organisms in grasslands and a food source for other consumers, bison may represent valuable management tools for maintaining biodiversity.

  20. Vulnerability of shortgrass prairie bird assemblages to climate change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Skagen, Susan K.; Dreitz, Victoria; Conrey, Reesa Y.; Yackel, Amy; Panjabi, Arvind O.; Knuffman, Lekha

    2016-01-01

    The habitats and resources needed to support grassland birds endemic to North American prairie ecosystems are seriously threatened by impending climate change. To assess the vulnerability of grassland birds to climate change, we consider various components of vulnerability, including sensitivity, exposure, and adaptive capacity (Glick et al. 2011). Sensitivity encompasses the innate characteristics of a species and, in this context, is related to a species’ tolerance to changes in weather patterns. Groundnesting birds, including prairie birds, are particularly responsive to heat waves combined with drought conditions, as revealed by abundance and distribution patterns (Albright et al. 2010). To further assess sensitivity, we estimated reproductive parameters of nearly 3000 breeding attempts of a suite of prairie birds relative to prevailing weather. Fluctuations in weather conditions in eastern Colorado, 1997-2014, influenced breeding performance of a suite of avian species endemic to the shortgrass prairie, many of which have experienced recent population declines. High summer temperatures and intense rain events corresponded with lower nest survival for most species. Although dry conditions favored nest survival of Burrowing Owls and Mountain Plovers (Conrey 2010, Dreitz et al. 2012), drought resulted in smaller clutch sizes and lower nest survival for passerines (Skagen and Yackel Adams 2012, Conrey et al. in review). Declining summer precipitation may reduce the likelihood that some passerine species can maintain stable breeding populations in this region of the shortgrass prairie.

  1. Native prairie revegetation on wellsites in southeastern Alberta

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Soulodre, E.; Naeth, A.; Hammermeister, A.

    1999-01-01

    The Native Prairie Revegetation Research Project (NPRRP) was initiated to address concerns about wellsite revegetation of native grassland. The objective was to determine the impact of alternative seeding treatments on soil and vegetation and to produce a quantifiable description of what constitutes successful revegetation of native prairie sites. Four wellsites, each site comprising four revegetation treatment plots and an undisturbed control plot, have been chosen for field study. The revegetation treatments included natural recovery without seeding; current mix dominated by native wheatgrass cultivars; simple mix seeding containing wheatgrasses plus other native grasses, and diverse mix seeding with a mixture of wheatgrasses, other grasses and thirteen perennial forbs. The plant communities were monitored for biomass production, species richness, species composition and a combination of factors which include density, frequency, canopy cover and basal cover, these collectively representing importance value. Nitrogen availability in the soil was also monitored. Results showed high importance values for wheatgrasses for all seeded treatments. Perennial non-wheatgrasses had low importance values in the seeded treatment but higher importance in the control plot. The dominance of wheatgrasses in the seeded treatments resulted in communities that differed significantly from both the control and natural recovery communities, probably due to suppression of the growth of other grasses

  2. Grass genomes

    OpenAIRE

    Bennetzen, Jeffrey L.; SanMiguel, Phillip; Chen, Mingsheng; Tikhonov, Alexander; Francki, Michael; Avramova, Zoya

    1998-01-01

    For the most part, studies of grass genome structure have been limited to the generation of whole-genome genetic maps or the fine structure and sequence analysis of single genes or gene clusters. We have investigated large contiguous segments of the genomes of maize, sorghum, and rice, primarily focusing on intergenic spaces. Our data indicate that much (>50%) of the maize genome is composed of interspersed repetitive DNAs, primarily nested retrotransposons that in...

  3. Paltry past-precipitation: Predisposing prairie dogs to plague?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eads, David; Biggins, Dean E.

    2017-01-01

    The plague bacterium Yersinia pestis was introduced to California in 1900 and spread rapidly as a sylvatic disease of mammalian hosts and flea vectors, invading the Great Plains in the United States by the 1930s to 1940s. In grassland ecosystems, plague causes periodic, devastating epizootics in colonies of black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus), sciurid rodents that create and maintain subterranean burrows. In doing so, plague inhibits prairie dogs from functioning as keystone species of grassland communities. The rate at which fleas transmit Y. pestis is thought to increase when fleas are abundant. Flea densities can increase during droughts when vegetative production is reduced and herbivorous prairie dogs are malnourished and have weakened defenses against fleas. Epizootics of plague have erupted frequently in prairie dogs during years in which precipitation was plentiful, and the accompanying cool temperatures might have facilitated the rate at which fleas transmitted Y. pestis. Together these observations evoke the hypothesis that transitions from dry-to-wet years provide conditions for plague epizootics in prairie dogs. Using generalized linear models, we analyzed a 24-year dataset on the occurrence of plague epizootics in 42 colonies of prairie dogs from Colorado, USA, 1982–2005. Of the 33 epizootics observed, 52% erupted during years with increased precipitation in summer. For the years with increased summer precipitation, if precipitation in the prior growing season declined from the maximum of 502 mm to the minimum of 200 mm, the prevalence of plague epizootics was predicted to increase 3-fold. Thus, reduced precipitation may have predisposed prairie dogs to plague epizootics when moisture returned. Biologists sometimes assume dry conditions are detrimental for plague. However, 48% of epizootics occurred during years in which precipitation was scarce in summer. In some cases, an increased abundance of fleas during dry years might

  4. An emerging crisis across northern prairie refuges: Prevalence of invasive plants and a plan for adaptive management

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grant, T.A.; Flanders-Wanner, B.; Shaffer, T.L.; Murphy, R.K.; Knutsen, G.A.

    2009-01-01

    In the northern Great Plains, native prairies managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) can be pivotal in conservation of North America's biological diversity. From 2002 to 2006, we surveyed 7,338 belt transects to assess the general composition of mixed-grass and tallgrass prairie vegetation across five "complexes" (i.e., administrative groupings) of national wildlife refuges managed by the Service in North Dakota and South Dakota. Native grasses and forbs were common (mean frequency of occurrence 47%-54%) on two complexes but uncommon (4%-13%) on two others. Conversely, an introduced species of grass, smooth brome (Bromus inermis), accounted for 45% to 49% of vegetation on two complexes and another species, Kentucky bluegrass (Poa pratensis) accounted for 27% to 36% of the vegetation on three of the complexes. Our data confirm prior suspicions of widespread invasion by introduced species of plants on Service-owned tracts of native prairie, changes that likely stem in part from a common management history of little or no disturbance (e.g., defoliation by grazing or fire). However, variability in the degree and type of invasion among prairie tracts suggests that knowledge of underlying causes (e.g., edaphic or climatic factors, management histories) could help managers more effectively restore prairies. We describe an adaptive management approach to acquire such knowledge while progressing with restoration. More specifically, we propose to use data from inventories of plant communities on Service-owned prairies to design and implement, as experiments, optimal restoration strategies. We will then monitor these experiments and use the results to refine future strategies. This comprehensive, process-oriented approach should yield reliable and robust recommendations for restoration and maintenance of native prairies in the northern Great Plains. 2009 by the Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System.

  5. Analysis of the soil food web structure under grass and grass clover

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Eekeren, van N.J.M.; Smeding, F.W.; Vries, de F.T.; Bloem, J.

    2006-01-01

    The below ground biodiversity of soil organisms plays an important role in the functioning of the the soil ecosystem, and consequently the above ground plant production. The objective of this study is to investigate the effect of grass or grass-clover in combination with fertilisation on the soil

  6. Biological availability of 238U, 234U and 226Ra for wild berries and meadow grasses in natural ecosystems of Belarus

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sokolik, G.A.; Ovsiannikova, S.V.; Voinikava, K.V.; Ivanova, T.G.; Papenia, M.V.

    2014-01-01

    This work is devoted to investigation of behavior of 234 U, 238 U and 226 Ra by determining the soil to plant transfer under different natural conditions such as forest or swamped areas and meadow lands with different soil types. The paper summarizes the data on investigation of uranium and radium uptake by wild berries and natural meadow grasses in the typical conditions of Belarus. Parameters characterizing the biological availability of 234 U, 238 U and 226 Ra for bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus), lingonberry (Vaccinium viti-idaea), blueberry (Vaccinium iliginosum) and cranberry (Vaccinium oxycoccus palustris) as well as for widely occurring mixed meadow vegetation, which belongs to the sedge-grass or grass-sedge associations and forbs, have been established. In the sites under investigation, the deposition levels of 238+239+240 Pu were less than 0.37 kBq m −2 and 137 Cs deposition ranged between less than 0.37 and 37 kBq m −2 . It was found that activity concentrations of radionuclides in berries varied in the ranges of 0.037–0.11 for 234 U, 0.036–0.10 for 238 U and 0.11–0.43 Bq kg −1 for 226 Ra, but in the mixed meadow grasses they were 0.32–4.4, 0.24–3.9 and 0.14–6.9 Bq kg −1 accordingly. The 234 U/ 238 U activity ratios were 1.02 ± 0.01 for wild berries, 1.20 ± 0.09 for underground meadow grasses and 1.02 ± 0.02 for proper soils. The concentration ratios (CRs, dry weight basis) of 234 U and 238 U for mixed meadow grasses were 0.036–0.42 and 0.041–0.46 respectively. The correspondent geometric means (GM) were 0.13 and 0.15 with geometric standard deviations (GSD) of 2.4. The CRs of 226 Ra for meadow grasses were 0.031–1.0 with GM 0.20 and GSD 2.6. The CRs of 234 U, 238 U and 226 Ra for wild berries ranged within 0.0018–0.008 (GM is 0.0034, GSD is 1.8), 0.0018–0.008 (GM is 0.0035, GSD is 1.8) and 0.005–0.033 (GM is 0.016, GSD is 2.1) accordingly. The highest CR values of uranium for mixed meadow grasses were found in the sites

  7. Lesser prairie-chicken avoidance of trees in a grassland landscape

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lautenbach, Joseph M.; Plumb, Reid T.; Robinson, Samantha G.; Hagen, Christian A.; Haukos, David A.; Pitman, James C.

    2016-01-01

    Grasslands are among the most imperiled ecosystems in North America. Reasons that grasslands are threatened include conversion to row-crop agriculture, fragmentation, and changes in fire regimes. The reduction of fire processes in remaining prairies has resulted in tree encroachment and establishment in grasslands, further reducing grassland quantity and quality. Grassland birds have been experiencing precipitous population declines in recent decades, commensurate with landscape changes to grasslands. The lesser prairie-chicken (Tympanuchus pallidicinctus Ridgway) is a declining species of prairie grouse of conservation concern. We used second- and third-order habitat selection metrics to test if female lesser prairie-chickens avoid grasslands where trees were present. Our results indicated that female lesser prairie-chickens selected habitats avoiding the nearest trees by 283 m on average, nearly twice as far as would be expected at random. Lesser prairie-chickens were 40 times more likely to use habitats with tree densities of 0 trees ∙ ha− 1 than habitats with 5 trees ∙ ha− 1. Probability of use indicated that lesser prairie-chickens were 19 times more likely to use habitats 1000 m from the nearest tree when compared with using habitats 0 m from the nearest tree. Nest survival was not affected at densities 2 trees ∙ ha− 1. Avoidance of trees could be due to perceived increased predation risk, reduced habitat quality, or a combination of these potentially confounding factors. Preventing further establishment and expansion of trees in landscapes occupied by lesser prairie-chickens could contribute to the continued persistence of the species. Additionally, restoring grasslands through tree removal may facilitate conservation efforts for grassland species such as the lesser prairie-chicken by improving habitat quality and promoting expansion of occupied range.

  8. Exudate Chemical Profiles Derived from Lespedeza and Other Tallgrass Prairie Plant Species

    Science.gov (United States)

    2017-05-01

    Chemical Profiles Derived from Lespedeza and Other Tall- grass Prairie Plant Species. ERDC TN-17-1. Vicksburg, MS: U.S. Army Engineer Re- search and...200-1-52. Washington, DC: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Headquarters, Civil Works. https://www.wbdg.org/ffc/army-coe/public-works-technical-bulletins...ERDC TN-17-1 May 2017 Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited. Exudate Chemical Profiles Derived from Lespedeza and Other

  9. Root growth and N dynamics in response to multi-year experimental warming, summer drought and elevated CO2 in a mixed heathland-grass ecosystem

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Arndal, M. F.; Schmidt, I. K.; Kongstad, J.

    2013-01-01

    growth would be matched by an increase in root nutrient uptake of NH4+-N and NO3- -N. Root growth was significantly increased by elevated CO2. The roots, however, did not fully compensate for the higher growth with a similar increase in nitrogen uptake per unit of root mass. Hence the nitrogen...... concentration in roots was decreased in elevated CO2, whereas the biomass N pool was unchanged or even increased. The higher net root production in elevated CO2 might be a strategy for the plants to cope with increased nutrient demand leading to a long-term increase in N uptake on a whole-plant basis. Drought...... reduced grass root biomass and N uptake, especially when combined with warming, but CO2 was the most pronounced main factor effect. Several significant interactions of the treatments were found, which indicates that the responses were nonadditive and that changes to multiple environmental changes cannot...

  10. Assessment of methods for land surface temperature retrieval from Landsat-5 TM images applicable to multiscale tree-grass ecosystem modeling

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Vlassova, Lidia; Perez-Cabello, Fernando; Nieto Solana, Hector

    2014-01-01

    and assess water and carbon balance in ecologically fragile heterogeneous ecosystem of Mediterranean wooded grassland (dehesa). Thus, three methods based on the Radiative Transfer Equation were used to extract LST from a series of 2009–2011 Landsat-5 TM images to assess the applicability for temperature...

  11. Plague bacterium as a transformer species in prairie dogs and the grasslands of western North America

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eads, David A.; Biggins, Dean E.

    2015-01-01

    Invasive transformer species change the character, condition, form, or nature of ecosystems and deserve considerable attention from conservation scientists. We applied the transformer species concept to the plague bacterium Yersinia pestis in western North America, where the pathogen was introduced around 1900. Y. pestis transforms grassland ecosystems by severely depleting the abundance of prairie dogs (Cynomys spp.) and thereby causing declines in native species abundance and diversity, including threatened and endangered species; altering food web connections; altering the import and export of nutrients; causing a loss of ecosystem resilience to encroaching invasive plants; and modifying prairie dog burrows. Y. pestis poses an important challenge to conservation biologists because it causes trophic-level perturbations that affect the stability of ecosystems. Unfortunately, understanding of the effects of Y. pestis on ecosystems is rudimentary, highlighting an acute need for continued research.

  12. Plague bacterium as a transformer species in prairie dogs and the grasslands of western North America.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eads, David A; Biggins, Dean E

    2015-08-01

    Invasive transformer species change the character, condition, form, or nature of ecosystems and deserve considerable attention from conservation scientists. We applied the transformer species concept to the plague bacterium Yersinia pestis in western North America, where the pathogen was introduced around 1900. Y. pestis transforms grassland ecosystems by severely depleting the abundance of prairie dogs (Cynomys spp.) and thereby causing declines in native species abundance and diversity, including threatened and endangered species; altering food web connections; altering the import and export of nutrients; causing a loss of ecosystem resilience to encroaching invasive plants; and modifying prairie dog burrows. Y. pestis poses an important challenge to conservation biologists because it causes trophic-level perturbations that affect the stability of ecosystems. Unfortunately, understanding of the effects of Y. pestis on ecosystems is rudimentary, highlighting an acute need for continued research. © 2015 Society for Conservation Biology.

  13. Towards regional mapping of grass nutrients using remote sensing in Greater Kruger National Park

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Ramoelo, Abel

    2011-03-01

    Full Text Available Regional maps of grass nutrients are important to inform decision making regarding the management of savanna ecosystems. Grass nutrients plays a crucial role in understanding the distribution, densities and feeding patterns of both wild herbivores...

  14. Southern marl prairies conceptual ecological model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davis, S.M.; Loftus, W.F.; Gaiser, E.E.; Huffman, A.E.

    2005-01-01

    About 190,000 ha of higher-elevation marl prairies flank either side of Shark River Slough in the southern Everglades. Water levels typically drop below the ground surface each year in this landscape. Consequently, peat soil accretion is inhibited, and substrates consist either of calcitic marl produced by algal periphyton mats or exposed limestone bedrock. The southern marl prairies support complex mosaics of wet prairie, sawgrass sawgrass (Cladium jamaicense), tree islands, and tropical hammock communities and a high diversity of plant species. However, relatively short hydroperiods and annual dry downs provide stressful conditions for aquatic fauna, affecting survival in the dry season when surface water is absent. Here, we present a conceptual ecological model developed for this landscape through scientific concensus, use of empirical data, and modeling. The two major societal drivers affecting the southern marl prairies are water management practices and agricultural and urban development. These drivers lead to five groups of ecosystem stressors: loss of spatial extent and connectivity, shortened hydroperiod and increased drought severity, extended hydroperiod and drying pattern reversals, introduction and spread of non-native trees, and introduction and spread of non-native fishes. Major ecological attributes include periphyton mats, plant species diversity and community mosaic, Cape Sable seaside sparrow (Ammodramus maritimus mirabilis), marsh fishes and associated aquatic fauna prey base, American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis), and wading bird early dry season foraging. Water management and development are hypothesized to have a negative effect on the ecological attributes of the southern marl prairies in the following ways. Periphyton mats have decreased in cover in areas where hydroperiod has been significantly reduced and changed in community composition due to inverse responses to increased nutrient availability. Plant species diversity and

  15. Invasive grasses change landscape structure and fire behavior in Hawaii

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lisa M. Ellsworth; Creighton M. Litton; Alexander P. Dale; Tomoaki Miura

    2014-01-01

    How does potential fire behavior differ in grass-invaded non-native forests vs open grasslands? How has land cover changed from 1950–2011 along two grassland/forest ecotones in Hawaii with repeated fires? A study on non-native forest with invasive grass understory and invasive grassland (Megathyrsus maximus) ecosystems on Oahu, Hawaii, USA was...

  16. Long-term lesser prairie-chicken nest ecology in response to grassland management

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fritts, Sarah R.; Grisham, Blake A.; Haukos, David A.; Boal, Clint W.; Patten, Michael; Wolfe, Don H.; Dixon, Charles; Cox, Robert D.; Heck, Willard R.

    2016-01-01

    Long-term population and range declines from habitat loss and fragmentation caused the lesser prairie-chicken (Tympanuchus pallidicinctus) to be a species of concern throughout its range. Current lesser prairie-chicken range in New Mexico and Texas is partially restricted to sand shinnery oak (Quercus havardii; hereafter shinnery oak) prairies, on which cattle grazing is the main socioeconomic driver for private landowners. Cattle producers within shinnery oak prairies often focus land management on shrub eradication using the herbicide tebuthiuron to promote grass production for forage; however, herbicide application alone, and in combination with grazing, may affect nest site selection and nest survival of lesser prairie-chickens through the reduction of shinnery oak and native grasses. We used a controlled, paired, completely randomized design study to assess the influence of grazing and tebuthiuron application and their combined use on nest site selection and nest survival from 2001 to 2010 in Roosevelt County, New Mexico, USA at 2 spatial scales (i.e., treatment and microhabitat) in 4 treatments: tebuthiuron with grazing, tebuthiuron without grazing, no tebuthiuron with grazing, and a control of no tebuthiuron and no grazing. Grazing treatment was a short-duration system in which plots were grazed once during the dormant season and once during the growing season. Stocking rate was calculated each season based on measured forage production and applied to remove ≤25% of available herbaceous material per season. At the treatment scale, we compared nest site selection among treatments using 1-way χ2 tests and nest survival among treatments using a priori candidate nest survival models in Program MARK. At the microhabitat scale, we identified important habitat predictors of nest site selection and nest survival using logistic regression and a priori candidate nest survival models in Program MARK, respectively. Females typically used treatments as expected and

  17. Revegetation of wellsite disturbances on Fescue Prairie in east-central Alberta

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Woosaree, J.; Puhl, M.

    1999-01-01

    It has been observed that past methods of revegetating disturbed land in Alberta by using commercially-available species of grasses has had limited success in terms of biodiversity, the reason being that commercial forage species are highly competitive, and as such not only prevented the original prairie species from returning to reclaimed sites, but in some cases they have migrated from reclaimed sites and invaded surrounding native prairie. Alfalfa, crested wheatgrass, Kentucky bluegrass and Canada bluegrass are believed to be the most invasive of these commercially available species. Because their use in the past has resulted in landscape fragmentation, they are not recommended for use on wellsites located on native prairie. The limited mix of available native grass cultivars also have had limited success in increasing species diversity. Cross seeding has been suggested as one method for reducing the effect of inter-specific competition on the species emergence. However, the general view of government and industry is that improved methods of revegetation of wellsite disturbances and new guidelines for determining reclamation success are required to establish more ecologically compatible plant communities on well site disturbances 4 refs., 1 tab., 3 figs

  18. Relatedness of Macrophomina phaseolina isolates from tallgrass prairie, maize, soybean and sorghum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saleh, A A; Ahmed, H U; Todd, T C; Travers, S E; Zeller, K A; Leslie, J F; Garrett, K A

    2010-01-01

    Agricultural and wild ecosystems may interact through shared pathogens such as Macrophomina phaseolina, a generalist clonal fungus with more than 284 plant hosts that is likely to become more important under climate change scenarios of increased heat and drought stress. To evaluate the degree of subdivision in populations of M. phaseolina in Kansas agriculture and wildlands, we compared 143 isolates from maize fields adjacent to tallgrass prairie, nearby sorghum fields, widely dispersed soybean fields and isolates from eight plant species in tallgrass prairie. Isolate growth phenotypes were evaluated on a medium containing chlorate. Genetic characteristics were analysed based on amplified fragment length polymorphisms and the sequence of the rDNA-internal transcribed spacer (ITS) region. The average genetic similarity was 58% among isolates in the tallgrass prairie, 71% in the maize fields, 75% in the sorghum fields and 80% in the dispersed soybean fields. The isolates were divided into four clusters: one containing most of the isolates from maize and soybean, two others containing isolates from wild plants and sorghum, and a fourth containing a single isolate recovered from Solidago canadensis in the tallgrass prairie. Most of the sorghum isolates had the dense phenotype on media containing chlorate, while those from other hosts had either feathery or restricted phenotypes. These results suggest that the tallgrass prairie supports a more diverse population of M. phaseolina per area than do any of the crop species. Subpopulations show incomplete specialization by host. These results also suggest that inoculum produced in agriculture may influence tallgrass prairie communities, and conversely that different pathogen subpopulations in tallgrass prairie can interact there to generate 'hybrids' with novel genetic profiles and pathogenic capabilities.

  19. Restoring sand shinnery oak prairies with herbicide and grazing in New Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zavaleta, Jennifer C.; Haukos, David A.; Grisham, Blake A.; Boal, Clint W.; Dixon, Charles

    2016-01-01

    Sand shinnery oak (Quercus havardii) prairies are increasingly disappearing and increasingly degraded in the Southern High Plains of Texas and New Mexico. Restoring and managing sand shinnery oak prairie can support biodiversity, specific species of conservation concern, and livestock production. We measured vegetation response to four treatment combinations of herbicide (tebuthiuron applied at 0.60 kg/ha) and moderate-intensity grazing (50% removal of annual herbaceous production) over a 10-year period in a sand shinnery oak prairie of eastern New Mexico. We compared the annual vegetation response to the historical climax plant community (HCPC) as outlined by the U.S. Department of Agriculture Ecological Site Description. From 2 to 10 years postapplication, tebuthiuron-treated plots had reduced shrub cover with twice as much forb and grass cover as untreated plots. Tebuthiuron-treated plots, regardless of the presence of grazing, most frequently met HCPC. Tebuthiuron and moderate-intensity grazing increased vegetation heterogeneity and, based on comparison of the HCPC, successfully restored sand shinnery oak prairie to a vegetation composition similar to presettlement.

  20. Nesting ecology and nest survival of lesser prairie-chickens on the Southern High Plains of Texas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grisham, Blake A.; Borsdorf, Philip K.; Boal, Clint W.; Boydston, Kathy K.

    2014-01-01

    The decline in population and range of lesser prairie-chickens (Tympanuchus pallidicinctus) throughout the central and southern Great Plains has raised concerns considering their candidate status under the United States Endangered Species Act. Baseline ecological data for lesser prairie-chickens are limited, especially for the shinnery oak-grassland communities of Texas. This information is imperative because lesser prairie-chickens in shinnery oak grasslands occur at the extreme southwestern edge of their distribution. This geographic region is characterized by hot, arid climates, less fragmentation, and less anthropogenic development than within the remaining core distribution of the species. Thus, large expanses of open rangeland with less anthropogenic development and a climate that is classified as extreme for ground nesting birds may subsequently influence nest ecology, nest survival, and nest site selection differently compared to the rest of the distribution of the species. We investigated the nesting ecology of 50 radio-tagged lesser prairie-chicken hens from 2008 to 2011 in the shinnery oak-grassland communities in west Texas and found a substantial amount of inter-annual variation in incubation start date and percent of females incubating nests. Prairie-chickens were less likely to nest near unimproved roads and utility poles and in areas with more bare ground and litter. In contrast, hens selected areas dominated by grasses and shrubs and close to stock tanks to nest. Candidate models including visual obstruction best explained daily nest survival; a 5% increase in visual obstruction improved nest survival probability by 10%. The model-averaged probability of a nest surviving the incubation period was 0.43 (SE = 0.006; 95% CI: 0.23, 0.56). Our findings indicate that lesser prairie-chicken reproduction during our study period was dynamic and was correlated with seasonal weather patterns that ultimately promoted greater grass growth earlier in the

  1. Ecological consequences of shifting the timing of burning tallgrass prairie.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E Gene Towne

    Full Text Available In the Kansas Flint Hills, grassland burning is conducted during a relatively narrow window because management recommendations for the past 40 years have been to burn only in late spring. Widespread prescribed burning within this restricted time frame frequently creates smoke management issues downwind. A potential remedy for the concentrated smoke production in late spring is to expand burning to times earlier in the year. Yet, previous research suggested that burning in winter or early spring reduces plant productivity and cattle weight gain while increasing the proportion of undesirable plant species. In order to better understand the ecological consequences of burning at different times of the year, plant production and species abundance were measured for 20 years on ungrazed watersheds burned annually in autumn, winter, or spring. We found that there were no significant differences in total grass production among the burns on either upland or lowland topographic positions, although spring burned watersheds had higher grass culm production and lower forb biomass than autumn and winter burned watersheds. Burning in autumn or winter broadened the window of grass productivity response to precipitation, which reduces susceptibility to mid-season drought. Burning in autumn or winter also increased the phenological range of species by promoting cool-season graminoids without a concomitant decrease in warm-season grasses, potentially widening the seasonal window of high-quality forage. Incorporating autumn and winter burns into the overall portfolio of tallgrass prairie management should increase the flexibility in managing grasslands, promote biodiversity, and minimize air quality issues caused by en masse late-spring burning with little negative consequences for cattle production.

  2. Factors that affect parasitism of black-tailed prairie dogs by fleas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eads, David A.; Hoogland, John L.

    2016-01-01

    Fleas (Insecta: Siphonaptera) are hematophagous ectoparasites that feed on vertebrate hosts. Fleas can reduce the fitness of hosts by interfering with immune responses, disrupting adaptive behaviors, and transmitting pathogens. The negative effects of fleas on hosts are usually most pronounced when fleas attain high densities. In lab studies, fleas desiccate and die under dry conditions, suggesting that populations of fleas will tend to decline when precipitation is scarce under natural conditions. To test this hypothesis, we compared precipitation vs. parasitism of black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus) by fleas at a single colony during May and June of 13 consecutive years (1976–1988) at Wind Cave National Park, South Dakota, USA. The number of fleas on prairie dogs decreased with increasing precipitation during both the prior growing season (April through August of the prior year) and the just-completed winter–spring (January through April of current year). Due to the reduction in available moisture and palatable forage in dry years, herbivorous prairie dogs might have been food-limited, with weakened behavioral and immunological defenses against fleas. In support of this hypothesis, adult prairie dogs of low mass harbored more fleas than heavier adults. Our results have implications for the spread of plague, an introduced bacterial disease, transmitted by fleas, that devastates prairie dog colonies and, in doing so, can transform grassland ecosystems.

  3. Hydrology of prairie wetlands: Understanding the integrated surface-water and groundwater processes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hayashi, Masaki; van der Kamp, Garth; Rosenberry, Donald O.

    2016-01-01

    Wetland managers and policy makers need to make decisions based on a sound scientific understanding of hydrological and ecological functions of wetlands. This article presents an overview of the hydrology of prairie wetlands intended for managers, policy makers, and researchers new to this field (e.g., graduate students), and a quantitative conceptual framework for understanding the hydrological functions of prairie wetlands and their responses to changes in climate and land use. The existence of prairie wetlands in the semi-arid environment of the Prairie-Pothole Region (PPR) depends on the lateral inputs of runoff water from their catchments because mean annual potential evaporation exceeds precipitation in the PPR. Therefore, it is critically important to consider wetlands and catchments as highly integrated hydrological units. The water balance of individual wetlands is strongly influenced by runoff from the catchment and the exchange of groundwater between the central pond and its moist margin. Land-use practices in the catchment have a sensitive effect on runoff and hence the water balance. Surface and subsurface storage and connectivity among individual wetlands controls the diversity of pond permanence within a wetland complex, resulting in a variety of eco-hydrological functionalities necessary for maintaining the integrity of prairie-wetland ecosystems.

  4. Song and Male Quality in Prairie Warblers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bruce E. Byers; Michael E. Akresh; David I. King; W. Koenig

    2016-01-01

    To determine if the songs of male prairie warblers could potentially reveal to female listeners information about the quality of singers, we compared various aspects of prairie warbler song structure and performance to attributes that might reflect a male singer's potential to enhance the fitness of his mate. We found that all the tested male attributes—arrival...

  5. Black-tailed prairie dog status and future conservation planning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daniel W. Mulhern; Craig J. Knowles

    1997-01-01

    The black-tailed prairie dog is one of five prairie dog species estimated to have once occupied up to 100 million ha or more in North America. The area occupied by black-tailed prairie dogs has declined to approximately 2% of its former range. Conversion of habitat to other land uses and widespread prairie dog eradication efforts combined with sylvatic plague,

  6. Global warming and prairie wetlands: potential consequences for waterfowl habitat

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poiani, Karen A.; Johnson, W. Carter

    1991-01-01

    The accumulation of greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere is expected to warm the earth's climate at an unprecedented rate (Ramanathan 1988, Schneider 1989). If the climate models are correct, within 100 years the earth will not only be warmer than it has been during the past million years, but the change will have occurred more rapidly than any on record. Many profound changes in the earth's environment are expected, including rising sea level, increasing aridity in continental interiors, and melting permafrost. Ecosystems are expected to respond variously to a rapidly changing climate. Tree ranges in eastern North American are expected to shift northward, and seed dispersal may not be adequate to maintain current diversity (Cohn 1989, Johnson and Webb 1989). In coastal wetlands, rising sea level from melting icecaps and thermal expansion could flood salt-grass marshes and generally reduce the size and productivity of the intertidal zone (Peters and Darling 1985). As yet, little attention has been given to the possible effects of climatic warming on inland prairie wetland ecosystems. These wetlands, located in the glaciated portion of the North American Great Plains (Figure 1), constitute the single most important breeding area for waterfowl on this continent (Hubbard 1988). This region annually produces 50-80% of the continent's total duck production (Batt et al. 1989). These marshes also support a variety of other wildlife, including many species of nongame birds, muskrat, and mink (Kantrud et al. 1989a). Prairie wetlands are relatively shallow, water-holding depressions that vary in size, water permanence, and water chemistry. Permanence types include temporary ponds (typically holding water for a few weeks in the springs), seasonal ponds (holding water from spring until early summer), semipermanent ponds (holding water throughout the growing season during most years), and large permanent lakes (Stewart and Kantrud 1971). Refilling usually occurs in spring from

  7. Effects of N on plant response to heat-wave: a field study with prairie vegetation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Dan; Heckathorn, Scott A; Mainali, Kumar; Hamilton, E William

    2008-11-01

    More intense, more frequent, and longer heat-waves are expected in the future due to global warming, which could have dramatic ecological impacts. Increasing nitrogen (N) availability and its dynamics will likely impact plant responses to heat stress and carbon (C) sequestration in terrestrial ecosystems. This field study examined the effects of N availability on plant response to heat-stress (HS) treatment in naturally-occurring vegetation. HS (5 d at ambient or 40.5 degrees C) and N treatments (+/-N) were applied to 16 1 m(2) plots in restored prairie vegetation dominated by Andropogon gerardii (warm-season C4 grass) and Solidago canadensis (warm-season C3 forb). Before, during, and after HS, air, canopy, and soil temperature were monitored; net CO2 assimilation (P(n)), quantum yield of photosystem II (Phi(PSII)), stomatal conductance (g(s)), and leaf water potential (Psi(w)) of the dominant species and soil respiration (R(soil)) of each plot were measured daily during HS. One week after HS, plots were harvested, and C% and N% were determined for rhizosphere and bulk soil, and above-ground tissue (green/senescent leaf, stem, and flower). Photosynthetic N-use efficiency (PNUE) and N resorption rate (NRR) were calculated. HS decreased P(n), g(s), Psi(w), and PNUE for both species, and +N treatment generally increased these variables (+/-HS), but often slowed their post-HS recovery. Aboveground biomass tended to decrease with HS in both species (and for green leaf mass in S. canadensis), but decrease with +N for A. gerardii and increase with +N for S. canadensis. For A. gerardii, HS tended to decrease N% in green tissues with +N, whereas in S. canadensis, HS increased N% in green leaves. Added N decreased NRR for A. gerardii and HS increased NRR for S. canadensis. These results suggest that heat waves, though transient, could have significant effects on plants, communities, and ecosystem N cycling, and N can influence the effect of heat waves.

  8. Des broussailles dans les prairies alpines

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Olivier Camacho

    2009-03-01

    Full Text Available Landscape closing due to the decline in agricultural activity is considered to be a major problem in the Alps. Abondance Valley provides a good example of this phenomenon and is also representative of a paradox commonly found in the Northern French Alps: the mountainsides and alpine pastures are still used, whereas they are becoming increasingly afforested. Environmental conditions play a major role in the localisation of agricultural land uses, but they are not sufficient to explain why pastures still in use are being invaded by shrub. Even if cutting makes it possible to effectively control the encroachment by woody species, this is not true for uncut pastures where grazing is not able to keep up with grass production. This situation is repeated every year and is the likely cause of the colonisation by woody species. To ensure their forage system and to simplify their work, farmers tend to establish grazing units that are oversized in relation to the needs of their animals. They implement compensatory practices that consist of mechanical maintenance as a complement to grazing to limit the dynamics of woody species. These labour-intensive practices are not used on all of the pastures. The analysis of farmers’ practices by agronomists is therefore a useful complement to studies of physical and socio-economic environments, at the level of the grazed field as well as at that of the valley as a whole.La dégradation des paysages par suite du recul de l’activité agricole est considérée comme un enjeu majeur dans les Alpes. La vallée d’Abondance illustre bien ce phénomène de fermeture de l’espace mais elle est en outre représentative d’un paradoxe assez répandu dans les Alpes du nord françaises : les versants et les alpages sont encore exploités et pourtant ils se boisent progressivement. Les conditions de milieux jouent un rôle majeur sur la localisation des usages agricoles de l'espace, mais elles ne peuvent pas suffire pour

  9. Prescribed fire: A proposed management tool to facilitate black-tailed prairie dog (Cynomys ludovicianus) colony expansion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Felicia D. Archuleta; Paulette L. Ford

    2013-01-01

    Black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus) are considered a keystone species in grassland ecosystems. Through their burrowing activities, they conspicuously alter grassland landscapes and provide foraging, shelter and nesting habitat for a diverse array of grassland species, in addition to serving as prey for the endangered black-footed ferret (Mustela nigripes...

  10. Prairie Change Analysis 1991-2008

    Data.gov (United States)

    Minnesota Department of Natural Resources — This dataset displays the results of a prairie/savanna change analysis study completed in May 2010. The area reviewed consists of 1,521 sites identified by Minnesota...

  11. Overview of the 2013 FireFlux II grass fire field experiment

    Science.gov (United States)

    C.B. Clements; B. Davis; D. Seto; J. Contezac; A. Kochanski; J.-B. Fillipi; N. Lareau; B. Barboni; B. Butler; S. Krueger; R. Ottmar; R. Vihnanek; W.E. Heilman; J. Flynn; M.A. Jenkins; J. Mandel; C. Teske; D. Jimenez; J. O' Brien; B. Lefer

    2014-01-01

    In order to better understand the dynamics of fire-atmosphere interactions and the role of micrometeorology on fire behaviour the FireFlux campaign was conducted in 2006 on a coastal tall-grass prairie in southeast Texas, USA. The FireFlux campaign dataset has become the international standard for evaluating coupled fire-atmosphere model systems. While FireFlux is one...

  12. Initial results of experimental studies of prairie dogs in arid grasslands: Implications for landscape conservation and the importance of scale (Resultados Iniciales de Estudios Experimentales en Perros Llaneros de Pastizales Aridos: Implicaciones Para la Conservacion del Paisaje y la Importancia de Escala)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Charles Curtin

    2006-01-01

    Numerous ecologists and conservationists believe that prairie dogs increase ecosystem diversity and preserve the function of grasslands (Whicker and Detling 1988, Miller et al. 1994, Jones et al. 1994, Power et al. 1996, Weltzin et al. 1997, Miller et al. 2000), yet this perspective is controversial (Stapp 1998). In contrast, many ranchers and land owners view prairie...

  13. Vegetation of wetlands of the prairie pothole region

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kantrud, H.A.; Millar, J.B.; Van Der Valk, A.G.; van der Valk, A.

    1989-01-01

    Five themes dominate the literature dealing with the vegetation of palustrine and lacustrine wetlands of the prairie pothole region: environmental conditions (water or moisture regime, salinity), agricultural disturbances (draining, grazing, burning, sedimentation, etc.), vegetation dynamics, zonation patterns, and classification of the wetlands.The flora of a prairie wetland is a function of its water regime, salinity, and disturbance by man. Within a pothole, water depth and duration determines distribution of species. In potholes deep enough to have standing water even during droughts, the central zone will be dominated by submersed species (open water). In wetlands that go dry during periods of drought or annually, the central zone will be dominated by either tall emergent species (deep marsh) or midheight emergents (shallow marsh), respectively. Potholes that are only flooded briefly in the spring are dominated by grasses, sedges, and forbs (wet meadow). Within a pothole, the depth of standing water in the deepest, usually central, part of the basin determines how many zones will be present. Lists of species associated with different water regimes and salinity levels are presented.Disturbances due to agricultural activities have impacted wetlands throughout the region. Drainage has eliminated many potholes, particularly in the southern and eastern parts of the region. Grazing, mowing, and burning have altered the composition of pothole vegetation. The composition of different vegetation types impacted by grazing, haying, and cultivation is presented in a series of tables. Indirect impacts of agriculture (increased sediment, nutrient, and pesticide inputs) are widespread over the region, but their impacts on the vegetation have never been studied.Because of the periodic droughts and wet periods, many palustrine and lacustrine wetlands undergo vegetation cycles associated with water-level changes produced by these wet-dry cycles. Periods of above normal

  14. Timing effects of heat-stress on plant physiological characteristics and growth: a field study with prairie vegetation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dan Wang

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available More intense, more frequent, and longer heat-waves are expected in the future due to global warming, which could have dramatic agricultural, economic and ecological impacts. This field study examined how plant responded to heat-stress (HS treatment at different timing in naturally-occurring vegetation. HS treatment (5 days at 40.5 ºC were applied to 12 1m2 plots in restored prairie vegetation dominated by Andropogon gerardii (warm-season C4 grass and Solidago canadensis (warm-season C3 forb at different growing stages. During and after HS, air, canopy, and soil temperature were monitored; net CO2 assimilation (Pn, quantum yield of photosystem II (ФPSII, stomatal conductance (gs, and internal CO2 level (Ci of the dominant species were measured. One week after the last HS treatment, all plots were harvested and the biomass of above-ground tissue and flower weight of the two dominant species was determined. HS decreased physiological performance and growth for both species, with S. canadensis being affected more than A. gerardii, indicated by negative heat stress effect on both physiological and growth responses. There were significant timing effect of heat stress on the two species, with greater reductions in the photosynthesis and productivity occurred when heat stress was applied at later-growing season. The reduction in aboveground productivity in S. canadensis but not A. gerardii could have important implications for plant community structure by increasing the competitive advantage of A. gerardii in this grassland. The present experiment showed that heat stress, though ephemeral, may promote long-term effects on plant community structure, vegetation dynamics, biodiversity, and ecosystem functioning of terrestrial biomes when more frequent and severe heat stress occur in the future.

  15. Land use effects on pesticides in sediments of prairie pothole wetlands in North and South Dakota

    Science.gov (United States)

    McMurry, Scott T.; Belden, Jason B.; Smith, Loren M.; Morrison, Shane A.; Daniel, Dale W.; Euliss, Betty R.; Euliss, Ned H. Jr.; Kensinger, Bart J.; Tangen, Brian

    2016-01-01

    Prairie potholes are the dominant wetland type in the intensively cultivated northern Great Plains of North America, and thus have the potential to receive pesticide runoff and drift. We examined the presence of pesticides in sediments of 151 wetlands split among the three dominant land use types, Conservation Reserve Program (CRP), cropland, and native prairie, in North and South Dakota in 2011. Herbicides (glyphosate and atrazine) and fungicides were detected regularly, with no insecticide detections. Glyphosate was the most detected pesticide, occurring in 61% of all wetlands, with atrazine in only 8% of wetlands. Pyraclostrobin was one of five fungicides detected, but the only one of significance, being detected in 31% of wetlands. Glyphosate was the only pesticide that differed by land use, with concentrations in cropland over four-times that in either native prairie or CRP, which were equal in concentration and frequency of detection. Despite examining several landscape variables, such as wetland proximity to specific crop types, watershed size, and others, land use was the best variable explaining pesticide concentrations in potholes. CRP ameliorated glyphosate in wetlands at concentrations comparable to native prairie and thereby provides another ecosystem service from this expansive program.

  16. Model estimation of land-use effects on water levels of northern Prairie wetlands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Voldseth, R.A.; Johnson, W.C.; Gilmanov, T.; Guntenspergen, G.R.; Millett, B.V.

    2007-01-01

    Wetlands of the Prairie Pothole Region exist in a matrix of grassland dominated by intensive pastoral and cultivation agriculture. Recent conservation management has emphasized the conversion of cultivated farmland and degraded pastures to intact grassland to improve upland nesting habitat. The consequences of changes in land-use cover that alter watershed processes have not been evaluated relative to their effect on the water budgets and vegetation dynamics of associated wetlands. We simulated the effect of upland agricultural practices on the water budget and vegetation of a semipermanent prairie wetland by modifying a previously published mathematical model (WETSIM). Watershed cover/land-use practices were categorized as unmanaged grassland (native grass, smooth brome), managed grassland (moderately heavily grazed, prescribed burned), cultivated crops (row crop, small grain), and alfalfa hayland. Model simulations showed that differing rates of evapotranspiration and runoff associated with different upland plant-cover categories in the surrounding catchment produced differences in wetland water budgets and linked ecological dynamics. Wetland water levels were highest and vegetation the most dynamic under the managed-grassland simulations, while water levels were the lowest and vegetation the least dynamic under the unmanaged-grassland simulations. The modeling results suggest that unmanaged grassland, often planted for waterfowl nesting, may produce the least favorable wetland conditions for birds, especially in drier regions of the Prairie Pothole Region. These results stand as hypotheses that urgently need to be verified with empirical data.

  17. Water and Nitrogen Limitations of Ecosystem Processes Across Three Dryland Plant Communities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beltz, C.; Lauenroth, W. K.; Burke, I. C.

    2017-12-01

    The availability of water and nitrogen (N) play a major role in controlling the distribution of ecosystem types and the rates of ecosystem processes across the globe. Both these resources are being altered by human activity. Anthropogenic fixation of N has increased inputs into the biosphere from 0.5 kg N ha-1 yr-1 to upwards of 10 kg N ha-1 yr-1, while the amount and seasonality of precipitation are expected to continue to change. Within dryland environments, the relationships between increasingly available N and ecosystem processes are especially complex due to dryland's characteristic strong limitation by low and highly variable precipitation. Other experiments have shown that this interplay between N and water can cause temporally complex co-limitation and spatially complex responses with variable effects on ecosystems, such as those to net primary productivity, soil respiration, and plant community composition. Research spanning multiple dryland plant communities is critical for generalizing findings to the 40% of the Earth's terrestrial surface covered in dryland ecosystems. Given IPCC projections in which both N availability and precipitation are altered, examining their interactive effect across multiple plant communities is critical to increasing our understanding of the limitations to ecosystem process in drylands. We are studying a gradient of three plant communities representing a C4 grassland (shortgrass steppe), a C3/C4 grassland (mixed grass prairie), and a shrub-dominated ecosystem with C3 and C4 grasses (sagebrush steppe). We added two levels of N (10 kg N ha-1 and 100 kg N ha-1) and increased summer monthly precipitation by 20%. Sites responded differently to treatments, with the scale of effect varying by treatment. The high-level nitrogen increased soil N availability and soil respiration, while decreasing soil carbon in the labile pool in the upper soil layers. These results will allow for better understanding of increased N in combination with

  18. Land-use change, economics, and rural well-being in the Prairie Pothole Region of the United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gascoigne, William R.; Hoag, Dana L.K.; Johnson, Rex R.; Koontz, Lynne M.; Thomas, Catherine Cullinane

    2013-01-01

    This fact sheet highlights findings included in a comprehensive new report (see USGS Professional Paper 1800) which investigated land-use change, economic characteristics, and rural community well-being in the Prairie Pothole Region of the United States. Once one of the largest grassland-wetlands ecosystems on earth, the North American prairie has experienced extensive conversion to cultivated agriculture, with farming becoming the dominant land use in the region over the last century. Both perennial habitat lands and agricultural croplands retain importance economically, socially, and culturally. Greatly increased oil and gas development in recent years brought rises in employment and income but also stressed infrastructure, cost of living, and crime rates. Research described in these reports focuses on land-use dynamics and illuminates how economic variables and rural development in the Prairie Pothole Region might be influenced as land uses change.

  19. resistance of napier grass clones to napier grass stunt disease

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    ACSS

    Napier grass (Pennisetum purpureum Schumach) is the major livestock fodder under intensive and semi-intensive systems in East Africa. However, the productivity of the grass is constrained by Napier grass Stunt Disease. (NSD). The purpose of this study was to identify Napier grass clones with resistance to NSD.

  20. Resistance of Napier grass clones to Napier grass Stunt Disease ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Napier grass (Pennisetum purpureum Schumach) is the major livestock fodder under intensive and semi-intensive systems in East Africa. However, the productivity of the grass is constrained by Napier grass Stunt Disease (NSD). The purpose of this study was to identify Napier grass clones with resistance to NSD.

  1. Wildlife habitat management on the northern prairie landscape

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Douglas H.; Haseltine, Susan D.; Cowardin, Lewis M.

    1994-01-01

    The northern prairie landscape has changed dramatically within the past century as a result of settlement by Europeans. Natural ecosystems have been disrupted and wildlife populations greatly altered. Natural resource agencies control only limited areas within the landscape, which they cannot manage independently of privately owned lands. Wildlife managers need first to set quantifiable objectives, based on the survival, reproduction, and distribution of wildlife. Second, they need to build public support and partnerships for meeting those objectives. Finally, they need to evaluate progress not only with respect to attitudes of the public and partners but, more importantly, of the wildlife response. This paper describes some useful tools for managing information at all phases of this process. We follow by discussing management options at a landscape level. Examples are given that involve agency lands as well as private lands, managed for biological resources and diversity as well as economic sustainability.

  2. Effects of Grazing and Fire Frequency on Floristic Quality and its Relationship to Indicators of Soil Quality in Tallgrass Prairie.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manning, George C; Baer, Sara G; Blair, John M

    2017-12-01

    Fire and grazing are widely used to manage grasslands for conservation purposes, but few studies have evaluated the effects of these drivers on the conservation value of plant communities measured by the floristic quality index (FQI). Further, the influence of fire and grazing on soil properties and functions are difficult for land managers and restoration practitioners to assess. The objectives of this study were to: (1) quantify the independent and interactive effects of grazing and fire frequency on floristic quality in native tallgrass prairie to provide potential benchmarks for community assessment, and (2) to explore whether floristic quality can serve as an indicator of soil structure and function for more holistic ecosystem assessments. A factorial combination of fire frequencies (1-2, 4, and 20 years return intervals) and grazing (by bison or ungrazed) treatments were sampled for plant species composition, and for several indicators of soil quality in lowland tallgrass prairie. Floristic quality, diversity, and richness were higher in grazed than ungrazed prairie over all fire frequencies (P soil bulk density were also higher in grazed prairie soil over all fire frequencies (P soil N were positively correlated with FQI (P soil N pools are more strongly influenced by grazing than fire and that floristic quality can be an indicator of total soil C and N stocks in never cultivated lowland prairie.

  3. Effects of Grazing and Fire Frequency on Floristic Quality and its Relationship to Indicators of Soil Quality in Tallgrass Prairie

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manning, George C.; Baer, Sara G.; Blair, John M.

    2017-12-01

    Fire and grazing are widely used to manage grasslands for conservation purposes, but few studies have evaluated the effects of these drivers on the conservation value of plant communities measured by the floristic quality index (FQI). Further, the influence of fire and grazing on soil properties and functions are difficult for land managers and restoration practitioners to assess. The objectives of this study were to: (1) quantify the independent and interactive effects of grazing and fire frequency on floristic quality in native tallgrass prairie to provide potential benchmarks for community assessment, and (2) to explore whether floristic quality can serve as an indicator of soil structure and function for more holistic ecosystem assessments. A factorial combination of fire frequencies (1-2, 4, and 20 years return intervals) and grazing (by bison or ungrazed) treatments were sampled for plant species composition, and for several indicators of soil quality in lowland tallgrass prairie. Floristic quality, diversity, and richness were higher in grazed than ungrazed prairie over all fire frequencies ( P total N, and soil bulk density were also higher in grazed prairie soil over all fire frequencies ( P total organic C, and total soil N were positively correlated with FQI ( P quality and soil N pools are more strongly influenced by grazing than fire and that floristic quality can be an indicator of total soil C and N stocks in never cultivated lowland prairie.

  4. Soil change induced by prairie dogs across three ecological sites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prairie dogs (Cynomys spp.) can influence vegetation dynamics and landscape hydrology by altering soil properties, yet few studies have evaluated soil responses to prairie dog activities across a range of soil types. This study was conducted to quantify prairie dog effects on soil properties within...

  5. Quantifying Hydroperiod, Fire and Nutrient Effects on the Composition of Plant Communities in Marl Prairie of the Everglades: a Joint Probability Method Based Model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhai, L.

    2017-12-01

    Plant community can be simultaneously affected by human activities and climate changes, and quantifying and predicting this combined effect on plant community by appropriate model framework which is validated by field data is complex, but very useful to conservation management. Plant communities in the Everglades provide an unique set of conditions to develop and validate this model framework, because they are both experiencing intensive effects of human activities (such as changing hydroperiod by drainage and restoration projects, nutrients from upstream agriculture, prescribed fire, etc.) and climate changes (such as warming, changing precipitation patter, sea level rise, etc.). More importantly, previous research attention focuses on plant communities in slough ecosystem (including ridge, slough and their tree islands), very few studies consider the marl prairie ecosystem. Comparing with slough ecosystem featured by remaining consistently flooded almost year-round, marl prairie has relatively shorter hydroperiod (just in wet-season of one year). Therefore, plant communities of marl prairie may receive more impacts from hydroperiod change. In addition to hydroperiod, fire and nutrients also affect the plant communities in the marl prairie. Therefore, to quantify the combined effects of water level, fire, and nutrients on the composition of the plant communities, we are developing a joint probability method based vegetation dynamic model. Further, the model is being validated by field data about changes of vegetation assemblage along environmental gradients in the marl prairie. Our poster showed preliminary data from our current project.

  6. Grass Rooting the System

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perlman, Janice E.

    1976-01-01

    Suggests a taxonomy of the grass roots movement and gives a general descriptive over view of the 60 groups studied with respect to origin, constituency, size, funding, issues, and ideology. (Author/AM)

  7. Functional consequences of climate change-induced plant species loss in a tallgrass prairie.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Craine, Joseph M; Nippert, Jesse B; Towne, E Gene; Tucker, Sally; Kembel, Steven W; Skibbe, Adam; McLauchlan, Kendra K

    2011-04-01

    Future climate change is likely to reduce the floristic diversity of grasslands. Yet the potential consequences of climate-induced plant species losses for the functioning of these ecosystems are poorly understood. We investigated how climate change might alter the functional composition of grasslands for Konza Prairie, a diverse tallgrass prairie in central North America. With species-specific climate envelopes, we show that a reduction in mean annual precipitation would preferentially remove species that are more abundant in the more productive lowland positions at Konza. As such, decreases in precipitation could reduce productivity not only by reducing water availability but by also removing species that inhabit the most productive areas and respond the most to climate variability. In support of this prediction, data on species abundance at Konza over 16 years show that species that are more abundant in lowlands than uplands are preferentially reduced in years with low precipitation. Climate change is likely to also preferentially remove species from particular functional groups and clades. For example, warming is forecast to preferentially remove perennials over annuals as well as Cyperaceae species. Despite these predictions, climate change is unlikely to unilaterally alter the functional composition of the tallgrass prairie flora, as many functional traits such as physiological drought tolerance and maximum photosynthetic rates showed little relationship with climate envelope parameters. In all, although climatic drying would indirectly alter grassland productivity through species loss patterns, the insurance afforded by biodiversity to ecosystem function is likely to be sustained in the face of climate change.

  8. Assessing diversity of prairie plants using remote sensing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gamon, J. A.; Wang, R.

    2017-12-01

    Biodiversity loss endangers ecosystem services and is considered as a global change that may generate unacceptable environmental consequences for the Earth system. Global biodiversity observations are needed to provide a better understanding of biodiversity - ecosystem services relationships and to provide a stronger foundation for conserving the Earth's biodiversity. While remote sensing metrics have been applied to estimate α biodiversity directly through optical diversity, a better understanding of the mechanisms behind the optical diversity-biodiversity relationship is needed. We designed a series of experiments at Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve, MN, to investigate the scale dependence of optical diversity and explore how species richness, evenness, and composition affect optical diversity. We collected hyperspectral reflectance of 16 prairie species using both a full-range field spectrometer fitted with a leaf clip, and an imaging spectrometer carried by a tram system to simulate plot-level images with different species richness, evenness, and composition. Two indicators of spectral diversity were explored: the coefficient of variation (CV) of spectral reflectance in space, and spectral classification using a Partial Least Squares Discriminant Analysis (PLS-DA). Our results showed that sampling methods (leaf clip-derived data vs. image-derived data) affected the optical diversity estimation. Both optical diversity indices were affected by species richness and evenness (Pguide regional studies of biodiversity estimation using high spatial and spectral resolution remote sensing.

  9. Neonicotinoid insecticide removal by prairie strips in row-cropped watersheds with historical seed coating use

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hladik, Michelle L.; Bradbury, Steven; Schulte, Lisa A.; Helmers, Matthew; Witte, Christopher; Kolpin, Dana W.; Garrett, Jessica D.; Harris, Mary

    2017-01-01

    Neonicotinoids are a widely used class of insecticides that are commonly applied as seed coatings for agricultural crops. Such neonicotinoid use may pose a risk to non-target insects, including pollinators and natural enemies of crop pests, and ecosystems. This study assessed neonicotinoid residues in groundwater, surface runoff water, soil, and native plants adjacent to corn and soybean crop fields with a history of being planted with neonicotinoid-treated seeds from 2008-2013. Data from six sites with the same crop management history, three with and three without in-field prairie strips, were collected in 2015-2016, 2-3 years after neonicotinoid (clothianidin and imidacloprid) seed treatments were last used. Three of the six neonicotinoids analyzed were detected in at least one environmental matrix: the two applied as seed coatings on the fields (clothianidin and imidacloprid) and another widely used neonicotinoid (thiamethoxam). Sites with prairie strips generally had lower concentrations of neonicotinoids: groundwater and footslope soil neonicotinoid concentrations were significantly lower in the sites with prairie strips than those without; mean concentrations for groundwater were 11 and 20 ng/L (p = 0.048) and <1 and 6 ng/g (p = 0.0004) for soil, respectively. Surface runoff water concentrations were not significantly (p = 0.38) different for control sites (44 ng/L) or sites with prairie strips (140 ng/L). Consistent with the decreased inputs of neonicotinoids, concentrations tended to decrease over the sampling timeframe. Two sites recorded concentration increases, however, potentially due to disturbance of previous applications or influence from nearby fields where use of seed treatments continued. There were no detections (limit of detection: 1 ng/g) of neonicotinoids in the foliage or roots of plants comprising prairie strips, indicating a low likelihood of exposure to pollinators and other insects visiting these plants following the cessation of seed

  10. Mapping wetlands and surface water in the Prairie Pothole Region of North America: Chapter 16

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rover, Jennifer R.; Mushet, David M.

    2015-01-01

    The Prairie Pothole Region (PPR) is one of the most highly productive wetland regions in the world. Prairie Pothole wetlands serve as a primary feeding and breeding habitat for more than one-half of North America’s waterfowl population, as well as a variety of songbirds, waterbirds, shorebirds, and other wildlife. During the last century, extensive land conversions from grassland with wetlands to cultivated cropland and grazed pastureland segmented and reduced wetland habitat. Inventorying and characterizing remaining wetland habitat is critical for the management of wetland ecosystem services. Remote sensing technologies are often utilized for mapping and monitoring wetlands. This chapter presents background specific to the PPR and discusses approaches employed in mapping its wetlands before presenting a case study.

  11. Bridging the Divide: Linking Genomics to Ecosystem Responses to Climate Change: Final Report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Smith, Melinda D.

    2014-03-15

    soil moisture) under a more variable precipitation regime, rather than reduced population numbers (A. gerardii tiller densities did not differ between altered and ambient treatments; p = 0.505) or a priori differences in genotype richness (Avolio et al.2013a). This ecological sorting of genotypes, which accounts for 40% of all sampled individuals in the altered plots, is an important legacy of the press chronic climate changes in the RaMPs experiment. Objective 2 In May 2010, we established the Climate Extremes Experiment at the Konza Prairie Biological Station. For the experiment, a gradient of temperatures, ranging from ambient to extreme, were imposed in 2010 and 2011 as a mid-season heat wave under well-watered or severe drought conditions. This study allowed us for the first time to examine species-specific thresholds of responses to climate extremes and assess how these phenotypic responses may impact selection of particular genotypes, with the ultimate goal of linking alterations in individual performance and genetic diversity to ecosystem structure and functioning. We found that tallgrass prairie was resistant to heat waves, but it was not resistant to extreme drought, which reduced aboveground net primary productivity (ANPP) below the lowest level measured in this grassland in almost thirty years (Hoover et al. in press(a)). This extreme reduction in ecosystem function was a consequence of reduced productivity of both C4 grasses and C3 forbs. This reduction in biomass of the C4 grasses (Andropogon gerardii and Sorghastrum nutans) was, in part, due to significant reductions in photosynthesis, leaf water potential and productivity with drought in the dominant grasses species, with S. nutans was more sensitive than A. gerardii to drought (Hoover et al. in press(b)). However, the dominant forb was negatively impacted by the drought more than the dominant grasses, and this led to a reordering of species abundances within the plant community. Although this change in

  12. An adaptive approach to invasive plant management on U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service-owned native prairies in the Prairie Pothole Region: decision support under uncertainity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gannon, Jill J.; Moore, Clinton T.; Shaffer, Terry L.; Flanders-Wanner, Bridgette

    2011-01-01

    Much of the native prairie managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) in the Prairie Pothole Region (PPR) is extensively invaded by the introduced cool-season grasses smooth brome (Bromus inermis) and Kentucky bluegrass (Poa pratensis). The central challenge to managers is selecting appropriate management actions in the face of biological and environmental uncertainties. We describe the technical components of a USGS management project, and explain how the components integrate and inform each other, how data feedback from individual cooperators serves to reduce uncertainty across the whole region, and how a successful adaptive management project is coordinated and maintained on a large scale. In partnership with the Service, the U.S. Geological Survey is developing an adaptive decision support framework to assist managers in selecting management actions under uncertainty and maximizing learning from management outcomes. The framework is built around practical constraints faced by refuge managers and includes identification of the management objective and strategies, analysis of uncertainty and construction of competing decision models, monitoring, and mechanisms for model feedback and decision selection. Nineteen Service field stations, spanning four states of the PPR, are participating in the project. They share a common management objective, available management strategies, and biological uncertainties. While the scope is broad, the project interfaces with individual land managers who provide refuge-specific information and receive updated decision guidance that incorporates understanding gained from the collective experience of all cooperators.

  13. Spatial and temporal variability of guinea grass (Megathyrsus maximus) fuel loads and moisture on Oahu, Hawaii

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lisa M. Ellsworth; Creighton M. Litton; Andrew D. Taylor; J. Boone Kauffman

    2013-01-01

    Frequent wildfires in tropical landscapes dominated by non-native invasive grasses threaten surrounding ecosystems and developed areas. To better manage fire, accurate estimates of the spatial and temporal variability in fuels are urgently needed. We quantified the spatial variability in live and dead fine fuel loads and moistures at four guinea grass (...

  14. Timber resource of Minnesota's Prairie unit, 1977.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jerold T. Hahn; W. Brad Smith

    1980-01-01

    The fourth inventory of Minnesota's Prairie Unit shows that although commercial forest area decreased 31.7% between 1962 and 1977, growing-stock volume increased 22%. This report gives statistical highlights and contains detailed tables of forest area as well as timber volume, growth, mortality, ownership, and use.

  15. Timber resource of Missouri's Prairie, 1972.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jerold T. Hahn; Alexander Vasilevsky

    1975-01-01

    The third timber inventory of Missouri's Prairie Forest Survey Unit shows substantial declines in both growing-stock and sawtimber volumes between 1959 and 1972. Commercial forest area declined by one-fifth. Presents highlights and statistics on forest area and timber volume, growth, mortality, ownership, and use in 1972.

  16. Enhanced precipitation variability decreases grass- and increases shrub-productivity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gherardi, Laureano A.; Sala, Osvaldo E.

    2015-01-01

    Although projections of precipitation change indicate increases in variability, most studies of impacts of climate change on ecosystems focused on effects of changes in amount of precipitation, overlooking precipitation variability effects, especially at the interannual scale. Here, we present results from a 6-y field experiment, where we applied sequences of wet and dry years, increasing interannual precipitation coefficient of variation while maintaining a precipitation amount constant. Increased precipitation variability significantly reduced ecosystem primary production. Dominant plant-functional types showed opposite responses: perennial-grass productivity decreased by 81%, whereas shrub productivity increased by 67%. This pattern was explained by different nonlinear responses to precipitation. Grass productivity presented a saturating response to precipitation where dry years had a larger negative effect than the positive effects of wet years. In contrast, shrubs showed an increasing response to precipitation that resulted in an increase in average productivity with increasing precipitation variability. In addition, the effects of precipitation variation increased through time. We argue that the differential responses of grasses and shrubs to precipitation variability and the amplification of this phenomenon through time result from contrasting root distributions of grasses and shrubs and competitive interactions among plant types, confirmed by structural equation analysis. Under drought conditions, grasses reduce their abundance and their ability to absorb water that then is transferred to deep soil layers that are exclusively explored by shrubs. Our work addresses an understudied dimension of climate change that might lead to widespread shrub encroachment reducing the provisioning of ecosystem services to society. PMID:26417095

  17. Native Prairie Adaptive Management: a multi region adaptive approach to invasive plant management on Fish and Wildlife Service owned native prairies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gannon, Jill J.; Shaffer, Terry L.; Moore, Clinton T.

    2013-01-01

    Much of the native prairie managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) in the Prairie Pothole Region (PPR) of the northern Great Plains is extensively invaded by the introduced cool-season grasses, smooth brome (Bromus inermis) and Kentucky bluegrass (Poa pratensis). Management to suppress these invasive plants has had poor to inconsistent success. The central challenge to managers is selecting appropriate management actions in the face of biological and environmental uncertainties. In partnership with the FWS, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) developed an adaptive decision support framework to assist managers in selecting management actions under uncertainty and maximizing learning from management outcomes. This joint partnership is known as the Native Prairie Adaptive Management (NPAM) initiative. The NPAM decision framework is built around practical constraints faced by FWS refuge managers and includes identification of the management objective and strategies, analysis of uncertainty and construction of competing decision models, monitoring, and mechanisms for model feedback and decision selection. Nineteen FWS field stations, spanning four states of the PPR, have participated in the initiative. These FWS cooperators share a common management objective, available management strategies, and biological uncertainties. Though the scope is broad, the initiative interfaces with individual land managers who provide site-specific information and receive updated decision guidance that incorporates understanding gained from the collective experience of all cooperators. We describe the technical components of this approach, how the components integrate and inform each other, how data feedback from individual cooperators serves to reduce uncertainty across the whole region, and how a successful adaptive management project is coordinated and maintained on a large scale. During an initial scoping workshop, FWS cooperators developed a consensus management objective

  18. GUI development for GRASS GIS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Martin Landa

    2007-12-01

    Full Text Available This article discusses GUI development for GRASS GIS. Sophisticated native GUI for GRASS is one of the key points (besides the new 2D/3D raster library, vector architecture improvements, etc. for the future development of GRASS. In 2006 the GRASS development team decided to start working on the new generation of GUI instead of improving the current GUI based on Tcl/Tk.

  19. Direct and indirect responses of tallgrass prairie butterflies to prescribed burning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vogel, Jennifer A.; Koford, Rolf R.; Debinski, Diane M.

    2010-01-01

    Fire is an important tool in the conservation and restoration of tallgrass prairie ecosystems. We investigated how both the vegetation composition and butterfly community of tallgrass prairie remnants changed in relation to the elapsed time (in months) since prescribed fire. Butterfly richness and butterfly abundance were positively correlated with the time since burn. Habitat-specialist butterfly richness recovery time was greater than 70 months post-fire and habitat-specialist butterfly abundance recovery time was approximately 50 months post-fire. Thus, recovery times for butterfly populations after prescribed fires in our study were potentially longer than those previously reported. We used Path Analysis to evaluate the relative contributions of the direct effect of time since fire and the indirect effects of time since fire through changes in vegetation composition on butterfly abundance. Path models highlighted the importance of the indirect effects of fire on habitat features, such as increases in the cover of bare ground. Because fire return intervals on managed prairie remnants are often less than 5 years, information on recovery times for habitat-specialist insect species are of great importance. ?? 2010 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

  20. A Prairie Dog Abatement Program in San Juan County, Utah

    OpenAIRE

    Messmer, Terry A.; Keyes, Jim; McDonald, Roy

    1993-01-01

    Four species of prairie dogs are native to the plains and plateaus of the western United States. The most abundant and widely distributed of these is the blacktailed prairie dog, (Cynomys ludovicianus). This species has been a frequent topic of discussion at previous Great Plains Wildlife Damage Control workshops. Black-tailed prairie dog ecology and management was the topic of a panel discussion held at the Fifth Great Plains Wildlife Damage Control Workshop, in Lincoln, Nebraska (Timm and J...

  1. Investigating temporal patterns of a native bee community in a remnant North American bunchgrass prairie using blue vane traps.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kimoto, Chiho; Debano, Sandra J; Thorp, Robbin W; Rao, Sujaya; Stephen, William P

    2012-01-01

    Native bees are important ecologically and economically because their role as pollinators fulfills a vital ecosystem service. Pollinators are declining due to various factors, including habitat degradation and destruction. Grasslands, an important habitat for native bees, are particularly vulnerable. One highly imperiled and understudied grassland type in the United States is the Pacific Northwest Bunchgrass Prairie. No studies have examined native bee communities in this prairie type. To fill this gap, the bee fauna of the Zumwalt Prairie, a large, relatively intact remnant of the Pacific Northwest Bunchgrass Prairie, was examined. Native bees were sampled during the summers of 2007 and 2008 in sixteen 40-ha study pastures on a plateau in northeastern Oregon, using a sampling method not previously used in grassland studies-blue vane traps. This grassland habitat contained an abundant and diverse community of native bees that experienced marked seasonal and inter-annual variation, which appears to be related to weather and plant phenology. Temporal variability evident over the entire study area was also reflected at the individual trap level, indicating a consistent response across the spatial scale of the study. These results demonstrate that temporal variability in bee communities can have important implications for long-term monitoring protocols. In addition, the blue vane trap method appears to be well-suited for studies of native bees in large expanses of grasslands or other open habitats, and may be a useful tool for monitoring native bee communities in these systems.

  2. Cover Image Identification of Plant Species for Crop Pollinator Habitat Enhancement in the Northern Prairies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Diana Bizecki Robson

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available Wild pollinators have a positive impact on the productivity of insect-pollinated crops. Consequently, landowners are being encouraged to maintain and grow wildflower patches to provide habitat for important pollinators. Research on plant-pollinator interaction matrices indicates that a small number of “core” plants provide a disproportionately high amount of pollen and nectar to insects. This matrix data can be used to help design wildflower plantings that provide optimal resources for desirable pollinators. Existing interaction matrices from three tall grass prairie preserves in the northern prairies were used to identify core plant species that are visited by wild pollinators of a common insect-pollinated crop, namely canola (Brassica napus L.. The wildflower preferences of each insect taxon were determined using quantitative insect visitation and floral abundance data. Phenology data were used to calculate the degree of floral synchrony between the wildflowers and canola. Using this information I ranked the 41 wildflowers that share insect visitors with canola according to how useful they are for providing pollinators with forage before and after canola flowers. The top five species were smooth blue aster (Symphyotrichum laeve (L. A. & D. Löve, stiff goldenrod (Solidago rigida L., wild bergamot (Monarda fistulosa L., purple prairie-clover (Dalea purpurea Vent. and Lindley’s aster (Symphyotrichum ciliolatum (Lindl. A. & D. Löve. By identifying the most important wild insects for crop pollination, and determining when there will be “pollen and nectar gaps”, appropriate plant species can be selected for companion plantings to increase pollinator populations and crop production.

  3. Prairies Water Management on Corps Lands

    Science.gov (United States)

    2009-02-01

    infiltration, autogenic mechanisms can lead to the recovery of essential soil processes. The Role of Organic Matter in Soil Formation. In a prairie...management in EP-1130-2-540 (USACE 2005), and does not have a fire management training program in place (USACE 2008). Some Corps resource managers...are trained and partner with other entities to conduct prescribed burns on Corps grasslands. However, prescribed burning as a management strategy is

  4. Radiative surface temperatures of the burned and unburned areas in a tallgrass prairie

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Asrar, G.; Harris, T.R.; Lapitan, R.L.; Cooper, D.I.

    1988-01-01

    This study was conducted in a natural tallgrass prairie area in the Flint Hills of Kansas. Our objective was to evaluate the surface radiative temperatures of burned and unburned treatments of the grassland as a means of delineating the areas covered by each treatment. Burning is used to remove the senescent vegetation resulting from the previous year's growth. Surface temperatures were obtained in situ and by an airborne scanner. Burned and unburned grass canopies had distinctly different diurnal surface radiative temperatures. Measurements of surface energy balance components revealed a difference in partitioning of the available energy between the two canopies, which resulted in the difference in their measured surface temperatures. The magnitude of this difference is dependent on the time of measurements and topographic conditions. (author)

  5. A comparison of cellulosic fuel yields and separated soil-surface CO2 fluxes in maize and prairie biofuel cropping systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nichols, Virginia A.

    It has been suggested that strategic incorporation of perennial vegetation into agricultural landscapes could provide ecosystem services while maintaining agricultural productivity. To evaluate potential use of prairie as a Midwestern cellulosic feedstock, we investigated theoretical cellulosic fuel yields, as well as soil-surface carbon dioxide emissions of prairie-based biofuel systems as compared to maize-based systems on fertile soils in Boone County, IA, USA. Investigated systems were: a maize-soybean rotation grown for grain only, continuous maize grown for grain and stover both with and without a winter rye cover crop, and a 31-species reconstructed prairie grown with and without spring nitrogen fertilization for fall-harvested biomass. From 2009-2013, the highest producing system was N-fertilized prairie, averaging 10.4 Mg ha -1 yr-1 above-ground biomass with average harvest removals of 7.8 Mg ha-1 yr-1. The unfertilized prairie produced 7.4 Mg ha-1 yr-1, averaging harvests of 5.3 Mg ha-1 yr-1. Lowest cellulosic biomass harvests were realized from continuous maize systems, averaging 3.5 Mg ha -1 yr-1 when grown with, and 3.7 Mg ha-1 yr-1 when grown without a winter rye cover crop, respectively. Un-fertilized prairie biomass and maize stover had equivalent dietary conversion ratios at 330 g ethanol kg-1 dry biomass, but N-fertilized prairie was lower at 315. Over four years prairie systems averaged 1287 L cellulosic ethanol ha-1 yr-1 more than maize systems, with fertilization increasing prairie ethanol production by 865 L ha-1 yr-1. Harvested biomass accounted for >90% of ethanol yield variation. A major hurdle in carbon cycling studies is the separation of the soil-surface CO2 flux into its respective components. From 2012-2013 we used a shading method to separate soil-surface CO2 resulting from oxidation of soil organic matter and CO2 derived from live-root activity in three systems: unfertilized prairie, N-fertilized prairie, and continuous maize

  6. Land Use, Climate Change and Ecosystem Services

    OpenAIRE

    Attavanich, Witsanu; Rashford, Benjamin S.; Adams, Richard M.; McCarl, Bruce A.

    2011-01-01

    The combination of shifts in crop production and a reduction in wetland ecosystems associated with climate change are forecast to reduce native grasslands and associated obligate species. Most estimates of climate change impacts to wildlife, however, do not account for how humans are likely to alter land use in response to climate changes. We examine the joint effect of climate change and the resulting land use response of farmers on waterfowl production in the Prairie Pothole Region of Nor...

  7. Chicago's Columbus Park: The Prairie Idealized. Teaching with Historic Places.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bachrach, Julia Sniderman; Nathan, Jo Ann

    Twenty-four year old Jens Jensen came to the United States, settled in Chicago (Illinois), and promptly fell in love with the Midwest's prairie landscape. Although some thought that prairie was boring, monotonous, and ordinary, Jensen saw great beauty in the tree-filled groves, long winding rivers, natural rock formations and waterfalls, and the…

  8. Resilience to disturbance and resistance to alien grass invasions in the cold desert of western North America

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alien grass invasions are resulting in ecosystem-level transformations of entire landscapes in arid and semi-arid ecosystems. The cold desert of western US is undergoing such a transformation, and is considered one of the most imperiled large ecosystems in the US. To address the rapid and complex ch...

  9. Managing Water-Food-Energy Futures in the Canadian Prairies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wheater, H. S.; Hassanzadeh, E.; Nazemi, A.; Elshorbagy, A. A.

    2016-12-01

    The water-food-energy nexus is a convenient phrase to highlight competing societal uses for water and the need for cross-sectoral policy integration, but this can lead to oversimplification of the multiple dimensions of water (and energy) management. In practice, water managers must balance (and prioritize) demands for water for many uses, including environmental flows, and reservoir operation often involves managing conflicting demands, for example to maximize retention for supply, reduce storage to facilitate flood control, and constrain water levels and releases for habitat protection. Agriculture and water quality are also inextricably linked: irrigated agriculture requires appropriate water quality for product quality and certification, but agriculture can be a major source of nutrient pollution, with impacts on human and ecosystem health, drinking water treatment and amenity. And energy-water interactions include energy production (hydropower and cooling water for thermal power generation) and energy consumption (e.g. for pumping and water and wastewater treatment). These dependencies are illustrated for the Canadian prairies, and a risk-based approach to the management of climate change is presented. Trade-offs between economic benefits of hydropower and irrigation are illustrated for alternative climate futures, including implications for freshwater habitats. The results illustrate that inter-sector interactions vary as a function of climate and its variability, and that there is a need for policy to manage inter-sector allocations as a function of economic risk.

  10. 78 FR 17224 - Environmental Impact Statement; Proposed South Puget Sound Prairie Habitat Conservation Plan...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-03-20

    ... sizable portion of South Puget Sound Prairie habitat is located in the urban-rural interface and in the...-FF01E00000] Environmental Impact Statement; Proposed South Puget Sound Prairie Habitat Conservation Plan... permit application would be associated the South Puget Sound Prairie Habitat Conservation Plan (Prairie...

  11. Spatially explicit modeling of lesser prairie-chicken lek density in Texas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Timmer, Jennifer M.; Butler, M.J.; Ballard, Warren; Boal, Clint W.; Whitlaw, Heather A.

    2014-01-01

    As with many other grassland birds, lesser prairie-chickens (Tympanuchus pallidicinctus) have experienced population declines in the Southern Great Plains. Currently they are proposed for federal protection under the Endangered Species Act. In addition to a history of land-uses that have resulted in habitat loss, lesser prairie-chickens now face a new potential disturbance from energy development. We estimated lek density in the occupied lesser prairie-chicken range of Texas, USA, and modeled anthropogenic and vegetative landscape features associated with lek density. We used an aerial line-transect survey method to count lesser prairie-chicken leks in spring 2010 and 2011 and surveyed 208 randomly selected 51.84-km(2) blocks. We divided each survey block into 12.96-km(2) quadrats and summarized landscape variables within each quadrat. We then used hierarchical distance-sampling models to examine the relationship between lek density and anthropogenic and vegetative landscape features and predict how lek density may change in response to changes on the landscape, such as an increase in energy development. Our best models indicated lek density was related to percent grassland, region (i.e., the northeast or southwest region of the Texas Panhandle), total percentage of grassland and shrubland, paved road density, and active oil and gas well density. Predicted lek density peaked at 0.39leks/12.96km(2) (SE=0.09) and 2.05leks/12.96km(2) (SE=0.56) in the northeast and southwest region of the Texas Panhandle, respectively, which corresponds to approximately 88% and 44% grassland in the northeast and southwest region. Lek density increased with an increase in total percentage of grassland and shrubland and was greatest in areas with lower densities of paved roads and lower densities of active oil and gas wells. We used the 2 most competitive models to predict lek abundance and estimated 236 leks (CV=0.138, 95% CI=177-306leks) for our sampling area. Our results suggest that

  12. Environmental Impacts of Wind Power Development on the Population Biology of Greater Prairie-Chickens

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sandercock, Brett K. [Kansas State University

    2013-05-22

    power development appears to affect movements in breeding habitats but not nest site selection of female prairie chickens during the breeding season. 5. We tested the effects of wind power development on five components of female fecundity: timing of clutch initiation, clutch size of first nests and renests, nest survival, and hatchability of eggs. Average date of clutch initiation was 26 April, clutch size was 12.7 and 10.6 eggs for first nests and renests, probability of nest survival was low at 0.18, but egg hatchability was high at 0.79. Wind power development had no impact on reproductive effort or nesting success, and all five components of fecundity were not related to treatment period or distance to turbine. Nest survival was the main factor limiting reproductive output of female prairie chickens and most losses were due to predation. Daily nest survival was strongly related to vegetative cover at the nest. Changes to rangeland management practices that would double nesting cover from 2.5 to 5 dm would triple the probability of nest survival from 0.17 to 0.52. Grass and forb cover had weak positive effects on daily nest survival whereas shrub cover, proximity to woodlands, and recent rainfall had negative effects. Reproductive performance of prairie chickens is low in managed rangelands in northcentral Kansas and efforts to improve range conditions and reduce predator activity would aid recovery of prairie chicken populations. 6. We used molecular methods to investigate patterns of natal dispersal in prairie chickens. High rates of nest failure limited the number of young that we could sample. Direct detections of natal dispersal were limited because survival of newly hatched chicks to become adults were low and because we were unable to detect dispersal distances outside of our study area. Direct observations of natal movements were limited and were inadequate to make conclusions about the potential impacts of wind energy development on natal dispersal. Spatial

  13. Evidence for 20th century climate warming and wetland drying in the North American Prairie Pothole Region

    Science.gov (United States)

    Werner, B.A.; Johnson, W. Carter; Guntenspergen, Glenn R.

    2013-01-01

    The Prairie Pothole Region (PPR) of North America is a globally important resource that provides abundant and valuable ecosystem goods and services in the form of biodiversity, groundwater recharge, water purification, flood attenuation, and water and forage for agriculture. Numerous studies have found these wetlands, which number in the millions, to be highly sensitive to climate variability. Here, we compare wetland conditions between two 30-year periods (1946–1975; 1976–2005) using a hindcast simulation approach to determine if recent climate warming in the region has already resulted in changes in wetland condition. Simulations using the WETLANDSCAPE model show that 20th century climate change may have been sufficient to have a significant impact on wetland cover cycling. Modeled wetlands in the PPR's western Canadian prairies show the most dramatic effects: a recent trend toward shorter hydroperiods and less dynamic vegetation cycles, which already may have reduced the productivity of hundreds of wetland-dependent species.

  14. Evidence for 20th century climate warming and wetland drying in the North American Prairie Pothole Region.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Werner, Brett A; Johnson, W Carter; Guntenspergen, Glenn R

    2013-09-01

    The Prairie Pothole Region (PPR) of North America is a globally important resource that provides abundant and valuable ecosystem goods and services in the form of biodiversity, groundwater recharge, water purification, flood attenuation, and water and forage for agriculture. Numerous studies have found these wetlands, which number in the millions, to be highly sensitive to climate variability. Here, we compare wetland conditions between two 30-year periods (1946-1975; 1976-2005) using a hindcast simulation approach to determine if recent climate warming in the region has already resulted in changes in wetland condition. Simulations using the WETLANDSCAPE model show that 20th century climate change may have been sufficient to have a significant impact on wetland cover cycling. Modeled wetlands in the PPR's western Canadian prairies show the most dramatic effects: a recent trend toward shorter hydroperiods and less dynamic vegetation cycles, which already may have reduced the productivity of hundreds of wetland-dependent species.

  15. Oxytocin reduces alcohol consumption in prairie voles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stevenson, J R; Wenner, S M; Freestone, D M; Romaine, C C; Parian, M C; Christian, S M; Bohidar, A E; Ndem, J R; Vogel, I R; O'Kane, C M

    2017-10-01

    Alcohol use disorder (AUD) negatively affects millions of people every year in the United States, and effective treatments for AUD are still needed. The neuropeptide oxytocin has shown promise for reducing alcohol drinking in mice and rats. Because oxytocin also plays a key role in complex prosocial behaviors like bonding and attachment, we tested the effect of oxytocin on alcohol drinking in prairie voles, a species that both consumes high amounts of alcohol and forms oxytocin dependent social bonds in a manner similar to humans. Oxytocin treatment (1.0, 3.0, and 10.0mg/kg, i.p.) reduced alcohol consumption in male and female prairie voles in animals that had access to 15% ethanol vs water every other day for 12 alcohol drinking sessions. In animals with continuous access to 15% alcohol and water, oxytocin (3.0mg/kg) reduced alcohol consumption only in the first hour of access after treatment, with no significant effects on consumption over the 24-hr period. In an open field locomotor test, oxytocin (1.0, 3.0, and 10.0mg/kg, i.p.) did not affect overall locomotor activity; however, ethanol (2g/kg, i.p.) increased locomotor activity in males and females, and produced anxiolytic effects (increased time in the center of an open field) in females only. Because prairie voles have been shown to match the alcohol consumption of their cage mate, we evaluated the relationship between cage mates' alcohol drinking. There was an overall pattern of social facilitation (consumption by one cage mate predicted consumption by the other cage mate); however, we found significant individual differences across cages in which many cages did not show significant matching, and, in some cases one cage mate's consumption negatively predicted the other cage mate's consumption. Overall, our data provide support for the potential of oxytocin as a treatment to reduce alcohol consumption. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  16. Reversing land degradation through grasses: a systematic meta-analysis in the Indian tropics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mandal, Debashis; Srivastava, Pankaj; Giri, Nishita; Kaushal, Rajesh; Cerda, Artemi; Meherul Alam, Nurnabi

    2017-02-01

    Although intensive agriculture is necessary to sustain the world's growing population, accelerated soil erosion contributes to a decrease in the environmental health of ecosystems at local, regional and global scales. Reversing the process of land degradation using vegetative measures is of utmost importance in such ecosystems. The present study critically analyzes the effect of grasses in reversing the process of land degradation using a systematic review. The collected information was segregated under three different land use and land management situations. Meta-analysis was applied to test the hypothesis that the use of grasses reduces runoff and soil erosion. The effect of grasses was deduced for grass strip and in combination with physical structures. Similarly, the effects of grasses were analyzed in degraded pasture lands. The overall result of the meta-analysis showed that infiltration capacity increased approximately 2-fold after planting grasses across the slopes in agricultural fields. Grazing land management through a cut-and-carry system increased conservation efficiencies by 42 and 63 % with respect to reduction in runoff and erosion, respectively. Considering the comprehensive performance index (CPI), it has been observed that hybrid Napier (Pennisetum purpureum) and sambuta (Saccharum munja) grass seem to posses the most desirable attributes as an effective grass barrier for the western Himalayas and Eastern Ghats, while natural grass (Dichanthium annulatum) and broom grass (Thysanolaena maxima) are found to be most promising grass species for the Konkan region of the Western Ghats and the northeastern Himalayan region, respectively. In addition to these benefits, it was also observed that soil carbon loss can be reduced by 83 % with the use of grasses. Overall, efficacy for erosion control of various grasses was more than 60 %; hence, their selection should be based on the production potential of these grasses under given edaphic and agro

  17. PHYTOREMEDIATION OF PESTICIDE MIXTURES WITH NATIVE PRAIRIE GRASSES. (R825549C045)

    Science.gov (United States)

    The perspectives, information and conclusions conveyed in research project abstracts, progress reports, final reports, journal abstracts and journal publications convey the viewpoints of the principal investigator and may not represent the views and policies of ORD and EPA. Concl...

  18. Contrasting nest survival patterns for ducks and songbirds in northern mixed-grass prairie

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grant, Todd; Shaffer, Terry L.; Madden, Elizabeth M.; Nenneman, Melvin P.

    2017-01-01

    Management actions intended to protect or improve habitat for ducks may benefit grassland-nesting passerines, but scant information is available to explore this assumption. During 1998–2003, we examined nest survival of ducks and songbirds to determine whether effects of prescribed fire and other habitat features (e.g., shrub cover and distance to habitat edges) were similar for ducks and passerines breeding in North Dakota. We used the logistic-exposure method to estimate survival of duck and songbird nests (n = 3,171). We used an information-theoretic approach to identify factors that most influenced nest survival. Patterns of nest survival were markedly different between taxonomic groups. For ducks, nest survival was greater during the first postfire nesting season (daily survival rate [DSR] = 0.957, 85% CI = 0.951–0.963), relative to later postfire nesting seasons (DSR = 0.946, 85% CI = 0.942–0.950). Furthermore duck nest survival and nest densities were inversely related. Duck nest survival also was greater as shrub cover decreased and as distance from cropland and wetland edges increased. Passerines had lower nest survival during the first postfire nesting season (DSR = 0.934, 85% CI = 0.924–0.944), when densities also were low compared to subsequent postfire nesting seasons (DSR = 0.947, 85% CI = 0.944–0.950). Parasitism by brown-headed cowbirds (Molothrus ater) reduced passerine nest survival and this effect was more pronounced during the first postfire nesting season compared to subsequent nesting seasons. Passerine nest survival was greater as shrub cover decreased and perhaps for more concealed nests. Duck and songbird nest survival rates were not correlated during this study and for associated studies that examined additional variables using the same dataset, suggesting that different mechanisms influenced their survival. Based on our results, ducks should not be considered direct surrogates for passerines when predicting effects of prescribed fire, shrub cover, and habitat edges on nest survival.

  19. CANOPY ARCHITECTURE, LIGHT EXTINCTION AND SELF-SHADING OF A PRAIRIE GRASS, ANDROPOGON GERARDII. (R825796)

    Science.gov (United States)

    The perspectives, information and conclusions conveyed in research project abstracts, progress reports, final reports, journal abstracts and journal publications convey the viewpoints of the principal investigator and may not represent the views and policies of ORD and EPA. Concl...

  20. Meadow-grass gall midge

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hansen, Lars Monrad

    The area with meadow-grass (Poa pratensis, L.) grown for seed production in Den-mark is a significant proportion of the entire seed production. The meadow-grass gall midge (Mayetiola schoberi, Barnes 1958) is of considerable economic importance since powerful attacks can reduce the yield...

  1. Feasibility of Invasive Grass Detection in a Desertscrub Community Using Hyperspectral Field Measurements and Landsat TM Imagery

    OpenAIRE

    Olsson, Aaryn D.; Leeuwen, Willem J.D. van; Marsh, Stuart E.

    2011-01-01

    Invasive species’ phenologies often contrast with those of native species, representing opportunities for detection of invasive species with multi-temporal remote sensing. Detection is especially critical for ecosystem-transforming species that facilitate changes in disturbance regimes. The African C4 grass, Pennisetum ciliare, is transforming ecosystems on three continents and a number of neotropical islands by introducing a grass-fire cycle. However, previous attempts at discriminating P. c...

  2. Nutrient addition shifts plant community composition towards earlier flowering species in some prairie ecoregions in the U.S. Central Plains.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lori Biederman

    Full Text Available The distribution of flowering across the growing season is governed by each species' evolutionary history and climatic variability. However, global change factors, such as eutrophication and invasion, can alter plant community composition and thus change the distribution of flowering across the growing season. We examined three ecoregions (tall-, mixed, and short-grass prairie across the U.S. Central Plains to determine how nutrient (nitrogen (N, phosphorus, and potassium (+micronutrient addition alters the temporal patterns of plant flowering traits. We calculated total community flowering potential (FP by distributing peak-season plant cover values across the growing season, allocating each species' cover to only those months in which it typically flowers. We also generated separate FP profiles for exotic and native species and functional group. We compared the ability of the added nutrients to shift the distribution of these FP profiles (total and sub-groups across the growing season. In all ecoregions, N increased the relative cover of both exotic species and C3 graminoids that flower in May through August. The cover of C4 graminoids decreased with added N, but the response varied by ecoregion and month. However, these functional changes only aggregated to shift the entire community's FP profile in the tall-grass prairie, where the relative cover of plants expected to flower in May and June increased and those that flower in September and October decreased with added N. The relatively low native cover in May and June may leave this ecoregion vulnerable to disturbance-induced invasion by exotic species that occupy this temporal niche. There was no change in the FP profile of the mixed and short-grass prairies with N addition as increased abundance of exotic species and C3 graminoids replaced other species that flower at the same time. In these communities a disturbance other than nutrient addition may be required to disrupt phenological

  3. Drought, Climate Change and the Canadian Prairies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stewart, R. E.

    2010-03-01

    The occurrence of drought is a ubiquitous feature of the global water cycle. Such an extreme does not necessarily lead to an overall change in the magnitude of the global water cycle but it of course affects the regional cycling of water. Droughts are recurring aspects of weather and climate extremes as are floods and tornadoes, but they differ substantially since they have long durations and lack easily identified onsets and terminations. Drought is a relatively common feature of the North American and Canadian climate system and all regions of the continent are affected from time-to-time. However, it tends to be most common and severe over the central regions of the continent. The Canadian Prairies are therefore prone to drought. Droughts in the Canadian Prairies are distinctive in North America. The large scale atmospheric circulations are influenced by blocking from intense orography to the west and long distances from all warm ocean-derived atmospheric water sources; growing season precipitation is generated by a highly complex combination of frontal and convective systems; seasonality is severe and characterized by a relatively long snow-covered and short growing seasons; local surface runoff is primarily produced by snowmelt water; there is substantial water storage potential in the poorly drained, post-glacial topography; and aquifers are overlain by impermeable glacial till, but there are also important permeable aquifers. One example of Prairie drought is the recent one that began in 1999 with cessation of its atmospheric component in 2004/2005 and many of its hydrological components in 2005. This event produced the worst drought for at least a hundred years in parts of the Canadian Prairies. Even in the dust bowl of the 1930s, no single year over the central Prairies were drier than in 2001. The drought affected agriculture, recreation, tourism, health, hydro-electricity, and forestry in the Prairies. Gross Domestic Product fell some 5.8 billion and

  4. Designing hybrid grass genomes to control runoff generation

    Science.gov (United States)

    MacLeod, C.; Binley, A.; Humphreys, M.; King, I. P.; O'Donovan, S.; Papadopoulos, A.; Turner, L. B.; Watts, C.; Whalley, W. R.; Haygarth, P.

    2010-12-01

    Sustainable management of water in landscapes requires balancing demands of agricultural production whilst moderating downstream effects like flooding. Pasture comprises 69% of global agricultural areas and is essential for producing food and fibre alongside environmental goods and services. Thus there is a need to breed forage grasses that deliver multiple benefits through increased levels of productivity whilst moderating fluxes of water. Here we show that a novel grass hybrid that combines the entire genomes of perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne - the grass of choice for Europe’s forage agriculture) and meadow fescue (Festuca pratensis) has a significant role in flood prevention. Field plot experiments established differences in runoff generation with the hybrid cultivar reducing runoff by 50% compared to perennial ryegrass cultivar, and by 35% compared to a meadow fescue cultivar (34 events over two years, replicated randomized-block design, statistically significant differences). This important research outcome was the result of a project that combined plant genetics, soil physics and plot scale hydrology to identify novel grass genotypes that can reduce runoff from grassland systems. Through a coordinated series of experiments examining effects from the gene to plot scale, we have identified that the rapid growth and then turnover of roots in the L. perenne x F. pratensis hybrid is likely to be a key mechanism in reducing runoff generation. More broadly this is an exciting first step to realizing the potential to design grass genomes to achieve both food production, and to deliver flood control, a key ecosystem service.

  5. Millennium Ecosystem Assessment: MA Ecosystems

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment: MA Ecosystems provides data and information on the extent and classification of ecosystems circa 2000, including coastal,...

  6. Sylvatic plague vaccine and management of prairie dogs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rocke, Tonie E.

    2012-01-01

    Scientists at the USGS National Wildlife Health Center (NWHC), in collaboration with colleagues at the University of Wisconsin (UW), have developed a sylvatic plague vaccine that shows great promise in protecting prairie dogs against plague (Mencher and others, 2004; Rocke and others, 2010). Four species of prairie dogs reside in the United States and Canada, and all are highly susceptible to plague and regularly experience outbreaks with devastating losses. Along with habitat loss and poisoning, plague has contributed to a significant historical decline in prairie dog populations. By some estimates, prairie dogs now occupy only 1 to 2 percent of their former range (Proctor and others, 2006), with prairie dog colonies being now much smaller and fragmented than they were historically, making individual colonies more vulnerable to elimination by plague (Antolin and others, 2002). At least one species, the Utah prairie dog (Cynomys parvidens) is listed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) as "threatened." Controlling plague is a vital concern for ongoing management and conservation efforts for prairie dogs. Current efforts to halt the spread of plague in prairie dog colonies typically rely on dusting individual prairie dog burrows with pesticides to kill plague-infected fleas. Although flea-control insecticides, such as deltamethrin, are useful in stopping plague outbreaks in these prairie dog colonies, dusting of burrows is labor intensive and time consuming and may affect other insects and arthropods. As an alternative approach, NWHC and UW scientists developed a sylvatic plague vaccine (SPV) for prairie dogs that can be delivered via oral bait. Laboratory studies have shown that consumption of this vaccine-laden bait by different prairie dog species results in significant protection against plague infection that can last for at least 9 months (Rocke and others, 2010; Rocke, unpublished). Work has now shifted to optimizing baits and distribution methods for

  7. Extending juvenility in grasses

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kaeppler, Shawn; de Leon Gatti, Natalia; Foerster, Jillian

    2017-04-11

    The present invention relates to compositions and methods for modulating the juvenile to adult developmental growth transition in plants, such as grasses (e.g. maize). In particular, the invention provides methods for enhancing agronomic properties in plants by modulating expression of GRMZM2G362718, GRMZM2G096016, or homologs thereof. Modulation of expression of one or more additional genes which affect juvenile to adult developmental growth transition such as Glossy15 or Cg1, in conjunction with such modulation of expression is also contemplated. Nucleic acid constructs for down-regulation of GRMZM2G362718 and/or GRMZM2G096016 are also contemplated, as are transgenic plants and products produced there from, that demonstrate altered, such as extended juvenile growth, and display associated phenotypes such as enhanced yield, improved digestibility, and increased disease resistance. Plants described herein may be used, for example, as improved forage or feed crops or in biofuel production.

  8. Rooting depth varies differentially in trees and grasses as a function of mean annual rainfall in an African savanna.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holdo, Ricardo M; Nippert, Jesse B; Mack, Michelle C

    2018-01-01

    A significant fraction of the terrestrial biosphere comprises biomes containing tree-grass mixtures. Forecasting vegetation dynamics in these environments requires a thorough understanding of how trees and grasses use and compete for key belowground resources. There is disagreement about the extent to which tree-grass vertical root separation occurs in these ecosystems, how this overlap varies across large-scale environmental gradients, and what these rooting differences imply for water resource availability and tree-grass competition and coexistence. To assess the extent of tree-grass rooting overlap and how tree and grass rooting patterns vary across resource gradients, we examined landscape-level patterns of tree and grass functional rooting depth along a mean annual precipitation (MAP) gradient extending from ~ 450 to ~ 750 mm year -1 in Kruger National Park, South Africa. We used stable isotopes from soil and stem water to make inferences about relative differences in rooting depth between these two functional groups. We found clear differences in rooting depth between grasses and trees across the MAP gradient, with grasses generally exhibiting shallower rooting profiles than trees. We also found that trees tended to become more shallow-rooted as a function of MAP, to the point that trees and grasses largely overlapped in terms of rooting depth at the wettest sites. Our results reconcile previously conflicting evidence for rooting overlap in this system, and have important implications for understanding tree-grass dynamics under altered precipitation scenarios.

  9. Ecology and management of the Prairie Division

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roger C. Anderson

    2012-01-01

    Grasslands occurred on all continents, comprised almost 42 percent of the world’s plant cover, and once covered approximately 46 million km2 of the Earth’s surface. Grasslands contain few trees or shrubs, are dominated by grasses (members of the family Poaceae), and have a mixture of nongraminoid herbaceous species called forbs. Plant families...

  10. Characteristics of lesser prairie-chicken (Tympanuchus pallidicinctus) long-distance movements across their distribution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Earl, Julia E.; Fuhlendorf, Samuel D.; Haukos, David A.; Tanner, Ashley M.; Elmore, Dwayne; Carleton, Scott A.

    2016-01-01

    Long-distance movements are important adaptive behaviors that contribute to population, community, and ecosystem connectivity. However, researchers have a poor understanding of the characteristics of long-distance movements for most species. Here, we examined long-distance movements for the lesser prairie-chicken (Tympanuchus pallidicinctus), a species of conservation concern. We addressed the following questions: (1) At what distances could populations be connected? (2) What are the characteristics and probability of dispersal movements? (3) Do lesser prairie-chickens display exploratory and round-trip movements? (4) Do the characteristics of long-distance movements vary by site? Movements were examined from populations using satellite GPS transmitters across the entire distribution of the species in New Mexico, Oklahoma, Kansas, and Colorado. Dispersal movements were recorded up to 71 km net displacement, much farther than hitherto recorded. These distances suggest that there may be greater potential connectivity among populations than previously thought. Dispersal movements were displayed primarily by females and had a northerly directional bias. Dispersal probabilities ranged from 0.08 to 0.43 movements per year for both sexes combined, although these movements averaged only 16 km net displacement. Lesser prairie-chickens displayed both exploratory foray loops and round-trip movements. Half of round-trip movements appeared seasonal, suggesting a partial migration in some populations. None of the long-distance movements varied by study site. Data presented here will be important in parameterizing models assessing population viability and informing conservation planning, although further work is needed to identify landscape features that may reduce connectivity among populations.

  11. Life cycle assessment of camelina oil derived biodiesel and jet fuel in the Canadian Prairies

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Li, Xue; Mupondwa, Edmund

    2014-01-01

    This study evaluated the environmental impact of biodiesel and hydroprocessed renewable jet fuel derived from camelina oil in terms of global warming potential, human health, ecosystem quality, and energy resource consumption. The life cycle inventory is based on production activities in the Canadian Prairies and encompasses activities ranging from agricultural production to oil extraction and fuel conversion. The system expansion method is used in this study to avoid allocation and to credit input energy to co-products associated with the products displaced in the market during camelina oil extraction and fuel processing. This is the preferred allocation method for LCA analysis in the context of most renewable and sustainable energy programs. The results show that greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from 1 MJ of camelina derived biodiesel ranged from 7.61 to 24.72 g CO 2 equivalent and 3.06 to 31.01 kg CO 2 /MJ equivalent for camelina HRJ fuel. Non-renewable energy consumption for camelina biodiesel ranged from 0.40 to 0.67 MJ/MJ; HRJ fuel ranged from − 0.13 to 0.52 MJ/MJ. Camelina oil as a feedstock for fuel production accounted for the highest contribution to overall environmental performance, demonstrating the importance of reducing environmental burdens during the agricultural production process. Attaining higher seed yield would dramatically lower environmental impacts associated with camelina seed, oil, and fuel production. The lower GHG emissions and energy consumption associated with camelina in comparison with other oilseed derived fuel and petroleum fuel make camelina derived fuel from Canadian Prairies environmentally attractive. - Highlights: • LCA of camelina-derived biodiesel and jet fuel was based on the Canadian Prairies. • Overall, camelina-derived biodiesel had lower GHG emissions than is biojet fuel. • Camelina jet fuel had lower non-renewable energy (NRE) use than its biodiesel. • Camelina biofuels reduced GHG emissions and NRE use

  12. Life cycle assessment of camelina oil derived biodiesel and jet fuel in the Canadian Prairies

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Li, Xue; Mupondwa, Edmund, E-mail: Edmund.Mupondwa@agr.gc.ca

    2014-05-01

    This study evaluated the environmental impact of biodiesel and hydroprocessed renewable jet fuel derived from camelina oil in terms of global warming potential, human health, ecosystem quality, and energy resource consumption. The life cycle inventory is based on production activities in the Canadian Prairies and encompasses activities ranging from agricultural production to oil extraction and fuel conversion. The system expansion method is used in this study to avoid allocation and to credit input energy to co-products associated with the products displaced in the market during camelina oil extraction and fuel processing. This is the preferred allocation method for LCA analysis in the context of most renewable and sustainable energy programs. The results show that greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from 1 MJ of camelina derived biodiesel ranged from 7.61 to 24.72 g CO{sub 2} equivalent and 3.06 to 31.01 kg CO{sub 2}/MJ equivalent for camelina HRJ fuel. Non-renewable energy consumption for camelina biodiesel ranged from 0.40 to 0.67 MJ/MJ; HRJ fuel ranged from − 0.13 to 0.52 MJ/MJ. Camelina oil as a feedstock for fuel production accounted for the highest contribution to overall environmental performance, demonstrating the importance of reducing environmental burdens during the agricultural production process. Attaining higher seed yield would dramatically lower environmental impacts associated with camelina seed, oil, and fuel production. The lower GHG emissions and energy consumption associated with camelina in comparison with other oilseed derived fuel and petroleum fuel make camelina derived fuel from Canadian Prairies environmentally attractive. - Highlights: • LCA of camelina-derived biodiesel and jet fuel was based on the Canadian Prairies. • Overall, camelina-derived biodiesel had lower GHG emissions than is biojet fuel. • Camelina jet fuel had lower non-renewable energy (NRE) use than its biodiesel. • Camelina biofuels reduced GHG emissions and NRE

  13. Carcass Search & Recovery Guidelines for Black Tailed Prairie Dogs

    Science.gov (United States)

    The availability of dead or intoxicated prairie dogs above ground will be monitored, recorded and these carcasses will be properly disposed of, in accordance with the procedures described on this page.

  14. Two decades of prairie restoration at Fermilab, Batavia, Illinois

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Betz, R.F. [Northeastern Illinois Univ., Chicago, IL (United States); Lootens, R.J.; Becker, M.K. [Fermi National Accelerator Lab., Batavia, IL (United States)

    1996-12-31

    Successional Restoration is the method being used to restore the prairie at Fermilab on the former agricultural fields. This involves an initial planting, using aggressive species that have wide ecological tolerances which will grow well on abandoned agricultural fields. Collectively, these species are designated as the prairie matrix. The species used for this prairie matrix compete with and eventually eliminate most weedy species. They also provide an adequate fuel load capable of sustaining a fire within a few years after a site has been initially planted. Associated changes in the biological and physical structure of the soil help prepare the way for the successful introduction of plants of the later successional species. Only after the species of the prairie matrix are well established, is the species diversity increased by introducing species with narrower ecological tolerances. These species are thus characteristic of the later successional stages.

  15. Public knowledge and perceptions of black-tailed prairie dogs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lamb, B.L.; Cline, K.

    2003-01-01

    Black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus) historically occupied an 11-state region of the United States. We surveyed 1,900 residents (response rate 56%) of this region to understand citizen knowledge and perceptions about prairie dogs and their management. Those who have direct experience - e.g., those who live very close to prairie dog colonies or know the location of the nearest colony - have higher levels of knowledge. A significantly higher level of knowledge was documented among those who were politically active when compared with the general public. Those who found environmental issues difficult to understand were associated with lower knowledge. People with direct experience were likely to hold negative views, whereas those holding environmentalist values were likely to express positive attitudes toward the species. Although those with higher education reported more knowledge, there was no link between a person's level of knowledge and perceptions of prairie dog management.

  16. Proceedings of the third prairie conservation and endangered species workshop

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Holroyd, G.L.; Diskson, H.L.; Regnier, M.; Smith, H.C. (eds.)

    1993-01-01

    The Canadian prairies support a major agricultural economy and a declining abundance of wildlife. Soil erosion and water quality threaten the long-term viability of agriculture; half of Canada's endangered and threatened birds and mammals share the prairies. Wise policies of resource management are needed to solve these problems. A workshop was held to address the issue of how to manage the prairies to promote sustained agriculture and to conserve the wildlife that are in jeopardy. Papers were presented on the relationships between agriculture and wildlife, land restoration, climate change, pesticides, the Prairie Conservation Action Plan, plant conservation, amphibians, reptiles, migratory birds and other wildfowl, and mammals. Separate abstracts have been prepared for two papers from this workshop.

  17. Factors influencing seed germination in Cerrado grasses

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rosana Marta Kolb

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Few studies address the ecology of herbs of Cerrado grasslands, which are ecosystems where the long dry season, high temperatures, insolation, fire and invasive grasses greatly influencing germination and the establishment of plants. We assessed germination of 13 species of Poaceae from Cerrado grasslands under nursery conditions or in germination chambers, the latter with i recently collected seeds and seeds after six months storage, ii under constant and alternating temperatures, and iii in the presence and absence of light. Germinability, mean germination time (MGT and required light were quantified to elucidate factors involved in successful germination. Germinability was low for most grasses, probably because of low seed viability. For most species, germinability and MGT were not altered by seed storage. Germination percentages were higher at alternating temperatures and in the presence of light, factors that are more similar to natural environmental situations compared with constant temperature or the absence of light. Our findings indicate that alternating temperatures and light incidence are key factors for germination of species of Poaceae. The maintenance of these environmental factors, which are crucial for the conservation of Cerrado grasslands, depends on appropriate management interventions, such as fire management and the control of biological invasion.

  18. Prerequisites for understanding climate-change impacts on northern prairie wetlands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anteau, Michael J.; Wiltermuth, Mark T.; Post van der Burg, Max; Pearse, Aaron T.

    2016-01-01

    The Prairie Pothole Region (PPR) contains ecosystems that are typified by an extensive matrix of grasslands and depressional wetlands, which provide numerous ecosystem services. Over the past 150 years the PPR has experienced numerous landscape modifications resulting in agricultural conversion of 75–99 % of native prairie uplands and drainage of 50–90 % of wetlands. There is concern over how and where conservation dollars should be spent within the PPR to protect and restore wetland basins to support waterbird populations that will be robust to a changing climate. However, while hydrological impacts of landscape modifications appear substantial, they are still poorly understood. Previous modeling efforts addressing impacts of climate change on PPR wetlands have yet to fully incorporate interacting or potentially overshadowing impacts of landscape modification. We outlined several information needs for building more informative models to predict climate change effects on PPR wetlands. We reviewed how landscape modification influences wetland hydrology and present a conceptual model to describe how modified wetlands might respond to climate variability. We note that current climate projections do not incorporate cyclical variability in climate between wet and dry periods even though such dynamics have shaped the hydrology and ecology of PPR wetlands. We conclude that there are at least three prerequisite steps to making meaningful predictions about effects of climate change on PPR wetlands. Those evident to us are: 1) an understanding of how physical and watershed characteristics of wetland basins of similar hydroperiods vary across temperature and moisture gradients; 2) a mechanistic understanding of how wetlands respond to climate across a gradient of anthropogenic modifications; and 3) improved climate projections for the PPR that can meaningfully represent potential changes in climate variability including intensity and duration of wet and dry periods. Once

  19. Disease limits populations: plague and black-tailed prairie dogs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cully, Jack F.; Johnson, T.; Collinge, S.K.; Ray, C.

    2010-01-01

    Plague is an exotic vector-borne disease caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis that causes mortality rates approaching 100% in black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus). We mapped the perimeter of the active portions of black-tailed prairie dog colonies annually between 1999 and 2005 at four prairie dog colony complexes in areas with a history of plague, as well as at two complexes that were located outside the distribution of plague at the time of mapping and had therefore never been affected by the disease. We hypothesized that the presence of plague would significantly reduce overall black-tailed prairie dog colony area, reduce the sizes of colonies on these landscapes, and increase nearest-neighbor distances between colonies. Within the region historically affected by plague, individual colonies were smaller, nearest-neighbor distances were greater, and the proportion of potential habitat occupied by active prairie dog colonies was smaller than at plague-free sites. Populations that endured plague were composed of fewer large colonies (>100 ha) than populations that were historically plague free. We suggest that these differences among sites in colony size and isolation may slow recolonization after extirpation. At the same time, greater intercolony distances may also reduce intercolony transmission of pathogens. Reduced transmission among smaller and more distant colonies may ultimately enhance long-term prairie dog population persistence in areas where plague is present.

  20. Interspecific comparisons of sylvatic plague in prairie dogs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cully, J.F.; Williams, E.S.

    2001-01-01

    Of the 3 major factors (habitat loss, poisoning, and disease) that limit abundance of prairie dogs today, sylvatic plague caused by Yersinia pestis is the 1 factor that is beyond human control. Plague epizootics frequently kill >99% of prairie dogs in infected colonies. Although epizootics of sylvatic plague occur throughout most of the range of prairie dogs in the United States and are well described, long-term maintenance of plague in enzootic rodent species is not well documented or understood. We review dynamics of plague in white-tailed (Cynomys leucurus), Gunnison's (C. gunnisoni), and black-tailed (C. ludovicianus) prairie dogs, and their rodent and flea associates. We use epidemiologic concepts to support an enzootic hypothesis in which the disease is maintained in a dynamic state, which requires transmission of Y. pestis to be slower than recruitment of new susceptible mammal hosts. Major effects of plague are to reduce colony size of black-tailed prairie dogs and increase intercolony distances within colony complexes. In the presence of plague, black-tailed prairie dogs will probably survive in complexes of small colonies that are usually >3 km from their nearest neighbor colonies.

  1. DESIGN OF GRASS BRIQUETTE MACHINE

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    user

    E-mail addresses: 1 mike.ajieh@gmail.com, 2 dracigboanugo@yahoo.com, ... machine design was considered for processing biomass of grass origin. The machine operations include pulverization, compaction and extrusion of the briquettes.

  2. Breeding for Grass Seed Yield

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Boelt, Birte; Studer, Bruno

    2010-01-01

    Seed yield is a trait of major interest for many fodder and amenity grass species and has received increasing attention since seed multiplication is economically relevant for novel grass cultivars to compete in the commercial market. Although seed yield is a complex trait and affected...... by agricultural practices as well as environmental factors, traits related to seed production reveal considerable genetic variation, prerequisite for improvement by direct or indirect selection. This chapter first reports on the biological and physiological basics of the grass reproduction system, then highlights...... important aspects and components affecting the seed yield potential and the agronomic and environmental aspects affecting the utilization and realization of the seed yield potential. Finally, it discusses the potential of plant breeding to sustainably improve total seed yield in fodder and amenity grasses....

  3. Grass and weed killer poisoning

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... medlineplus.gov/ency/article/002838.htm Grass and weed killer poisoning To use the sharing features on this page, please enable JavaScript. Many weed killers contain dangerous chemicals that are harmful if ...

  4. Evaluation of Seasonality in Shallow Groundwater Dynamics and Storage in an Urban Prairie Nature Preserve Using a High-Frequency Sensing Network

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rivera, V. A.; Hernandez-Gonzalez, L. M.; Phillips, C. B.; Nair, A.; Negri, M. C.; Gnaedinger, K. J.; Miller, W. M.; Packman, A. I.

    2017-12-01

    Changing regional climate applies stresses to urban areas in the form of altered weather patterns, requiring new strategies for stormwater runoff management and flood mitigation. At the same time, the proportion of people residing in urban areas is increasing and cities are turning to greenspace as a tool for managing runoff. Gensburg Markham Prairie (GMP), located in Markham, Illinois south of Chicago, is an urban prairie nature preserve and a U.S. National Natural Landmark. Owned by Northeastern Illinois University and managed by the Nature Conservancy, GMP receives runoff from surrounding urban areas and provides valuable stormwater storage, while also hosting high biodiversity and providing critical habitat for sensitive and endemic. A successful management strategy for GMP should preserve both of these valuable ecosystem services. To understand GMP's role within the urban environment, we installed a suite of instruments in 2016 and 2017 to measure surface and groundwater levels, rainfall, soil moisture, and electrical conductivity throughout the prairie. This monitoring network includes 40 sensors collecting high frequency data (every 30 minutes). We are also collecting monthly distributed surface and groundwater samples to quantify a range of anions and cations that signal potentially detrimental anthropogenic impacts on the prairie. In addition, we are using historical and ongoing plant distribution surveys to explore the interactions between spatial patterns in vegetation and water dynamics in the prairie. The high measurement frequency and large diversity of sensor types supports holistic investigation of the response of the prairie to diverse events, including summer thunderstorms, winter road salt runoff, and spring snowmelt. The 18 months of data collected to date reveals clear patterns in response to weather events with influence from soil type and spatial variables. We are using time-series analysis with MODFLOW modelling to explore surface

  5. Spatiotemporal Variation in the Environmental Controls of C4-Grass Origin and Ecology: Insights from Grass-Pollen δ13C Data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nelson, D. M.; Urban, M.; Hu, F.

    2014-12-01

    Understanding the environmental factors controlling the origin and shifting abundance of C4 grasses in Earth's history is useful for projecting the response of C4-grass dominated grasslands to future environmental change. Unfortunately, grass pollen is typically morphologically indistinct, making palynological analysis a blunt tool for studying C4-grasses in the paleorecord. δ13C of individual grass-pollen grains using a spooling wire microcombustion device interfaced with an isotope ratio mass spectrometer (Single Pollen Isotope Ratio AnaLysis, SPIRAL) overcomes this challenge and the potential biases of δ13C data from other substrates (e.g. leaf waxes). To assess the presence and relative abundance of C3- and C4-grass pollen in samples of unknown composition, we developed a hierarchical Bayesian model, trained with ~1,900 δ13C values from pollen grains of 31 grass species. Surface-sediment data from Africa, Australia, and North America demonstrate the reliability of this technique for quantifying C4-grass abundance on the landscape. To investigate the timing and control of the origin of C4-grasses we analyzed samples from the Oligocene-Miocene from Europe and from the Eocene from North America. Results indicate that C4 grasses appeared on the landscape of southwest Europe no later than the early Oligocene, implying that low atmospheric pCO2 may not have been the main driver and/or precondition for the development of C4 photosynthesis in the grass family. In contrast, we found no evidence for C4 grasses in the southeast United States before pCO2 fell. In application of SPIRAL to the late Quaternary, we found that shifts in pCO2 and moisture balance exerted key controls on the relative abundance of C3 and C4 grasses in Africa and Australia. Overall, our results imply that as in the past, future changes in the C3/C4 composition of grass-dominated ecosystems will likely exhibit striking spatiotemporal variability as a result of differing combinations of

  6. Increased rainfall variability and N addition accelerate litter decomposition in a restored prairie.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schuster, Michael J

    2016-03-01

    Anthropogenic nitrogen deposition and projected increases in rainfall variability (the frequency of drought and heavy rainfall events) are expected to strongly influence ecosystem processes such as litter decomposition. However, how these two global change factors interact to influence litter decomposition is largely unknown. I examined how increased rainfall variability and nitrogen addition affected mass and nitrogen loss of litter from two tallgrass prairie species, Schizachyrium scoparium and Solidago canadensis, and isolated the effects of each during plant growth and during litter decomposition. I increased rainfall variability by consolidating ambient rainfall into larger events and simulated chronic nitrogen deposition using a slow-release urea fertilizer. S. scoparium litter decay was more strongly regulated by the treatments applied during plant growth than by those applied during decomposition. During plant growth, increased rainfall variability resulted in S. scoparium litter that subsequently decomposed more slowly and immobilized more nitrogen than litter grown under ambient conditions, whereas nitrogen addition during plant growth accelerated subsequent mass loss of S. scoparium litter. In contrast, S. canadensis litter mass and N losses were enhanced under either N addition or increased rainfall variability both during plant growth and during decomposition. These results suggest that ongoing changes in rainfall variability and nitrogen availability are accelerating nutrient cycling in tallgrass prairies through their combined effects on litter quality, environmental conditions, and plant community composition.

  7. Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center—Celebrating 50 years of science

    Science.gov (United States)

    Austin, Jane E.; Shaffer, Terry L.; Igl, Lawrence D.; Johnson, Douglas H.; Krapu, Gary L.; Larson, Diane L.; Mech, L. David; Mushet, David M.; Sovada, Marsha A.

    2017-10-30

    The Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center (NPWRC) celebrated its 50-year anniversary in 2015. This report is written in support of that observance. We document why and how the NPWRC came to be and describe some of its many accomplishments and the influence the Center’s research program has had on natural resource management. The history is organized by major research themes, proceeds somewhat chronologically within each theme, and covers the Center’s first 50 years of research. During that period, Center scientists authored more than 1,700 publications and reports. More than 1,000 seasonal or temporary field personnel, and more than 100 graduate students, contributed to the Center’s success; many went on to have exemplary careers in natural resource management, conservation, and education. The mission of the Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center today remains true to the original vision: to provide the knowledge needed to understand, conserve, and manage the Nation’s natural resources for current and future generations, with an emphasis on species and ecosystems of the northern Great Plains. The Center’s first 50 years of applied biological research provides a deep scientific foundation on which to address emerging issues for the natural resources in the northern Great Plains and beyond.

  8. Breaking sod or breaking even? Flax on the northern Great Plains and Prairies, 1889-1930.

    Science.gov (United States)

    MacFayden, Joshua D

    2009-01-01

    A new thirst for paint and color in cities made extensive flax production profitable in the northern Great Plains and Prairies and contributed to the cultivation of the most fragile grassland ecosystems. The production of flax seed for linseed oil became an early spin-off of the Prairie wheat economy but, unlike wheat, flax vanished from old land after one or two rotations and reappeared in districts with the most new breaking. Officials explained the migrant crop as preparing native grasslands for cultivation or exhausting soil in old land, but farmers brought flax to their new breaking for other reasons. Producers would only put flax on any land when a range of economic and environmental conditions were in place. It was never sown without promise of adequately high prices or in the absence of affordable seed and other inputs. When price allowed, it usually appeared on new breaking because it could be planted later and transported further without upsetting the balance of other activities and without farmers learning many new techniques. Scientists discovered that diseased soil drove flax off old land, not soil exhaustion. Circumventing the disease was possible but costly, and farmers simply replaced flax with the next most lucrative commodity.

  9. High green fodder yielding new grass varieties

    OpenAIRE

    C. Babu, K. Iyanar and A. Kalamani

    2014-01-01

    Two high biomass yielding forage grass varieties one each in Cumbu Napier hybrid and Guinea grass have been evolved at the Department of Forage Crops, Centre for Plant Breeding and Genetics, Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, Coimbatore and identified for release at national (All India) level as Cumbu Napier hybrid grass CO (BN) 5 and Guinea grass CO (GG) 3 during 2012 and 2013 respectively. Cumbu Napier hybrid grass CO (BN) 5 secured first rank at all national level with reference to green ...

  10. Transformation of Chlorpyrifos and Chlorpyrifos-Methyl in Prairie Pothole Porewaters

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, R. M.; Chin, Y. P.

    2014-12-01

    The prairie pothole region (PPR) extends over approximately 700,000 km2 in the Great Plains region in United States and Canada and is a critical breeding ground for migratory waterfowl, as well as an important ecosystem for diverse invertebrates and aquatic plants (van der Valk, 2003). Consisting of up to 12 million permanent and temporary depressional wetlands, the PPR is negatively impacted by non-point source pesticide pollution due to extensive agricultural development in the region. Recent studies have shown that high (mM) levels of sulfate in the pothole lakes are capable of abiotically reducing dinitroaniline and chloroacetanilide pesticides (Zeng, 2011; Zeng, 2012). In this study the transformation of the organophosphorus pesticide chlorpyrifos (CP) and its analog chlorpyrifos-methyl (CPM) was studied using pore waters sampled from two pothole lakes. CP and CPM have been found to react in the laboratory with sulfur species via a SN2 mechanism, with degradation by sulfur compounds occurring faster than hydrolysis at high pH (Wu, 2006). To date the reaction of CP and CPM in natural environments with sulfur species has not been studied. Chlorpyrifos-methyl underwent rapid degradation in the presence of reduced sulfur species in pore water, while chlorpyrifos degradation occurred at significantly slower rates. Both CP and CPM degradation occurred at comparable rates to what has been previously observed in the laboratory (Wu, 2006). References van der Valk, Arnold G., and Roger L. Pederson. "The SWANCC decision and its implications for prairie potholes." Wetlands 23.3 (2003): 590-596. Wu, Tong, Qiu Gan, and Urs Jans. "Nucleophilic Substitution of Phosphorothionate Ester Pesticides with Bisulfide (HS-) and Polysulfides (Sn2-)." Environmental science & technology 40.17 (2006): 5428-5434. Zeng, Teng, et al. "Pesticide processing potential in prairie pothole porewaters."Environmental science & technology 45.16 (2011): 6814-6822. Zeng, Teng, Yu-Ping Chin, and William

  11. A meta-analysis of lesser prairie-chicken nesting and brood-rearing habitats: implications for habitat management

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hagen, Christian A.; Grisham, Blake A.; Boal, Clint W.; Haukos, David A.

    2013-01-01

    The distribution and range of lesser prairie-chicken (Tympanuchus pallidicinctus) has been reduced by >90% since European settlement of the Great Plains of North America. Currently, lesser prairie-chickens occupy 3 general vegetation communities: sand sagebrush (Artemisia filifolia), sand shinnery oak (Quercus havardii), and mixed-grass prairies juxtaposed with Conservation Reserve Program grasslands. As a candidate for protection under the Endangered Species Act, there is a need for a synthesis that characterizes habitat structure rangewide. Thus, we conducted a meta-analysis of vegetation characteristics at nest sites and brood habitats to determine whether there was an overall effect (Hedges' d) of habitat selection and to estimate average (95% CI) habitat characteristics at use sites. We estimated effect sizes (di) from the difference between use (nests and brood sites) and random sampling sites for each study (n = 14), and derived an overall effect size (d++). There was a general effect for habitat selection as evidenced by low levels of variation in effect sizes across studies and regions. There was a small to medium effect (d++) = 0.20-0.82) of selection for greater vertical structure (visual obstruction) by nesting females in both vegetation communities, and selection against bare ground (d++ = 0.20-0.58). Females with broods exhibited less selectivity for habitat components except for vertical structure. The variation of d++ was greater during nesting than brooding periods, signifying a seasonal shift in habitat use, and perhaps a greater range of tolerance for brood-rearing habitat. The overall estimates of vegetation cover were consistent with those provided in management guidelines for the species.

  12. Using SPIRAL (Single Pollen Isotope Ratio AnaLysis) to estimate C 3- and C 4-grass abundance in the paleorecord

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nelson, David M.; Hu, Feng Sheng; Scholes, Daniel R.; Joshi, Neeraj; Pearson, Ann

    2008-05-01

    C 3 and C 4 grasses differ greatly in their responses to environmental controls and influences on biogeochemical processes (e.g. water, carbon, and nutrient cycling). Difficulties in distinguishing between these two functional groups of grasses have hindered paleoecological studies of grass-dominated ecosystems. Stable carbon isotopic analysis of individual grains of grass pollen using a spooling-wire microcombustion device interfaced with an isotope-ratio mass spectrometer holds promise for improving C 3 and C 4 grass reconstructions. This technique, SPIRAL (Single Pollen Isotope Ratio AnaLysis), has only been evaluated using pollen of known C 3 and C 4 grasses. To test the ability of SPIRAL to reproduce the abundance of C 3 and C 4 grasses on the landscape, we measured δ13C values of > 1500 individual grains of grass pollen isolated from the surface sediments of ten lakes in areas that span a large gradient of C 3- and C 4-grass abundance, as determined from vegetation surveys. Results indicate a strong positive correlation between the δ13C-based estimates of % C 4-grass pollen and the abundance of C 4 grasses on the landscape. The % C 4-grass pollen slightly underestimates the actual abundance of C 4 grasses at sites with high proportions of C 4 grasses, which can be corrected using regression analysis. Comparison of the % C 4-grass pollen with C/N and δ13C measurements of bulk organic matter illustrates the distinct advantages of grass-pollen δ13C as a proxy for distinguishing C 3 and C 4 shifts within the grass family. Thus SPIRAL promises to advance our understanding of grassland ecology and evolution.

  13. Black-tailed prairie dogs, cattle, and the conservation of North America's arid grasslands.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rodrigo Sierra-Corona

    Full Text Available Prairie dogs (Cynomys spp. have been eliminated from over 95% of their historic range in large part from direct eradication campaigns to reduce their purported competition with cattle for forage. Despite the longstanding importance of this issue to grassland management and conservation, the ecological interactions between cattle and prairie dogs have not been well examined. We address this issue through two complementary experiments to determine if cattle and prairie dogs form a mutualistic grazing association similar to that between prairie dogs and American bison. Our experimental results show that cattle preferentially graze along prairie dog colony edges and use their colony centers for resting, resembling the mutualistic relationship prairie dogs have with American bison. Our results also show that prairie dog colonies are not only an important component of the grassland mosaic for maintaining biodiversity, but also provide benefits to cattle, thereby challenging the long-standing view of prairie dogs as an undesirable pest species in grasslands.

  14. Ecosystem Services

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ecosystem goods and services are the many life-sustaining benefits we receive from nature and contribute to environmental and human health and well-being. Ecosystem-focused research will develop methods to measure ecosystem goods and services.

  15. Patterns and drivers for wetland connections in the Prairie Pothole Region, United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vanderhoof, Melanie; Christensen, Jay R.; Alexander, Laurie C.

    2017-01-01

    Ecosystem function in rivers, lakes and coastal waters depends on the functioning of upstream aquatic ecosystems, necessitating an improved understanding of watershed-scale interactions including variable surface-water flows between wetlands and streams. As surface water in the Prairie Pothole Region expands in wet years, surface-water connections occur between many depressional wetlands and streams. Minimal research has explored the spatial patterns and drivers for the abundance of these connections, despite their potential to inform resource management and regulatory programs including the U.S. Clean Water Act. In this study, wetlands were identified that did not intersect the stream network, but were shown with Landsat images (1990–2011) to become merged with the stream network as surface water expanded. Wetlands were found to spill into or consolidate with other wetlands within both small (2–10 wetlands) and large (>100 wetlands) wetland clusters, eventually intersecting a stream channel, most often via a riparian wetland. These surface-water connections occurred over a wide range of wetland distances from streams (averaging 90–1400 m in different ecoregions). Differences in the spatial abundance of wetlands that show a variable surface-water connection to a stream were best explained by smaller wetland-to-wetland distances, greater wetland abundance, and maximum surface-water extent. This analysis demonstrated that wetland arrangement and surface water expansion are important mechanisms for depressional wetlands to connect to streams and provides a first step to understanding the frequency and abundance of these surface-water connections across the Prairie Pothole Region.

  16. Small mammals in successional prairie woodlands of the northern Great Plains

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mark A. Rumble; John E. Gobeille

    2001-01-01

    Prairie woodlands comprise about 1 percent of the landscape in the northern Great Plains. However, prairie woodlands provide habitat for far more than 1 percent of the wildlife species that occur in the prairie region. With increasing pressures on natural resources, managers need methods for managing wildlife habitat and biodiversity that are based on ecological...

  17. 76 FR 77245 - Attwater Prairie Chicken National Wildlife Refuge, Austin and Colorado Counties, TX...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-12-12

    ...-FF02R06000] Attwater Prairie Chicken National Wildlife Refuge, Austin and Colorado Counties, TX... (EA) for Attwater Prairie Chicken National Wildlife Refuge (Refuge, NWR), located approximately 60... Prairie Chicken NWR draft CCP and EA'' in the subject line of the message. Fax: Attn: Monica Kimbrough...

  18. 75 FR 21649 - Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Attwater's Prairie-Chicken (Tympanuchus cupido...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-04-26

    ...] Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Attwater's Prairie-Chicken (Tympanuchus cupido attwateri... availability of the Attwater's Prairie-Chicken (Tympanuchus cupido attwateri) Recovery Plan, Second Revision. A recovery plan was originally completed for the Attwater's prairie-chicken in 1983 and revised in 1993...

  19. Plant litter effects on soil nutrient availability and vegetation dynamics: changes that occur when annual grasses invade shrub-steppe communities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sheel Bansal; Roger L. Sheley; Bob Blank; Edward A. Vasquez

    2014-01-01

    Changes in the quantity and quality of plant litter occur in many ecosystems as they are invaded by exotic species, which impact soil nutrient cycling and plant community composition. Such changes in sagebrush-steppe communities are occurring with invasion of annual grasses (AG) into a perennial grass (PG) dominated system. We conducted a 5-year litter manipulation...

  20. Non-linear partial least square regression increases the estimation accuracy of grass nitrogen and phosphorus using in situ hyperspectral and environmental data

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ramoelo, A.; Skidmore, A.K.; Cho, M.A.; Mathieu, R.; Heitkonig, I.M.A.; Dudeni-Tlhone, N.; Schlerf, M.; Prins, H.H.T.

    2013-01-01

    Grass nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) concentrations are direct indicators of rangeland quality and provide imperative information for sound management of wildlife and livestock. It is challenging to estimate grass N and P concentrations using remote sensing in the savanna ecosystems. These areas

  1. Prairie dogs increase fitness by killing interspecific competitors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoogland, John L; Brown, Charles R

    2016-03-30

    Interspecific competition commonly selects for divergence in ecology, morphology or physiology, but direct observation of interspecific competition under natural conditions is difficult. Herbivorous white-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys leucurus) employ an unusual strategy to reduce interspecific competition: they kill, but do not consume, herbivorous Wyoming ground squirrels (Urocitellus elegans) encountered in the prairie dog territories. Results from a 6-year study in Colorado, USA, revealed that interspecific killing of ground squirrels by prairie dogs was common, involving 47 different killers; 19 prairie dogs were serial killers in the same or consecutive years, and 30% of female prairie dogs killed at least one ground squirrel over their lifetimes. Females that killed ground squirrels had significantly higher annual and lifetime fitness than non-killers, probably because of decreased interspecific competition for vegetation. Our results document the first case of interspecific killing of competing individuals unrelated to predation (IK) among herbivorous mammals in the wild, and show that IK enhances fitness for animals living under natural conditions. © 2016 The Author(s).

  2. Long-term application of the Crop Water Stress Index in Midwest agro-ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Agricultural land in the Midwestern US is largely used for rainfed corn (Zea mays L.) and soybean (Glycine max (L.) Merr.) production. The native ecosystems in this region predominantly consist of tallgrass prairie. Water stress can occur in summer which can affect carbon assimilation of those agro-...

  3. Endophytic Epichloë species and their grass hosts: from evolution to applications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saikkonen, Kari; Young, Carolyn A; Helander, Marjo; Schardl, Christopher L

    2016-04-01

    The closely linked fitness of the Epichloë symbiont and the host grass is presumed to align the coevolution of the species towards specialization and mutually beneficial cooperation. Ecological observations demonstrating that Epichloë-grass symbioses can modulate grassland ecosystems via both above- and belowground ecosystem processes support this. In many cases the detected ecological importance of Epichloë species is directly or indirectly linked to defensive mutualism attributable to alkaloids of fungal-origin. Now, modern genetic and molecular techniques enable the precise studies on evolutionary origin of endophytic Epichloë species, their coevolution with host grasses and identification the genetic variation that explains phenotypic diversity in ecologically relevant characteristics of Epichloë-grass associations. Here we briefly review the most recent findings in these areas of research using the present knowledge of the genetic variation that explains the biosynthetic pathways driving the diversity of alkaloids produced by the endophyte. These findings underscore the importance of genetic interplay between the fungus and the host in shaping their coevolution and ecological role in both natural grass ecosystems, and in the agricultural arena.

  4. Long-term nitrogen amendment alters the diversity and assemblage of soil bacterial communities in tallgrass prairie.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joseph D Coolon

    Full Text Available Anthropogenic changes are altering the environmental conditions and the biota of ecosystems worldwide. In many temperate grasslands, such as North American tallgrass prairie, these changes include alteration in historically important disturbance regimes (e.g., frequency of fires and enhanced availability of potentially limiting nutrients, particularly nitrogen. Such anthropogenically-driven changes in the environment are known to elicit substantial changes in plant and consumer communities aboveground, but much less is known about their effects on soil microbial communities. Due to the high diversity of soil microbes and methodological challenges associated with assessing microbial community composition, relatively few studies have addressed specific taxonomic changes underlying microbial community-level responses to different fire regimes or nutrient amendments in tallgrass prairie. We used deep sequencing of the V3 region of the 16S rRNA gene to explore the effects of contrasting fire regimes and nutrient enrichment on soil bacterial communities in a long-term (20 yrs experiment in native tallgrass prairie in the eastern Central Plains. We focused on responses to nutrient amendments coupled with two extreme fire regimes (annual prescribed spring burning and complete fire exclusion. The dominant bacterial phyla identified were Proteobacteria, Verrucomicrobia, Bacteriodetes, Acidobacteria, Firmicutes, and Actinobacteria and made up 80% of all taxa quantified. Chronic nitrogen enrichment significantly impacted bacterial community diversity and community structure varied according to nitrogen treatment, but not phosphorus enrichment or fire regime. We also found significant responses of individual bacterial groups including Nitrospira and Gammaproteobacteria to long-term nitrogen enrichment. Our results show that soil nitrogen enrichment can significantly alter bacterial community diversity, structure, and individual taxa abundance, which have

  5. Ecosystem impacts of exotic annual invaders in the genus Bromus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matthew J. Germino; Jayne Belnap; John M. Stark; Edith B Allen; Benjamin Rau

    2016-01-01

    An understanding of the impacts of exotic plant species on ecosystems is necessary to justify and guide efforts to limit their spread, restore natives, and plan for conservation. Invasive annual grasses such as Bromus tectorum, B. rubens, B. hordeaceus, and B. diandrus (hereafter collectively referred to as Bromus) transform the structure and function of ecosystems...

  6. Influence of richness and seeding density on invasion resistance in experimental tallgrass prairie restorations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nemec, Kristine T.; Allen, Craig R.; Helzer, Christopher J.; Wedin, David A.

    2013-01-01

    In recent years, agricultural producers and non-governmental organizations and agencies have restored thousands of hectares of cropland to grassland in the Great Plains of the United States. However, little is known about the relationships between richness and seeding density in these restorations and resistance to invasive plant species. We assessed the effects of richness and seeding density on resistance to invasive and other unseeded plant species in experimental tallgrass prairie plots in central Nebraska. In 2006, twenty-four 55 m × 55 m plots were planted with six replicates in each of four treatments: high richness (97 species typically planted by The Nature Conservancy), at low and high seeding densities, and low richness (15 species representing a typical Conservation Reserve Program mix, CP25), at low and high seeding densities. There was a significant negative relationship between richness and basal cover of unseeded perennial forbs/legumes and unseeded perennial/annual grasses, abundance of bull thistle (Cirsium vulgare), and the number of inflorescences removed from smooth brome (Bromus inermis) transplants. Invasion resistance may have been higher in the high richness treatments because of the characteristics of the dominant species in these plots or because of greater interspecific competition for limiting resources among forbs/legumes with neighboring plants belonging to the same functional group. Seeding density was not important in affecting invasion resistance, except in the cover of unseeded grasses. Increasing seed mix richness may be more effective than increasing the seeding density for decreasing invasion by unseeded perennial species, bull thistle, and smooth brome.

  7. Identification of brome grass infestations in southwest Oklahoma using multi-temporal Landsat imagery

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yan, D.; de Beurs, K.

    2013-12-01

    The extensive infestation of brome grasses (Cheatgrass, Rye brome and Japanese brome) in southwest Oklahoma imposes negative impacts on local economy and ecosystem in terms of decreasing crop and forage production and increasing fire risk. Previously proposed methodologies on brome grass detection are found ill-suitable for southwest Oklahoma as a result of similar responses of background vegetation to inter-annual variability of rainfall. In this study, we aim to identify brome grass infestations by detecting senescent brome grasses using the 2011 Cultivated Land Cover Data Sets and the difference Normalized Difference Infrared Index (NDII) derived from multi-temporal Landsat imagery. Landsat imageries acquired on May 18th and June 10th 2013 by Operational Land Imager and Enhanced Thematic Mapper plus were used. The imagery acquisition dates correspond to the peak growth and senescent time of brome grasses, respectively. The difference NDII was calculated by subtracting the NDII image acquired in May from the June NDII image. Our hypotheses is that senescent brome grasses and crop/pasture fields harvested between the two image acquisition dates can be distinguished from background land cover classes because of their increases in NDII due to decreased water absorption by senescent vegetation in the shortwave infrared region. The Cultivated Land Cover Data Sets were used to further separate senescent brome grass patches from newly harvested crop/pasture fields. Ground truth data collected during field trips in June, July and August of 2013 were used to validate the detection results.

  8. Towards reconstructing herbaceous biome dynamics and associated precipitation in Africa: insights from the classification of grass morphological traits

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pasturel, Marine; Alexandre, Anne; Novello, Alice; Moctar Dieye, Amadou; Wele, Abdoulaye; Paradis, Laure; Hely, Christelle

    2014-05-01

    Inter-tropical herbaceous ecosystems occupy a 1/5th of terrestrial surface, a half of the African continent, and are expected to extend in the next decades. Dynamic of these ecosystems is simulated with poor accuracy by Dynamic Global Vegetation Models (DGVMs). One of the bias results from the fact that the diversity of the grass layer dominating these herbaceous ecosystems is poorly taken into account. Mean annual precipitation and the length of the dry season are the main constrains of the dynamics of these ecosystems. Conversely, changes in vegetation affect the water cycle. Inaccuracy in herbaceous ecosystem simulation thus impacts simulations of the water cycle (including precipitation) and vice versa. In order to increase our knowledge of the relationships between grass morphological traits, taxonomy, biomes and climatic niches in Western and South Africa, a 3-step methodology was followed: i) values of culm height, leaf length and width of dominant grass species from Senegal were gathered from flora and clustered using the Partition Around Medoids (PAM) method; ii) trait group ability to sign climatic domains and biomes was assessed using Kruskal-Wallis tests; iii) genericity and robustness of the trait groups were evaluated through their application to Chadian and South African botanical datasets. Results show that 8 grass trait groups are present either in Senegal, Chad or South Africa. These 8 trait groups are distributed along mean annual precipitation and dry season length gradients. The combination of three of them allow to discriminate mean annual precipitation domains (1000 mm) and herbaceous biomes (steppes, savannas, South African grasslands and Nama-Karoo). With these results in hand, grass Plant Functional Types (PFTs) of the DGMV LPJ-GUESS will be re-parameterized and particular attention will be given to the herbaceous biomass assigned to each grass trait group. Simultaneously, relationships between grass trait groups and phytolith vegetation

  9. Spent fuel storage at Prairie Island: January 1995 status

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Closs, J.; Kress, L.

    1995-01-01

    The disposal of spent nuclear fuel has been an issue for the US since the inception of the commercial nuclear power industry. In the past decade, it has become a critical factor in the continued operation of some nuclear power plants, including the two units at Prairie Island. As the struggles and litigation over storage alternatives wage on, spent fuel pools continue to fill and plants edge closer to premature shutdown. Due to the delays in the construction of a federal repository, many nuclear power plants have had to seek interim storage alternatives. In the case of Prairie Island, the safest and most feasible option is dry cask storage. This paper discusses the current status of the Independent Spent Fuel Storage Installation (ISFSI) Project at Prairie Island. It provides a historical background to the project, discusses the notable developments over the past year, and presents the projected plans of the Northern States Power Company (NSP) in regards to spent fuel storage

  10. Radionuclides in small mammals of the Saskatchewan prairie, including implications for the boreal forest and Arctic tundra

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Thomas, P.A.

    1995-01-01

    The focus of the study reported was to collect and examine baseline data on radionuclides in small prairie mammal food chains and to assess the feasibility of using small mammals as radionuclide monitors in terrestrial ecosystems, in anticipation of possible future nuclear developments in northern Saskatchewan and the Northwest Territories. The study report begins with a literature review that summarizes existing data on radionuclides in small mammals, their food, the ambient environment in Canadian terrestrial ecosystems, principles of terrestrial radioecology, soil and vegetation studies, and food chain studies. It then describes a field study conducted to investigate small mammal food chains at three southwestern Saskatchewan prairie sites. Activities included collection and analysis of water, soil, grains, and foliage samples; trapping of small mammals such as mice and voles, and analysis of gastrointestinal tract samples; and determination of food chain transfer of selected radionuclides from soil to plants and to small mammals. Recommendations are made for future analyses and monitoring of small mammals. Appendices include information on radiochemical methods, soil/vegetation studies and small mammal studies conducted at northern Saskatchewan mine sites, and analyses of variance

  11. Differentiation of plant age in grasses using remote sensing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knox, Nichola M.; Skidmore, Andrew K.; van der Werff, Harald M. A.; Groen, Thomas A.; de Boer, Willem F.; Prins, Herbert H. T.; Kohi, Edward; Peel, Mike

    2013-10-01

    Phenological or plant age classification across a landscape allows for examination of micro-topographical effects on plant growth, improvement in the accuracy of species discrimination, and will improve our understanding of the spatial variation in plant growth. In this paper six vegetation indices used in phenological studies (including the newly proposed PhIX index) were analysed for their ability to statistically differentiate grasses of different ages in the sequence of their development. Spectra of grasses of different ages were collected from a greenhouse study. These were used to determine if NDVI, NDWI, CAI, EVI, EVI2 and the newly proposed PhIX index could sequentially discriminate grasses of different ages, and subsequently classify grasses into their respective age category. The PhIX index was defined as: (AVNIRn+log(ASWIR2n))/(AVNIRn-log(ASWIR2n)), where AVNIRn and ASWIR2n are the respective normalised areas under the continuum removed reflectance curve within the VNIR (500-800 nm) and SWIR2 (2000-2210 nm) regions. The PhIX index was found to produce the highest phenological classification accuracy (Overall Accuracy: 79%, and Kappa Accuracy: 75%) and similar to the NDVI, EVI and EVI2 indices it statistically sequentially separates out the developmental age classes. Discrimination between seedling and dormant age classes and the adult and flowering classes was problematic for most of the tested indices. Combining information from the visible near infrared (VNIR) and shortwave infrared region (SWIR) region into a single phenological index captures the phenological changes associated with plant pigments and the ligno-cellulose absorption feature, providing a robust method to discriminate the age classes of grasses. This work provides a valuable contribution into mapping spatial variation and monitoring plant growth across savanna and grassland ecosystems.

  12. Tier 2 guidelines and remediation of Tebuthiuron on a native prairie site

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bessie, K.; Harckham, N.; Dance, T. [EBA Engineering Consultants Ltd., Calgary, AB (Canada); Burk, A. [EnCana Corp., Calgary, AB (Canada); Stephenson, G. [Stantec Consulting, Guelph, ON (Canada); Corbet, B. [Access Analytical Laboratories Inc., Calgary, AB (Canada)

    2009-10-01

    Tebuthiuron is a sterilant used to control vegetation at upstream and midstream petroleum sites. This article discussed the remediation processes used to reclaim a native prairie site contaminated with tebuthiuron. The site was located within a dry mixed grass natural area. A literature review was conducted to establish soil eco-contact guidelines specific to tebuthiuron. A site-specific ecotoxicity assessment was then conducted using a liquid chromatograph to detect tebuthiuron limits in the contaminated soils. A soil sampling technique was used to delineate the affected areas at the site. Site soils were spiked with various concentrations of tebuthiuron ranging from 0.00003 mg/kg to 3000 mg/kg. Test species included a Folsomia candida, an earthworm, and 4 plant species. The study showed that the invertebrate species were less sensitive to tebuthiuron than the plant species. A groundwater assessment showed that tebuthiuron levels exceeded Tier 1 groundwater remediation guidelines. A multilayer hydro-geological model showed that remediation guidelines were orders of magnitude greater than Tier 1 groundwater remediation. A thermal desorption technique was used to remediate the site. 7 refs., 8 figs.

  13. Spatial patterns of grasses and shrubs in an arid grassland environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    In the Chihuahuan Desert of Mexico and New Mexico, shrub invasion is a common problem, and once-abundant grassland ecosystems are being replaced by shrub-dominated habitat. The spatial arrangement of grasses and shrubs in these arid grasslands can provide better insight into community dynamics and c...

  14. Bioenergy production from roadside grass

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Meyer, Ane Katharina Paarup; Ehimen, Ehiazesebhor Augustine; Holm-Nielsen, Jens Bo

    2014-01-01

    This paper presents a study of the feasibility of utilising roadside vegetation for biogas production in Denmark. The potential biomass yield, methane yields, and the energy balances of using roadside grass for biogas production was investigated based on spatial analysis. The results show...

  15. Nutrient removal by prairie filter strips in agricultural landscapes

    Science.gov (United States)

    X. Zhou; M.J. Helmers; H. Asbjornsen; R. Kolka; M.D. Tomer; R.M. Cruse

    2014-01-01

    Nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) from agricultural landscapes have been identified as primary sources of excess nutrients in aquatic systems. The main objective of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of prairie filter strips (PFS) in removing nutrients from cropland runoff in 12 small watersheds in central Iowa. Four treatments with PFS of different spatial...

  16. Resistance to plague among black-tailed prairie dog populations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rocke, Tonie E.; Williamson, Judy; Cobble, Kacy R.; Busch, Joseph D.; Antolin, Michael F.; Wagner, David M.

    2012-01-01

    In some rodent species frequently exposed to plague outbreaks caused by Yersinia pestis, resistance to the disease has evolved as a population trait. As a first step in determining if plague resistance has developed in black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus), animals captured from colonies in a plague-free region (South Dakota) and two plague-endemic regions (Colorado and Texas) were challenged with Y. pestis at one of three doses (2.5, 250, or 2500 mouse LD50s). South Dakota prairie dogs were far more susceptible to plague than Colorado and Texas prairie dogs (pdogs were quite similar in their response, with overall survival rates of 50% and 60%, respectively. Prairie dogs from these states were heterogenous in their response, with some animals dying at the lowest dose (37% and 20%, respectively) and some surviving even at the highest dose (29% and 40%, respectively). Microsatellite analysis revealed that all three groups were distinct genetically, but further studies are needed to establish a genetic basis for the observed differences in plague resistance.

  17. Food habits of nesting prairie falcons in Campbell County

    Science.gov (United States)

    John R. Squires; Stanley H. Anderson; Robert Oakleaf

    1989-01-01

    Fifteen species of prey were utilized by nesting Prairie Falcons (Falco mexicanus) as determined through pellet analysis. Thirteen-lined Ground Squirrels (Spermophilus tridecemlineatus), the most common prey, were present in 91% of the pellets, followed by Western Meadowlarks (Sturnella neglecta) which were present in 56% of pellets. Horned Larks (Eremophila...

  18. Prairie Restoration Project: Alternatives for Identifying Gifted Students

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salisbury, Katie E.; Rule, Audrey C.; Vander Zanden, Sarah M.

    2016-01-01

    An authentic, challenging curriculum engaged middle school students from an urban district in exploratory work related to restoring a small prairie at the school. Integrated science-literacy-arts activities were coupled with a system of thinking skills that helped students view issues from different perspectives. Impassioned guest speakers and an…

  19. Selected hydrologic data, Camas Prairie, south-central Idaho

    Science.gov (United States)

    Young, H.W.; Backsen, R.L.; Kenyon, K.S.

    1978-01-01

    This report presents data collected during a 1-year study of the water resources of Camas Prairie, Idaho. Included are records of wells, discharge measurements of streams, hydrographs of water levels in wells, water-quality data, and drillers ' logs of wells. The data are conveniently made available to supplement an interpretive report, which will be published separately. (Woodard-USGS)

  20. Camel spider (Solifugae) use of prairie dog colonies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Solifugids (camel spiders) are widespread throughout arid regions of western North America and are thought to be important in structuring desert arthropod communities. Despite the ubiquity of camel spiders, little is known about their ecology. Black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus) are als...

  1. Butterfly responses to prairie restoration through fire and grazing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vogel, Jennifer A.; Debinski, Diane M.; Koford, Rolf R.; Miller, J.R.

    2007-01-01

    The development of land for modern agriculture has resulted in losses of native prairie habitat. The small, isolated patches of prairie habitat that remain are threatened by fire suppression, overgrazing, and invasion by non-native species. We evaluated the effects of three restoration practices (grazing only, burning only, and burning and grazing) on the vegetation characteristics and butterfly communities of remnant prairies. Total butterfly abundance was highest on prairies that were managed with burning and grazing and lowest on those that were only burned. Butterfly species richness did not differ among any of the restoration practices. Butterfly species diversity was highest on sites that were only burned. Responses of individual butterfly species to restoration practices were highly variable. In the best predictive regression model, total butterfly abundance was negatively associated with the percent cover of bare ground and positively associated with the percent cover of forbs. Canonical correspondence analysis revealed that sites with burned only and grazed only practices could be separated based on their butterfly community composition. Butterfly communities in each of the three restoration practices are equally species rich but different practices yield compositionally different butterfly communities. Because of this variation in butterfly species responses to different restoration practices, there is no single practice that will benefit all species or even all species within habitat-specialist or habitat-generalist habitat guilds. ?? 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. Controls on the geochemical evolution of Prairie Pothole Region lakes and wetlands over decadal time scales

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goldhaber, Martin B.; Mills, Christopher T.; Mushet, David M.; McCleskey, R. Blaine; Rover, Jennifer

    2016-01-01

    One hundred sixty-seven Prairie Pothole lakes, ponds and wetlands (largely lakes) previously analyzed chemically during the late 1960’s and early to mid-1970’s were resampled and reanalyzed in 2011–2012. The two sampling periods differed climatically. The earlier sampling took place during normal to slightly dry conditions, whereas the latter occurred during and immediately following exceptionally wet conditions. As reported previously in Mushet et al. (2015), the dominant effect was expansion of the area of these lakes and dilution of their major ions. However, within that context, there were significant differences in the evolutionary pathways of major ions. To establish these pathways, we employed the inverse modeling computer code NetpathXL. This code takes the initial and final lake composition and, using mass balance constrained by the composition of diluting waters, and input and output of phases, calculates plausible geochemical evolution pathways. Despite the fact that in most cases major ions decreased, a subset of the lakes had an increase in SO42−. This distinction is significant because SO42− is the dominant anion in a majority of Prairie Pothole Region wetlands and lakes. For lakes with decreasing SO42−, the proportion of original lake water required for mass balance was subordinate to rainwater and/or overland flow. In contrast, lakes with increasing SO42− between the two sampling episodes tended to be dominated by original lake water. This suite of lakes tended to be smaller and have lower initial SO42−concentrations such that inputs of sulfur from dissolution of the minerals gypsum or pyrite had a significant impact on the final sulfur concentration given the lower dilution factors. Thus, our study provides context for how Prairie Pothole Region water bodies evolve geochemically as climate changes. Because wetland geochemistry in turn controls the ecology of these water bodies, this research contributes to the prediction of the

  3. Alpine ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    P.W. Rundel; C.I. Millar

    2016-01-01

    Alpine ecosystems are typically defined as those areas occurring above treeline, while recognizing that alpine ecosystems at a local scale may be found below this boundary for reasons including geology, geomorphology, and microclimate. The lower limit of the alpine ecosystems, the climatic treeline, varies with latitude across California, ranging from about 3500 m in...

  4. Ecosystem Jenga!

    Science.gov (United States)

    Umphlett, Natalie; Brosius, Tierney; Laungani, Ramesh; Rousseau, Joe; Leslie-Pelecky, Diandra L.

    2009-01-01

    To give students a tangible model of an ecosystem and have them experience what could happen if a component of that ecosystem were removed; the authors developed a hands-on, inquiry-based activity that visually demonstrates the concept of a delicately balanced ecosystem through a modification of the popular game Jenga. This activity can be…

  5. Modelling surface-water depression storage in a Prairie Pothole Region

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hay, Lauren E.; Norton, Parker A.; Viger, Roland; Markstrom, Steven; Regan, R. Steven; Vanderhoof, Melanie

    2018-01-01

    In this study, the Precipitation-Runoff Modelling System (PRMS) was used to simulate changes in surface-water depression storage in the 1,126-km2 Upper Pipestem Creek basin located within the Prairie Pothole Region of North Dakota, USA. The Prairie Pothole Region is characterized by millions of small water bodies (or surface-water depressions) that provide numerous ecosystem services and are considered an important contribution to the hydrologic cycle. The Upper Pipestem PRMS model was extracted from the U.S. Geological Survey's (USGS) National Hydrologic Model (NHM), developed to support consistent hydrologic modelling across the conterminous United States. The Geospatial Fabric database, created for the USGS NHM, contains hydrologic model parameter values derived from datasets that characterize the physical features of the entire conterminous United States for 109,951 hydrologic response units. Each hydrologic response unit in the Geospatial Fabric was parameterized using aggregated surface-water depression area derived from the National Hydrography Dataset Plus, an integrated suite of application-ready geospatial datasets. This paper presents a calibration strategy for the Upper Pipestem PRMS model that uses normalized lake elevation measurements to calibrate the parameters influencing simulated fractional surface-water depression storage. Results indicate that inclusion of measurements that give an indication of the change in surface-water depression storage in the calibration procedure resulted in accurate changes in surface-water depression storage in the water balance. Regionalized parameterization of the USGS NHM will require a proxy for change in surface-storage to accurately parameterize surface-water depression storage within the USGS NHM.

  6. Life cycle assessment of camelina oil derived biodiesel and jet fuel in the Canadian Prairies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Xue; Mupondwa, Edmund

    2014-05-15

    This study evaluated the environmental impact of biodiesel and hydroprocessed renewable jet fuel derived from camelina oil in terms of global warming potential, human health, ecosystem quality, and energy resource consumption. The life cycle inventory is based on production activities in the Canadian Prairies and encompasses activities ranging from agricultural production to oil extraction and fuel conversion. The system expansion method is used in this study to avoid allocation and to credit input energy to co-products associated with the products displaced in the market during camelina oil extraction and fuel processing. This is the preferred allocation method for LCA analysis in the context of most renewable and sustainable energy programs. The results show that greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from 1 MJ of camelina derived biodiesel ranged from 7.61 to 24.72 g CO2 equivalent and 3.06 to 31.01 kg CO2/MJ equivalent for camelina HRJ fuel. Non-renewable energy consumption for camelina biodiesel ranged from 0.40 to 0.67 MJ/MJ; HRJ fuel ranged from -0.13 to 0.52 MJ/MJ. Camelina oil as a feedstock for fuel production accounted for the highest contribution to overall environmental performance, demonstrating the importance of reducing environmental burdens during the agricultural production process. Attaining higher seed yield would dramatically lower environmental impacts associated with camelina seed, oil, and fuel production. The lower GHG emissions and energy consumption associated with camelina in comparison with other oilseed derived fuel and petroleum fuel make camelina derived fuel from Canadian Prairies environmentally attractive. Crown Copyright © 2014. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  7. Application of the new keystone-species concept to prairie dogs: How well does it work?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kotliar, N.B.

    2000-01-01

    It has been suggested that the keystone-species concept should be dropped from ecology and conservation, primarily because the concept is poorly defined. This prompted Power et al. (1996) to refine the definition: keystone species have large effects on community structure or ecosystem function (i.e., high overall importance), and this effect should be large relative to abundance (i.e., high community importance). Using prairie dogs (Cynomys spp.) as an example, I review operational and conceptual difficulties encountered in applying this definition. As applied to prairie dogs, the implicit assumption that overall importance is a linear function of abundance is invalid. In addition, community importance is sensitive to abundance levels, the definition of community, and sampling scale. These problems arise largely from the equation for community importance, as used in conjunction with removal experiments at single abundance levels. I suggest that we shift from the current emphasis on the dualism between keystone and nonkeystone species and instead examine how overall and community importance vary (1) with abundance, (2) across spatial and temporal scales, and (3) under diverse ecological conditions. In addition, I propose that a third criterion be incorporated into the definition: keystone species perform roles not performed by other species or processes. Examination of how these factors vary among populations of keystone species should help identify the factors contributing to, or limiting, keystone-level functions, thereby increasing the usefulness of the keystone-species concept in ecology and conservation. Although the quantitative framework of Power et al. falls short of being fully operational, my conceptual guidelines may improve the usefulness of the keystone-species concept. Careful attention to the factors that limit keystone function will help avoid misplaced emphasis on keystone species at the expense of other species.

  8. Invasion of non-native grasses causes a drop in soil carbon storage in California grasslands

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Koteen, Laura E; Harte, John [Energy and Resources Group, 310 Barrows Hall, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720 (United States); Baldocchi, Dennis D, E-mail: lkoteen@berkeley.edu [Department of Environmental Science, Policy and Management, 137 Mulford Hall, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720 (United States)

    2011-10-15

    Vegetation change can affect the magnitude and direction of global climate change via its effect on carbon cycling among plants, the soil and the atmosphere. The invasion of non-native plants is a major cause of land cover change, of biodiversity loss, and of other changes in ecosystem structure and function. In California, annual grasses from Mediterranean Europe have nearly displaced native perennial grasses across the coastal hillsides and terraces of the state. Our study examines the impact of this invasion on carbon cycling and storage at two sites in northern coastal California. The results suggest that annual grass invasion has caused an average drop in soil carbon storage of 40 Mg/ha in the top half meter of soil, although additional mechanisms may also contribute to soil carbon losses. We attribute the reduction in soil carbon storage to low rates of net primary production in non-native annuals relative to perennial grasses, a shift in rooting depth and water use to primarily shallow sources, and soil respiratory losses in non-native grass soils that exceed production rates. These results indicate that even seemingly subtle land cover changes can significantly impact ecosystem functions in general, and carbon storage in particular.

  9. Invasion of non-native grasses causes a drop in soil carbon storage in California grasslands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koteen, Laura E.; Baldocchi, Dennis D.; Harte, John

    2011-10-01

    Vegetation change can affect the magnitude and direction of global climate change via its effect on carbon cycling among plants, the soil and the atmosphere. The invasion of non-native plants is a major cause of land cover change, of biodiversity loss, and of other changes in ecosystem structure and function. In California, annual grasses from Mediterranean Europe have nearly displaced native perennial grasses across the coastal hillsides and terraces of the state. Our study examines the impact of this invasion on carbon cycling and storage at two sites in northern coastal California. The results suggest that annual grass invasion has caused an average drop in soil carbon storage of 40 Mg/ha in the top half meter of soil, although additional mechanisms may also contribute to soil carbon losses. We attribute the reduction in soil carbon storage to low rates of net primary production in non-native annuals relative to perennial grasses, a shift in rooting depth and water use to primarily shallow sources, and soil respiratory losses in non-native grass soils that exceed production rates. These results indicate that even seemingly subtle land cover changes can significantly impact ecosystem functions in general, and carbon storage in particular.

  10. Invasion of non-native grasses causes a drop in soil carbon storage in California grasslands

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Koteen, Laura E; Harte, John; Baldocchi, Dennis D

    2011-01-01

    Vegetation change can affect the magnitude and direction of global climate change via its effect on carbon cycling among plants, the soil and the atmosphere. The invasion of non-native plants is a major cause of land cover change, of biodiversity loss, and of other changes in ecosystem structure and function. In California, annual grasses from Mediterranean Europe have nearly displaced native perennial grasses across the coastal hillsides and terraces of the state. Our study examines the impact of this invasion on carbon cycling and storage at two sites in northern coastal California. The results suggest that annual grass invasion has caused an average drop in soil carbon storage of 40 Mg/ha in the top half meter of soil, although additional mechanisms may also contribute to soil carbon losses. We attribute the reduction in soil carbon storage to low rates of net primary production in non-native annuals relative to perennial grasses, a shift in rooting depth and water use to primarily shallow sources, and soil respiratory losses in non-native grass soils that exceed production rates. These results indicate that even seemingly subtle land cover changes can significantly impact ecosystem functions in general, and carbon storage in particular.

  11. Diets of swift foxes (Vulpes velox) in continuous and fragmented prairie in Northwestern Texas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kamler, J.F.; Ballard, W.B.; Wallace, M.C.; Gipson, P.S.

    2007-01-01

    Distribution of the swift fox (Vulpes velox) has declined dramatically since the 1800s, and suggested causes of this decline are habitat fragmentation and transformation due to agricultural expansion. However, impacts of fragmentation and human-altered habitats on swift foxes still are not well understood. To better understand what effects these factors have on diets of swift foxes, scats were collected in northwestern Texas at two study sites, one of continuous native prairie and one representing fragmented native prairie interspersed with agricultural and fields in the Conservation Reserve Program. Leporids, a potential food source, were surveyed seasonally on both sites. Diets of swift foxes differed between sites; insects were consumed more on continuous prairie, whereas mammals, birds, and crops were consumed more on fragmented prairie. Size of populations of leporids were 2-3 times higher on fragmented prairie, and swift foxes responded by consuming more leporids on fragmented (11.1% frequency occurrence) than continuous (3.8%) prairie. Dietary diversity was greater on fragmented prairie during both years of the study. Differences in diets between sites suggested that the swift fox is an adaptable and opportunistic feeder, able to exploit a variety of food resources, probably in relation to availability of food. We suggest that compared to continuous native prairie, fragmented prairie can offer swift foxes a more diverse prey base, at least within the mosaic of native prairie, agricultural, and fields that are in the Conservation Reserve Program.

  12. A comparison of native tallgrass prairie and plains bluestem forage systems for cow-calf production in the southern great plains.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coleman, S W; Phillips, W A; Volesky, J D; Buchanan, D

    2001-07-01

    The objective of this study was to compare an introduced warm-season perennial grass (plains bluestem, Bothriochloa ischaemum) to native tallgrass prairie for cow-calf production. Three systems were used, two based on tallgrass prairie with two different forms of protein supplementation and one based on plains bluestem as the primary forage. The systems were as follows: 1) native tallgrass prairie with pelleted oilseed meal as the winter protein supplement (native-control); 2) native tallgrass prairie with limited access to wheat pasture as the winter protein supplement (native-wheat); and 3) plains bluestem with limited access to wheat pasture as the protein supplement (bluestem-wheat). Oilseed meal protein supplements were fed twice weekly. Cows grazing wheat pasture were allowed 6 h of grazing twice weekly. Ninety-nine cows per year were used over the 3-yr study. Cows were sired by either Charolais, Gelbvieh, Angus, or Hereford bulls out of commercial Angus-Hereford dams. Calves were sired by Simmental bulls. Calving and weaning rate increased over time but did not differ among systems or breed types. System did not influence the size or body condition score of cows or the performance of calves, but changes in the weight and condition scores of cows were greater on either native system than on the bluestem-wheat system. Cows from Charolais and Gelbvieh bulls were taller (P < 0.05), and heavier (P < 0.05), and weaned heavier (P < 0.05) calves than cows from Angus or Hereford bulls. The weight of cows on the bluestem-wheat system tended to decrease over time, whereas cows grazing on the native systems tended to gain weight over time. The native-control system was the most profitable system based on cow production. If excess hay produced from the bluestem-wheat system was sold as a cash crop, then this system was the most profitable. In general, we conclude that limit-grazing wheat pasture is a viable alternative to oilseed meal as protein supplement for wintering

  13. Climate Effects on Plant Range Distributions and Community Structure of Pacific Northwest Prairies

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bridgham, Scott D. [Univ. of Oregon, Eugene, OR (United States); Johnson, Bart [Univ. of Oregon, Eugene, OR (United States)

    2013-09-26

    Pacific Northwest (PNW) prairies are an imperiled ecosystem that contain a large number of plant species with high fidelity to this habitat. The few remaining high-quality PNW prairies harbor a number of sensitive, rare, and endangered plant species that may be further at-risk with climate change. Thus, PNW prairies are an excellent model system to examine how climate change will affect the distribution of native plant species in grassland sites. Our experimental objectives were to determine: (i) how climate change will affect the range distribution of native plant species; (ii) what life history stages are most sensitive to climate change in a group of key indicator native species; (iii) the robustness of current restoration techniques and suites of species to changing climate, and in particular, the relative competitiveness of native species versus exotic invasive species; and (iv) the effects of climate change on carbon and nutrient cycling and soil-microbial-plant feedbacks. We addressed these objectives by experimentally increasing temperature 2.5 to 3.0 ºC above ambient with overhead infrared lamps and increasing wet-season precipitation by 20% above ambient in three upland prairie sites in central-western Washington, central-western Oregon, and southwestern Oregon from fall 2010 through 2012. Additional precipitation was applied within 2 weeks of when it fell so precipitation intensity was increased, particularly during the winter rainy season but with minimal additions during the summer dry season. These three sites also represent a 520-km natural climate gradient of increasing degree of severity of Mediterranean climate from north to south. After removing the extant vegetation, we planted a diverse suite of 12 native species that have their northern range limit someplace within the PNW in each experimental plot. An additional 20 more wide-spread native species were also planted into each plot. We found that recruitment of plant species within their ranges

  14. Trajectories of grassland ecosystem change in response to experimental manipulations of precipitation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knapp, Alan; Smith, Melinda; Collins, Scott; Blair, John; Briggs, John

    2010-05-01

    Understanding and predicting the dynamics of ecological systems has always been central to Ecology. Today, ecologists recognize that in addition to natural and human-caused disturbances, a fundamentally different type of ecosystem change is being driven by the combined and cumulative effects of anthropogenic activities affecting earth's climate and biogeochemical cycles. This type of change is historically unprecedented in magnitude, and as a consequence, such alterations are leading to trajectories of change in ecological responses that differ radically from those observed in the past. Through both short- and long-term experiments, we have been trying to better understand the mechanisms and consequences of ecological change in grassland ecosystems likely to result from changes in precipitation regimes. We have manipulated a key resource for most grasslands (water) and modulators of water availability (temperature) in field experiments that vary from 1-17 years in duration, and used even longer-term monitoring data from the Konza Prairie LTER program to assess how grassland communities and ecosystems will respond to changes in water availability. Trajectories of change in aboveground net primary production (ANPP) in sites subjected to 17 years of soil water augmentation were strongly non-linear with a marked increase in the stimulation of ANPP after year 8 (from 25% to 65%). Lags in alterations in grassland community composition are posited to be responsible for the form of this trajectory of change. In contrast, responses in ANPP to chronic increases in soil moisture variability appear to have decreased over a 10-yr period of manipulation, although the net effects of more variable precipitation inputs were to reduce ANPP, alter the genetic structure of the dominant grass species, increase soil nitrogen availability and reduce soil respiration. The loss of sensitivity to increased resource variability was not reflected in adjacent plots where precipitation was

  15. Relative Roles of Soil Moisture, Nutrient Supply, Depth, and Mechanical Impedance in Determining Composition and Structure of Wisconsin Prairies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wernerehl, Robert W; Givnish, Thomas J

    2015-01-01

    Ecologists have long classified Midwestern prairies based on compositional variation assumed to reflect local gradients in moisture availability. The best known classification is based on Curtis' continuum index (CI), calculated using the presence of indicator species thought centered on different portions of an underlying moisture gradient. Direct evidence of the extent to which CI reflects differences in moisture availability has been lacking, however. Many factors that increase moisture availability (e.g., soil depth, silt content) also increase nutrient supply and decrease soil mechanical impedance; the ecological effects of the last have rarely been considered in any ecosystem. Decreased soil mechanical impedance should increase the availability of soil moisture and nutrients by reducing the root costs of retrieving both. Here we assess the relative importance of soil moisture, nutrient supply, and mechanical impedance in determining prairie composition and structure. We used leaf δ13C of C3 plants as a measure of growing-season moisture availability, cation exchange capacity (CEC) x soil depth as a measure of mineral nutrient availability, and penetrometer data as a measure of soil mechanical impedance. Community composition and structure were assessed in 17 remnant prairies in Wisconsin which vary little in annual precipitation. Ordination and regression analyses showed that δ13C increased with CI toward "drier" sites, and decreased with soil depth and % silt content. Variation in δ13C among remnants was 2.0‰, comparable to that along continental gradients from ca. 500-1500 mm annual rainfall. As predicted, LAI and average leaf height increased significantly toward "wetter" sites. CI accounted for 54% of compositional variance but δ13C accounted for only 6.2%, despite the strong relationships of δ13C to CI and CI to composition. Compositional variation reflects soil fertility and mechanical impedance more than moisture availability. This study is the

  16. Mercury methylation in high and low-sulphate impacted wetland ponds within the prairie pothole region of North America

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hoggarth, Cameron G.J.; Hall, Britt D.; Mitchell, Carl P.J.

    2015-01-01

    Using enriched stable 201 Hg injections into intact sediment cores, we provide the first reported Hg methylation potential rate constants (k m ) in prairie wetland ponds (0.016–0.17 d −1 ). Our k m values were similar to other freshwater wetlands and did not differ in ponds categorized with high compared to low surface water concentrations of sulphate. Sites with high sulphate had higher proportions of methylmercury (MeHg) in sediment (2.9 ± 1.6% vs. 1.0 ± 0.3%) and higher surface water MeHg concentrations (1.96 ± 1.90 ng L −1 vs. 0.56 ± 0.55 ng L −1 ). Sediment-porewater partitioning coefficients were small, and likely due to high ionic activity. Our work suggests while k m measurements are useful for understanding mercury cycling processes, they are less important than surface water MeHg concentrations for assessing MeHg risks to biota. Significant differences in MeHg concentrations between sites with high and low sulphate concentrations may also inform management decisions concerning wetland remediation and creation. - Highlights: • Wetlands of the PPR provide many vital ecosystem services, but can have high MeHg concentrations. • Methylation potentials in prairie ponds are similar to other freshwater wetlands. • MeHg and %MeHg in surface water of high sulphate ponds was greater than low sulphate ponds. • Sediment-porewater partitioning coefficients were small compared to other systems. • Potential methylation rate constants did not correlate to surface water concentrations. - Prairie wetland ponds with higher sulphate concentrations have greater sediment and surface water methylmercury concentrations, but potential methylation rates do not differ

  17. Relative Roles of Soil Moisture, Nutrient Supply, Depth, and Mechanical Impedance in Determining Composition and Structure of Wisconsin Prairies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wernerehl, Robert W.; Givnish, Thomas J.

    2015-01-01

    Ecologists have long classified Midwestern prairies based on compositional variation assumed to reflect local gradients in moisture availability. The best known classification is based on Curtis’ continuum index (CI), calculated using the presence of indicator species thought centered on different portions of an underlying moisture gradient. Direct evidence of the extent to which CI reflects differences in moisture availability has been lacking, however. Many factors that increase moisture availability (e.g., soil depth, silt content) also increase nutrient supply and decrease soil mechanical impedance; the ecological effects of the last have rarely been considered in any ecosystem. Decreased soil mechanical impedance should increase the availability of soil moisture and nutrients by reducing the root costs of retrieving both. Here we assess the relative importance of soil moisture, nutrient supply, and mechanical impedance in determining prairie composition and structure. We used leaf δ13C of C3 plants as a measure of growing-season moisture availability, cation exchange capacity (CEC) x soil depth as a measure of mineral nutrient availability, and penetrometer data as a measure of soil mechanical impedance. Community composition and structure were assessed in 17 remnant prairies in Wisconsin which vary little in annual precipitation. Ordination and regression analyses showed that δ13C increased with CI toward “drier” sites, and decreased with soil depth and % silt content. Variation in δ13C among remnants was 2.0‰, comparable to that along continental gradients from ca. 500–1500 mm annual rainfall. As predicted, LAI and average leaf height increased significantly toward “wetter” sites. CI accounted for 54% of compositional variance but δ13C accounted for only 6.2%, despite the strong relationships of δ13C to CI and CI to composition. Compositional variation reflects soil fertility and mechanical impedance more than moisture availability. This

  18. Valuing Ecosystem Services and Disservices across Heterogeneous Green Spaces

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christie Klimas

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available This study investigates small-scale variability in ecosystem services and disservices that is important for sustainable planning in urban areas (including suburbs surrounding the urban core. We quantified and valued natural capital (tree and soil carbon stocks ecosystem services (annual tree carbon sequestration and pollutant uptake, and stormwater runoff reduction and disservices (greenhouse gas emissions and soil soluble reactive phosphorus within a 30-hectare heterogeneous green space that included approximately 13% wetland, 13% prairie, 16% forest, and 55% subdivision. We found similar soil organic carbon across green space types, but spatial heterogeneity in other ecosystem services and disservices. The value of forest tree carbon stock was estimated at approximately $10,000 per hectare. Tree carbon sequestration, and pollutant uptake added benefits of $1000+ per hectare per year. Annual per hectare benefits from tree carbon stock and ecosystem services in the subdivision were each 63% of forest values. Total annual greenhouse gas emissions had significant spatial and temporal variation. Soil soluble reactive phosphorus was significantly higher in the wetland than in forest and prairie. Our results have implications for urban planning. Adding or improving ecosystem service provision on small (private or public urban or suburban lots may benefit from careful consideration of small-scale variability.

  19. Stable Isotope Mapping of Alaskan Grasses and Marijuana

    Science.gov (United States)

    Booth, A. L.; Wooller, M. J.

    2008-12-01

    The spatial variation of isotope signatures in organic material is a useful forensic tool, particularly when applied to the task of tracking the production and distribution of plant-derived illicit drugs. In order to identify the likely grow-locations of drugs such as marijuana from unknown locations (i.e., confiscated during trafficking), base isotope maps are needed that include measurements of plants from known grow-locations. This task is logistically challenging in remote, large regions such as Alaska. We are therefore investigating the potential of supplementing our base (marijuana) isotope maps with data derived from other plants from known locations and with greater spatial coverage in Alaska. These currently include >150 samples of modern C3 grasses (Poaceae) as well as marijuana samples (n = 18) from known grow-locations across the state. We conducted oxygen, carbon and nitrogen stable isotope analyses of marijuana and grasses (Poaceae). Poaceae samples were obtained from the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) Museum of the North herbarium collection, originally collected by field botanists from around Alaska. Results indicate that the oxygen isotopic composition of these grasses range from 10‰ to 30‰, and broadly mirror the spatial pattern of water isotopes in Alaska. Our marijuana samples were confiscated around the state of Alaska and supplied to us by the UAF Police Department. δ13C, δ15N and δ18O values exhibit geographic patterns similar to the modern grasses, but carbon and nitrogen isotopes of some marijuana plants appear to be influenced by additional factors related to indoor growing conditions (supplementary CO2 sources and the application of organic fertilizer). As well as providing a potential forensic resource, our Poaceae isotope maps could serve additional value by providing resources for studying ecosystem nutrient cycling, for tracing natural ecological processes (i.e., animal migration and food web dynamics) and providing

  20. Using Halogens (Cl, Br, F, I) and Stable Isotopes of Water (δ18O, δ2H) to Trace Hydrological and Biogeochemical Processes in Prairie Wetlands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Levy, Z. F.; Lu, Z.; Mills, C. T.; Goldhaber, M. B.; Rosenberry, D. O.; Mushet, D.; Siegel, D. I.; Fiorentino, A. J., II; Gade, M.; Spradlin, J.

    2014-12-01

    Prairie pothole wetlands are ubiquitous features of the Great Plains of North America, and important habitat for amphibians and migratory birds. The salinity of proximal wetlands varies highly due to groundwater-glacial till interactions, which influence wetland biota and associated ecosystem functions. Here we use halogens and stable isotopes of water to fingerprint hydrological and biogeochemical controls on salt cycling in a prairie wetland complex. We surveyed surface, well, and pore waters from a groundwater recharge wetland (T8) and more saline closed (P1) and open (P8) basin discharge wetlands in the Cottonwood Lake Study Area (ND) in August/October 2013 and May 2014. Halogen concentrations varied over a broad range throughout the study area (Cl = 2.2 to 170 mg/L, Br = 13 to 2000 μg/L, F = evaporation-enriched pond water (δ18O = -9.5 to -2.71 ‰) mixes with shallow groundwater in the top 0.6 m of fringing wetland soils and 1.2 m of the substrate in the center of P1. Our results suggest endogenous sources for Br and I within the prairie landscape that may be controlled by biological mechanisms or weathering of shale from glacial till.

  1. Dynamic behaviour of lagoon ecosystems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cioffi, F.

    2008-01-01

    The dynamic behaviour of primary producers in coastal lagoons due to change of external control parameters, phosphorous external load and maximum tidal flow rate, is investigated by using a eutrophication model. The eutrophication model allows the simulation of the temporal evolution of the concentration of the following species: a) in the water column: dissolved oxygen, vegetal organic carbon, particulate and dissolved organic carbon, dissolved phosphorous and hydrogen sulphide; b) in sediments: dissolved oxygen, particulate and dissolved organic carbon, dissolved and adsorbed phosphorous, hydrogen sulphide. The vegetal organic carbon is distinguished in three components related to the main groups of primary producers, namely eel grass, macro algae and microalgae, having different modalities of nutrient uptake and kinetics parameters depending on the S/V ratio. Diagrams representing the ecosystems dynamic response to the changes of the control parameters were constructed by simulations. The response diagrams suggest the existence of regime shifts which border different ecosystem stability ranges, characterized by the dominance of a specific group of primary producers and by different ecosystem vulnerability at summer water anoxia. A catastrophic bifurcation or abrupt regime shift, evidenced by Poincare sections obtained mapping, at a prefixed time period, the values of the concentration of the species, occurs for a critical value of the control parameter and manifests itself as an abrupt change of the dominant species from eel grass to macro algae. An analogous abrupt change from eel grass to macro algae occurs for a critical value of the tidal flowrate assumed as control parameter in simulations conducted for an assigned value of external phosphorous load.

  2. Using stable isotopes to understand hydrochemical processes in and around a Prairie Pothole wetland in the Northern Great Plains, USA

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mills, Christopher T.; Goldhaber, Martin B.; Stricker, Craig A.; Holloway, JoAnn M.; Morrison, Jean M.; Ellefsen, Karl J.; Rosenberry, Donald O.; Thurston, Roland S.

    2011-01-01

    Highlights: → A stable isotope study of the hydrochemistry of a Prairie Pothole wetland system. → δ 18 O H2O and δ 2 H H2O values show salt concentration by transpiration at wetland edge. → A range of δ 34 S SO4 values indicate SO 4 source and reduction processes. → Isotopic mixing lines show interaction of surface and groundwater at wetland edge. - Abstract: Millions of internally drained wetland systems in the Prairie Potholes region of the northern Great Plains (USA and Canada) provide indispensable habitat for waterfowl and a host of other ecosystem services. The hydrochemistry of these systems is complex and a crucial control on wetland function, flora and fauna. Wetland waters can have high concentrations of SO 4 2- due to the oxidation of large amounts of pyrite in glacial till that is in part derived from the Pierre shale. Water chemistry including δ 18 O H2O , δ 2 H H2O , and δ 34 S SO4 values, was determined for groundwater, soil pore water, and wetland surface water in and around a discharge wetland in North Dakota. The isotopic data for the first time trace the interaction of processes that affect wetland chemistry, including open water evaporation, plant transpiration, and microbial SO 4 reduction.

  3. Status of exotic grasses and grass-like vegetation and potential impacts on wildlife in New England

    Science.gov (United States)

    DeStefano, Stephen

    2013-01-01

    The Northeastern section of the United States, known as New England, has seen vast changes in land cover and human population over the past 3 centuries. Much of the region is forested; grasslands and other open-land cover types are less common, but provide habitat for many species that are currently declining in abundance and distribution. New England also consists of some of the most densely populated and developed states in the country. The origin, distribution, and spread of exotic species are highly correlated with human development. As such, exotics are common throughout much of New England, including several species of graminoids (grasses and grass-like plants such as sedges and rushes). Several of the more invasive grass species can form expansive dense mats that exclude native plants, alter ecosystem structure and functions, and are perceived to provide little-to-no value as wildlife food or cover. Although little research has been conducted on direct impacts of exotic graminoids on wildlife populations in New England, several studies on the common reed (Phragmites australis) in salt marshes have shown this species to have variable effects as cover for birds and other wildlife, depending on the distribution of the plant (e.g., patches and borders of reeds are used more by wildlife than expansive densely growing stands). Direct impacts of other grasses on wildlife populations are largely unknown. However, many of the invasive graminoid species that are present in New England have the capability of outcompeting native plants and thereby potentially affecting associated fauna. Preservation, protection, and restoration of grassland and open-land cover types are complex but necessary challenges in the region to maintain biological and genetic diversity of grassland, wetland, and other open-land obligate species.

  4. Avoidance behavior by prairie grouse: implications for development of wind energy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pruett, Christin L; Patten, Michael A; Wolfe, Donald H

    2009-10-01

    New wind-energy facilities and their associated power transmission lines and roads are being constructed at a rapid pace in the Great Plains of North America. Nevertheless, little is known about the possible negative effects these anthropogenic features might have on prairie birds, one of the most threatened groups in North America. We examined radiotelemetry tracking locations of Lesser Prairie-Chickens (Tympanuchus pallidicinctus) and Greater Prairie-Chickens (T. cupido) in two locations in Oklahoma to determine whether these birds avoided or changed movement behavior near power lines and paved highways. We tracked 463 Lesser Prairie-Chickens (15,071 tracking locations) and 216 Greater Prairie-Chickens (5,750 locations) for 7 and 3 years, respectively. Individuals of both species avoided power lines by at least 100 m and Lesser Prairie-Chickens avoided one of the two highways by 100 m. Prairie-chickens crossed power lines less often than expected if birds moved randomly (p 0.05). In addition, home ranges of Lesser Prairie-Chickens overlapped the power line less often than would be expected by chance placement of home ranges; this result was supported by kernel-density estimation of home ranges. It is likely that new power lines (and other tall structures such as wind turbines) will lead to avoidance of previously suitable habitat and will serve as barriers to movement. These two factors will likely increase fragmentation in an already fragmented landscape if wind energy development continues in prairie habitats.

  5. Climate impacts on the agribusiness sectors of a prairie economy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Arthur, L.M.; Kooten, G.C. Van.

    1992-01-01

    Global warming is likely to result in increased agricultural output on the Canadian prairies. However, using input-output analysis, it is shown that the potential impact of global warming on agribusiness, while significant, is both uncertain and relatively small compared to the impact of government agricultural policies pertaining to the grain and livestock sectors. Furthermore, caution is required in deciding whether or not western Canada and prairie agribusinesses are net beneficiaries of a greenhouse effect because climate-induced changes in agricultural output elsewhere in the world still need to be taken into account. Most previous studies on American and European agriculture under the greenhouse effect predict reduced yields of current crops, which could mean improved markets for Canadian crops. 27 refs., 4 figs., 2 tabs

  6. Plant community structure regulates responses of prairie soil respiration to decadal experimental warming.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Xia; Shi, Zheng; Li, Dejun; Zhou, Xuhui; Sherry, Rebecca A; Luo, Yiqi

    2015-10-01

    Soil respiration is recognized to be influenced by temperature, moisture, and ecosystem production. However, little is known about how plant community structure regulates responses of soil respiration to climate change. Here, we used a 13-year field warming experiment to explore the mechanisms underlying plant community regulation on feedbacks of soil respiration to climate change in a tallgrass prairie in Oklahoma, USA. Infrared heaters were used to elevate temperature about 2 °C since November 1999. Annual clipping was used to mimic hay harvest. Our results showed that experimental warming significantly increased soil respiration approximately from 10% in the first 7 years (2000-2006) to 30% in the next 6 years (2007-2012). The two-stage warming stimulation of soil respiration was closely related to warming-induced increases in ecosystem production over the years. Moreover, we found that across the 13 years, warming-induced increases in soil respiration were positively affected by the proportion of aboveground net primary production (ANPP) contributed by C3 forbs. Functional composition of the plant community regulated warming-induced increases in soil respiration through the quantity and quality of organic matter inputs to soil and the amount of photosynthetic carbon (C) allocated belowground. Clipping, the interaction of clipping with warming, and warming-induced changes in soil temperature and moisture all had little effect on soil respiration over the years (all P > 0.05). Our results suggest that climate warming may drive an increase in soil respiration through altering composition of plant communities in grassland ecosystems. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  7. Prairie rattlesnake envenomation in 27 New World camelids.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sonis, J M; Hackett, E S; Callan, R J; Holt, T N; Hackett, T B

    2013-01-01

    Morbidity and case fatality from rattlesnake envenomation is regionally specific because of variability in relative toxicity of the species of snake encountered. A previous report of rattlesnake envenomation in New World camelids (NWC) from the western coastal United States documented high case fatality rates and guarded prognosis for survival. To describe clinical findings, treatments, and outcome of NWC with prairie rattlesnake (Crotalus viridis viridis) envenomation in the Rocky Mountain region of the United States. Twenty-seven NWC admitted to the Colorado State University Veterinary Teaching Hospital for evaluation of acute rattlesnake envenomation between 1992 and 2012. Medical records of NWC evaluated for rattlesnake envenomation as coded by the attending clinician and identified by a database search were reviewed retrospectively. Month of admission, signalment, area of bite, clinical and clinicopathologic data, treatments, and outcome were recorded. Twenty-five llamas and 2 alpacas were admitted for envenomation. Llamas were overrepresented compared to hospital caseload. The face was the most common site of envenomation, observed in 96% of recorded cases. Presenting clinical signs included fever, tachypnea, tachycardia, and respiratory distress. Nine animals required a tracheotomy. Median hospitalization time was 3 days and overall survival rate was 69%. Case fatality rate for prairie rattlesnake envenomation in NWC was lower than that reported in the Western coastal region of the United States and similar to that reported for prairie rattlesnake envenomation in horses. Copyright © 2013 by the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine.

  8. Resting state brain networks in the prairie vole.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ortiz, Juan J; Portillo, Wendy; Paredes, Raul G; Young, Larry J; Alcauter, Sarael

    2018-01-19

    Resting state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rsfMRI) has shown the hierarchical organization of the human brain into large-scale complex networks, referred as resting state networks. This technique has turned into a promising translational research tool after the finding of similar resting state networks in non-human primates, rodents and other animal models of great value for neuroscience. Here, we demonstrate and characterize the presence of resting states networks in Microtus ochrogaster, the prairie vole, an extraordinary animal model to study complex human-like social behavior, with potential implications for the research of normal social development, addiction and neuropsychiatric disorders. Independent component analysis of rsfMRI data from isoflurane-anestethized prairie voles resulted in cortical and subcortical networks, including primary motor and sensory networks, but also included putative salience and default mode networks. We further discuss how future research could help to close the gap between the properties of the large scale functional organization and the underlying neurobiology of several aspects of social cognition. These results contribute to the evidence of preserved resting state brain networks across species and provide the foundations to explore the use of rsfMRI in the prairie vole for basic and translational research.

  9. Global grass (Poaceae) success underpinned by traits facilitating colonization, persistence and habitat transformation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Linder, H P; Lehmann, Caroline E R; Archibald, Sally; Osborne, Colin P; Richardson, David M

    2018-05-01

    Poaceae (the grasses) is arguably the most successful plant family, in terms of its global occurrence in (almost) all ecosystems with angiosperms, its ecological dominance in many ecosystems, and high species richness. We suggest that the success of grasses is best understood in context of their capacity to colonize, persist, and transform environments (the "Viking syndrome"). This results from combining effective long-distance dispersal, efficacious establishment biology, ecological flexibility, resilience to disturbance and the capacity to modify environments by changing the nature of fire and mammalian herbivory. We identify a diverse set of functional traits linked to dispersal, establishment and competitive abilities. Enhanced long-distance dispersal is determined by anemochory, epizoochory and endozoochory and is facilitated via the spikelet (and especially the awned lemma) which functions as the dispersal unit. Establishment success could be a consequence of the precocious embryo and large starch reserves, which may underpin the extremely short generation times in grasses. Post-establishment genetic bottlenecks may be mitigated by wind pollination and the widespread occurrence of polyploidy, in combination with gametic self-incompatibility. The ecological competitiveness of grasses is corroborated by their dominance across the range of environmental extremes tolerated by angiosperms, facilitated by both C 3 and C 4 photosynthesis, well-developed frost tolerance in several clades, and a sympodial growth form that enabled the evolution of both annual and long-lived life forms. Finally, absence of investment in wood (except in bamboos), and the presence of persistent buds at or below ground level, provides tolerance of repeated defoliation (whether by fire, frost, drought or herbivores). Biotic modification of environments via feedbacks with herbivory or fire reinforce grass dominance leading to open ecosystems. Grasses can be both palatable and productive

  10. Entrepreneurial Ecosystems

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Stam, F.C.; Spigel, Ben

    2016-01-01

    This paper reviews and discusses the emergent entrepreneurial ecosystem approach. Entrepreneurial ecosystems are defined as a set of interdependent actors and factors coordinated in such a way that they enable productive entrepreneurship within a particular territory. The purpose of this paper is to

  11. Soil nutrient content, soil moisture and yield of Katumani maize in a ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Administrator

    natural ecosystem of mesquite trees than in arable fields of maize and beans in the central highlands of Mexico. They attributed this to the higher ... Carbon and nitrogen mineralization in tall grass prairie and agricultural soil profiles. Soil. Sci.

  12. Direct and indirect effects of climate change on a prairie plant community.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peter B Adler

    2009-09-01

    Full Text Available Climate change directly affects species by altering their physical environment and indirectly affects species by altering interspecific interactions such as predation and competition. Recent studies have shown that the indirect effects of climate change may amplify or counteract the direct effects. However, little is known about the the relative strength of direct and indirect effects or their potential to impact population persistence.We studied the effects of altered precipitation and interspecific interactions on the low-density tiller growth rates and biomass production of three perennial grass species in a Kansas, USA mixed prairie. We transplanted plugs of each species into local neighborhoods of heterospecific competitors and then exposed the plugs to a factorial manipulation of growing season precipitation and neighbor removal. Precipitation treatments had significant direct effects on two of the three species. Interspecific competition also had strong effects, reducing low-density tiller growth rates and aboveground biomass production for all three species. In fact, in the presence of competitors, (log tiller growth rates were close to or below zero for all three species. However, we found no convincing evidence that per capita competitive effects changed with precipitation, as shown by a lack of significant precipitation x competition interactions.We found little evidence that altered precipitation will influence per capita competitive effects. However, based on species' very low growth rates in the presence of competitors in some precipitation treatments, interspecific interactions appear strong enough to affect the balance between population persistence and local extinction. Therefore, ecological forecasting models should include the effect of interspecific interactions on population growth, even if such interaction coefficients are treated as constants.

  13. Diet Switching by Mammalian Herbivores in Response to Exotic Grass Invasion.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carolina Bremm

    Full Text Available Invasion by exotic grasses is a severe threat to the integrity of grassland ecosystems all over the world. Because grasslands are typically grazed by livestock and wildlife, the invasion is a community process modulated by herbivory. We hypothesized that the invasion of native South American grasslands by Eragrostis plana Nees, an exotic tussock-forming grass from Africa, could be deterred by grazing if grazers switched dietary preferences and included the invasive grass as a large proportion of their diets. Bos taurus (heifers and Ovis aries (ewes grazed plots with varying degrees of invasion by E. plana in a replicated manipulative experiment. Animal positions and species grazed were observed every minute in 45-min grazing session. Proportion of bites and steps in and out of E. plana tussocks were measured and used to calculate several indices of selectivity. Both heifers and ewes exhibited increasing probability of grazing E. plana as the proportion of area covered by tussocks increased, but they behaved differently. In agreement with expectations based on the allometry of dietary preferences and morphology, ewes consumed a low proportion of E. plana, except in areas that had more than 90% E. plana cover. Heifers consumed proportionally more E. plana than ewes. Contrary to our hypothesis, herbivores did not exhibit dietary switching towards the invasive grass. Moreover, they exhibited avoidance of the invasive grass and preference for short-statured native species, both of which should tend to enhance invasion. Unless invasive plants are highly palatable to livestock, the effect of grazing to deter the invasion is limited, due to the inherent avoidance of the invasive grass by the main grazers in the ecosystem, particularly sheep.

  14. Enhancing GRASS data communication with videographic technology

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sullivan, R.G. [Argonne National Lab., IL (United States); Gerdes, D.; Youngs, D. [Army Construction Engineering Research Lab., Champaign, IL (United States)

    1992-07-01

    Research at Argonne National Laboratory and the US Army Construction Engineering Research Laboratory has shown that computer videographic technology can be used to assist visualization and communication of GIS-generated geographic information. Videographic tools can be used to make results of GRASS analyses clear to decision-makers and to public interest groups, as well as to help GRASS users visualize geographic data more easily. Useful videographic visualization tools include graphic overlay of GRASS layers onto panchromatic images, allowing landscape features to be associated with GIS classifications; draping of GIS layers onto terrain models to create shaded relief maps; and incorporation of photographic imagery into GIS graphics. Useful videographic communications capabilities include convenient, direct interface to video formats, allowing incorporation of live video into GRASS graphics and output of GRASS graphics to video; convenient output of high-quality slides and prints; and enhanced labeling and editing of GRASS images. Conversion of GRASS imagery to standard videographic file formats also facilitates incorporation of GRASS images into other software programs, such as database and work-processing packages.

  15. Enhancing GRASS data communication with videographic technology

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sullivan, R.G. (Argonne National Lab., IL (United States)); Gerdes, D.; Youngs, D. (Army Construction Engineering Research Lab., Champaign, IL (United States))

    1992-01-01

    Research at Argonne National Laboratory and the US Army Construction Engineering Research Laboratory has shown that computer videographic technology can be used to assist visualization and communication of GIS-generated geographic information. Videographic tools can be used to make results of GRASS analyses clear to decision-makers and to public interest groups, as well as to help GRASS users visualize geographic data more easily. Useful videographic visualization tools include graphic overlay of GRASS layers onto panchromatic images, allowing landscape features to be associated with GIS classifications; draping of GIS layers onto terrain models to create shaded relief maps; and incorporation of photographic imagery into GIS graphics. Useful videographic communications capabilities include convenient, direct interface to video formats, allowing incorporation of live video into GRASS graphics and output of GRASS graphics to video; convenient output of high-quality slides and prints; and enhanced labeling and editing of GRASS images. Conversion of GRASS imagery to standard videographic file formats also facilitates incorporation of GRASS images into other software programs, such as database and work-processing packages.

  16. Thermogravimetric analysis of forest understory grasses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomas Elder; John S. Kush; Sharon M. Hermann

    2011-01-01

    Forest understory grasses are of significance in the initiation, establishment and maintenance of fire, whether used as a management tool or when occurring as wildfire. The fundamental thermal properties of such grasses are critical to their behavior in fire situations and have been investigated in the current work by the application of thermogravimetric analysis (TGA...

  17. Tuberculosis transmission in the Indigenous peoples of the Canadian prairies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Patel, Smit; Paulsen, Catherine; Heffernan, Courtney; Saunders, Duncan; Sharma, Meenu; King, Malcolm; Hoeppner, Vernon; Orr, Pamela; Kunimoto, Dennis; Menzies, Dick; Christianson, Sara; Wolfe, Joyce; Boffa, Jody; McMullin, Kathleen; Lopez-Hille, Carmen; Senthilselvan, Ambikaipakan; Long, Richard

    2017-01-01

    The prairie provinces of Canada. To characterize tuberculosis (TB) transmission among the Indigenous and non-Indigenous Canadian-born peoples of the prairie provinces of Canada. A prospective epidemiologic study of consecutively diagnosed adult (age ≥ 14 years) Canadian-born culture-positive pulmonary TB cases on the prairies, hereafter termed "potential transmitters," and the transmission events generated by them. "Transmission events" included new positive tuberculin skin tests (TSTs), TST conversions, and secondary cases among contacts. In the years 2007 and 2008, 222 potential transmitters were diagnosed on the prairies. Of these, the vast majority (198; 89.2%) were Indigenous peoples who resided in either an Indigenous community (135; 68.2%) or a major metropolitan area (44; 22.2%). Over the 4.5-year period between July 1st, 2006 and December 31st 2010, 1085 transmission events occurred in connection with these potential transmitters. Most of these transmission events were attributable to potential transmitters who identified as Indigenous (94.5%). With a few notable exceptions most transmitters and their infected contacts resided in the same community type. In multivariate models positive smear status and a higher number of close contacts were associated with increased transmission; adjusted odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs), 4.30 [1.88, 9.84] and 2.88 [1.31, 6.34], respectively. Among infected contacts, being Indigenous was associated with disease progression; OR and 95% CI, 3.59 [1.27, 10.14] and 6.89 [2.04, 23.25] depending upon Indigenous group, while being an infected casual contact was less likely than being a close contact to be associated with disease progression, 0.66 [0.44, 1.00]. In the prairie provinces of Canada and among Canadian-born persons, Indigenous peoples account for the vast majority of cases with the potential to transmit as well as the vast majority of infected contacts. Active case finding and preventative therapy

  18. Mapping and modeling the biogeochemical cycling of turf grasses in the United States.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Milesi, Cristina; Running, Steven W; Elvidge, Christopher D; Dietz, John B; Tuttle, Benjamin T; Nemani, Ramakrishna R

    2005-09-01

    Turf grasses are ubiquitous in the urban landscape of the United States and are often associated with various types of environmental impacts, especially on water resources, yet there have been limited efforts to quantify their total surface and ecosystem functioning, such as their total impact on the continental water budget and potential net ecosystem exchange (NEE). In this study, relating turf grass area to an estimate of fractional impervious surface area, it was calculated that potentially 163,800 km2 (+/- 35,850 km2) of land are cultivated with turf grasses in the continental United States, an area three times larger than that of any irrigated crop. Using the Biome-BGC ecosystem process model, the growth of warm-season and cool-season turf grasses was modeled at a number of sites across the 48 conterminous states under different management scenarios, simulating potential carbon and water fluxes as if the entire turf surface was to be managed like a well-maintained lawn. The results indicate that well-watered and fertilized turf grasses act as a carbon sink. The potential NEE that could derive from the total surface potentially under turf (up to 17 Tg C/yr with the simulated scenarios) would require up to 695 to 900 liters of water per person per day, depending on the modeled water irrigation practices, suggesting that outdoor water conservation practices such as xeriscaping and irrigation with recycled waste-water may need to be extended as many municipalities continue to face increasing pressures on freshwater.

  19. SQ grass sublingual allergy immunotherapy tablet for disease-modifying treatment of grass pollen allergic rhinoconjunctivitis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Dahl, Ronald; Roberts, Graham; de Blic, Jacques

    2016-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Allergy immunotherapy is a treatment option for allergic rhinoconjunctivitis (ARC). It is unique compared with pharmacotherapy in that it modifies the immunologic pathways that elicit an allergic response. The SQ Timothy grass sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT) tablet is approved in North...... America and throughout Europe for the treatment of adults and children (≥5 years old) with grass pollen-induced ARC. OBJECTIVE: The clinical evidence for the use of SQ grass SLIT-tablet as a disease-modifying treatment for grass pollen ARC is discussed in this review. METHODS: The review included...... the suitability of SQ grass SLIT-tablet for patients with clinically relevant symptoms to multiple Pooideae grass species, single-season efficacy, safety, adherence, coseasonal initiation, and cost-effectiveness. The data from the long-term SQ grass SLIT-tablet clinical trial that evaluated a clinical effect 2...

  20. 77 FR 24975 - Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Revised Recovery Plan for the Utah Prairie Dog

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-04-26

    ...-FF06E00000] Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Revised Recovery Plan for the Utah Prairie Dog... Utah prairie dog (Cynomys parvidens). This species is federally listed as threatened under the... recovery plan for the Utah prairie dog. The Service and other Federal agencies also will take these...

  1. 75 FR 57055 - Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Draft Revised Recovery Plan for Utah Prairie Dog

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-09-17

    ...] Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Draft Revised Recovery Plan for Utah Prairie Dog AGENCY: Fish... recovery plan for the Utah prairie dog (Cynomys parvidens). This species is federally listed as threatened... and peer reviewers in an appendix to the approved recovery plan. The Utah prairie dog (Cynomys...

  2. 76 FR 31906 - Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Revising the Special Rule for the Utah Prairie Dog

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-06-02

    ... Special Rule for the Utah Prairie Dog AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior. ACTION: Proposed rule... prairie dog. We are proposing to revise the existing limits on take, and we also propose a new incidental... dogs see: http://www.fws.gov/mountain-prairie/species/mammals/UTprairiedog or http://ecos.fws.gov...

  3. 77 FR 46157 - Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Revising the Special Rule for the Utah Prairie Dog

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-08-02

    ... Utah Prairie Dog; Final Rule #0;#0;Federal Register / Vol. 77 , No. 149 / Thursday, August 2, 2012...-AW02 Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Revising the Special Rule for the Utah Prairie Dog... special regulations for the conservation of the Utah prairie dog. We are revising our special regulations...

  4. 78 FR 26302 - Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Listing the Lesser Prairie-Chicken as a Threatened...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-05-06

    ...; 4500030113] RIN 1018-AY21 Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Listing the Lesser Prairie-Chicken... the lesser prairie-chicken (Tympanuchus pallidicinctus). In addition, we announce the reopening of the public comment period on the December 11, 2012, proposed rule to list the lesser prairie-chicken as a...

  5. 78 FR 75306 - Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Listing the Lesser Prairie-Chicken as a Threatened...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-12-11

    ...; 4500030113] RIN 1018-AY21 Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Listing the Lesser Prairie-Chicken... the conservation of the lesser prairie-chicken (Tympanuchus pallidicinctus). In addition, we announce... prairie-chicken as a threatened species under the Act. We also announce the availability of the final...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  7. Microsatellite genetic diversity and differentiation of native and introduced grass carp populations in three continents

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chapman, Duane C.; Chen, Qin; Wang, Chenghui; Zhao, Jinlian; Lu, Guoqing; Zsigmond, Jeney; Li, Si-Fa

    2012-01-01

    Grass carp (Ctenopharyngodon idella), a freshwater species native to China, has been introduced to about 100 countries/regions and poses both biological and environmental challenges to the receiving ecosystems. In this study, we analyzed genetic variation in grass carp from three introduced river systems (Mississippi River Basin in US, Danube River in Hungary, and Tone River in Japan) as well as its native ranges (Yangtze, Pearl, and Amur Rivers) in China using 21 novel microsatellite loci. The allelic richness, observed heterozygosity, and within-population gene diversity were found to be lower in the introduced populations than in the native populations, presumably due to the small founder population size of the former. Significant genetic differentiation was found between all pairwise populations from different rivers. Both principal component analysis and Bayesian clustering analysis revealed obvious genetic distinction between the native and introduced populations. Interestingly, genetic bottlenecks were detected in the Hungarian and Japanese grass carp populations, but not in the North American population, suggesting that the Mississippi River Basin grass carp has experienced rapid population expansion with potential genetic diversification during the half-century since its introduction. Consequently, the combined forces of the founder effect, introduction history, and rapid population expansion help explaining the observed patterns of genetic diversity within and among both native and introduced populations of the grass carp.

  8. Ecosystem thermodynamics

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gomez Palacio, German Rau

    1998-01-01

    Ecology is no more a descriptive and self-sufficient science. Many viewpoints are needed simultaneously to give a full coverage of such complex systems: ecosystems. These viewpoints come from physics, chemistry, and nuclear physics, without a new far from equilibrium thermodynamics and without new mathematical tools such as catastrophe theory, fractal theory, cybernetics and network theory, the development of ecosystem science would never have reached the point of today. Some ideas are presented about the importance that concept such as energy, entropy, exergy information and none equilibrium have in the analysis of processes taking place in ecosystems

  9. Annual Fire, Mowing and Fertilization Effects on Two Cicada Species (Homoptera: Cicadidae) in Tallgrass Prairie

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mac A. Callaham; Matt R. Whiles; John M. Blair

    2002-01-01

    In tallgrass prairie, cicadas emerge annually, are abundant and their emergence can be an important flux of energy and nutrients. However, factors influencing the distribution and abundance of these cicadas are virtually unknown. We examined cicada emergence in plots from a long-term (13 y) experimental manipulation involving common tallgrass prairie management...

  10. 77 FR 75119 - Dakota Prairie Grasslands, North Dakota; Oil and Gas Development Supplemental Environmental...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-12-19

    ... DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Forest Service Dakota Prairie Grasslands, North Dakota; Oil and Gas... to prepare a supplemental environmental impact statement. SUMMARY: In June of 2003, the Dakota... Dakota Prairie Grasslands Land and Resource Management Plan, based on the 2001 Northern Great Plains...

  11. The role of prairie dogs as a keystone species: response to Stapp

    Science.gov (United States)

    B. Miller; R. Reading; J. Hoogland; T. Clark; G. Ceballos; R. List; S. Forrest; L. Hanebury; P. Manzano; J. Pacheco; D. Uresk

    2000-01-01

    Stapp (1998) recently argued that it was premature to characterize prairie dogs (Cynomys spp.) as keystone species. In particular, Stapp directed much of his criticism at a paper some of us wrote (Miller et al. 1994). He mistakenly interprets the main objective of our paper as providing evidence that prairie dogs are keystone species. Rather, the...

  12. Black-tailed prairie dog (Cynomys ludovicianus) response to seasonality and frequency of fire

    Science.gov (United States)

    Felicia D. Archuleta

    2014-01-01

    Fragmentation of the landscape, habitat loss, and fire suppression, all a result of European settlement and activities, have precipitated both the decline of Black-tailed prairie dog (Cynomys ludovicianus) populations and the occurrence of fire throughout the Great Plains, including the Shortgrass steppe of northeastern New Mexico. The presence of Black-tailed prairie...

  13. Demography of black-tailed prairie dog populations reoccupying sites treated with rodenticide

    Science.gov (United States)

    R. P. Cincotta; Daniel W. Uresk; R. M. Hansen

    1987-01-01

    A rodenticide, zinc phosphide, was applied to remove black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus) from 6 haofa prairie dog colony in southwestern South Dakota. Another adjacent 6 ha was left untreated. The removal experiment was repeated two consecutive years. Contingency table analysis showed that the resultant population was not homogeneous;...

  14. Prairie chicken populations of the Sheyenne Delta in North Dakota, 1961-1987

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jerry D. Kobriger; David P. Vollink; Michael E. Mcneill; Kenneth F. Higgins

    1988-01-01

    Prairie chickens (Tympanuchus cupido pinnatus) were first censused on the Sheyenne Grasslands in 1961. The population was extremely low in the 1960's, gradually increased in the 1970's, and reached a peak of 410 in 1980. Sufficient evidence exists to link the increase in numbers of prairie chickens on the grasslands from 1961 through 1987...

  15. Effect of mid-summer haying on growth and reproduction in prairie forbs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Becky Begay; Helen M. Alexander; Erin Questad

    2011-01-01

    Mid-summer haying is a common management practice for prairies; plant species could differ in the effect of haying on subsequent growth and reproduction. We examined the effect of haying on prairie species by performing a clipping experiment. For each of seven species, sixteen plants were chosen and half were randomly assigned to a clipping treatment and half to a...

  16. Physiologic Reference Ranges for Captive Black-Tailed Prairie Dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keckler, M Shannon; Gallardo-Romero, Nadia F; Langham, Gregory L; Damon, Inger K; Karem, Kevin L; Carroll, Darin S

    2010-01-01

    The black-tailed prairie dog (Cynomys ludovicianus) is a member of the order Rodentia and the family Sciuridae. Ecologically, prairie dogs are a keystone species in prairie ecology. This species is used as an animal model for human gallbladder disease and diseases caused by infection with Clostridium difficile, Yersinia pestis, Francisella tularensis, and most recently, Orthopoxvirus. Despite increasing numbers of prairie dogs used in research and kept as pets, few data are available on their baseline physiology in animal facility housing conditions. To establish baseline physiologic reference ranges, we designed a study using 18 wild-caught black-tailed prairie dogs. Telemetry data were analyzed to establish circadian rhythms for activity and temperature. In addition, hematologic and serum chemistry analyses were performed. Baseline measurements were used to establish the mean for each animal, which then were compiled and analyzed to determine the reference ranges. Here we present physiologic data on serum chemistry and hematology profiles, as well as weight, core body temperature, and daily activity patterns for black-tailed prairie dogs. These results reflect the use of multiple measurements from species- and age-matched prairie dogs and likely will be useful to ecologists, scientists interested in using this animal model in research, and veterinarians caring for pet prairie dogs. PMID:20587156

  17. A novel approach for assessing density and range-wide abundance of prairie dogs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aaron N. Facka; Paulette L. Ford; Gary W. Roemer

    2008-01-01

    Habitat loss, introduced disease, and government-sponsored eradication programs have caused population declines in all 5 species of prairie dogs. Black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus) currently occupy only about 2% of an extensive geographic range (160 million hectares) and were recently considered for listing under the United States...

  18. Spatial heterogeneity and scale-dependent habitat selection for two sympatric raptors in mixed-grass prairie.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Atuo, Fidelis Akunke; O'Connell, Timothy John

    2017-08-01

    Sympatric predators are predicted to partition resources, especially under conditions of food limitation. Spatial heterogeneity that influences prey availability might play an important role in the scales at which potential competitors select habitat. We assessed potential mechanisms for coexistence by examining the role of heterogeneity in resource partitioning between sympatric raptors overwintering in the southern Great Plains. We conducted surveys for wintering Red-tailed hawk ( Buteo jamaicensis ) and Northern Harrier ( Circus cyanea ) at two state wildlife management areas in Oklahoma, USA. We used information from repeated distance sampling to project use locations in a GIS. We applied resource selection functions to model habitat selection at three scales and analyzed for niche partitioning using the outlying mean index. Habitat selection of the two predators was mediated by spatial heterogeneity. The two predators demonstrated significant fine-scale discrimination in habitat selection in homogeneous landscapes, but were more sympatric in heterogeneous landscapes. Red-tailed hawk used a variety of cover types in heterogeneous landscapes but specialized on riparian forest in homogeneous landscapes. Northern Harrier specialized on upland grasslands in homogeneous landscapes but selected more cover types in heterogeneous landscapes. Our study supports the growing body of evidence that landscapes can affect animal behaviors. In the system we studied, larger patches of primary land cover types were associated with greater allopatry in habitat selection between two potentially competing predators. Heterogeneity within the scale of raptor home ranges was associated with greater sympatry in use and less specialization in land cover types selected.

  19. Optimal portfolio design to reduce climate-related conservation uncertainty in the Prairie Pothole Region.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ando, Amy W; Mallory, Mindy L

    2012-04-24

    Climate change is likely to alter the spatial distributions of species and habitat types but the nature of such change is uncertain. Thus, climate change makes it difficult to implement standard conservation planning paradigms. Previous work has suggested some approaches to cope with such uncertainty but has not harnessed all of the benefits of risk diversification. We adapt Modern Portfolio Theory (MPT) to optimal spatial targeting of conservation activity, using wetland habitat conservation in the Prairie Pothole Region (PPR) as an example. This approach finds the allocations of conservation activity among subregions of the planning area that maximize the expected conservation returns for a given level of uncertainty or minimize uncertainty for a given expected level of returns. We find that using MPT instead of simple diversification in the PPR can achieve a value of the conservation objective per dollar spent that is 15% higher for the same level of risk. MPT-based portfolios can also have 21% less uncertainty over benefits or 6% greater expected benefits than the current portfolio of PPR conservation. Total benefits from conservation investment are higher if returns are defined in terms of benefit-cost ratios rather than benefits alone. MPT-guided diversification can work to reduce the climate-change-induced uncertainty of future ecosystem-service benefits from many land policy and investment initiatives, especially when outcomes are negatively correlated between subregions of a planning area.

  20. Optimal portfolio design to reduce climate-related conservation uncertainty in the Prairie Pothole Region

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ando, Amy W.; Mallory, Mindy L.

    2012-01-01

    Climate change is likely to alter the spatial distributions of species and habitat types but the nature of such change is uncertain. Thus, climate change makes it difficult to implement standard conservation planning paradigms. Previous work has suggested some approaches to cope with such uncertainty but has not harnessed all of the benefits of risk diversification. We adapt Modern Portfolio Theory (MPT) to optimal spatial targeting of conservation activity, using wetland habitat conservation in the Prairie Pothole Region (PPR) as an example. This approach finds the allocations of conservation activity among subregions of the planning area that maximize the expected conservation returns for a given level of uncertainty or minimize uncertainty for a given expected level of returns. We find that using MPT instead of simple diversification in the PPR can achieve a value of the conservation objective per dollar spent that is 15% higher for the same level of risk. MPT-based portfolios can also have 21% less uncertainty over benefits or 6% greater expected benefits than the current portfolio of PPR conservation. Total benefits from conservation investment are higher if returns are defined in terms of benefit–cost ratios rather than benefits alone. MPT-guided diversification can work to reduce the climate-change–induced uncertainty of future ecosystem-service benefits from many land policy and investment initiatives, especially when outcomes are negatively correlated between subregions of a planning area. PMID:22451914

  1. Urban ecosystem

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Duvigneaud, P

    1974-01-01

    The author considers the town as an ecosystem. He examines its various subdivisions (climate, soil, structure, human and non-human communities, etc.) for which he chooses examples with particular reference to the city of Brussels.

  2. Grass leaves as potential hominin dietary resources.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paine, Oliver C C; Koppa, Abigale; Henry, Amanda G; Leichliter, Jennifer N; Codron, Daryl; Codron, Jacqueline; Lambert, Joanna E; Sponheimer, Matt

    2018-04-01

    Discussions about early hominin diets have generally excluded grass leaves as a staple food resource, despite their ubiquity in most early hominin habitats. In particular, stable carbon isotope studies have shown a prevalent C 4 component in the diets of most taxa, and grass leaves are the single most abundant C 4 resource in African savannas. Grass leaves are typically portrayed as having little nutritional value (e.g., low in protein and high in fiber) for hominins lacking specialized digestive systems. It has also been argued that they present mechanical challenges (i.e., high toughness) for hominins with bunodont dentition. Here, we compare the nutritional and mechanical properties of grass leaves with the plants growing alongside them in African savanna habitats. We also compare grass leaves to the leaves consumed by other hominoids and demonstrate that many, though by no means all, compare favorably with the nutritional and mechanical properties of known primate foods. Our data reveal that grass leaves exhibit tremendous variation and suggest that future reconstructions of hominin dietary ecology take a more nuanced approach when considering grass leaves as a potential hominin dietary resource. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  3. Precipitation, Climate Change, and Parasitism of Prairie Dogs by Fleas that Transmit Plague.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eads, David A; Hoogland, John L

    2017-08-01

    Fleas (Insecta: Siphonaptera) are hematophagous ectoparasites that can reduce the fitness of vertebrate hosts. Laboratory populations of fleas decline under dry conditions, implying that populations of fleas will also decline when precipitation is scarce under natural conditions. If precipitation and hence vegetative production are reduced, however, then herbivorous hosts might suffer declines in body condition and have weakened defenses against fleas, so that fleas will increase in abundance. We tested these competing hypotheses using information from 23 yr of research on 3 species of colonial prairie dogs in the western United States: Gunnison's prairie dog (Cynomys gunnisoni, 1989-1994), Utah prairie dog (Cynomys parvidens, 1996-2005), and white-tailed prairie dog (Cynomys leucurus, 2006-2012). For all 3 species, flea-counts per individual varied inversely with the number of days in the prior growing season with >10 mm of precipitation, an index of the number of precipitation events that might have caused a substantial, prolonged increase in soil moisture and vegetative production. Flea-counts per Utah prairie dog also varied inversely with cumulative precipitation of the prior growing season. Furthermore, flea-counts per Gunnison's and white-tailed prairie dog varied inversely with cumulative precipitation of the just-completed January and February. These results complement research on black-tailed prairie dog (Cynomys ludovicianus) and might have important ramifications for plague, a bacterial disease transmitted by fleas that devastates populations of prairie dogs. In particular, our results might help to explain why, at some colonies, epizootics of plague, which can kill >95% of prairie dogs, are more likely to occur during or shortly after periods of reduced precipitation. Climate change is projected to increase the frequency of droughts in the grasslands of western North America. If so, then climate change might affect the occurrence of plague epizootics

  4. Growth responses, biomass partitioning, and nitrogen isotopes of prairie legumes in response to elevated temperature and varying nitrogen source in a growth chamber experiment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Whittington, Heather R; Deede, Laura; Powers, Jennifer S

    2012-05-01

    Because legumes can add nitrogen (N) to ecosystems through symbiotic fixation, they play important roles in many plant communities, such as prairies and grasslands. However, very little research has examined the effect of projected climate change on legume growth and function. Our goal was to study the effects of temperature on growth, nodulation, and N chemistry of prairie legumes and determine whether these effects are mediated by source of N. We grew seedlings of Amorpha canescens, Dalea purpurea, Lespedeza capitata, and Lupinus perennis at 25/20°C (day/night) or 28/23°C with and without rhizobia and mineral N in controlled-environment growth chambers. Biomass, leaf area, nodule number and mass, and shoot N concentration and δ(15)N values were measured after 12 wk of growth. Both temperature and N-source affected responses in a species-specific manner. Lespedeza showed increased growth and higher shoot N content at 28°C. Lupinus showed decreases in nodulation and lower shoot N concentration at 28°C. The effect of temperature on shoot N concentration occurred only in individuals whose sole N source was N(2)-fixation, but there was no effect of temperature on δ(15)N values in these plants. Elevated temperature enhanced seedling growth of some species, while inhibiting nodulation in another. Temperature-induced shifts in legume composition or nitrogen dynamics may be another potential mechanism through which climate change affects unmanaged ecosystems.

  5. Tapping soil survey information for rapid assessment of sagebrush ecosystem resilience and resistance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jeremy D. Maestas; Steven B. Campbell; Jeanne C. Chambers; Mike Pellant; Richard F. Miller

    2016-01-01

    A new ecologically-based approach to risk abatement has emerged that can aid land managers in grappling with escalating impacts of large-scale wildfire and invasive annual grasses in sagebrush ecosystems, particularly in the Great Basin. Specifically, ecosystem resilience and resistance (R&R) concepts have been more fully operationalized from regional...

  6. Stochastic analysis of an ecosystem of two competing species

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Ecosystem; competing species; stochastic model; Monte Carlo .... probability density p(g) of the grass density for the same system but for different initial states .... Li Q C, Lin Y K 1995 New stochastic theory for bridge stability in turbulent flow, II.

  7. Grass Biomethane for Agriculture and Energy

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Korres, N.E.; Thamsiriroj, T.; Smith, B.

    2011-01-01

    have advanced the role of grassland as a renewable source of energy in grass biomethane production with various environmental and socio-economic benefits. It is underlined that the essential question whether the gaseous biofuel meets the EU sustainability criteria of 60% greenhouse gas emission savings...... by 2020 can be met since savings up to 89.4% under various scenarios can be achieved. Grass biomethane production compared to other liquid biofuels either when these are produced by indigenous of imported feedstocks is very promising. Grass biomethane, given the mature and well known technology...

  8. Biodiversity assessment among two Nebraska prairies: a comparison between traditional and phylogenetic diversity indices.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aust, Shelly K; Ahrendsen, Dakota L; Kellar, P Roxanne

    2015-01-01

    Conservation of the evolutionary diversity among organisms should be included in the selection of priority regions for preservation of Earth's biodiversity. Traditionally, biodiversity has been determined from an assessment of species richness (S), abundance, evenness, rarity, etc. of organisms but not from variation in species' evolutionary histories. Phylogenetic diversity (PD) measures evolutionary differences between taxa in a community and is gaining acceptance as a biodiversity assessment tool. However, with the increase in the number of ways to calculate PD, end-users and decision-makers are left wondering how metrics compare and what data are needed to calculate various metrics. In this study, we used massively parallel sequencing to generate over 65,000 DNA characters from three cellular compartments for over 60 species in the asterid clade of flowering plants. We estimated asterid phylogenies from character datasets of varying nucleotide quantities, and then assessed the effect of varying character datasets on resulting PD metric values. We also compared multiple PD metrics with traditional diversity indices (including S) among two endangered grassland prairies in Nebraska (U.S.A.). Our results revealed that PD metrics varied based on the quantity of genes used to infer the phylogenies; therefore, when comparing PD metrics between sites, it is vital to use comparable datasets. Additionally, various PD metrics and traditional diversity indices characterize biodiversity differently and should be chosen depending on the research question. Our study provides empirical results that reveal the value of measuring PD when considering sites for conservation, and it highlights the usefulness of using PD metrics in combination with other diversity indices when studying community assembly and ecosystem functioning. Ours is just one example of the types of investigations that need to be conducted across the tree of life and across varying ecosystems in order to build

  9. Pastures to Prairies to Pools: An Update on Natural Resource Damages Settlement Projects at the Fernald Preserve - 13198

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Powell, Jane [Fernald Preserve Site Manager, DOE Office of Legacy Management, Harrison, Ohio (United States); Schneider, Tom [Fernald Project Manager, Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, Dayton, Ohio (United States); Hertel, Bill [Project Manager, S.M. Stoller Corporation, Harrison, Ohio (United States); Homer, John [Environmental Scientist, S.M. Stoller Corporation, Harrison, Ohio (United States)

    2013-07-01

    The DOE Office of Legacy Management oversees implementation and monitoring of two ecological restoration projects at the Fernald Preserve, Fernald, Ohio, that are funded through a CERCLA natural resource damage settlement. Planning and implementation of on-property ecological restoration projects is one component of compensation for natural resource injury. The Paddys Run Tributary Project involves creation of vernal pool wetland habitat with adjacent forest restoration. The Triangle Area Project is a mesic tall-grass prairie establishment, similar to other efforts at the Fernald Preserve. The goal of the Fernald Natural Resource Trustees is to establish habitat for Ambystomatid salamander species, as well as grassland birds. Field implementation of these projects was completed in May 2012. Herbaceous cover and woody vegetation survival was determined in August and September 2012. Results show successful establishment of native vegetation. Additional monitoring will be needed to determine whether project goals have been met. As with the rest of the Fernald Preserve, ecological restoration has helped turn a DOE liability into a community asset. (authors)

  10. Pastures to Prairies to Pools: An Update on Natural Resource Damages Settlement Projects at the Fernald Preserve - 13198

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Powell, Jane; Schneider, Tom; Hertel, Bill; Homer, John

    2013-01-01

    The DOE Office of Legacy Management oversees implementation and monitoring of two ecological restoration projects at the Fernald Preserve, Fernald, Ohio, that are funded through a CERCLA natural resource damage settlement. Planning and implementation of on-property ecological restoration projects is one component of compensation for natural resource injury. The Paddys Run Tributary Project involves creation of vernal pool wetland habitat with adjacent forest restoration. The Triangle Area Project is a mesic tall-grass prairie establishment, similar to other efforts at the Fernald Preserve. The goal of the Fernald Natural Resource Trustees is to establish habitat for Ambystomatid salamander species, as well as grassland birds. Field implementation of these projects was completed in May 2012. Herbaceous cover and woody vegetation survival was determined in August and September 2012. Results show successful establishment of native vegetation. Additional monitoring will be needed to determine whether project goals have been met. As with the rest of the Fernald Preserve, ecological restoration has helped turn a DOE liability into a community asset. (authors)

  11. Genome sequence analysis of the model grass Brachypodium distachyon: insights into grass genome evolution

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Schulman, Al

    2009-08-09

    Three subfamilies of grasses, the Erhardtoideae (rice), the Panicoideae (maize, sorghum, sugar cane and millet), and the Pooideae (wheat, barley and cool season forage grasses) provide the basis of human nutrition and are poised to become major sources of renewable energy. Here we describe the complete genome sequence of the wild grass Brachypodium distachyon (Brachypodium), the first member of the Pooideae subfamily to be completely sequenced. Comparison of the Brachypodium, rice and sorghum genomes reveals a precise sequence- based history of genome evolution across a broad diversity of the grass family and identifies nested insertions of whole chromosomes into centromeric regions as a predominant mechanism driving chromosome evolution in the grasses. The relatively compact genome of Brachypodium is maintained by a balance of retroelement replication and loss. The complete genome sequence of Brachypodium, coupled to its exceptional promise as a model system for grass research, will support the development of new energy and food crops

  12. Strategic ecosystems of Colombia

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Marquez Calle German

    2002-01-01

    The author relates the ecosystems in Colombia, he makes a relationship between ecosystems and population, utility of the ecosystems, transformation of the ecosystems and poverty and he shows a methodology of identification of strategic ecosystems

  13. A long-term perspective on anthropogenic activities and management strategies in a prairie wetland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hobbs, J. M.; Hobbs, W.; LaFrancois, T.; Edlund, M.; Theissen, K. M.; Zimmer, K.; Hanson, M.

    2012-12-01

    Multiple stressors to shallow lake/wetland ecosystems have the ability to control the relative stability of alternative states (clear, macrophyte-dominated or turbid, algal dominated). As a consequence, the use of remedial biomanipulations to induce trophic cascades and shift a turbid lake to a clear state is often only a temporary solution. Here we show the instability of short-term manipulations in the shallow Lake Christina (a Class V wetland in the prairie ecoregion of western Minnesota, USA) is governed by the long-term state following a regime shift in the lake. During the modern, managed period of the lake, three top-down manipulations (fish kills) were undertaken inducing temporary (5-10 years) unstable clear-water states. Paleoecological remains of diatoms, along with proxies of primary production (total chlorophyll a and total organic carbon accumulation rate) and trophic state (total P) from sediment records clearly show a single regime shift in the lake during the early 1950s; following this shift, the functioning of the lake ecosystem is dominated by a persistent turbid state. We find that multiple stressors contributed to the regime shift. First, the lake began to eutrophy (from agricultural land use and/or increased waterfowl populations), leading to a dramatic increase in primary production. Soon after, the construction of a dam in 1936 effectively doubled the depth of the lake, compounded by increases in regional humidity; this resulted in an increase in planktivorous and benthivorous fish reducing phytoplankton grazers. These factors further conspired to increase the stability of a turbid regime during the modern managed period, such that switches to a clear-water state were inherently unstable and the lake consistently returned to a turbid state. We conclude that while top-down manipulations have had measurable impacts on the lake state, they have not been effective in providing a return to an ecosystem similar to the stable historical period

  14. Grass survey of the Itremo Massif records endemic central highland ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Twenty species are endemic to the central highlands, and a further 1 4 species are restricted to Madagascar. Five ecological groups of grasses were identified in the Itremo Massif: shade species in gallery forests, open wet area species, fire grasses, anthropogenic disturbance associated grasses and rock-dwelling grasses.

  15. Responses of predatory invertebrates to seeding density and plant species richness in experimental tallgrass prairie restorations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nemec, Kristine T.; Allen, Craig R.; Danielson, Stephen D.; Helzer, Christopher J.

    2014-01-01

    In recent decades, agricultural producers and non-governmental organizations have restored thousands of hectares of former cropland in the central United States with native grasses and forbs. However, the ability of these grassland restorations to attract predatory invertebrates has not been well documented, even though predators provide an important ecosystem service to agricultural producers by naturally regulating herbivores. This study assessed the effects of plant richness and seeding density on the richness and abundance of surface-dwelling (ants, ground beetles, and spiders) and aboveground (ladybird beetles) predatory invertebrates. In the spring of 2006, twenty-four 55 m × 55 m-plots were planted to six replicates in each of four treatments: high richness (97 species typically planted by The Nature Conservancy), at low and high seeding densities, and low richness (15 species representing a typical Natural Resources Conservation Service Conservation Reserve Program mix, CP25), at low and high seeding densities. Ants, ground beetles, and spiders were sampled using pitfall traps and ladybird beetles were sampled using sweep netting in 2007–2009. The abundance of ants, ground beetles, and spiders showed no response to seed mix richness or seeding density but there was a significant positive effect of richness on ladybird beetle abundance. Seeding density had a significant positive effect on ground beetle and spider species richness and Shannon–Weaver diversity. These results may be related to differences in the plant species composition and relative amount of grass basal cover among the treatments rather than richness.

  16. Pampas Grass - Orange Co. [ds351

    Data.gov (United States)

    California Natural Resource Agency — This dataset provides the known distribution of pampas grass (Cortaderia selloana) in southern Orange County. The surveys were conducted from May to June, 2007 and...

  17. Tree-grass interactions in savannas

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Scholes, RJ

    1997-01-01

    Full Text Available Savannas occur where trees and grasses interact to create a biome that is neither grassland nor forest. Woody and gramineous plants interact by many mechanisms, some negative (competition) and some positive (facilitation). The strength and sign...

  18. POTENTIALS OF AGRICULTURAL WASTE AND GRASSES IN ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Shima

    Potentials of some agricultural waste and grasses were investigated. ... to education, printing, publishing and ... technical form, paper is an aqueous deposit ..... Period of. Soaking. Overnight. Overnight. Overnight. Overnight. Overnight.

  19. Grasses for energy production: hydrological guidelines

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hall, R.L.

    2003-07-01

    This report provides hydrological guidelines for growers, land and water resource managers, environmental groups and other parties interested in utilising grasses for energy production. The aim of the report is to help interested parties decide if a location is suitable for planting energy grasses by considering whether potential hydrological impacts will have an adverse effect on crop productivity and yield. The guidelines consider: the water use of energy grasses compared with other crops; the factors governing water use; the water requirements for a productive crop; and the likely impacts on the availability and quantity of water. The report points out that there are still gaps in our knowledge of the processes controlling the water use and growth of energy grasses and notes that, in some situations, there will be considerable uncertainty in predictions of water use and the magnitude of the associated hydrological impacts.

  20. Imaging spectroscopy for characterisation of grass swards

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schut, A.G.T.

    2003-01-01

    Keywords: Imaging spectroscopy, imaging spectrometry, remote sensing, reflection, reflectance, grass sward, white clover, recognition, characterisation, ground cover, growth monitoring, stress detection, heterogeneity quantification

    The potential of imaging spectroscopy as a tool for

  1. Karl Konrad Grass jumalainimeste uurijana / Alar Laats

    Index Scriptorium Estoniae

    Laats, Alar

    2006-01-01

    Karl Konrad Grass oli 19. sajandil Dorpati keiserliku ülikooli usuteaduskonna Uue Testamendi õppejõud, kes tegeles hobi korras idakristluse (vene sektid) uurimisega. Tema peateoseks on uurimus "Die russischen Sekten". Ettekanne konverentsil 15.-16. aprill 2005. a.

  2. Season and application rates affect vaccine bait consumption by prairie dogs in Colorado and Utah, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tripp, Daniel W.; Rocke, Tonie E.; Streich, Sean P.; Brown, Nathanael L.; Fernandez, Julia Rodriguez-Ramos; Miller, Michael W.

    2014-01-01

    Plague, a zoonotic disease caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis, causes high rates of mortality in prairie dogs (Cynomys spp.). An oral vaccine against plague has been developed for prairie dogs along with a palatable bait to deliver vaccine and a biomarker to track bait consumption. We conducted field trials between September 2009 and September 2012 to develop recommendations for bait distribution to deliver plague vaccine to prairie dogs. The objectives were to evaluate the use of the biomarker, rhodamine B, in field settings to compare bait distribution strategies, to compare uptake of baits distributed at different densities, to assess seasonal effects on bait uptake, and to measure bait uptake by nontarget small mammal species. Rhodamine B effectively marked prairie dogs' whiskers during these field trials. To compare bait distribution strategies, we applied baits around active burrows or along transects at densities of 32, 65, and 130 baits/ha. Distributing baits at active burrows or by transect did not affect uptake by prairie dogs. Distributing baits at rates of ≥65/ha (or ≥1 bait/active burrow) produced optimal uptake, and bait uptake by prairie dogs in the autumn was superior to uptake in the spring. Six other species of small mammals consumed baits during these trials. All four species of tested prairie dogs readily consumed the baits, demonstrating that vaccine uptake will not be an obstacle to plague control via oral vaccination.

  3. Factors influencing uptake of sylvatic plague vaccine baits by prairie dogs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abbott, Rachel C.; Russell, Robin E.; Richgels, Katherine; Tripp, Daniel W.; Matchett, Marc R.; Biggins, Dean E.; Rocke, Tonie E.

    2017-01-01

    Sylvatic plague vaccine (SPV) is a virally vectored bait-delivered vaccine expressing Yersinia pestis antigens that can protect prairie dogs (Cynomys spp.) from plague and has potential utility as a management tool. In a large-scale 3-year field trial, SPV-laden baits containing the biomarker rhodamine B (used to determine bait consumption) were distributed annually at a rate of approximately 100–125 baits/hectare along transects at 58 plots encompassing the geographic ranges of four species of prairie dogs. We assessed site- and individual-level factors related to bait uptake in prairie dogs to determine which were associated with bait uptake rates. Overall bait uptake for 7820 prairie dogs sampled was 70% (95% C.I. 69.9–72.0). Factors influencing bait uptake rates by prairie dogs varied by species, however, in general, heavier animals had greater bait uptake rates. Vegetation quality and day of baiting influenced this relationship for black-tailed, Gunnison’s, and Utah prairie dogs. For these species, baiting later in the season, when normalized difference vegetation indices (a measure of green vegetation density) are lower, improves bait uptake by smaller animals. Consideration of these factors can aid in the development of species-specific SPV baiting strategies that maximize bait uptake and subsequent immunization of prairie dogs against plague.

  4. Genetic compatibility determines endophyte-grass combinations.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kari Saikkonen

    Full Text Available Even highly mutually beneficial microbial-plant interactions, such as mycorrhizal- and rhizobial-plant exchanges, involve selfishness, cheating and power-struggles between the partners, which depending on prevailing selective pressures, lead to a continuum of interactions from antagonistic to mutualistic. Using manipulated grass-endophyte combinations in a five year common garden experiment, we show that grass genotypes and genetic mismatches constrain genetic combinations between the vertically (via host seeds transmitted endophytes and the out-crossing host, thereby reducing infections in established grass populations. Infections were lost in both grass tillers and seedlings in F(1 and F(2 generations, respectively. Experimental plants were collected as seeds from two different environments, i.e., meadows and nearby riverbanks. Endophyte-related benefits to the host included an increased number of inflorescences, but only in meadow plants and not until the last growing season of the experiment. Our results illustrate the importance of genetic host specificity and trans-generational maternal effects on the genetic structure of a host population, which act as destabilizing forces in endophyte-grass symbioses. We propose that (1 genetic mismatches may act as a buffering mechanism against highly competitive endophyte-grass genotype combinations threatening the biodiversity of grassland communities and (2 these mismatches should be acknowledged, particularly in breeding programmes aimed at harnessing systemic and heritable endophytes to improve the agriculturally valuable characteristics of cultivars.

  5. Climate change and prairie pothole wetlands: mitigating water-level and hydroperiod effects through upland management

    Science.gov (United States)

    Renton, David A.; Mushet, David M.; DeKeyser, Edward S.

    2015-01-01

    Prairie pothole wetlands offer crucial habitat for North America’s waterfowl populations. The wetlands also support an abundance of other species and provide ecological services valued by society. The hydrology of prairie pothole wetlands is dependent on atmospheric interactions. Therefore, changes to the region’s climate can have profound effects on wetland hydrology. The relevant literature related to climate change and upland management effects on prairie pothole wetland water levels and hydroperiods was reviewed. Climate change is widely expected to affect water levels and hydroperiods of prairie pothole wetlands, as well as the biota and ecological services that the wetlands support. In general, hydrologic model projections that incorporate future climate change scenarios forecast lower water levels in prairie pothole wetlands and longer periods spent in a dry condition, despite potential increases in precipitation. However, the extreme natural variability in climate and hydrology of prairie pothole wetlands necessitates caution when interpreting model results. Recent changes in weather patterns throughout much of the Prairie Pothole Region have been in increased precipitation that results in increased water inputs to wetlands above losses associated with warmer temperatures. However, observed precipitation increases are within the range of natural climate variability and therefore, may not persist. Identifying management techniques with the potential to affect water inputs to prairie pothole wetlands would provide increased options for managers when dealing with the uncertainties associated with a changing climate. Several grassland management techniques (for example, grazing and burning) have the potential to affect water levels and hydroperiods of prairie pothole by affecting infiltration, evapotranspiration, and snow deposition.

  6. Spatial variation in keystone effects: Small mammal diversity associated with black-tailed prairie dog colonies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cully, J.F.; Collinge, S.K.; Van Nimwegen, R. E.; Ray, C.; Johnson, W.C.; Thiagarajan, Bala; Conlin, D.B.; Holmes, B.E.

    2010-01-01

    Species with extensive geographic ranges may interact with different species assemblages at distant locations, with the result that the nature of the interactions may vary spatially. Black-tailed prairie dogs Cynomys ludovicianus occur from Canada to Mexico in grasslands of the western Great Plains of North America. Black-tailed prairie dogs alter vegetation and dig extensive burrow systems that alter grassland habitats for plants and other animal species. These alterations of habitat justify the descriptor " ecological engineer," and the resulting changes in species composition have earned them status as a keystone species. We examined the impact of black-tailed prairie dogs on small mammal assemblages by trapping at on- and off-colony locations at eight study areas across the species' geographic range. We posed 2 nested hypotheses: 1) prairie dogs function as a keystone species for other rodent species; and 2) the keystone role varies spatially. Assuming that it does, we asked what are the sources of the variation? Black-tailed prairie dogs consistently functioned as a keystone species in that there were strong statistically significant differences in community composition on versus off prairie dog colonies across the species range in prairie grassland. Small mammal species composition varied along both latitudinal and longitudinal gradients, and species richness varied from 4 to 11. Assemblages closer together were more similar; such correlations approximately doubled when including only on- or off-colony grids. Black-tailed prairie dogs had a significant effect on associated rodent assemblages that varied regionally, dependent upon the composition of the local rodent species pool. Over the range of the black-tailed prairie dog, on-colony rodent richness and evenness were less variable, and species composition was more consistent than off-colony assemblages. ?? 2010 The Authors.

  7. Treatment with grass allergen peptides improves symptoms of grass pollen-induced allergic rhinoconjunctivitis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ellis, Anne K; Frankish, Charles W; O'Hehir, Robyn E; Armstrong, Kristen; Steacy, Lisa; Larché, Mark; Hafner, Roderick P

    2017-08-01

    Synthetic peptide immunoregulatory epitopes are a new class of immunotherapy to treat allergic rhinoconjunctivitis (ARC). Grass allergen peptides, comprising 7 synthetic T-cell epitopes derived from Cyn d 1, Lol p 5, Dac g 5, Hol l 5, and Phl p 5, is investigated for treatment of grass pollen-induced ARC. We sought to evaluate the efficacy, safety, and tolerability of intradermally administered grass allergen peptides. A multicenter, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study evaluated 3 regimens of grass allergen peptides versus placebo in patients with grass pollen-induced allergy (18-65 years). After a 4-day baseline challenge to rye grass in the environmental exposure unit (EEU), subjects were randomized to receive grass allergen peptides at 6 nmol at 2-week intervals for a total of 8 doses (8x6Q2W), grass allergen peptides at 12 nmol at 4-week intervals for a total of 4 doses (4x12Q4W), or grass allergen peptides at 12 nmol at 2-week intervals for a total of 8 doses (8x12Q2W) or placebo and treated before the grass pollen season. The primary efficacy end point was change from baseline in total rhinoconjunctivitis symptom score across days 2 to 4 of a 4-day posttreatment challenge (PTC) in the EEU after the grass pollen season. Secondary efficacy end points and safety were also assessed. Two hundred eighty-two subjects were randomized. Significantly greater improvement (reduction of total rhinoconjunctivitis symptom score from baseline to PTC) occurred across days 2 to 4 with grass allergen peptide 8x6Q2W versus placebo (-5.4 vs -3.8, respectively; P = .0346). Greater improvement at PTC also occurred for grass allergen peptide 8x6Q2W versus placebo (P = .0403) in patients with more symptomatic ARC. No safety signals were detected. Grass allergen peptide 8x6Q2W significantly improved ARC symptoms after rye grass allergen challenge in an EEU with an acceptable safety profile. Copyright © 2017 American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology

  8. Mine spoil prairies expand critical habitat for endangered and threatened amphibian and reptile species

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lannoo, Michael J.; Kinney, Vanessa C.; Heemeyer, Jennifer L.; Engbrecht, Nathan J.; Gallant, Alisa L.; Klaver, Robert W.

    2009-01-01

    Coal extraction has been occurring in the Midwestern United States for over a century. Despite the pre-mining history of the landscape as woodlands, spent surface coalfields are often reclaimed to grasslands. We assessed amphibian and reptile species on a large tract of coal spoil prairie and found 13 species of amphibians (nine frog and four salamander species) and 19 species of reptiles (one lizard, five turtle, and 13 snake species). Two state-endangered and three state species of special concern were documented. The amphibian diversity at our study site was comparable to the diversity found at a large restored prairie situated 175 km north, within the historic prairie peninsula.

  9. Designer ecosystems

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Awasthi, Ashutosh; Singh, Kripal; O'Grady, Audrey; Courtney, Ronan; Kalra, Alok; Singh, Rana Pratap; Cerda Bolinches, Artemio; Steinberger, Yosef; Patra, D.D.

    2016-01-01

    Increase in human population is accelerating the rate of land use change, biodiversity loss and habitat degradation, triggering a serious threat to life supporting ecosystem services. Existing strategies for biological conservation remain insufficient to achieve a sustainable human-nature

  10. Effects of Climate and Ecosystem Disturbances on Biogeochemical Cycling in a Semi-Natural Terrestrial Ecosystem

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Beier, Claus; Schmidt, Inger Kappel; Kristensen, Hanne Lakkenborg

    2004-01-01

    The effects of increased temperature and potential ecosystem disturbances on biogeochemical cycling were investigated by manipulation of temperature in a mixed Calluna/grass heathland in Denmark. A reflective curtain covered the vegetation during the night to reduce the heat loss of IR radiation from the ecosystem to the atmosphere. This 'night time warming' was done for 3 years and warmed the air and soil by 1.1 deg. C. Warming was combined with ecosystem disturbances, including infestation by Calluna heather beetles (Lochmaea suturalis Thompson) causing complete defoliation of Calluna leaves during the summer 2000, and subsequent harvesting of all aboveground biomass during the autumn. Small increases in mineralisation rates were induced by warming and resulted in increased leaching of nitrogen from the organic soil layer. The increased nitrogen leaching from the organic soil layer was re-immobilised in the mineral soil layer as warming stimulated plant growth and thereby increased nitrogen immobilisation. Contradictory to the generally moderate effects of warming, the heather beetle infestation had very strong effects on mineralisation rates and the plant community. The grasses completely out-competed the Calluna plants which had not re-established two years after the infestation, probably due to combined effects of increased nutrient availability and the defoliation of Calluna. On the short term, ecosystem disturbances may have very strong effects on internal ecosystem processes and plant community structure compared to the more long-term effects of climate change

  11. Nutritional value of cabbage and kikuyu grass as food for grass carp ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    and digestibility coefficients were obtained for the protein, fibre, ash and fat contents of both ... Cabbage is a superior feed compared to grass for raising grass carp and a suitable low-cost alternative ... Materials and Methods ... from jumping out and was fitted with an air lift under- .... In: Aquatic weeds in South East Asia.

  12. Gene Expression Profiling of Grass Carp (Ctenopharyngodon idellus and Crisp Grass Carp

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ermeng Yu

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Grass carp (Ctenopharyngodon idellus is one of the most important freshwater fish that is native to China, and crisp grass carp is a kind of high value-added fishes which have higher muscle firmness. To investigate biological functions and possible signal transduction pathways that address muscle firmness increase of crisp grass carp, microarray analysis of 14,900 transcripts was performed. Compared with grass carp, 127 genes were upregulated and 114 genes were downregulated in crisp grass carp. Gene ontology (GO analysis revealed 30 GOs of differentially expressed genes in crisp grass carp. And strong correlation with muscle firmness increase of crisp grass carp was found for these genes from differentiation of muscle fibers and deposition of ECM, and also glycolysis/gluconeogenesis pathway and calcium metabolism may contribute to muscle firmness increase. In addition, a number of genes with unknown functions may be related to muscle firmness, and these genes are still further explored. Overall, these results had been demonstrated to play important roles in clarifying the molecular mechanism of muscle firmness increase in crisp grass carp.

  13. Different techniques to study rumen fermentation characteristics of maturing grass and grass silage

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Cone, J.W.; Gelder, van A.H.; Soliman, I.A.; Visser, de H.; Vuuren, van A.M.

    1999-01-01

    Grass samples were harvested during the 1993 growing season after a precut on April 27, 1993 and were stored frozen or left to ensile in 30-L buckets. Effects on chemical composition and fermentation kinetics of the maturation of the grass and of ensiling were investigated. Chemical composition and

  14. Post-ruminal digestibility of crude protein from grass and grass silages in cows

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Cone, J.W.; Gelder, van A.H.; Mathijssen-Kamman, A.A.; Hindle, V.A.

    2006-01-01

    Grass samples were grown on a clay or sandy soil, fertilised with 150 or 300 kg N/ha per year, and harvested on different days during two consecutive growing seasons. The grass samples were stored frozen or ensiled after wilting to approximately 250 or 450 g DM/kg. The recoveries of crude protein

  15. The new normal: the Canadian prairies in a changing climate

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Sauchyn, David J; Diaz, Harry P; Kulshreshtha, Surendra N

    2010-01-01

    ...-consumer recycled paper with earth friendly vegetable-based inks. Cover and text design: Duncan Campbell, CPRC. Editor for the Press: Brian Mlazgar, CPRC. cover Photos: front cover: "High angle view of snow melting in a field" by Harri Tahvanainen, Gorilla Creative/Getty Images. back cover: "Patch of grass in thawing snow" by Image Source...

  16. Evaluation of natural 15N abundance method in estimating symbiotic dinitrogen fixation by leguminous grasses

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yao Yunyin; Cheng Ming; Ma Changlin; Wang Zhidong; Hou Jinqin; Zhang Lihong; Luo Yongyun

    1991-01-01

    Natural 15 N abundance method was used to estimate contribution of symbiotic dinitrogen fixation by leguminous grasses. With the method the expensive 15 N fertilizer did not need to be applied to the soil and the normal ecosystem was not disturbed. Collecting samples of shoots of leguminous grasses and measuring the content of 15 N in them wee all to do for estimating potential of symbiotically fixed N 2 . Isotopic fractionation associated with N 2 fixation by legumes was studied. Values for 7 cultivars of alfalfa were ranged between 1.0000 ∼ 1.0015 (δ 15 N values were -0.05 ∼ 1.47 per mille); and the values for white clover, mung bean and whitepopinac lead tree were 0.0079, 0.9983 and 1.0018 (δ 15 N values: 2.15, 1.74 and -1.81 per mille) respectively. According to the δ 15 N values of grasses tested, the potential of N 2 fixation for 6 cultivars of alfalfa was estimated. Glory and rambler had higher potential of N 2 fixation; Baoding, Aigonquin and Minto had lower potential, and Peru was the lowest.N 2 fixing activity of alfalfa varied with different periods. The peak was found between June and July. Effects of non-N 2 -fixing references and different methods on estimates of %Ndfa of leguminous grasses were also discussed

  17. Modeling soil moisture memory in savanna ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gou, S.; Miller, G. R.

    2011-12-01

    Antecedent soil conditions create an ecosystem's "memory" of past rainfall events. Such soil moisture memory effects may be observed over a range of timescales, from daily to yearly, and lead to feedbacks between hydrological and ecosystem processes. In this study, we modeled the soil moisture memory effect on savanna ecosystems in California, Arizona, and Africa, using a system dynamics model created to simulate the ecohydrological processes at the plot-scale. The model was carefully calibrated using soil moisture and evapotranspiration data collected at three study sites. The model was then used to simulate scenarios with various initial soil moisture conditions and antecedent precipitation regimes, in order to study the soil moisture memory effects on the evapotranspiration of understory and overstory species. Based on the model results, soil texture and antecedent precipitation regime impact the redistribution of water within soil layers, potentially causing deeper soil layers to influence the ecosystem for a longer time. Of all the study areas modeled, soil moisture memory of California savanna ecosystem site is replenished and dries out most rapidly. Thus soil moisture memory could not maintain the high rate evapotranspiration for more than a few days without incoming rainfall event. On the contrary, soil moisture memory of Arizona savanna ecosystem site lasts the longest time. The plants with different root depths respond to different memory effects; shallow-rooted species mainly respond to the soil moisture memory in the shallow soil. The growing season of grass is largely depended on the soil moisture memory of the top 25cm soil layer. Grass transpiration is sensitive to the antecedent precipitation events within daily to weekly timescale. Deep-rooted plants have different responses since these species can access to the deeper soil moisture memory with longer time duration Soil moisture memory does not have obvious impacts on the phenology of woody plants

  18. Alternative states of a semiarid grassland ecosystem: implications for ecosystem services

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Mark E.; Belote, R. Travis; Bowker, Matthew A.; Garman, Steven L.

    2011-01-01

    Ecosystems can shift between alternative states characterized by persistent differences in structure, function, and capacity to provide ecosystem services valued by society. We examined empirical evidence for alternative states in a semiarid grassland ecosystem where topographic complexity and contrasting management regimes have led to spatial variations in levels of livestock grazing. Using an inventory data set, we found that plots (n = 72) cluster into three groups corresponding to generalized alternative states identified in an a priori conceptual model. One cluster (biocrust) is notable for high coverage of a biological soil crust functional group in addition to vascular plants. Another (grass-bare) lacks biological crust but retains perennial grasses at levels similar to the biocrust cluster. A third (annualized-bare) is dominated by invasive annual plants. Occurrence of grass-bare and annualized-bare conditions in areas where livestock have been excluded for over 30 years demonstrates the persistence of these states. Significant differences among all three clusters were found for percent bare ground, percent total live cover, and functional group richness. Using data for vegetation structure and soil erodibility, we also found large among-cluster differences in average levels of dust emissions predicted by a wind-erosion model. Predicted emissions were highest for the annualized-bare cluster and lowest for the biocrust cluster, which was characterized by zero or minimal emissions even under conditions of extreme wind. Results illustrate potential trade-offs among ecosystem services including livestock production, soil retention, carbon storage, and biodiversity conservation. Improved understanding of these trade-offs may assist ecosystem managers when evaluating alternative management strategies.

  19. Anticoagulant Prairie Dog Bait Risk Mitigation Measures to Protect Endangered Species

    Science.gov (United States)

    This Web page contains information on how certified pesticide applicators can use anticoagulant prairie dog bait products such as Rozol and Kaput-D while minimizing exposure risks to listed and non-target species.

  20. Repeated burning of eastern tallgrass prairie increases richness and diversity, stabilizing late successional vegetation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bowles, Marlin L; Jones, Michael D

    2013-03-01

    Understanding temporal effects of fire frequency on plant species diversity and vegetation structure is critical for managing tallgrass prairie (TGP), which occupies a mid-continental longitudinal precipitation and productivity gradient. Eastern TGP has contributed little information toward understanding whether vegetation-fire interactions are uniform or change across this biome. We resampled 34 fire-managed mid- and late-successional ungrazed TGP remnants occurring across a dry to wet-mesic moisture gradient in the Chicago region of Illinois, USA. We compared hypotheses that burning acts either as a stabilizing force or causes change in diversity and structure, depending upon fire frequency and successional stage. Based on western TGP, we expected a unimodal species richness distribution across a cover-productivity gradient, variable functional group responses to fire frequency, and a negative relationship between fire frequency and species richness. Species diversity was unimodal across the cover gradient and was more strongly humpbacked in stands with greater fire frequency. In support of a stabilizing hypothesis, temporal similarity of late-successional vegetation had a logarithmic relationship with increasing fire frequency, while richness and evenness remained stable. Temporal similarity within mid-successional stands was not correlated with fire frequency, while richness increased and evenness decreased over time. Functional group responses to fire frequency were variable. Summer forb richness increased under high fire frequency, while C4 grasses, spring forbs, and nitrogen-fixing species decreased with fire exclusion. On mesic and wet-mesic sites, vegetation structure measured by the ratio of woody to graminoid species was negatively correlated with abundance of forbs and with fire frequency. Our findings that species richness responds unimodally to an environmental-productivity gradient, and that fire exclusion increases woody vegetation and leads to loss

  1. Impacts of mesquite distribution on seasonal space use of lesser prairie-chickens

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boggie, Matthew A.; Strong, Cody R.; Lusk, Daniel; Carleton, Scott A.; Gould, William R.; Howard, Randy L.; Nichols, Clay T.; Falkowski, Michael J.; Hagen, Christian A.

    2017-01-01

    Loss of native grasslands by anthropogenic disturbances has reduced availability and connectivity of habitat for many grassland species. A primary threat to contiguous grasslands is the encroachment of woody vegetation, which is spurred by disturbances that take on many forms from energy development, fire suppression, and grazing. These disturbances are exacerbated by natural- and human-driven cycles of changes in climate punctuated by drought and desertification conditions. Encroachment of honey mesquite (Prosopis glandulosa) into the prairies of southeastern New Mexico has potentially limited habitat for numerous grassland species, including lesser prairie-chickens (Tympanuchus pallidicinctus). To determine the magnitude of impacts of distribution of mesquite and how lesser prairie-chickens respond to mesquite presence on the landscape in southeastern New Mexico, we evaluated seasonal space use of lesser prairie-chickens in the breeding and nonbreeding seasons. We derived several remotely sensed spatial metrics to characterize the distribution of mesquite. We then used these data to create population-level resource utilization functions and predict intensity of use of lesser prairie-chickens across our study area. Home ranges were smaller in the breeding season compared with the nonbreeding season; however, habitat use was similar across seasons. During both seasons, lesser prairie-chickens used areas closer to leks and largely avoided areas with mesquite. Relative to the breeding season, during the nonbreeding season habitat use suggested a marginal increase in mesquite within areas of low intensity of use, yet aversion to mesquite was strong in areas of medium to high intensity of use. To our knowledge, our study is the first to demonstrate a negative behavioral response by lesser prairie-chickens to woody encroachment in native grasslands. To mitigate one of the possible limiting factors for lesser prairie-chickens, we suggest future conservation

  2. Widespread Use and Frequent Detection of Neonicotinoid Insecticides in Wetlands of Canada's Prairie Pothole Region

    OpenAIRE

    Main, Anson R.; Headley, John V.; Peru, Kerry M.; Michel, Nicole L.; Cessna, Allan J.; Morrissey, Christy A.

    2014-01-01

    Neonicotinoids currently dominate the insecticide market as seed treatments on Canada's major Prairie crops (e.g., canola). The potential impact to ecologically significant wetlands in this dominantly agro-environment has largely been overlooked while the distribution of use, incidence and level of contamination remains unreported. We modelled the spatial distribution of neonicotinoid use across the three Prairie Provinces in combination with temporal assessments of water and sediment concent...

  3. Social isolation induces behavioral and neuroendocrine disturbances relevant to depression in female and male prairie voles

    OpenAIRE

    Grippo, Angela J.; Gerena, Davida; Huang, Jonathan; Kumar, Narmda; Shah, Maulin; Ughreja, Raj; Carter, C. Sue

    2007-01-01

    Supportive social interactions may be protective against stressors and certain mental and physical illness, while social isolation may be a powerful stressor. Prairie voles are socially monogamous rodents that model some of the behavioral and physiological traits displayed by humans, including sensitivity to social isolation. Neuroendocrine and behavioral parameters, selected for their relevance to stress and depression, were measured in adult female and male prairie voles following 4 weeks o...

  4. Progress report: baseline monitoring of indicator species (butterflies) at tallgrass prairie restorations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allain, Larry; Vidrine, Malcolm

    2014-01-01

    This project provides baseline data of butterfly populations at two coastal prairie restoration sites in Louisiana, the Duralde Unit of Lacassine National Wildlife Refuge (hereafter, the Duralde site) and the Cajun Prairie Restoration Project in Eunice (hereafter, the Eunice site). In all, four distinct habitat types representing different planting methods were sampled. These data will be used to assess biodiversity and health of native grasslands and also provide a basis for adaptive management.

  5. Predation of artificial ground nests on white-tailed prairie dog colonies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baker, B.W.; Stanley, T.R.; Sedgwick, J.A.

    1999-01-01

    Prairie dog (Cynomys spp.) colonies are unique to prairie and shrub-steppe landscapes. However, widespread eradication, habitat loss, and sylvatic plague (Yersinia pestis) have reduced their numbers by 98% since historical times. Birds associated with prairie dogs also are declining. Potential nest predators, such as coyotes (Canis latrans), swift foxes (Vulpes velox), and badgers (Taxidea taxus), may be attracted to colonies where a high concentration of prairie dogs serve as available prey. Increased abundance of small mammals, including prairie dogs, also may increase the risk of predation for birds nesting on colonies. Finally, because grazing by prairie dogs may decrease vegetation height and canopy cover, bird nests may be easier for predators to locate. In this study, we placed 1,444 artificial ground nests on and off 74 white-tailed prairie dog (C. leucurus) colonies to test the hypothesis that nest predation rates are higher on colonies than at nearby off sites (i.e., uncolonized habitat). We sampled colonies from 27 May to 16 July 1997 at the following 3 complexes: Coyote Basin, Utah and Colorado; Moxa Arch, Wyoming; and Shirley Basin, Wyoming. Differences in daily predation rates between colonies and paired off sites averaged 1.0% (P = 0.060). When converted to a typical 14-day incubation period, predation rates averaged 14% higher on colonies (57.7 ?? 2.7%; ?? ?? SE) than at off sites (50.4 ?? 3.1%). Comparisons of habitat variables on colonies to off sites showed percent canopy cover of vegetation was similar (P = 0.114), percent bare ground was higher on colonies (P 0.288). Although we found the risk of nest predation was higher on white-tailed prairie dog colonies than at off sites, fitness of birds nesting on colonies might depend on other factors that influence foraging success, reproductive success, or nestling survival.

  6. Mountain plover nest survival in relation to prairie dog and fire dynamics in shortgrass steppe

    Science.gov (United States)

    Augustine, David J.; Skagen, Susan K.

    2014-01-01

    Disturbed xeric grasslands with short, sparse vegetation provide breeding habitat for mountain plovers (Charadrius montanus) across the western Great Plains. Maintaining local disturbance regimes through prairie dog conservation and prescribed fire may contribute to the sustainability of recently declining mountain plover populations, but these management approaches can be controversial. We estimated habitat-specific mountain plover densities and nest survival rates on black-tailed prairie dog (Cynomys ludovicianus) colonies and burns in the shortgrass steppe of northeastern Colorado. Mountain plover densities were similar on prairie dog colonies (5.9 birds/km2; 95% CI = 4.7–7.4) and sites burned during the preceding dormant season (6.7 birds/km2; 95% CI = 4.6–9.6), whereas the 29-day nest survival rate was greater on prairie dog colonies (0.81 in 2011 and 0.39 in 2012) compared to the burned sites (0.64 in 2011 and 0.17 in 2012). Reduced nest survival in 2012 compared to 2011 was associated with higher maximum daily temperatures in 2012, consistent with a previous weather-based model of mountain plover nest survival in the southern Great Plains. Measurements of mountain plover density relative to time since disturbance showed that removal of prairie dog disturbance by sylvatic plague reduced mountain plover density by 70% relative to active prairie dog colonies after 1 year. Plover densities declined at a similar rate (by 78%) at burned sites between the first and second post-burn growing season. Results indicate that black-tailed prairie dog colonies are a particularly important nesting habitat for mountain plovers in the southern Great Plains. In addition, findings suggest that prescribed burning can be a valuable means to create nesting habitat in landscapes where other types of disturbances (such as prairie dog colonies) are limited in distribution and size. 

  7. Role of carbohydrate metabolism in grass tetany

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Miller, J.K.; Madsen, F.C.; Lentz, D.E.; Hansard, S.L.

    1977-01-01

    Clinical hypomagnesemia is confined primarily to beef cattle in the United States but also occurs in dairy cattle in other countries, probably due to different management practices. During periods when grass tetany is likely, early vegetative temperate zone grasses are usually low in total readily available carbohydrates and magnesium but high in potassium and nitrogen. The tetany syndrome may include hypoglycemia and ketosis, suggesting an imbalance in intermediary energy metabolism. Many enzyme systems critical to cellular metabolism, including those which hydrolyze and transfer phosphate groups, are activated by Mg. Thus, by inference, Mg is required for normal glucose utilization, fat, protein, nucleic acid and coenzyme synthesis, muscle contraction, methyl group transfer, and sulfate, acetate, and formate activation. Numerous clinical and experimental studies suggest an intimate relationship between metabolism of Mg and that of carbohydrate, glucagon, and insulin. The objective is to review this literature and suggest ways in which these relationships might contribute to a chain of events leading to grass tetany.

  8. Controlling grass weeds on hard surfaces

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rask, Anne Merete; Kristoffersen, Palle; Andreasen, Christian

    2012-01-01

    An experiment was conducted on a specially designed hard surface to study the impact of time interval between flaming treatments on the regrowth and flower production of two grass weeds. The goal of this experiment was to optimize the control of annual bluegrass and perennial ryegrass, both species...... that are very difficult to control without herbicides. Aboveground biomass from 72 plants per treatment was harvested and dry weights were recorded at regular intervals to investigate how the plants responded to flaming. Regrowth of the grasses was measured by harvesting aboveground biomass 2 wk after......, as they did not increase the reduction of aboveground biomass compared with the 7-d treatment interval. Knowledge on the regrowth of grass weeds after flaming treatments provided by this study can help improve recommendations given to road keepers and park managers for management on these weeds. Nomenclature...

  9. Biogas and Methane Yield from Rye Grass

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tomáš Vítěz

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Biogas production in the Czech Republic has expanded substantially, including marginal regions for maize cultivation. Therefore, there are increasingly sought materials that could partially replace maize silage, as a basic feedstock, while secure both biogas production and its quality.Two samples of rye grass (Lolium multiflorum var. westerwoldicum silage with different solids content 21% and 15% were measured for biogas and methane yield. Rye grass silage with solid content of 15% reached an average specific biogas yield 0.431 m3·kg−1 of organic dry matter and an average specific methane yield 0.249 m3·kg−1 of organic dry matter. Rye grass silage with solid content 21% reached an average specific biogas yield 0.654 m3·kg−1 of organic dry matter and an average specific methane yield 0.399 m3·kg−1 of organic dry matter.

  10. Rehabilitation experiment by phytoremediation using lawn grass

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    2012-08-01

    Measures against environmental contamination by radioactive materials originated from the Fukushima Nuclear Accident (May, 2011), are being conducted in Fukushima and surrounding prefectures. Regarding to the measures, a phytoremediation experiment with several types of lawn grasses in a field scale have been carried out. Lawn grasses are generally characterized by shallow rhizosphere, high density and root mat formation. Decontamination effectiveness of radioactive cesium by plant uptake and by sod removing was investigated. As a result, the range of decontamination factors by plant uptake was below than 1% because of low transfer rate form soil to plant. On the other hand, maximum decontamination factor by sod removing reached about 100%. Decontamination activities with various methods will be implemented according to the national decontamination policy and related plans in each municipality. The phytoremediation method with lawn grass would be applicable in limited circumstances. (author)

  11. Soil organic matter dynamics in a North America tallgrass prairie after 9 yr of experimental warming

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    X. Cheng

    2011-06-01

    Full Text Available The influence of global warming on soil organic matter (SOM dynamics in terrestrial ecosystems remains unclear. In this study, we combined soil fractionation with isotope analyses to examine SOM dynamics after nine years of experimental warming in a North America tallgrass prairie. Soil samples from the control plots and the warmed plots were separated into four aggregate sizes (>2000 μm, 250–2000 μm, 53–250 μm, and <53 μm, and three density fractions (free light fraction – LF, intra-aggregate particulate organic matter – iPOM, and mineral-associated organic matter – mSOM. All fractions were analyzed for their carbon (C and nitrogen (N content, and δ13C and δ15N values. Warming did not significantly effect soil aggregate distribution and stability but increased C4-derived C input into all fractions with the greatest in LF. Warming also stimulated decay rates of C in whole soil and all aggregate sizes. C in LF turned over faster than that in iPOM in the warmed soils. The δ15N values of soil fractions were more enriched in the warmed soils than those in the control, indicating that warming accelerated loss of soil N. The δ15N values changed from low to high, while C:N ratios changed from high to low in the order LF, iPOM, and mSOM due to increased degree of decomposition and mineral association. Overall, warming increased the input of C4-derived C by 11.6 %, which was offset by the accelerated loss of soil C. Our results suggest that global warming simultaneously stimulates C input via shift in species composition and decomposition of SOM, resulting in negligible net change in soil C.

  12. Classification of Prairie basins by their hysteretic connected functions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shook, K.; Pomeroy, J. W.

    2017-12-01

    Diagnosing climate change impacts in the post-glacial landscapes of the North American Prairies through hydrological modelling is made difficult by drainage basin physiography. The region is cold, dry and flat with poorly developed stream networks, and so the basin area that is hydrologically connected to the stream outlet varies with basin depressional storage. The connected area controls the contributing area for runoff reaching the stream outlet. As depressional storage fills, ponds spill from one to another; the chain of spilling ponds allows water to flow over the landscape and increases the connected area of the basin. As depressional storage decreases, the connected fraction drops dramatically. Detailed, fine-scale models and remote sensing have shown that the relationship between connected area and the depressional storage is hysteretic in Prairie basins and that the nature of hysteresis varies with basin physiography. This hysteresis needs to be represented in hydrological models to calculate contributing area, and therefore streamflow hydrographs. Parameterisations of the hysteresis are needed for large-scale models used for climate change diagnosis. However, use of parameterisations of hysteresis requires guidance on how to represent them for a particular basin. This study shows that it is possible to relate the shape of hysteretic functions as determined by detailed models to the overall physiography of the basin, such as the fraction of the basin below the outlet, and remote sensing estimates of depressional storage, using the size distribution and location of maximum ponded water areas. By classifying basin physiography, the hysteresis of connected area - storage relationships can be estimated for basins that do not have high-resolution topographic data, and without computationally-expensive high-resolution modelling.

  13. A probabilistic analysis of fire-induced tree-grass coexistence in savannas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    D'Odorico, Paolo; Laio, Francesco; Ridolfi, Luca

    2006-03-01

    Fires play an important role in determining the composition and structure of vegetation in semiarid ecosystems. The study of the interactions between fire and vegetation requires a stochastic approach because of the random and unpredictable nature of fire occurrences. To this end, this article develops a minimalist probabilistic framework to investigate the impact of intermittent fire occurrences on the temporal dynamics of vegetation. This framework is used to analyze the emergence of statistically stable conditions favorable to tree-grass coexistence in savannas. It is found that these conditions can be induced and stabilized by the stochastic fire regime. A decrease in fire frequency leads to bush encroachment, while more frequent and intense fires favor savanna-to-grassland conversions. The positive feedback between fires and vegetation can convert states of tree-grass coexistence in semiarid savannas into bistable conditions, with both woodland and grassland as possible, though mutually exclusive, stable states of the system.

  14. Effect of repeated burning on plant and soil carbon and nitrogen in cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum) dominated ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rachel Jones; Jeanne C. Chambers; Dale W. Johnson; Robert R. Blank; David I. Board

    2015-01-01

    Fire has profound effects on ecosystem properties, but few studies have addressed the effect of repeated burns on soil nutrients, and none have been conducted in cold desert ecosystems where invasion by exotic annual grasses is resulting in greater fire frequency. In a 5 year study, we examined effects of repeated burning, litter removal, and post-fire seeding on...

  15. Indicators of biodiversity and ecosystem services: A synthesis across ecosystems and spatial scales

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feld, C.K.; Da Silva, P.M.; Sousa, J.P.; De Bello, F.; Bugter, R.; Grandin, U.; Hering, D.; Lavorel, S.; Mountford, O.; Pardo, I.; Partel, M.; Rombke, J.; Sandin, Leonard; Jones, K. Bruce; Harrison, P.

    2009-01-01

    According to the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, common indicators are needed to monitor the loss of biodiversity and the implications for the sustainable provision of ecosystem services. However, a variety of indicators are already being used resulting in many, mostly incompatible, monitoring systems. In order to synthesise the different indicator approaches and to detect gaps in the development of common indicator systems, we examined 531 indicators that have been reported in 617 peer-reviewed journal articles between 1997 and 2007. Special emphasis was placed on comparing indicators of biodiversity and ecosystem services across ecosystems (forests, grass- and shrublands, wetlands, rivers, lakes, soils and agro-ecosystems) and spatial scales (from patch to global scale). The application of biological indicators was found most often focused on regional and finer spatial scales with few indicators applied across ecosystem types. Abiotic indicators, such as physico-chemical parameters and measures of area and fragmentation, are most frequently used at broader (regional to continental) scales. Despite its multiple dimensions, biodiversity is usually equated with species richness only. The functional, structural and genetic components of biodiversity are poorly addressed despite their potential value across habitats and scales. Ecosystem service indicators are mostly used to estimate regulating and supporting services but generally differ between ecosystem types as they reflect ecosystem-specific services. Despite great effort to develop indicator systems over the past decade, there is still a considerable gap in the widespread use of indicators for many of the multiple components of biodiversity and ecosystem services, and a need to develop common monitoring schemes within and across habitats. Filling these gaps is a prerequisite for linking biodiversity dynamics with ecosystem service delivery and to achieving the goals of global and sub-global initiatives to halt

  16. Disaggregating tree and grass phenology in tropical savannas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Qiang

    Savannas are mixed tree-grass systems and as one of the world's largest biomes represent an important component of the Earth system affecting water and energy balances, carbon sequestration and biodiversity as well as supporting large human populations. Savanna vegetation structure and its distribution, however, may change because of major anthropogenic disturbances from climate change, wildfire, agriculture, and livestock production. The overstory and understory may have different water use strategies, different nutrient requirements and have different responses to fire and climate variation. The accurate measurement of the spatial distribution and structure of the overstory and understory are essential for understanding the savanna ecosystem. This project developed a workflow for separating the dynamics of the overstory and understory fractional cover in savannas at the continental scale (Australia, South America, and Africa). Previous studies have successfully separated the phenology of Australian savanna vegetation into persistent and seasonal greenness using time series decomposition, and into fractions of photosynthetic vegetation (PV), non-photosynthetic vegetation (NPV) and bare soil (BS) using linear unmixing. This study combined these methods to separate the understory and overstory signal in both the green and senescent phenological stages using remotely sensed imagery from the MODIS (MODerate resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer) sensor. The methods and parameters were adjusted based on the vegetation variation. The workflow was first tested at the Australian site. Here the PV estimates for overstory and understory showed best performance, however NPV estimates exhibited spatial variation in validation relationships. At the South American site (Cerrado), an additional method based on frequency unmixing was developed to separate green vegetation components with similar phenology. When the decomposition and frequency methods were compared, the frequency

  17. Variation in important pasture grasses: I. Morphological and ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Variation in important pasture grasses: I. Morphological and geographical variation. ... Seven species are important pasture grasses throughout the western Transvaal, Orange Free State, northern Cape and Natal. ... Language: English.

  18. Assessment of some macromineral concentration of a grass/ legume ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Assessment of some macromineral concentration of a grass/ legume sward in ... Bulletin of Animal Health and Production in Africa ... The study aimed to determine the concentration of some macromineral elements in the grass/legume pasture ...

  19. Modelling of excess noise attnuation by grass and forest | Onuu ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    , guinea grass (panicum maximum) and forest which comprises iroko (milicia ezcelea) and white afara (terminalia superba) trees in the ratio of 2:1 approximately. Excess noise attenuation spectra have been plotted for the grass and forest for ...

  20. PROCESSING UAV AND LIDAR POINT CLOUDS IN GRASS GIS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    V. Petras

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Today’s methods of acquiring Earth surface data, namely lidar and unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV imagery, non-selectively collect or generate large amounts of points. Point clouds from different sources vary in their properties such as number of returns, density, or quality. We present a set of tools with applications for different types of points clouds obtained by a lidar scanner, structure from motion technique (SfM, and a low-cost 3D scanner. To take advantage of the vertical structure of multiple return lidar point clouds, we demonstrate tools to process them using 3D raster techniques which allow, for example, the development of custom vegetation classification methods. Dense point clouds obtained from UAV imagery, often containing redundant points, can be decimated using various techniques before further processing. We implemented and compared several decimation techniques in regard to their performance and the final digital surface model (DSM. Finally, we will describe the processing of a point cloud from a low-cost 3D scanner, namely Microsoft Kinect, and its application for interaction with physical models. All the presented tools are open source and integrated in GRASS GIS, a multi-purpose open source GIS with remote sensing capabilities. The tools integrate with other open source projects, specifically Point Data Abstraction Library (PDAL, Point Cloud Library (PCL, and OpenKinect libfreenect2 library to benefit from the open source point cloud ecosystem. The implementation in GRASS GIS ensures long term maintenance and reproducibility by the scientific community but also by the original authors themselves.

  1. Genetic resources of perennial forage grasses in Serbia: Current state, broadening and evaluation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sokolović Dejan

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Due to historical background of vegetation development, geographical position, climate and relief, Serbia represents one of the 158 world biodiversity centres, based upon the number of plant species and territory size (biodiversity index 0.72. Large areas in Serbia are under natural grasslands and pastures, composed of forage grass species, and important as source of natural plant genetic diversity and germplasm for breeding. These eco-systems represent basic prerequisites for sustainable forage production, but very low potential of them is utilized and genetic resources are not protected. Family Poaceae is present in Serbia flora with 70 genera and among them from the aspect of forage production and quality, the most important are perennial Festuca, Lolium, Dactylis, Phleum, Bromus, Arrhenatherum, Poa and Agrostis species. Most of these grasses have been bred in Serbia and lot of cultivars were released. These cultivars contain autochthonous Serbian material and represent great and important resource of genetic variability. Therefore, collecting of new samples which are acclimatised to local eco-geographical conditions and including them in plant ex situ gene bank is of exceptional importance for further utilization in different plant breeding programmes as well as genetic resources protection. These autochthonous populations have natural variability and very often have satisfactory yielding performance in comparison with introduced cultivars, which referred them for direct phenotypic selection for cultivars release. Broadening of forage grasses genotypes collection is permanent objective of Serbian scientists. Collected accessions are being characterized and evaluated for important phenological, morphological and agronomical traits. In this paper genetic resources of forage grass species, their diversity and potentials, state of the grasses gene banks, as well as possibility for breeding of new cultivars has been analysed.

  2. Resilience of Socio-Hydrological Systems in Canadian Prairies to Agricultural Drainage: Policy Analysis and Modelling Approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wheater, H. S.; Xu, L.; Gober, P.; Pomeroy, J. W.; Wong, J.

    2017-12-01

    Extensive agricultural drainage of lakes and wetlands in the Canadian Prairies has led to benefits for agricultural production, but has had a substantial influence on hydrological regimes and wetland extent. There is need for the potential impacts of current policy in changing the socio-hydrological resilience of prairie wetland basins in response to agricultural drainage to be examined. Whilst wetland drainage can increase agricultural productivity, it can also reduce stocks of natural capital and decrease ecosystem services, such as pollutant retention, habitat for waterfowls, carbon sequestration, and downstream flood attenuation. Effective policies that balance drainage benefits and negative externalities have to consider pricing. This is explored here using the Cold Regions Hydrological Model for hydrological simulations and the Inclusive Wealth approach for modelling in support of cost-benefit analysis. Inclusive wealth aggregates the value of natural, human, and technological assets used to produce social welfare. A shadow price, defined as the marginal change in social value for a marginal change in the current stock quantity, is used to valuate assets that contribute to social welfare. The shadow price of each asset is estimated by taking into account the social and economic benefits and external losses of wetland services caused by wetland drainage. The coupled model was applied to the Smith Creek Research Basin in south-eastern Saskatchewan, Canada where wetland drainage has caused major alterations of the hydrological regime including increased peak flows, discharge volumes and duration of streamflow. Changes in depressional storage in wetlands was used to calculate the corresponding changes of inclusive wealth over a 30-year period under the impacts from the limitation proposed in the Agricultural Water Management Strategy of Saskatchewan. The adjusted societal values of drainage demonstrate the dynamics between changes in hydrological conditions of

  3. The Cottonwood Lake study area, a long-term wetland ecosystem monitoring site

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mushet, David M.; Euliss, Ned H.

    2012-01-01

    The Cottonwood Lake study area is one of only three long-term wetland ecosystem monitoring sites in the prairie pothole region of North America; the other two are Orchid Meadows in South Dakota and St. Denis in Saskatchewan. Of the three, Cottonwood Lake has, by far, the longest continuous data-collection record. Research was initiated at the study area in 1966, and intensive investigations of the hydrology, chemistry, and biology of prairie pothole wetlands continue at the site today. This fact sheet describes the study area, provides an overview of wetland ecology research that has been conducted at the site in the past, and provides an introduction to current work being conducted at the study area by USGS scientists.

  4. Comparing soil organic carbon dynamics in perennial grasses and shrubs in a saline-alkaline arid region, northwestern China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Yong; Pei, Zhiqin; Su, Jiaqi; Zhang, Jingli; Zheng, Yuanrun; Ni, Jian; Xiao, Chunwang; Wang, Renzhong

    2012-01-01

    Although semi-arid and arid regions account for about 40% of terrestrial surface of the Earth and contain approximately 10% of the global soil organic carbon stock, our understanding of soil organic carbon dynamics in these regions is limited. A field experiment was conducted to compare soil organic carbon dynamics between a perennial grass community dominated by Cleistogenes squarrosa and an adjacent shrub community co-dominated by Reaumuria soongorica and Haloxylon ammodendron, two typical plant life forms in arid ecosystems of saline-alkaline arid regions in northwestern China during the growing season 2010. We found that both fine root biomass and necromass in two life forms varied greatly during the growing season. Annual fine root production in the perennial grasses was 45.6% significantly higher than in the shrubs, and fine root turnover rates were 2.52 and 2.17 yr(-1) for the perennial grasses and the shrubs, respectively. Floor mass was significantly higher in the perennial grasses than in the shrubs due to the decomposition rate of leaf litter in the perennial grasses was 61.8% lower than in the shrubs even though no significance was detected in litterfall production. Soil microbial biomass and activity demonstrated a strong seasonal variation with larger values in May and September and minimum values in the dry month of July. Observed higher soil organic carbon stocks in the perennial grasses (1.32 Kg C m(-2)) than in the shrubs (1.12 Kg C m(-2)) might be attributed to both greater inputs of poor quality litter that is relatively resistant to decay and the lower ability of microorganism to decompose these organic matter. Our results suggest that the perennial grasses might accumulate more soil organic carbon with time than the shrubs because of larger amounts of inputs from litter and slower return of carbon through decomposition.

  5. Notes on Alien Bromus Grasses in Taiwan

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ming-Jer Jung

    2006-06-01

    Full Text Available Bromus carinatus Hook. & Arn., Bromus hordeaceus L., Bromus pubescens Muhl. ex Willd. and Bromus secalinus L. were recently found at middle elevations of southern and central Taiwan, respectively. We present taxonomic treatments, distribution map, and line-drawings of these introduced alien brome grasses.

  6. Notes on the nomenclature of some grasses

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Henrard, J.Th.

    1941-01-01

    In a former article 1) many new combinations and critical observations were published on various grasses all over the world. New investigations in critical genera together with the study of the existing literature made it necessary to accept various other arrangements in this important family. The

  7. Grass Pollen Pollution from Biofuels Farming

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Ratajová, A.; Tříska, Jan; Vrchotová, Naděžda; Kolář, L.; Kužel, S.

    2013-01-01

    Roč. 26, č. 4 (2013), s. 199-203 ISSN 2151-321X R&D Projects: GA MŠk(CZ) ED1.1.00/02.0073 Institutional support: RVO:67179843 Keywords : grass pollen pollution * biofuels farming * temperate climate * PK-fertilization * N-fertilization * phenolic Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour Impact factor: 0.556, year: 2013

  8. Germination of Themeda triandra (Kangaroo grass) as affected by ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Low rainfall in range areas restricts germination, growth and development of majority of range grasses. However, germination and establishment potential of forage grasses vary and depends on environmental conditions. Themeda triandra is an excellent known grass to grow under different environmental conditions.

  9. Names of Southern African grasses: Name changes and additional ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The main reasons for changes in botanical names are briefly reviewed, with examples from the lists. At this time, about 1040 grass species and subspecific taxa are recognized in the subcontinent. Keywords: botanical research; botanical research institute; botany; grass; grasses; identification; name change; nomenclature; ...

  10. Estimating grass and grass silage degradation characteristics by in situ and in vitro gas production methods

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Danijel Karolyi

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Fermentation characteristics of grass and grass silage at different maturities were studied using in situ and in vitro gas production methods. In situ data determined difference between grass and silage. Degradable fraction decreased as grass matured while the undegradable fraction increased. Rate of degradation (kd was slower for silage than fresh grass. Gas production method (GP data showed that fermentation of degradable fraction was different between stage of maturity in both grass and silage. Other data did not show any difference with the exception for the rate of GP of soluble and undegradable fraction. The in situ degradation characteristics were estimated from GP characteristics. The degradable and undegradable fractions could be estimated by multiple relationships. Using the three-phases model for gas production kd and fermentable organic matter could be estimated from the same parameters. The only in situ parameter that could not be estimated with GP parameters was the soluble fraction. The GP method and the three phases model provided to be an alternative to the in situ method for animal feed evaluations.

  11. Economic and conservation implications of converting exotic forages to native warm-season grass

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adrian P. Monroe

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available Intensive agriculture can have negative environmental consequences such as nonpoint source pollution and the simplification of biotic communities, and land sharing posits that conservation can be enhanced by integrating agricultural productivity and biodiversity on the same land. In the Southeastern United States, native warm-season grasses (NWSG may be a land sharing alternative to exotic forages currently in production because of greater livestock gains with lower fertilizer inputs, and habitat for grassland birds. However, uncertainty regarding costs and risk poses an important barrier to incorporating NWSG in livestock operations. We evaluated the economic and conservation implications of NWSG conversion among small, operational-scale pastures (6.8–10.5 ha during 2011–2012 at the Prairie Research Unit in Monroe Co., Mississippi (USA. We used partial budgets to compare the marginal rate of return (MRRe from converting exotic grass pastures to either a NWSG monoculture of Indiangrass (Sorghastrum nutans or a NWSG mix of Indiangrass, little bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium, and big bluestem (Andropogon gerardii. We similarly compared changes in productivity of dickcissels (Spiza americana, a grassland bird specializing in tall structure. Average daily gain (ADG of steers and revenue were consistently higher for NWSG treatments than exotic grass pasture, but ADG declined between years. Indiangrass pastures yielded consistently positive MRRe, indicating producers would receive 16–24% return on investment. Marginal rate of return was lower for mixed NWSG (−12 to 3%, driven by slightly lower livestock ADG and higher establishment costs than for Indiangrass. Sensitivity analyses indicated that MRRe also was influenced by cattle selling price. Conversely, mixed NWSG increased dickcissel productivity by a greater degree than Indiangrass per amount invested in NWSG conversion, suggesting a tradeoff between livestock and dickcissel production

  12. Grass pollen immunotherapy induces highly cross-reactive IgG antibodies to group V allergen from different grass species

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Ree, R.; Brewczyński, P. Z.; Tan, K. Y.; Mulder-Willems, H. J.; Widjaja, P.; Stapel, S. O.; Aalberse, R. C.; Kroon, A. M.

    1995-01-01

    Sera from two groups of patients receiving grass pollen immunotherapy were tested on IgG reactivity with group V allergen from six different grass species. One group of patients was treated with a mixture of 10 grass species, and the other with a mixture of five. Only Lolium perenne, Dactylis

  13. The development and adoption of conservation tillage systems on the Canadian Prairies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    L. Awada

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available One of the major agricultural innovations on the Canadian Prairies over the last 40 years has been the introduction of conservation tillage (CT. Conservation tillage-a system that includes minimum and zero tillage (ZT -was introduced as an alternative to traditional (conventional tillage (TT to control soil degradation and to promote agricultural sustainability. The development and adoption of CT systems involved pioneer farmers, engineers, scientists, and farmer associations. By the end of the 1970s, CT started to take shape on the Prairies, but for a number of economic, technical, political and social reasons, the adoption of CT did not occur on any major scale before the 1990s. Today, more than 75% of the Prairie's cropland is under some form of CT with more than 50% under ZT. In this paper, the factors behind the development and adoption of conservation tillage technology on the Prairies in the period between 1930 and 2011 are reviewed. Then, some of the benefits of the adoption of CT on the Prairies are highlighted. The data show that CT and ZT became profitable for the majority of farmers during and after the 1990s, and that the increased use of CT contributed to the dramatic decrease in the area under summerfallow and to the increase in the area sown to canola and pulse crops. These changes contributed to the reduction of all forms of land degradation and to decreases in agricultural greenhouse gas (GHG emissions.

  14. Effects of sexual dimorphism and landscape composition on the trophic behavior of Greater Prairie-Chicken.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Beatriz Blanco-Fontao

    Full Text Available Partitioning of ecological niche is expected in lekking species that show marked sexual size dimorphism as a consequence of sex-specific ecological constraints. However, niche partitioning is uncertain in species with moderate sexual dimorphism. In addition, the ecological niche of a species may also be affected by landscape composition; particularly, agricultural fragmentation may greatly influence the trophic behavior of herbivores. We studied trophic niche variation in Greater Prairie-Chickens (Tympanuchus cupido, a grouse species that shows moderate sex-dimorphism. Greater Prairie-Chickens are native to tallgrass prairies of North America, although populations persist in less natural mosaics of cropland and native habitats. We used stable isotope analysis of carbon and nitrogen in blood, claws and feathers to assess seasonal differences in trophic niche breadth and individual specialization between male and female Greater Prairie-Chickens, and between birds living in continuous and fragmented landscapes. We found that females showed broader niches and higher individual specialization than males, especially in winter and autumn. However, differences between females and males were smaller in spring when birds converge at leks, suggesting that females and males may exhibit similar feeding behaviors during the lekking period. In addition, we found that birds living in native prairies showed greater annual trophic variability than conspecifics in agricultural mosaic landscapes. Native habitats may provide greater dietary diversity, resulting in greater diversity of feeding strategies.

  15. Trichostatin A (TSA) facilitates formation of partner preference in male prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duclot, F; Wang, H; Youssef, C; Liu, Y; Wang, Z; Kabbaj, M

    2016-05-01

    In the socially monogamous prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster), the development of a social bonding is indicated by the formation of partner preference, which involves a variety of environmental and neurochemical factors and brain structures. In a most recent study in female prairie voles, we found that treatment with the histone deacetylase inhibitor trichostatin A (TSA) facilitates the formation of partner preference through up-regulation of oxytocin receptor (OTR) and vasopressin V1a receptor (V1aR) genes expression in the nucleus accumbens (NAcc). In the present study, we tested the hypothesis that TSA treatment also facilitates partner preference formation and alters OTR and V1aR genes expression in the NAcc in male prairie voles. We thus observed that central injection of TSA dose-dependently promoted the formation of partner preference in the absence of mating in male prairie voles. Interestingly, TSA treatment up-regulated OTR, but not V1aR, gene expression in the NAcc similarly as they were affected by mating - an essential process for naturally occurring partner preference. These data, together with others, not only indicate the involvement of epigenetic events but also the potential role of NAcc oxytocin in the regulation of partner preference in both male and female prairie voles. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  16. Assessment of lesser prairie-chicken use of wildlife water guzzlers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boal, Clint W.; Borsdorf, Philip K.; Gicklhorn, Trevor S.

    2014-01-01

    Man-made water sources have been used as a management tool for wildlife, especially in arid regions, but the value of these water sources for wildlife populations is not well understood. In particular, the value of water as a conservation tool for Lesser Prairie-Chickens (Tympanuchus pallidicinctus) is unknown. However, this is a relevant issue due to a heightened conservation concern for the species and its occupancy of an arid landscape anticipated to experience warmer, drier springs and winters. We assessed if Lesser Prairie-Chickens would use commercially available wildlife water guzzlers and if there was any apparent selection between two design types. We confirmed that Lesser Prairie-Chickens would use bird friendly designed wildlife water guzzlers. Use was primarily during the lekking-nesting period (March–May) and the brood rearing period (June–July) and primarily by males. Although both designs were used, we found significantly greater use of a design that had a wider water trough and ramp built into the tank cover compared to a design that had a longer, narrower trough extending from the tank.Although we were unable to assess the physiological need of surface water by Lesser Prairie-Chickens, we were able to verify that they will use wildlife water guzzlers to access surface water. If it is found surface water is beneficial for Lesser Prairie-Chickens, game bird friendly designed guzzlers may be a useful conservation tool for the species.

  17. Nowcasting daily minimum air and grass temperature

    Science.gov (United States)

    Savage, M. J.

    2016-02-01

    Site-specific and accurate prediction of daily minimum air and grass temperatures, made available online several hours before their occurrence, would be of significant benefit to several economic sectors and for planning human activities. Site-specific and reasonably accurate nowcasts of daily minimum temperature several hours before its occurrence, using measured sub-hourly temperatures hours earlier in the morning as model inputs, was investigated. Various temperature models were tested for their ability to accurately nowcast daily minimum temperatures 2 or 4 h before sunrise. Temperature datasets used for the model nowcasts included sub-hourly grass and grass-surface (infrared) temperatures from one location in South Africa and air temperature from four subtropical sites varying in altitude (USA and South Africa) and from one site in central sub-Saharan Africa. Nowcast models used employed either exponential or square root functions to describe the rate of nighttime temperature decrease but inverted so as to determine the minimum temperature. The models were also applied in near real-time using an open web-based system to display the nowcasts. Extrapolation algorithms for the site-specific nowcasts were also implemented in a datalogger in an innovative and mathematically consistent manner. Comparison of model 1 (exponential) nowcasts vs measured daily minima air temperatures yielded root mean square errors (RMSEs) <1 °C for the 2-h ahead nowcasts. Model 2 (also exponential), for which a constant model coefficient ( b = 2.2) was used, was usually slightly less accurate but still with RMSEs <1 °C. Use of model 3 (square root) yielded increased RMSEs for the 2-h ahead comparisons between nowcasted and measured daily minima air temperature, increasing to 1.4 °C for some sites. For all sites for all models, the comparisons for the 4-h ahead air temperature nowcasts generally yielded increased RMSEs, <2.1 °C. Comparisons for all model nowcasts of the daily grass

  18. Phenotypic and genetic characterization of wildland collections of western and Searls prairie clovers for rangeland revegetation in the western USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kishor Bhattarai

    2010-01-01

    Western prairie clover [Dalea ornata (Douglas ex Hook.) Eaton & J. Wright] is a perennial legume that occurs in the northern Great Basin, Snake River Basin, and southern Columbia Plateau, whereas Searls prairie clover [Dalea searlsiae (A. Gray) Barneby], also a perennial legume, occurs in the southern Great Basin and surrounding areas. Understanding the genetic and...

  19. Students' Perceptions of a Highly Controversial yet Keystone Species, the Black-Tailed Prairie Dog: A Case Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fox-Parrish, Lynne; Jurin, Richard R.

    2008-01-01

    The authors used a case-study methodology to explore the perceptions of 30 9th-grade biology students relative to black-tailed prairie dogs. The case study, which involved classroom- and field-based experiences that focused on black-tailed prairie dogs, revealed 3 major themes: apathy, egocentrism, and naive conceptions. The authors had hoped that…

  20. 75 FR 70021 - South Dakota Prairie Winds Project; Partial Term Relinquishment and Release of Easement for Wind...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-11-16

    ... requested financing for the project from the RUS. PW SD1 has also submitted an application to the Service to...] South Dakota Prairie Winds Project; Partial Term Relinquishment and Release of Easement for Wind Energy... impact statement (FEIS) on the South Dakota Prairie Winds Project issued by the Department of Energy's...

  1. Social recognition is context dependent in single male prairie voles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zheng, Da-Jiang; Foley, Lauren; Rehman, Asad; Ophir, Alexander G.

    2013-01-01

    Single males might benefit from knowing the identity of neighbouring males when establishing and defending boundaries. Similarly, males should discriminate between individual females if this leads to more reproductive opportunities. Contextual social cues may alter the value of learning identity. Knowing the identity of competitors that intrude into an animal’s territory may be more salient than knowing the identity of individuals on whose territory an animal is trespassing. Hence, social and environmental context could affect social recognition in many ways. Here we test social recognition of socially monogamous single male prairie voles, Microtus ochrogaster. In experiment 1 we tested recognition of male or female conspecifics and found that males discriminated between different males but not between different females. In experiment 2 we asked whether recognition of males is influenced when males are tested in their own cage (familiar), in a clean cage (neutral) or in the home cage of another male (unfamiliar). Although focal males discriminated between male conspecifics in all three contexts, individual variation in recognition was lower when males were tested in their home cage (in the presence of familiar social cues) compared to when the context lacked social cues (neutral). Experiment 1 indicates that selective pressures may have operated to enhance male territorial behaviour and indiscriminate mate selection. Experiment 2 suggests that the presence of a conspecific cue heightens social recognition and that home-field advantages might extend to social cognition. Taken together, our results indicate social recognition depends on the social and possibly territorial context. PMID:24273328

  2. Climate impacts on the hydrology of prairie wetlands

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Woo, Mingko; Rowsell, R.D.

    1991-01-01

    A study was carried out in the St. Denis National Wildlife Area, 45 km east of Saskatoon, to observe the hydrological processes and the temporal and spatial variability of slough responses to climate. One slough was instrumented for detailed study, showing that the high water level in spring was supported by snowmelt. In summer, rainfall was the major source of water supply, but was exceeded by losses to evaporation and groundwater recharge, leading to a decline of the water table and complete drying by June 13th. The duration that water remains in sloughs varies temporally and spatially. Ephemeral sloughs, deriving water mainly from snowmelt, tend to occupy higher ground, temporary sloughs rely on precipitation and surface runoff, and may receive groundwater discharge during wetter years. Permanent sloughs often occupy lower areas, receiving water from precipitation, lateral runoff, and groundwater discharge which buffers them from year to year fluctuations in precipitation. Tree ring analyses showed that meltwater is the major factor influencing tree growth, correlating the spatial variability of slough inundation to the temporal variability of winter snowfall. A study of slough hydrology is important to the understanding of the responses of Prairie wetlands to climatic variability and change. 17 refs., 2 figs

  3. Map of mixed prairie grassland vegetation, Rocky Flats, Colorado

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Clark, S J.V.; Webber, P J; Komarkova, V; Weber, W A

    1980-01-01

    A color vegetation map at the scale of 1:12,000 of the area surrounding the Rocky Flats, Rockwell International Plant near Boulder, Colorado, provides a permanent record of baseline data which can be used to monitor changes in both vegetation and environment and thus to contribute to future land management and land-use policies. Sixteen mapping units based on species composition were identified, and characterized by two 10-m/sup 2/ vegetation stands each. These were grouped into prairie, pasture, and valley side on the basis of their species composition. Both the mapping units and these major groups were later confirmed by agglomerative clustering analysis of the 32 vegetation stands on the basis of species composition. A modified Bray and Curtis ordination was used to determine the environmental factor complexes controlling the distribution of vegetation at Rocky flats. Recommendations are made for future policies of environmental management and predictions of the response to environmental change of the present vegetation at the Rocky Flats site.

  4. Homicide in the Canadian Prairies: elderly and nonelderly killings.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ahmed, A G; Menzies, Robin P D

    2002-11-01

    To examine the psychosocial and clinical characteristics of male perpetrators of elderly and nonelderly homicides in the Canadian Prairies. We examined data drawn from a study of 901 adult homicide offenders who were incarcerated or on parole between 1988 and 1992 in Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba. Of those studied, 67 men were convicted of homicide involving 79 elderly victims, and 671 were convicted of homicide involving 675 nonelderly victims. Most perpetrators were single and engaged in irregular patterns of employment at the time of their index offence. Fourteen (20.8%) offenders with elderly victims had a history of psychiatric treatment, compared with 98 (14.6%) offenders with nonelderly victims; however, this difference was not statistically significant. Approximately 30% of both groups were diagnosed with personality disorders. A comparison of the index- offence characteristics showed no significant differences between the 2 groups. Our findings suggest that elderly individuals are more likely to be killed in their own homes by strangers. Social isolation appears to be a significant risk factor in cases of elderly homicide.

  5. Moving Targets and Biodiversity Offsets for Endangered Species Habitat: Is Lesser Prairie Chicken Habitat a Stock or Flow?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Todd K. BenDor

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available The US Fish and Wildlife Service will make an Endangered Species Act listing decision for the lesser prairie chicken (Tympanuchus pallidicinctus; “LPC” in March 2014. Based on the findings of a single, Uzbek antelope study, conservation plans put forth for the LPC propose to modify and re-position habitat in the landscape through a series of temporary preservation/restoration efforts. We argue that for certain species, including the LPC, dynamic habitat offsets represent a dangerous re-interpretation of habitat provision and recovery programs, which have nearly-universally viewed ecosystem offsets (habitat, wetlands, streams, etc. as “stocks” that accumulate characteristics over time. Any effort to create a program of temporary, moving habitat offsets must consider species’ (1 life history characteristics, (2 behavioral tendencies (e.g., avoidance of impacted areas, nesting/breeding site fidelity, and (3 habitat restoration characteristics, including long temporal lags in reoccupation. If misapplied, species recovery programs using temporary, moving habitat risk further population declines.

  6. Prospective evidence for independent nitrogen and phosphorus limitation of grasshopper (Chorthippus curtipennis) growth in a tallgrass prairie.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rode, Madison; Lemoine, Nathan P; Smith, Melinda D

    2017-01-01

    Insect herbivores play a pivotal role in regulating plant production and community composition, and their role in terrestrial ecosystems is partly determined by their feeding behavior and performance among plants of differing nutritional quality. Historically, nitrogen (N) has been considered the primary limiting nutrient of herbivorous insects, but N is only one of many potential nutrients important to insect performance. Of these nutrients, phosphorus (P) is perhaps the most important because somatic growth depends upon P-rich ribosomal RNA. Yet relatively few studies have assessed the strength of P-limitation for terrestrial insects and even fewer have simultaneously manipulated both N and P to assess the relative strengths of N- and P-limitation. Here, we tested for potential N and P limitation, as well as N:P co-limitation, on Chorthippis curtipennis (Orthoptera, Acrididae), an abundant member of arthropod communities of central US prairies. Our results demonstrate weak evidence for both N and P limitation of C. curtipennis growth rates in laboratory feeding assays. Importantly, P-limitation was just as strong as N-limitation, but we found no evidence for NP co-limitation in our study. Furthermore, nutrient limitation was not apparent in field studies, suggesting that insect growth rates may be predominately controlled by other factors, including temperature and predation. Our results suggest that P should be jointly considered, along with N, as a primary determinant of herbivore feeding behavior under both current and future climate conditions.

  7. Astronomical Ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neuenschwander, D. E.; Finkenbinder, L. R.

    2004-05-01

    Just as quetzals and jaguars require specific ecological habitats to survive, so too must planets occupy a tightly constrained astronomical habitat to support life as we know it. With this theme in mind we relate the transferable features of our elementary astronomy course, "The Astronomical Basis of Life on Earth." Over the last five years, in a team-taught course that features a spring break field trip to Costa Rica, we have introduced astronomy through "astronomical ecosystems," emphasizing astronomical constraints on the prospects for life on Earth. Life requires energy, chemical elements, and long timescales, and we emphasize how cosmological, astrophysical, and geological realities, through stabilities and catastrophes, create and eliminate niches for biological life. The linkage between astronomy and biology gets immediate and personal: for example, studies in solar energy production are followed by hikes in the forest to examine the light-gathering strategies of photosynthetic organisms; a lesson on tides is conducted while standing up to our necks in one on a Pacific beach. Further linkages between astronomy and the human timescale concerns of biological diversity, cultural diversity, and environmental sustainability are natural and direct. Our experience of teaching "astronomy as habitat" strongly influences our "Astronomy 101" course in Oklahoma as well. This "inverted astrobiology" seems to transform our student's outlook, from the universe being something "out there" into something "we're in!" We thank the SNU Science Alumni support group "The Catalysts," and the SNU Quetzal Education and Research Center, San Gerardo de Dota, Costa Rica, for their support.

  8. Proceedings of the symposium on the management of prairie dog complexes for the reintroduction of the black-footed ferret

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oldemeyer, John L.; Biggins, Dean E.; Miller, Brian J.; Crete, Ronald

    1993-01-01

    The workshop featured a review of current knowledge in the biology of prairie dogs in the context of managing black-footed ferret habitat. The review addressed two main components. The first consisted of a series of papers on prairie dog habitat and biology. The second component of the workshop was a summary of the participants' discussion about managing prairie dog complexes. This discussion was based on the previously identified papers and profited from the participants' expertise on the ecology of black-footed ferrets and prairie dogs. The report provides current and comprehensive information about management of habitat for prairie dogs and black-footed ferrets and is a useful guide for agencies and individuals that manage black-footed ferrets.

  9. Lead-210 and polonium-210 in grass

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hill, C R

    1960-07-16

    It appears that an important contribution to the observed ..cap alpha..-activity of grass may be provided by a process of natural fall-out in which lead-210 resulting from decay of atmospheric radon, together with a fraction of the equilibrium amount of its descendant polonium-210 are deposited by rainfall directly on to foliage. Metabolic uptake of part of this activity by sheep is indicated by the presence in the kidney of polonium-210. 6 references, 1 figure, 2 tables.

  10. An integral projection model with YY-males and application to evaluating grass carp control

    Science.gov (United States)

    Erickson, Richard A.; Eager, Eric A.; Brey, Marybeth; Hansen, Michael J.; Kocovsky, Patrick

    2017-01-01

    Invasive fish species disrupt ecosystems and cause economic damage. Several methods have been discussed to control populations of invasive fish including the release of YY-males. YY-males are fish that have 2 male chromosomes compared to a XY-male. When YY-males mate, they only produce male (XY) offspring. This decreases the female proportion of the population and can, in theory, eradicate local populations by biasing the sex-ratio. YY-males have been used as a population control tool for brook trout in montane streams and lakes in Idaho, USA. The YY-male control method has been discussed for grass carp in Lake Erie, North America. We developed and presented an integral projection model for grass carp to model the use of YY-males as a control method for populations in this lake. Using only the YY-male control method, we found that high levels of YY-males would need to be release annually to control the species. Specifically, these levels were the same order of magnitude as the baseline adult population (e.g., 1000 YY-males needed to be released annual for 20 years to control a baseline adult population of 2500 grass carp). These levels may not be reasonable or obtainable for fisheries managers given the impacts of YY-males on aquatic vegetation and other constraints of natural resource management.

  11. Prediction of genetic gains by selection indices using mixed models in elephant grass for energy purposes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silva, V B; Daher, R F; Araújo, M S B; Souza, Y P; Cassaro, S; Menezes, B R S; Gravina, L M; Novo, A A C; Tardin, F D; Júnior, A T Amaral

    2017-09-27

    Genetically improved cultivars of elephant grass need to be adapted to different ecosystems with a faster growth speed and lower seasonality of biomass production over the year. This study aimed to use selection indices using mixed models (REML/BLUP) for selecting families and progenies within full-sib families of elephant grass (Pennisetum purpureum) for biomass production. One hundred and twenty full-sib progenies were assessed from 2014 to 2015 in a randomized block design with three replications. During this period, the traits dry matter production, the number of tillers, plant height, stem diameter, and neutral detergent fiber were assessed. Families 3 and 1 were the best classified, being the most indicated for selection effect. Progenies 40, 45, 46, and 49 got the first positions in the three indices assessed in the first cut. The gain for individual 40 was 161.76% using Mulamba and Mock index. The use of selection indices using mixed models is advantageous in elephant grass since they provide high gains with the selection, which are distributed among all the assessed traits in the most appropriate situation to breeding programs.

  12. Homogenous stands of a wetland grass harbour diverse consortia of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wirsel, Stefan G R

    2004-05-01

    A molecular approach was applied to investigate the colonisation of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) on the wetland grass Phragmites australis. A PCR assay targeting the traditional families of the Glomeromycota yielded products that were used to construct libraries of 18S rDNA. Five hundred and forty six clones were typed by restriction analysis and 76 representatives were sequenced. The majority corresponded to a wide range of taxa within Glomus group A, a few belonged to the "Diversisporaceae" and none to the genera Scutellospora or Acaulospora. Among these sequences, some were very similar to those reported earlier, e.g. Glomus mosseae and G. fasciculatum, other pointed to various new taxa. Although this wetland habitat harboured just one single plant species, phylogenetic analysis exhibited 21 AMF phylotypes, which is in the same range as reported for other natural ecosystems composed of more diverse host communities. Diversity indices supported the perception that the AMF mycoflora associated with this natural grass "monoculture" is not depauperate as it had been described for grasses of crop monocultures. Soil conditions determined the mycorrhizal state of the host, since AMF were not detected at the lakeward front of the reed belt, which is permanently waterlogged.

  13. High uptake of 2,4,6-trinitrotoluene by vetiver grass - Potential for phytoremediation?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Makris, Konstantinos C.; Shakya, Kabindra M.; Datta, Rupali; Sarkar, Dibyendu; Pachanoor, Devanand

    2007-01-01

    2,4,6-Trinitrotoluene (TNT) is a potent mutagen, and a Group C human carcinogen that has been widely used to produce munitions and explosives. Vast areas that have been previously used as ranges, munition burning, and open detonation sites are heavily contaminated with TNT. Conventional remediation activities in such sites are expensive and damaging to the ecosystem. Phytoremediation offers a cost-effective, environment-friendly solution, utilizing plants to extract TNT from contaminated soil. We investigated the potential use of vetiver grass (Vetiveria zizanioides) to effectively remove TNT from contaminated solutions. Vetiver grass plants were grown in hydroponic systems containing 40 mg TNT L -1 for 8 d. Aqueous concentrations of TNT reached the method detection limit (∼1 μg L -1 ) within the 8-d period, demonstrating high affinity of vetiver for TNT, without any visible toxic effects. Results from this preliminary hydroponic study are encouraging, but in need of verification using TNT-contaminated soils. - Vetiver grass demonstrates ability to absorb TNT in aqueous media

  14. Conservation Reserve Program mitigates grassland loss in the lesser prairie-chicken range of Kansas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haukos, David A.; Spencer, David; Hagen, Christian A.; Daniels, Melinda D.; Goodin, Doug

    2017-01-01

    Since the beginning of the 20th century, the overall occupied range of the lesser prairie-chicken (Tympanuchus pallidicinctus) has declined by 84% commensurate with population trends. Much of this decline has been attributed to the loss and fragmentation of native grasslands throughout the lesser prairie-chicken range. However, quantification of changes in land cover in the distribution of the lesser prairie-chicken is lacking. Our objectives were to (1) document changes in the areal extent and connectivity of grasslands in the identified lesser prairie-chicken range in Kansas, USA, (>60% of extant lesser prairie-chicken population) from the 1950s to 2013 using remotely sensed data and (2) assess the potential of the Conservation Reserve Program (U.S. Department of Agriculture Program converting cropland to permanent cover; CRP) to mitigate grassland loss. Digital land cover maps were generated on a decadal time step through spectral classification of LANDSAT images and visual analysis of aerial photographs (1950s and 1960s). Landscape composition and configuration were assessed using FRAGSTATS to compute a variety of landscape metrics measuring changes in the amount of grassland present as well as changes in the size and configuration of grassland patches. With the exception of a single regional portion of the range, nearly all of the grassland converted to cropland in the lesser prairie-chicken range of Kansas occurred prior to the 1950s. Prior to the implementation of CRP, the amount of grassland decreased 3.6% between the 1950s and 1985 from 18,455 km2 to 17,788 km2. Since 1985, the overall amount of grassland in the lesser prairie-chicken range has increased 11.9% to 19,898 km2 due to implementation of CRP, although the area of grassland decreased between 1994 and 2013 as CRP contracts were not renewed by landowners. Since 1986 grassland in Kansas became more connected and less fragmented in response to the CRP. While the CRP has been successful in

  15. Conservation Reserve Program mitigates grassland loss in the lesser prairie-chicken range of Kansas

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David Spencer

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Since the beginning of the 20th century, the overall occupied range of the lesser prairie-chicken (Tympanuchus pallidicinctus has declined by 84% commensurate with population trends. Much of this decline has been attributed to the loss and fragmentation of native grasslands throughout the lesser prairie-chicken range. However, quantification of changes in land cover in the distribution of the lesser prairie-chicken is lacking. Our objectives were to (1 document changes in the areal extent and connectivity of grasslands in the identified lesser prairie-chicken range in Kansas, USA, (>60% of extant lesser prairie-chicken population from the 1950s to 2013 using remotely sensed data and (2 assess the potential of the Conservation Reserve Program (U.S. Department of Agriculture Program converting cropland to permanent cover; CRP to mitigate grassland loss. Digital land cover maps were generated on a decadal time step through spectral classification of LANDSAT images and visual analysis of aerial photographs (1950s and 1960s. Landscape composition and configuration were assessed using FRAGSTATS to compute a variety of landscape metrics measuring changes in the amount of grassland present as well as changes in the size and configuration of grassland patches. With the exception of a single regional portion of the range, nearly all of the grassland converted to cropland in the lesser prairie-chicken range of Kansas occurred prior to the 1950s. Prior to the implementation of CRP, the amount of grassland decreased 3.6% between the 1950s and 1985 from 18,455 km2 to 17,788 km2. Since 1985, the overall amount of grassland in the lesser prairie-chicken range has increased 11.9% to 19,898 km2 due to implementation of CRP, although the area of grassland decreased between 1994 and 2013 as CRP contracts were not renewed by landowners. Since 1986 grassland in Kansas became more connected and less fragmented in response to the CRP. While the CRP has been successful

  16. Social transfer of alcohol withdrawal-induced hyperalgesia in female prairie voles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walcott, Andre T; Smith, Monique L; Loftis, Jennifer M; Ryabinin, Andrey E

    2018-03-27

    The expression of pain serves as a way for animals to communicate potential dangers to nearby conspecifics. Recent research demonstrated that mice undergoing alcohol or morphine withdrawal, or inflammation, could socially communicate their hyperalgesia to nearby mice. However, it is unknown whether such social transfer of hyperalgesia can be observed in other species of rodents. Therefore, the present study investigated if the social transfer of hyperalgesia occurs in the highly social prairie vole (Microtus ochrogaster). We observe that adult female prairie voles undergoing withdrawal from voluntary two-bottle choice alcohol drinking display an increase in nociception. This alcohol withdrawal-induced hypersensitiity is socially transferred to female siblings within the same cage and female strangers housed in separate cages within the same room. These experiments reveal that the social transfer of pain phenomenon is not specific to inbred mouse strains and that prairie voles display alcohol withdrawal and social transfer-induced hyperalgesia.

  17. The effect of listing the lesser prairie chicken as a threatened species on rural property values.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wietelman, Derek C; Melstrom, Richard T

    2017-04-15

    This paper estimates the effect of Endangered Species Act protections for the lesser prairie chicken (Tympanuchus pallidicinctus) on rural property values in Oklahoma. The political and legal controversy surrounding the listing of imperiled species raises questions about the development restrictions and opportunity costs the Endangered Species Act imposes on private landowners. Examining parcel-level sales data before and after the listing of the endemic lesser prairie chicken, we employ difference-in-differences (DD) regression to measure the welfare costs of these restrictions. While our basic DD regression provides evidence the listing was associated with a drop in property values, this finding does not hold up in models that control for latent county and year effects. The lack of a significant price effect is confirmed by several robustness checks. Thus, the local economic costs of listing the lesser prairie chicken under the Endangered Species Act appear to have been small. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. Grass carp in the Great Lakes region: establishment potential, expert perceptions, and re-evaluation of experimental evidence of ecological impact

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wittmann, Marion E.; Jerde, Christopher L.; Howeth, Jennifer G.; Maher, Sean P.; Deines, Andrew M.; Jenkins, Jill A.; Whitledge, Gregory W.; Burbank, Sarah B.; Chadderton, William L.; Mahon, Andrew R.; Tyson, Jeffrey T.; Gantz, Crysta A.; Keller, Reuben P.; Drake, John M.; Lodge, David M.

    2014-01-01

    Intentional introductions of nonindigenous fishes are increasing globally. While benefits of these introductions are easily quantified, assessments to understand the negative impacts to ecosystems are often difficult, incomplete, or absent. Grass carp (Ctenopharyngodon idella) was originally introduced to the United States as a biocontrol agent, and recent observations of wild, diploid individuals in the Great Lakes basin have spurred interest in re-evaluating its ecological risk. Here, we evaluate the ecological impact of grass carp using expert opinion and a suite of the most up-to-date analytical tools and data (ploidy assessment, eDNA surveillance, species distribution models (SDMs), and meta-analysis). The perceived ecological impact of grass carp by fisheries experts was variable, ranging from unknown to very high. Wild-caught triploid and diploid individuals occurred in multiple Great Lakes waterways, and eDNA surveillance suggests that grass carp are abundant in a major tributary of Lake Michigan. SDMs predicted suitable grass carp climate occurs in all Great Lakes. Meta-analysis showed that grass carp introductions impact both water quality and biota. Novel findings based on updated ecological impact assessment tools indicate that iterative risk assessment of introduced fishes may be warranted.

  19. Magnetic minerals in soils across the forest-prairie ecotone in NW Minnesota

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maxbauer, D.; Feinberg, J. M.; Fox, D. L.; Nater, E. A.

    2016-12-01

    Soil pedogenesis results in a complex assemblage of iron oxide minerals that can be disentangled successfully using sensitive magnetic techniques to better delineate specific soil processes. Here, we evaluate the variability in soil processes within forest, prairie, and transitional soils along an 11 km transect of anthropogenically unaltered soils that span the forest-to-prairie ecotone in NW Minnesota. All soils in this study developed on relatively uniform topography, similar glacial till parent material, under a uniform climate, and presumably over similar time intervals. The forest-to-prairie transition zone in this region is controlled by naturally occurring fires, affording the opportunity to evaluate differences in soil processes related to vegetation (forest versus prairie) and burning (prairie and transitional soils). Results suggest that the pedeogenic fraction of magnetite/maghemite in soils is similar in all specimens and is independent of soil type, vegetation, and any effects of burning. Magnetically enhanced horizons have 45% of remanence held by a low-coercivity pedogenic component (likely magnetite/maghemite) regardless of vegetation cover and soil type. Enhancement ratios for magnetic susceptibility and low-field remanences, often used as indicators of pedogenic magnetic minerals, are more variable but remain statistically equivalent across the transect. These results support the hypothesis that pedogenic magnetic minerals in soils mostly reflect ambient climatic conditions regardless of the variability in soil processes related to vegetation and soil type. The non-pedogenic magnetic mineral assemblage shows clear distinctions between the forest, prairie, and transitional soils in hysteresis properties (remanence and coercivity ratios; Mr/Ms and Bc/Bcr, respectively), suggesting that variable processes in these settings influence the local magnetic mineral assemblage, and that it may be possible to use magnetic minerals in paleosols to constrain

  20. Landscape composition creates a threshold influencing Lesser Prairie-Chicken population resilience to extreme drought

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ross, Beth E.; Haukos, David A.; Hagen, Christian A.; Pitman, James C.

    2016-01-01

    Habitat loss and degradation compound the effects of climate change on wildlife, yet responses to climate and land cover change are often quantified independently. The interaction between climate and land cover change could be intensified in the Great Plains region where grasslands are being converted to row-crop agriculture concurrent with increased frequency of extreme drought events. We quantified the combined effects of land cover and climate change on a species of conservation concern in the Great Plains, the Lesser Prairie-Chicken (Tympanuchus pallidicinctus  ). We combined extreme drought events and land cover change with lek count surveys in a Bayesian hierarchical model to quantify changes in abundance of male Lesser Prairie-Chickens from 1978 to 2014 in Kansas, the core of their species range. Our estimates of abundance indicate a gradually decreasing population through 2010 corresponding to drought events and reduced grassland areas. Decreases in Lesser Prairie-Chicken abundance were greatest in areas with increasing row-crop to grassland land cover ratio during extreme drought events, and decreased grassland reduces the resilience of Lesser Prairie-Chicken populations to extreme drought events. A threshold exists for Lesser Prairie-Chickens in response to the gradient of cropland:grassland land cover. When moving across the gradient of grassland to cropland, abundance initially increased in response to more cropland on the landscape, but declined in response to more cropland after the threshold (δ=0.096, or 9.6% cropland). Preservation of intact grasslands and continued implementation of initiatives to revert cropland to grassland should increase Lesser Prairie-Chicken resilience to extreme drought events due to climate change.

  1. Impact of Prairie Cover on Hydraulic Conductivity and Storm Water Runoff

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herkes, D. M. G.; Gori, A.; Juan, A.

    2017-12-01

    Houston has long struggled to find effective solutions to its historic flooding problems. Conventional strategies have revolved around constructing hard infrastructure such as levees or regional detention ponds to reduce flood impacts. However, there has been a recent shift to explore the implementation of nature-based solutions in reducing flood impacts. This is due to the price of structural mechanisms, as well as their failure to adequately protect areas from flooding during the latest flood events. One alternative could be utilizing the natural water retention abilities of native Texas prairies. This study examines the effect of Texas prairie areas in increasing soil infiltration capacities, thereby increasing floodwater storage and reducing surface runoff. For this purpose, an infiltration study of 15 sites was conducted on lands owned by the Katy Prairie Conservancy within Cypress Creek watershed. Located in Northwest Houston, it is an area which had been heavily impacted by recent flood events. Each sampling site was selected to represent a particular land cover or vegetation type, ranging from developed open space to native prairies. Field test results are then compared to literature values of soil infiltration capacity in order to determine the infiltration benefit of each vegetation type. Test results show that certain vegetation, especially prairies, significantly increase the infiltration capacity of the underlying soil. For example, the hydraulic conductivity of prairie on sandy loam soil is approximately an order of magnitude higher than that of the soil itself. Finally, a physics-based hydrologic model is utilized to evaluate the flood reduction potential of native Texas prairie. This model represents Cypress Creek watershed in gridded cell format, and allows varying hydraulic and infiltration parameters at each cell. Design storms are run to obtain flow hydrographs for selected watch points in the study area. Two scenarios are simulated and compared

  2. Field-level financial assessment of contour prairie strips for enhancement of environmental quality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tyndall, John C; Schulte, Lisa A; Liebman, Matthew; Helmers, Matthew

    2013-09-01

    The impacts of strategically located contour prairie strips on sediment and nutrient runoff export from watersheds maintained under an annual row crop production system have been studied at a long-term research site in central Iowa. Data from 2007 to 2011 indicate that the contour prairie strips utilized within row crop-dominated landscapes have greater than proportionate and positive effects on the functioning of biophysical systems. Crop producers and land management agencies require comprehensive information about the Best Management Practices with regard to performance efficacy, operational/management parameters, and the full range of financial parameters. Here, a farm-level financial model assesses the establishment, management, and opportunity costs of contour prairie strips within cropped fields. Annualized, depending on variable opportunity costs the 15-year present value cost of utilizing contour prairie strips ranges from $590 to $865 ha(-1) year(-1) ($240-$350 ac(-1) year(-1)). Expressed in the context of "treatment area" (e.g., in this study 1 ha of prairie treats 10 ha of crops), the costs of contour prairie strips can also be viewed as $59 to about $87 per treated hectare ($24-$35 ac(-1)). If prairie strips were under a 15-year CRP contract, total per acre cost to farmers would be reduced by over 85 %. Based on sediment, phosphorus, and nitrogen export data from the related field studies and across low, medium, and high land rent scenarios, a megagram (Mg) of soil retained within the watershed costs between $7.79 and $11.46 mg(-1), phosphorus retained costs between $6.97 and $10.25 kg(-1), and nitrogen retained costs between $1.59 and $2.34 kg(-1). Based on overall project results, contour prairie strips may well become one of the key conservation practices used to sustain US Corn Belt agriculture in the decades to come.

  3. Arbuscular mycorrhizal assemblages in native plant roots change in the presence of invasive exotic grasses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hawkes, C.V.; Belnap, J.; D'Antonio, C.; Firestone, M.K.

    2006-01-01

    Plant invasions have the potential to significantly alter soil microbial communities, given their often considerable aboveground effects. We examined how plant invasions altered the arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi of native plant roots in a grassland site in California and one in Utah. In the California site, we used experimentally created plant communities composed of exotic (Avena barbata, Bromus hordeaceus) and native (Nassella pulchra, Lupinus bicolor) monocultures and mixtures. In the Utah semi-arid grassland, we took advantage of invasion by Bromus tectorum into long-term plots dominated by either of two native grasses, Hilaria jamesii or Stipa hymenoides. Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi colonizing roots were characterized with PCR amplification of the ITS region, cloning, and sequencing. We saw a significant effect of the presence of exotic grasses on the diversity of mycorrhizal fungi colonizing native plant roots. In the three native grasses, richness of mycorrhizal fungi decreased; in the native forb at the California site, the number of fungal RFLP patterns increased in the presence of exotics. The exotic grasses also caused the composition of the mycorrhizal community in native roots to shift dramatically both in California, with turnover of Glomus spp., and Utah, with replacement of Glomus spp. by apparently non-mycorrhizal fungi. Invading plants may be able to influence the network of mycorrhizal fungi in soil that is available to natives through either earlier root activity or differential carbon provision compared to natives. Alteration of the soil microbial community by plant invasion can provide a mechanism for both successful invasion and the resulting effects of invaders on the ecosystem. ?? Springer 2006.

  4. Food Web Response to Habitat Restoration in Various Coastal Wetland Ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    James, W. R.; Nelson, J. A.

    2017-12-01

    Coastal wetland habitats provide important ecosystem services, including supporting coastal food webs. These habitats are being lost rapidly. To combat the effects of these losses, millions of dollars have been invested to restore these habitats. However, the relationship between restoring habitat and restoring ecosystem functioning is poorly understood. Analyzing energy flow through food web comparisons between restored and natural habitats can give insights into ecosystem functioning. Using published stable isotope values from organisms in restored and natural habitats, we assessed the food web response of habitat restoration in salt marsh, mangrove, sea grass, and algal bed ecosystems. We ran Bayesian mixing models to quantify resource use by consumers and generated habitat specific niche hypervolumes for each ecosystem to assess food web differences between restored and natural habitats. Salt marsh, mangrove, and sea grass ecosystems displayed functional differences between restored and natural habitats. Salt marsh and mangrove food webs varied in the amount of each resource used, while the sea grass food web displayed more variation between individual organisms. The algal bed food web showed little variation between restored and natural habitats.

  5. Pollutant tracking for 3 Western North Atlantic sea grasses by remote sensing: Preliminary diminishing white light responses of Thalassia testudinum, Halodule wrightii, and Zostera marina

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Thorhaug, Anitra; Berlyn, Graeme P.; Poulos, Helen M.; Goodale, Uromi M.

    2015-01-01

    Highlights: • Sea grass accessory pigments are more important than Chl at medium to low light intensity. • Partial absorption changes in Thalassia and also in Halodule at low intensity visible light ranges. • NDVI and chlNDI do not detect these changes or low light responses of sea grasses. • Intertidal sea grasses are less stressed than the subtidal species at low and high light. • Chl b is an important photosynthetic pigment in tropical/subtropical species. - Abstract: Sea grasses are foundation species for estuarine ecosystems. The available light for sea grasses diminishes rapidly during pollutant spills, effluent releases, disturbances such as intense riverine input, and tidal changes. We studied how sea grasses’ remote-sensing signatures and light-capturing ability respond to short term light alterations. In vivo responses were measured over the entire visible-light spectra to diminishing white-light on whole-living-plants’ spectral reflectance, including 6 h of full oceanic-light fluences from 10% to 100%. We analyzed differences by various reflectance indices. We compared the sea grasses species responses of tropical vs. temperate and intertidals (Halodule wrightii, and Zostera marina) vs. subtidal (Thalassia testudinum). Reflectance diminished with decreasing light intensity that coincided with greater accessory pigment stimulation (anthocyanin, carotenoids, xanthins). Chlorophyll a and Chlorophyll b differed significantly among species (Thalassia vs. Halodule). Photosynthetic efficiency diminished at high light intensities. The NDVI index was inadequate to perceive these differences. Our results demonstrate the leaf-level utility of data to remote sensing for mapping sea grass and sea grass stress

  6. Sierra Nevada grasslands: interactions between livestock grazing and ecosystem structure and function

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barbara H. Allen-Diaz

    2004-01-01

    Livestock grazing plays an integral role in the grass-dominated ecosystems of the Sierra Nevada. Grazing has been asserted to influence such key ecological characteristics as water quality, net primary productivity, nutrient cycling, plant and animal diversity, wildlife habitat availability, and oak regeneration (Belsky and others 1999, Kauffmann and Krueger 1984)....

  7. Continuous Cropping and Moist Deep Convection on the Canadian Prairies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Devon E. Worth

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available Summerfallow is cropland that is purposely kept out of production during a growing season to conserve soil moisture. On the Canadian Prairies, a trend to continuous cropping with a reduction in summerfallow began after the summerfallow area peaked in 1976. This study examined the impact of this land-use change on convective available potential energy (CAPE, a necessary but not sufficient condition for moist deep convection. All else being equal, an increase in CAPE increases the probability-of-occurrence of convective clouds and their intensity if they occur. Representative Bowen ratios for the Black, Dark Brown, and Brown soil zones were determined for 1976: the maximum summerfallow year, 2001: our baseline year, and 20xx: a hypothetical year with the maximum-possible annual crop area. Average mid-growing-season Bowen ratios and noon solar radiation were used to estimate the reduction in the lifted index (LI from land-use weighted evapotranspiration in each study year. LI is an index of CAPE, and a reduction in LI indicates an increase in CAPE. The largest reductions in LI were found for the Black soil zone. They were −1.61 ± 0.18, −1.77 ± 0.14 and −1.89 ± 0.16 in 1976, 2001 and 20xx, respectively. These results suggest that, all else being equal, the probability-of-occurrence of moist deep convection in the Black soil zone was lower in 1976 than in the base year 2001, and it will be higher in 20xx when the annual crop area reaches a maximum. The trend to continuous cropping had less impact in the drier Dark Brown and Brown soil zones.

  8. The importance of cross-reactivity in grass pollen allergy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aleksić Ivana

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available According to the data obtained from in vivo and in vitro testing in Serbia, a significant number of patients have allergic symptoms caused by grass pollen. We examined the protein composition of grass pollens (Dactylis glomerata, Lolium perenne and Phleum pratense and cross-reactivity in patients allergic to grass pollen from our region. The grass pollen allergen extract was characterized by SDS-PAGE, while cross-reactivity of single grass pollens was revealed by immunoblot analysis. A high degree of cross-reactivity was demonstrated for all three single pollens in the sera of allergic patients compared to the grass pollen extract mixture. Confirmation of the existence of cross-reactivity between different antigenic sources facilitates the use of monovalent vaccines, which are easier to standardize and at the same time prevent further sensitization of patients and reduces adverse reactions. [Projekat Ministarstva nauke Republike Srbije, br. 172049 i br. 172024

  9. Evaluating grasses as a long-term energy resource

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Christian, D.G.; Riche, A.B.

    2001-07-01

    The work reported here is part of an ongoing project that aims to evaluate the yields of three perennial rhizomatous grasses and determine their suitability as bio-energy crops. The work began in 1993, and the grasses have been monitored continuously since that time. This report covers the period 1999/2000, and includes: the performance of plots of the energy grasses Miscanthus grass, switchgrass and reed canary grass seven years after they were planted; assessment of the yield of 15 genotypes of Miscanthus planted in 1997; monitoring all the species throughout the growing period for the presence of pests, weeds and diseases; measurement of the amount of nitrate leached from below Miscanthus grass; investigating the occurrence of lodging in switchgrass. (Author)

  10. Legacies from extreme drought increase ecosystem sensitivity to future extremes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, M. D.; Knapp, A.; Hoover, D. L.; Avolio, M. L.; Felton, A. J.; Wilcox, K. R.

    2016-12-01

    Climate extremes, such as drought, are increasing in frequency and intensity, and the ecological consequences of these extreme events can be substantial and widespread. Although there is still much to be learned about how ecosystems will respond to an intensification of drought, even less is known about the factors that determine post-drought recovery of ecosystem function. Such knowledge is particularly important because post-drought recovery periods can be protracted depending on the extent to which key plant populations, community structure and biogeochemical processes are affected. These drought legacies may alter ecosystem function for many years post-drought and may impact future sensitivity to climate extremes. We experimentally imposed two extreme growing season droughts in a central US grassland to assess the impacts of repeated droughts on ecosystem resistance (response) and resilience (recovery). We found that this grassland was not resistant to the first extreme drought due to reduced productivity and differential sensitivity of the co-dominant C4 grass (Andropogon gerardii) and C3 forb (Solidago canadensis) species. This differential sensitivity led to a reordering of species abundances within the plant community. Yet, despite this large shift in plant community composition, which persisted post-drought, the grassland was highly resilient post-drought, due to increased abundance of the dominant C4 grass. Because of this shift to increased C4 grass dominance, we expected that previously-droughted grassland would be more resistant to a second extreme drought. However, contrary to these expectations, previously droughted grassland was more sensitive to drought than grassland that had not experienced drought. Thus, our result suggest that legacies of drought (shift in community composition) may increase ecosystem sensitivity to future extreme events.

  11. The carbon balance pivot point of southwestern U.S. semiarid ecosystems: Insights from the 21st century drought

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scott, Russell L.; Biederman, Joel A.; Hamerlynck, Erik P.; Barron-Gafford, Greg A.

    2015-12-01

    Global-scale studies indicate that semiarid regions strongly regulate the terrestrial carbon sink. However, we lack understanding of how climatic shifts, such as decadal drought, impact carbon sequestration across the wide range of structural diversity in semiarid ecosystems. Therefore, we used eddy covariance measurements to quantify how net ecosystem production of carbon dioxide (NEP) differed with relative grass and woody plant abundance over the last decade of drought in four Southwest U.S. ecosystems. We identified a precipitation "pivot point" in the carbon balance for each ecosystem where annual NEP switched from negative to positive. Ecosystems with grass had pivot points closer to the drought period precipitation than the predrought average, making them more likely to be carbon sinks (and a grass-free shrubland, a carbon source) during the current drought. One reason for this is that the grassland located closest to the shrubland supported higher leaf area and photosynthesis at the same water availability. Higher leaf area was associated with a greater proportion of evapotranspiration being transpiration (T/ET), and therefore with higher ecosystem water use efficiency (gross ecosystem photosynthesis/ET). Our findings strongly show that water availability is a primary driver of both gross and net semiarid productivity and illustrate that structural differences may contribute to the speed at which ecosystem carbon cycling adjusts to climatic shifts.

  12. Determining the regional potential for a grass biomethane industry

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Smyth, Beatrice M.; Smyth, Henry; Murphy, Jerry D.

    2011-01-01

    Research highlights: → We identified assessment criteria for determining the regional potential for grass biomethane. → Grass biomethane is distributed via the natural gas grid. → The criteria include: land use; grass yields; gas grid coverage; availability of co-substrates. → The county with the highest potential can fuel 50% of cars or supply 130% of domestic gas consumption. - Abstract: Grass biogas/biomethane has been put forward as a renewable energy solution and it has been shown to perform well in terms of energy balance, greenhouse gas emissions and policy constraints. Biofuel and energy crop solutions are country-specific and grass biomethane has strong potential in countries with temperate climates and a high proportion of grassland, such as Ireland. For a grass biomethane industry to develop in a country, suitable regions (i.e. those with the highest potential) must be identified. In this paper, factors specifically related to the assessment of the potential of a grass biogas/biomethane industry are identified and analysed. The potential for grass biogas and grass biomethane is determined on a county-by-county basis using multi-criteria decision analysis. Values are assigned to each county and ratings and weightings applied to determine the overall county potential. The potential for grass biomethane with co-digestion of slaughter waste (belly grass) is also determined. The county with the highest potential (Limerick) is analysed in detail and is shown to have ready potential for production of gaseous biofuel to meet either 50% of the vehicle fleet or 130% of the domestic natural gas demand, through 25 facilities at a scale of ca. 30 kt yr -1 of feedstock. The assessment factors developed in this paper can be used in other resource studies into grass biomethane or other energy crops.

  13. Interactions among American badgers, black-footed ferrets, and prairie dogs in the grasslands of western North America

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eads, David A.; Biggins, Dean E.; Grassel, Shaun M.; Livieri, Travis M.; Licht, Daniel S.; Proulx, Gilbert; Do Linh San, Emmanuel

    2016-01-01

    American badgers (Taxidea taxus) and black-footed ferrets (Mustela nigripes) sometimes occur sympatrically within colonies of prairie dogs (Cynomys spp.) in the grasslands of western North America. From the perspective of a simplified food web, badgers are consumers of ferrets and, to a greater extent, prairie dogs; ferrets are specialized consumers of prairie dogs; and prairie dogs are consumers of vegetation. We review information on the predatory behaviours of badgers, which collectively demonstrate that badgers exhibit complex hunting strategies to improve their probability of capturing prairie dogs and, perhaps, ferrets. We also review studies of interactions between badgers and ferrets, which suggest that there is selective pressure on badgers to compete with ferrets, and pressure on ferrets to compete with and avoid badgers. We then speculate as to how prairie dogs might shape interactions between badgers and ferrets, and how badgers could spread the plague bacterium (Yersinia pestis) among prairie dog colonies. Lastly, we provide recommendations for research on this tractable system of semi-fossorial predators and prey.

  14. Trace metal analysis in sea grasses from Mexican Caribbean Coast by particle induced X-ray emission (PIXE)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Solis, C.; Issac O, K.; Martinez, A.; Lavoisier, E.; Martinez, M. A.

    2008-01-01

    The growing urban and tourist activity in the Mexican Caribbean coasts has resulted in an increase of chemical substances, metals in particular, discharged to the coastal waters. In order to reach an adequate management and conservation of these marine ecosystems it is necessary to perform an inventory of the actual conditions that reflect the vulnerability and the level of damage. Sea-grasses are considered good biological indicators of heavy metal contamination in marine systems. The goal of this preliminary work is to evaluate the concentrations of trace metals such as Cr, Mn, Fe, Co, Cu, Zn, and Pb in Thalassia testudinum, a very common sea-grass in the Mexican Caribbean Sea. Samples were collected from several locations in the coasts of the Yucatan Peninsula: Holbox, Blanquizal and Punta Allen, areas virtually uninfluenced by anthropogenic activities. Trace elements in different part plants were determined by particle induced X-ray emission (PIXE). This is a very suitable technique since it offers a fast, accurate and multi-element analysis. Also, the analysis by PIXE can be performed directly on powdered leaves without a laborious sample preparation. The trace metal concentration determined in sea-grasses growing in Caribbean generally fall in the range of the lowest valuables reported for sea grasses from the Gulf of Mexico. The results indicate that the studied areas do not present contamination by heavy metals. (Author)

  15. Investigation of Desso GrassMaster® as application in hydraulic engineering

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Steeg, van der P.; Paulissen, M.P.C.P.; Roex, E.; Mommer, L.

    2015-01-01

    Dessa GrassMaster® is a reinforced grass system which is applied successfully on sports fields and enables to use a sports field more intensively than a normal grass field. In this report the possibility of an application of Dessa GrassMaster®in hydraulic conditions, with a focus on grass dikes, is

  16. Measuring Entrepreneurial Ecosystems

    OpenAIRE

    Stam, F.C.

    2017-01-01

    How can entrepreneurial ecosystems and productive entrepreneurship can be traced empirically and how is entrepreneurship related to entrepreneurial ecosystems. The analyses in this chapter show the value of taking a systems view on the context of entrepreneurship. We measure entrepreneurial ecosystem elements and use these to compose an entrepreneurial ecosystem index. Next, we measure the output of entrepreneurial ecosystems with different indicators of high-growth firms. We use the 12 provi...

  17. Mapping Ecosystem Services

    OpenAIRE

    Georgiev,Teodor; Burkhard,Benjamin; Maes,Joachim

    2017-01-01

    Ecosystem services are the contributions of ecosystem structure and function (in combination with other inputs) to human well-being. That means, humankind is strongly dependent on well-functioning ecosystems and natural capital that are the base for a constant flow of ecosystem services from nature to society. Therefore ecosystem services have the potential to become a major tool for policy and decision making on global, national, regional and local scales. Possible applications are manifold:...

  18. Early inflorescence development in the grasses (Poaceae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elizabeth A. Kellogg

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available The shoot apical meristem of grasses produces the primary branches of the inflorescence, controlling inflorescence architecture and hence seed production. Whereas leaves are produced in a distichous pattern, with the primordia separated from each other by an angle of 180o, inflorescence branches are produced in a spiral in most species. The morphology and developmental genetics of the shift in phyllotaxis have been studied extensively in maize and rice. However, in wheat, Brachypodium, and oats, all in the grass subfamily Pooideae, the change in phyllotaxis does not occur; primary inflorescence branches are produced distichously. It is unknown whether the distichous inflorescence originated at the base of Pooideae, or whether it appeared several times independently. In this study, we show that Brachyelytrum, the genus sister to all other Pooideae has spiral phyllotaxis in the inflorescence, but that in the remaining 3000+ species of Pooideae, the phyllotaxis is two-ranked. These two-ranked inflorescences are not perfectly symmetrical, and have a clear front and back; this developmental axis has never been described in the literature and it is unclear what establishes its polarity. Strictly distichous inflorescences appear somewhat later in the evolution of the subfamily. Two-ranked inflorescences also appear in a few grass outgroups and sporadically elsewhere in the family, but unlike in Pooideae do not generally correlate with a major radiation of species. After production of branches, the inflorescence meristem may be converted to a spikelet meristem or may simply abort; this developmental decision appears to be independent of the branching pattern.

  19. ANATOMIC STRUCTURE OF CAMPANULA ROTUNDIFOLIA L. GRASS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    V. N. Bubenchikova

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available The article present results of the study for a anatomic structure of Campanula rotundifolia grass from Campanulaceae family. Despite its dispersion and application in folk medicine, there are no data about its anatomic structure, therefore to estimate the indices of authenticity and quality of raw materials it is necessary to develop microdiagnostical features in the first place, which could help introducing of thisplant in a medical practice. The purpose of this work is to study anatomical structureof Campanula rotundifolia grass to determine its diagnostic features. Methods. Thestudy for anatomic structure was carried out in accordance with the requirements of State Pharmacopoeia, edition XIII. Micromed laboratory microscope with digital adjutage was used to create microphotoes, Photoshop CC was used for their processing. Result. We have established that stalk epidermis is prosenchymal, slightly winding with straight of splayed end cells. After study for the epidermis cells we established that upper epidermis cells had straight walls and are slightly winding. The cells of lower epidermishave more winding walls with prolong wrinkled cuticule. Presence of simple one-cell, thin wall, rough papillose hair on leaf and stalk epidermis. Cells of epidermis in fauces of corolla are prosenchymal, with winding walls, straight or winding walls in a cup. Papillary excrescences can be found along the cup edges. Stomatal apparatus is anomocytic. Conclusion. As the result of the study we have carried out the research for Campanula rotundifolia grass anatomic structure, and determined microdiagnostic features for determination of raw materials authenticity, which included presence of simple, one-cell, thin-walled, rough papillose hair on both epidermises of a leaf, along the veins, leaf edge, and stalk epidermis, as well as the presence of epidermis cells with papillary excrescences along the edges of leaves and cups. Intercellular canals are situatedalong the

  20. Feasibility of Invasive Grass Detection in a Desertscrub Community Using Hyperspectral Field Measurements and Landsat TM Imagery

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stuart E. Marsh

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available Invasive species’ phenologies often contrast with those of native species, representing opportunities for detection of invasive species with multi-temporal remote sensing. Detection is especially critical for ecosystem-transforming species that facilitate changes in disturbance regimes. The African C4 grass, Pennisetum ciliare, is transforming ecosystems on three continents and a number of neotropical islands by introducing a grass-fire cycle. However, previous attempts at discriminating P. ciliare in North America using multi-spectral imagery have been unsuccessful. In this paper, we integrate field measurements of hyperspectral plant species signatures and canopy cover with multi-temporal spectral analysis to identify opportunities for detection using moderate-resolution multi-spectral imagery. By applying these results to Landsat TM imagery, we show that multi-spectral discrimination of P. ciliare in heterogeneous mixed desert scrub is feasible, but only at high abundance levels that may have limited value to land managers seeking to control invasion. Much higher discriminability is possible with hyperspectral shortwave infrared imagery because of differences in non-photosynthetic vegetation in uninvaded and invaded landscapes during dormant seasons but these spectra are unavailable in multispectral sensors. Therefore, we recommend hyperspectral imagery for distinguishing invasive grass-dominated landscapes from uninvaded desert scrub.

  1. Upgrated fuel from reed canary grass

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Oravainen, H. [VTT Energy, Jyvaeskylae (Finland)

    1997-12-01

    Results described in this presentation are from a large EU-project - Development of a new crop production system based on delayed harvesting and system for its combined processing to chemical pulp and biofuel powder. This is a project to develop the use of Reed Canary Grass (Phalaris Arundinaceae) both for pulp industry and energy production. The main contractor of the project is Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (coordinator), task coordinators are United Milling Systems A/S from Denmark, and Jaakko Poeyry Oy and VTT Energy from Finland In addition, there are partners from several countries participating in the project

  2. Prospects for Hybrid Breeding in Bioenergy Grasses

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Aguirre, Andrea Arias; Studer, Bruno; Frei, Ursula

    2012-01-01

    , we address crucial topics to implement hybrid breeding, such as the availability and development of heterotic groups, as well as biological mechanisms for hybridization control such as self-incompatibility (SI) and male sterility (MS). Finally, we present potential hybrid breeding schemes based on SI...... of different hybrid breeding schemes to optimally exploit heterosis for biomass yield in perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.) and switchgrass (Panicum virgatum), two perennial model grass species for bioenergy production. Starting with a careful evaluation of current population and synthetic breeding methods...

  3. Grass-on-grass competition along a catenal gradient in mesic ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Three aboveground treatments (full light competition, no light competition and clipping to simulate grazing), and two belowground treatments (full belowground competition and belowground competition excluded by a root tube), were used. On all soil depths the three grass species differed in mean mass, with E. racemosa ...

  4. Midcontinent Prairie-Pothole wetlands and climate change: An Introduction to the Supplemental Issue

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mushet, David M.

    2016-01-01

    The multitude of wetlands in the Prairie Pothole Region of North America forms one of Earth’s largest wetland complexes. The midcontinent location exposes this ecologically and economically important wetland system to a highly variable climate, markedly influencing ponded-water levels, hydroperiods, chemical characteristics, and biota of individual basins. Given their dominance on the landscape and recognized value, great interest in how projected future changes in climate will affect prairie-pothole wetlands has developed and spawned much scientific research. On June 2, 2015, a special symposium, “Midcontinent Prairie-Pothole Wetlands: Influence of a Changed Climate,” was held at the annual meeting of the Society of Wetland Scientists in Providence, Rhode Island, USA. The symposium’s twelve presenters covered a wide range of relevant topics delivered to a standing-room-only audience. Following the symposium, the presenters recognized the need to publish their presented papers as a combined product to facilitate widespread distribution. The need for additional papers to more fully cover the topic of prairie-pothole wetlands and climate change was also identified. This supplemental issue of Wetlands is the realization of that vision.

  5. Status of black-tailed prairie dog (Cynomys ludovicianus) in Sonora, Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reyna A. Castillo-Gamez; Rafael Arenas-Wong; Luis Castillo-Quijada; Verónica Coronado-Peraza; Abigail Enríquez-Munguia; Mirna Federico-Ortega; Alejandra García-Urrutia; Alba Lozano-Gámez; Romeo Méndez-Estrella; Laura Ochoa-Figueroa; J. R. Romo-León; Guy Kruse-Llergo; Iván Parra-Salazar

    2005-01-01

    Prairie dog is a keystone species throughout the habitat where it occurs, but its populations have declined about 98% in the last century. This species has been considered of international importance for the United States of America, Canada, and Mexico. Only two populations are recorded for Mexico, and the westernmost (isolated by Sierra Madre...

  6. Testing for thresholds in a semiarid grassland: The influence of prairie dogs and plague

    Science.gov (United States)

    State and transition models for semiarid grasslands in the Great Plains of North America suggest that the presence of herbivorous black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus) on a site (1) creates a vegetation state characterized by increased dominance of annual forbs and unpalatable bunchgrasse...

  7. Rainwater deficit and irrigation demand for row crops in Mississippi Blackland Prairie

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gary Feng; Ying Ouyang; Ardeshir Adeli; John Read; Johnie Jenkins

    2018-01-01

    Irrigation research in the mid-south United States has not kept pace with a steady increase in irrigated area in recent years. This study used rainfall records from 1895 to 2016 to determine rainwater deficit and irrigation demand for soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merr.], corn (Zea mays L.), and cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) in the Blackland Prairie region of Mississippi...

  8. Spread of plague among black-tailed prairie dogs is associated with colony spatial characteristics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, T.L.; Cully, J.F.; Collinge, S.K.; Ray, C.; Frey, C.M.; Sandercock, B.K.

    2011-01-01

    Sylvatic plague (Yersinia pestis) is an exotic pathogen that is highly virulent in black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus) and causes widespread colony losses and individual mortality rates >95%. We investigated colony spatial characteristics that may influence inter-colony transmission of plague at 3 prairie dog colony complexes in the Great Plains. The 4 spatial characteristics we considered include: colony size, Euclidean distance to nearest neighboring colony, colony proximity index, and distance to nearest drainage (dispersal) corridor. We used multi-state mark-recapture models to determine the relationship between these colony characteristics and probability of plague transmission among prairie dog colonies. Annual mapping of colonies and mark-recapture analyses of disease dynamics in natural colonies led to 4 main results: 1) plague outbreaks exhibited high spatial and temporal variation, 2) the site of initiation of epizootic plague may have substantially influenced the subsequent inter-colony spread of plague, 3) the long-term effect of plague on individual colonies differed among sites because of how individuals and colonies were distributed, and 4) colony spatial characteristics were related to the probability of infection at all sites although the relative importance and direction of relationships varied among sites. Our findings suggest that conventional prairie dog conservation management strategies, including promoting large, highly connected colonies, may need to be altered in the presence of plague. ?? 2011 The Wildlife Society.

  9. Vegetation dynamics of restored and remnant Willamette Valley, OR wet prairie wetlands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wet prairie wetlands are now one of the rarest habitat types in the Willamette Valley of Oregon, USA. Less than two percent of their historic extent remains, with most having been converted into agricultural fields (Christy and Alverson 2011, ONHP 1983). This habitat is the obl...

  10. Sediment removal by prairie filter strips in row-cropped ephemeral watersheds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matthew J. Helmers; Xiaobo Zhou; Heidi Asbjornsen; Randy Kolka; Mark D. Tomer; Richard M. Cruse

    2012-01-01

    Twelve small watersheds in central Iowa were used to evaluate the eff ectiveness of prairie filter strips (PFS) in trapping sediment from agricultural runoff. Four treatments with PFS of different size and location (100% rowcrop, 10% PFS of total watershed area at footslope, 10% PFS at footslope and in contour strips, 20% PFS at footslope and in contour strips)...

  11. Effects of wind energy development on nesting ecology of greater prairie-chickens in fragmented grasslands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McNew, Lance B; Hunt, Lyla M; Gregory, Andrew J; Wisely, Samantha M; Sandercock, Brett K

    2014-08-01

    Wind energy is targeted to meet 20% of U.S. energy needs by 2030, but new sites for development of renewable energy may overlap with important habitats of declining populations of grassland birds. Greater Prairie-Chickens (Tympanuchus cupido) are an obligate grassland bird species predicted to respond negatively to energy development. We used a modified before-after control-impact design to test for impacts of a wind energy development on the reproductive ecology of prairie-chickens in a 5-year study. We located 59 and 185 nests before and after development, respectively, of a 201 MW wind energy facility in Greater Prairie-Chicken nesting habitat and assessed nest site selection and nest survival relative to proximity to wind energy infrastructure and habitat conditions. Proximity to turbines did not negatively affect nest site selection (β = 0.03, 95% CI = -1.2-1.3) or nest survival (β = -0.3, 95% CI = -0.6-0.1). Instead, nest site selection and survival were strongly related to vegetative cover and other local conditions determined by management for cattle production. Integration of our project results with previous reports of behavioral avoidance of oil and gas facilities by other species of prairie grouse suggests new avenues for research to mitigate impacts of energy development. © 2014 The Authors. Conservation Biology published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of Society for Conservation Biology.

  12. Raptor community composition in the Texas Southern High Plains lesser prairie-chicken range

    Science.gov (United States)

    Behney, A.C.; Boal, Clint W.; Whitlaw, Heather A.; Lucia, D.R.

    2012-01-01

    Predation can be a factor in preventing prey population growth and sustainability when prey populations are small and fragmented, and when predator density is unrelated to the density of the single prey species. We conducted monthly raptor surveys from February 2007 to May 2009 in adjacent areas of the Texas Southern High Plains (USA) that do and do not support lesser prairie-chickens (Tympanuchus pallidicinctus), a candidate for protection under the Endangered Species Act. During the summer period corresponding to prairie-chicken nesting and brood-rearing, Swainson's hawks (Buteo swainsoni) were the most abundant raptor. During the lekking and overwintering period, the raptor community was diverse, with northern harriers (Circus cyaneus) being the most abundant species. Raptor abundance peaked during the early autumn and was lowest during the spring. Utility poles were a significant predictor of raptor density at survey points and Swainson's hawks and all raptors, pooled, were found in greater densities in non-prairie-chicken habitat dominated by mesquite (Prosopis glandulosa). Avian predation risk on prairie-chickens, based on presence and abundance of raptors, appears to be greatest during winter when there is a more abundant and diverse raptor community, and in areas with utility poles.

  13. Preliminary study of prairies forested with Eucalyptus sp. at the northwestern Uruguayan soils

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Carrasco-Letelier, L.; Eguren, G.; Castineira, C.; Parra, O.; Panario, D.

    2004-01-01

    The forestation of Uruguayan natural prairie soil does not always ensure an increase of soil carbon sink. - The land cover change of Uruguayan Forestal Plan provoked biogeochemical changes on horizon Au 1 of Argiudols; in native prairies which were replaced by monoculture Eucalyptus sp. plantation with 20 year rotations as trees. Five fields forested and six natural prairies were compared. The results not only show a statistical significant soil acidification, diminution of soil organic carbon, increase of aliphaticity degree of humic substances, and increase of affinity and capacity of hydrolytic activity from soil microbial communities for forested sites with Eucalyptus sp. but also, a tendency of podzolization and/or mineralization by this kind of land cover changes, with a net soil organic lost of 16.6 tons ha -1 in the horizon Au 1 of soil under Eucalyptus sp. plantation compared with prairie. Besides, these results point out the necessity of correction of the methodology used by assigned Uruguayan commission to assess the national net emission of greenhouse gases, since the mineralization and/or podzolization process detected in forested soil imply a overestimation of soil organic carbon. The biochemical parameters show a statistical significant correlation between the soil organic carbon status and these parameters which were presented as essential for the correct evaluation of Uruguayan soil carbon sink

  14. Phenotypic and genetic characterization of western prairie clover collections from the western USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kishor Bhattarai; B. Shaun Bushman; Douglas A. Johnson; John G. Carman

    2010-01-01

    Few North American legumes are available for rangeland revegetation in the semiarid western United States. Western prairie clover (Dalea ornata [Douglas ex Hook.] Eaton & J. Wright) is a perennial legume with desirable forage characteristics and is distributed in the northern Great Basin, Snake River Basin, and southern Columbia Plateau. Understanding the...

  15. Gallbladder contractility and mucus secretion after cholesterol feeding in the prairie dog

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Li, Y. F.; Moody, F. G.; Weisbrodt, N. W.; Zalewsky, C. A.; Coelho, J. C.; Senninger, N.; Gouma, D.

    1986-01-01

    The purpose of our study was to evaluate changes in gallbladder contractility and mucus secretion in vitro during the early stages of gallstone formation in prairie dogs. Thirty-two animals were divided into five groups. Control animals were fed a trace cholesterol diet. Experimental animals were

  16. Searls prairie clover (Dalea searlsiae) for rangeland revegetation: Phenotypic and genetic evaluations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kishor Bhattarai; Shaun Bushman; Douglas A. Johnson; John G. Carman

    2011-01-01

    Few North American legumes are available for use in rangeland revegetation in the western USA, but Searls prairie clover [Dalea searlsiae (A. Gray) Barneby] is one that holds promise. Commercial-scale seed production of this species could address the issues of unreliable seed availability and high seed costs associated with its wildland seed collection. To evaluate its...

  17. Sodium co-limits and catalyzes macronutrients in a prairie food web

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kaspari, Michael; Roeder, Karl A.; Benson, Brittany

    2017-01-01

    Nitrogen and phosphorus frequently limit terrestrial plant production, but have a mixed record in regulating the abundance of terrestrial invertebrates. We contrasted four ways that Na could interact with an NP fertilizer to shape the plants and invertebrates of an inland prairie. We applied NP a...

  18. Comparison of cellulosic ethanol yields from midwestern maize and reconstructed tallgrass prairie systems managed for bioenergy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maize- and prairie-based systems were investigated as cellulosic feedstocks by conducting a 9 ha side-by-side comparison on fertile soils in the Midwestern United States. Maize was grown continuously with adequate fertilization over years both with and without a winter rye cover crop, and the 31-spe...

  19. Population status of prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus) in the San Pedro River Basin, Sonora

    Science.gov (United States)

    Efren Moreno-Arzate; Carlos A. Lopez Gonzalez; Gerardo Carreon Arroyo

    2013-01-01

    The black tailed prairie dog (Cynomys ludovicianus) is a species of conservation concern for Mexico, the United States and Canada. Populations in Mexico (including those in Sonora), which are considered endangered by the Mexican authority, require additional conservation efforts to maintain them on the long term. Our objective was to determine population size and...

  20. Interactions of raptors and Lesser Prairie-Chickens at leks in the Texas Southern High Plains

    Science.gov (United States)

    Behney, Adam C.; Boal, Clint W.; Whitlaw, Heather A.; Lucia, Duane R.

    2011-01-01

    We examined behavioral interactions of raptors, Chihuahuan Ravens (Corvus cryptoleucus), and Lesser Prairie-Chickens (Tympanuchus pallidicinctus) at leks in the Texas Southern High Plains. Northern Harriers (Circus cyaneus) and Swainson's Hawks (Buteo swainsoni) were the most common raptors observed at leks. Only 15 of 61 (25%) raptor encounters at leks (0.09/hr) resulted in a capture attempt (0.02/hr). Mean (± SD) time for Lesser Prairie-Chickens to return to lekking behavior following a raptor encounter was 4.2 ± 5.5 min suggesting the disturbance had little influence on lekking behaviors. Lesser Prairie-Chickens engaged in different escape behaviors depending on raptor species and, generally, did not respond to ravens suggesting they are able to assess different predation risks. The raptors in our study area posed little predation risk to lekking prairie-chickens. Behavioral disturbance at leks appears minimal due to the lack of successful predation events, low raptor encounter rates, and short time to return to lekking behavior.

  1. Environmental Impacts of Wind Power Development on the Population Biology of Greater Prairie-Chickens

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sandercock, Brett K. [Kansas State Univ., Manhattan, KS (United States)

    2013-05-22

    This report summarizes the results of a seven-year, DOE-funded research project, conducted by researchers from Kansas State University and the National Wind Coordinating Collaborative, to assess the effects of wind energy development in Kansas on the population and reproduction of greater prairie chickens.

  2. Intrusion of soil covered uranium mill tailings by whitetail prairie dogs and Richardson's ground squirrels

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Shuman, R.

    1984-01-01

    The primary objective of the reclamation of uranium mill tailings is the long-term isolation of the matrial from the biosphere. Fossorial and semi-fossorial species represent a potentially disruptive influence as a result of their burrowing habits. The potential for intrusion was investigated with respect to two sciurids, the whitetail prairie dog (Cynomys leucurus) and Richardson's ground squirrel (Spermophilus richardsonii). Populations of prairie dogs were established on a control area, lacking a tailings layer, and two experimental areas, underlain by a waste layer, in southeastern Wyoming. Weekly measurements of prairie dog mound surface activities were conducted to demonstrate penetration, or lack thereof, of the tailings layer. Additionally, the impact of burrowing upon radon flux was determined. Limited penetration of the waste layer was noted after which frequency of inhabitance of the intruding burrow system declined. No significant changes in radon flux were detected. In another experiment, it was found that Richardson's ground squirrels burrowed to less extreme depths when confronted by mill tailings. Additional work at an inactive tailings pile in western Colorado revealed repeated intrusion through a shallow cover, and subsequent transport of radioactive material to the ground surface by prairie dogs. Radon flux from burrow entrances was significantly greater than that from undisturbed ground. Data suggested that textural and pH properties of tailings material may act to discourage repeated intrusion at some sites. 58 references

  3. Interannual variability in the extent of wetland-stream connectivity within the Prairie Pothole Region

    Science.gov (United States)

    Melanie Vanderhoof; Laurie Alexander

    2016-01-01

    The degree of hydrological connectivity between wetland systems and downstream receiving waters can be expected to influence the volume and variability of stream discharge. The Prairie Pothole Region contains a high density of depressional wetland features, a consequence of glacial retreat. Spatial variability in wetland density, drainage evolution, and precipitation...

  4. Transformation of Digital Ecosystems

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Henningsson, Stefan; Hedman, Jonas

    2014-01-01

    the Digital Ecosystem Technology Transformation (DETT) framework for explaining technology-based transformation of digital ecosystems by integrating theories of business and technology ecosystems. The framework depicts ecosystem transformation as distributed and emergent from micro-, meso-, and macro- level......In digital ecosystems, the fusion relation between business and technology means that the decision of technical compatibility of the offering is also the decision of how to position the firm relative to the coopetive relations that characterize business ecosystems. In this article we develop...... coopetition. The DETT framework consists an alternative to the existing explanations of digital ecosystem transformation as the rational management of one central actor balancing ecosystem tensions. We illustrate the use of the framework by a case study of transformation in the digital payment ecosystem...

  5. Ecosystem degradation in India

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sinha, B.N.

    1990-01-01

    Environmental and ecosystem studies have assumed greater relevance in the last decade of the twentieth century than even before. The urban settlements are becoming over-crowded and industries are increasingly polluting the air, water and sound in our larger metropolises. Degradation of different types of ecosystem are discussed in this book, Ecosystem Degradation in India. The book has been divided into seven chapters: Introduction, Coastal and Delta Ecosystem, River Basin Ecosystem, Mountain Ecosystem, Forest Ecosystem, Urban Ecosystem and the last chapter deals with the Environmental Problems and Planning. In the introduction the environmental and ecosystem degradation problems in India is highlighted as a whole while in other chapters mostly case studies by experts who know their respective terrain very intimately are included. The case study papers cover most part of India and deal with local problems, stretching from east coast to west coast and from Kashmir to Kanyakumari. (author)

  6. Predicting Greater Prairie-Chicken Lek Site Suitability to Inform Conservation Actions.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Torre J Hovick

    Full Text Available The demands of a growing human population dictates that expansion of energy infrastructure, roads, and other development frequently takes place in native rangelands. Particularly, transmission lines and roads commonly divide rural landscapes and increase fragmentation. This has direct and indirect consequences on native wildlife that can be mitigated through thoughtful planning and proactive approaches to identifying areas of high conservation priority. We used nine years (2003-2011 of Greater Prairie-Chicken (Tympanuchus cupido lek locations totaling 870 unique leks sites in Kansas and seven geographic information system (GIS layers describing land cover, topography, and anthropogenic structures to model habitat suitability across the state. The models obtained had low omission rates (0.81, indicating high model performance and reliability of predicted habitat suitability for Greater Prairie-Chickens. We found that elevation was the most influential in predicting lek locations, contributing three times more predictive power than any other variable. However, models were improved by the addition of land cover and anthropogenic features (transmission lines, roads, and oil and gas structures. Overall, our analysis provides a hierarchal understanding of Greater Prairie-Chicken habitat suitability that is broadly based on geomorphological features followed by land cover suitability. We found that when land features and vegetation cover are suitable for Greater Prairie-Chickens, fragmentation by anthropogenic sources such as roadways and transmission lines are a concern. Therefore, it is our recommendation that future human development in Kansas avoid areas that our models identified as highly suitable for Greater Prairie-Chickens and focus development on land cover types that are of lower conservation concern.

  7. The innate immune response may be important for surviving plague in wild Gunnison's prairie dogs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Busch, Joseph D.; Van Andel, Roger; Stone, Nathan E.; Cobble, Kacy R.; Nottingham, Roxanne; Lee, Judy; VerSteeg, Michael; Corcoran, Jeff; Cordova, Jennifer; Van Pelt, William E.; Shuey, Megan M.; Foster, Jeffrey T.; Schupp, James M.; Beckstrom-Sternberg, Stephen; Beckstrom-Sternberg, James; Keim, Paul; Smith, Susan; Rodriguez-Ramos, Julia; Williamson, Judy L.; Rocke, Tonie E.; Wagner, David M.

    2013-01-01

    Prairie dogs (Cynomys spp.) are highly susceptible to Yersinia pestis, with ≥99% mortality reported from multiple studies of plague epizootics. A colony of Gunnison's prairie dogs (Cynomys gunnisoni) in the Aubrey Valley (AV) of northern Arizona appears to have survived several regional epizootics of plague, whereas nearby colonies have been severely affected by Y. pestis. To examine potential mechanisms accounting for survival in the AV colony, we conducted a laboratory Y. pestis challenge experiment on 60 wild-caught prairie dogs from AV and from a nearby, large colony with frequent past outbreaks of plague, Espee (n = 30 per colony). Test animals were challenged subcutaneously with the fully virulent Y. pestis strain CO92 at three doses: 50, 5,000, and 50,000 colony-forming units (cfu); this range is lethal in black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus). Contrary to our expectations, only 40% of the animals died. Although mortality trended higher in the Espee colony (50%) compared with AV (30%), the differences among infectious doses were not statistically significant. Only 39% of the survivors developed moderate to high antibody levels to Y. pestis, indicating that mechanisms other than humoral immunity are important in resistance to plague. The ratio of neutrophils to lymphocytes was not correlated with plague survival in this study. However, several immune proteins with roles in innate immunity (VCAM-1, CXCL-1, and vWF) were upregulated during plague infection and warrant further inquiry into their role for protection against this disease. These results suggest plague resistance exists in wild populations of the Gunnison's prairie dog and provide important directions for future studies.

  8. Sylvatic plague vaccine partially protects prairie dogs (Cynomys spp.) in field trials

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rocke, Tonie E.; Tripp, Daniel W.; Russell, Robin E.; Abbott, Rachel C.; Richgels, Katherine; Matchett, Marc R.; Biggins, Dean E.; Griebel, Randall; Schroeder, Greg; Grassel, Shaun M.; Pipkin, David R.; Cordova, Jennifer; Kavalunas, Adam; Maxfield, Brian; Boulerice, Jesse; Miller, Michael W.

    2017-01-01

    Sylvatic plague, caused by Yersinia pestis, frequently afflicts prairie dogs (Cynomys spp.), causing population declines and local extirpations. We tested the effectiveness of bait-delivered sylvatic plague vaccine (SPV) in prairie dog colonies on 29 paired placebo and treatment plots (1–59 ha in size; average 16.9 ha) in 7 western states from 2013 to 2015. We compared relative abundance (using catch per unit effort (CPUE) as an index) and apparent survival of prairie dogs on 26 of the 29 paired plots, 12 with confirmed or suspected plague (Y. pestis positive carcasses or fleas). Even though plague mortality occurred in prairie dogs on vaccine plots, SPV treatment had an overall positive effect on CPUE in all three years, regardless of plague status. Odds of capturing a unique animal were 1.10 (95% confidence interval [C.I.] 1.02–1.19) times higher per trap day on vaccine-treated plots than placebo plots in 2013, 1.47 (95% C.I. 1.41–1.52) times higher in 2014 and 1.19 (95% C.I. 1.13–1.25) times higher in 2015. On pairs where plague occurred, odds of apparent survival were 1.76 (95% Bayesian credible interval [B.C.I.] 1.28–2.43) times higher on vaccine plots than placebo plots for adults and 2.41 (95% B.C.I. 1.72–3.38) times higher for juveniles. Our results provide evidence that consumption of vaccine-laden baits can protect prairie dogs against plague; however, further evaluation and refinement are needed to optimize SPV use as a management tool.

  9. Specificity in Sociality: Mice and Prairie Voles Exhibit Different Patterns of Peer Affiliation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beery, Annaliese K.; Christensen, Jennifer D; Lee, Nicole S.; Blandino, Katrina L.

    2018-01-01

    Social behavior is often described as a unified concept, but highly social (group-living) species exhibit distinct social structures and may make different social decisions. Prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster) are socially monogamous rodents that often reside in extended family groups, and exhibit robust preferences for familiar social partners (same- and opposite-sex) during extended choice tests, although short-term preferences are not known. Mice (Mus musculus) are gregarious and colonial, but in brief laboratory tests of social preference they typically prefer social novelty. This preference for novel vs. familiar peers may represent a species-specific difference in social decision-making between mice and prairie voles. However, the tests used to measure preferences in each species differ markedly in duration and degree of contact, such that the behaviors cannot be directly compared. We assessed whether social preferences for novelty or familiarity differed between mice and prairie voles of both sexes when assessed with matching protocols: the sociability/social preference test (SPT) typically used in mice (short, no direct contact), and the partner preference test (PPT) used in voles (long, direct contact). A subset of voles also underwent a PPT using barriers (long, no direct contact). In the short SPT, behavior did not differ between species. In the longer test, pronounced partner preferences emerged in prairie voles, but mice exhibited no social preferences and rarely huddled. No sex differences were evident in either test. Direct physical contact was required for partner preferences in huddling time in voles, but preference for the partner chamber was evident with or without contact. Both prairie voles and mice are social, but they exhibit important differences in the specificity and extent of their social behavior. While mice are often used to study social approach and other behaviors, voles are a more suitable species for the study of selective social

  10. Specificity in Sociality: Mice and Prairie Voles Exhibit Different Patterns of Peer Affiliation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Annaliese K. Beery

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available Social behavior is often described as a unified concept, but highly social (group-living species exhibit distinct social structures and may make different social decisions. Prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster are socially monogamous rodents that often reside in extended family groups, and exhibit robust preferences for familiar social partners (same- and opposite-sex during extended choice tests, although short-term preferences are not known. Mice (Mus musculus are gregarious and colonial, but in brief laboratory tests of social preference they typically prefer social novelty. This preference for novel vs. familiar peers may represent a species-specific difference in social decision-making between mice and prairie voles. However, the tests used to measure preferences in each species differ markedly in duration and degree of contact, such that the behaviors cannot be directly compared. We assessed whether social preferences for novelty or familiarity differed between mice and prairie voles of both sexes when assessed with matching protocols: the sociability/social preference test (SPT typically used in mice (short, no direct contact, and the partner preference test (PPT used in voles (long, direct contact. A subset of voles also underwent a PPT using barriers (long, no direct contact. In the short SPT, behavior did not differ between species. In the longer test, pronounced partner preferences emerged in prairie voles, but mice exhibited no social preferences and rarely huddled. No sex differences were evident in either test. Direct physical contact was required for partner preferences in huddling time in voles, but preference for the partner chamber was evident with or without contact. Both prairie voles and mice are social, but they exhibit important differences in the specificity and extent of their social behavior. While mice are often used to study social approach and other behaviors, voles are a more suitable species for the study of

  11. Lesser prairie-chicken fence collision risk across its northern distribution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robinson, Samantha G.; Haukos, David A.; Plumb, Reid T.; Hagen, Christian A.; Pitman, James C.; Lautenbach, Joseph M.; Sullins, Daniel S.; Kraft, John D.; Lautenbach, Jonathan D.

    2016-01-01

    Livestock fences have been hypothesized to significantly contribute to mortality of lesser prairie-chickens (Tympanuchus pallidicinctus); however, quantification of mortality due to fence collisions is lacking across their current distribution. Variation in fence density, landscape composition and configuration, and land use could influence collision risk of lesser prairie-chickens. We monitored fences within 3 km of known leks during spring and fall and surveyed for signs of collision occurrence within 20 m of fences in 6 study sites in Kansas and Colorado, USA during 2013 and 2014. We assessed mortality locations of radio-tagged birds (n = 286) for evidence of fence collisions and compared distance to fence relative to random points. Additionally, we quantified locations, propensity, and frequency of fences crossed by lesser prairie-chickens. We tested for landscape and vegetative characteristics that influenced fence-cross propensity and frequency of global positioning system (GPS)-marked birds. A minimum of 12,706 fence crossings occurred by GPS-marked lesser prairie-chickens. We found 3 carcasses and 12 additional possible instances of evidence of collision during >2,800 km of surveyed fences. We found evidence for a single suspected collision based on carcass evidence for 148 mortalities of transmittered birds. Mortality locations of transmittered birds were located at distances from fences 15% farther than expected at random. Our data suggested minimal biological significance and indicated that propensity and frequency of fence crossings were random processes. Lesser prairie-chickens do not appear to be experiencing significant mortality risk due to fence collisions in Kansas and Colorado. Focusing resources on other limiting factors (i.e., habitat quality) has greater potential for impact on population demography than fence marking and removal.

  12. The predicted influence of climate change on lesser prairie-chicken reproductive parameters

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grisham, Blake A.; Boal, Clint W.; Haukos, David A.; Davis, D.; Boydston, Kathy K.; Dixon, Charles; Heck, Willard R.

    2013-01-01

    The Southern High Plains is anticipated to experience significant changes in temperature and precipitation due to climate change. These changes may influence the lesser prairie-chicken (Tympanuchus pallidicinctus) in positive or negative ways. We assessed the potential changes in clutch size, incubation start date, and nest survival for lesser prairie-chickens for the years 2050 and 2080 based on modeled predictions of climate change and reproductive data for lesser prairie-chickens from 2001-2011 on the Southern High Plains of Texas and New Mexico. We developed 9 a priori models to assess the relationship between reproductive parameters and biologically relevant weather conditions. We selected weather variable(s) with the most model support and then obtained future predicted values from climatewizard.org. We conducted 1,000 simulations using each reproductive parameter's linear equation obtained from regression calculations, and the future predicted value for each weather variable to predict future reproductive parameter values for lesser prairie-chickens. There was a high degree of model uncertainty for each reproductive value. Winter temperature had the greatest effect size for all three parameters, suggesting a negative relationship between above-average winter temperature and reproductive output. The above-average winter temperatures are correlated to La Nina events, which negatively affect lesser prairie-chickens through resulting drought conditions. By 2050 and 2080, nest survival was predicted to be below levels considered viable for population persistence; however, our assessment did not consider annual survival of adults, chick survival, or the positive benefit of habitat management and conservation, which may ultimately offset the potentially negative effect of drought on nest survival.

  13. From pasture grass to cattle milk

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Miyamoto, Susumu

    1979-01-01

    Iodine-131 is one of the important fission products since it is selectively accumulated in the thyroid gland of man. The transfer of this isotope from contaminated grass to cows' milk is therefore of particular importance since milk is a major constituent of the diet especially for infants. The purpose of this paper is to discuss the transfer rate of this isotope from grass to milk of lactuating cows and its distribution in milk. It is said that the orally administered iodide is rapidly absorbed through the rumen wall and excreted mainly to urine. The absorbed iodine is accumulated highly in the thyroid gland and the considerable amount is secreted to milk. Garner et al. showed that about 5% of a dose of 131 I was found in the milk within 7 days. The extremes were 1.43 to 16.4%. Present author obtained that 18 - 30% of the dosed 131 I was secreted into milk within 7 days, indicating somewhat higher transfer rate than that of Garner et al. It was reported that more than 90% of 131 I was found in milk serum in the ionic form. The countermeasures for diminishing 131 I in milk were also presented. (author)

  14. Genetic modification of wetland grasses for phytoremediation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Czako, M.; Liang Dali; Marton, L. [Dept. of Biological Sciences, Univ. of South Carolina, Columbia, SC (United States); Feng Xianzhong; He Yuke [National Lab. of Plant Molecular Genetics, Shanghai Inst. of Plant Physiology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai, SH (China)

    2005-04-01

    Wetland grasses and grass-like monocots are very important natural remediators of pollutants. Their genetic improvement is an important task because introduction of key transgenes can dramatically improve their remediation potential. Tissue culture is prerequisite for genetic manipulation, and methods are reported here for in vitro culture and micropropagation of a number of wetland plants of various ecological requirements such as salt marsh, brackish water, riverbanks, and various zones of lakes and ponds, and bogs. The monocots represent numerous genera in various families such as Poaceae, Cyperaceae, Juncaceae, and Typhaceae. The reported species are in various stages of micropropagation and Arundo donax is scaled for mass propagation for selecting elite lines for pytoremediation. Transfer of key genes for mercury phytoremediation into the salt marsh cordgrass (Spartina alterniflora) is also reported here. All but one transgenic lines contained both the organomercurial lyase (merB) and mercuric reductase (merA) sequences showing that co-introduction into Spartina of two genes from separate Agrobacterium strains is possible. (orig.)

  15. Elephant grass clones for silage production

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rerisson José Cipriano dos Santos

    2013-02-01

    Full Text Available Ensiling warm-season grasses often requires wilting due to their high moisture content, and the presence of low-soluble sugars in these grasses usually demands the use of additives during the ensiling process. This study evaluated the bromatological composition of the fodder and silage from five Pennisetum sp. clones (IPA HV 241, IPA/UFRPE Taiwan A-146 2.114, IPA/UFRPE Taiwan A-146 2.37, Elephant B, and Mott. The contents of 20 Polyvinyl chloride (PVC silos, which were opened after 90 days of storage, were used for the bromatological analysis and the evaluation of the pH, nitrogen, ammonia, buffer capacity, soluble carbohydrates, and fermentation coefficients. The effluent losses, gases and dry matter recovery were also calculated. Although differences were observed among the clones (p < 0.05 for the concentrations of dry matter, insoluble nitrogen in acid detergents, insoluble nitrogen in neutral detergents, soluble carbohydrates, fermentation coefficients, and in vitro digestibility in the forage before ensiling, no differences were observed for most of these variables after ensiling. All of the clones were efficient in the fermentation process. The IPA/UFRPE TAIWAN A-146 2.37 clone, however, presented a higher dry matter concentration and the best fermentation coefficient, resulting in a better silage quality, compared to the other clones.

  16. Canola Root–Associated Microbiomes in the Canadian Prairies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chih-Ying Lay

    2018-06-01

    Full Text Available Canola is one of the most economically important crops in Canada, and the root and rhizosphere microbiomes of a canola plant likely impact its growth and nutrient uptake. The aim of this study was to determine whether canola has a core root microbiome (i.e., set of microbes that are consistently selected in the root environment, and whether this is distinct from the core microbiomes of other crops that are commonly grown in the Canadian Prairies, pea, and wheat. We also assessed whether selected agronomic treatments can modify the canola microbiome, and whether this was associated to enhanced yield. We used a field experiment with a randomized complete block design, which was repeated at three locations across the canola-growing zone of Canada. Roots and rhizosphere soil were harvested at the flowering stage of canola. We separately isolated total extractable DNA from plant roots and from adjacent rhizosphere soil, and constructed MiSeq amplicon libraries for each of 60 samples, targeting bacterial, and archaeal 16S rRNA genes and the fungal ITS region. We determined that the microbiome of the roots and rhizosphere of canola was consistently different from those of wheat and pea. These microbiomes comprise several putative plant-growth-promoting rhizobacteria, including Amycolatopsis sp., Serratia proteamaculans, Pedobacter sp., Arthrobacter sp., Stenotrophomonas sp., Fusarium merismoides, and Fusicolla sp., which correlated positively with canola yield. Crop species had a significant influence on bacterial and fungal assemblages, especially within the roots, while higher nutrient input or seeding density did not significantly alter the global composition of bacterial, fungal, or archaeal assemblages associated with canola roots. However, the relative abundance of Olpidium brassicae, a known pathogen of members of the Brassicaceae, was significantly reduced in the roots of canola planted at higher seeding density. Our results suggest that

  17. Modeling Prairie Pothole Lakes: Linking Satellite Observation and Calibration (Invited)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schwartz, F. W.; Liu, G.; Zhang, B.; Yu, Z.

    2009-12-01

    This paper examines the response of a complex lake wetland system to variations in climate. The focus is on the lakes and wetlands of the Missouri Coteau, which is part of the larger Prairie Pothole Region of the Central Plains of North America. Information on lake size was enumerated from satellite images, and yielded power law relationships for different hydrological conditions. More traditional lake-stage data were made available to us from the USGS Cottonwood Lake Study Site in North Dakota. A Probabilistic Hydrologic Model (PHM) was developed to simulate lake complexes comprised of tens-of-thousands or more individual closed-basin lakes and wetlands. What is new about this model is a calibration scheme that utilizes remotely-sensed data on lake area as well as stage data for individual lakes. Some ¼ million individual data points are used within a Genetic Algorithm to calibrate the model by comparing the simulated results with observed lake area-frequency power law relationships derived from Landsat images and water depths from seven individual lakes and wetlands. The simulated lake behaviors show good agreement with the observations under average, dry, and wet climatic conditions. The calibrated model is used to examine the impact of climate variability on a large lake complex in ND, in particular, the “Dust Bowl Drought” 1930s. This most famous drought of the 20th Century devastated the agricultural economy of the Great Plains with health and social impacts lingering for years afterwards. Interestingly, the drought of 1930s is unremarkable in relation to others of greater intensity and frequency before AD 1200 in the Great Plains. Major droughts and deluges have the ability to create marked variability of the power law function (e.g. up to one and a half orders of magnitude variability from the extreme Dust Bowl Drought to the extreme 1993-2001 deluge). This new probabilistic modeling approach provides a novel tool to examine the response of the

  18. [Assessment of shallow groundwater nitrate concentrations in typical terrestrial ecosystems of Chinese Ecosystem Research Network (CERN) during 2004-2009].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Zhi-Wei; Zhang, Xin-Yu; Sun, Xiao-Min; Yuan, Guo-Fu; Wang, Sheng-Zhong; Liu, Wen-Hua

    2011-10-01

    The nitrate-N (NO3(-) -N) concentrations of 38 shallow groundwater wells from 31 of the typical terrestrial ecosystems on Chinese Ecosystem Research Network (CERN) were assessed using the monitoring data from 2004 to 2009. The results showed that the average values of NO3(-) -N concentrations were significantly higher in the agricultural (4.85 mg x L(-1) +/- 0.42 mg x L(-1)), desert (oasis) (3.72 mg x L(-1) +/- 0.42 mg x L(-1)) and urban ecosystems (3.77 mg x L(-1) 0.51 mg x L(-1)) than in the grass (1.59 mg x L(-1) +/- 0.35 mg L(-1)) and forest ecosystems (0.39 mg x L(-1) +/- 0.03 mg x L(-1)). Nitrate was the major form of nitrogen, with between 56% to 88% of nitrogen in the nitrate-N form in the shallow groundwater of desert (oasis), urban and agricultural ecosystems. Nitrate-N concentrations for some agricultural ecosystems (Ansai, Yanting, Yucheng) and desert (oasis) ecosystems (Cele, Linze, Akesu) analysis exceeded the 10 mg x L(-1) World Health Organization drinking water standards between 14.3% and 84.6%. Significant seasonality was found in Ansai, Fengqiu, Yanting agricultural ecosystems and the Beijing urban ecosystem using the relatively high frequency monitoring data, with the higher nitrate concentrations usually found during summer and winter months. The monitoring results indicated that the shallow groundwater of agricultural ecosystems was contaminated by agricultural management practices, i.e. fertilization, while the shallow groundwater of forest ecosystems was under natural condition with no contamination from human activities.

  19. Perennial Grass Bioenergy Cropping on Wet Marginal Land

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Das, Srabani; Teuffer, Karin; Stoof, Cathelijne R.; Walter, Michael F.; Walter, M.T.; Steenhuis, Tammo S.; Richards, Brian K.

    2018-01-01

    The control of soil moisture, vegetation type, and prior land use on soil health parameters of perennial grass cropping systems on marginal lands is not well known. A fallow wetness-prone marginal site in New York (USA) was converted to perennial grass bioenergy feedstock production. Quadruplicate

  20. No positive feedback between fire and a nonnative perennial grass

    Science.gov (United States)

    Erika L. Geiger; Guy R. McPherson

    2005-01-01

    Semi-desert grasslands flank the “Sky Island” mountains in southern Arizona and Northern Mexico. Many of these grasslands are dominated by nonnative grasses, which potentially alter native biotic communities. One specific concern is the potential for a predicted feedback between nonnative grasses and fire. In a large-scale experiment in southern Arizona we investigated...

  1. Analysis of Fusarium causing dermal toxicosis in marram grass planters

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Snijders, CHA; Samson, RA; Hoekstra, ES; Ouellet, T; Miller, JD; deRooijvanderGoes, PCEM; Baar, AJM; Dubois, AEJ; Kauffman, HF

    1996-01-01

    In the European coastal dunes, marram grass (Ammophila arenaria) is planted in order to control sand erosion. In the years 1986 to 1991, workers on the Wadden islands in the Netherlands planting marram grass showed lesions of skin and mucous membranes, suggesting a toxic reaction. Fusarium culmorum

  2. Conceptual model for reinforced grass on inner dike slopes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Verhagen, H.J.; ComCoast

    2005-01-01

    A desk study has been carried out in order to develop a conceptual model for the erosion of inner dike slopes with reinforced grass cover. Based on the results the following can be concluded: The presence of a geosynthetic in a grass slope can be taken into account in the EPM method by increasing

  3. Grass defoliation affecting survival and growth of seedlings of ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Two experiments were conducted, one in the field and the other in the greenhouse, to investigate the effects of the intensity and frequency of grass defoliation on the survival and growth of Acacia karroo seedlings. In the greenhouse, seedlings growing with heavily clipped grasses had higher biomass production than those ...

  4. Defoliation effects of perennial grasses – continuing confusion | DL ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Although an adequate knowledge of growth patterns and defoliation effects in perennial grasses is a prerequisite for the rational use of veld and pastures for animal production, our knowledge of this subject is far from adequate. The results of various physiological and clipping studies on tropical and sub-tropical grasses are ...

  5. MACRO NUTRIENTS UPTAKE OF FORAGE GRASSES AT DIFFERENT SALINITY STRESSES

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    F. Kusmiyati

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available The high concentration of sodium chloride (NaCl in saline soils has negative effects on the growth ofmost plants. The experiment was designed to evaluate macro nutrient uptake (Nitrogen, Phosphorus andPotassium of forage grasses at different NaCl concentrations in growth media. The experiment wasconducted in a greenhouse at Forage Crops Laboratory of Animal Agriculture Faculty, Diponegoro University.Split plot design was used to arrange the experiment. The main plot was forage grasses (Elephant grass(Pennisetum purpureum and King grass (Pennisetum hybrida. The sub plot was NaCl concentrationin growth media (0, 150, and 300 mM. The nitrogen (N, phosphorus (P and potassium (K uptake in shootand root of plant were measured. The result indicated increasing NaCl concentration in growth mediasignificantly decreased the N, P and K uptake in root and shoot of the elephant grass and king grass. Thepercentage reduction percentage of N, P and K uptake at 150 mM and 300 mM were high in elephant grassand king grass. It can be concluded that based on nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium uptake, elephantgrass and king grass are not tolerant to strong and very strong saline soil.

  6. EBIPM | Finding the Tools to Manage Invasive Annual Grasses

    Science.gov (United States)

    management decisions for a given landscape based on ecological principles. Take a look at our video " Grass Management How much could prevention save you? Guidelines to Implement EBIPM Weed Prevention Areas Grass Facts/ID The EBIPM Model Crooked River Weed Management Area Guide Tools for Educators EBIPM High

  7. Lessons learned in managing alfalfa-grass mixtures

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grass-alfalfa mixtures have a number of benefits that make them attractive to producers. However, they can be problematic to establish and maintain. Research programs have made progress in understanding the benefits and challenges of alfalfa-grass mixtures. Mixtures may have greater winter survival ...

  8. Agricultural field reclamation utilizing native grass crop production

    Science.gov (United States)

    J. Cure

    2013-01-01

    Developing a method of agricultural field reclamation to native grasses in the Lower San Pedro Watershed could prove to be a valuable tool for educational and practical purposes. Agricultural field reclamation utilizing native grass crop production will address water table depletion, soil degradation and the economic viability of the communities within the watershed....

  9. Effect of grass species on NDF ruminal degradability and ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    uzivatel

    Abstract. The objective of this study was to compare the ruminal degradability of neutral detergent fibre (NDF) .... Felina were evaluated in the present study. The grass was harvested from the primary growth of monocultured grasses on 19 and 26 May of 2004 and 27 May and 10 ...... Nutritional Ecology of the Ruminant.

  10. Seed production and establishment of western Oregon native grasses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dale C. Darris

    2005-01-01

    It is well understood that native grasses are ecologically important and provide numerous benefits. However, unfavorable economics, low seed yields for some species, genetic issues, and a lack of experience behind the production and establishment of most western Oregon native grasses remain significant impediments for their expanded use. By necessity, adaptation of...

  11. Analysis of Some Heavy Metals in Grass ( Paspalum Orbiculare ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The increased deposition of trace metals from vehicle exhausts on plants has raised concerns about the risks of the quality of food consumed by humans since the heavy metals emitted through the exhaust by vehicles can enter food chain through deposition on grass grazed by animals. Grass (Paspalum Orbiculare) and ...

  12. Identification of grazed grasses using epidermal characters | R ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The use of anatomical features of the abaxial epidermis of grasses is discussed for the identification of fragments of epidermis present in samples of rumen. The reliability of this technique, and the variation of the epidermal characters in two widely distributed species of grass, is given. A "Key" to identity certain genera of ...

  13. Designing Resilient and Productive Grasses with Plasticity to Extreme Weather Events

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loka, D.; Humphreys, M.; Gwyn Jones, D.; Scullion, J.; Doonan, J.; Gasior, D.; Harper, J.; Farrell, M.; Kingston-Smith, A.; Dodd, R.; Chadwick, D.; Hill, P.; Robinson, D.; Jones, D.

    2016-12-01

    Grasslands occupy more than 70% of the world's agricultural land and are major providers of healthy feed for livestock and for ecosystem services. Global warming is projected to increase the intensity and frequency of extreme weather events such as drought and flooding and will reduce persistency of currently productive but stress sensitive forage grass varieties, thereby challenging global food security and compromising on their existing ecosystem functionality. New perennial grass varieties, tolerant to the onsets of more than one abiotic stresses, are required in order to achieve sustainable grassland production and function over years under adverse environmental conditions. Identifying and selecting reliable morphological and physiological traits associated with increased resistance to multiple stress conditions is a prerequisite to ensure future grasslands resilience. The objectives of our study were to select from diverse and novel Festulolium (ryegrass spp. x fescue spp. hybrids) grass populations capable of providing optimal combinations of good forage production together with resilience to multiple stresses and to monitor morphological and physiological responses under multiple stress conditions. The grasses were: Festulolium variety Prior (L. perenne x F. pratensis), shown to alter soil structure and hydrology to mitigate run-off and flooding; two advanced breeding populations of diploid L. perenne with genes for drought tolerance derived from the Mediterranean fescue species F. arundinacea and F. glaucescens; two tetraploid hybrid populations involving L. perenne in combination with F. glaucescens and F. mairei (from North Africa), respectively. As controls, Festulolium variety AberNiche and L. perenne variety AberWolf varieties, were used. Treatments consisted of: A) Control; plants maintained at optimum conditions, B) Flood; plants were flooded for 6 weeks followed by a 4-week recovery, C) Drought; plants received limited quantity of water for 12 weeks

  14. 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

  15. Native Grass Community Management Plan for the Oak Ridge Reservation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ryon, Michael G [ORNL; Parr, Patricia Dreyer [ORNL; Cohen, Kari [ORNL

    2007-06-01

    Land managers at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory in East Tennessee are restoring native warm-season grasses and wildflowers to various sites across the Oak Ridge Reservation (ORR). Some of the numerous benefits to planting native grasses and forbs include improved habitat quality for wildlife, improved aesthetic values, lower long-term maintenance costs, and compliance with Executive Order 13112 (Clinton 1999). Challenges to restoring native plants on the ORR include the need to gain experience in establishing and maintaining these communities and the potentially greater up-front costs of getting native grasses established. The goals of the native grass program are generally outlined on a fiscal-year basis. An overview of some of the issues associated with the successful and cost-effective establishment and maintenance of native grass and wildflower stands on the ORR is presented in this report.

  16. Modelling the transfer of 14C from the atmosphere to grass: A case study in a grass field near AREVA-NC La Hague

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Aulagnier, C.; Le Dizès, S.; Maro, D.; Hébert, D.; Lardy, R.; Martin, R.; Gonze, M.-A.

    2012-01-01

    Radioactive 14 C is formed as a by-product of nuclear power generation and from operation of nuclear fuel reprocessing plants like AREVA-NC La Hague (North France), which releases about 15 TBq per year of 14 C into the atmosphere. Since the autumn of 2006, 14 C activity concentrations in samples from the terrestrial environment (air, grass and soil) have been monitored monthly on grassland 2 km downwind of the reprocessing plant. The monitoring data provides an opportunity to validate radioecology models used to assess 14 C transfer to grassland ecosystems. This article compares and discusses the ability of two different models to reproduce the observed temporal variability in grass 14 C activity in the vicinity of AREVA-NC La Hague. These two models are the TOCATTA model which is specifically designed for modelling transfer of 14 C and tritium in the terrestrial environment, and PaSim, a pasture model for simulating grassland carbon and nitrogen cycling. Both TOCATTA and PaSim tend to under-estimate the magnitude of observed peaks in grass 14 C activity, although they reproduce the general trends. PaSim simulates 14 C activities in substrate and structural pools of the plant. We define a mean turn-over time for 14 C within the plant, which is based on both experimental data and the frequency of cuts. An adapted PaSim result is presented using the 15 and 20 day moving average results for the 14 C activity in the substrate pool, which shows a good match to the observations. This model reduces the Root Mean Square Error (RMSE) by nearly 40% in comparison to TOCATTA. - Highlights: ► We model 14 C transfer from the atmosphere to grass near AREVA-NC reprocessing plant. ► Both models considered under-estimate the observed variability and highest peaks. ► A model based solely on the sap 14 C activity and mean turn-over time is considered. ► It performs well and could be applied to case studies around nuclear facilities.

  17. Research and Monitoring Special Use Permit [Minnesota Zoo's Prairie Butterfly Conservation Program on Chase Lake National Wildlife Refuge : 2016

    Data.gov (United States)

    Department of the Interior — The Minnesota Zoo’s Prairie Butterfly Conservation Program partners with numerous federal, state, and local agencies to establish the world’s first and only ex situ...

  18. 77 FR 73827 - Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Listing the Lesser Prairie-Chicken as a Threatened...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-12-11

    ... the lesser prairie-chicken (Tympanuchus pallidicinctus), a grassland bird known from southeastern... plants; wind energy development; petroleum production; and presence of roads and manmade vertical structures including towers, utility lines, fences, turbines, wells, and buildings. We will request peer...

  19. Future of African terrestrial biodiversity and ecosystems under anthropogenic climate change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Midgley, Guy F.; Bond, William J.

    2015-09-01

    Projections of ecosystem and biodiversity change for Africa under climate change diverge widely. More than other continents, Africa has disturbance-driven ecosystems that diversified under low Neogene CO2 levels, in which flammable fire-dependent C4 grasses suppress trees, and mega-herbivore action alters vegetation significantly. An important consequence is metastability of vegetation state, with rapid vegetation switches occurring, some driven by anthropogenic CO2-stimulated release of trees from disturbance control. These have conflicting implications for biodiversity and carbon sequestration relevant for policymakers and land managers. Biodiversity and ecosystem change projections need to account for both disturbance control and direct climate control of vegetation structure and function.

  20. Measuring Entrepreneurial Ecosystems

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Stam, F.C.

    How can entrepreneurial ecosystems and productive entrepreneurship can be traced empirically and how is entrepreneurship related to entrepreneurial ecosystems. The analyses in this chapter show the value of taking a systems view on the context of entrepreneurship. We measure entrepreneurial