WorldWideScience

Sample records for great plains grassland

  1. An Innovative Approach to Effective Climate Science Application through Stakeholder Participation in Great Plains Grasslands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Athearn, N.; Broska, J.

    2015-12-01

    For natural resource managers and other Great Plains stakeholders, climate uncertainties further confound decision-making on a highly altered landscape. Partner organizations comprising the Great Plains Landscape Conservation Cooperative (GPLCC) acknowledge climate change as a high-priority threat to grasslands and associated habitats, affecting water availability, species composition, and other factors. Despite its importance, incorporation of climate change impacts into planning is hindered by high uncertainty and lack of translation to a tangible outcome: effects on species and their habitats. In 2014, the GPLCC initiated a Landscape Conservation Design (LCD) process to ultimately improve the size and connectivity of grasslands - informing land managers of the landscape-scale impacts of local decisions about where to restore, enhance, protect, and develop lands. Defining this goal helped stakeholders envision a tangible product. High resolution land cover data recently completed for Texas and Oklahoma represent current grassland locations. By focusing climate change models to project changes in these land cover datasets, resulting land cover projections can be directly incorporated into LCD-based models to focus restoration where future climates will support grasslands. Broad organizational cooperation has been critical for this USGS-led project, which uses downscaled climate data and other support from the South Central Climate Science Center Consortium and builds on existing work including LCD efforts of the Playa Lakes Joint Venture and the Bureau of Land Management's Southern Great Plains Rapid Ecological Assessment. Ongoing stakeholder guidance through an advisory team ensures effective application of a product that will be both relevant to and understood by decision makers, for whom the primary role of research is to reduce uncertainties and clear the path for more efficient decision-making in the face of climatic uncertainty.

  2. Woody encroachment in northern Great Plains grasslands: Perceptions, actions, and needs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Symstad, Amy J.; Leis, Sherry A.

    2017-01-01

    The United States Northern Great Plains (NGP) has a high potential for landscape-scale conservation, but this grassland landscape is threatened by encroachment of woody species. We surveyed NGP land managers to identify patterns in, and illustrate a broad range of, individual managers' perceptions on (1) the threat of woody encroachment to grasslands they manage, and (2) what management practices they use that may influence woody encroachment in this region. In the 34 surveys returned, which came from predominantly public lands in the study area, 79% of responses reported moderate or substantial woody encroachment. Eastern redcedar (Juniperus virginiana) and Rocky Mountain juniper (Juniperus scopulorum) were the most problematic encroachers. Thirty-one survey respondents said that prescribed fire was used on the lands they manage, and 64% of these responses reported that controlling woody encroachment was a fire management objective. However, only 18% of survey respondents using prescribed fire were achieving their desired fire return interval. Most respondents reported using mechanical and/or chemical methods to control woody species. In contrast to evidence from the central and southern Great Plains, few survey respondents viewed grazing as affecting encroachment. Although the NGP public land managers we surveyed clearly recognize woody encroachment as a problem and are taking steps to address it, many feel that the rate of their management is not keeping pace with the rate of encroachment. Developing strategies for effective woody plant control in a variety of NGP management contexts requires filling ecological science gaps and overcoming societal barriers to using prescribed fire.

  3. Using natural range of variation to set decision thresholds: a case study for great plains grasslands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Symstad, Amy J.; Jonas, Jayne L.; Edited by Guntenspergen, Glenn R.

    2014-01-01

    Natural range of variation (NRV) may be used to establish decision thresholds or action assessment points when ecological thresholds are either unknown or do not exist for attributes of interest in a managed ecosystem. The process for estimating NRV involves identifying spatial and temporal scales that adequately capture the heterogeneity of the ecosystem; compiling data for the attributes of interest via study of historic records, analysis and interpretation of proxy records, modeling, space-for-time substitutions, or analysis of long-term monitoring data; and quantifying the NRV from those data. At least 19 National Park Service (NPS) units in North America’s Great Plains are monitoring plant species richness and evenness as indicators of vegetation integrity in native grasslands, but little information on natural, temporal variability of these indicators is available. In this case study, we use six long-term vegetation monitoring datasets to quantify the temporal variability of these attributes in reference conditions for a variety of Great Plains grassland types, and then illustrate the implications of using different NRVs based on these quantities for setting management decision thresholds. Temporal variability of richness (as measured by the coefficient of variation, CV) is fairly consistent across the wide variety of conditions occurring in Colorado shortgrass prairie to Minnesota tallgrass sand savanna (CV 0.20–0.45) and generally less than that of production at the same sites. Temporal variability of evenness spans a greater range of CV than richness, and it is greater than that of production in some sites but less in other sites. This natural temporal variability may mask undesirable changes in Great Plains grasslands vegetation. Consequently, we suggest that managers consider using a relatively narrow NRV (interquartile range of all richness or evenness values observed in reference conditions) for designating a surveillance threshold, at which

  4. Drought effect on selection of conservation reserve program grasslands by white-tailed deer on the Northern Great Plains

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grovenburg, T.W.; Jacques, C.N.; Klaver, R.W.; Jenks, J.A.

    2011-01-01

    Limited information exists regarding summer resource selection of white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) in grassland regions of the Northern Great Plains. During summers 2005-2006, we analyzed habitat selection of adult female white-tailed deer in north-central South Dakota. We collected 1905 summer locations and used 21 and 30 home ranges during 2005 and 2006, respectively, to estimate habitat selection. Results indicated that selection occurred at the population (P rural development areas containing permanent water sources during extreme drought conditions during 2006. Deer likely selected for fields of CRP grasslands during early summer for cover and natural forages, such as clover (Trifolium sp.), prior to the period when agricultural crops become available. Drought conditions occurring in semiarid prairie grassland regions may reduce food and water availability and contribute to subsequent changes in deer habitat selection across the range of the species.

  5. Incorporating biodiversity into rangeland health: Plant species richness and diversity in great plains grasslands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Symstad, Amy J.; Jonas, Jayne L.

    2011-01-01

    Indicators of rangeland health generally do not include a measure of biodiversity. Increasing attention to maintaining biodiversity in rangelands suggests that this omission should be reconsidered, and plant species richness and diversity are two metrics that may be useful and appropriate. Ideally, their response to a variety of anthropogenic and natural drivers in the ecosystem of interest would be clearly understood, thereby providing a means to diagnose the cause of decline in an ecosystem. Conceptual ecological models based on ecological principles and hypotheses provide a framework for this understanding, but these models must be supported by empirical evidence if they are to be used for decision making. To that end, we synthesize results from published studies regarding the responses of plant species richness and diversity to drivers that are of management concern in Great Plains grasslands, one of North America's most imperiled ecosystems. In the published literature, moderate grazing generally has a positive effect on these metrics in tallgrass prairie and a neutral to negative effect in shortgrass prairie. The largest published effects on richness and diversity were caused by moderate grazing in tallgrass prairies and nitrogen fertilization in shortgrass prairies. Although weather is often cited as the reason for considerable annual fluctuations in richness and diversity, little information about the responses of these metrics to weather is available. Responses of the two metrics often diverged, reflecting differences in their sensitivity to different types of changes in the plant community. Although sufficient information has not yet been published for these metrics to meet all the criteria of a good indicator in Great Plains Grasslands, augmenting current methods of evaluating rangeland health with a measure of plant species richness would reduce these shortcomings and provide information critical to managing for biodiversity.

  6. Potential nitrogen critical loads for northern Great Plains grassland vegetation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Symstad, Amy J.; Smith, Anine T.; Newton, Wesley E.; Knapp, Alan K.

    2015-01-01

    The National Park Service is concerned that increasing atmospheric nitrogen deposition caused by fossil fuel combustion and agricultural activities could adversely affect the northern Great Plains (NGP) ecosystems in its trust. The critical load concept facilitates communication between scientists and policy makers or land managers by translating the complex effects of air pollution on ecosystems into concrete numbers that can be used to inform air quality targets. A critical load is the exposure level below which significant harmful effects on sensitive elements of the environment do not occur. A recent review of the literature suggested that the nitrogen critical load for Great Plains vegetation is 10-25 kg N/ha/yr. For comparison, current atmospheric nitrogen deposition in NGP National Park Service (NPS) units ranges from ~4 kg N/ha/yr in the west to ~13 kg N/ha/yr in the east. The suggested critical load, however, was derived from studies far outside of the NGP, and from experiments investigating nitrogen loads substantially higher than current atmospheric deposition in the region.Therefore, to better determine the nitrogen critical load for sensitive elements in NGP parks, we conducted a four-year field experiment in three northern Great Plains vegetation types at Badlands and Wind Cave National Parks. The vegetation types were chosen because of their importance in NGP parks, their expected sensitivity to nitrogen addition, and to span a range of natural fertility. In the experiment, we added nitrogen at rates ranging from below current atmospheric deposition (2.5 kg N/ha/yr) to far above those levels but commensurate with earlier experiments (100 kg N/ha/yr). We measured the response of a variety of vegetation and soil characteristics shown to be sensitive to nitrogen addition in other studies, including plant biomass production, plant tissue nitrogen concentration, plant species richness and composition, non-native species abundance, and soil inorganic

  7. Saline lakes of the glaciated Northern Great Plains

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mushet, David M.

    2011-01-01

    Unless you have flown over the region or seen aerial photographs, it is hard to grasp the scale of the millions of lakes and wetlands that dot the prairie landscape of the glaciated Northern Great Plains (Figure 1). This region of abundant aquatic habitats within a grassland matrix provides for the needs of a wide diversity of wildlife species and has appropriately been deemed the "duck factory of North America." While the sheer number of lakes and wetlands within this area of the Northern Great Plains can be truly awe-inspiring, their diversity in terms of the chemical composition of their water adds an equally important component supporting biotic diversity and productivity. Water within these lakes and wetlands can range from extremely fresh with salinities approaching that of rainwater to hypersaline with salinity ten times greater than that of seawater. Additionally, while variation in salinity among these water bodies can be great, the ionic composition of lakes and wetlands with similar salinities can vary markedly, influencing the overall spatial and temporal diversity of the region's biota.

  8. Climate variability and Great Plains agriculture

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rosenberg, N.J.; Katz, L.A.

    1991-01-01

    The ways in which inhabitants of the Great Plains, including Indians, early settlers, and 20th century farmers, have adapted to climate changes on the Great Plains are explored. The climate of the Great Plains, because of its variability and extremes, can be very stressful to plants, animals and people. It is suggested that agriculture and society on the Great Plains have, during the last century, become less vulnerable to the stresses imposed by climate. Opinions as to the sustainability of agriculture on the Great Plains vary substantially. Lockeretz (1981) suggests that large scale, high cost technologies have stressed farmers by creating surpluses and by requiring large investments. Opie (1989) sees irrigation as a climate substitute, however he stresses that the Ogallala aquifer must inevitably become depleted. Deborah and Frank Popper (1987) believe that farming on the Plains is unsustainable, and destruction of shelterbelts, out-migration of the rural population and environmental problems will lead to total collapse. With global warming, water in the Great Plains is expected to become scarcer, and although improvements in irrigation efficiency may slow depletion of the Ogallala aquifer, ultimately the acreage under irrigation must decrease to levels that can be sustained by natural recharge and reliable surface flows. 23 refs., 2 figs

  9. Using Land Surface Phenology to Detect Land Use Change in the Northern Great Plains

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nguyen, L. H.; Henebry, G. M.

    2017-12-01

    The Northern Great Plains of the US have been undergoing many types of land cover / land use change over the past two decades, including expansion of irrigation, conversion of grassland to cropland, biofuels production, urbanization, and fossil fuel mining. Much of the literature on these changes has relied on post-classification change detection based on a limited number of observations per year. Here we demonstrate an approach to characterize land dynamics through land surface phenology (LSP) by synergistic use of image time series at two scales. Our study areas include regions of interest (ROIs) across the Northern Great Plains located within Landsat path overlap zones to boost the number of valid observations (free of clouds or snow) each year. We first compute accumulated growing degree-days (AGDD) from MODIS 8-day composites of land surface temperature (MOD11A2 and MYD11A2). Using Landsat Collection 1 surface reflectance-derived vegetation indices (NDVI, EVI), we then fit at each pixel a downward convex quadratic model linking the vegetation index to each year's progression of AGDD. This quadratic equation exhibits linearity in a mathematical sense; thus, the fitted models can be linearly mixed and unmixed using a set of LSP endmembers (defined by the fitted parameter coefficients of the quadratic model) that represent "pure" land cover types with distinct seasonal patterns found within the region, such as winter wheat, spring wheat, maize, soybean, sunflower, hay/pasture/grassland, developed/built-up, among others. Information about land cover corresponding to each endmember are provided by the NLCD (National Land Cover Dataset) and CDL (Cropland Data Layer). We use linear unmixing to estimate the likely proportion of each LSP endmember within particular areas stratified by latitude. By tracking the proportions over the 2001-2011 period, we can quantify various types of land transitions in the Northern Great Plains.

  10. Characterizing isotopic variability of primary production and consumers in Great Plains ecosystems during protracted regional drought

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haveles, A. W.; Fox-Dobbs, K.; Talmadge, K. A.; Fetrow, A.; Fox, D. L.

    2012-12-01

    Over the last few years (2010-2012), the Great Plains of the central USA experienced protracted drought conditions, including historically severe drought during Summer, 2011. Drought severity in the region generally decreases with increasing latitude, but episodic drought is a fundamental trait of grassland ecosystems. Documenting above ground energy and nutrient flow with current drought is critical to understanding responses of grassland ecosystems in the region to predicted increased episodicity of rainfall and recurrence of drought due to anthropogenic climate change. Characterization of biogeochemical variability of modern ecosystems at the microhabitat, local landscape, and regional scales is also necessary to interpret biogeochemical records of ancient grasslands based on paleosols and fossil mammals. Here, we characterize three grassland ecosystems that span the drought gradient in the Great Plains (sites in the Texas panhandle, southwest Kansas, and northwest Nebraska). We measured δ13C and δ15N values of plants and consumers to characterize the biogeochemical variability within each ecosystem. Vegetation at each site is a mix of trees, shrubs, herbs, and cool- and warm-growing season grasses (C3 and C4, respectively). Thus, consumers have access to isotopically distinct sources of forage that vary in abundance with microhabitat (e.g., open grassland, shrub thicket, riparian woodland). Observations indicate herbivorous arthropod (grasshoppers and crickets) abundance follows drought severity, with high abundance of many species in Texas, and low abundance of few species in Nebraska. Small mammal (rodents) abundance follows the inverse pattern with 0.8%, 3.2% and 17.2% capture success in Texas, Kansas and Nebraska, respectively. The inverse abundance patterns of consumer groups may result from greater sensitivity of small mammal consumers with high metabolic needs to lower local net primary productivity and forage quality under drought conditions. As a

  11. Impact of Altered Precipitation Patterns on Plant Productivity and Soil Respiration in a Northern Great Plains Grassland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haase, L.; Flanagan, L. B.

    2017-12-01

    between the normal vs. reduced frequency treatments in both experiments for either the plant greenness or soil respiration measurements. The results of this study have implications for understanding the mechanisms underlying ecosystem responses to anticipated precipitation change in the Great Plains.

  12. Partners in flight bird conservation plan for the Upper Great Lakes Plain (Physiographic Area 16)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knutson, M.G.; Butcher, G.; Fitzgerald, J.; Shieldcastle, J.

    2001-01-01

    1 November 2001. Conservation of bird habitats is a major focus of effort by Partners in Flight, an international coalition of agencies, citizens, and other groups dedicated to 'keeping common birds common'. USGS worked on a planning team to publish a bird conservation plan for the Upper Great Lakes Plain ecoregion (PIF 16), which includes large portions of southern Wisconsin, southern Michigan and parts of Minnesota, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio. The conservation plan outlines specific habitat restoration and bird population objectives for the ecoregion over the next decade. The plan provides a context for on-the-ground conservation implementation by the US Fish and Wildlife Service, the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, the US Forest Service, states, and conservation groups. Citation: Knutson, M. G., G. Butcher, J. Fitzgerald, and J. Shieldcastle. 2001. Partners in Flight Bird Conservation Plan for The Upper Great Lakes Plain (Physiographic Area 16). USGS Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center in cooperation with Partners in Flight, La Crosse, Wisconsin. Download from website: http://www.blm.gov/wildlife/pifplans.htm. The Upper Great Lakes Plain covers the southern half of Michigan, northwest Ohio, northern Indiana, northern Illinois, southern Wisconsin, and small portions of southwest Minnesota and northwest Iowa. Glacial moraines and dissected plateaus are characteristic of the topography. Broadleaf forests, oak savannahs, and a variety of prairie communities are the natural vegetation types. A oDriftless Areao was not glaciated during the late Pleistocene and emerged as a unique area of great biological diversity. Priority bird species for the area include the Henslow's Sparrow, Sedge Wren, Bobolink, Golden-winged Warbler, Cerulean Warbler, Black-billed Cuckoo, and Red-headed Woodpecker. There are many large urban centers in this area whose growth and sprawl will continue to consume land. The vast majority of the presettlement forest and

  13. Energy Profiles of an Agricultural Frontier: The American Great Plains, 1860-2000.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cunfer, Geoff; Watson, Andrew; MacFadyen, Joshua

    2018-04-01

    Agro-ecosystem energy profiles reveal energy flows into, within, and out of U.S. Great Plains farm communities across 140 years. This study evaluates external energy inputs such as human labor, machinery, fuel, and fertilizers. It tracks the energy content of land produce, including crops, grazed pasture, and firewood, and also accounts unharvested energy that remains available for wildlife. It estimates energy redirected through livestock feed into draft power, meat, and milk, and estimates the energy content of final produce available for local consumption or market sale. The article presents energy profiles for three case studies in Kansas in 1880, 1930, 1954, and 1997. Two energy transformations occurred during that time. The first, agricultural colonization , saw farm communities remake the landscape, turning native grassland into a mosaic of cropland and pasture, a process that reduced overall landscape energy productivity. A second energy transition occurred in the mid-twentieth century, characterized by fossil fuel energy imports. That outside energy raised harvested and unharvested energy flows, reused biomass energy, and also final produce. This socio-ecological transition increased landscape energy productivity by 33 to 45 percent above pre-settlement conditions in grain-growing regions. These energy developments were not uniform across the plains. Variations in rainfall and soil quality constrained or favored energy productivity in different places. The case studies reveal the spatial variation of energy profiles in Great Plains agro-ecosystems, while the longitudinal approach tracks temporal change.

  14. The Great Plains IDEA Gerontology Program: An Online, Interinstitutional Graduate Degree

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sanders, Gregory F.

    2011-01-01

    The Great-Plains IDEA Gerontology Program is a graduate program developed and implemented by the Great Plains Interactive Distance Education Alliance (Great Plains IDEA). The Great Plains IDEA (Alliance) originated as a consortium of Colleges of Human Sciences ranging across the central United States. This Alliance's accomplishments have included…

  15. 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...

  16. Southern Great Plains Rapid Ecoregional assessment—Volume I. Ecological communities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reese, Gordon C.; Burris, Lucy; Carr, Natasha B.; Leinwand, Ian I.F.; Melcher, Cynthia P.

    2017-10-19

    The Southern Great Plains Rapid Ecoregional Assessment was conducted in partnership with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the Great Plains Landscape Conservation Cooperative. The overall goal of the Rapid Ecoregional Assessments (REAs) is to compile and synthesize regional datasets to facilitate evaluation of the cumulative effects of change agents on priority ecological communities and species. In particular, the REAs identify and map the distribution of communities and wildlife habitats at broad spatial extents and provide assessments of ecological conditions. The REAs also identify where and to what degree ecological resources are currently at risk from change agents, such as development, fire, invasive species, and climate change. The REAs can help managers identify and prioritize potential areas for conservation or restoration, assess cumulative effects as required by the National Environmental Policy Act, and inform landscape-level planning and management decisions for multiple uses of public lands.Management questions form the basis for the REA framework and were developed in conjunction with the BLM and other stakeholders. Conservation elements are communities and species that are of regional management concern. Core management questions relate to the key ecological attributes and change agents associated with each conservation element. Integrated management questions synthesize the results of the primary core management questions into overall landscape-level ranks for each conservation element.The ecological communities evaluated as conservation elements are shortgrass, mixed-grass, and sand prairies; all grasslands; riparian and nonplaya wetlands; playa wetlands and saline lakes; and prairie streams and rivers. Species and species assemblages evaluated are the freshwater mussel assemblage, Arkansas River shiner (Notropis girardi), ferruginous hawk (Buteo regalis), lesser prairie chicken (Tympanuchus pallidicinctus), snowy plover (Charadrius

  17. Conservation reserve program: benefit for grassland birds in the northern plains

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reynolds, R.E.; Shaffer, T.L.; Sauer, J.R.; Peterjohn, B.G.

    1994-01-01

    cropland in some counties has been converted primarily to grass. In North Dakota, nearly 3 million acres have been enrolled. Over 90 percent of the CRP plantings in North Dakota are grass and grass-legume mix composed primarily of wheatgrass (Agropyron spp.), smooth brome (Bromus inermis), alfalfa (Medicago saliva) and sweetclover (Melilotus spp.). Mixes of these species have been reported to attract high densities of nesting ducks (Duebbert and Kantrud 1974). According to the CRP provisions, the land must remain idle for the 10-year contract period, with the exception of emergency provisions for haying or grazing. CRP appears to have great potential for benefiting many species of grassland-nesting birds. There have been efforts to document the importance of the CRP to migratory birds in the Upper Great Plains of the U.S. Kantrud (1993) studied duck nest success in CRP cover and concluded that nest success was higher than in planted cover on U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) Waterfowl Production Areas (WPAs). Johnson and Schwartz (1993a) measured the use of CRP fields by nonwaterfowl birds and reported that several species have responded positively by colonizing CRP fields. They concluded that CRP has the potential to help reverse the population declines of several species. We investigated the importance of CRP to upland-nesting ducks and certain other grassland-nesting birds. For ducks, we compared nest success in CRP cover with nest success in planted cover on WPAs in the same period (1992-93) and with that of an earlier period (1980-84). For nonwaterfowl, we used BBS data to compare the trends in populations of certain species found in CRP, for the periods 1966-86 (pre-CRP cover establishment) and 1987-92 (post-CRP cover establishment) in North Dakota.

  18. Nesting ecology of grassland birds following a wildfire in the southern Great Plains

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roberts, Anthony J.; Boal, Clint W.; Whitlaw, Heather A.

    2017-01-01

    We studied the response of nesting grassland birds occupying short-grass and mixed-grass prairie sites 2 and 3 y following two, large-scale wildfires that burned ≥360,000 ha in the Texas Panhandle in March 2006. Nest success was greater on burned plots compared to unburned plots, though this varied by species and year. Woody vegetation cover was greater around nests on unburned plots compared to burned plots for Cassin's sparrow (Peucaea cassinii) and lark sparrow (Chondestes grammacus). Cassin's sparrows and lark sparrows nested in more-woody vegetation than did grasshopper sparrows (Ammodramus savannarum), and woody vegetation was reduced following the wildfires. The wildfires appear to have had few if any negative influences on the avian community 3 years postfire. This may be due to grassland breeding birds being adapted to landscapes in which, historically, periodic disturbance (e.g., wildfire, intensive grazing by bison [Bison bison]) resulted in vegetation heterogeneity.

  19. Southern Great Plains Atmospheric Radiation Measurement Site

    Data.gov (United States)

    Federal Laboratory Consortium — The Southern Great Plains Atmospheric Radiation Measurement Site (SGP-ARM) is the oldest and largest of DOE's Arm sites. It was established in 1992. It consists of...

  20. Precipitation Dynamical Downscaling Over the Great Plains

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, Xiao-Ming; Xue, Ming; McPherson, Renee A.; Martin, Elinor; Rosendahl, Derek H.; Qiao, Lei

    2018-02-01

    Detailed, regional climate projections, particularly for precipitation, are critical for many applications. Accurate precipitation downscaling in the United States Great Plains remains a great challenge for most Regional Climate Models, particularly for warm months. Most previous dynamic downscaling simulations significantly underestimate warm-season precipitation in the region. This study aims to achieve a better precipitation downscaling in the Great Plains with the Weather Research and Forecast (WRF) model. To this end, WRF simulations with different physics schemes and nudging strategies are first conducted for a representative warm season. Results show that different cumulus schemes lead to more pronounced difference in simulated precipitation than other tested physics schemes. Simply choosing different physics schemes is not enough to alleviate the dry bias over the southern Great Plains, which is related to an anticyclonic circulation anomaly over the central and western parts of continental U.S. in the simulations. Spectral nudging emerges as an effective solution for alleviating the precipitation bias. Spectral nudging ensures that large and synoptic-scale circulations are faithfully reproduced while still allowing WRF to develop small-scale dynamics, thus effectively suppressing the large-scale circulation anomaly in the downscaling. As a result, a better precipitation downscaling is achieved. With the carefully validated configurations, WRF downscaling is conducted for 1980-2015. The downscaling captures well the spatial distribution of monthly climatology precipitation and the monthly/yearly variability, showing improvement over at least two previously published precipitation downscaling studies. With the improved precipitation downscaling, a better hydrological simulation over the trans-state Oologah watershed is also achieved.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. Southern Great Plains Safety Orientation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Schatz, John

    2014-05-01

    Welcome to the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Climate Research Facility (ARM) Southern Great Plains (SGP) site. This U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) site is managed by Argonne National Laboratory (ANL). It is very important that all visitors comply with all DOE and ANL safety requirements, as well as those of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the National Fire Protection Association, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and with other requirements as applicable.

  4. Great plains regional climate assessment technical report

    Science.gov (United States)

    The Great Plains region (GP) plays important role in providing food and energy to the economy of the United States. Multiple climatic and non-climatic stressors put multiple sectors, livelihoods and communities at risk, including agriculture, water, ecosystems and rural and tribal communities. The G...

  5. 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...

  6. A prototype application of state and transition simulation modeling in support of grassland management

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matt Reeves; Paulette Ford; Leonardo Frid; David Augustine; Justin Derner

    2016-01-01

    The Great Plains grasslands of North America provide a multitude of ecosystem services including clean water, forage, habitat, recreation, and pollination of native and agricultural plants. A general lack of quantitative information regarding the effects of varied management strategies on these spatially heterogeneous landscapes complicates our understanding...

  7. Grassland futures in Great Britain - Productivity assessment and scenarios for land use change opportunities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qi, Aiming; Holland, Robert A; Taylor, Gail; Richter, Goetz M

    2018-09-01

    To optimise trade-offs provided by future changes in grassland use intensity, spatially and temporally explicit estimates of respective grassland productivities are required at the systems level. Here, we benchmark the potential national availability of grassland biomass, identify optimal strategies for its management, and investigate the relative importance of intensification over reversion (prioritising productivity versus environmental ecosystem services). Process-conservative meta-models for different grasslands were used to calculate the baseline dry matter yields (DMY; 1961-1990) at 1km 2 resolution for the whole UK. The effects of climate change, rising atmospheric [CO 2 ] and technological progress on baseline DMYs were used to estimate future grassland productivities (up to 2050) for low and medium CO 2 emission scenarios of UKCP09. UK benchmark productivities of 12.5, 8.7 and 2.8t/ha on temporary, permanent and rough-grazing grassland, respectively, accounted for productivity gains by 2010. By 2050, productivities under medium emission scenario are predicted to increase to 15.5 and 9.8t/ha on temporary and permanent grassland, respectively, but not on rough grassland. Based on surveyed grassland distributions for Great Britain in 2010 the annual availability of grassland biomass is likely to rise from 64 to 72milliontonnes by 2050. Assuming optimal N application could close existing productivity gaps of ca. 40% a range of management options could deliver additional 21∗10 6 tonnes of biomass available for bioenergy. Scenarios of changes in grassland use intensity demonstrated considerable scope for maintaining or further increasing grassland production and sparing some grassland for the provision of environmental ecosystem services. Copyright © 2018 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  8. Long-term Agroecosystem Research in the Northern Great Plains.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmer, M.; Sanderson, M.; Liebig, M. A.; Wienhold, B.; Awada, T.; Papiernik, S.; Osborne, S.; Kemp, W.; Okalebo, J. A.; Riedall, W.

    2015-12-01

    The Northern Great Plains is the bread basket of the United States, accounting for a substantial portion of U.S. agricultural production. This region faces critical challenges regarding balancing food needs, resource conservation (e.g Ogallala aquifer), environmental concerns, and rural economy development. Developing transformative, multifunctional systems will require equally imaginative and efficient tools to help farmers manage complex agroecosystems in a rapidly changing climate. The Northern Plains long-term agroecosystem research (LTAR) site at Mandan, ND and the Platte River High Plains LTAR (ARS/University of Nebraska-Lincoln) at Lincoln, NE in collaboration with USDA-ARS research units in Brookings, SD and Fargo, ND are collaborating to address the grand challenge of providing and sustaining multiple service provisions from Northern Great Plains agroecosystems. We propose to attain these goals through sustainable intensification based on the adoption of conservation agriculture principles including reduced soil disturbance, livestock integration, and greater complexity and diversity in the cropping system. Here, we summarize new concepts these locations have pioneered in dynamic cropping systems, resource use efficiency, and agricultural management technologies. As part of the LTAR network, we will conduct long-term cross-site research to design and assess new agricultural practices and systems aimed at improving our understanding of decision making processes and outcomes across an array of agricultural systems.

  9. Second chance for the plains bison

    Science.gov (United States)

    Freese, Curtis H.; Aune, K.; Boyd, D.; Derr, James N.; Forrest, Steven C.; Gates, C. Cormack; Gogan, Peter J.; Grassel, Shaun M.; Halbert, Natalie D.; Kunkel, Kyran; Redford, Kent

    2007-01-01

    Before European settlement the plains bison (Bison bison bison) numbered in the tens of millions across most of the temperate region of North America. Within the span of a few decades during the mid- to late-1800s its numbers were reduced by hunting and other factors to a few hundred. The plight of the plains bison led to one of the first major movements in North America to save an endangered species. A few individuals and the American Bison Society rescued the remaining animals. Attempts to hybridize cattle and bison when bison numbers were low resulted in extensive cattle gene introgression in bison. Today, though approximately 500,000 plains bison exist in North America, few are free of cattle gene introgression, 96% are subject to anthropogenic selection for commodity production, and only 4% are in herds managed primarily for conservation purposes. Small herd size, artificial selection, cattle-gene introgression, and other factors threaten the diversity and integrity of the bison genome. In addition, the bison is for all practical purposes ecologically extinct across its former range, with multiple consequences for grassland biodiversity. Urgent measures are needed to conserve the wild bison genome and to restore the ecological role of bison in grassland ecosystems. Socioeconomic trends in the Great Plains, combined with new information about bison conservation needs and new conservation initiatives by both the public and public sectors, have set the stage for significant progress in bison conservation over the next few years.

  10. Baseline and projected future carbon storage and greenhouse-gas fluxes in the Great Plains region of the United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bouchard, Michelle; Butman, David; Hawbaker, Todd; Li, Zhengpeng; Liu, Jinxun; Liu, Shu-Guang; McDonald, Cory; Reker, Ryan R.; Sayler, Kristi; Sleeter, Benjamin; Sohl, Terry; Stackpoole, Sarah; Wein, Anne; Zhu, Zhi-Liang; Zhu, Zhi-Liang

    2011-01-01

    This assessment was conducted to fulfill the requirements of section 712 of the Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) of 2007 and to improve understanding of carbon and greenhouse gas (GHG) fluxes in the Great Plains region in the central part of the United States. The assessment examined carbon storage, carbon fluxes, and other GHG fluxes (methane and nitrous oxide) in all major terrestrial ecosystems (forests, grasslands/shrublands, agricultural lands, and wetlands) and freshwater aquatic systems (rivers, streams, lakes, and impoundments) in two time periods: baseline (generally in the first half of the 2010s) and future (projections from baseline to 2050). The assessment was based on measured and observed data collected by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and many other agencies and organizations and used remote sensing, statistical methods, and simulation models.

  11. Buteo Nesting Ecology: Evaluating Nesting of Swainson's Hawks in the Northern Great Plains.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Inselman, Will M; Datta, Shubham; Jenks, Jonathan A; Jensen, Kent C; Grovenburg, Troy W

    2015-01-01

    Swainson's hawks (Buteo swainsoni) are long-distance migratory raptors that nest primarily in isolated trees located in areas of high grassland density. In recent years, anthropogenic conversion of grassland habitat has raised concerns about the status of the breeding population in the northern Great Plains. In 2013, we initiated a study to investigate the influence of extrinsic factors influencing Swainson's hawk nesting ecology in north-central South Dakota and south-central North Dakota. Using ground and aerial surveys, we located and monitored nesting Swainson's hawk pairs: 73 in 2013 and 120 in 2014. We documented 98 successful breeding attempts that fledged 163 chicks; 1.52 and 1.72 fledglings per successful nest in 2013 and 2014, respectively. We used Program MARK to evaluate the influence of land cover on nest survival. The top model, SDist2Farm+%Hay, indicated that nest survival (fledging at least one chick) decreased as nests were located farther from farm sites and as the percent of hay cover increased within 1200-m of the nest site (34.4%; 95% CI = 27.6%-42.3%). We used logistic regression analysis to evaluate the influence of landscape variables on nest-site selection; Swainson's hawks selected for nest sites located closer to roads. We suggest that tree belts associated with farm sites, whether occupied or not, provide critical breeding sites for Swainson's hawks. Additionally, poor breeding success may be related to the late migratory behavior of this species which requires them to occupy marginal habitat due to other raptors occupying the most suitable habitat prior to Swainson's hawks arriving to the breeding grounds.

  12. Impacts of climate change on freshwater fisheries of the Great Plains

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Regier, H.A.; Holmes, J.A.

    1991-01-01

    The diversity and habitats of fish in Great Plains hydrologic systems are described. Fisheries on the Great Plains consist of commercial, subsistence, and recreational. Direct effects of climate change on Great Plains fisheries will involve temperature and hydrology. Increased temperature could expand suitable habitat for fish with preferred temperatures between 10 and 27.5 degree C by 2.5 times base conditions. Reductions in precipitation will reduce river flows and lake levels, and an overall reduction in habitat for the most preferred species is expected. Indirect effects stem from human responses to climate change, and streams, wetlands and coastal zones will likely bear the brunt of such activity. More river systems may be damned or channelized, which could lead to increases in eutrophication or pollution, most severely affecting the preferred white fishes. Geographical shifts of species in response to climate change will likely favour black fish over grey fish over white fish, and when longitudinal or lateral movement is blocked, local extinctions may occur. 22 refs., 1 tab

  13. A conceptual model to facilitate amphibian conservation in the northern Great Plains

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mushnet, David M.; Euliss, Ned H.; Stockwell, Craig A.

    2012-01-01

    As pressures on agricultural landscapes to meet worldwide resource needs increase, amphibian populations face numerous threats including habitat destruction, chemical contaminants, disease outbreaks, wetland sedimentation, and synergistic effects of these perturbations. To facilitate conservation planning, we developed a conceptual model depicting elements critical for amphibian conservation in the northern Great Plains. First, we linked upland, wetland, and landscape features to specific ecological attributes. Ecological attributes included adult survival; reproduction and survival to metamorphosis; and successful dispersal and recolonization. Second, we linked ecosystem drivers, ecosystem stressors, and ecological effects of the region to each ecological attribute. Lastly, we summarized information on these ecological attributes and the drivers, stressors, and effects that work in concert to influence the maintenance of viable and genetically diverse amphibian populations in the northern Great Plains. While our focus was on the northern Great Plains, our conceptual model can be tailored to other geographic regions and taxa.

  14. Land use in the Northern Great Plains region of the U.S. influences the survival and productivity of honey bee colonies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smart, Matthew; Pettis, Jeff S.; Euliss, Ned H. Jr.; Spivak, Marla S.

    2016-01-01

    The Northern Great Plains region of the US annually hosts a large portion of commercially managed U.S. honey bee colonies each summer. Changing land use patterns over the last several decades have contributed to declines in the availability of bee forage across the region, and the future sustainability of the region to support honey bee colonies is unclear. We examined the influence of varying land use on the survivorship and productivity of honey bee colonies located in six apiaries within the Northern Great Plains state of North Dakota, an area of intensive agriculture and high density of beekeeping operations. Land use surrounding the apiaries was quantified over three years, 2010–2012, and survival and productivity of honey bee colonies were determined in response to the amount of bee forage land within a 3.2-km radius of each apiary. The area of uncultivated forage land (including pasture, USDA conservation program fields, fallow land, flowering woody plants, grassland, hay land, and roadside ditches) exerted a positive impact on annual apiary survival and honey production. Taxonomic diversity of bee-collected pollen and pesticide residues contained therein varied seasonally among apiaries, but overall were not correlated to large-scale land use patterns or survival and honey production. The predominant flowering plants utilized by honey bee colonies for pollen were volunteer species present in unmanaged (for honey bees), and often ephemeral, lands; thus placing honey bee colonies in a precarious situation for acquiring forage and nutrients over the entire growing season. We discuss the implications for land management, conservation, and beekeeper site selection in the Northern Great Plains to adequately support honey bee colonies and insure long term security for pollinator-dependent crops across the entire country.

  15. Climatic change in the Great Plains region of Canada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rizzo, B.

    1991-01-01

    Implications of global warming to Canada's Great Plains region are discussed, with reference to the climate predictions of the Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) general circulation model under a two times atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration scenario. Two sets of climate variables for a geographic area located in the Great Plains are tabulated, for the current (1951-1980) climate normals and under the doubled carbon dioxide scenario. Simple univariate statistics were calculated for the two areas, for the variables of mean annual temperature, mean summer temperature, mean winter temperature, mean July temperature, mean growing season temperature, total annual precipitation, total summer precipitation, total winter precipitation, and total growing season precipitation. Under the GISS scenario, temperature values are on average 4 degree C higher than 1951-1980 normals, while precipitation remains about the same. Locations of ecoclimatic regions are graphed for the whole of Canada. 1 fig., 1 tab

  16. Mapping anuran habitat suitability to estimate effects of grassland and wetland conservation programs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mushet, David M.; Euliss, Ned H.; Stockwell, Craig A.

    2012-01-01

    The conversion of the Northern Great Plains of North America to a landscape favoring agricultural commodity production has negatively impacted wildlife habitats. To offset impacts, conservation programs have been implemented by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and other agencies to restore grassland and wetland habitat components. To evaluate effects of these efforts on anuran habitats, we used call survey data and environmental data in ecological niche factor analyses implemented through the program Biomapper to quantify habitat suitability for five anuran species within a 196 km2 study area. Our amphibian call surveys identified Northern Leopard Frogs (Lithobates pipiens), Wood Frogs (Lithobates sylvaticus), Boreal Chorus Frogs (Pseudacris maculata), Great Plains Toads (Anaxyrus cognatus), and Woodhouse’s Toads (Anaxyrus woodhousii) occurring within the study area. Habitat suitability maps developed for each species revealed differing patterns of suitable habitat among species. The most significant findings of our mapping effort were 1) the influence of deep-water overwintering wetlands on suitable habitat for all species encountered except the Boreal Chorus Frog; 2) the lack of overlap between areas of core habitat for both the Northern Leopard Frog and Wood Frog compared to the core habitat for both toad species; and 3) the importance of conservation programs in providing grassland components of Northern Leopard Frog and Wood Frog habitat. The differences in habitats suitable for the five species we studied in the Northern Great Plains, i.e., their ecological niches, highlight the importance of utilizing an ecosystem based approach that considers the varying needs of multiple species in the development of amphibian conservation and management plans.

  17. Buteo Nesting Ecology: Evaluating Nesting of Swainson’s Hawks in the Northern Great Plains

    Science.gov (United States)

    Inselman, Will M.; Datta, Shubham; Jenks, Jonathan A.; Jensen, Kent C.; Grovenburg, Troy W.

    2015-01-01

    Swainson’s hawks (Buteo swainsoni) are long-distance migratory raptors that nest primarily in isolated trees located in areas of high grassland density. In recent years, anthropogenic conversion of grassland habitat has raised concerns about the status of the breeding population in the northern Great Plains. In 2013, we initiated a study to investigate the influence of extrinsic factors influencing Swainson’s hawk nesting ecology in north-central South Dakota and south-central North Dakota. Using ground and aerial surveys, we located and monitored nesting Swainson’s hawk pairs: 73 in 2013 and 120 in 2014. We documented 98 successful breeding attempts that fledged 163 chicks; 1.52 and 1.72 fledglings per successful nest in 2013 and 2014, respectively. We used Program MARK to evaluate the influence of land cover on nest survival. The top model, S Dist2Farm+%Hay, indicated that nest survival (fledging at least one chick) decreased as nests were located farther from farm sites and as the percent of hay cover increased within 1200-m of the nest site (34.4%; 95% CI = 27.6%–42.3%). We used logistic regression analysis to evaluate the influence of landscape variables on nest-site selection; Swainson’s hawks selected for nest sites located closer to roads. We suggest that tree belts associated with farm sites, whether occupied or not, provide critical breeding sites for Swainson’s hawks. Additionally, poor breeding success may be related to the late migratory behavior of this species which requires them to occupy marginal habitat due to other raptors occupying the most suitable habitat prior to Swainson’s hawks arriving to the breeding grounds. PMID:26327440

  18. Groundwater declines are linked to changes in Great Plains stream fish assemblages.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perkin, Joshuah S; Gido, Keith B; Falke, Jeffrey A; Fausch, Kurt D; Crockett, Harry; Johnson, Eric R; Sanderson, John

    2017-07-11

    Groundwater pumping for agriculture is a major driver causing declines of global freshwater ecosystems, yet the ecological consequences for stream fish assemblages are rarely quantified. We combined retrospective (1950-2010) and prospective (2011-2060) modeling approaches within a multiscale framework to predict change in Great Plains stream fish assemblages associated with groundwater pumping from the United States High Plains Aquifer. We modeled the relationship between the length of stream receiving water from the High Plains Aquifer and the occurrence of fishes characteristic of small and large streams in the western Great Plains at a regional scale and for six subwatersheds nested within the region. Water development at the regional scale was associated with construction of 154 barriers that fragment stream habitats, increased depth to groundwater and loss of 558 km of stream, and transformation of fish assemblage structure from dominance by large-stream to small-stream fishes. Scaling down to subwatersheds revealed consistent transformations in fish assemblage structure among western subwatersheds with increasing depths to groundwater. Although transformations occurred in the absence of barriers, barriers along mainstem rivers isolate depauperate western fish assemblages from relatively intact eastern fish assemblages. Projections to 2060 indicate loss of an additional 286 km of stream across the region, as well as continued replacement of large-stream fishes by small-stream fishes where groundwater pumping has increased depth to groundwater. Our work illustrates the shrinking of streams and homogenization of Great Plains stream fish assemblages related to groundwater pumping, and we predict similar transformations worldwide where local and regional aquifer depletions occur.

  19. Land-use change reduces habitat suitability for supporting managed honey bee colonies in the Northern Great Plains

    Science.gov (United States)

    Otto, Clint R.; Roth, Cali; Carlson, Benjamin; Smart, Matthew

    2016-01-01

    Human reliance on insect pollination services continues to increase even as pollinator populations exhibit global declines. Increased commodity crop prices and federal subsidies for biofuel crops, such as corn and soybeans, have contributed to rapid land-use change in the US Northern Great Plains (NGP), changes that may jeopardize habitat for honey bees in a part of the country that supports >40% of the US colony stock. We investigated changes in biofuel crop production and grassland land covers surrounding ∼18,000 registered commercial apiaries in North and South Dakota from 2006 to 2014. We then developed habitat selection models to identify remotely sensed land-cover and land-use features that influence apiary site selection by Dakota beekeepers. Our study demonstrates a continual increase in biofuel crops, totaling 1.2 Mha, around registered apiary locations in North and South Dakota. Such crops were avoided by commercial beekeepers when selecting apiary sites in this region. Furthermore, our analysis reveals how grasslands that beekeepers target when selecting commercial apiary locations are becoming less common in eastern North and South Dakota, changes that may have lasting impact on pollinator conservation efforts. Our study highlights how land-use change in the NGP is altering the landscape in ways that are seemingly less conducive to beekeeping. Our models can be used to guide future conservation efforts highlighted in the US national pollinator health strategy by identifying areas that support high densities of commercial apiaries and that have exhibited significant land-use changes.

  20. Recent Trends in Soil Science and Agronomy Research in the Northern Great Plains of North America

    Science.gov (United States)

    The book “Recent Trends in Soil Science and Agronomy Research in the Northern Great Plains of North America” summarizes published research in soil science and agronomy from various field experiments conducted in the soil-climatic/agro-ecological regions of the Northern Great Plains of North America....

  1. Influence of latitude on the US great plains East-West precipitation gradient

    Science.gov (United States)

    Precipitation varies greatly from east to west across the US Great Plains as a result of a combination of the rain shadow of the Rocky Mountains and the moisture flow from the Gulf of Mexico. Because of this precipitation gradient, application of research results obtained in one location to other lo...

  2. 78 FR 17653 - Upper Great Plains Wind Energy Draft Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (DOE/EIS-0408)

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-03-22

    ... Wildlife Service Upper Great Plains Wind Energy Draft Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (DOE/EIS... Plains Wind Energy Draft Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (Draft [[Page 17654

  3. Modeling effects of conservation grassland losses on amphibian habitat

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mushet, David M.; Neau, Jordan L.; Euliss, Ned H.

    2014-01-01

    Amphibians provide many ecosystem services valued by society. However, populations have declined globally with most declines linked to habitat change. Wetlands and surrounding terrestrial grasslands form habitat for amphibians in the North American Prairie Pothole Region (PPR). Wetland drainage and grassland conversion have destroyed or degraded much amphibian habitat in the PPR. However, conservation grasslands can provide alternate habitat. In the United States, the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) is the largest program maintaining grasslands on agricultural lands. We used an ecosystem services model (InVEST) parameterized for the PPR to quantify amphibian habitat over a six-year period (2007–2012). We then quantified changes in availability of amphibian habitat under various land-cover scenarios representing incremental losses (10%, 25%, 50%, 75%, and 100%) of CRP grasslands from 2012 levels. The area of optimal amphibian habitat in the four PPR ecoregions modeled (i.e., Northern Glaciated Plains, Northwestern Glaciated Plains, Lake Agassiz Plain, Des Moines Lobe) declined by approximately 22%, from 3.8 million ha in 2007 to 2.9 million ha in 2012. These losses were driven by the conversion of CRP grasslands to croplands, primarily for corn and soybean production. Our modeling identified an additional 0.8 million ha (26%) of optimal amphibian habitat that would be lost if remaining CRP lands are returned to crop production. An economic climate favoring commodity production over conservation has resulted in substantial losses of amphibian habitat across the PPR that will likely continue into the future. Other regions of the world face similar challenges to maintaining amphibian habitats.

  4. Seasonal weather-related decision making for cattle production in the Northern Great Plains

    Science.gov (United States)

    High inter-annual variability of seasonal weather patterns can greatly affect forage and therefore livestock production in the Northern Great Plains. This variability can make it difficult for ranchers to set yearly stocking rates, particularly in advance of the grazing season. To better understand ...

  5. Potential future impacts of climatic change on the Great Plains

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Smit, B.

    1991-01-01

    A synopsis is provided of approaches to impact studies in the Great Plains, findings from studies of future impacts are summarized, and opportunities for enhancing understanding of future impacts are discussed. Potential impacts of climate change on agriculture, water resources, forestry, recreation/tourism, and energy are summarized. Impact analyses need to look more rigorously at variability in climate, the probabilities of various climatic conditions, and the sensitivity of social and economic activities to climatic variability. Most economic impact studies have assumed no adaptive behavior on the part of economic decision makers. Credible impact assessments require an improved understanding of the sensitivity and adaptability of sectors to climatic conditions, particularly variability. The energy sector in the Great Plains region is likely to be more sensitive to political developments in the Middle East than to climatic variability and change. Speculation and analysis of climate impacts have focused on supply conditions and demands, yet the sector is more keenly sensitive to policy implications of climatic change, such as the potential for fossil fuel taxes or other legislative or pricing constraints. 28 refs

  6. Wind and wildlife in the Northern Great Plains: identifying low-impact areas for wind development.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joseph Fargione

    Full Text Available Wind energy offers the potential to reduce carbon emissions while increasing energy independence and bolstering economic development. However, wind energy has a larger land footprint per Gigawatt (GW than most other forms of energy production and has known and predicted adverse effects on wildlife. The Northern Great Plains (NGP is home both to some of the world's best wind resources and to remaining temperate grasslands, the most converted and least protected ecological system on the planet. Thus, appropriate siting and mitigation of wind development is particularly important in this region. Steering energy development to disturbed lands with low wildlife value rather than placing new developments within large and intact habitats would reduce impacts to wildlife. Goals for wind energy development in the NGP are roughly 30 GW of nameplate capacity by 2030. Our analyses demonstrate that there are large areas where wind development would likely have few additional impacts on wildlife. We estimate there are ∼1,056 GW of potential wind energy available across the NGP on areas likely to have low-impact for biodiversity, over 35 times development goals. New policies and approaches will be required to guide wind energy development to low-impact areas.

  7. Understanding Great Plains Urbanization through the Lens of South Dakota Townscapes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Conzen, Michael P.

    2010-01-01

    Most towns were crucial to the initial colonization and economic development of the Great Plains. Many were, directly or indirectly, creatures of railroad corporate planning, owing their location as well as their physical layout to the townsite companies controlled by railroad officials. This article examines how these facts shaped the fundamental…

  8. Conserving Prairie Pothole Region wetlands and surrounding grasslands: evaluating effects on amphibians

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mushet, David M.; Neau, Jordan L.

    2014-01-01

    The maintenance of viable and genetically diverse populations of amphibians in the Prairie Pothole Region of the United States depends on upland as well as wetland over-wintering and landscape level habitat features.Prairie pothole wetlands provide important amphibian breeding habitat while grasslands surrounding these wetlands provide foraging habitat for adults, overwintering habitat for some species, and important connectivity among breeding wetlands.Grasslands surrounding wetlands were found to be especially important for wood frogs and northern leopard frogs, while croplands dominated habitat utilized by Great Plains toads and Woodhouse’s toads.Habitat suitability mapping highlighted (1) the influence of deep-water overwintering wetlands on suitable habitat for four of five anuran species encountered; (2) the lack of overlap between areas of core habitat for both the northern leopard frog and wood frog compared to the core habitat for both toad species; and (3) the importance of conservation programs in providing grassland components of northern leopard frog and wood frog habitat.Currently, there are approximately 7.2 million acres (2.9 million hectares, ha) of habitat in the PPR identified as suitable for amphibians. WRP and CRP wetland and grassland habitats accounted for approximately 1.9 million acres (0.75 million ha) or 26 percent of this total area.Continued loss of amphibian habitat resulting from an ongoing trend of returning PPR conservation lands to crop production, will likely have significant negative effects on the region’s ability to maintain amphibian biodiversity. Conversely, increases in conservation wetlands and surrounding grasslands on the PPR landscape have great potential to positively influence the region’s amphibian populations.

  9. Mapping carbon flux uncertainty and selecting optimal locations for future flux towers in the Great Plains

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gu, Yingxin; Howard, Daniel M.; Wylie, Bruce K.; Zhang, Li

    2012-01-01

    Flux tower networks (e. g., AmeriFlux, Agriflux) provide continuous observations of ecosystem exchanges of carbon (e. g., net ecosystem exchange), water vapor (e. g., evapotranspiration), and energy between terrestrial ecosystems and the atmosphere. The long-term time series of flux tower data are essential for studying and understanding terrestrial carbon cycles, ecosystem services, and climate changes. Currently, there are 13 flux towers located within the Great Plains (GP). The towers are sparsely distributed and do not adequately represent the varieties of vegetation cover types, climate conditions, and geophysical and biophysical conditions in the GP. This study assessed how well the available flux towers represent the environmental conditions or "ecological envelopes" across the GP and identified optimal locations for future flux towers in the GP. Regression-based remote sensing and weather-driven net ecosystem production (NEP) models derived from different extrapolation ranges (10 and 50%) were used to identify areas where ecological conditions were poorly represented by the flux tower sites and years previously used for mapping grassland fluxes. The optimal lands suitable for future flux towers within the GP were mapped. Results from this study provide information to optimize the usefulness of future flux towers in the GP and serve as a proxy for the uncertainty of the NEP map.

  10. 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...

  11. 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...

  12. Satellite mapping of surface biophysical parameters at the biome scale over the North American grasslands: A case study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wylie, B.K.; Meyer, D.J.; Tieszen, L.L.; Mannel, S.

    2002-01-01

    Quantification of biophysical parameters is needed by terrestrial process modeling and other applications. A study testing the role of multispectral data for monitoring biophysical parameters was conducted over a network of grassland field sites in the Great Plains of North America. Grassland biophysical parameters [leaf area index (LAI), fraction of absorbed photosynthetically active radiation (fPAR), and biomass] and their relationships with ground radiometer normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) were established in this study (r2=.66–.85) from data collected across the central and northern Great Plains in 1995. These spectral/biophysical relationships were compared to 1996 field data from the Tallgrass Prairie Preserve in northeastern Oklahoma and showed no consistent biases, with most regression estimates falling within the respective 95% confidence intervals. Biophysical parameters were estimated for 21 “ground pixels” (grids) at the Tallgrass Prairie Preserve in 1996, representing three grazing/burning treatments. Each grid was 30×30 m in size and was systematically sampled with ground radiometer readings. The radiometric measurements were then converted to biophysical parameters and spatially interpolated using geostatistical kriging. Grid-based biophysical parameters were monitored through the growing season and regressed against Landsat Thematic Mapper (TM) NDVI (r2=.92–.94). These regression equations were used to estimate biophysical parameters for grassland TM pixels over the Tallgrass Prairie Preserve in 1996. This method maintained consistent regression development and prediction scales and attempted to minimize scaling problems associated with mixed land cover pixels. A method for scaling Landsat biophysical parameters to coarser resolution satellite data sets (1 km2) was also investigated.

  13. A network model framework for prioritizing wetland conservation in the Great Plains

    Science.gov (United States)

    Albanese, Gene; Haukos, David A.

    2017-01-01

    ContextPlaya wetlands are the primary habitat for numerous wetland-dependent species in the Southern Great Plains of North America. Plant and wildlife populations that inhabit these wetlands are reciprocally linked through the dispersal of individuals, propagules and ultimately genes among local populations.ObjectiveTo develop and implement a framework using network models for conceptualizing, representing and analyzing potential biological flows among 48,981 spatially discrete playa wetlands in the Southern Great Plains.MethodsWe examined changes in connectivity patterns and assessed the relative importance of wetlands to maintaining these patterns by targeting wetlands for removal based on network centrality metrics weighted by estimates of habitat quality and probability of inundation.ResultsWe identified several distinct, broad-scale sub networks and phase transitions among playa wetlands in the Southern Plains. In particular, for organisms that can disperse >2 km a dense and expansive wetland sub network emerges in the Southern High Plains. This network was characterized by localized, densely connected wetland clusters at link distances (h) >2 km but <5 km and was most sensitive to changes in wetland availability (p) and configuration when h = 4 km, and p = 0.2–0.4. It transitioned to a single, large connected wetland system at broader spatial scales even when the proportion of inundated wetland was relatively low (p = 0.2).ConclusionsOur findings suggest that redundancy in the potential for broad and fine-scale movements insulates this system from damage and facilitates system-wide connectivity among populations with different dispersal capacities.

  14. Late Pleistocene dune activity in the central Great Plains, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mason, J.A.; Swinehart, J.B.; Hanson, P.R.; Loope, D.B.; Goble, R.J.; Miao, X.; Schmeisser, R.L.

    2011-01-01

    Stabilized dunes of the central Great Plains, especially the megabarchans and large barchanoid ridges of the Nebraska Sand Hills, provide dramatic evidence of late Quaternary environmental change. Episodic Holocene dune activity in this region is now well-documented, but Late Pleistocene dune mobility has remained poorly documented, despite early interpretations of the Sand Hills dunes as Pleistocene relicts. New optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) ages from drill cores and outcrops provide evidence of Late Pleistocene dune activity at sites distributed across the central Great Plains. In addition, Late Pleistocene eolian sands deposited at 20-25 ka are interbedded with loess south of the Sand Hills. Several of the large dunes sampled in the Sand Hills clearly contain a substantial core of Late Pleistocene sand; thus, they had developed by the Late Pleistocene and were fully mobile at that time, although substantial sand deposition and extensive longitudinal dune construction occurred during the Holocene. Many of the Late Pleistocene OSL ages fall between 17 and 14 ka, but it is likely that these ages represent only the later part of a longer period of dune construction and migration. At several sites, significant Late Pleistocene or Holocene large-dune migration also probably occurred after the time represented by the Pleistocene OSL ages. Sedimentary structures in Late Pleistocene eolian sand and the forms of large dunes potentially constructed in the Late Pleistocene both indicate sand transport dominated by northerly to westerly winds, consistent with Late Pleistocene loess transport directions. Numerical modeling of the climate of the Last Glacial Maximum has often yielded mean monthly surface winds southwest of the Laurentide Ice Sheet that are consistent with this geologic evidence, despite strengthened anticyclonic circulation over the ice sheet. Mobility of large dunes during the Late Pleistocene on the central Great Plains may have been the result of

  15. Low-dose glyphosate does not control annual bromes in the northern Great Plains

    Science.gov (United States)

    Annual bromes (downy brome and Japanese brome) have been shown to decrease perennial grass forage production and alter ecosystem functions in northern Great Plains rangelands. Large-scale chemical control might be a method for increasing rangeland forage production if low application rates confer co...

  16. Amphibians of the northern Great Plains

    Science.gov (United States)

    Larson, Diane L.; Euliss, Ned H.; Lannoo, Michael J.; Mushet, David M.; Mac, M.J.; Opler, P.A.; Puckett Haecker, C. E.; Doran, P.D.

    1998-01-01

    No cry of alarm has been sounded over the fate of amphibian populations in the northern grasslands of North America, yet huge percentages of prairie wetland habitat have been lost, and the destruction continues. Scarcely 30% of the original mixedgrass prairie remains in Nebraska, South Dakota, and North Dakota (See Table 1 in this chapter). If amphibian populations haven’t declined, why haven’t they? Or, have we simply failed to notice? Amphibians in the northern grasslands evolved in a boom-or-bust environment: species that were unable to survive droughts lasting for years died out long before humans were around to count them. Species we find today are expert at seizing the rare, wet moment to rebuild their populations in preparation for the next dry season. When numbers can change so rapidly, who can say if a species is rare or common? A lot depends on when you look.

  17. Summertime Low-Level Jets over the Great Plains

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Stensrud, D.J. [NOAA/ERL/National Severe Storms Lab., Norman, OK (United States); Pfeifer, S. [Univ. of Oklahoma, Norman, OK (United States)

    1996-04-01

    The sky over the southern Great Plains Cloud and Atmospheric Radiation Testbed (CART) site of the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Program during the predawn and early morning hours often is partially obstructed by stratocumulus, stratus fractus, or cumulus fractus that are moving rapidly to the north, even through the surface winds are weak. This cloud movement is evidence of the low-level jet (LLJ), a wind speed maximum that occurs in the lowest few kilometers of the atmosphere. Owing to the wide spacing between upper-air sounding sites and the relatively infrequent sounding launches, LLJ evolution has been difficult to observe adequately, even though the effects of LLJs on moisture flux into North America are large. Model simulation of the LLJ is described.

  18. Vegetation changes over 12 years in ungrazed and grazed Conservation Reserve Program Grasslands in the central and southern plains

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cade, Brian S.; Vandever, Mark W.; Allen, Arthur W.; Terrell, James W.

    2005-01-01

    diminished structural diversity of vegetation (Peet and others, 1975; Rice and Parenti, 1978; Butler and Briske, 1988; Campa and Winterstein, 1992). Recommendations for the timing of disturbance to increase grass and forb species diversity range from 3 to 8 years following establishment of seeded grasslands in the northern Great Plains and Midwest (Duebbert and others, 1981; Higgens, 1987; Millenbah and others, 1996). The management interval, however, is affected by climatic conditions, soils, grass species, and management history of the individual stand. We quantified changes in vegetation structure and species composition across the typical 10-year contract period in undisturbed southern and central Great Plains CRP fields (fig. 2) planted to introduced and native grasses. In addition, we compared changes in vegetation in fields grazed during the emergency release of 1996 by comparing conditions prior to grazing and two and four years post grazing relative to changes in similar fields that were not grazed. Documentation of long-term changes in vegetation structure and composition for fields planted to common grass seed mixtures across a wide range of environmental conditions provides information to improve long-term wildlife habitat potential, guide program administration, and define management practices that yield economic benefits to operators while still meeting wildlife and conservation objectives. Emergency grazing provisions of the CRP are controversial. Although grazing can alter vegetative characteristics and reduce habitat quality in the short-term (Temple and others, 1999), periodic disturbance may be necessary to maintain habitat quality, and more information is needed assessing long-term effects of emergency grazing on vegetative structure and species composition. 

  19. Summary of findings from the Great Plains Tree and Forest Invasives Initiative

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dacia M. Meneguzzo; Andrew J. Lister; Cody. Sullivan

    2018-01-01

    The Great Plains Tree and Forest Invasives Initiative (GPI) was a cooperative effort of the U.S. Forest Service and state forestry agencies in Kansas, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota, with a primary goal of evaluating the tree resources throughout the four-state region as a preparedness measure for the arrival of invasive pests, such as the emerald ash borer...

  20. Whooping crane stopover site use intensity within the Great Plains

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pearse, Aaron T.; Brandt, David A.; Harrell, Wade C.; Metzger, Kristine L.; Baasch, David M.; Hefley, Trevor J.

    2015-09-23

    Whooping cranes (Grus americana) of the Aransas-Wood Buffalo population migrate twice each year through the Great Plains in North America. Recovery activities for this endangered species include providing adequate places to stop and rest during migration, which are generally referred to as stopover sites. To assist in recovery efforts, initial estimates of stopover site use intensity are presented, which provide opportunity to identify areas across the migration range used more intensively by whooping cranes. We used location data acquired from 58 unique individuals fitted with platform transmitting terminals that collected global position system locations. Radio-tagged birds provided 2,158 stopover sites over 10 migrations and 5 years (2010–14). Using a grid-based approach, we identified 1,095 20-square-kilometer grid cells that contained stopover sites. We categorized occupied grid cells based on density of stopover sites and the amount of time cranes spent in the area. This assessment resulted in four categories of stopover site use: unoccupied, low intensity, core intensity, and extended-use core intensity. Although provisional, this evaluation of stopover site use intensity offers the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and partners a tool to identify landscapes that may be of greater conservation significance to migrating whooping cranes. Initially, the tool will be used by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and other interested parties in evaluating the Great Plains Wind Energy Habitat Conservation Plan.

  1. The Development of Tourist Relations during the Economic Crisis through the Example of the Southern Great Plain Region and Serbia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    PÉTER GULYÁS

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Since the beginning of the economic crisis, nearby feeder markets have become increasingly important for Hungary’s tourism sector with cross-border cooperation schemes playing an ever increasing role. This also holds true for Hungary’s Southern Great Plain Region when viewed in its relationship with neighbouring Serbia. This paper examines tourism flow changes in the Southern Hungarian Great Plain Region during the period of the economic crisis especially as far as tourism flows from Serbia are concerned. The analysis is based on official statistical data available in respect of commercial accommodation facilities, analyses on tourism trends carried out at the European level, and regional development documents drawn up for the Hungarian–Serbian cross border region. The economic crisis caused a significant downturn in tourism flows in the Southern Great Plain Region. However, the number of tourists arriving from Serbia to the Southern Great Plain and the number of nights they spent there increased even during the crisis partly because of the favourable geographical location of the region, partly because of the intensive cooperation schemes implemented in the tourism sector, and partly because of organised marketing campaigns.

  2. Effects of haying on breeding birds in CRP grasslands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Igl, Lawrence D.; Johnson, Douglas H.

    2016-01-01

    The Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) is a voluntary program that is available to agricultural producers to help protect environmentally sensitive or highly erodible land. Management disturbances of CRP grasslands generally are not allowed unless authorized to provide relief to livestock producers during severe drought or a similar natural disaster (i.e., emergency haying and grazing) or to improve the quality and performance of the CRP cover (i.e., managed haying and grazing). Although CRP grasslands may not be hayed or grazed during the primary bird-nesting season, these disturbances may have short-term (1 yr after disturbance) and long-term (≥2 yr after disturbance) effects on grassland bird populations. We assessed the effects of haying on 20 grassland bird species in 483 CRP grasslands in 9 counties of 4 states in the northern Great Plains, USA between 1993 and 2008. We compared breeding bird densities (as determined by total-area counts) in idle and hayed fields to evaluate changes 1, 2, 3, and 4 years after haying. Haying of CRP grasslands had either positive or negative effects on grassland birds, depending on the species, the county, and the number of years after the initial disturbance. Some species (e.g., horned lark [Eremophila alpestris], bobolink [Dolichonyx oryzivorus]) responded positively after haying, and others (e.g., song sparrow [Melospiza melodia]) responded negatively. The responses of some species changed direction as the fields recovered from haying. For example, densities for common yellowthroat (Geothlypis trichas), sedge wren (Cistothorus platensis), and clay-colored sparrow (Spizella pallida) declined the first year after haying but increased in the subsequent 3 years. Ten species showed treatment × county interactions, indicating that the effects of haying varied geographically. This long-term evaluation on the effects of haying on breeding birds provides important information on the strength and direction of changes in

  3. Evaluation of herbacceous biomass crops in the northern Great Plains. Final report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Meyer, D.W.; Norby, W.E.; Erickson, D.O.; Johnson, R.G. [North Dakota State Univ., Fargo, ND (United States)

    1994-08-01

    Herbaceous lignocellulose crops are a potential renewable feedstock for biochemical conversion systems second in size to wood products. Several herbaceous crops are utilized as forage crops in the northern Great Plains, but forage quality considerations usually dictates a early harvest. Biomass cropping does not have this constraint; therefore, little information was available on herbaceous crops utilized as energy crops prior to this project. Our primary objectives were to evaluate the biomass yield and select chemical components of several herbaceous crops for energy crops in the northern Great Plains, compare the economic feasibility of energy crops with common competing crops, and evaluate biomass cropping on summer fallow lands. Three good, two marginal, and one irrigated sites were used during 1988 to 1992 for the first component. At least six perennial and four annual biomass species were included at all sites. Three to four nitrogen (N) levels and a crop-recrop comparison (annuals only) were management intensities included. Biomass cropping on idled lands was performed on dryland at Carrington and evaluated the effects of removing leguminous biomass on fallowed lands. This report summarizes results from the 5-year project.

  4. Building Indigenous Community Resilience in the Great Plains

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gough, B.

    2014-12-01

    Indigenous community resilience is rooted in the seasoned lifeways, developed over generations, incorporated into systems of knowledge, and realized in artifacts of infrastructure through keen observations of the truth and consequences of their interactions with the environment found in place over time. Their value lies, not in their nature as artifacts, but in the underlying patterns and processes of culture: how previous adaptations were derived and evolved, and how the principles and processes of detailed observation may inform future adaptations. This presentation examines how such holistic community approaches, reflected in design and practice, can be applied to contemporary issues of energy and housing in a rapidly changing climate. The Indigenous Peoples of the Great Plains seek to utilize the latest scientific climate modeling to support the development of large, utility scale distributed renewable energy projects and to re-invigorate an indigenous housing concept of straw bale construction, originating in this region. In the energy context, we explore the potential for the development of an intertribal wind energy dynamo on the Great Plains, utilizing elements of existing federal policies for Indian energy development and existing federal infrastructure initially created to serve hydropower resources, which may be significantly altered under current and prospective drought scenarios. For housing, we consider the opportunity to address the built environment in Indian Country, where Tribes have greater control as it consists largely of residences needed for their growing populations. Straw bale construction allows for greater use of local natural and renewable materials in a strategy for preparedness for the weather extremes and insurance perils already common to the region, provides solutions to chronic unemployment and increasing energy costs, while offering greater affordable comfort in both low and high temperature extremes. The development of large

  5. Developing a hybrid solar/wind powered irrigation system for crops in the Great Plains

    Science.gov (United States)

    Some small scale irrigation systems (powered by wind or solar do not require subsidies, but this paper discusses ways to achieve an economical renewable energy powered center pivot irrigation system for crops in the Great Plains. By adding a solar-photovoltaic (PV) array together with a wind...

  6. Particulate matter concentrations for mono-slope beef cattle facilities in the Northern Great Plains

    Science.gov (United States)

    Confined cattle facilities are an increasingly common housing system in the Northern Great Plains region of the United States. Producers may maintain a deep-bedded manure pack (Pack), they may remove all bedding/manure material from the pens weekly (Scrape), or use a combination of management styles...

  7. Immigration to the Great Plains, 1865-1914: War, Politics, Technology, and Economic Development

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garver, Bruce

    2011-01-01

    The advent and vast extent of immigration to the Great Plains states during the years 1865 to 1914 is perhaps best understood in light of the new international context that emerged during the 1860s in the aftermath of six large wars whose consequences included the enlargement of civil liberties, an acceleration of economic growth and technological…

  8. Annual crop type classification of the U.S. Great Plains for 2000 to 2011

    Science.gov (United States)

    Howard, Daniel M.; Wylie, Bruce K.

    2014-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to increase the spatial and temporal availability of crop classification data. In this study, nearly 16.2 million crop observation points were used in the training of the US Great Plains classification tree crop type model (CTM). Each observation point was further defined by weekly Normalized Difference Vegetation Index, annual climate, and a number of other biogeophysical environmental characteristics. This study accounted for the most prevalent crop types in the region, including, corn, soybeans, winter wheat, spring wheat, cotton, sorghum, and alfalfa. Annual CTM crop maps of the US Great Plains were created for 2000 to 2011 at a spatial resolution of 250 meters. The CTM achieved an 87 percent classification success rate on 1.8 million observation points that were withheld from model training. Product validation was performed on greater than 15,000 county records with a coefficient of determination of R2 = 0.76.

  9. Factors contributing to record-breaking heat waves over the Great Plains during the 1930s Dust Bowl

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cowan, T.; Hegerl, G. C.

    2016-12-01

    Record-breaking summer heat waves that plagued contiguous United States in the 1930s emerged during the decade-long "Dust Bowl" drought. Using high-quality daily temperature observations, the Dust Bowl heat wave characteristics for the Great Plains are assessed using metrics that describe variations in heat wave activity and intensity. We also quantify record-breaking heat waves over the pre-industrial period for 22 CMIP5 model multi-century realisations. The most extreme Great Plains heat wave summers in the Dust Bowl decade (e.g. 1931, 1934, 1936) were pre-conditioned by anomalously dry springs, as measured by proxy drought indices. In general, summer heat waves over the Great Plains develop 15-20 days earlier after anomalously dry springs, and are also significantly longer and hotter, indicative of the importance of land surface feedbacks in heat wave intensification. The majority of pre-industrial climate model experiments capture regionally clustered summer heat waves across North America, although the North Pacific and Atlantic sea surface temperature patterns associated with the heat waves vary considerably between models. Sea surface temperature patterns may be more important for influencing winter and spring precipitation, thus amplifying summer heat waves during drought periods. The synoptic pattern that commonly appeared during the exceptional Dust Bowl heat waves featured an anomalous broad surface pressure ridge straddling an upper level blocking anticyclone over the western United States. This forced significant subsidence and adiabatic warming over the Great Plains, and triggered anomalous southward warm advection over southern regions, prolonging and amplifying the heat waves over central United States. Importantly, the results show that despite the sparsity of stations in the 1930s, homogeneous observations are crucial in accurately quantifying the Dust Bowl decade heat waves, as opposed to solely relying on atmospheric reanalysis.

  10. [Spatiotemporal characteristics of MODIS NDVI in Hulunber Grassland].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Hong-Bin; Yang, Gui-Xia; Wu, Wen-Bin; Li, Gang; Chen, Bao-Rui; Xin, Xiao-Ping

    2009-11-01

    Time-series MODIS NDVI datasets from 2000 to 2008 were used to study the spatial change trend, fluctuation degree, and occurrence time of the annual NDVImax of four typical grassland types, i.e., lowland meadow, temperate steppe, temperate meadow steppe, and upland meadow, in Hulunber Grassland. In 2000-2008, the vegetation in Hulunber Grassland presented an obvious deterioration trend. The mean annual NDVImax of the four grassland types had a great fluctuation, especially in temperate steppe where the maximum change in the mean value of annual NDVImax approximated to 50%. As for the area change of different grade grasslands, the areas with NDVImax between 0.4 and 1 accounted for about 91% of the total grassland area, which suggested the good vegetation coverage in the Grassland. However, though the areas with NDVImax values in (0.4, 0.8) showed an increasing trend, the areas with NDVImax values in (0.2, 0.4) and (0.8, 1) decreased greatly in the study period. Overall, the deteriorating grassland took up about 66.25% of the total area, and the restoring grassland took the rest. There was about 62.85% of the grassland whose NDVImax occurred between the 193rd day and the 225th day in each year, indicating that this period was the most important vegetation growth season in Hulunber Grassland.

  11. Grasshopper responses to fire and postfire grazing in the northern Great Plains vary among species

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rangeland management practices such as burning and grazing management may affect grasshopper populations by impacting development, survival and reproduction. Experiments are lacking in the northern Great Plains examining the effects of fire and grazing intensity on grasshoppers. As part of a larger ...

  12. Quantifying uncertainties of seismic Bayesian inversion of Northern Great Plains

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gao, C.; Lekic, V.

    2017-12-01

    Elastic waves excited by earthquakes are the fundamental observations of the seismological studies. Seismologists measure information such as travel time, amplitude, and polarization to infer the properties of earthquake source, seismic wave propagation, and subsurface structure. Across numerous applications, seismic imaging has been able to take advantage of complimentary seismic observables to constrain profiles and lateral variations of Earth's elastic properties. Moreover, seismic imaging plays a unique role in multidisciplinary studies of geoscience by providing direct constraints on the unreachable interior of the Earth. Accurate quantification of uncertainties of inferences made from seismic observations is of paramount importance for interpreting seismic images and testing geological hypotheses. However, such quantification remains challenging and subjective due to the non-linearity and non-uniqueness of geophysical inverse problem. In this project, we apply a reverse jump Markov chain Monte Carlo (rjMcMC) algorithm for a transdimensional Bayesian inversion of continental lithosphere structure. Such inversion allows us to quantify the uncertainties of inversion results by inverting for an ensemble solution. It also yields an adaptive parameterization that enables simultaneous inversion of different elastic properties without imposing strong prior information on the relationship between them. We present retrieved profiles of shear velocity (Vs) and radial anisotropy in Northern Great Plains using measurements from USArray stations. We use both seismic surface wave dispersion and receiver function data due to their complementary constraints of lithosphere structure. Furthermore, we analyze the uncertainties of both individual and joint inversion of those two data types to quantify the benefit of doing joint inversion. As an application, we infer the variation of Moho depths and crustal layering across the northern Great Plains.

  13. Evapotranspiration in winter wheat under different grazing and tillage practices in the southern Great Plains

    Science.gov (United States)

    Precipitation in the Southern Great Plains (SGP) is highly variable both spatially and temporally with recurring periods of severe drought. Winter wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) – summer fallow system with conventional tillage is the principal dryland cropping system in this region for both grazing an...

  14. Child Labor in the Early Sugar Beet Industry in the Great Plains, 1890-1920

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lyons-Barrett, Mary

    2005-01-01

    Children working in agriculture have always been a part of the rural culture and work ethos of the United States, especially on the Great Plains. Many teenagers still detassel corn or walk the beans in the summer months to earn spending money or money for college. But what about the children who work as migrant laborers in commercialized…

  15. Aerosol measurements at the Southern Great Plains Site: Design and surface installation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Leifer, R.; Knuth, R.H.; Guggenheim, S.F.; Albert, B. [Department of Energy, New York, NY (United States)

    1996-04-01

    To impropve the predictive capabilities of the Atmospheric Radiation Measurements (ARM) program radiation models, measurements of awserosol size distributions, condensation particle concentrations, aerosol scattering coefficients at a number of wavelenghts, and the aerosol absorption coefficients are needed at the Southern Great Plains (SGP) site. Alos, continuous measurements of ozone concnetrations are needed for model validation. The environmental Measuremenr Laboratory (EMK) has the responsibility to establish the surface aerosol measurements program at the SGP site. EML has designed a special sampling manifold.

  16. WRF model sensitivity to land surface model and cumulus parameterization under short-term climate extremes over the southern Great Plains of the United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lisi Pei; Nathan Moore; Shiyuan Zhong; Lifeng Luo; David W. Hyndman; Warren E. Heilman; Zhiqiu. Gao

    2014-01-01

    Extreme weather and climate events, especially short-term excessive drought and wet periods over agricultural areas, have received increased attention. The Southern Great Plains (SGP) is one of the largest agricultural regions in North America and features the underlying Ogallala-High Plains Aquifer system worth great economic value in large part due to production...

  17. Evaluating the Impacts of Grassland Conversions to Experimental Forest on Groundwater Recharge in the Nebraska Sand Hills

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adane, Zablon A.

    The Nebraska Sand Hills grasslands provide the greatest groundwater recharge rates in the High Plains Aquifer. However, the grasslands and their ecological services have become vulnerable to land use change and degradation. This study used a series of field data to investigate the effects of grassland conversions to forest on recharge rates in a century-old experimental forest in the Sand Hills. The results show that the impact of grassland conversion on recharge was dependent on the species and plantation density. Estimated recharge rates beneath the dense plantations represent reductions of 86-94% relative to the native grassland. Results of 1H Nuclear Magnetic Resonance spectral analysis suggested that the surface soil organic carbon beneath pine plantations also contain up to 3 times the ratio of hydrophobic components than the native grasslands and may alter the soil hydraulic properties. This investigation further uncovered a previously overlooked feedback between the effect of soil organic carbon chemical shift generated by the ponderosa pine needle litter decomposition; namely that the alteration may have a link to reduced groundwater recharge rates. Thus, a global optimizer algorithm was used to estimate the effective soil hydraulic parameters from monthly soil moisture contents and recharge rates were then estimated through HYDRUS 1-D numerical modeling for grassland and pine forest soils. The impact of grassland conversion to pine was an overall reduction of groundwater recharge by nearly 100%. These outcomes highlight the significance of the grasslands for recharge, in the Sand Hills and the sustainability of the High Plains Aquifer.

  18. Oligocene paleogeography of the northern Great Plains and adjacent mountains

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Seeland, D.

    1985-01-01

    Early Oligocene paleogeography of the northern Great Plains and adjacent mountains is inferred in part from published surface and subsurface studies of the pre-Oligocene surface. These studies are combined with published and unpublished information on clast provenance, crossbedding orientation, and Eocene paleogeography. The Oligocene Arctic Ocean-Gulf of Mexico continental divide extended from the southern Absaroka Mountains east along the Owl Creek Mountains, across the southern Powder River Basin, through the northern Black Hills, and eastward across South Dakota. Streams north of the divide flowed northeastward. The Olligocene White River Group contains 50 to 90 percent airfall pyroclastic debris from a northern Great Basin source. Most of the uranium deposits of the region in pre-Oligocene rocks can be related to a uranium source in the volcanic ash of the White River; in many places the pre-Oligocene deposits can be related to specific Oligocene channels. Uranium deposits in sandstones of major Oligocene rivers are an important new type of deposit. The Oligocene channel sandstones also contain small quantities of gold, molybdenum, gas, and oil

  19. Changes in productivity of grassland with ageing

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hoogerkamp, M.

    1984-01-01

    The productivity of grassland may change greatly with ageing. Frequently, a productive ley period, occurring in the first time after (re)seeding, is followed by a period in which productivity decreases. Under conditions favourable to grassland this may be temporary. A production level

  20. Structural Characteristics of Nocturnal Mesoscale Convective Systems in the U.S. Great Plains as Observed During the PECAN Field Campaign

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bodine, D. J.; Dougherty, E.; Rasmussen, K. L.; Torres, A. D.

    2015-12-01

    During the summer in the U.S. Great Plains, some of the heaviest precipitation falls from large thunderstorm complexes known as Mesoscale Convective Systems (MCSs). These frequently occurring MCSs are often nocturnal in nature, so the dynamics associated with these systems are more elusive than those in the daytime. The Plains Elevated Convection at Night (PECAN) field campaign was launched over a 7-week period as an endeavor to better understand nocturnal MCSs occurring in the Great Plains. PECAN featured a dense array of ground-based and airborne instruments to observe nocturnal MCS, including dual-polarization radars at multiple frequencies, mobile mesonets, and sounding units. Our role in PECAN involved deploying Ott Parsivel disdrometers to gain information on drop size distributions (DSDs) and fall speeds. Analysis of disdrometer data in conjunction with radar data presented using Contour Frequency by Altitude Diagrams (CFADs) and high-resolution radiosonde data allows for a structural comparison of PECAN MCS cases to previously identified MCS archetypes. Novel insights into the structural evolution of nocturnal MCSs in relation to their synoptic, mesoscale, and thermodynamic environments are presented, using data collected from dense and numerous observation platforms. Understanding the environmental conditions that result in different nocturnal MCS configurations is useful for gaining insight into precipitation distributions and potential severe weather and flooding hazards in the Great Plains.

  1. Great Plains Wind Energy Transmission Development Project

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Brad G. Stevens, P.E.; Troy K. Simonsen; Kerryanne M. Leroux

    2012-06-09

    In fiscal year 2005, the Energy & Environmental Research Center (EERC) received funding from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to undertake a broad array of tasks to either directly or indirectly address the barriers that faced much of the Great Plains states and their efforts to produce and transmit wind energy at the time. This program, entitled Great Plains Wind Energy Transmission Development Project, was focused on the central goal of stimulating wind energy development through expansion of new transmission capacity or development of new wind energy capacity through alternative market development. The original task structure was as follows: Task 1 - Regional Renewable Credit Tracking System (later rescoped to Small Wind Turbine Training Center); Task 2 - Multistate Transmission Collaborative; Task 3 - Wind Energy Forecasting System; and Task 4 - Analysis of the Long-Term Role of Hydrogen in the Region. As carried out, Task 1 involved the creation of the Small Wind Turbine Training Center (SWTTC). The SWTTC, located Grand Forks, North Dakota, consists of a single wind turbine, the Endurance S-250, on a 105-foot tilt-up guyed tower. The S-250 is connected to the electrical grid on the 'load side' of the electric meter, and the power produced by the wind turbine is consumed locally on the property. Establishment of the SWTTC will allow EERC personnel to provide educational opportunities to a wide range of participants, including grade school through college-level students and the general public. In addition, the facility will allow the EERC to provide technical training workshops related to the installation, operation, and maintenance of small wind turbines. In addition, under Task 1, the EERC hosted two small wind turbine workshops on May 18, 2010, and March 8, 2011, at the EERC in Grand Forks, North Dakota. Task 2 involved the EERC cosponsoring and aiding in the planning of three transmission workshops in the midwest and western regions. Under Task

  2. Synfuels from low-rank coals at the Great Plains Gasification Plant

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pollock, D.

    1992-01-01

    This presentation focuses on the use of low rank coals to form synfuels. A worldwide abundance of low rank coals exists. Large deposits in the United States are located in Texas and North Dakota. Low rank coal deposits are also found in Europe, India and Australia. Because of the high moisture content of lignite ranging from 30% to 60% or higher, it is usually utilized in mine mouth applications. Lignite is generally very reactive and contains varying amounts of ash and sulfur. Typical uses for lignite are listed. A commercial application using lignite as feedstock to a synfuels plant, Dakota Gasification Company's Great Plains Gasification Plant, is discussed

  3. Cover crop biomass production and water use in the central great plains under varying water availability

    Science.gov (United States)

    The water-limited environment of the semi-arid central Great Plains may not have potential to produce enough cover crop biomass to generate benefits associated with cover crop use in more humid regions. There have been reports that cover crops grown in mixtures produce more biomass with greater wate...

  4. Plant Community and Soil Environment Response to Summer Fire in the Northern Great Plains

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fire is a keystone process in many ecosystems, especially grasslands. However, documentation of plant community and soil environment responses to fire is limited for semiarid grasslands relative to that for mesic grasslands. Replicated summer fire research is lacking, but much needed because summe...

  5. Weed suppression greatly increased by plant diversity in intensively managed grasslands: A continental-scale experiment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Connolly, John; Sebastià, Maria-Teresa; Kirwan, Laura; Finn, John Anthony; Llurba, Rosa; Suter, Matthias; Collins, Rosemary P; Porqueddu, Claudio; Helgadóttir, Áslaug; Baadshaug, Ole H; Bélanger, Gilles; Black, Alistair; Brophy, Caroline; Čop, Jure; Dalmannsdóttir, Sigridur; Delgado, Ignacio; Elgersma, Anjo; Fothergill, Michael; Frankow-Lindberg, Bodil E; Ghesquiere, An; Golinski, Piotr; Grieu, Philippe; Gustavsson, Anne-Maj; Höglind, Mats; Huguenin-Elie, Olivier; Jørgensen, Marit; Kadziuliene, Zydre; Lunnan, Tor; Nykanen-Kurki, Paivi; Ribas, Angela; Taube, Friedhelm; Thumm, Ulrich; De Vliegher, Alex; Lüscher, Andreas

    2018-03-01

    consistently strong across mixtures varying widely in species' proportions and over time. The level of weed biomass did not vary greatly across mixtures varying widely in proportions of sown species. These diversity benefits in intensively managed grasslands are relevant for the sustainable intensification of agriculture and, importantly, are achievable through practical farm-scale actions.

  6. A case study of the Great Plains low-level jet using wind profiler network data and a high resolution mesoscale model

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zhong, S.; Fast, J.D.; Bian, X.; Stage, S. [Pacific Northwest National Lab., Richland, WA (United States)] [and others

    1996-04-01

    The Great Plains low-level jet (LLJ) has important effects on the life cycle of clouds and on radiative and surface heat and moisture fluxes at the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Southern Great Plains (SGP) Cloud and Radiation Testbed (CART) site. This diurnal phenomenon governs the transport and convergence of low-level moisture into the region and often leads to the development of clouds and precipitation. A full understanding of the life cycle of clouds at the SGP CART site and their proper representation in single column and global climate models cannot be obtained without an improved understanding of this important phenomenon.

  7. Why Different Drought Indexes Show Distinct Future Drought Risk Outcomes in the U.S. Great Plains?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feng, S.; Hayes, M. J.; Trnka, M.

    2015-12-01

    Vigorous discussions and disagreements about the future changes in drought intensity in the US Great Plains have been taking place recently within the literature. These discussions have involved widely varying estimates based on drought indices and model-based projections of the future. To investigate and understand the causes for such a disparity between these previous estimates, we analyzed 10 commonly-used drought indexes using the output from 26 state-of-the-art climate models. These drought indices were computed using potential evapotranspiration estimated by the physically-based Penman-Monteith method (PE_pm) and the empirically-based Thornthwaite method (PE_th). The results showed that the short-term drought indicators are similar to modeled surface soil moisture and show a small but consistent drying trend in the future. The long-term drought indicators and the total column soil moisture, however, are consistent in projecting more intense future drought. When normalized, the drought indices with PE_th all show unprecedented and possibly unrealistic future drying, while the drought indices with PE_pm show comparable dryness with the modeled soil moisture. Additionally, the drought indices with PE_pm are closely related to soil moisture during both the 20th and 21st Centuries. Overall, the drought indices with PE_pm, as well as the modeled total column soil moisture, suggest a widespread and very significant drying of the Great Plains region toward the end of the Century. Our results suggested that the sharp contracts about future drought risk in the Great Plains discussed in previous studies are caused by 1) comparing the projected changes in short-term droughts with that of the long-term droughts, and/or 2) computing the atmospheric evaporative demand using the empirically-based method (e.g., PE_th). Our analysis may be applied for drought projections in other regions across the globe.

  8. Dynamic cropping systems: Holistic approach for dryland agricultural systems in the northern Great Plains of North America

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cropping systems over the past century have developed greater crop specialization, more effectively conserve our soil and water resources, and are more resilient. The purpose of this chapter is to discuss the evolution of cropping systems in the Northern Great Plains and provide an approach to crop...

  9. Potential effects of anthropogenic greenhouse gases on avian habitats and populations in the northern Great Plains

    Science.gov (United States)

    Larson, Diane L.

    1994-01-01

    Biotic response to the buildup of greenhouse gases in Earth's atmosphere is considerably more complex than an adjustment to changing temperature and precipitation. The fertilization effect carbon dioxide has on some plants, the impact UVB radiation has on health and productivity of organisms, and the resulting changes in competitive balance and trophic structure must also be considered. The intent of this paper is to review direct and indirect effects of anthropogenic greenhouse gases on wildlife, and to explore possible effects on populations of birds and their habitats in the northern Great Plains.Many of the potential effects of increasing greenhouse gases, such as declining plant nutritional value, changes in timing of insect emergence, and fewer and saltier wetlands, foreshadow a decline in avian populations on the Great Plains. However, other possible effects such as increased drought resistance and water use efficiency of vegetation, longer growing seasons, and greater overall plant biomass promise at least some mitigation. Effects of multiple simultaneous perturbations such as can be expected under doubled carbon dioxide scenarios will require substantial basic research to clarify.

  10. Effects of management practices on grassland birds: Grasshopper Sparrow

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dechant, Jill A.; Sondreal, Marriah L.; Johnson, Douglas H.; Igl, Lawrence D.; Goldade, Christopher M.; Nenneman, Melvin P.; Euliss, Betty R.

    1998-01-01

    Information on the habitat requirements and effects of habitat management on grassland birds were summarized from information in more than 5,500 published and unpublished papers. A range map is provided to indicate the relative densities of the species in North America, based on Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) data. Although birds frequently are observed outside the breeding range indicated, the maps are intended to show areas where managers might concentrate their attention. It may be ineffectual to manage habitat at a site for a species that rarely occurs in an area. The species account begins with a brief capsule statement, which provides the fundamental components or keys to management for the species. A section on breeding range outlines the current breeding distribution of the species in North America, including areas that could not be mapped using BBS data. The suitable habitat section describes the breeding habitat and occasionally microhabitat characteristics of the species, especially those habitats that occur in the Great Plains. Details on habitat and microhabitat requirements often provide clues to how a species will respond to a particular management practice. A table near the end of the account complements the section on suitable habitat, and lists the specific habitat characteristics for the species by individual studies. A special section on prey habitat is included for those predatory species that have more specific prey requirements. The area requirements section provides details on territory and home range sizes, minimum area requirements, and the effects of patch size, edges, and other landscape and habitat features on abundance and productivity. It may be futile to manage a small block of suitable habitat for a species that has minimum area requirements that are larger than the area being managed. The Brown-headed Cowbird (Molothrus ater) is an obligate brood parasite of many grassland birds. The section on cowbird brood parasitism summarizes rates

  11. Assessing urban forest effects and values of the Great Plains: Kansas, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota

    Science.gov (United States)

    David J. Nowak; Robert E. III Hoehn; Daniel E. Crane; Allison R. Bodine

    2012-01-01

    This report details the evaluation of the urban tree resources of the north-central Great Plains region of the United States. Specifically this report provides a more comprehensive understanding of the species composition and structural and functional benefits of the urban forests in the states of Kansas (33.1 million urban trees), Nebraska (13.3 million urban trees),...

  12. Wetland degradation: its driving forces and environmental impacts in the Sanjiang Plain, China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Song, Kaishan; Wang, Zongming; Du, Jia; Liu, Lei; Zeng, Lihong; Ren, Chunying

    2014-08-01

    This study investigated human-induced long-term wetland degradation that occurred in the Sanjiang Plain. Results from analyzing land-use/land-cover data sets derived from remotely sensed Landsat Multispectral Scanner/Thematic Mapper imagery for four time points showed that wetlands in the Sanjiang Plain have been severely transformed, and the area of wetlands decreased by 38 % from 1976 to 1986, by 16 % from 1986 to 1995, and by 31 % from 1995 to 2005. This study showed that transition to agricultural cultivation accounted for 91 % of wetland losses, whereas transition to grassland and forest accounted for 7 % of the wetlands losses. Institutional strategies and market policies probably exerted great impacts on agricultural practice that directly or indirectly influenced the decrease in wetlands. This study also indicated that an increased population likely led to wetland conversion to cropland by showing a high correlation between population and cropland (R (2) = 0.92, P reinforced further because of possible environmental consequences of wetland loss, such as enhanced soil carbon emission, changed hydrological cycling, and regional temperature increase.

  13. Patch size and edge proximity are useful predictors of brood parasitism but not nest survival of grassland birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benson, Thomas J; Chiavacci, Scott J; Ward, Michael P

    2013-06-01

    Declines of migratory birds have led to increased focus on causative factors for these declines, including the potential adverse effects of habitat fragmentation on reproductive success. Although numerous studies have addressed how proximity to a habitat edge, patch size, or landscape context influence nest survival or brood parasitism, many have failed to find the purported effects. Furthermore, many have sought to generalize patterns across large geographic areas and habitats. Here, we examined evidence for effects of edge proximity, patch size, and landscape context on nest survival and brood parasitism of grassland birds, a group of conservation concern. The only consistent effect was a positive association between edge proximity and brood parasitism. We examined effects of patch size on nest survival (37 studies) and brood parasitism (30 studies) representing 170 and 97 different estimates, respectively, with a total sample size of > 14000 nests spanning eastern North America. Nest survival weakly increased with patch size in the Great Plains, but not in the Midwestern or Eastern United States, and brood parasitism was inversely related to patch size and consistently greater in the Great Plains. The consistency in brood parasitism relative to nest survival patterns is likely due to parasitism being caused by one species, while nest survival is driven by a diverse and variable suite of nest predators. Often, studies assume that predators responsible for nest predation, the main driver of nest success, either are the same or exhibit the same behaviors across large geographic areas. These results suggest that a better mechanistic understanding of nest predation is needed to provide meaningful conservation recommendations for improving grassland bird productivity, and that the use of general recommendations across large geographic areas should only be undertaken when sufficient data are available from all regions.

  14. Critical Review of Technical Questions Facing Low Impact Development and Green Infrastructure: A Perspective from the Great Plains.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vogel, Jason R; Moore, Trisha L; Coffman, Reid R; Rodie, Steven N; Hutchinson, Stacy L; McDonough, Kelsey R; McLemore, Alex J; McMaine, John T

    2015-09-01

    Since its inception, Low Impact Development (LID) has become part of urban stormwater management across the United States, marking progress in the gradual transition from centralized to distributed runoff management infrastructure. The ultimate goal of LID is full, cost-effective implementation to maximize watershed-scale ecosystem services and enhance resilience. To reach that goal in the Great Plains, the multi-disciplinary author team presents this critical review based on thirteen technical questions within the context of regional climate and socioeconomics across increasing complexities in scale and function. Although some progress has been made, much remains to be done including continued basic and applied research, development of local LID design specifications, local demonstrations, and identifying funding mechanisms for these solutions. Within the Great Plains and beyond, by addressing these technical questions within a local context, the goal of widespread acceptance of LID can be achieved, resulting in more effective and resilient stormwater management.

  15. Quantifying seining detection probability for fishes of Great Plains sand‐bed rivers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mollenhauer, Robert; Logue, Daniel R.; Brewer, Shannon K.

    2018-01-01

    Species detection error (i.e., imperfect and variable detection probability) is an essential consideration when investigators map distributions and interpret habitat associations. When fish detection error that is due to highly variable instream environments needs to be addressed, sand‐bed streams of the Great Plains represent a unique challenge. We quantified seining detection probability for diminutive Great Plains fishes across a range of sampling conditions in two sand‐bed rivers in Oklahoma. Imperfect detection resulted in underestimates of species occurrence using naïve estimates, particularly for less common fishes. Seining detection probability also varied among fishes and across sampling conditions. We observed a quadratic relationship between water depth and detection probability, in which the exact nature of the relationship was species‐specific and dependent on water clarity. Similarly, the direction of the relationship between water clarity and detection probability was species‐specific and dependent on differences in water depth. The relationship between water temperature and detection probability was also species dependent, where both the magnitude and direction of the relationship varied among fishes. We showed how ignoring detection error confounded an underlying relationship between species occurrence and water depth. Despite imperfect and heterogeneous detection, our results support that determining species absence can be accomplished with two to six spatially replicated seine hauls per 200‐m reach under average sampling conditions; however, required effort would be higher under certain conditions. Detection probability was low for the Arkansas River Shiner Notropis girardi, which is federally listed as threatened, and more than 10 seine hauls per 200‐m reach would be required to assess presence across sampling conditions. Our model allows scientists to estimate sampling effort to confidently assess species occurrence, which

  16. Backcasting the decline of a vulnerable Great Plains reproductive ecotype: identifying threats and conservation priorities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Worthington, Thomas A.; Brewer, Shannon K.; Grabowski, Timothy B.; Mueller, Julia

    2014-01-01

    Conservation efforts for threatened or endangered species are challenging because the multi-scale factors that relate to their decline or inhibit their recovery are often unknown. To further exacerbate matters, the perceptions associated with the mechanisms of species decline are often viewed myopically rather than across the entire species range. We used over 80 years of fish presence data collected from the Great Plains and associated ecoregions of the United States, to investigate the relative influence of changing environmental factors on the historic and current truncated distributions of the Arkansas River shiner Notropis girardi. Arkansas River shiner represent a threatened reproductive ecotype considered especially well adapted to the harsh environmental extremes of the Great Plains. Historic (n = 163 records) and current (n = 47 records) species distribution models were constructed using a vector-based approach in MaxEnt by splitting the available data at a time when Arkansas River shiner dramatically declined. Discharge and stream order were significant predictors in both models; however, the shape of the relationship between the predictors and species presence varied between time periods. Drift distance (river fragment length available for ichthyoplankton downstream drift before meeting a barrier) was a more important predictor in the current model and indicated river segments 375–780 km had the highest probability of species presence. Performance for the historic and current models was high (area under the curve; AUC > 0.95); however, forecasting and backcasting to alternative time periods suggested less predictive power. Our results identify fragments that could be considered refuges for endemic plains fish species and we highlight significant environmental factors (e.g., discharge) that could be manipulated to aid recovery.

  17. The role of fire in managing for biological diversity on native rangelands of the Northern Great Plains

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carolyn Hull Sieg

    1997-01-01

    A strategy for using fire to manage for biological diversity on native rangelands in the Northern Great Plains incorporates an understanding of its past frequency, timing and intensity. Historically, lightning and humans were the major fire setters, and the role of fire varied both in space and time. A burning regime that includes fires at various intervals, seasons...

  18. Changing tree composition by life history strategy in a grassland-forest landscape

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brice B. Hanberry; John M. Kabrick; Hong S. He

    2014-01-01

    After rapid deforestation in the eastern United States, which generally occurred during the period of 1850-1920, forests did not return to historical composition and structure. We examined forest compositional change and then considered how historical land use and current land use may influence forests in a grassland-forest landscape, the Missouri Plains, where...

  19. Simulating the Evolution of Fluid Underpressures in the Great Plains, by Incorporation of Tectonic Uplift and Tilting, with a Groundwater Flow Model

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amjad M. J. Umari

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Underpressures (subhydrostatic heads in the Paleozoic units underlying the Great Plains of North America are a consequence of Cenozoic uplift of the area. Based on tectonostratigraphic data, we have developed a cumulative uplift history with superimposed periods of deposition and erosion for the Great Plains for the period from 40 Ma to the present. Uplift, deposition, and erosion on an 800 km geologic cross-section extending from northeast Colorado to eastern Kansas is represented in nine time-stepped geohydrologic models. Sequential solution of the two-dimensional diffusion equation reveals the evolution of hydraulic head and underpressure in a changing structural environment after 40 Ma, culminating in an approximate match with the measured present-day values. The modeled and measured hydraulic head values indicate that underpressures increase to the west. The 2 to 0 Ma model indicates that the present-day hydraulic head values of the Paleozoic units have not reached steady state. This result is significant because it indicates that present-day hydraulic heads are not at equilibrium, and underpressures will increase in the future. The pattern uncovered by the series of nine MODFLOW models is of increased underpressures with time. Overall, the models indicate that tectonic uplift explains the development of underpressures in the Great Plains.

  20. Mapping grasslands suitable for cellulosic biofuels in the Greater Platte River Basin, United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wylie, Bruce K.; Gu, Yingxin

    2012-01-01

    Biofuels are an important component in the development of alternative energy supplies, which is needed to achieve national energy independence and security in the United States. The most common biofuel product today in the United States is corn-based ethanol; however, its development is limited because of concerns about global food shortages, livestock and food price increases, and water demand increases for irrigation and ethanol production. Corn-based ethanol also potentially contributes to soil erosion, and pesticides and fertilizers affect water quality. Studies indicate that future potential production of cellulosic ethanol is likely to be much greater than grain- or starch-based ethanol. As a result, economics and policy incentives could, in the near future, encourage expansion of cellulosic biofuels production from grasses, forest woody biomass, and agricultural and municipal wastes. If production expands, cultivation of cellulosic feedstock crops, such as switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.) and miscanthus (Miscanthus species), is expected to increase dramatically. The main objective of this study is to identify grasslands in the Great Plains that are potentially suitable for cellulosic feedstock (such as switchgrass) production. Producing ethanol from noncropland holdings (such as grassland) will minimize the effects of biofuel developments on global food supplies. Our pilot study area is the Greater Platte River Basin, which includes a broad range of plant productivity from semiarid grasslands in the west to the fertile corn belt in the east. The Greater Platte River Basin was the subject of related U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) integrated research projects.

  1. Saline systems of the Great Plains of western Canada: an overview of the limnogeology and paleolimnology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Last, William M; Ginn, Fawn M

    2005-01-01

    In much of the northern Great Plains, saline and hypersaline lacustrine brines are the only surface waters present. As a group, the lakes of this region are unique: there is no other area in the world that can match the concentration and diversity of saline lake environments exhibited in the prairie region of Canada and northern United States. The immense number of individual salt lakes and saline wetlands in this region of North America is staggering. Estimates vary from about one million to greater than 10 million, with densities in some areas being as high as 120 lakes/km2. Despite over a century of scientific investigation of these salt lakes, we have only in the last twenty years advanced far enough to appreciate the wide spectrum of lake types, water chemistries, and limnological processes that are operating in the modern settings. Hydrochemical data are available for about 800 of the lake brines in the region. Composition, textural, and geochemical information on the modern bottom sediments has been collected for just over 150 of these lakes. Characterization of the biological and ecological features of these lakes is based on even fewer investigations, and the stratigraphic records of only twenty basins have been examined. The lake waters show a considerable range in ionic composition and concentration. Early investigators, concentrating on the most saline brines, emphasized a strong predominance of Na+ and SO4-2 in the lakes. It is now realized, however, that not only is there a complete spectrum of salinities from less than 1 ppt TDS to nearly 400 ppt, but also virtually every water chemistry type is represented in lakes of the region. With such a vast array of compositions, it is difficult to generalize. Nonetheless, the paucity of Cl-rich lakes makes the northern Great Plains basins somewhat unusual compared with salt lakes in many other areas of the world (e.g., Australia, western United States). Compilations of the lake water chemistries show distinct

  2. Vulnerability of grazing and confined livestock in the Northern Great Plains to projected mid- and late- 21st century climate

    Science.gov (United States)

    The Northern Great Plains (NGP) region – Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, North Dakota, South Dakota and Nebraska – is a largely rural area that provides important agricultural and ecological services, including biological diversity. The NGP is projected to experience rising atmospheric CO2, warming and ...

  3. Vulnerability of grazing and confined livestock in the Northern Great Plains to projected mid- and late-twenty-first century climate

    Science.gov (United States)

    The Northern Great Plains (NGP) region of the United States – which comprises Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, North Dakota, South Dakota and Nebraska – is a largely rural area that provides important agricultural and ecological services, including biological diversity. The region contains 25% of the Nat...

  4. Analytical study of the effects of the Low-Level Jet on moisture convergence and vertical motion fields at the Southern Great Plains Cloud and Radiation Testbed site

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bian, X.; Zhong, S.; Whiteman, C.D.; Stage, S.A. [Pacific Northwest National Lab., Richland, WA (United States)

    1996-04-01

    The Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Southern Great Plains (SGP) Cloud and Radiation Testbed (CART) is located in a region that is strongly affected by a prominent meteorological phenomenon--the Great Plains Low-Level Jet (LLJ). Observations have shown that the LLJ plays a vital role in spring and summertime cloud formation and precipitation over the Great Plains. An improved understanding of the LLJ characteristics and its impact on the environment is necessary for addressing the fundamental issue of development and testing of radiational transfer and cloud parameterization schemes for the general circulation models (GCMs) using data from the SGP CART site. A climatological analysis of the summertime LLJ over the SGP has been carried out using hourly observations from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Wind Profiler Demonstration Network and from the ARM June 1993 Intensive Observation Period (IOP). The hourly data provide an enhanced temporal and spatial resolution relative to earlier studies which used 6- and 12-hourly rawinsonde observations at fewer stations.

  5. Importance of agricultural landscapes to nesting burrowing owls in the Northern Great Plains, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Restani, M.; Davies, J.M.; Newton, W.E.

    2008-01-01

    Anthropogenic habitat loss and fragmentation are the principle factors causing declines of grassland birds. Declines in burrowing owl (Athene cunicularia) populations have been extensive and have been linked to habitat loss, primarily the decline of black-tailed prairie dog (Cynomys ludovicianus) colonies. Development of habitat use models is a research priority and will aid conservation of owls inhabiting human-altered landscapes. From 2001 to 2004 we located 160 burrowing owl nests on prairie dog colonies on the Little Missouri National Grassland in North Dakota. We used multiple linear regression and Akaike's Information Criterion to estimate the relationship between cover type characteristics surrounding prairie dog colonies and (1) number of owl pairs per colony and (2) reproductive success. Models were developed for two spatial scales, within 600 m and 2,000 m radii of nests for cropland, crested wheatgrass (Agropyron cristatum), grassland, and prairie dog colonies. We also included number of patches as a metric of landscape fragmentation. Annually, fewer than 30% of prairie dog colonies were occupied by owls. None of the models at the 600 m scale explained variation in number of owl pairs or reproductive success. However, models at the 2,000 m scale did explain number of owl pairs and reproductive success. Models included cropland, crested wheatgrass, and prairie dog colonies. Grasslands were not included in any of the models and had low importance values, although percentage grassland surrounding colonies was high. Management that protects prairie dog colonies bordering cropland and crested wheatgrass should be implemented to maintain nesting habitat of burrowing owls. ?? 2008 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

  6. Assessing drought risk under climate change in the US Great Plains via evaporative demand from downscaled GCM projections

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dewes, C.; Rangwala, I.; Hobbins, M.; Barsugli, J. J.

    2016-12-01

    Drought conditions in the US Great Plains occur primarily in response to periods of low precipitation, but they can be exacerbated by enhanced evaporative demand (E0) during periods of elevated temperatures, radiation, advection, and/or decreased humidity. A number of studies project severe to unprecedented drought conditions for this region later in the 21st century. Yet, we have found that methodological choices in the estimation of E0 and the selection of global climate model (GCM) output account for large uncertainties in projections of drought risk. Furthermore, the coarse resolution of GCMs offers little usability for drought risk assessments applied to socio-ecological systems, and users of climate data for that purpose tend to prefer existing downscaled products. Here we derive a physically based estimation of E0 - the FAO56 Penman-Monteith reference evapotranspiration - using driving variables from the Multivariate Adaptive Constructed Analogs (MACA) dataset, which have a spatial resolution of approximately 4 km. We select downscaled outputs from five CMIP5 GCMs, whereby we aim to represent different scenarios for the future of the Great Plains region (e.g. warm/wet, hot/dry, etc.). While this downscaling methodology removes GCM bias relative to a gridded product for historical data (METDATA), we first examine the remaining bias relative to ground (point) estimates of E0. Next we assess whether the downscaled products preserve the variability of their parent GCMs, in both historical and future (RCP8.5) projections. We then use the E0 estimates to compute multi-scale time series of drought indices such as the Evaporative Demand Drought Index (EDDI) and the Standardized Precipitation-Evaporation Index (SPEI) over the Great Plains region. We also attribute variability and drought anomalies to each of the driving parameters, to tease out the influence of specific model biases and evaluate geographical nuances of E0 drivers. Aside from improved understanding of

  7. Stratigraphic evidence of desertification in the west-central Great Plains within the past 1000 yr

    Science.gov (United States)

    Madole, R.F.

    1994-01-01

    Stratigraphic and geomorphic relations, archaeological data, and eight radiocarbon ages at five widely scattered localities in northeastern Colorado indicate that eolian sand was mobilized over broad areas within the past 1000 yr. The mobilization began after 1 ka, was episodic, and ended at some as yet undetermined time prior to the latter part of the 19th century. Given that climate-model simulations suggest only slight variation in average surface temperature and annual precipitation in this region during the past 1000 yr, this part of the Great Plains evidently is near the threshold of widespread eolian sand transport under the present climate. -Author

  8. The history of widespread decrease in oak dominance exemplified in a grassland--forest landscape

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brice B. Hanberry; Daniel C. Dey; Hong S. He

    2014-01-01

    Regionally-distinctive open oak forest ecosystems have been replaced either by intensive agriculture and grazing fields or by denser forests throughout eastern North America and Europe. To quantify changes in tree communities and density in the Missouri Plains, a grassland-forest landscape, we used historical surveys from1815 to 1864 and current surveys from 2004 to...

  9. Mechanisms of diurnal precipitation over the US Great Plains: a cloud resolving model perspective

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Myong-In; Choi, Ildae; Tao, Wei-Kuo; Schubert, Siegfried D.; Kang, In-Sik

    2010-02-01

    The mechanisms of summertime diurnal precipitation in the US Great Plains were examined with the two-dimensional (2D) Goddard Cumulus Ensemble (GCE) cloud-resolving model (CRM). The model was constrained by the observed large-scale background state and surface flux derived from the Department of Energy (DOE) Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Program’s Intensive Observing Period (IOP) data at the Southern Great Plains (SGP). The model, when continuously-forced by realistic surface flux and large-scale advection, simulates reasonably well the temporal evolution of the observed rainfall episodes, particularly for the strongly forced precipitation events. However, the model exhibits a deficiency for the weakly forced events driven by diurnal convection. Additional tests were run with the GCE model in order to discriminate between the mechanisms that determine daytime and nighttime convection. In these tests, the model was constrained with the same repeating diurnal variation in the large-scale advection and/or surface flux. The results indicate that it is primarily the surface heat and moisture flux that is responsible for the development of deep convection in the afternoon, whereas the large-scale upward motion and associated moisture advection play an important role in preconditioning nocturnal convection. In the nighttime, high clouds are continuously built up through their interaction and feedback with long-wave radiation, eventually initiating deep convection from the boundary layer. Without these upper-level destabilization processes, the model tends to produce only daytime convection in response to boundary layer heating. This study suggests that the correct simulation of the diurnal variation in precipitation requires that the free-atmospheric destabilization mechanisms resolved in the CRM simulation must be adequately parameterized in current general circulation models (GCMs) many of which are overly sensitive to the parameterized boundary layer

  10. The impact of climate change on agriculture and related resources in the Great Plains

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Easterling, W.E.

    1991-01-01

    The impacts of climate change on water resources and agriculture in the four Great Plains states Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska and Kansas (MINK), using the anomalously hot and dry weather of the 1930s as a model for climate in the year 2030 and a mechanistic crop simulation model known as the Erosion Productivity Impact Calculator (EPIC), are described. EPIC was modified for climate impact analysis by compiling data sets providing detailed descriptions of farms representative of the MINK region, representing the effect of increased carbon dioxide on crop water use and photosynthetic efficiency, and incorporating daily temperature and precipitation data, monthly solar radiation and humidity levels. Technologies assumed to become available include advances in breeding and biotechnology to increase harvest index, boosting of photosynthetic efficiency, and advances in pest management. If no technological adjustment was incorporated, corn yielded 20% less than baseline, soybeans 15% less and sorghum 8% less. Wheat and alfalfa yielded slightly higher. Incorporation of technological advances greatly reduced negative effects of climate change, with yields raised above baseline for every crop but corn

  11. Response strategies for the Great Plains: Canadian and U.S. perspectives

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jackson, C.I.

    1991-01-01

    From a policy point of view, the sharpest contrast between the five Great Plains states and the three Canadian provinces is the much greater significance of the Prairie provinces in Canadian life and national policymaking. The population of the Prairie provinces is substantial, and continues to grow steadily, with most growth concentrated in urban areas. A significant climate change issue in the boreal forest will be the impact of fire, as the forest is fire and insect dominated. The American solution to low precipitation, irrigation, is currently of relatively small importance on the Canadian Prairies. The main indication of general circulation models is that summer evapotranspiration will be more substantial than modest increases in precipitation, and while irrigation development is possible, there is no Canadian equivalent to the Ogallala aquifer. Adjustment or adaptation is as likely to mean adaptation to social and economic stress as much as to climate stress. Nebraska may provide a model for changes required to deal with climate warming, with a substantial problem area, substantial urban centers, and an aquifer recharge rate comparable with extraction rates. 13 refs

  12. Coal Development in the Northern Great Plains. The Impact on Revenues of State and Local Governments. Agricultural Economic Report No. 394.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stinson, Thomas F.; Voelker, Stanley W.

    Development of Northern Great Plains coal resources will create new demands for state and local government services. Development will also produce increased government revenues. Special taxes on coal production have been enacted in Montana, North Dakota, and Wyoming in order to ensure that state and local governments receive sufficient revenues to…

  13. Global warming likely reduces crop yield and water availability of the dryland cropping systems in the U.S. central Great Plains

    Science.gov (United States)

    We investigated impacts of GCM-projected climate change on dryland crop rotations of wheat-fallow and wheat-corn-fallow in the Central Great Plains (Akron in Colorado, USA) using the CERES 4.0 crop modules in RZWQM2. The climate change scenarios for CO2, temperature, and precipitation were produced ...

  14. Water quality monitoring protocol for wadeable streams and rivers in the Northern Great Plains Network

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilson, Marcia H.; Rowe, Barbara L.; Gitzen, Robert A.; Wilson, Stephen K.; Paintner-Green, Kara J.

    2014-01-01

    Preserving the national parks unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations is a fundamental purpose of the National Park Service (NPS). To address growing concerns regarding the overall physical, chemical, and biological elements and processes of park ecosystems, the NPS implemented science-based management through “Vital Signs” monitoring in 270 national parks (NPS 2007). The Northern Great Plains Network (NGPN) is among the 32 National Park Service Networks participating in this monitoring effort. The NGPN will develop protocols over the next several years to determine the overall health or condition of resources within 13 parks located in Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming.

  15. Comparative riverscape genetics reveals reservoirs of genetic diversity for conservation and restoration of Great Plains fishes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Osborne, Megan J; Perkin, Joshuah S; Gido, Keith B; Turner, Thomas F

    2014-12-01

    We used comparative landscape genetics to examine the relative roles of historical events, intrinsic traits and landscape factors in determining the distribution of genetic diversity of river fishes across the North American Great Plains. Spatial patterns of diversity were overlaid on a patch-based graphical model and then compared within and among three species that co-occurred across five Great Plains watersheds. Species differing in reproductive strategy (benthic vs. pelagic-spawning) were hypothesized to have different patterns of genetic diversity, but the overriding factor shaping contemporary patterns of diversity was the signature of past climates and geological history. Allelic diversity was significantly higher at southern latitudes for Cyprinella lutrensis and Hybognathus placitus, consistent with northward expansion from southern Pleistocene refugia. Within the historical context, all species exhibited lowered occupancy and abundance in heavily fragmented and drier upstream reaches, particularly H. placitus; a pelagic-spawning species, suggesting rates of extirpation have outpaced losses of genetic diversity in this species. Within most tributary basins, genetically diverse populations of each species persisted. Hence, reconnecting genetically diverse populations with those characterized by reduced diversity (regardless of their position within the riverine network) would provide populations with greater genetic and demographic resilience. We discuss cases where cross-basin transfer may be appropriate to enhance genetic diversity and mitigate negative effects of climate change. Overall, striking similarities in genetic patterns and in response to fragmentation and dewatering suggest a common strategy for genetic resource management in this unique riverine fish assemblage. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  16. Wintering Sandhill Crane exposure to wind energy development in the central and southern Great Plains, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pearse, Aaron T.; Brandt, David; Krapu, Gary

    2016-01-01

    Numerous wind energy projects have been constructed in the central and southern Great Plains, USA, the main wintering area for midcontinental Sandhill Cranes (Grus canadensis). In an initial assessment of the potential risks of wind towers to cranes, we estimated spatial overlap, investigated potential avoidance behavior, and determined the habitat associations of cranes. We used data from cranes marked with platform transmitting terminals (PTTs) with and without global positioning system (GPS) capabilities. We estimated the wintering distributions of PTT-marked cranes prior to the construction of wind towers, which we compared with current tower locations. Based on this analysis, we found 7% spatial overlap between the distributions of cranes and towers. When we looked at individually marked cranes, we found that 52% would have occurred within 10 km of a tower at some point during winter. Using data from cranes marked after tower construction, we found a potential indication of avoidance behavior, whereby GPS-marked cranes generally used areas slightly more distant from existing wind towers than would be expected by chance. Results from a habitat selection model suggested that distances between crane locations and towers may have been driven more by habitat selection than by avoidance, as most wind towers were constructed in locations not often selected by wintering cranes. Our findings of modest regional overlap and that few towers have been placed in preferred crane habitat suggest that the current distribution of wind towers may be of low risk to the continued persistence of wintering midcontinental Sandhill Cranes in the central and southern Great Plains.

  17. Heat flow measurements in Great Meteor East, Madeira Abyssal Plain, during Discovery Cruise 144

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Noel, M.

    1984-01-01

    This report describes 21 closely spaced heat flow measurements which were made along two survey lines in an area of faulted sediments east of Great Meteor Seamount in the Madeira Abyssal Plain. The heat flow was found to be correlated with basement topography as mapped by seismic reflection profiling. Data modelling suggests that this is due both to the thermal conductivity contrast between sediments and basement rocks and to the presence of hydrothermal circulation within basement highs. The existence of non-linear temperature profiles in sediments covering basement highs suggests that the underlying circulation is causing an upward movement of porewater. There is no firm evidence to show that the sediment faults act as preferred pathways for porewater advection. (author)

  18. Linking snake habitat use to nest predation risk in grassland birds: the dangers of shrub cover.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klug, Page E; Jackrel, Sara L; With, Kimberly A

    2010-03-01

    Extremes in rangeland management, varying from too-frequent fire and intensive grazing to the suppression of both, threaten rangeland ecosystems worldwide. Intensive fire and grazing denude and homogenize vegetation whereas their suppression increases woody cover. Although habitat loss is implicated in grassland bird declines, degradation through intensive management or neglect also decreases breeding habitat and may reduce nesting success through increased rates of nest predation. Snakes are important nest predators, but little is known about how habitat use in snakes relates to predation risk for grassland birds nesting within tallgrass prairie subjected to different grazing and fire frequencies. We evaluated nest survival in the context of habitat used by nesting songbirds and two bird-eating snakes, the eastern yellowbelly racer Coluber constrictor flaviventris and Great Plains ratsnake Pantherophis emoryi. Daily nest survival rates decreased with increasing shrub cover and decreasing vegetation height, which characterize grasslands that have been neglected or intensively managed, respectively. Discriminant function analysis revealed that snake habitats were characterized by higher shrub cover, whereas successful nests were more likely to occur in areas with tall grass and forbs but reduced shrub cover. Because snakes often use shrub habitat, birds nesting in areas with increased shrub cover may be at higher risk of nest predation by snakes in addition to other predators known to use shrub habitat (e.g., mid-sized carnivores and avian predators). Depredated nests also occurred outside the discriminant space of the snakes, indicating that other predators (e.g., ground squirrels Spermophilus spp. and bullsnakes Pituophis catenifer) may be important in areas with denuded cover. Targeted removal of shrubs may increase nest success by minimizing the activity of nest predators attracted to shrub cover.

  19. Mechanisms of Diurnal Precipitation over the United States Great Plains: A Cloud-Resolving Model Simulation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, M.-I.; Choi, I.; Tao, W.-K.; Schubert, S. D.; Kang, I.-K.

    2010-01-01

    The mechanisms of summertime diurnal precipitation in the US Great Plains were examined with the two-dimensional (2D) Goddard Cumulus Ensemble (GCE) cloud-resolving model (CRM). The model was constrained by the observed large-scale background state and surface flux derived from the Department of Energy (DOE) Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Program s Intensive Observing Period (IOP) data at the Southern Great Plains (SGP). The model, when continuously-forced by realistic surface flux and large-scale advection, simulates reasonably well the temporal evolution of the observed rainfall episodes, particularly for the strongly forced precipitation events. However, the model exhibits a deficiency for the weakly forced events driven by diurnal convection. Additional tests were run with the GCE model in order to discriminate between the mechanisms that determine daytime and nighttime convection. In these tests, the model was constrained with the same repeating diurnal variation in the large-scale advection and/or surface flux. The results indicate that it is primarily the surface heat and moisture flux that is responsible for the development of deep convection in the afternoon, whereas the large-scale upward motion and associated moisture advection play an important role in preconditioning nocturnal convection. In the nighttime, high clouds are continuously built up through their interaction and feedback with long-wave radiation, eventually initiating deep convection from the boundary layer. Without these upper-level destabilization processes, the model tends to produce only daytime convection in response to boundary layer heating. This study suggests that the correct simulation of the diurnal variation in precipitation requires that the free-atmospheric destabilization mechanisms resolved in the CRM simulation must be adequately parameterized in current general circulation models (GCMs) many of which are overly sensitive to the parameterized boundary layer heating.

  20. Monitoring and Assessing the 2012 Drought in the Great Plains: Analyzing Satellite-Retrieved Solar-Induced Chlorophyll Fluorescence, Drought Indices, and Gross Primary Production

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Siheng Wang

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available We examined the relationship between satellite measurements of solar-induced chlorophyll fluorescence (SIF and several meteorological drought indices, including the multi-time-scale standard precipitation index (SPI and the Palmer drought severity index (PDSI, to evaluate the potential of using SIF to monitor and assess drought. We found significant positive relationships between SIF and drought indices during the growing season (from June to September. SIF was found to be more sensitive to short-term SPIs (one or two months and less sensitive to long-term SPI (three months than were the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI or the normalized difference water index (NDWI. Significant correlations were found between SIF and PDSI during the growing season for the Great Plains. We found good consistency between SIF and flux-estimated gross primary production (GPP for the years studied, and synchronous declines of SIF and GPP in an extreme drought year (2012. We used SIF to monitor and assess the drought that occurred in the Great Plains during the summer of 2012, and found that although a meteorological drought was experienced throughout the Great Plains from June to September, the western area experienced more agricultural drought than the eastern area. Meanwhile, SIF declined more significantly than NDVI during the peak growing season. Yet for senescence, during which time the reduction of NDVI still went on, the reduction of SIF was eased. Our work provides an alternative to traditional reflectance-based vegetation or drought indices for monitoring and assessing agricultural drought.

  1. Estimation of potential evapotranspiration from extraterrestrial radiation, air temperature and humidity to assess future climate change effects on the vegetation of the Northern Great Plains, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    King, David A.; Bachelet, Dominique M.; Symstad, Amy J.; Ferschweiler, Ken; Hobbins, Michael

    2014-01-01

    The potential evapotranspiration (PET) that would occur with unlimited plant access to water is a central driver of simulated plant growth in many ecological models. PET is influenced by solar and longwave radiation, temperature, wind speed, and humidity, but it is often modeled as a function of temperature alone. This approach can cause biases in projections of future climate impacts in part because it confounds the effects of warming due to increased greenhouse gases with that which would be caused by increased radiation from the sun. We developed an algorithm for linking PET to extraterrestrial solar radiation (incoming top-of atmosphere solar radiation), as well as temperature and atmospheric water vapor pressure, and incorporated this algorithm into the dynamic global vegetation model MC1. We tested the new algorithm for the Northern Great Plains, USA, whose remaining grasslands are threatened by continuing woody encroachment. Both the new and the standard temperature-dependent MC1 algorithm adequately simulated current PET, as compared to the more rigorous PenPan model of Rotstayn et al. (2006). However, compared to the standard algorithm, the new algorithm projected a much more gradual increase in PET over the 21st century for three contrasting future climates. This difference led to lower simulated drought effects and hence greater woody encroachment with the new algorithm, illustrating the importance of more rigorous calculations of PET in ecological models dealing with climate change.

  2. Differentiating climate- and human-induced drivers of grassland degradation in the Liao River Basin, China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    He, Chunyang; Tian, Jie; Gao, Bin; Zhao, Yuanyuan

    2015-01-01

    Quantitatively distinguishing grassland degradation due to climatic variations from that due to human activities is of great significance to effectively governing degraded grassland and realizing sustainable utilization. The objective of this study was to differentiate these two types of drivers in the Liao River Basin during 1999-2009 using the residual trend (RESTREND) method and to evaluate the applicability of the method in semiarid and semihumid regions. The relationship between the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) and each climatic factor was first determined. Then, the primary driver of grassland degradation was identified by calculating the change trend of the normalized residuals between the observed and the predicted NDVI assuming that climate change was the only driver. We found that the RESTREND method can be used to quantitatively and effectively differentiate climate and human drivers of grassland degradation. We also found that the grassland degradation in the Liao River Basin was driven by both natural processes and human activities. The driving factors of grassland degradation varied greatly across the study area, which included regions having different precipitation and altitude. The degradation in the Horqin Sandy Land, with lower altitude, was driven mainly by human activities, whereas that in the Kungl Prairie, with higher altitude and lower precipitation, was caused primarily by climate change. Therefore, the drivers of degradation and local conditions should be considered in an appropriate strategy for grassland management to promote the sustainability of grasslands in the Liao River Basin.

  3. Penultimate Glacial-Interglacial Climate Variability in the Southern Great Plains of North America

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bartow-Gillies, E.; Maupin, C. R.; Roark, E. B.; Chou, Y. C.; White, K.; Kampen-Lewis, S. V.; Shen, C. C.

    2017-12-01

    Projections of changes in rainfall under future warming scenarios vary in their sign and intensity over the Southern Great Plains (SGP). A scarcity of local paleoclimate information before the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) limits our understanding of regional climate responses to changes in mean state and forcing. Here, we present absolutely U/Th-dated oxygen and carbon isotope records from a calcite stalagmite near Georgetown, Texas (30°N, 98°W), spanning 98 to 209 kyr before present (kyr BP). SGP moisture is primarily sourced from the Gulf of Mexico, and precipitation exhibits clear seasonality, with a biannual rainy season divided into late boreal spring and fall. We interpret the oxygen isotopic composition of the stalagmite to reflect changes in rainwater δ18O composition, as well as cave temperature, through time. There are no clear kinetic isotope effects observed within the stalagmite. More negative (positive) δ18O values are a reflection of warmer and wetter (cooler and drier) conditions based on modern observations of rainwater δ18O at the study site. Variations in stalagmite δ13C may be driven by shifts in overlying vegetation type and changes in the rates of karst flow and prior calcite precipitation. The stalagmite records include Marine Isotope Stage (MIS) 5e, an interval where global temperatures may have been as much as 2°C warmer and sea level 4-6 m higher than present. Thus, our δ18O record provides context of unique importance for how SGP hydroclimate may respond to future warming. Prominent features in the δ18O record, including a warm and wet MIS 5e appear to be paced by precession, with the timing of δ18O minima (maxima) broadly consistent with that of maxima (minima) in monthly insolation at 30°N. The δ13C record exhibits a striking similarity to canonical, sawtooth records of glacial-interglacial variability, which suggests Great Plains vegetation communities may be sensitive to the status of Northern Hemisphere glaciation. Our SGP

  4. Grassland Sustainability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deborah U. Potter; Paulette L. Ford

    2004-01-01

    In this chapter we discuss grassland sustainability in the Southwest, grassland management for sustainability, national and local criteria and indicators of sustainable grassland ecosystems, and monitoring for sustainability at various scales. Ecological sustainability is defined as: [T]he maintenance or restoration of the composition, structure, and processes of...

  5. Increased vapor pressure deficit due to higher temperature leads to greater transpiration and faster mortality during drought for tree seedlings common to the forest-grassland ecotone.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Will, Rodney E; Wilson, Stuart M; Zou, Chris B; Hennessey, Thomas C

    2013-10-01

    Tree species growing along the forest-grassland ecotone are near the moisture limit of their range. Small increases in temperature can increase vapor pressure deficit (VPD) which may increase tree water use and potentially hasten mortality during severe drought. We tested a 40% increase in VPD due to an increase in growing temperature from 30 to 33°C (constant dewpoint 21°C) on seedlings of 10 tree species common to the forest-grassland ecotone in the southern Great Plains, USA. Measurement at 33 vs 30°C during reciprocal leaf gas exchange measurements, that is, measurement of all seedlings at both growing temperatures, increased transpiration for seedlings grown at 30°C by 40% and 20% for seedlings grown at 33°C. Higher initial transpiration of seedlings in the 33°C growing temperature treatment resulted in more negative xylem water potentials and fewer days until transpiration decreased after watering was withheld. The seedlings grown at 33°C died 13% (average 2 d) sooner than seedlings grown at 30°C during terminal drought. If temperature and severity of droughts increase in the future, the forest-grassland ecotone could shift because low seedling survival rate may not sufficiently support forest regeneration and migration. © 2013 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2013 New Phytologist Trust.

  6. Future changes in the climatology of the Great Plains low-level jet derived from fine resolution multi-model simulations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tang, Ying; Winkler, Julie; Zhong, Shiyuan; Bian, Xindi; Doubler, Dana; Yu, Lejiang; Walters, Claudia

    2017-07-10

    The southerly Great Plains low-level jet (GPLLJ) is one of the most significant circulation features of the central U.S. linking large-scale atmospheric circulation with the regional climate. GPLLJs transport heat and moisture, contribute to thunderstorm and severe weather formation, provide a corridor for the springtime migration of birds and insects, enhance wind energy availability, and disperse air pollution. We assess future changes in GPLLJ frequency using an eight member ensemble of dynamically-downscaled climate simulations for the mid-21st century. Nocturnal GPLLJ frequency is projected to increase in the southern plains in spring and in the central plains in summer, whereas current climatological patterns persist into the future for daytime and cool season GPLLJs. The relationship between future GPLLJ frequency and the extent and strength of anticyclonic airflow over eastern North America varies with season. Most simulations project a westward shift of anticyclonic airflow in summer, but uncertainty is larger for spring with only half of the simulations suggesting a westward expansion. The choice of regional climate model and the driving lateral boundary conditions have a large influence on the projected future changes in GPLLJ frequency and highlight the importance of multi-model ensembles to estimate the uncertainty surrounding the future GPLLJ climatology.

  7. Effects of livestock grazing on neotropical migratory landbirds in western North America

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carl E. Bock; Victoria A. Saab; Terrell D. Rich; David S. Dobkin

    1993-01-01

    Livestock grazing is a widespread and important influence on neotropical migratory birds in four major ecosystems in western North America: grasslands of the Great Plains and Southwest, riparian woodlands, Intermountain shrubsteppe, and open coniferous forests. We have reviewed available literature on avian responses to grazing in these habitats. Among 35 plains...

  8. Southern Great Plains Rapid Ecoregional Assessment: pre-assessment report

    Science.gov (United States)

    Assal, Timothy J.; Melcher, Cynthia P.; Carr, Natasha B.

    2015-01-01

    The purpose of the Pre-Assessment Report for the Southern Great Plains Rapid Ecoregional Assessment (REA) is to document the selection process for and final list of Conservation Elements, Change Agents, and Management Questions developed during Phase I. The overall goal of the REAs being conducted for the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is to provide information that supports regional planning and analysis for the management of ecological resources. The REA provides an assessment of baseline ecological conditions, an evaluation of current risks from drivers of ecosystem change, and a predictive capacity for evaluating future risks. The REA also may be used for identifying priority areas for conservation or restoration and for assessing the cumulative effects of a variety of land uses. There are several components of the REAs. Management Questions, developed by the BLM and partners for the ecoregion, identify the information needed for addressing land-management responsibilities. Conservation Elements represent regionally significant terrestrial and aquatic species and communities that are to be conserved and (or) restored. For each Conservation Element, key ecological attributes will be evaluated to determine the status of each species and community. The REA also will evaluate major drivers of ecosystem change, or Change Agents, currently affecting or likely to affect the status of Conservation Elements in the future. The relationships between Change Agents and key ecological attributes will be summarized using conceptual models. The REA process is a two-phase process. Phase I (pre-assessment) includes developing and finalizing the lists of priority Management Questions, Conservation Elements, and Change Agents, culminating in the REA Pre-Assessment Report.

  9. Decreased runoff response to precipitation, Little Missouri River Basin, northern Great Plains, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Griffin, Eleanor R.; Friedman, Jonathan M.

    2017-01-01

    High variability in precipitation and streamflow in the semiarid northern Great Plains causes large uncertainty in water availability. This uncertainty is compounded by potential effects of future climate change. We examined historical variability in annual and growing season precipitation, temperature, and streamflow within the Little Missouri River Basin and identified differences in the runoff response to precipitation for the period 1976-2012 compared to 1939-1975 (n = 37 years in both cases). Computed mean values for the second half of the record showed little change (precipitation, but average annual runoff at the basin outlet decreased by 22%, with 66% of the reduction in flow occurring during the growing season. Our results show a statistically significant (p runoff response to precipitation (runoff ratio). Surface-water withdrawals for various uses appear to account for 1°C increases in January through March, are the dominant driver of the observed decrease in runoff response to precipitation in the Little Missouri River Basin.

  10. Influence of a large late summer precipitation event on food limitation and grasshopper population dynamics in a northern Great Plains grassland.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Branson, David H

    2008-06-01

    The complex interplay between grasshoppers, weather conditions, and plants that cause fluctuations in grasshopper populations remains poorly understood, and little is known about the ecological processes that generate grasshopper outbreaks. Grasshopper populations respond to interacting extrinsic and intrinsic factors, with yearly and decadal weather patterns and the timing of precipitation all potentially important. The effects of initial and increasing grasshopper densities on grasshopper survival and reproductive correlates were examined at a northern mixed-grass prairie site through manipulations of grasshopper densities inside 10-m2 cages. High-quality grass growth occurred after a 9.1-cm mid-August rain. Reduced proportional survival was apparent in the two higher density treatments before the rain, indicative of food-limited density-dependent mortality. However, the large late summer rainfall event mediated the effects of exploitative competition on demographic characteristics because of the high-quality vegetation growth. This led to weaker effects of food limitation on survival and reproduction at the end of the experiment. The results indicate a direct link between weather variation, resource quality and grasshopper population dynamics led to a severe grasshopper outbreak and show that infrequent large precipitation events can have significant effects on population dynamics. Additional research is needed to examine the importance of infrequent large precipitation events on grasshopper population dynamics in grassland ecosystems.

  11. The Great Plains low-level jet (LLJ) during the atmospheric radiation measurement (ARM) intensive observation period (IOP)-4 and simulations of land use pattern effect on the LLJ

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wu, Y.; Raman, S. [North Carolina State Univ., Raleigh, NC (United States)

    1996-04-01

    The Great Plains low-level jet (LLJ) is an important element of the low-level atmospheric circulation. It transports water vapor from the Gulf of Mexico, which in turn affects the development of weather over the Great Plains of the central United States. The LLJ is generally recognized as a complex response of the atmospheric boundary layer to the diurnal cycle of thermal forcing. Early studies have attributed the Great Plains LLJ to the diurnal oscillations of frictional effect, buoyancy over sloping terrain, and the blocking effects of the Rocky Mountains. Recent investigations show that the speed of the LLJ is also affected by the soil type and soil moisture. Some studies also suggest that synoptic patterns may play an important role in the development of the LLJ. Land surface heterogeneties significantly affect mesoscale circulations by generating strong contrasts in surface thermal fluxes. Thus one would expect that the land use pattern should have effects on the LLJ`s development and structure. In this study, we try to determine the relative roles of the synoptic forcing, planetary boundary layers (PBL) processes, and the land use pattern in the formation of the LLJ using the observations from the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Intensive Operation Period (IOP)-4 and numerical sensitivity tests.

  12. Ground level measurement of nuclei from coal development in the northern Great Plains: baseline measurements. Final report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Davis, B. L.; Johnson, L. R.; Sengupta, S.; Yue, P. C.

    1978-11-01

    The Institute of Atmospheric Sciences of the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology has completed 20 months of ambient air sampling at rural and remote sites in a five-state region of the northern Great Plains. Sampling was accomplished by use of a 27-ft motor home laboratory containing living accommodations for a field crew of two. The laboratory was outfitted with a number of instruments for measurement of pollutant parameters: cloud condensation nuclei, ice nuclei, Aitken nuclei, size distribution information for Aitken size particulate, sulfur dioxide, ozone, raindrop size distributions, and pH of precipitation. In addition, an instrumented meteorological tower provided wind speed, wind direction, ambient air temperature, and dew-point temperature. Instruments varied as to durability and success of operation, but better than 90% data retrieval was possible for the entire 20-month sampling study. Analyses of the large quantities of data obtained were not possible under the initial baseline measurement program, but examination of most parameters indicate that the air masses in the northern Great Plains are still relatively clean and are influenced primarily by local sources of contamination rather than large regional sources. Particulate concentrations in these remote areas are representative of mountain stations or clean rural conditions, and sulfur dioxide concentrations are at the threshold of detectability of the instrument. Precipitation is only very slightly acidic, and no significant quantity of amorphous particles (such as coal dust or combustion products) is found in the quantitative analyses of the high-volume filter collections. A summary of ''average'' conditions observed over the study area is tabulated.

  13. A cloud climatology of the Southern Great Plains ARM CART

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lazarus, S.M.; Krueger, S.K.; Mace, G.G.

    2000-05-15

    Cloud amount statistics from three different sources were processed and compared. Surface observations from a National Centers for Environmental Prediction dataset were used. The data (Edited Cloud Report; ECR) consist of synoptic weather reports that have been edited to facilitate cloud analysis. Two stations near the Southern Great Plains (SGP) Cloud and Radiation Test Bed (CART) in north-central Oklahoma (Oklahoma City, Oklahoma and Wichita, Kansas) were selected. The ECR data span a 10-yr period from December 1981 to November 1991. The International Satellite Cloud Climatology Project (ISCCP) provided cloud amounts over the SGP CART for an 8-yr period (1983--91). Cloud amounts were also obtained from Micro Pulse Lidar (MPL) and Belfort Ceilometer (BLC) cloud-base height measurements made at the SGP CART over a 1-yr period. The annual and diurnal cycles of cloud amount as a function of cloud height and type were analyzed. The three datasets closely agree for total cloud amount. Good agreement was found in the ECR and MPL-BLC monthly low cloud amounts. With the exception of summer and midday in other seasons, the ISCCP low cloud amount estimates are generally 5%--10% less than the others. The ECR high cloud amount estimates are typically 10%--15% greater than those obtained from either the ISCCP or MPL-BLC datasets. The observed diurnal variations of altocumulus support the authors' model results of radiatively induced circulations.

  14. Diversity, Seasonality, and Context of Mammalian Roadkills in the Southern Great Plains

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith-Patten, Brenda D.; Patten, Michael A.

    2008-06-01

    Thousands of mammals are killed annually from vehicle collisions, making the issue an important one for conservation biologists and environmental managers. We recorded all readily identifiable kills on or immediately adjacent to roads in the southern Great Plains from March 2004-March 2007. We also recorded distance traveled, whether a road was paved or divided, the number of lanes, and prevailing habitat. Surveys were opportunistic and were conducted by car during conditions of good visibility. Over our 239 surveys and >16,500 km traveled, we recorded 1412 roadkills from 18 different mammal species (size ranged from Sciurus squirrels to the white-tailed deer, Odocolieus virginianus). The overall kill rate was 8.50 / 100 km. Four species were prone to collisions: the Virginia opossum ( Didelphis virginiana), nine-banded armadillo ( Dasypus novemcinctus), striped skunk ( Mephitis mephitis), and northern raccoon ( Procyon lotor). Together they accounted for approximately 85% (1198) of all roadkills. Mortality rate differed significantly between 2- and 4-lane roads (8.39 versus 7.79 / 100 km). Kill rates were significantly higher on paved versus unpaved roads (8.60 versus 3.65 / 100 km), but did not depend on whether a road was divided. Roadkills were higher in spring than in fall (1.5×), winter (1.4×), or summer (1.3×). The spring peak (in kills / 100 km) was driven chiefly by the armadillo (2.76 in spring/summer versus 0.73 in autumn/winter) and opossum (2.65 versus 1.47). By contrast, seasonality was dampened by a late winter/early spring peak in skunk mortalities, for which 41% occurred in the 6-week period of mid-February through March. The raccoon did not exhibit a strong seasonal pattern. Our data are consistent with dispersal patterns of these species. Our results underscore the high rate of highway mortality in the southern plains, as well as differences in seasonality and road type that contribute to mortality. Conservation and management efforts should

  15. Potential Agricultural Uses of Flue Gas Desulfurization Gypsum in the Northern Great Plains

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    DeSutter, T.M.; Cihacek, L.J. [North Dakota State University, Fargo, ND (United States). Department of Soil Science

    2009-07-15

    Flue gas desulfurization gypsum (FGDG) is a byproduct from the combustion of coal for electrical energy production. Currently, FGDG is being produced by 15 electrical generating stations in Alabama, Florida, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Ohio, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Wisconsin. Much of this byproduct is used in the manufacturing of wallboard. The National Network for Use of FGDG in Agriculture was initiated to explore alternative uses of this byproduct. In the northern Great Plains (North Dakota, South Dakota, and Montana), FGDG has the potential to be used as a Ca or S fertilizer, as an acid soil ameliorant, and for reclaiming or mitigating sodium-affected soils. Greater than 1.4 million Mg of FGDG could initially be used in these states for these purposes. Flue gas desulfurization gypsum can be an agriculturally important resource for helping to increase the usefulness of problem soils and to increase crop and rangeland production. Conducting beneficial use audits would increase the public awareness of this product and help identify to coal combustion electrical generating stations the agriculturally beneficial outlets for this byproduct.

  16. OMI NO2 in the Central US Great Plains: How Well Do We Interpret NO2 Trends?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kollonige, D. E.; Duncan, B. N.; Thompson, A. M.; Lamsal, L. N.

    2017-12-01

    Several areas over the Central US show statistically significant increases in OMI NO2 levels of 10-30% in the last 10 years versus the generally decreasing trends over most of CONUS. Are these changes in OMI NO2 a result of human activity, meteorology, or a combination of both? To answer this, we examine regions in the Central US Great Plains that have multiple plausible sources for the observed trends, considering impacts of land surface changes, agriculture growth, oil and gas operations, and drought conditions. We find that changes to the land surface appear to contribute to some of the observed anomalies due to tree removal in the Black Hills National Forest, South Dakota, and additional livestock farming in the Sandhills of Nebraska. However, increasing OMI NO2 also corresponds to several areas with growing agriculture business (ex. South Dakota and Nebraska) and oil and gas activity (ex. Williston Basin in North Dakota and Permian Basin in TX). To understand the relationship between the observed NO2 variability and the regional meteorological conditions over the last decade, we analyze the time series and correlations between OMI NO2, NH3 (an agriculture tracer), surface temperature, normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) from Landsat, and the Palmer Drought Severity Index (PDSI). In 2012, drought conditions affect NO2, NH3 and NDVI observations across the Central US. Areas where dryland farming and livestock grazing are predominant (Central SD, ND, KS, and NE) are less sensitive to drought and changes in temperature. This suggests positive OMI NO2 trends are caused by increased production in wheats and livestock in the Northern Great Plains. These study regions in the Central US, impacted by local emissions and meteorology, are valuable for evaluating future trend analyses including the continuation of OMI-type NO2 retrievals from the TROPOMI and TEMPO satellite instruments.

  17. Climatology analysis of cirrus cloud in ARM site: South Great Plain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olayinka, K.

    2017-12-01

    Cirrus cloud play an important role in the atmospheric energy balance and hence in the earth's climate system. The properties of optically thin clouds can be determined from measurements of transmission of the direct solar beam. The accuracy of cloud optical properties determined in this way is compromised by contamination of the direct transmission by light that is scattered into the sensors field of view. With the forward scattering correction method developed by Min et al., (2004), the accuracy of thin cloud retrievals from MFRSR has been improved. Our result shows over 30% of cirrus cloud present in the atmosphere are within optical depth between (1-2). In this study, we do statistics studies on cirrus clouds properties based on multi-years cirrus cloud measurements from MFRSR at ARM site from the South Great Plain (SGP) site due to its relatively easy accessibility, wide variability of climate cloud types and surface flux properties, large seasonal variation in temperature and specific humidity. Through the statistic studies, temporal and spatial variations of cirrus clouds are investigated. Since the presence of cirrus cloud increases the effect of greenhouse gases, we will retrieve the aerosol optical depth in all the cirrus cloud regions using a radiative transfer model for atmospheric correction. Calculate thin clouds optical depth (COD), and aerosol optical depth (AOD) using a radiative transfer model algorithm, e.g.: MODTRAN (MODerate resolution atmospheric TRANsmission)

  18. The California Valley grassland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keeley, J.E.; Schoenherr, Allan A.

    1990-01-01

    Grasslands are distributed throughout California from Oregon to Baja California Norte and from the coast to the desert (Brown 1982) (Figure 1). This review will focus on the dominant formation in cismontane California, a community referred to as Valley Grassland (Munz 1959). Today, Valley Grassland is dominated by non-native annual grasses in genera such as Avena (wild oat), Bromus (brome grass), and Hordeum (barley), and is often referred to as the California annual grassland. On localized sites, native perennial bunchgrasses such as Stipa pultra (purple needle grass) may dominate and such sites are interpreted to be remnants of the pristine valley grassland. In northwestern California a floristically distinct formation of the Valley Grassland, known as Coast Prairie (Munz 1959) or Northern Coastal Grassland (Holland and Keil 1989) is recognized. The dominant grasses include many native perennial bunchgrasses in genera such as Agrostis, Calamagrostis, Danthonia, Deschampsia, Festuca, Koeleria and Poa (Heady et al. 1977). Non-native annuals do not dominate, but on some sites non-native perennials like Anthoxanthum odoratum may colonize the native grassland (Foin and Hektner 1986). Elevationally, California's grasslands extend from sea level to at leas 1500 m. The upper boundary is vague because montane grassland formations are commonly referred to as meadows; a community which Munz (1959) does not recognize. Holland and Keil (1989) describe the montane meadow as an azonal community; that is, a community restricted not so much to a particular climatic zone but rather controlled by substrate characteristics. They consider poor soil-drainage an over-riding factor in the development of montane meadows and, in contrast to grasslands, meadows often remain green through the summer drought. Floristically, meadows are composed of graminoids; Cyperaceae, Juncaceae, and rhizomatous grasses such as Agropyron (wheat grass). Some bunchgrasses, such as Muhlenbergia rigens, are

  19. Soils and grassland types of the Serengeti Plain (Tanzania) : their distribution and interrelations

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wit, de H.A.

    1978-01-01

    De Serengeti Plain maakt deel uit van een zeer oude versneden hoogvlakte die tijdens het Pleistoceen overdekt is door aeolische afzettingen van vulkanische assen met een sterk alkalisch karakter; de assen waren afkomstig van de Ngorongoro Highlands.
    Het klimaat is semi-aride en wordt gekenmerkt

  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. A comparison of radiometric fluxes influenced by parameterization cirrus clouds with observed fluxes at the Southern Great Plains (SGP) cloud and radiation testbed (CART) site

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mace, G.G.; Ackerman, T.P.; George, A.T. [Penn State Univ., University Park, PA (United States)

    1996-04-01

    The data from the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Program`s Southern Great plains Site (SCP) is a valuable resource. We have developed an operational data processing and analysis methodology that allows us to examine continuously the influence of clouds on the radiation field and to test new and existing cloud and radiation parameterizations.

  2. Determinants of fish assemblage structure in Northwestern Great Plains streams

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mullen, J.A.; Bramblett, R.G.; Guy, C.S.; Zale, A.V.; Roberts, D.W.

    2011-01-01

    Prairie streams are known for their harsh and stochastic physical conditions, and the fish assemblages therein have been shown to be temporally variable. We assessed the spatial and temporal variation in fish assemblage structure in five intermittent, adventitious northwestern Great Plains streams representing a gradient of watershed areas. Fish assemblages and abiotic conditions varied more spatially than temporally. The most important variables explaining fish assemblage structure were longitudinal position and the proportion of fine substrates. The proportion of fine substrates increased proceeding upstream, approaching 100% in all five streams, and species richness declined upstream with increasing fine substrates. High levels of fine substrate in the upper reaches appeared to limit the distribution of obligate lithophilic fish species to reaches further downstream. Species richness and substrates were similar among all five streams at the lowermost and uppermost sites. However, in the middle reaches, species richness increased, the amount of fine substrate decreased, and connectivity increased as watershed area increased. Season and some dimensions of habitat (including thalweg depth, absolute distance to the main-stem river, and watershed size) were not essential in explaining the variation in fish assemblages. Fish species richness varied more temporally than overall fish assemblage structure did because common species were consistently abundant across seasons, whereas rare species were sometimes absent or perhaps not detected by sampling. The similarity in our results among five streams varying in watershed size and those from other studies supports the generalization that spatial variation exceeds temporal variation in the fish assemblages of prairie and warmwater streams. Furthermore, given longitudinal position, substrate, and stream size, general predictions regarding fish assemblage structure and function in prairie streams are possible. ?? American

  3. Site scientific mission plan for the Southern Great Plains CART site: July--December 1997

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Peppler, R.A.; Lamb, P.J. [Univ. of Oklahoma, Norman, OK (United States). Cooperative Inst. for Mesoscale Meteorological Studies; Sisterson, D.L. [Argonne National Lab., IL (United States). Environmental Research Div.

    1997-07-01

    The Southern Great Plains (SGP) Cloud and Radiation Testbed (CART) site is designed to help satisfy the data needs of the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Program Science Team. This document defines the scientific priorities for site activities during the six months beginning on July 1, 1997, and looks forward in lesser detail to subsequent six-month periods. The primary purpose of this Site Scientific Mission Plan is to provide guidance for the development of plans for site operations. It also provides information on current plans to the ARM functional teams and serves to disseminate the plans more generally within the ARM Program and among the members of the Science Team. This document includes a description of the operational status of the site and the primary site activities envisioned, together with information concerning approved and proposed intensive observation periods (IOPs). This plan is a living document that is updated and reissued every six months as the observational facilities are developed, tested, and augmented and as priorities are adjusted in response to developments in scientific planning and understanding.

  4. Toxic fables: the advertising and marketing of agricultural chemicals in the great plains, 1945-1985.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vail, David D

    2012-12-01

    This paper examines how pesticides and their technologies were sold to farmers and pilots throughout the midtwentieth century. It principally considers how marketing rhetoric and advertisement strategies used by chemical companies and aerial spraying firms influenced the practices and perspectives of farm producers in the Great Plains. In order to convince landowners and agricultural leaders to buy their pesticides, chemical companies generated advertisements that championed local crop health, mixture accuracy, livestock safety and a chemical-farming 'way of life' that kept fields healthy and productive. Combining notions of safety, accuracy and professionalism with pest eradication messages reinforced the standards that landowners, pilots and agriculturalists would hold regarding toxicity and risk when spraying their fields. As the politics of health changed in the aftermath of Rachel Carson's Silent Spring, these companies and aerial spraying outfits responded by keeping to a vision of agricultural health that required poisons for protection through technological accuracy. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. A one-year climatology using data from the Southern Great Plains (SGP) site micropulse lidar

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mace, G.G.; Ackerman, T.P. [Penn State Univ., University Park, PA (United States); Spinhirne, J.; Scott, S. [NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD (United States)

    1996-04-01

    The micropulse lidar (MPL) has been operational at the Southern Great Plains (SGP) site of the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement Program for the past 15 months. The compact MPL is unique among research lidar systems in that it is eye-safe and operates continuously, except during precipitation. The MPL is capable of detecting cloud base throughout the entire depth of the troposphere. The MPL data set is an unprecedented time series of cloud heights. It is a vital resource for understanding the frequency of cloud ocurrence and the impact of clouds on the surface radiation budget, as well as for large-scale model validation and satellite retrieval verification. The raw lidar data are processed for cloud base height at a temporal frequency of one minute and a vertical resolution of 270 m. The resultant time series of cloud base is used to generate histograms as a function of month and time of day. Sample results are described.

  6. Organic and Elemental Carbon Aerosol Particulates at the Southern Great Plains Site Field Campaign Report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cary, Robert

    2016-04-01

    The purpose of this study was to measure the organic carbon (OC) and elemental carbon (EC) fractions of PM2.5 particulate matter at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)’s Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Climate Research Facility Southern Great Plains (SGP) sampling site for a 6-month period during the summer of 2013. The site is in a rural location remote from any populated areas, so it would be expected to reflect carbon concentration over long-distance transport patterns. During the same period in 2012, a number of prairie fires in Oklahoma and Texas had produced large plumes of smoke particles, but OC and EC particles had not been quantified. In addition, during the summer months, other wild fires, such as forest fires in the Rocky Mountain states and other areas, can produce carbon aerosols that are transported over long distances. Both of these source types would be expected to contain mixtures of both OC and EC.

  7. Effect of degradation intensity on grassland ecosystem services in the alpine region of Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau, China.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lu Wen

    Full Text Available The deterioration of alpine grassland has great impact on ecosystem services in the alpine region of Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau. However, the effect of grassland degradation on ecosystem services and the consequence of grassland deterioration on economic loss still remains a mystery. So, in this study, we assessed four types of ecosystem services following the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment classification, along a degradation gradient. Five sites of alpine grassland at different levels of degradation were investigated in Guoluo Prefecture of Qinghai Province, China. The species composition, aboveground biomass, soil total organic carbon (TOC, and soil total nitrogen (TN were tested to evaluate major ecological services of the alpine grassland. We estimated the value of primary production, carbon storage, nitrogen recycling, and plant diversity. The results show the ecosystem services of alpine grassland varied along the degradation gradient. The ecosystem services of degraded grassland (moderate, heavy and severe were all significantly lower than non-degraded grassland. Interestingly, the lightly degraded grassland provided more economic benefit from carbon maintenance and nutrient sequestration compared to non-degraded. Due to the destruction of the alpine grassland, the economic loss associated with decrease of biomass in 2008 was $198/ha. Until 2008, the economic loss caused by carbon emissions and nitrogen loss on severely degraded grassland was up to $8 033/ha and $13 315/ha, respectively. Urgent actions are required to maintain or promote the ecosystem services of alpine grassland in the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau.

  8. Effect of degradation intensity on grassland ecosystem services in the alpine region of Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau, China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wen, Lu; Dong, Shikui; Li, Yuanyuan; Li, Xiaoyan; Shi, Jianjun; Wang, Yanlong; Liu, Demei; Ma, Yushou

    2013-01-01

    The deterioration of alpine grassland has great impact on ecosystem services in the alpine region of Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau. However, the effect of grassland degradation on ecosystem services and the consequence of grassland deterioration on economic loss still remains a mystery. So, in this study, we assessed four types of ecosystem services following the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment classification, along a degradation gradient. Five sites of alpine grassland at different levels of degradation were investigated in Guoluo Prefecture of Qinghai Province, China. The species composition, aboveground biomass, soil total organic carbon (TOC), and soil total nitrogen (TN) were tested to evaluate major ecological services of the alpine grassland. We estimated the value of primary production, carbon storage, nitrogen recycling, and plant diversity. The results show the ecosystem services of alpine grassland varied along the degradation gradient. The ecosystem services of degraded grassland (moderate, heavy and severe) were all significantly lower than non-degraded grassland. Interestingly, the lightly degraded grassland provided more economic benefit from carbon maintenance and nutrient sequestration compared to non-degraded. Due to the destruction of the alpine grassland, the economic loss associated with decrease of biomass in 2008 was $198/ha. Until 2008, the economic loss caused by carbon emissions and nitrogen loss on severely degraded grassland was up to $8 033/ha and $13 315/ha, respectively. Urgent actions are required to maintain or promote the ecosystem services of alpine grassland in the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau.

  9. Evaluating hourly rainfall characteristics over the U.S. Great Plains in dynamically downscaled climate model simulations using NASA-Unified WRF

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Huikyo; Waliser, Duane E.; Ferraro, Robert; Iguchi, Takamichi; Peters-Lidard, Christa D.; Tian, Baijun; Loikith, Paul C.; Wright, Daniel B.

    2017-07-01

    Accurate simulation of extreme precipitation events remains a challenge in climate models. This study utilizes hourly precipitation data from ground stations and satellite instruments to evaluate rainfall characteristics simulated by the NASA-Unified Weather Research and Forecasting (NU-WRF) regional climate model at horizontal resolutions of 4, 12, and 24 km over the Great Plains of the United States. We also examined the sensitivity of the simulated precipitation to different spectral nudging approaches and the cumulus parameterizations. The rainfall characteristics in the observations and simulations were defined as an hourly diurnal cycle of precipitation and a joint probability distribution function (JPDF) between duration and peak intensity of precipitation events over the Great Plains in summer. We calculated a JPDF for each data set and the overlapping area between observed and simulated JPDFs to measure the similarity between the two JPDFs. Comparison of the diurnal precipitation cycles between observations and simulations does not reveal the added value of high-resolution simulations. However, the performance of NU-WRF simulations measured by the JPDF metric strongly depends on horizontal resolution. The simulation with the highest resolution of 4 km shows the best agreement with the observations in simulating duration and intensity of wet spells. Spectral nudging does not affect the JPDF significantly. The effect of cumulus parameterizations on the JPDFs is considerable but smaller than that of horizontal resolution. The simulations with lower resolutions of 12 and 24 km show reasonable agreement but only with the high-resolution observational data that are aggregated into coarse resolution and spatially averaged.

  10. 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.

  11. Strategic Grassland Bird Conservation throughout the Annual Cycle: Linking Policy Alternatives, Landowner Decisions, and Biological Population Outcomes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ryan G Drum

    Full Text Available Grassland bird habitat has declined substantially in the United States. Remaining grasslands are increasingly fragmented, mostly privately owned, and vary greatly in terms of habitat quality and protection status. A coordinated strategic response for grassland bird conservation is difficult, largely due to the scope and complexity of the problem, further compounded by biological, sociological, and economic uncertainties. We describe the results from a collaborative Structured Decision Making (SDM workshop focused on linking social and economic drivers of landscape change to grassland bird population outcomes. We identified and evaluated alternative strategies for grassland bird conservation using a series of rapid prototype models. We modeled change in grassland and agriculture cover in hypothetical landscapes resulting from different landowner decisions in response to alternative socio-economic conservation policy decisions. Resulting changes in land cover at all three stages of the annual cycle (breeding, wintering, and migration were used to estimate changes in grassland bird populations. Our results suggest that successful grassland bird conservation may depend upon linkages with ecosystem services on working agricultural lands and grassland-based marketing campaigns to engage the public. With further development, spatial models that link landowner decisions with biological outcomes can be essential tools for making conservation policy decisions. A coordinated non-traditional partnership will likely be necessary to clearly understand and systematically respond to the many conservation challenges facing grassland birds.

  12. Strategic Grassland Bird Conservation throughout the annual cycle: Linking policy alternatives, landowner decisions, and biological population outcomes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drum, Ryan G.; Ribic, Christine; Koch, Katie; Lonsdorf, Eric V.; Grant, Edward C.; Ahlering, Marissa; Barnhill, Laurel; Dailey, Thomas; Lor, Socheata; Mueller, Connie; Pavlacky, D.C.; Rideout, Catherine; Sample, David W.

    2015-01-01

    Grassland bird habitat has declined substantially in the United States. Remaining grasslands are increasingly fragmented, mostly privately owned, and vary greatly in terms of habitat quality and protection status. A coordinated strategic response for grassland bird conservation is difficult, largely due to the scope and complexity of the problem, further compounded by biological, sociological, and economic uncertainties. We describe the results from a collaborative Structured Decision Making (SDM) workshop focused on linking social and economic drivers of landscape change to grassland bird population outcomes. We identified and evaluated alternative strategies for grassland bird conservation using a series of rapid prototype models. We modeled change in grassland and agriculture cover in hypothetical landscapes resulting from different landowner decisions in response to alternative socio-economic conservation policy decisions. Resulting changes in land cover at all three stages of the annual cycle (breeding, wintering, and migration) were used to estimate changes in grassland bird populations. Our results suggest that successful grassland bird conservation may depend upon linkages with ecosystem services on working agricultural lands and grassland-based marketing campaigns to engage the public. With further development, spatial models that link landowner decisions with biological outcomes can be essential tools for making conservation policy decisions. A coordinated non-traditional partnership will likely be necessary to clearly understand and systematically respond to the many conservation challenges facing grassland birds.

  13. Soil acidification and liming in grassland production and grassland soil fertility in Slovenia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jure ČOP

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available This paper reviews the evidences on grassland soil acidity and liming in relation to soil processes and herbage production. There is also an outline of the present state of soil acidity and acidity-related traits – contents of organic matter (OM, phosphorus (P and potassium (K in Slovene grassland. In grassland, soil acidification is an ongoing process under humid climate conditions. It is mainly driven by leaching of nutrients, net loss of cations due to retention in livestock products, use of physiologically acid fertilizers, acid rain and N2 fixation. This process is reduced by strong pH buffering capacity of the soil and by physiologically basic fertilizers. Acid grassland soils in Slovenia are widely distributed in spite of the fact that 44% of the total land has developed from a carbonate parent material. Of the 1713 grassland soil samples analysed during 2005-2007 45% were regarded as acid ones (pH < 5.5; in KCl, 57% as soils with very low P status (˂ 6 mg P2O5/100 g soil and 22% as soils with very low K status (˂ 10 mg K2O/100 soil. Increased content of soil organic matter was identified for alpine pastures (˃ 10 % OM in 44% of samples, mainly as a result of low decomposition rate. Liming of acid grassland soils did not always reflect in a higher herbage yield. The cause for this inefficiency is plant composition of grassland. Thus, many grassland plants with relatively high production potential have adapted to acid soil conditions. To illustrate the inconsistent liming effect three researches are reviewed. In the first two researches liming along with fertilizer application did not increase the yield comparing to the fertilized control while in the third research the increase amounted 26 %. Liming improves considerably botanical composition of the acid grassland (e.g. sward where Common Bent – Agrostis tenuis Sibth. – prevails and thus indirectly affects palatability and nutritive value of herbage. Grassland liming has a weak

  14. Land Surface Phenologies of the Northern Great Plains: Possible Futures Arising From Land and Climate Change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Henebry, G. M.; Wimberly, M. C.; Senay, G.; Wang, A.; Chang, J.; Wright, C. R.; Hansen, M. C.

    2008-12-01

    Land cover change across the Northern Great Plains of North America over the past three decades has been driven by changes in agricultural management (conservation tillage; irrigation), government incentives (Conservation Reserve Program; subsidies to grain-based ethanol), crop varieties (cold-hardy soybean), and market dynamics (increasing world demand). Climate change across the Northern Great Plains over the past three decades has been evident in trends toward earlier warmth in the spring and a longer frost-free season. Together these land and climate changes induce shifts in local and regional land surface phenologies (LSPs). Any significant shift in LSP may correspond to a significant shift in evapotranspiration, with consequences for regional hydrometeorology. We explored possible future scenarios involving land use and climate change in six steps. First, we defined the nominal draw areas of current and future biorefineries in North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Minnesota, and Iowa and masked those land cover types within the draw areas that were unlikely to change to agricultural use (open water, settlements, forests, etc.). Second, we estimated the proportion of corn and soybean remaining within the masked draw areas using MODIS-derived crop maps. Third, in each draw area, we modified LSPs to simulate crop changes for a control and two treatment scenarios. In the control, we used LSP profiles identified from MODIS Collection 5 NBAR data. In one treatment, we increased the proportion of tallgrass LSPs in the draw areas to represent widespread cultivation of a perennial cellulosic crop, like switchgrass. In a second treatment, we increased the proportion of corn LSPs in the draw areas to represent increased corn cultivation. Fourth, we characterized the seasonal progression of the thermal regime associated with the LSP profiles using MODIS Land Surface Temperature (LST) products. Fifth, we modeled the LSP profile as a quadratic function of accumulated

  15. Hydrological and Dynamical Characteristics of Summertime Droughts over U.S. Great Plains.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chang, Fong-Chiau; Smith, Eric A.

    2001-05-01

    A drought pattern and its time evolution over the U.S. Great Plains are investigated from time series of climate divisional monthly mean surface air temperature and total precipitation anomalies. The spatial pattern consists of correlated occurrences of high (low) surface air temperature and deficit (excess) rainfall. The center of maximum amplitude in rain fluctuation is around Kansas City; that of temperature is over South Dakota. Internal consistency between temperature and precipitation variability is the salient feature of the drought pattern. A drought index is used to quantify drought severity for the period 1895-1996. The 12 severest drought months (in order) during this period are June 1933, June 1988, July 1936, August 1983, July 1934, July 1901, June 1931, August 1947, July 1930, June 1936, July 1954, and August 1936. Hydrological conditions are examined using National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP) reanalysis precipitable water (PW) and monthly surface observations from Kansas City, Missouri, and Bismarck, North Dakota, near the drought centers. This analysis explains why droughts exhibit negative surface relative humidity anomalies accompanied by larger than normal monthly mean daily temperature ranges and why maximum PWs are confined to a strip of about 10° longitude from New Mexico and Arizona into the Dakotas and Minnesota.Dynamical conditions are examined using NCEP reanalysis sea level pressures and 500- and 200-mb geopotential heights. The analysis indicates a midtroposphere wave train with positive centers situated over the North Pacific, North America, and the North Atlantic, with negative centers in the southeastern Gulf of Alaska and Davis Strait. Above-normal sea level pressures over New Mexico, the North Atlantic, and the subtropical Pacific along with below-normal sea level pressures over the Gulf of Alaska eastward to Canada, Davis Strait, and Greenland are present during drought periods. The most prominent feature is the

  16. Effects of grassland management on the emission of methane from grassland on peat soils

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Van Dasselaar, A. [Dept. of Soil Science and Plant Nutrition, Wageningen Agricultural Univ. (Netherlands); Oenema, O. [NMI, Wageningen (Netherlands)

    1995-11-01

    Net methane (CH{sub 4}) emissions from managed grassland on peat soils in the Netherlands have been monitored with vented closed flux chambers in the period January - June 1994. Net CH{sub 4} emissions from two intensively managed grasslands were low, in general less than 0.1 mg CH{sub 4} m{sup -2} d{sup -l}. On these sites, the effect of management was negligibly small. CH{sub 4} emission from three extensively managed grasslands in a nature preserve ranged from 0 to 185 mg CH{sub 4} m{sup -2} d{sup -l}. The results presented here indicate that CH{sub 4} emissions are 2-3 orders of magnitude higher on extensively managed grasslands than on intensively managed grasslands. 2 figs., 6 refs.

  17. Site scientific mission plan for the southern Great Plains CART site, January--June 1998

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Peppler, R.A.; Lamb, P.J. [Univ. of Oklahoma, Norman, OK (United States). Cooperative Inst. for Mesoscale Meteorological Studies; Sisterson, D.L. [Argonne National Lab., IL (United States). Environmental Research Div.

    1998-01-01

    The Southern Great Plains (SGP) Cloud and Radiation Testbed (CART) site is designed to help satisfy the data needs of the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Program Science Team. The primary purpose of this site scientific mission plan is to provide guidance for the development of plans for site operations. It also provides information on current plans to the ARM functional teams (Management Team, Data and Science Integration Team, Operations Team, and Instrument Team) and serves to disseminate the plans more generally within the ARM Program and among the members of the Science Team. This document includes a description of the operational status of the site and the primary site activities envisioned, together with information concerning approved and proposed intensive observation periods (IOPs). The primary users of this document are the Site operator, the Site Scientist Team (SST), the Science Team through the ARM Program science director, the ARM Program Experiment Center, and the aforementioned ARM Program functional teams. This plan is a living document that is updated and reissued every six months as the observational facilities are developed, tested, and augmented and as priorities are adjusted in response to developments in scientific planning and understanding.

  18. The role of the US Great Plains low-level jet in nocturnal migrant behavior

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wainwright, Charlotte E.; Stepanian, Phillip M.; Horton, Kyle G.

    2016-10-01

    The movements of aerial animals are under the constant influence of atmospheric flows spanning a range of spatiotemporal scales. The Great Plains nocturnal low-level jet is a large-scale atmospheric phenomenon that provides frequent strong southerly winds through a shallow layer of the airspace. The jet can provide substantial tailwind assistance to spring migrants moving northward, while hindering southward migration during autumn. This atmospheric feature has been suspected to play a prominent role in defining migratory routes, but the flight strategies used with respect to these winds are yet to be examined. Using collocated vertically pointing radar and lidar, we investigate the altitudinal selection behavior of migrants over Oklahoma during two spring and two autumn migration seasons. In general, migrants choose to fly within the jet in spring, often concentrating in the favorable wind speed maximum. Autumn migrants typically fly below the jet, although some will rapidly climb to reach altitudes above the inhibiting winds. The intensity of migration was relatively constant throughout the spring due to the predominantly favorable southerly jet winds. Conversely, autumn migrants were more apt to delay departure to wait for the relatively infrequent northerly winds.

  19. I Got Them Dust Bowl Blues: Wind Erosion in the Music of the Southern Great Plains

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, J. A.

    2017-12-01

    This paper deals with the role of wind erosion and blowing dust on the music of the Dust Bowl region, a portion of the southern Great Plains of the United States. A defining characteristic of the region is dust storms, and in the 1930s, severe dust storms created dramatic images that came to symbolize all of the economic, social and environmental hardships suffered by the people during the 1930s. The music of the time, by Woody Guthrie and others, suggested that the region was being destroyed, never to recover. The region was resilient, however, and in recent decades, dust has been depicted in songs either as an adversity to be endured or simply as a normal part of life in the area. It may be that blowing dust has become a defining characteristic of the region because of a somewhat warped sense of pride in living in an often-difficult environment.

  20. Potential uranium host rocks and structures in the central Great Plains

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zeller, E.J.; Dreschhoff, G.; Angino, E.; Holdoway, K.; Hakes, W.; Jayaprakash, G.; Crisler, K.; Saunders, D.F.

    1975-01-01

    A preliminary study was completed of the uranium potential of the Central Great Plains. The study area extends from longitude 99 to 104 0 W and is bounded by the North Platte River on the north and the Canadian River on the south. This region has no known commercial uranium accumulations, but is an area which contains formations with similar facies that are known to have deposits in other areas. A new method of utilizing petroleum exploration gamma-ray well log data was tested in the western Kansas portion of the survey area. Gamma activities in the Dakota and Morrison formations were computer-processed by trend surface analysis, statistically analyzed, and the anomalies were compared with regional geomorphic lineaments derived from satellite imagery as well as regional geology, to draw conclusions as to their origin and significance. Conclusions are: (1) possible uraniferous provinces have been outlined in the subsurface of western Kansas; (2) the new well log data approach can be used to define potential uraniferous provinces in any well-explored petroleum region; (3) the close spatial correlation between anomalies and regional geomorphic lineaments provides strong support for the concept that the lineaments represent vertical fracture zones which can act as preferred pathways for vertical fluid migration; and (4) the location of the strongest anomalies over impervious salt bodies indicates that any uranium bearing mineralizers must have moved down through the geologic section rather than upward. Recommendations are made to extend the application of the well-log approach, to do drilling and sampling to prove whether the anomalies are really due to uranium, and to add geobotanical and emanometric measurements during future studies

  1. Price, Weather, and `Acreage Abandonment' in Western Great Plains Wheat Culture.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michaels, Patrick J.

    1983-07-01

    Multivariate analyses of acreage abandonment patterns in the U.S. Great Plains winter wheat region indicate that the major mode of variation is an in-phase oscillation confined to the western half of the overall area, which is also the area with lowest average yields. This is one of the more agroclimatically marginal environments in the United States, with wide interannual fluctuations in both climate and profitability.We developed a multiple regression model to determine the relative roles of weather and expected price in the decision not to harvest. The overall model explained 77% of the spatial and temporal variation in abandonment. The 36.5% of the non-spatial variation was explained by two simple transformations of climatic data from three monthly aggregates-September-October, November-February and March-April. Price factors, expressed as indexed future delivery quotations,were barely significant, with only between 3 and 5% of the non-spatial variation explained, depending upon the model.The model was based upon weather, climate and price data from 1932 through 1975. It was tested by sequentially withholding three-year blocks of data, and using the respecified regression coefficients, along with observed weather and price, to estimate abandonment in the withheld years. Error analyses indicate no loss of model fidelity in the test mode. Also, prediction errors in the 1970-75 period, characterized by widely fluctuating prices, were not different from those in the rest of the model.The overall results suggest that the perceived quality of the crop, as influenced by weather, is a much more important determinant of the abandonment decision than are expected returns based upon price considerations.

  2. Increasing temperature reduces the coupling between available nitrogen and phosphorus in soils of Chinese grasslands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Geng, Yan; Baumann, Frank; Song, Chao; Zhang, Mi; Shi, Yue; Kühn, Peter; Scholten, Thomas; He, Jin-Sheng

    2017-03-01

    Changes in climatic conditions along geographical gradients greatly affect soil nutrient cycling processes. Yet how climate regimes such as changes in temperature influence soil nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) concentrations and their stoichiometry is not well understood. This study investigated the spatial pattern and variability of soil N and P availability as well as their coupling relationships at two soil layers (0-10 and 10-20 cm) along a 4000-km climate transect in two grassland biomes of China, the Inner Mongolian temperate grasslands and the Tibetan alpine grasslands. Our results found that in both grasslands, from cold to warm sites the amounts of soil total N, total P and available P all decreased. By contrast, the amount of available N was positively related to mean annual temperature in the Tibetan grasslands. Meanwhile, with increasing temperature ratio of available N to P significantly increased but the linear relationship between them was considerably reduced. Thus, increasing temperature may not only induce a stoichiometric shift but also loose the coupling between available N and P. This N-P decoupling under warmer conditions was more evident in the Tibetan alpine grasslands where P limitation might become more widespread relative to N as temperatures continue to rise.

  3. The Plains of Venus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sharpton, V. L.

    2013-12-01

    extremely fluid flows (i.e., channel formers), to viscous, possibly felsic lavas of steep-sided domes. Wrinkle ridges deform many plains units and this has been taken to indicate that these ridges essentially form an early stratigraphic marker that limits subsequent volcanism to a minimum. However, subtle backscatter variations within many ridged plains units suggest (but do not prove) that some plains volcanism continued well after local ridge deformation ended. Furthermore, many of volcanic sources show little, if any, indications of tectonic modification and detailed analyses have concluded that resurfacing rates could be similar to those on Earth. Improving constraints on the rates and styles of volcanism within the plains could lend valuable insights into the evolution of Venus's internal heat budget and the transition from thin-lid to thick-lid tectonic regimes. Improved spatial and radiometric resolution of radar images would greatly improve abilities to construct the complex local stratigraphy of ridged plains. Constraining the resurfacing history of Venus is central to understanding how Earth-sized planets evolve and whether or not their evolutionary pathways lead to habitability. This goal can only be adequately addressed if broad coverage is added to the implementation strategies of any future mapping missions to Venus.

  4. Evaluation of Electromagnetic Induction to Characterize and Map Sodium-Affected Soils in the Northern Great Plains of the United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brevik, E. C.; Heilig, J.; Kempenich, J.; Doolittle, J.; Ulmer, M.

    2012-04-01

    Sodium-affected soils (SAS) cover over 4 million hectares in the Northern Great Plains of the United States. Improving the classification, interpretation, and mapping of SAS is a major goal of the United States Department of Agriculture-Natural Resource Conservation Service (USDA-NRCS) as Northern Great Plains soil surveys are updated. Apparent electrical conductivity (ECa) as measured with ground conductivity meters has shown promise for mapping SAS, however, this use of this geophysical tool needs additional evaluation. This study used an EM-38 MK2-2 meter (Geonics Limited, Mississauga, Ontario), a Trimble AgGPS 114 L-band DGPS (Trimble, Sunnyvale, CA) and the RTmap38MK2 program (Geomar Software, Inc., Mississauga, Ontario) on an Allegro CX field computer (Juniper Systems, North Logan, UT) to collect, observe, and interpret ECa data in the field. The ECa map generated on-site was then used to guide collection of soil samples for soil characterization and to evaluate the influence of soil properties in SAS on ECa as measured with the EM-38MK2-2. Stochastic models contained in the ESAP software package were used to estimate the SAR and salinity levels from the measured ECa data in 30 cm depth intervals to a depth of 90 cm and for the bulk soil (0 to 90 cm). This technique showed promise, with meaningful spatial patterns apparent in the ECa data. However, many of the stochastic models used for salinity and SAR for individual depth intervals and for the bulk soil had low R-squared values. At both sites, significant variability in soil clay and water contents along with a small number of soil samples taken to calibrate the ECa values to soil properties likely contributed to these low R-squared values.

  5. Southern Great Plains Ice Nuclei Characterization Experiment Final Campaign Summary

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    DeMott, PJ [Colorado State University; Suski, KJ [Colorado State University; Hill, TCJ [Colorado State University; Levin, EJT [Colorado State University

    2015-03-01

    The first ever ice nucleating particle (INP) measurements to be collected at the Southern Great Plains site were made during a period from late April to June 2014, as a trial for possible longer-term measurements at the site. These measurements will also be used to lay the foundation for understanding and parameterizing (for cloud resolving modeling) the sources of these climatically important aerosols as well as to augment the existing database containing this knowledge. Siting the measurements during the spring was intended to capture INP sources in or to this region from plant, soil, dust transported over long distances, biomass burning, and pollution aerosols at a time when they may influence warm-season convective clouds and precipitation. Data have been archived of real-time measurements of INP number concentrations as a function of processing conditions (temperature and relative humidity) during 18 days of sampling that spanned two distinctly different weather situations: a warm, dry and windy period with regional dust and biomass burning influences in early May, and a cooler period of frequent precipitation during early June. Precipitation delayed winter wheat harvesting, preventing intended sampling during that perturbation on atmospheric aerosols. INP concentrations were highest and most variable at all temperatures in the dry period, where we attribute the INP activity primarily to soil dust emissions. Additional offline INP analyses are underway to extend the characterization of INP to cover the entire mixed phase cloud regime from -5°C to -35°C during the full study. Initial comparisons between methods on four days show good agreement and excellent future promise. The additional offline immersion freezing data will be archived as soon as completed under separate funding. Analyses of additional specialized studies for specific attribution of INP to biological and smoke sources are continuing via the National Science Foundation and National Aeronautics

  6. The Whole-Genome Sequence of Bacillus velezensis Strain SB1216 Isolated from the Great Salt Plains of Oklahoma Reveals the Presence of a Novel Extracellular RNase with Antitumor Activity

    OpenAIRE

    Marasini, Daya; Cornell, Carolyn R.; Oyewole, Opeoluwa; Sheaff, Robert J.; Fakhr, Mohamed K.

    2017-01-01

    ABSTRACT The whole-genome sequence of Bacillus velezensis strain SB1216, isolated from the Great Salt Plains of Oklahoma, showed the presence of a 3,814,720-bp circular chromosome and no plasmids. The presence of a novel 870-bp extracellular RNase gene is predicted to be responsible for this strain’s antitumor activity.

  7. Hydrologic variability in the Red River of the North basin at the eastern margin of the northern Great Plains

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wiche, G.J.

    1991-01-01

    The temporal and spatial variations in streamflow in the Red River of the North basin on the eastern margin of the Great Plains are described and related to the various climatic conditions associated with the flows. The Red River drains about 290,000 square kilometers in parts of Minnesota, South Dakota, North Dakota, Saskatchewan and Manitoba, and a 200 year flood history is available from documents of fur traders, explorers and missionaries, as well as from gauging-station records. The coefficient of variation of mean annual streamflow ranges from ca 110% for streams in the southern and western parts of the Assiniboine River basin to ca 50% for streams along the eastern margin of the Red River of the North basin. Decadal streamflow variability is great in the Red River of the North basin, with mean annual streamflow for the 10 years ending 1940 of 489 cubic hectometers and for the 10 years ending 1975 of 3,670 cubic hectometers. Construction of the Rafferty Reservoir on the Souris River and the Almeda Reservoir on Moose Mountain Creek will cause changes in water quality in the Souris River, with most problems occurring during protracted low flow conditions

  8. Temporal and spatial changes of land use and landscape in a coal mining area in Xilingol grassland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guan, Chunzhu; Zhang, Baolin; Li, Jiannan; Zhao, Junling

    2017-01-01

    Coal mining, particularly surface mining, inevitably disturbs land. According to Landsat images acquired over Xilingol grassland in 2005, 2009 and 2015, land uses were divided into seven classes, i. e., open stope, stripping area, waste-dump area, mine industrial area, farmland, urban area and the original landscape (grassland), using supervised classification and human-computer interactive interpretation. The overall classification accuracies were 97.72 %, 98.43 % and 96.73 %, respectively; the Kappa coefficients were 0.95, 0.97 and 0.95, respectively. Analysis on LUCC (Land Use and Cover Change) showed that surface coal mining disturbed grassland ecosystem: grassland decreased by 8661.15 hm2 in 2005-2015. The area and proportion of mining operation areas (open stope, stripping area, waste-dump area, mine industrial field) increased, but those of grassland decreased continuously. Transfer matrix of land use changes showed that waste-dump had the largest impacts in mining disturbance, and that effective reclamation of waste-dump areas would mitigate eco-environment destruction, as would be of great significance to protect fragile grassland eco-system. Six landscape index showed that landscape fragmentation increased, and the influences of human activity on landscape was mainly reflected in the expansion of mining area and urban area. Remote sensing monitoring of coal surface mining in grassland would accurately demonstrate the dynamics and trend of LUCC, providing scientific supports for ecological reconstruction in surface mining area.

  9. DEVELOPMENTS FUNDED BY THE EUROPEAN UNION IN THE SERVICE OF URBAN DESIGN IN THE NORTH GREAT PLAIN REGION (HUNGARY

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bence MONYÓK

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available One of the most important elements of place marketing is the creation of an attractive urban landscape which require significant financial resources. For this reason local authorities of Central Europe use regional policy grants from European Union for this purpose. In the light of the above, the aim of this paper is to examine the role of European Union grants in the improvement of the built environment in North Great Plain Region (Hungary, one of the least developed regions of Hungary. In the course of the above, on the one hand, we intend to provide a general overview of the situation in Hajdú-Bihar County, also located in this region, and on the other hand, through the example of a specific settlement, we will also present the processes in detail.

  10. Grassland Npp Monitoring Based on Multi-Source Remote Sensing Data Fusion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cai, Y. R.; Zheng, J. H.; Du, M. J.; Mu, C.; Peng, J.

    2018-04-01

    Vegetation is an important part of the terrestrial ecosystem. It plays an important role in the energy and material exchange of the ground-atmosphere system and is a key part of the global carbon cycle process.Climate change has an important influence on the carbon cycle of terrestrial ecosystems. Net Primary Productivity (Net Primary Productivity)is an important parameter for evaluating global terrestrial ecosystems. For the Xinjiang region, the study of grassland NPP has gradually become a hot issue in the ecological environment.Increasing the estimation accuracy of NPP is of great significance to the development of the ecosystem in Xinjiang. Based on the third-generation GIMMS AVHRR NDVI global vegetation dataset and the MODIS NDVI (MOD13A3) collected each month by the United States Atmospheric and Oceanic Administration (NOAA),combining the advantages of different remotely sensed datasets, this paper obtained the maximum synthesis fusion for New normalized vegetation index (NDVI) time series in 2006-2015.Analysis of Net Primary Productivity of Grassland Vegetation in Xinjiang Using Improved CASA Model The method described in this article proves the feasibility of applying data processing, and the accuracy of the NPP calculation using the fusion processed NDVI has been greatly improved. The results show that: (1) The NPP calculated from the new normalized vegetation index (NDVI) obtained from the fusion of GIMMS AVHRR NDVI and MODIS NDVI is significantly higher than the NPP calculated from these two raw data; (2) The grassland NPP in Xinjiang Interannual changes show an overall increase trend; interannual changes in NPP have a certain relationship with precipitation.

  11. Satellite-based assessment of grassland yields

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grant, K.; Siegmund, R.; Wagner, M.; Hartmann, S.

    2015-04-01

    Cutting date and frequency are important parameters determining grassland yields in addition to the effects of weather, soil conditions, plant composition and fertilisation. Because accurate and area-wide data of grassland yields are currently not available, cutting frequency can be used to estimate yields. In this project, a method to detect cutting dates via surface changes in radar images is developed. The combination of this method with a grassland yield model will result in more reliable and regional-wide numbers of grassland yields. For the test-phase of the monitoring project, a study area situated southeast of Munich, Germany, was chosen due to its high density of managed grassland. For determining grassland cutting robust amplitude change detection techniques are used evaluating radar amplitude or backscatter statistics before and after the cutting event. CosmoSkyMed and Sentinel-1A data were analysed. All detected cuts were verified according to in-situ measurements recorded in a GIS database. Although the SAR systems had various acquisition geometries, the amount of detected grassland cut was quite similar. Of 154 tested grassland plots, covering in total 436 ha, 116 and 111 cuts were detected using CosmoSkyMed and Sentinel-1A radar data, respectively. Further improvement of radar data processes as well as additional analyses with higher sample number and wider land surface coverage will follow for optimisation of the method and for validation and generalisation of the results of this feasibility study. The automation of this method will than allow for an area-wide and cost efficient cutting date detection service improving grassland yield models.

  12. The Whole-Genome Sequence of Bacillus velezensis Strain SB1216 Isolated from the Great Salt Plains of Oklahoma Reveals the Presence of a Novel Extracellular RNase with Antitumor Activity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marasini, Daya; Cornell, Carolyn R; Oyewole, Opeoluwa; Sheaff, Robert J; Fakhr, Mohamed K

    2017-11-22

    The whole-genome sequence of Bacillus velezensis strain SB1216, isolated from the Great Salt Plains of Oklahoma, showed the presence of a 3,814,720-bp circular chromosome and no plasmids. The presence of a novel 870-bp extracellular RNase gene is predicted to be responsible for this strain's antitumor activity. Copyright © 2017 Marasini et al.

  13. Crop Sequence Influences on Sustainable Spring Wheat Production in the Northern Great Plains

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joseph M. Krupinsky

    2010-11-01

    Full Text Available Cropping systems in American agriculture are highly successful since World War II, but have become highly specialized, standardized, and simplified to meet the demands of an industrialized food system. Minimal attention has been given to the efficient exploitation of crop diversity and the synergistic and/or antagonistic relationships of crops in crop sequences. Objectives of our research were to determine if previous crop sequences have long-term benefits and/or drawbacks on spring wheat seed yield, seed N concentration, and seed precipitation-use efficiency in the semiarid northern Great Plains, USA. Research was conducted 6 km southwest of Mandan, ND using a 10 × 10 crop matrix technique as a research tool to evaluate multiple crop sequence effects on spring wheat (triticum aestivum L. production in 2004 and 2005. Spring wheat production risks can be mitigated when second year crop residue was dry pea (Pisium sativum L. averaged over all first year crop residues. When compared to spring wheat as second year crop residue in the dry year of 2004, dry pea as the second year residue crop resulted in a 30% spring wheat seed yield increase. Sustainable cropping systems need to use precipitation efficiently for crop production, especially during below average precipitation years like 2004. Precipitation use efficiency average over all treatments, during the below average precipitation year was 23% greater than the above average precipitation year of 2005. Diversifying crops in cropping systems improves production efficiencies and resilience of agricultural systems.

  14. Microscopic composition measurements of organic individual particles collected in the Southern Great Plains

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bonanno, D.; China, S.; Fraund, M. W.; Pham, D.; Kulkarni, G.; Laskin, A.; Gilles, M. K.; Moffet, R.

    2016-12-01

    The Holistic Interactions of Shallow Clouds, Aerosols, and Land-Ecosystems (HI-SCALE) Campaign was carried out to gain a better understanding of the lifecycle of shallow clouds. The HISCALE experiment was designed to contrast two seasons, wet and dry, and determine their effect on atmospheric cloud and aerosol processes. The spring component to HISCALE was selected to characterize mixing state for particles collected onto substrates. Sampling was performed before and after rain events to obtain airborne soil organic particles (ASOP), which are ejected after rain events. The unique composition of the ASOP may affect optical properties and/or hygroscopic properties. The collection of particles took place at the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement Southern Great Plains (ARM SGP) field site. The Scanning Transmission X-Ray Microscope (STXM) was used to image the samples collected during the first HI-SCALE Campaign to determine the carbonaceous mixing state. Scanning Electron Microscopy Energy-dispersive X-ray (SEM/EDX) analysis is more sensitive to the inorganic makeup of particles, while STXM renders a more comprehensive analysis of the organics. Measurements such as nephelometry, Particle Soot Absorption Photometry (PSAP), and Aerosol Mass Spectrometry (AMS) from the ARM archive will be correlated with microscopy measurements. The primary focus is the relation between composition and morphology of ASOP with hygroscopicity and optical properties. Further investigation of these organic particles will be performed to provide a mixing state parameterization and aid in the advancement of current climate models.

  15. Groundwater uptake by forest and herbaceous vegetation in the context of salt accumulation in the Hungarian Great Plain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gribovszki, Zoltán; Kalicz, Péter; Balog, Kitti; Szabó, András; Fodor, Nándor; Tóth, Tibor

    2013-04-01

    In Hungarian Great Plain forested areas has significantly increased during the last century. Hydrological effects of trees differ from that of crops or grasses in that, due to their deep roots, they extract water from much deeper soil layers. It has been demonstrated that forest cover causes water table depression and subsurface salt accumulation above shallow saline water table in areas with a negative water balance. The above mentioned situation caused by the afforestation in the Hungarian Great Plain is examined in the frame of a systematic study, which analyzed all affecting factors, like climatic water balance, water table depth and salinity, three species, subsoil layering and stand age. At the regional scale altogether 108 forested and neighbouring non forested plots are sampled. At the stand scale 18 representative forested and accompanying non forested plots (from the 108) are monitored intensively. In this paper dataset of two neighbouring plots (common oak forest and herbaceous vegetation) was compared (as first results of this complex investigation). On the basis of the analysis it could be summarized that under forest the water table was lower, and the amplitude of diel fluctuation of water table was significantly larger as under the herbaceous vegetation. Both results demonstrate greater groundwater use of forest vegetation. Groundwater uptake of the forest (which was calculated by diel based method) was almost same as potential reference evapotranspiration (calculated by Penman-Monteith equation with locally measured meteorological dataset) along the very dry summer of 2012. Larger amount of forest groundwater use is not parallel with salt uptake, therefore salt accumulates in soil and also in groundwater as can be measured of the representative monitoring sites as well. In the long run this process can result in the decline of biological production or even the dry out of some part of the forest. Greater groundwater uptake and salt accumulation

  16. Environmental assessment for the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Program: Southern Great Plains Cloud and Radiation Testbed (CART) site

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Policastro, A.J.; Pfingston, J.M.; Maloney, D.M.; Wasmer, F.; Pentecost, E.D.

    1992-03-01

    The Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Program is aimed at supplying improved predictive capability of climate change, particularly the prediction of cloud-climate feedback. The objective will be achieved by measuring the atmospheric radiation and physical and meteorological quantities that control solar radiation in the earth's atmosphere and using this information to test global climate and related models. The proposed action is to construct and operate a Cloud and Radiation Testbed (CART) research site in the southern Great Plains as part of the Department of Energy's Atmospheric Radiation Measurement Program whose objective is to develop an improved predictive capability of global climate change. The purpose of this CART research site in southern Kansas and northern Oklahoma would be to collect meteorological and other scientific information to better characterize the processes controlling radiation transfer on a global scale. Impacts which could result from this facility are described

  17. Environmental assessment for the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Program: Southern Great Plains Cloud and Radiation Testbed (CART) site

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Policastro, A.J.; Pfingston, J.M.; Maloney, D.M.; Wasmer, F.; Pentecost, E.D.

    1992-03-01

    The Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Program is aimed at supplying improved predictive capability of climate change, particularly the prediction of cloud-climate feedback. The objective will be achieved by measuring the atmospheric radiation and physical and meteorological quantities that control solar radiation in the earth`s atmosphere and using this information to test global climate and related models. The proposed action is to construct and operate a Cloud and Radiation Testbed (CART) research site in the southern Great Plains as part of the Department of Energy`s Atmospheric Radiation Measurement Program whose objective is to develop an improved predictive capability of global climate change. The purpose of this CART research site in southern Kansas and northern Oklahoma would be to collect meteorological and other scientific information to better characterize the processes controlling radiation transfer on a global scale. Impacts which could result from this facility are described.

  18. Large Area Crop Inventory Experiment (LACIE). Detecting and monitoring agricultural vegetative water stress over large areas using LANDSAT digital data. [Great Plains

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thompson, D. R.; Wehmanen, O. A. (Principal Investigator)

    1978-01-01

    The author has identified the following significant results. The Green Number Index technique which uses LANDSAT digital data from 5X6 nautical mile sampling frames was expanded to evaluate its usefulness in detecting and monitoring vegetative water stress over the Great Plains. At known growth stages for wheat, segments were classified as drought or non drought. Good agreement was found between the 18 day remotely sensed data and a weekly ground-based crop moisture index. Operational monitoring of the 1977 U.S.S.R. and Australian wheat crops indicated drought conditions. Drought isoline maps produced by the Green Number Index technique were in good agreement with conventional sources.

  19. Subtask 7.3 - The Socioeconomic Impact of Climate Shifts in the Northern Great Plains

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jaroslav Solc; Tera Buckley; Troy Simonsen

    2007-12-31

    The Energy & Environmental Research Center (EERC) evaluated the water demand response/vulnerability to climate change factors of regional economic sectors in the northern Great Plains. Regardless of the cause of climatic trends currently observed, the research focused on practical evaluation of climate change impact, using water availability as a primary factor controlling long-term regional economic sustainability. Project results suggest that the Upper Missouri, Red River, and Upper Mississippi Watersheds exhibit analogous response to climate change, i.e., extended drought influences water availability in the entire region. The modified trend suggests that the next period for which the Red River Basin can expect a high probability of below normal precipitation will occur before 2050. Agriculture is the most sensitive economic sector in the region; however, analyses confirmed relative adaptability to changing conditions. The price of agricultural commodities is not a good indicator of the economic impact of climate change because production and price do not correlate and are subject to frequent and irregular government intervention. Project results confirm that high water demand in the primary economic sectors makes the regional economy extremely vulnerable to climatic extremes, with a similar response over the entire region. Without conservation-based water management policies, long-term periods of drought will limit socioeconomic development in the region and may threaten even the sustainability of current conditions.

  20. Site scientific mission plan for the Southern Great Plains CART Site, January--June 1999

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Peppler, R.A.; Sisterson, D.L.; Lamb, P.

    1999-03-10

    The Southern Great Plains (SGP) Cloud and Radiation Testbed (CART) site was designed to help satisfy the data needs of the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Program Science Team. This Site Scientific Mission Plan defines the scientific priorities for site activities during the six months beginning on January 1, 1999, and looks forward in lesser detail to subsequent six-month periods. The primary purpose of this document is to provide scientific guidance for the development of plans for site operations. It also provides information on current plans to the ARM functional teams (Management Team, Data and Science Integration Team [DSIT], Operations Team, and Instrument Team [IT]) and serves to disseminate the plans more generally within the ARM Program and among the members of the Science Team. This document includes a description of the operational status of the site and the primary site activities envisioned, together with information concerning approved and proposed intensive observation periods (IOPs). The primary users of this document are the site operator, the site program manager, the Site Scientist Team (SST), the Science Team through the ARM Program science director, the ARM Program Experiment Center, and the aforementioned ARM Program functional teams. This plan is a living document that is updated and reissued every six months as the observational facilities are developed, tested, and augmented and as priorities are adjusted in response to developments in scientific planning and understanding.

  1. Site scientific mission plan for the Southern Great Plains CART site: July--December 1998

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Peppler, R.A.; Lamb, P. [Univ. of Oklahoma, Norman, OK (United States). Cooperative Inst. for Mesoscale Meteorological Studies; Sisterson, D.L. [Argonne National Lab., IL (United States). Environmental Research Div.

    1998-07-01

    The Southern Great Plains (SGP) Cloud and Radiation Testbed (CART) site was designed to help satisfy the data needs of the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Program Science Team. This Site Scientific Mission Plan defines the scientific priorities for site activities during the six months beginning on July 1, 1998, and looks forward in lesser detail to subsequent six-month periods. The primary purpose of this document is to provide scientific guidance for the development of plans for site operations. It also provides information on current plans to the ARM functional teams (Management Team, Data and Science Integration Team [DSIT], Operations Team, and Instrument Team [IT]) and serves to disseminate the plans more generally within the ARM Program and among the members of the Science Team. This document includes a description of the operational status of the site and the primary site activities envisioned, together with information concerning approved and proposed intensive observation periods (IOPs). The primary users of this document are the site operator, the site program manager, the Site Scientist Team (SST), the Science Team through the ARM Program science director, the ARM program Experiment Center, and the aforementioned ARM Program functional teams. This plan is a living document that is updated and reissued every six months as the observational facilities are developed, tested, and augmented and as priorities are adjusted in response to developments in scientific planning and understanding.

  2. Site scientific mission plan for the southern Great Plain CART site July-December 1997.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lamb, P.J.; Peppler, R.A.; Sisterson, D.L.

    1997-08-28

    The Southern Great Plains (SGP) Cloud and Radiation Testbed (CART) site is designed to help satisfy the data needs of the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Program Science Team. This document defines the scientific priorities for site activities during the six months beginning on July 1, 1997, and looks forward in lesser detail to subsequent six-month periods. The primary purpose of this Site Scientific Mission Plan is to provide guidance for the development of plans for site operations. It also provides information on current plans to the ARM functional teams (Management Team, Data and Science Integration Team [DSIT], Operations Team, Instrument Team [IT], and Campaign Team) and serves to disseminate the plans more generally within the ARM Program and among the members of the Science Team. This document includes a description of the operational status of the site and the primary site activities envisioned, together with information concerning approved and proposed intensive observation periods (IOPs). The primary users of this document are the site operator, the Site Scientist Team (SST), the Science Team through the ARM Program science director, the ARM Program Experiment Center, and the aforementioned ARM Program functional teams. This plan is a living document that is updated and reissued every six months as the observational facilities are developed, tested, and augmented and as priorities are adjusted in response to developments in scientific planning and understanding.

  3. Inadequate thermal refuge constrains landscape habitability for a grassland bird species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tomecek, John M; Pierce, Brian L; Reyna, Kelly S; Peterson, Markus J

    2017-01-01

    Ecologists have long recognized the influence that environmental conditions have on abundance and range extent of animal species. We used the northern bobwhite ( Colinus virginianus ; hereafter bobwhite) as a model species for studying how microclimates serve as refuge against severe weather conditions. This species serves as an indicator or umbrella species for other sensitive ground-nesting, grassland obligate species. We conducted a mensurative field experiment in the rolling plains of Texas, USA, a semi-arid ecosystem on the southwestern periphery of bobwhite range, to determine whether native bunch grasses, apparently suitable for bobwhite nesting, could reduce ambient temperature below levels harmful for eggs. During the nesting season, we compared temperature and relative humidity readings at daily heat maxima (i.e., the 3 h during each day with highest temperatures) during the nesting season over the course of two years at 63 suitable nest sites paired with 63 random locations ( n = 126) using two sensors at ∼10 and ∼60 cm above ground level. Mean temperature at nest height was 2.3% cooler at nest sites (35.99 °C ± 0.07 SE) compared to random locations (36.81 °C ± 0.07 SE); at ambient height, nest sites were slightly cooler (32.78 °C ± 0.06 SE) than random location (32.99 °C ± 0.06 SE). Mean relative humidity at nest sites was greater at nest height (34.53% ± 0.112 SE) and ambient height (36.22% ± 0.10 SE) compared to random locations at nest (33.35% ± 0.12 SE) and ambient height (35.75% ± 0.10 SE). Based on these results, cover at sites that appear visually suitable for nesting by bobwhites and other ground nesting birds provided adequate thermal refuge in the rolling plains by maintaining cooler, moister microclimates than surrounding non-nesting locations. Post-hoc analyses of data revealed that habitat conditions surrounding suitable nest sites strongly influenced thermal suitability of the substrate. Given that eggs of bobwhites and

  4. Inadequate thermal refuge constrains landscape habitability for a grassland bird species

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    John M. Tomecek

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Ecologists have long recognized the influence that environmental conditions have on abundance and range extent of animal species. We used the northern bobwhite (Colinus virginianus; hereafter bobwhite as a model species for studying how microclimates serve as refuge against severe weather conditions. This species serves as an indicator or umbrella species for other sensitive ground-nesting, grassland obligate species. We conducted a mensurative field experiment in the rolling plains of Texas, USA, a semi-arid ecosystem on the southwestern periphery of bobwhite range, to determine whether native bunch grasses, apparently suitable for bobwhite nesting, could reduce ambient temperature below levels harmful for eggs. During the nesting season, we compared temperature and relative humidity readings at daily heat maxima (i.e., the 3 h during each day with highest temperatures during the nesting season over the course of two years at 63 suitable nest sites paired with 63 random locations (n = 126 using two sensors at ∼10 and ∼60 cm above ground level. Mean temperature at nest height was 2.3% cooler at nest sites (35.99 °C ± 0.07 SE compared to random locations (36.81 °C ± 0.07 SE; at ambient height, nest sites were slightly cooler (32.78 °C ± 0.06 SE than random location (32.99 °C ± 0.06 SE. Mean relative humidity at nest sites was greater at nest height (34.53% ± 0.112 SE and ambient height (36.22% ± 0.10 SE compared to random locations at nest (33.35% ± 0.12 SE and ambient height (35.75% ± 0.10 SE. Based on these results, cover at sites that appear visually suitable for nesting by bobwhites and other ground nesting birds provided adequate thermal refuge in the rolling plains by maintaining cooler, moister microclimates than surrounding non-nesting locations. Post-hoc analyses of data revealed that habitat conditions surrounding suitable nest sites strongly influenced thermal suitability of the substrate. Given that eggs of bobwhites

  5. Agricultural Set-aside Programs and Grassland Birds: Insights from Broad-scale Population Trends

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. Riffell

    2008-10-01

    Full Text Available The Conservation Reserve Program (CRP is a voluntary set-aside program in the United States designed to amelioratesoil erosion, control crop overproduction, enhance water quality, and provide wildlife habitat by replacing crops with other forms of land cover. Because CRP includes primarily grass habitats, it has great potential to benefitdeclining North American grassland bird populations. We looked at the change in national and state population trends of grassland birds and related changes to cover-specific CRP variables (previous research grouped all CRP practices. Changes in national trends after the initiation of the CRP were inconclusive, but we observed signficant bird-CRP relations at the state level. Most bird-CRP relations were positive, except for some species associated with habitats that CRP replaced. Practice- and configuration-specific CRP variables were related to grassland bird trends, rather than a generic measure of all CRP types combined. Considering all CRP land as a single, distinct habitat type may obscure actual relations between birds and set-aside characteristics. Understanding and predictingthe effects of set-aside programs (like CRP or agri-environment schemes on grassland birds is complex and difficult. Because available broad-scale datasets are less than adequate, studies should be conducted at a variety of spatial and temporal scales.

  6. Drought drove forest decline and dune building in eastern upper Michigan, USA, as the upper Great Lakes became closed basins

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loope, Walter L.; Loope, Henry M.; Goble, Ronald J.; Fisher, Timothy G.; Lytle, David E.; Legg, Robert J.; Wysocki, Douglas A.; Hanson, Paul R.; Young, Aaron R.

    2012-01-01

    Current models of landscape response to Holocene climate change in midcontinent North America largely reconcile Earth orbital and atmospheric climate forcing with pollen-based forest histories on the east and eolian chronologies in Great Plains grasslands on the west. However, thousands of sand dunes spread across 12,000 km2 in eastern upper Michigan (EUM), more than 500 km east of the present forest-prairie ecotone, present a challenge to such models. We use 65 optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) ages on quartz sand deposited in silt caps (n = 8) and dunes (n = 57) to document eolian activity in EUM. Dune building was widespread ca. 10–8 ka, indicating a sharp, sustained decline in forest cover during that period. This decline was roughly coincident with hydrologic closure of the upper Great Lakes, but temporally inconsistent with most pollen-based models that imply canopy closure throughout the Holocene. Early Holocene forest openings are rarely recognized in pollen sums from EUM because faint signatures of non-arboreal pollen are largely obscured by abundant and highly mobile pine pollen. Early Holocene spikes in nonarboreal pollen are recorded in cores from small ponds, but suggest only a modest extent of forest openings. OSL dating of dune emplacement provides a direct, spatially explicit archive of greatly diminished forest cover during a very dry climate in eastern midcontinent North America ca. 10–8 ka.

  7. Bird communities and biomass yields in potential bioenergy grasslands.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peter J Blank

    Full Text Available Demand for bioenergy is increasing, but the ecological consequences of bioenergy crop production on working lands remain unresolved. Corn is currently a dominant bioenergy crop, but perennial grasslands could produce renewable bioenergy resources and enhance biodiversity. Grassland bird populations have declined in recent decades and may particularly benefit from perennial grasslands grown for bioenergy. We asked how breeding bird community assemblages, vegetation characteristics, and biomass yields varied among three types of potential bioenergy grassland fields (grass monocultures, grass-dominated fields, and forb-dominated fields, and assessed tradeoffs between grassland biomass production and bird habitat. We also compared the bird communities in grassland fields to nearby cornfields. Cornfields had few birds compared to perennial grassland fields. Ten bird Species of Greatest Conservation Need (SGCN were observed in perennial grassland fields. Bird species richness and total bird density increased with forb cover and were greater in forb-dominated fields than grass monocultures. SGCN density declined with increasing vertical vegetation density, indicating that tall, dense grassland fields managed for maximum biomass yield would be of lesser value to imperiled grassland bird species. The proportion of grassland habitat within 1 km of study sites was positively associated with bird species richness and the density of total birds and SGCNs, suggesting that grassland bioenergy fields may be more beneficial for grassland birds if they are established near other grassland parcels. Predicted total bird density peaked below maximum biomass yields and predicted SGCN density was negatively related to biomass yields. Our results indicate that perennial grassland fields could produce bioenergy feedstocks while providing bird habitat. Bioenergy grasslands promote agricultural multifunctionality and conservation of biodiversity in working landscapes.

  8. Correlation of Optical Properties with Atmospheric Solid Organic Particles (ASOPs) in the Southern Great Plains

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bonanno, D.; Fraund, M. W.; Pham, D.; China, S.; Wang, B.; Laskin, A.; Gilles, M. K.; Moffet, R.

    2017-12-01

    The Holistic Interactions of Shallow Clouds, Aerosols, and Land-Ecosystems (HI-SCALE) Campaign was carried out to gain a better understanding of the lifecycle of shallow clouds. The HISCALE experiment was designed to contrast two seasons, wet and dry, and determine their effect on atmospheric cloud and aerosol processes. The spring component to HISCALE was selected to characterize mixing state for particles collected onto substrates. Sampling was performed to obtain airborne soil organic particles (ASOP), which are believed to be ejected following rain events. The unique composition of the ASOP have been shown to affect optical properties. The collection of particles took place at the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement Southern Great Plains (ARM SGP) field site. The Scanning Transmission X-Ray Microscope (STXM) was used to image the samples collected during the first HI-SCALE Campaign to determine the carbonaceous mixing state. Scanning Electron Microscopy Energy-dispersive X-ray (SEM/EDX) analysis is more sensitive to the inorganic makeup of particles, while STXM renders a more comprehensive analysis of the organics. Measurements such as nephelometry, Particle Soot Absorption Photometry (PSAP) from the ARM archive are correlated with microscopy measurements. The primary focus is the relation between composition and morphology of ASOP with optical properties.

  9. A boundary-layer cloud study using Southern Great Plains Cloud and radiation testbed (CART) data

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Albrecht, B.; Mace, G.; Dong, X.; Syrett, W. [Pennsylvania State Univ., University Park, PA (United States)] [and others

    1996-04-01

    Boundary layer clouds-stratus and fairweather cumulus - are closely coupled involves the radiative impact of the clouds on the surface energy budget and the strong dependence of cloud formation and maintenance on the turbulent fluxes of heat and moisture in the boundary layer. The continuous data collection at the Southern Great Plains (SGP) Cloud and Radiation Testbed (CART) site provides a unique opportunity to study components of the coupling processes associated with boundary layer clouds and to provide descriptions of cloud and boundary layer structure that can be used to test parameterizations used in climate models. But before the CART data can be used for process studies and parameterization testing, it is necessary to evaluate and validate data and to develop techniques for effectively combining the data to provide meaningful descriptions of cloud and boundary layer characteristics. In this study we use measurements made during an intensive observing period we consider a case where low-level stratus were observed at the site for about 18 hours. This case is being used to examine the temporal evolution of cloud base, cloud top, cloud liquid water content, surface radiative fluxes, and boundary layer structure. A method for inferring cloud microphysics from these parameters is currently being evaluated.

  10. Temporal patterns of vegetation phenology and their responses to climate change in mid-latitude grasslands of the Northern Hemisphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ren, S.; Chen, X.; Qin, Q.; Zhang, Y.; Wu, Z.

    2017-12-01

    Grassland ecosystem is greatly sensitive to regional and global climate changes. In this study, the start (SOS) and end (EOS) date of growing season were extracted from NDVI data (1981 2014) across the mid-latitude (30°N 55°N) grasslands of Northern Hemisphere. We first validated their accuracy by ground observed phenological data and phenological metrics derived from gross primary production (GPP) data. And then, main climatic factors influencing the temporal patterns of SOS/EOS were explored by means of gridded meteorological data and partial correlation analysis. Based on the results of above statistical analysis, the similarities and differences of spring and autumn phenological responses to climate change among North American grasslands, Mid-West Asian grasslands, and Mongolian grasslands were analyzed. The main results and conclusions are as follows. First, a significant positive correlation was found between SOS/EOS and observed green-up/brown-off date (PSOS/EOS (PSOS/EOS can reflect temporal dynamics of terrestrial vegetation phenology. Second, SOS in Mid-West Asian grasslands showed a significant advancing trend (0.22 days/year, PSOS in North American grasslands and Mongolian grasslands was not significant. EOS in North American grasslands (0.31 dyas/year, PSOS/EOS inter-annual fluctuations and hydrothermal factors showed that a significant negative correlation was found between SOS and the pre-season temperature in 41.6% of pixels (PSOS and pre-season rainfall/snowfall in 14.6%/19.0% of pixels (PSOS and EOS are mainly affected by pre-season temperature and pre-season rainfall.

  11. Preliminary Research on Grassland Fine-classification Based on MODIS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hu, Z W; Zhang, S; Yu, X Y; Wang, X S

    2014-01-01

    Grassland ecosystem is important for climatic regulation, maintaining the soil and water. Research on the grassland monitoring method could provide effective reference for grassland resource investigation. In this study, we used the vegetation index method for grassland classification. There are several types of climate in China. Therefore, we need to use China's Main Climate Zone Maps and divide the study region into four climate zones. Based on grassland classification system of the first nation-wide grass resource survey in China, we established a new grassland classification system which is only suitable for this research. We used MODIS images as the basic data resources, and use the expert classifier method to perform grassland classification. Based on the 1:1,000,000 Grassland Resource Map of China, we obtained the basic distribution of all the grassland types and selected 20 samples evenly distributed in each type, then used NDVI/EVI product to summarize different spectral features of different grassland types. Finally, we introduced other classification auxiliary data, such as elevation, accumulate temperature (AT), humidity index (HI) and rainfall. China's nation-wide grassland classification map is resulted by merging the grassland in different climate zone. The overall classification accuracy is 60.4%. The result indicated that expert classifier is proper for national wide grassland classification, but the classification accuracy need to be improved

  12. Effects of grassland management on the emission of methane from grassland on peat soils

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Oenema, O. [Department of Soil Science and Plant Nutrition, Wageningen Agricultural University, Wageningen (Netherlands)

    1995-12-31

    The aim of the project on the title subject is to provide insight into the major controlling factors that contribute to the net exchange rates of methane (CH4) between grassland and atmosphere, and to provide quantitative net CH4 emission rates. Net CH4 emissions have been monitored with vented closed flux chambers on both intensively managed grasslands and grasslands in a nature preserve on peat soil in the Netherlands. Net CH4 emissions from intensively managed grasslands (Zegveld, Netherlands) were low in the period January-December 1994, in general in the range of -0.2 to 0.2 mg CH4 m{sup -2} d{sup -1}. Only in the relatively warm summer of 1994, consumption of atmospheric CH4 of about 0.4 mg m{sup -2} d{sup -1} was measured. Effects of ground water level in the range of 30-60 cm below surface were very small. There were also no clear effects of nitrogen fertilization and grazing versus mowing on CH4 emission from the soil. Net CH4 emissions from three extensively managed grasslands in a nature preserve (Nieuwkoopse Plassen area in the Netherlands) ranged from 0-215 mg CH4 m{sup -2} d{sup -1} in the period January 1994-June 1995. Differences between the three sites were quite large, as were the spatial variations at each of the sites. The results presented here indicate that a shift of intensively managed peat grasslands into more natural ecosystems will significantly increase the contribution of Dutch peat soils to the total CH4 emission. refs.

  13. EXAMINATION OF THE SOLVENCY OF ENTERPRISES DEALING WITH ACCOMMODATION SERVICE PROVIDING IN THE NORTHERN GREAT PLAIN REGION

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Veronika FENYVES

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available One of the most important characteristics of tourism, as an economic and social phenomenon is that it has become a leading sector of the Hungarian economy. The importance of this sector is faithfully reflected by the fact that tourism gives nearly 9% of the GDP. Of course, aim of the enterprises of this type is the liquidity as well i.e. to maintain the short-term solvency that is essential for the long-term successful and smooth operation. The other aim of enterprises is to be solvent for the long-term as well, furthermore, to increase the corporate value and to maximize the ownership value. In our treatise, we have carried out the financial analysis and bankruptcy prediction of those enterprises providing accommodation service which are the biggest from the point of view of employment in the Northern Great Plain region. We think that, due to seasonality, even greater emphasis shall be placed on this area where useful information can be obtained from and the results of bankruptcy model can also provide further useful information and ”problem alerts”.

  14. Greenhouse Gas Emissions of Beef Cattle Production in the Southern Great Plains

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kannan, N.; Niraula, R.; Saleh, A.; Osei, E.; Cole, A.; Todd, R.; Waldrip, H.; Aljoe, H.

    2017-12-01

    A five-year USDA-funded study titled "Resilience and vulnerability of beef cattle production in the Southern Great Plains under changing climate, land use, and markets" was initiated as a multi-institutional collaboration involving Texas Institute for Applied Environmental Research (TIAER)—Tarleton State University, United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)—Agricultural Research Service (ARS) in El Reno, Oklahoma, USDA—ARS in Bushland, Texas, Kansas State University, Oklahoma State University, University of Oklahoma, and the Noble Research Institute in Ardmore, Oklahoma. The project goal is to safeguard and promote regional beef production while mitigating its environmental footprint. Conducting a full Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) is one of the major objectives of the study, in addition to field experiments, extension, outreach, and education. Estimation of all the resource use and greenhouse gas emissions are parts of the LCA. A computer model titled Animal Production Life Cycle Analysis Tool (APLCAT) is developed and applied to conduct the LCA on beef cattle production in the study region. The model estimates water use, energy requirements, and emissions of enteric methane, manure methane, nitrous oxide, and carbon dioxide. Also included in the LCA analysis are land-atmospheric exchanges of methane, nitrous oxide, carbon dioxide and the global warming potential. Our study is focused on the cow-calf and stocker phases of beef cattle production. The animal production system in the study region is predominantly forage based with protein and energy supplements when needed. Spring calving typical to the study region. In the cow-calf phase animals typically graze native prairie although introduced pasture grazing is also prevalent. Stockers use winter pasture as the major feed. The results of greenhouse gas emissions summarized per kg of hot carcass weight or animal fed will be presented.

  15. Effects of Government Grassland Conservation Policy on Household Livelihoods and Dependence on Local Grasslands: Evidence from Inner Mongolia, China

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Du, Bingzhen; Zhen, Lin; Yan, Huimin; Groot, de Dolf

    2016-01-01

    Grassland degradation intensifies human-environment conflicts and adversely affects local residents’ livelihoods. To reduce grassland degradation in Inner Mongolia, China, the government has enforced (since 1998) a series of grassland conservation and management policies that restrict the use of

  16. Appreciation of grassland functions by European stakeholders

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Pol, van den A.; Golinski, P.; Hennessy, D.; Huyghe, C.; Parente, G.; Peyraud, J.L.

    2014-01-01

    In order to promote sustainable and competitive ruminant production systems, the European Multisward project was aimed at improving farmer trust in grassland and grassland mixtures. A questionnaire on grassland functions was submitted in eight languages, in order to better understand the importance

  17. Types, harms and improvement of saline soil in Songnen Plain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Zhengjun; Zhuang, Jingjing; Zhao, Anping; Li, Xinxin

    2018-03-01

    Saline soil is an extremely difficult and modified soil, widely distributed around the world. According to UN-UNESCO and FAO, the world’s saline soil area is about 9.54×108hm2, and there is a growing trend, every year in 1.0×106-1.5×106hm2 speed growth, the effective utilization of land resources to the world is the most serious threat. The total area of saline-alkali land in China is about 9.91×107hm2, including the Songnen Plain, which is called one of the three major saline soil concentrations in the world. The Songnen plain is an important grain producing area in China, and the saline soil occupies most of the Songnen plain, so it is of great significance to study the saline soil and improvement in Songnen plain.

  18. Influence of land use on metal concentrations in playa sediments and amphibians in the Southern High Plains

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Venne, Louise S. [Department of Environmental Toxicology, Institute of Environmental and Human Health, Texas Tech University, MS 1163, Lubbock, TX 79409 (United States)]. E-mail: louise.venne@tiehh.ttu.edu; Cobb, George P. [Department of Environmental Toxicology, Institute of Environmental and Human Health, Texas Tech University, MS 1163, Lubbock, TX 79409 (United States); Coimbatore, Gopal [Department of Environmental Toxicology, Institute of Environmental and Human Health, Texas Tech University, MS 1163, Lubbock, TX 79409 (United States); Smith, Loren M. [Wildlife and Fisheries Management Institute, Texas Tech University, MS 2125, Lubbock, TX 79409 (United States); McMurry, Scott T. [Department of Environmental Toxicology, Institute of Environmental and Human Health, Texas Tech University, MS 1163, Lubbock, TX 79409 (United States)

    2006-11-15

    The Southern High Plains (SHP) is a semi-arid region in which playa wetlands are the focal points of biodiversity. Playas are highly influenced by surrounding land use. Most of the SHP is in agricultural production (primarily cotton) with a history of arsenic-containing herbicide use. Metals influence reproduction and development in amphibians. We analyzed metal residues in playa sediment and whole body tissue of Spea spp. and Bufo cognatus metamorphs from two land uses: cropland and native grassland. Cd and Ni concentrations in B. cognatus tissues differed between land uses. Metal concentrations in Spea spp. tissues did not differ between land uses. Ba was higher in Spea spp. than B. cognatus collected from the same grassland playas, indicating differential habitat use. No correlations between sediment and tissue concentrations were found. Land use appeared to have little influence on metal concentrations and levels were below those known to cause effects in amphibians. - Land use surrounding playas has little effect on metal concentrations in sediments.

  19. Research on the Mechanism of Cross Regional Grassland Ecological Compensation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Ran; Ma, Jun

    2018-01-01

    In recent years, grassland environmental damage has become serious, and grassland resources protection task has become heavy, grassland ecological compensation has become an effective way to solve this problem; but the current grassland ecological compensation standards were low, the effect is poor. The fundamental reason is the model of administrative division destroys the integrity of grassland. Based on the analysis of the status quo of grassland compensation, this paper tries to protect the grassland integrity, breaks the administrative division restriction, implements the space regulation, constructs the framework of cross-regional grassland ecological compensation mechanism, describes its operation process. It provides new way to realize the sustainable development of the grassland environment.

  20. Effects of Government Grassland Conservation Policy on Household Livelihoods and Dependence on Local Grasslands: Evidence from Inner Mongolia, China

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bingzhen Du

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Grassland degradation intensifies human-environment conflicts and adversely affects local residents’ livelihoods. To reduce grassland degradation in Inner Mongolia, China, the government has enforced (since 1998 a series of grassland conservation and management policies that restrict the use of grasslands. To ease the impact on the residents’ livelihoods, the national and regional governments have offered a series of top-down arrangements to stimulate sustainable use of the grasslands. Simultaneously, local households spontaneously developed bottom-up countermeasures. To determine the effects of these processes, we interviewed members of 135 households using a mix of qualitative and quantitative methods. We analyzed the effects on household dependence on local grasslands and on perceptions of the future of grassland use. Our findings show that the implementation of the grassland conservation policies significantly affected household livelihoods, which in turn affected household use of natural assets (primarily the land, their agricultural assets (farming and grazing activities and their financial assets (income and consumption, resulting in fundamental transformation of their lifestyles. The households developed adaptation measures to account for the dependence of their livelihood on local ecosystems by initializing strategies, such as seeking off-farm work, leasing pasture land, increasing purchases of fodder for stall-fed animals and altering their diet and fuel consumption to compensate for their changing livelihoods.

  1. Hydrology of area 59, northern Great Plains and Rocky Mountain coal provinces, Colorado and Wyoming

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gaggiani, Neville G.; Britton, Linda J.; Minges, Donald R.; Kilpatrick, F.A.; Parker, Randolph S.; Kircher, James E.

    1987-01-01

    Hydrologic information and analysis aid in decisions to lease federally owned coal and to prepare necessary Environmental Assessments and Impact Study reports. This need has become even more critical with the enactment of Public Law 95-87, the "Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977." This act requires an appropriate regulatory agency to issue permits, based on the review of permit-application data to assess hydrologic impacts. This report, which partially fulfills this requirement, is one in a series of nationwide coal province reports that present information thematically, through the use of a brief text and accompanying maps, graphs, charts, or other illustrations for single hydrologic topics. The report broadly characterizes the hydrology of Area 59 in north-central Colorado and southeastern Wyoming.The report area, located within the South Platte River basin, covers a 16,000-square-mile area of diverse geology, topography, and climate. This diversity results in contrasting hydrologic characteristics.The South Platte River, the major stream in the area, and most of its tributaries originate in granitic mountains and flow into and through the sedimentary rocks of the Great Plains. Altitudes range from less than 5,000 feet to more than 14,000 feet above sea level. Precipitation in the mountains may exceed 40 inches annually, much of it during the winter, and produces deep snowpacks. Snowmelt during the spring and summer produces most streamflow. Transmountain diversion of water from the streams on the western slope of the mountains also adds to the streamflow. Precipitation in the plains is as little as 10 inches annually. Streams that originate in the plains are ephemeral.Streamflow quality is best in the mountains, where dissolved-solids concentrations are generally small. Concentrations increase in the plains as streams flow through sedimentary basins, and as urbanization and irrigation increase. The quality of some mountain streams is affected by

  2. Site Scientific Mission Plan for the Southern Great Plains CART site: January--June 1994

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Schneider, J.M.; Lamb, P.J. [Univ. of Oklahoma, Norman, OK (United States). Cooperative Inst. for Mesoscale Meteorological Studies; Sisterson, D.L. [Argonne National Lab., IL (United States). Environmental Research Div.

    1993-12-01

    The Southern Great Plains (SGP) Cloud and Radiation Testbed (CART) site is designed to help satisfy the data needs of the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Program Science Team. This document defines the scientific priorities for site activities during the six months beginning on January 1, 1994, and also looks forward in lesser detail to subsequent six-month periods. The primary purpose of this Site Scientific Mission Plan is to provide guidance for the development of plans for site operations. It also provides information on current plans to the ARM Functional Teams (Management Team, Experiment Support Team, Operations Team, Data Management Team, Instrument Team, and Campaign Team), and it serves to disseminate the plans more generally within the ARM Program and among the Science Team. This document includes a description of the site`s operational status and the primary envisaged site activities, together with information concerning approved and proposed Intensive Observation Periods. Amendments will be prepared and distributed whenever the content changes by more than 30% within a six-month period. The primary users of this document are the site operator, the site scientist, the Science Team through the ARM Program Science Director, the ARM Program Experiment Center, and the aforementioned ARM Program Functional Teams. This plan is a living document that will be updated and reissued every six months as the observational facilities are developed, tested, and augmented and as priorities are adjusted in response to developments in scientific planning and understanding.

  3. Mapping marginal croplands suitable for cellulosic feedstock crops in the Great Plains, United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gu, Yingxin; Wylie, Bruce K.

    2016-01-01

    Growing cellulosic feedstock crops (e.g., switchgrass) for biofuel is more environmentally sustainable than corn-based ethanol. Specifically, this practice can reduce soil erosion and water quality impairment from pesticides and fertilizer, improve ecosystem services and sustainability (e.g., serve as carbon sinks), and minimize impacts on global food supplies. The main goal of this study was to identify high-risk marginal croplands that are potentially suitable for growing cellulosic feedstock crops (e.g., switchgrass) in the US Great Plains (GP). Satellite-derived growing season Normalized Difference Vegetation Index, a switchgrass biomass productivity map obtained from a previous study, US Geological Survey (USGS) irrigation and crop masks, and US Department of Agriculture (USDA) crop indemnity maps for the GP were used in this study. Our hypothesis was that croplands with relatively low crop yield but high productivity potential for switchgrass may be suitable for converting to switchgrass. Areas with relatively low crop indemnity (crop indemnity marginal croplands in the GP are potentially suitable for switchgrass development. The total estimated switchgrass biomass productivity gain from these suitable areas is about 5.9 million metric tons. Switchgrass can be cultivated in either lowland or upland regions in the GP depending on the local soil and environmental conditions. This study improves our understanding of ecosystem services and the sustainability of cropland systems in the GP. Results from this study provide useful information to land managers for making informed decisions regarding switchgrass development in the GP.

  4. The conversion of grasslands to forests in Southern South America: Shifting evapotranspiration, stream flow and groundwater dynamics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jobbagy, E. G.; Nosetto, M. D.; Pineiro, G.; Farley, K. A.; Palmer, S. M.; Jackson, R. B.

    2005-12-01

    Vegetation changes, particularly those involving transitions between tree- and grass-dominated systems, often modify evaporation as a result of plant-mediated shifts in moisture access and demand. The establishment of tree plantations (fast growing eucalypts and pines) on native grasslands is emerging as a major land-use change, particularly in the Southern Hemisphere, where cheap land and labor, public subsidies, and prospective C sequestration rewards provide converging incentives. What are the hydrological consequences of grassland afforestation? How are crucial ecosystem services such as fresh water supply and hydrological regulation being affected? We explore these questions focusing on a) evapotranspiration, b) stream flow, and c) groundwater recharge-discharge patterns across a network of paired stands and small watershed occupied by native grassland and tree plantation in Argentina and Uruguay. Radiometric information obtained from Landsat satellite images was used to estimate daily evapotranspiration in >100 tree plantations and grasslands stands in the humid plains of the Uruguay River (mean annual precipitation, MAP= 1350 mm). In spite of their lower albedo, tree plantations were 0.5 C° cooler than grasslands. Energy balance calculations suggested 80% higher evapotranspiration in afforested plots with relative differences becoming larger during dry periods. Seasonal stream flow measurements in twelve paired watershed (50-500 Ha) in the hills of Comechingones (MAP= 800 mm) and Minas (MAP= 1200 mm) showed declining water yields following afforestation. Preliminary data in Cordoba showed four-fold reductions of base flow in the dry season and two-fold reductions of peak flow after storms. A network of twenty paired grassland-plantation stands covering a broad range of sediment textures in the Pampas (MAP= 1000 mm, typical groundwater depth= 1-5 m) showed increased groundwater salinity in afforested stands (plantation:grassland salinity ratio = 1.2, 10, and

  5. Some Insights on Grassland Health Assessment Based on Remote Sensing

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dandan Xu

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Grassland ecosystem is one of the largest ecosystems, which naturally occurs on all continents excluding Antarctica and provides both ecological and economic functions. The deterioration of natural grassland has been attracting many grassland researchers to monitor the grassland condition and dynamics for decades. Remote sensing techniques, which are advanced in dealing with the scale constraints of ecological research and provide temporal information, become a powerful approach of grassland ecosystem monitoring. So far, grassland health monitoring studies have mostly focused on different areas, for example, productivity evaluation, classification, vegetation dynamics, livestock carrying capacity, grazing intensity, natural disaster detecting, fire, climate change, coverage assessment and soil erosion. However, the grassland ecosystem is a complex system which is formed by soil, vegetation, wildlife and atmosphere. Thus, it is time to consider the grassland ecosystem as an entity synthetically and establish an integrated grassland health monitoring system to combine different aspects of the complex grassland ecosystem. In this review, current grassland health monitoring methods, including rangeland health assessment, ecosystem health assessment and grassland monitoring by remote sensing from different aspects, are discussed along with the future directions of grassland health assessment.

  6. Some insights on grassland health assessment based on remote sensing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Dandan; Guo, Xulin

    2015-01-29

    Grassland ecosystem is one of the largest ecosystems, which naturally occurs on all continents excluding Antarctica and provides both ecological and economic functions. The deterioration of natural grassland has been attracting many grassland researchers to monitor the grassland condition and dynamics for decades. Remote sensing techniques, which are advanced in dealing with the scale constraints of ecological research and provide temporal information, become a powerful approach of grassland ecosystem monitoring. So far, grassland health monitoring studies have mostly focused on different areas, for example, productivity evaluation, classification, vegetation dynamics, livestock carrying capacity, grazing intensity, natural disaster detecting, fire, climate change, coverage assessment and soil erosion. However, the grassland ecosystem is a complex system which is formed by soil, vegetation, wildlife and atmosphere. Thus, it is time to consider the grassland ecosystem as an entity synthetically and establish an integrated grassland health monitoring system to combine different aspects of the complex grassland ecosystem. In this review, current grassland health monitoring methods, including rangeland health assessment, ecosystem health assessment and grassland monitoring by remote sensing from different aspects, are discussed along with the future directions of grassland health assessment.

  7. Determining Wind Erosion in the Great Plains

    OpenAIRE

    Elwin G. Smith; Burton C. English

    1982-01-01

    Wind erosion is defined as the movement of soil particles resulting from strong turbulent winds. The movement of soil particles can be categorized as suspension, saltation, or surface creep. Fine soil particles can be suspended in the atmosphere and carried for great distances. Particles too large to be suspended move in a jumping action along the soil surface, known as saltation. Heavier particles have a rolling movement along the surface and this type of erosion is surface creep.

  8. Soil salinity study in Northern Great Plains sodium affected soil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kharel, Tulsi P.

    Climate and land-use changes when combined with the marine sediments that underlay portions of the Northern Great Plains have increased the salinization and sodification risks. The objectives of this dissertation were to compare three chemical amendments (calcium chloride, sulfuric acid and gypsum) remediation strategies on water permeability and sodium (Na) transport in undisturbed soil columns and to develop a remote sensing technique to characterize salinization in South Dakota soils. Forty-eight undisturbed soil columns (30 cm x 15 cm) collected from White Lake, Redfield, and Pierpont were used to assess the chemical remediation strategies. In this study the experimental design was a completely randomized design and each treatment was replicated four times. Following the application of chemical remediation strategies, 45.2 cm of water was leached through these columns. The leachate was separated into 120- ml increments and analyzed for Na and electrical conductivity (EC). Sulfuric acid increased Na leaching, whereas gypsum and CaCl2 increased water permeability. Our results further indicate that to maintain effective water permeability, ratio between soil EC and sodium absorption ratio (SAR) should be considered. In the second study, soil samples from 0-15 cm depth in 62 x 62 m grid spacing were taken from the South Dakota Pierpont (65 ha) and Redfield (17 ha) sites. Saturated paste EC was measured on each soil sample. At each sampling points reflectance and derived indices (Landsat 5, 7, 8 images), elevation, slope and aspect (LiDAR) were extracted. Regression models based on multiple linear regression, classification and regression tree, cubist, and random forest techniques were developed and their ability to predict soil EC were compared. Results showed that: 1) Random forest method was found to be the most effective method because of its ability to capture spatially correlated variation, 2) the short wave infrared (1.5 -2.29 mum) and near infrared (0

  9. Perception of the drought hazard on the Great Plains and its sociological impacts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Woudenberg, Donna Louise

    Drought, a defining characteristic of the Great Plains, continues to be one of the most expensive natural disasters in the United States, with the lion's share of financial losses shouldered by crop and livestock producers. These producer's perceptions of and responses to drought were studied in the mid-1960s, the mid-1980s, and were examined again in this study, providing valuable longitudinal data. A number of direct and indirect impacts are experienced by non-farm businesses, communities, and individuals, as well. Some of those impacts have not been well researched and were integral to this project. Interviews with crop producers, livestock producers, and community members were conducted in Frontier County, Nebraska in late summer 2006. It was found that producers are very perceptive of the drought hazard, a result found in the two previous studies; recollections and estimates were well supported with 100 years of SPI and PDSI values. Adoption of drought mitigation practices has increased over the past 40 years. Producers were concerned about the myriad of factors they must consider when planning their farm/ranch operations, particularly as they are trying to adjust to water restrictions imposed as an outcome of the Kansas-Nebraska lawsuit on the Republican River (a task exacerbated by the long-term drought in recent years), but overall they are basically optimistic. Community members were very concerned about the future of farming and the quality of rural life. They expressed fears that changes in farming practices may lower the value of land, affect the tax base, and ultimately impact the school system and other county services.

  10. Density and fledging success of ground-nesting passerines in Conservation Reserve Program fields in the northeastern Great Plains

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koford, Rolf R.

    1999-01-01

    The Conservation Reserve Program, initiated in 1985, was designed primarily to reduce soil erosion and crop surpluses. A secondary benefit was the provision of habitat for wildlife. Grassland bird populations, many of which declined in the decades prior to the Conservation Reserve Program, may have benefited from the Conservation Reserve Program if reproduction in this newly available habitat has been at least as high as it would have been in the absence of the Conservation Reserve Program. On study areas in North Dakota and Minnesota, I examined breeding densities and fledging success of grassland birds in Conservation Reserve Program fields and in an alternative habitat of similar structure, idle grassland fields on federal Waterfowl Production Areas. Fields were 10 to 25 hectares in size. The avifaunas of these two habitats were similar, although brush-dependent species were more abundant on Waterfowl Protection Areas. The common species in these habitats included ones whose continental populations have declined, such as Grasshopper Sparrow (Ammodramus savannarum), Savannah Sparrow (Passerculus sandwichensis), and Bobolink (Dolichonyx oryzivorus). These ground-nesting species were pooled with other ground nesters in an analysis of fledging success, which revealed no significant differences between habitats, between states, or among years (1991-1993). Predation was the primary cause of nest failure. I concluded that Conservation Reserve Program fields in this region were suitable breeding habitat for several species whose populations had declined prior to the Conservation Reserve Program era. This habitat appeared to be as secure for nests of ground-nesting birds as another suitable habitat in North Dakota and Minnesota.

  11. Site scientific mission plan for the Southern Great Plains CART site: January 1997--June 1997

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Peppler, R.A.; Lamb, P.J. [Univ. of Oklahoma, Norman, OK (United States). Cooperative Institute for Mesoscale Meteorological Studies; Sisterson, D.L. [Argonne National Lab., IL (United States)

    1997-01-01

    The Southern Great Plains (SGP) Cloud and Radiation Testbed (CART) site is designed to help satisfy the data needs of the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Program Science Team. This document defines the scientific priorities for site activities during the six months beginning on January 1, 1997, and looks forward in lesser detail to subsequent six-month periods. The primary purpose of this Site Scientific Mission Plan is to provide guidance for the development of plans for site operations. It also provides information on current plans to the ARM functional teams (Management Team, Data and Science Integration Team [DSIT], Operations Team, Instrument Team [IT], and Campaign Team) and serves to disseminate the plans more generally within the ARM Program and among the members of the Science Team. This document includes a description of the operational status of the site and the primary site activities envisioned, together with information concerning approved and proposed intensive observation periods (IOPs). The primary users of this document are the site operator, the Site Scientist Team (SST), the Science Team through the ARM Program science director, the ARM Program Experiment Center, and the aforementioned ARM Program functional teams. This plan is a living document that is updated and reissued every six months as the observational facilities are developed, tested, and augmented and as priorities are adjusted in response to developments in scientific planning and understanding.

  12. Potential effects of climate change on aquatic ecosystems of the Great Plains of North America

    Science.gov (United States)

    Covich, A.P.; Fritz, S.C.; Lamb, P.J.; Marzolf, R.D.; Matthews, W.J.; Poiani, K.A.; Prepas, E.E.; Richman, M.B.; Winter, T.C.

    1997-01-01

    The Great Plains landscape is less topographically complex than most other regions within North America, but diverse aquatic ecosystems, such as playas, pothole lakes, ox-bow lakes, springs, groundwater aquifers, intermittent and ephemeral streams, as well as large rivers and wetlands, are highly dynamic and responsive to extreme climatic fluctuations. We review the evidence for climatic change that demonstrates the historical importance of extremes in north-south differences in summer temperatures and east-west differences in aridity across four large subregions. These physical driving forces alter density stratification, deoxygenation, decomposition and salinity. Biotic community composition and associated ecosystem processes of productivity and nutrient cycling respond rapidly to these climatically driven dynamics. Ecosystem processes also respond to cultural effects such as dams and diversions of water for irrigation, waste dilution and urban demands for drinking water and industrial uses. Distinguishing climatic from cultural effects in future models of aquatic ecosystem functioning will require more refinement in both climatic and economic forecasting. There is a need, for example, to predict how long-term climatic forecasts (based on both ENSO and global warming simulations) relate to the permanence and productivity of shallow water ecosystems. Aquatic ecologists, hydrologists, climatologists and geographers have much to discuss regarding the synthesis of available data and the design of future interdisciplinary research. ?? 1997 by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  13. Assessing the Effects of Grassland Management on Forage Production and Environmental Quality to Identify Paths to Ecological Intensification in Mountain Grasslands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loucougaray, Grégory; Dobremez, Laurent; Gos, Pierre; Pauthenet, Yves; Nettier, Baptiste; Lavorel, Sandra

    2015-11-01

    Ecological intensification in grasslands can be regarded as a process for increasing forage production while maintaining high levels of ecosystem functions and biodiversity. In the mountain Vercors massif, where dairy cattle farming is the main component of agriculture, how to achieve forage autonomy at farm level while sustaining environmental quality for tourism and local dairy products has recently stimulated local debate. As specific management is one of the main drivers of ecosystem functioning, we assessed the response of forage production and environmental quality at grassland scale across a wide range of management practices. We aimed to determine which components of management can be harnessed to better match forage production and environmental quality. We sampled the vegetation of 51 grasslands stratified across 13 grassland types. We assessed each grassland for agronomic and environmental properties, measuring forage production, forage quality, and indices based on the abundance of particular plant species such as timing flexibility, apiarian potential, and aromatic plants. Our results revealed an expected trade-off between forage production and environmental quality, notably by stressing the contrasts between sown and permanent grasslands. However, strong within-type variability in both production and environmental quality as well as in flexibility of timing of use suggests possible ways to improve this trade-off at grassland and farm scales. As achieving forage autonomy relies on increasing both forage production and grassland resilience, our results highlight the critical role of the ratio between sown and permanent grasslands as a major path for ecological intensification in mountain grasslands.

  14. Heat flow measurements in the vicinity of Great Meteor East, Madeira Abyssal Plain, during Darwin Cruise CD9B

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Noel, M.; Hounslow, M.W.

    1986-12-01

    This report describes 37 new measurements of heat flow in the Madeira Abyssal Plain. These have comprised 22 values in the Great Meteor East Study Area and 15 measurements in the newly defined ''10 km Box'' to the southeast of this region. The aim of the project has been to examine in more detail than hitherto the thermal and fluid processes operating in the oceanic crust. For this purpose, a new thermistor string, with 1/2 m sensor spacing was used. Also, the heat flux data have been compared to the output from a finite element model for heat conduction. No non-linear sediment temperature profiles were discovered indicating that vertical advection of water through the sediment is absent or slow. The results of numerical modelling imply that the variability of measured heat flow cannot be explained entirely on the basis of basement topography. It is necessary to invoke either vertical basement intrusions of differing conductivity or basement hydrothermal circulation. (author)

  15. 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

  16. Variability of annual CO2 exchange from Dutch grasslands

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Jacobs, C.M.J.; Jacobs, A.F.G.; Bosveld, F.C.; Hendriks, D.M.D.; Hensen, A.; Kroon, P.; Moors, E.J.; Nol, L.; Schrier-Uijl, A.P.; Veenendaal, E.M.

    2007-01-01

    An intercomparison is made of the Net Ecosystem Exchange of CO2, NEE, for eight Dutch grassland sites: four natural grasslands, two production grasslands and two meteorological stations within a rotational grassland region. At all sites the NEE was determined during at least 10 months per site,

  17. Biodiversity of Soil Microbial Communities Following Woody Plant Invasion of Grassland: An Assessment Using Molecular Methods

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kantola, I. B.; Gentry, T. J.; Filley, T. R.; Boutton, T. W.

    2012-12-01

    Woody plants have encroached into grasslands, savannas, and other grass-dominated ecosystems throughout the world during the last century. This dramatic vegetation change is likely driven by livestock grazing, altered fire frequencies, elevated atmospheric CO2 concentrations, and/or changes in atmospheric deposition patterns. Woody invasion often results in significant changes in ecosystem function, including alterations in above- and belowground primary productivity, soil C, N, and P storage and turnover, and the size and activity of the soil microbial biomass pool. The purpose of this study was to examine the relationships and interactions between plant communities and soil microbial communities in the Rio Grande Plains region of southern Texas where grasslands have been largely replaced by woodlands. Research was conducted along a successional chronosequence representing the stages of woody plant encroachment from open grassland to closed-canopy woodland. To characterize soil microbial community composition, soil samples (0-7.5 cm) were collected in remnant grasslands (representing time 0) and near the centers of woody plant clusters, groves, and drainage woodlands ranging in age from 10 to 130 yrs. Ages of woody plant stands were determined by dendrochronology. Community DNA was extracted from each soil sample with a MoBio PowerMax Soil DNA isolation kit. The DNA concentrations were quantified on a NanoDrop ND-1000 spectrophotometer and diluted to a standard concentration. Pyrosequencing was performed by the Research and Testing Laboratory (Lubbock, TX) according to Roche 454 Titanium chemistry protocols. Samples were amplified with primers 27F and 519R for bacteria, and primers ITS1F and ITS4 for fungi. Sequences were aligned using BioEdit and the RDP Pipeline and analyzed in MOTHUR. Non-metric multidimensional scaling of the operational taxonomic units identified by pyrosequencing revealed that both bacterial and fungal community composition were

  18. Bringing the "social" into sociohydrology: Conservation policy support in the Central Great Plains of Kansas, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sanderson, Matthew R.; Bergtold, Jason S.; Heier Stamm, Jessica L.; Caldas, Marcellus M.; Ramsey, Steven M.

    2017-08-01

    Identifying means of empirically modeling the human component of a coupled, human-water system becomes critically important to further advances in sociohydrology. We develop a social-psychological model of environmental decision making that addresses four key challenges of incorporating social science into integrated models. We use the model to explain preferences for three conservation policies designed to conserve and protect water resources and aquatic ecosystems in the Smoky Hill River Basin, a semiarid agricultural region in the Central U.S. Great Plains. Further, we compare the model's capacity to explain policy preferences among members of two groups in the River Basin: agricultural producers and members of nonfarming communities. We find that financial obligation is the strongest and most consistent explanation of support for conservation policies among members of both groups. We also find that policy support is grounded in cultural values—deeply held ideas about right and wrong. Environmental values are particularly important explanations of policy support. The constellations of values invoked to make decisions about policies, and the social-psychological pathways linking values to policy support, can vary across policies and types of agents (farmers and nonfarmers). We discuss the implications of the results for future research in sociohydrology.

  19. The WRF model forecast-derived low-level wind shear climatology over the United States great plains

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Storm, B. [Wind Science and Engineering Research Center, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX (United States); Basu, S. [Atmospheric Science Group, Department of Geosciences, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX (United States)

    2010-07-01

    For wind resource assessment projects, it is common practice to use a power-law relationship (U(z) {proportional_to} z{sup {alpha}}) and a fixed shear exponent ({alpha} = 1/7) to extrapolate the observed wind speed from a low measurement level to high turbine hub-heights. However, recent studies using tall-tower observations have found that the annual average shear exponents at several locations over the United States Great Plains (USGP) are significantly higher than 1/7. These findings highlight the critical need for detailed spatio-temporal characterizations of wind shear climatology over the USGP, where numerous large wind farms will be constructed in the foreseeable future. In this paper, a new generation numerical weather prediction model - the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model, a fast and relatively inexpensive alternative to time-consuming and costly tall-tower projects, is utilized to determine whether it can reliably estimate the shear exponent and the magnitude of the directional shear at any arbitrary location over the USGP. Our results indicate that the WRF model qualitatively captures several low-level wind shear characteristics. However, there is definitely room for physics parameterization improvements for the WRF model to reliably represent the lower part of the atmospheric boundary layer. (author)

  20. Effects of forest expansion on mountain grassland

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Guidi, Claudia; Magid, Jakob; Rodeghiero, Mirco

    2014-01-01

    Background and aims. Grassland abandonment followed by forest succession is the dominant land-use change in the European Alps. We studied the impact of current forest expansion on mountain grassland on changes in physical soil organic carbon (SOC) fractions along a land-use and management gradient......, focusing on changes in aggregate stability and particulate organic matter (POM). Methods. Four successional stages were investigated: managed grassland, two transitional phases in which grassland abandonment led to colonization by Picea abies (L.) Karst., and old mixed forest dominated by Fagus sylvatica L....... Results. The dimension of aggregates assessed by aggregate size fractionation tended to increase, whereas SOC allocation to stable aggregates assessed by sizedensity fractionation decreased following conversion of grassland to forest (e.g. from 81 to 59 % in the 0–5 cm layer). The amount of SOC stored...

  1. Grassland invader responses to realistic changes in native species richness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rinella, Matthew J; Pokorny, Monica L; Rekaya, Romdhane

    2007-09-01

    The importance of species richness for repelling exotic plant invasions varies from ecosystem to ecosystem. Thus, in order to prioritize conservation objectives, it is critical to identify those ecosystems where decreasing richness will most greatly magnify invasion risks. Our goal was to determine if invasion risks greatly increase in response to common reductions in grassland species richness. We imposed treatments that mimic management-induced reductions in grassland species richness (i.e., removal of shallow- and/or deep-rooted forbs and/or grasses and/or cryptogam layers). Then we introduced and monitored the performance of a notorious invasive species (i.e., Centaurea maculosa). We found that, on a per-gram-of-biomass basis, each resident plant group similarly suppressed invader growth. Hence, with respect to preventing C. maculosa invasions, maintaining overall productivity is probably more important than maintaining the productivity of particular plant groups or species. But at the sites we studied, all plant groups may be needed to maintain overall productivity because removing forbs decreased overall productivity in two of three years. Alternatively, removing forbs increased productivity in another year, and this led us to posit that removing forbs may inflate the temporal productivity variance as opposed to greatly affecting time-averaged productivity. In either case, overall productivity responses to single plant group removals were inconsistent and fairly modest, and only when all plant groups were removed did C. maculosa growth increase substantially over a no-removal treatment. As such, it seems that intense disturbances (e.g., prolonged drought, overgrazing) that deplete multiple plant groups may often be a prerequisite for C. maculosa invasion.

  2. Variations of Near Surface Energy Balance Caused by Land Cover Changes in the Semiarid Grassland Area of China

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Qun’ou Jiang

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available This study applies the Dynamics of Land System (DLS model to simulating the land cover under the designed scenarios and then analyzes the effects of land cover conversion on energy flux in the semiarid grassland area of China with the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF model. The results indicate that the grassland will show a steadily upgrowing trend under the coordinated environmental sustainability (CES scenario. Compared to the CES scenario, the rate of increase in grassland cover is lower, while the rate of increase in urban land cover will be higher under the rapid economic growth (REG scenario. Although the conversion from cropland to grassland will reduce the energy flux, the expansion of urban area and decreasing of forestry area will bring about more energy flux. As a whole, the energy flux of near surface will obviously not change under the CES scenario, and the climate therefore will not be possible to be influenced greatly by land cover change. The energy flux under the REG scenario is higher than that under the CES scenario. Those research conclusions can offer valuable information for the land use planning and climate change adaptation in the semiarid grassland area of China.

  3. Habitat associations of migrating and overwintering grassland birds in Southern Texas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Igl, Lawrence D.; Ballard, Bart M.

    1999-01-01

    We report on the habitat associations of 21 species of grassland birds overwintering in or migrating through southern Texas, during 1991-1992 and 1992-1993. Ninety percent of our grassland bird observations were made during winter and spring, and only 10% occurred during fall. Grassland species made up a high proportion of the total bird densities in grassland and shrub-grassland habitats, but much lower proportions in the habitats with more woody vegetation. Fewer grassland species were observed in grassland and woodland than in brushland, parkland, and shrub-grassland habitats. Grassland birds generally were found in higher densities in habitats that had woody canopy coverage of < 30%; densities of grassland birds were highest in shrub-grassland habitat and lowest in woodland habitat. Species that are grassland specialists on their breeding grounds tended to be more habitat specific during the nonbreeding season compared to shrub-grassland specialists, which were more general in their nonbreeding-habitat usage. Nonetheless, our data demonstrate that grassland birds occur in a variety of habitats during the nonbreeding season and seem to occupy a broader range of habitats than previously described.

  4. Exploration for petroleum and natural gas in Sonai Plain

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Konishi, K

    1965-09-01

    Exploration in the Sonai Plain by Sekyu Shigen Kaihatsu Kabushiki Kaisha (Oil Resources Development Corporation) since 1955 is described. The development tasks are made difficult due to the presence of permeability traps. However, 41 out of 65 wells drilled up to late March of 1965 have been successful. Quantities of crude oil and natural gas produced in 1963 were, respectively, 5 and 6 times those of 1958. The Sonai Plain is a relatively new area, and there are still many unknown factors, yet the rate of development has increased greatly. More and deeper wells are expected to be drilled with even better results.

  5. Importance and functions of European grasslands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carlier, L; De Vliegher, A; Van Cleemput, O; Boeckx, P

    2005-01-01

    The European agricultural policy is not simple and needs to accommodate also social and environmental requirements. Grassland will continue to be an important form of land use in Europe, but with increased diversity in management objectives and systems used. Besides its role as basic nutrient for herbivores and ruminants grasslands have opportunities for adding value by exploiting positive health characteristics in animal products from grassland and through the delivery of environmental benefits. In fact grasslands contribute to a high degree to the struggle against erosion and to the regularizing of water regimes, to the purification of fertilizers and pesticides and to biodiversity. Finally they have aesthetic role and recreational function as far as they provide public access that other agricultural uses do not allow. But even for grassland it is very difficult to create a good frame for its different tasks (1) the provision of forage for livestock, (2) protection and conservation of soil and water resources, (3) furnishing a habitat for wildlife, both flora and fauna and (4) contribution to the attractiveness of the landscape. Nevertheless it is the only crop, able to fulfil so many tasks and to fit so many requirements.

  6. Carbon isotope ratios of great plains soils and in wheat-fallow systems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Follett, R.F.; Paul, E.A.; Leavitt, S.W.; Halvorson, A.D.; Lyon, D.; Peterson, G.A.

    1997-01-01

    The purposes of this study were to improve knowledge of regional vegetation patterns of C3 and C4 plants in the North American Great Plains and to use delta 13C methodology and long-term research sites to determine contributions of small-grain crops to total soil organic carbon (SOC) now present. Archived and recent soil samples were used. Detailed soil sampling was in 1993 at long-term sites near Akron, CO, and Sidney, NE. After soil sieving, drying, and deliming, SOC and delta 13C were determined using an automated C/N analyzer interfaced to an isotope-ratio mass spectrometer. Yield records from long-term experimental sites were used to estimate the amount of C3 plant residue C returned to the soil. Results from delta 13C analyses of soils from near Waldheim, Saskatchewan, to Big Springs, TX, showed a strong north to south decrease in SOC derived from C3 plants and a corresponding increase from C4 plants. The delta 13C analyses gave evidence that C3 plant residue C (possibly from shrubs) is increasing at the Big Springs, TX, and Lawton, OK, sites. Also, delta 13C analyses of subsoil and topsoil layers shows evidence of a regional shift to more C3 species, possibly because of a cooler climate during the past few hundreds to thousands of years. Data from long-term research sites indicate that the efficiency of incorporation of small-grain crop residue C was about 5.4% during 84 yr at Akron, CO, and about 10.5% during 20 yr at Sidney, NE. The 14C age of the SOC at 0- to 10-cm depth was 193 yr and at 30 to 45 cm was 4000 yr; 14C age of nonhydrolyzable C was 2000 and 7000 yr for these same two respective depths. Natural partitioning of the 13C isotope by the photosynthetic pathways of C3 and C4 plants provides a potentially powerful tool to study SOC dynamics at both regional and local scales

  7. Sustaining the grassland sea: Regional perspectives on identifying, protecting and restoring the Sky Island region's most intact grassland valley landscapes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gitanjali S. Bodner; Peter Warren; David Gori; Karla Sartor; Steven Bassett

    2013-01-01

    Grasslands of the Sky Islands region once covered over 13 million acres in southeastern Arizona and adjacent portions of New Mexico, Sonora, and Chihuahua. Attempts to evaluate current ecological conditions suggest that approximately two thirds of these remain as intact or restorable grassland habitat. These grasslands provide watershed services such as flood control...

  8. Dendroclimatic potential of plains cottonwood (Populus deltoides subsp. monilifera) from the Northern Great Plains, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Edmonson, Jesse; Friedman, Jonathan; Meko, David; Touchan, Ramzi; Scott, Julian; Edmonson, Alan

    2014-01-01

    A new 368-year tree-ring chronology (A.D. 1643–2010) has been developed in western North Dakota using plains cottonwood (Populus deltoides subsp. monilifera) growing on the relatively undisturbed floodplain of the Little Missouri River in the North Unit of Theodore Roosevelt National Park. We document many slow-growing living trees between 150–370 years old that contradict the common understanding that cottonwoods grow fast and die young. In this northern location, cottonwood produces distinct annual rings with dramatic interannual variability that strongly crossdate. The detrended tree-ring chronology is significantly positively correlated with local growing season precipitation and soil moisture conditions (r  =  0.69). This time series shows periods of prolonged low radial tree growth during the known droughts of the instrumental record (e.g. 1931–1939 and 1980–1981) and also during prehistory (e.g. 1816–1823 and 1856–1865) when other paleoclimate studies have documented droughts in this region. Tree rings of cottonwood will be a useful tool to help reconstruct climate, streamflow, and the floodplain history of the Little Missouri River and other northern river systems.

  9. [Research progress and trend on grassland agroecology].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ren, Jizhou; Li, Xianglin; Hou, Fujiang

    2002-08-01

    The connotation, progress, research frontiers and developmental trend of grassland agroecology are discussed in this paper. The interface theory, structure and function, coupling and discordance, and health assessment of grassland agroecosystems were recognized as the four research frontiers of the discipline. There exist three primary interfaces in a grassland agroecosystem, i.e., vegetation-site, grassland-animal and production-management. Research into a series of the ecological processes that occurred at these interfaces is the key to revealing the features of the system behavior. There are four sections in a grassland agroecosystem, i.e., pre-plant, plant, animal and post-biotic sections. System coupling and discordance are the two important concepts to describe interactions among the production sections. System coupling among the sections can lead to system improvement by exerting the potential of system capacity. Health of an ecosystem is a reflection of its structure and function, and health assessment is a measurement of its orderliness and service value.

  10. Incorporating grassland management in a global vegetation model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chang, Jinfeng; Viovy, Nicolas; Vuichard, Nicolas; Ciais, Philippe; Wang, Tao; Cozic, Anne; Lardy, Romain; Graux, Anne-Isabelle; Klumpp, Katja; Martin, Raphael; Soussana, Jean-François

    2013-04-01

    Grassland is a widespread vegetation type, covering nearly one-fifth of the world's land surface (24 million km2), and playing a significant role in the global carbon (C) cycle. Most of grasslands in Europe are cultivated to feed animals, either directly by grazing or indirectly by grass harvest (cutting). A better understanding of the C fluxes from grassland ecosystems in response to climate and management requires not only field experiments but also the aid of simulation models. ORCHIDEE process-based ecosystem model designed for large-scale applications treats grasslands as being unmanaged, where C / water fluxes are only subject to atmospheric CO2 and climate changes. Our study describes how management of grasslands is included in the ORCHIDEE, and how management affects modeled grassland-atmosphere CO2 fluxes. The new model, ORCHIDEE-GM (Grassland Management) is capable with a management module inspired from a grassland model (PaSim, version 5.0), of accounting for two grassland management practices (cutting and grazing). The evaluation of the results of ORCHIDEE-GM compared with those of ORCHIDEE at 11 European sites equipped with eddy covariance and biometric measurements, show that ORCHIDEE-GM can capture realistically the cut-induced seasonal variation in biometric variables (LAI: Leaf Area Index; AGB: Aboveground Biomass) and in CO2 fluxes (GPP: Gross Primary Productivity; TER: Total Ecosystem Respiration; and NEE: Net Ecosystem Exchange). But improvements at grazing sites are only marginal in ORCHIDEE-GM, which relates to the difficulty in accounting for continuous grazing disturbance and its induced complex animal-vegetation interactions. Both NEE and GPP on monthly to annual timescales can be better simulated in ORCHIDEE-GM than in ORCHIDEE without management. At some sites, the model-observation misfit in ORCHIDEE-GM is found to be more related to ill-constrained parameter values than to model structure. Additionally, ORCHIDEE-GM is able to simulate

  11. Distinguishing Intensity Levels of Grassland Fertilization Using Vegetation Indices

    OpenAIRE

    Jens L. Hollberg; Jürgen Schellberg

    2017-01-01

    Monitoring the reaction of grassland canopies on fertilizer application is of major importance to enable a well-adjusted management supporting a sustainable production of the grass crop. Up to date, grassland managers estimate the nutrient status and growth dynamics of grasslands by costly and time-consuming field surveys, which only provide low temporal and spatial data density. Grassland mapping using remotely-sensed Vegetation Indices (VIs) has the potential to contribute to solving these ...

  12. Adaptation of C4 Bioenergy Crop Species to Various Environments within the Southern Great Plains of USA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sumin Kim

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available As highly productive perennial grasses are evaluated as bioenergy feedstocks, a major consideration is biomass yield stability. Two experiments were conducted to examine some aspects of yield stability for two biofuel species: switchgrass (Panicum vigratum L. and Miscanthus x giganteus (Mxg. Biomass yields of these species were evaluated under various environmental conditions across the Southern Great Plains (SGP, including some sites with low soil fertility. In the first experiment, measured yields of four switchgrass ecotypes and Mxg varied among locations. Overall, plants showed optimal growth performance in study sites close to their geographical origins. Lowland switchgrass ecotypes and Mxg yields simulated by the ALMANAC model showed reasonable agreement with the measured yields across all study locations, while the simulated yields of upland switchgrass ecotypes were overestimated in northern locations. In the second experiment, examination of different N fertilizer rates revealed switchgrass yield increases over the range of 0, 80, or 160 kg N ha−1 year−1, while Mxg only showed yield increases between the low and medium N rates. This provides useful insights to crop management of two biofuel species and to enhance the predictive accuracy of process-based models, which are critical for developing bioenergy market systems in the SGP.

  13. Soil organic matter stabilization in buried paleosols of the Great Plains

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chaopricha, N. T.; Marin-Spiotta, E.; Mason, J. A.; Mueller, C. W.

    2010-12-01

    Understanding the mechanisms that control soil organic matter (SOM) stabilization is important for understanding how soil carbon is sequestered over millennia, and for predicting how future disturbances may affect soil carbon stocks. We are studying the mechanisms controlling SOM stabilization in the Brady Soil, a buried paleosol in Holocene loess deposits spanning much of the central Great Plains of the United States. The Brady Soil developed 9,000-13,500 years ago during a time of warming and drying that resulted in a shift from C3 to C4 dominated plants. The Brady soil is unusual in that it has very dark coloring, although it contains less than separate particulate organic matter associated with minerals from that within and outside of soil aggregates. We found the largest and darkest amounts of organic C in aggregate-protected SOM greater than 20 µm in diameter. Density and textural fractionation revealed that much of the SOM is bound within aggregates, indicating that protection within aggregates is a major contributor to SOM- stabilization in the Brady Soil. We are conducting a long-term lab soil incubation with soils collected from the modern A horizon and the Brady Soil to determine if the buried SOM becomes microbially available when exposed to the modern atmosphere. We are measuring potential rates of respiration and production of CH4 and N2O. Results so far show respiration rates at field moisture for both modern and buried horizons are limited by water, suggesting dry environmental conditions may have helped to preserve SOM in the Brady Soil. We are investigating the potential for chemical stabilization of the dark SOM preserved in the buried paleosol by characterizing C chemistry using solid-state 13C-NMR spectroscopy. Furthermore, we plan to use lipid analyses and pyrolysis GC/MS to determine likely sources for the SOM: microbial vs plant. Combining information on the physical location of SOM in the soil, its chemical composition, decomposability

  14. Grassland birds wintering at U.S. Navy facilities in southern Texas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Woodin, Marc C.; Skoruppa, Mary Kay; Bryan, Pearce D.; Ruddy, Amanda J.; Hickman, Graham C.

    2010-01-01

    Grassland birds have undergone widespread decline throughout North America during the past several decades. Causes of this decline include habitat loss and fragmentation because of conversion of grasslands to cropland, afforestation in the East, brush and shrub invasion in the Southwest and western United States, and planting of exotic grass species to enhance forage production. A large number of exotic plant species, including grasses, have been introduced in North America, but most research on the effects of these invasions on birds has been limited to breeding birds, primarily those in northern latitudes. Research on the effects of exotic grasses on birds in winter has been extremely limited.This is the first study in southern Texas to examine and compare winter bird responses to native and exotic grasslands. This study was conducted during a period of six years (2003–2009) on United States Navy facilities in southern Texas including Naval Air Station–Corpus Christi, Naval Air Station–Kingsville, Naval Auxiliary Landing Field Waldron, Naval Auxiliary Landing Field Orange Grove, and Escondido Ranch, all of which contained examples of native grasslands, exotic grasslands, or both. Data from native and exotic grasslands were collected and compared for bird abundance and diversity; ground cover, vegetation density, and floristic diversity; bird and vegetation relationships; diversity of insects and arachnids; and seed abundance and diversity. Effects of management treatments in exotic grasslands were evaluated by comparing numbers and diversity of birds and small mammals in mowed, burned, and control areas.To determine bird abundance and bird species richness, birds were surveyed monthly (December–February) during the winters of 2003–2008 in transects (100 meter × 20 meter) located in native and exotic grasslands distributed at all five U.S. Navy facilities. To compare vegetation in native and exotic grasslands, vegetation characteristics were measured

  15. Protecting Mongolia's grassland steppes | CRDI - Centre de ...

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

    ... windy grassland region is severely damaged, desertification can quickly set in. ... to marketing to the sound use of (grassland) resources," explains Ykhanbai, who ... is going to require improvement in the skills of researchers, adds Ykhanbai.

  16. Vertically resolved concentration and liquid water content of atmospheric nanoparticles at the US DOE Southern Great Plains site

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    H. Chen

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Most prior field studies of new particle formation (NPF have been performed at or near ground level, leaving many unanswered questions regarding the vertical extent of NPF. To address this, we measured concentrations of 11–16 nm diameter particles from ground level to 1000 m during the 2013 New Particle Formation Study at the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement Southern Great Plains site in Lamont, Oklahoma. The measurements were performed using a tethered balloon carrying two condensation particle counters that were configured for two different particle cut-off diameters. These observations were compared to data from three scanning mobility particle sizers at the ground level. We observed that 11–16 nm diameter particles were generated at the top region of the boundary layer, and were then rapidly mixed throughout the boundary layer. We also estimate liquid water content of nanoparticles using ground-based measurements of particle hygroscopicity obtained with a Humidified Tandem Differential Mobility Analyzer and vertically resolved relative humidity (RH and temperature measured with a Raman lidar. Our analyses of these observations lead to the following conclusions regarding nanoparticles formed during NPF events at this site: (1 ground-based observations may not always accurately represent the timing, distribution, and meteorological conditions associated with the onset of NPF; (2 nanoparticles are highly hygroscopic and typically contain up to 50 % water by volume, and during conditions of high RH combined with high particle hygroscopicity, particles can be up to 95 % water by volume; (3 increased liquid water content of nanoparticles at high RH greatly enhances the partitioning of water-soluble species like organic acids into ambient nanoparticles.

  17. Vertically resolved concentration and liquid water content of atmospheric nanoparticles at the US DOE Southern Great Plains site

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Haihan; Hodshire, Anna L.; Ortega, John; Greenberg, James; McMurry, Peter H.; Carlton, Annmarie G.; Pierce, Jeffrey R.; Hanson, Dave R.; Smith, James N.

    2018-01-01

    Most prior field studies of new particle formation (NPF) have been performed at or near ground level, leaving many unanswered questions regarding the vertical extent of NPF. To address this, we measured concentrations of 11-16 nm diameter particles from ground level to 1000 m during the 2013 New Particle Formation Study at the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement Southern Great Plains site in Lamont, Oklahoma. The measurements were performed using a tethered balloon carrying two condensation particle counters that were configured for two different particle cut-off diameters. These observations were compared to data from three scanning mobility particle sizers at the ground level. We observed that 11-16 nm diameter particles were generated at the top region of the boundary layer, and were then rapidly mixed throughout the boundary layer. We also estimate liquid water content of nanoparticles using ground-based measurements of particle hygroscopicity obtained with a Humidified Tandem Differential Mobility Analyzer and vertically resolved relative humidity (RH) and temperature measured with a Raman lidar. Our analyses of these observations lead to the following conclusions regarding nanoparticles formed during NPF events at this site: (1) ground-based observations may not always accurately represent the timing, distribution, and meteorological conditions associated with the onset of NPF; (2) nanoparticles are highly hygroscopic and typically contain up to 50 % water by volume, and during conditions of high RH combined with high particle hygroscopicity, particles can be up to 95 % water by volume; (3) increased liquid water content of nanoparticles at high RH greatly enhances the partitioning of water-soluble species like organic acids into ambient nanoparticles.

  18. Toxicity of a glufosinate- and several glyphosate-based herbicides to juvenile amphibians from the Southern High Plains, USA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dinehart, Simon K; Smith, Loren M; McMurry, Scott T; Anderson, Todd A; Smith, Philip N; Haukos, David A

    2009-01-15

    Pesticide toxicity is often proposed as a contributing factor to the world-wide decline of amphibian populations. We assessed acute toxicity (48 h) of a glufosinate-based herbicide (Ignite 280 SL) and several glyphosate-based herbicide formulations (Roundup WeatherMAX, Roundup Weed and Grass Killer Super Concentrate, Roundup Weed and Grass Killer Ready-To-Use Plus on two species of amphibians housed on soil or moist paper towels. Survival of juvenile Great Plains toads (Bufo cognatus) and New Mexico spadefoots (Spea multiplicata) was reduced by exposure to Roundup Weed and Grass Killer Ready-To-Use Plus on both substrates. Great Plains toad survival was also reduced by exposure to Roundup Weed and Grass Killer Super Concentrate on paper towels. New Mexico spadefoot and Great Plains toad survival was not affected by exposure to the two agricultural herbicides (Roundup WeatherMAX and Ignite 280 SL) on either substrate, suggesting that these herbicides likely do not pose an immediate risk to these species under field conditions.

  19. Appreciation of the functions of grasslands by Irish stakeholders

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hennessy, D.; Pol-van Dasselaar, van den A.

    2014-01-01

    The European project MultiSward studied the appreciation of different functions of grasslands by European stakeholders. This paper describes the importance of grasslands for stakeholders in Ireland. Ireland currently has approximately 4.6 million ha of grassland, which is 90% of the total utilized

  20. Distinguishing Intensity Levels of Grassland Fertilization Using Vegetation Indices

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jens L. Hollberg

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Monitoring the reaction of grassland canopies on fertilizer application is of major importance to enable a well-adjusted management supporting a sustainable production of the grass crop. Up to date, grassland managers estimate the nutrient status and growth dynamics of grasslands by costly and time-consuming field surveys, which only provide low temporal and spatial data density. Grassland mapping using remotely-sensed Vegetation Indices (VIs has the potential to contribute to solving these problems. In this study, we explored the potential of VIs for distinguishing five differently-fertilized grassland communities. Therefore, we collected spectral signatures of these communities in a long-term fertilization experiment (since 1941 in Germany throughout the growing seasons 2012–2014. Fifteen VIs were calculated and their seasonal developments investigated. Welch tests revealed that the accuracy of VIs for distinguishing these grassland communities varies throughout the growing season. Thus, the selection of the most promising single VI for grassland mapping was dependent on the date of the spectra acquisition. A random forests classification using all calculated VIs reduced variations in classification accuracy within the growing season and provided a higher overall precision of classification. Thus, we recommend a careful selection of VIs for grassland mapping or the utilization of temporally-stable methods, i.e., including a set of VIs in the random forests algorithm.

  1. Ball Games of Native American Women of the Plains.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pesavento, Wilma J.

    The problem under investigation concerned (1) determining the ball games of Native American girls and women of the Great Plains, (2) determining the geographical spread of the games within the culture area, and (3) determining the characteristics of the various games. Data for this investigation were obtained from the 48 "Annual Reports of the…

  2. Grassland ecology and diversity (Ecologia y diversidad de pastizales)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laurie B. Abbott

    2006-01-01

    Grasslands of the Chihuahuan Desert region are ecologically and economically important. These grasslands are valued for their rangeland, wildlife, watershed, and recreation resources. Biological diversity also raises the value of grassland communities. The potential for multiple uses within the region increases as the diversity of the resource base increases. In order...

  3. Predation drives nesting success in moist highland grasslands: the ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    By focusing on process-oriented data rather than inventory-type data, this study provides a robust understanding of the effects of agricultural management on grassland bird reproductive output in the moist highland grasslands (MHGs) of South Africa. Four-hundred and four nests of 12 grassland-breeding bird species were ...

  4. Can conservation trump impacts of climate change on soil erosion? An assessment from winter wheat cropland in the Southern Great Plains of the United States

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jurgen D. Garbrecht

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available With the need to increase crop production to meet the needs of a growing population, protecting the productivity of our soil resource is essential. However, conservationists are concerned that conservation practices that were effective in the past may no longer be effective in the future under projected climate change. In winter wheat cropland in the Southern Great Plains of the U.S., increased precipitation intensity and increased aridity associated with warmer temperatures may pose increased risks of soil erosion from vulnerable soils and landscapes. This investigation was undertaken to determine which conservation practices would be necessary and sufficient to hold annual soil erosion by water under a high greenhouse gas emission scenario at or below the present soil erosion levels. Advances in and benefits of agricultural soil and water conservation over the last century in the United States are briefly reviewed, and challenges and climate uncertainties confronting resource conservation in this century are addressed. The Water Erosion Prediction Project (WEPP computer model was used to estimate future soil erosion by water from winter wheat cropland in Central Oklahoma and for 10 projected climates and 7 alternative conservation practices. A comparison with soil erosion values under current climate conditions and conventional tillage operations showed that, on average, a switch from conventional to conservation tillage would be sufficient to offset the average increase in soil erosion by water under most projected climates. More effective conservation practices, such as conservation tillage with a summer cover crop would be required to control soil erosion associated with the most severe climate projections. It was concluded that a broad range of conservation tools are available to agriculture to offset projected future increases in soil erosion by water even under assumed worst case climate change scenarios in Central Oklahoma. The problem

  5. The role of grasslands in food security and climate change.

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Mara, F P

    2012-11-01

    Grasslands are a major part of the global ecosystem, covering 37 % of the earth's terrestrial area. For a variety of reasons, mostly related to overgrazing and the resulting problems of soil erosion and weed encroachment, many of the world's natural grasslands are in poor condition and showing signs of degradation. This review examines their contribution to global food supply and to combating climate change. Grasslands make a significant contribution to food security through providing part of the feed requirements of ruminants used for meat and milk production. Globally, this is more important in food energy terms than pig meat and poultry meat. Grasslands are considered to have the potential to play a key role in greenhouse gas mitigation, particularly in terms of global carbon storage and further carbon sequestration. It is estimated that grazing land management and pasture improvement (e.g. through managing grazing intensity, improved productivity, etc) have a global technical mitigation potential of almost 1·5 Gt CO(2) equivalent in 2030, with additional mitigation possible from restoration of degraded lands. Milk and meat production from grassland systems in temperate regions has similar emissions of carbon dioxide per kilogram of product as mixed farming systems in temperate regions, and, if carbon sinks in grasslands are taken into account, grassland-based production systems can be as efficient as high-input systems from a greenhouse gas perspective. Grasslands are important for global food supply, contributing to ruminant milk and meat production. Extra food will need to come from the world's existing agricultural land base (including grasslands) as the total area of agricultural land has remained static since 1991. Ruminants are efficient converters of grass into humanly edible energy and protein and grassland-based food production can produce food with a comparable carbon footprint as mixed systems. Grasslands are a very important store of carbon, and

  6. [Fractal features of soil particle size in the process of desertification in desert grassland of Ningxia, China].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yan, Xin; An, Hui

    2017-10-01

    The variation of soil properties, the fractal dimension of soil particle size, and the relationships between fractal dimension of soil particle size and soil properties in the process of desertification in desert grassland of Ningxia were discussed. The results showed that the fractal dimension (D) at different desertification stages in desert grassland varied greatly, the value of D was between 1.69 and 2.62. Except for the 10-20 cm soil layer, the value of D gradually declined with increa sing desertification of desert grassland at 0-30 cm soil layer. In the process of desertification in de-sert grassland, the grassland had the highest values of D , the volume percentage of clay and silt, and the lowest values of the volume percentage of very fine sand and fine sand. However, the mobile dunes had the lowest value of D , the volume percentage of clay and silt, and the highest value of the volume percentage of very fine sand and fine sand. There was a significant positive correlation between the soil fractal dimension value and the volume percentage of soil particles 50 μm. The grain size of 50 μm was the critical value for deciding the relationship between the soil particle fractal dimension and the volume percentage. Soil organic matter (SOM) and total nitrogen (TN) decreased gradually with increasing desertification of desert grassland, but soil bulk density increased gradually. Qualitative change from fixed dunes to semi fixed dunes with the rapid decrease of the volume percentage of clay and silt, SOM, TN and the rapid increase of volume percentage of very fine sand and fine sand, soil bulk density. Fractal dimension was significantly correlated to SOM, TN and soil bulk density. Fractal dimension 2.58 was a critical value of fixed dunes and semi fixed dunes. So, the fractal dimension of 2.58 could be taken as the desertification indicator of desert grassland.

  7. Does Evapotranspiration Increase When Forests are converted to Grasslands?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Varcoe, Robert; Sterling, Shannon

    2017-04-01

    The conversion of forests to grasslands (FGC) is a widespread land cover change (LCC) and is also among the most commonly studied changes with respect to its impact on ET; such research employs a variety of experimental approaches, including, paired catchment (PC), Budyko and land surface models (LSM), and measurement methods, including the catchment water balance (CWB), eddy covariance (EC) and remote sensing (RS). Until recently, there has been consensus in the scientific literature that rates of ET decrease when a forest is converted to grassland; however, this consensus has recently come into question. Williams (2012) applied the Budyko framework to a global network of eddy covariance measurements with the results that grasslands have a 9% greater evaporative index than forests. In addition, HadGEM2, a recent Hadley Centre LSM, produced increased ET in the northern Amazon Basin after simulating global scale tropical deforestation (Brovkin et al., 2015). Here we present an analysis of available estimates of how ET rates change with FGC to increase our understanding of the forest - grassland-ET paradigm. We used two datasets to investigate the impacts land cover change on ET. I compiled a dataset of change in ET with land cover change (ΔETLCC) using published experiments that compare forest and grassland ET under conditions controlled for meteorological and landscape influences. Using the ΔETLCC dataset, we show that, in all cases, forest ET is higher than grassland under controlled conditions. Results suggest that the eddy covariance method measures smaller changes in ET when forests are converted to grasslands, though more data are needed for this result to be statistically significant. Finally, GETA2.0, a new global dataset of annual ET, projects that forest ET is greater than grassland, except at high latitudes and areas where orography influences precipitation (P). The data included in this study represent the data available on forest and grassland ET

  8. Strontium isotope geochemistry of groundwater in the central part of the Dakota (Great Plains) aquifer, USA

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gosselin, David C.; Edwin Harvey, F.; Frost, Carol; Stotler, Randy; Allen Macfarlane, P.

    2004-01-01

    The Dakota aquifer of the central and eastern Great Plains of the United States is an important source of water for municipal supplies, irrigation and industrial use. Although the regional flow system can be characterized generally as east to northeasterly from the Rocky Mountains towards the Missouri River, locally the flow systems are hydrologically complex. This study uses Sr isotopic data from groundwater and leached aquifer samples to document the complex subsystems within the Dakota aquifer in Nebraska and Kansas. The interaction of groundwater with the geologic material through which it flows has created spatial patterns in the isotopic measurements that are related to: long-term water-rock interaction, during which varying degrees of isotopic equilibrium between water and rock has been achieved; and the alteration of NaCl fluids by water-rock interaction. Specifically, Sr isotopic data distinguish brines from Kansas and western Nebraska from those in eastern Nebraska: the former are interpreted to reflect interaction with Permian rocks, whereas the latter record interaction with Pennsylvanian rocks. The Sr isotopic composition of groundwater from other parts of Nebraska and Kansas are a function of the dynamic interaction between groundwater and unlithified sediments (e.g., glacial till and loess), followed by interaction with oxidized and unoxidized sediments within the Dakota Formation. This study illustrates the power of combining Sr chemistry with more conventional geochemical data to obtain a more complete understanding of groundwater flow systems within regional aquifer systems where extensive monitoring networks do not exist

  9. Evaluation of semiarid grassland degradation in North China from multiple perspectives

    Science.gov (United States)

    Han, D.; Wang, G.; Xue, B. L.; Xu, X.

    2017-12-01

    There has been increasing interest in grassland ecosystem degradation resulting from intensive human activity and climate change, especially in arid and semiarid regions. Species composition, grassland desertification, and aboveground biomass (AGB) are used as indicators of grassland degradation in this study. We comprehensively analyzed variations in these three indicators in semiarid grassland in North China, on multiple time scales, based on MODIS products and field sampling datasets. Since 1984, species composition has become simpler and species indicative of grassland degradation, such as Potentilla acaulis and Artemisia frigida, have become dominant. These changes indicate that serious grassland degradation has occurred since 1984. Grassland degradation was also analyzed on shorter time scales. Analyses of interannual variations during 2005-2015 showed that desertification decreased and average AGB in the growth season increased over the study area, indicating that grassland was recovering. Analyses of spatial variations showed that the position of slightly desertified grassland shifted and formed a band in the west, where the lowest AGB in the growth season was recorded but tendency ratio of AGB increased from 2005 to 2015. Climatic factors had critical effects on grassland degradation, as identified by the three indicators on different time scales. The simpler species composition resulted from the increase in average temperature and decrease in average precipitation over the past 30 years. For nearly a decade, an increase in precipitation and decreases in temperature and potential evapotranspiration reduced desertification and increased AGB in the growth season overall. Consequently, there has distinct difference in grassland degradation between analysis results on above two time scales, indicating multiple perspectives should be considered to accurately assess the state and characteristics of grassland degradation.

  10. Spatial and temporal relationships between precipitation and ANPP of four types of grasslands in northern China

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    GUO Ran; WANG Xiao-ke; OUYANG Zhi-yun; LI Ying-nian

    2006-01-01

    Precipitation is considered to be the primary resource limiting terrestrial biological activity in water-limited regions. Its overriding effect on the production of grassland is complex. In this paper, field data of 48 sites (including temperate meadow steppe,temperate steppe, temperate desert steppe and alpine meadow) were gathered from 31 published papers and monographs to analyze the relationship between above-ground net primary productivity (ANPP) and precipitation by the method of regression analysis. The results indicated that there was a great difference between spatial pattern and temporal pattern by which precipitation influenced grassland ANPP. Mean annual precipitation (MAP) was the main factor determining spatial distribution of grassland ANPP (r2 = 0.61,P < 0.01); while temporally, no significant relationship was found between the variance of AN PP and inter-annual precipitation for the four types of grassland. However, after dividing annual precipitation into monthly value and taking time lag effect into account, the study found significant relationships between ANPP and precipitation. For the temperate meadow steppe, the key variable determining inter-annual change of ANPP was last August-May precipitation (r2= 0.47, P = 0.01); for the temperate steppe, the key variable was July precipitation (r2= 0.36, P = 0.02); for the temperate desert steppe, the key variable was April-June precipitation (r2= 0.51, P <0.01); for the alpine meadow, the key variable was last September-May precipitation (r2 = 0.29, P < 0.05). In comparison with analogous research, the study demonstrated that the key factor determining inter-annual changes of grassland ANPP was the cumulative precipitation in certain periods of that year or the previous year.

  11. Ecological mechanisms underlying arthropod species diversity in grasslands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Joern, Anthony; Laws, Angela N

    2013-01-01

    Arthropods are an important component of grassland systems, contributing significantly to biodiversity and ecosystem structure and function. Climate, fire, and grazing by large herbivores are important drivers in grasslands worldwide. Arthropod responses to these drivers are highly variable and clear patterns are difficult to find, but responses are largely indirect with respect to changes in resources, species interactions, habitat structure, and habitat heterogeneity resulting from interactions among fire, grazing, and climate. Here, we review these ecological mechanisms influencing grassland arthropod diversity. We summarize hypotheses describing species diversity at local and regional scales and then discuss specific factors that may affect arthropod diversity in grassland systems. These factors include direct and indirect effects of grazing, fire, and climate, species interactions, above- and belowground interactions, and landscape-level effects.

  12. SOWING GRASSLANDS – EFFICIENT SOLUTION FOR ZOOTEHNICAL PRODUCTION

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    VALENTINA OFELIA ROBESCU

    2008-05-01

    Full Text Available Recruitment is critical for the maintenance of plant populations and community diversity, but sexual regeneration is considered to be infrequent in climatically harsh habitats such as sub alpine grasslands. For this reasons it is very important to improve the grassland. In this paper we study the interaction among milk production, fertilizations and flower composition in sub alpine grasslands. The agrochemical indicators are important because they influence the pasture value and at the final the milk production.

  13. Spatial variation in seed bank dynamics of two annual brome species in the northern Great Plains

    Science.gov (United States)

    Annual bromes decrease forage production in northern central plains rangelands of North America. Early life history stages are when plants are most failure-prone, yet studying death post-germination and prior to emergence is difficult. In seed bank collections conducted over the course of two growin...

  14. Land-use intensification causes multitrophic homogenization of grassland communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gossner, Martin M; Lewinsohn, Thomas M; Kahl, Tiemo; Grassein, Fabrice; Boch, Steffen; Prati, Daniel; Birkhofer, Klaus; Renner, Swen C; Sikorski, Johannes; Wubet, Tesfaye; Arndt, Hartmut; Baumgartner, Vanessa; Blaser, Stefan; Blüthgen, Nico; Börschig, Carmen; Buscot, Francois; Diekötter, Tim; Jorge, Leonardo Ré; Jung, Kirsten; Keyel, Alexander C; Klein, Alexandra-Maria; Klemmer, Sandra; Krauss, Jochen; Lange, Markus; Müller, Jörg; Overmann, Jörg; Pašalić, Esther; Penone, Caterina; Perović, David J; Purschke, Oliver; Schall, Peter; Socher, Stephanie A; Sonnemann, Ilja; Tschapka, Marco; Tscharntke, Teja; Türke, Manfred; Venter, Paul Christiaan; Weiner, Christiane N; Werner, Michael; Wolters, Volkmar; Wurst, Susanne; Westphal, Catrin; Fischer, Markus; Weisser, Wolfgang W; Allan, Eric

    2016-12-08

    Land-use intensification is a major driver of biodiversity loss. Alongside reductions in local species diversity, biotic homogenization at larger spatial scales is of great concern for conservation. Biotic homogenization means a decrease in β-diversity (the compositional dissimilarity between sites). Most studies have investigated losses in local (α)-diversity and neglected biodiversity loss at larger spatial scales. Studies addressing β-diversity have focused on single or a few organism groups (for example, ref. 4), and it is thus unknown whether land-use intensification homogenizes communities at different trophic levels, above- and belowground. Here we show that even moderate increases in local land-use intensity (LUI) cause biotic homogenization across microbial, plant and animal groups, both above- and belowground, and that this is largely independent of changes in α-diversity. We analysed a unique grassland biodiversity dataset, with abundances of more than 4,000 species belonging to 12 trophic groups. LUI, and, in particular, high mowing intensity, had consistent effects on β-diversity across groups, causing a homogenization of soil microbial, fungal pathogen, plant and arthropod communities. These effects were nonlinear and the strongest declines in β-diversity occurred in the transition from extensively managed to intermediate intensity grassland. LUI tended to reduce local α-diversity in aboveground groups, whereas the α-diversity increased in belowground groups. Correlations between the β-diversity of different groups, particularly between plants and their consumers, became weaker at high LUI. This suggests a loss of specialist species and is further evidence for biotic homogenization. The consistently negative effects of LUI on landscape-scale biodiversity underscore the high value of extensively managed grasslands for conserving multitrophic biodiversity and ecosystem service provision. Indeed, biotic homogenization rather than local diversity

  15. Spring soil moisture-precipitation feedback in the Southern Great Plains: How is it related to large-scale atmospheric conditions?

    KAUST Repository

    Su, Hua

    2014-02-22

    The Southern Great Plains (SGP) has been shown as a region of significant soil moisture-precipitation (S-P) coupling. However, how strong evapotranspiration (ET) can affect regional precipitation remains largely unclear, impeding a full grasp of the S-P feedback in that area. The current study seeks to unravel, in a spring month (April), the potential role played by large-scale atmospheric conditions in shaping S (ET)-P feedback. Our regional climate modeling experiments demonstrate that the presence of anomalous low (high) pressure and cyclonic (anticyclonic) flows at the upper/middle troposphere over the relevant areas is associated with strongest (minimum) positive S-P feedback in the SGP. Their impacts are interpreted in terms of large-scale atmospheric dynamical disturbance, including the intensity and location of synoptic eddies. Further analyses of the vertical velocity fields corroborate these interpretations. In addition, the relationship between lower tropospheric moisture conditions (including winds) and feedback composites is evaluated. Key Points The S-P feedback strength in SGP in April varies inter-annually The atmospheric dynamic features affect significantly the feedback strength composite moisture conditions are related to atmospheric circulation structure ©2014. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.

  16. Spring soil moisture-precipitation feedback in the Southern Great Plains: How is it related to large-scale atmospheric conditions?

    KAUST Repository

    Su, Hua; Yang, Zong-Liang; Dickinson, Robert E.; Wei, Jiangfeng

    2014-01-01

    The Southern Great Plains (SGP) has been shown as a region of significant soil moisture-precipitation (S-P) coupling. However, how strong evapotranspiration (ET) can affect regional precipitation remains largely unclear, impeding a full grasp of the S-P feedback in that area. The current study seeks to unravel, in a spring month (April), the potential role played by large-scale atmospheric conditions in shaping S (ET)-P feedback. Our regional climate modeling experiments demonstrate that the presence of anomalous low (high) pressure and cyclonic (anticyclonic) flows at the upper/middle troposphere over the relevant areas is associated with strongest (minimum) positive S-P feedback in the SGP. Their impacts are interpreted in terms of large-scale atmospheric dynamical disturbance, including the intensity and location of synoptic eddies. Further analyses of the vertical velocity fields corroborate these interpretations. In addition, the relationship between lower tropospheric moisture conditions (including winds) and feedback composites is evaluated. Key Points The S-P feedback strength in SGP in April varies inter-annually The atmospheric dynamic features affect significantly the feedback strength composite moisture conditions are related to atmospheric circulation structure ©2014. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.

  17. Land Use Effects on Net Greenhouse Gas Fluxes in the US Great Plains: Historical Trends and Model Projections

    Science.gov (United States)

    Del Grosso, S. J.; Parton, W. J.; Ojima, D. S.; Mosier, A. R.; Mosier, A. R.; Paustian, K.; Peterson, G. A.

    2001-12-01

    We present maps showing regional patterns of land use change and soil C levels in the US Great Plains during the 20th century and time series of net greenhouse gas fluxes associated with different land uses. Net greenhouse gas fluxes were calculated by accounting for soil CO2 fluxes, the CO2 equivalents of N2O emissions and CH4 uptake, and the CO2 costs of N fertilizer production. Both historical and modern agriculture in this region have been net sources of greenhouse gases. The primary reason for this, prior to 1950, is that agriculture mined soil C and resulted in net CO2 emissions. When chemical N fertilizer became widely used in the 1950's agricultural soils began to sequester CO2-C but these soils were still net greenhouse gas sources if the effects of increased N2O emissions and decreased CH4 uptake are included. The sensitivity of net greenhouse gas fluxes to conventional and alternative land uses was explored using the DAYCENT ecosystem model. Model projections suggest that conversion to no-till, reduction of the fallow period, and use of nitrification inhibitors can significantly decrease net greenhouse gas emissions in dryland and irrigated systems, while maintaining or increasing crop yields.

  18. Evaluation of the North American Land Data Assimilation System over the southern Great Plains during the warm season

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robock, Alan; Luo, Lifeng; Wood, Eric F.; Wen, Fenghua; Mitchell, Kenneth E.; Houser, Paul R.; Schaake, John C.; Lohmann, Dag; Cosgrove, Brian; Sheffield, Justin; Duan, Qingyun; Higgins, R. Wayne; Pinker, Rachel T.; Tarpley, J. Dan; Basara, Jeffery B.; Crawford, Kenneth C.

    2003-11-01

    North American Land Data Assimilation System (NLDAS) land surface models have been run for a retrospective period forced by atmospheric observations from the Eta analysis and actual precipitation and downward solar radiation to calculate land hydrology. We evaluated these simulations using in situ observations over the southern Great Plains for the periods of May-September of 1998 and 1999 by comparing the model outputs with surface latent, sensible, and ground heat fluxes at 24 Atmospheric Radiation Measurement/Cloud and Radiation Testbed stations and with soil temperature and soil moisture observations at 72 Oklahoma Mesonet stations. The standard NLDAS models do a fairly good job but with differences in the surface energy partition and in soil moisture between models and observations and among models during the summer, while they agree quite well on the soil temperature simulations. To investigate why, we performed a series of experiments accounting for differences between model-specified soil types and vegetation and those observed at the stations, and differences in model treatment of different soil types, vegetation properties, canopy resistance, soil column depth, rooting depth, root density, snow-free albedo, infiltration, aerodynamic resistance, and soil thermal diffusivity. The diagnosis and model enhancements demonstrate how the models can be improved so that they can be used in actual data assimilation mode.

  19. Site scientific mission plan for the southern great plains CART site January-June 2000.; TOPICAL

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Peppler, R. A.; Sisterson, D. L.; Lamb, P.

    2001-01-01

    The Southern Great Plains (SGP) Cloud and Radiation Testbed (CART) site was designed to help satisfy the data needs of the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Program Science Team. This Site Scientific Mission Plan defines the scientific priorities for site activities during the six months beginning on January 1, 2000, and looks forward in less detail to subsequent six-month periods. The primary purpose of this document is to provide scientific guidance for the development of plans for site operations. It also provides information on current plans to the ARM functional teams (Management Team, Data and Science Integration Team[DSIT], Operations Team, and Instrument Team[IT]) and serves to disseminate the plans more generally within the ARM Program and among the members of the Science Team. This document includes a description of the operational status of the site and the primary site activities envisioned, together with information concerning approved and proposed intensive observation periods (IOPs). The primary users of this document are the site operator, the site program manager, the Site Scientist Team (SST), the Science Team through the ARM Program science director, the ARM Program Experiment Center, and the aforementioned ARM Program functional teams. This plan is a living document that is updated and reissued every six months as the observational facilities are developed, tested, and augmented and as priorities are adjusted in response to developments in scientific planning and understanding. With this issue, many aspects of earlier Site Scientific Mission Plan reports have been moved to ARM sites on the World Wide Web. This report and all previous reports are available on the SGP CART web site

  20. Productivity and CO2 exchange of Great Plains ecoregions. I. Shortgrass steppe: Flux tower estimates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gilmanov, Tagir G.; Morgan, Jack A.; Hanan, Niall P.; Wylie, Bruce K.; Rajan, Nithya; Smith, David P.; Howard, Daniel M.

    2017-01-01

    The shortgrass steppe (SGS) occupies the southwestern part of the Great Plains. Half of the land is cultivated, but significant areas remain under natural vegetation. Despite previous studies of the SGS carbon cycle, not all aspects have been completely addressed, including gross productivity, ecosystem respiration, and ecophysiological parameters. Our analysis of 1998 − 2007 flux tower measurements at five Bowen ratio–energy balance (BREB) and three eddy covariance (EC) sites characterized seasonal and interannual variability of gross photosynthesis and ecosystem respiration. Identification of the nonrectangular hyperbolic equation for the diurnal CO2 exchange, with vapor pressure deficit (VPD) limitation and exponential temperature response, quantified quantum yield α, photosynthetic capacity Amax, and respiration rate rd with variation ranges (19 \\production from − 900 to + 700 g CO2 m− 2 yr− 1, indicating that SGS may switch from a sink to a source depending on weather. Comparison of the 2004 − 2006 measurements at two BREB and two parallel EC flux towers located at comparable SGS sites showed moderately higher photosynthesis, lower respiration, and higher net production at the BREB than EC sites. However, the difference was not related only to methodologies, as the normalized difference vegetation index at the BREB sites was higher than at the EC sites. Overall magnitudes and seasonal patterns at the BREB and the EC sites during the 3-yr period were similar, with trajectories within the ± 1.5 standard deviation around the mean of the four sites and mostly reflecting the effects of meteorology.

  1. Net ecosystem productivity and carbon dynamics of the traditionally managed Imperata grasslands of North East India.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pathak, Karabi; Malhi, Yadvinder; Sileshi, G W; Das, Ashesh Kumar; Nath, Arun Jyoti

    2018-09-01

    There have been few comprehensive descriptions of how fire management and harvesting affect the carbon dynamics of grasslands. Grasslands dominated by the invasive weed Imperata cylindrica are considered as environmental threats causing low land productivity throughout the moist tropical regions in Asia. Imperata grasslands in North East India are unique in that they are traditionally managed and culturally important in the rural landscapes. Given the importance of fire in the management of Imperata grassland, we aimed to assess (i) the seasonal pattern of biomass production, (ii) the eventual pathways for the produced biomass, partitioned between in situ decomposition, harvesting and combustion, and (iii) the effect of customary fire management on the ecosystem carbon cycle. Comparatively high biomass production was recorded during pre-monsoon (154 g m -2  month -1 ) and monsoon (214 g m -2  month -1 ) compared to the post-monsoon (91 g m -2  month -1 ) season, and this is attributed to nutrient return into the soil immediately after fire in February. Post fire effects might have killed roots and rhizomes leading to high belowground litter production 30-35 g m -2 during March to August. High autotrophic respiration was recorded during March-July, which was related to high belowground biomass production (35-70 g m -2 ) during that time. Burning removed all the surface litter in March and this appeared to hinder surface decomposition and result in low heterotrophic respiration. Annual total biomass carbon production was estimated at 886 g C m -2 . Annual harvest of biomass (estimated at 577 g C m -2 ) was the major pathway for carbon fluxes from the system. Net ecosystem production (NEP) of Imperata grassland was estimated at 91 g C m -2  yr -1 indicating that these grasslands are a net sink of CO 2 , although this is greatly influenced by weather and fire management. Crown Copyright © 2018. Published by Elsevier B

  2. Developments Related to Tourism and Their Effects in Debrecen Following the Turn of the Millennium (Northern Great Plain Region, Hungary Success Or Failure?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mária Vasvári

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available The present paper focuses on the developments related to tourism and their effects in Debrecen, the largest city in the Northern Great Plain Region most of all in the time period after the country joining the European Union. The tourist industrial development regarding the infrastructure and supra-structure inDebrecen is presented. These developed further the traditionally popular attractions (Great Forest of the city. Relationship between the demand and reception conditions are described reflecting statistic data and the role of Debrecen in the market is analysed in relation to several other greater towns of the country. Data reveal that the number of visitors did not increase despite the developments related to tourism in the years following the turn of the millennium, even so it decreased after 2008 similarly to other greater towns of the country. Our questionnaire survey performed among the inhabitants and visitors as well revealed that the realized investments and the produced new attractions have only a slight role in attracting the target audience. Still the traditionally popular attractions attract most of the visitors to Debrecen therefore the most important task for the leaders of the Debrecen-Hortobágy Tourism Destination Management founded in 2010 is to propagate the new attraction elements.

  3. Application of Multi-Source Remote Sensing Image in Yunnan Province Grassland Resources Investigation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, J.; Wen, G.; Li, D.

    2018-04-01

    Trough mastering background information of Yunnan province grassland resources utilization and ecological conditions to improves grassland elaborating management capacity, it carried out grassland resource investigation work by Yunnan province agriculture department in 2017. The traditional grassland resource investigation method is ground based investigation, which is time-consuming and inefficient, especially not suitable for large scale and hard-to-reach areas. While remote sensing is low cost, wide range and efficient, which can reflect grassland resources present situation objectively. It has become indispensable grassland monitoring technology and data sources and it has got more and more recognition and application in grassland resources monitoring research. This paper researches application of multi-source remote sensing image in Yunnan province grassland resources investigation. First of all, it extracts grassland resources thematic information and conducts field investigation through BJ-2 high space resolution image segmentation. Secondly, it classifies grassland types and evaluates grassland degradation degree through high resolution characteristics of Landsat 8 image. Thirdly, it obtained grass yield model and quality classification through high resolution and wide scanning width characteristics of MODIS images and sample investigate data. Finally, it performs grassland field qualitative analysis through UAV remote sensing image. According to project area implementation, it proves that multi-source remote sensing data can be applied to the grassland resources investigation in Yunnan province and it is indispensable method.

  4. Rare Earth Elements (REE Deposits Associated with Great Plain Margin Deposits (Alkaline-Related, Southwestern United States and Eastern Mexico

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Virginia T. McLemore

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available W.G. Lindgren in 1933 first noted that a belt of alkaline-igneous rocks extends along the eastern edge of the Rocky Mountains and Basin and Range provinces from Alaska and British Columbia southward into New Mexico, Trans-Pecos Texas, and eastern Mexico and that these rocks contain relatively large quantities of important commodities such as, gold, fluorine, zirconium, rare earth elements (REE, tellurium, gallium, and other critical elements. In New Mexico, these deposits were called Great Plain Margin (GPM deposits, because this north-south belt of alkaline-igneous rocks roughly coincides with crustal thickening along the margin between the Great Plains physiographic province with the Basin and Range (including the Rio Grande rift and Rocky Mountains physiographic provinces, which extends into Trans-Pecos Texas and eastern Mexico. Since 1996, only minor exploration and development of these deposits in New Mexico, Texas, and eastern Mexico has occurred because of low commodity prices, permitting issues, and environmental concerns. However, as the current demand for gold and critical elements, such as REE and tellurium has increased, new exploration programs have encouraged additional research on the geology of these deposits. The lack of abundant quartz in these systems results in these deposits being less resistant to erosion, being covered, and not as well exposed as other types of quartz-rich deposits, therefore additional undiscovered alkaline-related gold and REE deposits are likely in these areas. Deposits of Th-REE-fluorite (±U, Nb epithermal veins and breccias are found in the several GPM districts, but typically do not contain significant gold, although trace amounts of gold are found in most GPM districts. Gold-rich deposits in these districts tend to have moderate to low REE and anomalously high tungsten and sporadic amounts of tellurium. Carbonatites are only found in New Mexico and Mexico. The diversity of igneous rocks, including

  5. Exacerbated grassland degradation and desertification in Central Asia during 2000-2014.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Geli; Biradar, Chandrashekhar M; Xiao, Xiangming; Dong, Jinwei; Zhou, Yuting; Qin, Yuanwei; Zhang, Yao; Liu, Fang; Ding, Mingjun; Thomas, Richard J

    2018-03-01

    Grassland degradation and desertification is a complex process, including both state conversion (e.g., grasslands to deserts) and gradual within-state change (e.g., greenness dynamics). Existing studies hardly separated the two components and analyzed it as a whole based on time series vegetation index data, which cannot provide a clear and comprehensive picture for grassland degradation and desertification. Here we propose an integrated assessment strategy, by considering both state conversion and within-state change of grasslands, to investigate grassland degradation and desertification process in Central Asia. First, annual maps of grasslands and sparsely vegetated land were generated to track the state conversions between them. The results showed increasing grasslands were converted to sparsely vegetated lands from 2000 to 2014, with the desertification region concentrating in the latitude range of 43-48° N. A frequency analysis of grassland vs. sparsely vegetated land classification in the last 15 yr allowed a recognition of persistent desert zone (PDZ), persistent grassland zone (PGZ), and transitional zone (TZ). The TZ was identified in southern Kazakhstan as one hotspot that was unstable and vulnerable to desertification. Furthermore, the trend analysis of Enhanced Vegetation Index during thermal growing season (EVI TGS ) was investigated in individual zones using linear regression and Mann-Kendall approaches. An overall degradation across the area was found; moreover, the second desertification hotspot was identified in northern Kazakhstan with significant decreasing in EVI TGS , which was located in PGZ. Finally, attribution analyses of grassland degradation and desertification were conducted by considering precipitation, temperature, and three different drought indices. We found persistent droughts were the main factor for grassland degradation and desertification in Central Asia. Considering both state conversion and gradual within-state change

  6. Grassland ecology and population growth: striking a balance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hou, D; Duan, C; Zhang, D

    2000-06-01

    Degradation of forest and grasslands in western China attributes to the soil erosion and desertification in the country. Researchers have established that the primary reason for the degradation of grasslands is overgrazing, which in turn is caused by a number of factors, including over-population and over-reliance on animal husbandry. In addition, the existing administrative system has also proved ineffective in ensuring sustainable development. On contrary, many local governments even encourage exploitative development of grassland; thus, localities opened up grassland for growing crops in an effort to increase income. According to estimates, degraded grassland accounts for more than one-third of utilizable acreage and another one-third suffers from a profusion of rats and pests. To redress the situation, central government should implement strategies in achieving sustainable development, such as providing banking and tax incentives for the development of the secondary and tertiary industries, and supporting education and training of youths from herding areas. Moreover, government should increase spending on infrastructural construction and ecological preservation. Finally, the family planning program needs to be enforced to control population growth and improve the quality of peoples¿ lives.

  7. Grassland carbon sequestration and emissions following cultivation in a mixed crop rotation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Acharya, Bharat Sharma; Rasmussen, Jim; Eriksen, Jørgen

    2012-01-01

    Grasslands are potential carbon sinks to reduce unprecedented increase in atmospheric CO2. Effect of age (1–4-year-old) and management (slurry, grazing multispecies mixture) of a grass phase mixed crop rotation on carbon sequestration and emissions upon cultivation was compared with 17-year...... biomass was highest in 4-year-old grassland, but all 1–4-year-old grasslands were in between the pea field (0.81 ± 0.094 g kg−1 soil) and the 17-year-old grassland (3.17 ± 0.22 g kg−1 soil). Grazed grasslands had significantly higher root biomass than cut grasslands. There was no significant difference...... in the CO2 emissions within 1–4-year-old grasslands. Only the 17-year-old grassland showed markedly higher CO2 emissions (4.9 ± 1.1 g CO2 kg−1 soil). Differences in aboveground and root biomass did not affect CO2 emissions, and slurry application did not either. The substantial increase in root biomass...

  8. Functional Trait Changes, Productivity Shifts and Vegetation Stability in Mountain Grasslands during a Short-Term Warming.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Debouk, Haifa; de Bello, Francesco; Sebastià, Maria-Teresa

    2015-01-01

    Plant functional traits underlie vegetation responses to environmental changes such as global warming, and consequently influence ecosystem processes. While most of the existing studies focus on the effect of warming only on species diversity and productivity, we further investigated (i) how the structure of community plant functional traits in temperate grasslands respond to experimental warming, and (ii) whether species and functional diversity contribute to a greater stability of grasslands, in terms of vegetation composition and productivity. Intact vegetation turves were extracted from temperate subalpine grassland (highland) in the Eastern Pyrenees and transplanted into a warm continental, experimental site in Lleida, in Western Catalonia (lowland). The impacts of simulated warming on plant production and diversity, functional trait structure, and vegetation compositional stability were assessed. We observed an increase in biomass and a reduction in species and functional diversity under short-term warming. The functional structure of the grassland communities changed significantly, in terms of functional diversity and community-weighted means (CWM) for several traits. Acquisitive and fast-growing species with higher SLA, early flowering, erect growth habit, and rhizomatous strategy became dominant in the lowland. Productivity was significantly positively related to species, and to a lower extent, functional diversity, but productivity and stability after warming were more dependent on trait composition (CWM) than on diversity. The turves with more acquisitive species before warming changed less in composition after warming. Results suggest that (i) the short-term warming can lead to the dominance of acquisitive fast growing species over conservative species, thus reducing species richness, and (ii) the functional traits structure in grassland communities had a greater influence on the productivity and stability of the community under short-term warming

  9. Functional Trait Changes, Productivity Shifts and Vegetation Stability in Mountain Grasslands during a Short-Term Warming.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Haifa Debouk

    Full Text Available Plant functional traits underlie vegetation responses to environmental changes such as global warming, and consequently influence ecosystem processes. While most of the existing studies focus on the effect of warming only on species diversity and productivity, we further investigated (i how the structure of community plant functional traits in temperate grasslands respond to experimental warming, and (ii whether species and functional diversity contribute to a greater stability of grasslands, in terms of vegetation composition and productivity. Intact vegetation turves were extracted from temperate subalpine grassland (highland in the Eastern Pyrenees and transplanted into a warm continental, experimental site in Lleida, in Western Catalonia (lowland. The impacts of simulated warming on plant production and diversity, functional trait structure, and vegetation compositional stability were assessed. We observed an increase in biomass and a reduction in species and functional diversity under short-term warming. The functional structure of the grassland communities changed significantly, in terms of functional diversity and community-weighted means (CWM for several traits. Acquisitive and fast-growing species with higher SLA, early flowering, erect growth habit, and rhizomatous strategy became dominant in the lowland. Productivity was significantly positively related to species, and to a lower extent, functional diversity, but productivity and stability after warming were more dependent on trait composition (CWM than on diversity. The turves with more acquisitive species before warming changed less in composition after warming. Results suggest that (i the short-term warming can lead to the dominance of acquisitive fast growing species over conservative species, thus reducing species richness, and (ii the functional traits structure in grassland communities had a greater influence on the productivity and stability of the community under short

  10. Moistening of the northern North American Great Plains enhances land-atmosphere coupling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gerken, T.; Bromley, G. T.; Stoy, P. C.

    2017-12-01

    Land use change impacts planetary boundary layer processes and regional climate by altering the magnitude and timing of water and energy flux into the atmosphere. In the North American Great Plains (NGP), a decline in the practice of summer fallow on the order of 20 Mha from the 1970s until the present has coincided with a decrease in summertime radiative forcing, on the order of 6 W m-2. MERRA 2 (Modern-Era Retrospective analysis for Research and Applications) for the area near Fort Peck, Montana, (a FLUXNET site established in 2000) shows a decrease of summertime (June-August) sensible heat fluxes ranging from -3.6 to -8.5 W m-2 decade-1, associated with an increase of latent heat fluxes (5.2-9.1 W m-2 decade-1) since the 1980s. Net radiation changed little. The result was a strong decrease of summer Bowen ratios from 1.5-2 in 1980 to approximately 1 in 2015. Findings are consistent with the effects on increased summertime evapotranspiration due to reduction in summer fallow that should lead to smaller Bowen ratios and a larger build-up of moist static energy. We use a mixed-layer (ML) atmospheric modeling framework to further investigate the impact of the surface energy balance on convective development and local land-atmosphere coupling in the NGP. Using summertime eddy covariance data from Fort Peck and atmospheric soundings from the nearby Glasgow airport, we compare the development of modeled ML and lifted condensation level (LCL) to find times of ML exceeding LCL, a necessary but not sufficient condition for the occurrence of convective precipitation. We establish that the ML model adequately captures ML heights and timing of locally triggered convection at the site and that there is a c. 10% increase in modeled convection permitting conditions today compared to 1975-85 in response to ML-moistening and decreasing Bo. We find that growing season land-atmosphere coupling develops from wet preference in May to dry coupling in July and atmospheric suppression

  11. A Prototype Physical Database for Passive Microwave Retrievals of Precipitation over the US Southern Great Plains

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ringerud, S.; Kummerow, C. D.; Peters-Lidard, C. D.

    2015-01-01

    An accurate understanding of the instantaneous, dynamic land surface emissivity is necessary for a physically based, multi-channel passive microwave precipitation retrieval scheme over land. In an effort to assess the feasibility of the physical approach for land surfaces, a semi-empirical emissivity model is applied for calculation of the surface component in a test area of the US Southern Great Plains. A physical emissivity model, using land surface model data as input, is used to calculate emissivity at the 10GHz frequency, combining contributions from the underlying soil and vegetation layers, including the dielectric and roughness effects of each medium. An empirical technique is then applied, based upon a robust set of observed channel covariances, extending the emissivity calculations to all channels. For calculation of the hydrometeor contribution, reflectivity profiles from the Tropical Rainfall Measurement Mission Precipitation Radar (TRMM PR) are utilized along with coincident brightness temperatures (Tbs) from the TRMM Microwave Imager (TMI), and cloud-resolving model profiles. Ice profiles are modified to be consistent with the higher frequency microwave Tbs. Resulting modeled top of the atmosphere Tbs show correlations to observations of 0.9, biases of 1K or less, root-mean-square errors on the order of 5K, and improved agreement over the use of climatological emissivity values. The synthesis of these models and data sets leads to the creation of a simple prototype Tb database that includes both dynamic surface and atmospheric information physically consistent with the land surface model, emissivity model, and atmospheric information.

  12. 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.

  13. The Eurasian Dry Grassland Group (EDGG in 2016–2017

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Venn Stephen

    2018-06-01

    Full Text Available This report summarizes the activities and achievements of the Eurasian Dry Grassland Group (EDGG from mid-2016 through to the end of 2017. During this period, the 13th Eurasian Grassland Conference took place in Sighişoara, Romania, and the 14th conference was held in Riga, Latvia. The 10th EDGG Field Workshop on Biodiversity patterns across a precipitation gradient in the Central Apennine mountains was conducted in the Central Apennines, Italy, this time in addition to multi-scale sampling of vascular plants, bryophytes and lichens, also including one animal group (leaf hoppers. Apart from the quarterly issues of its own electronic journal (Bulletin of the Eurasian Dry Grassland Group, EDGG also finalised five grassland-related Special Features/Issues during the past 1.5 years in the following international journals: Applied Vegetation Science, Biodiversity and Conservation, Phytocoenologia, Tuexenia and Hacquetia. Beyond that, EDGG facilitated various national and supra-national vegetationplot databases of grasslands and established its own specialised database for standardised multi-scale plot data of Palaearctic grasslands (GrassPlot.

  14. The Use of Remote Sensing for Monitoring, Prediction, and Management of Hydrologic, Agricultural, and Ecological Processes in the Northern Great Plains

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farwell, Sherry O.; DeTroye, Diane (Technical Monitor)

    2002-01-01

    The NASA-EPSCoR program in South Dakota is focused on the enhancement of NASA-related research in earth system science and corresponding infrastructure development to support this theme. Hence, the program has adopted a strategy that keys on research projects that: a) establish quantitative links between geospatial information technologies and fundamental climatic and ecosystem processes in the Northern Great Plains (NGP) and b) develop and use coupled modeling tools, which can be initialized by data from combined satellite and surface measurements, to provide reliable predictions and management guidance for hydrologic, agricultural, and ecological systems of the NGP. Building a partnership network that includes both internal and external team members is recognized as an essential element of the SD NASA-EPSCoR program. Hence, promoting and tracking such linkages along with their relevant programmatic consequences are used as one metric to assess the program's progress and success. This annual report first summarizes general activities and accomplishments, and then provides progress narratives for the two separate, yet related research projects that are essential components of the SD NASA-EPSCoR program.

  15. Acute and chronic toxicity of Roundup Weathermax and Ignite 280 SL to larval Spea multiplicata and S. bombifrons from the Southern High Plains, USA

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Dinehart, Simon K., E-mail: simon.dinehart@okstate.ed [Department of Zoology, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK 74078 (United States); Smith, Loren M.; McMurry, Scott T. [Department of Zoology, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK 74078 (United States); Smith, Philip N.; Anderson, Todd A. [Institute of Environmental and Human Health, Texas Tech University, Box 41163, Lubbock, TX 79409 (United States); Haukos, David A. [U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, MS 2125, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX 79409 (United States)

    2010-08-15

    Pesticides have been implicated in widespread amphibian declines. We assessed acute and chronic toxicity of two widely used herbicides to larval New Mexico (Spea multiplicata) and Plains (S. bombifrons) spadefoots from cropland and native grassland playas. Roundup WeatherMAX (WM) toxicity estimates (48- and 216-h LC{sub 50}; 48-h LC{sub 1}) for both species were similar to environmental concentrations expected from accidental overspray. Chronic (30-day) exposure to WM at predicted environmental concentrations (2.0 and 2.8 mg glyphosate acid equivalents/L) reduced survival of both species. Ignite 280 SL (IG) toxicity estimates (48-h LC{sub 50} and LC{sub 1}) for both species were above predicted environmental concentrations of 1.0 mg glufosinate/L. Chronic exposure to predicted environmental concentrations of IG did not reduce survival of either species. Toxicity test results suggest that at predicted environmental concentrations IG would not cause extensive mortalities among larval New Mexico and Plains spadefoots. However, WM may cause extensive mortality among larvae of these species. - Roundup WeatherMAX may cause extensive mortality among larval New Mexico and Plains spadefoots; it is unlikely that exposure to Ignite 280 SL would result in extensive mortalities.

  16. Acute and chronic toxicity of Roundup Weathermax and Ignite 280 SL to larval Spea multiplicata and S. bombifrons from the Southern High Plains, USA

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dinehart, Simon K.; Smith, Loren M.; McMurry, Scott T.; Smith, Philip N.; Anderson, Todd A.; Haukos, David A.

    2010-01-01

    Pesticides have been implicated in widespread amphibian declines. We assessed acute and chronic toxicity of two widely used herbicides to larval New Mexico (Spea multiplicata) and Plains (S. bombifrons) spadefoots from cropland and native grassland playas. Roundup WeatherMAX (WM) toxicity estimates (48- and 216-h LC 50 ; 48-h LC 1 ) for both species were similar to environmental concentrations expected from accidental overspray. Chronic (30-day) exposure to WM at predicted environmental concentrations (2.0 and 2.8 mg glyphosate acid equivalents/L) reduced survival of both species. Ignite 280 SL (IG) toxicity estimates (48-h LC 50 and LC 1 ) for both species were above predicted environmental concentrations of 1.0 mg glufosinate/L. Chronic exposure to predicted environmental concentrations of IG did not reduce survival of either species. Toxicity test results suggest that at predicted environmental concentrations IG would not cause extensive mortalities among larval New Mexico and Plains spadefoots. However, WM may cause extensive mortality among larvae of these species. - Roundup WeatherMAX may cause extensive mortality among larval New Mexico and Plains spadefoots; it is unlikely that exposure to Ignite 280 SL would result in extensive mortalities.

  17. Correlations of soil-gas and indoor radon with geology in glacially derived soils of the northern Great Plains

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Schumann, R.R.; Owen, D.E.; Peake, R.T.; Schmidt, K.M.

    1990-01-01

    This paper reports that a higher percentage of homes in parts of the northern Great Plains underlain by soils derived from continental glacial deposits have elevated indoor radon levels (greater than 4 pCi/L) than any other area in the country. Soil-gas radon concentrations, surface radioactivity, indoor radon levels, and soil characteristics were studied in areas underlain by glacially-derived soils in North Dakota and Minnesota to examine the factors responsible for these elevated levels. Clay-rich till soils in North Dakota have generally higher soil-gas radon levels, and correspondingly higher indoor radon levels, than the sandy till soils common to west-central Minnesota. Although the proportions of homes with indoor radon levels greater than 4 pCi/L are similar in both areas, relatively few homes underlain by sandy tills have screening indoor radon levels greater than 20 pCi/L, whereas a relatively large proportion of homes underlain by clayey tills have screening indoor radon levels exceeding 20 pCi/L. The higher radon levels in North Dakota are likely due to enhanced emanation from the smaller grains and to relatively higher soil radium concentrations in the clay-rich soils, whereas the generally higher permeability of the sandy till soils in Minnesota allows soil gas to be drawn into structures from a larger source volume, increasing indoor radon levels in these areas

  18. Ecology and Conservation of Steppes and Semi-Natural Grasslands

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Valkó Orsolya

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Palaearctic grasslands encompass a diverse variety of habitats, many of high nature value and vulnerability. The main challenges are climate-change, land-use change, agricultural intensification and abandonment. Many measures are in place to address these challenges, through restoration and appropriate management, though more work is necessary. We present eight studies from China/Germany, Greece, Kazakhstan, Russia and Ukraine. The papers cover a wide range of grassland and steppe habitats and cover vegetation ecology, syntaxonomy and zoology. We also conducted a systematic search on steppe and grassland diversity. The greatest number of studies was from China, followed by Germany and England. We conclude that the amount of research being carried out on Eurasian grasslands is inadequate considering their high levels of biodiversity and vulnerability. We hope to encourage readers to address current major challenges, such as how to manage grasslands for the benefit of diverse taxa, to ensure that conservation initiatives concentrate on sites where there is good potential for success and for the generation of realistic and viable conservation strategies.

  19. Role of Surface Energy Exchange for Simulating Wind Turbine Inflow: A Case Study in the Southern Great Plains, USA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sonia Wharton

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available The Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF model is used to investigate choice of land surface model (LSM on the near surface wind profile, including heights reached by multi-megawatt (MW wind turbines. Simulations of wind profiles and surface energy fluxes were made using five LSMs of varying degrees of sophistication in dealing with soil–plant–atmosphere feedbacks for the Department of Energy (DOE Southern Great Plains (SGP Atmospheric Radiation Measurement Program (ARM Central Facility in Oklahoma, USA. Surface flux and wind profile measurements were available for validation. WRF was run for three, two-week periods covering varying canopy and meteorological conditions. The LSMs predicted a wide range of energy flux and wind shear magnitudes even during the cool autumn period when we expected less variability. Simulations of energy fluxes varied in accuracy by model sophistication, whereby LSMs with very simple or no soil–plant–atmosphere feedbacks were the least accurate; however, the most complex models did not consistently produce more accurate results. Errors in wind shear were also sensitive to LSM choice and were partially related to energy flux accuracy. The variability of LSM performance was relatively high suggesting that LSM representation of energy fluxes in WRF remains a large source of model uncertainty for simulating wind turbine inflow conditions.

  20. Quantifying the pedo-ecohydrological structure and function of degraded, grassland ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brazier, Richard E.

    2015-04-01

    Grassland ecosystems cover significant areas of the terrestrial land mass, across a range of geoclimates, from arctic tundra, through temperate and semi-arid landscapes. In very few locations, such grasslands may be termed 'pristine' in that they remain undamaged by human activities and resilient to changing climates. In far more cases, grasslands are being degraded, often irreversibly so, with significant implications for a number of ecosystem services related to water resources, soil quality, nutrient cycles, and therefore both global food and water security. This paper draws upon empirical research that has been undertaken over the last decade to characterise a range of different grasslands in terms of soil properties, vegetation structure and geomorphology and to understand how these structures or patterns might interact or control how the grassland ecosystems function. Particular emphasis is placed upon quantifying fluxes of water, within and from grasslands, but also fluxes of sediment, via the processes of soil erosion and finally fluxes of the macronutrients Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Carbon from the landscape to surface waters. Data are presented from semi-arid grasslands, which are subject to severe encroachment by woody species, temperate upland grasslands that have been 'improved' via drainage to support grazing, temperate lowland grasslands, that are unimproved (Culm or Rhôs pastures) and finally intensively managed grasslands in temperate regions, that have been significantly modified via land management practices to improve productivity. It is hypothesised that, once degraded, the structure and function of these very diverse grassland ecosystems follows the same negative trajectory, resulting in depleted soil depths, nutrient storage capacities and therefore reduced plant growth and long-term carbon sequestration. Results demonstrate that similar, but highly complex and non-linear responses to perturbation of the ecosystem are observed, regardless of

  1. Spatio-temporal variation of vegetation coverage and its response to climate change in North China plain in the last 33 years

    Science.gov (United States)

    A, Duo; Zhao, Wenji; Qu, Xinyuan; Jing, Ran; Xiong, Kai

    2016-12-01

    Global climate change has led to significant vegetation changes in the past half century. North China Plain, the most important grain production base of china, is undergoing a process of prominent warming and drying. The vegetation coverage, which is used to monitor vegetation change, can respond to climate change (temperature and precipitation). In this study, GIMMS (Global Inventory Modelling and Mapping Studies)-NDVI (Normalized Difference Vegetation Index) data, MODIS (Moderate-resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer) - NDVI data and climate data, during 1981-2013, were used to investigate the spatial distribution and changes of vegetation. The relationship between climate and vegetation on different spatial (agriculture, forest and grassland) and temporal (yearly, decadal and monthly) scales were also analyzed in North China Plain. (1) It was found that temperature exhibiting a slight increase trend (0.20 °C/10a, P 0.05). The climate mutation period was during 1991-1994. (2) Vegetation coverage slight increase was observed in the 55% of total study area, with a change rate of 0.00039/10a. Human activities may not only accelerate the changes of the vegetation coverage, but also c effect to the rate of these changes. (3) Overall, the correlation between the vegetation coverage and climatic factor is higher in monthly scale than yearly scale. The correlation analysis between vegetation coverage and climate changes showed that annual vegetation coverage was better correlatend with precipitation in grassland biome; but it showed a better correlated with temperature i the agriculture biome and forest biome. In addition, the vegetation coverage had sensitive time-effect respond to precipitation. (4) The vegetation coverage showed the same increasing trend before and after the climatic variations, but the rate of increase slowed down. From the vegetation coverage point of view, the grassland ecological zone had an obvious response to the climatic variations, but the

  2. Resilience and stability of the grasslands of the Transkei | B | African ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    In spite of very high stocking rates the grasslands of Transkei still have in many areas a high cover and many climax species. The concepts of resilience and stability are used in an attempt to explain dynamics of the grasslands. Keywords: resiliences|stabilities|grasslands|Transkei|stocking rates|basal covers|grass ...

  3. Regional contingencies in the relationship between aboveground Bbomass and litter in the world’s grasslands

    Science.gov (United States)

    O’Halloran, Lydia R.; Borer, Elizabeth T.; Seabloom, Eric W.; MacDougall, Andrew S.; Cleland, Elsa E.; McCulley, Rebecca L.; Hobbie, Sarah; Harpole, W. Stan; DeCrappeo, Nicole M.; Chu, Cheng-Jin; Bakker, Jonathan D.; Davies, Kendi F.; Du, Guozhen; Firn, Jennifer; Hagenah, Nicole; Hofmockel, Kirsten S.; Knops, Johannes M.H.; Li, Wei; Melbourne, Brett A.; Morgan, John W.; Orrock, John L.; Prober, Suzanne M.; Stevens, Carly J.

    2013-01-01

    Based on regional-scale studies, aboveground production and litter decomposition are thought to positively covary, because they are driven by shared biotic and climatic factors. Until now we have been unable to test whether production and decomposition are generally coupled across climatically dissimilar regions, because we lacked replicated data collected within a single vegetation type across multiple regions, obfuscating the drivers and generality of the association between production and decomposition. Furthermore, our understanding of the relationships between production and decomposition rests heavily on separate meta-analyses of each response, because no studies have simultaneously measured production and the accumulation or decomposition of litter using consistent methods at globally relevant scales. Here, we use a multi-country grassland dataset collected using a standardized protocol to show that live plant biomass (an estimate of aboveground net primary production) and litter disappearance (represented by mass loss of aboveground litter) do not strongly covary. Live biomass and litter disappearance varied at different spatial scales. There was substantial variation in live biomass among continents, sites and plots whereas among continent differences accounted for most of the variation in litter disappearance rates. Although there were strong associations among aboveground biomass, litter disappearance and climatic factors in some regions (e.g. U.S. Great Plains), these relationships were inconsistent within and among the regions represented by this study. These results highlight the importance of replication among regions and continents when characterizing the correlations between ecosystem processes and interpreting their global-scale implications for carbon flux. We must exercise caution in parameterizing litter decomposition and aboveground production in future regional and global carbon models as their relationship is complex.

  4. Landsat classification of surface-water presence during multiple years to assess response of playa wetlands to climatic variability across the Great Plains Landscape Conservation Cooperative region

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manier, Daniel J.; Rover, Jennifer R.

    2018-02-15

    To improve understanding of the distribution of ecologically important, ephemeral wetland habitats across the Great Plains, the occurrence and distribution of surface water in playa wetland complexes were documented for four different years across the Great Plains Landscape Conservation Cooperative (GPLCC) region. This information is important because it informs land and wildlife managers about the timing and location of habitat availability. Data with an accurate timestamp that indicate the presence of water, the percent of the area inundated with water, and the spatial distribution of playa wetlands with water are needed for a host of resource inventory, monitoring, and research applications. For example, the distribution of inundated wetlands forms the spatial pattern of available habitat for resident shorebirds and water birds, stop-over habitats for migratory birds, connectivity and clustering of wetland habitats, and surface waters that recharge the Ogallala aquifer; there is considerable variability in the distribution of playa wetlands holding water through time. Documentation of these spatially and temporally intricate processes, here, provides data required to assess connections between inundation and multiple environmental drivers, such as climate, land use, soil, and topography. Climate drivers are understood to interact with land cover, land use and soil attributes in determining the amount of water that flows overland into playa wetlands. Results indicated significant spatial variability represented by differences in the percent of playas inundated among States within the GPLCC. Further, analysis-of-variance comparison of differences in inundation between years showed significant differences in all cases. Although some connections with seasonal moisture patterns may be observed, the complex spatial-temporal gradients of precipitation, temperature, soils, and land use need to be combined as covariates in multivariate models to effectively account for

  5. Comparative geoscience studies of the Madeira and Southern Nares Abyssal Plains: NEA/SWG preference location document

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Auffret, G.A.; Buckley, D.E.; Schuttenhelm, R.T.E.; Searle, R.C.; Shephard, L.E.; Cranston, R.E.

    1986-01-01

    This document summarizes the status of geoscience investigations in the two primary North Atlantic study locations Great Meteor East (GME) in the Madeira Abyssal Plain, and the Southern Nares Abyssal Plain (SNAP), and assesses the characteristics of these locations relative to the guidelines considered desirable and necessary for a potential subseabed high-level waste repository. These characteristics will be continually reevaluated as additional data become available and as our understanding of deep-sea sediment processes within abyssal plain environments improves. Initially, a number of areas of minimum size were identified in the ocean basins that appeared to comply with most of the stability and barrier guidelines. However, detailed studies in both GME and SNAP demonstrate that as our level of knowledge improves, and the degree of resolution increases, the number of 100 km 2 areas complying with these guidelines becomes much more limited. This observation may be characteristic of abyssal plain and abyssal hill environments in both the North Atlantic and North Pacific basins. Marked differences in geoscience characteristics exist between the Great Meteor East and the Southern Nares Abyssal Plain study locations. The significance of these differences, as they impact the selection of a single preferred site for a potential subseabed repository, can only be determined by using an integrated systems risk assessment modeling approach. The known geoscience characteristics can, however, be used in conjunction with the site assessment guidelines to draw conclusions concerning the geoscience suitability of these two locations. These conclusions will be modified as specific types of data from future expeditions become available

  6. Coronado and Aesop: Fable and Violence on the Sixteenth-Century Plains

    Science.gov (United States)

    Palmer, Daryl W.

    2009-01-01

    In the spring of 1540, Francisco Vazquez de Coronado led an "entrada" from present-day Mexico into the region we call New Mexico, where the expedition spent a violent winter among pueblo peoples. The following year, after a long march across the Great Plains, Coronado led an elite group of his men north into present-day Kansas where,…

  7. Ecological transition in Arizona's subalpine and montane grasslands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michael R. White

    2000-01-01

    Important components of Southwest forest ecosystem are subalpine and montane grassland communities, Grassland communities provide habitat diversity for wildlife, forage for domestic livestock and wildlife, and contribute to the visual quality of an area. The objectives of this research were to determine if: 1) vegetation attributes and soil-surface cover variables of...

  8. [Vegetation index estimation by chlorophyll content of grassland based on spectral analysis].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xiao, Han; Chen, Xiu-Wan; Yang, Zhen-Yu; Li, Huai-Yu; Zhu, Han

    2014-11-01

    Comparing the methods of existing remote sensing research on the estimation of chlorophyll content, the present paper confirms that the vegetation index is one of the most practical and popular research methods. In recent years, the increasingly serious problem of grassland degradation. This paper, firstly, analyzes the measured reflectance spectral curve and its first derivative curve in the grasslands of Songpan, Sichuan and Gongger, Inner Mongolia, conducts correlation analysis between these two spectral curves and chlorophyll content, and finds out the regulation between REP (red edge position) and grassland chlorophyll content, that is, the higher the chlorophyll content is, the higher the REIP (red-edge inflection point) value would be. Then, this paper constructs GCI (grassland chlorophyll index) and selects the most suitable band for retrieval. Finally, this paper calculates the GCI by the use of satellite hyperspectral image, conducts the verification and accuracy analysis of the calculation results compared with chlorophyll content data collected from field of twice experiments. The result shows that for grassland chlorophyll content, GCI has stronger sensitivity than other indices of chlorophyll, and has higher estimation accuracy. GCI is the first proposed to estimate the grassland chlorophyll content, and has wide application potential for the remote sensing retrieval of grassland chlorophyll content. In addition, the grassland chlorophyll content estimation method based on remote sensing retrieval in this paper provides new research ideas for other vegetation biochemical parameters' estimation, vegetation growth status' evaluation and grassland ecological environment change's monitoring.

  9. National coal resource assessment non-proprietary data: Location, stratigraphy, and coal quality for selected tertiary coal in the Northern Rocky Mountains and Great Plains region

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flores, Romeo M.; Ochs, A.M.; Stricker, G.D.; Ellis, M.S.; Roberts, S.B.; Keighin, C.W.; Murphy, E.C.; Cavaroc, V.V.; Johnson, R.C.; Wilde, E.M.

    1999-01-01

    One of the objectives of the National Coal Resource Assessment in the Northern Rocky Mountains and Great Plains region was to compile stratigraphic and coal quality-trace-element data on selected and potentially minable coal beds and zones of the Fort Union Formation (Paleocene) and equivalent formations. In order to implement this objective, drill-hole information was compiled from hard-copy and digital files of the: (1) U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) offices in Casper, Rawlins, and Rock Springs, Wyoming, and in Billings, Montana, (2) State geological surveys of Montana, North Dakota, and Wyoming, (3) Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality in Cheyenne, (4) U.S. Office of Surface Mining in Denver, Colorado, (5) U.S. Geological Survey, National Coal Resource Data System (NCRDS) in Reston, Virginia, (6) U.S. Geological Survey coal publications, (7) university theses, and (8) mining companies.

  10. Alpine grassland soil organic carbon stock and its uncertainty in the three rivers source region of the Tibetan Plateau.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiaofeng Chang

    Full Text Available Alpine grassland of the Tibetan Plateau is an important component of global soil organic carbon (SOC stocks, but insufficient field observations and large spatial heterogeneity leads to great uncertainty in their estimation. In the Three Rivers Source Region (TRSR, alpine grasslands account for more than 75% of the total area. However, the regional carbon (C stock estimate and their uncertainty have seldom been tested. Here we quantified the regional SOC stock and its uncertainty using 298 soil profiles surveyed from 35 sites across the TRSR during 2006-2008. We showed that the upper soil (0-30 cm depth in alpine grasslands of the TRSR stores 2.03 Pg C, with a 95% confidence interval ranging from 1.25 to 2.81 Pg C. Alpine meadow soils comprised 73% (i.e. 1.48 Pg C of the regional SOC estimate, but had the greatest uncertainty at 51%. The statistical power to detect a deviation of 10% uncertainty in grassland C stock was less than 0.50. The required sample size to detect this deviation at a power of 90% was about 6-7 times more than the number of sample sites surveyed. Comparison of our observed SOC density with the corresponding values from the dataset of Yang et al. indicates that these two datasets are comparable. The combined dataset did not reduce the uncertainty in the estimate of the regional grassland soil C stock. This result could be mainly explained by the underrepresentation of sampling sites in large areas with poor accessibility. Further research to improve the regional SOC stock estimate should optimize sampling strategy by considering the number of samples and their spatial distribution.

  11. Impacts of Future Grassland Changes on Surface Climate in Mongolia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fan Zhang

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Climate change caused by land use/cover change (LUCC is becoming a hot topic in current global change, especially the changes caused by the grassland degradation. In this paper, based on the baseline underlying surface data of 1993, the predicted underlying surface data which can be derived through overlaying the grassland degradation information to the map of baseline underlying surface, and the atmospheric forcing data of RCP 6.0 from CMIP5, climatological changes caused by future grassland changes for the years 2010–2020 and 2040–2050 with the Weather Research Forecast model (WRF are simulated. The model-based analysis shows that future grassland degradation will significantly result in regional climate change. The grassland degradation in future could lead to an increasing trend of temperature in most areas and corresponding change range of the annual average temperature of −0.1°C–0.4°C, and it will cause a decreasing trend of precipitation and corresponding change range of the annual average precipitation of 10 mm–50 mm. This study identifies lines of evidence for effects of future grassland degradation on regional climate in Mongolia which provides meaningful decision-making information for the development and strategy plan making in Mongolia.

  12. Managed grassland alters soil N dynamics and N2O emissions in temperate steppe.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Lijun; Xu, Xingliang; Tang, Xuejuan; Xin, Xiaoping; Ye, Liming; Yang, Guixia; Tang, Huajun; Lv, Shijie; Xu, Dawei; Zhang, Zhao

    2018-04-01

    Reclamation of degraded grasslands as managed grasslands has been increasingly accelerated in recent years in China. Land use change affects soil nitrogen (N) dynamics and nitrous oxide (N 2 O) emissions. However, it remains unclear how large-scale grassland reclamation will impact the grassland ecosystem as a whole. Here, we investigated the effects of the conversion from native to managed grasslands on soil N dynamics and N2O emissions by field experiments in Hulunber in northern China. Soil (0-10cm), nitrate (NO 3 - ), ammonium (NH 4 + ), and microbial N were measured in plots in a temperate steppe (Leymus chinensis grassland) and two managed grasslands (Medicago sativa and Bromus inermis grasslands) in 2011 and 2012. The results showed conversion of L. chinensis grassland to M. sativa or B. inermis grasslands decreased concentrations of NO 3 - -N, but did not change NH 4 + -N. Soil microbial N was slightly decreased by the conversion of L. chinensis grassland to M. sativa, but increased by the conversion to B. inermis. The conversion of L. chinensis grassland to M. sativa (i.e., a legume grass) increased N 2 O emissions by 26.2%, while the conversion to the B. inermis (i.e., a non-legume grass) reduced N 2 O emissions by 33.1%. The conversion from native to managed grasslands caused large created variations in soil NO 3 - -N and NH 4 + -N concentrations. Net N mineralization rates did not change significantly in growing season or vegetation type, but to net nitrification rate. These results provide evidence on how reclamation may impact the grassland ecosystem in terms of N dynamics and N 2 O emissions. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  13. Variation in soil organic carbon within highland grasslands of Langtang National Park, Nepal

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Keshab Shrestha

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Grassland also plays important role in food security. The estimated grassland area in Nepal is about 1.75 million ha. Most of the grassland in Nepal is located in higher elevation above, 2000 meter. The aim of this research is to observe difference in SOC of grassland in different altitude. Soil samples were collected from grasslands of altitude: 1500- 2000m, 2001- 2500m, 2501-3000m, 3001- 3500m and 3501- 4000m. The soil samples were collected at successive depths in each grassland i.e. 0 – 10 cm, 10 – 20 cm and 20 – 30 cm. The maximum SOC was found in grassland at altitude 3001 m- 3500m. The lowest was SOC was found in grassland at altitude 3051m – 4000m. Correlation analysis between altitude and SOC shows that SOC is positively correlated with altitude with correlation coefficient 0.850 (significant at P<0.05 level. But SOC decreases sharply in treeline with negative correlation (Significant at P<0.05.International Journal of Environment Vol.5(3 2016, pp.57-65

  14. Assessing satellite-based start-of-season trends in the US High Plains

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lin, X; Sassenrath, G F; Hubbard, K G; Mahmood, R

    2014-01-01

    To adequately assess the effects of global warming it is necessary to address trends and impacts at the local level. This study examines phenological changes in the start-of-season (SOS) derived from satellite observations from 1982–2008 in the US High Plains region. The surface climate-based SOS was also evaluated. The averaged profiles of SOS from 37° to 49°N latitude by satellite- and climate-based methods were in reasonable agreement, especially for areas where croplands were masked out and an additional frost date threshold was adopted. The statistically significant trends of satellite-based SOS show a later spring arrival ranging from 0.1 to 4.9 days decade −1 over nine Level III ecoregions. We found the croplands generally exhibited larger trends (later arrival) than the non-croplands. The area-averaged satellite-based SOS for non-croplands (i.e. mostly grasslands) showed no significant trends. We examined the trends of temperatures, precipitation, and standardized precipitation index (SPI), as well as the strength of correlation between the satellite-based SOS and these climatic drivers. Our results indicate that satellite-based SOS trends are spatially and primarily related to annual maximum normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI, mostly in summertime) and/or annual minimum NDVI (mostly in wintertime) and these trends showed the best correlation with six-month SPI over the period 1982–2008 in the US High Plains region. (letter)

  15. Development of a high spectral resolution surface albedo product for the ARM Southern Great Plains Central Facility

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    McFarlane, Sally A.; Gaustad, Krista L.; Mlawer, Eli J.; Long, Charles N.; Delamere, Jennifer

    2011-09-01

    We present a method for identifying dominant surface type and estimating high spectral resolution surface albedo at the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) facility at the Southern Great Plains (SGP) site in Oklahoma for use in radiative transfer calculations. Given a set of 6-channel narrowband visible and near-infrared irradiance measurements from upward and downward looking multi-filter radiometers (MFRs), four different surface types (snow-covered, green vegetation, partial vegetation, non-vegetated) can be identified. A normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) is used to distinguish between vegetated and non-vegetated surfaces, and a scaled NDVI index is used to estimate the percentage of green vegetation in partially vegetated surfaces. Based on libraries of spectral albedo measurements, a piecewise continuous function is developed to estimate the high spectral resolution surface albedo for each surface type given the MFR albedo values as input. For partially vegetated surfaces, the albedo is estimated as a linear combination of the green vegetation and non-vegetated surface albedo values. The estimated albedo values are evaluated through comparison to high spectral resolution albedo measurements taken during several Intensive Observational Periods (IOPs) and through comparison of the integrated spectral albedo values to observed broadband albedo measurements. The estimated spectral albedo values agree well with observations for the visible wavelengths constrained by the MFR measurements, but have larger biases and variability at longer wavelengths. Additional MFR channels at 1100 nm and/or 1600 nm would help constrain the high resolution spectral albedo in the near infrared region.

  16. Development of a high spectral resolution surface albedo product for the ARM Southern Great Plains central facility

    Science.gov (United States)

    McFarlane, S. A.; Gaustad, K. L.; Mlawer, E. J.; Long, C. N.; Delamere, J.

    2011-09-01

    We present a method for identifying dominant surface type and estimating high spectral resolution surface albedo at the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) facility at the Southern Great Plains (SGP) site in Oklahoma for use in radiative transfer calculations. Given a set of 6-channel narrowband visible and near-infrared irradiance measurements from upward and downward looking multi-filter radiometers (MFRs), four different surface types (snow-covered, green vegetation, partial vegetation, non-vegetated) can be identified. A normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) is used to distinguish between vegetated and non-vegetated surfaces, and a scaled NDVI index is used to estimate the percentage of green vegetation in partially vegetated surfaces. Based on libraries of spectral albedo measurements, a piecewise continuous function is developed to estimate the high spectral resolution surface albedo for each surface type given the MFR albedo values as input. For partially vegetated surfaces, the albedo is estimated as a linear combination of the green vegetation and non-vegetated surface albedo values. The estimated albedo values are evaluated through comparison to high spectral resolution albedo measurements taken during several Intensive Observational Periods (IOPs) and through comparison of the integrated spectral albedo values to observed broadband albedo measurements. The estimated spectral albedo values agree well with observations for the visible wavelengths constrained by the MFR measurements, but have larger biases and variability at longer wavelengths. Additional MFR channels at 1100 nm and/or 1600 nm would help constrain the high resolution spectral albedo in the near infrared region.

  17. Development of a high spectral resolution surface albedo product for the ARM Southern Great Plains central facility

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. Delamere

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available We present a method for identifying dominant surface type and estimating high spectral resolution surface albedo at the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM facility at the Southern Great Plains (SGP site in Oklahoma for use in radiative transfer calculations. Given a set of 6-channel narrowband visible and near-infrared irradiance measurements from upward and downward looking multi-filter radiometers (MFRs, four different surface types (snow-covered, green vegetation, partial vegetation, non-vegetated can be identified. A normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI is used to distinguish between vegetated and non-vegetated surfaces, and a scaled NDVI index is used to estimate the percentage of green vegetation in partially vegetated surfaces. Based on libraries of spectral albedo measurements, a piecewise continuous function is developed to estimate the high spectral resolution surface albedo for each surface type given the MFR albedo values as input. For partially vegetated surfaces, the albedo is estimated as a linear combination of the green vegetation and non-vegetated surface albedo values. The estimated albedo values are evaluated through comparison to high spectral resolution albedo measurements taken during several Intensive Observational Periods (IOPs and through comparison of the integrated spectral albedo values to observed broadband albedo measurements. The estimated spectral albedo values agree well with observations for the visible wavelengths constrained by the MFR measurements, but have larger biases and variability at longer wavelengths. Additional MFR channels at 1100 nm and/or 1600 nm would help constrain the high resolution spectral albedo in the near infrared region.

  18. Grasslands feeling the heat: The effects of elevated temperatures on a subtropical grassland

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rowan D. Buhrmann

    2016-12-01

    Conclusions: OTCs can simulate realistic increases of air temperature in subtropical grasslands. Graminoids and shrubs appear to benefit from elevated temperatures whilst forbs decrease in abundance, possibly through competition and/or direct physiological effects.

  19. Project plan-Surficial geologic mapping and hydrogeologic framework studies in the Greater Platte River Basins (Central Great Plains) in support of ecosystem and climate change research

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berry, Margaret E.; Lundstrom, Scott C.; Slate, Janet L.; Muhs, Daniel R.; Sawyer, David A.; VanSistine, D. Paco

    2011-01-01

    The Greater Platte River Basin area spans a central part of the Midcontinent and Great Plains from the Rocky Mountains on the west to the Missouri River on the east, and is defined to include drainage areas of the Platte, Niobrara, and Republican Rivers, the Rainwater Basin, and other adjoining areas overlying the northern High Plains aquifer. The Greater Platte River Basin contains abundant surficial deposits that were sensitive to, or are reflective of, the climate under which they formed: deposits from multiple glaciations in the mountain headwaters of the North and South Platte Rivers and from continental ice sheets in eastern Nebraska; fluvial terraces (ranging from Tertiary to Holocene in age) along the rivers and streams; vast areas of eolian sand in the Nebraska Sand Hills and other dune fields (recording multiple episodes of dune activity); thick sequences of windblown silt (loess); and sediment deposited in numerous lakes and wetlands. In addition, the Greater Platte River Basin overlies and contributes surface water to the High Plains aquifer, a nationally important groundwater system that underlies parts of eight states and sustains one of the major agricultural areas of the United States. The area also provides critical nesting habitat for birds such as plovers and terns, and roosting habitat for cranes and other migratory birds that travel through the Central Flyway of North America. This broad area, containing fragile ecosystems that could be further threatened by changes in climate and land use, has been identified by the USGS and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln as a region where intensive collaborative research could lead to a better understanding of climate change and what might be done to adapt to or mitigate its adverse effects to ecosystems and to humans. The need for robust data on the geologic framework of ecosystems in the Greater Platte River Basin has been acknowledged in proceedings from the 2008 Climate Change Workshop and in draft

  20. Tools for Management for Grassland Ecosystem Sustainability: Thinking "Outside the Box"

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gerald J. Gottfried

    2004-01-01

    Grassland ecosystem management is dynamic and has adapted to the development of new tools and ideas. Our ancestors were indirectly managing grasslands when they learned to move livestock to take advantage of better water and greener forage. One could argue that even their hunting of grassland wildlife, especially the use of fire to drive animals to waiting hunters, had...

  1. Variation in the carbon and oxygen isotope composition of plant biomass and its relationship to water-use efficiency at the leaf- and ecosystem-scales in a northern Great Plains grassland.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flanagan, Lawrence B; Farquhar, Graham D

    2014-02-01

    Measurements of the carbon (δ(13) Cm ) and oxygen (δ(18) Om ) isotope composition of C3 plant tissue provide important insights into controls on water-use efficiency. We investigated the causes of seasonal and inter-annual variability in water-use efficiency in a grassland near Lethbridge, Canada using stable isotope (leaf-scale) and eddy covariance measurements (ecosystem-scale). The positive relationship between δ(13) Cm and δ(18) Om values for samples collected during 1998-2001 indicated that variation in stomatal conductance and water stress-induced changes in the degree of stomatal limitation of net photosynthesis were the major controls on variation in δ(13) Cm and biomass production during this time. By comparison, the lack of a significant relationship between δ(13) Cm and δ(18) Om values during 2002, 2003 and 2006 demonstrated that water stress was not a significant limitation on photosynthesis and biomass production in these years. Water-use efficiency was higher in 2000 than 1999, consistent with expectations because of greater stomatal limitation of photosynthesis and lower leaf ci /ca during the drier conditions of 2000. Calculated values of leaf-scale water-use efficiency were 2-3 times higher than ecosystem-scale water-use efficiency, a difference that was likely due to carbon lost in root respiration and water lost during soil evaporation that was not accounted for by the stable isotope measurements. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  2. Comparison of Modeling Grassland Degradation with and without Considering Localized Spatial Associations in Vegetation Changing Patterns

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yuwei Wang

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Grassland ecosystems worldwide are confronted with degradation. It is of great importance to understand long-term trajectory patterns of grassland vegetation by advanced analytical models. This study proposes a new approach called a binary logistic regression model with neighborhood interactions, or BLR-NIs, which is based on binary logistic regression (BLR, but fully considers the spatio-temporally localized spatial associations or characterization of neighborhood interactions (NIs in the patterns of grassland vegetation. The BLR-NIs model was applied to a modeled vegetation degradation of grasslands in the Xilin river basin, Inner Mongolia, China. Residual trend analysis on the normalized difference vegetation index (RESTREND-NDVI, which excluded the climatic impact on vegetation dynamics, was adopted as a preprocessing step to derive three human-induced trajectory patterns (vegetation degradation, vegetation recovery, and no significant change in vegetation during two consecutive periods, T1 (2000–2008 and T2 (2007–2015. Human activities, including livestock grazing intensity and transportation accessibility measured by road network density, were included as explanatory variables for vegetation degradation, which was defined for locations if vegetation recovery or no significant change in vegetation in T1 and vegetation degradation in T2 were observed. Our work compared the results of BLR-NIs and the traditional BLR model that did not consider NIs. The study showed that: (1 both grazing intensity and road density had a positive correlation to vegetation degradation based on the traditional BLR model; (2 only road density was found to positively correlate to vegetation degradation by the BLR-NIs model; NIs appeared to be critical factors to predict vegetation degradation; and (3 including NIs in the BLR model improved the model performance substantially. The study provided evidence for the importance of including localized spatial

  3. Carbonate microbialites and hardgrounds from Manito Lake, an alkaline, hypersaline lake in the northern Great Plains of Canada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Last, Fawn M.; Last, William M.; Halden, Norman M.

    2010-03-01

    Manito Lake is a large, perennial, Na-SO 4 dominated saline to hypersaline lake located in the northern Great Plains of western Canada. Significant water level decrease over the past several decades has led to reduction in volume and surface area, as well as an increase in salinity. The salinity has increased from 10 ppt to about 50 ppt TDS. This decrease in water level has exposed large areas of nearshore microbialites. These organogenic structures range in size from several cm to over a meter and often form large bioherms several meters high. They have various external morphologies, vary in mineralogical composition, and show a variety of internal fabrics from finely laminated to massive. In addition to microbiolities and bioherms, the littoral zone of Manito Lake contains a variety of carbonate hardgrounds, pavements, and cemented clastic sediments. Dolomite and aragonite are the most common minerals found in these shoreline structures, however, calcite after ikaite, monohydrocalcite, magnesian calcite, and hydromagnesite are also present. The dolomite is nonstoichiometric and calcium-rich; the magnesian calcite has about 17 mol% MgCO 3. AMS radiocarbon dating of paired organic matter and endogenic carbonate material confirms little or no reservoir affect. Although there is abundant evidence for modern carbonate mineral precipitation and microbialite formation, most of the larger microbialites formed between about 2300 and 1000 cal BP, whereas the hardgrounds, cements, and laminated crusts formed about 1000-500 cal BP.

  4. Using Calibrated RGB Imagery from Low-Cost Uavs for Grassland Monitoring: Case Study at the Rengen Grassland Experiment (rge), Germany

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lussem, U.; Hollberg, J.; Menne, J.; Schellberg, J.; Bareth, G.

    2017-08-01

    Monitoring the spectral response of intensively managed grassland throughout the growing season allows optimizing fertilizer inputs by monitoring plant growth. For example, site-specific fertilizer application as part of precision agriculture (PA) management requires information within short time. But, this requires field-based measurements with hyper- or multispectral sensors, which may not be feasible on a day to day farming practice. Exploiting the information of RGB images from consumer grade cameras mounted on unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) can offer cost-efficient as well as near-real time analysis of grasslands with high temporal and spatial resolution. The potential of RGB imagery-based vegetation indices (VI) from consumer grade cameras mounted on UAVs has been explored recently in several. However, for multitemporal analyses it is desirable to calibrate the digital numbers (DN) of RGB-images to physical units. In this study, we explored the comparability of the RGBVI from a consumer grade camera mounted on a low-cost UAV to well established vegetation indices from hyperspectral field measurements for applications in grassland. The study was conducted in 2014 on the Rengen Grassland Experiment (RGE) in Germany. Image DN values were calibrated into reflectance by using the Empirical Line Method (Smith & Milton 1999). Depending on sampling date and VI the correlation between the UAV-based RGBVI and VIs such as the NDVI resulted in varying R2 values from no correlation to up to 0.9. These results indicate, that calibrated RGB-based VIs have the potential to support or substitute hyperspectral field measurements to facilitate management decisions on grasslands.

  5. USING CALIBRATED RGB IMAGERY FROM LOW-COST UAVS FOR GRASSLAND MONITORING: CASE STUDY AT THE RENGEN GRASSLAND EXPERIMENT (RGE, GERMANY

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    U. Lussem

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Monitoring the spectral response of intensively managed grassland throughout the growing season allows optimizing fertilizer inputs by monitoring plant growth. For example, site-specific fertilizer application as part of precision agriculture (PA management requires information within short time. But, this requires field-based measurements with hyper- or multispectral sensors, which may not be feasible on a day to day farming practice. Exploiting the information of RGB images from consumer grade cameras mounted on unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV can offer cost-efficient as well as near-real time analysis of grasslands with high temporal and spatial resolution. The potential of RGB imagery-based vegetation indices (VI from consumer grade cameras mounted on UAVs has been explored recently in several. However, for multitemporal analyses it is desirable to calibrate the digital numbers (DN of RGB-images to physical units. In this study, we explored the comparability of the RGBVI from a consumer grade camera mounted on a low-cost UAV to well established vegetation indices from hyperspectral field measurements for applications in grassland. The study was conducted in 2014 on the Rengen Grassland Experiment (RGE in Germany. Image DN values were calibrated into reflectance by using the Empirical Line Method (Smith & Milton 1999. Depending on sampling date and VI the correlation between the UAV-based RGBVI and VIs such as the NDVI resulted in varying R2 values from no correlation to up to 0.9. These results indicate, that calibrated RGB-based VIs have the potential to support or substitute hyperspectral field measurements to facilitate management decisions on grasslands.

  6. Predator selection of prairie landscape features and its relation to duck nest success

    Science.gov (United States)

    Phillips, M.L.; Clark, W.R.; Sovada, M.A.; Horn, D.J.; Koford, Rolf R.; Greenwood, R.J.

    2003-01-01

    Mammalian predation is a major cause of mortality for breeding waterfowl in the U.S. Northern Great Plains, and yet we know little about the selection of prairie habitats by predators or how this influences nest success in grassland nesting cover. We selected 2 41.4-km2 study areas in both 1996 and 1997 in North Dakota, USA, with contrasting compositions of perennial grassland. A study area contained either 15-20% perennial grassland (Low Grassland Composition [LGC]) or 45-55% perennial grassland (High Grassland Composition [HGC]). We used radiotelemetry to investigate the selection of 9 landscape cover types by red fox (Vulpes vulpes) and striped skunk (Mephitis mephitis), while simultaneously recording duck nest success within planted cover. The cover types included the edge and core areas of planted cover, wetland edges within planted cover or surrounded by cropland, pastureland, hayland, cropland, roads, and miscellaneous cover types. Striped skunks selected wetland edges surrounded by agriculture over all other cover types in LGC landscapes (P-values for all pairwise comparisons were foraging efficiency in the interior areas of planted cover and contributed to higher nest success in HGC landscapes. Our observations of predator cover-type selection not only support the restoration and management of large blocks of grassland but also indicate the influence of alternative cover types for mitigating nest predation in the Prairie Pothole Region.

  7. Colonization and extinction in dynamic habitats: an occupancy approach for a Great Plains stream fish assemblage.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Falke, Jeffrey A; Bailey, Larissa L; Fausch, Kurt D; Bestgen, Kevin R

    2012-04-01

    Despite the importance of habitat in determining species distribution and persistence, habitat dynamics are rarely modeled in studies of metapopulations. We used an integrated habitat-occupancy model to simultaneously quantify habitat change, site fidelity, and local colonization and extinction rates for larvae of a suite of Great Plains stream fishes in the Arikaree River, eastern Colorado, USA, across three years. Sites were located along a gradient of flow intermittency and groundwater connectivity. Hydrology varied across years: the first and third being relatively wet and the second dry. Despite hydrologic variation, our results indicated that site suitability was random from one year to the next. Occupancy probabilities were also independent of previous habitat and occupancy state for most species, indicating little site fidelity. Climate and groundwater connectivity were important drivers of local extinction and colonization, but the importance of groundwater differed between periods. Across species, site extinction probabilities were highest during the transition from wet to dry conditions (range: 0.52-0.98), and the effect of groundwater was apparent with higher extinction probabilities for sites not fed by groundwater. Colonization probabilities during this period were relatively low for both previously dry sites (range: 0.02-0.38) and previously wet sites (range: 0.02-0.43). In contrast, no sites dried or remained dry during the transition from dry to wet conditions, yielding lower but still substantial extinction probabilities (range: 0.16-0.63) and higher colonization probabilities (range: 0.06-0.86), with little difference among sites with and without groundwater. This approach of jointly modeling both habitat change and species occupancy will likely be useful to incorporate effects of dynamic habitat on metapopulation processes and to better inform appropriate conservation actions.

  8. Long-term patterns of air temperatures, daily temperature range, precipitation, grass-reference evapotranspiration and aridity index in the USA Great Plains: Part I. Spatial trends

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kukal, M.; Irmak, S.

    2016-11-01

    Due to their substantial spatio-temporal behavior, long-term quantification and analyses of important hydrological variables are essential for practical applications in water resources planning, evaluating the water use of agricultural crop production and quantifying crop evapotranspiration patterns and irrigation management vs. hydrologic balance relationships. Observed data at over 800 sites across the Great Plains of USA, comprising of 9 states and 2,307,410 km2 of surface area, which is about 30% of the terrestrial area of the USA, were used to quantify and map large-scale and long-term (1968-2013) spatial trends of air temperatures, daily temperature range (DTR), precipitation, grass-reference evapotranspiration (ETo) and aridity index (AI) at monthly, growing season and annual time steps. Air temperatures had a strong north to south increasing trend, with annual average varying from -1 to 24 °C, and growing season average temperature varying from 8 to 30 °C. DTR gradually decreased from western to eastern parts of the region, with a regional annual and growing season averages of 14.25 °C and 14.79 °C, respectively. Precipitation had a gradual shift towards higher magnitudes from west to east, with the average annual and growing season (May-September) precipitation ranging from 163 to 1486 mm and from 98 to 746 mm, respectively. ETo had a southwest-northeast decreasing trend, with regional annual and growing season averages of 1297 mm and 823 mm, respectively. AI increased from west to east, indicating higher humidity (less arid) towards the east, with regional annual and growing season averages of 0.49 and 0.44, respectively. The spatial datasets and maps for these important climate variables can serve as valuable background for climate change and hydrologic studies in the Great Plains region. Through identification of priority areas from the developed maps, efforts of the concerned personnel and agencies and resources can be diverted towards development

  9. Uranium in pore waters from North Atlantic (GME and Southern Nares Abyssal Plain) sediments

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Santschi, P.H.; Bajo, C.; Mantovani, M.; Orciuolo, D.; Cranston, R.E.; Bruno, J.

    1988-01-01

    Here we report the measurement of low uranium concentrations in composite pore-water samples from the uppermost 20-30 m of deep-sea abyssal plain sediments from the Great Meteor East and Southern Nares Abyssal Plains Area. Many values are the lowest uranium concentrations ever measured in the pore waters of deep-sea sediments. Our lowest value, 0.05 ± 0.01 p.p.b., is orders of magnitude lower than the predicted solubility of U0 2 or U 4 0 9 . The uranium concentrations obtained from both sites correlate closely with measured redox potentials in the sediments. The low mobility of uranium in pore waters from turbiditic deep-sea abyssal plain sediments, which can be deduced from these measurements, has important implications for the sub-seabed disposal of high-level radioactive waste, and for marine geochemistry of uranium. (author)

  10. Trichoderma Biofertilizer Links to Altered Soil Chemistry, Altered Microbial Communities, and Improved Grassland Biomass

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fengge Zhang

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available In grasslands, forage and livestock production results in soil nutrient deficits as grasslands typically receive no nutrient inputs, leading to a loss of grassland biomass. The application of mature compost has been shown to effectively increase grassland nutrient availability. However, research on fertilization regime influence and potential microbial ecological regulation mechanisms are rarely conducted in grassland soil. We conducted a two-year experiment in meadow steppe grasslands, focusing on above- and belowground consequences of organic or Trichoderma biofertilizer applications and potential soil microbial ecological mechanisms underlying soil chemistry and microbial community responses. Grassland biomass significantly (p = 0.019 increased following amendment with 9,000 kg ha−1 of Trichoderma biofertilizer (composted cattle manure + inoculum compared with other assessed organic or biofertilizer rates, except for BOF3000 (fertilized with 3,000 kg ha−1 biofertilizer. This rate of Trichoderma biofertilizer treatment increased soil antifungal compounds that may suppress pathogenic fungi, potentially partially responsible for improved grassland biomass. Nonmetric multidimensional scaling (NMDS revealed soil chemistry and fungal communities were all separated by different fertilization regime. Trichoderma biofertilizer (9,000 kg ha−1 increased relative abundances of Archaeorhizomyces and Trichoderma while decreasing Ophiosphaerella. Trichoderma can improve grassland biomass, while Ophiosphaerella has the opposite effect as it may secrete metabolites causing grass necrosis. Correlations between soil properties and microbial genera showed plant-available phosphorus may influence grassland biomass by increasing Archaeorhizomyces and Trichoderma while reducing Ophiosphaerella. According to our structural equation modeling (SEM, Trichoderma abundance was the primary contributor to aboveground grassland biomass. Our results suggest Trichoderma

  11. Trichoderma Biofertilizer Links to Altered Soil Chemistry, Altered Microbial Communities, and Improved Grassland Biomass.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Fengge; Huo, Yunqian; Cobb, Adam B; Luo, Gongwen; Zhou, Jiqiong; Yang, Gaowen; Wilson, Gail W T; Zhang, Yingjun

    2018-01-01

    In grasslands, forage and livestock production results in soil nutrient deficits as grasslands typically receive no nutrient inputs, leading to a loss of grassland biomass. The application of mature compost has been shown to effectively increase grassland nutrient availability. However, research on fertilization regime influence and potential microbial ecological regulation mechanisms are rarely conducted in grassland soil. We conducted a two-year experiment in meadow steppe grasslands, focusing on above- and belowground consequences of organic or Trichoderma biofertilizer applications and potential soil microbial ecological mechanisms underlying soil chemistry and microbial community responses. Grassland biomass significantly ( p = 0.019) increased following amendment with 9,000 kg ha -1 of Trichoderma biofertilizer (composted cattle manure + inoculum) compared with other assessed organic or biofertilizer rates, except for BOF3000 (fertilized with 3,000 kg ha -1 biofertilizer). This rate of Trichoderma biofertilizer treatment increased soil antifungal compounds that may suppress pathogenic fungi, potentially partially responsible for improved grassland biomass. Nonmetric multidimensional scaling (NMDS) revealed soil chemistry and fungal communities were all separated by different fertilization regime. Trichoderma biofertilizer (9,000 kg ha -1 ) increased relative abundances of Archaeorhizomyces and Trichoderma while decreasing Ophiosphaerella . Trichoderma can improve grassland biomass, while Ophiosphaerella has the opposite effect as it may secrete metabolites causing grass necrosis. Correlations between soil properties and microbial genera showed plant-available phosphorus may influence grassland biomass by increasing Archaeorhizomyces and Trichoderma while reducing Ophiosphaerella . According to our structural equation modeling (SEM), Trichoderma abundance was the primary contributor to aboveground grassland biomass. Our results suggest Trichoderma

  12. Soil Organic Carbon Responses to Forest Expansion on Mountain Grasslands

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Guidi, Claudia

    . Changes in labile soil C were assessed by carbohydrate and thermal analyses of soil samples and fractions. Forest expansion on mountain grasslands caused a decrease in SOC stocks within the mineral soil. The SOC accumulation within the organic layers following forest establishment could not fully...... and thermally labile to resistant components decreased from grassland to forest successional stages, and corresponded to decreased SOC protection within stable aggregates. This PhD thesis showed that mineral SOC stocks and physically protected SOC fractions decreased following forest expansion on mountain......Grassland abandonment followed by progressive forest expansion is the dominant land-use change in the European Alps. Contrasting trends in soil organic carbon (SOC) stocks have been reported for mountainous regions following forest expansion on grasslands. Moreover, its effects on SOC properties...

  13. Species-rich semi-natural grasslands have a higher resistance but a lower resilience than intensively managed agricultural grasslands in response to climate anomalies

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Keersmaecker, De Wanda; Rooijen, van Nils; Lhermitte, Stef; Tits, Laurent; Schaminée, Joop; Coppin, Pol; Honnay, Olivier; Somers, Ben

    2016-01-01

    The stable delivery of ecosystem services provided by grasslands is strongly dependent on the stability of grassland ecosystem functions such as biomass production. Biomass production is in turn strongly affected by the frequency and intensity of climate extremes. The aim of this study is to

  14. Grassland biodiversity can pay.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Binder, Seth; Isbell, Forest; Polasky, Stephen; Catford, Jane A; Tilman, David

    2018-04-10

    The biodiversity-ecosystem functioning (BEF) literature provides strong evidence of the biophysical basis for the potential profitability of greater diversity but does not address questions of optimal management. BEF studies typically focus on the ecosystem outputs produced by randomly assembled communities that only differ in their biodiversity levels, measured by indices such as species richness. Landholders, however, do not randomly select species to plant; they choose particular species that collectively maximize profits. As such, their interest is not in comparing the average performance of randomly assembled communities at each level of biodiversity but rather comparing the best-performing communities at each diversity level. Assessing the best-performing mixture requires detailed accounting of species' identities and relative abundances. It also requires accounting for the financial cost of individual species' seeds, and the economic value of changes in the quality, quantity, and variability of the species' collective output-something that existing multifunctionality indices fail to do. This study presents an assessment approach that integrates the relevant factors into a single, coherent framework. It uses ecological production functions to inform an economic model consistent with the utility-maximizing decisions of a potentially risk-averse private landowner. We demonstrate the salience and applicability of the framework using data from an experimental grassland to estimate production relationships for hay and carbon storage. For that case, our results suggest that even a risk-neutral, profit-maximizing landowner would favor a highly diverse mix of species, with optimal species richness falling between the low levels currently found in commercial grasslands and the high levels found in natural grasslands.

  15. Highly calcareous lacustrine soils in the Great Konya Basin, Turkey

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Meester, de T.

    1971-01-01

    The Great Konya Basin is in the south of the Central Anatolian Plateau in Turkey. It is a depression without outlet to the sea. The central part of the Basin is the floor of a former Pleistocene lake, the Ancient Konya Lake. This area, called the Lacustrine
    Plain, has highly calcareous

  16. Soil disturbance as a grassland restoration measure

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Schnoor, Tim; Bruun, Hans Henrik; Olsson, Pål Axel

    2015-01-01

    Soil disturbance is recognized as an important driver of biodiversity in dry grasslands, and can therefore be implemented as a restoration measure. However, because community re-assembly following disturbance includes stochastic processes, a focus only on species richness or establishment success...... to experimental disturbance treatments (ploughing or rotavation), and the vegetation was surveyed during four subsequent years of succession. Treated plots were compared with control plots representing untreated grassland, as well as nearby plots characterized by plant communities representing the restoration...

  17. Effects of temperature and precipitation on grassland bird nesting success as mediated by patch size.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zuckerberg, Benjamin; Ribic, Christine A; McCauley, Lisa A

    2018-02-06

    Grassland birds are declining faster than any other bird guild across North America. Shrinking ranges and population declines are attributed to widespread habitat loss and increasingly fragmented landscapes of agriculture and other land uses that are misaligned with grassland bird conservation. Concurrent with habitat loss and degradation, temperate grasslands have been disproportionally affected by climate change relative to most other terrestrial biomes. Distributions of grassland birds often correlate with gradients in climate, but few researchers have explored the consequences of weather on the demography of grassland birds inhabiting a range of grassland fragments. To do so, we modeled the effects of temperature and precipitation on nesting success rates of 12 grassland bird species inhabiting a range of grassland patches across North America (21,000 nests from 81 individual studies). Higher amounts of precipitation in the preceding year were associated with higher nesting success, but wetter conditions during the active breeding season reduced nesting success. Extremely cold or hot conditions during the early breeding season were associated with lower rates of nesting success. The direct and indirect influence of temperature and precipitation on nesting success was moderated by grassland patch size. The positive effects of precipitation in the preceding year on nesting success were strongest in relatively small grassland patches and had little effect in large patches. Conversely, warm temperatures reduced nesting success in small grassland patches but increased nesting success in large patches. Mechanisms underlying these differences may be patch-size-induced variation in microclimates and predator activity. Although the exact cause is unclear, large grassland patches, the most common metric of grassland conservation, appears to moderate the effects of weather on grassland-bird demography and could be an effective component of climate-change adaptation.

  18. Grassland gross carbon dioxide uptake based on an improved model tree ensemble approach considering human interventions: global estimation and covariation with climate.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liang, Wei; Lü, Yihe; Zhang, Weibin; Li, Shuai; Jin, Zhao; Ciais, Philippe; Fu, Bojie; Wang, Shuai; Yan, Jianwu; Li, Junyi; Su, Huimin

    2017-07-01

    Grassland ecosystems act as a crucial role in the global carbon cycle and provide vital ecosystem services for many species. However, these low-productivity and water-limited ecosystems are sensitive and vulnerable to climate perturbations and human intervention, the latter of which is often not considered due to lack of spatial information regarding the grassland management. Here by the application of a model tree ensemble (MTE-GRASS) trained on local eddy covariance data and using as predictors gridded climate and management intensity field (grazing and cutting), we first provide an estimate of global grassland gross primary production (GPP). GPP from our study compares well (modeling efficiency NSE = 0.85 spatial; NSE between 0.69 and 0.94 interannual) with that from flux measurement. Global grassland GPP was on average 11 ± 0.31 Pg C yr -1 and exhibited significantly increasing trend at both annual and seasonal scales, with an annual increase of 0.023 Pg C (0.2%) from 1982 to 2011. Meanwhile, we found that at both annual and seasonal scale, the trend (except for northern summer) and interannual variability of the GPP are primarily driven by arid/semiarid ecosystems, the latter of which is due to the larger variation in precipitation. Grasslands in arid/semiarid regions have a stronger (33 g C m -2  yr -1 /100 mm) and faster (0- to 1-month time lag) response to precipitation than those in other regions. Although globally spatial gradients (71%) and interannual changes (51%) in GPP were mainly driven by precipitation, where most regions with arid/semiarid climate zone, temperature and radiation together shared half of GPP variability, which is mainly distributed in the high-latitude or cold regions. Our findings and the results of other studies suggest the overwhelming importance of arid/semiarid regions as a control on grassland ecosystems carbon cycle. Similarly, under the projected future climate change, grassland ecosystems in these regions will

  19. Impacts of tree rows on grassland birds and potential nest predators: a removal experiment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ellison, Kevin S; Ribic, Christine A; Sample, David W; Fawcett, Megan J; Dadisman, John D

    2013-01-01

    Globally, grasslands and the wildlife that inhabit them are widely imperiled. Encroachment by shrubs and trees has widely impacted grasslands in the past 150 years. In North America, most grassland birds avoid nesting near woody vegetation. Because woody vegetation fragments grasslands and potential nest predator diversity and abundance is often greater along wooded edge and grassland transitions, we measured the impacts of removing rows of trees and shrubs that intersected grasslands on potential nest predators and the three most abundant grassland bird species (Henslow's sparrow [Ammodramus henslowii], Eastern meadowlark [Sturnella magna], and bobolink [Dolichonyx oryzivorus]) at sites in Wisconsin, U.S.A. We monitored 3 control and 3 treatment sites, for 1 yr prior to and 3 yr after tree row removal at the treatment sites. Grassland bird densities increased (2-4 times for bobolink and Henslow's sparrow) and nesting densities increased (all 3 species) in the removal areas compared to control areas. After removals, Henslow's sparrows nested within ≤50 m of the treatment area, where they did not occur when tree rows were present. Most dramatically, activity by woodland-associated predators nearly ceased (nine-fold decrease for raccoon [Procyon lotor]) at the removals and grassland predators increased (up to 27 times activity for thirteen-lined ground squirrel [Ictidomys tridecemlineatus]). Nest success did not increase, likely reflecting the increase in grassland predators. However, more nests were attempted by all 3 species (175 versus 116) and the number of successful nests for bobolinks and Henslow's sparrows increased. Because of gains in habitat, increased use by birds, greater production of young, and the effective removal of woodland-associated predators, tree row removal, where appropriate based on the predator community, can be a beneficial management action for conserving grassland birds and improving fragmented and degraded grassland ecosystems.

  20. Impacts of tree rows on grassland birds and potential nest predators: a removal experiment.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kevin S Ellison

    Full Text Available Globally, grasslands and the wildlife that inhabit them are widely imperiled. Encroachment by shrubs and trees has widely impacted grasslands in the past 150 years. In North America, most grassland birds avoid nesting near woody vegetation. Because woody vegetation fragments grasslands and potential nest predator diversity and abundance is often greater along wooded edge and grassland transitions, we measured the impacts of removing rows of trees and shrubs that intersected grasslands on potential nest predators and the three most abundant grassland bird species (Henslow's sparrow [Ammodramus henslowii], Eastern meadowlark [Sturnella magna], and bobolink [Dolichonyx oryzivorus] at sites in Wisconsin, U.S.A. We monitored 3 control and 3 treatment sites, for 1 yr prior to and 3 yr after tree row removal at the treatment sites. Grassland bird densities increased (2-4 times for bobolink and Henslow's sparrow and nesting densities increased (all 3 species in the removal areas compared to control areas. After removals, Henslow's sparrows nested within ≤50 m of the treatment area, where they did not occur when tree rows were present. Most dramatically, activity by woodland-associated predators nearly ceased (nine-fold decrease for raccoon [Procyon lotor] at the removals and grassland predators increased (up to 27 times activity for thirteen-lined ground squirrel [Ictidomys tridecemlineatus]. Nest success did not increase, likely reflecting the increase in grassland predators. However, more nests were attempted by all 3 species (175 versus 116 and the number of successful nests for bobolinks and Henslow's sparrows increased. Because of gains in habitat, increased use by birds, greater production of young, and the effective removal of woodland-associated predators, tree row removal, where appropriate based on the predator community, can be a beneficial management action for conserving grassland birds and improving fragmented and degraded grassland

  1. Effects of nitrogen fertilization and grazing on the emission of nitrous oxide from grassland

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Velthof, G.L.; Brader, A.B.; Oenema, O. [NMI, Dept. of Soil Science and Plant Nutrition, Wageningen Agricultural Univ. (Netherlands)

    1995-11-01

    In the Netherlands, managed grasslands are potentially a large source of nitrous oxide (N{sub 2}O), because of the large nitrogen (N) input and the relatively high ground water levels. To provide insight into the major factors that contribute to N{sub 2}O emission from grassland and to provide quantitative N{sub 2}O emission rates, a monitoring study was carried out on four sites, during March 1992 to March 1994. Fluxes of N{sub 2}O increased after N fertilizer application and grazing, especially during wet conditions. Fluxes were higher from peat soils than from sand and clay soils. Fluxes were low during the winter periods. Total N{sub 2}O losses were 2 to 4.5 times higher on grassland fertilized with 160-460 kg N ha{sup -1} yr{sup -1} than on unfertilized grassland. Losses from grazed grasslands were 1.5 to 3.5 times higher than losses from mown grassland. This study shows that management practice of grassland and soil type are major factors controlling N{sub 2}O emission from grasslands. 2 figs., 3 refs.

  2. Extensive Management Promotes Plant and Microbial Nitrogen Retention in Temperate Grassland

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Vries, Franciska T.; Bloem, Jaap; Quirk, Helen; Stevens, Carly J.; Bol, Roland; Bardgett, Richard D.

    2012-01-01

    Leaching losses of nitrogen (N) from soil and atmospheric N deposition have led to widespread changes in plant community and microbial community composition, but our knowledge of the factors that determine ecosystem N retention is limited. A common feature of extensively managed, species-rich grasslands is that they have fungal-dominated microbial communities, which might reduce soil N losses and increase ecosystem N retention, which is pivotal for pollution mitigation and sustainable food production. However, the mechanisms that underpin improved N retention in extensively managed, species-rich grasslands are unclear. We combined a landscape-scale field study and glasshouse experiment to test how grassland management affects plant and soil N retention. Specifically, we hypothesised that extensively managed, species-rich grasslands of high conservation value would have lower N loss and greater N retention than intensively managed, species-poor grasslands, and that this would be due to a greater immobilisation of N by a more fungal-dominated microbial community. In the field study, we found that extensively managed, species-rich grasslands had lower N leaching losses. Soil inorganic N availability decreased with increasing abundance of fungi relative to bacteria, although the best predictor of soil N leaching was the C/N ratio of aboveground plant biomass. In the associated glasshouse experiment we found that retention of added 15N was greater in extensively than in intensively managed grasslands, which was attributed to a combination of greater root uptake and microbial immobilisation of 15N in the former, and that microbial immobilisation increased with increasing biomass and abundance of fungi. These findings show that grassland management affects mechanisms of N retention in soil through changes in root and microbial uptake of N. Moreover, they support the notion that microbial communities might be the key to improved N retention through tightening linkages

  3. Early emergence of anthropogenically forced heat waves in the western United States and Great Lakes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lopez, Hosmay; West, Robert; Dong, Shenfu; Goni, Gustavo; Kirtman, Ben; Lee, Sang-Ki; Atlas, Robert

    2018-05-01

    Climate projections for the twenty-first century suggest an increase in the occurrence of heat waves. However, the time at which externally forced signals of anthropogenic climate change (ACC) emerge against background natural variability (time of emergence (ToE)) has been challenging to quantify, which makes future heat-wave projections uncertain. Here we combine observations and model simulations under present and future forcing to assess how internal variability and ACC modulate US heat waves. We show that ACC dominates heat-wave occurrence over the western United States and Great Lakes regions, with ToE that occurred as early as the 2020s and 2030s, respectively. In contrast, internal variability governs heat waves in the northern and southern Great Plains, where ToE occurs in the 2050s and 2070s; this later ToE is believed to be a result of a projected increase in circulation variability, namely the Great Plain low-level jet. Thus, greater mitigation and adaptation efforts are needed in the Great Lakes and western United States regions.

  4. Vascular flora of saline lakes in the southern high plains of Texas and eastern New Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosen, David J.; Conway, Warren C.; Haukos, David A.; Caskey, Amber D.

    2013-01-01

    Saline lakes and freshwater playas form the principal surface hydrological feature of the High Plains of the Southern Great Plains. Saline lakes number less than 50 and historically functioned as discharge wetlands with relatively consistent water availability due to the presence of one or more springs. Currently, less than ten saline lakes contain functional springs. A survey of vascular plants at six saline lakes in the Southern High Plains of northwest Texas and one in eastern New Mexico during May and September 2009 resulted in a checklist of 49 species representing 16 families and 40 genera. The four families with the most species were Asteraceae (12), Amaranthaceae (8), Cyperaceae (5), and Poaceae (12). Non-native species (Bromus catharticus, Poa compressa, Polypogon monspeliensis, Sonchus oleraceus, Kochia scoparia, and Tamarix ramosissima) accounted for 10% of the total species recorded. Whereas nearly 350 species of vascular plants have been identified in playas in the Southern High Plains, saline lakes contain a fraction of this species richness. The Southern High Plains saline lake flora is regionally unique, containing taxa not found in playas, with species composition that is more similar to temperate desert wetlands of the Intermountain Region and Gulf Coastal Plain of North America.

  5. Classification of Grassland Successional Stages Using Airborne Hyperspectral Imagery

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thomas Möckel

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available Plant communities differ in their species composition, and, thus, also in their functional trait composition, at different stages in the succession from arable fields to grazed grassland. We examine whether aerial hyperspectral (414–2501 nm remote sensing can be used to discriminate between grazed vegetation belonging to different grassland successional stages. Vascular plant species were recorded in 104.1 m2 plots on the island of Öland (Sweden and the functional properties of the plant species recorded in the plots were characterized in terms of the ground-cover of grasses, specific leaf area and Ellenberg indicator values. Plots were assigned to three different grassland age-classes, representing 5–15, 16–50 and >50 years of grazing management. Partial least squares discriminant analysis models were used to compare classifications based on aerial hyperspectral data with the age-class classification. The remote sensing data successfully classified the plots into age-classes: the overall classification accuracy was higher for a model based on a pre-selected set of wavebands (85%, Kappa statistic value = 0.77 than one using the full set of wavebands (77%, Kappa statistic value = 0.65. Our results show that nutrient availability and grass cover differences between grassland age-classes are detectable by spectral imaging. These techniques may potentially be used for mapping the spatial distribution of grassland habitats at different successional stages.

  6. Balancing forest-regeneration probabilities and maintenance costs in dry grasslands of high conservation priority

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bolliger, Janine; Edwards, Thomas C.; Eggenberg, Stefan; Ismail, Sascha; Seidl, Irmi; Kienast, Felix

    2011-01-01

    Abandonment of agricultural land has resulted in forest regeneration in species-rich dry grasslands across European mountain regions and threatens conservation efforts in this vegetation type. To support national conservation strategies, we used a site-selection algorithm (MARXAN) to find optimum sets of floristic regions (reporting units) that contain grasslands of high conservation priority. We sought optimum sets that would accommodate 136 important dry-grassland species and that would minimize forest regeneration and costs of management needed to forestall predicted forest regeneration. We did not consider other conservation elements of dry grasslands, such as animal species richness, cultural heritage, and changes due to climate change. Optimal sets that included 95–100% of the dry grassland species encompassed an average of 56–59 floristic regions (standard deviation, SD 5). This is about 15% of approximately 400 floristic regions that contain dry-grassland sites and translates to 4800–5300 ha of dry grassland out of a total of approximately 23,000 ha for the entire study area. Projected costs to manage the grasslands in these optimum sets ranged from CHF (Swiss francs) 5.2 to 6.0 million/year. This is only 15–20% of the current total estimated cost of approximately CHF30–45 million/year required if all dry grasslands were to be protected. The grasslands of the optimal sets may be viewed as core sites in a national conservation strategy.

  7. Effects of wind turbines on upland nesting birds in Conservation Reserve Program grasslands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leddy, K.L.; Higgins, K.F.; Naugle, D.E.

    1999-01-01

    Grassland passerines were surveyed during summer 1995 on the Buffalo Ridge Wind Resource Area in southwestern Minnesota to determine the relative influence of wind turbines on overall densities of upland nesting birds in Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) grasslands. Birds were surveyed along 40 m fixed width transects that were placed along wind turbine strings within three CRP fields and in three CRP fields without turbines. Conservation Reserve Program grasslands without turbines and areas located 180 m from turbines supported higher densities (261.0-312.5 males/100 ha) of grassland birds than areas within 80 m of turbines (58.2-128.0 males/100 ha). Human disturbance, turbine noise, and physical movements of turbines during operation may have disturbed nesting birds. We recommend that wind turbines be placed within cropland habitats that support lower densities of grassland passerines than those found in CRP grasslands.

  8. Methods for evaluation of the invasibility of grasslands

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Strandberg, M. T.; Strandberg, B.; Erneberg, M.

    The number of non-native plant species in Danish dry acidic grasslands was positively correlated with the cover of disturbance in the form of molehills, anthills, mouseholes and erosion due trampling or digging by large herbivores/livestock. Natural disturbance in acidic grassland ecosystems...... not grazed by livestock therefore is important for the occurrence of non-native species, and probably also for the occurrence of a high native floristic diversity....

  9. Vulnerability of crops and croplands in the U.S. Northern Plains to predicted climate change

    Science.gov (United States)

    The states of Colorado, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming comprise the Northern Great Plains region of the United States. The soil and water resources contained in this region have historically supported a highly diverse and productive agriculture that provides a significant...

  10. CAUSES: Attribution of Surface Radiation Biases in NWP and Climate Models near the U.S. Southern Great Plains

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Weverberg, K.; Morcrette, C. J.; Petch, J.; Klein, S. A.; Ma, H.-Y.; Zhang, C.; Xie, S.; Tang, Q.; Gustafson, W. I.; Qian, Y.; Berg, L. K.; Liu, Y.; Huang, M.; Ahlgrimm, M.; Forbes, R.; Bazile, E.; Roehrig, R.; Cole, J.; Merryfield, W.; Lee, W.-S.; Cheruy, F.; Mellul, L.; Wang, Y.-C.; Johnson, K.; Thieman, M. M.

    2018-04-01

    Many Numerical Weather Prediction (NWP) and climate models exhibit too warm lower tropospheres near the midlatitude continents. The warm bias has been shown to coincide with important surface radiation biases that likely play a critical role in the inception or the growth of the warm bias. This paper presents an attribution study on the net radiation biases in nine model simulations, performed in the framework of the CAUSES project (Clouds Above the United States and Errors at the Surface). Contributions from deficiencies in the surface properties, clouds, water vapor, and aerosols are quantified, using an array of radiation measurement stations near the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement Southern Great Plains site. Furthermore, an in-depth analysis is shown to attribute the radiation errors to specific cloud regimes. The net surface shortwave radiation is overestimated in all models throughout most of the simulation period. Cloud errors are shown to contribute most to this overestimation, although nonnegligible contributions from the surface albedo exist in most models. Missing deep cloud events and/or simulating deep clouds with too weak cloud radiative effects dominate in the cloud-related radiation errors. Some models have compensating errors between excessive occurrence of deep cloud but largely underestimating their radiative effect, while other models miss deep cloud events altogether. Surprisingly, even the latter models tend to produce too much and too frequent afternoon surface precipitation. This suggests that rather than issues with the triggering of deep convection, cloud radiative deficiencies are related to too weak convective cloud detrainment and too large precipitation efficiencies.

  11. Factors associated with arrival densities of grasshopper sparrow (Ammodramus savannarum) and baird's sparrow (A. bairdii) in the upper great plains

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ahlering, M.A.; Johnson, D.H.; Faaborg, John

    2009-01-01

    Although critical to habitat and population management, the proximate cues that birds use to establish territories are largely unknown. Understanding these cues is important for birds, such as many grassland birds, that exhibit high annual variability in population density and make new habitat-selection decisions annually. Identifying the actual cues used is difficult in the field, but the factors associated with the arrival densities of birds can help uncover variables that are involved in or correlated with cues used for selection. During the summers of 2002–2004, we investigated how weather and local vegetation factors were related to arrival densities of Grasshopper Sparrows (Ammodramus savannarum) and Baird's Sparrows (A. bairdii) at three locations across North Dakota and Saskatchewan. Spring densities of Grasshopper Sparrows were positively correlated with concurrent May precipitation, whereas densities of Baird's Sparrows were negatively correlated with the previous winter's snowfall. We used a model-selection approach to evaluate the vegetation characteristics associated with arrival densities of birds. Grasshopper Sparrow densities showed a strong negative relationship to woody cover, and Baird's Sparrow densities showed a negative relationship to vegetation height and vegetation density near the ground. Our results provide a first detailed look at habitat and weather associations immediately after arrival in spring and an important first step in uncovering factors that may be involved in habitat selection in two grassland species.

  12. Research priorities for grassland science: the need of long term integrated experiments networks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    G. Lemaire

    2007-07-01

    Full Text Available Grasslands have to be considered not only as a mean for providing foods for domestic herbivore but also as an important biome of terrestrial biosphere. This function of grasslands as an active component of our environment requires specific studies on the role and impact of this ecosystem on soil erosion and soil quality, quality and quantity of water resources, atmosphere composition and greenhouse gas emission or sequestration, biodiversity dynamics at different scales from field plot to landscape. All these functions have to be evaluated in conjunction with the function of providing animal products for increasing human population. So multifunctionality of grasslands become a new paradigm for grassland science. Environmental and biodiversity outputs require long term studies, being the long term retro-active processes within soil, vegetation and micro-organism communities in relation to changes in management programme. So grassland science needs to carry on long term integrated experimentation for studying all the environmental outputs and ecological services associated to grassland management systems.

  13. Factors affecting the ozone sensitivity of temperate European grasslands: An overview

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bassin, S.; Volk, M.; Fuhrer, J.

    2007-01-01

    This overview of experimentally induced effects of ozone aims to identify physiological and ecological principles, which can be used to classify the sensitivity to ozone of temperate grassland communities in Europe. The analysis of data from experiments with single plants, binary mixtures and multi-species communities illustrates the difficulties to relate individual responses to communities, and thus to identify grassland communities most at risk. Although there is increasing evidence that communities can be separated into broad classes of ozone sensitivity, the database from experiments under realistic conditions with representative systems is too small to draw firm conclusions. But it appears that risk assessments, based on results from individuals or immature mixtures exposed in chambers, are only applicable to intensively managed, productive grasslands, and that the risk of ozone damage for most of perennial grasslands with lower productivity tends to be less than previously expected. - An overview of experimentally induced ozone effects suggests that temperate grasslands could be separated into broad classes of ozone sensitivity based on physiological and ecological principles

  14. Factors affecting the ozone sensitivity of temperate European grasslands: An overview

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bassin, S. [Agroscope FAL Reckenholz, Swiss Federal Research Station for Agroecology and Agriculture, Air Pollution/Climate Group, Reckenholzstrasse 191, CH-8046 Zurich (Switzerland)]. E-mail: seraina.bassin@fal.admin.ch; Volk, M. [Agroscope FAL Reckenholz, Swiss Federal Research Station for Agroecology and Agriculture, Air Pollution/Climate Group, Reckenholzstrasse 191, CH-8046 Zurich (Switzerland); Fuhrer, J. [Agroscope FAL Reckenholz, Swiss Federal Research Station for Agroecology and Agriculture, Air Pollution/Climate Group, Reckenholzstrasse 191, CH-8046 Zurich (Switzerland)

    2007-04-15

    This overview of experimentally induced effects of ozone aims to identify physiological and ecological principles, which can be used to classify the sensitivity to ozone of temperate grassland communities in Europe. The analysis of data from experiments with single plants, binary mixtures and multi-species communities illustrates the difficulties to relate individual responses to communities, and thus to identify grassland communities most at risk. Although there is increasing evidence that communities can be separated into broad classes of ozone sensitivity, the database from experiments under realistic conditions with representative systems is too small to draw firm conclusions. But it appears that risk assessments, based on results from individuals or immature mixtures exposed in chambers, are only applicable to intensively managed, productive grasslands, and that the risk of ozone damage for most of perennial grasslands with lower productivity tends to be less than previously expected. - An overview of experimentally induced ozone effects suggests that temperate grasslands could be separated into broad classes of ozone sensitivity based on physiological and ecological principles.

  15. Biodiversity in temperate European grasslands: origin and conservation.

    OpenAIRE

    Pärtel, Meelis; Bruun, Hans Henrik; Sammul, Marek

    2005-01-01

    Northern Europe is in the forest zone, but wild megaherbivores have maintained grass-dominated vegetation here for the last 1.8 million years. Continuity of the grassland biome through glacialinterglacial cycles and connection to steppe vegetation has resulted in the evolution, immigration, and survival of a large number of grassland species. During the last millennia the effect of wild ungulates has been replaced by domestic grazers and hay making, and the persistence of grasslan...

  16. Prospect Evaluation as an Emerging Pre-Evaluation Technique in the Case of Great Plains Wheat Producers’ Use of Web 2.0

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicholas R. Brown

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available We introduce a pre-evaluation technique, prospect evaluation, in the case of Great Plains wheat producers’ practices with Web 2.0. We emerged prospect evaluation as a pre-evaluation technique, expanding the role of evaluative logic and reasoning into the ideation phase of project and product development to close the risk gap between project idea and implementation. Prospect evaluation serves as a prequel to the well-established developmental, formative, and summative evaluation models. We implemented the prospect evaluation technique in the context of iWheat, a USDA-funded Web 2.0 project (currently known as myFields, http://myfields.info/dashboard. Wheat producers were comfortable using computers; however, they conceptualized the Internet with a Web 1.0 mindset that depends on a centralized model of development and delivery of content. Wheat producers were not comfortable actively co-creating useful information for the betterment of community, a fundamental underpinning of Web 2.0 advancement. Extension specialists and educators should focus on the rewards of contributing to Web 2.0 sites and proceed in diffusing Web 2.0 tools to the wheat producers. Prospect evaluation was sufficient for helping project leaders bridge the risk gap and move forward with the project.

  17. Effects of irrigation on streamflow in the Central Sand Plain of Wisconsin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weeks, E.P.; Stangland, H.G.

    1971-01-01

    Development of ground water for irrigation affects streamflow and water levels in the sand-plain area of central Wisconsin. Additional irrigation development may reduce opportunities for water-based recreation by degrading the streams as trout habitat and by lowering lake levels. This study was made to inventory present development of irrigation in the sand-plain area, assess potential future development, and estimate the effects of irrigation on streamflow and ground-water levels. The suitability of land and the availability of ground water for irrigation are dependent, to a large extent, upon the geology of the area. Rocks making up the ground-water reservoir include outwash, morainal deposits, and glacial lake deposits. These deposits are underlain by crystalline rocks and by sandstone, which act as the floor of the ground-water reservoir. Outwash, the main aquifer, supplies water to about 300 irrigation wells and maintains relatively stable flow in the streams draining the area. The saturated thickness of these deposits is more than 100 feet over much of the area and is as much as 180 feet in bedrock valleys. The saturated thickness of the outwash generally is great enough to provide sufficient water for large-scale irrigation in all but two areas --one near the town of Wisconsin Rapids and one near Dorro Couche Mound. Aquifer tests indicate that the permeability of the outwash is quite high, ranging from about 1,000 gpd per square foot to about 3,800 gpd per square foot, Specific capacities of irrigation wells in the area range from 14 to 157 gpm per foot of drawdown. Water use in the sand-plain area is mainly for irrigation and waterbased recreation. Irrigation development began in the area in the late 1940's, and by 1967 about 19,500 acre-feet of water were pumped to irrigate 34,000 acres of potatoes, snap beans, corn, cucumbers, and other crops. About 70 percent of the applied water was lost to evapotranspiration, and about 30 percent was returned to the

  18. 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.

  19. Radon and thoron levels, their spatial and seasonal variations in adobe dwellings - a case study at the great Hungarian plain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Szabó, Zsuzsanna; Jordan, Gyozo; Szabó, Csaba; Horváth, Ákos; Holm, Óskar; Kocsy, Gábor; Csige, István; Szabó, Péter; Homoki, Zsolt

    2014-06-01

    Radon and thoron isotopes are responsible for approximately half of the average annual effective dose to humans. Although the half-life of thoron is short, it can potentially enter indoor air from adobe walls. Adobe was a traditional construction material in the Great Hungarian Plain. Its major raw materials are the alluvial sediments of the area. Here, seasonal radon and thoron activity concentrations were measured in 53 adobe dwellings in 7 settlements by pairs of etched track detectors. The results show that the annual average radon and thoron activity concentrations are elevated in these dwellings and that the proportions with values higher than 300 Bq m(-3) are 14-17 and 29-32% for radon and thoron, respectively. The calculated radon inhalation dose is significantly higher than the world average value, exceeding 10 mSv y(-1) in 7% of the dwellings of this study. Thoron also can be a significant contributor to the inhalation dose with about 30% in the total inhalation dose. The changes of weather conditions seem to be more relevant in the variation of measurement results than the differences in the local sedimentary geology. Still, the highest values were detected on clay. Through the year, radon follows the average temperature changes and is affected by the ventilation, whereas thoron rather seems to follow the amount of precipitation.

  20. Javelin, Arrow, Dart and Pin Games of Native American Women of the Plains.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pesavento, Wilma J.; Pesavento, Lisa C.

    This study was designed to determine (1) the arrow, dart, javelin, and pin games of Native American girls and women of the Great Plains, (2) the geographical spread of the games within the culture area, and (3) the characteristics of the various games. Data for this investigation were researched from "Annual Reports of the Bureau of American…

  1. Quantifying nitrous oxide emissions from Chinese grasslands with a process-based model

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    F. Zhang

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available As one of the largest land cover types, grassland can potentially play an important role in the ecosystem services of natural resources in China. Nitrous oxide (N2O is a major greenhouse gas emitted from grasslands. Current N2O inventory at a regional or national level in China relies on the emission factor method, which is based on limited measurements. To improve the accuracy of the inventory by capturing the spatial variability of N2O emissions under the diverse climate, soil and management conditions across China, we adopted an approach by utilizing a process-based biogeochemical model, DeNitrification-DeComposition (DNDC, to quantify N2O emissions from Chinese grasslands. In the present study, DNDC was tested against datasets of N2O fluxes measured at eight grassland sites in China with encouraging results. The validated DNDC was then linked to a GIS database holding spatially differentiated information of climate, soil, vegetation and management at county-level for all the grasslands in the country. Daily weather data for 2000–2007 from 670 meteorological stations across the entire domain were employed to serve the simulations. The modelled results on a national scale showed a clear geographic pattern of N2O emissions. A high-emission strip showed up stretching from northeast to central China, which is consistent with the eastern boundary between the temperate grassland region and the major agricultural regions of China. The grasslands in the western mountain regions, however, emitted much less N2O. The regionally averaged rates of N2O emissions were 0.26, 0.14 and 0.38 kg nitrogen (N ha−1 y−1 for the temperate, montane and tropical/subtropical grasslands, respectively. The annual mean N2O emission from the total 337 million ha of grasslands in China was 76.5 ± 12.8 Gg N for the simulated years.

  2. Cattle slurry on grassland - application methods and nitrogen use efficiency

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lalor, S.T.J.

    2014-01-01

    Cattle slurry represents a significant resource on grassland-based farming systems. The objective of this thesis was to investigate and devise cattle slurry application methods and strategies that can be implemented on grassland farms to improve the efficiency with which nitrogen (N) in

  3. Plain formation on Mercury: tectonic implications

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Thomas, P.

    1980-01-01

    Four major plain units, plus intermediates, are distinguished on Mercury. The chronologic relationships between these plains indicate that plains formation was a permanent process on Mercury. Their location and morphology seem to indicate a possible volcanic origin for these plains. The relationships between tectonism and volcanism seems to indicate the global contraction is not the only tectonic process on Mercury. (Auth.)

  4. Nitrous oxide emissions from a Northern Great Plains soil as influenced by nitrogen management and cropping systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dusenbury, M P; Engel, R E; Miller, P R; Lemke, R L; Wallander, R

    2008-01-01

    Field measurements of N2O emissions from soils are limited for cropping systems in the semiarid northern Great Plains (NGP). The objectives were to develop N2O emission-time profiles for cropping systems in the semiarid NGP, define important periods of loss, determine the impact of best management practices on N2O losses, and estimate direct N fertilizer-induced emissions (FIE). No-till (NT) wheat (Triticum Aestivum L.)-fallow, wheat-wheat, and wheat-pea (Pisum sativum), and conventional till (CT) wheat-fallow, all with three N regimes (200 and 100 kg N ha(-1) available N, unfertilized control); plus a perennial grass-alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) system were sampled over 2 yr using vented chambers. Cumulative 2-yr N2O emissions were modest in contrast to reports from more humid regions. Greatest N2O flux activity occurred following urea-N fertilization (10-wk) and during freeze-thaw cycles. Together these periods comprised up to 84% of the 2-yr total. Nitrification was probably the dominant process responsible for N2O emissions during the post-N fertilization period, while denitrification was more important during freeze-thaw cycles. Cumulative 2-yr N2O-N losses from fertilized regimes were greater for wheat-wheat (1.31 kg N ha(-1)) than wheat-fallow (CT and NT) (0.48 kg N ha(-1)), and wheat-pea (0.71 kg N ha(-1)) due to an additional N fertilization event. Cumulative losses from unfertilized cropping systems were not different from perennial grass-alfalfa (0.28 kg N ha(-1)). Tillage did not affect N2O losses for the wheat-fallow systems. Mean FIE level was equivalent to 0.26% of applied N, and considerably below the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change mean default value (1.25%).

  5. Effects of long-term grassland management on the carbon and nitrogen pools of different soil aggregate fractions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Egan, Gary; Crawley, Michael J; Fornara, Dario A

    2018-02-01

    Common grassland management practices include animal grazing and the repeated addition of lime and nutrient fertilizers to soils. These practices can greatly influence the size and distribution of different soil aggregate fractions, thus altering the cycling and storage of carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) in grassland soils. So far, very few studies have simultaneously addressed the potential long-term effect that multiple management practices might have on soil physical aggregation. Here we specifically ask whether and how grazing, liming and nutrient fertilization might influence C and N content (%) as well as C and N pools of different soil aggregate fractions in a long-term grassland experiment established in 1991 at Silwood Park, Berkshire, UK. We found that repeated liming applications over 23years significantly decreased the C pool (i.e. gCKg -1 soil) of Large Macro Aggregate (LMA>2mm) fractions and increased C pools within three smaller soil aggregate fractions: Small Macro Aggregate (SMA, 250μm-2mm), Micro Aggregate (MiA, 53-250μm), and Silt Clay Aggregate (SCAfractions was mainly caused by positive liming effects on aggregate fraction mass rather than on changes in soil C (and N) content (%). Liming effects could be explained by increases in soil pH, as this factor was significantly positively related to greater soil C and N pools of smaller aggregate fractions. Long-term grazing and inorganic nutrient fertilization had much weaker effects on both soil aggregate-fraction mass and on soil C and N concentrations, however, our evidence is that these practices could also contribute to greater C and N pools of smaller soil fractions. Overall our study demonstrates how agricultural liming can contribute to increase C pools of small (more stable) soil fractions with potential significant benefits for the long-term C balance of human-managed grassland soils. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  6. EVALUATING SHORT-TERM CLIMATE VARIABILITY IN THE LATE HOLOCENE OF THE NORTHERN GREAT PLAINS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Joseph H. Hartman

    1999-09-01

    Great Plains, northern hemisphere, and elsewhere. Finally these data can be integrated into a history of climate change and predictive climate models. This is not a small undertaking. The goals of researchers and the methods used vary considerably. The primary task of this project was literature research to (1) evaluate existing methodologies used in geologic climate change studies and evidence for short-term cycles produced by these methodologies and (2) evaluate late Holocene climate patterns and their interpretations.

  7. Forest and grassland carbon in North America: A short course for land managers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chris Swanston; Michael J. Furniss; Kristen Schmitt; Jeffrey Guntle; Maria Janowiak; Sarah Hines

    2012-01-01

    This multimedia short-course presents a range of information on the science, management and policy of forest and grassland carbon. Forests and grasslands worldwide play a critical role in storing carbon and sequestering greenhouse gases from the atmosphere. The U.S. Forest Service, which manages 193 million acres of forests and grasslands, emphasizes the need for...

  8. Threshold responses to interacting global changes in a California grassland ecosystem

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Field, Christopher [Carnegie Inst. of Science, Stanford, CA (United States); Mooney, Harold [Stanford Univ., CA (United States); Vitousek, Peter [Stanford Univ., CA (United States)

    2015-02-02

    Building on the history and infrastructure of the Jasper Ridge Global Change Experiment, we conducted experiments to explore the potential for single and combined global changes to stimulate fundamental type changes in ecosystems that start the experiment as California annual grassland. Using a carefully orchestrated set of seedling introductions, followed by careful study and later removal, the grassland was poised to enable two major kinds of transitions that occur in real life and that have major implications for ecosystem structure, function, and services. These are transitions from grassland to shrubland/forest and grassland to thistle patch. The experiment took place in the context of 4 global change factors – warming, elevated CO2, N deposition, and increased precipitation – in a full-factorial array, present as all possible 1, 2, 3, and 4-factor combinations, with each combination replicated 8 times.

  9. Thermodynamic and Turbulence Characteristics of the Southern Great Plains Nocturnal Boundary Layer Under Differing Turbulent Regimes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bonin, Timothy A.; Blumberg, William G.; Klein, Petra M.; Chilson, Phillip B.

    2015-12-01

    The nocturnal stable boundary layer (SBL) can generally be classified into the weakly stable boundary layer (wSBL) and very stable boundary layer (vSBL). Within the wSBL, turbulence is relatively continuous, whereas in the vSBL, turbulence is intermittent and not well characterized. Differentiating characteristics of each type of SBL are still unknown. Herein, thermodynamic and kinematic data collected by a suite of instruments in north central Oklahoma in autumn 2012 are analyzed to better understand both SBL regimes and their differentiating characteristics. Many low-level jets were observed during the experiment, as it took place near a climatological maximum. A threshold wind speed, above which bulk shear-generated turbulence develops, is found to exist up to 300 m. The threshold wind speed must also be exceeded at lower heights (down to the surface) in order for strong turbulence to develop. Composite profiles, which are normalized using low-level jet scaling, of potential temperature, wind speed, vertical velocity variance, and the third-order moment of vertical velocity (overline{w'^3}) are produced for weak and moderate/strong turbulence regimes, which exhibit features of the vSBL and wSBL, respectively. Within the wSBL, turbulence is generated at the surface and transported upward. In the vSBL, values of vertical velocity variance are small throughout the entire boundary layer, likely due to the fact that a strong surface inversion typically forms after sunset. The temperature profile tends to be approximately isothermal in the lowest portions of the wSBL, and it did not substantially change over the night. Within both types of SBL, stability in the residual layer tends to increase as the night progresses. It is thought that this stability increase is due to differential warm air advection, which frequently occurs in the southern Great Plains when southerly low-level jets and a typical north-south temperature gradient are present. Differential radiative

  10. Leaf area index drives soil water availability and extreme drought-related mortality under elevated CO2 in a temperate grassland model system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manea, Anthony; Leishman, Michelle R

    2014-01-01

    The magnitude and frequency of climatic extremes, such as drought, are predicted to increase under future climate change conditions. However, little is known about how other factors such as CO2 concentration will modify plant community responses to these extreme climatic events, even though such modifications are highly likely. We asked whether the response of grasslands to repeat extreme drought events is modified by elevated CO2, and if so, what are the underlying mechanisms? We grew grassland mesocosms consisting of 10 co-occurring grass species common to the Cumberland Plain Woodland of western Sydney under ambient and elevated CO2 and subjected them to repeated extreme drought treatments. The 10 species included a mix of C3, C4, native and exotic species. We hypothesized that a reduction in the stomatal conductance of the grasses under elevated CO2 would be offset by increases in the leaf area index thus the retention of soil water and the consequent vulnerability of the grasses to extreme drought would not differ between the CO2 treatments. Our results did not support this hypothesis: soil water content was significantly lower in the mesocosms grown under elevated CO2 and extreme drought-related mortality of the grasses was greater. The C4 and native grasses had significantly higher leaf area index under elevated CO2 levels. This offset the reduction in the stomatal conductance of the exotic grasses as well as increased rainfall interception, resulting in reduced soil water content in the elevated CO2 mesocosms. Our results suggest that projected increases in net primary productivity globally of grasslands in a high CO2 world may be limited by reduced soil water availability in the future.

  11. Task 50 - deposition of lignites in the Fort Union Group and related strata of the northern Great Plains

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hartman, J.H.; Roth, B.; Kihm, A.J.

    1997-08-11

    Late Cretaceous, Paleocene, and early Eocene geologic and paleontologic studies were undertaken in western North Dakota, eastern and south-central Montana, and northwestern and northeastern Wyoming. These study areas comprise the Williston, Bighorn, and Powder River Basins, all of which contain significant lignite resources. Research was undertaken in these basins because they have the best geologic sections and fossil record for the development of a chronostratigraphic (time-rock) framework for the correlation of lignite beds and other economic resources. A thorough understanding of the precise geologic age of the deposition of sediments permits a powerful means of interpreting the record of geologic events across the northern Great Plains. Such an understanding allows for rigorous interpretation of paleoenviromnents and estimates of resource potential and quality in this area of economically significant deposits. This work is part of ongoing research to document change in the composition of molluscan fossil faunas to provide a paleoenvironmentally sensitive independent means of interpreting time intervals of brief duration during the Late Cretaceous, Paleocene, and Eocene. This study focuses on the record of mollusks and, to a lesser extent, mammals in the (1) Hell Creek-Tullock Formations, which include the Cretaceous-Paleocene boundary, in the western portion of the Williston Basin, Montana; (2) uppermost Cretaceous, Paleocene, and lowermost Eocene strata in western North Dakota, which -includes the last interior seaway in North Dakota; (3) upper Paleocene and lowermost Eocene of the northern portion of the Bighorn Basin of south-central Montana and northwestern Wyoming; and (4) Powder River Basin of northeastern Wyoming and southeastern Montana. The geologic record provides different physical and paleontological information to aid in interpreting the geologic record through the study interval.

  12. [Community structure and diversity of soil arthropods in naturally restored sandy grasslands after grazing].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Ren-tao; Zhao, Ha-lin; Zhao, Xue-yong

    2010-11-01

    Taking the Naiman Desertification Research Station under Chinese Academy of Sciences as a base, an investigation was conducted on the community structure of soil arthropods in the naturally restored sandy grasslands after different intensity grazing disturbance, with the effects of vegetation and soil on this community structure approached. In the non-grazing grassland, soil arthropods were rich in species and more in individuals, and had the highest diversity. In the restored grassland after light grazing, soil arthropods had the lowest evenness and diversity. In the restored grassland after moderate grazing, the individuals of soil arthropods were lesser but the major groups were more, and the evenness and diversity were higher. In the restored grassland after heavy grazing, the individuals of soil arthropods were more but the major groups were lesser, and the diversity was higher. Plant individuals' number, vegetation height and coverage, and soil alkalinity were the main factors affecting the soil arthropod community in naturally restored grasslands after different intensity grazing disturbance. It was implied that after 12-year exclosure of grassland, soil arthropod community could be recovered to some degree, while grazing disturbance had long-term negative effects on the arthropod community.

  13. Long-term after-effects of fertilisation on restoration of calcareous grasslands

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Smits, N.A.C.; Bobbink, R.; Willems, J.H.

    2008-01-01

    Question: What are the long-term implications of former fertilisation for the ecological restoration of calcareous grasslands? Location: Gerendal, Limburg, The Netherlands. Methods: In 1970, ten permanent plots were established in just abandoned agricultural calcareous grassland under a regime of

  14. Monitoring in South African grasslands

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Mentis, MT

    1984-12-01

    Full Text Available The main purpose of this document is to propose how ecological monitoring might be developed in the Grassland Biome of South Africa. Monitoring is defined as the maintenance of regular surveillance to test the null hypothesis of no change...

  15. Evapotranspiration and soil moisture dynamics in a temperate grassland ecosystem in Inner Mongolia China

    Science.gov (United States)

    L. Hao; Ge Sun; Yongqiang Liu; G. S. Zhou; J. H.   Wan;  L. B. Zhang; J. L. Niu; Y. H. Sang;  J. J He

    2015-01-01

    Precipitation, evapotranspiration (ET), and soil moisture are the key controls for the productivity and functioning of temperate grassland ecosystems in Inner Mongolia, northern China. Quantifying the soil moisture dynamics and water balances in the grasslands is essential to sustainable grassland management under global climate change. We...

  16. The small-scale species mobility in calcareous grasslands - example from southern Poland

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wojciech Bąba

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available In this paper I use the different measures of species mobility to describe the fine small-scale dynamics of calcareous grassland built mainly by perennial species and developed in the highly heterogeneous habitat of calcareous rocks. The community showed the low dynamics on a plot-scale (100 m2 and a high one on the scale of 1 m2. However, the studied species differed greatly in calculated indices: turnover rate, (T; 6-64, residence time (RT; 0.5-21.8 y and carousel time (CT; 4-420 y as well as the observed tendency to persistence on the spots (PERSIST and their re-colonisation (AGAIN. This allowed to distinguish the three groups of species: (1 "core species" characterized by high frequency and low T and high CT and RT values, which determine the low dynamics of a community on the plot scale, (2 species with intermediate mobility rate and (3 the group with high mobility rate. The observed cumulative frequencies of all the studied species (CFobs were much lower than expected under the random re-assignation model (CFRR. Moreover, they were also lower than those predicted by random immigration model (CFRI. The results showed that the "complex carousel" model rather than "single carousel" one explained better the small-scale dynamics of calcareous grasslands.

  17. Preliminary study of uranium in Pennsylvanian and lower Permian strata in the Powder River Basin, Wyoming and Montana, and the Northern Great Plains

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dunagan, J.F. Jr.; Kadish, K.A.

    1977-11-01

    Persistent and widespread radiometric anomalies occur in Pennsylvanian and Lower Permian strata in the subsurface of the northern Great Plains and the Powder River Basin. The primary host lithology of these anomalies is shale interbedded with sandstone, dolomite, and dolomitic sandstone. Samples from the project area indicate that uranium is responsible for some anomalies. In some samples there seems to be a correlation between high uranium content and high organic-carbon content, which possibly indicates that carbonaceous material acted as a trapping mechanism in some strata. The Pennsylvanian and Permian rocks studied are predominantly marine carbonates and clastics, but there are rocks of fluvial origin in the basal Pennsylvanian of Montana, North Dakota, and South Dakota and in the Pennsylvanian and Permian deposits on the east flank of the Laramie Mountains. Fine-grained clastic rocks that flank the Chadron arch in western Nebraska are possibly of continental origin. The trend of the Chadron arch approximately parallels the trend of radiometric anomalies in the subsurface Permian-Pennsylvanian section. Possible source areas for uranium in the sediments studied were pre-Pennsylvanian strata of the Canadian Shield and Precambrian igneous rocks of the Ancestral Rocky Mountains

  18. The influence of boundary features on grassland-edge communities of Alta Murgia

    OpenAIRE

    Cassano, Stefania; Alignier, Audrey; Forte, Luigi; Labadessa, Rocco; Mairota, Paola

    2016-01-01

    Many studies suggest the importance of boundary features on plant community dynamics. Our aim was to investigate the influence of boundary features on edge plant assemblages in semi-natural dry grasslands. For this purpose we selected 16 grassland edges in the central portion of the Natura 2000 site Murgia Alta, in southeastern Italy. These sites were selected according to a combination of boundary features, i.e. the adjoining land use type (road or cereal crop), slope (grassland tilted towar...

  19. Root biomass and carbon storage in differently managed multispecies temporary grasslands

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Eriksen, Jørgen; Mortensen, Tine Bloch; Søegaard, Karen

    2012-01-01

    Species-rich grasslands may potentially increase carbon (C) storage in soil, and an experiment was established to investigate C storage in highly productive temporary multi-species grasslands. Plots were established with three mixtures: (1) a herb mixture containing salad burnet (Sanguisorba minor...

  20. Balance matters : N:P stoichiometry and plant diversity in grassland ecosystems

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Fujita, Y.

    2010-01-01

    Eutrophication of Nitrogen (N) and Phosphorus (P) is threatening the functioning and biodiversity of grassland ecosystems. A well known effect of eutrophication on grasslands is an increase of above-ground productivity, which intensifies light competition and allows only a few competitive species to

  1. Secondary succession after fire in Imperata grasslands of East Kalimantan Indonesia

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Yassir, I.; Kamp, van der J.; Buurman, P.

    2010-01-01

    Regeneration of grassland areas is becoming increasingly important, not only to create new secondary forest and recover the original biodiversity, but also recover for agriculture. We studied an early succession in Imperata grasslands in East Kalimantan, Indonesia, using plots that last burned 3

  2. Energy analysis of various grassland utilisation systems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jozef Ržonca

    2005-01-01

    Full Text Available In 2003 and 2004 was carried out the energy analysis of the different types of permanent grassland utilization on the Hrubý Jeseník locality. There were estimated values of the particular entrances of additional energy. Energy entrances moved according to the pratotechnologies from 2.17 GJ. ha–1 to 22.70 GJ.ha–1. The biggest share on energy entrances had fertilizers. It was 84.93% by the nitrogen fertilisation. The most energy benefit of brutto and nettoenergy was marked by the low intensive utilisation (33.40 GJ.ha–1 NEL and 32.40 GJ.ha–1 NEV on average. The highest value of energy efficiency (13.23% was marked by the low intensive utilization of permanent grassland. By using of higher doses of industrial fertilizers has energy efficiency decreased. From view of energy benefit and intensiveness on energy entrances it appears the most available utilisation of permanent grassland with three cuts per year (first cut on May 31st at the latest, every next after 60 days or two cuts per year (first cut on July 15th, next cuts after 90 days.

  3. Resource management and operations in southwest South Dakota: Climate change scenario planning workshop summary January 20-21, 2016, Rapid City, SD

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fisichelli, Nicholas A.; Schuurman, Gregor W.; Symstad, Amy J.; Ray, Andrea; Miller, Brian; Cross, Molly; Rowland, Erika

    2016-01-01

    The Scaling Climate Change Adaptation in the Northern Great Plains through Regional Climate Summaries and Local Qualitative-Quantitative Scenario Planning Workshops project synthesizes climate data into 3-5 distinct but plausible climate summaries for the northern Great Plains region; crafts quantitative summaries of these climate futures for two focal areas; and applies these local summaries by developing climate-resource-management scenarios through participatory workshops and, where possible, simulation models. The two focal areas are central North Dakota and southwest South Dakota (Figure 1). The primary objective of this project is to help resource managers and scientists in a focal area use scenario planning to make management and planning decisions based on assessments of critical future uncertainties.This report summarizes project work for public and tribal lands in the southwest South Dakota grasslands focal area, with an emphasis on Badlands National Park and Buffalo Gap National Grassland. The report explains scenario planning as an adaptation tool in general, then describes how it was applied to the focal area in three phases. Priority resource management and climate uncertainties were identified in the orientation phase. Local climate summaries for relevant, divergent, and challenging climate scenarios were developed in the second phase. In the final phase, a two-day scenario planning workshop held January 20-21, 2016 in Rapid City, South Dakota, featured scenario development and implications, testing management decisions, and methods for operationalizing scenario planning outcomes.

  4. Mechanisms affecting the transition from shallow to deep convection over land: Inferences from observations collected at the ARM Southern Great Plains site

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Y.; Klein, S. A.

    2009-12-01

    11 years of summertime observations at the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Climate Research Facility Southern Great Plains (SGP) site are used to investigate mechanisms controlling the transition from shallow to deep convection over land. A more humid environment above the boundary layer favors the occurrence of late-afternoon heavy precipitation events. The higher moisture content is brought by wind from south. Greater boundary layer inhomogeneity in moist static energy (MSE) is correlated to larger rain rates at the initial stage of precipitation. MSE inhomogeneity is attributed to both moisture and temperature fields, and is correlated with westerly winds. In an examination of afternoon rain statistics, higher relative humidity above the boundary layer is correlated to an earlier onset and longer duration of precipitation, while greater boundary layer inhomogeneity and atmospheric instability are positively correlated to the total rain amount and the maximum rain rate. On balance, these observations favor theories for the transition that involve a moist free troposphere and boundary layer heterogeneity in preference to those that involve convective available potential energy or convective inhibition. Thus the evidence presented here supports the current emphasis in the modeling community on the entraining nature of convection and the role of boundary layer cold pools in triggering new convection.

  5. Influence of density on the seasonal utilization of broad grassland ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    We monitored seasonal use of grassland types by white rhinos at two sites within the Hluhluwe iMfolozi Park (HiP). Thirty-two rhinos were removed from one site to reduce rhino density. Seasonal use of grassland types was similar at both sites, but differed to what a previous study reported. This was likely due to higher food ...

  6. COENOLOGICAL SHIFT FOLLOWING FERTILIZATION IN MEDITERRANEAN GRASSLAND

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    ALESSANDRO SERAFINI SAULI

    2006-05-01

    Full Text Available In Rome both meadows of CentraI-European affinity and Mediterranean dry grasslands are presento We studied a site (Parco Regionale Urbano de] Pineto in Rome with very diverse vegetation, where species belonging to both coenologica] groups oceur. Wc fertilized a grassland with a combination of phosphorus (P and nitrogen (N. After fertilization diagDostie species of Helianthemetea guttati (Thcrophytes dccrease while species of MolinioArrhenatheretea (Hemicriptophytes increase. In a climate as that of Rome, transition between Mediterranean (with summer drought and Central European (without summer drought, nutrients availability modulates the distribution of vegetation Classes with respectively Mediterranean or Central-Europe affinities.

  7. Impact of Climate Change on Temperate and Alpine Grasslands in China during 1982–2006

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiangjin Shen

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Based on GIMMS NDVI and climate data from 1982 to 2006, this study analyzed the impact of climate change on grassland in China. During the growing season, there were significant effects of precipitation on the growth of all the grassland types (P<0.05, except for meadow vegetation. For the air temperatures, there existed asymmetrical effects of maximum temperature (Tmax and minimum temperature (Tmin on grassland vegetation, especially for the temperate grasslands and alpine steppe. The growing season NDVI correlated negatively with Tmax but positively with Tmin for temperate grasslands. Seasonally, these opposite effects were only observed in summer. For alpine steppe, the growing season NDVI correlated positively with Tmax but negatively with Tmin, and this pattern of asymmetrical responses was only obvious in spring and autumn. Under the background of global asymmetric warming, more attention should be paid to this asymmetric response of grassland vegetation to daytime and night-time warming, especially when we want to predict the productivity of China’s grasslands in the future.

  8. Assessing the biophysical naturalness of grassland in eastern North Dakota with hyperspectral imagery

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Qiang

    Over the past two decades, non-native species within grassland communities have quickly developed due to human migration and commerce. Invasive species like Smooth Brome grass (Bromus inermis) and Kentucky Blue Grass (Poa pratensis), seriously threaten conservation of native grasslands. This study aims to discriminate between native grasslands and planted hayfields and conservation areas dominated by introduced grasses using hyperspectral imagery. Hyperspectral imageries from the Hyperion sensor on EO-1 were acquired in late spring and late summer on 2009 and 2010. Field spectra for widely distributed species as well as smooth brome grass and Kentucky blue grass were collected from the study sites throughout the growing season. Imagery was processed with an unmixing algorithm to estimate fractional cover of green and dry vegetation and bare soil. As the spectrum is significantly different through growing season, spectral libraries for the most common species are then built for both the early growing season and late growing season. After testing multiple methods, the Adaptive Coherence Estimator (ACE) was used for spectral matching analysis between the imagery and spectral libraries. Due in part to spectral similarity among key species, the results of spectral matching analysis were not definitive. Additional indexes, "Level of Dominance" and "Band variance", were calculated to measure the predominance of spectral signatures in any area. A Texture co-occurrence analysis was also performed on both "Level of Dominance" and "Band variance" indexes to extract spatial characteristics. The results suggest that compared with disturbed area, native prairie tend to have generally lower "Level of Dominance" and "Band variance" as well as lower spatial dissimilarity. A final decision tree model was created to predict presence of native or introduced grassland. The model was more effective for identification of Mixed Native Grassland than for grassland dominated by a single

  9. Changing Land Use from Cotton to Bioenergy Crops in the Southern Great Plains: Implications on Carbon and Water Vapor Fluxes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rajan, N.; Sharma, S.

    2016-12-01

    We are facing an unprecedented challenge in securing America's energy future. To address this challenge, increased biofuel crop production is needed. Although first-generation biofuels like corn ethanol are available, second-generation biofuels are gaining importance because they don't directly compete with food production. Second-generation biofuels are made from the by-products of intensive agriculture or from less-intensive agriculture on more marginal lands. The Southwestern U.S. Cotton Belt can play a significant role in this effort through a change from more conventional crops (like continuous cotton) to second-generation biofuel feedstocks (biomass sorghum and perennial grasses). While we believe there would be environmental benefits associated with this change in land use, their exact nature and magnitude have not been investigated for this region. The overall goal of the proposed study was to investigate the water and carbon (C) fluxes associated with the change in agricultural land use to biofuels-dominated cropping systems in the semi-arid Southwestern U.S. Cotton Belt region. Eddy covariance flux towers were established at selected producer fields (cotton, perennial grasses and biomass sorghum) in the Southern Great Plains region. The fluxes of carbon dioxide, water vapor and sensible heat between the surface and the atmosphere will be measured throughout the year. The results have demonstrated that the dynamics of C and water vapor fluxes for these agroecosystems were strongly affected by environmental variables, management factors, and crop phenology. Detailed results will be presented at the meeting.

  10. A long-term study of aerosol–cloud interactions and their radiative effect at the Southern Great Plains using ground-based measurements

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E. T. Sena

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Empirical estimates of the microphysical response of cloud droplet size distribution to aerosol perturbations are commonly used to constrain aerosol–cloud interactions in climate models. Instead of empirical microphysical estimates, here macroscopic variables are analyzed to address the influence of aerosol particles and meteorological descriptors on instantaneous cloud albedo and the radiative effect of shallow liquid water clouds. Long-term ground-based measurements from the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM program over the Southern Great Plains are used. A broad statistical analysis was performed on 14 years of coincident measurements of low clouds, aerosol, and meteorological properties. Two cases representing conflicting results regarding the relationship between the aerosol and the cloud radiative effect were selected and studied in greater detail. Microphysical estimates are shown to be very uncertain and to depend strongly on the methodology, retrieval technique and averaging scale. For this continental site, the results indicate that the influence of the aerosol on the shallow cloud radiative effect and albedo is weak and that macroscopic cloud properties and dynamics play a much larger role in determining the instantaneous cloud radiative effect compared to microphysical effects. On a daily basis, aerosol shows no correlation with cloud radiative properties (correlation = −0.01 ± 0.03, whereas the liquid water path shows a clear signal (correlation = 0.56 ± 0.02.

  11. PV water pumping systems for grassland and farmland conservation

    OpenAIRE

    Campana, Pietro Elia

    2013-01-01

    Grassland degradation is considered as one of the worst environmental and economic problems in China because of the negative impacts on water and food security. The application of the photovoltaic water pumping (PVWP) technology for irrigation is an innovative and sustainable solution to curb the progress of grassland desertification and to promote the conservation of farmland in remote areas. The combination of PVWP with water saving irrigation techniques and the sustainable management of th...

  12. Monitoring Grassland Tourist Season of Inner Mongolia, China Using Remote Sensing Data

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Quansheng Ge

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Phenology-driven events, such as spring wildflower displays or fall tree colour, are generally appreciated by tourists for centuries around the world. Monitoring when tourist seasons occur using satellite data has been an area of growing research interest in recent decades. In this paper, a valid methodology for detecting the grassland tourist season using remote sensing data was presented. On average, the beginning, the best, and the end of grassland tourist season of Inner Mongolia, China, occur in late June (±30 days, early July (±30 days, and late July (±50 days, respectively. In south region, the grassland tourist season appeared relatively late. The length of the grassland tourist season is about 90 days with strong spatial trend. South areas exhibit longer tourist season.

  13. 49 CFR 229.64 - Plain bearings.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-10-01

    ... 49 Transportation 4 2010-10-01 2010-10-01 false Plain bearings. 229.64 Section 229.64 Transportation Other Regulations Relating to Transportation (Continued) FEDERAL RAILROAD ADMINISTRATION....64 Plain bearings. A plain bearing box shall contain visible free oil and may not be cracked to the...

  14. Grassland simulation with the LPJmL model : version 3.4.018

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Boons-Prins, E.R.

    2010-01-01

    One third of the land surface is covered with natural and cultivated grasslands. Most of these grasslands are intensively or extensively exploited by humans to feed animals. With growing wealth, causing an increase of meat consumption, there is a need to better understand the processes that

  15. 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...

  16. Shelterbelts: A buffer to climate on the Plains

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Brandle, J.R.

    1991-01-01

    One type of non-traditional forest on the Great Plains is the shelterbelt, which act as buffers to the climatic extremes of the region. The primary direct effect of a shelterbelt is to reduce the surface wind speed, resulting in altered microclimates extending 3-4 times the height of the shelterbelt on the windward side and 10-20 times the height on the leeward side. Field shelterbelts are used to protect crops, reduce wind erosion and distribute snow. Shelterbelts may also be used to protect farmsteads, livestock, roadways, and wildlife habitat. As future climate patterns develop, the value of wind protection and the moderating effect on microclimate will become more important, and careful shelterbelt design will result in benefits to various human activities. If the climate in the Plains becomes hotter and drier, as predicted, plants will need to have greater heat and drought tolerance, and will also require greater resistance to insect and disease attack. A classical genetic approach may be successful in adapting varieties, or biotechnology may shorten the period between successful identification of stress resistance and inclusion of the resistance on the next generation. 13 refs

  17. A New Boundary for the High Plains - Ogallala Aquifer Complex

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haacker, E. M.; Nozari, S.; Kendall, A. D.

    2017-12-01

    In the semi-arid Great Plains, water is the key ingredient for crop growth: the difference between meager yields for many crops and an agricultural bonanza. The High Plains-Ogallala Aquifer complex (HPA) underlies 452,000 square kilometers of the region, and over 95% of water withdrawn from the aquifer is used for irrigation. Much of the HPA is being pumped unsustainably, and since the region is heavily reliant on this resource for its social and economic health, the High Plains has been a leader in groundwater management planning. However, the geographic boundary of the High Plains region fails to reflect the hydrogeological realities of the aquifer. The current boundary, recognizable from countless textbooks and news articles, is only slightly modified from a version from the 1980's, and largely follows the physiographic borders of the High Plains - defined by surface features such as escarpments and rivers - rather than the edges of water-bearing sediment sufficient for high-volume pumping. This is supported by three lines of evidence: hydrogeological observations from the original aquifer boundary determination; the extent of irrigated land, as estimated by MODIS-MIrAD data; and statistical estimates of saturated thickness, incorporating improved maps of the aquifer base and an additional 35 years of water table measurements. In this project, new maps of saturated thickness are used to create an updated aquifer boundary, which conforms with the standard definition of an aquifer as a package of sediment that yields enough water to be economically pumped. This has major implications for social and physical models, as well as water planning and estimates of sustainability for the HPA. Much of the area of the HPA that has been labeled `sustainable' based upon estimates of recharge relative to pumping estimates falls outside the updated aquifer boundary. In reality, the sustainably-pumped area of this updated aquifer boundary is far smaller—a fact that if more

  18. Voluntary intake and in vivo digestibility of forages from semi-natural grasslands in dairy cows

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bruinenberg, M.H.; Valk, H.; Struik, P.C.

    2003-01-01

    To study in vivo digestibility of forages from semi-natural grasslands two experiments were carried out. In the first experiment lactating dairy cows were offered three different silage-based diets. Silage originated from intensively managed grassland (IM), extensively managed species-poor grassland

  19. Energy production from grassland - Assessing the sustainability of different process chains under German conditions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Roesch, Christine; Skarka, J.; Raab, K.; Stelzer, V.

    2009-01-01

    In many regions of Europe, grassland shapes the landscape and fulfils important functions in protecting nature, soil, and water. However, the traditional uses of grassland for forage production are vanishing with progress in breeding and structural adaptations in agriculture. On the other hand, the demand for biomass energy is rising due to political sustainability goals and financial measures to support renewable energy. Against this background, the Institute for Technology Assessment and Systems Analysis investigated the applicability, economic efficiency, and sustainability of different techniques for energy production from grassland as well as from grassland converted into maize fields or short-rotation poplars under German conditions. The results show that despite relatively high energy prices and the financial support for bioenergy, the effects of energy production from grassland on employment in agriculture and farmers' income are modest. What is beneficial are savings in non-renewable energy, reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, and local provision of energy carriers. If grassland biomass (grass silage or hay) is used for energy purposes, this brings the further advantages of preserving biodiversity and the cultural landscape and protecting of soil and groundwater. Negative impacts on sustainable development result from an increase in emissions, which leads to acidification, eutrophication, and risks to human health. The overall evaluation indicates that short-rotation poplars are comparatively advantageous from the economic and ecological point of view. Therefore, a development plan for grassland is required to identify areas where grassland could be used as an energy resource or where it would be favourable to install energy plantations with fast-growing perennial plants

  20. Drought and Carbon Cycling of Grassland Ecosystems under Global Change: A Review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tianjie Lei

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available In recent years, the increased intensity and duration of droughts have dramatically altered the structure and function of grassland ecosystems, which have been forced to adapt to this change in climate. Combinations of global change drivers such as elevated atmospheric CO2 concentration, warming, nitrogen (N deposition, grazing, and land-use change have influenced the impact that droughts have on grassland C cycling. This influence, to some extent, can modify the relationship between droughts and grassland carbon (C cycling in the multi-factor world. Unfortunately, prior reviews have been primarily anecdotal from the 1930s to the 2010s. We investigated the current state of the study on the interactive impacts of multiple factors under drought scenarios in grassland C cycling and provided scientific advice for dealing with droughts and managing grassland C cycling in a multi-factor world. Currently, adequate information is not available on the interaction between droughts and global change drivers, which would advance our understanding of grassland C cycling responses. It was determined that future experiments and models should specifically test how droughts regulate grassland C cycling under global changes. Previous multi-factor experiments of current and future global change conditions have studied various drought scenarios poorly, including changes in precipitation frequency and amplitude, timing, and interactions with other global change drivers. Multi-factor experiments have contributed to quantifying these potential changes and have provided important information on how water affects ecosystem processes under global change. There is an urgent need to establish a systematic framework that can assess ecosystem dynamic responses to droughts under current and future global change and human activity, with a focus on the combined effects of droughts, global change drivers, and the corresponding hierarchical responses of an ecosystem.

  1. Flower resource and land management drives hoverfly communities and bee abundance in seminatural and agricultural grasslands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lucas, Andrew; Bull, James C; de Vere, Natasha; Neyland, Penelope J; Forman, Dan W

    2017-10-01

    Pollination is a key ecosystem service, and appropriate management, particularly in agricultural systems, is essential to maintain a diversity of pollinator guilds. However, management recommendations frequently focus on maintaining plant communities, with the assumption that associated invertebrate populations will be sustained. We tested whether plant community, flower resources, and soil moisture would influence hoverfly (Syrphidae) abundance and species richness in floristically-rich seminatural and floristically impoverished agricultural grassland communities in Wales (U.K.) and compared these to two Hymenoptera genera, Bombus, and Lasioglossum . Interactions between environmental variables were tested using generalized linear modeling, and hoverfly community composition examined using canonical correspondence analysis. There was no difference in hoverfly abundance, species richness, or bee abundance, between grassland types. There was a positive association between hoverfly abundance, species richness, and flower abundance in unimproved grasslands. However, this was not evident in agriculturally improved grassland, possibly reflecting intrinsically low flower resource in these habitats, or the presence of plant species with low or relatively inaccessible nectar resources. There was no association between soil moisture content and hoverfly abundance or species richness. Hoverfly community composition was influenced by agricultural improvement and the amount of flower resource. Hoverfly species with semiaquatic larvae were associated with both seminatural and agricultural wet grasslands, possibly because of localized larval habitat. Despite the absence of differences in hoverfly abundance and species richness, distinct hoverfly communities are associated with marshy grasslands, agriculturally improved marshy grasslands, and unimproved dry grasslands, but not with improved dry grasslands. Grassland plant community cannot be used as a proxy for pollinator

  2. Understanding of Grassland Ecosystems under Climate Change and Economic Development Pressures in the Mongolia Plateau

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qi, J.; Chen, J.; Shan, P.; Pan, X.; Wei, Y.; Wang, M.; Xin, X.

    2011-12-01

    The land use and land cover change, especially in the form of grassland degradation, in the Mongolian Plateau, exhibited a unique spatio-temporal pattern that is a characteristic of a mixed stress from economic development and climate change of the region. The social dimension of the region played a key role in shaping the landscape and land use change, including the cultural clashes with economic development, conflicts between indigenous people and business ventures, and exogenous international influences. Various research projects have been conducted in the region to focus on physical degradation of grasslands and/or on economic development but there is a lack of understanding how the social and economic dimensions interact with grassland ecosystems and changes. In this talk, a synthesis report was made based on the most recent workshop held in Hohhot, Inner Mongolia, of China, that specifically focused on climate change and grassland ecosystems. The report analyzed the degree of grassland degradation, its climate and social drivers, and coupling nature of economic development and conservation of traditional grassland values. The goal is to fully understand the socio-ecological-economic interactions that together shape the trajectory of the grassland ecosystems in the Mongolia Plateau.

  3. DYNAMICS OF CARBON SEQUESTRATION IN ABANDONED GRASSLANDS OF NORTHEASTERN MEXICO

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    José Israel Yerena Yamallel

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available Livestock activities due to the improper handling of the load capacity, suffer from low productivity in their grasslands, which are abandoned giving rise to the appearance of species considered invasive and undesirable for producers, without knowing the qualities of these as mitigating of climate change. The objective of the present study was to estimate the carbon content in tamaulipan thornscrub and three abandoned grasslands with a time of abandonment of 10, 20 and 30 years. For the estimation of the carbon content was used a systematic sampling design, in each area were established four sampling sites of 1,600 m2. The primary scrub is the system that resulted in the largest value of carbon content of 14.25 Mg ha-1, followed by the grasslands of 30, 20 and 10 years with 8.03, 7.33 and 4.13 Mg ha-1 respectively. It was concluded that recovering the initial state of the primary scrub take many years, as can be seen in the grasslands system 30 years reaching only 56% of what it had in reserves of primary scrub.

  4. Description of the Grassland Biome Project

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Mentis, MT

    1982-10-01

    Full Text Available The objectives, organization and research programme of the Grassland Biome Project are described against a background of the biome's ecological characteristics and environmental problems. Four principal research topics wil 1 be focused upon: (i...

  5. Estimating N2O processes during grassland renewal and grassland conversion to maize cropping using N2O isotopocules

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buchen, Caroline; Well, Reinhard; Flessa, Heinz; Fuß, Roland; Helfrich, Mirjam; Lewicka-Szczebak, Dominika

    2017-04-01

    Grassland break-up due to grassland renewal and grassland conversion to cropland can lead to a flush of mineral nitrogen from decomposition of the old grass sward and the decomposition of soil organic matter. Moreover, increased carbon and nitrogen mineralisation can result in enhanced nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions. As N2O is known to be an important greenhouse gas and a major precursor for ozone depletion, its emissions need to be mitigated by adjusting agricultural management practices. Therefore, it is necessary to understand the N2O processes involved, as well as the contribution of N2O reduction to N2. Apart from the widely used 15N gas flux method, natural abundance isotopic analysis of the four most abundant isotopocules of N2O species is a promising alternative to assess N2O production pathways. We used stable isotope analyses of soil-emitted N2O (δ18ON2O, δ15NN2Obulk and δ15NN2OSP= intramolecular distribution of 15N within the linear N2O molecule) with an isotopocule mapping approach to simultaneously estimate the magnitude of N2O reduction to N2 and the fraction of N2O originating from the bacterial denitrification pathway or fungal denitrification and/or nitrification. This approach is based on endmember areas of isotopic values for the N2O produced from different sources reported in the literature. For this purpose, we calculated two main scenarios with different assumptions for N2O produced: N2O is reduced to N2 before residual N2O is mixed with N2O of various sources (Scenario a) and vice versa (Scenario b). Based on this, we applied seven different scenario variations, where we evaluated the range of possible values for the potential N2O production pathways (heterotrophic bacterial denitrification and/or nitrifier denitrification and fungal denitrification and/or nitrification). This was done by using a range of isotopic endmember values and assuming different fractionation factors of N2O reduction in order to find the most reliable scenario

  6. Spatio-temporal characteristics of evapotranspiration and water use efficiency in grasslands of Xinjiang%新疆草地蒸散与水分利用效率的时空特征

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    黄小涛; 罗格平

    2017-01-01

    Aims Xinjiang is located in the hinterland of the Eurasian arid areas,with grasslands widely distributed.Grasslands in Xinjiang provide significant economic and ecological benefits.However,research on evapotranspiration (ET) and water use efficiency (WUE) of the grasslands is still relatively weak.This study aimed to explore the spatio-temporal characteristics on ET and WUE in the grasslands of Xinjiang in the context of climate change.Methods The Biome-BGC model was used to determine the spatio-temporal characteristics of ET and WUE of the grasslands over the period 1979-2012 across different seasons,areas and grassland types in Xinjiang.Important findings The average annual ET in the grasslands of Xinjiang was estimated at 245.7 mm,with interannual variations generally consistent with that of precipitation.Overall,the value of ET was lower than that of precipitation.The higher values of ET mainly distributed in the Tianshan Mountains,Altai Mountains,Altun Mountains and the low mountain areas on the northern slope of Kunlun Mountains.The lower values of ET mainly distributed in the highland areas of Kunlun Mountains and the desert plains.Over the period 1979-2012,average annual ET was 183.2 mm in the grasslands of southern Xinjiang,357.9 mm in the grasslands of the Tianshan Mountains,and 221.3 mm in grasslands of northern Xinjiang.In winter,ET in grasslands of northern Xinjiang was slightly higher than that of Tianshan Mountains.Average annual ET ranked among grassland types as:mid-mountain meadow > swamp meadow > typical grassland > desert grassland > alpine meadow > saline meadow.The highest ET value occurred in summer,and the lowest ET value occurred in winter,with ET in spring being slightly higher than that in autumn.The higher WUE values mainly distributed in the areas of Tianshan Mountains and Altai Mountains.The lower WUE values mainly distributed in the highland areas of Kunlun Mountains and part of the desert plains.The average annual WUE in

  7. Shift in soil microbial communities with shrub encroachment in Inner Mongolia grasslands, China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shen, H.; Li, H.; Zhang, J.; Hu, H.; Chen, L.; Zhu, Y.; Fang, J.

    2017-12-01

    The ongoing expansion of shrub encroachment into grasslands represents a unique form of land cover change. How this process affects soil microbial communities is poorly understood. In this study, we aim to assess the effects of shrub encroachment on soil microbial biomass, abundance and composition by comparing data between shrub patches and neighboring herb patches in shrub-encroached grasslands (SEGs) in Inner Mongolia, China. Fourteen SEG sites from two ecosystem types (typical and desert grasslands) were investigated. The phospholipid fatty acid (PLFA) method was used to analyze the composition and biomass of the soil microbial community. Our results showed that the top-soil microbial biomass and abundances of gram-negative bacteria, arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi, and actinomycetes were significantly higher in shrub patches than in herb patches in both typical and desert grasslands (P fungi to bacteria ratio was significantly higher in shrub patches than in herb patches in desert grassland (P soil microbial communities, which makes the microbial communities toward a fresh organic carbon-based structure. This study highlights the importance of edaphic and climate factors in microbial community shifts in SEGs.

  8. CAUSES: Diagnosis of the Summertime Warm Bias in CMIP5 Climate Models at the ARM Southern Great Plains Site

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Chengzhu; Xie, Shaocheng; Klein, Stephen A.; Ma, Hsi-yen; Tang, Shuaiqi; Van Weverberg, Kwinten; Morcrette, Cyril J.; Petch, Jon

    2018-03-01

    All the weather and climate models participating in the Clouds Above the United States and Errors at the Surface project show a summertime surface air temperature (T2 m) warm bias in the region of the central United States. To understand the warm bias in long-term climate simulations, we assess the Atmospheric Model Intercomparison Project simulations from the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5, with long-term observations mainly from the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement program Southern Great Plains site. Quantities related to the surface energy and water budget, and large-scale circulation are analyzed to identify possible factors and plausible links involved in the warm bias. The systematic warm season bias is characterized by an overestimation of T2 m and underestimation of surface humidity, precipitation, and precipitable water. Accompanying the warm bias is an overestimation of absorbed solar radiation at the surface, which is due to a combination of insufficient cloud reflection and clear-sky shortwave absorption by water vapor and an underestimation in surface albedo. The bias in cloud is shown to contribute most to the radiation bias. The surface layer soil moisture impacts T2 m through its control on evaporative fraction. The error in evaporative fraction is another important contributor to T2 m. Similar sources of error are found in hindcast from other Clouds Above the United States and Errors at the Surface studies. In Atmospheric Model Intercomparison Project simulations, biases in meridional wind velocity associated with the low-level jet and the 500 hPa vertical velocity may also relate to T2 m bias through their control on the surface energy and water budget.

  9. Mixed artificial grasslands with more roots improved mine soil infiltration capacity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Gao-Lin; Yang, Zheng; Cui, Zeng; Liu, Yu; Fang, Nu-Fang; Shi, Zhi-Hua

    2016-04-01

    Soil water is one of the critical limiting factors in achieving sustainable revegetation. Soil infiltration capacity plays a vital role in determining the inputs from precipitation and enhancing water storage, which are important for the maintenance and survival of vegetation patches in arid and semi-arid areas. Our study investigated the effects of different artificial grasslands on soil physical properties and soil infiltration capacity. The artificial grasslands were Medicago sativa, Astragalus adsurgens, Agropyron mongolicum, Lespedeza davurica, Bromus inermis, Hedysarum scoparium, A. mongolicum + Artemisia desertorum, A. adsurgens + A. desertorum and M. sativa + B. inermis. The soil infiltration capacity index (SICI), which was based on the average infiltration rate of stage I (AIRSI) and the average infiltration rate of stage III (AIRS III), was higher (indicating that the infiltration capacity was greater) under the artificial grasslands than that of the bare soil. The SICI of the A. adsurgens + A. desertorum grassland had the highest value (1.48) and bare soil (-0.59) had the lowest value. It was evident that artificial grassland could improve soil infiltration capacity. We also used principal component analysis (PCA) to determine that the main factors that affected SICI were the soil water content at a depth of 20 cm (SWC20), the below-ground root biomasses at depths of 10 and 30 cm (BGB10, BGB30), the capillary porosity at a depth of 10 cm (CP10) and the non-capillary porosity at a depth of 20 cm (NCP20). Our study suggests that the use of Legume-poaceae mixtures and Legume-shrub mixtures to create grasslands provided an effective ecological restoration approach to improve soil infiltration properties due to their greater root biomasses. Furthermore, soil water content, below-ground root biomass, soil capillary porosity and soil non-capillary porosity were the main factors that affect the soil infiltration capacity.

  10. Identifying priority areas for ecosystem service management in South African grasslands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Egoh, Benis N; Reyers, Belinda; Rouget, Mathieu; Richardson, David M

    2011-06-01

    Grasslands provide many ecosystem services required to support human well-being and are home to a diverse fauna and flora. Degradation of grasslands due to agriculture and other forms of land use threaten biodiversity and ecosystem services. Various efforts are underway around the world to stem these declines. The Grassland Programme in South Africa is one such initiative and is aimed at safeguarding both biodiversity and ecosystem services. As part of this developing programme, we identified spatial priority areas for ecosystem services, tested the effect of different target levels of ecosystem services used to identify priority areas, and evaluated whether biodiversity priority areas can be aligned with those for ecosystem services. We mapped five ecosystem services (below ground carbon storage, surface water supply, water flow regulation, soil accumulation and soil retention) and identified priority areas for individual ecosystem services and for all five services at the scale of quaternary catchments. Planning for individual ecosystem services showed that, depending on the ecosystem service of interest, between 4% and 13% of the grassland biome was required to conserve at least 40% of the soil and water services. Thirty-four percent of the biome was needed to conserve 40% of the carbon service in the grassland. Priority areas identified for five ecosystem services under three target levels (20%, 40%, 60% of the total amount) showed that between 17% and 56% of the grassland biome was needed to conserve these ecosystem services. There was moderate to high overlap between priority areas selected for ecosystem services and already-identified terrestrial and freshwater biodiversity priority areas. This level of overlap coupled with low irreplaceability values obtained when planning for individual ecosystem services makes it possible to combine biodiversity and ecosystem services in one plan using systematic conservation planning. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All

  11. Effects of permafrost degradation on alpine grassland in a semi-arid basin on the Qinghai–Tibetan Plateau

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yi Shuhua; Zhou Zhaoye; Ren Shilong; Xu Ming; Qin Yu; Chen Shengyun; Ye Baisheng

    2011-01-01

    Permafrost on the Qinghai–Tibetan Plateau (QTP) has degraded over the last few decades. Its ecological effects have attracted great concern. Previous studies focused mostly at plot scale, and hypothesized that degradation of permafrost would cause lowering of the water table and drying of shallow soil and then degradation of alpine grassland. However, none has been done to test the hypothesis at basin scale. In this study, for the first time, we investigated the relationships between land surface temperature (LST) and fractional vegetation cover (FVC) in different types of permafrost zone to infer the limiting condition (water or energy) of grassland growth on the source region of Shule River Basin, which is located in the north-eastern edge of the QTP. LST was obtained from MODIS Aqua products at 1 km resolution, while FVC was upscaled from quadrat (50 cm) to the same resolution as LST, using 30 m resolution NDVI data of the Chinese HJ satellite. FVC at quadrat scale was estimated by analyzing pictures taken with a multi-spectral camera. Results showed that (1) retrieval of FVC at quadrat scale using a multi-spectral camera was both more accurate and more efficient than conventional methods and (2) the limiting factor of vegetation growth transitioned from energy in the extreme stable permafrost zone to water in the seasonal frost zone. Our study suggested that alpine grassland would respond differently to permafrost degradation in different types of permafrost zone. Future studies should consider overall effects of permafrost degradation, and avoid the shortcomings of existing studies, which focus too much on the adverse effects.

  12. Grasslands and Croplands Have Different Microbial Biomass Carbon Levels per Unit of Soil Organic Carbon

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Terence P. McGonigle

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available Primarily using cropped systems, previous studies have reported a positive linear relationship between microbial biomass carbon (MBC and soil organic carbon (SOC. We conducted a meta-analysis to explore this relationship separately for grasslands and croplands using available literature. Studies were limited to those using fumigation–extraction for MBC for field samples. Trials were noted separately where records were distinct in space or time. Grasslands were naturally occurring, restored, or seeded. Cropping systems were typical of the temperate zone. MBC had a positive linear response to increasing SOC that was significant in both grasslands (p < 0.001; r2 = 0.76 and croplands (p < 0.001; r2 = 0.48. However, MBC increased 2.5-fold more steeply per unit of increasing SOC for grassland soils, as compared to the corresponding response in cropland soils. Expressing MBC as a proportion of SOC across the regression overall, slopes corresponded to 2.7% for grasslands and 1.1% for croplands. The slope of the linear relationship for grasslands was significantly (p = 0.0013 steeper than for croplands. The difference between the two systems is possibly caused by a greater proportion of SOC in grasslands being active rather than passive, relative to that in croplands, with that active fraction promoting the formation of MBC.

  13. Grassland to shrubland state transitions enhance carbon sequestration in the northern Chihuahuan Desert.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Petrie, M D; Collins, S L; Swann, A M; Ford, P L; Litvak, M E

    2015-03-01

    The replacement of native C4 -dominated grassland by C3 -dominated shrubland is considered an ecological state transition where different ecological communities can exist under similar environmental conditions. These state transitions are occurring globally, and may be exacerbated by climate change. One consequence of the global increase in woody vegetation may be enhanced ecosystem carbon sequestration, although the responses of arid and semiarid ecosystems may be highly variable. During a drier than average period from 2007 to 2011 in the northern Chihuahuan Desert, we found established shrubland to sequester 49 g C m(-2) yr(-1) on average, while nearby native C4 grassland was a net source of 31 g C m(-2) yr(-1) over this same period. Differences in C exchange between these ecosystems were pronounced--grassland had similar productivity compared to shrubland but experienced higher C efflux via ecosystem respiration, while shrubland was a consistent C sink because of a longer growing season and lower ecosystem respiration. At daily timescales, rates of carbon exchange were more sensitive to soil moisture variation in grassland than shrubland, such that grassland had a net uptake of C when wet but lost C when dry. Thus, even under unfavorable, drier than average climate conditions, the state transition from grassland to shrubland resulted in a substantial increase in terrestrial C sequestration. These results illustrate the inherent tradeoffs in quantifying ecosystem services that result from ecological state transitions, such as shrub encroachment. In this case, the deleterious changes to ecosystem services often linked to grassland to shrubland state transitions may at least be partially offset by increased ecosystem carbon sequestration. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  14. Are Agrofuels a conservation threat or opportunity for grassland birds in the United States?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robertson, Bruce A.; Rice, Robert A.; Ribic, Christine; Babcock, Bruce A.; Landis, Douglas A.; Herkert, James R.; Fletcher, Robert J.; Fontaine, Joseph J; Doran, Patrick J.; Schemske, Douglas W.

    2012-01-01

    In the United States, government-mandated growth in the production of crops dedicated to biofuel (agrofuels) is predicted to increase the demands on existing agricultural lands, potentially threatening the persistence of populations of grassland birds they support. We review recently published literature and datasets to (1) examine the ability of alternative agrofuel crops and their management regimes to provide habitat for grassland birds, (2) determine how crop placement in agricultural landscapes and agrofuel-related land-use change will affect grassland birds, and (3) identify critical research and policy-development needs associated with agrofuel production. We find that native perennial plants proposed as feedstock for agrofuel (switchgrass, Panicum virgatum, and mixed grass—forb prairie) have considerable potential to provide new habitat to a wide range of grassland birds, including rare and threatened species. However, industrialization of agrofuel production that maximizes biomass, homogenizes vegetation structure, and results in the cultivation of small fields within largely forested landscapes is likely to reduce species richness and/or abundance of grassland-dependent birds. Realizing the potential benefits of agrofuel production for grassland birds' conservation will require the development of new policies that encourage agricultural practices specifically targeting the needs of grassland specialists. The broad array of grower-incentive programs in existence may deliver new agrofuel policies effectively but will require coordination at a spatial scale broader than currently practiced, preferably within an adaptive-management framework.

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. Doomed reservoirs in Kansas, USA? Climate change and groundwater mining on the Great Plains lead to unsustainable surface water storage

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brikowski, T. H.

    2008-06-01

    SummaryStreamflow declines on the Great Plains of the US are causing many Federal reservoirs to become profoundly inefficient, and will eventually drive them into unsustainability as negative annual reservoir water budgets become more common. The streamflow declines are historically related to groundwater mining, but since the mid-1980s correlate increasingly with climate. This study highlights that progression toward unsustainability, and shows that future climate change will continue streamflow declines at historical rates, with severe consequences for surface water supply. An object lesson is Optima Lake in the Oklahoma Panhandle, where streamflows have declined 99% since the 1960s and the reservoir has never been more than 5% full. Water balances for the four westernmost Federal reservoirs in Kansas (Cedar Bluff, Keith Sebelius, Webster and Kirwin) show similar tendencies. For these four, reservoir inflow has declined by 92%, 73%, 81% and 64% respectively since the 1950s. Since 1990 total evaporated volumes relative to total inflows amounted to 68%, 83%, 24% and 44% respectively. Predictions of streamflow and reservoir performance based on climate change models indicate 70% chance of steady decline after 2007, with a ˜50% chance of failure (releases by gravity flow impossible) of Cedar Bluff Reservoir between 2007 and 2050. Paradoxically, a 30% chance of storage increase prior 2020 is indicated, followed by steady declines through 2100. Within 95% confidence the models predict >50% decline in surface water resources between 2007 and 2050. Ultimately, surface storage of water resources may prove unsustainable in this region, forcing conversion to subsurface storage.

  18. Woody plant encroachment of grasslands: a comparison of terrestrial and wetland settings.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saintilan, Neil; Rogers, Kerrylee

    2015-02-01

    A global trend of woody plant encroachment of terrestrial grasslands is co-incident with woody plant encroachment of wetland in freshwater and saline intertidal settings. There are several arguments for considering tree encroachment of wetlands in the context of woody shrub encroachment of grassland biomes. In both cases, delimitation of woody shrubs at regional scales is set by temperature thresholds for poleward extent, and by aridity within temperature limits. Latitudinal expansion has been observed for terrestrial woody shrubs and mangroves, following recent warming, but most expansion and thickening has been due to the occupation of previously water-limited grassland/saltmarsh environments. Increases in atmospheric CO₂, may facilitate the recruitment of trees in terrestrial and wetland settings. Improved water relations, a mechanism that would predict higher soil moisture in grasslands and saltmarshes, and also an enhanced capacity to survive arid conditions, reinforces local mechanisms of change. The expansion of woody shrubs and mangroves provides a negative feedback on elevated atmospheric CO₂ by increasing carbon sequestration in grassland and saltmarsh, and is a significant carbon sink globally. These broad-scale vegetation shifts may represent a new stable state, reinforced by positive feedbacks between global change drivers and endogenic mechanisms of persistence in the landscape.

  19. Grassland communities in the USA and expected trends associated with climate change

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David Paul Belesky

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Grasslands, including managed grazinglands, represent one of the largest ecosystems on the planet. Managed grazinglands in particular tend to occupy marginal climatic and edaphic resource zones, thus exacerbating responses in net primary productivity relative to changes in system resources, including anthropogenic factors. Climate dynamism, as evident from the fossil record, appears to be a putative feature of our planet. Recent global trends in temperature and precipitation patterns seem to differ from long-term patterns and have been associated with human activities linked with increased greenhouse gas emissions; specifically CO2. Thus grasslands, with their diverse floristic components, and interaction with and dependence upon herbivores, have a remarkable ability to persist and sustain productivity in response to changing resource conditions. This resistance and resilience to change, including uncertain long-term weather conditions, establishes managed grasslands as an important means of protecting food security. We review responses of grassland communities across regions of the USA and consider the responses in productivity and system function with respect to climatic variation. Research is needed to identify plant resources and management technologies that strengthen our ability to capitalize upon physiological and anatomical features prevalent in grassland communities associated with varying growing conditions.

  20. Effects of 10-Year Management Regimes on the Soil Seed Bank in Saline-Alkaline Grassland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ma, Hongyuan; Yang, Haoyu; Liang, Zhengwei; Ooi, Mark K. J.

    2015-01-01

    Background Management regimes for vegetation restoration of degraded grasslands can significantly affect the process of ecological succession. However, few studies have focused on variation in the soil seed bank during vegetation restoration under different management regimes, especially in saline-alkaline grassland habitats. Our aim was to provide insights into the ecological effects of grassland management regimes on soil seed bank composition and vegetation establishment in mown, fenced, transplanted and natural grassland sites, all dominated by the perennial rhizomatous grass Leymus chinensis. Methodology We studied species composition and diversity in both the soil seed bank and aboveground vegetation in differently managed grasslands in Northeast China. An NMDS (nonmetric multidimensional scaling) was used to evaluate the relationship between species composition, soil seed banks, aboveground vegetation and soil properties. Principal Findings Fenced and mown grassland sites had high density and species richness in both the soil seed bank and aboveground vegetation. The Transplanted treatment exhibited the highest vegetation growth and seed production of the target species L. chinensis. Seeds of L. chinensis in the soil occurred only in transplanted and natural grassland. Based on the NMDS analysis, the number of species in both the soil seed bank and aboveground vegetation were significantly related to soil Na+, Cl-, RSC (residual sodium carbonate), alkalinity, ESP (exchangeable sodium percentage) and AP (available phosphorus). Conclusions Soil seed bank composition and diversity in the saline-alkaline grassland were significantly affected by the management regimes implemented, and were also significantly related to the aboveground vegetation and several soil properties. Based on vegetative growth, reproductive output and maintenance of soil seed bank, the transplanting was identified as the most effective method for relatively rapid restoration of the target

  1. Diagnosing the Nature of Land-Atmosphere Coupling During the 2006-7 Dry/Wet Extremes in the U. S. Southern Great Plains

    Science.gov (United States)

    Santanello, Joseph A.; Peters-Lidard, Christa D.; Kennedy, Aaron D.; Kumar, Sujay; Dong, Xiquan

    2011-01-01

    Land-atmosphere (L-A) interactions play a critical role in determining the diurnal evolution of land surface and planetary boundary layer (PBL) temperature and moisture states and fluxes. In turn, these interactions regulate the strength of the connection between surface moisture and precipitation in a coupled system. To address deficiencies in numerical weather prediction and climate models due to improper treatment of L-A interactions, recent studies have focused on development of diagnostics to quantify the strength and accuracy of the land-PBL coupling at the process-level. In this study, a diagnosis of the nature and impacts of local land-atmosphere coupling (LoCo) during dry and wet extreme conditions is presented using a combination of models and observations during the summers of2006-7 in the U.S. Southern Great Plains. Specifically, the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model has been coupled to NASA's Land Information System (LIS), which provides a flexible and high resolution representation and initialization of land surface physics and states. A range of diagnostics exploring the links and feedbacks between soil moisture and precipitation are examined for the dry/wet regimes of this region, along with the behavior and accuracy of different land-PBL scheme couplings under these conditions. Results demonstrate how LoCo diagnostics can be applied to coupled model components in the context of their integrated impacts on the process-chain connecting the land surface to the PBL and support of hydrological anomalies.

  2. Temporal dynamics of soil nematode communities in a grassland plant diversity experiment.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Viketoft, M.; Sohlenius, B.; Bostrom, S.; Palmborg, C.; Bengtsson, J.; Berg, M.P.; Kuss-Danell, K.

    2011-01-01

    We report here on an 8-year study examining links between plant and nematode communities in a grassland plant diversity experiment, located in the north of Sweden on previous agricultural soil. The examined plots contained 1, 4 and 12 common grassland plant species from three functional groups;

  3. Mapping spatio-temporal variation of grassland quantity and quality using MERIS data and the PROSAIL model

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Si, Y.; Schlerf, M.; Zurita-Milla, R.; Skidmore, A.K.; Wang, T.

    2012-01-01

    Accurate estimates of the quantity and quality of grasslands, as they vary in space and time and from regional to global scales, furthers our understanding of grassland ecosystems. The Medium Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (MERIS) is a promising sensor for measuring and monitoring grasslands due to

  4. Carbon dynamics in an Imperata grassland in Northeast India

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amrabati Thokchom

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Carbon stocks and soil CO2 flux were assessed in an Imperata cylindrica grassland of Manipur, Northeast India. Carbon stocks in the vegetative components were estimated to be 11.17 t C/ha and soil organic carbon stocks were 55.94 t C/ha to a depth of 30 cm. The rates of carbon accumulation in above-ground and below-ground biomass were estimated to be 11.85 t C/ha/yr and 11.71 t C/ha/yr, respectively. Annual soil CO2 flux was evaluated as 6.95 t C/ha and was highly influenced by soil moisture, soil temperature and soil organic carbon as well as by C stocks in above-ground biomass. Our study on the carbon budget of the grassland ecosystem revealed that annually 23.56 t C/ha was captured by the vegetation through photosynthesis, and 6.95 t C/ha was returned to the atmosphere through roots and microbial respiration, with a net balance of 16.61 t C/ha/yr being retained in the grassland ecosystem. Thus the present Imperata grassland exhibited a high capacity to remove atmospheric CO2 and to induce high C stocks in the soil provided it is protected from burning and overgrazing.Keywords: Above-ground biomass, below-ground biomass, carbon stocks, carbon storage, net primary productivity, soil CO2 flux.DOI: 10.17138/TGFT(419-28  

  5. [Edge influence of soil moisture at farmland-grassland boundary in agriculture-pasturage ecotone of northern China].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Hong-lai; Zhang, Wei-hua; Wang, Kun; Zhao, Na

    2009-03-01

    In the agriculture-pasturage ecotone of Northern China, a typical zone with linear boundary of cropland and grassland was chosen to investigate its soil moisture regime, and the moving split-window technique was adopted to study the edge influence of soil moisture at the boundary. The results showed that the edge influence was 10 m, from 6 m within grassland and 4 m within cropland, and was categorized as the acute change type boundary. Accordingly, the farmland-grassland landscape boundary could be divided into three functional zones, i.e., grassland zone, farmland zone, and compositional ecotone zone. Soil moisture content varied abruptly in the ecotone zone, but presented linear distribution in both grassland zone and farmland zone. The average soil moisture content in grassland was about 1 g x g(-1) higher than that in farmland, which was mainly caused by the decreased capillary moisture capacity of farmland. Owing to the different vegetation cover, farmland and grassland had different transpiration and evaporation, which led to the diverse soil moisture regime, making soil water potential changed and water movement from one ecosystem to another possible.

  6. 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.

  7. 78 FR 65609 - Medicine Bow-Routt National Forests and Thunder Basin National Grassland; Wyoming; Thunder Basin...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-11-01

    ... National Grassland; Wyoming; Thunder Basin National Grassland Prairie Dog Amendment Environmental Impact... Cooperating Agencies. No changes to the Proposed Action or Purpose of and Need for Action have been made... alternatives will be analyzed in the Thunder Basin National Grassland Prairie Dog Amendment EIS. The EIS will...

  8. Spatial analysis of health risk assessment with arsenic intake of drinking water in the LanYang plain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, C. F.; Liang, C. P.; Jang, C. S.; Chen, J. S.

    2016-12-01

    Groundwater is one of the most component water resources in Lanyang plain. The groundwater of the Lanyang Plain contains arsenic levels that exceed the current Taiwan Environmental Protection Administration (Taiwan EPA) limit of 10 μg/L. The arsenic of groundwater in some areas of the Lanyang Plain pose great menace for the safe use of groundwater resources. Therefore, poor water quality can adversely impact drinking water uses, leading to human health risks. This study analyzed the potential health risk associated with the ingestion of arsenic-affected groundwater in the arseniasis-endemic Lanyang plain. Geostatistical approach is widely used in spatial variability analysis and distributions of field data with uncertainty. The estimation of spatial distribution of the arsenic contaminant in groundwater is very important in the health risk assessment. This study used indicator kriging (IK) and ordinary kriging (OK) methods to explore the spatial variability of arsenic-polluted parameters. The estimated difference between IK and OK estimates was compared. The extent of arsenic pollution was spatially determined and the Target cancer risk (TR) and dose response were explored when the ingestion of arsenic in groundwater. Thus, a zonal management plan based on safe groundwater use is formulated. The research findings can provide a plan reference of regional water resources supplies for local government administrators and developing groundwater resources in the Lanyang Plain.

  9. 44 CFR 10.14 - Flood plains and wetlands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-10-01

    ... 44 Emergency Management and Assistance 1 2010-10-01 2010-10-01 false Flood plains and wetlands. 10... Flood plains and wetlands. For any action taken by FEMA in a flood plain or wetland, the provisions of... Executive Order 11988, Flood Plain Management, and Executive Order 11990, Protection of Wetlands (44 CFR...

  10. Striking a balance: socioeconomic development and conservation in grassland through community-based zoning.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Craig Leisher

    Full Text Available The goal of preserving nature is often in conflict with economic development and the aspirations of the rural poor. Nowhere is this more striking than in native grasslands, which have been extensively converted until a mere fraction of their original extent remains. This is not surprising; grasslands flourish in places coveted by humans, primed for agriculture, plantations, and settlements that nearly always trump conservation efforts. The Umgano grassland conservation and poverty reduction project in KwaZulu-Natal Province, South Africa uses community-based spatial planning to balance the conversion of its lower-conservation value grasslands to a timber plantation, while conserving higher-value grasslands for heritage purposes and managed livestock grazing. Ten years after project launch, we measured the ecological and socioeconomic impacts of the project using Normalized Differential Vegetation Index remote sensing data and over 500 household interviews, as compared with similar non-conserved areas. Zoned management of the Umgano area had resulted in between 9% and 17% greater average peak production in the grassland areas compared to control sites. There was also a 21% gain in incomes for the roughly one hundred people employed by the forestry efforts, when compared to others in their village. Community-based spatial zoning is an overlooked tool for balancing conservation and development but may require, as we found in Umgano, certain critical factors including strong local leadership, an accountable financial management mechanism to distribute income, outside technical expertise for the zoning design, and community support.

  11. Soil seed-bank composition reveals the land-use history of calcareous grasslands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karlík, Petr; Poschlod, Peter

    2014-07-01

    We compared soil seed banks and vegetation of recent (established on abandoned arable fields) and ancient (continuously managed as pastures at least since 1830) calcareous grasslands if there is any impact of former arable field use. The study was carried out in two regions of Southern Germany with well-preserved dry grassland vegetation: the western Jurassic mountains (Kaltes Feld) and the climatically drier eastern part of Southern Germany (Kallmünz). Total number of species in the seed bank was similar in both regions, but species composition partly differed, reflecting phytogeographical differences between the regions. The total number of emerged seedlings showed a large disparity (5457 compared to 2523 seedlings/m2 in Kaltes Feld and Kallmünz, respectively). Though there were differences in seed bank composition and size, we found a uniform pattern of plant traits (affiliation to phytosociological groups, Raunkiaer plant life-forms and seed longevity), which depended on the age of the grassland. The main conclusion is that seed banks in contemporary calcareous grasslands still reflect the history of former land use - in this case arable cultivation, even though it occurred a long time ago (up to 150 years). Indicators of former arable fields are germinable seeds of weeds which have persisted in the soil to the present. By contrast, weedy species are completely absent from the seed banks of ancient grasslands. Soil seed banks of recent grasslands may be of substantial conservation importance because they may store seeds of rare and endangered weed species such as Kickxia spuria, Silene noctiflora and Stachys annua, the majority of which have already gone extinct from the current vegetation of the study sites.

  12. Base cation depletion, eutrophication and acidification of species-rich grasslands in response to long-term simulated nitrogen deposition

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Horswill, Paul [Department of Animal and Plant Sciences, University of Sheffield, Alfred Denny Building, Western Bank, Sheffield S10 2TN (United Kingdom)], E-mail: paul.horswill@naturalengland.org.uk; O' Sullivan, Odhran; Phoenix, Gareth K.; Lee, John A.; Leake, Jonathan R. [Department of Animal and Plant Sciences, University of Sheffield, Alfred Denny Building, Western Bank, Sheffield S10 2TN (United Kingdom)

    2008-09-15

    Pollutant nitrogen deposition effects on soil and foliar element concentrations were investigated in acidic and limestone grasslands, located in one of the most nitrogen and acid rain polluted regions of the UK, using plots treated for 8-10 years with 35-140 kg N ha{sup -2} y{sup -1} as NH{sub 4}NO{sub 3}. Historic data suggests both grasslands have acidified over the past 50 years. Nitrogen deposition treatments caused the grassland soils to lose 23-35% of their total available bases (Ca, Mg, K, and Na) and they became acidified by 0.2-0.4 pH units. Aluminium, iron and manganese were mobilised and taken up by limestone grassland forbs and were translocated down the acid grassland soil. Mineral nitrogen availability increased in both grasslands and many species showed foliar N enrichment. This study provides the first definitive evidence that nitrogen deposition depletes base cations from grassland soils. The resulting acidification, metal mobilisation and eutrophication are implicated in driving floristic changes. - Nitrogen deposition causes base cation depletion, acidification and eutrophication of semi-natural grassland soils.

  13. On the stability of mixed grasslands

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schulte, R.P.O.

    2001-01-01

    Recent years have seen a renewed interest in the use of white clover (Trifolium repens) in grasslands, as a more sustainable alternative to fertiliser nitrogen inputs. However, mixtures of grasses and white clover have frequently been associated with unstable and hence unreliable herbage

  14. Vegetation in clear-cuts depends on previous land use: a century-old grassland legacy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jonason, Dennis; Ibbe, Mathias; Milberg, Per; Tunér, Albert; Westerberg, Lars; Bergman, Karl-Olof

    2014-01-01

    Plant species richness in central and northern European seminatural grasslands is often more closely linked to past than present habitat configuration, which is indicative of an extinction debt. In this study, we investigate whether signs of historical grassland management can be found in clear-cuts after at least 80 years as coniferous production forest by comparing floras between clear-cuts with a history as meadow and as forest in the 1870s in Sweden. Study sites were selected using old land-use maps and data on present-day clear-cuts. Species traits reflecting high capacities for dispersal and persistence were used to explain any possible links between the plants and the historical land use. Clear-cuts that were formerly meadow had, on average, 36% higher species richness and 35% higher richness of grassland indicator species, as well as a larger overall seed mass and lower anemochory, compared to clear-cuts with history as forest. We suggest that the plants in former meadows never disappeared after afforestation but survived as remnant populations. Many contemporary forests in Sweden were managed as grasslands in the 1800s. As conservation of remaining grassland fragments will not be enough to reduce the existing extinction debts of the flora, these young forests offer opportunities for grassland restoration at large scales. Our study supports the concept of remnant populations and highlights the importance of considering historical land use for understanding the distribution of grassland plant species in fragmented landscapes, as well as for policy-making and conservation. PMID:25540690

  15. Defining 'plain language' in contemporary South Africa | Cornelius ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Defining the concept 'plain language' has been hugely problematic since the origins of the socalled Plain Language Movement in the 1970s in the United States and elsewhere in the world. Definitions of 'plain language' abound, yet James (2008: 6) warns, in relation to plain language practitioners, that “we can't yet call ...

  16. 7 CFR 650.25 - Flood-plain management.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

    ... user how alternative land use decisions may affect the aquatic and terrestial ecosystems, human safety... Flood-plain management. Through proper planning, flood plains can be managed to reduce the threat to... encourages sound flood-plain management decisions by land users. (a) Policy—(1) General. NRCS provides...

  17. Effect of climate change on halophytic grasslands loss and its impact in the viability of Gopherus flavomarginatus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jorge Luis Becerra-López

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available The decrease of the habitat is one of the main factors that affect the survival of G. flavomarginatus. This study assesses the halophytic grasslands loss over a period of 30 years in the distribution area of the Bolson tortoise and the effects of climate change on the habitat suitability of these grasslands and its possible impact on this tortoise. Grassland loss was assessed by an analysis of symmetric differences and the habitat suitability model was carried out by the method of overlapping layers raster. Our results showed a grassland loss of 63.7%; however, our current habitat suitability model points out that much of the grassland loss has occurred where the environmental conditions are suitable. These results suggest that anthropic activity is a main factor in the habitat disturbance in the study area. Likewise, the models for years 2050 and 2070 under the criteria RCP 2.6, RCP 4.5, RCP 6.0, suggest that anthropic activity will continue be the main cause of the grassland loss. Therefore, considering the association between the Bolson tortoise and grassland halophyte Hilaria mutica, which comprises around 60% of its diet, the viability of the Bolson tortoise depends largely on strategies aimed at protecting the soil that allow the presence of this grassland.

  18. Greenhouse Gas Emission from Beef Cattle Grazing Systems on Temperate Grasslands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rice, C. W.; Rivera-Zayas, J.

    2017-12-01

    At a global scale, cattle production is responsible for 65% of GHG emissions. During 2014 cattle management was the largest emitters of methane (CH4) representing a 23.2% of the total CH4 from anthropogenic activities. Since 2014, gas samples have been gathered and analyzed for carbon dioxide (CO2), CH4 and nitrous oxide (N2O) from three grazing areas under three different burning regimes at the temperate grassland of Konza Prairie Biological Station in Kansas. Burning regimes included one site in annually burned, and two sites with patch burned every three years on offset years. Burning regimes showed no effect in N2O emissions (pconsumed on grazed grassland soils; with an increase in consumption with patch burning. Results quantify the role of temperate grasslands as a sink of CH4, and a possible sink of N2O. This experiment evidence CO2, CH4 and N2O emissions behavior as a consequence of burning regimes, and quantify the role of temperate grasslands as a sink of CH4 and N2O in order to understand best practice for resilience of beef cattle management.

  19. Grassland/atmosphere response to changing climate: Coupling regional and local scales

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Coughenour, M.B.; Kittel, T.G.F.; Pielke, R.A.; Eastman, J.

    1993-10-01

    The objectives of the study were: to evaluate the response of grassland ecosystems to atmospheric change at regional and site scales, and to develop multiscaled modeling systems to relate ecological and atmospheric models with different spatial and temporal resolutions. A menu-driven shell was developed to facilitate use of models at different temporal scales and to facilitate exchange information between models at different temporal scales. A detailed ecosystem model predicted that C 3 temperate grasslands wig respond more strongly to elevated CO 2 than temperate C 4 grasslands in the short-term while a large positive N-PP response was predicted for a C 4 Kenyan grassland. Long-term climate change scenarios produced either decreases or increases in Colorado plant productivity (NPP) depending on rainfall, but uniform increases in N-PP were predicted in Kenya. Elevated CO 2 is likely to have little effect on ecosystem carbon storage in Colorado while it will increase carbon storage in Kenya. A synoptic climate classification processor (SCP) was developed to evaluate results of GCM climate sensitivity experiments. Roughly 80% agreement was achieved with manual classifications. Comparison of lx and 2xCO 2 GCM Simulations revealed relatively small differences

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  1. Association of wintering raptors with Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program grasslands in Pennsylvania

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilson, A.; Brittingham, M.; Grove, G.

    2010-01-01

    Conservation grasslands can provide valuable habitat resource for breeding songbirds, but their value for wintering raptors has received little attention. We hypothesized that increased availability of grassland habitat through the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP) has resulted in an increase or redistribution in numbers of four species of raptors in Pennsylvania since 2001. We tested this by analyzing winter raptor counts from volunteer surveys, conducted from 2001 to 2008, for Red-tailed Hawks (Buteo jamaicensis), Rough-legged Hawks (Buteo lagopus), Northern Harriers (Circus cyaneus), and American Kestrels (Falco sparverius). During that period, numbers of wintering Northern Harriers increased by more than 20% per year. Log-linear Poisson regression models show that all four species increased in the region of Pennsylvania that had the most and longest-established conservation grasslands. At the county scale (N= 67), Bayesian spatial models showed that spatial and temporal population trends of all four species were positively correlated with the amount of conservation grassland. This relationship was particularly strong for Northern Harriers, with numbers predicted to increase by 35.7% per year for each additional 1% of farmland enrolled in CREP. Our results suggest that conservation grasslands are likely the primary cause of the increase in numbers of wintering Northern Harriers in Pennsylvania since 2001. ?? 2010 The Authors. Journal of Field Ornithology ?? 2010 Association of Field Ornithologists.

  2. Centennial eolian cyclicity in the Great Plains, USA: A dominant pattern of wind transport over the past 4000 years?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schwalb, Antje; Dean, Walter E.; Fritz, C. Sherilyn; Geiss, Christoph E.; Kromer, Bernd

    2010-01-01

    Proxy evidence at decadal resolution from Late Holocene sediments from Pickerel Lake, northeastern South Dakota, shows distinct centennial cycles (400-700 years) in magnetic susceptibility; contents of carbonate, organic carbon, and major elements; abundance in ostracodes; and delta18O and delta13C values in calcite. Proxies indicate cyclic changes in eolian input, productivity, and temperature. Maxima in magnetic susceptibility are accompanied by maxima in aluminum and iron mass accumulation rates (MARs), and in abundances of the ostracode Fabaeformiscandona rawsoni. This indicates variable windy, and dry conditions with westerly wind dominance, including during the Medieval Climate Anomaly. Maxima in carbonates, organic carbon, phosphorous, and high delta13C values of endogenic calcite indicate moister and less windy periods with increased lake productivity, including during the Little Ice Age, and alternate with maxima of eolian transport. Times of the Maunder, Sporer and Wolf sunspot minima are characterized by maxima in delta18O values and aluminum MARs, and minima in delta13C values and organic carbon content. We interpret these lake conditions during sunspot minima to indicate decreases in lake surface water temperatures of up to 4-5 degrees C associated with decreases in epilimnetic productivity during summer. We propose that the centennial cycles are triggered by solar activity, originate in the tropical Pacific, and their onset during the Late Holocene is associated with insolation conditions driven by precession. The cyclic pattern is transmitted from the tropical Pacific into the atmosphere and transported by westerly winds into the North Atlantic realm where they strengthen the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation during periods of northern Great Plains wind maxima. This consequently leads to moister climates in Central and Northern Europe. Thus, Pickerel Lake provides evidence for mechanisms of teleconnections including an atmospheric link

  3. Spatial differences in hydrologic characteristics and water chemistry of a temperate coastal plain peatland: The Great Dismal Swamp, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Speiran, Gary K.; Wurster, Frederick C.

    2016-01-01

    Spatial differences in hydrologic processes and geochemistry across forested peatlands control the response of the wetland-community species and resiliency to natural and anthropogenic disturbances. Knowing these controls is essential to effectively managing peatlands as resilient wetland habitats. The Great Dismal Swamp is a 45,325 hectare peatland in the Atlantic Coastal Plain of Virginia and North Carolina, USA, managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The existing forest-species distribution is a product of timber harvesting, hydrologic alteration by canal and road construction, and wildfires. Since 2009, studies of hydrologic and geochemical controls have expanded knowledge of groundwater flow paths, water chemistry, response to precipitation events, and characteristics of the peat. Dominant hydrologic and geochemical controls include (1) the gradual slope in land surface, (2) vertical differences in the hydraulic characteristics of the peat, (3) the proximity of lateral groundwater and small stream inflows from uplands, (4) the presence of an extensive canal and road network, and (5) small, adjustable-height dams on the canals. Although upland sources provide some surface water and lateral groundwater inflow to western parts of the swamp, direct groundwater recharge by precipitation is the major source of water throughout the swamp and the only source in many areas. Additionally, the proximity and type of upland water sources affect water levels and nutrient concentrations in canal water and groundwater. Where streams are a dominant upland source, variations in groundwater levels and nutrient concentrations are greater than where recharge by precipitation is the primary water source. Where upland groundwater is a dominant source, water levels are more stable. Because the species distribution of forest communities in the Swamp is strongly influenced by these controls, swamp managers are beginning to incorporate this knowledge into forest, water, and fire

  4. Exploring the linkage between drought, high temperatures, and hydrologic sensitivities: A case study of the 2012 Great Plains drought.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Livneh, B.; Hoerling, M. P.

    2014-12-01

    The occurrence of drought is associated with agricultural loss, water supply shortfalls, and other economic impacts. Here we explore the physical relationships between precipitation deficits, high temperatures, and hydrologic responses as a pathway to better anticipate drought impacts. Current methodologies to predict hydrologic scarcity include local monitoring of river flows, remote sensing of land-surface wetness, drought indices, expert judgment, climate indices (e.g. SST-relationships) and the application of hydrologic models. At longer lead times, predictions of drought have most frequently been made on the basis of GCM ensembles, with subsequent downscaling of those to scales over which hydrologic predictions can be made. This study focuses on two important aspects of drought. First, we explore the causal hydro-climatic timeline of a drought event, namely (a) the lack of precipitation, which serves to reduce soil moisture and produce (b) a skewed Bowen ratio, i.e. comparatively more sensible heating (warming) with less ET, resulting in (c) anomalously warm conditions. We seek to assess the extent to which the lack of precipitation contributes to warming temperatures, and the further effects of that warming on hydrology and the severity of drought impacts. An ensemble of GCM simulations will be used to explore the evolution of the land surface energy budget during a recent Great Plains drought event, which will subsequently be used to drive a hydrologic model. Second, we examine the impacts of the critical assumptions relating climatic variables with water demand, specifically the relationship between potential evapotranspiration (PET) and temperature. The common oversimplification in relating PET to temperature is explored against a more physically consistent energy balance estimate of PET, using the Penman-Monteith approach and the hydrologic impacts are presented. Results from this work are anticipated to have broad relevance for future water management

  5. Using Remotely Sensed Fluorescence and Soil Moisture to Better Understand the Seasonal Cycle of Tropical Grasslands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Dakota Carlysle

    Seasonal grasslands account for a large area of Earth's land cover. Annual and seasonal changes in these grasslands have profound impacts on Earth's carbon, energy, and water cycles. In tropical grasslands, growth is commonly water-limited and the landscape oscillates between highly productive and unproductive. As the monsoon begins, soils moisten providing dry grasses the water necessary to photosynthesize. However, along with the rain come clouds that obscure satellite products that are commonly used to study productivity in these areas. To navigate this issue, we used solar induced fluorescence (SIF) products from OCO-2 along with soil moisture products from the Soil Moisture Active Passive satellite (SMAP) to "see through" the clouds to monitor grassland productivity. To get a broader understanding of the vegetation dynamics, we used the Simple Biosphere Model (SiB4) to simulate the seasonal cycles of vegetation. In conjunction with SiB4, the remotely sensed SIF and soil moisture observations were utilized to paint a clearer picture of seasonal productivity in tropical grasslands. The remotely sensed data is not available for every place at one time or at every time for one place. Thus, the study was focused on a large area from 15° E to 35° W and from 8°S to 20°N in the African Sahel. Instead of studying productivity relative to time, we studied it relative to soil moisture. Through this investigation we found soil moisture thresholds for the emergence of grassland growth, near linear grassland growth, and maturity of grassland growth. We also found that SiB4 overestimates SIF by about a factor of two for nearly every value of soil moisture. On the whole, SiB4 does a surprisingly good job of predicting the response of seasonal growth in tropical grasslands to soil moisture. Future work will continue to integrate remotely sensed SIF & soil moisture with SiB4 to add to our growing knowledge of carbon, water, and energy cycling in tropical grasslands.

  6. Linear objects impact on grassland degradation in the typical steppe region of China

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Li, Suying; Verburg, Peter H.; Lv, Shihai; Gao, Shangyu; Wu, Jingle

    2011-01-01

    Despite growing recognition of the issue of grassland degradation, few regional estimates of linear object impacts on grassland degradation [1]. We presented a methodology for evaluating regional impacts on steppe degradation from linear objects which were two uppermost types, rivers and roads, in

  7. Avian diversity in the Naliya Grassland, Abdasa Taluka, Kachchh, India

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sandeep B Munjpara

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available Naliya Grassland is one of the significant grasslands of Gujarat. In this study the importance of the Naliya Grassland has been explored with special reference to avian diversity. Field work for the study was carried out throughout the year of 2007 on a monthly basis covering three distinct seasons to explore avian diversity. A total of 177 species belonging to 54 families were recorded wherein most species belonged to the family Accipitridae (20 species followed by Alaudidae (11 species. Of the total families, five were represented by more than seven species, 18 families by 3-7 species and 31 families by one or two species respectively. Among the species observed, 16 species ware globally threatened (three Critically Endangered, four Endangered and nine Near Threatened. Most of the species were chiefly terrestrial (68.2%, about 23.9% species were freshwater dependant and 7.9% utilized mixed habitats. Maximum species richness was recorded in the monsoons and minimum in summer. Constant turnover and fluctuation in species richness occurred because of seasonal immigration and emigration. Maximum emigration took place during February and March and maximum immigration occurred during June and July. Many water dependant birds attracted to the flooded grassland during the monsoons explained the high species richness during this season. In winter, the area was inhabited by resident species as well as many migratory species.

  8. Evaluation of SPOT imagery for the estimation of grassland biomass

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dusseux, P.; Hubert-Moy, L.; Corpetti, T.; Vertès, F.

    2015-06-01

    In many regions, a decrease in grasslands and change in their management, which are associated with agricultural intensification, have been observed in the last half-century. Such changes in agricultural practices have caused negative environmental effects that include water pollution, soil degradation and biodiversity loss. Moreover, climate-driven changes in grassland productivity could have serious consequences for the profitability of agriculture. The aim of this study was to assess the ability of remotely sensed data with high spatial resolution to estimate grassland biomass in agricultural areas. A vegetation index, namely the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI), and two biophysical variables, the Leaf Area Index (LAI) and the fraction of Vegetation Cover (fCOVER) were computed using five SPOT images acquired during the growing season. In parallel, ground-based information on grassland growth was collected to calculate biomass values. The analysis of the relationship between the variables derived from the remotely sensed data and the biomass observed in the field shows that LAI outperforms NDVI and fCOVER to estimate biomass (R2 values of 0.68 against 0.30 and 0.50, respectively). The squared Pearson correlation coefficient between observed and estimated biomass using LAI derived from SPOT images reached 0.73. Biomass maps generated from remotely sensed data were then used to estimate grass reserves at the farm scale in the perspective of operational monitoring and forecasting.

  9. High potential of sub-Mediterranean dry grasslands for sheep epizoochory

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kaligarič Mitja

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available There is a general decline of grasslands across Europe due to habitat loss and degradation. Ensuring plant dispersal thus becomes a key process for preserving grassland patches in all scales. We examined diaspore dispersal by sheep epizoochory in the pastures of the North Adriatic Karst (NW Slovenia and determined the qualitative and quantitative features of diaspores in fur. We recorded 25,650 diaspores of 141 plant taxa (with 107 taxa and 23,350 diaspores determined to species level, using three different methods: (i the “whole-coat method”, (ii the “part-of-thecoat method” and (iii a “seedling emergence method”. A comparison of these techniques revealed that the “wholecoat method” provided the highest number of diaspores and plant species. All diaspores were clustered into five emergent groups based on seven functional traits (diaspore weight, length, width, height, volume, specific weight and the diaspore surface structure. Our research revealed that sheep represent an important dispersal vector, since about half of the plant species recorded in the pastures were found as diaspores in fur. This study contributes to knowledge about the modes of seed dispersal in seminatural grasslands. Taking into account that livestock play a key role in vegetation dynamics, understanding their effects on seed dispersal is essential for conservation and restoration of these species-rich grassland communities.

  10. Intensive management in grasslands causes diffuse water pollution at the farm scale.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peukert, Sabine; Griffith, Bruce A; Murray, Phillip J; Macleod, Christopher J A; Brazier, Richard E

    2014-11-01

    Arable land use is generally assumed to be the largest contributor to agricultural diffuse pollution. This study adds to the growing evidence that conventional temperate intensively managed lowland grasslands contribute significantly to soil erosion and diffuse pollution rates. This is the first grassland study to monitor hydrological characteristics and multiple pollutant fluxes (suspended sediment [SS] and the macronutrients: total oxidized nitrogen-N [TON], total phosphorus [TP], and total carbon [TC]) at high temporal resolution (monitoring up to every 15 min) over 1 yr. Monitoring was conducted across three fields (6.5-7.5 ha) on the North Wyke Farm Platform, UK. The estimated annual erosion rates (up to 527.4 kg ha), TP losses (up to 0.9 kg ha), and TC losses (up to 179 kg ha) were similar to or exceeded the losses reported for other grassland, mixed land-use, and arable sites. Annual yields of TON (up to 3 kg ha) were less than arable land-use fluxes and earlier grassland N studies, an important result as the study site is situated within a Nitrate Vulnerable Zone. The high-resolution monitoring allowed detailed "system's functioning" understanding of hydrological processes, mobilization- transport pathways of individual pollutants, and the changes of the relative importance of diffuse pollutants through flow conditions and time. Suspended sediment and TP concentrations frequently exceeded water quality guidelines recommended by the European Freshwater Fisheries Directive (25 mg L) and the European Water Framework Directive (0.04 mg soluble reactive P L), suggesting that intensively managed grasslands pose a significant threat to receiving surface waters. Such sediment and nutrient losses from intensively managed grasslands should be acknowledged in land management guidelines and advice for future compliance with surface water quality standards. Copyright © by the American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, and Soil Science Society of

  11. Terrestrial ecology. Comprehensive study of the grassland biome

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Anon.

    1976-01-01

    Terrestrial ecology and grassland biome studies are designed to characterize the biota of the Hanford Reservation, elucidate seasonal dynamics of plant productivity, decomposition and mineral behavior patterns of important plant communities, and, to study the response of these communities to important natural environmental stresses, such as weather, wildfire and man-induced alterations of communities (influenced by grazing cattle and severe mechanical disturbance of the soil, such as affected by plowing or burial of waste materials or construction activities). A detailed account of the important findings of a 5-yr study is currently being prepared by the terrestrial ecology section staff for publication as a contribution to the International Biological Program Grassland Biome project

  12. Traditional cattle grazing in a mosaic alkali landscape: effects on grassland biodiversity along a moisture gradient.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Péter Török

    Full Text Available Extensively managed pastures are of crucial importance in sustaining biodiversity both in local- and landscape-level. Thus, re-introduction of traditional grazing management is a crucial issue in grassland conservation actions worldwide. Traditional grazing with robust cattle breeds in low stocking rates is considered to be especially useful to mimic natural grazing regimes, but well documented case-studies are surprisingly rare on this topic. Our goal was to evaluate the effectiveness of traditional Hungarian Grey cattle grazing as a conservation action in a mosaic alkali landscape. We asked the following questions: (i How does cattle grazing affect species composition and diversity of the grasslands? (ii What are the effects of grazing on short-lived and perennial noxious species? (iii Are there distinct effects of grazing in dry-, mesophilous- and wet grassland types? Vegetation of fenced and grazed plots in a 200-ha sized habitat complex (secondary dry grasslands and pristine mesophilous- and wet alkali grasslands was sampled from 2006-2009 in East-Hungary. We found higher diversity scores in grazed plots compared to fenced ones in mesophilous- and wet grasslands. Higher cover of noxious species was typical in fenced plots compared to their grazed counterparts in the last year in every studied grassland type. We found an increasing effect of grazing from the dry- towards the wet grassland types. The year-to-year differences also followed similar pattern: the site-dependent effects were the lowest in the dry grassland and an increasing effect was detected along the moisture gradient. We found that extensive Hungarian Grey cattle grazing is an effective tool to suppress noxious species and to create a mosaic vegetation structure, which enables to maintain high species richness in the landscape. Hungarian Grey cattle can feed in open habitats along long moisture gradient, thus in highly mosaic landscapes this breed can be the most suitable

  13. Diversity of amphibians and reptiles associated with grasslands of Janos-Casas Grandes, Chihuahua, Mexico (La diversidad de anfibios y reptiles asociada a los pastizales de Janos-Casas Grandes, Chihuahua, Mexico)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Georgina Santos-Barrera; Jesus Pacheco-Rodriguez

    2006-01-01

    Prairie-dog (Cynomys ludovicianus) colonies in northwest Chihuahua, Mexico, have been of great significance not only in initiating protection programs for the species but also in learning about the biological diversity (flora and fauna) of the natural grasslands of Janos-Casas Grandes, Chihuahua. Therefore a study of the herpetological fauna within the prairie-dog...

  14. The Impact of Ecological Construction Programs on Grassland Conservation in Inner Mongolia, China

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Liu, Min; Dries, Liesbeth; Heijman, Wim; Huang, Jikun; Zhu, Xueqin; Hu, Yuanning; Chen, Haibin

    2018-01-01

    A series of Ecological Construction Programs have been initiated to protect the condition of grasslands in China during recent decades. However, grassland degradation is still severe, and conditions have not been restored as intended. This paper aims to empirically examine the effectiveness of these

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  16. Evaluating effects of habitat loss and land-use continuity on ant species richness in seminatural grassland remnants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dauber, Jens; Bengtsson, Jan; Lenoir, Lisette

    2006-08-01

    Seminatural grasslands in Europe are susceptible to habitat destruction and fragmentation that result in negative effects on biodiversity because of increased isolation and area effects on extinction rate. However even small habitatpatches of seminatural grasslands might be of value for conservation and restoration of species richness in a landscape with a long history of management, which has been argued to lead to high species richness. We tested whether ant communities have been negatively affected by habitat loss and increased isolation of seminatural grasslands during the twentieth century. We examined species richness and community composition in seminatural grasslands of different size in a mosaic landscape in Central Sweden. Grasslands managed continuously over centuries harbored species-rich and ecologically diverse ant communities. Grassland remnant size had no effect on ant species richness. Small grassland remnants did not harbor a nested subset of the ant species of larger habitats. Community composition of ants was mainly affected by habitat conditions. Our results suggest that the abandonment of traditional land use and the encroachment of trees, rather than the effects of fragmentation, are important for species composition in seminatural grasslands. Our results highlight the importance of considering land-use continuity and dispersal ability of thefocal organisms when examining the effects of habitat loss and fragmentation on biodiversity. Landscape history should be considered in conservation programs focusing on effects of land-use change.

  17. Fate of semi-natural grassland in England between 1960 and 2013: A test of national conservation policy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lucy E. Ridding

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available It is well documented that significant losses in semi-natural grassland occurred across Europe during the second half of the twentieth century. However, comparatively few studies have investigated and quantified the fate of large numbers of individual grassland areas. This is important for understanding the causes of decline, and consequently establishing new policies to conserve and restore lost habitats. This study addresses this problem; GIS was used to compare historic survey data collected between 1960 and 1981 with two contemporary spatial datasets of habitats in England. The datasets included the Priority Habitats Inventory 2013 and the Land Cover Map 2007 and this was undertaken for different types of semi-natural grassland across England. Considerable decreases occurred across the different grassland types, with a loss of 47% of studied semi-natural grasslands sites in England over 32–53 years. Of this, the majority of grassland was lost to conversion to agriculturally-improved grassland or arable cultivation, 45% and 43% respectively. Changes to woodland and urban areas were also evident, but on a much smaller scale. Sites receiving statutory protection as a Site of Special Scientific Interest were found to have retained more grassland (91%, compared with non-protected sites (27%, thus highlighting the effectiveness of this aspect of current conservation policy in England, and the need for this to continue in the future.

  18. The foraging behaviour of herons and egrets on the Magela Creek flood plain, Northern Territory

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Recher, H.F.; Holmes, R.T.

    1982-03-01

    Five species of diurnal herons are common on the Magela Creek flood plain and forage along the edges of natural and artifical waterbodies both inside and outside the Ranger Uranium Project Area. The species of heron differ in the kinds and sizes of prey they take, their foraging location, degree of sociality and foraging behaviour. Because it takes relatively large fish, the Great Egret, E. alba, is most likely to be affected by any contamination of the aquatic environment by heavy metals or radionuclides. The Nankeen Night Heron, Nycticorax caledonicus is also abundant on the flood plain and probably feeds on large fish and frogs. The other herons take smaller or immature prey or hunt mostly in terrestrial habitats and are therefore less likely to be affected by contamination of the aquatic environment

  19. Evaporation from Pinus caribaea plantations on former grassland soils under maritime tropical conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Waterloo, M. J.; Bruijnzeel, L. A.; Vugts, H. F.; Rawaqa, T. T.

    1999-07-01

    Wet canopy and dry canopy evaporation from young and mature plantations of Pinus caribaea on former grassland soils under maritime tropical conditions in southwestern Viti Levu, Fiji, were determined using micrometeorological and hydrological techniques. Modeled annual evaporation totals (ET) of 1926 and 1717 mm were derived for the 6- and the 15-year-old stands, respectively. Transpiration made up 72% and 70% of annual ET, and modeled rainfall interception by the trees and litter layer was 20-22% and 8-9% in the young and the mature stands respectively. Monthly ET was related to forest leaf area index and was much higher than that for the kind of tall fire-climax Pennisetum polystachyon grassland replaced by the forests. Grassland reforestation resulted in a maximum decrease in annual water yield of 1180 mm on a plot basis, although it is argued that a reduction of (at least) 500-700 mm would be more realistic at the catchment scale. The impact of reforesting grassland on the water resources in southwest Viti Levu is enhanced by its location in a maritime, seasonal climate in the outer tropics, which favors a larger difference between annual forest and grassland evaporation totals than do equatorial regions.

  20. Multiple new-particle growth pathways observed at the US DOE Southern Great Plains field site

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. L. Hodshire

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available New-particle formation (NPF is a significant source of aerosol particles into the atmosphere. However, these particles are initially too small to have climatic importance and must grow, primarily through net uptake of low-volatility species, from diameters  ∼  1 to 30–100 nm in order to potentially impact climate. There are currently uncertainties in the physical and chemical processes associated with the growth of these freshly formed particles that lead to uncertainties in aerosol-climate modeling. Four main pathways for new-particle growth have been identified: condensation of sulfuric-acid vapor (and associated bases when available, condensation of organic vapors, uptake of organic acids through acid–base chemistry in the particle phase, and accretion of organic molecules in the particle phase to create a lower-volatility compound that then contributes to the aerosol mass. The relative importance of each pathway is uncertain and is the focus of this work. The 2013 New Particle Formation Study (NPFS measurement campaign took place at the DOE Southern Great Plains (SGP facility in Lamont, Oklahoma, during spring 2013. Measured gas- and particle-phase compositions during these new-particle growth events suggest three distinct growth pathways: (1 growth by primarily organics, (2 growth by primarily sulfuric acid and ammonia, and (3 growth by primarily sulfuric acid and associated bases and organics. To supplement the measurements, we used the particle growth model MABNAG (Model for Acid–Base chemistry in NAnoparticle Growth to gain further insight into the growth processes on these 3 days at SGP. MABNAG simulates growth from (1 sulfuric-acid condensation (and subsequent salt formation with ammonia or amines, (2 near-irreversible condensation from nonreactive extremely low-volatility organic compounds (ELVOCs, and (3 organic-acid condensation and subsequent salt formation with ammonia or amines. MABNAG is able to corroborate the

  1. 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

  2. 49 CFR 215.111 - Defective plain bearing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-10-01

    ... 49 Transportation 4 2010-10-01 2010-10-01 false Defective plain bearing. 215.111 Section 215.111... § 215.111 Defective plain bearing. A railroad may not place or continue in service a car, if the car has a plain bearing— (a) That is missing, cracked, or broken; (b) On which the bearing liner— (1) Is...

  3. Human used upper montane ecosystem in the Horton Plains, central Sri Lanka - a link to Lateglacial and early Holocene climate and environmental changes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Premathilake, Rathnasiri

    2012-09-01

    This study utilizes radiocarbon-dated pollen, spores, Sphagnum spp. macrofossils and total organic carbon proxies to examine variability of past climate, environment and human activity in montane rainforest, grassland and wetland of the Horton Plains (HP), central Sri Lanka since the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM). The LGM is largely characterized by grasslands and xerophytic herbs dominated open habitats. Arid-LGM punctuated climatic ameliorations, which took place in short episodes. Humans appear to have reached the HP ecosystem after 18,000 cal yrs BP occasionally. The first Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) induced changes in South West Monsoon (SWM) rains occurred at low latitudes between 16,200 and 15,900 cal yrs BP suggesting an onset of monsoon rains. After this event, monsoon rains weakened for several millennia except the period 13,700-13,000 cal yrs BP, but human activity seems to have continued with biomass burning and clearances by slash and burn. Very large size grass pollen grains, which are morphologically similar to pollen from closer forms of Oryza nivara, were found after 13,800 cal yrs BP. Early Holocene extreme and abrupt climate changes seem to have promoted the forms of O. nivara populations in association with humans. New data from the HP would therefore be most interesting to investigate the dispersal and use of domesticated rice in South Asia.

  4. Seasonal/Interannual Variations of Carbon Sequestration and Carbon Emission in a Warm-Season Perennial Grassland

    OpenAIRE

    Deepa Dhital; Tomoharu Inoue; Hiroshi Koizumi

    2014-01-01

    Carbon sequestration and carbon emission are processes of ecosystem carbon cycling that can be affected while land area converted to grassland resulting in increased soil carbon storage and below-ground respiration. Discerning the importance of carbon cycle in grassland, we aimed to estimate carbon sequestration in photosynthesis and carbon emission in respiration from soil, root, and microbes, for four consecutive years (2007–2010) in a warm-season perennial grassland, Japan. Soil carbon emi...

  5. Evaluation of nocturnal roost and diurnal sites used by whooping cranes in the Great Plains, United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pearse, Aaron T.; Harner, Mary J.; Baasch, David M.; Wright, Greg D.; Caven, Andrew J.; Metzger, Kristine L.

    2017-01-17

    Endangered whooping cranes (Grus americana) of the Aransas-Wood Buffalo population migrate through the Great Plains twice each year. Although there is much interest in conservation and management for this species, information regarding characteristics of nocturnal roost sites used during migration has been limited and based largely on incidental observations. Using high-quality location data collected concurrently, we directed a companion field study designed to characterize sites used as roost or day-use sites to augment knowledge and assist the Platte River Recovery Implementation Program in identifying migration habitat for restoration, conservation, and management actions along the Platte River in central Nebraska. We collected data at 504 roost sites and 83 day-use sites used by marked whooping cranes in Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota, North Dakota, Minnesota, and Montana. Roost sites were located in emergent wetlands (50 percent), lacustrine wetlands (25 percent), rivers (20 percent), and dryland sites (5 percent). Most day-use sites were characterized as dryland sites (54 percent), with the balance in wetlands (45 percent) and rivers (1 percent). Habitat criteria thresholds initially derived by the Platte River Recovery Implementation Program to represent where 90 percent of whooping cranes used along the Platte River were different from those we measured over a larger section of the migration corridor. For most of the metrics, the Platte River Recovery Implementation Program’s initial habitat criteria thresholds would be considered more conservative than critical values estimated from our data; thus, whooping cranes were seemingly able to tolerate a wider range of these metrics than initially suspected. One exception was the metric distance to nearest disturbance feature, where our results sug­gest that whooping cranes may be less tolerant to nearby dis­turbances in a larger part of the migration corridor compared to the Platte River

  6. Chenier plain development: feedbacks between waves, mud and sand

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nardin, W.; Fagherazzi, S.

    2015-12-01

    Cheniers are sandy ridges parallel to the coast established by high energy waves. Here we discuss Chenier plains ontogeny through dimensional analysis and numerical results from the morphodynamic model Delft3D-SWAN. Our results show that wave energy and shelf slope play an important role in the formation of Chenier plains. In our numerical experiments waves affect Chenier plain development in three ways: by winnowing sediment from the mudflat, by eroding mud and accumulating sand over the beach during extreme wave events. We further show that different sediment characteristics and wave climates can lead to three alternative coastal landscapes: strand plains, mudflats, or the more complex Chenier plains. Low inner-shelf slopes are the most favorable for strand plain and Chenier plain formation, while high slopes decrease the likelihood of mudflat development and preservation.

  7. Responses of soil fungal community to the sandy grassland restoration in Horqin Sandy Land, northern China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Shao-Kun; Zuo, Xiao-An; Zhao, Xue-Yong; Li, Yu-Qiang; Zhou, Xin; Lv, Peng; Luo, Yong-Qing; Yun, Jian-Ying

    2016-01-01

    Sandy grassland restoration is a vital process including re-structure of soils, restoration of vegetation, and soil functioning in arid and semi-arid regions. Soil fungal community is a complex and critical component of soil functioning and ecological balance due to its roles in organic matter decomposition and nutrient cycling following sandy grassland restoration. In this study, soil fungal community and its relationship with environmental factors were examined along a habitat gradient of sandy grassland restoration: mobile dunes (MD), semi-fixed dunes (SFD), fixed dunes (FD), and grassland (G). It was found that species abundance, richness, and diversity of fungal community increased along with the sandy grassland restoration. The sequences analysis suggested that most of the fungal species (68.4 %) belonged to the phylum of Ascomycota. The three predominant fungal species were Pleospora herbarum, Wickerhamomyces anomalus, and Deconica Montana, accounting for more than one fourth of all the 38 species. Geranomyces variabilis was the subdominant species in MD, Pseudogymnoascus destructans and Mortierella alpine were the subdominant species in SFD, and P. destructans and Fungi incertae sedis were the dominant species in FD and G. The result from redundancy analysis (RDA) and stepwise regression analysis indicated that the vegetation characteristics and soil properties explain a significant proportion of the variation in the fungal community, and aboveground biomass and C:N ratio are the key factors to determine soil fungal community composition during sandy grassland restoration. It was suggested that the restoration of sandy grassland combined with vegetation and soil properties improved the soil fungal diversity. Also, the dominant species was found to be alternative following the restoration of sandy grassland ecosystems.

  8. A Satellite-Based Model for Simulating Ecosystem Respiration in the Tibetan and Inner Mongolian Grasslands

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rong Ge

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available It is important to accurately evaluate ecosystem respiration (RE in the alpine grasslands of the Tibetan Plateau and the temperate grasslands of the Inner Mongolian Plateau, as it serves as a sensitivity indicator of regional and global carbon cycles. Here, we combined flux measurements taken between 2003 and 2013 from 16 grassland sites across northern China and the corresponding MODIS land surface temperature (LST, enhanced vegetation index (EVI, and land surface water index (LSWI to build a satellite-based model to estimate RE at a regional scale. First, the dependencies of both spatial and temporal variations of RE on these biotic and climatic factors were examined explicitly. We found that plant productivity and moisture, but not temperature, can best explain the spatial pattern of RE in northern China’s grasslands; while temperature plays a major role in regulating the temporal variability of RE in the alpine grasslands, and moisture is equally as important as temperature in the temperate grasslands. However, the moisture effect on RE and the explicit representation of spatial variation process are often lacking in most of the existing satellite-based RE models. On this basis, we developed a model by comprehensively considering moisture, temperature, and productivity effects on both temporal and spatial processes of RE, and then, we evaluated the model performance. Our results showed that the model well explained the observed RE in both the alpine (R2 = 0.79, RMSE = 0.77 g C m−2 day−1 and temperate grasslands (R2 = 0.75, RMSE = 0.60 g C m−2 day−1. The inclusion of the LSWI as the water-limiting factor substantially improved the model performance in arid and semi-arid ecosystems, and the spatialized basal respiration rate as an indicator for spatial variation largely determined the regional pattern of RE. Finally, the model accurately reproduced the seasonal and inter-annual variations and spatial variability of RE, and it avoided

  9. Nest-site selection and population trend of Collared Pratincoles (Glareola pratincola breeding in agricultural habitats of the Nagykunság region (Hungary

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kiss Ádám

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available The Collared Pratincole (Glareola pratincola, which was once a typical breeding species of the sodic grasslands of the Great Plain, has become threatened with extinction from Hungary. It disappeared from the traditional grassland breeding sites before the 2000 and is currently breeding only in three sites in agricultural environments in Hungary. The objectives of our research were to find links between the use of shallow wetlands and the breeding behaviour of the species and to identify the characteristics of its breeding on ploughed fields. Data were collected between 2008 and 2016 as part of preparations for the conservation of the largest population which is found in the Nagykunság. We found a positive correlation between colony size and the area of the nearby wetland. We calculated the proportion of habitat-types used for nesting, and found that cultivated fields and fallow lands were the most important. Additionally, we also found that colony sizes were substantially smaller during the research period than those found earlier in the traditional grassland habitats. Finally, we found a positive trend in the size of the population during the research period.

  10. A study of the carbon dynamics of Japanese grassland and forest using 14C and 13C

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Katsuno, Kazumi; Miyairi, Yosuke; Tamura, Kenji; Matsuzaki, Hiroyuki; Fukuda, Kenji

    2010-01-01

    We quantified the carbon contents of grassland and forest soil using conventional methods and studied the changes in their dynamics by measuring δ 13 C and Δ 14 C. Soil samples were taken from a neighboring Miscanthus sinensis grassland and Pinus densiflora forest in central Japan. Both had been maintained as grassland until the 1960s, when the latter was abandoned and became a pine forest by natural succession. The soil carbon content of the forest was much lower than that of the grassland, implying that the soil carbon decreased as the grassland became forest. The δ 13 C values were very similar in the grassland and forest, at approximately -20 per mille , suggesting that M. sinensis (a C4 plant) contributed to carbon storage, whereas there was little carbon accumulation from P. densiflora (a C3 plant) in forest soil. The Δ 14 C values and calculated soil carbon mean residence time (MRT) showed that the soil carbon in the upper A horizon was older, and that in the lower A horizon was younger in forest than in grassland. From these results, we conclude that young, fast-MRT soil carbon is decomposed in the upper A horizon, and old, stable soil carbon was decomposed in the lower A horizon after the pine invasion.

  11. Combining social policy and scientific knowledge with stakeholder participation can benefit on salted grassland production in Northeast China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Deli; Yang, Zhiming; Wang, Ling; Sun, Wei

    2015-04-01

    Soil salinization is a serious environmental problem across the Eurasian steppes, where millions people have been living for at least five thousand years and will still depend on it in the near future. During the last several decades, ecologists and grassland scientists have done much research on rational grassland utilization avoiding land degradation and reduction in ecological services. Meanwhile, the central and local governments took some attempts of agricultural policy and ecological subsidy to mitigate large scale land salinization in Northeast China. Fortunately, more and more farmers and stakeholders begin to adopt rational grassland management with the guidance of scientists and the help of local governments. However, up to date, there is still a gap between farmers, scientists and governments, which often negatively affect grassland production and remission of soil salinization in these areas. We conducted a case study on sustainable grassland production adapted to steppe salinization funded by EC project from 2011 to 2013. Our goal is trying to establish a mode of adaptive grassland management integrating previous scientific knowledge (grazing and seeding), current agricultural policies (ecological subsidy) and stakeholders' participation or performance. The study showed that: A. Despite of some grassland utilization techniques available for stakeholders (regulating stocking rate and seeding in pastures, or planting high quality forages), they tended to take the simplest action to enhance animal production and prevent grassland salinization; B. Compared to educating or training stakeholders, demonstration of grazing management is the most effective mean for knowledge dissemination or technology transfer; C. Ecological subsidy is absolutely welcome to the local people, and technology transfer became easier when combined with ecological subsidy; D. There was a contrasting effect in grassland production and land degradation mitigation for experimental farm

  12. Combining Livestock Production Information in a Process-Based Vegetation Model to Reconstruct the History of Grassland Management

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chang, Jinfeng; Ciais, Philippe; Herrero, Mario; Havlik, Petr; Campioli, Matteo; Zhang, Xianzhou; Bai, Yongfei; Viovy, Nicolas; Joiner, Joanna; Wang, Xuhui; hide

    2016-01-01

    Grassland management type (grazed or mown) and intensity (intensive or extensive) play a crucial role in the greenhouse gas balance and surface energy budget of this biome, both at field scale and at large spatial scale. However, global gridded historical information on grassland management intensity is not available. Combining modelled grass-biomass productivity with statistics of the grass-biomass demand by livestock, we reconstruct gridded maps of grassland management intensity from 1901 to 2012. These maps include the minimum area of managed vs. maximum area of unmanaged grasslands and the fraction of mown vs. grazed area at a resolution of 0.5deg by 0.5deg. The grass-biomass demand is derived from a livestock dataset for 2000, extended to cover the period 19012012. The grass-biomass supply (i.e. forage grass from mown grassland and biomass grazed) is simulated by the process-based model ORCHIDEE-GM driven by historical climate change, risingCO2 concentration, and changes in nitrogen fertilization. The global area of managed grassland obtained in this study increases from 6.1 x 10(exp 6) km(exp 2) in 1901 to 12.3 x 10(exp 6) kmI(exp 2) in 2000, although the expansion pathway varies between different regions. ORCHIDEE-GM also simulated augmentation in global mean productivity and herbage-use efficiency over managed grassland during the 20th century, indicating a general intensification of grassland management at global scale but with regional differences. The gridded grassland management intensity maps are model dependent because they depend on modelled productivity. Thus specific attention was given to the evaluation of modelled productivity against a series of observations from site-level net primary productivity (NPP) measurements to two global satellite products of gross primary productivity (GPP) (MODIS-GPP and SIF data). Generally, ORCHIDEE-GM captures the spatial pattern, seasonal cycle, and inter-annual variability of grassland productivity at global

  13. Topographic and Bioclimatic Determinants of the Occurrence of Forest and Grassland in Tropical Montane Forest-Grassland Mosaics of the Western Ghats, India.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Arundhati Das

    Full Text Available The objective of this analysis was to identify topographic and bioclimatic factors that predict occurrence of forest and grassland patches within tropical montane forest-grassland mosaics. We further investigated whether interactions between topography and bioclimate are important in determining vegetation pattern, and assessed the role of spatial scale in determining the relative importance of specific topographic features. Finally, we assessed the role of elevation in determining the relative importance of diverse explanatory factors. The study area consists of the central and southern regions of the Western Ghats of Southern India, a global biodiversity hotspot. Random forests were used to assess prediction accuracy and predictor importance. Conditional inference classification trees were used to interpret predictor effects and examine potential interactions between predictors. GLMs were used to confirm predictor importance and assess the strength of interaction terms. Overall, topographic and bioclimatic predictors classified vegetation pattern with approximately 70% accuracy. Prediction accuracy was higher for grassland than forest, and for mosaics at higher elevations. Elevation was the most important predictor, with mosaics above 2000 m dominated largely by grassland. Relative topographic position measured at a local scale (within a 300 m neighbourhood was another important predictor of vegetation pattern. In high elevation mosaics, northness and concave land surface curvature were important predictors of forest occurrence. Important bioclimatic predictors were: dry quarter precipitation, annual temperature range and the interaction between the two. The results indicate complex interactions between topography and bioclimate and among topographic variables. Elevation and topography have a strong influence on vegetation pattern in these mosaics. There were marked regional differences in the roles of various topographic and bioclimatic

  14. Topographic and Bioclimatic Determinants of the Occurrence of Forest and Grassland in Tropical Montane Forest-Grassland Mosaics of the Western Ghats, India.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Das, Arundhati; Nagendra, Harini; Anand, Madhur; Bunyan, Milind

    2015-01-01

    The objective of this analysis was to identify topographic and bioclimatic factors that predict occurrence of forest and grassland patches within tropical montane forest-grassland mosaics. We further investigated whether interactions between topography and bioclimate are important in determining vegetation pattern, and assessed the role of spatial scale in determining the relative importance of specific topographic features. Finally, we assessed the role of elevation in determining the relative importance of diverse explanatory factors. The study area consists of the central and southern regions of the Western Ghats of Southern India, a global biodiversity hotspot. Random forests were used to assess prediction accuracy and predictor importance. Conditional inference classification trees were used to interpret predictor effects and examine potential interactions between predictors. GLMs were used to confirm predictor importance and assess the strength of interaction terms. Overall, topographic and bioclimatic predictors classified vegetation pattern with approximately 70% accuracy. Prediction accuracy was higher for grassland than forest, and for mosaics at higher elevations. Elevation was the most important predictor, with mosaics above 2000 m dominated largely by grassland. Relative topographic position measured at a local scale (within a 300 m neighbourhood) was another important predictor of vegetation pattern. In high elevation mosaics, northness and concave land surface curvature were important predictors of forest occurrence. Important bioclimatic predictors were: dry quarter precipitation, annual temperature range and the interaction between the two. The results indicate complex interactions between topography and bioclimate and among topographic variables. Elevation and topography have a strong influence on vegetation pattern in these mosaics. There were marked regional differences in the roles of various topographic and bioclimatic predictors across the

  15. Changes in grassland management and plant diversity in a marginal region of the Carpathian Mts. in 1999-2015.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Halada, Ľuboš; David, Stanislav; Hreško, Juraj; Klimantová, Alexandra; Bača, Andrej; Rusňák, Tomáš; Buraľ, Miroslav; Vadel, Ľuboš

    2017-12-31

    The political change from socialism to democracy in countries of Central and Eastern Europe at the end of the 20th century induced broad changes in agriculture mostly due to land ownership changes and strong reduction of subsidies to agriculture. This resulted in agricultural decline, including grassland abandonment, which influenced grassland biodiversity and conservation. Between 1999 and 2015 we studied the grasslands in the area depopulated in the early 1980's in the Poloniny National Park (NE Slovakia, Carpathian Mts.). The aim of the study was to examine influence of environmental factors and grassland management driven by the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) to plant community structure and taxonomical diversity. We identified altitude and soil properties as the main environmental factors: altitude determines climate gradient and probably also management intensity gradient and soil properties express soil fertility via A-horizon depth. We identified remarkable increase of proportion of managed grasslands from only 8% in 1999 to 40% in 2012-2015; other 7% of sampled grasslands were recently restored and prepared for future management. The average species richness in grasslands managed in 2012-2015 increased from 47.5 species per record in 1999 to 54.2 species in 2012-2015, the increase was found statistically significant. In 2012-2015, we observed statistically significant difference in the average species richness between managed (54.2) and abandoned grasslands (46.3). The agricultural subsidies of the CAP drive the grassland management in the study area. Therefore, we conclude that CAP enabled grassland biodiversity maintenance in significant part of the Poloniny National Park following start of its application in 2004 and above provided figures can be considered as indicators of the CAP effectiveness in our study area. However, the conservation of mountain meadows remains a challenge because of their poor accessibility. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All

  16. Monitoring aeolian desertification process in Hulunbir grassland during 1975-2006, Northern China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guo, Jian; Wang, Tao; Xue, Xian; Ma, Shaoxiu; Peng, Fei

    2010-07-01

    The Hulunbir grassland experienced aeolian desertification expansion during 1975-2000, but local rehabilitation during 2000-2006. Northern China suffered severe aeolian desertification during the past 50 years. Hulunbir grassland, the best stockbreeding base in Northern China, was also affected by aeolian desertification. To evaluate the evolution and status of aeolian desertification, as well as its causes, satellite images (acquired in 1975, 1984, 2000, and 2006) and meteorological and socioeconomic data were interpreted and analyzed. The results show there was 2,345.7, 2,899.8, 4,053.9, and 3,859.6 km(2) of aeolian desertified land in 1975, 1984, 2000, and 2006, respectively. The spatial pattern dynamic had three stages: stability during 1975-1984, fast expansion during 1984-2000, and spatial transfer during 2000-2006. The dynamic degree of aeolian desertification is negatively related to its severity. Comprehensive analysis shows that the human factor is the primary cause of aeolian desertification in Hulunbir grassland. Although aeolian desertified land got partly rehabilitated, constant increase of extremely severe aeolian desertified land implied that current measures were not effective enough on aeolian desertification control. Alleviation of grassland pressure may be an effective method.

  17. Impacts of atmospheric pollution on the plant communities of British acid grasslands

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Payne, Richard J., E-mail: r.payne@mmu.ac.uk [School of Science and the Environment, Manchester Metropolitan University, Chester St., Manchester M1 5GD (United Kingdom); Geography, School of Environment and Development, University of Manchester, Oxford Road, Manchester M13 9PL (United Kingdom); Stevens, Carly J. [Faculty of Science, Open University, Walton Hall, Milton Keynes MK7 6AA (United Kingdom); Lancaster Environment Centre, Lancaster University, Bailrigg, Lancaster LA1 4YQ (United Kingdom); Dise, Nancy B. [School of Science and the Environment, Manchester Metropolitan University, Chester St., Manchester M1 5GD (United Kingdom); Gowing, David J. [Faculty of Science, Open University, Walton Hall, Milton Keynes MK7 6AA (United Kingdom); Pilkington, Michael G.; Phoenix, Gareth K. [Department of Animal and Plant Sciences, Alfred Denny Building, University of Sheffield, Sheffield S10 2TN (United Kingdom); Emmett, Bridget A. [Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, Environment Centre Wales, Deiniol Road, Bangor, Gwynedd LL57 2UW (United Kingdom); Ashmore, Michael R. [Environment Department, University of York, Heslington, York YO10 5DD (United Kingdom)

    2011-10-15

    Air pollutants are recognised as important agents of ecosystem change but few studies consider the effects of multiple pollutants and their interactions. Here we use ordination, constrained cluster analysis and indicator value analyses to identify potential environmental controls on species composition, ecological groupings and indicator species in a gradient study of UK acid grasslands. The community composition of these grasslands is related to climate, grazing, ozone exposure and nitrogen deposition, with evidence for an interaction between the ecological impacts of base cation and nitrogen deposition. Ozone is a key agent in species compositional change but is not associated with a reduction in species richness or diversity indices, showing the subtly different drivers on these two aspects of ecosystem degradation. Our results demonstrate the effects of multiple interacting pollutants, which may collectively have a greater impact than any individual agent. - Highlights: > Ozone exposure, N and base cation deposition modify UK acid grassland composition. > Ozone influences community composition without reducing species richness. > Nitrogen and base cation deposition have interacting impacts. > Distinct species responses to pollutants suggest potential for bioindication. - Ozone exposure and nitrogen deposition have distinct but additive impacts on the plant communities of British acid grasslands.

  18. Impacts of atmospheric pollution on the plant communities of British acid grasslands

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Payne, Richard J.; Stevens, Carly J.; Dise, Nancy B.; Gowing, David J.; Pilkington, Michael G.; Phoenix, Gareth K.; Emmett, Bridget A.; Ashmore, Michael R.

    2011-01-01

    Air pollutants are recognised as important agents of ecosystem change but few studies consider the effects of multiple pollutants and their interactions. Here we use ordination, constrained cluster analysis and indicator value analyses to identify potential environmental controls on species composition, ecological groupings and indicator species in a gradient study of UK acid grasslands. The community composition of these grasslands is related to climate, grazing, ozone exposure and nitrogen deposition, with evidence for an interaction between the ecological impacts of base cation and nitrogen deposition. Ozone is a key agent in species compositional change but is not associated with a reduction in species richness or diversity indices, showing the subtly different drivers on these two aspects of ecosystem degradation. Our results demonstrate the effects of multiple interacting pollutants, which may collectively have a greater impact than any individual agent. - Highlights: → Ozone exposure, N and base cation deposition modify UK acid grassland composition. → Ozone influences community composition without reducing species richness. → Nitrogen and base cation deposition have interacting impacts. → Distinct species responses to pollutants suggest potential for bioindication. - Ozone exposure and nitrogen deposition have distinct but additive impacts on the plant communities of British acid grasslands.

  19. The Bird Community Resilience Index: a novel remote sensing-based biodiversity variable for quantifying ecological integrity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michel, N. L.; Wilsey, C.; Burkhalter, C.; Trusty, B.; Langham, G.

    2017-12-01

    Scalable indicators of biodiversity change are critical to reporting overall progress towards national and global targets for biodiversity conservation (e.g. Aichi Targets) and sustainable development (SDGs). These essential biodiversity variables capitalize on new remote sensing technologies and growth of community science participation. Here we present a novel biodiversity metric quantifying resilience of bird communities and, by extension, of their associated ecological communities. This metric adds breadth to the community composition class of essential biodiversity variables that track trends in condition and vulnerability of ecological communities. We developed this index for use with North American grassland birds, a guild that has experienced stronger population declines than any other avian guild, in order to evaluate gains from the implementation of best management practices on private lands. The Bird Community Resilience Index was designed to incorporate the full suite of species-specific responses to management actions, and be flexible enough to work across broad climatic, land cover, and bird community gradients (i.e., grasslands from northern Mexico through Canada). The Bird Community Resilience Index consists of four components: density estimates of grassland and arid land birds; weighting based on conservation need; a functional diversity metric to incorporate resiliency of bird communities and their ecosystems; and a standardized scoring system to control for interannual variation caused by extrinsic factors (e.g., climate). We present an analysis of bird community resilience across ranches in the Northern Great Plains region of the United States. As predicted, Bird Community Resilience was higher in lands implementing best management practices than elsewhere. While developed for grassland birds, this metric holds great potential for use as an Essential Biodiversity Variable for community composition in a variety of habitat.

  20. Potential of endozoochorous seed dispersal by sheep in calcareous grasslands: correlations with seed traits.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kuiters, A.T.; Huiskes, H.P.J.

    2010-01-01

    Questions: What is the potential of sheep to serve as seed dispersers via ingestion and defecation in calcareous grasslands? Is the presence of viable seeds from dung correlated with specific seed traits? Location: Calcareous grasslands, South Limburg, the Netherlands/Belgium. Methods: Dung samples

  1. Great Meteor East (distal Madeira Abyssal Plain): geological studies of its suitability for disposal of heat-emitting radioactive wastes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Searle, R.C.; Schultheiss, P.J.; Weaver, P.P.E.; Noel, M.; Kidd, R.B.; Jacobs, C.L.; Huggett, Q.J.

    1985-01-01

    This report summarises geological and geophysical studies carried out by the Institute of Oceanographic Sciences up to December 1983 in an area of the Madeira Abyssal Plain in order to assess its suitability for the disposal of heat-emitting radioactive waste. The results of work carried out in the same area by the Rijks Geologische Dienst of the Netherlands are also reviewed in the report. Other oceanographic studies in the area in the fields of geochemistry, biology and oceanography are briefly touched upon. (author)

  2. Mapping Plant Functional Groups in Subalpine Grassland of the Greater Caucasus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anja Magiera

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available Plant functional groups—in our case grass, herbs, and legumes—and their spatial distribution can provide information on key ecosystem functions such as species richness, nitrogen fixation, and erosion control. Knowledge about the spatial distribution of plant functional groups provides valuable information for grassland management. This study described and mapped the distribution of grass, herb, and legume coverage of the subalpine grassland in the high-mountain Kazbegi region, Greater Caucasus, Georgia. To test the applicability of new sensors, we compared the predictive power of simulated hyperspectral canopy reflectance, simulated multispectral reflectance, simulated vegetation indices, and topographic variables for modeling plant functional groups. The tested grassland showed characteristic differences in species richness; in grass, herb, and legume coverage; and in connected structural properties such as yield. Grass (Hordeum brevisubulatum was dominant in biomass-rich hay meadows. Herb-rich grassland featured the highest species richness and evenness, whereas legume-rich grassland was accompanied by a high coverage of open soil and showed dominance of a single species, Astragalus captiosus. The best model fits were achieved with a combination of reflectance, vegetation indices, and topographic variables as predictors. Random forest models for grass, herb, and legume coverage explained 36%, 25%, and 37% of the respective variance, and their root mean square errors varied between 12–15%. Hyperspectral and multispectral reflectance as predictors resulted in similar models. Because multispectral data are more easily available and often have a higher spatial resolution, we suggest using multispectral parameters enhanced by vegetation indices and topographic parameters for modeling grass, herb, and legume coverage. However, overall model fits were merely moderate, and further testing, including stronger gradients and the addition of

  3. The southern Brazilian grassland biome: soil carbon stocks, fluxes of greenhouse gases and some options for mitigation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pillar, V D; Tornquist, C G; Bayer, C

    2012-08-01

    The southern Brazilian grassland biome contains highly diverse natural ecosystems that have been used for centuries for grazing livestock and that also provide other important environmental services. Here we outline the main factors controlling ecosystem processes, review and discuss the available data on soil carbon stocks and greenhouse gases emissions from soils, and suggest opportunities for mitigation of climatic change. The research on carbon and greenhouse gases emissions in these ecosystems is recent and the results are still fragmented. The available data indicate that the southern Brazilian natural grassland ecosystems under adequate management contain important stocks of organic carbon in the soil, and therefore their conservation is relevant for the mitigation of climate change. Furthermore, these ecosystems show a great and rapid loss of soil organic carbon when converted to crops based on conventional tillage practices. However, in the already converted areas there is potential to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions by using cropping systems based on no soil tillage and cover-crops, and the effect is mainly related to the potential of these crop systems to accumulate soil organic carbon in the soil at rates that surpass the increased soil nitrous oxide emissions. Further modelling with these results associated with geographic information systems could generate regional estimates of carbon balance.

  4. LEAF AREA DYNAMICS AND ABOVEGROUND BIOMASS OF SPECIFIC VEGETATION TYPES OF A SEMI-ARID GRASSLAND IN SOUTHERN ETHIOPIA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bosco Kidake Kisambo

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Leaf Area Index (LAI dynamics and aboveground biomass of a semi-arid grassland region in Southern Ethiopia were determined over a long rain season. The vegetation was categorized into four distinct vegetation types namely Grassland (G, Tree-Grassland (TG, Bushed-Grassland (BG and Bush-Tree grassland (BT. LAI was measured using a Plant Canopy Analyzer (LAI2000. Biomass dynamics of litter and herbaceous components were determined through clipping while the above ground biomass of trees and shrubs were estimated using species-specific allometric equations from literature. LAI showed a seasonal increase over the season with the maximum recorded in the BG vegetation (2.52. Total aboveground biomass for the different vegetation types ranged from 0.61 ton C/ha in areas where trees were non-existent to 8.80 ± 3.81ton C/ha in the Tree-Grassland vegetation in the study site. A correlation of LAI and AGB yielded a positive relationship with an R2 value of 0.55. The results demonstrate the importance of tropical semi-arid grasslands as carbon sinks hence their potential in mitigation of climate change.

  5. [Effects of desertification on C and N storages in grassland ecosystem on Horqin sandy land].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Ha-lin; Li, Yu-qiang; Zhou, Rui-lian

    2007-11-01

    Sandy grassland is widespread in northern China, where desertification is very common because of overgrazing and estrepement. However, little is known about the effects of desertification on grassland C and N storages in this region. A field survey was conducted on Horqin sandy grassland, and desertification gradients were established to evaluate the effects of desertification on C and N storages in soil, plant, and litter. The results showed that desertification had deep effects on the contents and storages of grassland C and N. The C and N contents and storages in the grassland decreased significantly with increasing desertification degree. Comparing with those in un-desertified grassland, the C and N contents in lightly, moderately, heavily, and severely desertified grasslands decreased by 56.06% and 48.72%, 78.43% and 74.36%, 88.95% and 84.62%, and 91.64% and 84.62% in 0-100 cm soil layer, and by 8.61% and 6.43%, 0.05% and 25.71%, 2.58% and 27.14%, and 8. 61% and 27. 86% in plant components, respectively. Relevantly, the C and N storages decreased by 50.95% and 43.38%, 75.19% and 71.04%, 86.76% and 81.48%, and 91.17% and 83.17% in plant underground components in 0-100 cm soil layer, and by 25.08% and 27.62%, 30.90% and 46.55%, 73.84% and 80.62%, and 90.89% and 87.31% in plant aboveground components, respectively. In 2000, the total area of desertified grassland in Horqin sandy land was 30152. 7 km2, and the C and N loss via desertification reached up to 107.53 and 9.97 Mt, respectively. Correlation analysis indicated that the decrease of soil C and N contents was mainly come from the decreased soil fine particles caused by wind erosion in the process of desertification, and the degradation of soil texture- and nutrient status led finally to the rapid decrease of C and N storages in plant biomass and litter.

  6. Water relations in grassland and desert ecosystems exposed to elevated atmospheric CO2.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morgan, J A; Pataki, D E; Körner, C; Clark, H; Del Grosso, S J; Grünzweig, J M; Knapp, A K; Mosier, A R; Newton, P C D; Niklaus, P A; Nippert, J B; Nowak, R S; Parton, W J; Polley, H W; Shaw, M R

    2004-06-01

    Atmospheric CO2 enrichment may stimulate plant growth directly through (1) enhanced photosynthesis or indirectly, through (2) reduced plant water consumption and hence slower soil moisture depletion, or the combination of both. Herein we describe gas exchange, plant biomass and species responses of five native or semi-native temperate and Mediterranean grasslands and three semi-arid systems to CO2 enrichment, with an emphasis on water relations. Increasing CO2 led to decreased leaf conductance for water vapor, improved plant water status, altered seasonal evapotranspiration dynamics, and in most cases, periodic increases in soil water content. The extent, timing and duration of these responses varied among ecosystems, species and years. Across the grasslands of the Kansas tallgrass prairie, Colorado shortgrass steppe and Swiss calcareous grassland, increases in aboveground biomass from CO2 enrichment were relatively greater in dry years. In contrast, CO2-induced aboveground biomass increases in the Texas C3/C4 grassland and the New Zealand pasture seemed little or only marginally influenced by yearly variation in soil water, while plant growth in the Mojave Desert was stimulated by CO2 in a relatively wet year. Mediterranean grasslands sometimes failed to respond to CO2-related increased late-season water, whereas semiarid Negev grassland assemblages profited. Vegetative and reproductive responses to CO2 were highly varied among species and ecosystems, and did not generally follow any predictable pattern in regard to functional groups. Results suggest that the indirect effects of CO2 on plant and soil water relations may contribute substantially to experimentally induced CO2-effects, and also reflect local humidity conditions. For landscape scale predictions, this analysis calls for a clear distinction between biomass responses due to direct CO2 effects on photosynthesis and those indirect CO2 effects via soil moisture as documented here.

  7. Combined Deterministic and Stochastic Approach to Determine Spatial Distribution of Drought Frequency and Duration in the Great Hungarian Plain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Szabó, J. A.; Kuti, L.; Bakacsi, Zs.; Pásztor, L.; Tahy, Á.

    2009-04-01

    Drought is one of the major weather driven natural hazards, which has most harm impacts on environment, agricultural and hydrological factors than the other hazards. In spite of the fact that Hungary - that country is situated in Central Europe - belongs to the continental climate zone (influenced by Atlantic and Mediterranean streams) and this weather conditions should be favourable for agricultural production, the drought is a serious risk factor in Hungary, especially on the so called "Great Hungarian Plain", which area has been hit by severe drought events. These drought events encouraged the Ministry of Environment and Water of Hungary to embark on a countrywide drought planning programme to coordinate drought planning efforts throughout the country, to ensure that available water is used efficiently and to provide guidance on how drought planning can be accomplished. With regard to this plan, it is indispensable to analyze the regional drought frequency and duration in the target region of the programme as fundamental information for the further works. According to these aims, first we initiated a methodological development for simulating drought in a non-contributing area. As a result of this work, it has been agreed that the most appropriate model structure for our purposes using a spatially distributed physically based Soil-Vegetation-Atmosphere Transfer (SVAT) model embedded into a Markov Chain-Monte Carlo (MCMC) algorithm for estimate multi-year drought frequency and duration. In this framework: - the spatially distributed SVAT component simulates all the fundamental SVAT processes (such as: interception, snow-accumulation and melting, infiltration, water uptake by vegetation and evapotranspiration, vertical and horizontal distribution of soil moisture, etc.) taking the groundwater table as lower, and the hydrometeorological fields as upper boundary conditions into account; - and the MCMC based stochastic component generates time series of daily weather

  8. Air quality and human health impacts of grasslands and shrublands in the United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gopalakrishnan, Varsha; Hirabayashi, Satoshi; Ziv, Guy; Bakshi, Bhavik R.

    2018-06-01

    Vegetation including canopy, grasslands, and shrublands can directly sequester pollutants onto the plant surface, resulting in an improvement in air quality. Until now, several studies have estimated the pollution removal capacity of canopy cover at the level of a county, but no such work exists for grasslands and shrublands. This work quantifies the air pollution removal capacity of grasslands and shrublands at the county-level in the United States and estimates the human health benefits associated with pollution removal using the i-Tree Eco model. Sequestration of pollutants is estimated based on the Leaf Area Index (LAI) obtained from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) derived dataset estimates of LAI and the percentage land cover obtained from the National Land Cover Database (NLCD) for the year 2010. Calculation of pollution removal capacity using local environmental data indicates that grasslands and shrublands remove a total of 6.42 million tonnes of air pollutants in the United States and the associated monetary benefits total 268 million. Human health impacts and associated monetary value due to pollution removal was observed to be significantly high in urban areas indicating that grasslands and shrublands are equally critical as canopy in improving air quality and human health in urban regions.

  9. Floristic composition, environmental variation and species distribution patterns in burned grassland in southern Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Overbeck, G E; Müller, S C; Pillar, V D; Pfadenhauer, J

    2006-11-01

    In regularly burned grassland on Morro Santana, Porto Alegre, RS, Brazil, we investigated differences in the floristic composition and their relation to soil properties, aspect and distance from the forest border. In 48 plots of 0.75 m2, we identified a total of 201 species from a local species pool of approximately 450 to 500 species. Most species occurred in low frequencies, showing clumpy distribution patterns in the studied area. Multivariate analysis showed that plots close to the forest edge clearly differed from plots in the open grassland concerning composition and structure. Plots exposed to the north differed from plots on the top of the hill both in the composition of species as well as in soil variables, mainly due to shallower soil in the former. No strong relation between soil properties and variation in vegetation composition could be detected at a finer scale. The studied grassland, as all grassland vegetation in southern Brazil, is very rich in species compared to other grassland formations worldwide. However, this high biodiversity and conservational value of Campos vegetation in general has so far not been recognized properly. Disturbance is essential to maintain this open vegetation type and its species richness. Fire should be considered as a management option in the absence of grazing.

  10. Assessment of Grassland Health Based on Spatial Information Technology in Changji Autonomous Prefecture, Xinjiang

    Science.gov (United States)

    Du, M. J.; Zheng, J. H.; Mu, C.

    2018-04-01

    Based on the "pressure-state-response" (PSR) model, comprehensively applied GIS and RS techniques, 20 evaluation indicators were selected based on pressure, state and response, the entropy weight method was used to determine the weight of each index and build a grassland health evaluation system in Changji Prefecture, Xinjiang. Based on this, evaluation and dynamic analysis of grassland health in Changji Prefecture from 2000 to 2016, using GIS/RS technology, the trend of grassland health status in Changji is analyzed and studied. The results show that: 1) Grassland with low health leveld, lower health level, sub-health level, health level and high health level accounts for 1.46 %,27.67 %,38.35 %,29.21 % and 3.31 % of the total area of Changji. Qitai County, Hutubi County, and Manas County are lower health levels, Jimsar County, Changji City, and Mulei County are at a relatively high level, and Fukang City has a healthy level of health. 2) The level of grassland health in Changji County decreased slightly during the 17 years, accounting for 38.42 % of the total area. The area of 23,87 % showed a stable trend, and the improved area accounted for 37.31 % of the vertical surface area.

  11. Tietkens Plain karst - Maralinga

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    James, J.M.

    1988-09-01

    The Tietkens Plain karst is located to the north of Maralinga village which is on the crest of the Ooldea Range on the north and east margin of the Nullarbor Plain in western South Australia. The geology of the carbonate rocks in the Maralinga area is summarised. On Tietkens Plain from 1955 to 1963 nuclear weapons tests dispersed radioactive materials over the Maralinga area. Six nuclear devices were detonated in the air and one was exploded a few metres below the surface. The effect such explosions have on the karst and the possible rate of recovery of its surface are discussed. This report is the record of a visit to the Maralinga area from the 15th -21st November 1986 which involved an inspection of the karst surface together with collection of water, soil and rock samples. Results of the measurements made in order to assess water quality and water contamination by radioactive nuclides are presented. The implications arising from the presence of radioactive materials on the surface and the possibility of their entering and contaminating the groundwater in the area are discussed in the context of the chemistry of uranium and plutonium. The potential for transmission of contaminants through groundwater condui